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Category Archives: Teen

Thornhill

Title:   Thornhill
Author:   Pam Smy
Series:   —
Recommended for:  older tweens and teens who like creepy books
Pages:   533 pages
Call Number/Link:   J FICTION SMY, P.

Rating:   ****

 

 

 

 

Summary:

Parallel plotlines set in different times, one told in text and one in art, inform each other as a young girl unravels the mystery of a ghost next door.

1982:  Mary is a lonely orphan at the Thornhill Institute for Children at the very moment that it’s shutting its doors.  When her few friends are all adopted or re-homed and she’s left to face a volatile bully alone, her revenge will have a lasting effect on the bully, on Mary and on Thornhill itself.

2016:  Ella has just moved to a new town where she knows no one.  From her room on the top floor of her new home, she has a perfect view of the dilapidated, abandoned Thornhill Institute across the way, where she glimpses a girl in the window.  Determined to befriend the girl, Ella resolves to unravel Thornhill’s shadowy past.

Comments:

Some colleagues were surprised that I chose to read this book since I don’t usually read creepy, scary books.

As it works out, I was less scared than horrified by the book.  I was really troubled by the cruelty of the bullying that the girl from the eighties experienced, and that the orphanage’s primary caregivers truly didn’t care.  The girl obviously needed psychological help, as did the bully.

I did not get a complete picture of the contemporary girl’s situation.  I could see that she and her father had moved to a new place where she didn’t have any friends.  Her mother isn’t with them and the father works so many hours that the girl is, for all intensive purposes, an abandoned child.

There was no way that this book could end well….

 

But now for the biggest mystery of all:  should we move to book to Teen Fiction or keep it in J Fiction?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by on September 24, 2017 in Historical, Historical, Horror, Juv, Scary, Teen

 

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Book of Shadows

Title: Book of Shadows
Author: M. Verano
Series: Dairy of a Haunting
Recommended for: 7th grade & up
Pages: 288
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Verano

Synopsis: All Melanie wants is a blank book to keep a journal of her private thoughts. One day while browsing in a used bookshop, she finds the perfect blank book—smooth black leather with strange symbols in gold embossing. But once she gets home, Melanie finds herself too intimidated by the heavy vellum pages to write her trivial thoughts on them. Her Wiccan friend Lara tells her it’s better suited to be a magical spell book, called The Book of Shadows.

Melanie doesn’t know much about that stuff, but Lara, her boyfriend Caleb, and his friend Lucas, get her started by writing their own made up spells inside the book’s tempting pages. What they didn’t expect was a new spell showing up inside the book—and in handwriting none of them recognize.

Soon they discover that the spells suggested by The Book of Shadows itself do work—but not without wreaking havoc on the lives of the four teenagers.

Review: Normally, I love this series. It’s usually this weird supernatural mix with “it’s it real or not” type vibe. This one sadly fell flat, but I’m not quite sure why. It still had a very solid supernatural feel with the black magic, but it lacked the “keeping you guessing” element. Also, I’m not sure the “diary” format really worked this time. The past two books really only dealt with one main character/one person experiencing the supernatural, but this one really has four. It generally worked okay, but did feel as if something was missing. Overall, it was a middle of the road read. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2017 in Horror, Teen

 

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Dear Martin

Title: Dear Martin
Author: Nic Stone
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 7th grade & up
Pages: 224
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Stone

Synopsis: Justyce McAllister is top of his class, captain of the debate team, and set for the Ivy League next year—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. He is eventually released without charges (or an apology), but the incident has Justyce spooked. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood, he can’t seem to escape the scorn of his former peers or the attitude of his prep school classmates. The only exception: Sarah Jane, Justyce’s gorgeous—and white—debate partner he wishes he didn’t have a thing for.

Struggling to cope with it all, Justyce starts a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But do Dr. King’s teachings hold up in the modern world? Justyce isn’t so sure.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up. Way up. Much to the fury of the white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. And Justyce and Manny get caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack. The truth of what happened that night—some would kill to know. Justyce is dying to forget.

Review: Man, does this book pack a wallop! It’s been almost two months since I first read it and I’m *STILL* thinking about it. A lot of people have been comparing this one to The Hate You Give; and while they are similar they are also very different. This one was a bit more emotional for me, especially considering it’s just a tad over 200 pages. Dear Martin, also deals more with privilege & racial profiling in general. It’s though provoking and one that people will be talking about for sure. Easily, one of my favorite 2017 books.

