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The Fairfield Public Library Reader's Advisor for Teens – Reviews, Recommendations, and More

Paper Valentine April 5, 2013

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Title: Paper Valentine

Author: Brenna Yovanoff

Summary: Hannah just wants things to go back to normal. She wants to enjoy the summer, hang out with friends, and maybe even talk to the brawny, delinquent, possibly not-to-bright but surprisingly kind cute, Finny Boone.  But how can anything ever be normal again when your best friend dies? Lillian died six months ago, but she’s not gone…at least not for Hannah. Hannah sees Lillian everywhere, in her room, at the mall, even at her job at the local photo developing place. She’s haunted by Lillian, not just the thought of her, but the actual nagging specter of her friend.

Then the murders start happening and Hannah’s small-town becomes locked down with fear. Young girls are being murdered and the biggest clue police seem to have is a paper heart left at each crime scene.  Hannah finds herself drawn into the mystery by her ghostly friend and soon realizes that she may be the only one who can stop the killing.

Who will like this?: At its heart, this is a mystery but there is also a bit of romance, a fair amount of friendship and fighting, and of course the paranormal (it is a ghost story after all.)

If you like this, try this: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender, Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol.

Recommended by: Jen, Fairfield Woods Branch Teen Librarian

 

The Age of Miracles October 9, 2012

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Title: The Age of Miracles

Author: Karen Thompson Walker

Summary: Julia is an ordinary girl about to embark on an ordinary summer day: Breakfast with her parents, a soccer game, a sleepover with her best friend. She doesn’t know that in every possible way, this is the last ordinary day she will ever have. For some reason, the Earth’s rotation is slowing down. As scientists try to discover why this is happening and people do their best to carry on, the days get longer: 25 hours. 30 hours. 40 hours of sun. Society begins to change as some people stick to clock time: keeping a 24 hour day even if it means sleeping through the bright sunshine; while others attempt to live within the new rhythms of light and dark.

As this slow apocalypse continues, Julia lives her life: friendships that end and begin, growing suspicions about how much the adults in her life really understand about themselves and what is going on around them and planning for an uncertain and maybe even non-existent future. This is a stunningly good book for readers who like science fiction that tells the story of regular people dealing with incredible circumstances. If you like books that make you think about what you would do if you were a character in the story, this one is for you.

Who will like this book?: This is a great book for sophisticated readers who like science fiction that tells the story of regular people dealing with incredible circumstances. If dystopian stories (like The Hunger Games, Matched and Divergent) are your thing, give this book a try.

If you like this, try this: Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. Ashfall by Mike Mullin. Trapped by Michael Northrop.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian

 

Every Other Day May 7, 2012

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Title: Every Other Day

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Summary:  Every second day Kali is just your average 16-year-old girl, who reluctantly transferred halfway through first semester junior year from a gifted high school program run by her father’s university to public school.  She has no friends,  a mother who disappeared when she was just a kid, and an absentee father who doesn’t seem to understand her at all.

But every other day she is something else entirely.  She is confident and beyond strong.   And, on those days she is not human.  She is the thing that hunts and kills supernatural creatures that would do harm to the human race and she is practically indestructible.   Kali doesn’t know what she is on those days, but she knows there is no denying her need to hunt and destroy evil.

One day, Kali notices a demon mark on the back of the most popular girl at school.  A mark that means she will be dead within 24 hours.  Unfortunately,  it is on a day when Kali is simply a human.  Without the benefit of super strength or extraordinary healing powers Kali decides to try to save this girl.  It’s a decision that will change everything.  It will create friendships, threaten family relationships, endanger lives, and change the hunter within Kali.

Who will like this book?:  If you like strong-willed, tough female main characters in paranormal settings this is the book for you.

