Teens Read Pick of the Month II
Annotation:Blue Sargent is an ordinary girl; well, she wants to be. Living in a house full of psychic people doesn’t do much for a girl’s reputation. Blue isn’t psychic herself – but that kind of thing tends to make you stand out. Every year, on St Mark’s Eve, Blue finds herself sitting with her mother outside an old church waiting to see ‘dead people’. Not that Blue ever sees any, but her mother does. Blue’s mother sees the ghosts of those who’ll die in the next twelve months come marching up the road, and through the church yard. This year something is different. This year Blue sees the ghost of a boy, a boy who wears the uniform of the local prep school – a Raven Boy. “There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.” When Blue meets Gansey and his three friends she’s determined to keep her distance. After all, she has nothing in common with rich, preppy Raven Boys; and what better warning than ghosts in a graveyard does a girl need? Despite her efforts, Blue finds herself being drawn closer and closer to the Raven Boys and their mysterious quest. Blue can’t help being haunted by the unanswered question - is Gansey the love of her life? Or is she destined to be his killer? Grades 9+, 409 pages
Annotation:Would you know how to stop an armed robbery? Imogen spent 6 years earning her black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and her skills have always made her feel safe and confident. When a robbery happens right in front of her Imogen doesn’t react the way she expects and the night ends in tragedy. She can’t even remember what happened- all she knows is that she hid under a table and locked eyes with a boy across the diner and somehow ended up covered in blood. Traumatized and feeling like a failure, Imogen starts tuning out at school and lashing out at friends. Is she a failure at martial arts? Has all her work meant nothing? With the help of her family and the boy from the diner, Imogen has to work through her trauma, rethink her outlook on life and martial arts and finally remember what really happened that night. Grades 7+, 274 pages
Annotation:Seventeen-year-old, slacker Nick “Nero” Sole leads a pretty lame life. He is a less than average student; his only home life consists of a mute sister and a paranoid, hippie father (AKA “The Dude”); and, even worse yet, he constantly smells like raw chicken from his part-time butchering job at the Rebozzo Processing Plant. But Nick’s life quickly jumps from Bad to Totally Gnarley! after a botched poultry predicament ends with him being sentenced to the Upward Bound motivational camp for juvenile delinquents. While en route to the camp, Nick is shoved face-first into the maw of undead camp counselors, headless hunters and zombie cheerleaders who want nothing more than to pick his brain (literally!) and chew the fat (that is, his fat!) for a while. Spurred on by the voice in his head (WWF’s “The Rock”), Nick leads a group of teenage reprobates through the California wilderness where they must fight for their lives against a rapidly growing population of zombies. Filled with more horror and hilarity than a clown caught in a meat processor, this is one book you definitely don’t want to miss! Grade 10+, 346 pages
Annotation:What makes us fall in love--and what makes us who we are? Every day A wakes up in a different body: Male, female, gay, straight, different races and religions, A has been everything. There’s no telling who it will be, and there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. All A knows is that the person will be the same age as A and will be in roughly the same geographic location as the body A went to sleep in the night before. A does not know why this is happening, but has made peace with it, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. Until one day A meets Rhiannon, and everything changes. What do you do when you meet the person you want to be with but you’re a different person every day? Grade 9+, 324 pages
Annotation:Jane was born dead; her heart was stopped when she entered the world. The doctors saved her but ever since then she has a tendency to have accidents that could lead to death. By the time she is seventeen years old, Jane has swallowed drain cleaner, been electrocuted and almost hit by a train. After all of that she puts a nail gun to her head and almost succeeds in ending her life. No one knows the real reason for these “accidents” except her best friend, Lexi. What they both know is that some mysterious force attached to Jane is trying to end her life and after the nail gun incident it takes the form of a shadow. And the shadow seems more powerful than ever. Jane begins sleepwalking and a human skull has been found near her home. How will Jane and her best friend solve the mysteries around Jane before the shadow finally ends her life? Grades 7+, 226 pages
Annotation:Liyana has spent most of her life training to become the vessel for her desert tribe’s goddess. On the appointed day she will dance to summon Bayla, who will inhabit her body while Liyana’s spirit dies. Liyana is prepared, but when the ceremony fails her tribe accuses her of being unfit and abandons her to die in the desert alone. Fighting to survive, she meets a boy name d Korbyn, who claims to be the trickster god inhabiting a human vessel- and Korbyn wants her help. The gods have been imprisoned, and Korbyn wants to set them free so they can inhabit their appointed vessels. Liyana wants to help her people, who cannot survive in the desert without the magic of the gods. But if success means her own death what will Liyana choose? Grades 7+, 432 pages.
