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Seraph of The End - Review by Timothy

Posted on 17-Aug-17 11:03
Have you ever wondered just how far the roots of lust and greed have grown in humanity, or how far some people are willing to go just to gain fame, money, and power? Well, for those of you who are curious, let me explain… In the year 2012, a deadly virus is spread across the corners of the earth, leaving a wave of destruction in it’s wake. At first, there is nothing known about the deadly virus - except that it kills anyone over the age of thirteen who comes into contact with it. To make matters worse, an ancient race has seized the opportunity to enslave the children who are untouched by the deadly sickness, and build mighty empires throughout the world, free of their long captivity underground. The deadliest of them all: Vampires.
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The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress - Review by Kyle, Teen Blogger

Posted on 03-Feb-17 16:21
In The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, author Robert A. Heinlein gives a complex look at revolutionary ideals, their cost, and the reality of conflict between societies. Political ideas on these topics are presented and discussed often throughout the novel, but they are done so in such a way to make it interesting reading, even for those who may disagree. Its well-developed characters and comprehensively detailed setting make it a smart science-fiction tale, with impressively realistic sensibilities.
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Kids of Appetite - Review by Becca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 03-Feb-17 15:18
Kids of Appetite, or They Lived and They Laughed and They Saw That It was Good, by David Arnold is a stand-alone novel worth reading by anyone and everyone. It’s a dynamic and diverse read, written by an author with a clear skill for getting you inside the heads of his real-as-life characters. With both subtle and blatant messages woven throughout about growing up, acceptance, and the power of love, its relevance is clear. Though Kids of Appetite is meant for young adults, it is an novel to be thoroughly enjoyed by all.
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Frankenstein - Review by Jenna, Teen Blogger

Posted on 16-Jan-17 13:17
When most people hear the name ‘Frankenstein’, they think of a huge, green monster with bolts in his head that walks around like a zombie. However, the original novel by Mary Shelley is not the story you think it is. It’s not about an evil monster causing havoc for the sake of being evil, nor is it about the task of creating this monster. Frankenstein isn’t even the invention; he is the inventor. The monster that most people think is called Frankenstein is actually a grotesque, nameless, and intelligent being that causes enough empathy in readers to make them believe that the real monster is indeed the scientist who created him.
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Kiss My Math - Review by Emma, Teen Blogger

Posted on 12-Jan-17 16:28
Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-algebra Who’s Boss by Danica McKellar isn’t a typical math book. It's a book about how math is everywhere around you. But instead of explaining the world through math, it explains math through the world. Discover Catalogue - Kiss My Math I love this book because I sometimes struggle in math class. I take one look at the numbers swirling in front of me, and my brain defaults to “panic.” One way to help this is to talk to my teacher or my parents. But another solution is to turn to Kiss My Math, because this book is full of little tips and tricks that make math more relatable to me and less frightening.
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Redshirts - Review by Kyle, Teen Blogger

Posted on 10-Dec-16 13:32
Even with its title, Redshirts references cliches of genre-fiction. In the titular case, it is the tendency for (red-clad) Star Trek security officers to die alarmingly often, a technique used by the writers to increase dramatic tension without killing any main characters. Interestingly, it is not with condemnation that John Scalzi writes about these conventions. Quite to the contrary, it is an examination dripping with the writer’s affection towards the source material.
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Eleanor and Park - Review by Sharon, Teen Blogger

Posted on 09-Dec-16 16:35
Rainbow Rowell, in her novel Eleanor and Park, captures the romance between two social misfits so beautifully. It’s awkward, it’s adorable, it’s painful, it’s heartbreaking and it’s so, so moving. I can relate to the characters, being a teenager around their age, and that makes this book even more special. Eleanor and Park are nothing alike; they come from different backgrounds, they live different lives, they have different destinies written for them, yet how they manage to find their first love in each other is a story worth reading.
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The Nightingale - Review by Jenna, Teen Blogger

Posted on 25-Nov-16 12:49
Think about a book or movie centered in World War II. Think about what the setting is, who the main characters are. I would guess that the story that popped into your mind was about a solider or nurse from an Allied country out on the front lines, or perhaps about someone in a concentration camp, because that’s the focus of most stories about World War II. However, in The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah looks at a different piece of the war that is often overlooked: the woman, particularly those in German-occupied France.
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The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton - Review by Emma, Teen Blogger

Posted on 08-Nov-16 10:07
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton is a book about underprivileged teens living in a city. The main character, Ponyboy, is a member of a gang called the Greasers. One day Ponyboy goes to a movie with his friends Dally and Johnny. While there, they pick up some girls, members of the opposite gang, the Socs. But it does not take long for the girls’ boyfriends to show up, and when they do, they are annoyed that their girls are hanging around with Greasers...
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Graceling by Kristin Cashore - Review by Jenna, teen blogger

