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Category Archives: Funny

Spontaneous

23587115Title: Spontaneous
Author: Aaron Starmer
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 8th grade and up
Pages: 368
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Starmer

Synopsis: Mara Carlyle’s senior year at Covington High in suburban New Jersey is going on as normally as could be expected, until the day—wa-bam!—fellow senior Katelyn Ogden explodes during third period pre-calc. Katelyn is the first, but she won’t be the last senior to spontaneously combust without warning or explanation. The body count grows and the search is on for a reason—Terrorism! Drugs! Homosexuality! Government conspiracy!—while the seniors continue to pop like balloons.

Review: I wanted to like this book. It was an interesting (?) concept, but ultimately fell flat. If you’re into dark humor, you’ll definitely find some moments funny/laugh out loud worthy. The book itself isn’t bad, but the frustrating part of me was you get to the end of the book and there’s no explanation as to why the seniors are spontaneously combusting. There are tons of theories, most which are found false, but no actual reason. So, I was left with way more questions than answers. Why only the seniors? Will it stop when they graduate? Will the incoming seniors face the same fate? UGH. I will also say that this was a book club selection and most of the teens felt the same way. They were basically disappointed in the book/wanted more.

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2016 in Funny, Teen

 

Thieving Weasels

thieving-weaselsTitle: Thieving Weasels
Author: Billy Taylor
Series:
Recommended for: 8th grade and up
Pages: 250
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION TAYLOR, B.

 

Synopsis: Cameron Smith attends an elite boarding school and has just been accepted to Princeton University alongside his beautiful girlfriend, Claire. Life for Cameron would be perfect, except that Cameron Smith is actually Skip O’Rourke, and Skip O’Rourke ran away from his grifter family four years ago…along with $100,000 of their “earnings” (because starting a new life is not cheap). But when his uncle Wonderful tracks him down, Skip’s given an ultimatum: come back to the family for one last con, or say good-bye to life as Cameron.

“One last con” is easier said than done when Skip’s family is just as merciless (and just as manipulative) as they’ve always been, and everyone around him is lying. Skip may have given up on crime, but there’s one lesson he hasn’t forgotten: always know your mark. And if you don’t know who your mark is . . . it’s probably you.

I enjoyed this book.  Ally Carter’s Heist Society books are some of my favorites and this book has some of the same feel.  It’s not quite as fanciful as the Carter books (where they talk about cons with names like Rapunzel or Big Bad Wolf with a twist).  This seems a bit grittier but still very entertaining for lovers of heist and con artist books.  Light and fun with no teen drama and angst to slow things down.

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2016 in Funny

 

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Dumplin’

dumplin

Title: Dumplin’
Author: Julie Murphy
Series:
Recommended for: 9th grade and up
Pages: 384
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION MURPHY

Synopsis:  For fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell comes this powerful novel with the most fearless heroine—self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson—from Julie Murphy, the acclaimed author of Side Effects May Vary. With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

Dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom, Willowdean has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American-beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . .  until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

I loved Willowdean.  She and really all of the other characters are well developed, real and so much fun. The book addresses all kinds of teen problems and angst without being at all ‘preachy’ or serious.  Crushes, friendship problems, bullying, hurt feelings, insecurities, heartbreak, Will faces them all and comes out on the other side with her sense of humor and self esteem intact.  Willowdean and her circle of friends come to embrace who they are and believe in themselves, not in what others think about them.  Will is a great inspiration for any teen who feels they don’t fit in. As one reviewer put it, “I am happy to tell you no one loses weight in this book, and no one feels compelled to explain how a hot guy could fall for a full sized gal. Thank you. Seriously. Instead, you can expect to find some cross dressing Dolly Parton impersonators, myriad references to the song Jolene, and big girls showing up weird, loud, and proud to walk the beauty pageant catwalk.”

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2015 in Funny, Realistic, self-esteem, Teen

 

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Beauty Queens

Beauty Queens coverTitle:   Beauty Queens
Author:   Libba Bray
Series:   –
Recommended for:   teen girls, adults who like chick lit, people who like satires
Pages:   396 pages
Call Number/Link:   Teen Fiction Bray, L.

Rating:   ****

 

Synopsis:

What do you get when you cross America’s Next Top Model with Lost? A brilliantly funny novel by the queen of teen satire, Libba Bray.

The fifty contestants in the Miss Teen Dream pageant thought this was going to be a fun trip to the beach, where they could parade in their state-appropriate costumes and compete in front of the cameras. But sadly, their airplane crashed on a desert island, leaving the survivors stranded with little food, little water, and practically no eyeliner. What’s a beauty queen to do? Continue to practice for the talent portion of the program or wrestle snakes to the ground? Get a perfect tan or learn to run wild? And what should they do when the sexy pirates show up? Welcome to the heart of non-exfoliated darkness.

Comments:

I loved many parts of Beauty Queen.  It’s not often that I laugh out loud while reading or listening to a book, but I alarmed Natalie by laughing loudly several times while reading this book.  I would never have thought of combining a beauty pageant and “Survivor.”  Libba Bray is a genius!  However, that said, there were moments when I thought she was a bit over the top, to the point that it just wasn’t funny to me.  Overall, there were more positive moments.

Most of the beauty contestants were two-dimensional characters (or caricatures) at the beginning of the book.  By the end, the beauty contestants who were main characters were well fleshed out and I had a pretty good idea of what made the other beauty contestants tick.  (This was less true of the pirates, Corporation employees and other minor characters.)  Whereas the beauty contestants seemed like a mostly homogeneous group early on, with the exception of Idina and uber-competitor Taylor, they turned out to have definite differences – and secrets.  One character was a “wild girl.”  One presented herself as a traditional East Indian immigrant (with a vaguely British accent) but was really a valley girl.  One contestant was transgender, one was hearing impaired, one was an African-American girl whose mother wanted her to be lighter.  They also all had different talents and gifts that helped the group survive on a deserted island.  They created an irrigation system, built huts, crafted bows and arrows….

This book will be most appealing to readers who have a satirical bent and are not not too reverential of beauty pageants.  It mocks Big Business, reality t.v. (and the media), commercials, international relations, political campaigns, dictators, and many other things.

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2015 in Adventure, Dystopian, Funny, Teen

 

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The Wee Free Men

The Wee Free Men
The Wee Free Men

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

Title: The Wee Free Men
Author: Terry Pratchett
Series: Tiffany Aching/Discworld
Recommended for: 5th through 12th grades
Pages: 375
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION PRATCHETT
Synopsis: A young witch-to-be named Tiffany Aching teams up with the Wee Free Men, a clan of six-inch-high blue men, to rescue her baby brother and ward off a sinister invasion from Fairyland by the Fairy Queen.
Review: Terry Pratchett is known for his various series set in the exotic land of Discworld. With The Wee Free Men, Pratchett gives us a new series and a new hero: Tiffany Aching. Continuing through A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith, and I Shall Wear Midnight this story follows young Tiffany from adolescent cheesemaker to Witch: Protector of the Chalk.

The writing is sharp and the protagonist interesting, as she struggles to rescues her brother. Young Tiffany stands in the shadow of her departed grandmother, a powerful and somewhat mysterious woman, whom may have been a witch herself. She struggles against her own sense of doubt as she faces an intrusion into her world by the Fairy Queen and the quest to bring her brother home. Her mixture of grit and determination and use of wits as her weapon makes me both enjoy the book, and also recommend it. I would recommend this book for boys and girls 5th through 12th grades.

 

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2015 in Adventure, Adventure, Fantasy, Fantasy, Funny, Funny, Juv, Teen

 

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