Tag Archives: High School

Just Friends

Title: Just Friends
Author: Tiffany Pitcock
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 8th – 12th grade
Pages: 302  pages

Synopsis:Told from both viewpoints, after Jenny and Chance, a bookworm and a popular heart throb, pretend friendship to save a doomed assignment, they are shocked to find a real friendship–and more–developing.

Comments:  Jenny and Chance have fifteen minutes to learn about each and then present what is learned in front of class.  There time is up before anything is done, so Chance and Jenny pretend in front of the whole class that they have been best friends forever.  They make up a silly story and each takes a turn embellishing.  It gets them the grade, but also starts their friendship.  I love the back and forth banter between these two.  It was a quick fun read.

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Posted by on September 30, 2017 in Realistic, Romance, Teen


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Title: Matched

Author: Allyson Braithwaite Condie

Series: Matched Trilogy

Recommended for: Grades Middle & High School

Pages: 512





In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

Cassia has always trusted their choices. It’s hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one… until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow — between perfection and passion.

Thoughts: I really love this book I think as one reviewer said that this is very similar to the giver but more beautiful people.  I would also compare it to The Selection series as well.  The fans of both these books would love this trilogy.  It is fast paced and I just whizzed through the books since there are so many twists. They are available as an eBook, audio book and book form.  I started reading as paper copy then I finished listening to the eBook since I could not obtain a paper copy.

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Posted by on March 13, 2016 in Dystopian, Fantasy, Romance, Teen


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Not if I see you first


Title: Not if I see you first
Author: Eric Lindstrom
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 8th thru 12th grade
Pages: 310

Synopsis: Blind sixteen-year-old Parker Grant navigates friendships and romantic relationships, including a run-in with a boy who previously broke her heart, while coping with her father’s recent death.

Parker Grant lost her sight at the age of seven in an accident that killed her mother.  As a coping mechanism, she created what she refers to as “The Rules,” and she expects everyone in her life to adhere to them. “Don’t help me unless I ask. Otherwise you’re just getting in my way or bothering me.” “Don’t be weird. Seriously, other than having my eyes closed all the time, I’m just like you only smarter.”  Through these rules, and many others, I was drawn into what it is like to be a blind teenager (as much as I could be).  With the recent death of her father, she is trying to continue on with life in a no-nonsense fashion.  She has a quick wit and a gift for sarcasm.  Things get complicated when she meets a boy who doesn’t treat her like a blind girl, and her former best friend/boyfriend begins attending her high school (she hasn’t spoken to him in two years). Luckily she has some true friends who help her navigate the ups and downs of life.

I loved this book!  It drew me in right away, which surprised me because I wasn’t convinced I would like the book when I read the book jacket.  The struggles of high school as a teenage girl rang very true (I was a teenage girl back in the day!).  The insights into being blind were very interesting to me, and made me think about so many things I take for granted as a sighted person. The friendships were genuine and the emotions very raw at times.  I highly recommend this book for someone looking for realistic fiction.  It is a safe book to recommend if the patron is looking for a book without sex.  The most physical interaction in a make-out session in the back seat of a car.

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Posted by on December 17, 2015 in Realistic, Romance, Teen


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The Haunting of Sunshine Girl

Title: The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
Author: Paige McKenzie
Series: Haunting of Sunshine Girl
Recommended for: 8th grade and up
Pages: 296
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction McKenzie, P

Synopsis: In that place where you’re more asleep than awake any more, I hear something else. A phrase uttered in a child’s voice, no more than a whisper: Night Night.

Something freaky’s going on with Sunshine’s new house . . . there’s the chill that wraps itself around her bones, the giggling she can hear in the dead of night, and then the strange shadows that lurk in her photographs. But the more weird stuff that happens, the less her mum believes her. Sunshine’s always had a quirky affiliation with the past, but this time, history is getting much too close for comfort . . .

If there is something, or someone, haunting her house, what do they want? And what will they do if Sunshine can’t help them?

As things become more frightening and dangerous, and the giggles she hears turn to sobs and screams, Sunshine has no choice but to accept what she is, face the test before her and save her mother from a fate worse than death.

My Thoughts: I enjoyed this one. Okay, so it’s not a great bit of literature, but it was entertaining. It’s one of those books that is totally a bad horror flick. You know it’s bad, but you still enjoy it anyway.  It’s a bit predictable and the ending is a bit anti-climatic, but I am kind of interesting where it’ll go. It’s either going to be one of those where, like horror flicks, each book gets worse or it’s going to turn into something completely different. I’m hoping for really different, but I guess I’ll find out in the fall.

For what it’s worth, book group was pretty split on this one. They either thought like me or thought it was just okay. I think only one teen truly hated it. Most thought had it just stayed a ghost/haunting story it would have been much better than the “something more” path that it took.

