Posts filed under 'Young Adult'
This is a story about sisters, who like many siblings, have very distinct and different personalities, likes and dislikes, goals, and levels of ambition. Unlike most siblings, the sisters Rose and Ruby are conjoined twins. Rose, the writer, is determined to tell her (their) story and so she coerces the very reticent Ruby to help her by writing some of the chapters. The only rule that Rose sets forth is that they are not to read each other’s chapters.
The Girls is their story, and although it’s a novel, you might be inclined to want to believe it’s a biography, or more correctly, a pair of biographies. Lansens brings us a most unusual coming-of-age story about sisters who truly love each other and about the small circle of people who inhabit their small town life.
Find The Girls in our catalog.
April 21st, 2011
Thoroughly American New Yorker Jenny Gluckstein is a typical teenager: she hates her mother, except when she doesn’t; she hates her father, except that she loves him; she smokes pot with her friends; and she’s convinced she’s ugly. So when her musician mother Sally remarries, this time to a British agronomist, and the whole family—including two new step-brothers for Jenny—is relocated to a rundown old estate farm in Dorset, England, Jenny is anything but happy about it—especially not when she realizes her beloved cat, Mister Cat, will be quarantined for six months. But once Mister Cat is returned to her, the adventure of Jenny’s life begins. Mister Cat takes off running one night, chasing another animal. It turns out to be the 300-year-old ghost of another cat who has stayed around to keep her own mistress company: the ghost of Tamsin Willoughby, who once lived on the farm. Unhappy and uneasy, her spirit has never left the farm, though she only remembers her past in bits and flashes. The two girls, one living and one dead, soon become fast friends, and ghostly Tamsin introduces Jenny to the other supernatural beasties inhabiting the farm, including a mischievous boggart, the silent Black Dog, and the unpredictable Pooka. But when Judge Jeffries—another restless spirit from the past, this one not nearly so benign as Tamsin—begins manifesting, Jenny has to grow up fast and save her friend from utter destruction.
Enchanting and masterful, dealing equally gracefully with the violent history of the Dorset region and the concerns and complaints of contemporary teenagers, Tamsin is that rare book equally suited to teen readers and adults. Highly recommended.
Find Tamsin in our catalog.
March 6th, 2011
With the popularity of the Harry Potter and Twilight books (and accompanying movies!) going nowhere but up and a movie version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit in the works, more and more adult readers are crossing the generation gap and reading books originally intended for young adult—teenage!—bibliophiles. We already put together a list of great teen books for adult readers a couple of years ago (which you can find here) but it seemed like it might be time for an update! So while you’re waiting for the new Jonathan Franzen book or trying to get your mitts on the third in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, why not head on over to the YA shelves and try out one of these cross-over picks?
Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games
Hoffman, Alice. Incantation
Lo, Malinda. Ash
McKinley, Robin. Chalice
Oates, Joyce Carol. Big Mouth & Ugly Girl
Pearson, Mary. The Adoration of Jenna Fox
Plum-Ucci, Carol. The Night My Sister Went Missing
Pratchett, Terry. Nation
Sheth, Kashmira. Keeping Corner
Zevin, Gabrielle. Elsewhere
February 26th, 2011
A performing arts high school senior, Soledad lives to dance. She plans to spend the summer teaching dance and saving up some money before she heads out to audition for dance companies. This plan is delayed when she falls for a musician who convinces her to spend the summer performing with a competitive drum and bugle corps. When Soledad catches the attention of a handsome soccer player who pursues her, she finds herself torn between her boyfriend and the intriguing athlete.
This is a teen novel, and will likely have little crossover appeal for adults. While the love story is rather twisted and codependent, it features a triangle like the ever-popular Twilight or Hunger Games series. It may appeal most to those who enjoy dance, or who participate in in competitive show bands or traveling teams. You can find When the Stars Go Blue in our Browsing Teen collection.
