Teens

Book cover

Poison for Breakfast

By Lemony Snicket
5
Rated by Chris K.
Apr 28, 2022

A perfect little gem of a book.


A book I quickly fell in love with. It may not be a perfect book for every reader, as we all have our different preferences. Not everyone will love it as much as I. But I love it. I find it hard to imagine a book that could be more perfect.


I rarely buy books. I work in a library, so I feel almost every day I have all the books I could ever want at my fingertips for free. I don't often feel the need to buy them for myself. Plus, buying a book means I am unlikely to read it.


These are (most of) the books I currently have checked out from my library

Book cover

Poison for Breakfast

By Lemony Snicket
5
Rated by Chris K.
Apr 28, 2022

A perfect little gem of a book.


A book I quickly fell in love with. It may not be a perfect book for every reader, as we all have our different preferences. Not everyone will love it as much as I. But I love it. I find it hard to imagine a book that could be more perfect.


I rarely buy books. I work in a library, so I feel almost every day I have all the books I could ever want at my fingertips for free. I don't often feel the need to buy them for myself. Plus, buying a book means I am unlikely to read it.


These are (most of) the books I currently have checked out from my library

book cover for Enduring Freedom

Enduring Freedom

By Jawad Arash and Trent Reedy
4
Rated by Kristen Re.
Jan 21, 2022

In Enduring Freedom we get the human side of war from two perspectives.  The novel shares how two people from different backgrounds react to the same events.  The setting takes place mainly in Farah, Afghanistan after 9/11.  Joe, a U.S. Army soldier from Iowa, is serving his first tour in Afghanistan when he meets Baheer, a sixteen-year old local.  There is a language barrier at first, but there is no mistaking that they both want to defeat the Taliban.  They forge a friendship in which they rely on each other's bravery and knowledge to make it through some tough situations. 


It is a great

book cover for Enduring Freedom

Enduring Freedom

By Jawad Arash and Trent Reedy
4
Rated by Kristen Re.
Jan 21, 2022

In Enduring Freedom we get the human side of war from two perspectives.  The novel shares how two people from different backgrounds react to the same events.  The setting takes place mainly in Farah, Afghanistan after 9/11.  Joe, a U.S. Army soldier from Iowa, is serving his first tour in Afghanistan when he meets Baheer, a sixteen-year old local.  There is a language barrier at first, but there is no mistaking that they both want to defeat the Taliban.  They forge a friendship in which they rely on each other's bravery and knowledge to make it through some tough situations. 


It is a great

Jan 19, 2022

A powerful tale of a young woman succeeding despite everything working against her.
The book opens when Echo--the protagonist shares a name with the author--is six. Smoke rolls into her apartment's windows from a nearby fire that is spreading her way. Her younger brothers are stuck in cribs and her mom is passed out on the bathroom floor from crack cocaine. It's a good introduction to Echo's world. The book closes with her beginning a new life at Dartmouth University. The story is how she manages to go from one place to the other, with plenty of pain and heartache along the way.
Echo's story

Jan 19, 2022

A powerful tale of a young woman succeeding despite everything working against her.
The book opens when Echo--the protagonist shares a name with the author--is six. Smoke rolls into her apartment's windows from a nearby fire that is spreading her way. Her younger brothers are stuck in cribs and her mom is passed out on the bathroom floor from crack cocaine. It's a good introduction to Echo's world. The book closes with her beginning a new life at Dartmouth University. The story is how she manages to go from one place to the other, with plenty of pain and heartache along the way.
Echo's story

Sep 3, 2021

“Normal is whatever you grow used to, like wildfires choking the life out of everything.  Or a town that live through its children, over and over again, until nobody remembers a time when that wasn’t the case.”


Each chapter is its own short story.  Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock does a fabulous job intertwining the lives of several teenagers from small towns in the American West and Alaska.  The collection is relatable, full of heart and hope with stories about a wildfire, a camp, as well as a mysterious disappearance.  (My personal favorite was Parking-Lot Flowers about a teenage boy who picks up a

Sep 3, 2021

“Normal is whatever you grow used to, like wildfires choking the life out of everything.  Or a town that live through its children, over and over again, until nobody remembers a time when that wasn’t the case.”


