Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

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Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Call #: TEEN MAAS
Rating: 4/5 stars
Series: Throne of Glass, Book 1
Review by Nina C.

 

Throne of Glass outlines the tale of Celaena Sardothien, an eighteen year old assassin, who has just been pulled out of her lifetime sentence in a labor camp in order to be Prince Dorian’s champion. Being his champion could earn her freedom back, but only if she wins the competition to be the royal assassin in the kingdom she loathes. While in the competition, bad things start to happen around the castle which leaves Celaena on her toes.

I came across Throne of Glass while browsing the shelves of the library and decided to read it. Since then I have reread it several times, and even had other people recommend that I read it. To be completely honest, what first drew me to this book was the cover, which shows Celaena and she looks so powerful and mystical. This book was very enjoyable to read, as it keeps the reader captivated with all the twists and layers to the story. It includes love, action, mystery, and even a little bit of magic.

While I could not personally relate to any of the characters or their struggles, the characters were still incredible to read about. They were more than just bad and good- they were multidimensional. Throne of Glass even featured a couple of strong female characters, which I always love to read about. I found myself even growing attached to some. I would recommend this book to people who love action, but also suspense and romance. This series gets even better as you read through all of them, so if you are looking to get invested in a long series I would definitely recommend this one.

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Author Spotlight: Anna-Marie McLemore

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Starting in April, we’re beginning a new monthly post where we talk about certain authors we love and the excellent books they’re publishing! This month, we’re highlighting one of Teen Services Librarian Hannah’s favorite authors, the incredible Anna-Marie McLemore!

Anna-Mariewas born in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains and grew up in a Mexican-American family, who taught her to hear la llorona in the Santa Ana winds; most of her stories are inspired by fairy tales and stories she grow up with, so they often feature Latina/o and queer characters and generally are classified as magical realism. She attended University of Southern California, and in addition to the novels she’s written, she has also contributed to countless short story collections. Anna-Marie lives in California’s Central Valley with her husband, who is a transgender man, and she identifies as queer and demisexual. Teen Services Librarian Hannah cannot help but fawn over her books, and here are the ones you can find in the library! All summaries are taken from Goodreads:

 

71GQym7plILThe Weight of Feathers

For twenty years, the Palomas and the Corbeaus have been rivals and enemies, locked in an escalating feud for over a generation. Both families make their living as traveling performers in competing shows—the Palomas swimming in mermaid exhibitions, the Corbeaus, former tightrope walkers, performing in the tallest trees they can find.

Lace Paloma may be new to her family’s show, but she knows as well as anyone that the Corbeaus are pure magia negra, black magic from the devil himself. Simply touching one could mean death, and she’s been taught from birth to keep away. But when disaster strikes the small town where both families are performing, it’s a Corbeau boy, Cluck, who saves Lace’s life. And his touch immerses her in the world of the Corbeaus, where falling for him could turn his own family against him, and one misstep can be just as dangerous on the ground as it is in the trees.

 

81m7d9PvMfLWhen the Moon Was Ours

To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

 

91B7M8-JJeLWild Beauty

For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.

The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.

 

91WTXiWsBnLBlanca & Roja

The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they’re also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan.

But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans’ spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them. Blanca & Roja is the captivating story of sisters, friendship, love, hatred, and the price we pay to protect our hearts.

 

For more information about Anna-Marie and her upcoming work, visit her website at http://author.annamariemclemore.com.

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The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Call #: TEEN BARNES
Rating: 5/5 stars
Series: The Naturals, Book 1
Review by Perla P.

 

The Naturals is about a teenage girl, Cassandra, who lost her mother; due to the crime scene uncovered, it is believed that her mother was murdered and the body was missing. Now Cassandra has to deal with the loss of her mother, the potential of a murderer at large, and the increase of females being murdered in similar ways. It is the FBI’s job to figure out if it’s the same serial killer or a copycat, and soon Cassandra gets involved because of presents left by the alleged killer. Cassandra along with, the FBI, and a couple of friends she meets through her journey help her find the murderer.