February 23rd, 2011
Just in time for Valentine’s day comes David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary, an alphabetical series of vignettes about a pair of young lovers from the young adult author of Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist. Apparently, Levithan composes a Valentine’s day story for his friends annually, a tradition that began during an especially dull high school physics class. His entries, ranging from “aberrant” to “zenith” chronicle the fate of a devoted if mismatched pair: the shy, insecure first-person narrator and his gregarious, unconventional girlfriend.
Although the format doesn’t allow for a traditional story arc, Levithan works a surprising amount of detail into his spare graceful prose. We learn of the girlfriend’s drinking problem, a brief infidelity, and the lingering effects of her troubled childhood. The narrator, an introvert, is less fully realized. Yet, readers will find enough here to engage their imaginations and to make them hope that Levithan creates another love story for adults one day soon.
Find The Lover’s Dictionary in our catalog.
February 11th, 2011
Julie, an American, must go to Italy to retrieve the contents of a safe deposit box left to her by her mother. What she finds is not the treasure she was told to expect, but rather fragments of old documents, a notebook, a crucifix, and a paperback copy of Romeo and Juliet. Julie doesn’t have much to fall back on, so more out of need of a fortune rather than sheer curiosity, she embarks on a quest to discover just what the contents of the box mean.
The critics called this “a women’s Da Vinci Code“. I can understand why they say that, but I think it does an injustice to this novel. While both novels involve historical intrique and puzzles to be solved, Dan Brown’s book was very much a race against the clock with little in the way of character development or relationship building among the characters. It’s a historical thriller. In Juliet, Fortier gives us an unusual twist on a Shakespearean story and while there are some questions to be answered and things that must happen in order to erase an ancient curse, we don’t get the feeling that we are on the clock and along the way there are characters that come to life, relationships that develop and a romance between a contemporary Juliet and Romeo. Fortier’s novel does not have the pace of a thriller, and takes its time revealing its secrets. Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction, romance, and intrigue.
Find Juliet in our catalog.
January 25th, 2011
When Ash’s beloved mother died, Ash felt like her world was falling apart. She soon discovered that her grief was just the beginning, however, when he father remarried after only a little time had passed. Her stepmother, a rich and overbearing woman, moved the family away from the comfortable country home in which Ash grew up to her family estate in the capital city. When Ash’s father, too, died not long after the family moved, Ash finds herself a virtual slave to the whims of her stepmother and two stepsisters while dreaming always of escape.
Sound like a familiar plot? Well, you’d be right, up to a point. Ash, like the traditional Cinderella, does in fact call upon fairy magic to grant her wish of visiting the ball. But her fairy is not a friendly godmother but an ancient and dangerously charismatic man bound to her by a mother’s curse. And Ash does not visit the ball with the intention of snaring the eligible prince’s attentions—though she does manage that, as well—but with the intention of spending more time with the Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, a strong and lovely woman with whom she has built a relationship based upon much more than one glittering night of fairy magic and glamor.
This lyrical, well-written GLBTQ coming-of-age story should appeal not only to teens, but to those seeking well-crafted fairy tale re-tellings with a feminist or modern twist.
Find Ash in our catalog.
November 11th, 2010
Aslaug was raised in relative isolation by her intense, severe, intelligent mother Maren. Home schooled, unknown to any family she might still possess, unacquainted with anyone other than a secretive neighbor, Aslaug is naïve and innocent about the workings of the greater world. Raised in a mirror-less home, she barely even knows the shape of her own face. What she does know, however, is plants. Herb-lore, herb-craft, which plants are good to eat, which plants are poison, which are medicine…all of this colors Aslaug’s view of the world, informing her understanding of events unfolding around her. When her mother dies, therefore, Aslaug reacts in a way appropriate to her upbringing, but not so very appropriate in the eyes of the law. When finally released into the custody of a social services professional, Aslaug manages not only to escape, but to find her way to a place she’d only been once before…the evangelical Christian church run by a woman Aslaug soon discovers to be her aunt. There she discovers something else shocking: her mother Maren claimed to have been a virgin when she became pregnant, and her cousins Susanne and Rune believe that Aslaug herself is a blessed child destined to birth the next Messiah. Soon, swept up by their fervor…so similar and yet so different from that of her mother…Aslaug herself is uncertain what she believes or who she really is.
