The teens in our Teen Advisory Group have been doing a lot of reading this fall. See if you agree with their reviews!
Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer by Katie Alender
For as long as she can remember, Colette Iselin has been waiting to go to Paris in order to learn more about her heritage. However, upon her arrival she soon learns that there has been a series of peculiar murders. Each victim is an heir of an upper-class family, and their heads are always chopped off! What's even worse, before every murder occurs, a ghost of a female in an old-style French ball gown appears before each person. Although I haven't finished this book, I have already fallen in love with it. The writing is absolutely wonderful; for a murder mystery novel, it does not overdo it, and the main character is not entirely self-aware of her background. I think that readers will be turning page after page without rest. —Caitlin G
Colette Iselin's father and mother got divorced, sending them from living in a mansion to living in a small apartment. Colette doesn't tell anybody about it, and when there is a class trip to France she is more than happy to leave her troubles behind and return a new person. But when she gets to France, things aren's as carefree as she once thought. I loved this book, but I thought the ending was a little forced. It was so descriptive in the beginning and middle, and that made the ending seem rushed. —Carol M.
Primates by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks
The authors of this graphic novel describe the time that Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas spent studying apes, chimps, and orangutans. It's interesting to see women active in science, especially at a time when most fields were dominated by men. Also enjoyable for the science folk! —Monica P.
Radiate by Marley Gibson
Hayley Matthews wants to make more friends, so she decides to try cheerleading. However, one day while she is cheerleading she notices that she has a lump on her leg. Her doctor says it might be cancer. This book can teach teens the lesson that we can never be sure about what might happen to us and that we should always pay attention to what is happening around us. —Leslie A.
Inhuman by Kat Falls
Delaney McEvoy lives on the west coast of the United States, behind a great wall that that separates the country into the normal half and the infected half. Delaney (or "Lane") is soon told about something she needs to do to save her father (who is an illegal smuggler), and she has to cross over to the other side of the wall to look for him. I think this is a really good book. I like the clear picture it illustrates, and it's very easy to read and get lost in this book. The story is futuristic, yet you understand the characters' points of view very well. —Carol M.
Bubble World by Carol Snow
Unbenownst to her until much later, Fresia lives in a teenage wonderland that is meant to be educating her. She realises how disconnected and alone she is after being "deleted" from the wonderland. She does go back to an "innovated" version of it, but retreats to real life. This book is relatable and goes to a (good) extreme on our reliance on technology these days. It also secures/damages our trust on internet friends we've never met. —Monica P.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Essentially, this novel describes the life of Hester Prynne after she committed the ultimate sin in a perfect Puritan society: ADULTERY. As a result, she and her daughter live a life of shame. If you're wondering who the father of Pearl is … you'll never guess who it is! Eventually, Hester's life does improve, but it also gets complicated. Frankly, I hate all the characters in this novel because I found them all to be irritating, irrational, insane, or all three. Chillingworth (Hester's actual husband), for example, starts as this logical scholar-type character, and then transforms into a psychopath who wants to get revenge on Hester and kill the baby's father. Pearl is annoying, Hester is annoying, and Dimmesdale is anoying, but overall the novel is good. —Caitlin G
The Wolf Princess by Cathryn Constable
Sophie is an orphan girl who is offered a "magical" opportunity to go to Russia with her two friends. When she gets there, she discovers that this might be a good adventure Then things begin to get unexpected and she ends up meeting a princess and getting tangled in family history. I really like this book. It's easy to read, but funny. The characters are perfectly built and nothing is left undone. It's written in such a way that you can feel the cold and smell the peppermint in the breeze. —Carol M.
Stalker Girl by Rosemary Graham
This book is about this girl named Carly, who feels jealous because her ex-boyfriend is seeing someone else. Then she goes stalking Taylor, Brian's new girlfriend, to figure out information about her. I recommend this book because it can teach teens what happens when you stalk your ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend. —Leslie A.
Sick by Tom Leveen
A group of high school students (misfits + drama students + troublemakers) are trapped by a cannibalistic zombie disease and must try to survive. Unlike The Walking Dead comic / TV series, this story revolves aroung teenagers, which makes for good diversity. There's also lots of in-depth explanations of plot points—disease origin theories, Amanda's problems, racism, what people really mean to say, etc. —Monica P.
False Sight by Dan Krokos
This book is about a girl named Miranda who just happens to be a clone. All she wants is to live a normal life, but "the creators" plan to use the clones as weapons for destruction. I recommend this book because it has romance, action, and a great clear picture. —Carol M.
The Silver Six by A.J. Lieberman
Phoebe has been living as an orphan for a year when she is put into an orphanage and finds a family secret, along with five other orphans who share that secret. This graphic novel has a good story, plot, and sense of humor. It sort of reminds me of The Invention of Hugo Cabret. —Monica P.
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
In response to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Maguire wrote this novel from the point of view of the infamous wicked witch of the west—except, she wasn't always known that way. Instead, she once had the name Elphaba. She was an outcast who had green skin; even her own father hated her. However, she had a rare talent: the ability to use magic. She was sent to school in order to take care of her little sister who had been paralyzed from the waist down. The book describes how she actually came to be known as the wicked witch of the west. I'm recommending this book because I feel as though people now don't read much variety (usually books about dystopian futures), and they need to mix it up a bit. Not to mention that if you've seen the Broadway play, then you must read the original book. Also, it's a nice change to read a different perspective on a classic tale. —Caitlin G.
How to Lose Everything: A Mostly True Story by Philipp Mattheis
Four German boys in 1994 find wads of cash in an abandoned house and splurge, but the money causes more problems than luxury for them. Besides the writing style, it gives a realistic glimpse of wanting to grow up too early, as well as the dangers of life with drugs, alcohol, and money. —Monica P.
Season of the Witch by Mariah Fredericks
Toni did a stupid thing during the summer. She hooked up with Chloe's (queen bee of the school) boyfriend. Chloe decides to have her revenge on Toni and begins making her life impossible. Then, Toni begins to know a girl named Cassandra a little better. Cassandra offers her a chance at revenge … beginning with Chloe's boyfriend … then moving on to Chloe. I recommend this book because it shows that revenge may harm you as well as others. I personally think this is a must-read and enjoyed every second of it. FIVE STARS! —Carol M.
Strobe Edge Vol 1 by Io Sakisaka
This is a romance manga that revolves around human emotions that everyone has felt at some point in their lives, as well as how they affect our relationships. I enjoyed this book, and I considered its portrayal of the chaos of relationships entertaining. Personally, I think the library should try to order more copies of this series (it had a horrible cliffhanger at the end). As to what makes it great … wonderful story, great art, lots of emotion … aaaaand that's all I've got! —Amen A.
The Paradox of Vertical Flight by Emil Ostrovski
On his 18th birthday, Jack finds out that his ex, Jess, is giving birth to his accidental son. On a panic-filled whim to spend time with his son, he takes his son, his best friend, and his ex on a road trip to see his Alzheimers-ridden grandmother before he loses her. This book covers typical teen problems—teen pregnancy, love, graduation, moving, family, friends. Plus the writing style makes it easy to cry after laughing for a few pages. —Monica P.