I recommend the book for people who are into mystery, psychology, or law because you get to see the inner workings of an investigation. I was also able to relate to Cassandra, as I one day want to work with the FBI and solve crimes. I decided to read the book because of a school project and my future goals, and I really liked the book due to the fact that it kept me entertained and wanting to read more (to the point I forgot it was for a school project and would also read it during my free time). Another thing I liked about the book was the huge plot twist towards the climax! I recommend this book because it helped me to understand more what goes through a killer’s mind, along with their reasoning of hurting someone.

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The Cat in the Hat Movie Review

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The Cat in the Hat (2004)
Call #: J DVD FAMILY CAT
Rating: 4/5 stars
Based on: The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
→Call #: JP AWESOME AUTHORS SEUSS
Review by Kyara B.

 

Just imagine a huge cat inside your room while you’re arguing with your older brother-this cat is 10 times bigger than you, with a huge hat! He’s very loud, and is full of laughter and jokes. Though the cat is scary at first, he turns out to be very fun to be around.

This movie was very fun to see and it is certainly for young kids, but I think kids under 6 shouldn’t watch it; there are parts in the movie where young kids shouldn’t see, as they will most likely take it as a way to do bad things as it was shown in the movie. The movie is also a good thing to show kids what’s it to obey their mother, as you can have as much fun as you want but there’s rules you have to go by. At first this movie seemed a little too childish to me but after seeing it I understood it much more. There were lessons to be taught in the movie, and all four characters learned their wrongs throughout. This movie can teach the kids why it’s good to listen to the rules that are being told to you. The Cat in The Hat was such a great movie that I have rewatched several times, and I think it’s a good way to learn new things and laugh a little too!

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Staff New Release Picks: September 2019

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This year, the Teen Staff will be starting something new: New Release Picks! Looking for a new book and a guaranteed good read? Look no farther than our monthly New Release Picks! There are just too many good books coming out in September, so we expanded our list from 10 to 15 titles!  Here are our picks for September new releases (all summaries provided by Goodreads):

 

September 3rd Releases

caster-1Caster by Elsie Chapman
Fantasy
Aza Wu knows that real magic is dangerous and illegal. After all, casting killed her sister, Shire. As with all magic, everything comes at a price. For Aza, it feels like everything in her life has some kind of cost attached to it. Her sister had been casting for money to pay off Saint Willow, the gang leader that oversees her sector of Lotusland. If you want to operate a business there, you have to pay your tribute. And now with Shire dead, Aza must step in to save the legacy of Wu Teas, the teahouse that has been in her family for centuries.

When Aza comes across a secret invitation, she decides she doesn’t have much else to lose. She quickly realizes that she’s entered herself into an underground casting tournament, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Real magic, real consequences. As she competes, Aza fights for her life against some very strong and devious competitors.

When the facts about Shire’s death don’t add up, the police start to investigate. When the tributes to Saint Willow aren’t paid, the gang comes to collect. When Aza is caught sneaking around with fresh casting wounds, her parents are alarmed. As Aza’s dangerous web of lies continues to grow, she is caught between trying to find a way out and trapping herself permanently.

91yYwoUvfdLStage Dreams by Melanie Gillman
Graphic Novel
In this rollicking queer western adventure, acclaimed cartoonist Melanie Gillman (Stonewall Award Honor Book As the Crow Flies) puts readers in the saddle alongside Flor and Grace, a Latinx outlaw and a trans runaway, as they team up to thwart a Confederate plot in the New Mexico Territory. When Flor―also known as the notorious Ghost Hawk―robs the stagecoach that Grace has used to escape her Georgia home, the first thing on her mind is ransom. But when the two get to talking about Flor’s plan to crash a Confederate gala and steal some crucial documents, Grace convinces Flor to let her join the heist.

917zB5rA14LButterfly Yellow by Thanhha Lai
Historical Fiction
In the final days of the Việt Nam War, Hằng takes her little brother, Linh, to the airport, determined to find a way to safety in America. In a split second, Linh is ripped from her arms—and Hằng is left behind in the war-torn country.

Six years later, Hằng has made the brutal journey from Việt Nam and is now in Texas as a refugee. She doesn’t know how she will find the little brother who was taken from her until she meets LeeRoy, a city boy with big rodeo dreams, who decides to help her.

Hằng is overjoyed when she reunites with Linh. But when she realizes he doesn’t remember her, their family, or Việt Nam, her heart is crushed. Though the distance between them feels greater than ever, Hằng has come so far that she will do anything to bridge the gap.