Posted on 08-Nov-16 09:36
Graceling is a young adult fantasy novel by Kristin Cashore about a Graceling named Katsa. A Graceling is a rare and gifted person from the Seven Kingdoms that is born with an extreme skill, whether that is reading at a superhuman speed, seeing storms before they come, or simply cooking the most amazing dishes. Katsa is "Graced" with the ability to kill anyone, anywhere, in any way imaginable. She has been forced to work all her life as the thug of her uncle, who is the king of the Middluns, but she is also part of a secret council that helps to protect and serve the Seven Kingdoms. After a fateful night where she meets Po, a prince Graced with combat skills, she leaves the king’s services to join Po on a quest to figure out what is going on in the Seven Kingdoms.
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The Ocean at The End of The Lane - Review by Kyle, Teen Blogger

Posted on 08-Nov-16 09:23
“It all came back and even as it came back I knew it would not be for long: all the things I remembered, sitting on the green bench beside the little pond that Lettie Hempstock had once convinced me was an ocean.” In The Ocean at the End of the Lane, author Neil Gaiman crafts a tale of weird fiction fit to stand with the classics of that genre. He expertly weaves a deeply personal story of childhood and memory within a sinister tale of evil not from our world. The decidedly stark prose gives it a pleasingly sincere quality, a stylistic choice that perfectly underlines the themes of the book. Though a relatively short read, it doesn’t feel stunted in the slightest, and its pacing is excellent. Particular praise should also be given to the characterization, as it has an unshakeably real quality, even amid the fantastical elements of the story.
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Prison Boy - Review by Hannah, Teen Blogger

Posted on 14-Sep-16 10:25
“Why do governments torture their enemies and own citizens? asked Kia. It was too big a question, too complicated to ask now, but he asked it anyway. Torture has a long and involved history. I will say this: torture is used by governments and regimes when they become afraid of losing power, when they have lost their moral compass.”
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The God of Small Things - Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 07-Sep-16 09:18
Perhaps one of the strangest, but most interesting novels I have ever read, The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy is a tale filled with emotion. While often books full of real-life issues that take a gritty view on things do not impress me (I usually find they try too hard to be dark), this particular story reads like something that could actually happen. There are enough moments of joy to make the moments of sadness really matter. The majority of the story takes place in Kerala, India in 1969. It tells the tale of an upper class family though the eyes of several different characters, primarily two children.
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Vicious - Review by Becca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 27-Aug-16 13:20
Described in one word, Vicious, by V. E. Schwab, is absolutely thrilling. It’s terrifying and brilliant and beautifully written and horrible, but above all, it’s so incredibly thrilling. The plot was fast-paced and intense, the characters intricate and amazing—the recipe for a perfectly vicious new adult fantasy read. [Discover Catalogue - Vicious] We start off with two students, Eli Cardale and Victor Vale, almost through with their senior year of college. They’re roommates, friends, but above all, rivals. For them, everything is a competition—who has the best grades, who can win over Angie, the bright, pretty engineering student—the list goes on. Right now Eli is winning in all of those categories, and that plants the seeds of resentment, jealousy, and bitterness in their relationship that will seem to drive Victor throughout the novel.
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Name of the Star - Review by Pranathi, Teen Blogger

Posted on 17-Aug-16 11:05
London 1888, Whitechapel district, five women brutally mutilated and murdered and one unidentified serial killer on the loose. The Name of the Star is who you seek. [Discover Catalogue - The Name of The Star] Jack the Ripper is the infamous serial killer of the London Whitechapel murders of 1888 who, to this day, is still unidentified and therefore considered one of London’s greatest mysteries. Throughout the years of 1888 to 1891 Mr. Ripper had established his name through the inhumane methods used to attack his victims. His actions were greatly recognized throughout the city of London and several forms of media, most particularly the Star newspaper, which had taken an interest into finding out who Mr. Ripper was and the motives behind the diabolical killer. Nothing was found and now it may be too late to ever find out who was the face behind the name.
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Red Queen - Review by Hannah, Teen Blogger

Posted on 13-Aug-16 11:48
“In school, we learned about the world before ours, about the angels and gods that lived in the sky, ruling the earth with kind and loving hands. Some say those are just stories, but I don't believe that. The gods rule us still. They have come down from the stars. And they are no longer kind.” - Mare Barrow Mare Barrow lives in a world, where people are categorized by the colour of their blood. You either have a magical talent and bleed silver blood, or a misfortunate, cursed life because of the red blood that pumps through your veins. Silver bloods are the gods: the kings and queens, the princes and princesses, the royalty, elites and nobles. From the moment they were born they lived a luxurious life in the clouds. They are the gods and because of their blood they rule Mare Barrow’s world. Mare was born to red-blooded family; she lives in a poverty stricken village with all the other Reds. She is soon turning 18, and with the celebration of entering adulthood also comes conscription. The Silvers are at war with the Lakelanders; the Silvers use the red blood of innocent fallen soldiers to fuel this never ending war. As her birthday gets closer and her plans for escape fail, Mare loses hope and becomes miserable, accepting the fact that she will be taken from her family and forced to fight in the war like her three brothers.
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Strong Female Protagonist - Review by Emma, Teen Blogger

Posted on 05-Aug-16 09:56
Strong Female Protagonist by Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag is a complex yet enjoyable story about being a superhero. Strong Female Protagonist follows Alison Green, a girl who discovered her superpowers when she was fourteen. Alison spent her teenage years fighting crime, under the alias Mega Girl. But now Alison is twenty, and no longer a crime-fighting hero. Instead, Alison is worrying about college and struggling to get her exams done. But school is not the reason she stopped.
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Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore – Review by Chris, Staff blogger.