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Posted by on June 30, 2015 in Horror, Teen


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99 Days

22836575Title: 99 Days
Author: Katie Cotugno 
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 9th grade & up
Pages: 384
Call Number/Link: Teen Fiction Cotugno, K

Synopsis: Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me

My Thoughts: Seriously, this book left me kind of flabbergasted. One moment I was screaming YES YES YES but the next I was beating my head against the wall. Basically, the book is about a recently graduated girl named, Molly. Two years ago she made a terrible mistake and slept with her boyfriend’s (Patrick) brother, Gabe. They were kind of broken up-but maybe not completely, seriously it’s a perfect Ross yelling at Rachel WE WERE ON A BREAK moment. Anyway, she tells her mom, who then turns her story into her latest best-seller, which means everyone in town–and the country/world–knows about her mistake. She then decides to spend her senior year at boarding school, so this summer is the first time she’s been home since the book came out.

Turns out, Gabe really likes her and is the first to really welcome her home & the two enter into a relationship. This is where the book starts going downhill though. Molly has the perfect opportunity to stay on the straight and narrow, but instead decides to cheat AGAIN with Patrick, meaning she spends the whole summer making the EXACT SAME mistake that made her run away. She has the chance to fix everything and literally crashes and burns in the same manner. I mean, why?! I just….I can’t even.

There are some good points to the story though. The writing is well done & the characters, for the most part, are pretty believable. I also LOVED that the author tackled the whole double standard issue. Everyone is slut-shaming Molly, but Gabe, who basically betrayed his brother as well, remains untouched. He repeatedly points out that he is just as much to blame as she is in this whole thing. And it’s pointed out again, the second time around with Patrick, making the blame be shared equally.

All in all, though, I can’t really recommend this book. Interesting concept/premise, but ultimately a failure. Instead I would I look into the following read-a-likes for a more enjoyable read.

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Hahn
What I Thought was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Catching Jordan by Miranda Keanneally
Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler



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Posted by on June 30, 2015 in Romance, Teen


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Kissing Ted Callahan (and other guys)





Title: Kissing Ted Callahan (and other guys)
Author: Amy Spaulding
Recommended for: 9th grade on up (16 year-olds having sex, although not graphic at all)
Pages: 309

Synopsis:  Sixteen-year-olds Riley and Reid make a pact to pursue their respective crushes and document the experiences in a shared notebook they call “The Passenger Manifest.”

My Review:  This book brought me back to high school on so many levels.  That teen angst over everything just came flooding back.  The main characters are in a band, so that was a bit out of my realm, but I remembered the notes in the hallway and trying to tell all-important information to friends while you were passing in the halls.  The waiting for a boy to text (for me it was a phone call) or ask you to hang out all rang pretty true, as well as the tension between best friends when things happen.  There is sex, but it was handled very quickly and was not described in any detail (except that they were safe).  The story is primarily told from Riley’s point of view, but Reid’s thoughts are documented as well.  I liked that they were good friends without there being any romantic feelings between them.

I enjoyed the book, and read almost all of it in one sitting.  I am hesitant to recommend it to anyone too young because of the 16 year-olds hooking up.  Even though I think it was handled well, and these things happen all the time, I am not sure how I would handle it from an RA stand point.  Hopefully someone else will read it and give some guidance!

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Posted by on April 30, 2015 in Romance, Teen, Uncategorized


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Something True

Something TrueTitle: Something True
Author: Kieran Scott
Series: A True Love Novel #3
Recommended for: 7th grade and up
Pages: 279 pages
Call Number/Link:  TEEN FICTION SCOTT, K. 

Synopsis: Will the love of her life distract True from reuniting with…the love of her life? Find out in the third book in Kieran Scott’s delightful series that blends ancient mythology with contemporary romance.

True Olympia is in the home stretch. After being banished to Earth without her powers as punishment for falling in love with a mortal, True was tasked with matching three couples before she could return home. Now, with two couples fully in love, she is ready for her time in New Jersey to come to an end.

But as easy as it should be to match one more couple, things are complicated by her immortal love Orion (who also appeared on Earth, just without the memory of their love). He’s dating another girl, but can’t seem to avoid spending time with True. Something about her finally seems familiar to him. But if True wants to get back with Orion for real, she needs to focus. Just one more couple, one more couple…

This is the third and I do believe final book in the series. The author tells the story from many characters perspective so you are able to understand how they think. In this book I felt that the author brought in more mythology to mix with the romance than in the other books.  I enjoyed the other books, but if you are looking for more of a mythology retell or Percy Jackson this is not the book for you.  The book is heavy on the contemporary romance.  Typical high school drama with the different cliques and  a love triangle.