41861731Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite & Maritza Moulite
Contemporary
You might ask the obvious question: What do I, a seventeen-year-old Haitian American from Miami with way too little life experience, have to say about anything?

Actually, a lot.

Thanks to “the incident” (don’t ask), I’m spending the next two months doing what my school is calling a “spring volunteer immersion project.” It’s definitely no vacation. I’m toiling away under the ever-watchful eyes of Tati Estelle at her new nonprofit. And my lean-in queen of a mother is even here to make sure I do things right. Or she might just be lying low to dodge the media sharks after a much more public incident of her own…and to hide a rather devastating secret.

All things considered, there are some pretty nice perks…like flirting with Tati’s distractingly cute intern, getting actual face time with my mom and experiencing Haiti for the first time. I’m even exploring my family’s history—which happens to be loaded with betrayals, superstitions and possibly even a family curse.

You know, typical drama. But it’s nothing I can’t handle.

81kIHq2EgcLHarley Quinn: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki & Steve Pugh
Graphic Novel
With just five dollars and a knapsack to her name, fifteen-year-old Harleen Quinzel is sent to live in Gotham City. She’s not worried, though–she’s battled a lot of hard situations as a kid, and knows her determination and outspokenness will carry her through life in the most dangerous city in the world. And when Gotham’s finest drag queen, Mama, takes her in, it seems like Harley has finally found a place to grow into her most “true true” with new best friend Ivy at Gotham High.

But when Mama’s drag cabaret becomes the next victim in the wave of gentrification that’s taking over the neighborhood, Harley gets mad. She decides to turn her anger into action and is faced with two choices: join activist Ivy, who’s campaigning to make the neighborhood a better place to live, or join her anarchist friend Joker, who plans to take down Gotham one corporation at a time.

 

September 10th Releases

91dedl1NyaLPet by Akwaeke Emezi
Fantasy
There are no monsters anymore, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught. Jam and her best friend, Redemption, have grown up with this lesson all their life. But when Jam meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colors and claws, who emerges from one of her mother’s paintings and a drop of Jam’s blood, she must reconsider what she’s been told. Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption’s house. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth, and the answer to the question–How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist?

81tKo3OfISLThe Other Side: Stories of Central American Teen Refugees Who Dream of Crossing the Border by Juan Pablo Villalobos
Nonfiction
Every year, thousands of migrant children and teens cross the U.S.-Mexico border. The journey is treacherous and sometimes deadly, but worth the risk for migrants who are escaping gang violence and poverty in their home countries. And for those refugees who do succeed? They face an immigration process that is as winding and multi-tiered as the journey that brought them here.

In this book, award-winning Mexican author Juan Pablo Villalobos strings together the diverse experiences of eleven real migrant teenagers, offering readers a beginning road map to issues facing the region. These timely accounts of courage, sacrifice, and survival―including two fourteen-year-old girls forming a tenuous friendship as they wait in a frigid holding cell, a boy in Chicago beginning to craft his future while piecing together his past in El Salvador, and cousins learning to lift each other up through angry waters―offer a rare and invaluable window into the U.S.–Central American refugee crisis.

814CT69y8fLAre You Listening? by Tillie Walden
Graphic Novel
Bea is on the run. And then, she runs into Lou.

This chance encounter sends them on a journey through West Texas, where strange things follow them wherever they go. The landscape morphs into an unsettling world, a mysterious cat joins them, and they are haunted by a group of threatening men. To stay safe, Bea and Lou must trust each other as they are driven to confront buried truths. The two women share their stories of loss and heartbreak―and a startling revelation about sexual assault―culminating in an exquisite example of human connection.

Frankly+In+Love+book+cover+smaller+paddedFrankly in Love by David Yoon
Contemporary
Frank Li has two names. There’s Frank Li, his American name. Then there’s Sung-Min Li, his Korean name. No one uses his Korean name, not even his parents. Frank barely speaks any Korean. He was born and raised in Southern California.

Even so, his parents still expect him to end up with a nice Korean girl–which is a problem, since Frank is finally dating the girl of his dreams: Brit Means. Brit, who is funny and nerdy just like him. Brit, who makes him laugh like no one else. Brit . . . who is white.

