Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)

Wonder Woman

Title: Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Summary:  Don’t read this book if you are hoping for an origins story that simply recycles the summer blockbuster movie.  But wait, don’t stop reading!  First, let me explain why I picked up this book.  I’m a huge fan of Bardugo’s Crooked Kingdom series.  She is a master at world creating and crafts complex and compelling characters.  With that in mind, I had to see what she would do with this iconic superhero.  In this origins story, Bardugo takes a modern day setting  and combines it with Themyscira, the mythical place of Wonder Woman’s creation.  She puts her own spin on Wonder Woman’s origins while still managing to stay true to what fans love most about this hero.

In Bardugo’s iteration, Diana, Princess of the Amazons, risks all to save a mortal named Alia Keralis.  Unfortunately, her brave choice puts the entire world in danger because Alia is no mere mortal-but rather a Warbringer.  She is a descendent of Helen of Troy, herself, and is destined to bring war and misery to the world.  Alia’s death would bring an end to the threat of war her existence all but guarantees, but Diana can’t accept that solution.  Instead, Diana and Alia join forces, along with a small group of Alia’s mortal friends, to face both divine and human foes that seek to either destroy or possess the Warbringer.  Only by working together can they hope to succeed in their quest to save the world.

Who will like this book?:  Fans of all things superhero will love this new take on Wonder Woman’s origins.  If you like strong female protagonists this is the book for you.

If you like this, try reading:  The Black Widow Series by Margaret Stohl, The Lunar Chronicles Series by Marissa Meyer, Throne of Glass series by Sarah Maas

Where can I find a copy: Print editions available at Fairfield Public Library, Fairfield Woods Branch Library, and Pequot Library.  Digital copy available through Overdrive.

Recommended by: Jen Laseman,  Fairfield Woods Branch Teen Librarian

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Things I Should Have Known

Things I Should Have KnownTitle: Things I Should Have Known

Author: Claire LaZebnik

Summary:  Looking at Chloe Mitchell you would think life isn’t fair.  After all, she’s beautiful and smart, does well in school, everyone seems to like her, and she has the perfect boyfriend.  Chloe, herself, knows that life isn’t always fair, but for other reasons.   It isn’t fair that her mother remarried a jerk who tries to bully her and her sister into making “healthy” life choices.  It isn’t fair that her mother never seems to have time for her or her sister.  And it isn’t fair that her older sister Ivy, who is on the autism spectrum, is lonely and that Chloe is having problems planning for her own future because she is too worried about leaving her sister.   While Chloe can’t fix all the unfairness in her life, she’s decided it’s time to step-up and help her sister.  So, she comes up with a master plan to set-up her Ivy with another student, Ethan,  from her special needs class.  Ethan’s a sweet boy and Chloe thinks he’s Ivy’s perfect match.

The biggest obstacle Chloe sees in getting those two together is that they don’t feel comfortable going out alone.  So, Chloe and Ethan’s brother agree to chaperone the dates. What Chloe doesn’t know is that Ethan’s brother is none other than David Fields.  David Fields, aka the Class Jerk, who seems to exist just to get a rise out of people by saying exactly what is on his mind.  He and Chloe have clashed many times in the past, but can they get over those hard feelings so that their siblings have a chance to develop some kind of relationship?  And, if Chloe and David give it a chance will they learn that they have more in common with each other than they thought and that maybe they can learn to respect and appreciate their differences?

Who will like this book?:  Fans of realistic fiction will like this quick read.  All the main characters are likeable and well-intentioned, even if at times they are a bit misguided.

If you like this, try reading: What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum, Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon, The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen

Recommended by: Jen, Teen Librarian

The Diabolic

The Diabolic

Title: The Diabolic

Author: S.J. Kincaid

Summary:  Kincaid envisions a future filled with contradiction where those in power relish utilizing scientific advances like genetic engineering and personal appearance modification but forbid the development or education of scientific theory.  So as spacecrafts  and high tech equipment created by their ancestors begin to break down, who will be able to repair and develop new technology?

It’s against this backdrop that we follow the story of Nemesis, a diabolic.  A diabolic is a genetically engineered being with a human-like appearance, beyond human strength and endurance, unencumbered by any sense of humanity or social conscience, created to bond with one person and protect that person with every fiber of their being.  Nemesis was created to protect the life of Sidonia, the daughter of an outspoken Senator who rallies for a change back to education and scientific development.   When her father’s beliefs rouse the ire of the power mad Emperor, Sidonia is summoned as a hostage to assure her father’s future good behavior.   But that order directly conflicts with Nemesis only mission in life.  So in order to keep Sidonia safe, Nemesis assumes her identity and goes to galactic court.   It’s a place filled with turmoil and rebellion where she realizes that maybe her mission goes beyond just protecting the life of one person- it might be all of humanity who needs her.

Who will like this?: Fans of Sci-fi and/or strong female main characters-particularly female assassin type figures.  And, if Arya Stark is one of your favorite GOT characters you will appreciate the hardcore nature of Nemesis.

