Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Gross, Cheesy, Love Triangles

One of the staples of young adult literature will either make it or break it for you. The love triangle. You know how it goes: the (unbeknownst to her) gorgeous and somewhat awkward protagonist is caught between the affections of two men who are "out of her league".

Some of you are cringing right now and some are begging for more....well the latter is in luck!


Of course Twilight is on the list, it has it all. Vampires, werewolves, unassuming female protagonist who is for some reason incredibly irresistible to hunky paranormal men.

The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins tried not to do it, but she did. Katniss, even though she's on the brink of a revolution, is torn between two guys. Being the Mockingjay is tough, but choosing who to be with is even tougher!

The Selection

The Bachelor meets....meets....something without very high stakes? America Singer...yep, you read it right. She has to choose between her poor boyfriend that she's in love with and a prince. A. Prince.

 The Mortal Instruments

The Mortal Instruments series is yet another paranormal teen-centrist story.  Clary has to choose between the lovable nerdy guy, Simon and bad boy Jace. Throw in some angels and demons and you've got a fun read.

Matched- Ally Condie

Matched is another dystopian tale where the government controls everything. Cassia is (as the title implies) matched to her best friend Xander. However, by some mishap, she sees another boy- Ky- when she views the tape for her match. This minor mistake sparks the love triangle and thus one of Cassia's most important decisions.

Whether you love or hate (or both) love triangles, they are the heartbeat of a lot of young adult fiction. Some are done well and some are just exhausting. Maybe you'll find that gem, that diamond in the rough that makes you care deeply about if this girl is going to choose Boy A or Boy B. Until then, keep reading.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Book Reviews for Teens by Teens

Review by Shelby H.

John Green’s The Fault in our Stars

Image result for the fault in our starsThe Fault In our Stars is a fantastic novel by John Green about a 16 year old named Hazel Grace Lancaster. She is struggling with living with lung cancer and trying to live a normal life. She is also struggling with what it will be like for her parents after she dies. When she joins a support group at church, she meets a younger boy named Augustus Waters. Augustus has a higher chance of living than Hazel and his cancer cause him to lose his leg and cause him to have to wear a prosthetic leg. As soon as Hazel and Augustus met they had something special that no one else had and John Green made it apparent to the audience. He used very detailed words explaining their love they felt for each other. Augustus used his wish from make a wish foundation to fly them out to Amsterdam to meet Hazel’s favorite author of her favorite book called "An Imperial Affliction" by Peter Van Houten. John Green left me on the edge of my seat with this book. He uses many details and imagery in this novel. This was one of my all-time favorite books I have read so far. This book had me laughing and crying. I couldn't put this book down when I was reading it, and that doesn't happen very often for me. This book really made me appreciate the world and my own life and how lucky I am. John Green did a good job of making Hazel and Augustus feel like real people and not just characters. People think this book is just a sad story about people suffering from cancer. To me it wasn't that at all, it was a heartfelt story that leaves you on the edge of your seat wandering what was going to happen next. I think everyone should read this if they haven't already because this book will stay with you after you read it. After reading this book it made me want to read another one of his novels so I read Looking for Alaska, and loved that one as well, not as much as the Fault in our Stars but it also had me wanting to read more and more every page. Everyone should read a John Green novel in their life because his books will teach you a new meaning of life and not disappoint you.

Review by Michelle M.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

Image result for it's kind of a funny story book
If you are a fan of John Green and his books, you will definitely enjoy reading this book. Craig, a smart yet depressed teenager, decides he wants to commit suicide. (Not a spoiler!!!) After all his hard work in school to get into his dream college and trying to get his best friends girlfriend to notice how in love he is with her, he decides killing himself would be the best way out. Having distant parents who are always busy doesn’t help either. He goes to Brooklyn Bridge to jump off, but ends up calling the suicide hotline instead. He then checks himself into a mental hospital, not knowing that he’d have to stay there for a week, or maybe longer. While there he meets mental patients with different stories. While reading this, you will get to read about most of the patients’ lives before and after being checked in. We also see a love interest developing, which I don’t think a mental hospital is the most romantic place but Ned Vizzini somehow makes it work. Even though he was locked in a building for a week with no way of communication, he somehow still had some problems with his life outside of the hospital. He starts working on art to help calm him, or at least that’s what his nurses would tell him to do. Craig remembers maps he used to make when he was young. Six year old Craig hated having to trace every little detail that maps have, so he decided to make his own. Patients think they are amazing so Craig makes one for everyone as a good-bye gift. This book will definitely tug at your heart strings and give you thoughts about turning yourself into a mental hospital. If you are a fan of all things cheesy but cute, this is definitely the book for you. 

Review by Ben T.

A Season to Remember: Faith in the Midst of the Storm by Carson Tinker.

