"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."
— Groucho Marx (The Essential Groucho)
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Teen book reviews
James Dashner -The Kill Order
A prequel to the Maze Runner trilogy, The Kill Order has been in the works since the completion of The Maze Runner. The story of civilization's fall was kept under wraps and is the explication of the events that began this bestselling series.
Jodi Lynn Anderson -Tiger Lily
Fifteen year old Tiger Lily meets the alluring Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell. Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known, and unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything, her future, her family just to be with him.
Kiersten White - Endlessly
The new director at the International Paranormal Containment Agency wants to drag Evie back to headquarters. The Dark Faerie queen is torturing humans and everyone insists that Evie is the only one who can save them.
Juliet Marillier - Shadowfell
Sixteen year old Neryn is eager to hide her ability to communicate with the fairy like Good Folk. She sets out for the legendary Shadowfell, a home and training ground for a group determined to overthrow the evil King Keldec. Homeless, unsure of who to trust, and trapped in an empire determined to crush her, Neryn must make it to Shadowfell not only to save herself, but to save her home.
Maggie Stiefvater - The Raven Boys
Gansey has always loved the tales of sleeping kings. He thinks he’s found one, or at least the area where one might be. And the best way to be there is to attend the prestigious Aglionby Academy for Boys. Blue is the daughter of the town psychic in Henrietta, Virginia, but doesn't believe in things like spirits or true love.
Pittacus Lore - The Rise of Nine
Until the day I met John Smith, Number Four, I'd been on the run alone, hiding and fighting to stay alive. Together, we are much more powerful, but now we must seperate to find the others...
Cassandra Clare - City of Lost Souls
When Jace vanishes with Sebastian, Clary and the Shadowhunters struggle to piece together their shattered world and Clary infiltrates the group planning the world's destruction.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone - by Laini Taylor
Karou is a seventeen year old art student who runs errands for the closest thing she has to a family. They are fantastical creatures called the Chimeras, part human, part animal.
Her guardian Brimstone trades in Human teeth. These serve as the basis for all human wishes.
Karou is caught in the human world when a beautiful stranger leaves hand prints burnt into the portals to the other world, destroying her way home and exposing her to a war she never knew existed, and torn between love for a beautiful enemy and loyalty to her Chimera family.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Beauty Queen - by Libba Bray
When a plane full of teenage beauty queens crashes on a remote Island, the surviving girls are forced to push themselves to the limit in order to survive.
This plane full of driven, self absorbed, uniquely talented beauty queens is nothing like your usual survival novel.
Beauty Queens was placed as one of the best teen books for 2011.
Also available as a online audio book.
An Abundance of Katherines - by John Green
Dumped by 19 girls named Katherine, child prodigy Colin Singleton and his best friend take a heart-healing road trip where Colin hopes to prove mathematically that relationships are predictable and earn his way into adulthood as a certified genius.
An Abundance of Katherines
Lament - by Maggie Stiefvater
On the day of the music competitions Deirdre who suffers from performance nerves finds unexpected help from a flute player named Dillion. This is the beginning of a strange turn of events that involve her family and her best friend James a talented pipe player. Deidre keeps finding four leaf clovers these bring her luck and open her eyes to the strange world of Faerie. As her world becomes stranger she learns that on her sixteenth birthday she came into her power as a Clover Hand. A Human with some magical abilities and exceptional musical abilities, the combination of this makes her a Faerie magnet. Some of the Fey want her to join them, others want to kill her and take her power. So why is Luke being so nice to her?
Also available as an Ebook.
Ballard - by Maggie Stiefvater
James and Deirdre have been accepted into an elite music school. Things are awkward between James and Dee, they are only seeing each other occasionally and then never saying what they want to, instead they both text each other but never send the message. Dee is still attracting the wrong type of attention from the Fey and James piping has made him the target of Nuala a faerie muse who offers musical greatness in exchange for a year of his life. Mean while the new Faerie Queen has plans for Deirdries life.
Will - by Maria Boyd
Will has had a difficult six months since his father died. He has been acting out and getting into trouble. The last straw for the school is when he moons the local girls school bus.
Instead of expelling him his teachers rally and suggest that he use his musical talent to help out in the school musical. A certain social death.
This is a well written, enjoyable read with lots of humor, that deals with social stereotypes and grief in an interesting way.
The Girl in the Steel Corset - by Kady Cross
Finley is unnaturally strong and has a dark side to her nature that she is unable to control. She is taken in by Griffin King who sees her potential and holds the secret to her personality.
Set in 1897 England in a bizarre world of machines and evil automations.
Steampunk Fiction. Enjoyed this. The story is based on the Dr jekyll and Mr Hyde experiment.