Told partially in flash-backs, and interspersed with testimony from Aslaug’s eventual trial for suspected murder, this enthralling and deftly suspenseful story is also beautiful and poignant. Meldrum manages to give a delightful new twist to the old coming-of-age story.
Find Madapple in our catalog.
September 30th, 2010
It’s taken me quite awhile to get to this trilogy even though it is wildly popular with teens and book three is just out. I can certainly see why they can’t wait to get their hands on it. It’s a compelling story, reminiscent of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery.
America is no more, Instead there’s the country of Panem comprised of 12 districts and The Capitol. Because the districts rebelled against The Capitol decades back, the districts are continually punished. While those in The Capitol are well fed and pampered, those in the districts must struggle for survival. As part of the punishment, each district must send a teenage boy and a girl to The Capitol each year, chosen by lottery. The teens sent must compete in a Survivor-like game in which they live off the land and fight to the death–all of which is televised for the entertainment of the residents of The Capitol. When Katniss’ younger sister, Prim, is chosen to go to The Capitol, the resourceful Katniss volunteers to take her place hoping at least to save her sister, at most, to win the Hunger Games and return to her district with food and riches to live in comfort with her family.
The world Collins has created is full of terrifying possibilities, the pacing is fantastic, and the story is riveting.
Find The Hunger Games in our catalog.
September 27th, 2010
In Stiefvater’s first werewolf love story, Shiver, Grace and Sam fell in love even while knowing that Sam was a werewolf who would eventually return to wolf form for good. In this second novel, Sam and Grace fight hard to stay together, Grace’s snarky friend Isabelle meets her match in new werewolf Cole (who is a rock star no one seems to recognize in their small Minnesota town), and Sam finds he must care for the new pack members in the absence of alpha pack member Beck, who has finally turned wolf for life.
Again, Stiefvater has written an entertaining teen paranormal novel. The romance elements of the story are reminiscent of Twilight, although not as innocent, but the werewolf lore is entirely original.
Find Linger in our catalog.
September 18th, 2010
From the youth services collection, Shiver is a teen werewolf love story. Stiefvater stretches typical werewolf lore, giving her pack some unusual abilities and features. In typical werewolf stories, the humans turn to wolves at the full moon, at times of stress, at nightfall, or at will. In Shiver, the pack members turn to wolves when the weather cools, and when it warms in the spring, they once again become humans and take up their summer occupations.
Grace has been watching the movements of the wolf pack since she was a child, and in particular one wolf who lurks near her house every winter and who has befriended her. When Grace encounters Sam, a young man who has been shot in the forest, she recognizes his eyes as those of the friendly wolf. As Sam reveals his secret, Grace falls in love with him. While Grace is young, she has been parenting herself while her all-but-absent parents pursue their own interests, so she is resourceful and mature beyond her years. Recommended for those interested in paranormal romances and young love. If you enjoy Shiver, you can move right on to the sequel, Linger.
Find Shiver in our catalog.
September 17th, 2010
In this teen paranormal, Miranda is a seventeen year old misfit who has a best friend, but not much of a social life. When she is spirited off by a vampire and made vampire princess, she finds herself suddenly more beautiful and popular than she could have ever imagined. The only problem she faces is her guilt over the humans who must suffer in order to feed her. Zachary, Miranda’s former guardian angel has fallen from grace after he revealed himself in angel form to Miranda. In order to regain his wings, he must find Miranda and show her the error of her ways. Humor creeps in now and then, but overall, it’s a dark paranormal romance. Recommended for fans of the teen paranormal genre.
Located in: Browsing Teen Paperbacks
March 12th, 2010