Annotation:Seraphina has a secret. In a world where dragons and humans coexist, bound together by the most fragile of peace treaties, Seraphina is the one thing that no one believes is real - a half-breed. Gifted with an astonishing musical talent, Seraphina juggles life as the assistant to court musician, Viridius, with lessons from Orma, the dragon who is so much more to her than just a tutor. Four decades of uneasy peace are blown asunder when the Prince of Goredd is found dead. Dragons can fold themselves in to human form, but their coldly analytical minds always mark them as different. With the Dragon’s leader arriving for the anniversary celebrations the city is in turmoil. Dragons are being harassed by roving gangs of humans and the exiled knights are sending in reports of a dragon seen flying near the location of the Prince's murder. Seraphina finds herself drawn in to the investigation of the Prince’s death, working alongside the dangerously insightful Lucian Kiggs. Together they find hints of a sinister plot that threatens both dragon and human realms. Can Seraphina help keep the peace between dragons and humans, hide her true self and manage to keep her heart intact? Grades 9+, 465 pages.
Annotation:As The Dead crawl from the grave in Victorian-era Philadelphia, sixteen-year-old Eleanor Fitt ventures out to rescue her brother-gone-missing from the clutches of the evil necromancer responsible for the zombie uprising. Grades 9-12, 388 pages.
Annotation:Escaping from a lifetime of abuse, Ismae finds sanctuary at the convent of St. Mortain where young women are trained as assassins to serve the god of Death. Named as the apprentice to the mistress of poisons, Ismae is educated in the womanly arts and trained to wield every weapon imaginable. Eager to prove her loyalty and worth, Ismae faithfully completes her assignments and discovers the god of Death’s marque upon those she is ordered to assassinate. When the mysterious Gavriel Duval interrupts one of Ismae’s assignments, she is thrust into the high court to protect the Duchess of Brittany and to find those that bear the marque. The struggle for power at court ensues as spies lurk around every corner, alliances are made in secret and traitors conspire to overthrow the Duchess. Soon, Ismae realizes that carrying out an order without question is extremely complex especially when the tempting, but possibly treasonous Gavriel is involved. Ismae must rely on her instincts, skills, and her heart, as the intrigue at court proves to be lethal. Grades 9+, 549 pages.
Annotation:Based on the author’s family’s experiences, this book provides a glimpse into the little known plight of millions of Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians and Finns during the Stalanist takeover of the Baltic states through the eyes of Lina, a teen aged girl. Pulled from her home by the secret police and separated from her father, she is crammed into a cattle car with her mother and brother and transported to a Siberian labor camp. We follow Lina, her family, and their fellow prisoners as they struggle to retain dignity and humanity through starvation, extreme weather, disease, and brutal mental and physical treatment. During her imprisonment, Lina finds solace in her art, using it to document her experiences and to try to send messages of hope to her father’s prison camp. Brief flashbacks provide background on the political turmoil of the times, explain why the family was targeted, and juxtapose the sweetness of their old life with the barrenness of the camps. Grades 9-12, 344 p.
