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Young Adult

  • superheroes 01

     

    It seems like superheros have taken the world by storm!  These larger-than-life characters fight crime, save lives, and somehow we still relate to them at the end of the day.  If you're a superhero fan, I have a list that will satisfy your need for justice in between movie and comic book releases:

    heroHERO
    by Mike Lupica
    (2010)

    Zach's father was a confidante of the president until he was killed by "the bads."  Now Zach is starting to feel changes: sharpening of his senses, incredible strength and speed, and he's beginning to realize his father was no ordinary man. 

     

    steelheartSTEELHEART
    by Brandon Sanderson
    (2013)

    This inventive book by rockstar Brandon Sanderson turns the notion of Superheroes on its head, asking the question, "What if people got superhero powers and didn't do good with them?"  David Charleston watched his father die when he was young, all at the hands of a heartless but incredibly powerful "epic."  David wants nothing more than to stop Steelheart, but what chance does he stand? 

     

    sooniwillbeSOON I WILL BE INVICIBLE
    by Austin Grossman
    (2007)

    Experience the superhero story from the side of the villain this time!  Doctor Impossible is the world's smartest man with deep thoughts and observations on the world and the people around him, but he won't hesitate to shout, "You'll never take me alive, fools!" when the situation calls for it. 

      

    falsememoryFALSE MEMORY
    by Dan Krokos
    (2012)

    Miranda wakes up on a park bench with no memory, and in her panic she releases an energy that incites terror in everyone around her.  Except one boy who doesn't look surprised at all by her ability.  She must trust him in order to find out what has happened to her.

     

    legendLEGEND
    by Marie Lu
    (2011)

    June is a prodigy who has been groomed for success in the highest military circles.  Day is the country's most wanted criminal.  When their paths cross and they are forced to work together, they realize they have more in common than meets the eye.

  • If you're like me you're still riding on a high from last month's Star Wars release.  The new film brought back all the old feelings I got when I watched Episode 4 for the first time: laughing with beloved characters, believing in the Force, and wanting my own light saber. The only way this feeling can be diminished is realizing it will be 2017 before we get a new Star Wars movie!!  So if you need something to help you pass the time, here's a list of awesome books that will fill the gaping hole in your life left by Star Wars Episode VII.  Each one is an excellent book with an epic tale of good versus evil!

    mistbornMISTBORN
    By Brandon Sanderson

    (2006)

    This book is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITES, and even if it's not technically a "teen" book, it has a teen protagonist and is perfectly suitable for Young Adult readers.  It also is a perfect choice for Star Wars fans!  It has interesting, likable characters who discover that they have mythical kick-butt powers, and a truly epic fight between good and evil.   

     

    insigniaINSIGNIA 
    By S. J. Kincaid

    (2012)

    This is a great one for Sci-Fi geeks like me who can't wait to own their own virtual reality unit and start exploring the galaxy.  The main character, Tom, is a sort of VR prodigy who gets noticed by the government for his gaming prowess and is offered a place with the Intrasolar Forces: an elite fighting force controlling the drones out there battling in WWIII. 

     

    gracelingGRACELING
    By Kristin Cashore
    (2008)

    A young protagonist who has special abilities she is just beginning to understand goes on a journey of self discovery.  Sound familiar?  Warning: this one will be hard to put down so make sure to clear some time in your schedule.

      

    readyplayeroneREADY PLAYER ONE 
    By Ernest Cline

    (2011)

    Another technically non-"teen" book that features a teen protagonist and that content-wise I think is suitable for young adults, READY PLAYER ONE is a book I can't recommend enough to fans of sci fi adventures.  Part puzzle solving mystery (think Indiana Jones), part virtual reality reality romp (think The Matrix), and part homage to 1980's nerd culture, this book fits in perfectly with any Star Wars fan. 

     

    icemarkTHE CRY OF THE ICEMARK
    By Stuart Hill

    (2005)

    Thirrin is a beautiful princess but also an intrepid warrior, and she must find a way to protect her land from a terrible invasion.  She'll need to ally with strange creatures and cultures in order to lead her people to victory.  Fans of Leia will follow Thirrin with interest to see if she can rise above all of her challenges.

      

     

    Hopefully a few of these will scratch that Star Wars itch we'll all be plagued with until next year!!  Until then... may the force be with you.

  • cats and kissing 01

    Ever wonder how librarians hone their recommendation skills? Sometimes, our librarians play a game we call the 6 Degrees of reading. The rules are simple: choose six books, each connected somehow to the book above it, with the last book in the list connecting to the first. Periodically, we like the results enough to share them with you. Today's iteration takes a romp through young adult fiction, adult nonfiction, and romance to bring you some of our favorite things: cats and kissing. 

    THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH
    by Ali Benjamin

    (2015)

    Suzy Swanson is a teenage girl trying to make sense of a new school and new peers, but that's been hard to do ever since the death of her best friend, Franny. Suzy is also a budding scientist, and when she learns about the Irukandji Jellyfish she develops a new hypothesis about what really happened to her friend.

    CAT SENSE: HOW THE NEW FELINE SCIENCE CAN MAKE YOU A BETTER FRIEND TO YOUR PET
    by John Bradshaw 
    (2013)

    Scientist John Bradshaw explains how cats evolved from lone predators to domestic companions with the hope that people will understand their cats better and provide a more harmonious environment for them. 

    DEWEY: THE SMALL-TOWN LIBRARY CAT WHO TOUCHED THE WORLD
    by Vicki Myron
    (2008)

    Dewey Readmore Books, a cat, was found one morning in the Spencer, Iowa library. Dewey was adopted by librarian, Vicki Myron who was his caring owner for the next 19 years. Dewey changed Vicki's life and touched the lives of many more. 

    TROUBLE WHEN YOU WALKED IN
    by Kieran Kramer
    (2015) 

    Cissie Rogers is a librarian in a small town in North Carolina. When Mayor, Boone Braddock puts the library's future in peril, Cissie decides to take matters into her own hands by running for mayor herself. What Cissie doesn't count on is a developing relationship with her opponent. 

    THE PORTABLE VEBLEN
    by Elizabeth McKenzie
    (2016)

    A young couple in a developing relationship discover how complex love can be as they encounter everything from dysfunctional families, to the attentions of a seductive heiress, to an encounter with a very charismatic squirrel.   

    KISSING IN AMERICA
    by Margo Rabb
    (2015)

    Two teenage girls, Eva and Annie, discover how complex love can be as they journey across the country to find Will— the boy Ava thinks is her soul mate.

     

     

  • 6 degrees header 01 

     

    Ever wonder how librarians hone their recommendation skills? Sometimes, our librarians play a game we call the 6 Degrees of reading. The rules are simple: choose six books, each connected somehow to the book above it, with the last book in the list connecting to the first. Periodically, we like the results enough to share them with you.

    This week: Chaos and Comedy! 

     chaos and comedy 01

    THE DISASTER DIARIES
    by Sam Sheridan
    (2013)

    There are a variety of ways that the world could be thrown into chaos and Sheridan has researched and acquired a variety of skills to help him survive almost any potential apocalypse. His lively and hilarious style while still presenting disastrous scenarios is a wonderful mix.

    LIFE AS WE KNEW IT
    by Susan Beth Pfeffer
    (2006)

    A young woman takes charge of her life and her family’s lives as survival becomes increasingly difficult after the world is thrown into chaos when the moon is knocked out of its orbit.

    LEAN IN: WOMEN, WORK, AND THE WILL TO LEAD
    by Sheryl Sandberg
    (2013)

    Sandberg is a woman who has taken charge of her life and encourages others to do so by following their ambitions. She tells it like it is and strives to be an inspiration to women everywhere.

    BOSSYPANTS
    by Tina Fey
    (2011)

    Best known for her work on 30 Rock and SNL, Fey relates her life story in her own comedic way. She tries to emphasize that she’s just like the rest of us, while being a role model and an inspiration to all women.

    IS EVERYONE HANGING OUT WITHOUT ME
    by Mindy Kaling
    (2011)

    Mindy is an Emmy-nominated, comedy writer and actress, and uses this book to relate her life story in her own comedic way.

    SERIOUSLY, I'M KIDDING
    by Ellen DeGeneres
    (2011)

    Ellen has become one of the most popular daytime TV hosts, having won 31 Emmys. Her lively, hilarious, and upbeat style is engaging and enjoyable.

  • spies and secrets 01

    Ever wonder how librarians hone their recommendation skills? Sometimes, our librarians play a game we call the 6 Degrees of reading. The rules are simple: choose six books, each connected somehow to the book above it, with the last book in the list connecting to the first. Periodically, we like the results enough to share them with you. Today's iteration features young adult fiction titles and some of our favorite things: finishing school, spies, servants, and secrets. 

    ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE
    by Gail Carriger
    (2013)

    In an alternate England of 1851, spirited and clever fourteen-year-old Sophronia is enrolled in a finishing school where lessons include dance, dress, and etiquette alongside espionage, poisoning, hand-to-hand fighting, and deceit. Not only does Sophronia excel at her lessons, but she also manages to solve a mystery—and fall in love—during her first year.

    LEVIATHAN
    by Scott Westerfeld
    (2009)

    In an alternate 1914 WWI Europe, fifteen-year-old Austrian Prince Alek, fleeing the Russian Clanker Powers who are attempting to take over the globe using mechanical machinery, forms an uneasy alliance with Deryn, who disguised herself as a boy to join the British Air Service and is learning to fly genetically-engineered beasts.

    A COUNTESS BELOW STAIRS
    by Eva Ibbotson
    (1981) 

    Young Russian countess Anna must flee to England after the Russian Revolution. She hides her identity and becomes a servant for an important family. But will she be able to suppress her attraction to Rupert, the dashing Earl of Westerholme?

    MAID OF SECRETS
    by Jennifer McGowan
    (2013)

    In 1559 England, Meg, an orphaned thief, is pressed to become a servant for the Maids of Honor, Queen Elizabeth I's secret all-female guard, but her loyalty is tested when she falls in love with a Spanish courtier who may be a threat.

    PALACE OF SPIES
    by Sarah Zettel          
    (2013)

    In 1716 London, an orphaned sixteen-year-old girl from a good family impersonates a lady-in-waiting only to discover that the real girl was murdered, the court harbors a nest of spies, and the handsome young artist who is helping her solve the mystery might be a spy himself.

    GRAVE MERCY
    by R.L. LaFevers
    (2012)

    In the fifteenth-century kingdom of Brittany, seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where lessons include espionage, poisoning, hand-to-hand fighting, and deceit. When the convent sends her to Brittany’s court to protect its young princess, Ismae discovers the court harbors a nest of murderers and spies. It will take all of Ismae’s skills and charms to keep the young princess—and herself—alive.

  • YA sequels

     

    The pain is familiar to you: you pick up that book you've been hearing so much about, devour its contents, and then get to the last page only to discover that there is a SEQUEL planned, which means that instead of wrapping everything up nicely there are cliffhangers that will just leave you dangling, waiting and waiting and WAITING until the next book is published (a year later?! What makes publishers think we have this kind of patience?). For these 9 series, 2016 means that your wait is (at least temporarily) over!

    GLASS SWORD
    by Victoria Aveyard
    Release date: February 9th, 2016

    This is the second book in the RED QUEEN trilogy, which opened up at No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list in 2015. Universal Pictures has already acquired the film rights so you know this one will be a popular read. It continues with the heroine Mare Barrow running for her life as she deals with her own personal darkness and the growing rebel uprising. A captivating fantasy full of action packed drama, romance, and all the fun of dystopian fiction.     

    THE LAST STAR
    by Rick Yancey
    Release date: May 24th, 2016

    The third and final book in the sci-fi apocalyptic 5TH WAVE series is finally here. This epic conclusion will determine the fate of planet Earth in a wildly entertaining page turner. This too has a film planned starring Chloe Grace Moretz and Nick Robinson.      

    THE ROSE AND THE DAGGER
    by Renee Ahdieh
    Release date: May 3rd, 2016

    Inspired by the classic Arabian Nights this is the followup to THE WRATH AND THE DAWN (2015).  Protagonist Shahrzad is torn between loyalties to those she loves but she determines to not be a pawn in the schemes and takes matters into her own hands as she learns to harness her powers. This lush and fast-paced novel keeps you intrigued with curses, subplots, romance and a culturally diverse setting.    

    A COURT OF MIST AND FURY
    by Sarah J Maas
    Release date: May 3rd, 2016

    This sequel to A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES, tells of Fayre as the High Fae in the Night Court and the twisted politics, power and passions between good and evil therein. This seductive, action packed fantasy is sure to please fans.    

    A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT
    by Sabaa Tahir
    Release date: August 30th, 2016

    Number two of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES, picks up where the previous ended with adventures and journeys fighting against the evil in the empire. Laia and Elias struggle to free her brother from prison in the north; meanwhile in the city of Serra, Helene Aquilla must juggle loyalty, love and power around the twisted leader Marcus.  

    THE CROWN
    by Kiera Cass
    Release date: May 3rd, 2016

    Cass’s fifth and the SELECTION series finale picks up with Eadlyn and her 35 suitors-dilemma as she realizes that she won’t be happy to remain alone. Eadlyn doesn’t believe that she can have the happily ever after fairytale that her parents were blessed with but the heart has a way of surprising you and Eadlyn is forced to make an important choice. Romantic, fast paced and engaging, this novel will wrap up the series in a satisfying way.  

    THE SHADOW HOUR
    by Melissa Grey
    Release date: July 12th, 2016

    Book number two of the GIRL AT MIDNIGHT series, Grey writes a world-building, urban fantasy continuing the story of Echo, the firebird--a creature of light that is said to bring peace. Echo has already overcome many losses but must struggle with dangers near and far, as well as learn to use her own powers.   

    YELLOW BRICK WAR
    by Danielle Paige
    Release date: March 15th, 2016

    Number three of the best-selling DOROTHY MUST DIE series tells of Amy Gumm’s mission to take down the evil dictator of Oz and Kansas--the not-so-sweet Dorothy Gale. Amy joins forces with the Revolutionary order of the Wicked to finally defeat her in this dark and gruesome tale full of magic, suspense and action.    

    THE WINNER’S KISS
    by Marie Rutkoski
    Release date: March 29th, 2016

    This final book in THE WINNER’S trilogy is complex and suspenseful as Arin believes the worst in Kestrel’s past behavior while she is in fact prisoner in a war camp. The war between East and West escalates as this fantasy tale unfolds, revealing the true nature of the characters and their love.   

     

  •  Book giving

    Young Adult novels are some of my favorites, from the ones that are old friends to new ones that I can hardly put down. The following are some of my favorites from this year that you could give to anyone without worry or concern. I've made sure to only include books which are at the beginning of the series or standalones so you don’t have to worry about giving someone an entire series.

    12.22 Traitors GameTHE TRAITOR’S GAME
    By Jennifer Nielsen
    (2018)

    After three years in exile, Kestra Dallisor has been summoned back to Antora by her father, right-hand man of the seemingly immortal king, Lord Endrick. She is intercepted and kidnapped by the Coracks who want to use her to get the Olden Blade, which they believe can be used to kill the despot. Simon, one of the rebels with his own grudge against the Dallisors, is assigned to accompany her, but Kestra has her own plans and does not intend to let anyone get in her way.

     

    12.22 Children of Blood and BoneCHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE
    By Tomi Adeymi
    (2018)

    Zelie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orisha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. Ever since the reaping, which killed her mother and many of the sorcerers, Zelie and her people have been living on the outskirts of society, praying for survival. That is until Zelie, her brother, and a runaway princess get the opportunity to change the fate of the world.

     

    12.22 Cruel PrinceTHE CRUEL PRINCE
    by Holly Black
    (2018)

    Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans, especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

     

    12.22 The Wicked DeepTHE WICKED DEEP
    by Shea Ernshaw
    (2018)

    Three sisters, drowned as witches in Sparrow, Oregon, in the 1800s, return each summer for revenge, but Penny, seventeen, is determined to stop them to save the boy she loves.

     

    12.22 Sea WitchSEA WITCH
    by Sarah Hennings
    (2018)

    Rendered an outcast in town after her friend Anna's death, Evie befriends a newcomer with an uncanny likeness to Anna. When the girls pursue romances with two charming princes, Evie has a chance at happiness until her new friend reveals a secret.