How to Sell it: This series is about Eros the goddess of love being punished for rescuing Orion, having a relationship with him, and ignoring her responsibility’s.  Zeus banishes her to earth without her powers with the assignment that she has to make three  matches.  Once she has done that she will be brought back and will be able to be with Orion again.  Eros has no concept of how to live like a human and she has to learn that as she is making her matches.

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Posted by on February 12, 2015 in Romance, Teen


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Author: Arwen Elys Dayton
Series: Seeker
Recommended for: 7th grade & up
Pages: 448
Call Number/Link: Teen Fiction Dayton, A 

Synopsis: The night Quin Kincaid takes her Oath, she will become what she has trained to be her entire life. She will become a Seeker. This is her legacy, and it is an honor. As a Seeker, Quin will fight beside her two closest companions, Shinobu and John, to protect the weak and the wronged. Together they will stand for light in a shadowy world. And she’ll be with the boy she loves–who’s also her best friend.

But the night Quin takes her Oath, everything changes. Being a Seeker is not what she thought. Her family is not what she thought. Even the boy she loves is not who she thought.

And now it’s too late to walk away.

Okay, so I liked this one, but there are tons of people who haven’t. They find the settings, timeline, and details confusing. So, for the casual reader, this one may be out. This may change once the movie is made, but YA movies can be a bit of a hit/miss so we’ll see. I do think those who read fantasy, especially high fantasy, will have no problems. The concept is quite intriguing and will keep most readers interested. There will be some reading between the lines, but most questions are unraveled as the story progresses. However, even though many questions are answered, many others are left in their place. I’ll also mention the weird/slightly icky romance/interest with Shinobu for Quin. They’re supposed to be third cousins, so only distantly related but still a bit eh. But considering Clare pushed the boundaries w/the sibling aspect, teens may not care. (Also, if you prefer to read my longer ramblings check out this post)

How to Sell it/Quick Spiel: Quin is ready to take her oath and become a modern day Robin Hood; an ultimate protector of the weak/good from those that are evil. But after her first assignment, she learns she’s actually been trained to be an assassin. Someone who will kill for those who pay the highest. Quin now has to decide if she’ll fulfill her oath or run away.

Read-a-likes:  (taking on the female-warrior/assassin aspect) 
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass

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Posted by on February 11, 2015 in Fantasy, Teen


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They All Fall Down

20527879-196x295Title: They All Fall Down
Author: Roxanne St. Claire
Series: N/A
Recommended for: High School
Pages: 341
Call Number/Link: Teen Fiction St Claire, R.

Synopsis: Kenzie Sumerall just found out she’s on the the list. The list of the top ten Veinna High Juniors who are “hotties”. Unsure how she made the list at all, let alone be fifth, Kenzie tries to brush away the extra attention brought on by the list. She could care less about all the parties or the power the list brings. All she wants is to continue on as normal and hopefully get into Columbia. However, any hope of that is shattered when the girls from the list starting dying one by one. Fluke accidents that seem just a little too suspicious. Could the theory that the list is cursed be true or something more sinister going on? And more importantly, can Kenzie figure it out before she’s next…

I was ultimately disappointed in this book. The concept was rather silly, but it was fast paced and full of action. One I could totally see reluctant readers running with. However, the slut shaming that’s included is ridiculous. It’s unnecessary and doesn’t add to the story at all. Instead it demeans girls for either being sexual or how they wear their eyeliner. I would have loved to have taken this one to the schools, but the slut shaming made that not possible. I would be extremely careful when recommending this one. (I did write up more on this for my blog, if you want to see the full post.)

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Posted by on January 17, 2015 in Mysteries, Teen, Uncategorized


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Boy in the Black Suit

21490991Title: Boy in the Black Suit
Author: Jason Reynolds
Series: N/A
Recommended for: High School
Pages: 255 pages
Call Number/Link: Teen Fiction Reynolds

High school senior, Matt, has just lost his mom. A fact that both he and his dad are both trying to get used to. While his father finds his answers at the bottom of a bottle, Matt searches for his in other ways. One of them is the new gig he just picked up with Mr. Ray’s funeral home. You’d think that would be the last place he’d want to be, but he find solace in attending the funerals. A certain peace in knowing that he’s not alone in his grieving. But then he meets Love, a girl who doesn’t grieve like the others. A girl who seems to have it all figured out. Will Love be the key to Matt’s healing…or could she end up being so much more?

I really liked this book a lot. I love watching Matt grow and seeing how Love changed him and forced him to think a little differently. Also, love that it shows different economic situations. And that it showed teens who volunteer because they care, not just to pad their college resume/fulfill high school requirements. I don’t know that I would say it’s a love story per say, but it does revolve around Matt and Love a lot. However, it is really more about grief and healing than anything else.


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Posted by on January 9, 2015 in Realistic, Teen


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