Posted on 22-Jul-16 09:41
Festina Lente! This Latin phrase is something you will come to be familiar with if you read Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore. It translates roughly to “hasten slowly,” a contradictory expression that means to move quickly, but carefully – a great way to summarize this book with a plot that moves fast but is easy to digest, and manages to touch on a few different themes and genres along the way. Inside the world of Mr. Penumbra, protagonist Clay Jannon takes a part-time job at San Francisco’s strangest bookstore, and first hears the phrase used as a greeting between patrons of the store’s mysterious “wayback list.” The book centers on Clay and his mysterious boss, the eponymous Mr. Penumbra, then ‘hastens slowly’ to adventures with secret societies, giant computers, replica cities, and some very litigious owners of a font you’ll never find on Microsoft Word.
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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of The Universe - Review by Becca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 12-Jul-16 16:04
One of my absolute favourite summer reads is definitely Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, ever since I picked it up on a whim this time last year. It's certainly not one of my typical reads; it isn't packed with dramatic action scenes, evil villains, heroic main characters. Instead, it’s set in Texas, 1987, and follows two aging boys. This novel is a sweet, slow burn of a romantic coming-of-age story. A good comparison, perhaps, would be swimming in honey—sweet and heavy; some parts are light, some parts are dark. I'd imagine it quite difficult to claw your way out of a pool of honey, not unlike the difficulty of getting out of this book. Personally, I found Aristotle and Dante to be a refreshing change from the typical boy-meets-girl, insta-love story that frequents young adult contemporary fiction. Between the poetically beautiful writing, the honest and real characters, and the numerous issues they're faced with, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a novel to remember for years to come.
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13 Reasons Why - Review by Anonymous

Posted on 05-Jul-16 12:40
The snowball effect is one that gets larger and larger as a result of the actions of others and how you react to those reactions but most of all, this effect can be deadly. Hannah Baker understood just how well the snowball effect affected herself and everyone around her. With one conflict came another and then another and another, like a giant snowball, until the madness overwhelmed the person at the center of the conflict and they chose to put an end to their suffering. As one who could relate to how Hannah felt in the midst of all this drama, the novel hit a little too close to home. But, as a result, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher turned into a life-changing novel which inspired me to take a different path than the one Hannah Baker chose...
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Six of Crows - Review by Emma, Teen Blogger

Posted on 20-Jun-16 13:47
Imagine that you live in a world where magic is a part of everyday life. Where the people who use magic are called Grisha, and they can transform objects, physical appearances, and material properties. What if their Grisha powers become amplified when they are given a drug called Jurda Parem? And what if this drug will eventually kill them? What if a powerful merchant tells you to bring him the maker of the drug, Bo Yul-Bayur, for a reward of 30 million kruge? The only catch is that Yul-Bayur is being held prisoner in the Ice Court, capital of Fjerda--a nation of Grisha haters, and the most secure place in the world. Would you take the job? Kaz Brekker would. But then, Kaz is a master thief, and he’ll do anything for money. Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows follows Kaz Brekker and his team as they begin their journey. But will they all live to see the end?
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After the Red Rain - Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 09-Jun-16 17:22
It seems that every day there is a new book trying to explore the idea of dystopia. It is a genre that has had a massive boom in recent years, with a number of popular books published. If you like dystopias, then I can highly recommend After the Red Rain. It is an interesting and thought provoking story that is sure to please fans of the genre. The plot takes place after a bizarre apocalypse known as the red rain. What makes this setting unique is how the majority of people seem to believe that the red rain actually helped society and, in fact, that the world is much better since it took place. Of course, this point is expanded upon later in the novel and leads to some interesting places. The main story follows a young woman who meets a strange man named Rose, and together they discover dark secrets about the world in which they live.
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Uncaged - Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 09-Jun-16 17:10
Despite the fact that most typical action novels do not interest me, I have enjoyed a few throughout my life. Uncaged is one that I am adding to that list. When I saw this book on the library eBook page (a place that I suggest all eBook owners take a look at) I thought it would be worth a try. Although I expected a regular run of the mill action novel, I was pleasantly surprised with what I found. The book follows the story of a girl who is searching for her brother, after he was involved in a crime gone wrong. She fights against a large corporation bent on the advancement of technology at any cost, and attempts to rescue her brother before he can come to harm. Uncaged is a book that uses the real fear of corporate and government corruption, combined with deeply personal character conflict, to create an incredibly engaging story. The characters within feel very real and dynamic, almost no one is left as a flat, meaningless plot tool - an issue with some novels in this genre. The story begins with a tense and powerful opening story arc, and manages to keep up the tension throughout the plot...
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Throne of Glass Series - Review by Becca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 26-May-16 11:42
The Throne of Glass series, written by Sarah. J Maas, is a high fantasy adventure series, composed of five books to date: Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows. They follow Celaena Sardothien, a rogue trainee of the infamous Arobynn Hamel, and now a slave in the salt mines of Endovier. That is, until she is given a choice: enter a deadly competition to become the personal assassin for the King of Adarlan, or never see the light of day again. The competition offered only to the most feared and ruthless of killers. Celaena agrees to compete, though she hates to serve the King who locked her away. Her training is overseen by Chaol Westphal, Captain of the Guard, and, from afar, by Dorian, the Crown Prince of Adarlan— both of whom are taken with her fierce spirit and witty charm. Dorian rescues her from the mines, he is her sponsor. The other competitors also have sponsors, though many with reputations far less respected than the Crown Prince’s. Celaena must stay sharp and distrustful at every turn: of her fellow competitors, of the court, and even of her own mind. Because, even in a land where a whisper of magic is punishable by death, the other would-be champions and their sponsors are willing to risk using the outlawed taboo to win...
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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children - Review by Pranathi, Teen Blogger

Posted on 13-May-16 16:19
Everyone has their peculiarities, some more than others. So what are yours? Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children should not even exist, so how is it that it does? How is it that anybody who ever stayed in the house permanently is still the same age as they were 50 years ago? How is it that these children, who are protected in the house of Miss Peregrine, have such strange peculiarities? Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, written by Ransom Riggs, brings the nightmares of children to life through the use of sinister vintage photographs and a suspense level which never ceases to surprise the reader. Four phrases launch the adventure of our hero. Four phrases spoken through the last breaths of his beloved and supposedly deranged grandfather. Four phrases which lead our hero to a home of the most peculiar children in the world, monsters who are after the children and a quest to protect the children from the monsters.
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Six of Crows - Review by Becca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 13-May-16 16:14
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, I think, is my favourite book I've read so far this year. It was simply incredible. It was action packed, suspenseful, and I'm well aware of the cliché of the phrase “keeps you on the edge of your seat,” but I'll say it anyway. Throughout this book, I was literally gasping aloud-something that admittedly can be problematic when you're trying to read in a public area. The plot was fast paced, the characters unique and well-developed, and the world setting intriguing—the recipe for a perfect adventure novel. In Six of Crows, we follow six main characters, Kaz Brekker, Inej Ghafa, Nina Zenick, Matthias Helvar, Jesper Fahey, and Wylan Van Eck. Though each known for different expertise, they' all bear the same name-criminal. And these six, they're the best of the best: the most brilliant lock picks, quietest spies, deadliest fighters. They're the cutthroats, blackhearts and convicts of the slums they live in, called the Barrel. So, when a job comes up offering them 30 million kruge, how could they resist? It's one impossible heist, into the most secure court ever built for the prize of a lifetime. All they need is a bit of luck and a ton of skill—and definitely a strong stomach...
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The Waters and The Wild by Francesca Lia Block – Review by Emma, Teen Blogger

Posted on 30-Apr-16 14:27
The Waters and the Wild by Francesca Lia Block is about a girl named Bee who has always felt like an outcast. Many people experience this at some point or another, but Bee really is an outsider. She has no friends and has always had a deep longing for the earth, even fantasizing about eating it in handfuls. Bee’s story, told in poetry and prose, is both magical and starkly real. As an outcast, Bee rarely talks to anyone at school. But then she starts seeing an extra version of herself, a doppelganger as she comes to think of it. To unravel this mystery she ends up speaking to people she would never have conversed with usually. She speaks with her fellow outcasts: Haze, a boy who thinks he is an alien, and Sarah, a girl who has dreams about being a slave in the 1800s...
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Peter Pan by J.M. Barry – Review by Pranathi, Teen Blogger

Posted on 30-Apr-16 14:15
Our story begins on a nursery windowsill at a house in London, England. There, we meet a girl who adores her mother and cannot wait to grow up, and a boy who fears adulthood and responsibility so choses to forever be a child. Peter Pan is a magical tale which highlights the importance of youth and a mother’s love for her children by bringing the reader on an adventure within a fantasy world only present in our dreams. I found the story to be very playful and mischievous but after researching the reason as to why J. M. Barrie had written this magnificent tale, I found the classic novel to be touching, emotional and very heartwarming...
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Asylum by Madeleine Roux – Review by Pranathi, Teen Blogger

Posted on 15-Apr-16 09:46
It is said that children pay for their parents’ actions and therefore no one is able to escape their past. Daniel Crawford and his newly made friends, Abby and Jordan, learn this the hard way as they are faced with their family’s darkest secrets at New Hampshire College Prep, a college which once used to be an asylum for the criminally and mentally insane. It is no coincidence how and where they meet. As terrifying secrets of their dark family past refuse to stay buried, the author creates a story which borders the fine line between genius and insanity...
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The Gunslinger by Stephen King – Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 08-Apr-16 16:04
Although King is often known for his chilling horror stories, I believe some of his best work can be found in the fantasy genre. I am part way through this series now (the full series is called The Dark Tower), but thought I would take some time to recommend the first book. The Gunslinger is a novel like no other. It exists in a fantasy universe, but not a Tolkien cliché that many would expect from these types of tales. Instead, King has created a dead world that hints at a past glory and filled it with a wonderful cast of characters that attempt to scrape through life in a harsh landscape. I could best describe it as a fantasy-western. A world in which magic and guns exist as the tools of good and evil...
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The Darkest Part of the Forest - Review by Emma, Teen Blogger

