The IntraLibrary Teen Book Alliance is a dynamic group of cool people who love to read YA books from the Teen section, and they are a force for good or awesome. They also happen to work at the library, but not in Teen Services. Lucky you, they are willing to share some of their opinions, recommendations and other interesting book-related stuff right here on our website. We post their reviews on an ongoing basis.


Posted by emather on 01/25/2014 - 4:16pm

Just when you thought you were out, they pull you back in...with a bunch more reading recommendations!  Here are some teen book suggestions from library staff outside of teen services, since you're all probably sick of us yelling at you to read books.   Shannon,  Carol, and Amy have written reviews of three unique but excellent.  As always, you can find many more Intralibrary Teen Book Alliance recommendations here.
 
 
 
Could you live in a world where love was outlawed?
 
Lauren Oliver’s novel describes a futuristic Garden of Eden where teens are matched with a “life-mate” and then undergo a procedure to remove their capacity to love.  Teens that flee or resist the procedure are known as “invalids” and are believed to “live like animals…filthy, hungry, desperate.”
 
When Lena and Alex must choose between the law and each other, they know that they are making an impossible decision.  If they run away, they will lose their families.  If they stay and undergo the procedure, they will lose the feelings that they have for their families – and each other.
 
The dramatic conclusion will leave you wondering… What would you risk for love?
 
Review by: Carol E.
Dept: Circulation
 
 
 
Shai is a strong, independent girl who is very talented at what she does for a living. She is a forger. She doesn’t just copy things, however. She uses her magical skills to enhance the very essence of the item she is copying, consequently mirroring not just its appearance, but its entire history. She is so good at her job that she attracts the attention of the Emperor’s entourage. When the Emperor suddenly loses consciousness after an assassination attempt, they see Shai as their only hope against what they fear the most; the loss of their powerful positions in the Empire. In order to prevent a revolution, the Emperor’s highest ranking officials capture Shai in the midst of a forgery, and force her to choose between being sentenced to death, or accepting a job they believe she will not pass up. They challenge her to forge their Emperor’s soul.
 
This is a cleverly written fantasy with a unique storyline, and character development that usually needs at least twice as many pages to pull off. Shai’s personality draws you in so rapidly that before you know what is happening you are immersed in her world, and rooting for her to pull off the impossible. Not only are you pleasantly surprised by the ending, but you get there so quickly that you are almost sorry to see that it is over. Sanderson is well known for his epic fantasies, and more recently for completing the Wheel of Time saga, but this first attempt at a novella was undeniably a success, as well as a Hugo award winner. Marketed for both adults as well as teens, it is absolutely worth reading.
 
Review by: Shannon M.
Dept: Circulation
 
 
 
Weetzie Bat, a high school girl in Los Angeles, is best friends with Dirk.  Weetzie and Dirk have adventures after high school when they find a genie in a magic lamp who grants them three wishes.  Weetzie and Dirk both find love and have many adventures together with their significant others.  This book is a quick read and is fun with its whimsical tone and some bits of magic mixed in with the reality of life. If you are looking for a book that will take you on an adventure, then this is the book for you.
 
Review by: Amy H.
Dept: Bookmobile

Posted by amypelman on 12/02/2013 - 6:30pm

 
They're back!  Below are a few good book recommendations from the library staff (outside of teen services).   Jon and Amy give us their reviews of two very different types of books.  See if either of them appeal to you!   As always, you can find many more here.
 
 
This book is about Tana, a girl who wakes up after a party to find everyone has been murdered by vampires except for her ex Aiden, another boy, and herself.  Tana rescues Aiden and the other boy, who is a vampire on the run, and they head to Coldtown, where anyone infected by vampires are sent.  Once someone enters a Coldtown, it is rare that they ever escape.  I was drawn to the story as Tana wonders if she is infected by a vampire bite (it was only a scrape after all) and then if she is infected, how will she survive?  Even as she struggles with her own health and safety, she still shows concern for her ex Aiden and the vampire on the run.  She helps them get to Coldtown and then helps Aiden once again.  Overall, this is a great read for those who love vampires and all things supernatural.   
 