     

    12.22 SkywardSKYWARD
    by Brandon Sanderson
    (2018)

    When a long-term attack against her world by the alien Krell escalates, Spensa's dream of becoming a pilot may come true, despite her deceased father being labeled a deserter.

     

    12.22 To Kill a KingdomTO KILL A KINGDOM
    by Alexandra Christo
    (2018)

    Lira, a famous siren, must prove herself by stealing the heart of the man, a prince, threatening her race. Will she be able to overcome the obstacles placed before her?

     
    Looking for other holiday giving ideas? Check out our recommendations for adult fiction, more adult fiction, nonfiction, more nonfiction, and picture books.
  •  Judging a Book By Its Cover 628

    A while back, I shared one of my favorite librarian hobbies – spotting copycat book covers. Since then, I’ve kept an eagle eye out for more, and I’ve discovered a surprising and strangely specific trend in 2017 and 2018 cover art: the shiny bug.

    This past publishing year has produced a handful of gorgeous covers featuring intricate, stylized, metallic insects. It’s an unlikely trend, but a beautiful one.

    10.12 Dreadful Young LadiesDREADFUL YOUNG LADIES: AND OTHER STORIES
    By Kelly Barnhill
    (2018)

     

    10.12 Strange the DreamerSTRANGE THE DREAMER
    By Laini Taylor
    (2017) 

     

    10.12 Bruja BornBRUJA BORN
    By Zoraida Cordova
    (2018)

     

    10.12 The Moth PresentsTHE MOTH PRESENTS ALL THESE WONDERS
    By Catherine Burns
    (2017)

     

    Like just about everything, book cover art follows trends (we’re capitalists, y’all). In the 80s and 90s, chick lit, with its pastel illustrations, dominated YA.  During my teen years in the early 2000s, it was all about bright, solid colors, à la THE PRINCESS DIARIES and SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS (tangent, but Rachel Hawkins recent book ROYALS seems to harken back to that style). More recently, books like THE LUXE and THE SELECTION spawned a seemingly endless parade of ball gown-centric cover art.

    So where’d all these glittery bugs come from? I see it as part of a larger trend that I’m pretty jazzed about:  a move away from depicting characters and towards gorgeous lettering. I’ve written about a few of my favorite covers in this style before, and I plan to share more soon.

    So, what are some of your favorite book covers? Have you noticed any recent trends in cover art?

  • magical circuses

     

    Read-alikes: library jargon for “If you like this, you’ll probably also like this other thing!” Those of us who work at libraries are constantly on the hunt for read-alikes both as a professional courtesy to our patrons and as a way to satisfy our own voracious reading appetites. 

    (We have a variety of resources to find great read-alikes; the easiest way to find them is to click on the “Reading Suggestions” tab of our website). 

    One read-alike game I like to play is to find similar books across audiences. Can I find the writing qualities and characteristics of adult fiction authors I love in a middle-grade book? What about a book for teens? It’s a little bit like watching fiction grow up. So today I have for you three books that I feel like share some striking similarities even though they’re written for vastly different audiences. Three books; three audiences; three magical settings rich with detail and complex characters. Magical realism for all ages. 

    MIDDLE-GRADE 

    11.2.17 Circus MirandusCIRCUS MIRANDUS
    By Cassie Beasley
    (2015)

    Micah Tuttle has grown up hearing stories of a magical circus his grandpa visited as a boy. Now that his grandpa is dying, he sets off to find the mysterious circus in order to save his grandpa’s life. The narrative jumps back and forth between present day Micah and his new friend/school project partner Jenny on their quest to save his grandpa and his grandpa’s experiences as a boy at the circus. Kids with vivid imaginations will love the lush description of Circus Mirandus. 

     

     

    YOUNG ADULT

    11.2 CaravalCARAVAL
    By Stephanie Garber
    (2017)

    Okay, this one isn’t exactly a circus, but it is a magical, carnival-like setting. With an arranged marriage on the horizon, Scarlett figures this is her only chance to realize her dream of seeing Caraval, a legendary audience-participation event. When she and her sister arrive, things get much more complicated than they imagined, and the consequences turn dire fairly quickly.

    As is the case for most young adult books, we trade the innocent guy/girl helpful friendship of the middle-grade years for a fast-paced, “I hate you/I love you” storyline.There is banter; there is kissing; there is action, and adventure, and magic, and a carousel that my imagination loves to ride again and again. 

    ADULT FICTION 

    11.2.2017 The Night CircusTHE NIGHT CIRCUS
    By Erin Morgenstern 
    (2011) 

    I could go on and on about THE NIGHT CIRCUS; I read it about a year after its release, and I’ve honestly been looking for adequate read-alikes ever since. It wasn’t until this year that I’ve actually felt like I found them (hence this post!). Reading THE NIGHT CIRCUS is a sensory experience; not many novels can hold up to occasional second-person narration, but it’s perfect here. When I read it, I crave caramel popcorn and hot chocolate. The descriptions of the circus are rich and vivid and I’m always sad it doesn’t exist for real. 

    THE NIGHT CIRCUS is a long, magical game, pitting two champions, Celia and Marco, against one another in a magical battle to the death (though it takes years of competing to realize this). In THE NIGHT CIRCUS, we trade that fierce, instant love of teenage years (CARAVAL takes place over just three days!) for a nuanced relationship born in intrigue and cultivated through hearty and beautiful and, ultimately, deadly competition.

    I should also mention that I’ve listened to all three of these as audiobooks, and I actually recommend that if you’ve got the time and resources (which you do, thanks to the library!). This is especially the case with THE NIGHT CIRCUS, which is read by Jim Dale and is just delightful.

  • BB 2016 FB

    Each of us has read dozens of teen books in the last year in preparation to share the Best Young Adult Books of 2016. Not everything we read was a contender L. In the end, we along with two other colleagues have compiled our 50 favorite teen reads. Here are five books that ALMOST made the cut, but not quite.

    Darcy Swipes LeftDARCY SWIPES LEFT
    by Courtney Carbone
    (2016)

    Jane Austen meets the smart phone in this fun, modern telling of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Told via text messages, emoticons, emails, and more; I really enjoyed this version of the classic. The book was fast paced and less detailed than the original, but the story line was still true to the characters that generations have come to love. In the end, I found that there were just a few other books that I wanted to talk about more than this one.

     

     

    TruthwitchTRUTHWITCH
    by Susan Dennard
    (2016)

    This book is loaded with political intrigue, magic, thrilling fight scenes, mythical creatures, and romance.   Two best friends, both gifted with special magical abilities, are faced with a world on the verge of war.  TRUTHWITCH just barely missed our top 50 list.  The political intrigue and complicated plot (that many people will love) didn’t work for me quite as much as I wanted and other standout novels were able to slide this exciting adventure out of my ‘best of the best’ list.

     

     

     

    Tell Me Something RealTELL ME SOMETHING REAL 
    by Calla Devlin
    (2016)

    When the three Babcock sisters learn something that makes them question everything their tight-knit family is founded on, they all have to come to terms with things in their own way. To be honest, I liked this book better than some of the other books I’m going to talk about at Best Books. It kept me guessing all the way through, the writing was beautiful, and I thought it was really well done.  The thing that held me back from showcasing this one is the setting.  Set in 1976, this book is a little too contemporary for me to classify as historical fiction, but the world has changed a lot since then.  Although I think teens will enjoy this book, it feels more like a book written to appeal to adults who read YA, rather than to teens themselves.

     

    This Adventure EndsTHIS ADVENTURE ENDS 
    by Emma Mills
    (2016)

    Emma Mills got a lot of praise for her 2015 book, FIRST & THEN, which I haven’t read.  I need to fix this problem immediately, however, because I read THIS ADVENTURE ENDS in almost one sitting.  This book, about a group of friends all dealing with the changes that being a senior in high school brings, was so fun!  I loved how real the characters felt, but they didn’t take themselves too seriously.  It even has a Nicholas Sparks-like character that loses his motivation to write, and finds it again by writing what is basically Vampire Academy fanfiction.  At the end of the day, I had to choose, and I felt like some of the award winners I’d read should be showcased more than this one despite my love for it.

     

    Holding Up the Universe   Blog SizeHOLDING UP THE UNIVERSE 
    by Jennifer Niven
    (2016)

    Jennifer Niven’s books are always well written with great characters and emotional complexity. She doesn’t shy away from harsh topics and this book is no exception. Libby Strout is overweight, but that seems to be the only thing people know or want to know about her. Jack Masselin is a confident boy despite the fact that he is unable to recognize faces. Jack and Libby are not in the same social class at school, yet the more they get to know each other the more they recognize their similarities rather than their differences. Since we recommended Niven’s ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES last year, we decided to give another author some recognition this year.

     

     To see what we did make the cut, join us for The Best Books of 2016 on February 22nd!

     

     

  • best love stories

     

    So, after Christmas, the next holiday stores go gaga for is Valentine’s Day. Patrons start seeing everything from chocolate to obnoxiously stuffed teddy bears with satin hearts attached to them. Sadly none of this ties back to the myth behind one of the original St. Valentines; it is not well documented which St. Valentines was the original. But one of the myths behind this holiday according to history.com is that during the third century, the Roman emperor Claudius II decided that unmarried men made better soldiers than men with wives and children. So he banned all marriages for young men.  The story goes that even though it was illegal and eventually cost Valentine his life he continued after the edict to marry the young couples in love. Read story here

    In honor of all those lovers who got to be united in matrimony all those centuries ago, I and some of my co-workers have compiled a list of some of our favorite love stories captured by books. This is by no means a complete list but hopefully it gives some amazing stories for you to consider reading this upcoming Valentines season.

    Benedict & Beatrice
    MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
    by William Shakespeare
    1600

    I love the relationship between these two. Confirmed bachelor and bachelorette who hate each other end up finding something to love about the other after their friends set them up. This is my favorite Shakespearian comedy.

    Anne & Gilbert
    ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
    by L.M. Montgomery
    1908

    Proof relationships aren’t always about first impressions. My favorite memory will always be Anne smashing her tablet over Gilbert’s head. As time passes she eventually forgives him for humiliating her in class. I love watching the dynamic develop between these two as they grow up and mature into adults. This is an amazing series with beautiful scenes all throughout the books.

    Wesley & Buttercup
    PRINCESS BRIDE
    by William Goldman
    1973

    Relationships start with someone being kind. I love how they show that it takes work to not only begin a relationship but it takes fighting for what you want and sacrifice, to keep a relationship going. Not to mention this book is dripping with humor and hilarious situations, which makes it an all-around amazing read.

    Hazel & Gus
    FAULT IN OUR STARS
    by John Green
    2012

    Love can make a difference even if only around for a short time.  I like this love story because it is so much more real than the immature Romeo and Juliet where they promise to commit suicide together and then never get to actually know what love is like because they are dead. There are so many things wrong with Romeo and Juliet I won’t get started. What I love about Gus and Hazel is that they do make a difference in each other’s lives. They are there for each other even when life is knocking them upside the head and they don’t feel like being strong anymore. 

    Jane & Mr. Rochester
    JANE EYRE
    by Charlotte Bronte
    1847

    Everyone deserves a chance at true love even if you didn’t know what you were doing the first time around. I have heard a lot of people give Mr. Rochester grief because he was hiding his first wife in his attic. Which okay, taken in or out of context is not an honest thing to do.  But I love how this story allows for second chances and for there to be growth and a happy ending even if things go terribly the first time around.

     

     

  • BB 2017 FB

    2017 was a great year for YA books, as will be evident on February 20th, when we present our fifty favorite Young Adult books of 2017 in the Brimhall room, #302 at 7:00 pm.  As book lovers, we’ve been agonizing over which books published in 2017 really are the best.  To whet your appetites for February 20th, and as an excuse to sneak in a few more book recommendations, here are a few (almost equally amazing) books that didn’t make the cut.

    2.13 Batman I Am GothamBATMAN: I AM GOTHAM
    By Tom King

    This graphic novel, and the subsequent series, serves as an excellent examination of the Batman character and his motivations and flaws. The novel introduces new characters who help Batman save Gotham and may allow him to give up crime fighting for good! The artwork is fantastic, the new characters are deep and sympathetic, and the action is exciting, which makes it a great addition to the Batman mythos.  We’re reviewing a few other superhero graphic novels at Best Books, so unfortunately Batman won’t get his well-deserved shout-out.

     

    2.13 The Names They Give UsTHE NAMES THEY GAVE US
    By Emery Lord

    When her perfectly planned summer of quality time with her parents, her serious boyfriend, and her Bible camp unravels and long-hidden family secrets emerge, Lucy must figure out what she is made of and what grace really means.  I really liked the way this book touched on issues like questioning faith and having a great support system when tough times come.  In the end, I liked a few other books a little bit more, so this one didn’t make the cut.

     

    12.13 Song of the CurrentSONG OF THE CURRENT
    By Sarah Tolcser

    Caroline Oresteia is destined for the river. Her father is a wherryman, as was her grandmother. All Caro needs is for the river god to whisper her name, and her fate is sealed. When her father is arrested, Caro volunteers to transport mysterious cargo in exchange for his release. Secretly, Caro hopes that by piloting her own wherry, the river god will finally speak her name. This book has a great story, interesting characters who learn and grow, and a dash of magic.  The only thing keeping me from recommending this book is that I felt like I needed to highlight books from other genres a little bit more.

     

    2.13 The WoodTHE WOOD
    By Chelsea Bobulski

    Winter has grown up with her father, who is the guardian of a magical wood where thresholds to other places and times open, and occasionally people wander through. Then Winter’s father disappears, and a boy from the 1700s refuses to return to his time. He claims to have information that could help Winter find her father, but how can anyone from hundreds of years earlier know about her father? I got this recommendation from a co-worker who reads a lot of YA, but who wasn’t part of the Best Books team.  Since no one on the team read the book, it won’t be spotlighted at the event, but I thought everyone should know about it just the same. 

     
  • best books 15 ya

    2015 was a banner year for young adult fiction! Not only did we see an exciting surge in titles featuring diverse protagonists or titles penned by people of color, thanks to the awareness raised by the We Need Diverse Books campaign; but if 2015’s any indication, YA has entered its “Golden Age” and the market continues to mature as an art form.

    In 2015, titles like BONE GAP by Laura Ruby challenged the way we view our place in reality; Jennifer Niven’s ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES reaffirmed the importance of each human life; we saw art explode into being in Daniel Jose Older’s SHADOWSHAPER, and history transform in Laura Amy Schlitz’s THE HIRED GIRL. Finally, Sarah Crossan’s novel ONE made us do a double-take at the lives of conjoined twins.

    Here are the YA novels published in 2015 you should absolutely not miss:

    BoneBONE GAP
    By Laura Ruby
    A favorite of: Courtney Alameda  

    Quite possibly one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read, Laura Ruby’s BONE GAP won the 2016 Printz Award and was nominated for the National Book Award with good reason. In a story that blends magical realism with dreamlike imagery, readers meet Finn, a denizen of the rural town called Bone Gap, who witnesses the supposed kidnapping of his older brother’s girlfriend, Roza. Unfortunately, Finn’s own vague descriptions of the man who kidnapped Roza—and his own slowly-emerging disabilities—make it difficult for the police to find her. And Roza herself seems lost in a dream world, one in which a nightmare preys off the very essence of beauty itself.    

     

    hiredgirlTHE HIRED GIRL
    By Laura Amy Schlitz
    A favorite of: Anjanette Jones  

    If you attend the event on February 3rd, you’ll get to hear Anjie speak as passionately about this book as I have! (And yes, you most certainly want to hear Anjie talk about this book!)   Growing up on a hardscrabble farm, Joan avoided her cruel father but adored her mother, who encouraged her to work hard, study her lessons, and earn her own way in the world. After Ma’s death, 14-year-old Joan clashes with her father and flees to Baltimore. Claiming to be 18, she’s taken into the household of a wealthy Jewish family as a hired girl. Joan works hard to please the Rosenbachs and their beloved, aging housekeeper, the testy Malka. Over the next few months, the girl makes her share of mistakes . . . and her overactive imagination, passions, and disregard for propriety often get her into trouble. Still, these qualities endear her to the Rosenbachs (and likely to readers everywhere, too!)        

