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The Flip Side

27206534Title: The Flip Side
Author: Shawn Johnson
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 6th grade and up
Pages: 320
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Johnson, S.

Synopsis: Charlie Ryland has a secret.

She may seem like your average high school sophomore—but she’s just really good at pretending.

Because outside of school Charlie spends all her waking hours training to become one of the best gymnasts in the world. And it’s not easy flying under the radar when you’re aiming for Olympic gold…especially when an irresistible guy comes along and threatens to throw your whole world off balance.

Review:  Okay, I think this book is going to be hot with the Olympics coming up, especially since it’s written by a gymnast. It was kind of fun that the book wasn’t just about gymnastics though. Honestly, the book was more about how Charlie was trying to have her dream, but still be normal. Yes, it mean she gave up things, but what happens when she really wanted it all? Public School, Olympic Dream, and a cute boyfriend? Okay, so it seems like a lot, but when you’re a teenager the crazy seems possible. And I think even though teens haven’t dealt with going after a dream as big as the Olympics, they’ll relate to not be able to do it all/being focused story line.

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2016 in Realistic, Teen

 

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5 to 1

18588998Title: 5 to 1
Author: Holly Bodger
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 8th Grade and Up
Pages: 244
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Bodger, H

Synopsis: In the year 2054, after decades of gender selection, India now has a ratio of five boys for every girl, making women an incredibly valuable commodity. Tired of marrying off their daughters to the highest bidder and determined to finally make marriage fair, the women who form the country of Koyanagar have instituted a series of tests so that every boy has the chance to win a wife.

Sudasa doesn’t want to be a wife, and Contestant Five, a boy forced to compete in the test to become her husband, has other plans as well. Sudasa’s family wants nothing more than for their daughter to do the right thing and pick a husband who will keep her comfortable—and caged. Five’s family wants him to escape by failing the tests. As the tests advance, Sudasa and Five thwart each other at every turn until they slowly realize that they just might want the same thing.

Review: This is a great one to give to reluctant readers who are looking for something dystopian. While it is almost 250, most of the book is in verse. It definitely an interesting concept of how gender selection can harm a country. It touches both on both genders being valued and how eventually both ways will screw up the system. And while everything seemed to be fair/even/just, there were still ways to work the system. Bribery was still in play and a “good girl” followed the rules and picked the “wealthy/better” contestant. I do like how Sudasa, and even her family, kind of helped her thwart the system in the end.

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2016 in Dystopian, Teen

 

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Silhouetted by the Blue

19668526Title: Silhouetted by the Blue
Author: Traci Jones
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 5th grade & up
Pages: 208
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Jones, T. or J Jon

Synopsis: Seventh-grader Serena Shaw is trying to keep up at school while rehearsing for the lead role in the spring musical and dealing with a father so “blue” he is nearly catatonic. With the aid of a not-so-secret admirer as well as a growing sense of self-confidence, she faces the challenges of caring for herself and her ball-of-charm younger brother, all while attempting to lead the life of a normal pre-teen. .

I picked this book up thinking it was a new title, but in reality it was once that had been reprinted/repackaged for YA. However, I’m glad it was otherwise I may not have discovered it. It’s a fast read and would be PERFECT for those tweens/younger teens looking for something that edgier/issue novels, but not ready for the YA edgy stuff. Serena has a lot on her plate. She’s trying to deal with her mother’s death & taking care of her brother as her dad falls deeper and deeper into depression. This book handles mental illness so well. It shows how medication doesn’t “numb/kill the spirit” but can help a person function as normal. There is no shame in being depressed or needing the medication. In fact, Serena begs him several times to go to the doctor so that he could return to his old self. This is a stark difference how many YA books have been handling mental illness lately (thank goodness!)

How to sell/quick spiel: Serena Shaw just wants to be a normal 7th grader. She wants her biggest worry to be about starring in her schools musical and flirting with cute boys. Instead, she has to deal with all the normal teen worries and taking care of her brother as their father feels deeper and deeper into depression over their mother’s death. Serena may be pretending that everything is okay, but she knows that the blue is desperately taking over their lives. Can she find help in time before it’s too late or will the blue destroy what little normalcy is left of her life.

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2015 in Juv, Realistic, Realistic, Teen

 

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