Annotation:Most cities are in ruin and the Bill of Rights has been replaced by the Moral Statutes in this futuristic dystopian romance. Ember lives with her single mom and while life is strict, getting arrested for reading the wrong books is commonplace, she can't complain. Everything changes when the government soldiers come to take away Ember and her mom for be being non-compliant with Article 5, having a child and being unwed. The worst part of all is that one of the soldiers is Chase, her old next door neighbor and first love. For the first time ever, Ember and her mom are separated, and Ember is sent to a reform school. She is determined to break out and find her mom at all costs, and when Chase shows up to help her, Ember doesn't know who to trust. How can she love the monster that took away her mom? Will she be able to save her, or is it already too late? This fast paced read will be enjoyed by fans of Legend by Marie Lu and Divergent by Veronica Roth. Grades 9 - 12, 364 pages
Annotation:You can take the girl out of the thieving life, but can you really take the thief out of the girl? Katarina Bishop has been framed. Wrongfully accused of ‘Porsche-gate’ (a dreadful incident where the headmistresses car somehow ended up on top of the fountain) she’s been turned out of the exclusive private school she conned her way in to. Kat finds it impossible to escape her past when Hale, her former (ridiculously wealthy) partner-in-crime who she just might be in love with, let’s her know that he framed her and why. Kat's father is the sole suspect in the theft of five priceless paintings from the collection of the very dangerous Arturo Taccone, a man who doesn't care that her father isn't guilty; he just wants his paintings back at any cost. Kat has two weeks to track down the paintings, steal them back and save her father’s life. With a crew of masterful teenage con artists, a target of one of the most secure buildings in the world, and the FBI watching her every move the question is - does Kat have what it takes to pull off the most spectacularly impossible job ever? Grades 8-12, 287 pages
Annotation:Hazel Grace Lancaster is a16 year-old, stage IV cancer patient. Since the age of 13, she’s been living on borrowed time from the miraculous effects of an experimental drug. She’s also depressed (a side effect of dying), and as prescribed by her doctor, she attends a support group for cancer kids. Then, she unexpectedly meets the guy of her dreams; dreams she wasn’t even aware she could have. Augustus “Gus” Waters, is a an amputee battling with osteosarcoma , who also happens to be a gorgeous, brilliant, funny, person that Hazel describes as a “tenured professor in the department of Slightly Crooked Smiles with a dual appointment in the Department of Having a Voice That Made My Skin Feel More Like Skin”. The two quickly become inseparable, and fall into a romantic friendship. A book with an abrupt ending, about a girl with cancer brings them even closer together and leads them on an adventure through Amsterdam to find the reclusive author and finally learn how the story ends. With the prospect of death at every corner, can their relationship survive tragedy? Grades 9 and up, 313 pages
Annotation:In 2130, the Republic rules the western part of post-apocalyptic America and grooms their most promising young into soldiers. One of their elite is fifteen-year-old June, a military prodigy and the only person to score a perfect 1500 at the Trials. On the opposite side of town, fifteen-year-old Day lives on the streets and fights injustice on his own terms. His remarkable ability to make the Republic look bad has landed him on the Republic’s most wanted list. When a new strain of the plague appears, Day’s brother is infected and his family is quarantined. Since only the privileged can afford the luxury of medicine, Day’s family has no choice but to let the plague take its course. In a desperate attempt to secure a vial of the vaccine for his younger brother, Day breaks into the laboratory at the local hospital. However, things go terrible wrong and Day is pursued by Republic Captain Iparis, June’s brother. When Captain Iparis is found dead, Day is the prime suspect. Vowing to bring her brother’s killer to justice, June plans a covert operation to flush out Day. While undercover, June meets a mysterious young man who saves her from an enraged mob of gamblers. As she discovers his true identity and the Republic’s dark secrets, June must make a decision that will change her life forever. Grades 8-12, 305 pages
Annotation:“Once upon a time, a little girl was raised by monsters.” For seventeen year old Karou life is spent juggling two worlds. In one she is the mysterious, blue-haired art student whose drawings of fantastical creatures and exotic tales delight her fellow classmates. In the other she’s errand girl for her adopted father, the chimera Brimstone, and as much in the dark about who she really is as any of her friends. Around the world sooty black handprints appear burned into doors; they symbolize the beginning of an otherworldly war. A chance meeting with the seraphim Akiva leads to a battle on the streets of Marrakesh and the beginning of the angel’s fascination with the blue-haired girl. After the angels destroy the portals between worlds Karou must find another way to reunite with her monstrous family. With a foot in both worlds Karou is caught in a war between angels and devils, between the only family she’s ever known and the beautiful winged man that haunts her. Whatever the result one thing is certain - Karou’s life will never be the same again. “Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.” Grades 10-12, 418 pages
