Teen Picks

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Mar 31, 2015 by junet

It’s the end of the world on Earth, and humans toil to terraform Mars and make it their new home planet. That is, humans that are of the Red class. Life on Mars isn’t the same for everyone, and people are divided into socio-economic classes that include the ruling Gold, powerful Obsidians,  and the mining Red. Part Hunger Games and part Game of Thrones, Red Rising focuses on a young man named Darrow, a Red who strives for something more than the mining life of his people. While this dystopian sci-fi tale seems a little derivative at first, the quick read and interesting character development leave you wanting more. Check Our Catalog

Mar 25, 2015 by kerrid

This debut novel covers a host of serious topics that teens face every day in and out of school, with friends as well as bullies. The story begins with Clay Jensen returning home to find a box of 13 cassette tapes from Hannah Baker, his high school crush who had committed suicide just 2 week earlier. Clay learns that each tape is for someone who Hannah believes has played a part in her decision to commit suicide. Clay is told to listen to each tape to find out what his role was before passing them along onto the next person. Confused as to his part, Clay listens on with horror as he learns all that Hannah has experienced. Hannah herself is not without blame as she is complicit in a hit and run and  a rape of a fellow classmate but Asher shows us that how we treat others can have a lasting impact. This is a story that all teens should read, especially in light of the ongoing conversation about teen bullying. Check Our Catalog

Mar 10, 2015 by claytonc

Good books are about everything, abbreviated. Austin (but his best friend calls him Porcupine) is in love with Shann. Robbie came out of the closet in seventh grade. Austin and Robbie have been friends forever, and Austin is realizing that he also has sexual feelings for Robbie - complicated! Wait, did I mention that this is a story about the end of the world, brought by unstoppable soldiers that are over six feet tall and look a lot like praying mantises? All the soldiers want to do is kill and have sex. Lots of sex. Nearly every page has something related to sex or various related bodily fluids. This is Smith’s seventh book and while The Marbury Lens got a lot of praise (and it is good, though rather dark), I thought this was so much better. It also has won lots of awards. Check Our Catalog

Mar 2, 2015 by kerrid

In this creative follow-up to the beloved classic The Wizard of Oz, readers are introduced to a drastically different Oz. Dorothy has returned, but instead of the sweet girl who just wanted to go home to Auntie Em, she has become a ruthless dictator, set on stealing up all of Oz’s power for herself and Glinda, the not so good “Good Witch”. In comes Amy Gumm, whose life outside of Oz is very different than Dorothy’s life in Kansas when she is sucked up by her own tornado and dropped into the new Oz. When Dorothy finds out about Amy she immediately declares her a threat to the kingdom and sentences her to die. Amy is saved from her death by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, a group of witches who want to overthrow Dorothy. To return the favor and save Oz, Amy is given a very important job - Dorothy Must Die! Check Our Catalog

Jan 30, 2015 by kerrid

Sent to the therapeutic Wooden Barn school to deal with her depression, Jam Gallahue is chosen for the Selected Topics in English class. Only a select few get chosen and Jam is left wondering why she is there. All she wants is to be back home with her British boyfriend Reeve, watching old comedy sketches. However all of that changes when her teacher gives the class their own journals and with each entry Jam is transported to the Belzhar. Jam, and each of her classmates revisit the time and place they were before their tragedy struck. For Jam that means she is back with Reeve, experiencing everything they shared all over again. For each visit, 5 pages are filled in their journal and the semester is coming to an end. What happens when the journal is filled? Will Jam lose Reeve again or will she finally be able to let him go and find the happiness she has been missing? Check our catalog

Jan 21, 2015 by kerrid

After having embarrassed a prominent member of her small hometown, Evie O’Neill is sent off to New York City to live with her eccentric uncle Will, who is the head curator at a Museum for the Supernatural. With the background set in the vibrant times of the 1920’s, we learn that Evie has the ability to “see” the last thing that happened to any item she touches. When her uncle is called to a murder scene to investigate a cryptic symbol, Evie is suddenly thrown into a mysterious supernatural murder. Using her gift, Evie and a cast of interwoven characters try to track down the murderer before he finds them. The first in a trilogy, this book brings both mystery and supernatural elements with a fun and fresh style that Bray is known for. With book two coming out on April 7th, this should definitely be added to your "to-be-read" pile.  Check our catalog

