Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What is the Best YA Novel of all Time? Poll

click on the photo above to access the BuzzFeed Poll!  Here are some of the choices:


Twenty nine books are listed, and there is space to write in your choice!  My vote went to:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dude! It's time to read some books set in the 90's

Even though the era of Spice Girls, Scrunchies and Hot Wheels ended over 20 years ago, it doesn’t mean you have to stop celebrating them! Books set in the 1990's are not unusual in teen literature. Here's a few to choose from:

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Best friends since age six, in their junior year of high school, Althea wants their relationship to be more.   Their journey will take them from the rooftops, keg parties, and all-ages shows of their North Carolina hometown to the pool halls, punk houses, and hospitals of New York City before they once more stand together and face their chances. Set in the DIY, mix tape, and zine culture of the mid-1990s.

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Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennetts unique ability to travel through time and space brings him into Anna's life, and with him, a new world of adventure and possibility. As their relationship deepens, they face the reality that time might knock Bennett back where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question.

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It's 1996, and less than half of all American high school students have ever used the Internet. Emma just got her first computer and Josh is her best friend. They power up and log on--and discover themselves on Facebook, fifteen years in the future. Everybody wonders what their Destiny will be. Josh and Emma are about to find out.

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In the early 1990s, Cameron Post almost feels relieved when her parents are killed suddenly in a car crash - because just hours earlier, she was kissing another girl.  Her relief is short-lived when Cam is sent to live with her ultra-religious Aunt Ruth and her grandmother in a conservative Montana ranch town.  Making friends with cowgirl Coley Taylor may open doors for a new relationship for Cameron, but her Aunt Ruth takes drastic action and sends her to "God's Promise" a Christian gender rehab camp to help her combat her gayness.

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A fictional account of one of the worst storms to hit the Caribbean--Hurricane Mitch in 1998--told from the perspective of a thirteen-year-old boy living in a small village in Honduras.

Maybe reading about the 1990's will make you more curious about the decade.  For the ultimate 1990's trivia experience, visit Totally 90s to find out more!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Middle School Monday: Popular: A Memoir by Maya Van Wagenen

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Popular:  A Memoir by Maya Van Wagenen is one of my favorite books that I have read this year.  Stuck on one the lowest rungs of her middle school's social ladder, Maya decides to try an experiment.  Her father had found a vintage 1950's guide to teen popularity (written by Betty Cornell) at a thrift store, and Maya rediscovered it helping her mom clean out her dad's office.  Her mom had the idea of Maya following the advice and then writing about the experience.  Maya was not convinced until she read the following passage:

You will only make the situation worse if you take a negative attitude, if you shrug your shoulders and say "Well, after all, who cares?"  Basically somebody does care.  You care.  You want to have a crowd to pal around with, a few exciting dates, and at least one boy who thinks you are about the most terrific female ever.  And if you say you don't you are really only fooling yourself.  You are certainly not fooling others.

Somehow, this book published over 60 years ago made Maya embark on a grand experiment.  She tried diets, did the prescribed exercises, wore a girdle, used Vaseline as eye shadow, brushed her hair 100 strokes each night, and more.  She writes her own "popularity tips" in each chapter.  In the end, Maya defines her own popularity, gains confidence, and makes a new circle of friends.  You will grow with Maya as she navigates eighth grade, and by the end of the book, you will be cheering for her.  Recommended for middle school, but anyone who has felt like they did not fit in, or likes a story about an underdog will appreciate this book. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Throw Back Thursday Pick: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

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The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger
Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

News Flash!  The DUFF is scheduled to come to movie screens February 19, 2015.  See the IMDB page for The DUFF.  Recommended for older teens.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Horror for Halloween!

Do you like to be scared?  Here's a few horror titles to get you in the spirit of Halloween!

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You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night. A dead girl walks the streets. She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan. Because the boy has a terrifying secret - one that would just kill to get out.

The Girl from the Well is A YA Horror novel pitched as "Dexter" meets "The Grudge", based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story.

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Clementine DeVore spent ten years trapped in a cellar, pinned down by willow roots, silenced and forgotten.   Now she’s out and determined to uncover who put her in that cellar and why.
When Clementine was a child, dangerous and inexplicable things started happening in New South Bend. The townsfolk blamed the fiendish people out in the Willows and burned their homes to the ground. But magic kept Clementine alive, walled up in the cellar for ten years, until a boy named Fisher sets her free. Back in the world, Clementine sets out to discover what happened all those years ago. But the truth gets muddled in her dangerous attraction to Fisher, the politics of New South Bend, and the Hollow, a fickle and terrifying place that seems increasingly temperamental ever since Clementine reemerged.