Image result for A Season to Remember: Faith in the Midst of the StormIn this book Carson talks about the obstacles over come. He was an Alabama football player and in Tuscaloosa when the tornados came through. Carson and his girlfriend were together when the weather started getting bad. Carson was outside and his grandpa called him and told him to get in his safe place now. He got in his safe now and I'll let you find out the rest.. Carson was in the hospital for a while with an open wound on his leg and other injuries. Carson also discusses his season in football.

I think the book is great. It shows that you can't take things for granted because they can be gone any second. I also like the book because it describes week by week his game every Saturday. I like how Carson went in depth in the book and what happen after the tornado.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

31 Chilling YA Novels

Looking for a scary Halloween read? Try one of these books!

1. The Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco
A murdered girl and a boy with strange tattoos and a terrifying secret meet in this novel based on a Japanese ghost story. It's been described as Dexter meets The Grudge.

2. Amity by Micol Ostow
Two different families ten years apart are tied together by a sinister house that causes ghastly, gory dreams.

3. Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker
Sterling's little brother vanishes into a swamp, to be replaced by a strange girl named Leonora May. Can Sterling find her brother, even though she appears to be the only one who even remembers him?

4. Shutter by Courtney Alameda
When a high-tech ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and her crew find themselves subject to a curse called a soulchain. Now Micheline has seven days to break the curse, or she and her friends will die.

5. Harmony House by Nic Sheff
Jen's father thinks that moving to Harmony House will be a fresh start after her mother's death. But the house's terrifying history rears its head, and soon Jen is watching her father's sanity spiral away...

6. The Telling by Alexandra Sirowy
Before her stepbrother's death, Lana knew her place and knew what was true. After, she finds herself doing things she never thought she would, but the after also brings with it death and horror.

7. Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett
When Ash's mother returns to the spiritual commune in Kansas she left years ago, Ash follows, and discovers a sinister and ancient force waiting for her.

8. The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alexander
Delia finds herself trapped by a former insane asylum that refuses to let go of its charges, even after their deaths.

9. The Archived by Victoria Schwab
Imagine the afterlife as a library where the dead rest on shelves like books. Mac's job is to find the ones who have woken up and send them back to where they belong. But her routine goes awry when she encounters a spirit who does not behave like the others.

10. The Devil and Winnie Flynn by Micol Ostow
When her aunt begins work on a TV show about the Jersey Devil, Winnie discovers that the Devil might just be real, and have a connection to her family. 

11. Ruined by Paula Morris
Rebecca feels completely out of place in New Orleans, where she is staying with her aunt for a year. Then she makes a friend in Lafayette Cemetery who is eager to show Rebecca the secrets of the city...

12. The Devouring by Simon Holt
Reggie believes that the Vours, creatures who can inhabit people's bodies during the darkest part of the winter solstice, are make believe. But her little brother's strange behavior forces her to confront the reality of the Vours.

13. The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett
Being the only Nightmare at a school for magical beings is hard enough for Dusty. But life gets really complicated when the new guy she visits at night starts dreaming about murder.

14. Slasher Girls and Monster Boys edited by April Genevieve Tucholke
Cat Winters, Carrie Ryan, Kendare Blake, Leigh Bardugo, and more contribute chilling stories to this collection.

15. Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace
The last thing Breezy remembers is leaving a party. When she wakes up, it's a year later, her mouth is full of dirt, and there is a dead man lying at her... grave? What happened?

16. The House by Christina Lauren
Returning home after seven years of boarding school, Delilah falls for outcast Gavin. Delilah finds herself drawn to him and to the odd house at the edge of town where he lives, despite his warnings that something inhuman, something dangerous, also inhabits the house.

17. Mary: The Summoning by Hillary Monahan
Bloody Mary... Bloody Mary... Bloody Mary... You know the urban legend. In this novel, four girls summon Bloody Mary to disastrous results.

A vicious predator, a ship of the dead, students out to seek revenge on their teacher, and more reside in the twisted pages of this short story collection.

19. Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
It's 1876 in Philadelphia. The dead are rising, and Eleanor's brother is missing. To find him, Eleanor joins up with the notorious Spirit Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces.

20. The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle
Katie, an Amish girl, is about to go on her Rumspringa when word of something deadly in the "Outside" reaches her community. The elders close their borders, but when she finds an injured boy, she brings him to her family's barn, unable to leave him defenseless. If you're interested to see how Amish fiction, dystopia, and vampires combine, this is the book for you.

21. White Crow by Marcus Sedgwick
Rebecca is spending the summer in a crumbling seaside town, and Ferelith wants to show her its secrets... for a price.

22. Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
Isobel is horrified to be paired with the sardonic Varen for a school project, but finds herself intrigued by the strange writing in his notebook. When Varen is pulled too far into this Edgar Allan Poe-inspired world, will Isobel be able to save him from his own nightmares?

23. Diary of a Haunting by M. Verano
Told in journal entries, letters, and photos, this novel recounts the odd occurrences that befall Paige after she, her mom, and her little brother move into a house once inhabited by a sinister cult.

24. Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Seven teens enter an essay contest to win a behind-the-scenes look at a renowned horror director's latest movie. But what is really at stake in this contest?

25. Of Monsters and Madness by Jessica Verday
In 1820's Philadelphia, a young girl is torn between two romantic interests, both of whom might be involved in a rash of grisly murders.

26. Defriended by Ruth Baron
Jason has met the perfect girl online... Until he uncovers that she died a year earlier.

27. Identity Theft by Anna Davies
Ivy League-bound Hayley discovers that she has a twin sister in one of the worst ways possible when her twin creates a fake Facebook account in Hayley's name... with the intention of taking over Hayley's life.

28. Twisted by Jo Gibson
Three short stories featuring a Valentine's Day killer, a Halloween party in a secluded lodge, and a terrifying winter's night snowed in at a mall. 

29. Thirst No. 1 by Christopher Pike
Alisa is a 5,000-year-old vampire who lives under the radar and refuses to kill. But when her creator returns to hunt her down, Alisa will have to break some of her own rules.

30. Living Dead Girl Elizabeth Scott
Alice, kidnapped at age 10, has spent five years living in captivity. Now she suspects that her kidnapper is planning to kill her, but he has something far worse in mind.

31. The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes
A cult took twelve years of Minnow Bly's life, and when she rebelled, they took her hands. Now, in prison, Minnow considers unloading her terrifying secrets to the FBI in exchange for her freedom.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Recently Added YA

The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye
Two magicians compete to become the Imperial Enchanter to the Tsar of Russia. To win is to rise to great power as the Tsar's most trusted adviser. To lose, means certain death.

If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan
In Iran, Sahar and Nasrin's secret love for one another is dangerous. When Nasrin's parents arrange her marriage, Sahar contemplates a drastic change to continue their relationship.

Love Me Never by Sara Wolf
Isis Blake is determined not to fall in love. Jack Hunter has no interest in high school girls. Then Isis punches Hunter in the face, and everything changes.

Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
It's spring break, and Julia is dismayed to be partnered with her nemesis Jason on a school trip to London. When she begins getting romantic texts from an unknown number after a wild party, Jason agrees to help her discover the identity of the sender... If she'll agree to break a few of her rules.

Peas and Carrots by Tanita S. Davis
Dess, who is white, is placed in foster care with a black family while her mother is in prison.

Teen Idol by Meg Cabot 
Jenny, who runs an anonymous advice column for her school newspaper, excels at keeping secrets. So much so that when Hollywood star Luke Striker visits her town to research an upcoming role, she is assigned to keep his identity under wraps. 

The Problem With Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout
After a traumatic past and years of homeschooling, Mallory is facing the prospect of spending her senior year in public school. She never imagined that she would run into Rider Stark, the boy who protected her as a child on her very first day of classes.

Ruined by Amy Tintera
Emelina Flores has witnessed the destruction of her home, the murders of her parents, and the kidnapping of her sister. She is powerless, but that won't stop her from traveling to an enemy kingdom, infiltrating their army, and finding her sister.

A School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin
1814.Banished to Stranje House to be transformed into a proper young lady, Georgiana Fitzwilliam thinks only of escape, until she begins working on a scientific project with Lord Sebastian Wyatt.

Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach
Parker has not spoken for five years. He spends his time hanging out in hotels, people watching and writing. Then he meets Zelda Toth, who has silver hair and claims to be centuries old, although she looks like she's in her teens.

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
Scandal uproots the carefully laid plans of a politician's daughter. Hello living with dad, walking dogs, and the very unexpected Clark.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Harry Potter RETURNS!

Friends, housemates, wizards, and muggles, our beloved Harry is back! Excitement does not even begin to express my fangirl outbursts right now. I couldn't be happier. Let's get to it! 

A few clarifications before we begin:

The book originates from a play which has premiered in England. It was written by Jack Thorne and John Tiffany. The book, which will be available for checkout, is the official script from the play. For more information on the play, cast, and tickets visit Pottermore's link.

 What is in store for Harry and his family? Here is a quote from Pottermore :

"It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn't much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and a father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places."

To celebrate the return of our favorite cast of characters, here are some reasons why your fellow librarians love Harry.

