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Satellite

Title: Satellite
Author: Nick Lake
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 7th grade and up
Pages: 464
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Lake

Synopsis: He’s going to a place he’s never been before: home.

Moon 2 is a space station that orbits approximately 250 miles above Earth. It travels 17,500 miles an hour, making one full orbit every ninety minutes. It’s also the only home that fifteen-year-old Leo and two other teens have ever known.

Born and raised on Moon 2, Leo and the twins, Orion and Libra, are finally old enough and strong enough to endure the dangerous trip to Earth. They’ve been “parented” by teams of astronauts since birth and have run countless drills to ready themselves for every conceivable difficulty they might face on the flight.

But has anything really prepared them for life on terra firma? Because while the planet may be home to billions of people, living there is more treacherous than Leo and his friends could ever have imagined, and their very survival will mean defying impossible odds.

Review: For the most part, I really enjoyed this book. It was an interesting concept of what home is & what would happen if you’re born in space. After spending 16 years in a space station and suddenly coming “home”, the process of adapting to earth is no small feat. Gravity alone is enough to take on, but throw in all the sensations such of wind, sun, rain, etc and all the people…and well it’s overwhelming to say the least. And that’s not even considering all the germs their bodies had never been exposed to! Of course, no one could have predicted how hard it would be to come back to earth–not only mentally/socially but also physically. No one has ever spent that much time in zero gravity and they had no idea what to expect. Now, throw in government experiments and cover-ups and things get even more complicated.

The only thing I really hated was the text speak. The constant u, i, c, & dr8 were jarring to say the least. I”m still not sure *why* Lake decided to do it that way beyond  maybe thinking it was cool? The teens obviously smart and I would have assumed they knew basic grammar. I am far from someone who is grammar crazy, but it was enough that I would have abandoned the book if I wasn’t reading it for review. While I have not heard the audio, I would recommend readers tackling that over print. That way you get the interesting story without the annoying text talk.

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Posted by on October 16, 2017 in Sci-Fi, Teen

 

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The Upside of Unrequited

Title: The Upside of Unrequited
Author: Becky Albertalli
Series: N/A
Recommended for: Grade 7 & up
Pages: 336
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Albertalli

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

Review: I loved this book. I fell into this one almost immediately and didn’t want it to end. Molly’s character was so great–and it was great fat girl/body positive rep as well. I think the feelings of being afraid to put yourself out there—and then crushing on more than one person–are something that any teen can related to. It also has great GLBTQIA+ rep. Overall, this one tops my list of favorites for the year.

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2017 in Realistic, Romance, Teen

 

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Nemesis

Title: Nemesis
Author: Brendan Reichs
Series: Project Nemesis
Recommended for: Grade 7 & up
Pages: 443
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Reichs, B.

Synopsis: He killed me. He killed me not. He killed me.

It’s been happening since Min was eight. Every two years, on her birthday, a strange man finds her and murders her in cold blood. But hours later, she wakes up in a clearing just outside her tiny Idaho hometown—alone, unhurt, and with all evidence of the horrifying crime erased.

Across the valley, Noah just wants to be like everyone else. But he’s not. Nightmares of murder and death plague him, though he does his best to hide the signs. But when the world around him begins to spiral toward panic and destruction, Noah discovers that people have been lying to him his whole life. Everything changes in an eye blink.

For the planet has a bigger problem. The Anvil, an enormous asteroid threatening all life on Earth, leaves little room for two troubled teens. Yet on her sixteenth birthday, as she cowers in her bedroom, hoping not to die for the fifth time, Min has had enough. She vows to discover what is happening in Fire Lake and uncovers a lifetime of lies: a vast conspiracy involving the sixty-four students of her sophomore class, one that may be even more sinister than the murders.

Review: This book had such a great premise. However, it utterly and completely failed. After reading 400+ pages, I still can’t tell you WHAT is going on. I’m not sure the author/book quite has an idea as well. It was a bit like reading whiplash to be honest. One moment we’re trying to figure out if she’s having psychotic breaks then we’re at conspiracy theories and then we end at…well, I’m not quite sure where we end up. But it’s doesn’t make much sense. And perhaps in book two, more will be revealed/it’ll make sense, but I’m not sure I want to even wade in that world again. There may be some teens who love this head-spin tale, but for most I think this book will them simply frustrated.

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Sci-Fi, Teen

 

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A Season of Daring Greatly

Title: A Season of Daring Greatly
Author: Ellen Emerson White
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 7th grade & up
Pages: 432
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction White, E. 

Synopsis: Eighteen-year-old Jill Cafferty just made history. Her high school’s star pitcher, she is now the first woman drafted by a major league baseball team. Only days after her high school graduation, she’ll join the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Class A Short Season team . . . but not everyone is happy to have her there.

On top of the pressure heaped on every pitcher, Jill must deal with defying conventions and living up to impossible expectations, all while living away from home for the first time. She’ll go head-to-head against those who are determined to keep baseball an all-male sport. Despite the reassurance of coaches and managers alike, a few of her teammates are giving her trouble. The media presence following her at each game is inescapable. And to top it all off, Jill is struggling with the responsibilities of being a national hero and a role model for young women everywhere. How can she be a role model when she’s not even sure she made the right choice for herself? Didn’t baseball used to be fun?