If you like this, read this:  Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas, Graceling by Kristen Cashore

Recommended by: Jen, Teen Librarian

One of Us Is Lying

One of us is lying

Title: One of Us Is Lying

Author: Karen M McManus

Summary:  The set-up for this book is Breakfast Club meets Locked-Room Mystery.  Five high school students walk into detention: Brownyn- the Brain, Addy- the Princess,  Nate-the Criminal, Cooper- the Athlete, and Simon- the Outcast and creator of the school’s notorious gossip app.  Unfortunately, only four students walk out of detention.  It’s no spoiler to tell you, that before the end of detention Simon is dead and it doesn’t look like it was an accident.  When the school gossip dies everyone seems to have a motive- especially the four students in the room when it happens.  Because, as it just so happens the latest gossip Simon was set to post would have revealed each of their darkest secrets.

While the mystery is good, what truly sets this book apart are the author’s character development and her exploration of the dark secrets with which each character is struggling.

Who will like this?:  Fans of mystery and suspense will fly through this one.

If you like this, read thisWe Were Liars by E Lockhart, The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma, and Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

Recommended by: Jen, Teen Librarian

Here We Are

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Title: Here We Are: 44 Voices Write, Draw and Speak About Feminism

Editor: Kelly Jensen

Summary: “There’s no right way and no wrong way. There are no dead ends. The journey is always changing, always shifting, and influenced by our own experiences and perspectives.” This diverse collection of superbly-written essays, sharply-drawn comics, fun lists and engrossing interviews is a fantastic compendium of contemporary thought on the history, evolution, and current state of feminism for every reader. Organized into topics including body image, gender, sexuality, pop culture, relationships, confidence, and independence, these pieces will introduce you to the concept of intersectionality (the idea that social categorizations are overlapping and interdependent) and encourage you to find your own definition of what it means to be a feminist.Because it’s a collection, you can read just on topics that interest you, pick the pieces by writers you love, or take on the whole thing and discover new voices who will challenge you to see the world in a new way.

Heartfelt stories from beloved writers and artists including Laurie Halse Anderson, Mindy Kaling, Malinda Lo, Liz Prince, Laverne Cox and Daniel Jose Older, as well as pieces from some extraordinary ‘ordinary’ women who have made a difference through their lives and work make this a terrific collection for anyone interested learning more about the many ways one can approach the challenges of what it means to be a woman.  Sure to start some amazing conversations, Here We Are is a great book to read and talk about during Women’s History Month, and that should be shared amongst family and friends.

Who will like this book?: Anyone interested in learning about what it means to be a feminist today. Readers who are sure they are not feminist: You might be surprised to learn that maybe…you are!

If you like this, read this: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Bossypants by Tina Fey. For mature readers: Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian

 

Black Panther

Cover image for Black Panther 1.

Title: Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 1

Author/Artists: Ta-Nehisi Coates/Brian Stelfreeze

Summary: Heavy is the head that wears the crown. Upon returning to Wakanda, King T’Challa faces a challenge that he had never anticipated: An uprising of the people. He is not sure if he has the ability to quell the unrest shaking the technologically advanced African nation, and neither are his team of advisors, who are still reeling from the death of T’Challa’s sister Shuri, assassinated while holding the throne on his behalf. With threats both intellectual and supernatural emerging from all corners, including by some disillusioned members of the Dora Milaje, his elite corps of female guards, can T’Challa redeem himself and bring his nation back to a place of peace, prosperity and understanding?

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a fantastic writer known mostly for his non-fiction and essays so it is  thrilling to see him dive into the comic book form. This collection is not a reboot or a reintroduction with an origin story, but it is still a great place for new readers to jump into the Wakandan saga before the release of the Black Panther movie in 2018, as it includes a re-release of the first-ever appearance of T’Challa from 1966.

Who will like this book: Marvel fans, of course. Anyone intrigued by Chadwick Boseman’s performance in Captain America: Civil War.

If you like this, try this: The Ms. Marvel series by G. Willow Wilson. The Hawkeye series by Matt Fraction. The March collection by Rep. John Lewis.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian

The Emotionary

emotion

Title: The Emotionary: A Dictionary of Words That Don’t Exist for Feelings that Do

Author: Eden Sher

Illustrator: Julia Wertz

Summary: Are you a ‘big-time feeler?’ Actress (best known for her stellar comedic work as Sue Heck on The Middle) Eden Sher is – to the point where she sometimes would have a hard time expressing her emotions through words. In order to overcome this, she began creating her own portmanteaus (a word blending the sounds and combining the meanings of two others – think ‘breakfast’ and ‘lunch’ becoming brunch) to try and describe her the times when her feelings couldn’t be described by any existing definition. The result is this hilarious and charming collection of new words for the times that you just…can’t.

eden

Featuring delightful illustrations by Julia Wertz, often depicting her friendship with Sher and the construction of the book itself, this collection is a fast-paced and wickedly funny dive into the world of conflicting emotions. You’ll laugh, but you’ll also find yourself nodding your head in wonder as you discover that other people have the same feelings as you, and you may be relieved to finally find a way to define those tricky, complicated emotions you’ve had to deal with.

Who will like this book?: This is a great choice for any reader. Those afflicted with all the feels. Fans of Sher from her television work. Anyone feeling a bit stressed or overwhelmed who needs a book that isn’t too silly but will still make them laugh.

If you like this, try this: For a classic spin on the clever redefining of words, try The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce. Another wildly imaginative use of language – in this case, the alphabet – to shape a story, Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian