Boston Public Library

Category Archives: Reviews – Teens

These book reviews have been written by teens you know!

Burning Blue – A Review

Posted on September 27th, 2013 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Teens
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burning blue

Burning Blue by Paul Griffin

Read by: Anna/Central Library Teen Room

Nicole Castro was a rich, beautiful girl. Everyone thought so. She’d recently won a beauty contest for a scholarship. But she was also smart and kind. People said those things about her too. Then one day while she was rushing to class someone popped up out of nowhere and squirted acid into her face, into her left eye, leaving her scarred for life. But the question is, who did it? And why? Enter Jay Nazzaro, rhymes with Sbarro. He has epilepsy and knows what it’s like to be embarrassed in front of the entire school while unconsciously flopping around on the floor while everyone takes pictures and videos to post online of his public seizure. He’s intent on making everyone think he’s stupid by using an old flip phone and asking the cute girl behind the Starbucks counter how to text his father back.  But looks can be deceiving. Jay is a hacker who likes to keep his computer parts looking cheap and worthless. His flip phone is smarter than any smart phone around and he’s determined to figure out who is the cruelest person in his hometown. Who would burn Nicole Castro? Is it her boyfriend? One of the teachers? One of Nicole’s rich tennis friends? Or someone else entirely? Jay and Nicole have never even talked to each other before but they may just become the best of friends, if not something more.

I picked up this book and right away I couldn’t put it down. There is a romance in it, but it’s very understated. Jay continually tells people he and Nicole are not in a relationship. The medical issues in the book, Jay’s seizures and Nicole’s acid burns, are spot on well researched and written to be easily understood. It helps that the author, Paul Griffin, is a volunteer EMT who also works with at-risk , special needs, and incarcerated teens, which brings a realness to his writing. This is not your typical mystery. There is no dead body. No murder. Instead, Jay is trying to figure out who would want to burn Nicole’s face. Half of her face is gone. She’s having to go to the hospital for skin grafts, where the doctor takes skin from another part of her body and uses it to cover her face. Never-the-less, her face won’t be the same again. She won’t be the same again. And the truth of what happened will astound you. You won’t see it coming. This is a fast read, but make sure you’ve got the time to read it cover to cover. You won’t want to put this one down.

Our TBOM book discussion group will be talking about it on October 1st, next Tuesday! Come in and get your copy today so you can join us next week for snack food and a good conversation!

Book Recommendations from a Library Teen

Posted on September 4th, 2012 by Laura in Books, Reviews - Teens

Teen Library user Luis P. from the Grove Hall branch wants to share some book recommendations with you! Here he is to tell you why readers who loved The Hunger Games should try Matched by Allie Condie. After that he gets into the head of the main character from Jeff Hirsch’s The Eleventh Plague to give you a little taste of the story. Enjoy!

I compare this book to The Hunger Games. The governments are the same in some ways, they treat different areas of the country different. Some areas are poor and some areas are rich. People are treated different. There are abberations and officials almost like in The Hunger Games. In Matched the government makes sure that people stay healthy, in The Hunger Games the government does not care about its citizens. In both books the government also keeps secrets from its citizens. In The Hunger Games people could choose who they marry. In Matched the government chooses where you work, where you live, and where you love.

Today my grandfather has died. He died in his sleep which is a peaceful way to die. My dad has been digging his grave all day. I keep telling him to take his gold ring and we could trade it for some food. It’s getting dark and my father is almost done digging the hole. My grandfather was a good person, he always told us to do things that will help us survive. I’ve decided to go to the abandoned mall. Plants fill everything in the mall, vines overgrow on the walls and ceiling. I need to find something good to trade. I catch up to my dad, he already buried the body. We have to start moving.


Graffiti Moon – A Teen Review

Posted on April 4th, 2012 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Teens
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Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Read by: John, a teen at the Copley Teen Room

Graffiti Moon is a brilliant story about the awkward moments and true aspects of teenage love.
Ed is a graffiti artist who goes by the name of Shadow, spraying raw emotions onto the city walls.
Lucy blows glass, crafting her memories into tranperant art.
Lucy wants to find shadow. He is here dream man. Simple enough? No.
Lucy and Ed have actually dated before, which ended with Ed touching her butt and Lucy breaking his nose.
On their last night of senior year, follow them on a misadventure of expression of art, poetry, reality vs.
expectation, and a struggle to accept one’s self.
I enjoyed this and laughed for the first time in a long time reading about Ed, his poetic yet mischevious friend,
lucy and her supposedly psychic friend as each chapter shows different aspects of the same amazing night. I couldn’t
put the book down and regreted finishing it so fast.

Abandon – A review by teens for teens!

Posted on March 3rd, 2012 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Teens
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One of our teens, Kimberly, submitted a book review to the blog! Here’s the book she submitted and what she had to say about it:

“Ok so I read the book abandon you gave me on friday and its amazing its about this girl called pierce olivera and john hayden which is basically a re told story of the greek mythology hades and persephone so yeah I really love it for real at to be expected from meg cabot the writing was amazing but what I really love is how she kept us in the dark and then every chapter reveal something new regarding pierce live and her story I really would recommend this book to anyone and its a trilogy so I’m super excited thanks for the book I really need a good read after the stressful weekend I had I had to write like 7 essays for real and it was so busy since I was also volunteering so I even manage to read this in 2 days is a testament of how good it was. Thanks again love kimmie”

If you’ve read any good teen lately that you’d like to share with others, feel free to let us know! We’ll be more than happy to post your review on our blog. Even if you hated the book, no matter your feelings, we’d like to know about it! You can email your submissions to our blog’s address: bplteenblog(at)

Mattapan Teen Anime/Manga Club notes

Posted on June 7th, 2010 by admin in Books, Resources, Reviews - Teens
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The Mattapan Teen Anime/Manga club met again today in the Movie/Gaming room. Here are some notes on the meeting:

Last meeting we discussed a bunch of festivals and trips members would like to do. Today there was some brainstorming about ways to fund these programs, and we also thought of some additional cool things to do.  Ideas thought up included:

  • Design customized T-shirts (and possibly sell them)
  • Have an art showing of work from club members
  • Get sponsorship of somekind from within BPL
  • Host a game day
  • Prepare and market teen specialist led Anime/Manga presentations to other libraries, schools, and clubs
  • Partner with the Friends of the Mattapan Branch – give them some labor in exchange for some fiscal support

There was a lot of talk about food and it was decided to have a special party at the July 12 meeting (that will include food). We’ll plan the party at our next meeting, June 21.

Some Anime titles were discussed and there was a fair amount of interest in the following: School Rumble (wondering if there is a third season – there isn’t, just a couple episodes past the second season – see this well notated article for details); Medabots; and Sailor Moon. There was also general agreement that it would be really cool if Kingdom Hearts was animated.

We had a discussion of the top Manga Titles that are still being published that library’s should make sure to get every new issue. Here’s the list that was created as a result of that conversation:

  • Naruto
  • Bleach
  • One Peace
  • Hitman Reborn
  • Full Metal Alchemist
  • Air Gear
  • Keshi (?)
  • Sara No Otsumo (?)
  • Fairy Tail
  • Ultimo

The meeting then had fun watching Soul Eater.  See everyone on June 21st at the next meeting!