Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Teen Scene: Dec. 2016

Teen Scene
December 2016

"I didn't know you this morning, and now I don't remember not knowing you."
~ from Nicola Yoon's The Sun is Also a Star
 
Recent Releases
The Rains
by Gregg Hurwitz

Science Fiction. After a meteor strike turns adults 18 and older into vicious, zombie-like hosts for parasitic aliens, the thought of growing up becomes scarier than a death sentence. Though 15-year-old Chance and his older brother Patrick have (so far) managed to fight off the predatory adults, they know their safety may be short-lived: Patrick's 18th birthday is only days away. Desperate, the brothers (along with Patrick's girlfriend Alex) venture out into danger, hoping to find answers before Patrick's time is up. Full of gritty, pulse-pounding action, The Rains is perfect for fans of Rick Yancey's 5th Wave series or Isla J. Bick's Ashes trilogy. 
The Diabolic
by S.J. Kincaid

Science Fiction. Genetically engineered to be an emotionless bodyguard, a Diabolic bonds to a single person, doing whatever it takes to keep them safe. For teen Diabolic Nemesis, that means impersonating her privileged charge, Sidonia, and becoming a hostage to the Galactic court in Sidonia's place. Treachery lurks everywhere at court, and while trying to convincingly fake emotions, Nemesis is shocked to actually feel them – especially when it comes to Tyrus, the Emperor's heir. If you love high-stakes, futuristic science fiction like Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles, don't miss this "philosophical, twisty, and addictive" (Kirkus Reviews) series opener.
My Sister Rosa
by Justine Larbalestier

Thriller. At ten years old, Rosa is smart and charming...and probably a psychopath. For years, her 17-year-old brother Che has been concerned by Rosa's sadistic, manipulative tendencies, and since their Australian family's recent move to New York City, Che's protective concern has turned to alarm. As Rosa's disturbing behavior escalates and dark family secrets come to light, Che -- who's already dealing with making new friends and falling in love with fellow boxer Sojourner -- faces a painful question: is he afraid for his sister, or of her? Diverse, compelling characters and gripping psychological tension make My Sister Rosa difficult to put down.
Heartless
by Marissa Meyer

Fantasy. Lady Catherine "Cath" Pinkerton doesn't want to be queen. Though her ambitious parents are thrilled when the King of Hearts takes an interest in her, Cath would prefer opening a bakery over marriage (she does a delectable lemon tart). Cath's choices, however, are narrowed by a tangled knot of politics and fate as she's courted publicly by the king and secretly by the alluring new court joker, Jest. Expanding on the whimsical world of Lewis Carroll's Wonderland, this delicious backstory for the head-chopping Queen of Hearts will captivate readers who relish fractured fairy tales and sympathetic villains.
The Sun Is Also a Star
by Nicola Yoon

Fiction. Can a single day change the direction of your life? Both Natasha and Daniel believe it might, though for different reasons: practical, scientific Natasha is making a final attempt to stop her family's deportation to Jamaica, while dreamy Korean-American Daniel is headed to a prestigious but unwanted college interview. Neither of them expects to meet the other, or to feel an undeniable bond that kicks off a confusing yet unforgettable 12 hours. With lyrical writing, multiple perspectives, and authentic characters, this tale of a whirlwind relationship will "appeal to cynics and romantics alike" (Kirkus Reviews).
Focus on: Spies
Also Known As
by Robin Benway

Spy Fiction. As the daughter of international spies, 16-year-old Maggie is well-traveled, an expert safe-cracker, and has never had to go to school. That last fact changes with her first solo assignment: she's got to infiltrate an elite private high school in New York and get close to wealthy Jesse Oliver, whose father has intel that could destroy Maggie's parents' spy ring. Though she's lacking in typical high school social skills, Maggie finds help from a snarky new friend and quickly realizes that she doesn't have to fake her interest in Jesse. For further witty, romantic tales of teen espionage, try the sequel, Going Rogue, or Ally Carter's Gallagher Girls series.
Etiquette & Espionage
by Gail Carriger

