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Daughter of Smoke and Bone – A Review

Posted on April 11th, 2014 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff
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daughter of smoke and bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Lani Taylor

Listened to by Anna/Central Teen Room

Karou is a young art student in Prague with ties to another world where she grew up as a child. Her father figure is  a demon who collects teeth, though for what reason, she does not know. She is caught in the middle of an otherworldly war, and yet, she’s stuck on the outside having no idea a war is going on. But when black hand prints start appearing on portals all over the world she begins to wonder what’s happening, until her curiosity gets the better of her. It’s then she meets beautiful angel, Akiva, and learns of a very violent past she might, or might not, have been a part of in another life.

Instead of picking up the print book or putting the ebook on my Kindle, I opted for the ten disc audio book. I have to say, listening to the audio book was a real adventure and one I will always remember. The first thing I want to say is that the narrator, Khristine Hvam, is super fantastic. She’s able to do so many different voices and accents for all the characters. I didn’t think that was possible. Just when I thought she’d exhausted her collection, a new character would enter the picture and she’d be off with another voice. Not only that, but I really enjoyed the sound of her voice. It’s got a real storytelling quality to it that’s great to relax and listen to for hours on end. Listening to the audio book also meant I could spend more time knitting, or doing other crafty things while a story was read to me. Yay, for multitasking with crafts and books!

The second thing I really enjoyed were the locations used in the book. Most Young Adult novels are set in some boring small town, or some fantasy setting. But this was set in the city of Prague for the most part, with occasional jaunts to other cities and places around the world. And, oh yeah, there was still that fantastical setting too. There was variety in the places and in the characters that we don’t normally see, which was a breath of fresh air.

The third thing I want to talk about is the plot. It’s interesting. There are angels and demons, but you’re not seeing them the way you typically see them in books. Both sides have good and bad parts to them. Individual characters are both good and bad. They’re realistic while still being fantastical. Because of this, you can’t really know what will happen next with the plot. Nothing is predictable. At the same time, I feel I should warn you that the book does jump around in time. A LOT. Be prepared. Especially while listening to an audio book where you won’t get the cues of an extra space between paragraphs or a symbol telling you something’s changing. This changing around doesn’t get too confusing. At least, it didn’t for me. But don’t let that keep you from reading, or listening to, the book.

Overall, I can’t recommend this audio book enough. I’m already looking forward to the next one!

TBOM Spring and Summer 2014

Posted on March 23rd, 2014 by Anna in Books, Events, Programs
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Here’s our new and improved Spring and Summer 2014 schedule! We’ve decided to split books in half to give everyone time enough to read them.

Incarceron

March 27th 3pm Chapters 1-17

April 24th 3pm Chapters 18-end

Incarceron — a futuristic prison, sealed from view, where the descendants of the original prisoners live in a dark world torn by rivalry and savagery. It is a terrifying mix of high technology — a living building which pervades the novel as an ever-watchful, ever-vengeful character, and a typical medieval torture chamber — chains, great halls, dungeons. A young prisoner, Finn, has haunting visions of an earlier life, and cannot believe he was born here and has always been here. In the outer world, Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, is trapped in her own form of prison — a futuristic world constructed beautifully to look like a past era, an imminent marriage she dreads. She knows nothing of Incarceron, except that it exists. But there comes a moment when Finn, inside Incarceron, and Claudia, outside, simultaneously find a device — a crystal key, through which they can talk to each other. And so the plan for Finn’s escape is born …

Study in Scarlet

May 29th 3pm Chapters 1-7

June 26th 3pm 8-14

This is the genre-defining work with which popular crime fiction was born. A potent mix of serial murder, suspense, cryptic clues, red herrings, and revenge, the novel introduces us to the world-famous characters of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, and Inspector Lestrade and sees Sherlock and Dr. Watson meet and join forces for the first time as they track a mysterious killer that stalks London’s streets.

Crystal Cave

July 31st 3pm Chapters TBD

August 28th 3pm Chapters TBD

Born the bastard son of a Welsh princess, Myridden Emrys — or as he would later be known, Merlin — leads a perilous childhood, haunted by portents and visions. But destiny has great plans for this no-man’s-son, taking him from prophesying before the High King Vortigern to the crowning of Uther Pendragon . . . and the conception of Arthur — king for once and always.

So Silver Bright – A Review

Posted on January 23rd, 2014 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff
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so silver bright

So Silver Bright by Lisa Mantchev

Read by: Anna/Copley Teen Room

Here is my review for the first book in this trilogy, Eyes Like Stars: http://www.bpl.org/teens/2012/02/22/eyes-like-stars-a-review/

Here is my review for the second book in the trilogy, Perchance To Dream: http://www.bpl.org/teens/2012/08/22/perchance-to-dream-a-review/

So, I began reading this trilogy two years ago (!) when the third book, So Silver Bright, arrived at the library. The cover caught my attention and made me go back and check out the first two. But, in reviewing them, others checked them out, and I couldn’t check out the third book right away. Life happened, as life tends to do, until now. I should have picked up the third book sooner. I should have put it on hold. But anyway, none of that matters. What matters is that even two years later, this series is still fantastic!

