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Stuff for the Teen Age

Kingsbridge Teens Are Reading, Watching, and Enjoying…


Members of our Teen Advisory Group have been reviewing lots of books and movies this year!  Here are some highlights of the reviews we've been sharing in our Teen Review Tuesday posts on Tumblr:

Belzhar by Meg WolitzerBelzhar

Here’s a review from Caitlin G.:

This book follows the story of Jam Gallahue who has recently been admitted to the Wooden Barn—a boarding school where “highly intelligent, yet emotionally fragile” students go.  Basically, teens who have experienced some sort of trauma are sent here to heal.  In Jam’s case, her boyfriend of 41 days died and she still has not recovered even a year after the incident.  Jam and four other students are selected to be part of the Special Topics in English class.  Why they were chosen is not revealed (until later) but it does force Jam and the others to confront their traumatic experiences and realize the truth of what really happened.  

I’m recommending this title due to its unusual yet captivating plot.  While reading, you learn a lot about what happened to Jam’s classmates (why they ended up in the Special Topics class), yet you don’t get the full details about what happened to Jam herself despite the fact that she is the main protagonist.  It adds to the desire to read more until you discover the truth.  Also, since it’s told in first person POV the vocabulary is simple enough that even reluctant readers will enjoy and understand the story.

There Will Come a Time by Carrie Arcos

Here’s a review from Raiyan Z:

The main character lost his twin sister and needs to complete her bucket list because that’s the only way he feels peaceful.  This book teaches you how you get over the death of a loved one.  The thing that makes this book great is that it has a bit of romance in it and most of the people in my school like romance books a lot.

Identity Thief

Here’s a review from Carlos Q:

Identity Thief is a movie about a person (Melissa McCarthy) who steals people’s identities to steal their money out of their bank accounts.  This movie is funny and it is very interesting.


Here’s a review from Esmeralda C:

There is a man (Wade) who is in a relationship with Grace who is the daughter of a rich man.  Wade isn’t welcomed until he proves his bravery and love for Grace, and then the father accepts Wade and then they live happily ever after.  I would recommend this movie because it’s funny and everybody loves funny things.  Also it’s a popular movie, so it’s well known and people will recognize it.

Reboot by Amy Tintera

Here’s a review from Raiyan Z:

Wren lives in a dystopian society where people are Rebooting.  Rebooting means you’ll come back to life as a person who will heal quickly if you get injured, unless the damage is to the brain.  Wren Rebooted herself and she is the strongest of all.  But her new apprentice, who she has to mentor, is weak with human emotions.  If he doesn’t change she will have to kill him, or the government will.  This book has thrilling excitement, with great twists.  It is sci-fi, dystopian, and romantic, like the Divergent series, which most teens get crazy over.  What also makes it great is that it’s very exciting, so it will keep readers involved and curious.

Stranded by Jeff Probst

Here’s a review from Krystal K:

Vanessa, Buzz, Carter and June are brothers and sisters who were supposed to have a great vacation together.  But then a storm hit them and they got stranded on an island and every day they face different challenges but the goal is to survive.  I recommend this book because most people love the show Survivor and the book is all about surviving and it’s a lot of fun.

Welcome to the Dark House by Laurie Faria StolarzWelcome to the Dark House

Here’s a review from Jannyse W:

In my hefty elf sack, your nightmares now keep.  Better think twice before falling asleep. —Nightmare Elf

Welcome to the Dark House masterfully warns: Be careful what you dream.  The Nightmare Elf can get you at any moment.  As soon as your head hits the pillow and your eyes are closed there’s no escaping what might come next.  The Nightmare Elf is not a fun-loving Santa helper.  He is an evil doll that stars in all of Justin Blake’s movies.  The Nightmare Elf can make your nightmares come to life.

Six contestants entered and won a contest to meet the master of horror, the one and only Justin Blake himself.  But this trip turns bad quickly.  Things went from delightfully dark to dangerously deadly.  Ivy, Parker, Shayla, Natalie, Frankie, and Garth get trapped in an abandoned amusement park.  Each of them has their own nightmare.  To escape the amusement park, they must face their fears.

Told from six unique perspectives, Laurie Faria Stolarz made an eye-catching horror tale.  This book was so awesome.  I don’t usually read books like this one.  I’m a picky book person.  But it was a page-turner.  As you get into the book you start to understand each character and their worst nightmares.  I believe this book is for everyone who enjoys horror and a good laugh.  The only crummy part of the book is that the introduction to the characters takes up half the book.  But once the tone of the story is set and you’re uneasy about the ordeal that feels way suspicious is when the horror begins.  Dun Dun Duuuuuun!

Middle School: Ultimate Showdown by James Patterson

Here’s a review from Carlos Q:

This book is about a basic brother-sister fight, which they have for idiotic reasons.  This book is great for people who don’t like to read, and it has little activities like games.

Peter Pan (aka Peter and Wendy) by J. M. Barrie

Here’s a review from Caitlin G:

One night, a mysterious boy (Peter Pan) enters the Darling household in search of his shadow which has been taken from him by their dog, Nana.  However, before he can escape the boy awakens the eldest child Wendy Darling.  Who, after sewing his shadow back on, agrees to run away with him to tell many stories to the Lost Boys.  Once in Neverland, she meets Tiger Lily and the evil Captain Hook, and thus begins her temporary life on the island.  If you’ve watched Disney’s Peter Pan or one of the other film versions, it’s only natural that you read the actual novel.  Doing so would allow someone to make comparisons which are always fun.  For example, while Disney makes the story family-friendly, the actual Peter Pan character is much darker than some might think (e.g. - much more willing to kill).  Additionally, the novel appeals to a large age group due to its interesting plot as well as vocabulary advanced enough to be on the SATs.

Every Day by David LevithanEvery Day

Here’s a review from Jannyse W:

Every Day is probably my 2nd favorite book.  It’s so amazing and descriptive!  Each chapter the narrator is in a different body.  His/her name is A.  A goes into the body of Justin, who’s a jock, and falls in love with Justin’s girlfriend.  This is the first time A. has ever fallen in love.  A lot of crazy stuff happens.  He is so in love with this girl that he breaks the news and shares his biggest secret, how he switches back and forth to different bodies every day.  She doesn’t exactly believe him until he proves it.  If I would rate this book out of 10, it would be 100, it’s so great.  If you’re into romance and a little bit of comedy this book is right for you.  It’s told from the same person’s point of view, just different bodies.  At first the pace is slow but then it speeds up.  That’s when the good stuff happens.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules by Jeff Kinney

Here’s a review from Carlos Q:

I like this book because it is funny, and I like the part when Greg was mad at Rodrick so he snitched on him but he got beat up.  I think everyone would like this book because it is not a long book and it’s funny, and kids like funny books!

Idols by Margaret Stohl

Here’s a review from Krystal K:

This book is about four kids who were left on their own to survive but they have powers which help them.  Dol, the main character, has the power to help but she doesn’t know it yet.  People love books with action and love and everything else.  This book has everything that they love!  My favorite part was when Dol met her sister but she didn’t know she was her sister.

Cinder by Marissa MeyerCinder

Here’s a review from Esmeralda C:

There is this cyborg named Cinder who is in a family that doesn’t want her.  There is this illness going around that is killing everybody, and her stepsister catches it.  The prince of her land falls in love with her, but when he finds out she’s a cyborg he’s shocked.  I recomend this title because it has romance and it’s about the struggle of a girl who tries to fit in.

Perfect by Natasha Friend

Here’s a review from Jahnyse W:

Isabelle Lee has a little sister named April.  She saw Isabelle do something many people call nasty -- forcing herself to puke.  April told their mother what happened, and now just for that “one time” Isabelle is being forced to attend an eating disorder and body image therapy group.  She hates it.  Everything at home seems “fine,” but her family is still going through problems with her father’s death.  Isabelle throws up to make herself feel better about everything.  Then when she goes to the therapy group she’s surprised to see Ashley, the most popular girl in school.

This book is for people who want to read a book from the point of view of an anorexic/bulimic person.  This girl goes through many problems.  Throwing up to try to fix everything is not the biggest of her worries.  I believe this book is for girls because it talks about body image.  You should respect yourself no matter what.  This book shows you shouldn’t change your body no matter what size.  Isabella shows people how to get through that.

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans

Here’s a review by Raiyan Z:

Michael Vey can produce electricity, and his power is increasing.  No one knows about his power until he loses control and electrocutes the school bullies.  But then things change when he discovers more of his kind.  I recommend this book because there’s incredible action and there’s romance.  Great for Divergent readers!

Kiss of the Rose Princess by Aya ShouotoKiss of the Rose Princess

Here’s a review by Rachel L:

This manga is about a girl named Anise who is never allowed to take off a choker her father gave her.  But one day it falls off and Anise finds out that she’s the Rose Princess guarded by Rose Knights who she will be with forever to stop a demon’s seal from breaking.  This is a more girly type of teen book.  I love the plot and it’s a cheerful book, which I believe most teens will love.

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

Here’s a review by Jahnyse W:

Out of My Mind is an amazing book that shows people how disabled people feel.  It also teaches others to respect.  This book is from Melody’s perspective.  She is a disabled girl who tries to manage life being bullied and unable to move anything but her thumbs.  When she goes from a disabled room to a “normal” class it changes everything.  This is an opportunity for all the “special” kids to know what it’s like to be in a “normal” class.  

This book was assigned by my old school for summer reading.  At first I thought it was going to be boring and dumb because it was forced on us.  But then the minute I opened that book and started to read I got into it.  I understood Melody.  She was extremely smart, but no one knew because of what she looked like.  The fact that she was in a wheelchair and couldn’t move meant she was “dumb.”  But it wasn’t true.  NEVER JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER.  NO MATTER WHAT.  

The whole world finds out how smart she is when she gets a medi-talker.  It’s a machine that Melody uses.  She can use her thumbs to push the buttons and it talks for her.  The only friends who stick by her are Rosie, her mom, her babysitter, Katherine, and her dad.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Here’s a review by Krystal K:

This is a book about a kid named Greg who has a brother who bullies him and a younger brother too, and a mom and a father who are very funny.  I recommend this book because many people like comedy and books that are really realistic.  This book is very funny and it’s a book that everyone could read, not only kids.

Fairy Tail Book 1 by Hiro MashimaFairy Tail

Here’s a review by Ellie M:

This manga is about a girl named Lucy who is a wizard.  She meets Natsu Dragneel who helps her join the wizard guild, Fairy Tail.  They become best friends, going on numerous adventures together.  I recommend this book because it has a great story and it has magic in it, which I think is what makes it a great book!

Wolf Rider by Avi

Here’s a review from Raiyan Z:

Andy got a phone call from a man named Zeke.  Zeke says he killed Nina.  No one believes Andy about the call, but then he really sees Nina, who matches Zeke’s exact description.  Andy tries to warn her, but she presses charges against him.  I’m recommending this book because there is a lot of suspense that will keep the reader interested to find “Zeke.”  This book is easy to read, but it’s not for kids under 12.


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