As Frank falls in love for the very first time, he’s forced to confront the fact that while his parents sacrificed everything to raise him in the land of opportunity, their traditional expectations don’t leave a lot of room for him to be a regular American teen. Desperate to be with Brit without his parents finding out, Frank turns to family friend Joy Song, who is in a similar bind. Together, they come up with a plan to help each other and keep their parents off their backs. Frank thinks he’s found the solution to all his problems, but when life throws him a curveball, he’s left wondering whether he ever really knew anything about love—or himself—at all.

 

September 17th Releases

36511766._UY1360_SS1360_It’s a Whole Spiel: Love, Latkes, and Other Jewish Stories, edited by Katherine Locke & Laura Silverman
Short Stories
Get ready to fall in love, experience heartbreak, and discover the true meaning of identity in this poignant collection of short stories about Jewish teens, including entries by David Levithan, Nova Ren Suma, and more!

A Jewish boy falls in love with a fellow counselor at summer camp. A group of Jewish friends take the trip of a lifetime. A girl meets her new boyfriend’s family over Shabbat dinner. Two best friends put their friendship to the test over the course of a Friday night. A Jewish girl feels pressure to date the only Jewish boy in her grade. Hilarious pranks and disaster ensue at a crush’s Hanukkah party.

From stories of confronting their relationships with Judaism to rom-coms with a side of bagels and lox, It’s a Whole Spiel features one story after another that says yes, we are Jewish, but we are also queer, and disabled, and creative, and political, and adventurous, and anything we want to be. You will fall in love with this insightful, funny, and romantic Jewish anthology from a collection of diverse Jewish authors.

81Ij+RLgpOLThe Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junuada Petrus
Contemporary
Trinidad. Sixteen-year-old Audre is despondent, having just found out she’s going to be sent to live in America with her father because her strictly religious mother caught her with her secret girlfriend, the pastor’s daughter. Audre’s grandmother Queenie (a former dancer who drives a white convertible Cadillac and who has a few secrets of her own) tries to reassure her granddaughter that she won’t lose her roots, not even in some place called Minneapolis. “America have dey spirits too, believe me,” she tells Audre.

Minneapolis. Sixteen-year-old Mabel is lying on her bed, staring at the ceiling and trying to figure out why she feels the way she feels–about her ex Terrell, about her girl Jada and that moment they had in the woods, and about the vague feeling of illness that’s plagued her all summer. Mabel’s reverie is cut short when her father announces that his best friend and his just-arrived-from-Trinidad daughter are coming for dinner.

Mabel quickly falls hard for Audre and is determined to take care of her as she tries to navigate an American high school. But their romance takes a turn when test results reveal exactly why Mabel has been feeling low-key sick all summer and suddenly it’s Audre who is caring for Mabel as she faces a deeply uncertain future.

91UYeby6VsLJuliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
Contemporary
Juliet Milagros Palante is a self-proclaimed closeted Puerto Rican baby dyke from the Bronx. Only, she’s not so closeted anymore. Not after coming out to her family the night before flying to Portland, Oregon, to intern with her favorite feminist writer–what’s sure to be a life-changing experience. And when Juliet’s coming out crashes and burns, she’s not sure her mom will ever speak to her again.

But Juliet has a plan–sort of. Her internship with legendary author Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women’s bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff, is sure to help her figure out this whole “Puerto Rican lesbian” thing. Except Harlowe’s white. And not from the Bronx. And she definitely doesn’t have all the answers . . .

In a summer bursting with queer brown dance parties, a sexy fling with a motorcycling librarian, and intense explorations of race and identity, Juliet learns what it means to come out–to the world, to her family, to herself.

September 24th Releases

slay-9781534445420_hrSlay by Brittney Morris
Contemporary
By day, seventeen-year-old Kiera Johnson is an honors student, a math tutor, and one of the only Black kids at Jefferson Academy. But at home, she joins hundreds of thousands of Black gamers who duel worldwide as Nubian personas in the secret multiplayer online role-playing card game, SLAY. No one knows Kiera is the game developer, not her friends, her family, not even her boyfriend, Malcolm, who believes video games are partially responsible for the “downfall of the Black man.”

But when a teen in Kansas City is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, news of the game reaches mainstream media, and SLAY is labeled a racist, exclusionist, violent hub for thugs and criminals. Even worse, an anonymous troll infiltrates the game, threatening to sue Kiera for “anti-white discrimination.”

