Teens

Category Archives: Books

On the Radar: Five Books to Check Out in July

Posted on June 28th, 2016 by vkovenmatasy@private.bpl.org in Books, Previews, Teen Services

Get your library card handy and reserve your place in line for these new July releases! If you place a hold now, they can be in your hands before they even hit the shelf.

Please note: all summaries are taken from the Boston Public Library catalog unless otherwise noted. They may have been edited for length and clarity.

 

cover of this savage song

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Summary: Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city–a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent–but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

Why We’re Excited: I heard it on the water, on the wind. (Okay, actually I heard it on the internet, but give me some room for poetic license.) Could it be? A YA fantasy novel without the obligatory love triangle? A YA fantasy novel with, in fact, no romance whatsoever? I won’t really believe it until I read it, but this I want to see.

 

cover of shiny broken pieces

Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

Summary: June, Bette, and Gigi are competing one final time for a spot at the prestigious American Ballet Company. With the stakes higher than ever, these girls have everything to lose…and no one is playing nice. June is starting to finally see herself as a prima ballerina. But being the best could mean sacrificing the love of her life. Legacy dancer Bette is determined to clear her name after she was suspended and accused of hurting her rival, Gigi. And Gigi is not going to let Bette–or the other dancers who bullied her–go unpunished. It all comes down to this last dance. Who will make the cut? And who will lose her dream forever?

Why We’re Excited: If there’s one thing I learned from being best friends with a ballet dancer in grade school, it’s that ballerinas are hard-core. Dancing your toenails off (and having to look graceful while you’re doing it)? It sounds like something out of a horror movie to me, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg of what dancers go through to achieve their dreams. This follow-up to last year’s Tiny Pretty Things promises to deliver even more of the drama and the dark side of ballet.

 

cover of all the feels

All the Feels by Danika Stone

Summary: When uber-fan Liv’s favorite sci fi movie character is killed off, she and her best friend Xander, an aspiring actor and Steampunk enthusiast, launch a campaign to bring him back from the dead.

Why We’re Excited: Let’s be honest, I’ve been in this protagonist’s shoes before. When my favorite character dies (or, to move this into sports fandom, my favorite player gets sold to another team), do I deal well? Nope. Not at all. There is no dealing, only grief and bitter recrimination. And sometimes it’s a lot of fun to see the fangirl life on the page! If All the Feels can live up to Fangirl, the Rainbow Rowell novel that kicked off this recent fandom craze in YA literature, I will be well satisfied.

 

cover of dinosaurs of the deep

Dinosaurs of the Deep by Larry Verstraete and Julius Csotonyi

Summary: A gigantic sea dwelling mosasaur rises from the watery depths and saves the day in the summer blockbuster Jurassic World . However, these fearsome waterborne predators were anything but heroic, at nearly 50 feet in length and 50 tonnes, mosasaurs made tyrannosaurs look like cuddly puppies. Since their discovery almost two hundred years ago, dinosaurs have captured the imaginations of children and adults alike. What many don’t know is that “dinosaur” the term refers specifically to land born prehistoric reptiles. Despite being discovered nearly 50 years before the before the first dinosaur fossils, prehistoric aquatic creatures like mosasaurs and plesiosaurs have been largely overshadowed by triceratops, apatosaurus and the fierce T-rex. Dinosaurs of the Deep looks to change this by shedding light on the incredible diversity of prehistoric life that was living just beneath the water’s surface.

Why We’re Excited: Uh, terrifying sea monsters need an explanation? The things living at the bottom of the ocean now are scary. Can you even imagine what horrifying creatures were down there when T-rex roamed free? (Including this book is technically cheating on my part because it comes out on the last day of June, but I was more interested in TERRIFYING SEA MONSTERS than release dates.)

 

cover of flying

Flying by Carrie Jones

Summary: People have always treated seventeen-year-old Mana as someone in need of protection. She’s used to being coddled, being an only child, but it’s hard to imagine anything could ever happen in her small-town, normal life. As her mother’s babying gets more stifling than ever, she’s looking forward to cheering at the big game and getting out of the house for a while. But that night, Mana’s life goes haywire. First, the hot guy she’s been crushing on at school randomly flips out and starts spitting acid during the game. Then they get into a knockdown, drag-out fight in the locker room, during which Mana finds herself leaping around like a kangaroo on steroids. As a flyer on the cheerleading squad, she’s always been a good jumper, but this is a bit much. By the time she gets home and finds her house trashed and an alien in the garage, Mana starts to wonder if her mother had her reasons for being overprotective…

Why We’re Excited: CHEERLEADER ALIEN HUNTER. It’s like Buffy in space!

