Review: “The Walled City” by Ryan Graudin

Posted on Wednesday, December 9, 2015 by Kelsey Simon

The Walled City by Ryan GraudinWhy I Checked It Out: I’d never heard of this book before, and honestly, the cover isn’t overly compelling. It’s just black and red text that says “The Walled City.” But, then I opened the front cover and read, “730. That’s how many days I’ve been trapped. 18. That’s how many days I have left to find a way out,” and I was invested. Done. I had to read it.

What It’s About: The premise for this story is based upon a real place: Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong. It is considered the densest human settlement on earth with 33,000 people living within the space of one city block. It was rife with prostitution, gambling and drug trafficking, and was eventually demolished in 1994. Obviously, the author has taken a few liberties, but her story isn’t too far from the truth. Continue reading “Review: “The Walled City” by Ryan Graudin”

2015 “Teens’ Top Ten” Winners Announced

Posted on Thursday, December 3, 2015 by Brandy

Teens' Top TenVoting for this year’s Teens’ Top Ten took place from mid-August through Teen Read Week, Oct. 18-24, with more than 27,000 votes cast. There were 24 nominees that competed for the “top ten” list. Below are this year’s winning titles.

The Teens’ Top Ten is a “teen choice” list, with teens nominating and choosing their favorite books of the previous year. Nominators are members of teen book groups in 16 school and public libraries around the country. Nominations are posted on “Celebrate Teen Literature Day” during “National Library Week” and teens across the country vote on their favorite titles between August and October. Continue reading “2015 “Teens’ Top Ten” Winners Announced”

Review: “The Vanishing Season” by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Posted on Monday, October 26, 2015 by Jennifer

The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn AndersonWhy I Checked It Out: I give the marketing team of HarperTeen mad props. They did a fantastic job of designing the cover of “The Vanishing Season” by Jodi Lynn Anderson to ensnare readers like me. Desolate winter tree reflected in a lake? Creepy etchings of moths, snowflakes, and the silhouettes of two girls facing each other (or facing off?)? Tagline about being haunted? I’m in!

What It’s About: Her senior year of high school, Maggie moves from Chicago to a tiny town on Lake Michigan. Though she finds friends in her neighbors, Pauline and Liam, will their bond to each other always leave Maggie on the outside? Along with the drama in Maggie’s life, there just happens to be an epidemic of teenage girls disappearing on this isolated peninsula.  Continue reading “Review: “The Vanishing Season” by Jodi Lynn Anderson”

Review: “An Ember in the Ashes” by Sabaa Tahir

Posted on Friday, October 9, 2015 by Kelsey Simon

An Ember in the AshesWhy I Checked It Out: An Ember in the Ashes” by Sabaa Tahir showed up as a highly suggested upcoming YA fantasy release on a variety of different blogs I visit. A lot of authors I respect also tweeted about it, and that was enough for me. If an author I loved said it was good, I had to have it. I put a copy on reserve before it even came out.

What It’s About:  “An Ember in the Ashes” is told in alternating points of view between Laia, a Scholar, and Elias, a Mask. They live a city that once belonged to the Scholars, but was taken over by the Empire–a force that respects loyalty and brutality above all else. Laia wants to avenge her family and free her brother from the Empire. Elias wants to escape the horrors of being a Mask, an assassin-like fighter that is created to follow the Empire’s orders. As the two attempt to solve their problems, their worlds start to intertwine. Continue reading “Review: “An Ember in the Ashes” by Sabaa Tahir”

Review: “The 5th Wave” by Rick Yancey

Posted on Monday, August 31, 2015 by Kelsey Simon

Fifth WaveWhy I Checked It Out: The 5th Wave” has been constantly flying off the shelves here at the library. I’ve picked it up a few times, but not checked it out, mainly due to my fear of alien invasion stories (I think they are scary, yes, and tend to avoid things that scare me). But when I heard that “The 5th Wave” was a Gateway nominee, I decided it was time I read it.

ALSO, IT’S GOING TO BE A MOVIE! WOOOO! Continue reading “Review: “The 5th Wave” by Rick Yancey”

Staff Review: Monstrous Affections

Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2015 by Kelsey Simon

Why I Checked It Out: This book is an anthology–it’s a bunch of short stories by a variety of different authors published in one book. I checked it out because I am always looking for new authors, and this specific anthology was geared toward fantasy and speculative fiction, which is what I love to read.

What It’s About: Well, that really depends. Which story are you talking about? One story is about a group of girls who call forth a demonic mom ghost. Another is about a demon whose friend is going insane. There’s even a story about a girl who falls in love with a robotic boyfriend. I loved most of the stories, a few weren’t for me, but either way, I checked out books by some the contributing authors that had stories I loved. Continue reading “Staff Review: Monstrous Affections”