Posted on 17-Mar-16 10:27
If you asked me what my current favourite novel is (and believe me, it keeps changing!), I would say it is The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black. This book has everything: a handsome fairy prince in need of a rescuer, exciting sword fighting, a magic bargain with the fae, not to mention a giant monster made of twigs, sticks and stones. Hazel Evans and her brother Ben live in Fairfold, a village where people are used to interactions with the fae. In their woods, there lies a horned boy in a casket. He has been there, asleep, for as long as anyone can remember. Hazel and Ben’s mother has stories to tell about how she and her friends were obsessed with the boy when they were younger, but Hazel and Ben have some stories of their own. Ever since they were really young, Ben has been telling tales of the horned boy, their elf prince, and how they are meant to save him. But, when their prince finally awakens, he is not quite what they imagine...
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All the Bright Places – Review by Kaela, Teen Blogger

Posted on 16-Feb-16 13:24
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven begins with the two main characters, Finch and Violet, standing at the top of a bell tower. They both want to jump but after talking to each other, they decide not to. After, Violet and Finch become very good friends, offering different types of support that the other needs but is lacking from their own life. Finch brings Violet out of her shell again and Violet makes sure Finch stays grounded. These characters are so funny and vulnerable you can’t help but fall in love with them. The ending was very surprising and it made the book very memorable...
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Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl - Review by Emma, Teen Blogger

Posted on 29-Jan-16 11:20
I always thought I knew the story of Anne Frank, and in a way, I did. I knew about how she had lived in the Secret Annexe for two years, only to be captured so close to the end of World War II. But I never really knew Anne’s story, at least not until I read her diary. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl tells the story of a teenage girl who had a unique outlook on life, as well as a wonderful personality. Anne Frank received a diary for her thirteenth birthday and soon made up her mind that her diary wouldn’t just be an account of what she did each day. On Saturday, 20 June, 1942, Anne writes: “I don’t want to set down a series of bald facts in a diary like most people do, but I want this diary itself to be my friend, and I shall call my friend Kitty.” From then on, each entry becomes a letter to Kitty, the friend that Anne could tell anything to. In reading Anne’s diary, you become Kitty. As Kitty, you read about the Frank family going into hiding. You read about the arrival of the Van Daan family. And you read about Anne’s growing friendship with Peter Van Daan, a boy not much older than herself...
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A Big Dose of Lucky - Review by Hannah, Teen Blogger

Posted on 26-Jan-16 11:26
A Big Dose of Lucky by Marthe Jocelyn is one of the 7 books from the Secrets series. I have to say it was hard picking which book to read first. They all seemed to appeal to me, but at last I guess A Big Dose of Lucky appealed to me more. After the devastating fire that burned the orphanage to the ground, Malou and all the older girls were told that there was no place for them and they were on their own. They were each given a clue and sent on their way to find their biological family. Malou is at first very hesitant about going on the journey. With nowhere else to go she heads for the small town of Parry Sound, Ontario following the clue that she was given. As she arrives in Parry Sound, she soon discovers more shocking clues that drive her closer to solving the mystery of her biological parents.
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Marley and Me by John Grogan - Review by Ben, Teen Blogger

Posted on 23-Dec-15 09:52
Summary: The book is a story about a dog named Marley. Marley is a dog that is hyperactive and needs a lot of attention and exercise. The book goes through Marley’s life with the three kids in the family. The author, John, also writes about the houses Marley lives in and the trouble he gets into...
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Fragile Bones - Review by Hannah, Teen Blogger

Posted on 22-Dec-15 15:17
Every year around 50,000 books printed in the United States are fiction. I can't help but notice that the majority of those novels are similar in one way or another. In my opinion they are written about something of no importance (e.g. mystery, murders, female and soldier romance ending with the soldier death, magic, aliens invasion, etc.). I have read quite a number of books in my short lifetime, but I would be lying if I said many really made a difference or had any useful meaning/value. That was the main reason why I was jumping head over heels to be reading Fragile Bones by Lorna Schultz Nicholson. It is truly a unique book...
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The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls – Review by Kaela, Teen Blogger

Posted on 22-Dec-15 15:02
The Glass Castle is a memoir by Jeannette Walls. It’s about her childhood and having to grow up in poverty for the majority of it. This book also explains how the relationships she formed as a child shaped her into a successful adult. The Glass Castle is about Walls’ father who is a very intelligent man and loves his children endlessly even though he has many faults, her mother who always taught her to have an open mind and a kind heart even though she rarely followed her own advice, and her and her three siblings growing up mostly happy in spite of her parents’ shortcomings...
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Namesake by Sue MacLeod - Review by Emma, Teen Blogger

Posted on 19-Nov-15 09:58
Lady Jane Grey is famous for having ruled England for nine days. After Edward the Sixth’s death, Lady Jane Grey was named Queen but Edward’s half sister, Mary, exercised her right to the crown and had Lady Jane thrown into the Tower of London where she stayed until her execution in 1554. Namesake, by Sue MacLeod, tells Lady Jane’s story in a wonderful and exciting way, tying it in with the modern world of a Haligonian high school student.
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American Sniper - Review by Hannah, Teen Blogger

