Posts tagged with "Recommendations"

Posted by tspicer on 07/10/14
What if the people who raised you had been lying to you for your entire life?  What if everything you believed, everything you were, was nothing more than someone trying to manipulate you for their own ends?  In Bloodwitch by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, that’s the question that Vance Ehecatl has to face.
Vance is a quetzal, a shapeshifter who can take the form of a bird.  Abandoned by his own people, Vance has been raised by the vampire rulers of the powerful Midnight Empire.  His sheltered life is interrupted by Malachi Obsidian, who tells Vance he’s a bloodwitch, a powerful magic user, and that the vampires have been lying to him all his life to make him their tool.
Vance struggles to discover his identity and figure out who he can trust in this compelling fantasy tale.  It’s the first of a new trilogy, but if you enjoy it you can follow the ongoing “Lilith’s Explorations of Midnight” tale that the author posts on her Facebook page.

Posted by red_sonya on 02/07/14
Drawings don’t normally move but Katie swears the mysterious Tomohiro’s drawings just did. Katie, an American girl, is a world away from home in Japan, still adjusting to the language barrier and culture gap. When Katie gets involved with the intriguing and sometimes dangerous Tomohiro and his moving drawings, her life changes forever. She is left wondering why the ink is seemingly drawn to her all while learning about Kami (Shinto Gods) and dodging the Yakuza (a Japanese gang).
This is a book full of Japanese mythology, danger, with a dash of romance. As an avid manga reader, I felt like Ink could easily be made into one; as the plot is very similar to many shojo mangas. The book has many images within it that coincides with what you are reading. There are many Japanese words you learn through out Ink (there is a glossary in the back to explain them so don’t worry!). This book is wonderful for those Japanophiles out there. It gives a good look at what life is like living in a foreign country, dealing with the different culture, and their everyday lives.
Ink was a very quick read; it’s very intriguing, and gripping. I thoroughly enjoyed and it and will be purchasing it for my own collection at home. The book does end on a cliffhanger and sadly the next book, Rain, doesn’t come out till June this year (which I have on preorder already).
There is also a prequel to Ink, called Shadow, which is available for free on Amazon!

Posted by red_sonya on 02/24/14
Insanity is a gripping page turner, full of suspense. Taking place in Never, Kentucky and the medical facility/mental institution called Lincoln. Lincoln isn’t your average medical facility, the dead never seem to fully rest here. Lincoln is a gateway to the other-side, and might even be a living being itself. Four kids whose lives intertwine are all pulled into Lincoln’s mysterious, sometimes terrifying ways. Together they go on a journey full of ghosts, shades, and other supernatural beings, and find their lives drastically changed.

I found this book to be a thrilling read. I simply couldn’t put it down. The author does a fantastic job of making you connect to the characters. The book is told in four different parts, each part another kid, and all connected. I enjoyed reading the same progressing story line but told through the different points of views, and their own voices.I did think the book could have ended earlier, but I did like the ending the author chose.
For a supernatural read I found this book to be an exciting one. I felt the fear and terror that the characters were feeling. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good ghost story.

Posted by amypelman on 02/11/13
Let's face it.  Valentine's Day isn't for everybody.  Even if you're in love and your boyfriend/girlfriend is your best friend and everything couldn't be more perfect with your relationship, you STILL might not be into the holiday.  Cheesy, Hallmark holiday, forced romance, too many hearts and roses... there are a lot of reasons you might find it a tad, shall we say, uncool. Don't get me wrong!  No disrespect if you <3 February 14th, I'm just giving a shout-out to those of us on other side of the candy heart....
So. If the thought of Valentine's makes you feel a little bit like hurling, here are some books to distract you this week! 
When her boyfriend ends their relationship, high school sophomore Lucy thinks she will never recover from the heartbreak until she meets three magical girls who say they can heal her, but at a cost.
Sadie Allen has spent the last two years pining for Garrett, but when he heads off to camp for the summer without her, she decides to kick her crush for good, with the help of her co-workers, another boy, and her own twelve-step program.
And Then Things Fall Apart by Adriana Tibensky
Devastated by her parents' decision to split up, pressured by her boyfriend to have sex, and saddled with a case of chicken pox, fifteen-year-old Keek finds consolation in her beloved, well-worn copy of Sylvia Plath's "The Bell Jar."
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler
Sixteen-year-old Min Green writes a letter to Ed Slaterton in which she breaks up with him, documenting their relationship and how items in the accompanying box, from bottle caps to a cookbook, foretell the end.