Review by: Amy H.
Dept: Circulation
Most interesting or coolest thing about AHML: The Bookmobile is a unique way that we connect with our community because we go out to where the people live and deliver library services to them, which I think is pretty cool.
Your favorite candy: M&Ms, Twix and Rainbow Twizzlers (why pick one favorite when you can have 3)?
What book changed your life? The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
 
 
Everything always seems to crash and burn at exactly the same time, doesn’t it feel that way sometimes? Well, it sure does to Mike.  First his family is messed up: his Mom is depressed and sleeps all the time; his Dad has become obsessed with the gym and is never home; but what’s worse is his best friend Tamio and Valerie, the new girl in school and Mike’s newest crush, seem to be conspiring to make a fool of him.  However, something inside of him tells him he needs to make some changes.  It’s like a voice in his head, but not like those “I’m crazy and hearing voices” type of voice, more like his soul speaking.  One day at a Flea Market, he buys a mirror, slightly warped, but it will work.  He notices how fat and out of shape he is. Luckily, he runs into Amber, a slightly odd loner at his high school.  She always wear big baggy clothes and is incredibly thin.  But Amber seems to know about food and nutrition.  So with Amber’s guidance, and the support from his “voice,” Mike learns how to control his food and exercise and soon feels leaner, stronger and more in control.  But Mike is actually far from being in control.  After he is hospitalized for Anorexia, he realizes that his “voice” is more of a harm than a help.
 
Review by:  Jon K.
Department: Collection Services
Cool about AHML: It’s like the proverbial “kid in the candy store” – every time I look around there’s more that I want to read, see and listen to
Favorite Candy: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
What book changed my life:  “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.
 
 
 

Posted by amypelman on 10/23/2013 - 6:18pm

 
As always, the intrepid group of library employees who read YA have a few good books you might want to check out.  See two reviews below!  
 
 
Have you ever wondered what life would be like if you could instantly be the most beautiful person in the world?  When 18-year-old Becky’s mother passes away, she receives a message to look up a New York Fashion magnate, who promises to make her the most beautiful girl in the world if she wears three dresses that he designs for her.  She reluctantly agrees because her mother’s last words were for her to not be afraid to take chances and to be all that she can be.  Becky is then transformed into Rebecca, and gets to star in a movie alongside her crush, be on the cover of Vogue, and she meets and falls in love with a British prince.   Becky has only one year as Rebecca unless she falls in love (and the guy has to love her back).  What I love about this book is that even though it seems to be about outer beauty, the message of the book is that it is what is inside that matters.  There are a few twists in the plot that kept me engaged and I loved the sense of mystery of how the fashion magnate can transform Becky into Rebecca with the outfits he designs for her.  This is a great read for anyone who loves a good romance story with a twist.
 
Review by: Amy H.
Department: Circulation
Years at AHML: 4
Favorite thing I do at work: Talk to people about books 
Best Place to read my book: Outside in the sun
Why I like reading YA: The stories are fun to read and are thought provoking.  Even though I am not a teen anymore, I still relate to what many of the characters go through and I love getting caught up in different worlds.
 
Good Kings Bad Kings By Susan Nussbaum
 
Good things, bad things about “Good Kings Bad Kings” - -
Good things:  This is a story that makes you care about the issues and characters.  It will make you question who you think “disabled” people really are.  It will force you to reconsider the ways that economics and society impact people in challenging circumstances. The best “good thing” is that the characters are so funny and real, and the writing style is so great, that you could totally miss all of the above and still really enjoy the story.
Bad thing:  You will be so sad when the story ends, wondering what’s next for each of the characters that you’ve grown to love.  Hopefully, there will be a sequel!
 
Review by: Carol E. 
Department: Circulation
Years at AHML:  8 years, with a short break in between
Favorite thing I do at work:  Talk with all of the nice people who visit the library
Best place to read my book:  Where ever I can. ;)
Why I like reading:  It helps me to understand people who think and feel differently than I do.
 

 
 

Posted by amypelman on 09/18/2013 - 3:45pm

Looking for a really fun book to read?  Megan has a great suggestion for you!  See her IntraLibrary Teen Book Alliance Review below!    
 
 
Etiquette and Espionage (Finishing School Book 1) by Gail Carriger
Set in an alternate 1851, Mrs. Temminick is desperate for her tree-climbing, mechanically-apt daughter to become a proper lady, so she ships 14-year-old Sophronia off to finishing school. This is not just any finishing school, this is the exclusive Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.  Fortunately for Sophronia her new finishing school is not always quite what it seems.  The fact that the school is a floating dirigible and the classes are taught by vampires and werewolves is just the beginning. 
 