Steampunk Fiction. Sophronia Temminnick's mother has high hopes that Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy will transform her troublemaking daughter into a proper Victorian lady. Little does she know that while the school does indeed teach deportment, it also instructs the girls in the arts of espionage and assassination -- much to Sophronia's delight. Set in the same 19th-century world as author Gail Carriger's popular Parasol Protectorate series, Etiquette & Espionage offers a winning combination of twisted history, mystery, and madcap adventure.
Sekret
by Lindsay Smith

Historical Science Fiction. In 1963 Russia, the Cold War rages quietly, and Yulia Chernina discovers that psychic powers are both an asset and a liability. Targeted for her ability to "read" objects and people through touch, Yulia is kidnapped by the KGB, who want her to join their training program for psychic spies. With her family's lives on the line, Yulia has no choice but to comply…and wait for the right moment to run. Filled with complicated relationships and unexpected reveals, this thriller with a science fiction twist also boasts an intensifying pace that will keep you reading to the last page and into the sequel, Skandal.
Code Name Verity
by Elizabeth Wein

Historical Spy Thriller. After crash-landing in France in 1943 and being captured by Nazis, a female wireless operator for the British (who goes by Queenie, Eva, Verity, and various other aliases) reveals bits of code in exchange for reprieve from torture...and to postpone her execution. Woven into Verity's confession is a powerful, gritty tale of war, friendship, espionage, and great courage -- one that reviewers describe as "gut-wrenching" (Booklist), "heartbreaking" (VOYA), and "downright sizzling" (Horn Book). If you feel the same way, be sure to check out the follow-up, Rose Under Fire, and watch out for The Pearl Thief, a prequel due out in 2017.
Palace of Spies
by Sarah Zettel

Historical Mystery. Unwilling to go through with a terrible arranged marriage, 16-year-old orphan Peggy Fitzroy finds herself in dire need of a job. That's why she agrees to pose as Lady Francesca, a (recently deceased) lady-in-waiting at the court of King George I. At court, Peggy carries tales of palace intrigue to her mysterious employers while also investigating the death of the real lady Francesca. Detail-rich descriptions will draw you in to the world of 1716 London, and clever, fiery Peggy is a heroine you'll want to root for. Bubbling over with excitement, humor, and romance, this series opener will please all kinds of readers, especially those who love historical mysteries.

Monday, July 11, 2016

New Teen Books

Teen  2016
 "But when I really think about it,
my existence has consisted of nothing but one absurd event after another."
~ Shane Burcaw's Laughing at My Nightmare 
Recent Releases
Julia Vanishes
by Catherine Egan

Fantasy. Ever since her mother was drowned in one of the Cleansings designed to rid Spira City of witches, Julia has lived with a motley gang of thieves and con artists. Her unusual ability to make herself unnoticeable makes Julia an ideal candidate for undercover jobs like her current assignment: posing as a maid in order to learn the secrets of the wealthy Och household. What she discovers there is more shocking than she could have suspected, leading Julia to question what she believes and who she can trust, and setting up a conflict that will unfold far beyond this page-turning trilogy-starter. 
Outrun the Moon
by Stacey Lee

Historical Fiction. Ambitious Mercy Wong has both the intelligence and the drive to become a businesswoman, even though 1906 San Francisco doesn't offer many opportunities for a lower-class Chinese American girl. Undaunted, Mercy poses as an heiress and bribes her way into St. Clare's, an upper-crust boarding school. Maintaining the deception isn't easy, but just when it looks like things might fall apart, an earthquake rocks the city, forcing Mercy to focus on a new goal: survival. Presenting real-life events through the eyes of a sympathetic heroine, Outrun the Moon is a must-read for historical fiction fans.
Draw the Line
by Laurent Linn

