29 June 2016

Join Us!

Thank you to all of our 2015-2016 TRC members! We have open spots for the fall! Do you want to join the Teen Readers Council? Download and fill out an application and email it back to us! HERE

24 June 2016

Review: Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies

Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies
by Lindsay Ribar

Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Publication Date: June 7, 2016

In ROCKS FALL, EVERYONE DIES, Aspen Quick is the (admittedly) self-centered protagonist who has the ability to steal people’s innermost thoughts. In fact, he uses his talents primarily for personal gain. The Quicks have been tasked with using their powers to keep a cliff from falling on top of their small town and it’s Aspen’s turn to partake in the triad ceremony that his family has participated in for centuries. Filled with suspense, humor, and a whole-lot-of teenage angst, this novel provides a protagonist that you’ll love to hate, but will still want to succeed.ROCKS FALL, EVERYONE DIES is the perfect summer reading book, and is destined to destroy whatever reading slump you may find yourself in. 

Review: What Happens Now

What Happens Now
by Jennifer Castle

Publisher: Harper Teen 
Publication Date: June 7, 2016 

WHAT HAPPENS NOW, is about Ari Logan, a girl who sees a boy from afar (Camden Armstrong) and immediately falls in love with him. The summer that she first sees him, Ari never gathers the courage to talk to Camden, but the next summer is different. Ari is living with depression and finds herself forgetting her own demons as she figures out Camden's real self. I am a blossoming fan of romance novels and I really loved this book! It was very well written and the plot was compelling. I highly recommend this to romance and drama lovers.

15 June 2016

Review: True Letters From A Fictional Life

True Letters From A Fictional Life 
by Kenneth Logan 

Publisher: Harper Teen
Publications Date: June 7th, 2016

Kenneth Logan's first novel, TRUE LETTERS FROM A FICTIONAL LIFE, is an astoundingly genuine story about a teenage boy coming to terms with his own sexuality and its impact on his world. James, a moderately popular jock with a charismatic girlfriend and a seemingly perfect life, struggles with his affections for one of his closest male friends. With no one to turn to James writes letters to him and all the other people in his life to help him process his feelings. Guilt from lying to his girlfriend, friends, and family, and for an injury that happened to one of his peers, James finds a connection with a boy from another school and slowly learns to accept himself, doing his best to ignore what other people think of him.
This story is easily one of the most realistic and honest LGBTQ+ coming of age tales in a while, and I felt as though I was a part of James' life. The unbarred descriptions of the conflicting emotions he felt were natural and seemed as though the author had true insight into what James was experiencing. While the story was masterfully told, there was also a rawness and a truthfulness that made it an emotionally captivating account from a shockingly life-like narrator. From the moment I picked it up, I was unable to stop reading until I had finished and by the last page I was crying, not only because of the story, but because it was over. I recommend this book to anyone even remotely interested by this genre and promise that it will be one of your best reads of 2016. I'm thrilled not only by this book, but by the potential this author has and I'm extremely excited to see what he does next.

Review: Savage

by Thomas Sniegoski

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: May 31, 2016

SAVAGE by Thomas Sniegoski, is a book full of action and mystery.  It takes place on the island of Benediction, where we follow the life of a teen girl named Sydney, two of her friends, and her dog. SAVAGE is a book worth reading, as once the excitement rolls in, it continues through till the end. I loved this book, and any fans of mystery (or maybe even romance) will probably enjoy it just the same. 

Review: Meet Me Here

Meet Me Here 
by Bryan Bliss 

Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: May 31, 2016

MEET ME HERE, is a captivating story that takes place over the course of one night, and yet as a reader I felt I had known Thomas his whole life. Thomas is faced with choosing between the decision his brother made, to join the army and fight like everyone around him believes he should, or run away from that life, letting everyone down. Over the course of his graduation night, while faced with his decision, Thomas starts to realize that despite having been in the back of his mind all his life, there might be more ways to look at the situation than he always thought. All the characters in this book, from Thomas, to his brother, to his hometown friends, to the neighbor he hasn't talked to in years up until this night, come alive so vividly. By the end of this book you might just feel that you've spent your graduation night alongside Thomas, and the town he grew up in might start to feel like it was your hometown too.

