Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Teen Scene!

Teen Scene
October 2015
"Everything's a risk. Not doing anything is a risk. It's up to you."
~ from Nicola Yoon's Everything, Everything
Recent Releases
Lair of Dreams
by Libba Bray

Historical Paranormal. A veiled, blood-soaked figure stalks the dreams of 1920s New Yorkers, spreading a deadly sleeping sickness across the city. Yet flapper psychic Evie O'Neill (the "Sweetheart Seer") is only worried about keeping her name in the papers and partying hard enough to forget her past. But even as she tries to ignore the signs, Evie and her friends -- especially dream walkers Henry and Ling -- are drawn into a chilling paranormal conspiracy that extends farther than they'd ever imagined. To really get a feel for the intricate plot, historical slang, and diverse cast of characters in this 2nd book in the Diviners series, newcomers should start at the beginning with The Diviners.
Legacy of Kings
by Eleanor Herman

Historical Fantasy. Years before he becomes known as "Great," Alexander of Macedon is a 16-year-old guy with a loyal best friend, a malicious mother, and a desire to prove himself. With the vicious Blood Tournament approaching, Alex isn't the only one hoping to take control of his fate: several others -- including supernaturally talented Katerina and dogged competitor Jacob -- are drawn to the palace, motivated by ambition, revenge, or love. Inspired by real-life history but steeped in fantasy, Legacy of Kings (which kicks off the Blood of Gods and Royals series) offers intense drama, steamy romance, and lots of page-turning action.
Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between
by Jennifer E. Smith

Romance. Can love survive long-distance separation? Aidan and Clare have 12 hours to decide. In the morning, the high school sweethearts will leave for different colleges. Over the course of one sleepless night, they debate their future: practical Clare thinks it's more realistic to break up and embrace the changes that college will bring, while the more hopeful Aidan thinks that a long-distance relationship could be a new adventure. Fans of just-one-night stories like Tiffany Schmidt's Bright Before Sunrise or Rachel Cohn and David Levithan's Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist will appreciate this authentic, moving romance about deciding when to hold on, and when to let go.  
Honor Girl
by Maggie Thrash

Graphic Memoir. Fifteen-year-old Maggie is totally unprepared when the usual lazy rhythm of a summer at Camp Bellflower for Girls is replaced with passion and turmoil. Unexpectedly falling head-over-heels for Erin, a 19-year-old counselor, Maggie feels the thrill of first love -- as well as the bitter frustration of hiding who she is from the deeply traditional camp community. Author Maggie Trash (who now works for Rookie magazine) shares her story with raw, tender honesty which, paired with her sketchy, informal artwork, gives Honor Girl the intimate feeling of reading a friend's journal. For another intense, captivating read about a life-changing summer, try Mariko and Jillian Tamaki's This One Summer.
Everything, Everything
by Nicola Yoon

Fiction. Being "allergic to the world" makes it challenging for Madeline to have much of a social life. Since her severely compromised immune system prevents her from leaving her sealed home, Madeline spends most of her time with her mom, her nurse, and Tumblr. Then Olly -- funny, cute, persistent Olly -- moves in next door. As Olly and Madeleine get to know each other online, Madeline is smitten, bewildered, and ultimately determined to find room for love in her claustrophobic life, or lose everything trying. Short chapters peppered with drawings, instant message transcripts, and handwritten notes make the pages of this unusual and poignant romance fly by. 
Focus on: Serial Killers
The Naturals
by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Thriller. Cassie's unusual ability to get inside other people's heads has always made her feel like an outsider. So when the FBI invites her to join a secret team of "Naturals" -- teens whose special talents are ideal for criminal profiling -- Cassie can't resist…especially not after the Naturals investigate a series of murders with some terrifyingly familiar details. With a creepy mystery and a touch of romance, this gruesome crime thriller is a "stay-up-late-to-finish kind of book" (Publishers Weekly) that will leave you eagerly anticipating the next volume in the series. In the meantime, check out the more supernatural (but equally bloody) Shades of London series by Maureen Johnson.  
Nearly Gone
by Elle Cosimano

Mystery. At first, the cryptic messages in the newspaper's Missed Connections column just seem weird. But math genius Nearly Boswell quickly is convinced that the messages are coded clues to the recent string of murders at her high school -- murders for which she's being framed. To prove her innocence, Nearly will have to use not only her math and science knowledge to decipher the killer's puzzling clues, but also her unusual ability to sense people's emotions through touch. Smart, edgy, and darkly gripping, Nearly Gone is a great pick for fans of supernatural thrillers like Lisa McMann's Crash or Olivia Samms' Sketchy.
Dear Killer
by Katherine Ewell