    ShadowSHADOWSHAPER  
    By Daniel José Older
    A favorite of: Courtney Alameda  

    What else can I say about SHADOWSHAPER but this: READ IT. This book is unlike anything else I’ve read in YA, blending genres, cultures, and languages seamlessly and beautifully.   When Sierra Santiago’s grandfather warns her that the paintings in their Brooklyn neighborhood are “fading,” Sierra’s puzzled. Through her own wit and determination, Sierra discovers she’s descended from a long line of shadowshapers, men and women able to animate art with the spirit of a departed soul.   But now, Sierra’s community is under attack from an anthropologist seeking to appropriate Sierra’s family’s traditions and culture. In order to save it, Sierra must draw upon and amplify her ancestors’ spirits, before their art fades away for good.    

    brightplacesALL THE BRIGHT PLACES
    By Jennifer Niven
    A favorite of: Anjanette Jones  

    From what I’ve heard from readers, this is a beautiful book, a sad book, but a life-affirming book. When Theodore “the Freak” Finch and Violet Markey meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school—both considering suicide—it's the beginning of an unlikely relationship, and a journey to discover the "natural wonders" of the state of Indiana. Violet’s running from her sister’s death nine months earlier. Finch’s trying to deal with an undiagnosed case of manic depression. And as they fall into an oddball sort of love, both teens become desperate to save one another from the demons that plague them.  

     

    oneONE
    By Sarah Crossan
    A favorite of: Breanne Gilroy  

    Last but not least, we have one of Breanne’s favorite books of the last year: A novel-in-verse about two sisters suffering from one unique problem.   Attached at the hip—literally—conjoined 16-year-old twins Tippi and Grace have outlived every prognosis for their life span. Their younger, ballet-dancing sister, earnest Mom, drunk Dad, and free-spirited Grammie comprise their whole world until homeschooling funds run out, and Tippi and Grace enter a local New Jersey private school as scholarship students. Their first friends ever, the pink-haired, HIV-positive Yasmeen and sweet, humble Jon, dutifully introduce them to raucous teen fun while serving as vigilantes against bullying and ignorance. When separation surgery becomes a potential reality, crucial questions of how bodies shape identity, friendship, love, and commitment are explored. The pacing’s gentle here, but this isn’t a novel readers will soon forget.

     

    Make sure to join Anjie, Breanne, and I on Tuesday, February 3rd for the YA portion of the Library’s Best Books of 2015 presentation! 

  • fall into a good book 1

    There is a place between awake and asleep that is so blissful and wonderful that to be wrenched from it incurs my wrath and leaves me in a stupor for some time afterwards. There is also a beautiful place like this that you can find while reading: when the author has woven the tale so perfectly that the story, characters, and imaginary world come to life. And you can’t help but get dumped in head first—swallowed whole. 

    Off the top of my head, there are three books I can think of which so engulfed me in a story that pulling me out of it left me in a daze. I can remember distinct moments when, after someone interrupted my reverie, I was unsure of my surroundings or even what the person was saying—because it didn’t sound like English. At those times I was perturbed to be taken from that fictional place because I worried that I wouldn’t be able to sink so deeply again. 

    If you want to fall into some really good books, these are those stories: 

    11.27 BeautyBEAUTY
    By Robin McKinley
    (1978)

    The story of a wealthy merchant who, after learning he has lost everything, comes across a magical and beautiful estate. When he picks a rose for his daughter Beauty, a beast appears—angry that his hospitality would be thanked with thievery. The beast lets the merchant go only because he promises that his daughter will return and live in the castle. Beauty is a formidable character for the Beast: She’s intelligent and has a loving family that she would do anything for. In this beautiful retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Robin McKinley spins a tale so magical that I can’t help but be drawn in.  


    11.27 Harry PotterHARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER’S STONE
    By J.K. Rowling
    (1998)

    Boy wizard. Dastardly villain. True friends. Ultimate war between good and evil.  

     

     

     

    11.27 Daughter of the ForestDAUGHTER OF THE FOREST 
    By Juliet Marillier 
    (2000)

    A retelling loosely based on a Celtic Myth called “The Children of Lir” combined with “The Six Swans” by the Brothers Grimm. A girl must sew six shirts from a painful nettle plant in order to save her six brothers from a witch’s enchantment, remaining completely mute until the task is finished. This task becomes especially difficult when she is taken from her homeland by a British lord who is sure she has information about his missing brother. Marillier creates some fantastic characters, beautiful worlds, and an interesting crossover into the land of faerie. 

     

     

  • adult kid books 

    There are plenty of books in the children’s department here at the Provo City Library that adults love to read. The same is true in reverse. We often send our smaller patrons over to the adult’s department to find a specific title they are interested in. Here are 5 of my favorite titles that kids can enjoy, but which can’t be found in our Juvenile Fiction collection.   

    10.05.2018 SweetnessTHE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE
    by Alan Bradley
    (2009)

    A new favorite character among readers, Flavia de Luce is a witty 11-yr-old sleuth and an aspiring chemist. Previously, Flavia’s time has been spent trying to make her sisters’ lives miserable and being made miserable in return. That’s until she finds a dead man in the garden and realizes she’s finally found something to truly put her mind to. This is the perfect book for young mystery-lovers that need to be challenged just a bit.  

    Why it’s on the adult side: While only 11, Flavia often speaks, thinks, and acts like an adult. There is also a smattering of swearing and the occasional Agatha-Christie-esque murder.   

     

    01.05.2018 Book ThiefTHE BOOK THIEF
    by Markus Zusak
    (2005)

    As soon as it was published, The Book Thief became an instant classic. The tale of young Liesel Meminger and her hodge-podge family is narrated by Death. He is a thoughtful and beautiful storyteller, following the little “book thief” during the first half of WWII in Nazi Germany. This is a great read for anyone, but especially for the many kids who love WWII historical fiction.  

    Why it’s on the adult side: The Book Thief can at times be both a little slow and very sad. It touches on themes of wartime violence and Nazi philosophy. It also has quite a bit of language in it both in English and German. I enjoyed listening to this book because the reader gave those words the appropriate color.   

     

    01.05.2018 To Kill a MockingbirdTO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
    by Harper Lee
    (1960)

    With over 3 million reviews on Goodreads, most people are familiar with Lee’s tale of childhood antics and the cancer of racism. Scout is an adventurous but naive character who only experiences racism from a distance until it’s thrust violently into her life. Seeing the small southern town through Scout’s eyes can be a wonderful, if gradual, first step into an eye-opening recognition of injustice.  

    Why it’s on the adult side: The main conflict of this book is the accused rape of a white girl by a black man. Both the racism and the believability or un-believability of the girl are sensitive topics. There are also the obvious racial slurs, other language, and violent scenes.   

     

    01.05.2018 Hitchhikers GuideTHE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY
    by Douglas Adams
    (1979)

    Arthur Dent discovers his good friend is actually an intergalactic hitchhiker when he’s plucked from earth just moments before it’s destroyed. Hilarious and very British, chaos ensues as a ragtag group travels the universe. While this one may be a bit of a stretch for some kids, many enjoy both its hilarity and thoughtfulness. 

    Why it’s on the adult side: To be fair, this is an adult book. It’s both witty and, at times, philosophical. Be prepared for a smattering of language and sexual innuendos of varying degrees.   

     

    01.05.2018 Michael VeyMICHAEL VEY: THE PRISONER OF CELL 25
    by Richard Paul Evans
    (2011)

    At our library, this book is cataloged as “young adult,” but it’s enjoyed by all ages. 14-yr-old Michael Vey has Tourette's syndrome, but he also has incredible electrical powers. After discovering that one of the most popular girls in school (and his crush) has similar abilities, the two embark on a quest to discover the origin of their mutation. This story is action-packed and a lot of fun.  

    Why it’s on the adult side: Although plenty of kids love this series, I was surprised at the amount of violence. There is also moments of psychological torture that, if really considered, can be quite emotional.   

     
  • fandom 1

     Fandom. Nearly all of us belong to at least one. Think about that one TV show, band, book series, or game that you connected with so deeply, that at times, it’s all you could think or talk about. It’s feeling connected to a community of people who have all experienced the same thrill and passion as you. And waiting for the next release...AGONY!

    Here are five Young Adult novels that celebrate what it’s like to be part of a fandom. The ultimate ode to all things geek.

    FangirlFANGIRL 
    Rainbow Rowell
    (2013)

    This charming novel tells the story of  painfully shy Cath, who prefers the fantasy world of fanfiction to reality. Cath has been writing fanfiction about Simon Snow, a Harry Potter-like wizard who battles vampires and the Humdrum, a creature determined to rid the world of magic. She has thousands of online followers, but as Cath begins her first year of college, expecting to survive by rooming with her outgoing twin sister, Wren, everything starts to fall apart.

     

     

    The Geeks Guide to Unrequited LoveTHE GEEK’S GUIDE TO UNREQUITED LOVE 
    Sarvenaz Tash
    (2016)

    Graham and Roxana have been friends for eight years, growing closer through their mutual love of comic books and all things geek. But what Roxy doesn’t know is that Graham has had a hopeless crush on her for years. So when he learns that the creator of their favorite comic will be at this year’s New York Comic Con, Graham knows they have to go, and that it’s the perfect opportunity to confess his unrequited love. But once Comic Con actually starts, nothing goes according to plan, and Graham is left struggling to make the epic moment happen.

     

    GeekerellaGEEKERELLA 
    Ashley Poston
    (2017)

    In this fandom version of the fairy tale Cinderella, Elle Wittimer is a devoted fan of the classic sci-fi TV series Starfield. When Elle finds out that ExcelsiCon is hosting a Starfield cosplay contest in honor of the new movie adaptation, she jumps at the chance, but knows her evil step-family will try to prevent her from attending the ball. When Darien Freeman is cast as the new Prince of Carmindor, Elle thinks it’s a terrible choice. She vents her frustration with the casting on her fan blog and receives unprecedented readership. So when Elle and Darien’s paths cross at the ExcelsiCon ball, it’s not so clear if Elle will get her happily ever after.

     

    The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is YouTHE ONLY THING WORSE THAN ME IS YOU
    Lily Anderson
    (2016)

    In this nerdy take on Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing, Trixie Watson has considered Ben West her arch-nemesis since first grade at Messina Academy for the Gifted, a school for geniuses. In their senior year, Trixie is determined to finally surpass Ben in the class standings. But Trixie and Ben’s respective best friends are exhausted with the verbal sparring and plot to help them form a friendship or maybe more based on their mutual love of comics and science fiction. So when Trixie’s friend gets expelled for cheating, they each have to choose who to believe.

     

    All The FeelsALL THE FEELS 
    Danika Stone
    (2016)

    Ultimate fan Liv has been obsessed with the sci-fi movie Starveil, for years. So, when the main character, Spartan, is unexpectedly killed off in the final movie, Liv and the rest of the fandom can’t accept it. After trying to get over it and failing, she decides that Spartan’s death should be struck from the official canon of the films. With help from her best friend, Xander, a Steampunk-loving aspiring actor, they begin a campaign called #SpartanSurvived.

     

     

  • k pop books

    In a previous Friday Faves, I listed my favorite K-pop CDs, but this time I want to highlight some of the books that I picked up simply because of my love for K-pop and Korean culture. I’m not saying these are the best out there (there’s a LOT I haven’t read yet), but these are ones that I enjoyed simply because… well… Korea! If you’ve got some favorite books that are about Korea or take place there, leave a comment so that I know what to read next! 

    8.4 The Birth of Korean CoolTHE BIRTH OF KOREAN COOL
    By Euny Hong
    (2014)

    Going from a third-world to first-world country in a matter of a few short decades is no simple task, but South Korea managed it, and is now becoming one of the world’s top exporters of pop culture. Euny Hong describes her experience of moving to Korea when she was twelve in the 1980s and how she’s seen the country go from very un-cool, to ultra-cool in that time. This was a fascinating read to see how the country essentially rebranded itself. 

     

     

    8.4 K Pop NowK-POP NOW!
    By Mark James Russell
    (2014)

    There are a wide variety of factors that have contributed to the development and growing popularity of K-pop. Russell provides a broad overview that includes historical and cultural influences, as well as describing what makes the industry unique and different from Western music. From there, Russell provides overviews of some of the current hottest artists in boy groups, girl groups, and solo acts, then briefly ventures onto the future of k-pop and what to expect when traveling to South Korea. 

    8.4 Bride of the Water GodBRIDE OF THE WATER GOD
    by Mi-Kyung Yun
    (2007)

    In this manhwa, Soah’s village is suffering from a long drought. To appease Habaek, the water god, they must sacrifice a girl to be his bride. When Soah is chosen, she understands she will likely die. However, there is something unique about her, and Habaek decides to rescue her. As she adjusts to live in Habaek’s kingdom, she discovers that there are a lot of mysterious things going on, including some that surround her new husband. This is a beautifully drawn manhwa that will be made into a K-drama later this year. 

     

    8.4 RE JaneRE JANE
    By Patricia Park
    (2015)

    In this modern retelling of Jane Eyre, Jane Re is a half-Korean, half-American orphan who grew up in New York. She doesn’t quite fit in and becomes desperate to get away from her Uncle’s strict rules. Jane finds a job working as an au pair for two Brooklyn academics and their daughter, which presents its own unique problems and opportunities. When her grandfather passes away, a quick trip to Seoul for the funeral turns into an extended stay as she reconnects with family and discovers a modern Korea, completely different from the one her uncle left decades earlier.  

     

    8.4 Stars of K Pop GirlsSTARS OF K-POP: GIRLS
    By StarNews
    (2014)

    Through photographs, interviews, and statistics, this book highlights some of the biggest girl groups in the k-pop industry. Girls’ Generation, 2NE1, Kara, f(x), Secret, Sistar, 4minute, T-ara, Miss A, Brown Eyed Girls, Afterschool, Girl’s Day, A Pink, Rainbow, and Crayon Pop are all highlighted with individual member information and tons of pictures. This book is a visual feast for the k-pop fan.

     

     

    8.4 Stars of K Pop BoysSTARS OF K-POP: BOYS
    By StarNews
    (2014)

    Very similar to its above counterpart, this edition of STARS OF K-POP focuses on male idols and groups including Psy, TVXQ, Big Bang, Super Junior, Beast, SHINee, Infinite, 2PM, 2AM, CNBLUE, ZE:A, F.T. Island, MBLAQ, EXO, and Supernova.

     

     

  • fairtyaleretellings

    I love fairy tales. I especially love the quote by G.K. Chesterton, “Fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed.” I personally think that this applies to everyone. We all have our dragons in our lives from paying bills to family drama, and sometimes it is overwhelming facing our personal dragons. Even though real life is not a fairy tale it is nice to have the hope that our own personal dragons can be conquered, and the belief that we can be the hero of our own story.

    EntwinedENTWINED
    by Heather Dixon Entwined
    (2011)

    ENTWINED is a retelling of the “The Twelve Dancing Princesses”. Left alone in mourning after their mother’s death, and their father gone off to war, Princess Azalea and her eleven sisters spend night after night dancing with Keeper, someone trapped in a magic passageway in the walls of the castle. The dances start out fun enough but soon become a nightmare.

    Golden BraidTHE GOLDEN BRAID
    by Melanie Dickerson
    (2015)

    The Golden Braid is a fun retelling of “Rapunzel”. In this story as Rapunzel and her mother are moving once again they are set upon by bandits, and are saved by a passing knight. Later down the road, Rapunzel get the opportunity to save the very knight who previously saved them. In exchange for saving his life Rapunzel makes him promise to teach her how to read. As the story goes on a lifetime of secrets are revealed. Will Rapunzel be able to free herself from a lifetime of lies and help save her kingdom?

    BeautyBEAUTY
    by Robin McKinley
    (1978)

    Beauty is a retelling of “Beauty and the Beast”. In this particular retelling of the fairy tale Beauty’s father is a merchant who has recently lost everything in a storm at sea and they go west to make a new future for themselves. One day her father receives word that one of his ships survived the storm and he travels back to the city to discover what is to be recovered. On his way back to his family he gets caught in a blizzard and stays in a mysterious castle in the woods near his home. As he leaves his refuge once the storm has stopped he picks a rose from the garden of the mysterious castle igniting the Beasts anger.  For picking the rose the merchant must give up one of his daughters to live with the Beast forever. Beauty volunteers.  What will happen while Beauty is living with a mythical beast, and what will become of her?

    Saphyre SnowSAPHYRE SNOW 
    by Marci Lynn McClure
    (2009)

    Saphyre Snow is a retelling of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves”. Princess Saphyre is running for her life when her stepmother’s huntsman is ordered to kill Saphyre and rip out her heart. When she gets lost in the woods she comes across a band of seven misfits. Will they give her refuge or send her back to be subject to her stepmother’s cruelty?