Fiction. Sixteen-year-old Adrian's comic book superhero, Graphite, is a lot braver (and more openly gay) than his creator. But Graphite gets to live in a Renaissance-art-inspired fantasy world, while Adrian is stuck at a Texas high school packed with stereotypical, homophobic "Bubbas." Only his art, his diverse crew of misfit friends, and his obscurity keep Adrian sane…and that obscurity vanishes after Adrian impulsively rescues another gay student from a violent attack. Illustrated with Adrian's comics and filled with fully realized characters, this satisfying coming-out drama will appeal to readers who love Becky Albertalli's Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.
Every Exquisite Thing
by Matthew Quick

Fiction. From the moment she opens The Bubblegum Reaper, Nanette is changed. The cult classic novel speaks directly to her uneasiness about the comfortable conformity of her life. Desperate for more insight, Nanette reaches out to the reclusive author, who connects her with Alex, a troubled teen poet and fellow die-hard fan. As Nanette and Alex's relationship deepens, her feelings about the book (and about herself) develop as well, and in equally unexpected ways. Similar to Natalie Standiford's How to Say Goodbye in Robot, Every Exquisite Thing is a provocative look at big questions and the (possibly futile) search for answers.  
The Crown's Game
by Evelyn Skye

Historical Fantasy. There can only be one Imperial Enchanter. But in 1825, when the tsar needs magic to protect Russia from threats from all sides, two young enchanters rise to the challenge: fierce, powerful Vika and well-trained, determined Nikolai. The two meet in St. Petersburg for the Crown's Game, a magical duel in which the winner gains "unimaginable power" and the loser faces swift death. Underneath their intensifying competition, however, simmers an attraction that's as passionate as it is doomed. If you're captivated by the high-stakes magic and Russian-influenced atmosphere in this debut novel, be sure to try Leigh Bardugo's Grisha trilogy as well.
Focus on: Memoirs
Some Assembly Required: The Not-So-Secret Life of a Transgender Teen
by Arin Andrews

Memoir. It was through YouTube that Arin Andrews first learned the term to describe how he'd always felt: transgender. After struggling for years because his identity didn't match up with his (biologically female) body, Arin was finally able to seek out support -- from family, friends, and a therapist -- and pursue gender transition. Here, Arin describes not only his transition process, but also his high-profile high school romance and the breakup that followed. To hear the other side of that story, you can check out Katie Rain Hill's Rethinking Normal; for yet another open, friendly memoir about growing up trans in the spotlight, try Jazz Jennings' Being Jazz.
Laughing at My Nightmare
by Shane Burcaw

Memoir. From the first scene -- in which the author's brother helps him pee into a travel urinal on a minibus -- you'll see that this memoir by blogger Shane Burcaw is no soft-focus inspirational read. With a combination of "snark, swagger and self-deprecation" (Kirkus Reviews), Shane invites readers into an unflinching look at life with spinal muscular atrophy, a degenerative (and potentially fatal) disease. Whether he's sharing his childhood discovery that wheelchairs make great getaway vehicles or describing his young adult exploration of sex and relationships, Shane's gleefully profane, live-to-the-fullest perspective is both thought-provoking and uproariously funny. 
Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina
by Michaela DePrince with Elaine DePrince

Memoir. Her movements onstage may appear effortless, but Michaela DePrince's journey to a successful ballet career was far from easy. Born in Sierra Leone, she lost her loving parents at a very young age. While living in an orphanage, she saw a photo of a ballerina that ignited her passion for dance -- a passion she pursued after being adopted by a supportive American couple. Despite grueling training and prejudiced American attitudes, Michaela persevered, finding success with several prestigious dance companies (not to mention a cameo in Beyoncé's Lemonade). Both candid and lyrical, Taking Flight is a must-read for dance lovers, as well as anyone looking for an uplifting true story. 
Relish: My Life in the Kitchen
by Lucy Knisley

Graphic Memoir. Have a snack handy before you read Relish, because it's sure to make you hungry. In this "nostalgic and funny food-centric memoir" (Booklist), cartoonist Lucy Knisley serves up mouthwatering recipes alongside memories about growing up with her chef mother and foodie father. While many people are snobby about gourmet food, Lucy's upbeat attitude and slightly retro illustrations are refreshingly unpretentious, giving her stories a friendly, intimate flavor. Whether you're an accomplished cook or you'd need instructions just to boil water, you'll savor this delicious read.
The Pregnancy Project: A Memoir
by Gaby Rodriguez with Jenna Glatzer