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Victor and Konrad are the twin brothers Frankenstein and inseparable until Konrad falls gravely ill. In the forbidden Dark Library, Victor finds an ancient formula, and seeks an alchemist to recreate the Elixir of Life. With friends Elizabeth and Henry, he scales highest trees in the Strumwald, dives deepest lake caves, and each sacrifices a body part.

Monday, October 20, 2014

YALSA Top Ten 2014 Winners!

Teens voted and the results are in! Here are the official 2014 Teens’ Top Ten titles!

1.  Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
2.  Splintered by A. G. Howard
3.  The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson
4.  The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
5.  Monument 14:  Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne
6.  Earth Girl by Janet Edwards
7.  The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
8.  Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
9.  Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
10.  The Eye of Minds by James Dashner

What do you think of these picks? 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Gotham Fans: Read These Comics!

According to USA Today, Gotham is the most talked about new TV show of the 2014 Fall season.  According to WIRED, there are five comics to read before you watch the show.

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In addition to telling the entire dramatic story of Batman's first year fighting crime, this collection includes reproductions of original pencils, promotional art, script pages, unseen David Mazzucchelli Batman art and more. One of the most important and critically acclaimed Batman adventures ever, written by Frank Miller, author of THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS!

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Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank re-imagine a new mythology for the Dark Knight, where the familiar is no longer the expected in this long-awaited original graphic novel from DC Comics.

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The first ten issues of the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning series are collected here in trade paperback. Written by Ed Brubaker (Captain America) and Greg Rucka (52, DETECTIVE COMICS), this series pitted the detectives of Gotham City’s Special Crimes Unit against the city's greatest villains — in the shadow of Batman himself.

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Gotham City Police Commissioner Jim Gordon stars in this new collection of crime stories from the 1990s that stars the colorful, determined cops of Batman's home town.

Book Jacket for: 52
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Combining the brightest and best talents from the comic-book writing field, this incredible second volume continues the story of "52," as Booster Golds heroism comes under fire, Lex Luthors scheme explodes, and The Question heads into hostile territory to confront Black Adam.

In addition to these recommended titles, we recently added two new titles celebrating Batman's 75th anniversary:

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Music at the Library: CD's and Freegal

I talk a lot about books, but did you know you can find a lot of your favorite music at the library?  My personal favorite is country, and there have been a lot of big releases lately, and a few more slated for this month.   You can check out music CDs here at the library with your card, but did you know you can download three free songs a week through our Freegal service?  Just by having a library card in good standing, you can choose three songs a week to download and keep - for your phone, your PC, or tablet.  It's simple, just browse by title, artist, or genre, click download and the music is yours to keep!  You can even create playlists - I have an "exercise" playlist for my phone that I use when I run, and also a "yoga" playlist that I use to cool down.  There's a large variety of music available too, so be sure to take advantage of this service. 

Here's a few music CD's I've been enjoying recently:

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(This CD is available on Freegal, too)  Kenny Chesney is one of my favorite male country artists, and this album did not disappoint!  The Big Revival debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country Music Chart, and I can see why.  The music sucks you right in, and as usual, I love the lyrics as well as the beat.  My personal favorites are "Beer Can Chicken", "Drink It Up", "Save It For A Rainy Day", and "The Big Revival".  The only song on the whole CD that didn't bowl me over was "Don't It". 

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Another group I just love, Lady Antebellum just released "747", which contains the hit "Bartender" that you probably have already heard a lot on the radio.  I absolutely fell in love with track #5 "Down South", and track #4 "Freestyle" is really a fun song!  A nice mix of ballads and fun get up and dance songs on this one. 

I also can't wait to hear the new Florida Georgia Line album Anything Goes, Taylor Swift's 1989, and am anxiously waiting to hear when Darius Rucker plans to drop a new album after hearing his new single "Homegrown Honey".   