Each chapter is its own short story.  Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock does a fabulous job intertwining the lives of several teenagers from small towns in the American West and Alaska.  The collection is relatable, full of heart and hope with stories about a wildfire, a camp, as well as a mysterious disappearance.  (My personal favorite was Parking-Lot Flowers about a teenage boy who picks up a

Aug 27, 2021

This teen comedy TV series was years ahead of its time and unappreciated when it aired in 1982-83, cancelled before the full first season could be finished. It’s a shame because it’s so smart and funny and different from anything else on TV at the time. It probably would have done better 15 or 20 years later, but it’s so endearingly ‘80s, I can’t imagine it at any other time and being so charming. 


The premise is this: two best friends are freshmen at a typical suburban American high school. Patty is a sweet, shy nerd who is too smart for her own good (played by a young Sarah Jessica Parker

Aug 27, 2021

This teen comedy TV series was years ahead of its time and unappreciated when it aired in 1982-83, cancelled before the full first season could be finished. It’s a shame because it’s so smart and funny and different from anything else on TV at the time. It probably would have done better 15 or 20 years later, but it’s so endearingly ‘80s, I can’t imagine it at any other time and being so charming. 


The premise is this: two best friends are freshmen at a typical suburban American high school. Patty is a sweet, shy nerd who is too smart for her own good (played by a young Sarah Jessica Parker

The Boy in the Black Suit book cover

The Boy in the Black Suit

By Jason Reynolds
5
Rated by Kristen Re.
Apr 8, 2021

Matt Miller, a senior in high school, is dealing with the recent death of his mom to cancer.  Mr. Ray, Matt’s neighbor, offers him a job at the funeral home.  He is hesitant to take it but can’t pass up the good paycheck. So, Matt becomes the boy in the black suit because he starts wearing it every day.  In a way it brings Matt comfort to watch the funerals.  “I liked watching other people deal with the loss of someone, not because I enjoyed seeing them in pain, but because, somehow, it made me feel better knowing that my pain isn’t only mine.”


When he least expects it, Matt meets Lovey. 

The Boy in the Black Suit book cover

The Boy in the Black Suit

By Jason Reynolds
5
Rated by Kristen Re.
Apr 8, 2021

Matt Miller, a senior in high school, is dealing with the recent death of his mom to cancer.  Mr. Ray, Matt’s neighbor, offers him a job at the funeral home.  He is hesitant to take it but can’t pass up the good paycheck. So, Matt becomes the boy in the black suit because he starts wearing it every day.  In a way it brings Matt comfort to watch the funerals.  “I liked watching other people deal with the loss of someone, not because I enjoyed seeing them in pain, but because, somehow, it made me feel better knowing that my pain isn’t only mine.”


When he least expects it, Matt meets Lovey. 

Influence by Sara Shepard

Influence

By Sara Shepard & Lilia Buckingham
4
Rated by Heather Mi.
Apr 1, 2021

It’s perfect, but is it real? Influence follows the lives of four teen influencers who live what seem like perfect lives: Delilah Rollins, a newbie who shot to fame after posting a viral video, Jasmine Walters-Diaz, a former child star who’s tired of hiding her real self, Fiona Jacobs, an aspiring actress who harbors a dark secret from her past, and Scarlet Leigh, the quintessential mean girl of the group. In the whirlwind of events and auditions and shoots, the tension escalates and one of the girls ends up dead. As the other girls try to root out the killer, they are reminded again and again

Influence by Sara Shepard

Influence

By Sara Shepard & Lilia Buckingham
4
Rated by Heather Mi.
Apr 1, 2021

It’s perfect, but is it real? Influence follows the lives of four teen influencers who live what seem like perfect lives: Delilah Rollins, a newbie who shot to fame after posting a viral video, Jasmine Walters-Diaz, a former child star who’s tired of hiding her real self, Fiona Jacobs, an aspiring actress who harbors a dark secret from her past, and Scarlet Leigh, the quintessential mean girl of the group. In the whirlwind of events and auditions and shoots, the tension escalates and one of the girls ends up dead. As the other girls try to root out the killer, they are reminded again and again

Influence by Sara Shepard

Influence

By Sara Shepard & Lilia Buckingham
4
Rated by Heather Mi.
Apr 1, 2021

It’s perfect, but is it real? Influence follows the lives of four teen influencers who live what seem like perfect lives: Delilah Rollins, a newbie who shot to fame after posting a viral video, Jasmine Walters-Diaz, a former child star who’s tired of hiding her real self, Fiona Jacobs, an aspiring actress who harbors a dark secret from her past, and Scarlet Leigh, the quintessential mean girl of the group. In the whirlwind of events and auditions and shoots, the tension escalates and one of the girls ends up dead. As the other girls try to root out the killer, they are reminded again and again

Sep 30, 2020

“Nothing you can take from me was ever worth keeping.” - Lucy Gray Baird


Suzanne Collins bring us another installment of the Hunger Games.  This time she takes us back in time to the Tenth Annual Hunger Games (64 years prior to The Hunger Games trilogy, before Coriolanus Snow was President). 