    Princess of the Silver WoodPRINCESS OF THE SILVER WOOD
    by Jessica Day George
    (2012)

    Princess of the Silver Wood is a fun retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Robin Hood”. Petunia, the youngest of the dancing princesses, gets ambushed by bandits in wolves’ costume on her way to visit an elderly neighbor. Will she and her sisters finally get the chance to break the curse over their family?

  • Woman Reading

    In the process of figuring out what to write about for this post, I made a list of some of my top favorite books—the ones that are always on the tip of my tongue when someone asks me for a recommendation. As I looked at these varied books from different genres, I realized that while the stories are fantastic and beautifully done, each one of these books have some of my favorite female leads. They are strong, clever, and courageous. They make mistakes and come back stronger for it.

    Here are 4 pretty amazing books with top-notch female characters: 

    1.19 Code Name VerityCODE NAME VERITY
    by Elizabeth Wein
    (2012)

    In 1943, a British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. On board are two best friends, Maddie (pilot) and Julie (spy). Julie is captured and is forced to detail the British war effort or face execution. She chooses to write her confession in the form of a novel, telling a story of friendship between her and Maddie and about how she ended up in her current predicament. The second half of the book is from Maddie’s point of view and everything that happens after her plane went down. This book does so well showing strong women in the WWII war effort. There is layered storytelling, clever intertextual devices, and unreliable narrators. There is also a prequel about Julie called THE PEARL THIEF that came out in 2017.  

     

    1.19 The Book ThiefTHE BOOK THEIF 
    by Markus Zusak
    (2005)

    This book is set in WWII and told from the point of view of Death. It’s about a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and a whole lot of thievery. Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich, scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist—books. She is taught to read by her accordion-playing foster father and the Jewish man hidden in her basement. This book is so beautifully written and told in such a way that you know what’s going to happen. Death’s point of view is a circular one, so he’s not concerned about spoilers, but that doesn’t matter because I’ve read this book at least 3 times and know what’s coming… each time is beautifully devastating.  

     

    1.19 The Eyre AffairTHE EYRE AFFAIR 
    Jasper Fforde
    (2002)

    Set in an alternative universe of Great Britain 1985, time travel is routine, cloning is a reality and literature is taken very, very seriously. So much so that there is a special division of Literary Detectives in the police force to protect it. Enter Thursday Next (that’s our protagonist not me talking about next Thursday). While trying to capture Acheron Hades, the third most wanted man in the world, her uncle Mycroft is kidnapped for his invention that can let you enter books. Acheron Hades doesn’t use this invention to go into his favorite book but to go into the original manuscript of Jane Eyre and kidnap her half way through the book. As the book is first person, there is an uproar around the world because half of Jane Eyre is now just blank pages. Thursday has to save her uncle, save Jane, and try not to mess with the continuity of the book. This is a book (series) for people who love books. If you haven’t read Jane Eyre, that’s fine, neither has Thursday’s partner, so they will catch you up on the finer details. The writing is clever, the story is silly, and the humor is dry.  

     

    1.19 The Sweetness at the Bottom of the PieTHE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE 
    Alan Bradley
    (2009)

    11-year-old Flavia de Luce loves chemistry and poisons. During the summer of 1950, in the sleepy English village of Bishop’s Lacey, a dead bird is found on Flavia’s doorstep with a postage stamp pinned to its beak. Hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and sees him take his last dying breath. Flavia is appalled and delighted and decides she’s going to follow the clues to solve the crime herself… to help the police of course. This is a brilliant series with a clever protagonist that uses the fact that she’s 11 to sneak her way through her village to solve the murders.  For people already familiar with the series, the 9th book “The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place” is out end of this month. 

     
  • CBF 2018 FB event

    I Love Jessica Day George! I credit her with being the one who helped my daughter discover that books could be fun and exciting to read. ( Which is one of the reasons I love her so much.) We read her book DRAGON SLIPPERS together and for the first time ever my daughter didn’t want to stop reading. What more could a parent ask for from an author?

    Her books were not only what got my daughter started reading, but they have kept her reading. She has become one of my personal favorites and many of her books sit on our bookshelves at home. Her books are perfect for anyone who enjoys reading fairytales with a twist, which I love, or stories with dragons and enchanting tales with a sprinkle of magic.  This year in celebration of  Children’s Book Festival, Jessica Day George will be coming to the Provo City Library. I am very excited to hear her talk about her new book THE ROSE LEGACY which is the perfect book for anyone who loves fantasy books about magical gifts and horses. I would recommend any of her books, but here is a list of my favorites:  

    4.30 Dragon SlippersDRAGON SLIPPERS
    (2007)

    Creel is an orphan living with her aunt and uncle, and she has no prospects for marriage. As a solution to what she sees as a big problem her aunt tells Creel to go to the dragon, who has a cave not far from their town, and sacrifice herself in hopes that a knight will come to rescue and marry her. But Creel isn’t a girl who will wait to be rescued.  She decides to conquer the dragon herself and goes into his cave to face her future.  She finds a friend in the dragon, and with a dragon's treasure in hand she begins a path which will change the course of her life. 

     

    4.30 Sun and Moon Ice and SnowSUN AND MOON, ICE AND SNOW
    (2008)

    Based on one of my favorite Nordic legends, EAST OF THE SUN, WEST OF THE MOON, this is the story of an impoverished girl who is offered riches for herself and her family if she will follow a polar bear to his home and remain there for a year. She agrees and begins a journey that she could never have imagined. During the year she spends in the castle of the bear she begins to unravel a mystery with a curse and finds a love she never imagined for herself.   

     

    4.30 Princess of the Midnight BallPRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL
    (2009)

    One of my daughter's favorite fairytales was The Twelve Dancing Princesses. In PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL, Jessica Day George has taken the traditional telling of the story and spun a new tale with delightful characters. She draws you into the royal family, where you begin to feel a connection with the twelve sisters and their struggles to undo a curse that was placed on their family many years ago. The perspective you gain from the oldest daughter makes you want to cheer them on as they dance their way to freedom. 

     

    4.30 Silver in the BloodSILVER IN THE BLOOD
    (2015)

    Do you know all of your family secrets? In the telling of this book you meet twin sisters, Dacia and Lou, who on their 17th birthday are told they must travel to Romania to meet their mother's relatives as well as their tyrant of a grandmother. They leave behind their life in 1890 New York society to embark on a treacherous journey.  While in Romania they discover dark family secrets and find that they are to take their place as one of the loyal servants of the Draculas. They must then decide if they have the courage to change their destiny. 

     

    4.30 Princess of GlassPRINCESS OF GLASS
    (2010)

    Poppy, one of the twelve sisters from PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL, hopes to escape the problems developing in her kingdom by offering to go on a royal exchange program. Poppy, who is one of my favorite fictional characters, has no idea what events are about to unfold for her. She finds herself involved in a plot laid out by a wicked fairy. Poppy is a beautiful dancer, but she despises dancing and has no happy memories of dancing at a ball. So when she is invited to a royal ball she reluctantly agrees to go but has no intention of dancing. However things may not go her way. This is an enchanting retelling of the classic fairytale Cinderella and it will “Knit” you tightly into its clutches.

     
  •  Journals

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I love to read journals and diaries. I grew up reading every single Dear America book I could get my hands on as well as any of the Royal Diaries books. I learned the other day what the difference is between a diary and a journal - technically a diary is simply a record of events as they happen in someone’s life, where a journal is a book that is a bit more personal and goes through a person’s thoughts and feelings and the evolution thereof. Super cool! Who knew? 

    I personally love the perspective a journal gives about a person’s life and what they were going through.The following are a few books which are written in a journal or diary format. What are some of your favorite journals and diaries to read?

    7.6 Book of a Thousand DaysBOOK OF A THOUSAND DAYS
    by Shannon Hale
    (2007)

    Dashti is a fifteen year old who is sworn to obey her sixteen year old mistress, the Lady Saren. This story records the years of Saren’s punishment locked in a tower, then records her going to another's lands and posing as a kitchen maid in order to stay alive.

     

    7.6 Diary of a Young GirlTHE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL
    by Anne Frank
    (1947)

    This is the record of a wonderful young Jewish girl, who was triumphantly human and herself through the ordeal of life before her family was taken to a concentration camp.

     

    7.6 The Perks of Being a WallflowerTHE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER
    by Stephen Chbosky
    (1999)

    This book follows the life of Charlie, who is a freshman in High School. Though he is not the weirdest kid in town, he is not popular. This book discusses the unique perspective of a life lived on the fringes, but then learning to step away from the wall and live on the dance floor.

     

    7.6 These is My WordsTHESE IS MY WORDS
    by Nancy Turner
    (1998)

    This story follows Sarah Agnes Prine, beginning in 1881, when her father decides the family needs to move their horse ranch from Arizona to Texas. Sara is 17 and is a tomboy, though she would love nothing more than to be gracious and beautiful like other women. Follow the story of Sarah’s family as Sarah is the one person that often saves them from certain death.

     

    7.6 Go Ask AliceGO ASK ALICE
    by Anonymous
    (1971)

    This book follows the story of a 15 year old girl who develops a drug habit and runs away from home.

     
  • favoritefavorite 1

     Anyone who reads a lot can empathize with the pressure I feel, as a librarian, to pick a favorite book. It’s often the first question people ask me when I tell them that reading is my favorite hobby. The problem, of course, is that I don’t have a favorite book.  

    Or rather, I have way too many! I could easily come up with a categorized list of about 400 favorite books separated into genre, age group, guilty pleasure books, etc. But, if I had to pick, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is my favorite book on my long list of favorite books. The story is fun and classic and well-known enough that you don’t seem pretentious when you say that you love it. And, like many childhood classics, there are always new interpretations to explore.  

    Here are a few favorite books based on my official favorite book:  

    Alices Adventures in WonderlandAlice’s Adventures in Wonderland 
    By Lewis Carroll
    Illustrated by Anna Rifle Bond
    (2015)   

    The illustrations in Alice have always been one of the best parts for me, and while hundreds of artists have taken the time to illustrate Wonderland, this edition offers a unique interpretation of a magical and fantastic world. Every page in this book is pretty and cartoonish, offering a fun new journey to Wonderland alongside Lewis Carroll’s original and unabridged text.  

     

    HeartlessHeartless
    By Marissa Meyer
    (2016)   

    In this prequel to Alice in Wonderland, Lady Catherine is reluctant to marry the King of Hearts, especially once she finds love with the king’s mysterious new jester. Marissa Meyer crafts her own beautiful version of Wonderland filled with romance and a little bit of darkness. I love this new look at Wonderland.  

     

     

     

    Queen of HeartsQueen of Hearts  
    By Colleen Oakes
    (2016)   

    This book offers another exploration into Wonderland before Alice, but here the future Queen of Hearts is called Princess Dinah, and she has yet to learn about the darkness that fills her future kingdom. I was not expecting to enjoy two new Queen of Hearts origin stories in the same year, but this book – the first in a new series – convinced me that there should be even more.  

     

     

    There are so many Fractured Wonderland stories that it was hard to pick out a few favorites (obviously). Are there other favorites that we missed? 

     

  • yaromance

    I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a fully grown woman who loves a good Young Adult (YA) Contemporary Romance. Let me first explain what I mean by this genre. These are books set in contemporary times, but can include the recent past such as ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell who set her novel in 1986 (and, by the way, is fantastic). FYI: typically a novel is considered historical fiction if set 50 years or longer in the past. YA Contemporary Romance must also have a romantic relationship at its core. That’s the bit I especially like. There is an inherent excitement to the idea of falling in love for the first time that draws me in again and again, even if it’s easy to guess the plot sometimes. I also enjoy a happy ending but don’t require one. It’s all the swoony romantic bits in the middle that I like best where the cute boy doesn’t go for the popular, pretty girl but instead goes for the quirky one that lives next door.

    To be fair, YA Contemporary Romance can contain melancholy or emotional elements where teens must deal with real issues such as depression or the death of a loved one. These elements often enhance the story; making it bittersweet, which can be rewarding in its own way.

    So without further ado, here are my recent five favorite YA Contemporary Romances.  

    to all the boysTO ALL THE BOYS I LOVED BEFORE
    by Jenny Han
    (2014)

    Lara Jean isn’t sure she’s ready for her sister, Margot, to move to Scotland for college.  But life becomes even more complicated when someone finds and mails her stash of secret, never-to-be-read letters addressed to all the boys she’s liked in the past.  One letter is sent to Josh, her next door neighbor who Margot broke up with just before moving away. When Josh confronts her, Lara Jean is desperate to convince him that she’s over her crush even if she’s not completely sure herself. Another letter is sent to Peter, a popular Lacrosse player at school. Peter suggests that Lara Jean pose as his new girlfriend to make his ex-girlfriend jealous and to help her convince Josh that she’s over him.

    geography of you and meTHE GEOGRAPHY OF YOU AND ME
    by Jennifer E. Smith
    (2014)

    Lucy Patterson and Owen Buckly meet by chance when they are trapped in their New York apartment building’s elevator during a massive power outage. When the electricity returns, so do real-life complications. Owen and his father, devastated by his mother’s recent death, decide to drive west for a fresh start. Meanwhile, Lucy moves to Scotland for her father’s work.  Separated geographically, it is their emotional connection that carries each of them through a life-changing year. This book centers on the leaps of faith that love demands.

    tell me three thingsTELL ME THREE THINGS
    by Julie Buxbaum
    (2016)

    After losing her mother, gaining a stepmother and moving cross-country, Jessie is feeling lost. During her first week in Los Angeles, she receives an email from an anonymous fellow student calling himself Somebody/Nobody (SN), offering advice dodging the pitfalls of her new prep school. After several weeks of relying on SN, Jessie wants to meet him. But will reality live up to her idea of Somebody/Nobody? This novel is sort of like YOU’VE GOT MAIL for teenagers.

    all the bright placesALL THE BRIGHT PLACES
    by Jennifer Niven
    (2015)

    An exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story, this novel is told from the perspectives of both Theodore Finch and Violet Markey.  The two meet unexpectedly on the ledge of the school bell tower where they’re both contemplating suicide. Though both troubled, they start a beautiful and unusual friendship. On a school project to experience roadside attractions in the state of Indiana, the two develop a close bond that others don’t understand as their bond begins to help heal one another. But as Violet’s world expands, Finch’s begins to shrink.

    everything everythingEVERYTHING, EVERYTHING
    by Nicola Yoon
    (2015)

    Ever since she was diagnosed with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, or “bubble baby” disease, 18-year-old Madeline Whittier hasn’t been able to leave her house. Quite literally allergic to everything, she watches the world pass her by. When Olly moves in next door, all of this changes. With Carla, her nurse, as her ally, Maddy defies her mother by allowing Olly into her house and her heart, putting her very life at risk. This is a humorously engaging story of a girl who has to figure out how to live life and love despite her circumstances.

  • groundhog

    Today is Groundhog Day, that holiday when a little creature emerges from its burrow to see if it's sunny or not and decides whether it wants to hurry back home and curl up for 6 more weeks of beauty rest.

    Regardless of what the groundhog decides to do this morning, I think curling up for a while with a good book will be my goal of the week. So grab a warm blanket and a cup of cocoa while I present for you: four teen books to help you ignore the outside world!

    inreallifeIN REAL LIFE
    by Cory Doctorow
    (2014)

    Nothing helps you ignore the real world better than a book about a girl ignoring the real world! Anda starts playing a massively-multiplayer-role-playing game and begins to see how the lines between the real world and the online one can become blurred. This is a gorgeously illustrated graphic novel with an interesting message to share.

     

     

    chasinglincolnkillerCHASING LINCOLN'S KILLER
    by James L. Swanson
    (2009)

    If your preferred reason for staying in bed is because you can't put your book down, this one is for you. Working from letters, manuscripts, reports, books, and other documents, Swanson has pieced together the story of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the ensuing chase of John Wilkes Booth. Readers not only follow the course of Booth and his co-conspirators, but also Lincoln's final moments and the reactions of those around him. It's a serious page-turner, and you have the added bonus of saying it's a "history book" if anyone asks you any questions.

     

    eleanorandparkELEANOR AND PARK
    by Rainbow Rowell
    (2013)

    If you haven't read this one yet, go get it from a library right now. Eleanor and Park are both misfits in 1986 who have no choice but to sit next to each other on the bus one day. That act starts an unlikely friendship that grows from comic books and shared music. I know it doesn't sound like much, but you won't be able to eat, sleep, or breathe until it's done.

