Thursday, January 26, 2017

Reviews for Teens by Teens

Review by Monica B. 
Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews


V.C. Andrews wrote this novel as the first book of the Dollanganer Series in 1979. Selling almost 40 million copies, this book is one of the best-selling novels in the world. This narrative novel is spoken in first person by the main character, Cathy Dollanganer. Flowers in the Attic begins in Pennsylvania of 1957 in a modern-sized home. An "ideal" family resides in the house. Corrine and her husband, Christopher Sr., are living happily with their four children: Christopher Jr., Cathy, Carrie, and Corie. Life is going good until an untimely event haunts the once merry family. Soon after the crisis, the family is left in debt and are forced to move in with Corrine's mother in Foxworth Hall located in Virginia. The children were hoping for a new beginning, but as they arrived at the manor, their mother disclosed a great secret she has been hiding from them. Corrine explains that her real last name is Foxworth and that she withdrew from her parents for a decision she made in her teenage years. The mother then tells her children that her father must never know about them or they will be forced to leave the manor at once. The four children were moved into the attic of the home by their grandmother, Olivia, and were warned to never leave that room unless instructed to. Corrine starts to gain so much hatred toward her children, believing that they were the ones standing between her what she wants. For many years, those children stayed in the attic while enduring harsh pains that most couldn't even dream of and forming bonds that most would find unbelievable.
V.C. Andrews inputs pathos into each role that she creates. She uses the children as a way to get the audience to feel a sense of pain and sorrow. As the book introduces Corrine's mother, the entire mood of the story is changed and the audience can feel it. Olivia represents the evil that still lives within the world, while Corrine could easily represent the ignorance and greediness still left behind. The first ten pages will catch the eye of the readers who admire suspenseful books. Throughout the first ten pages, the readers will be able to feel a sense of unstableness and will be able to feel like something is going to happen to the family. That is a way that Andrews kept her audience from straying away from the story. I appreciate the fact that the author was able to keep her audience engaged. While the children are staying in the attic, the grandmother brings up a picnic basket full of food every morning, except for days that she brings nothing to punish the children for their mother’s mishaps. V.C. Andrews uses the picnic basket to symbolize limitations in the kid’s lives. They were locked in an attic with one small window for light, they were not allowed outdoors, they weren't permitted downstairs, and they only saw their mother a couple times a month.  The reader is able to feel the pain of the child that is enduring this by the descriptiveness of Andrews' words. The author articulates the intensity behind the minors' behaviors, which I take great pleasure in. I love many aspects of this novel, but I must say that my favorite element is how the book makes you reflect back on your life. This story could make the most hateful person grateful for the life that he or she lives. This book is a definite read for anyone. I give Flowers in the Attic two thumbs up, for sure.

Review by Lauren C.
 Message In A Bottle by Nicholas Sparks



Message in a Bottle is a romance novel. Theresa Osbourne is a single mother who was previously married and is very lonely. She finds these love letters when she decides to go on vacation to the beach. She ends up tracking down the author of them, Garrett Blake. He wrote them to his wife who died in a car accident years before, who he still loves so very much.
If you don't like the cheesy "chick flick" movies then this book isn't for you. Of course this book has a good ending. It was sweet and romantic. Theresa and Garrett are two people who are hurt, but they realize just how love can fix that. 



Review by Tim P. 
The Martian by Andy Weir






            When I was surfing through the Amazon Store I came across this book, and man I was glad that I did. I am a space enthusiast and I couldn't resist to buy it when the book talked of an astronaut stranded on Mars. I am promising you it's worth the 9 dollars I paid for it.
            The book is about the Ares 3 mission where several astronauts journey to Mars to learn about the planet and possibly colonize it. Mark Watney, one of the astronauts aboard the Hermes, (a huge hunk of ship that transport the astronauts from Earth to Mars and vice versa) was stranded on the unforgiving planet when a “small storm” absolutely destroyed every hope for the mission. Mark Watney was very unlucky and was ‘ahem’, impaled by a satellite antenna while the other astronauts scuttled the mission and flew back to Hermes. Mark Watney was stranded and really expresses his situation the first sentence of the book (it’s pretty accurate).
            This whole book is about getting old Watney back to the planet he belongs on. Mark Watney is faced with the endless challenges to survive and cope with Mars’ hostile nature. Mark Watney does things that are way over his pay grade, but I guess that doesn't really matter. The astronaut is an extremely funny and sarcastic character who talks to you through the whole book. It's quite an experience and journey through the wastelands of Mars and you cheer Watney on the red dunes to freedom.
            In my opinion, the steps and explanations that he tells you feel like they actually make sense, it is the perfect sci-fi action book for space and science enthusiasts and hopefully everyone else because it's a really good book. There are bunches and bunches of twists, turns, zig zags, loop de loops, you name it. You WILL NOT put it down (unless your parents yell for you to come downstairs or your manager is breathing down your neck at your workplace).
            I recommend this book for every young adult and adult as it is adapted for people of all opinions. It belongs on your book bucket list I promise and is worth the few days you'll finish the book in (I finished it in 1 day and I’m not really an avid reader at all). For an author who didn't even start this novel as a novel and who graduated from Caltech and knows what JPL is all about, he did a really good job
.


Review by Ben T. 
A Child Called It
by Dave Pelzer




A Child Called It is about a little boy who had an abusive mother. He was starved, beaten, and tortured by his mother. Despite this terrible beginning, he manages to turn his life around. David was at school one day and got called into the nurse’s office. She noticed he had been abused and called the principal in. David soon realized he was getting rescued.
I personally like A Child Called It because it taught me a lesson: don’t judge a book by its cover. The lesson basically saying you should not judge anyone on their looks because you don’t know their home life. And it also taught me not to take anything for granted.