Memoir. As "The Girl Who Faked Her Own Pregnancy as a Senior Project," Gaby Rodriguez changed overnight from being "just another unknown 17-year-old girl [...] to an international media sensation." In this impassioned and thought-provoking memoir of her revealing social experiment, Gaby describes her family history, her observations about how she was treated when she pretended to be pregnant, her conclusions, and the emotional costs of the project (both for Gaby and for her family, teachers, and friends). Also presented as a Lifetime TV movie, Gaby's story is sure to fascinate anyone interested in the way stereotyping affects behavior.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
Ouachita Parish Public Library
1800 Stubbs Avenue
Monroe, Louisiana 71201
(318) 327-1490

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Teen Scene June 2016

Teen Scene
June 2016
"People were animals, and animals were nothing but teeth. You bit first, and you bit often. That was the only way to survive."
~ from Frances Hardinge's The Lie Tree
Recent Releases
The Star-Touched Queen
by Roshani Chokshi

Fantasy.  Despite being the raja's daughter, Mayavati can't escape her horoscope, which predicts that she will marry "death and destruction." With war looming and her father pressuring her to make a terrible sacrifice, Maya makes a risky decision: she marries the enigmatic Amar and goes with him to Akaran, his Otherwordly kingdom. As she explores Akaran, with its glass garden, Night Bazaar, and beautiful, sinister magic, Maya discover that there's more to her husband -- and herself -- than she dared imagine. Similar to Renée Ahdieh's The Wrath and the Dawn, this lush, romantic fantasy will captivate fans of fairy tales and Indian mythology. 
The Lie Tree
by Frances Hardinge

Historical Fantasy/Mystery. Faith Sunderly's family has only just arrived in the small island community of Vane when Faith's father, a disgraced naturalist, is found dead. Local gossip declares his death a suicide, but smart, headstrong Faith is certain it must be murder. Among her father's many secrets and specimens, she finds an extremely rare tree -- one that feeds on lies and bears fruit that reveals the truth.  Can Faith use the tree to find her father's killer, or will eating its fruit doom her to share his fate? Featuring shady archaeologists, disturbing visions, eerie post-mortem photography, and razor-sharp social commentary, The Lie Tree will please fans of mystery, fantasy, and horror alike.
The Incident on the Bridge
by Laura McNeal

Mystery. When 17-year-old Thisbe Locke disappears from the Coronado Bridge, she leaves behind her ex-boyfriend's stolen car and a lot of questions. For instance: Did she jump? Thisbe's sister Ted refuses to ask that question, but she has lots of others: Where is Thisbe? Is her disappearance related to her recent (and humiliating) break-up? And how could someone so level-headed be involved in such a bizarre situation? Told by multiple characters who all have different information about Thisbe, this complex, perfectly paced read is part mystery, part thriller, and entirely riveting.
Saving Montgomery Sole
by Mariko Tamaki

Fiction. Montgomery Sole doesn't quite fit in at her small-town California high school: she has two moms, she's obsessed with unexplained phenomena, and her best friends are her fellow "mystery club" members. Just because Monty is used to being an outsider, however, doesn't mean she's prepared to be targeted by a bigoted new classmate and his evangelist dad. Monty can only hope that her "Eye of Know" amulet ("visions untold" for just $5.99!) will give her insight into thorny issues of family, faith, and identity. If you like wry humor, diverse characters, and stories that ask deep questions without getting preachy, don't miss Saving Montgomery Sole.
Highly Illogical Behavior
by John Corey Whaley