 

icon of VeronicaDid I get you interested in reading one of these books? Just click the title of the one you want and the link will take you to the relevant page in the catalog. From there you can click the green “Place a Hold” button and you’re all set!

Need a library card? Wondering how long you can borrow a book? Borrowing and Circulation information can be found here.

 

*”On the Radar” features book previews by Veronica, the Teen Librarian at the Dudley Branch, on the last Tuesday or Friday of every month.

Curl Up & Read: Calvin

Posted on June 3rd, 2016 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff, Teen Services
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Calvin

Title: Calvin by Martine Leavitt

Read by: Anna, a Teen Central Librarian

Summary: Calvin is a young teenager with a lot of similarities to the Calvin & Hobbes comic strips by Bill Watterson. What Calvin isn’t prepared for, however, is the seemingly sudden diagnosis of schizophrenia. He can hear Hobbes talking to him and he can’t seem to make the tiger go away.  In a rash decision, Calvin takes his friend, Susan, on a hiking trip across frozen Lake Erie in an attempt to find Bill Watterson and get him to write one last comic strip… without Hobbes.

Genre/sub-genre: contemporary fiction

Series/Standalone: Standalone

Length: 181 pages

Personal thoughts: 

Such a small book for such a serious topic! But without many books for teens about schizophrenia, this is a good addition to the list. The author did a great job making this topic readable, lighthearted, and at the same time, serious, as Calvin explains his story in a letter to Bill Watterson.

The characters, while loosely based on the Calvin & Hobbes comic strips, had enough originality that they stood apart from the comics.  I do wonder though, if having Calvin talk to Hobbes, a cute, fun-loving stuffed tiger makes schizophrenia seem a little less of a big deal. After all, who wouldn’t want to talk to a tiger like Hobbes? The anchor to this plot, is the fact that Susan can’t see Hobbes or hear him when he’s talking to Calvin. But what if she’s also a manifestation of his schizophrenia? The questions keep you reading and keep you guessing at what will happen next, who’s real, and who isn’t.

While I enjoyed the plot for most of the book, the ending threw me a little because it seemed too abrupt and too easy for something as huge and scary as schizophrenia. At the same time, it was good to see someone like this have a better ending than most.

While I felt this book did have some minor flaws, don’t let them stop you from giving it a read. I highly recommend this to anyone who is a Calvin and Hobbes fan, or those who may be struggling with Schizophrenia or know someone who is.

 

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Looking to borrow this library book? Look no further!

Wondering if we have the original Calvin & Hobbes comics? We do!

Need a library card? Wondering how long you can borrow this book? Borrowing and Circulation information can be found here.

*”Curl Up & Read” posts book reviews by Anna, Teen Librarian at Teen Central, the first Friday of every month.

 

On the Radar: Five Books to Check Out in June

Posted on May 31st, 2016 by vkovenmatasy@private.bpl.org in Books, Previews

Get your library card handy and reserve your place in line for these new June releases! If you place a hold now, they can be in your hands before they even hit the shelf.

Please note: all summaries are taken from the Boston Public Library catalog unless otherwise noted. They may have been edited for length and clarity.

 

Romeo-and-or-Juliet-Final-Jacket-Art-683x1024

Romeo and/or Juliet by Ryan North

Summary: Romeo loves Juliet. Or Rosaline. And Juliet loves Romeo. Or Viola. Or Orlando. It’s Shakespeare as you’ve never played him before. In this choose-your-own-path version of Romeo and Juliet, you choose where the story goes every time you read! What if Romeo never met Juliet? What if Juliet got really buff instead of moping around the castle all day? What if they teamed up to take over Verona with robot suits? Whatever your adventure, you’re guaranteed to find lots of romance, lots of epic fight scenes, and plenty of questionable decision-making by very emotional teens.

Why We’re Excited: They had me at the title, to be honest. Plus, Ryan North (of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl fame) has rounded up some of my favorite artists, including Noelle Stevenson, Kate Beaton, and Randall Munroe to illustrate our infamous lovers’ various endings. What better way to celebrate Shakespeare’s 400th deathday? If you just can’t wait until Romeo and/or Juliet is in your sweaty hands, check out To Be Or Not To Be, North’s loving send-up of Hamlet.

 

the end

The End by Charlie Higson

Summary: Shadowman, realizing that Saint George’s army is headed toward the center of London, has raced ahead to warn the kids of the impending disaster. He knows that he has to make them understand–somehow–that they are going to have to work together. This means that Nicola and her kids at the Houses of Parliament, David and his kids at Buckingham Palace, Matt at St. Paul’s, General Jordan Hordern and his troops at the Tower of London, the squatters in St. James Park, and all the kids at the Natural History Museum must unite. But will they do it in time? The book culminates in a massive pitched battle in Hyde Park. How will it play out? Who will be the winners and who the losers? One thing is certain: this series will not go out with a whimper!