     

     

    selectionTHE SELECTION
    by Kiera Cass
    (2012)

    If you've ever spent a night on the couch watching The Bachelor while texting your friends to say you're watching The 100, this book is for you. America Singer is "Selected" to participate in a televised competition to compete to be the bride of Prince Maxon. The only problem is it's the last thing America wants. This book is a guilty pleasure that is best enjoyed from behind the book sleeve of something serious and intimidating like Crime and Punishment.

    You have your list, now grab a blanket and stay inside until it's warm out!

  • Coming of age novels

    As one of the youngest employees of the library, I have the great learning opportunity of not always being as grown-up as I'd like to be. 

    Fortunately, this tumultuous transition is also a major source of inspiration in literature. Coming-of-age books are wondrous, heartbreaking, revolutionary, obnoxious, and more often than not, fun. These books tend to stay with us because they articulate how we grow up. They give us a voice. 

    As someone who is still stubbornly right at the beginning of adulthood, I compiled a list of my favorite coming-of-age books for when I'm not feeling as grown-up as I'd like to be. 

    Jane EyreJANE EYRE 
    Charlotte Bronte 
    (1847)

    I like to think of JANE EYRE as THE coming-of-age story or at least MY coming-of-age story. This achingly romantic novel is about a young orphan who, despite a malicious world and an abundance of external pressures, grows up to be a good person. Maybe that's an oversimplification, but Jane's Lionheart and her courage to choose herself makes me brave. If you can’t get the things in life that you want, can you be the person that you want to be? Can you still choose to be the person you want to be even when all of the options are terrible? The answer is a brutal yet joyous YES! 

      

    year of yes

    YEAR OF YES
    Shonda Rhimes
    (2015)

    Shonda Rhimes, the creator of my favorite, not-so-guilty-pleasure TV shows, GREY’S ANATOMY and SCANDAL, commits to say, "yes" to everything that scares her for one year. I thought this might be easy for an award-winning TV Writer whose characters dance it out, stand in the sun, and tell me to be my own person. But the things she was most scared of are the very same fears that emerge while growing up. She is afraid of being seen; she is scared of failing. Shonda didn't know she was worthy of yes and was hiding from the life that would make her happy. Essentially, YEAR OF YES is a book about getting out of your comfort zone.  

     

    Harry Potter Order of The Phoenix

    HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX
    J.K. Rowling
    (2010)

    When we read Harry Potter, we get to watch children learn what it means to be adults. We learn that you can do anything with a bit of brains, courage, and kindness. The Order of the Phoenix is my particular favorite. At 10 years old, this book without a happy ending made sense to me. It showed the darker side to growing up; that it’s hard and often tragic, but worthwhile. Also, I want it etched into my gravestone that each and every single one of Harry James Potter’s outbursts in this book was justified and necessary. 

      

    mansfield park

    MANSFIELD PARK
    Jane Austen 
    (1814)

    This book continues to shock me. It's a subverted Cinderella story about a young girl in dire circumstances who says, “no” to the prince who comes to save her. Ultimately, it’s not a romance. MANSFIELD PARK is not a story about Fanny Price falling in love. It’s the story of a shy, passive girl who says, "No," to the people who would take advantage of her. Reading about Fanny, I learn that strength comes from choosing your own destiny and realizing you can, in fact, have what you truly want. No matter how shy or scared you are, you don’t need to just accept the way things are in your life. 

     

    anne of green gables

    ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
    Lucy Maud Montgomery
    (1908)

    I love reading about Anne Shirley. She feels like a force of nature. She's so glorious with her large and messy personality that knocks up against everything and gets her into to trouble. Despite all of Anne's faults and mistakes, Her growth into an adult didn’t mean becoming quieter or shrinking herself. Growing into an adult meant she learned how to tackle life’s mistakes. She didn’t have to sacrifice herself to grow into the woman she wanted to be.

     

    Adulting

    ADULTING:  HOW TO BECOME A GROWN-UP IN 468 EASY(ISH) STEPS
    Kelly Williams Brown 
    (2013)

    This book is specifically for people who really need to act like adults, but are like me and don't know the first place to start. This book acts as an encyclopedia for everything you’ve ever seen an adult do but weren’t sure how to do yourself. It answers the questions I actually want to know about life: How do I wash all my cardigans? How can I keep my casual existential dread from ruining all my relationships? What is a tax return? And it offers reassurance and tough love without any of the condescendion.

     

    What coming-of-age books do you read when growing up is too hard? 

  • hot ya summer 2016

     

    If you are looking for some new YA fiction to read this summer, look no further! Whether you are a fan of historical, contemporary, or fantasy, any of these titles are sure to appeal. Best of all, each has been garnering rave reviews from critics and readers alike. As for me, I will be reading all three books as soon as I can get my hands on them.

    For the perfect beachy yet substantive contemporary read, try TELL ME THREE THINGS by Juile Buxbaum.

    After gaining a stepmother and moving cross-country, Jessie is feeling lost. During her first week in Los Angeles, she receives an email from Somebody/Nobody (SN) offering help for surviving her new prep school. After coming to rely on SN, she wants to meet. But will reality live up to her idea of SN?

    If you are in the mood for entertaining historical fiction with a revisionist twist, get your hands on a copy of MY LADY JANE by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows.

    Part comedy, part fantasy, and part romance, MY LADY JANE is not what you would expect from a Lady Jane retelling. Jane does become engaged to a stranger in his conspiracy to dethrone her cousin, but this Jane doesn’t have to worry about that, because sometimes history itself needs a little retelling.

    If fantasy is more your thing, Victoria Schwab has a new urban fantasy called THIS SAVAGE SONG coming out on July 5, which is supposed to be fantastic.

    In a divided city at war with monsters, Kate wants to be like her father, who is paid to police the street. Like his father, August wants to be merciful and protect the innocent in a larger role, except for one problem - he is one of the monsters. When Kate discovers his secret the two are forced to flee the city or die.

    And on that ominous note, happy reading!

  • harry potter changed

    HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE came out in June 20 years ago. It is crazy to think how much time has passed since then. This post is a little late to be a 20th year anniversary post, but in light of our Harry Potter Escape Room I wanted to write a little something to showcase this wonderful series.

    If we rewind to my second grade year, I hated to read. I have a vivid memory of sitting at my desk in the mobile classroom, staring at a copy of THE BOXCAR CHILDREN, absolutely hating it, and wondering what they were talking about. Around that time, my teacher started reading HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS to the class. I must have mentioned something to my mother and she ended up getting a copy of the first book and reading it to us at night as we went to sleep. I remember being frustrated that she only read a chapter or so at a time, and it was even worse if I fell asleep during the reading of the story. I would take the book and then read until I caught back up. Then I was impatient to find out how the story ended, so I took the book and finished it; my mother was not thrilled.

    This started sort of a tradition with my mother and I as we stole the books back and forth from each other as we read these fun stories. As I had to wait the agonizing amount of time for the next books to be published, I started to pick up other books and find other incredible authors. I even grew to love the Boxcar series, and read many of them.

    In addition to the book's fun plots, I love the quotes of wisdom passed down from Professor Dumbledore, including:

    • "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that."  ~ HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE 

    • "As much money and life as you could want!  The two things most human beings would choose above all - the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them."  ~ HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE
       
    •  “It's a strange thing, but when you are dreading something, and would give anything to slow down time, it has a disobliging habit of speeding up.”  ~ HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE (Now that I have started grad school, this quote seems even more pertinent than usual)

    I will always be grateful for the grand introduction that the Harry Potter series gave me to the world of reading. In addition, it has impacted my desire to help other people find the book or series that will unlock that door for them. Talking books is one of my favorite things, and I am grateful for the opportunity that my job provides to do just that.

    Back to the Escape Room. If you did not get a time slot, don't despair. We are planning to make this an ongoing program, hopefully an on-demand one that you can schedule at any time. Keep your eyes peeled for new information!

  • steampunk science fiction 01

    Find them in the catalog: 

    AIRBORN

    LEVIATHAN

    BONESHAKER

  • It's a week full of dance and magic here at the Library; first, tonight we'll welcome Storyteller Wendy Gourley for a program called Story Dance, designed to help you explore story and movement (7:00 pm, Ballroom). Later in the week, of course, we'll transform the Library into a magical fairy world for our annual Fairy Tea. If that's not enough dance and magic for you, check out any of these three retellings of "Twelve Dancing Princesses." 

    12 Dancing Princesses 01

    Find them in the catalog: 

    PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL

    THE THIRTEENTH PRINCESS

    THE NIGHT DANCE

  • illustratedya

    When I think about books with illustrations, children’s picture books are the first thing that comes to mind. However, recently I’ve read a few Young Adult novels that not only had illustrations, but illustrations that really added to the story! These are just a few of many illustrated YA novels owned by the Provo City Library.

    A Monster CallsA MONSTER CALLS
    by Patrick Ness; illustrated by Jim Kay
    (2011)  

    I’ve recently moved back to Provo after working at a library in Virginia. This title was our 1book 1community read for 2015 and the story has stayed with me since I read it last October. The book itself isn’t very long, but the story is deep and the black and white illustrations contribute to the dark feeling throughout the majority of the book.

     

     

    Between the LinesBETWEEN THE LINES
    by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer; illustrated by Yvonne Gilbert and Scott M. Fischer
    (2012)  

    I listened to this book (and really enjoyed the narrator!), but about halfway through the book I realized that I needed to take a look at the printed version of the story. This book is told in three voices and in the print version the ink color is different for each character’s voice. The full color illustrations and scattered black and white images add to the fairy tale and contemporary storylines. While Jodi Picoult is largely known for her adult titles, she co-wrote this novel with her teenage daughter. I’m anxious to start reading the sequel Off the Page which came out in 2015!

     

    LeviathanLEVIATHAN
    by Scott Westerfeld; illustrated by Keith Thompson   
    (2009)  

    Although I read this book several years ago when it first came out, the story and illustrations have stayed with me. This is a title (and series) that I recommend frequently, as well as anything written by Scott Westerfeld since he’s one of my favorite YA authors. The artwork is not only beautiful, but the drawings helped me picture the various beasts and machines that make up the bulk of this alternate history book.

     

     

     

    Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar ChildrenMISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN
    by Ransom Riggs
    (2011)  

    Confession time, I haven’t actually read this one yet. I own a signed copy, but that tends to be the death of me actually reading a book since there’s not a due date! While this book doesn’t actually have illustrations, it does have photographs scattered throughout the book. The photos are a little strange and creepy, but I’ve been told they are essential to enjoying the story. I’m going to move this up to the top of my to-be-read pile as soon as I unpack my boxes of books from my recent move!

     

     

    I encourage you to try an illustrated YA novel today, but be aware if you flip through the pictures before starting the book…you might just spoil the story based on what you see!

  • ya westers

     

    We just celebrated one of my all-time favorite holidays – Pioneer Day! Every 24th of July my family heads up to the Kamas Valley to hike in the Uintas, watch rodeos and demolition derbies, eat delicious food, and of course to remember pioneer ancestors like my great-great-grandmother, Anthonette Marie Olsen. "Nettie" joined a handcart division when she was just twenty years old. She crossed the plains in 1865, and she settled in Salt Lake City, Utah. Reading stories about my great-great-grandmother's journey— like when she saw sunflowers for the first time or her encounters with Native Americans—  may have been where my love for Westerns began.

    If you've never read a Western before or perhaps it's just been a while, now is the time to give them another try! If the traditional Louis L'Amour novel isn't the thing for you, try a more modern Western. Contemporary Westerns now crossover with so many different genres that they offer a little something to almost any reader. Don't believe me? Check out this list of fantastic Young Adult Westerns that include fantasy, multicultural fiction, adventure stories, and even a little bit of romance! I'd start with WALK ON EARTH A STRANGER. It's my favorite. 

    walk on earth a strangerWALK ON EARTH A STRANGER
    by Rae Carson
    (2015)

    Lee Westfall, a young woman with the magical ability to sense the presence of gold, must flee her home to avoid people who would abuse her powers, so when her best friend Jefferson heads out across Gold Rush-era America to stake his claim, she disguises herself as a boy and sets out on her own dangerous journey.

     

    painted skyUNDER A PAINTED SKY
    by Stacey Lee
    (2015)

    In 1845, Sammy, a Chinese American girl, and Annamae, an African American slave girl, disguise themselves as boys and travel on the Oregon Trail to California from Missouri.

     

    vengeance roadVENGEANCE ROAD
    by Erin Bowman
    (2015)

    When her father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, eighteen-year-old Kate Thompson disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers—and justice.

     

    SpringsweetTHE SPRINGSWEET
    by Saundra Mitchell
    (2012)

    Moving from Baltimore to Oklahoma Territory in the late 1800s, seventeen-year-old Zora experiences the joys and hardships of pioneer life, discovering new love and her otherworldly power.

     

    revenge and the wildREVENGE AND THE WILD
    by Michelle Modesto
    (2016)

    Seventeen-year-old foul-mouthed Westie, the notorious adopted daughter of local inventor Nigel Butler, lives in the lawless western town of Rogue City where she sets out to prove the wealthy investors in a magical technology that will save her city are the cannibals that killed her family and took her arm when she was a child.

  •  End of the World

    Does it say something about you if all you want to read is a story about the end of the world? I hope not, because lately it’s all I seem to be reading! There’s something intriguing about a story set in a world where things can be so much worse, and lately I seem to live for those small threads of meaning that bind people to hope in the face of bleak events. Here are five stories set in familiar but fundamentally altered worlds where people are redefining life as we know it. 

    6.29 The Last PolicemanTHE LAST POLICEMAN
    By Ben H. Winters
    (2012) 

    Suppose you were a beat cop who wanted to be a detective and you were suddenly granted your wish because the world is going to collide with an asteroid in the near future. This is Hank Palace's situation, and in a world where suicide is commonplace, the remaining police force of Concord, New Hampshire, thinks Hank is a nutcase for investigating an apparent suicide as a murder. And yet… why did the man hang himself with a belt other than his own? The end of the world scenario of this detective novel makes it both thought-provoking and strange.  

     

    6.29 Station 11STATION ELEVEN
    By Emily St. John Mandel
    (2014) 

    Outside of Toronto, a famous actor, Arthur Leander, collapses from a heart attack in the middle of a performance of Shakespeare's King Lear. Shortly thereafter, a deadly super-flu quickly spreads and wipes out approximately 99% of the world's population. The novel switches back and forth in time, before and after the pandemic, and centers on the lives of Arthur and people connected to him in one way or the other. In the years after the Fall, one of these people, Kirsten, join a group of traveling actors/musicians who are determined to keep a modicum of culture alive because as their motto says, "Survival is insufficient."

     

    6.29 Life as We Knew ItLIFE AS WE KNEW IT
    By Susan Beth Pfeffer
    (2006) 

    Sixteen-year-old Miranda begins her diary with accounts related to boys and prom. Her writing shifts dramatically after a meteor hits the moon altering the moon’s gravitational pull. This collision changes life forever on earth. Tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes and the loss of electricity abound. Through the ten-month ordeal, Miranda records how her family through everything and how every day death is a constant threat. Will they have enough food and fuel to make it through the long, cold winter? Will life ever return to normal? Is there even such a thing as “normal” anymore? 

     

    6.29 The FiremanTHE FIREMAN
    By Joe Hill
    (2016) 

    Harper Grayson is a nurse volunteering her time to help those infected by a terrifying plague that is spreading throughout the country. The doctors have named the infection Draco Incendia Trychophyton, but everyone else just calls it Dragonscale. The first symptom is an array of tattoo like marks across the body and the final symptom is spontaneous combustion leaving victims mere ash. When Harper contracts the disease she is quarantined in her home until a mysterious fireman with uncanny pyrotechnic abilities takes her to a hidden community of survivors.

     

    6.29 The Age of MiraclesTHE AGE OF MIRACLES
    By Karen Thompson Walker
    (2012) 

    On a Saturday just like any other, Julia and her friend Hannah have had a sleepover. As they wake up and the day progresses however, they discover that the world as they know it will never be the same. The earth has suddenly begun rotating slower and slower adding minutes and then hours to each day. Not only do the days and night grow longer, but gravity as well as growing food is affected. Julia is facing her world being turned upside down in other ways as well, friendships dissolve, her parents’ marriage is strained, and they boy she likes doesn’t ever seem to notice she’s around.

