Archive for October 30, 2009

This is What I Want to Tell You – Book Review

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This is What I Want to Tell You by Heather Duffy Stone
Book review by: Anam Tariq
Nadio and Noelle are fraternal twins; add in Keeley, heir childhood friend and you get a perfect family. But when Keeley goes to Oxford, one summer vacation, everything changes. Noelle begins to feel lonely, afraid of being left behind, that she begins to hang out with shady characters to fill the gap in her heart. However, once Keeley arrives back from her trip, she too is different, in that she isn’t open about her trip. In fact she’s afraid to speak about her experience. Nadio is at a loss, as to what to do…how should he protect his sister and in the meantime protect his new found love with Keeley?
This is What I Want to Tell You, by Heather Duffy Stone, is a great teen novel portraying elements of love, loneliness, and desperation. Not to mention that High School life is always hectic. The novel is told in two points of views – Noelle and Nadio, giving an insight to Noelle’s and Nadio’s life and emotions. “Why don’t people ever see the way other kinds of love can wreck you? What about the way being left out of love can wreck you?”

Famous first words

“There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.” – Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book
Some books have an opening line that just hooks you and draws you in. In the spirit of the season, I wanted to post some creepy favorites.
1 – “3 May. Bistritz–Left Munich at 8.35 P.M. on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6.46, but train was an hour late.”
2 – “You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.”
3 – “It was a dark and stormy night.”
4 – “When shall we three meet again?
In thunder, lightning or in rain?”
5 – “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”
6 – “Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house.”
7 – “I’d never given much thought to how I would die–though I’d had reason enough in the last few months–but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.”
8 – “My name is Darren Shan. I’m a half-vampire.”
9 – “My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.”
10 – “Once upon a time, not so long ago a monster came to the small town of Castle Rock.”
Can you guess the books?
Here are the answers:
1 – Dracula, Bram Stoker
2 – Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus, Mary Shelley
3 – A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle
4 – Macbeth, William Shakespeare
5 – 1984, George Orwell
6 – Coraline, Neil Gaiman
7 – Twilight, Stephenie Meyer
8 – Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, Darren Shan
9 – The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold
10 – Cujo, Stephen King

Spookin’ it old-school for Halloween: scares from the past

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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, collected from folklore and retold by Alvin Schwartz; illustrations by Stephen Gammell.
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More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, collected from folklore and retold by Alvin Schwartz; illustrations by Stephen Gammell.
These books haunted my childhood! Okay, these books are in the children’s room, but are still spooky enough for teens. C’mon, look at the cover illustrations! Spine-tingling! The illustrations throughout are enough to keep you up at night. The stories are collected from American folklore and have an urban legend feel to them. Familiar favorites that you might have heard in some form already include the Babysitter and the Hook. Definitely worth a re-read if you’re a fan of spooky stories. If you’ve never heard of this series, you need to pick up a copy ASAP.
Also worth noting, since we just celebrated Banned Books Week – this series of books has been one of the top ten most challenged books on the American Library Association’s list of banned and challenged books for being too violent, insensitive and inappropriate for its target age group. That’s pretty awesome.
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Another great blast from the past are the books from R. L. Stine, author of the Goosebumps and Fear Street series. These fast, horror paperbacks are just the right amount of scary for a chilly fall evening. I remember reading The Stepsister and The Knife from my own teen years, but there are tons of other (humorously titled) tales such as:
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The Dead Lifeguard and
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Scream, Jennifer, Scream that you can pick up.
Classic horror never goes out of style, so why not take a look at the originals:
Bram Stoker’s Dracula
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and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein?
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You can always watch the old movies afterwards.
Old-school Halloween can be as scary or cheesy as you choose – just have fun!
Sharon Long
Teen Services Librarian

Angels. And demons.

Not the Dan Brown book, just in general.
We all have to battle our angels and demons in some way, but here are a crop of new books that are LITERALLY about angels and demons battling each other.
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Soul Enchilada by David Macinnis Gill
The devil is in the details. When, after a demon appears to repossess her car, she discovers that both the car and her soul were given as collateral in a deal made with the Devil by her irascible grandfather, eighteen-year-old Bug Smoot, given two-days’ grace, tries to find ways to outsmart the Devil and his minions.
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Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith
When Miranda’s guardian angel Zachary recklessly saves her from falling into an open grave and dying, the result is that she turns into a vampire and he is left to try to reinstate his reputation by finally doing the right thing.
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The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
Sixteen-year-old Nick and his family have battled magicians and demons for most of his life, but when his brother, Alan, is marked for death while helping new friends Jamie and Mae, Nick’s determination to save Alan leads him to uncover a devastating secret.
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Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison
Spunky teen Madison, though technically dead, uses a stolen amulet to retain the illusion of a body and help her in the struggle between Light and Dark reapers.
Enjoy!
Sharon Long
(Summaries from NovelistPlus)

L.A. Candy Book Review

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L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad
Book Review by: Hailey Geltman
Jane Roberts is a beautiful southern California girl who has just moved to Los Angeles for a big internship. She moved with her best friend Scarlett, and together they have decided to tackle the new adventure they are on. One night, Jane gets a little more then she bargained for when approached with the idea to be on her own reality show, L.A. Candy. It would star herself, Scarlett, and two other girls, but Jane would be the star. Jane has never been one for the spotlight but agrees to do it. So what happens when the glamorous life of a reality show star stops filming? Drama.
This book is a surprisingly good read from an even more surprising author, reality television star Lauren Conrad. She blends our illusions of Hollywood with reality as only someone who has lived it first-hand is able to do. At times it may get a little corny and predictable (hooking up with your best friend’s boyfriend!), but it’s for those same reasons that you keep reading. The even better part is that most of the storylines are true because we have seen Lauren live them on screen. Hopefully her judgment is a little better than her protagonist’s, Jane Roberts.
I would recommend this book to girls between the ages of 12-19 because it is a little racy for young girls. Anyone who likes reality television drama would definitely enjoy this book because there is plenty of it! All teen girls will love it. At times you will wish you were Jane and at other times…not so much!
Thanks for the review, Hailey!

Forest Born Book Review

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Forest Born by Shannon Hale
VOYA Book review by: Carleen Sanchez
Forest Born is an enjoyable book because it is well written and has an interesting plot; however, sometimes it is repetitive. At times it is unrealistic and a little confusing. The author creates very unique characters that are appealing. In addition, the very descriptive language allows the reader to get a good mental picture of the setting. The book is very long because at some points the author rambles. The happy ending is excellent because it doesn’t leave the reader hanging.
VOYA rating:
3P 4Q
(This means she gave it a 3 out of 5 for Popularity – “Will appeal with pushing” and 4 out of 5 for Quality – “Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses.”)