Why We’re Excited: My enthusiasm is mainly vicarious in this case — I have some zombie-lovers at my library who have been waiting very impatiently for the seventh and final book in the Enemy series. I’m excited for them to finally get to read The End and I’m also excited for them to finally stop asking me if it’s out yet!

 

being jazz cover

Being Jazz by Jazz Jennings

Summary: Teen activist and trailblazer Jazz Jennings–named one of “The 25 Most Influential Teens” of the year by Time –shares her very public transgender journey, as she inspires people to accept the differences in others while they embrace their own truths.

Why We’re Excited: In the wake of HB2, aka The Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act or the North Carolina Bathroom Bill, it’s more important than ever to have positive, #ownvoices representations of the trans community on library shelves. Human ray of sunshine and trans activist Jazz Jennings definitely qualifies. Pick up Some Assembly Required by Arin Andrews and Rethinking Normal by Katie Rain Hill if you’re looking for more memoirs from trans teens while you’re waiting for Being Jazz!

 

you know me well

You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan

Summary: Who knows you well? Your best friend? Your boyfriend or girlfriend? A stranger you meet on a crazy night? No one, really? Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for an entire year, but have never spoken. For whatever reason, their paths outside of class have never crossed. That is until Kate spots Mark miles away from home, out in the city for a wild, unexpected night. Kate is lost, having just run away from a chance to finally meet the girl she has been in love with from afar. Mark, meanwhile, is in love with his best friend Ryan, who may or may not feel the same way. When Kate and Mark meet up, little do they know how important they will become to each other — and how, in a very short time, they will know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more.

Why We’re Excited: Superstars of LGBTQ YA LaCour (Everything Leads To You) and Levithan (Boy Meets Boy, Two Boys Kissing, and Will Grayson, Will Grayson) are teaming up for a book about two queer kids becoming friends at San Francisco Pride? YES, PLEASE.

 

justin

Justin by LJ Alonge

Summary: Justin has a list of goals stashed under his mattress. Number 1 is “figure out life plans.” Number 5 is “earn Zen Master rating in WoW.” Nowhere on that list is “play the crew from Ghosttown,” but that’s the type of trouble that always seems to finds him.

Why We’re Excited: I haven’t seen much buzz for the Blacktop duology, but ever since I read the summary for Justin and realized that I was looking at a basketball book with a World of Warcraft nerd for a hero, I’ve been dying to see how this series goes. Companion book Janae is getting published at the same time, so there’s a whole other book to look forward to as well!

 

icon of VeronicaDid I get you interested in reading one of these books? Just click the title of the one you want and the link will take you to the relevant page in the catalog. From there you can click the green “Place a Hold” button and you’re all set!

Need a library card? Wondering how long you can borrow a book? Borrowing and Circulation information can be found here.

 

*”On the Radar” features book previews by Veronica, the Teen Librarian at the Dudley Branch, on the last Tuesday or Friday of every month.

Curl Up & Read: Reunited

Posted on May 6th, 2016 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff, Teen Services
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Reunited

Title: Reunited by Hilary Weisman Graham

Read by: Anna, a Teen Central Librarian

Summary: 3 ex-best friends, 1 concert, 1 1976 green VW camper van, and 1 long road trip. How bad could it be?

Genre/sub-genre: contemporary fiction/humor

Series/Standalone: Standalone

Length: 325 pages

Personal thoughts: 

Hilariously funny and achingly real, Reunited had me hooked from page one.

Summer, Alice, and Tiernan are well developed characters, that easily drive the story forward, and keep the reader turning pages. With the point-of-view rotating between the three ex-best friends, we get to see their fears, their anger, and their joys, as they navigate the wild events of their road trip and attempt to forget the night they broke up at the school dance several years before. Along the way, the girls learn a little something about life, love, friendship, and about themselves.

Peppered throughout, are the catchy lyrics to Level3’s songs, including title and album information, making the band feel that much more real and a part of the story.

The ending was unpredictable, realistic, and hopeful. It’s clear that there is still work to be done for these three friends, but the ending was every bit satisfying. I’m just sorry I didn’t read this sooner.

I recommend this for anyone who enjoys reading contemporary fiction about best friends and music, especially with a good dose of humor.

 

 

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Looking to borrow this library book? Look no further!

Need a library card? Wondering how long you can borrow this book? Borrowing and Circulation information can be found here.

 

*”Curl Up & Read” posts book reviews by Anna, Teen Librarian at Teen Central, the first Friday of every month.