The Girl in the Steel Corset
Ashes - by Ilsa J. Bick
A new world order has emerged after huge electronic pulses destroy all electronic gadgets and communication. Healthy People aged from their early 20's to late 50's drop dead. Young children survive and teenagers turn into brain zapped, primative flesh eating others. Of course there are a few exceptions.
This story is about Alex and her stuggle to survive and the other survivors she meets on the way.
I enjoyed this book, it is well written and takes a different slant on things.
Dark Inside - by Jeyn Roberts
Violent earthquakes herald the begining of the end for civilization as dark thoughts invade the minds of many of the survivors who then hunt down normal humans so they can feed on their fear.
Great end of the world science fiction, dark thoughts that give rise to humans who kill other people for fun. Even amoungst the normal survivors there are those who could become warriors for the good or give themselves over to dark thoughts.
A Long Long Sleep - by Anna Sheehan
Rosalinda Fitzroy has been locked away in a chemically induced sleep for 62 years when she is discovered by accident and revived by a kiss.
It's a bit of a shock to discover that her parents are dead and she has become the heir to an interplanetary empire.
Not every body is happy to see her, and she is persuded by a killer humanoid robot called a plastine.
Science Fiction based on Sleeping Beauty. Fun.
A Long Long Sleep
Riding Invisible - by Sandra Alonzo
In Southern California, fifteen-year-old Yancy Aparacio, fed up with the physical and mental abuse his older brother Will inflicts, runs away on his horse, Shy, and tries to become invisible.
This is Yancy's journal, written while he is on the run from his older brother Will, who has a condition called Conduct Disorder. The condition is often linked to serial killers. Will is manipulative, clever and cruel and he has made Yancys life miserable. He has suffered in silence until Will attacks his best friend, his horse named Sly.
I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book, the book looks hand written, and is illustrated. Easy to read. If you want to try something a little different, read this.
Smile - by Raina Telgemeier
A Graphic Novel about Raina's abventures or should I say misadventures at the dentist. This is one unlucky kid, she knocks out her two front teeth, then has them put back only to find that after the plaster comes off her teeth have gone up to far, she then has to have fake teeth and braces to pull her smile back into place.
This book is fantastic, any teenager about to get braces will be able to relate to Raina, she is a typical teenager wtih a weird sense of humour. I love the way she discovers herself along the way.
The Berlin Boxing Club - by Robert Sharenow
In 1936 Berlin, fourteen-year-old Karl Stern, considered Jewish despite a non-religious upbringing, learns to box from the legendary Max Schmeling while struggling with the realities of the Holocaust.
This was an interesting view point. Unlike his father and sister Karl did not look Jewish so in lots of ways's he is sheltered from some of the brutality of war. His family like so many thought the whole thing would blow over.
This is a well written thought provoking book. I even learnt a bit about boxing.
The Berlin Boxing Club
The Book Thief - by Marcus Zusak
Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel - a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.
Not for everyone but I enjoyed it.
The Book Thief
The Northern Lights - by Philip Pullman
Accompanied by her daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North.
Well written series. Also published as the Golden Compass.
The Northern Lights
Pegasus - by Robin Mckinley
Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and pegasi, Princess Sylvi is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own pegasus, on her twelfth birthday, but the closeness of their bond becomes a threat to the status quo and possibly to the safety of their two nations.
This was recommended by a friend.
Would recommend it to girls who like horse stories and fantasy
Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale - by Holly Black
After returning home from a tour with her mother's rock band, sixteen-year-old Kaye, who has been visited by faeries since childhood, discovers that she herself is a magical faerie creature with a special destiny.
Part one in a Modern Tale of Faierie Series. Good.
Infinity - by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Fourteen-year-old sarcastic, street-savvy Nick is drawn into the world of the Dark-Hunters, but must hide his participation in the battle against werewolves, vampires, and zombies from his mother and high school principal.
My first voyage into the world of Zombies. I liked it.
Watch out for Part Two Invincible, due out soon.
City of Bones - by Cassandra Clare
Suddenly able to see demons and the Darkhunters who are dedicated to returning them to their own dimension, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is drawn into this bizzare world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a monster.
City of Bones
City of Ash - by Cassandra Clare
Sixteen-year-old Clary continues trying to make sense of the swiftly changing events and relationships in her life as she becomes further involved with the Shadowhunters and their pursuit of demons and discovers some terrifying truths about her parents, her brother Jace, and her boyfriend Simon.
One of the best series to come out of 2010.
City of Ash
The Hunger Games - by Suzanne Collins
In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place.
Quite savage, reminded me a bit of Lord of the Flies with the whole survival theme.
This was voted the top teen read for 2010. It was well written, but I perfered Cassandra Clare's series.