If you like this, try this: Strange Angels series by Lili St. Crow, Paranormalcy by Kiersten White, Raised by Wolves and Tattoo by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Recommended by: Jen, Fairfield Woods Branch Teen Librarian

 

Chopsticks April 10, 2012

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Title: Chopsticks

Author: Jessica Anthony

Designer: Rodrigo Corral

Summary: Glory is a piano prodigy who lost her mother when she was young. Her father, a music teacher, has raised her to be the next big thing in classical music and she becomes famous for reinterpreting the classics by weaving in rock and roll and other whimsical songs, like her favorite, the famous Chopsticks waltz. When Frank Mendoza, an Argentinian boy with a talent for drawing, moves in next door he and Glory begin to fall in love  but things deteriorate rapidly when Glory’s father takes her on a world tour. Soon she is unable to perform anything but Chopsticks. Upon returning home Glory disappears…or does she?

This unique story – a sort-of graphic novel told entirely through pictures, IMs, newspaper clippings, letters, and other items - forces you to piece together the truth as you read. You learn about Glory’s childhood and Frank’s rebellious streak and as soon as you think you know where it is all heading, Chopsticks shifts direction. Even though the evidence is right in front of you, the ending will be a shock to your system. In fact, you’ll probably want to read it all over again from the beginning (just like I did!) to pick apart the clues you didn’t even know where there. Chopsticks, a collaboration between author Anthony and legendary book cover-and-graphic designer Corral, is a haunting puzzle that will stick with you for a long time.

Who will like this book?: People who like strange and quirky books. Anyone who likes a good mystery where the clues seem to be right in front of you the whole time. Romantic-types looking for a unique love story.

If you like this, try this: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley. The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian

 

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer February 4, 2012

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Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Author: Michelle Hodkin

Summary: When Mara Dyer wakes up in a hospital she has no idea how she got there.  She doesn’t remember what she was doing in the building that collapsed and left her trapped until rescuers pulled her free.  And, she doesn’t remember that the three friends who accompanied her into the building weren’t so lucky.  All Mara knows is that she seems to have a very loose grasp on her sanity and that she can’t continue to live in the same town and go to the same school without her now dead best friend.

To help her deal with her post-traumatic stress disorder, Mara’s family packs up and moves to Florida where Mara and her older brother enroll at a prep school.  The only problem is Mara’s mental illness appears to be progressing to the point where she is now seeing things and people who no one else can see.  It’s definitely not the right time to get involved with the school heartbreaker, but he might be just what Mara needs in her life.  Because, he may hold the key to understanding Mara’s visions/hallucinations and the mysterious circumstances surrounding the deadly accident that brought them together.

Who will like this book?: Fans of paranormal mysteries with a healthy dose of Twilight-like romance will fly through this page-turner.  The only part you won’t like is waiting for the sequel to come out in the fall.

If you like this, try this: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, Fallen by Lauren Kate, or City of Bones by Cassandra Clare,

Recommended by: Jen, Fairfield Woods Branch Teen Librarian

 

Daughter of Smoke & Bone November 15, 2011

Title: Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Author: Laini Taylor

Summary:  Karou lives in two worlds.  In one, she is a multi-lingual, blue-haired art student living in Prague who fills her sketchbooks with beautiful monsters known as Chimaera.  In the other, she is the ward of one of those Chimaera slipping through magical portals throughout the world collecting teeth for his devilish creations.  Karou loves the Chimaera who have raised her, but she can’t help wonder “Who is she?”  While her guardian provides much, his demands are great and he leaves so many of her questions unanswered.

Then black handprints begin to appear on the doorways of the portals used by Karou.   Her secret world and beloved Chimaera family are threatened by Seraphim or angels, creatures unlike any found in biblical writings.  Further complicating Karou’s life are the confusing feelings she has developed for the creature who attempted to kill her. Soon, Karou discovers that she is at the center of an otherworldly war.  She may finally find out who she is, but at what cost?

Who will like this book:  Those who have long since graduated from Twilight and its countless read-a-likes will be enthralled by this original fantasy.  Laini Taylor has vividly created a new world populated with unique characters and combined it with traditional themes of  forbidden love and epic war.

If you like this, try this:  Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

Recommended by: Jen, Fairfield Woods Branch Teen Librarian

 

 
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