Thursday, July 3, 2014

What teens are reading...

If you are signed up for SET FORTH! NEW WORLDS AWAIT YOU..., which is our Teen Summer Reading Program, then chances are you have written us some BOOK REVIEWS! We thought it would be fun to feature some of them here. So here's what some of YOU are reading this summer...

Those of you writing book reviews, notice what these reviewers did. They told what the book was about without giving away any spoilers. (A general rule is, don't tell anything that happens past the first chapter or so.) They told why they liked the book. They also said why you might like the book. This is your goal, book reviewers!

Noggin, by John Corey Whaley
Reviewed by Alex A.

Travis Coate, a 16-year-old boy, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer that is extremely rare and hard to cure. After going through different treatments with failed results, Travis is then offered an opportunity that could save his life; the opportunity would decapitate and freeze Travis's head until scientists can reattach it to a new and healthy body. Travis decides to take that chance and leave all his friends, family, and most importantly, his girlfriend. Five years later, Travis wakes up to discover that the procedure worked. Now Travis has to deal with the fact that the world and the people that he knew moved on without him, and learn to adjust to everyday life. I truly found this book a well written work of fiction, because it contained a blend of emotions, from its funny quips to its sad moments. I recommend this book to anyone who just wants a good book to read, no matter what type and/or genre of book it is.

Project 17, by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Reviewed by Katrina D.

This book is about six teens who go to an abandoned asylum to make a movie. That's totally the best place to go to make a movie, right? For the director, Derik, this is a chance to become a filmmaker after high school and not have to work at his parents' old smelly restaurant. But it turns out to be much scarier and more surprising than they expected. If you love dank asylums, high school kids, and stories to make you scream, then this is the book for you!!!

Deliver Us from Normal, by Kate Klise
Reviewed by Isaiah M.

Deliver Us from Normal is about a boy named Charles Harrisong, who lives with his large family in Normal, Illinois. Charles is no normal sixth grader. He is very emotional, makes lists in his head, and is very embarrassed by his family. But he soon finds out how much he really loves them. This book is very creative and funny. It is similar to Loser, by Jerry Spinelli, but for older kids. If you liked that book, you'll love this one.

How to Fall, by Jane Casey
Reviewed by Shushan L.

After Jess Tennant hears about her cousin Freya's death, she decides she wants to go visit Freya's friends and family with her mother. The second they arrive, Jess has hundreds of questions floating in her head, but when she asks people about Freya's death, she finds that either nobody knows anything about it, or they do know something, but they are keeping it to themselves. Jess then finds herself trying to find out whether Freya's death was an accident, a murder, or suicide. This is the probably the most amazing thriller that I have ever read! It is full of twists and turns that will keep you from putting the book down. Right when you think you know what's going to happen next, the author will shock you with something you didn't expect.

Free to Fall, by Lauren Miller
Reviewed by Patrick C.

I was completely blown away by everything that Free to Fall, by Lauren Miller, had to offer. I was expecting a draggy dystopian book, but I got an amazing, heart-pounding, plot-twisted novel. It was smartly written, and I loved everything about it. Hands down one of the best novels I read this year!

Great concept (Check)
Sci-Fi Dystopian? (YES, check)
An App called Lux that dictates everything for a person? (Check)
I definitely was picking this one up!

The story was always moving, and I like it when books do that. I mean, who wants to sit there and read something that doesn't have a moving plot? Rory Vaughn was one of the most well-written characters I read. Her life completely changes when she is accepted to Theden Academy. In her world, everything is chosen for you from an app called Lux. It dictates what you should do and picks the best possible choices. Rory was a strong, fierce character, and I liked seeing her find and discover herself. You see her deal with choices like if she should listen to The Doubt or if the people around her are loyal and true. As she settles in Theden, she meets her fun and outgoing roommate, Hershey. Then Lauren Miller kicks up the action and suspense and it only gets better.

Free to Fall had an amazing plot line! Everything Rory found out or did made sense and led logically to another. Miller also had the perfect balance of her cast of characters, you don't get drowned. In addition, the reader gets hints of a romance bubbling alongside the suspense. I loved the parts in the book where I saw Rory piecing things together and they'll definitely be your favorite parts in the book also.

The book also had a fresh take on dystopian novels. We have seen other books with an overrun government or a heroine fighting for peace, but Free to Fall was a gem. Anyone will love its plot line filled with all sorts of twists, suspense, and revelations. LOVED IT. I definitely cannot wait to pick up Miller's other book, Parallel! Be sure to check this one out!

If you have not joined our Teen Summer Reading Program yet, what are you waiting for? Fun and prizes await you! Click on the link at the top right of this page (hint: it says "sign up"!) and join us this summer at the library!

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