Posted by amypelman on 06/24/13
Books open doors, expand your mind, and provide insight into experiences that you might never have otherwise.  It's the original "edutainment!" (that's education and entertainment combined).  We are lucky in this day and age because we have an additional avenue for edutainment, it's the interwebs!  You might already know about John and Hank green's Vlog brothers and Crash Course videos which are informative and very entertaining.  Here are a few more video channels that are fun, funny, interesting, thought-provoking all while being extremely EDUCATIONAL!!  (Yeah I said it. In the summer no less!). 
The host poses really crazy cool questions like "Is the Universe a Computer?" and "Is twitter the Newest Form of Literature?" then attempts to answer them in a matter of a few minutes.
Have a burning science question and don't have time to start from scratch with atoms and neurons?  ASAP Science might have already put together a little video to de-mystify even the most difficult brain chemistry! 
Another good video channel where interesting and seemingly unknowable ideas are explored and explained.  The creator Michael Stevens went to the University of Chicago!  
Thinker is great because it is a mash up of content and you never know what kinds of strange and interesting videos will pop up! 
They say you never stop learning.  As someone who is older and wiser than... some other people, I can say with complete confidence that it's true, you don't.  But why would you want to?  Anyway, do you get your edutainment fix somewhere else besides the sites mentioned above?  Let me know about it in the comments! 

Posted by tspicer on 06/21/12
Love this review as there is an interesting back story about the author . . . great job!cover

"I read the book "In a Heartbeat" by Loretta Ellsworth. The story begins when, Eagan, an amazing figure skater, dies after attempting a triple-lutz in a competition. The story then is handed over to Amelia, a girl with CHF, or Congestive Heart Failure. She has waited months for  transplant, but is troubled when she is able to receive one. She knows that it means someone else must die for her to be happy. Slowly, things are revealed about Eagan's troubled relationship with her mom and Amelia's new attitude and cravings. Is her donor trying to tell her something, or is it just side effects from the drugs?

I highly recommend this book, as I couldn't put it down and finished it in less than 2 days. (around 2 hours). The coolest thing is that the book is dedicated to her mother and nephew. She began the story as therapy at the loss of both. Her mother had passed away from Congestive Heart Failure and her nephew, Jason, had a fatal motorcycle accident. Jason was an organ donor, as shown on his driver's license, like Eagan. She felt happy that part of him lived on, like Eagan's parents. This book was written in the memories of both and helped her keep writing through her grief.

This is a great book to read so don't hesitate to pick it up. The book is amazing and worth a try. It also teaches great lessons such as to enjoy life while you have it, because some are not as fortunate. The author did a great job with the tricky subject of death and turned the book into something you want to read."


Posted by emather on 12/09/13
Now that it's all snowy and wintery outside, my very favorite thing to do is to light a fire (preferably in a fireplace) and cuddle up under a blanket with a warm drink and (most important ingredient) a good book.  My favorite books to do this with are often fantasies or science fiction (The Dark is Rising, The Magicians, and A Wrinkle in Time are perfect examples.) I really enjoy anything long and involved with a completely unique world that I can get completely lost in.  (Even better if the unique world exists just beneath our own reality.)  It's super-extra fun if the book takes place in winter. (Think along the lines of City of Thieves, Blankets, and The Golden Compass.) That way, I can feel all lucky and superior to the characters freezing their tails off.
In addition to the books posted here, we’ve got a display in the HUB of more “Books to Keep You Warm.” Come in and grab some great titles to take home and make your own magical toasty story cocoon.  You’ll just need to provide your own fire, blanket, and cocoa/cider/coffee.
How about all of you?  What books keep you warm when the snow is falling all around? Keep the convo going on our Facebook page, send us a Tweet, or just stop by the HUB to chat books.

Posted by amypelman on 03/21/13

Did you see Skyfall yet?  It's pretty entertaining if you ask me.  Did it make you want to see more James Bond flicks?  How about reading a spy story or two?  I've read one recently that I enjoyed.  It's called Also Known As by Robin Benway.  It's about a girl named Maggie who is a professional safecracker.  She can break into any vault, door, safe, you name it.  She's actually like one of the best in the world.  When her family gets sent to New York City for Maggie's very first solo assignment, she is pretty excited about it.  Too bad this assignment involves attending a high school and pretending to be a normal teenager.  So far Maggie has been fine avoiding that kind of drama and isn't really looking to try her hand at the regular high school lifestyle.  But in order to complete this very important assignment, she has to get close enough to Jesse Oliver to crack the case of his possibly corrupt father.  Jesse Oliver is cute and probably annoying, but a job's a job and this may be the most important job ever!

Intrigued?  I give more suggestions for fun spy books at YALSA's Hub.  Take a look at it here: Not Undercover: Superb Spy Fiction.