     
  •  Judging a Book By Its cover

    We all know the old adage about not judging a book by its cover, but cover art nevertheless can make a huge difference in a book’s success. Think about it. When you’re browsing the shelves of the library or a book store, books with distinctive covers or spines are the ones you notice, right?

    Personally, I’m drawn to gorgeous typography. While cover photos and illustrations are all well and good, beautiful print, especially if it has a feminine, vintage vibe, calls me to a book better than anything short of a glowing Kirkus review.

    You know you’re a librarian when you have not only favorite books and authors, but favorite book covers and cover illustrators. These are a few of my favorites:

    9.28.2 Dorian GrayJESSICA HISCHE

    Jessica Hische's work is what first sucked me into the world of cover art, and she's my favorite cover illustrator to this day. I'm a book hoarde... ahem, collector, but I started off just buying paperbacks, not caring what the covers looked like. In an act of youthful folly, I even bought the movie tie-in paperbacks of the LORD OF THE RINGS series many years ago (*shudders*). There was no looking back once I started buying Hische's gorgeous collection of Barnes and Noble leatherbound classics, though. Her work is all about intricate lettering, and in addition to her Barnes and Noble designs, she's created lovely covers for Penguin's Drop Caps series, Audible, and McSweeney's Publishing. Thanks to her, I began buying books for their beauty as well as their readability, and, eleven copies of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE later, it's been a beautiful and expensive path from there.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    9.28.2 The Fox and the StarCORALIE BICKFORD-SMITH

    First of all, we need to acknowledge that Coralie Bickford-Smith's name is AWESOME. With a name like that, she should be either the protagonist of a novel or the lady of an English manor house. Okay, with that out of the way, let's talk about her cover art. 

    Even if you haven't heard Bickford-Smith's name, you've probably seen her work. Penguin has released a series ofclothbound classics which feature her gorgeous and whimsical art and which you've inevitably come across in one book store or another. I'm also a fan of her F. Scott Fitzgerald covers, which have a decidedly Art Deco flair that fits his Jazz Age themes perfectly. My absolute favorite cover of hers, however, is from her very own book THE FOX AND THE STAR. The silver, the swirls, the sweet little fox - like Mary Poppins, it's practically perfect in every way.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    9.28.2 Wink Poppy Midnight

    LISA PERRIN

    Lisa Perrin's work is a recent discovery for me. WICKED LIKE A WILDFIRE by Lana Popovic has been getting a lot of buzz in the YA community lately, and when I first saw the cover, I was immediately curious about both the book and the artist. After researching a bit, I found the cover for WINK POPPY MIDNIGHT, and I loved it even more. Perrin has the same intricate, feminine, and typography-based style that I love from Bickford-Smith and Hische, but she also uses color and weaves in animal and botanical patterns in a way that reminds me of Scandinavian folk art. The result is eye-catching, playful, and absolutely lovely.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  •  Learning to Love Fantasy Again 2

    Growing up, I loved fantasy. Authors like Robin McKinley, Gail Carson Levine, Philip Pullman, C.S. Lewis, and, of course, J.K. Rowling captured my imagination and carried me off to magical worlds. I reread their books again and again, loving the immersion and escapism they offered.

    As an adult, I’ve found a few new favorites (Jessica Day George, Shannon Hale, and Cassie Beasley come to mind), but for the most part I’ve moved away from fantasy in favor of other genres. So many of the novels I’ve tried recently have disappointed me due to shallow world-building or a focus on romance at the expense of plot. I was beginning to wonder if, at the ripe old age of 29, I’m just too old and crotchety for fantasy.

    Fortunately, 2017 is changing my mind. This year, three novels in particular have blown me away with their beautiful writing, imaginative and vivid world building, and three-dimensional characters.

    9.7 The Bear and the NightingaleTHE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE
    By Katherine Arden
    (2017)

    This book, the first by author Katherine Arden, draws on Russian folklore to create an utterly engrossing story of a young girl who embraces magic at a time when it is being suppressed. I read THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE early in the year, but I can still picture the characters and setting with perfect clarity because the book is so beautifully written. Although this is a coming of age story, it is marketed to adults rather than teens, largely because the novel has its dark and creepy aspects. At turns playful, heartbreaking, comforting, scary, and suspenseful, THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE really is a wonderful book.

     

    9.7 The Black WitchTHE BLACK WITCH
    By Laurie Forest
    (2017)

    This Y.A. fantasy novel is CONTROVERSIAL. Though it received starred reviews from several review journals, it has also been excoriated by a few prominent book bloggers for being racist, homophobic, ableist, sexist, and more. So why is THE BLACK WITCH one of my favorite fantasy reads in years?

    As the book begins, its protagonist, Elloren Gardner undeniable exhibits all of the characteristics listed above, as do her family and the society in which she lives. As the book progresses, however, Elloren gradually comes to recognize that the history and prejudices she’s been raised with are inaccurate and cruel. This may be a book about a racist, but I don't feel like it's a racist book. Quite the opposite, in fact.

    This book may not be for everyone. Particularly for individuals who have been on the receiving end of prejudice, it's perfectly valid to not want to live in the mind of a prejudiced character for hundreds of pages. I believe, however, that THE BLACK WITCH has a valuable message about both how a racist (or homophobe, sexist, ableist, etc.) is made and how they can be unmade. Education and relationships with people who are different from herself are the keys to Elloren’s awakening (which isn’t perfectly complete at the end of the book – this is the first of a series, after all), and maybe through her story readers will confront their own unacknowledged prejudice and privilege. It certainly left me thinking deeply about difficult issues, something that you don’t always expect from Y.A. fantasy.

    On top of that, Laurie Forest is an excellent writer, creating a world with a complex history, fascinating cultures, and a vivid cast of characters. The complexity of the magical society she developed even reminds me of J.K. Rowling's wizarding world. I was riveted from the first page and finished this 600 page book within 48 hours.

    9.7 Strange the DreamerSTRANGE THE DREAMER
    By Laini Taylor
    (2017)

    STRANGE THE DREAMER may just have the most unique, vivid, and gorgeous world-building I’ve ever encountered in a fantasy novel.  Lazlo Strange, a poor, orphaned young man, has fixated on the lost city of Weep since childhood. Though others say Weep is simply a myth, Lazlo pours his heart into researching the mysterious city, desperate to uncover its secrets. The story is difficult to do justice to in a synopsis, but count on this novel for dreams, nightmares, adventure, romance, mystery, and plenty of plot twists.

    Plus, the main character is a librarian, which is certainly a point in his favor. I <3 Lazlo Strange.

     

     

  • sync

     Who doesn’t love a good audiobook? What if I told you that you could download (and keep forever!) two audiobooks a week between April 27th and August 16th?!? SYNC is an audiobook literacy program geared towards teenagers. Their mission is to “develop the audience of teen audiobook listeners by providing free audiobook downloads. Two complete audiobooks—thematically paired—are available each week for listeners.”

    This program has been going on for several years, and there is a great selection again this spring and summer. Most of the titles are young adult fiction, but there are a few nonfiction titles and classics mixed in as well, with a variety of stories being told. Here are a few of the titles I’m most excited about downloading.

    BeastBEAST 
    by Donna Jo Napoli
    (2000)

    With the recent release of “Beauty and the Beast” starring Emma Watson, I’m certain this book is going to be a popular download. This novel elaborates on the original by telling the story from the beast’s perspective, only it is set in Persia instead of France.

     

     

     

    The WitchesTHE WITCHES: SALEM, 1692 
    by Stacy Schiff
    (2015)

    The Salem Witch Trials have always been fascinating to me. I visited Salem, Massachusetts a few years ago and loved learning even more about that interesting time in history. This nonfiction title explores the role of women in the events leading up to the Salem Witch Trials and explains how these tragedies came to be.

     

     

     

    The Dorito EffectTHE DORITO EFFECT: THE SURPRISING NEW TRUTH ABOUT FOOD AND FLAVOR 
    by Mark Schatzker
    (2015)

    This book looks like the perfect fit for me! I’ve written a few times about my interest in foodie books on this blog (see here and here). Check it out if you too are interested in books featuring food.

    In this title we’ll learn how, as a nation, we have been led away from nutritious natural foods towards the delicious manufactured flavored chemicals so much of our “food” now contains. Read a review of this book on our Staff Review blog.

     

    Between Shades of GrayBETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY 
    by Ruta Sepetys
    (2011)

    I read this book in 2014 and gave it 4 stars on my Goodreads review, which means I really liked it! This is the story of 15-year-old Lina, her mother, and her brother as they are thrust out of their Lithuanian home by the Soviets and sent to Siberia. Lina doesn’t know why her father disappeared or why her family is being deported. Her family faces starvation and many other horrors during this time period, yet they also find ways to feel hopeful for their future.

    Although I recall feeling the cold, harsh winter while reading this book and the importance of the story, I don’t remember many of the details. Good thing I can refresh my memory by downloading this title! I know what I’ll be doing the first week in August. Read a review of this book on our Staff Review blog.

    Visit the Teen Corner for the complete schedule. In addition you can go to www.audiobookSYNC.com to listen to a clip of each title. Happy listening!

     

  •  

    tbf

    We have had an incredible fall! Teen Book Fest has been sooo fun with author visits from Jennifer Nielsen, J. Scott Savage, Matthew Kirby, Jennifer Jenkins, Margaret Stohl, Aprilynne Pike, and (tomorrow) Marissa Meyer. The last stop on our Teen Book Fest Tour is the Wrap Party on Saturday, November 12th.

    This teen only event will feature a book giveaway and activities starting at 6:00 pm. Each teen will go home with a brand new book of their choosing! Then at 7:00 we will be treated to an after-hours concert by the band Festive People.

    Check out their music video “Where We Are Today” to get an idea of the awesomeness we’ll experience on Saturday! 

    Wondering what you've missed? Below you'll find our recap from a recent Teen Book Fest Tour stop with YA author Aprilynne Pike. 

    ----------

    Aprilynne Pike, author of the Wings series, spoke at Provo Library on Thursday, Oct. 27 about her latest novel, GLITTER, a few of the hurdles she overcame to write it and what she hopes readers will learn. 

    pike1

    GLITTER is described as Breaking Bad meets Marie Antoinette in a near-future world where the residents of Versailles live like it’s the eighteenth century and the almost-queen, Danica, a desperate teenage girl, turns to drug dealing to save her life. 

    Aprilynne describes how her inspiration for the book started while she was watching Breaking Bad and felt slightly dissatisfied with the direction of the story. 

    “In the way that every author with a little bit of an ego does, I started thinking about how I could do it better,” says Aprilynne. “But I wouldn’t want to write Breaking Bad; I wanted to write a book about a girl with pretty dresses.”

    Thus began her story of a drug dealer and dresses infused with futuristic technology and smothered in decadent fashions from the Era of the Sun King. However, as she tried to sell her story, agents were concerned that her exotic, lavish setting was overpowering her plot. But guidance from one agent help solidify her story. 

    “You need to make your plot and your setting so intertwined that your story could not happen anywhere else except your really, really weird setting,” said the agent. ‘If you do that, we’ll buy your really, really weird setting.” 

    With this advice, Aprilynne set about grounding and making sense of the desperate choices made by her protagonist within the world she had created. In the “really, really weird setting” the protagonist, Danica and her bad choices became more defined. 

    pike2

    Although Pike considers herself to be a “squeaky clean writer,” GLITTER is about a bad person. While bad characters may be fun and the audience may root for Danica as the protagonist, as an anti-heroine we know she is not admirable.

    “We don’t necessarily read books because there’s someone we want to be like, but simply because there’s a story,” says Aprilynne. “There are choices you get to think about with the protagonist, and you see consequences both good and bad that these characters are making.” 

    Writing about the bad choices made by an anti-heroine allows GLITTER to explore the purpose and moral behind the story of a girl selling drugs. Aprilynne hopes that by the end of the story, readers will learn not that selling drugs is a good choice but that you cannot put your toe into a bad world and expect it not to infect the rest of your life. 

    “It’s like putting your toe into a pond of black ink and think that you can still walk around in a white room and no one will know,” says Aprilynne. 

    To view upcoming visits from authors, check out our fall schedule or subscribe to our AuthorLink Newsletter.

  • Teen OVP 2018 FB event

    It’s no secret that I think Korean culture is awesome. I’ve mentioned it in past blog posts (Friday Faves: K-Pop, Global Road Warrior, Friday Faves: Books for K-Pop Lovers), and just yesterday I was caught up talking to my dental hygienist about my favorite Korean dramas while she cleaned my husband’s teeth … but that’s beside the point.

    Korea is awesome! And my love for it was bound to influence a Library program eventually.

    Since the Olympics are in Pyeongchang, South Korea this year, we’re celebrating with a Teen Olympic Viewing Party, complete with Korean food! My mouth is watering…

    As we watch the Olympics we’ll be serving kimbap (김밥) which consists of various fillings wrapped in rice and seaweed, similar to Japanese sushi, and tteokbokki (떡볶이), rice cakes stir-fried in a spicy sauce. Both of these are delicious in their own way, and are common street foods in Korea.

    If you are a teen, or know of a teen that…

    • is interested in watching the Olympics,
    • likes trying international cuisine,
    • is riding the Korean wave,
    • wants to just hang out for a little while, or might be hungry (this is the part that’s meant to refer to all teens)

    then make sure they hear about our Olympic Viewing Party on Thursday, February 22 at 7:00 pm in the Shaw Programming Room (#260).

    We’ll see you there, ready to cheer on the athletes! Hwaiting!*  

    *Hwaiting: In Korean (화이팅, or 파이팅), a commonly used word of support, encouragement, and/or a cheer. Originating from the English word, “fighting.”

  • Teen Self Help

    The start of school is a new beginning, a great time to evaluate goals and start good habits. Maybe you want to be better at planning homework time, or are interested in building your resume. Maybe you just want to feel more comfortable in your own skin. A new school year is a great time to work on yourself and your future. If you are looking for some great ways to improve your school year, our nonfiction collection is a great place to start. 

    10.10 Seven HabitsSEVEN HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE TEENS
    by Sean Covey
    (2014)

    This is a classic when it comes to setting goals and making decisions. Covey builds off the original 7 Habits to help you work on different aspects of your life, from friendships to school, to getting along with your parents to dating. It also has great sections on how to create good social media habits, resist negative peer pressure, and find direction in life and school.  

     

    10.10 Ignite Your SparkIGNITE YOUR SPARK: DISCOVERING WHO YOU ARE FROM THE INSIDE OUT
    by Patricia Wooster
    (2017)

    What do you love? What makes you excited about life? These are some of the key questions asked by this book. Through interactive quizzes and activities it will help you find things that motivate you to be your best and most creative self. Learn how to make failure into success, build your determination, and build the future that you really want.   

     

    10.10 The Self Esteem HabitTHE SELF-ESTEEM HABIT FOR TEENS: 50 SIMPLE WAYS TO BUILD YOUR CONFIDENCE EVERY DAY  
    by Lisa Schab
    (2017)

    It’s hard not compare yourself to others, especially in high school. With social media creating unattainable standards, it is difficult not to be hard on ourselves. What happens when these feelings of comparison become insecurities? Using these simple habits of mind, you can build your confidence and self-esteem.

     

    10.10 Getting Stuff DoneA TEEN’S GUIDE TO GETTING STUFF DONE
    by Jennifer Shannon
    (2017)

    Do you struggle with procrastination? There are actually different types of procrastinators. Are you a warrior? A pleaser? A perfectionist? Or are you a rebel? Each type has different strengths and weaknesses and different reasons for procrastinating. Learn to understand your motivation or lack of motivation with this interesting and insightful discussion of why you may be leaving things until the last minute.   

     
  • millenial pink

    If you don’t know what Millennial Pink is, don’t feel bad. As a millennial—and being self-described “basic”—I make sure that I keep up to date on all of the latest trends. And since I love pink, I’m obviously all about this fad.

    For the un-initiated, Millennial Pink is that one shade of pink that seems to be popping up everywhere these days – hipster restaurants, indie album covers, food (Starbucks’ pink drink anyone?), crushed velvet ballet flats, etc. It’s that not quite peach, not quite coral, not quite Pepto Bismal hue that you’ve seen all over the place whether you realize it or not. If you google “Millennial Pink” you’ll find dozens of articles trying to over-explain its appeal to youths – and they will confirm one thing: it is in.