Driven to save the only world in which she can be herself, Kiera must preserve her secret identity and harness what it means to be unapologetically Black in a world intimidated by Blackness. But can she protect her game without losing herself in the process?

81s7x39BK+LWho Put This Song On? by Morgan Parker
Contemporary
In the vein of powerful reads like The Hate U Give and Girl in Pieces, comes poet Morgan Parker’s pitch-perfect novel about a black teenage girl searching for her identity when the world around her views her depression as a lack of faith and blackness as something to be politely ignored.

Trapped in sunny, stifling, small-town suburbia, seventeen-year-old Morgan knows why she’s in therapy. She can’t count the number of times she’s been the only non-white person at the sleepover, been teased for her “weird” outfits, and been told she’s not “really” black. Also, she’s spent most of her summer crying in bed. So there’s that, too.

Lately, it feels like the whole world is listening to the same terrible track on repeat–and it’s telling them how to feel, who to vote for, what to believe. Morgan wonders, when can she turn this song off and begin living for herself?

91GUc64XQ6LWayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
Fantasy
Sequel to Carry On (2015)
Simon Snow is back and he’s coming to America!

The story is supposed to be over. Simon Snow did everything he was supposed to do. He beat the villain. He won the war. He even fell in love. Now comes the good part, right? Now comes the happily ever after…

So why can’t Simon Snow get off the couch?

What he needs, according to his best friend, is a change of scenery. He just needs to see himself in a new light.

That’s how Simon and Penny and Baz end up in a vintage convertible, tearing across the American West. They find trouble, of course. (Dragons, vampires, skunk-headed things with shotguns.) And they get lost. They get so lost, they start to wonder whether they ever knew where they were headed in the first place.

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The Midnight Star by Marie Lu

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The Midnight Star by Marie Lu
Call #: TEEN LU
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Series: The Young Elites, Book 3
Review by Shalom B.

 

This is the third book in the Young Elites series and in this novel, Adelina has reached her goal of being queen, but her dark side only continues to grow; she struggles with controlling her darkness, and fears it will take over her. At the same time, there is a new danger arising that threatens all the Elites. Adelina has to face a dangerous part of her past in order to protect what she has gained. In the quest, the Daggers and Roses must come together to try to fight back the threat.

The story itself was thought-provoking, and it builds sympathy for the anti-hero Adelina. I have never sympathized with an anti-hero before, despite the numerous differences we have; the pain she has to face shows the side of her that is vulnerable, and it makes you hope she can redeem herself. However, at some points the level of darkness she reaches even in her thoughts can be alarming. I found this to be intriguing because it contrasts sadness that the story as a whole can provoke. My favorite part was the ending, and how Marie Lu ties in a folk tale that continues the morally grey legacy of the White Wolf.

I would recommend this book to fantasy fans who are willing to face a bittersweet ending. Marie Lu always manages to leave an impact on the reader, with a good closure that still manages to make you want to read more. On the other hand, if Marie Lu could have added anything more to the book, I think it could have been some more development of Maggiano’s character. Overall, I was very drawn by the book and might even find myself reading it again.

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Wonder by R.J. Palacio

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Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Call #: J PALACIO
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Movie: Wonder (2017)
→Call #: J BLU-RAY + DVD WONDER
Review by Jazlin T.

 

Wonder is about a ten-year-old boy named August, also known as “Auggie”.  Auggie has a facial deformity and the book tells Auggie’s story and the challenges he faces in school and life because of his deformity.

I really Wonder, because it gave a lot of details and it also gave different point of views;  for example Olivia, Auggie’s older sister, goes to school with him and in the book it gives her perspective on what school and life is like with Auggie. I decided to read this book because I thought it sounded interesting, and I was also curious about Auggie’s challenges and how he faced them.  Another reason I liked this book was because it gave a lot of different emotions, as sometimes there were parts in the book that made you happy, angry, and sad, and it also had some humor.

I definitely recommend this book to teens and kids.  This book isn’t like others, and I like it because of how it gives out everyone’s point of view.  Wonder inspired me to not judge people, and it also inspired me to just be kind to everyone and don’t try to fit in. If you’re trying to fit in, then you’re not being yourself: you are being how others want you to be.

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