02 June 2016

Review: The Art Of Being Normal

The Art Of Being Normal 
By Lisa Williamson 

Publication Date: May 31, 2016
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux 

THE ART OF BEING NORMAL is told from the perspective of two transgender teenagers – Leo Denton and David Piper. Leo is new to Eden Park School, and wants nothing more than to start over and move on from his past identity as Megan Denton. Meanwhile, David is having trouble telling his parents that he identifies as a girl and beginning his transition into life as Kate. The two meet and eventually befriend one another, finding comfort in their shared experiences. The author struck a good balance between realistically writing about the struggles that a transgender teen may face, and keeping the story uplifting and hopeful. Although the novel does have gender identity as a major theme, it focuses more on the general idea of being open to and accepting diversity, making the story relatable for almost anybody. The engaging plot line and lovable characters make THE ART OF BEING NORMAL a great choice for any teen looking to get a basic understanding of issues in this realm, or simply somebody looking for a good story.

Review: This Is The Part Where You Laugh

This Is The Part Where You Laugh 
By Peter Brown Hoffmeister 

Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books For Young Readers 

THIS IS THE PART WHERE YOU LAUGH is a funny, irresistible, yet dark and gritty novel that will have you hanging on the edge of your seat. Travis’ only goals for the summer are to stay out of trouble, hone his basketball skills for the next season, and search for his homeless mother. He is handed the opposite when his best friend, Creature, is attacked by a gang member, throwing Travis’ whole world off kilter. This book is not for the faint of heart. It addresses drug abuse from the heart-wrenching perspective of a teenage boy who grew up with an unstable mother and now lives in a very poor environment. Travis’ actions aren’t always justified, and he finds himself involved in more than one fight by the end of the novel. The author chooses to use short, choppy language that fits nicely with the way the story line is played out. I would recommend this book for adventurous readers. 

Review: Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories

Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories
Edited by Stephanie Perkins

Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin 

In SUMMER DAYS AND SUMMER NIGHTS, twelve of YA's biggest stars contributed short summer related romances to this anthology. Wonderfully edited by Stephanie Perkins; a perfectly fitting end of year read as spring slowly turns into summer. Each author brought their own personality and writing style to their story, however the different tones and moods cohesively merged into a fun and easy reading experience with something to offer all readers. No matter what your interests are- cutesy feel-good love stories, fantasy, LGBTQ relationships, horror, grand romantic gestures, futuristic technology, family drama, or sci-fi- you'll be able to find a chapter in here that you'll enjoy. It also allows for the reader to pick and choose what they want to read and skip the stories that don't interest them. The shortness of the stories compared to most novels was actually beneficial, as the plots had to move forward quickly, without the unnecessary backstories and side stories that are often so tiring in other books. I really loved reading this book because I got to both read stories from some of my favorite authors as well as discover some new ones and I never got bored of a story because they were over so quickly. 

01 June 2016

Review: The Problem With Forever

The Problem With Forever 
by Jennifer L. Armentrout 

Publication Date: May 17, 2016 
Publisher: Harlequin Teen 

In THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER, Mallory Dodge has had a rough life in the foster system. She's had a hard time trusting people and speaking up but now finds herself with loving, adoptive parents. Encouraged to spend her senior year in a traditional high school (rather than homeschooling), she unexpectedly runs into Rider, a boy who once lived in the same foster home. They have a history and their relationship flourishes because of their past ties. Mallory and Rider are extremely likeable characters with well written chemistry. Armentrout does a nice job showing not only Mallory, but several other characters learning from their past experiences to start shaping their futures. 

Review: The Blood Between Us

The Blood Between Us 
by Zac Brewer 

Publication Date: May 3rd, 2016 
Publisher: Harper Teen 

THE BLOOD BETWEEN US is a dramatic, suspenseful novel that ultimately explores the role of family in adolescence. Protagonist Adrien has been forced to contend with his fiercely competitive sister, Grace, for his entire life. But when he receives news that his adoptive parents have died in a lab accident, the fragile bonds between them shatter and they separate for years. After being forced to return to the same boarding school, Adrien begins to suspect Grace’s involvement in their parents deaths, and becomes determined to discover the truth. This story was both fast paced and realistic, with enough character development to provide authenticity and depth and enough suspense to keep the plot interesting. Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone seeking a realistic mystery.