Review by A.J. T.
The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks


The #1 New York Times Best Seller The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks is a book that shares the love stories of two couples; the inseparable Ira and Ruth that had a life time together, and the budding new romance of Sophia and Luke. This story is set in the state of North Carolina. It begins with Ira Levinson, a man that’s injured in a car crash and suffering. He is trying to hold on to his own life with the memories of his astonishing late wife Ruth. He reminisces on all the times they shared, and all the things they did while waiting in the hopes that someone finds him.
Meanwhile, at a bull-riding event, two people who don’t have any clue about where their lives will go; meet for the first time. A cowboy named Luke meets Sophia, a student that attends Wake Forest College. Sophia has just begin to get over a past breakup when Luke begins showing her that not all guys are alike. Sophia and Luke begin to fall for one another and she soon realizes that the life she could live with him is different than the life she imagined for herself.
The things and life that Ira and Ruth shared will help the blossoming relationship between Luke and Sophia, with a an event you will have never seen coming. What is that you might ask yourself? You will have to read it to find out.
I enjoyed this book because I am a girl who absolutely loves romantic novels. I think that it is amazing how the author writes about the memories Mr. Ira is having about his late wife in the moment before he passes. It makes me, as a reader, feel the thrill that the possibility of love does exist. With the excitement I felt about that part in the story carries my curiosity over to Luke and Sophia's love story. Will their love and passion be just as thrilling and heartwarming?

This story as a whole was very good. I will say though, at the beginning of this book it was a little challenging to understand. The author goes back and forth between the two loves stories making me mix up the two just a little, but later on I begin to decipher between them. This is because the connection between the two couples become much clearer. Overall I enjoyed the book; because who doesn’t like a little complication and confusion when there is a romantic love story happening. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a nice, not too steamy, romance.




Thursday, January 19, 2017

Goodreads 2016 Awards: Featuring YA

Goodreads Awards are to bookworms as the Oscars are to movie buffs. In honor of this lovely event, here are a few selections for the Goodreads Choice awards in YA. For more titles that were nominated you can click here. Join in the voting next year by joining the reading community!



YA Fiction winner and honorable mentions:

Winner with 29,122 votes
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Winter, 1945. Four teenagers. Four secrets.

Each one born of a different homeland; each one hunted, and haunted, by tragedy, lies...and war. 


As thousands of desperate refugees flock to the coast in the midst of a Soviet advance, four paths converge, vying for passage aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff ship, a ship that promises safety and freedom. 


Yet not all promises can be kept.


Inspired by the single greatest trgedy in maritime history, bestselling and award-winning author Ruta Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray) lifts the veil on a shockingly little-known casualty of World War II. An illuminating and life-affirming tale of heart and hope.

Synopsis from goodreads.com


FRIENDS OF LINEBAUGH EVENT ANNOUNCEMENT:

Ruta will be coming to a special luncheon on Saturday, January 28th from 11am-1pm. She will be discussing and answering questions about her new book as well as her previous one, Between Shades of Gray. The luncheon will take place at Woman's Club which is located at 221 E College St in Murfreesboro. Since this is a Friends of Linebaugh event, there is a fee. The money goes to the library to help promote the it as well as provide funding for various programming, materials, and resources of the library. Students are $10.00 + $5 for the lunch. 


HONORABLE MENTIONS:


The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner (local author)

Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life-at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father's extreme faith and very public fall from grace.


The only antidote to all this venom is his friendship with fellow outcasts Travis and Lydia. But as they are starting their senior year, Dill feels the coils of his future tightening around him. The end of high school will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town.And Travis is happy wherever he is thanks to his obsession with the epic book series Bloodfall and the fangril who may be turning his harsh reality into real-life fantasy. Dill's only escapes are his music and his secret feelings for Lydia-neither of which he is brave enough to share. Graduation feels more like an ending to Dill than a beginning. But even before then, he must cope with another ending-one that will rock his life to the core.


Debut novelist Jeff Zentner provides an unblinking and at times comic view of the hard realities of growing up in the Bible Belt, and an intimate look at the struggles to find one's true self in the wreckage of the past.

Synopsis from goodreads.com




If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Ruso (From Chattanooga, TN)

Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, TN. 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 Amanda's been keeping? It's that she used to be Andrew.

Synopsis from goodreads.com

YA Fantasy winner and honorable mentions:


Winner with 57,776 votes
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court-but also at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she preformed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms-and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future-and the futureof a world torn apart.
Synopsis from goodreads.com


HONORABLE MENTIONS:



We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchison

From the author of The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley comes a brand-new novel about a teenage boy who must decide whether or not the world is worth saving.

Henry Denton has spent years being periodically abducted by aliens. Then the aliens give him and ultimatum: The world will end in 144 days, and all Henry has to do to stop it is push a big red button.

Only he isn't sure he wants to.
Synopsis from goodreads.com



My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand

Edward (long live the king) is the king of England. He's also dying, which is inconvenient, as he's only sixteen and he'd much rather be planning for his first kiss considering who will inherit his crown...

Jane (reads too many books) is Edward's cousin, and far more interested in books than romance. Unfortunately for Jane, Edward has arranged to marry her off to secure the line of succession. And there's something a little odd about her intended...

Gifford (call him G) is a horse. That is, he's an Eoian (eth-y-un, for the uninitiated). Every day at dawn he becomes a noble chestnut steed-but then he wakes at dusk with a mouthful of hay. It's all very undignified.

The plot thickens as Edward, Jane, and G are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy. With the fate of the kingdom at stake, our heroes will have to engage in some conspiring of their own. But can they pull off their plan before it's off with their heads?Synopsis from goodreads.com



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!




Twilight

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.