Posted on 12-Nov-15 12:02
American Sniper is the story of Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL who did four tours in Iraq. This book describes Kyle’s training and upbringing to become a Navy SEAL, but the heart of the text deals with Kyle’s experience in combat. Though he was America’s most prolific sniper, Kyle’s wartime experience went well beyond shooting. Kyle was a much unpolished writer, but he told his story clearly and genuinely. At times politically incorrect or even crude, Kyle’s writing seems restlessly honest. This is the kind of the book that could not be put down...
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As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner - Review by Pranathi, Teen Blogger

Posted on 05-Nov-15 10:49
Fear, pride, motherhood and love were all just empty words to Addie Bundren, just shapes to fill empty spaces. What may have seemed real at first, such as the affection she felt for her husband Hans, had disappeared. To Addie Bundren nothing was right, nobody was pure, and most words were lies. She believed her family had taken her away from her home and that most of her children showed no care for her. With these poisonous thoughts in her mind, she decided her family deserved the worst punishment. William Faulkner, through this novel, tells the story of a woman who lived a bitter life: a life of hate and a life or paranoia which drove her mad...
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The Girl from the Well - Review by Tori, Teen Blogger

Posted on 04-Nov-15 11:34
"Okiku is a lonely soul. She has wandered the earth for centuries, freeing the ghosts of the murdered-dead. Once a victim, she now takes the lives of killers with the vengeance they're due. But releasing innocent ghosts from their ethereal tethers does not bring Okiku peace. Still she drifts on."- from the publisher
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The Song of Achilles – Review by Kaela, Teen Blogger

Posted on 03-Nov-15 11:51
The thing that drew me to read The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller was the fact it is all about Greek mythology and the author was actually inspired by the original works of Homer. In my experience, a lot of books about Greek mythology are based on the more modern versions of the stories and are kind of like a remake of a remake. The nice thing about this one was that the author had studied these subjects and drew on the originals for inspiration. The book is all about the famous Greek hero named Achilles but is actually told from the point of view of one his greatest companions, Patroclus. Patroclus is neither a god nor a half-god like Achilles but an exiled prince. When the two were both boys, Achilles’ father used to foster boys with no homes and that’s how the two had met. The book details the transformation of Achilles from child to man through the eyes of Patroclus. The two grow up together and later support each other in the war against Troy...
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Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel - Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 03-Nov-15 11:13
Language was at one point considered what separated us from other animals; this was until in the seventies when there were trials that indicated that chimps could in fact be taught sign language to some degree. The book Half Brother looks at a fictional version of one of these trials and all the implications it creates about ourselves and the lives of animals. We see the story revolve around Ben, a thirteen-year-old boy living with his parents, and Zan, a newborn chimp that attempts to learn American Sign Language...
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Betsy Wickwire’s Dirty Secret by Vicki Grant – Review by Kaela, Teen Blogger

Posted on 21-Oct-15 10:00
One of the funniest books I have ever read would definitely be Betsy Wickwire’s Dirty Secret by Vicki Grant. It’s about a popular girl named Betsy who has just finished high school but has also lost her boyfriend and most of her friends. Betsy thinks she’s going to have a terrible summer but then she meets Dolores, who is very quirky and not like her old friends. During the summer they begin a cleaning business and through a lot of funny events, Betsy grows as a person...
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The People of Sparks - Review by Ben, Teen Blogger

Posted on 16-Oct-15 16:53
The People of Ember have made their way to the surface of Earth after living underground for over 200 years. After walking for days, they stumble upon a village known as the village of Sparks. After some negotiations, the Sparks people decide to take the Ember people in as refugees. As months wear on, hardships form. Conflict arises between the Sparks and Ember people.
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Speak of the Devil - Review by Emma, Teen Blogger

Posted on 16-Oct-15 10:02
The Word on the Street festival this year led to many great book finds for me, but among my favourites was Shawna Romkey’s Speak of the Devil. I was even fortunate enough to meet Shawna herself, which only added to my excitement about reading her book. This young adult novel is set in modern day United States. The main character, Lily, is a high school junior in Missouri. One night she is in a car accident along with her best friends, Mike and Julie. Lily is the only one who survives, sort of. In fact, she dies in the accident but only briefly, to be pulled back from heaven at the last minute...
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The Secret Sky - Review by Hannah, Teen Blogger

