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2015 Teens’ Top Ten Voting Now Open!

August 31, 2015

TeensTopTen_logo_webBack in May, Clarie wrote a post about the Teens’ Top Ten nominees. Hopefully you were able to check out some books from that list, because voting is now open! YOU can decide which of your fav reads will make the cut. You have until the end of Teen Read Week (October 24th) to vote. The final Teens’ Top Ten list will be announced on October 27th.

To see the nominees list and place your vote, click here.

Book Trailer: “Tiny Pretty Things” by Sona Charaipotra and Dhoneille Clayton

August 26, 2015
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The world of ballet is a cutthroat business: back-stabbing, manipulation, and sacrifice to get to the top. In this new novel, three girls are all competing for the prima spot at their exclusive Manhattan ballet academy, and will stop nothing to be the most perfect ballerina. Request your copy today.

Book Review: “The Wrath and the Dawn” by Renee Ahdieh

August 24, 2015
wrath and the dawnHave you read “The Wrath and the Dawn”  yet? It seems like everyone is talking about it. This “One Thousand and One Nights” retelling has been lauded as one of the best young adult books of the year. I’m happy to report that the hype is well deserved!
“The Wrath and the Dawn” follows the story of beautiful young Shahrzad, who volunteers to be a bride to the Caliph Khalid, who takes a new bride every night only to viciously execute her at dawn. Little did he know, clever, brave Shahzrad only volunteered herself because she vowed to avenge the death of her best friend, one of Khalid’s executed wives.
But the tiger-eyed, handsome Khalid is not who Shahrzad expected. A talented storyteller, Shahzrad survives the first night with Khalid by enthralling him with beautiful folk stories. Night after night, Khalid spares Shahzrad execution and returns to hear her stories.  The more time she spends in the palace, Shahzrad begins to understand that Khalid is not the madman he appears to be. Their relationship blossoms as she tries to uncover his secrets.
Meanwhile, Shahzrad’s first love, Tariq, is raising a rebellion to kill Khalid and win Shazrad back. Her father is dabbling in powerful dark magic, and the city is threatened by political intrigue and a horrible curse.
If I had to describe this book in one word it would be “luscious.” The setting, the characters, the plot, and the storytelling are all absolutely luscious.  My very favorite part of the book was the setting. Based in ancient Persia, the story pulls readers into an ethereal desert paradise. The food, the fabrics, the palace, the marketplace are so lush and vivid. I also loved Shahrzad – she’s smart, resourceful, brazen, and just as enthralling as the stories she tells.
The book concludes on an oh-no-is-it-really-over?! cliff-hanger, and the sequel, “The Rose and the Dagger” is expected to be published in 2016.
Curious about the inspiration for the story? “One Thousand and One Nights,” also known as the “Arabian Nights,” is a collection of stories that was compiled over many centuries by various authors, translators, and scholars across West, Central, South Asia and North Africa. The tales themselves trace their roots back to ancient and medieval Arabic, Persian, Indian, Egyptian and Mesopotamian folklore and literature. Click here for more adaptations.
School Library Journal recommends this title for grades 9 and up.
–Claire, guest blogger

Audiobook Review: “Finding Audrey” by Sophie Kinsella

August 24, 2015

finding audreySo, here’s a new thing. Adult authors are now starting to foray into YA (sorry, couldn’t resist the rhyme). Big names like John Grisham and Harlen Coben have written series for teens. Meg Wolitzer ‘s “Belzhar” came out last year. And now we have Sophie Kinsella, who is best known for her Shopaholic adult series (you may have seen the movie they made in 2009).

“Finding Audrey” tells the story of our 14-year-old heroine and her struggles with her crazy family, her pretty severe anxiety disorder, and the enormous crush she has on Linus, her brother’s best friend. After an unfortunate incident at school, Audrey has barricaded herself in her home, wearing huge dark sunglasses constantly, and hardly speaking to anyone. Now, all that may sound very serious and depressing, but this was one of the funniest books I have read all year. If you have a mildly dysfunctional but supremely loving family like I do, you will have SO MUCH in common with Audrey. I also love the portrayal of Audrey’s anxiety disorder—anxiety is such a real and scary thing to live with but Audrey shows us that there is always help out there, whether it be from your therapist, a friend, or from inside yourself.

I should also probably mention that Audrey and her family live in England, which makes the audio version of this book so awesome. Gemma Whelan, the narrator, brings the British humor to life in a truly hysterical way. I am a sucker for anything read in a British accent, and this book is PERFECT to listen to! Funny, sweet, and ultimately uplifting, I really, REALLY recommend this audiobook to any and all!

 “Finding Audrey” is narrated by Gemma Whelan. It has 6 disks (6.5 hours). School Library Journal recommends this book for grades 7 and up.

–Samantha D., Weber Road/Tesson Ferry

Book Trailer: “Challenger Deep” by Neal Shusterman

August 19, 2015
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Author Neal Shusterman has delivered a powerful book about one young man’s struggle with mental illness. Caden has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He tries to act “normal” in his everyday life, but in his head the only mission he has is to get to the bottom of Challenger Deep, the deepest place on Earth. Get your copy of this captivating novel today.

Book Trailer: “Ask the Dark” by Henry Turner

August 12, 2015
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Billy Zeets is a juvenile delinquent. Always trying to make a buck. He sets out to find a missing schoolmate for the reward money, but in doing so he places himself in the sights of the killer. If you are into spooky, creepy books, pick up your copy today.

YA Author Spotlight: Libba Bray

August 10, 2015

When I saw on the SLCL author events site that Libba Bray would be visiting Headquarters on August 28th, I almost cried I was so happy. Libba has written some of my fav YA reads of all time, and she is one of my personal heroes for how open and honest she is about her struggle with depression. She is also besties with John Green and Sarah Dessen, so she is clearly a part of YA royalty.

Libba is extremely funny, which shines through in a lot of her books, like “Beauty Queens“ and, my personal favorite “Going Bovine.” If you like weird, quirky comedies, you will love this book about a 16 year old boy with Mad Cow disease who goes on a road trip with his friend Gonzo, a dwarf who is obsessed with video games, a Norse god/garden gnome, and a punk-rock angel named Dulcie (who may or may not be a hallucination).

But Ms. Bray doesn’t just write comedy. Her first book series, which starts with “A Great and Terrible Beauty,” has elements of fantasy, romance, and mystery in it, as well. And you may have heard of her latest series, “The Diviners,” which came out in 2012. That series blends historical fiction (it takes place in the roaring ‘20s) with a creepy paranormal mystery. I LOVED that first book and cannot wait to get my hands on the sequel, “Lair of Dreams,” when it comes out in August.

If you haven’t yet had the pleasure to read a Libba Bray book, click on the titles I listed above and get a copy from the library ASAP! I can also personally highly recommend the audiobook versions of both “Going Bovine” and “The Diviners.” Her books are for everyone—guys, girls, comedy fans, mystery addicts, adults and teens alike. And don’t forget to come see her at the Headquarters branch on August 28th!

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