Snow, eighteen-years-old, is doing what he can to hold what’s left of his family together and keep up with the status quo in the Capital.  Money is tight in the Snow house, and he is afraid he won’t be able to afford University.  An opportunity presents itself when he is assigned as mentor to the

Sep 30, 2020

“Nothing you can take from me was ever worth keeping.” - Lucy Gray Baird


Suzanne Collins bring us another installment of the Hunger Games.  This time she takes us back in time to the Tenth Annual Hunger Games (64 years prior to The Hunger Games trilogy, before Coriolanus Snow was President). 


Snow, eighteen-years-old, is doing what he can to hold what’s left of his family together and keep up with the status quo in the Capital.  Money is tight in the Snow house, and he is afraid he won’t be able to afford University.  An opportunity presents itself when he is assigned as mentor to the

The Goose Girl

By Shannon Hale
5
Rated by Anne G
Jul 10, 2020

“... If we don't tell strange stories, when something strange happens we won't believe it.”
― Shannon Hale, The Goose Girl


The Goose Girl is a nice Grimm fairy-tale inspired piece of fiction. The fantasy fiction is well written, and quite creative in its own way. I stayed up all night reading this leisurely paced book. This is absorbing, exciting, and has a descriptive writing style. It is a slow moving tale at first, and some might be tempted to stop reading in the opening chapters where we are introduced to the excessively timid Princess Ani. Ani is a girl taken from her position as

The Goose Girl

By Shannon Hale
5
Rated by Anne G
Jul 10, 2020

“... If we don't tell strange stories, when something strange happens we won't believe it.”
― Shannon Hale, The Goose Girl


The Goose Girl is a nice Grimm fairy-tale inspired piece of fiction. The fantasy fiction is well written, and quite creative in its own way. I stayed up all night reading this leisurely paced book. This is absorbing, exciting, and has a descriptive writing style. It is a slow moving tale at first, and some might be tempted to stop reading in the opening chapters where we are introduced to the excessively timid Princess Ani. Ani is a girl taken from her position as

Three Hands for Scorpio

By Andre Norton
4
Rated by Anne G
Feb 21, 2020

     Three Hands for Scorpio is the last adult book for young adults of Lifetime Grand Master of Fantasy, Andre Norton, who passed away on March 17, 2005 after a long and extremely fruitful career.  Her magically detailed world-building skills, upright, against-all-odds characters, and fast pace will be sorely missed.  Tor rushed a copy of this book of women-of-steel into print, so that the 93-year-old author could see it before she died.  It is the last manuscript she penned alone, and has an action-packed storyline.  I have read most of Ms. Norton's books, and especially enjoyed her women

Three Hands for Scorpio

By Andre Norton
4
Rated by Anne G
Feb 21, 2020

     Three Hands for Scorpio is the last adult book for young adults of Lifetime Grand Master of Fantasy, Andre Norton, who passed away on March 17, 2005 after a long and extremely fruitful career.  Her magically detailed world-building skills, upright, against-all-odds characters, and fast pace will be sorely missed.  Tor rushed a copy of this book of women-of-steel into print, so that the 93-year-old author could see it before she died.  It is the last manuscript she penned alone, and has an action-packed storyline.  I have read most of Ms. Norton's books, and especially enjoyed her women

The Secret Hour

By Scott Westerfeld
4
Rated by Anne G
Feb 21, 2020

     The Secret Hour has a very imaginative paranormal premise, and it was enjoyable to read; I finished this book for reluctant readers in two sittings.  I love the idea of a hidden hour after midnight where only a select few can visit, and the continuing threads of mystery and “what’s going on?” kept me reading this urban fantasy.  The characters are not all best buddies, but are unique individuals with their own motivations which are shown in the fast pace.