Posted on 13-Oct-15 12:18
“[The Secret Sky is] a tale of the indomitable Afghan spirit of hope and love. Among the many novels set in Afghanistan for young people or for adults, The Secret Sky stands alone. Unputdownable. Unforgettable.” –Trent Reedy, author of Words in the Dust The Secret Sky by Atia Abawi is a story of love, beliefs, culture and betrayal. First thing I want to make clear is that this book is not a happily ever after swoony romantic story with no significant purpose. It explores in-depth the corrupt society of Afghanistan at that time.
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Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Review by Becca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 13-Oct-15 11:04
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a fantasy, paranormal romance novel, written by Lani Taylor. It is the first book in a recently finished trilogy. Lani Taylor is the winner of The Cybils Award for Fantasy and Science Fiction (Middle Grade), and a finalist for the National Book Award. She also received the Oregon Spirit Award, was a finalist for the Andre Norton Award, and the Children’s Choice Teen Book of the Year Award, among many other awards and acknowledgements.
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Scrawl by Mark Shulman - Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 01-Oct-15 16:31
The story of an anti-hero is one of the more difficult things a writer can do. Trying to get the reader to empathize with a character who is evil is the main problem with this type of writing. Scrawl is a book that takes this idea to a familiar setting for many people, specifically a high school. The main protagonist is an unpopular, poor boy named Tod Munn, or Pops as he is known to his friends, and he is a bully, a thief, a fighter, and a constant problem for his school. We have all seen bullies; many readers may be victims of such people. Yet with just a few chapters Shulman manages to create a character who is clearly more than he seems.
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I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai – Review by Becca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 22-Sep-15 10:13
I am Malala is the autobiography of Malala Yousafzai, co-written by herself, and Christina Lamb. Malala is a Pakistani educational rights activist. She was the winner of the 2011 Pakistan National Youth Peace Prize and was nominated for the International Children's Peace Prize, also in 2011. Malala was one of four runners-up for the Time magazine's Person of the Year. She was also the youngest ever nominee for a Nobel Peace Prize*. Malala also created a nonprofit organization for education, supporting and investing in community-led programs, The Malala Fund.
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Battle of the Books – Article by Hannah, Teen Blogger

Posted on 18-Sep-15 08:22
“It is 4:00 PM. The game host has welcomed everyone and explained the rules. The four students from the two teams are clustered, on opposite sides of the room, hunched over, leaning in towards each other, knees touching, possibly stroking a team mascot. Anxious and proud teachers and parents are watching from chairs, placed around the walls... A hush falls over the room as the first question is read aloud... "In what book is there a spider who can spell?" The stop watch clicks on. A Battle of the Books game has begun.”...
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The War at Ellsmere by Faith Erin Hicks – Review by Emma, Teen Blogger

Posted on 14-Sep-15 18:52
I was intrigued by the art and title of The War at Ellsmere by Canadian illustrator and author, Faith Erin Hicks. Hicks tells us the story of Juniper, a scholarship student at an elite boarding school. Juniper (Jun for short) has plans; she’s had them since her dad got sick and died. She’s going to be an incredible doctor and to get there she’s going to graduate from Ellsmere, an old, all-girls school, built by the eccentric and mysterious Ellsmere family. Once Jun reaches Ellsmere though, she realizes there’s more to the school than just focusing on homework and exams...
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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith – Review by Kaela

Posted on 21-Aug-15 11:45
There were three people who recommended this book to me and all of them couldn’t explain why they liked it so much. Now after reading it, I love it just as much as them only I’ll try to explain why.
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The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn – Review by Rebecca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 14-Aug-15 13:17
The Bar Code Tattoo is a young adult dystopian novel set in a future world where everyone has to have a bar code implanted in their arm by the time they’re sixteen. This barcode gives you access to everything, from your car to your bank account. Every time teenagers turn sixteen they’re all excited to get this new “key to adulthood”. Kayla doesn’t want one though. She’s about to turn sixteen and she thinks the idea of the bar code tattoos is really creepy. When she denies the chance to get one though, she becomes an outcast in the world and she finds the government out to ruin her...
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Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen - Review by Ashlee, Staff Blogger

Posted on 30-Jul-15 15:21
Stolen Songbird, author Danielle L. Jensen’s first novel, takes place in a historical fantasy setting in which trolls exist but were cursed by a witch to live underground in secret. The protagonist is Cécile de Troyes, a farmer’s daughter with a lovely voice who is kidnapped, brought to the city of Trollus under the mountain, and sold to trolls who intend to marry her to their troll prince, Tristan. This element of cursed creatures abducting a beautiful human bride and taking her below ground reminded me of the 1991 animated movie The Princess and the Goblin, but after that, there are fewer similarities. Contrary to popular belief, Stolen Songbird explains, trolls aren’t ugly; they’re “more like beautiful things that have had the misfortune of being broken.” Most of the troll characters in this novel have various misfortunes like no limbs, misaligned halves of their face, or being conjoined twins. However, the book misses a potentially interesting element in exempting Prince Tristan from the difficulties of living with an unusual body. Instead, he is tall and beautiful, though cold and sardonic.
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The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean by David Almond – Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 30-Jul-15 13:44
There are some books that after finishing the last page can only be described as odd. This book is one of those. This is not to say that it is bad, in fact I quite enjoyed it, but only that it is not like anything I have read before. David Almond has created a truly unique perspective on the world, seen through the eyes of a boy as he falls from innocence. Everything from the diction of writing to the topics explored within the story; it is all unusual and meaningful.
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Black Hole Sun by David McInnis Gill - Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 30-Jul-15 13:10
Setting a book in a sci-fi world can be difficult, especially when looking at how to be consistent with the science and technology. This is even more difficult when trying to set a story on Mars, a planet we know a fair amount about. Black Hole Sun does an excellent job of this however, becoming an interesting and action packed novel without any of the problems that often plague the genre (such as suddenly having a gadget for every situation or being inconsistent with the science throughout the novel). The author does a great job, creating an amazing world and filling it with powerful, realistic characters...
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Goth-Icky by Michael J. Nelson - Review by Rebecca

