Tag Archives: teen

Staff Review: The Forgetting

 

ForgettingThe Forgetting

Sharon Cameron

Scholastic

$18.99

Available September 13, 2016

Every twelve years, the city of Canaan falls into the Forgetting, a day where everyone’s memories vanish. The only way to remember events from before the Forgetting or even clues to who you are as an individual is by keeping detailed entries in your personal book. Your book is your identity, but the truth can easily be twisted or misrepresented and no one truly knows exactly what has happened. Except for Nadia. She has never forgotten. She remembers exactly what has happened. She knows who’s telling the truth and who isn’t. Nadia’s memories allow her to investigate how the city of Canaan came to be. Because she remembers her past, she is less afraid than her neighbors and ventures over the stone wall that is supposedly protecting the city. When Gray catches her coming back over the wall, he threatens to expose her secrets unless she helps him. With the next Forgetting approaching, Nadia and Gray must figure out what is destroying Canaan. Or this time everyone will forget what the truth really is.

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Customer Review: Walk on Earth a Stranger

WalkonEarthaStrangerWalk on Earth a Stranger

Rae Carson

Greenwillow Books

$17.99

Available September 22, 2015

Besides the beautiful cover a wonderful story follows surrounding the gold rush in America.  Leah Westfall possesses a special power, she can sense the presence of gold. The day both her parents are murdered she bravely runs from her wicked uncle and sets off to find her best friend Jefferson and accompany him to California to find gold. In the beginning of her journey she decides to pretend to be a boy, so she won’t be found by her evil uncle. Will she ever find her friend Jefferson? Will she be found by her uncle and be used for her sense of gold? You will have to read to find out! ~ Emily, 17

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Staff Review: The Walls Around Us

WallsAroundUsThe Walls Around Us

Nova Ren Suma

Algonquin Books

$17.95

Available now

If you’re a young adult looking for the ultimate suspenseful mystery book, then The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma is in fact the book for you. Once I started The Walls Around Us, I was instantly hooked and couldn’t put the book down. I can really appreciate the  descriptive writing style which put an image in my head, playing out as a movie as I read. This suspenseful novelwill have you at the edge of your seat. The story is told through the eyes and thoughts of two separate girls: one living and one long dead.

Violet an eighteen year old perfectionist ballerina who is the top ballet dancer at her studio and has been accepted to Julliard in the fall. She feeds off the audience’s attention and applauses, although she really hates them all. Behind the tutu and ribbons and point shoes and laces lies a psychotic murderer with a terrible dark secret about what really happened behind the theater. The secret, if revealed, could ruin her whole future and send to the cold stone walls of the juvenile correctional facility Aurora Hills, rather than Julliard. Violet’s whole side to the story much reminds me of Nina in the Black Swan with how suspenseful and scandalous it is.

Then there’s Amber, who is an inmate at Aurora Hills detention center. Amber tells the stories and histories of all the other prisoners and why they are locked up. She has been locked up for more than three years since that summer night in August and has forgotten the feeling of freedom. When the gates open up one rainy, stormy Saturday night due to the malfunction of all the locks, she and all the other locked up girls run for freedom, knowing they wont get far, but desperately needing to feel freedom for those few brief minutes.

Then there’s the missing piece to this complex puzzle. The piece that holds the secret to Violet’s and troubled past is Orianna, who used to dance side-by-side with Violet, the perfect ballerina Violet never was but so desperately wanted to be. This suspenseful novel will have you questioning who all the people around you really are and all their secrets. The Walls Around Us should definitely be on everyone’s TBR list.

-Eryn, 16

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Interview an Author: Lori Goldstein

BecomingJinnOn May 9th I had the opportunity to interview Lori Goldstein, the author of Becoming Jinn, which was an amazing experience. Lori Goldstein was inspired to write Becoming Jinn by a mother and daughter who survived an earthquake in Turkey the daughter was named Azra which lead to the amount of research she had done for this book. Lori Goldstein had read an Encyclopedia of Jinn and another work surrounding morrocan, middle eastern Jinn. The setting of her great novel is in Massachusetts which she chose because of the shortage of books based in Massachusetts and because of the beautiful beaches that are important locations in her novel. Lori Goldstein also shared with me that the hardest part of the book to write was the first page and that Shay Mitchell from Pretty Little Liars would make a good Azra on the big screen. Finally to my favorite question — if she were working on any other works —  I am delighted to report that she is brainstorming ideas for a stand-alone contemporary novel as well as book two for the a Becoming Jinn series!  Thank you Lori Goldstein for giving me the chance to interview you and I hope you come back to Eight Cousins for your future books.

~ Emily, 17

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Customer Review: Elusion

9780062122414Claudia Gabel and Cheryl Klam

Elusion

Katherine Tegen Books

$17.99

Available now

I first noticed this book because of its cover. People say not to judge a book by it’s cover, but once I had read the description, I realized the cover fit the description perfectly and this made the book even more appealing. This story is about a girl named Regan whose dead father has invented technology that puts the brain into a trance state and allows it to ‘travel’ to different ‘escapes’ that are based on different natural landscapes all over the world. The story is based in the future where the world has become overly polluted by ambitious companies and people work seven days a week for almost all hours. These conditions make people anxious to escape, and that is what the Elusion app allows. However, things may not be as safe and perfect as they seem in Elusion. People have started to go into comas from the app, and Raegen with the help of Josh have to figure out why. People have found a way to disable the safety controls and it is allowing them to stay in Elusion too long, with possible brain damage. And Reagan’s friend Patrick who worked with her father in designing the project is not telling her anything. There is a rumor that it has something to do with the firewall in elusion that is supposedly just like a firewall in a computer but it may be something more and Regan and Josh have to figure out what is causing the comas before people start to die.