This is the story of a young girl named Beatrice Shakespeare Smith, who wants nothing more than to see her parents reunited and her family brought back together again. Her mother is Ophelia from Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet. Her father, was the stranger she fell in love with 17 years ago. Beatrice, known to her friends as Bertie, has two suitors. One is a pirate called Nate, who hails from the play The Little Mermaid. The other is the air sprite from another play by Shakespeare, The Tempest. And her four best friends are the little fairies from A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream. See where this is all going? Bertie lives in a magical theater where every character from every play ever written lives, trapped there by The Complete Works of the Stage, the book that holds all those plays. Bertie heads off on an adventure in an effort to save Nate from the Sea Godess, Sedna, and to find her father and bring him back to the theater for her mother. Of course, nothing goes as planned. The group meets new friends along the way, but also meets up with those who would do them harm for a few magical trinkets. Bertie finds that she has magical powers of her own too. She is known as Mistress of Revels, Teller of Tales, Forest Queen, and she’s a word-smith on top of all that!

Over all, this is a great, light-hearted trilogy, even with dire happenings. The four fairies are still hilarious with their jokes about pie and other things, and I still consider them one of the best parts about the whole trilogy. I loved finding a book that could make me laugh at stupid things the way they did, even when their situation wasn’t as fun as eating through an entire chocolate cake. Throughout the book you’re left to wonder how on earth Bertie will be able to choose between her two suitors. I wouldn’t dare give that one away, but the ending is quite satisfying, if I do say so myself! Her Gracious Majesty, Queen of the Distant Castle, would like to award Bertie one wish-come-true. Can she use it to bring her family back together again? Or is that something beyond magic?

You’ll have to read to find out. But I promise a great adventure while you do! I’m not sure this review does the trilogy justice, but know that this series rocks! And I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good read.

Dystopian Flow Chart or What To Read Next…

Posted on November 12th, 2013 by Anna in Books
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This is a flow chart graciously shared by the Lawrence Public Library in Lawrence, KS! Wondering what to read after The Hunger Games? This flow chart can help! Click on each of the five panels for a larger, readable image.

DYSTOPIANFLOWCHART1-791x1024DYSTOPIANFLOWCHART2-791x1024 2DYSTOPIANFLOWCHART3-791x1024 3DYSTOPIANFLOWCHART4-791x1024 4DYSTOPIANFLOWCHART5-791x1024 5

 

 

 

 

 

TBOM Spring Reads!

Posted on October 2nd, 2013 by Anna in Books, Programs
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Hi all! Interested in joining our Teen Book of the Month book discussion group held in the Central Library’s Teen Room? Below are the novels we’ll be reading from January – April. Once we select books for May and beyond we’ll list them in another blog post, but if you want a say in what we read, you’ve got to join the group! What does it take to join our group? 1) get the book we’re reading next. 2) read said book 3) come to the book discussion and talk about why you liked or didn’t like it. It’s that easy and it’s a lot of fun! Plus, we have snack food at all of our discussions!

Rootless

Rootless by Chris Howard

Book discussion on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 3pm

17-year-old Banyan is a tree builder. Using scrap metal and salvaged junk, he creates forests for rich patrons who seek a reprieve from the desolate landscape. Although Banyan’s never seen a real tree—they were destroyed more than a century ago—his father used to tell him stories about the Old World. But that was before his father was taken . . .

Everything changes when Banyan meets a woman with a strange tattoo—a clue to the whereabouts of the last living trees on earth, and he sets off across a wasteland from which few return. Those who make it past the pirates and poachers can’t escape the locusts—the locusts that now feed on human flesh.

But Banyan isn’t the only one looking for the trees, and he’s running out of time. Unsure of whom to trust, he’s forced to make an uneasy alliance with Alpha, an alluring, dangerous pirate with an agenda of her own. As they race towards a promised land that might only be a myth, Banyan makes shocking discoveries about his family, his past, and how far people will go to bring back the trees.

Incarceron

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Book discussion on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 3pm

Incarceron — a futuristic prison, sealed from view, where the descendants of the original prisoners live in a dark world torn by rivalry and savagery. It is a terrifying mix of high technology — a living building which pervades the novel as an ever-watchful, ever-vengeful character, and a typical medieval torture chamber — chains, great halls, dungeons. A young prisoner, Finn, has haunting visions of an earlier life, and cannot believe he was born here and has always been here. In the outer world, Claudia, daughter of the Warden of Incarceron, is trapped in her own form of prison — a futuristic world constructed beautifully to look like a past era, an imminent marriage she dreads. She knows nothing of Incarceron, except that it exists. But there comes a moment when Finn, inside Incarceron, and Claudia, outside, simultaneously find a device — a crystal key, through which they can talk to each other. And so the plan for Finn’s escape is born …

Born of Illusion

Born of Illusion by Teri Brown

Book discussion on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 3pm

A gifted illusionist, Anna assists her mother, the renowned medium Marguerite Van Housen, in her stage show and séances, easily navigating the underground world of magicians, mediums, and mentalists in 1920’s New York. As the illegitimate daughter of Harry Houdini—or so Marguerite claims—sleight of hand illusions have never been a challenge for Anna. The real trick is keeping her own gifts secret from her opportunistic mother. Because while Marguerite’s own powers may be a sham, Anna possesses a true ability to sense people’s feelings and foretell the future.

But as Anna’s powers intensify, she begins to experience frightening visions of her mother in peril, which leads her to explore the powers she’s tried so long to hide. And when a mysterious young man named Cole moves into the flat downstairs, introducing Anna to a secret society that studies people with gifts like hers, she is forced to confront her past and rethink everything she’s ever known. Is her mother truly in danger, or are Anna’s visions merely illusion? And could the great Houdini really be her father, or is it just another of Marguerite’s tricks?

Push

Push by Sapphire

Book discussion on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 3pm

Relentless, remorseless, and inspirational, this “horrific, hope-filled story” (Newsday) is certain to haunt a generation of readers. Precious Jones, 16 years old and pregnant by her father with her second child, meets a determined and highly radical teacher who takes her on a journey of transformation and redemption.