Review: I really, really, really liked this book. Although, that’s no surprise as someone who grew up on baseball (and adores the TV Show Pitch). Much like Pitch this book explored both being a player and all the stress encountered being a first. Press conferences, death threats, crowds of adoring fans, and just the the overwhelming pressure to prove she is good enough to be there. Jill have a lot of up and downs throughout the book. She questions if she made the right decision & if she made the right decision. I enjoyed that while some of her teammates where jerks, most were friendly and even had her back. I loved reading about the growing friendships between herself and the boys. If I had one complaint it would be the ending. It felt a bit abrupt and just left me wanting more. It just felt like there was so much left to tell. Secretly, I’m hoping the author will revisit this world/these characters because I would read it in a heartbeat.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2017 in Realistic, Teen

 

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Goodbye Days

Title: Goodbye Days
Author: Jeff Zentner
Series: N/A
Recommended for: Grades 8 & up
Pages: 405
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Zentner

Synopsis: One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts.

The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash.

Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver’s actions.

Luckily, Carver has some unexpected allies: Eli’s girlfriend, the only person to stand by him at school; Dr. Mendez, his new therapist; and Blake’s grandmother, who asks Carver to spend a Goodbye Day with her to share their memories and say a proper goodbye to his friend.

Soon the other families are asking for a Goodbye Day with Carver, but he’s unsure of their motives. Will they all be able to make peace with their losses, or will these Goodbye Days bring Carver one step closer to a complete breakdown or—even worse—prison?

Review: I wanted to like this book. I really, really did. I enjoyed Zentner’s first book, but this one just didn’t work. Mainly, I think he tried to create drama where no drama was needed. Throughout most of the book, Carver has this threat of criminal charges because he was the one who sent the text. There is an actual case were there was a consideration, but it still seems silly to me and far reaching. Even worse that it was the driver’s dad who was trying to push it! Every time it was mentioned I was just dragged out of the book. I think Zenter has enough drama with just the fact that his three best friends were dead and the self-blame that would have already naturally been there.

There were def. some emotional scenes in there that totally tugged at the heart strings—the goodbye day with Blake’s grandma being the top. Although, I will admit the falling in love with the best friends girlfriend was a little weird. I could have done without that as well. There are some very strong features in the book, but for me it ultimately just didn’t work.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2017 in Realistic, Teen

 

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If I Was Your Girl

26156987Title: If I Was Your Girl
Author: Meredith Russo
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 8th grade and up
Pages: 288
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Russo, M. 

Synopsis: Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.

Review: This was another book club book and hands down all my teens (and I) loved it. Not only is it about a trans teen, but it’s written by a trans author as well. (OH, and the model is a transwoman!) One of my trans teens was in attendance and he had nothing but positive things to say. As someone who has gone through the transition and had to deal with schools/classmates/etc the overwhelming response was how realistic it was. Not everything is perfect go-lucky for Amanda. She has to go through some tough crap, including being outed by a friend in front of the whole school at homecoming. However, with the help of friends and family, she manages to keep moving forward. I do like that she doesn’t forgive the person who outed her. Too often, in books, we get the outing and things are still sunshine and rainbows. This is much more realistic. I also adore how the people you think are the least likely to support you are really the people who have your back. And of course, some of the reactions and thought processes are highly realistic as well. All in all, this is a highly recommended book by me and my teens.

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2016 in Realistic, Teen

 

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The Nerdy and the Dirty

27779274Title: The Nerdy and the Dirty
Author: B.T. Gottfred
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 9th grade and up
Pages: 304
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Gottfred, B.

Synopsis: Pen Lupo is sick and tired of hiding who she is. On the outside, Pen is popular, quiet, and deferential to her boyfriend. On the inside, however, Pen is honest, opinionated–and not quite sure that she’s like other girls. Do they have urges like she does?

His classmates may consider him a nerd, but Benedict Pendleton knows he’s destined for great things. All he has to do is find a worthy girlfriend, and his social station will be secured. Sure, Benedict is different–but that’s what he likes about himself.

When fate intervenes, both Pen and Benedict end up at the same vacation resort for winter break. Despite their differences, the two are drawn together. But is there such a thing as happily ever after for a nympho and a nerd?

My Review: I wanted to like this book. I did. It had two stars. I thought, yes! And updated Forever by Judy Blume type book. Instead, I got a book full of abuse (which is explained away), trying to make a kid most likely on the spectrum “normal”, & casually uses words like crazy, whore, and retard. Seriously, it’s 2016. Let’s not use the r-word as an insult, okay? Even worse, the possible autistic teen starts to use the word internally at himself. (Seriously, don’t know how this book got two stars! Reviewers do better!)

The only positive this book holds is that sex, at least between Benedict and Pen, is straightforward and very consensual. However, it does feel a bit too mature for a first time experience, but I can still appreciate it. It’s very insta-love though (read three days). Also, Pen thinks she’s a freak because she thinks about sex/likes to masturbate. Benedict does say something to the contrary, but there’s still a sense that Pen has an unhealthy look at how she thinks.

Bottom line. This is a high “do not recommend” book for me. If you want to see a more in-depth of why you can see my review at my personal blog.

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2016 in Realistic, Teen, Uncategorized

 

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