I liked the idea of an app that allows us to escape to a place in our subconscious, and it posed important questions such as, “what will happen when technology becomes a larger part of our life than it already has? What will we do about it?” It was an engaging story with a heroine who, while she had her flaws, was determined to fix the problem. Overall this book was a good read, although it was a little confusing at parts when elusion seemed to take over the brain, as it confused the writing style of the book. Nevertheless, I do recommend this book for anyone who likes to read about adventure, technology, and science fiction.

~ Marissa

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Customer Review: Becoming Jinn

BecomingJinnBecoming Jinn

Lori Goldstein

Feiwel & Friends

$17.99

Available Now

Upon finishing this amazing book the only thought running through my head was “please tell me there is a sequel!!” This book has so many amazing qualities such as being based in Massachusetts, a love triangle, and a race of genies or Jinns. When Ara wakes up on her sixteenth birthday she is transformed into a true Jinn with magical abilities and a new face. In one summer her whole life changes she becomes closer with her Zar sisters, finds herself in a confusing love triangle with her neighbor and a life guard, and discovers that she is more powerful than an average Jinn. This book should be at the very top of your TBR list!

~ Emily, 17

Note: Meet Lori Goldstein at Eight Cousins on Saturday, May 9 at 4pm!

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Customer Review: The Red Queen

RedQueenThe Red Queen

Victoria Aveyard

HarperCollins

$17.99

Available now

The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard is by far one of the best young-adult novels I have ever read.  With an interesting protagonist, a unique setting, and a wild plot twist leaving you wanting more.  The book surrounds a girl named Mare who lives in a world where the blood in your veins determines the life you live.  Mare discovers that she is different and is a powerful weapon to some.  Her life as she knows it will never be the same

~ Emily

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Staff Review: Marina

9780316044714Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Marina

$19.00

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Available today

Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s final young adult novel is beautifully written and darkly captivating. Its onlydisappointing feature is the unfairly long time it took to be released in the US—it was originally published in Spanish in 1999. Oscar Drai, the lonely 15-year-old protagonist, wanders through parts of 1980 Barcelona that remain locked away ina frozen, post-war Spain. It’s in these anachronistic wanderings that he meets Marina, an equally lonely girl with whom he follows a mysterious woman from a graveyard to an abandoned greenhouse suffused with the stench of death. This act drags them into a web of all-too-real stories from the same era as their wanderings, and from which they are soon unable to disentangle themselves, as their investigations grow steadily more disturbing and dangerous. However, all the intrigue, suspense, and horror of their encounters with reanimated prosthetic limbs, faces ravaged by acid, and the ubiquitous black butterfly become simply a distractionfrom the devastatingly poignant ending. This novel defies categorization, seamlessly blending mystery, adventure, and suspense with a touch of the supernatural and a dash of romance. All of this is woven together in an incredible gothic story with achingly beautiful language and plot twists that keep the reader breathless and glued to the text until the final page.

Warning: I gasped and shouted audibly in public while reading this book. It’s that good.

~ Cara

 

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Staff Review: Say What You Will

9780062271105Say What You Will

Cammie McGovern

Harper Teen

$17.99

Available June 3, 2014

Besides the deft plotting and writing, the believable characters and interesting setup, this book captures the uncertainty of being a teen, simultaneous with the pounding clarity of want (and don’t want). So many YA books, including the estimable ones to which this is being compared, have central characters whose desires are hard-edged, sure-footed, clear-eyed. Amy and Matt, especially Matt, are NOT so sure. Their days and nights are filled with the anxieties that exacerbate neurotic behavior, yet they struggle bravely on, never seeking the assurance of alcohol, video games, or extreme personal style statements. (There are some medications involved, but they do not constitute “drug use”.) Amy and Matt know without knowing that life is never going to be easier: her brains will never compensate completely for her cerebral palsy; his therapies and new-found friends will never wipe out his obsessive-compulsive urges altogether. The issues may evolve, but the coping never ends, and they have learned to help each other cope better.

~ Carol

 

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Staff Review: What I Thought Was True

9780803739093What I Thought Was True

Huntley Fitzpatrick

Dial

$17.99

Available now

Gwen’s close Portuguese immigrant family has served the summer resort trade for two generations, and she’s afraid she and her classmates may be yet another. All of her classmates except handsome Cass, exiled from a fancy private school, that is. Gwen tries to avoid Cass as she works in her father’s small restaurant, helps her mother clean houses, spends time as paid companion to a wealthy but frail widow. But Cass seems unavoidable, her parents are living out the tensions of marrying too young, her little brother’s disabilities weigh on her attention, her cousin and best friend are all but engaged at 18, and catering to clueless plutocrats is demeaning – as are the racy rumors of her prior summer relationships.

Yes, it’s a summer romance — but it’s so much more. Fitzpatrick weaves everything together so gracefully: economic goals and opportunities, a little brother with disabilities, plenty of humor, the purposes of marriage, ethnic and cultural divisions, aging, more humor, athletics, and above all, life in a beach community. Readers who love Sarah Dessen will be delighted to discover Huntley Fitzpatrick.

~ Carol

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