 

 

On the Radar: Five Books to Check Out in May

Posted on April 29th, 2016 by vkovenmatasy@private.bpl.org in Books, Previews

Get your library card handy and call your local library to reserve these new May releases! Due to a hiccup in the BPL’s online catalog, their records are not currently displaying properly, but library staff will be able to place a hold for you.

Please note: all summaries are taken from WorldCat unless otherwise noted. They may have been edited for length and clarity.

 

court of mist and furyA Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Summary: Though Feyre now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, but as she navigates the feared Night Court’s dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms–and she might be key to stopping it.

Why We’re Excited: It’s the next Sarah J. Maas book. Need I say more? Okay, how about this: one of my teens came up to the desk a few weeks ago to tell me that she’d just finished A Court of Thorns and Roses and she had to have the next book. I trust her judgment.

 

geek feminist revolution coverThe Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley
Summary: The Geek Feminist Revolution is a collection of essays by double Hugo Award-winning essayist and fantasy novelist Kameron Hurley. The book collects dozens of Hurley’s essays on feminism, geek culture, and her experiences and insights as a genre writer, including We Have Always Fought, which won the 2013 Hugo for Best Related Work. The Geek Feminist Revolution will also feature several entirely new essays written specifically for this volume. Unapologetically outspoken, Hurley has contributed essays to The Atlantic, Locus, Tor.com, and others on the rise of women in genre, her passion for SF/F, and the diversification of publishing.

Why We’re Excited: Who run the world of speculative fiction? GIRLS. If you like reading science fiction or fantasy — and those genres make up a big part of the YA landscape these days — it’s worth reading about how science fiction and fantasy have treated and are still treating women (whether you happen to be a woman or not). If you can’t wait until The Geek Feminist Revolution comes out to read Hurley’s pearls of wisdom, you can read “‘We Have Always Fought’: Challenging the ‘Women, Cattle and Slaves’ Narrative,” the essay she won a Hugo Award for, here.

 

if I was your girlIf I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Summary: Amanda Hardy only wants to fit in at her new school, but she is keeping a big secret, so when she falls for Grant, guarded Amanda finds herself yearning to share with him everything about herself, including her previous life as Andrew.

Why We’re Excited: As #WeNeedDiverseBooks continues to change the landscape in the young adult publishing world, one thing I think we all need to keep in mind is to look for and listen to #OwnVoices in particular. There are several well-known and well-respected YA books about trans characters, but If I Was Your Girl is the first book on the scene I know of whose author writes from experience. I’m also excited for a happy ending, honestly; this area of YA has a history of being brutally dark, and while many of those sad books are very worthy reads, all grimdark all the time leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Transgirls deserve happy endings too!

 

summer days and summer nights coverSummer Days and Summer Nights, edited by Stephanie Perkins
Summary: Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

Why We’re Excited: Stephanie Perkins has a strong reputation in the field of YA romance (see: Lola and the Boy Next Door, Anna and the French Kiss, and Isla and the Happily Ever After), so she knows what she’s doing when it comes to putting together a collection of short stories about summer romance. (Did we mention that she also edited a holiday romance collection, My True Love Gave to Me? This lady has series bona fides.) Plus, check out that list of contributing authors! Leigh Bardugo? Libba Bray? Veronica Roth? Come for your favorite writer’s story, stay for the other eleven.

 

outrun the moon coverOutrun the Moon by Stacey Lee
Summary:
Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from poverty in Chinatown, and she gains admittance to a prestigious finishing school through a mix of cunning and bribery. She soon discovers that getting in was the easiest part, and must carve a niche among the spoiled heiresses. When the earthquake strikes on April 18, Mercy and her classmates are forced to a survivor encampment, but her quick-witted leadership rallies them to help in the tragedy’s aftermath.

Why We’re Excited: Lee’s debut novel, Under a Painted Sky, was one of my favorite YA novels of 2015. I’m beyond thrilled to have another historical novel coming out from her so soon! The Great San Francisco Earthquake isn’t a time period I know much about, but everything I know about the California Gold Rush I learned playing Oregon Trail, and that didn’t make me love Under a Painted Sky any less. I’ve actually read Outrun the Moon already (thank you, Penguin Random House, for the ARC at ALA Midwinter), so I can promise you that Mercy Wong is an absolute delight of a protagonist. If you like history or take-charge heroines, this book is for you.

 

icon of VeronicaDid I get you interested in reading one of these books? Just call your local library and let them know! Library staff can place a hold for you even before the book comes out, so you’ll be the first to have it in your hands when it hits our shelves.

Need a library card? Wondering how long you can borrow a book? Borrowing and Circulation information can be found here.

 

*”On the Radar” features book previews by Veronica, the Teen Librarian at the Dudley Branch, on the last Tuesday or Friday of every month.