Posts Tagged ‘love’

Valentine’s Day

Posted on February 8th, 2016 by Anna in Teen Services



Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. Historians believe that Americans didn’t start celebrating the holiday until the early 1700’s. The first mass-produced valentines were made in the 1840’s by Esther Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine”. Today, over 1 billion Valentine’s Day greeting cards are sold each year, second only to Christmas cards (2.5 billion Christmas Cards sell every year.).

So, how did this holiday come to be? Actually, there is no one story about Saint Valentine.

One version tells of a priest living in Rome during the third century. The priest continued to hold weddings after the emperor decided that single men made for better soldiers and outlawed marriage. Valentine’s actions were eventually discovered and the emperor called for his death.

A second version says that Valentine was killed for helping Christians escape Roman prisons. He fell in love with the jailor’s daughter, writing her a note that was signed “from your Valentine”, a phrase that is still used today.

Join us in Teen Central for a Valentine’s Day Party on February 11th from 4-7pm. Dress up or down. There will be photo booths, dance competitions, and prizes! This party was organized by teens for teens, so don’t miss out!




Looking for books to help celebrate your Valentine’s Day?

Check out our list, here, for everything from dating advice to the story of chocolate and a wide variety of teen romance novels.






A Time To Dance – A Review

Posted on September 12th, 2014 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff

a time to dance

A Time To Dance by Padma Venkatraman

Read by Anna/Central Teen Room

Veda is a classical dance prodigy in India. Ever since she first saw the statue of Shiva, the four-armed God of dance, as a small child, she’s wanted to do nothing but dance. However, her parents know that dancing won’t bring her a steady career with good money and a stable life. Her mother wishes she would study harder to get into a good college. And yet, Veda still wants nothing more than to dance. Then, the unthinkable happens. She loses half of her right leg in an accident. Now, she can no longer dance. And yet, Veda still wants nothing more than to dance. But even her dance teacher isn’t so sure she can do it anymore. Still, her determination finds her in the capable hands of an American man determined to create a prosthetic foot to help her dance, and a new dance teacher who believes in her, not just her ability to dance.

This was a very inspiring story, told in verse. It was a quick read, one that I found very difficult to put down once I’d gotten started. Veda is a very likeable character, and someone most people can relate to. A Time To Dance offers a glimpse of what it’s like to live in India as a young girl, showing the Indian traditions including those stemming from religion, and talking about the caste system. However, while religion is there, while it inspires Veda, it does not preach to the reader, for which I was grateful. I found this story to be rather peaceful for the most part, and heart wrenching for the rest of the time. The romance is sweet, feels natural, and doesn’t over shadow the rest of the story. But Veda’s story isn’t just about dance and a little romance. It’s also about family and friends, how to hold onto both, and how to let go. A Time To Dance handles serious issues realistically and easily. I loved the way this story was told, I loved the characters, and I also really liked the cover, which first drew my attention to it. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for something inspirational, something about loss, life, love, and dance. Or if you’re at a loss as to what you should read next, pick this one up. You’ll be glad you did.

If I Lie – A Review

Posted on March 8th, 2013 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff

if i lie

If I Lie by Corrine Jackson

Read by: Anna/Copley Teen Room

Before he leaves for Afghanistan, Carey comes out to his girlfriend of two years, asking her to keep the secret he’s told her from everyone in their small military town. Including his parents and his best friend, Blake. But when an accidental picture of Sophie and Blake kissing gets posted on Facebook, the entire town errupts into accusations that Sophie is cheating on her Marine boyfriend. Just like her mother did to her father six years ago. Sophie’s tough military dad orders her to work at the VA hospital three days a week until she graduates to keep her from getting suspended from school over the picture. While at the VA hospital, she comes to befriend George, the grumpy old guy interviewing and photographing veterans for the Veteran’s History Project. He recognizes a professional photographer in her and begins teaching her all he knows. Then Carey goes MIA and the other students begin tormenting Sophie even more than ever before. Friends ask her to explain what happened the night she kissed Blake, but she vowed she wouldn’t, and their tormenting continues, calling her every horrible name in the book from Slut to Traitor. Her life is a living hell, and she doesn’t even know if Carey, the boy she still loves despite everything, will ever return to set the town “straight”. His secret is not hers to tell, and she knows that well.

This novel is extremely gripping. And Kleenex is required toward the end. It’s also realistic in everything that happens to the un-Disney-like ending. George is such an awesome character. The humor he shares with Sophie and their good times are little rays of sunshine in her thunder cloud world. The characters are 3-D, the setting is 3-D, and the author leaves you wondering how the book will end. Will Carey make it home? Will he tell the truth? This book keeps you reading to find out. If you’re wondering what the effects of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell are on the civillians left behind, this is a great, heartfelt example.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in the military and what it’s like keeping secrets that could easily destroy or save a life.

Teen Dating Violence: What is Love?

Posted on July 20th, 2011 by Anna in Resources

There are a lot of things love is. And there are a lot of things love isn’t. But when you first meet someone who turns you all mushy inside, how do you know if it’s love or not? Here is a comparative list of what love is and what it  isn’t, courtesy of the Melrose Alliance Against Violence (www.maav.org).

Love is…

  • Responsibility
  • Hard Work
  • Pleasure
  • Commitment
  • Caring
  • Honesty
  • Sex
  • Trust
  • Communication
  • Sharing
  • Compromising
  • Closeness
  • Recognizing Differences
  • Vulnerability
  • Openness
  • Respect
  • Friendship
  • Strong Feelings

Love isn’t…

  • Jealousy
  • Possessiveness
  • Pain
  • Violence
  • Sex
  • Obsession
  • Being Selfish
  • Cruelty
  • Getting Pregnant
  • Making Someone Pregnant
  • Dependency
  • Giving Up Yourself
  • Intimidation
  • Scoring
  • Fear
  • Proving Yourself
  • Manipulation
  • Expecting All Your Needs To Be Met

Love can be so many things, but if the words in the second list match your relationship more than those in the first, no matter what your gender, it’s time to get out! Tell someone you can trust, a friend or family member that something wrong is going on, and make sure you have a safe place to go. Should you need to, call the police. They exist to help you, no matter what your situation, no matter who you are. That’s their job.

Want more info on Teen Dating Violence? Check out Melrose Alliance Against Violence at www.maav.org or check back here for more posts in the coming weeks.