Monday, October 13, 2014

Middle School Monday:

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Set in a magic-inflected version of the present-day U.S., this first title in the Magisterium series combines the talents of Black (Doll Bones) and Clare (the Mortal Instruments series) in a thrilling coming-of-age story that embraces fantasy tropes while keeping readers guessing. Twelve-year-old Callum Hunt has been raised to distrust magic. Mages killed his mother, and his father has warned him that the Magisterium, a school where young mages are trained, is a deathtrap. Callum’s attempts to fail the entrance exam go awry, and he is chosen to apprentice under Master Rufus, along with fellow students Aaron and Tamara. As Callum, Tamara, Aaron, and their classmates embark on their first of five years of schooling, Callum realizes how little he knows of his own heritage. The strange, subterranean Magisterium is vividly rendered, and a string of ominous revelations will leave readers eager for future installments. Fans of both authors will enjoy getting to know this well-rounded cast in the first steps of their adventure. — Publisher’s Weekly, starred review

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Spooky Read for October: The Fall by Bethany Griffin

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Madeline Usher has been buried alive. The doomed heroine comes to the fore in this eerie reimagining of Edgar Allan Poe's classic short story "The Fall of the House of Usher." Gothic, moody, and suspenseful from beginning to end, The Fall is literary horror for fans of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and Asylum.
Madeline awakes in a coffin. She was put there by her own twin brother. How did it come to this? In short non-chronological chapters, Bethany Griffin masterfully spins a haunting and powerful tale of a tragic heroine and the curse on the Usher family. The house itself is alive around Madeline, and it will never let her escape, driving her to the madness just as it has all of her ancestors. But she won't let it have her brother Roderick. She'll do everything in her power to save him—and try to save herself—even if it means bringing the house down around them.

With a sinister gothic atmosphere and relentless tension to rival Poe himself, Bethany Griffin creates a house of horrors and introduces a whole new point-of-view on the timeless classic.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Teen Tuesday: Thrillers for Teens or Adults who liked Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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The recent movie adaptation of Gillian Flynn's blockbuster hit novel Gone Girl has avid readers clamoring for more thrillers.  Here is a list of some Young Adult books that have a mysterious twist:

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Don't be fooled by that pretty pink cover.  Choker by Elizabeth Woods is a twisty mystery.  Zoe and Cara were as close as friends could be—until Zoe moved away in fourth grade. Miserable without Zoe, Cara grew into an unhappy sixteen-year-old, tormented by the popular girls and nursing a hopeless crush. Then one day Cara returns home from a miserable day at school to find Zoe sitting on her bed. Shocked and delighted, Cara agrees to hide Zoe from troubles at home and the two resume their friendship as though no time has passed. Zoe even helps Cara get up the courage to stand up for herself and talk to her crush. But when one of the popular girls winds up dead, Cara begins to suspect that Zoe is responsible, and her questions only feed Zoe’s anger. As Cara searches for answers, she is forced to confront a deadly truth….

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Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn is a thriller with a psychological twist.   Two years ago, fifteen-year-old Jamie Henry breathed a sigh of relief when a judge sentenced his older sister to juvenile detention for burning down their neighbor’s fancy horse barn. The whole town did. Because Crazy Cate Henry used to be a nice girl. Until she did a lot of bad things. Like drinking. And stealing. And lying. Like playing weird mind games in the woods with other children. Like making sure she always got her way. Or else. But today Cate got out. And now she’s coming back for Jamie.

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Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas is a thriller that was ripped from the headlines of the Amanda Knox case.  It’s Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives. 
But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations. As Anna sets out to find her friend’s killer, she discovers harsh revelations about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.  Awaiting the judge’s decree, it becomes clear to Anna that everyone around her thinks she is not only guilty, but also dangerous. And when the whole story comes out, reality is more shocking than anyone could ever imagine...

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The Sound by Sarah Alderson:  a British nanny finds more than love in her summer in Nantucket.  The Nantucket Sound is a beachfront playground for the privileged and elite, where the sunny days are filled with scenic bike rides, backyard picnics, and bonfire parties. But all Ren Kingston—a visiting Brit still reeling from heartbreak—really wants is a quiet summer as a nanny for one of Nantucket’s wealthy families. Getting acquainted with handsome Jeremy and his young group of trust fund, private school kids was not part of the plan. Neither was befriending the local bad boy whose reputation is more dangerous than charming. After a dead body is found next to The Sound’s postcard-perfect view, Ren starts to wonder where the real threat lies. Because it’s becoming clear that her newfound “friends” are much more than they seem. They’re hiding secrets. Secrets that Ren wants no part of.