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2017 in Realistic, Teen, Uncategorized

 

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The Testing

Title:The Testing
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Series: Testing #1
Recommended for: 
Pages: 339 pages
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION CHARBONNEAU, J.

Synopsis: It’s graduation day for sixteen-year-old Malencia Vale, and the entire Five Lakes Colony (the former Great Lakes) is celebrating. All Cia can think about—hope for—is whether she’ll be chosen for The Testing, a United Commonwealth program that selects the best and brightest new graduates to become possible leaders of the slowly revitalizing post-war civilization. When Cia is chosen, her father finally tells her about his own nightmarish half-memories of The Testing. Armed with his dire warnings (”Cia, trust no one”), she bravely heads off to Tosu City, far away from friends and family, perhaps forever. Danger, romance—and sheer terror—await.

Thoughts:  I am enjoying this series.  I started reading these since the author will be visiting later this year.  I think that the story is well written and pacing is great.  Malencia (Cia) is a thinker, I love how you see her thought process in her decision making.  I really like that Cia’s never loses her humanity throughout the testing. This first book is the testing process, so you learn about the process, the next two books talk more about University and political agendas. This is a great series and look forward to reading more by Joelle Charbonneau.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2017 in Dystopian, Teen

 

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Dangerous Lies

Title: Dangerous Lies
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Series: N/A
Recommended for: Grades 9- 12th
Pages: 384 pages
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION FITZPATRICK, B. 

Synopsis: After witnessing a murder, high school senior Stella Gordon is sent to Nebraska for her own safety where she chafes at her protection, but when she meets Chet Falconer it becomes harder for her to keep her guard up, and soon she has to deal with the real threat to her life as her enemies are actually closer than she thinks.

Comments:  It was an ok book, for my liking.  Stella is in the witness protection and I felt like she acted like a brat at times.  I know she was adjusting to a new life, but I got tired of it.  I was very glad when she started to accept her new life and actually give the new life a chance.  I did like the twist and turns at the end of the story.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2017 in Realistic, Romance, Teen

 

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Fairy Bad Day

Title: Fairy Bad Day
Author: Amanda Ashby
Series: N/A
Recommended for: Ages 12 and up
Pages: 352
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION ASHBY

Synopsis: While most students at Burtonwood Academy get to kill demons and goblins, fifteen-year-old Emma gets to rid the world of little annoying fairies with glittery wings and a hipster fashion sense. She was destined to be a dragon slayer, but cute and charming Curtis stole her spot. Then she sees a giant killer fairy and it’s invisible to everyone but her! If Emma has any chance of stopping this evil fairy, she’s going to need help. Unfortunately, the only person who can help is Curtis. And now, not only has he stolen her dragon-slayer spot, but maybe her heart as well! Why does she think it’s going to be a fairy bad day?

Comments: A YA paranormal with a female heroine, dragons, and fairies? Sounds fun. It’s a great quick read for anyone looking for light magic book. Don’t expect a super unique setup, there is a boarding school for those that can see magical creatures, the main character, Emma, is mad at a cute boy who “stole” her dragon slaying spot, and the mysterious elements are pretty easy to figure out. There is a little bit of romance, that culminates in some kissing. The real fun of this book is how Emma interacts with the fairies and figures out how to combat them with candy and household items.

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2017 in Fantasy, Teen

 

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TEAR YOU APART

TEAR YOU APART

tear you apart jpl blog post

Title:  TEAR YOU APART

Author:   Sarah Cross

Series: Beau Rivage (#2)
Recommended for:  Ages 15-17

Pages:  336 p.

Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION CROSS 

Rating:   ****

Synopsis:

Just when you thought all was well and good in the mystical town of Beau Rivage, another destined curse begins to unfold. As a sequel to the first book KILL ME SOFTLY, the book TEAR YOU APART is yet another torturous tale of two teens destined for either love, or death. In this somewhat twisted fairytale, Viv lives a rather ordinary life on most days. She hangs out with her friends, enjoys having fun, and waits everyday for her evil stepmother to have her huntsman rip Viv’s heart out. Viv shares her Snow White’s curse with her old best friend Henley, who is destined to become the huntsman who is ordered to rip out her heart, before she breaks his. The only thing that can seemingly save her is her prince to be Jasper. There’s just one catch, Jasper is a prince of the underworld, and cannot come to the surface of Beau Rivage. Will Viv continue to live in fear on the surface, never knowing what fate Henley will choose for her? Or will she run to the depths of the underworld, into the safety of her prince Jasper?

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2017 in Fairy Tales, Realistic, Romance

 

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