Suspense. The police call her the "Perfect Killer" because she never leaves evidence. Since London high-schooler Kit believes that "nothing is right, and nothing is wrong," she has no problem accepting murder requests from anonymous letters and carrying out her kills with flawless efficiency. She's so confident in her skills that she even flirts with the young detective who's assigned to the Perfect Killer case. And through it all, she has zero qualms...until she gets a letter asking her to murder a classmate. Suspenseful, blood-spattered, and full of creeping moral uncertainty, Dear Killer is sure to grab fans of Barry Lyga's I Hunt Killers
Slice of Cherry
by Dia Reeves

Fantasy. As the daughters of the notorious Bonesaw Killer, Fancy and Kit Cordelle have a taste for violence. Unlike their father (who's now in jail), the sisters know how to cover their tracks. In Portero, Texas, they've found a portal to another world, a magical place where they can creatively torture and kill their victims -- chosen from the town's most despicable residents -- without consequences. This shared slaughter bonds the sisters together until Kit's newfound romance with Gabriel, the son of one of their father's victims, threatens to tear them apart. Mature readers looking for grisly, fantastical horror will relish this "memorable and utterly twisted coming-of-age story" (Publishers Weekly). 
I Am Not a Serial Killer
by Dan Wells

Thriller. Fifteen-year-old sociopath John Wayne Cleaver does everything he can NOT to live up to his potential. He assists his mother, a mortician, with the preparation of corpses -- and he lives by a hard-and-fast set of rules that keep him from adding to their number. But when a series of bizarre murders leads John to believe that a serial killer is preying on the people of his small town, he decides to put his own grim tendencies to work and track the culprit down himself. Similar to S.E. Green's Killer Instinct, this tense, gruesome thriller (written for adults) is hard to put down…and hard to forget. 
Contact your librarian for more great books!
Ouachita Parish Public Library
1800 Stubbs Avenue
Monroe, Louisiana 71201
(318) 327-1490

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Tween Reads!

Tween Reads
September 2015
"When they tell you,
This is who you are,
do you say yes or no?"
~ from James Howe's Addie on the Inside
Recent Releases
The Golden Specific
by S.E. Grove

Fantasy. A year ago, Sophia Tims and her friend Theo survived a perilous trip through the various Ages of their chronologically fractured world. Now, a new clue about her missing parents leads Sophia on another journey, away from her safe home in 1890s Boston and into the Dark Ages, in search of an unmapped, plague-riddled city. "Brilliantly imagined and full of wonder" (Kirkus Reviews), this sequel to The Glass Sentence is a captivating combination of history, science, and fantasy, with just a touch of horror. To explore another magical multiverse, pick up The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis.
School for Sidekicks
by Kelly McCullough

Science Fiction. "Combat with Dinnerware" and "Bantering Basics" are just a couple of the available classes at 13-year-old Evan's new school, the Academy for Metahuman Operatives. Enrolled after suddenly gaining superpowers, Evan hopes to work with his idol, Captain Commanding, but instead he's assigned to Foxman, a depressed has-been of a superhero. But disappointment soon gives way to danger as Evan discovers that the relationship between heroes and villains is more complicated than he ever suspected. Similar to Mike Jung's Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities, School for Sidekicks will satisfy readers looking for diverse characters, snarky humor, and comic book-style action. 
Goodbye Stranger
by Rebecca Stead

Fiction. Bridge isn't really sure why she keeps wearing the cat ears -- they just feel right, especially now that seventh grade has begun and so many things feel confusing. There are new tensions among Bridge and her longtime best friends Tab (who's getting more involved in social justice) and Em (who's recently developed both curves and soccer skills). And then there's Sherm, Bridge's newest friend (not boyfriend), who's dealing with issues of his own. If you like character-driven stories about the things that can make or break friendships and families, don't miss this quietly authentic book from Newbery medalist Rebecca Stead.
by Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus

Fantasy/Horror. There actually is a monster under Jim's bed -- a troll, to be specific. One night, it pulls 15-year-old Jim out of his over-protected suburban life and into a nightmarish underworld. There, he learns the truth about his heritage: he's part of a long line of troll-hunters, destined to battle vicious child-eating trolls and prevent them from taking over his town. Though it practically drips with guts and gore, Trollhunters is also funny and fast-moving, making it a perfect choice for those who like fantasy that's gruesome and action-packed, but not too intense. For another taste of creepy, campy horror, pick up Paolo Bacigalupi's Zombie Baseball Beatdown.
Best Friends Forever?
The Sound of Your Voice, Only Really Far Away
by Frances O'Roark Dowell

Fiction. Although one-time best friends Marylin and Kate have never completely given up on each other, middle school has definitely made their lives more complicated. Cheerleader Marylin seems like she's got it together, but she's afraid that if she follows her heart with sweet (but uncool) class president Benjamin, she'll lose all of her popular friends. Guitar player Kate, on the other hand, isn't afraid to show her feelings for fellow musician Matthew, though she's uneasy about how quickly those feelings are growing. If you prefer realistic stories about everyday drama, you'll appreciate this honest, moving glimpse into the thoughts and relationships of young teen girls.
33 Minutes
by Todd Hasak-Lowy

Fiction. How would you feel if you knew you were about to get your butt kicked by your best friend? Skinny seventh-grade mathlete Sam feels both scared and bewildered. After all, just a few months ago he and Morgan were tight -- they'd been friends all through elementary school, and were a nearly unstoppable video game team. So how did Morgan turn into the popular football player who just promised to pummel Sam at recess? The answers are revealed over the course of one chaotic afternoon at school, which includes a science lab fire, a cafeteria-wide food fight, and a climactic final face-off. 
Addie on the Inside
by James Howe

Novel in Verse. Even among her friends, Addie Carle has a reputation for being a little too opinionated. She never backs down from speaking out, even when it means being bullied. But now that Addie's in seventh grade, she's starting to doubt herself. Would it be easier to be more fashionable and less outspoken, like her sometimes-boyfriend DuShawn, or her mean ex-friend Becca? Or would she rather be accepted for who she is…assuming she can figure that out? If you enjoy this angsty, inspiring book in verse and want to learn more about Addie's friends, check out the other books in the Misfits series, starting with The Misfits.  
by Rachel Vail

Fiction. It only takes one change to the usual lunchroom seating plan to unleash a firestorm of gossip and betrayal. When queen bee Natasha invites her former BFF Truly to sit with her at the "popular table," Truly promptly ditches her new friend Hazel for the trendier crowd. Stung, Hazel turns to social media to get her revenge, and soon Truly finds herself friendless and harassed, both online and off. Author Rachel Vail uses multiple points-of-view (from both girls and guys) to show you the different sides of this dramatic yet realistic story, as well as to offer a peek into the lives of middle schoolers across the social spectrum.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Recent Releases

Teen Scene
September 2015
"In the suburbs I learned to drive
And you told me we'd never survive…"
~ from Arcade Fire's The Suburbs
Recent Releases
Never Always Sometimes
by Adi Alsaid

Fiction. Back when they started high school, best friends Julia and Dave made the Never List. In it, they outlined all of the clichéd teen activities (such as life-changing road trips, skinny dipping, hair dye experiments, and running for prom king) that they'd never, ever do. Now, nearing the end of senior year, they decide to break their own rules and see how many "nevers" they can accomplish. The results are hilarious, poignant, and surprising -- especially when Julia and Dave tackle number ten on the list: never date your best friend. With "all the fun of a classic teen movie" (Booklist), Never Always Sometimes will satisfy fans of Stephanie Perkins and John Green.
The Fixer
by Jennifer Barnes

Thriller. High school drama leads to secrets, intrigue, and murder in this suspenseful new thriller. Sixteen-year-old Tess has just moved from Montana to join her older sister, Ivy, in Washington, DC. In the District, Ivy is famous for her abilities as a political "fixer," and after enrolling at the elite Hardwicke School, Tess discovers that she, too, has a knack for solving sticky problems. Then Tess discovers a shocking connection between a classmate and a high-profile government scandal, and the sisters' worlds collide. If you can't get enough of the tangled relationships and high-stakes power plays in TV's Scandal or Ally Carter's Embassy Row series, don't miss The Fixer. 
Bright Lights, Dark Nights
by Stephen Emond