    Millennial Pink has even crept its ways into publishing houses and libraries – there are a ton of Millennial Pink covered books that have been published recently. I can’t say for sure whether or not you’ll understand young people better by reading a book with a visually appealing cover, but I can say that your Instagram will look a lot better.

    Here’s a list of books in our collection – some old, some new – to help you achieve that Millennial ~aesthetic~

    8.10 Alex and ElizaALEX & ELIZA: A LOVE STORY
    By Melissa De La Cruz
    (2017) 

     

     

     

     

     

    8.10 Dear Fang With LoveDEAR FANG, WITH LOVE
    By Rufi Thorpe
    (2016) 

     

     

     

     

     

    8.10 Tell Me How This Ends WellTELL ME HOW THIS ENDS WELL: A NOVEL

    David Levinson
    (2017) 

     

     

     

     

     

    8.10 White FurWHITE FUR: A NOVEL
    By Jardine Libaire
    (2017)

     

     

     

     

     

    8.10 The Rules Do Not ApplyTHE RULES DO NOT APPLY: A MEMOIR
    By Ariel Levy
    (2017) 

     

     

     

     

    8.10 Girl In PiecesGIRL IN PIECES
    By Kathleen Glasgow
    (2016) 

     

     

     

     

     

    8.10 The Husbands SecretTHE HUSBAND’S SECRET
    By Liane Moriarty
    (2013) 

     

     

     

     

     

    8.10 Rebel BelleREBEL BELLE
    By Rachel Hawkins
    (2014) 

     

     

     

     

     

    8.10 Broken Hearts Fences and Other Things to MendBROKEN HEARTS, FENCES AND OTHER THINGS TO MEND
    By Katie Finn
    (2014)

     

     

     

     

    8.10 The LuxeTHE LUXE
    By Anna Godbersen
    (2007) 

     

     

     

     

    8.10 PrettyPRETTY
    By Justin Sayre
    (2017)

     

     

     

     

     

    Hopefully these recommendations will make your #bookstagram a little more pink and a little more basic. Be sure to tag the Provo City Library in any of your #booksofinstagram finds!

  • YA Dec 2016 01

     

    How can it be December already? I don’t know about you but I am still trying to read all the great October and November releases. December can be slower than the fall, but don’t write this year off yet! From Stacey Lee to E.K. Johnson, there are some exciting new YA releases coming to finish off the year. In order of the ones I am most excited about:  

    SECRET OF A HEART NOTE
    by Stacey Lee
    (December 27)

    This fantasy debut from historical author Stacey Lee promises to be a funny and romantic coming-of-age story. I’ve wanted to try this author and this is more my cup-of-tea than her previous books.

    From the publisher:

    As one of only two aromateurs left on the planet, sixteen-year-old Mimosa knows what her future holds: a lifetime of weeding, mixing love elixirs, and matchmaking—all while remaining incurably alone. For Mim, the rules are clear: falling in love would render her nose useless, taking away her one great talent. But when she accidentally gives an elixir to the wrong woman and has to rely on the lovesick woman’s son, the school soccer star, to help fix the situation, Mim quickly begins to realize that falling in love isn’t always a choice you can make.

    EVER THE HUNTED
    by Erin Summerhill
    (December 27)

    This is the first book in a new fantasy series by debut YA author Erin Summerhill and is said to be a page-turner and a true classic fantasy with a mission and warring kingdoms. I can’t wait! (plus, Erin will be at the Library on December 29 to talk about and sign her book). 

    From the publisher:

    Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

    SPINDLE(A Thousand Nights #2)
    by E.K. Johnston
    (December 6)  

    This beautifully written, rich retelling of Sleeping Beauty is the second book in the Thousand Nights series but the two books do not need to be read in order of publication. This is perfect for me, because this is the retelling that is calling my name.  

    From the publisher:

    It has been generations since the Storyteller Queen drove the demon out of her husband and saved her country from fire and blood. Through years of careful manipulation, a demon has regained her power. She has made one kingdom strong and brought the other to its knees, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. When a princess is born, the demon is ready with the final blow: a curse that will cost the princess her very soul, or force her to destroy her own people to save her life.

    MIND GAMES(Lock & Mori #2)
    by Heather W. Petty
    (December 6)

    This modern-day Sherlock Holmes trilogy offers complex whodunit mysteries and a fast pace, perfect for fans of the hit BBC television series. After reading the Sherlock-inspired Every series by Ellie Marney, I’ve needed a book to fill the Sherlock-shaped void in my life.

    From the publisher:

    Mori’s abusive father is behind bars…and she has never felt less safe. Threatening letters have started appearing on her doorstep, and the police are receiving anonymous tips suggesting that Mori—not her father—is the Regent’s Park killer. To make matters worse, the police are beginning to believe them. With the clock ticking, Mori will discover just how far she is willing to go to make sure that justice is served, and no one—not even Lock—will be able to stop her.  

    Be sure not to miss…

    CRYSTAL STORM (Falling Kingdoms #5) by Morgan Rhodes

    RULES OF THE GAME (Endgame #3) by James Frey

    Find these and other brand new YA titles in the Teen Corner in the First Floor Reference Wing!

  • What to Read in YA FEB Revised2

    February might be the month of love, but it’s also the month for daring escapes, thrilling races, blood-soaked tales of revenge, and revolution . . . at least in the YA world! There are some fantastic voyages awaiting YA readers in February, from the streets of Dan Wells’ new science fiction world of Mirador to Victoria Scott’s action-packed mechanical horse racetracks. Join Tommy Wallach on a three-day romp through the streets of San Francisco with the ultimate manic pixie dream girl; delve into the world of adolescent best-friendship with Lindsey Leavitt and Robin Mellom; or start a revolution with Victoria Aveyard. Whatever you love to read, you’ll find a great match in this month’s new releases.

      Here are the titles I’m most excited to book-push in February!  

    revengeREVENGE AND THE WILD
    by Michelle Modesto  
    February 2, 2016  

    I was lucky enough to get an ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) of this book from my agent in October, and was absolutely blown away by Modesto’s style. Not only is this one of the most creative books I’ve read in a while, but Modesto blends the fantasy, steampunk, and Western genres almost seamlessly. I adore Westie, Modesto’s tough and somewhat irascible heroine, a girl willing to do whatever it takes to see her family avenged. Though it’s still early yet, REVENGE AND THE WILD is already one of my favorite books of the year.  

    Please, please, please read this book. Then stop by the reference desk so we can chat about it, I’m dying to talk to other readers about this one!  

    From the publisher:  

    The two-bit town of Rogue City is a lawless place, full of dark magic and saloon brawls, monsters and six-shooters. But it’s perfect for seventeen-year-old Westie, the notorious adopted daughter of local inventor Nigel Butler.

    Westie was only a child when she lost her arm and her family to cannibals on the wagon trail. Nine years later, Westie may seem fearsome with her foul-mouthed tough exterior and the powerful mechanical arm built for her by Nigel, but the memory of her past still haunts her. She’s determined to make the killers pay for their crimes—and there’s nothing to stop her except her own reckless ways.

    But Westie’s search ceases when a wealthy family comes to town looking to invest in Nigel’s latest invention, a machine that can harvest magic from gold—which Rogue City desperately needs as the magic wards that surround the city start to fail. There’s only one problem: the investors look exactly like the family who murdered Westie’s kin. With the help of Nigel’s handsome but scarred young assistant, Alistair, Westie sets out to prove their guilt. But if she’s not careful, her desire for revenge could cost her the family she has now.    

    bluescreenBLUESCREEN  
    by Dan Wells  
    February 16, 2016  

    Speaking of heroines who rely on artificial arms, let me introduce you to Marisa Carneseca—gamer, hacker, and science fiction super-sleuth. While BLUESCREEN’s drawing a lot of comparisons to M.T. Anderson’s novel FEED,  I personally think is sounds like more of a young adult SNOW CRASH (Neal Stephenson), which is nothing short of awesome. A Utah native, Dan Wells has given us some fine science fiction in the past, so I have high hopes for his newest offering.   Plus, you can check out the fabulous BLUESCREEN artwork on his blog now!  

    From the publisher:  

    Los Angeles in 2050 is a city of open doors, as long as you have the right connections. That connection is a djinni—a smart device implanted right in a person’s head. In a world where virtually everyone is online twenty-four hours a day, this connection is like oxygen—and a world like that presents plenty of opportunities for someone who knows how to manipulate it.

    Marisa Carneseca is one of those people. She might spend her days in Mirador, the small, vibrant LA neighborhood where her family owns a restaurant, but she lives on the net—going to school, playing games, hanging out, or doing things of more questionable legality with her friends Sahara and Anja. And it’s Anja who first gets her hands on Bluescreen—a virtual drug that plugs right into a person’s djinni and delivers a massive, non-chemical, completely safe high. But in this city, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, and Mari and her friends soon find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy that is much bigger than they ever suspected.  

    Sounds incredible, right? I’m dying to start handing this one off to readers, especially to those big fans of S.J. Kincaid’s INSIGNIA, Cory Doctorow’s FOR THE WIN, or Ernest Cline’s READY PLAYER ONE.    

    SaltSALT TO THE SEA
    by Ruta Sepetys  
    February 2, 2016  

    Ruta Sepetys’ novels are always automatically added to my TBR pile, and her newest novel, SALT TO THE SEA, is no exception. Sepetys has a remarkable ability to render the past with vivacity, eloquence, and empathy; and Salt to the Sea is already being hailed as Code Name Verity’s spiritual successor. Maggie Stiefvater says this book is “swift-footed, kind-hearted . . . [and] is intensely satisfying in just about all the ways a novel can be satisfying.”  

    Honestly, if Maggie Stiefvater loved this book, I know I’m going to love it too.  

    From the publisher:

    In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are  Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety.

    Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.          

    TitansTITANS
    by Victoria Scott  
    February 23, 2016  

    I remember hearing about this one when it first sold—Victoria came up with the idea of mechanical horses while watching a car commercial and drafted the entire concept that night. While the concept comes off as a little SCORPIO RACES-esque—it’s been pitched as NASCAR meets NATIONAL VELVET—still, I’ve heard amazing things from people who’d had the opportunity to read this one early.  

    From the publisher:  

    Ever since the Titans first appeared in her Detroit neighborhood, Astrid Sullivan’s world has revolved around the mechanical horses. She and her best friend have spent countless hours watching them and their jockeys practice on the track. It’s not just the thrill of the race. It’s the engineering of the horses and the way they’re programmed to seem so lifelike. The Titans are everything that fascinates Astrid, and nothing she’ll ever touch.

    She hates them a little, too. Her dad lost everything betting on the Titans. And the races are a reminder of the gap between the rich jockeys who can afford the expensive machines to ride, and the working class friends and neighbors of Astrid’s who wager on them.

    But when Astrid’s offered a chance to enter an early model Titan in this year’s derby, well, she decides to risk it all. Because for a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, it’s more than a chance at fame or money. Betting on herself is the only way she can see to hang on to everyone in the world she cares about.  

    Make sure not to miss . . .  

    THANKS FOR THE TROUBLE, by Tommy Wallach

    GLASS SWORD, by Victoria Aveyard, book two in the RED QUEEN trilogy  

    THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE, by Emily Henry

    THE SHADOW QUEEN, by C.J. Redwine 

    THE PAGES BETWEEN US, by Lindsey Leavitt and Robin Mellom

    BEHOLD THE BONES, Natalie C. Parker    

    Find these and other great, brand new YA titles in the Teen Corner in the first floor reference wing!

  • What to Read in YA Jan

    New year, new you . . . and new YA! While 2015 was a banner year for young adult fiction, 2016 is sallying forth with a lot of new, groundbreaking titles for teens (and the teenaged at heart)! While trend predictions say high fantasy is going to make a comeback this year, many of the titles releasing in January are contemporary works like Francisco X. Stork’s THE MEMORY OF LIGHT and Kelly Fiore’s THICKER THAN WATER. Look to Sarah Fine’s THE IMPOSTOR QUEEN for engrossing high fantasy, or Alexandra Bracken’s PASSENGER for exceptional speculative fiction.  

    Here are the five titles I’m most excited to check out in January:  

    frontlinesFRONT LINES
    By Michael Grant  
    January 26, 2016  

    In FRONT LINES, bestselling author Michael Grant (the GONE series) gives readers an alternate history of World War II, in which women are given the right to enlist in the U.S. military. The novel follows three “soldier girls” through the horrors and challenges of the war, and doesn’t pull any punches when dealing with sexism, racism, and the violence of combat.   Early reviews promise a novel with grit, guts, and heart – this is the book I’m most excited to read in January. I love YA novels – or any sort of story, really – where the girls save themselves.

      

    impostorqueenTHE IMPOSTOR QUEEN
    By Sarah Fine  
    January 5, 2016       

    High fantasy’s always in vogue here at the Provo Library! For readers who enjoyed Victoria Aveyard’s RED QUEEN (2015) or Sara Raasch’s SNOW LIKE ASHES (2014), try Sarah Fine’s IMPOSTOR QUEEN next.   Sixteen-year-old Elli is the Saadella, training to inherit her country’s crown and its strongest fire and ice magic from the queen. But when the former queen dies and Elli receives no magic, she must flee for her life or be killed by the Saadella elders. Filled with magic, adventure, intrigue, and romance, this title will be a crowd-pleaser for the most demanding fantasy fans.  

       

    memoryoflightTHE MEMORY OF LIGHT
    By Francisco X. Stork  
    January 26, 2016  

    Francisco X. Stork’s a marvelous writer, one who focuses particularly and powerfully on teens dealing with mental health issues. His newest novel, A MEMORY OF LIGHT, introduces readers to sixteen-year-old Vicky Cruz, who, after her father sends her beloved yet aging nanny back to Mexico, tries to commit suicide. The novel’s focus, however, is on Vicky’s recovery and the friendships she builds with the other teenage patients in her hospital’s psych ward, relationships that (thankfully) help her discover reasons to keep living.   Utah Valley currently has one of the highest rates of teen suicide in the U.S., so I consider novels like A MEMORY OF LIGHT and Jay Asher’s perennial THIRTEEN REASONS WHY (2007) to be integral to the library’s YA collection. Read this and pass it on.    

    whereitendsTHIS IS WHERE IT ENDS
    By Marieke Nijkamp  
    January 5, 2016  

    “Everyone has reason to fear the boy with the gun.” Marieke Nijkamp’s novel takes an unrelenting, brutal look at the 54 minutes in which a teenage gunman holds his high school hostage and mass-murders teachers, students, and adminstrators alike. Told from the perspective of four teens who have personal relationships with the shooter, the novel chronicles the students’ attempts to either stop or survive the horror and heartbreak tearing their school apart.   I wish “timely” wasn’t the adjective that came to mind as I tried to summarize this novel, but this book is basically ripped from the headlines. With more school shootings happening than ever before – and gun lockdowns happening as close as Pleasant Grove – THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS is an important novel for a difficult time.    

    darkdaysTHE DARK DAYS CLUB
    By Alison Goodman  
    January 26, 2016  

    Despite the ominous title, we’re ending on a bright note with Alison Goodman’s THE DARK DAYS CLUB. The novel’s one part Jane Austen, one part BUFFY, and all parts awesome. When one of the housemaids goes missing from eighteen-year-old orphan Lady Helen Wrexhall uncle’s household, Helen takes it upon herself to investigate. What she discovers is a circle of men and women pledged to defend English society against a dangerous (and demonic) enemy, an inheritance of supernatural abilities beyond her wildest dreams, and the love of a not-quite-so-proper English lord who may just understand her better than any other.   Early reviews promise me this title is thoroughly researched; and while the pacing may be a little on the leisurely side, the payoff’s worth the wait. Highly recommended for fans of Gail Carriger’s ETIQUETTE AND ESPIONAGE (2013). Goodman’s THE DARK DAYS CLUB is a Regency romp on the dark side.  

    Make sure not to miss . . .  

    PASSENGER, by Alexandra Bracken
    THICKER THAN WATER, by Kelly Fiore
    THE LOVE THAT SPLIT THE WORLD, by Emily Henry
    UNDERWATER, by Marisa Reichardt
    IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT, by Paul Rudnick  

    Find these and other great, brand new YA titles in the Teen Corner in the first floor reference wing!