     The premise is original and interesting with a compelling writing style.  It is definitely written with a young adult audience

The Secret Hour

By Scott Westerfeld
4
Rated by Anne G
Feb 21, 2020

     The Secret Hour has a very imaginative paranormal premise, and it was enjoyable to read; I finished this book for reluctant readers in two sittings.  I love the idea of a hidden hour after midnight where only a select few can visit, and the continuing threads of mystery and “what’s going on?” kept me reading this urban fantasy.  The characters are not all best buddies, but are unique individuals with their own motivations which are shown in the fast pace.


     The premise is original and interesting with a compelling writing style.  It is definitely written with a young adult audience

Trickster's Choice

By Tamora Pierce
5
Rated by Anne G
Dec 11, 2019

     I previously read Trickster's Choice with courageous teenage girls a little over a decade ago, and I wanted to revisit it.  I had forgotten just how easy it is to get drawn into Aly’s adventures which cause her to become a slave as a girl, and I am so glad to have revisited because it was similar to visiting with an old friend.  This is the story of Alianne Cooper, who wants to be a girl spy, and is the daughter of Spymaster Cooper and the famous Lioness of Tortall and champion of the throne.  Certainly Tamora Pierce is one of my favorite writers in this genre, and Alianne (Aly) stands

Trickster's Choice

By Tamora Pierce
5
Rated by Anne G
Dec 11, 2019

     I previously read Trickster's Choice with courageous teenage girls a little over a decade ago, and I wanted to revisit it.  I had forgotten just how easy it is to get drawn into Aly’s adventures which cause her to become a slave as a girl, and I am so glad to have revisited because it was similar to visiting with an old friend.  This is the story of Alianne Cooper, who wants to be a girl spy, and is the daughter of Spymaster Cooper and the famous Lioness of Tortall and champion of the throne.  Certainly Tamora Pierce is one of my favorite writers in this genre, and Alianne (Aly) stands

Nov 18, 2019

This is top-notch science fiction--it takes today's scientific advancements and speculates how they might play out in the future, considering legal, ethical, and practical ramifications along the way. The book does this over the course of six lightly connected stories, each progressively further in the future. The topic is gene editing and body modification.


The first story starts simply enough with improved organ transplants from one dying twin to another and ends with a distant reality in which the handful or pure, unmodified humans are kept safe on a reservation as a sort of archival

Nov 18, 2019

This is top-notch science fiction--it takes today's scientific advancements and speculates how they might play out in the future, considering legal, ethical, and practical ramifications along the way. The book does this over the course of six lightly connected stories, each progressively further in the future. The topic is gene editing and body modification.


The first story starts simply enough with improved organ transplants from one dying twin to another and ends with a distant reality in which the handful or pure, unmodified humans are kept safe on a reservation as a sort of archival

Just Ella

By Margaret Peterson Haddix
4
Rated by Anne G
Oct 21, 2019

                “Why did everyone like that story so much when it wasn’t true?  Why was everyone so eager to believe it?  Was it because, in real life, ever after’s generally stink?”


Just Ella, a book for reluctant readers, is a retelling of Cinderella, and it is about a girl named Ella who has already won her freedom from her stepmother at the ball and moved into the palace.  But training to become a princess is not what Ella thought it would be like in this fairy- tale and folklore-inspired fiction.  While being constantly told to act like a “proper lady” by an evil decorum instructor and

Just Ella

By Margaret Peterson Haddix
4
Rated by Anne G
Oct 21, 2019

                “Why did everyone like that story so much when it wasn’t true?  Why was everyone so eager to believe it?  Was it because, in real life, ever after’s generally stink?”


Just Ella, a book for reluctant readers, is a retelling of Cinderella, and it is about a girl named Ella who has already won her freedom from her stepmother at the ball and moved into the palace.  But training to become a princess is not what Ella thought it would be like in this fairy- tale and folklore-inspired fiction.  While being constantly told to act like a “proper lady” by an evil decorum instructor and

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft

By Jessica Spotswood and Tess Sharpe
5
Rated by Hebah A.H.
Oct 14, 2019

It's that time of year where my reading generally turns to the spookier side, and there's no paranormal motif I love more than witchy women. Fiction has definitely seen an uptick in feminist reclamations of witchy tropes and depictions in recent years, and I am here for it.


When I first saw the publication announcement for Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft, I struggled to keep my expectations reasonable, certain it would be yet another teen fiction anthology that sounded amazing and would end up disappointing me with uneven story quality. But I was only so successful in