Brittney: For me, Harry Potter has always been a reminder that there is light and magic in the world, if we only remember to be aware and to look for it. It's a timeless story that's a testament to bravery, empathy, and standing up for what's right. Although many years have passed since the first time I checked out Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone from the library, the characters and their stories have never left me, just as they've never left all of Harry's other fans. For me, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a way to check in with the characters I love, to see how their stories have continued when we readers weren't along for the ride. I expect it to be different from the books I love, but I'm excited about that difference, too. There's no way to go back to Hogwarts and have it be exactly the same, but there is both a comfort and excitement in The Cursed Child. Excitement because our curiosity will be satisfied; and comfort because Harry Potter still goes on, after all this time. Always.

Jessica: The first time I read this series was the closest I will ever come to discovering that magic exists. For me and many other fans, this is the milestone series where I discovered the enchantment that lives inside of books. I learned many things from this series: the power of friendship, it's okay to grieve loss, bravery lives in all of us, family is defined by love not blood, empathy is one of the most important gifts humans possess, and to embrace what makes me, me. So, I now wait with anticipation for this next chapter in Harry's life. An adult with a family of his own, Hogwarts is a memory and Harry has a different story to tell. The invitation is open for all to join him on an adventure. Recently, I reread the books with a friend in preparation for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. From the moment I opened the book, I was filled with the same excitement I had over a decade ago. Harry was still there with Hermione, Ron, and Neville waiting for me to join them, once again.

"After all this time?""Always."

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children comes to theaters September 30th. Director, Tim Burton, and writer, Ransom Riggs, bring the YA trilogy to life with beautiful cinematography and outstanding casting. View the trailer here.

But, have you read the books?
This young adult series is part historical fiction, part fantasy and part science fiction. The trilogy follows Jacob Portman, a 16 year old from Florida. He believes the tales his grandfather has shared with him, over the years might, actually, be true. So begins Jacob's quest to find answers, which leads him to an island located in Wales. Jacob begins exploring the island and soon discovers a home crumbling in ruin. But it's what Jacob finds inside that leads him on an adventure he will never forget. Continue reading with, Hollow City, followed by, Library of Souls. Check out graphic novel versions here!

When the book first hit the shelves in 2011, I was intrigued by the cover. It had this other-worldly/vintage look to it, which I found quite appealing. At this point, my curiosity was piqued. Then my friend asks, "You know how he wrote the book right?" When I answered, "No," he gave me a reason to purchase the book right then and there.

Over the years, Ransom Riggs had been collecting vintage snapshots he found at flea markets. He was drawn to the lost stories behind the pictures. At the time, Riggs was doing some writing for Quirk Books and was approached about writing his own novel. Shortly after, the idea for Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children was born. Through Jacob Portman's story, Riggs gave these pictures a new life. A story for everyone, young and old, to enjoy.

From someone who has read the books, this unique writing style adds a special layer to the reading experience. It pairs so well with the story and gives the reader a visual reference to these extraordinary characters. Riggs created a personal story through these pictures. By sharing them with the reader, he invites you to take a journey back into time. 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Like a lot of teenagers, sixteen-year-old Mackenzie, the protagonist of Victoria Schwab's The Archived, has a job. Unlike most teenagers, her job is rounding up the Histories of the deceased and sending them back to the Archive where they belong. She inherited the position from her grandfather, and has spent the past four years patrolling a shadowy realm of corridors called the Narrows, battling the dead who have woken up and sending them back before they escape into the world of the living and cause harm.

 In the aftermath of her little brother's tragic death, Mackenzie's parents decide to relocate to give the family a fresh start. They rent an apartment in an old building called the Coronado, with the intention of renovating the long-disused coffee shop in the lobby. The Coronado is where she meets Wesley Ayers, another Keeper.
 For the first time since her grandfather's death, Mackenzie has someone to talk to about the Archive. Wesley understands her double life and becomes a friend and ally.

But before Mackenzie has a chance to settle in, the activity in the Narrows becomes strange. The Histories assigned to her are older and more violent. And a shadowy figure appears to pose a greater threat than Mackenzie has encountered before.

I read this book because I like novels with library settings, but there is much to enjoy here beyond the Archive. After the first half of the novel--where much of the initial world building takes place--elements of mystery drive the plot toward the conclusion, and as a reader I was eager to see where the book was going. Schwab strikes a delicate balance between plot and character, neither taking a backseat to the other, and each shining throughout. Her characters possess flaws that help complicate and propel the plot, and they behave in ways that are occasionally frustrating but entirely realistic within the context of the book.

Mackenzie's story continues in The Unbound. The sequel adds new characters and settings while taking the reader deeper into the established world of the Archive and maintaining the eerie atmosphere that makes the first book so appealing.

This series is perfect for fans of urban fantasy featuring realistic settings with a darkly magical twist. If you've ever looked at a door, wondered where it led, and wished that it opened into another world, you will love The Archived.