     

  • YA Jan 2017

     

    I am excited that it’s a new year and that there are a lot more new YA releases in January! There are a plethora of fantasy novels in particular by both debut and established authors coming out this month that I can’t wait to try.

    CARAVAL
    by Stephanie Garber  
    (January 31)

    This book about Caraval, an annual magic show which includes the audience as participants, promises to exceed the demands of its lofty premise.

    From the publisher:

    Believing that she will never be allowed to participate in the annual Caraval performance when her ruthless father arranges her marriage, Scarlett receives the invitation she has always dreamed of before her sister, Tella, is kidnapped by the show's mastermind organizer.

    THE ALCHEMISTS OF LOOM
    by Elise Kova
    (January 3)

    This high fantasy/steampunk novel is a breath of fresh air in the prominently fantasy-light YA market. The world-building alone between the Dragon King and the five guilds promises to be worth your time.

    From the publisher:

    Engineer turned organ thief Arianna fights against her world’s Dragon oppressors with her magical skills and unscrupulous morals. Before she can slaughter a wounded Dragon during a routine heist, he offers her a wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the only Guild standing against the Dragon King. What should be a simple airship ride across the world is quickly filled with assassins, monsters, and a rebellion that exposes Arianna’s deepest secrets.

    WIRES AND NERVE
    by Marissa Meyer
    (January 31)

    I loved Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles, and I like graphic novels, so this is a no-brainer. The fact that Iko finally gets her own book is icing on the cake! I CAN. NOT. WAIT.

    From the publisher:

    When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers' leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the bestselling series.

    WINDWITCH
    (The Witchlands #2)
    by Susan Dennard
    (January 10)

    A sequel that lives up to a strong first book? Count me on that bandwagon. There isn’t a better time to pick up this fantasy series about witches.

    From the publisher:

    After a surprise attack and shipwreck, Safi and the Empress of Marstok barely escape with their lives. Alone in a land of pirates, every moment balances on a knife’s edge—especially when the pirates’ next move could unleash war upon the Witchlands.

    CARVE THE MARK
    by Veronica Roth
    (January 17)

    With even better chemistry and notably developed writing, fans of the Divergent series are sure to devour Roth’s newest sci-fi novel.

    From the publisher:

    Living on a violent planet where everyone develops a unique power meant to shape the future, Akos and Cyra, youths from enemy nations, resent gifts that render them vulnerable to others' control before they become unlikely survival partners.  

    Be sure not to miss…

    WAYFARER (Passenger #2) by Alexandra Bracken (January 3)

    ROSEBLOOD by A.G. Howard  (January 10)

    FROSTBLOOD by Elly Blake  (January 10)  

    Find these and other brand new YA titles in the Teen Corner in the First Floor Reference Wing!

  • What to Read in YA MARCH

    Honestly, March is an amazing month for new YA! With the publication of several long-anticipated titles from established authors like Cat Winters, Robison Wells, and Stefan Bachmann; newcomers like Kathryn Purdie and Brittney Cavallaro; and with books coming from personal favorite authors of mine like Sharon Biggs Waller and April Genevieve Tucholke, we’re going to have a lot of amazing new books hitting our shelves next month.

    With so many great books coming out, read on to find out which titles you absolutely cannot afford to miss this month! 

    SteepTHE STEEP AND THORNY WAY
    by Cat Winters
    March 8, 2016

    I will read anything penned by Cat Winters. Anything. From YA to adult, Winters crafts remarkable, affecting, and dark stories steeped in American history; and I find that I walk away from her work not only a little wiser about the world, but a little more wary of it, too. Mix those qualities into a retelling of my favorite Shakespearian play of all time—HAMLET—and you have a recipe for a book I desperate want to read. 

    Add this to your shelf if you enjoy well-wrought historical fiction, or a novel with a slightly creepy edge.  

    FROM THE PUBLISHER:

    1920s Oregon is not a welcoming place for Hanalee Denney, the daughter of a white woman and an African-American man. She has almost no rights by law, and the Ku Klux Klan breeds fear and hatred in even Hanalee’s oldest friendships. Plus, her father, Hank Denney, died a year ago, hit by a drunk-driving teenager. Now her father’s killer is out of jail and back in town, and he claims that Hanalee’s father wasn’t killed by the accident at all but, instead, was poisoned by the doctor who looked after him—who happens to be Hanalee’s new stepfather.

    The only way for Hanalee to get the answers she needs is to ask Hank himself, a “haint” wandering the roads at night.

    OrchidTHE FORBIDDEN ORCHID
    by Sharon Biggs Waller
    March 8, 2016

    Sharon Biggs Waller’s thoroughly-researched historical fiction is nothing short of evocative, thrilling, and quite often, unapologetically feminist. Her debut novel, A Mad Wicked Folly, brought the struggle of the British suffragettes to life in a sweeping, cinematic novel of a young woman torn between her place in her rapidly-evolving society, her family, and her own desire to pursue her artistic talents. 

    I expect no less on this second outing with Waller, and am very much looking forward to adventuring across the world with Elodie!  

    FROM THE PUBLISHER:

    Staid, responsible Elodie Buchanan is the eldest of ten sisters living in a small English market town in 1861. The girls' father is a plant hunter, usually off adventuring through the jungles of China. 

    Then disaster strikes: Mr. Buchanan fails to collect an extremely rare and valuable orchid, meaning that he will be thrown into debtors' prison and the girls will be sent to the orphanage or the poorhouse. Elodie's father has one last chance to return to China, find the orchid, and save the family—and this time, thanks to an unforeseen twist of fate, Elodie is going with him. Elodie has never before left her village, but what starts as fear turns to wonder as she adapts to seafaring life aboard the tea clipper The Osprey, and later to the new sights, dangers, and romance of China. 

    But even if she can find the orchid, how can she find herself now that staid, responsible Elodie has seen how much the world has to offer?  

    SerpentTHE SERPENT KING
    by Jeff Zentner  
    March 8, 2016

    With a handful of starred reviews to its name, THE SERPENT KING may very well be a book that carries its buzz straight to the end-of-year awards season. With a moving story, powerful prose, and well-wrought characters, fans of Rainbow Rowell and John Green should find much to enjoy in Zentner’s new novel.

    Also of note for our Provo patrons: Zentner is an LDS author based out of Nashville, Tennessee.

    FROM THE PUBLISHER:

    Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life—at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace.

    He and his fellow outcast friends must try to make it through their senior year of high school without letting the small-town culture destroy their creative spirits and sense of self. Graduation will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town.  And Travis is content where he is thanks to his obsession with an epic book series and the fangirl turning his reality into real-life fantasy.

    Their diverging paths could mean the end of their friendship. But not before Dill confronts his dark legacy to attempt to find a way into the light of a future worth living.

    Wink Poppy MidnightWINK POPPY MIDNIGHT
    by April Genevieve Tucholke  
    March 22, 2016

    I have been waiting for this novel to be published for years. Years, I tell you! When April Tucholke announced that she was working a new YA horror novel, one told in three voices with unreliable narrators and an uncertain antagonist, I knew this would be a book for me. Tucholke’s previous works have been dreamlike, sometimes-terrifying, but always masterfully-written stories of strange girls and odd boys caught in cruel situations. 

    FROM THE PUBLISHER:

    Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

    What really happened? Someone knows. Someone is lying.

    Make sure not to miss . . .  

    1. DARK ENERGY, by Robison Wells
    2. A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE, by Brittany Cavallaro
    3. BURNING GLASS, by Kathryn Purdie  
    4. A DROP OF NIGHT, by Stefan Bachmann
    5. REBEL OF THE SANDS, by Alwyn Hamilton
    6. THE GREAT HUNT, by Wendy Higgins  

    Find these and other great, brand new YA titles in the Teen Corner in the first floor reference wing!

  • what to read in YA May 2016

    There are a lot of great YA novels being published in May! We start with two that are the final book in their respective series:

    CrownTHE CROWN
    (The Selection #5)
    by Kiera Cass

    From the publisher: 

    Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling SELECTION series has captured the hearts of readers from its very first page. Now the end of the journey is here. Prepare to be swept off your feet by THE CROWN—the eagerly awaited, wonderfully romantic fifth and final book in the Selection series.

    In THE HEIR, a new era dawned in the world of THE SELECTION. Twenty years have passed since America Singer and Prince Maxon fell in love, and their daughter is the first princess to hold a Selection of her own.

    Eadlyn didn’t think she would find a real partner among the Selection’s thirty-five suitors, let alone true love. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and now Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more difficult—and more important—than she ever expected.

    Last StarTHE LAST STAR
    (The Fifth Wave #3)
    by Rick Yancey  

    From the publisher: 

    The enemy is Other. The enemy is us. They’re down here, they’re up there, they’re nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us.

    But beneath these riddles lies one truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Betrayed first by the Others, and now by ourselves.

    In these last days, Earth’s remaining survivors will need to decide what’s more important: saving themselves . . . or saving what makes us human.

    Next, a novel that is the first book in the series:

    RuinedRUINED
    (Ruined #1)
    by Amy Tintera  

    From the publisher:

    Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war; her parents were killed and her sister was kidnapped. Even though Em is only a useless Ruined--completely lacking any magic--she is determined to get revenge by infiltrating the enemy's kingdom, posing as the crown prince's betrothed.

    And finally, a few that I can’t wait to get my hands on:

    Square Root of SummerTHE SQUARE ROOT OF SUMMER
    by Harriet Reuter Hapgood  

    From the publisher:

    Gottie H. Oppenheimer is losing time. Literally. When the fabric of the universe around her seaside town begins to fray, she's hurtled through wormholes to her past:

    To last summer, when her grandfather Grey died. To the afternoon she fell in love with Jason, who wouldn't even hold her hand at the funeral. To the day her best friend Thomas moved away and left her behind with a scar on her hand and a black hole in her memory.

    Although Grey is still gone, Jason and Thomas are back, and Gottie's past, present, and future are about to collide―and someone's heart is about to be broken.

    With time travel, quantum physics, and sweeping romance, THE SQUARE ROOT OF SUMMER is an exponentially enthralling story about love, loss, and trying to figure it all out, from stunning debut YA voice, Harriet Reuter Hapgood.

    Outrun the MoonOUTRUN THE MOON
    by Stacey Lee  

    From the publisher:

    Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from poverty in Chinatown, and she gains admittance to a prestigious finishing school through a mix of cunning and bribery. She soon discovers that getting in was the easiest part, and must carve a niche among the spoiled heiresses. When the earthquake strikes on April 18, Mercy and her classmates are forced to a survivor encampment, but her quick-witted leadership rallies them to help in the tragedy's aftermath.  

    But wait there’s more! Don't miss: 

    1. THE WAY BACK TO YOU by Michelle Andreani  
    2. TRAITOR ANGELS by Anne Blankman  
    3. ASK ME HOW I GOT HEREby Christine Heppermann  
    4. UNRIVALED by Alyson Noel  
    5. THE CROWN’S GAME by Evelyn Skye  

    Find these and other great, brand new YA titles in the Teen Corner!

  • Hot YA October

     

    What is it with fall and new YA? Year after year, the most anticipated YA releases of the year fall in the fall, and year after year, I languish away waiting for them. But *drumroll* fall is finally upon us, and the wait is over! From Amie Kaufman, to Marie Lu and Jennifer Niven, here are a few of the most anticipated books releasing this month.

    GEMINA
    by Amie Kaufman
    (October 18)

    Gah, I’m so excited for this book! ILLUMINAE, the first book in the series, was one of my favorite reads of 2015. I would describe this series as The Walking Dead in space. It’s written in a unique, unconventional format which is great for reluctant readers.

    From the publisher:

    When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station's wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

    Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, GEMINA raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

    THE MIDNIGHT STAR
    by Marie Lu
    (October 11)

    This is the final book in the Young Elites series, and responses from early readers agree that it couldn’t conclude in a more satisfying way!

    From the publisher:

    Adelina’s forced to revisit old wounds when a new danger appears, putting not only Adelina at risk, but every Elite and the very world they live in. In order to save herself and preserve her empire, Adelina and her Roses must join the Daggers on a perilous quest—though this uneasy alliance may prove to be the real danger.

    Bestselling author Marie Lu concludes Adelina's story with this haunting and hypnotizing final installment to the Young Elites series.

    WHAT LIGHT
    by Jay Asher
    (October 11)

    From the author of THIRTEEN REASONS WHY this book is supposed to be both sweet and profound.

    From the publisher:

    Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it's a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other.

    WHAT LIGHT is a love story that's moving and life-affirming and completely unforgettable.

    GLITTER
    by Aprilynne Pike
    (October 25)

    I’ve heard great things about this mashup of Marie Antoinette and Breaking Bad, which is perfect for older teens. Best of all Aprilynne is visiting the library on her release tour on October 27.

    From the publisher:

    When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates. Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.

    But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.

    HOLDING UP THE UNIVERSE
    by Jennifer Niven
    (October 4)  

    Early readers are calling Niven’s second foray into teens and mental illness brave and fantastic.  

    From the publisher:  

    Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him…So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone. Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. . . . Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

    Jennifer Niven delivers another poignant, exhilarating love story about finding that person who sees you for who you are—and seeing them right back.

    Make sure not to miss:

    THE BLACK KEYby Amy Ewing (October 4)  

    AERIE by Maria Dahvana Headley (October 4)

    Find these and other great, brand new YA titles in the Teen Corner in the first floor reference wing!

  • Witchy Reads

    My fascination with all things witchy dates back to September 27th, 1996 - more than 20 years! Any guesses what inspired it?

    Ever since then, I've loved the idea of witchcraft, though not in a serious way. There's just something appealing about potions, spells, animal familiars, and covens of powerful women. Thanks to this fascination, fiction books with witchy protagonists inevitably catch my eye. In honor of the season, I thought I'd share a few exciting titles that feature wonderful witches.

    10.12 The Witches of New YorkTHE WITCHES OF NEW YORK
    By Ami McKay
    (2017)

    After reading several starred reviews of Ami McKay's new book, I knew I had to read it. It did not disappoint. THE WITCHES OF NEW YORK tells the story of Adelaide and Eleanor, two magical women who run Tea and Sympathy, a shop that offers tarot readings and herbal remedies in addition to tea and biscuits. When a naive young woman named Beatrice joins them as an assistant, mundane and magical forces combine to endanger the shop and the women who run it. A warning for cautious readers that this novel does include occasional sex and violence.

     

    10.12 The Girl Who Drank the MoonTHE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON
    By Kelly Barnhill
    (2016)

    This Newbery winner is an absolute delight. In this children's novel, the people of the Protectorate abandon a baby in sacrifice to the witch who lives outside their village. Little do they know that Xan is a kindly witch who is baffled by their offerings. Each year she takes the babies to a loving family across the forest, until one night she accidentally enmagics one of her charges. She then raises Luna alongside a swamp monster and a perfectly lovable, perfectly tiny dragon.

    THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON tells a lovely story and features the most charming and playful writing I've encountered aside from J.K. Rowling's. Even better, the audiobook reader gives what may just be my favorite narration of all time.

    10.12 The Black WitchTHE BLACK WITCH
    By Laurie Forest
    (2017)

    I've written about my love for this book before, but I had to include it again here. In THE BLACK WITCH, teenager Elloren Gardner leaves her small village to attend an international boarding school. She's the daughter of the Black Witch, Gardneria's rescuer and one of the most powerful mages of all time. When Elloren arrives at school, however, she discovers that the history she's been taught may not be accurate, and that the prejudices she's been raised with are undeserved and even cruel. THE BLACK WITCH deals with difficult topics in a complex but relatable way and in my opinion deserves every starred review it received.

     

    10.12 The Rules of MagicTHE RULES OF MAGIC
    By Alice Hoffman
    (2017)

    Full disclosure here: I haven't actually read this yet. After all, it only came out two days ago! Fans of Hoffman's 1995 book PRACTICAL MAGIC will be thrilled to know that she has returned to the story of the Owens family. For the members of this magical clan, love is a curse that inevitably results in death and heartache. THE RULES OF MAGIC follows an earlier generation of Owens siblings - Franny, Jet, and Vincent - as they navigate the heady days of the 1960s. I've read a few of Hoffman's other works, and her three-dimensional characters, detailed plots, and lush, lyrical writing never disappoint. And based on early reviews, this prequel is every bit as magical as its predecessor.

    Bonus: If you can't get enough fictional witchcraft, check out basically anything by Sarah Addison Allen. Within the pages of her sweet books, you're sure to find romance and magic in a small southern town.