Fiction. Ever since he had a disastrous, public panic attack in middle school, Solomon Reed hasn't left his house. Now 16, Sol takes online classes and finds support from his family and fandoms (Star Trek is his fave). Enter Lisa, Sol's hyper-driven former classmate. Secretly convinced that she can "cure" Solomon's agoraphobia and land a psychology scholarship, Lisa begins visiting Sol, bringing her boyfriend Clark with her. It's not until the experiment turns into a real friendship -- and Sol and Clark grow closer -- that Lisa begins to question her own motives. Pairing witty dialogue with "achingly real" (Kirkus Reviews) emotions, Highly Illogical Behavior is a perfect pick for readers of realistic fiction. 
Focus on: Urban Fantasy
Though it often takes place in a city, urban fantasy doesn't depend on geography -- it's about contemporary characters living in a world that looks like reality, but with a magical twist. To find out more, check out the books below. 
 
The Darkest Part of the Forest
by Holly Black

Urban Fantasy. Inside the American town of Fairfold there is a forest, and inside the forest lies a horned prince, asleep in a glass coffin. The locals know better than to bother him, or any of their other fearsome faerie neighbors. Siblings Hazel and Ben, however, used to protect the prince by hunting the monstrous fae in the forest, until secrets disintegrated their relationship. When the glass coffin is shattered and Fairfold is attacked, Hazel and her brother are forced to confront their painful past. Those who appreciate the atmospheric, unhurried style of Maggie Stiefvater or Charles DeLint should definitely pick up this intriguing urban fantasy.
Undertow
by Michael Buckley

Urban Fantasy. Coney Island teen Lyric Walker is just as shocked as everyone else by the arrival of the Alpha, a beautiful yet brutal race of undersea warriors. But for Lyric, the shocks keep on coming when she discovers that her own family isn't entirely human. As violent intolerance erupts between the humans and the Alpha, Lyric's secret becomes increasingly difficult to hide -- especially after she finds herself powerfully attracted to Fathom, the proud, fierce Alpha prince. Blending supernatural romance, pointed social commentary, and high-stakes action, this series opener introduces a "race-against-the-clock world that's waiting to implode" (Kirkus Reviews).
The Chaos
by Nalo Hopkinson

Urban Fantasy. Toronto high schooler Scotch has her share of problems with school, her friends, and her multiracial family. But those problems seem mundane compared to the incurable rubbery spots on her skin and the floating horse heads she keeps seeing.  As Scotch's confusion grows, the Chaos arrives and turns reality inside-out: legendary creatures prowl, a volcano emerges from Lake Ontario, and Scotch's brother disappears inside a giant bubble. Determined to find him (and maybe herself, too), Scotch ventures out into the unstable city. While it has strong elements of urban fantasy, world mythology, and magical realism, "this multicultural mashup -- like its heroine -- defies category" (Kirkus Reviews).
Shadowshaper
by Daniel José Older

Urban Fantasy. When a local mural mysteriously begins to weep, Brooklyn teen Sierra Santiago is unsettled, but it's not until she's attacked by a walking corpse that she really gets scared -- and curious. Though her abuelo Lázaro seems to have some answers, a stroke has left him unable to communicate anything except cryptic messages about "shadowshapers." Stalked by a merciless enemy, Sierra will have to uncover the truth -- and tap into the spirit powers of her Caribbean ancestors -- in order to protect everyone she loves. Filled with intriguing magic, authentic dialogue, and a realistically multi-ethnic cast of characters, Shadowshaper is a must-read for fantasy fans.
Ink
by Amanda Sun

Paranormal Mystery. After moving from New York to Shizuoka, Japan, 16-year-old Katie meets Tomohiro, a brooding senior with a nasty reputation -- and the incredible ability to make his drawings come to life. Tomo's mysterious power turns dangerous when Katie is around, however, and soon their already risky attraction is complicated by forces both human (the Japanese mafia) and supernatural (the Kami, ancient Shinto gods). The high-intensity turmoil of Katie and Tomo's relationship will appeal to fans of shojo manga or paranormal romance, and the imaginative, suspenseful story will leave readers desperate for Rain, the next book in the Paper Gods series.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
Ouachita Parish Public Library
1800 Stubbs Avenue
Monroe, Louisiana 71201
(318) 327-1490

https://www.oplib.org/