Jan 6, 2015 by claytonc

Do not judge this book by its cover. Recommended by our new teen/young adult specialist, this was a fully engaging read with minimal horse action. Finn is a young man who starts the book towards of the end of his junior year in high school. He's not very sexually experienced but his best friend has a special arrangement with a German exchange student that involves money and out-of-the way places. Finn's father wrote a science fiction book that has attracted a fairly large cult following, and the protagonist of that book is also named Finn. Finn measures time in the number of miles the earth travels around the sun - approximately 20 miles every second. Thus, the title is a reference to something that happened in five seconds. This book was funny, smart, sensitive, and honest. There is drinking and sex and it's not preachy. One of the outstanding books of 2014 and a semifinalist for a National Book Award. Check our catalog

Dec 23, 2014 by kerrid

Anderson has done it again, this time giving us a realistic portrayal of someone dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and how it affects those around them. Hayley Kincain has been taking care of her father after he comes home Iraq. Her father Andy, running from his demons, has been homeschooling her while they travel across the country for his job as a truck driver. After he returns to his childhood home to offer Hayley more stability, she is enrolled in public school while his PTSD gets worse. However, instead of focusing on school, Hayley spends her time trying to hold her father together. The story comes to a dramatic climax that will shock readers while offering them hope for Hayley and Andy. Check Our catalog

Nov 26, 2014 by kerrid

Four friends who call themselves the liars, Cadence, Mirren, Johnny and Gat, live a very privileged life and are reunited every summer at their grandfather's estate on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts. Every summer they are inseparable and during their 15th year Cadence and Gat’s relationship goes from that of friends to a budding romance. As the summer nears the end, Cadence suffers a breakdown and is whisked home. Over the course of the next two years Cadence tries to reconnect with her friends to no avail and it isn’t until her 18th summer that she returns to the island. It is when she is reunited with her friends that the story really unfolds and what you learn will leave you stunned. Lockhart does a wonderful job at slowly unfolding the story making this a not to be missed book. #icanteven Check our catalog

Nov 14, 2014 by claytonc

The former governor of Florida who one day disappeared and is now popularly thought to be dead, is introduced to a new audience. You’ve likely grown up on Hoot, Scat, and Hiaasen's other popular books for kids. The books he’s written for older audiences don’t feature any teens, although I imagine they could be popular (my favorite is Sick Puppy). This novel shares themes (and characters) from both. Set in Florida, Richard’s cousin runs off with someone who is clearly not who he represented himself to be when they met online. Richard decodes messages and sets off to rescue her, with the help of the mad survivalist and dedicated defender of wild-ness, Clinton Tyree AKA Skink. Learn more in this interview with the author and then check our catalog.

Oct 22, 2014 by claytonc

Imagine if all of a sudden everyone aged 15 and older simply disappeared. For the kids in this small town on the California coast, this is not the only challenge that they have to face. Some weird animal mutations have been noticed - weird feet on birds, flying snakes, and something’s definetly odd about the coyotes! By far the biggest challenge though is some of the kids have new powers - like the ability to throw fire from their hands, levitate objects, and more. This is an action-packed begining of an epic fantasy adventure set in a world that starts very similar to our own, but is changing into something new and unknown. There are some intensly violent sections which make this a book for more mature readers. Fans of Stephen King looking for something new, starring teens strugling with new responsibilities will find great delight in this best-selling series. Check our catalog

Sep 29, 2014 by claytonc

Post-apocalyptic zombie fiction at its finest - rich in story but not so gruesome that you have to rush to turn the page lest too much uggliness root in your brain. It all begins 14 years after the rise of the dead. Benny was very young when his parents turned and he has always blamed his significanly older brother Tom for running away from them. Tom is now a bounty hunter, or as he prefers to refer to his occupation, a closure specialist. Benny is now of an age that he has to choose a profession and he really doesn’t want to follow his brother’s foot steps, but then his worldview gets seriously rocked in a short period of time. Benny’s lived his entire life in a small mountain enclave, surrounded by feaful people who have hunkered down and accepted very limited horizons. This story explores what it really means to human. What are our responsbilities to our selves and the rest of the human race? This is the beginning of what promises to be a great series. Check our catalog

Sep 15, 2014 by claytonc

This is a mysterious and strange tale of a boy who hears voices, a fearless girl, and the ghost of Jacob Grimm. In their seemingly sleepy town of Never Better, a harmless teenage prank sets off a chain reaction of life-changing events that might only be seen in fairy tales. Part mystery and part fairy tale, this book is whimsical, but also an edge-of-your-seat page turner. Check our catalog.