Annotation: It’s the year 2083. Coffee and chocolate are contraband, teen cell phone use is illegal, and water is rationed. Paper making uses too much water, so books and paper are scarce. Anya is the 16 year old daughter of the biggest mafia boss in New York. Her father was involved in the illegal manufacturing of chocolate, which resulted in both of her parents getting killed. Anya Balanchine spends her days caring for her brother, sister, and grandmother. She tries to stay out of the family business, but is dragged back in when someone poisons her ex-boyfriend with Balanchine chocolate and the police begin to suspect her. She is forced into one of the most difficult trials of her life and has to make some unavoidable decisions to keep her family safe. Things get complicated when she begins to fall for the assistant D.A.’s son, her new classmate, Win Delacroix. Will she become the reluctant gangster and fulfill her duties as head of the household, or will she follow her heart and stay on the right side of the law? Grades 9-12, 354 pages
Annotation:Wyatt's biological father has been in jail for murder before Wyatt was even born seventeen years ago. Wyatt doesn't know much about his father and he doesn't want to. Wyatt's life revolves around baseball and getting on the varsity team. It seems like it is going to happen and then Wyatt's school cancels their baseball program because of a lack of funding. Wyatt moves to a school on the other side of the state to get on another baseball team but loses the spot to his best friend who is doing the same thing. He stays on at the new school anyway and meets Greer, an attractive and slightly older girl. It doesn't take long before Wyatt discovers a surprising similarity between himself and Greer. Her father is also in prison and he knows Wyatt's father. Soon Wyatt finds himself visiting this stranger who is his father and being drawn into the details of the old murder that isn't as settled as he thought. As he uncovers what really happened, everything in Wyatt's life changes. Grades 10 and Up, 294 pages.
Annotation:London goes to sleep each night knowing when she wakes up she will forget everything that happened that day. At 4:33 am every morning her memory resets. She writes detailed notes of her day so she can remember what she wore to school and what tests to study for. While she has no recollection of her past, she clearly remembers her future. When London meets Luke she takes thorough notes so she doesn't forget their relationship, but she also doesn’t see him in her future. In an attempt to regain some form of memory London begins to question traumatic events from her past, including her parents divorce and the kidnapping of and apparent murder of her baby brother. With Luke’s help she begins to uncover the pain she suffered, the mystery that puts them all in danger, and may answer the question, “Why isn’t Luke in my Future?”. Sometimes it’s better to leave things buried and unanswered. Will uncovering these secrets save Luke? Will the answers cure her selective amnesia, or is she doomed to continuously forget? Grades 9-12, 288 pages
Annotation:Agnes Wilkins is about to debut into society and begins the endless season of parties at her neighbor, Lord Showalter’s house. But Lord Showalter has a surprise for his guests – an authentic Egyptian mummy to unwrap, and he wants Agnes to make the first cut! When Agnes finds a small, iron jackal’s head carving she secretly keeps it. Now everyone at the party is being targeted for robberies and burglary, and Agnes wonders just what the significance of the small dog’s head could be. She recruits the help of the young Egyptologist Caedmon Stowe, and together their investigation begins. Grades 9+, 320 pages
Annotation:Maddie lives in a virtual world in the year 2060 with nearly no physical contact. Her dad is the creator of Digital School, DS and ever since Maddie hacked into his computer and sent his files to the rebels 2 and a half years ago, she's been in total confinement. Lately though, she has been chatting with Justin, an online tutor and when he asks to meet her in a real life, physical study group she hesitantly agrees. The domino effect from that meeting is instant. She meets Justin and his friends, who strongly oppose DS and wants people to have a choice, real school or DS. Maddie feels torn, she cannot betray her family again, but she too longs for the physical connection that is missing with DS, but she can't shake the feeling that she is being used by Justin and his friends. Not to mention her intense attraction to Justin and the constant walls he puts up. Who will Maddie choose; her family that she betrayed once before, or Justin? The struggle is fierce, dynamic and ever changing. And what about Justin, the constant wonderer who never stays in one place, how can he turn away from the only person he has ever loved? How can he choose between his mission and Maddie? Grades 9-12, 309 pages