Along with improving her dreadful curtsy, Sophronia is schooled in the arts of espionage and intrigue.  With her trusty new friends and loyal mechanimal dachshund, Bumbersnoot, Sophronia must solve a mystery involving a cryptic object and suspicious older student all the while dodging professors, automatons, and attacking flywaymen
 
Overall, I found Carriger's YA debut charming and enjoyable.  Ms. Carriger brings her signature wit as well as a few characters from her previous series The Parasol Protectorate which actually takes place 25 years after this one.  My only complaint about this series is that the writing although done well seems rather young even for a YA audience.  That tiny flaw aside, I am looking forward to the continuation of the Finishing School series.

About me
Name: Megan M.
Department:  Circulation              
Years at AHML:  About 5 with a short hiatus in the middle somewhere.
Favorite Thing I Do at Work:  Getting paid!!!  Just kidding.  Finding awesome new books to read.
Best Place to Read My Book:  Weather permitting, either curled up in bed with my 3 dogs or out tanning by the pool.
Why I Like Reading YA:  It’s fun and there’s lots of variety. 

 
 

Posted by amypelman on 09/01/2013 - 11:52am

 
 
 
It's time for a few ITBA books reviews!  Ahhh, so many books, so little time!! 
 
Review by Amy H.
 
Ryan Dean West is a fourteen year old junior at Pine Mountain, a boarding school.  Even though he is a couple years younger than his fellow juniors, he is a starting winger on the rugby team.  He is in love with his best friend Annie, but she only finds him “adorable.”   Ryan Dean is a normal teenage boy who has normal teenage desires, but he also goes through struggles. The way Ryan Dean deals with his struggles captivates readers as they wonder what he will do next.  A shocking twist at the end of the story leaves readers wondering about life and how we treat other people who are different.
 
Name: Amy H.
Department: Circulation
Years at AHML: 4
Favorite thing I do at work: Talk to people about books :)
Best Place to read my book: Outside in the sun
Why I like reading YA: The stories are fun to read and are thought provoking.  Even though I am not a teen anymore, I still relate to what many of the characters go through and I love getting caught up in different worlds.
 
Review by Susan B.
 
Conor’s mother is sick and ever since she started receiving treatments, Conor’s been having nightmares. So when the monster shows up at his window one night, he thinks he’s having another nightmare. The monster comes to Conor’s window at seven minutes past midnight, like clockwork. But Conor realizes something -- he’s not dreaming. The monster is really there and it wants the truth.
 
I first picked up this book because the cover looked creepy, and I felt like reading something a little out of my comfort zone. I was surprised to find it’s not really scary at all, but I didn’t mind because ultimately it was a very powerful and moving read. The illustrations that accompany the story only add another layer to this already poignant book. This is one of the best books I’ve read this year and its message will stay with you long after you turn the last page.
 
Name: Susan B.
Department: Circulation
Years at AHML: 10
Favorite thing you do at work: Checking in books! I love getting to see what’s new and popular.
Best place to read your book: Curled up in bed.
Why you like reading YA: I like reading about characters my age – it makes them easier to relate to.
 
Review by Megan M. 
 
Alyssa is a high school senior, her mother is in a mental institution, and her crush is dating her nemesis. As if that weren't enough for a teenage girl to worry about, Alyssa is also cursed. Alyssa's great-great-great grandmother was Alice, as in the Alice who went down the rabbit hole.  As a result of Alice's actions in wonderland, all the women in Alice's family have been plagued with the ability to hear the voices of flowers and insects which doesn’t have a very beneficial impact on their sanity. 
When Alyssa comes of age, she starts hearing the voices too and worries she'll end up just like her mother.  Alyssa is determined to find a way to rid herself and her mother of the curse before it's too late.  When a shadowy figure named Morpheus shows up from Alyssa's memories she realizes it might not be as hard as she thought to find wonderland but finding out who she can trust in this fantastical new world is another story.
 
Splintered was a creative and entertaining twist on Lewis Carrol's time-honored tale.  I thoroughly enjoyed venturing to this darker version of wonderland and meeting all the more mischievous versions of the classic characters, as well as some very interesting new ones.  Overall, a few sluggish parts aside, Splintered was a delightfully creepy and well-paced read.
 
Name: Megan M.
Department:  Circulation              
Years at AHML:  About 5 with a short hiatus in the middle somewhere.
Favorite Thing I Do at Work:  Getting paid!!!  Just kidding.  Finding awesome new books to read.
Best Place to Read My Book:  Weather permitting, either curled up in bed with my 3 dogs or out tanning by the pool.
Why I Like Reading YA:  It’s fun and there’s lots of variety.