Sep 11, 2014 by claytonc

Rich is fifteen and plays a mean guitar. One night he is magically transported back in time to the Woodstock Music Festival where he meets many of his idols, including Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. More life shaking, he meets the young man who years later would become his father - and his father’s brother, who died before Rich was even conceived. This is a great book for fans of classic rock music, but its also good for anyone who’s trying to get some perspective on the complex lives that make our parents act the way they do. Rich’s parents never let him do any of the crazy things they enjoyed doing as teenagers. This book isn’t preachy either - there are plenty of things his parents used to do that are acknowledged and not judged overly harshly (revolving specifically around matters of sex and drugs). Check Our Catalog

Jul 14, 2014 by claytonc

This excellent, disturbing, debut novel really gets inside the experience of what it is like to have horrible secrets that influence your life in haunting ways. Andrew Winston Winters has at least two sides. One is lonely Win, a teenager who’s been exiled to a remote boarding school after a horrific family tragedy. Another is angry Drew who has serious violent impulses that he doesn’t understand or know how to control. Very real and accessible, this is also a book about mental illness that can help build empathy for people suffering from this affliction. This award winning book may even connect with people who are facing their own demons. Check our catalog.

Jun 2, 2014 by claytonc

This fantastic flight into high fantasy starts out very grounded. Karou is a young art student in Prague. She draws wonderful pictures of beautiful, monstrous creatures. She recently broke up with her boyfriend, Kaz, a goth who leads campy vampire tours. What starts as the thinnest plot line - her attraction to a too-perfect soldier/angel develops into a rich story of good, evil, life, death, rebirth, love, and family. Well written with plenty of action to keep the pages turning, this beginning of a trilogy will make you hungry for more. Check our catalog.

May 21, 2014 by theresat

Eleanor and Park are teenagers from two wildly different backgrounds.  Eleanor is trying to cope with a difficult home situation, while Park struggles with his biracial identity.  Enemies at first, they slowly bond over a shared seat on the bus and a passion for comic books and mix tapes (it’s 1986).  What starts out as a tentative friendship quickly turns into love, and they face a series of challenges that threaten to break them apart.  Heartbreaking, endearing, and beautifully written, this Printz Award honorable mention will captivate you from beginning to end. Check Our Catalog

May 13, 2014 by julier

Lane lives a life of protection and privilege behind the 700 foot Titan wall.  One night she finds out that her father is not the mild mannered art dealer she thinks he is, learns that his bedtime stories of the Feral Zone are true, and discovers that the survival classes he has been making her take for years weren’t just for exercise.  Forced to go into the Zone to find her father, Lane has more adventures and faces more danger than the little girl in her father’s bedtime stories could ever imagine.  Kat Falls’ story unspools at a breakneck pace like an action adventure movie, complete with a bit of romance and a lot of mayhem.  There are some truly terrifying and bloody scenes that are not for the faint of heart. Read the first three cpaters here.  Check Our Catalog.

Mar 19, 2014 by theresat

Ginny Blackstone is a shy seventeen-year-old about to enter her senior year of high school when she receives a packet of envelopes from her "Runaway Aunt Peg," an artist who disappeared from her New York apartment in search of adventures abroad.  The envelopes are numbered, and Ginny has to complete the task included in each letter before moving on to the next.  The first letter brings her to London, where she meets Richard, her aunt's best friend who works for the world famous Harrod's, and Keith, a former bad-boy turned aspiring playwright.  The letters lead her across Europe to Scotland, Paris, Amsterdam, and Greece, and the cast of characters becomes more fascinating with each stop.  Ginny's exploits prove to be funny, entertaining, and at times frustrating as she deals with her aunt's disappearance and learns to come out of her shell.  The delightful and unexpected ending will leave you wanting more (luckily, there's a sequel!).  Check Our Catalog

Mar 5, 2014 by julier

If you are looking for a story of love at first sight then you need to read these two books, together.  Allyson and Willem meet and have one amazingly glorious day and night in Paris. In the morning Willem is gone.  Where is he? Has he just run off, has something happened?  In a regular story you would get the answers right away but not here.  Allyson makes her way home and goes off to college as expected but none of it matters she doesn’t care about school and she keeps wondering what happened to Willem. Willem can’t forget her either but while they seemed to have talked about everything under the sun they didn’t exchange the usual first meeting chitchat. The whole thing seems hopeless she doesn’t even know his last name and having jokingly nicknamed her Lulu he doesn’t know her name at all.  The rest of the story is about how they each find themselves while looking for each other. Check Our Catalog

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