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Truly Madly Deadly by Hannah Jayne is full of twists and turns.  Sawyer Dodd is a star athlete, a straight-A student, and the envy of every other girl who wants to date Kevin Anderson. When Kevin dies in a tragic car crash, Sawyer is stunned. Then she opens her locker to find a note:
You're welcome.

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"Thrilling, beautiful, and blisteringly smart, We Were Liars is utterly unforgettable." - John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars (yes, that John Green)
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret. Lies upon lies. True love. The truth.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Middle School Monday: Rain Reign by Ann

published October 7, 2014

From Goodreads:  In her most powerful novel yet, Newbery Honor author Ann M. Martin tells the story of girl with mental/emotional challenges and the dog she loves.

Rose Howard has OCD, Asperger’s syndrome, and an obsession with homonyms (even her name is a homonym). She gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Rain was a lost dog Rose’s father brought home. Rose and Rain are practically inseparable. And they are often home alone, as Rose’s father spends most evenings at a bar, and doesn’t have much patience for his special-needs daughter.
Just as a storm hits town, Rain goes missing. Rose’s father shouldn’t have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search. Rose will find Rain, but so will Rain’s original owners.

Hearts will break and spirits will soar for this powerful story, brilliantly told from Rose’s point of view. 

My thoughtsI received an advanced reader copy of this book via I loved it - Rose is a high functioning autistic child, that is struggling with a one-parent father who has little or no knowledge about what is best for Rose. The only good thing he does is bring home a stray dog on a rainy night, which Rose names "Rain" and bonds with deeply. The book depicts Rose's struggles to fit in at school, cope with her outbursts, and how the rest of her world relates to her love of homonyms (uncle loves them, Dad not so much). Rose's world takes a turn for the worst when during Hurricane Susan when her father lets Rain out to go the bathroom, and the dog does not return.
The way Rose deals with the separation, and her process for finding her dog is inspiring. I loved this book and think it is an excellent choice for middle school readers and beyond.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October: Highly Anticipated Books Coming Out.

October is a big month for Teen books; lots of sequels, highly anticipated titles, and great reads are on the way.  Here's a list of a few I'm looking forward to reading! 

Atlantia by Ally Condie, published on October 28, 2014.

From Goodreads:  For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose. Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.  Ally Condie is the author of the very popular "Matched" trilogy. 

Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A. S. King, published on October 14, 2014.

From Goodreads:  Graduating from high school is a time of limitless possibilities—but not for Glory, who has no plan for what's next. Her mother committed suicide when Glory was only four years old, and she’s never stopped wondering if she will eventually go the same way...until a transformative night when she begins to experience an astonishing new power to see a person’s infinite past and future. From ancient ancestors to many generations forward, Glory is bombarded with visions—and what she sees ahead of her is terrifying.  Boy, I love A. S. King - this author makes you THINK! Please Excuse Vera Dietz is one of my favorite teen novels.

Oh Yeah, Audrey! by Tucker Shaw, published on October 14, 2014.

From Goodreads:  It’s 5:00 a.m. on Fifth Avenue, and 16-year-old Gemma Beasley is standing in front of Tiffany & Co. wearing the perfect black dress with her coffee in hand—just like Holly Golightly. As the cofounder of a successful Tumblr blog—Oh Yeah Audrey!—devoted to all things Audrey Hepburn, Gemma has traveled to New York in order to meet up with her fellow bloggers for the first time. She has meticulously planned out a 24-hour adventure in homage to Breakfast at Tiffany’s; however, her plans are derailed when a glamorous boy sweeps in and offers her the New York experience she’s always dreamed of.  This sounds like a light, fun read.  Sometimes I need light and fluffy.  Get yourself in the mood - watch the original trailer for the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's HERE.  Read trivia and fun facts about the film HERE.

Snow Like Ashes by Sarah Raasch, published on October 14, 2014.

From Goodreads:  Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.  Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.  So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.  This is a debut novel (I love reading debut novels) and it's about Winter.  We love in Rochester - someone defeating Winter?  I gotta read this. 

From Goodreads:  Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.  Marie Lu wrote a trilogy I loved (Legend, Prodigy, and Champion) - reason enough for me to really want to read this book!
In the meantime, come into the library check out our October Display in Teen of "Falling for a Romantic Read".