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Teen Book Reviews

BEST TEEN BOOKS


Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol (YA/graphic/Br)\
Anya could really use a friend.  Of all the things Anya expected to find at the bottom of an old well, a new friend was not one of them. Especially not a new friend who’s been dead for a century.  Falling down a well is bad enough, but Anya’s normal life might actually be worse. She’s embarrassed by her family, self-conscious about her body, and she’s pretty much given up on fitting in at school. A new friend—even a ghost—is just what she needs?

Ashfall by Mike Mullin (YA/F/Mullin)
Many visitors to Yellowstone National Park don't realize that the boiling hot springs and spraying geysers are caused by an underlying supervolcano. It has erupted three times in the last 2.1 million years, and it will erupt again, changing the Earth forever. Fifteen-year-old Alex is home alone when the supervolcano erupts. His town collapses into a nightmare of darkness, ash, and violence, forcing him to flee. He begins a harrowing trek in search of his parents and sister, who were visiting relatives 140 miles away.

Beauty Queens  by Libba Bray (electronic)
This is a story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island. It is a "Lost"-like island with mysteries and dangers and heavens, no e-mail. Feral competition and a savage brutality is revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Oh, the horror, the horror! Only funnier with evening gowns and a body count.

Between Shades of Gray by Sepetys Ruta (electronic)
Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, & she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia.

Every day by David Levithan (YA/F/Lev)
 ‘Every day I am someone else.  I am myself, I know I am myself, but I am also someone else. It has always been like this.”

The Fitzosbornes in Exile by Michelle Cooper (YA/F/Cooper)
Sophia FitzOsborne and the royal family of Montmaray escaped their island home when the Germans attacked, and now find themselves in the lap of luxury. Sophie's journal talks about the social whirl of London's 1937 season, but even a princess in lovely new gowns finds it hard to fit in. Is there no other debutante who reads? Will the FitzOsbornes ever be able to go home again? Could Montmaray be lost forever?

Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown (YA/F/Brown)
Kendra has always felt overshadowed by her older brother, Grayson, whose OCD forces him to live a life of carefully coordinated routines. The only way Kendra can stand out next to Grayson is to be perfect, and she has perfection down to an art -- until a cheating scandal threatens her flawless reputation.  Behind the wheel of her car, with Grayson asleep beside her, Kendra decides to drive away from it all -- with enough distance, maybe she'll be able to figure everything out.

Steampunk by Kelly Link and Gavin Grant (YA/F/Steampunk)
Full of whimsical mechanical wonders and charmingly anachronistic settings, this anthology gathers a brilliant blend of fantastical stories. Steampunk originates in the romantic elegance of the Victorian era and blends in modern scientific advances—synthesizing imaginative technologies such as steam-driven robots, analog supercomputers, and ultramodern dirigibles.

Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement Moore (YA/F/Clement)
Amy Goodnight's family is far from normal. She comes from a line of witches, but tries her best to stay far outside the family business. Her summer gig is ranch-sitting for her aunt with her wacky but beautiful sister. Only the Goodnight Ranch is even less normal than it normally is. Bodies are being discovered, a ghost is on the prowl, and everywhere she turns, the hot neighbor cowboy is in her face.

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler (YA/F/Handler)
Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.