The Hunger Games
Skin Hunger - by Kathleen Duey
In alternate chapters, Sadima travels from her farm home to the city and becomes assistant to a heartless man who is trying to restore knowledge of magic to the world, and a group of boys fights to survive in the academy that has resulted from his efforts.
Well written and quite dark.
Stork - by Wendy Delsol
After her parents' divorce, Katla and her mother move from Los Angeles to Norse Falls, Minnesota, where Kat immediately alienates two boys at her high school and, improbably, discovers a kinship with a mysterious group of elderly women (the Icelandic Stork Society) who 'deliver souls.'
This is Wendy's first novel.
Good. I have read a lot of Fantasy novels and this is the first time I have come across a modern day take on human storks and Jack Frost.
The Sky Inside - by Clare B. Dunkle
Martin lives in a 'perfect world' under the protective dome of suburb HM1, where every year a new generation of genetically-engineered children is shipped out to meet their parents. And it's all about to come crashing down because a stranger has come to take away all the little children, including Martin's sister, Cassie, and no one wants to talk about where they have gone.
Martin has a choice either to remain in the dubious safety of HM1, or to break out of the suburb into the mysterious land outside.
What can happen when we trust the people in power to have your best interests at heart.
Interesting Sci Fi.
The Sky Inside
Red Moon Rising - by Peter Moore
In a world where vampires dominate and werewolves are despised, a teenaged half-vampire discovers his recessive werewolf genes are developing with the approaching full moon.
The ultimate mixed up teen. If you thought you had problems imagine being a half wolf half Vampire. This is about accepting who you are. Easy to read, entertaining.
Red Moon Rising
Hold Me Closer Necromancer - by Lish McBride
Sam LaCroix, a Seattle fast-food worker and college dropout, discovers that he is a necromancer,
part of a world of harbingers, werewolves, satyrs, and one particular necromancer who sees Sam as a threat to his lucrative business of raising the dead.
I'm not usually into books about people who can raise the dead, but this one was only slightly
creepy and full of humour. So yes I enjoyed it.
Hold Me Closer Necromancer
Soul Enchilada - by David Macinnis Gill
After a demon appears to repossess Grace's car, she discovers that both the car and her soul were given as collateral in a deal made with the Devil by her irresponsible grandfather, eighteen-year-old Bug Smoot, given two-days' grace, tries to find ways to outsmart the Devil and his minions.
Good Off Beat Fiction.
XVI - by Julia Karr
At fifteen, Nina Oberon leads a pretty normal life that includes family, friends, and school. However, Nina lives in a totalitarian future society in which all girls are required to get to a Governing Council-ordered "XVI" wrist tattoo on their 16th birthdays, announcing to the world that they are ready for sex. Becoming a "sex-teen" is Nina's worst fear until, right before her birthday, her mother is brutally attacked and reveals a shocking truth to Nina with her dying breaths that changes everything Nina thought she knew about her life.
Now, alone but for her younger sister, Nina must try to discover who she really is, all the while
staying one step ahead of her mother's killer.
Interesting, a world controlled by the media. Unfortunately it is not hard to imagine this happening.
A story about thinking for yourself. Good.
The Silver Kiss - by Annette Curtis Klause
In The silver kiss, a mysterious teenage boy harboring a dark secret helps Zoë come to terms with her mother's terminal illness, and in the accompanying short stories, more is revealed of Simon's past and Zoë's future.
Three linked stories.
This Vampire tale is about love, lost and found. And coming to terms with death.
An ALA Award book. Enjoyed it.
The Silver Kiss
Entwined- by Heather Dixon
Confined to their dreary castle while mourning their mother's death, Princess Azalea and her eleven sisters join The Keeper, who is trapped in a magic passageway, in a nightly dance that soon becomes nightmarish.
Recommended by Monique. "I just loved it"
Lost Boy, Lost Girl - by John Bul Dau
962.4043 DAU DAU
Escaping Civil War in Sudan
One of thousands of children who fled strife in southern Sudan, John Bul Dau survived hunger, exhaustion, and violence. His wife, Martha, endured similar hardships. Both authors talk about their own experiences. Marthas contribution is particularly important because a womens point of view is rarley heard. The aid organisations did not realise there was a problem with lost girls because of the Dinka tradition of putting the girls in foster families.
Lost Boy, Lost Girl
This Is Why You're Fat - by Jessica Amason
American food gone mad.
This book contains some of the grossest recipes I have ever seen.
The grease almost runs out the pages, making most of our junk food look healthy.
This Why You're Fat
Surviving the Angel of Death – by Eva Mozes Kor
940.531809 KOR KOR
Eva was 10 when she arrived at Auschwitz concentration camp. While her parents and older sisters were sent to the gas chambers, she and her identical twin Miriam were given into the care of Dr Josef Mengele otherwise known as the Angel of Death, and subjected to medical experiments.