Posted by amypelman on 02/06/13
Need a break from textbooks and essays?  Craving a treat for your brain?  You might not think reading would be the way to go, but I beg to differ.  Especially when it comes to graphic novels!  The combination of expressive pictures, short bursts of text, and fast-moving storylines is a perfect recipe for great entertainment that won't insult your intelligence.  There are so many different types of graphic novels and comics out now, that there is sure to be one to fit your mood.  Creepy, hilarious, thought-provoking, suspenseful, dramatic, romantic...  they've got it all!  We recently updated our Recommended page with a list of Great Graphic Novels for Teens!
Here are few that I personally enjoyed:
In the mood for something funny and light? 
While working on the sets and stage crew for her school play artistic, enthusiastic, (and just a little bit clueless) Callie stumbles into some rocky relationship territory.  Pick up this cute story and prepare to forget your own troubles!  
Want something more serious and thought-provoking? 
This interesting book details the race to develop, build, and deploy the first atomic bomb.  Chronicling everything from the initial intellectual pursuit to the ultimate and incredible devastation caused by dropping the bomb, it's anything but forgettable.    
2012 was a great year for graphic novels. What are some of your favorites?  Let us know in the comments!

Posted by amypelman on 08/26/13
In order to complete the Make it program, we gave you the option of submitting 3 short book reviews to us via email.  We really enjoyed all the reviews that were sent to us, and we just had to share some of them!  School has started, but don’t stop reading for fun!  Use this selection of book reviews written by your friends, classmates and fellow AH teens to help you find your next great read:
Seizure by Kathy Reichs 
The sequel to the novel Virals, this book continues the adventures of Tory Brennan and her friends in Charleston, South Carolina. In Virals, Tory, Ben, Hi, and Sheldon caught a parvovirus containing wolf DNA (a fatal disease pertaining to dogs that includes vomiting, severe diarrhea, and depression and accompanied by high fever and loss of appetite) that infects humans while trespassing into a private lab in the complex their parents work in. After days of intense sickness, the group realizes that when very emotional, they can flare and have wolf-like instincts and powers. After defeating a powerful enemy, Tory and the pack have a different adventure in Seizure. Loggerhead Island, the place their parents work at, is millions of dollars low on funding and the wildlife and nature are in danger of being sold to land developers; their parents losing their jobs in the process and moving elsewhere. Desperate to stay together, Tory and the pack hear about legendary pirate Anne Bonny’s treasure said to be worth millions. Using their canine abilities, the teens search for the buried treasure against dangerous competitors, risking their own lives and their secret powers. It’s up to them to save Loggerhead Island and stay together as a pack.
The Rules – Project Paper Doll by Stacey Kade 
All her life, Ariane Tucker has lived under the rules that supposedly protect her from GTX, the genetic lab from where she has escaped, with her adopted father. Under a false name, Ariane is not who she seems to be. Beneath the fake blue contacts, she is actually a foreign alien and human mix of DNA. Her powers still hidden, Ariane struggles to follow the rules and hide from her peers. However, when seeking vengeance against the queen bee and granddaughter of the doctor of GTX, Rachel Jacobs, Ariane breaks the rules by falling in love and has many close calls being caught by the evil experimenters. But in the end, she is betrayed by people she wouldn’t expect
Abandon by Meg Cabot
Pierce Oliviera is no normal 17 year old girl. If you survived a near death experience (NDE) would you? Trying to find a new start on the island of her mother’s birth, Pierce knows she can’t run from a mysterious figure from her supposed childhood fantasies. A death deity seems to follow her around, and is the cause of her coming back to life. But was it worth her parents divorce and relocating to a new home? Pierce falls in love but is faced with a mystery: who else is following her around? And should she go back into the land of the dead? This story is similar to the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades.
All reviews by Hannah X.
Maximum Ride – The Angel Experiment by James Patterson
In this book mutant kids who have DNA of birds in their jeans. They live in a safe house in Colorado staying away from the maniacal scientists who created them and tested them for years. When they are found, their youngest member Angel is kidnapped. The book follows Maximum Ride in her quest to find Angel and bring her home safely.
7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers by Sean Covey
This book teaches you how to live your life in the best way possible. The habits are: 1. Be proactive. 2. Begin with the end in mind 3. Put the first things first 4. Think win win 5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood 6. Synergise 7. Renew. They really inspire me and I read the book repeatedly.
Both reviews by Patrick F.

After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick (who will be visiting the Hub on September 3rd!)
This book is about how Jeffrey, a cancer survivor, struggles to pass eighth grade. Due to the medicine he was taking during cancer treatment, he sometimes has trouble learning and listening in class.  His best friend, Tad, who is still in treatment for cancer decides to tutor Jeffrey. But Jeffrey will only do it if, during gym class, Jeffrey can help to get Tad to walk across the stage at graduation. Jeffrey's brother Steven, the one person who Jeffrey has always supported him is now in Africa because he needed time off from college.  Will Jeffrey pass the eighth grade?  Will Jeffrey's supporters come through for him?
I recommend this book to people who like realistic novels with tragedy and comedy.   
Review by Jack S.


A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz
I loved it. I thought I was actually in the story when I was reading it. The adventures the characters had were full of details that were gruesome.  Also I loved how the author put in side comments that were really funny. The book I read is full of gore and adventure. I think this is a book for teenagers, unless you really a want little kid having nightmares. I would give this book a 100/100 because it had all the things I'm looking for. Detail, adventure, and a lot of grimm.
Review by Katie S.