Annotation:Clare, short for Clarity, lives near the Boardwalk and works at her family’s psychic business. Her mom can hear thoughts, which makes it difficult to get away with anything, her brother Perry can hear the dead, and Clare receives visions by touching objects. When a tourist is found dead, Clare’s ex-boyfriend, the Mayor’s son, Justin asks for her help. Clare is willing to help even though many doubt her abilities, especially her partner, the Detective’s hot son Gabriel. Clare is worried when she finds out that her brother spent the night with the victim and things turn dangerous the more she tries to clear his name. It doesn’t help that she has confusing feelings for Gabriel and she can’t quite hate Justin even though he cheated on her. Clare is stressing over murder and her mom is just upset that a new phony psychic moved to town that may run them out of business. When the psychic warns Clare that she should get out of town before it’s too late, she can’t help but feel that the threat might be real. Grades 8 and up 346 pages
Annotation:Takashi Natsume has always been able to see spirits and supernatural creatures, but they all seem to want him dead! While taking shelter in a shrine, he meets a demon named Nyanko who explains that Natsume’s grandmother also saw spirits- and trapped them by writing their names in book. Now the spirits want revenge and their freedom. Although Nyanko is trapped in the body of a ceramic cat, he is a powerful spirit who agrees to be Natsume’s bodyguard in exchange for possession of the book after his death. Many strange spirits now appear, looking for Natume to grant them their freedom… Grades 7+, 208 pages
Annotation:Capturing a vampire, werewolf or hag is all in a day's work for Evie. Her unique ability to see straight past the glamour of paranormals has made Evie an indispensable asset to the International Paranormal Containment Agency (IPCA ), the only real home she has ever known. When not out on a mission to tag a rule-breaking paranormal, Evie spends time training for combat, studying, watching her favorite television show, and daydreaming about living the life a normal teen. Despite having a mermaid best friend and the IPCA director looking after her, Evie cannot escape feeling lonely. When a shape-shifter breaks into the IPCA, Evie is strangely drawn to him and away from her fae ex-boyfriend's advances. Soon after, paranormals are mysteriously being murdered and the IPCA is scrambling to uncover what or who could be behind the brutal attacks. As Evie begins to put the pieces together, she discovers the startling truth about the murders and her own identity. Grades 7+, 335 pages
Annotation:Sophie FitzOsborne begins writing in her journal in October 1936. Sophie’s uncle John is the King of the small island kingdom of Montmaray, which makes her Princess Sophie. But her living conditions are far from royal. Her uncle, King John has been deranged since his wife left him years ago, their castle is falling apart, and most of the villagers have gone to live elsewhere. She plans to go to London with her favorite cousin Veronica so they can attend grand parties and meet dashing young men. Unfortunately, her cousin refuses to leave the island and the book she’s writing about the Kingdom of Montmaray. Sophie spends her time trying to convince Veronica of the splendors of London, keeping her younger sister from getting into trouble, and dreaming about their housekeeper’s handsome son. Sophie’s life seems like it will continue as it always has, but everything changes when Nazis come to the island and the FitzOsborne’s must face old secrets and new dangers. Grades 7+ 296 pages
Annotation:Oliver Watson has accomplished a lot more in life than most 8th graders, but no one realizes, and that’s just how he likes it. He flies under the radar as the slightly odd and chubby kid at school, but he’s really the third-richest person on earth, capable of overthrowing dictators, blackmailing the president, and, soon, achieving world domination. A true evil genius, Oliver always gets what he wants, and with his loads of cash and power, Oliver believes winning the election for 8th grade class president will be like taking candy from a baby. But, for once, money, evil, or brains might not be enough to succeed. Oliver has what it takes to take over the world, but does he have what it takes to win the hearts and minds of 8th graders? Grades 7+, 302 pages