Fiction. Walter has always been the kind of guy who doesn't attract much attention. When he meets Naomi, who shares his awkwardness as well his sense of humor and love of music, he's surprised to find that she likes him just as much as he likes her. However, after Walter's cop father is accused of racial profiling, Walter (who's white) and Naomi (who's black) are thrown into the media spotlight. Can their fledgling relationship stand up to the opinions and prejudices of their community? Expressive illustrations skillfully flesh out the urban setting of this thought-provoking story. For another complex teen couple navigating the intersection of race and romance, try Anna Banks' Joyride.
by Paul Griffin

Adventure. If they hadn't gone to the party, Matt and his friend John might never have ended up stranded in the Atlantic. But when tourists Driana, Stef, and João invited the guys to a luxe party in the Hamptons, how could they say no? And how could they guess that Stef's reckless windsurfing would lead to a disastrous rescue attempt, leaving all five teens drifting on the open sea? Now, far from help, they desperately try to survive injuries, sharks, scorching heat, and rapidly mounting psychological pressure. Similar to Matt de la Peña's The Living, Adrift offers diverse characters and riveting tension. 
Six Impossible Things
by Fiona Wood

Fiction. Ever since his dad announced that he was bankrupt, gay, and leaving, Dan and his mom have been having a tough time. Struggling with finances, they move into a smelly old Victorian house, and private school student Dan has to transfer to public school, where most of his classmates see him as a "complete nerd/loser." Thank goodness for Estelle, his dazzling new next-door neighbor and fellow misfit. "Effervescent and sweet" (Kirkus Reviews), this quirky tale from Australian author Fiona Wood will please romance readers as well as those looking for authentic, guy-centric coming of age stories.
Focus on: Suburbia
The Vast Fields of Ordinary
by Nick Burd

Realistic Fiction. Stifled and stuck in an Iowa suburb until he leaves for college in the fall, Dade is weary of his bickering parents, his pathetic job at Food World, and most especially of pining after Pablo, his "friend" and (even though Pablo has a girlfriend) regular hook-up. Then Dade meets handsome, enigmatic, and somewhat dangerous Alex Kincaid -- and falls in love. Fans of Brian Sloan's Tale of Two Summers, Peter Cameron's Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You, and other novels with true-to-life, well-drawn characters won't want to miss this one.
How to Steal a Car
by Pete Hautman

Fiction. With nothing to do but loiter at the mall or work on her summer assignments (reading Moby-Dick and writing a "how-to" essay), 15-year-old Kelleigh escapes the oppressive boredom of her suburban life by stealing a car. Once she gets away with it a few times -- after all, she tells herself, it's not like boosting cars is any worse than her mom's drinking or her dad's cheating -- it's hard to resist more, and riskier, thefts. Though Kelleigh's voice is biting and bleak, readers who like angsty, character-driven stories will want to follow her all the way through her remorseless summer of crime. 
Girl Defective
by Simmone Howell

Fiction. Obscure music is the soundtrack to Skylark Martin's life, which is hardly surprising, since she lives above her family's vintage record store. Besides her nostalgia-loving father and eccentric younger brother, Sky doesn't have much of a social life until she starts hanging out with the store's latest employees: Nancy, a wild older girl with connections to their Melbourne suburb's shady underground scene, and Luke, the brooding, attractive brother of a local girl whose tragic death might not have been an accident. If you prefer realistic stories packed with sharp observations and multi-layered characters, this mysterious, music-infused story is for you.
The Suburban Strange
by Nathan Kotecki

Fantasy. Though she's just a sophomore when she starts at Suburban High, timid 15-year-old Celia is quickly befriended by the Rosary, a sophisticated senior clique notorious for their morbid style. Even weirder than Celia's unexpected new friends are the near-fatal accidents plaguing Suburban's female students -- they only happen just before each girl turns 16. After learning an eye-opening secret from her chemistry partner, Celia is drawn into a dangerous paranormal mystery -- one she'll have to unravel before her own 16th birthday. Find out in this dark, eerie fantasy and its sequel, Pull Down the Night.
Dare You To
by Katie McGarry

Romance. "Fairy-tales happen, just not to me. Time to tell the prince he rescued the wrong girl." Tough, tattooed skater girl Beth is sure that perfect baseball star Ryan won't stay interested in her once he understands how messed up she is. After all, she wouldn't even have moved to Ryan's upscale suburb if she hadn't gotten into trouble for protecting her drug-addicted mom. But as their secret relationship gets more serious -- and more steamy -- Beth starts to realize that she and Ryan might be more alike than she suspected. If you like gritty, emotionally intense reads, you'll fall for this gripping love story.