Annotation:Alex is running a string of burglaries when he and his best friend are caught in the act, and Alex is framed for murder. Alex is sentenced to life in the infamous prison "Furnace" which houses only teens. It was created especially for that purpose after a summer of shocking gang murders several years earlier. Not only is Furnace unusual in that it is almost completely underground, there are also huge freaky guards, monster dogs and machine guns. Worst of all are the men in gas masks who take you away in the middle of the night… With the help of his cellmate and a few friends, Alex manages to steer clear of the guards and gangs to survive. But Alex wants to do more than survive- he wants to escape and get his life back. "Beneath heaven is hell. Beneath hell is Furnace." Grade 9+ , 288 pages
Annotation:Meghan has always felt that she didn't quite fit in. But she could always rely on her best friend, Robbie, for a smile and her little brother, Ethan, for a hug. On her 16th birthday, Meghan's world is shaken to the core when Ethan is kidnapped and she finds out that Robbie is not what he appears to be. Determined to rescue Ethan, Meghan enters the faery realm where the Summer and Winter fey are eternally at odds. Meghan becomes a pawn in their deadly game and knows she cannot trust anyone. Even so, she needs help to battle her way across the Nevernever in search of Ethan and must decide whether the gorgeous but dangerous Winter prince can be trusted. When a cruel and twisted power threatens to destroy all of Nevernever, will Meghan find her brother before it’s too late? Grades 8-12, 363 pages
Annotation:Estrella and Catalina have been best friends forever, closer than sisters. What will happen to their friendship if they both care about the same boy? When Catalina’s cousin Andres begins to show interest in Estrella, Catalina can’t help but feel threatened. This love triangle could have fatal consequences as the Spanish Inquisition creates a mob atmosphere in their town. The townsfolk are turning against each other in their search for Marranos, or secret Jews. Even though Estrella’s family has lived here for 500 years as Christians, she is starting to worry that they might have something to hide. With people being killed just on the basis of rumors, she’s also worried that her closest friend might become her most dangerous enemy. Grades 7-12 , 166 pages
Annotation:It is 1910 in a tiny arctic cabin near Giron in Swedish Lapland and 14 year old Sig sits alone in a cabin with the corpse of his father. His father had fallen through the ice a short time ago and Sig sits waiting for his step-mother and older sister to bring help from the town. There is a knock at the door and Sig opens it. Instead of help from the town, a huge bear like man forces his way into the cabin. His name is Wolff and he claims that Sig’s father owes him a share of a fortune in gold. Wolff is threatening to do something terrible to Sig and his family if he doesn’t get the gold. Sig has no idea where the gold is but he does know that there is a loaded revolver in the cabin store room. What is the mystery of the hidden gold and will Sig end up using the revolver to protect himself and his family? Grades 8-10 , 204 pages
Annotation:Mary is an orphan and a thief. Stealing to survive is all she knows, but at 12 years old she gets caught and sent to the gallows. She is rescued moments before her death sentence by a woman who takes her to Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls. After 4 years of a proper education for a girl in Victorian London, she learns the Academy for Girls is really just a cover-up for The Agency, a select group of women that work as spies. Being a previous thief, Mary jumps at the opportunity to start her first mission and use her covert skills again. Posing as a companion for a young girl, Mary is thrown into the home and business of a rich merchant. Looking for clues to any illegal activity proves to be dangerous, and once she meets James it becomes harder to keep her cover. Can she keep her background a secret? Will everything be exposed before she can safely return to the Agency? What about James, is it even possible for Mary to have a romantic relationship? Join Mary in this Historical adventure that promises to leave you wanting more from this soon to be trilogy. Grades 9-12, 355 pages
Annotation:Rico Fuentes is a “dark dude”. He is 100% Cuban but he has blonde hair, light skin with freckles and hazel colored eyes. Everyone in his 1960’s Harlem neighborhood thinks he’s white and that he doesn’t belong there. As if that weren’t difficult enough, his father drinks too much, his mother who is always picking fights with him and one of his best friends, Gilberto, goes away to Wisconsin on a scholarship. Rico hates high school and is constantly nervous there. One day there is a shooting and the school is closed. Most of the other kids feel like it is a holiday but it makes Rico sick inside. Things seem to get worse as he starts to skip school and his one remaining best friend Jimmy starts using drugs more and more. When his parents catch him skipping out on school they get ready to send him to military school in Florida. Before that can happen Rico makes a clean break and decides to hitchhike with Jimmy to Wisconsin he thinks he can fit in better, reunite with Gilberto and where all of them can escape the problems of the big city. But is it really possible for Rico to leave his problems behind? Grades 9-12, 439 pages