Posted on 26-Jun-15 09:20
Goths are people who enjoy dressing differently and are interested in alternative things. I borrowed Goth-Icky at the library and really liked it. This is a book of creepy but really interesting Goth art with some information about the Goth subculture: how it started, types of Goths, the Goth community and the truth about being Goth, rather than the false stereotypes out there.
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Mister Death's blue-eyed girls by Mary Downing Hahn – Review by Rebecca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 25-Jun-15 08:50
Many people have either read the novel or seen the movie adaptation of the paranormal drama novel The Lovely Bones. For some time I’ve been looking for a novel with a similar theme and it turns out that the Halifax Public Libraries does have a copy of one I wanted to read: Mister Death's blue-eyed girls by Mary Downing Hahn. This teen novel takes place in the 1950’s and the story follows several teenagers as their lives are changed dramatically by the tragic murder of two of their friends in the woods near their neighborhood. It’s a very nostalgic view of the way things were for kids back in the Fifties. There were no cell phones or texting, no computers, most girls had to wear skirts rather than pants, television wasn’t as popular, cars were more powerful, and so on.
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Coraline by Neil Gaiman – Review by Rebecca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 24-Jun-15 09:50
Summary: Coraline has just moved into a strange old apartment complex called ‘the Pink Palace’ with her parents. Coraline is adventurous and creative whereas her mom and dad are sort of boring people, and her eccentric neighbors aren’t the best company. One neighbor was a Chernobyl liquidator* and has become insane, and then there are the two actresses, sisters who are equally strange. With no friends and a boring preppy school to look forward to, the only thing to entertain her is the strange door in the wall of the apartment. One night Coraline has a dream about what’s beyond it, a perfect wonderland where new things happen every day – but it turns out it isn’t as amazing as she thought it was, in fact it’s a total nightmare.
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Home Movies – Article by Rebecca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 23-Jun-15 14:15
It’s the 21st century, so any kid has the ability to make an amateur movie with their computer, digital camera or cell phone. I love my digital camera and my laptop, but recently I got a super 8 home movie camera. My super 8 camera isn’t digital, it uses film, and it’s a little more difficult to use. If you make a film with it, you have to be careful – a cartridge of super 8 film can only record up to three minutes, 20 seconds of footage and can’t be deleted. The film is expensive so you can’t just film your cat over and over again or numerous videos that have no meaning. Film isn’t instant, it has to be sent off for developing in a photo lab and to post it anywhere online you have to have it transferred to digital formats.
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Graduation Worries – Article By Emily, Teen Blogger

Posted on 26-May-15 15:53
It’s no secret that it’s that time of the year again: graduation. If you’re anything like me, right now you’re slightly panicked about the idea of change, especially one on this scale. It seems as though everyone has it together and is ready to move forward but I promise you are not alone in your fears should you have them. It took me a while to realize that these fears were perfectly normal. To help you with those feelings, I want to share some of mine with you.
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Last Message by Shane Peacock - Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 07-May-15 12:15
When I first picked up this book I must admit I was quite curious at the whole idea of it: a series of seven books that could be read in any order. My local library was carrying a number of them, so I simply chose the one that I thought would interest me the most. A quick summary of this book would be: an old man has recently died and left a series of tasks for his grandson Alex to complete in France. I found the concept of this very interesting; an exciting family legacy leading to a number of great adventures.
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I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson - Review by Kathleen, Teen Blogger

Posted on 24-Apr-15 09:37
“Some books are just meant to be in each other’s lives.” I’m paraphrasing this line: “Maybe some people are just meant to be in each other’s stories”, from Jandy Nelson’s second YA novel, I’ll Give You the Sun. I believe Nelson is hitting a poignant truth here, but it goes beyond the context of her book and applies to real life, even if it’s something as simple as a book. I believe that some people are meant to read certain books, and those books are meant to change you, make you grow, and see the world with eyes that are no longer foggy.
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Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks - Review by Rebecca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 07-Mar-15 10:20
Maggie is just like any other high school kid, but she’s been homeschooled her entire life by her police officer father and her recently estranged mother. Her four brothers assure her that high school is easy, but when Maggie gets there she realizes how many different types of kids there are and how much she doesn’t seem to fit in with any crowd. She befriends a goth boy and his younger sister, but soon she finds herself caught up in a fight between her new friends and her brothers. Meanwhile, she is trying to solve a mystery of an eerie woman who keeps following her everywhere she goes.
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Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson – Review by Angela, Teen Blogger

Posted on 06-Mar-15 10:06
“I feel the frozen stillness melt down through the inside of me, dripping shards of ice that vanish in a puddle of sunlight on the stained floor. Words float up.” (pg. 198) of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Have you ever felt a strong urge to say something but you can’t? The following piece is my own re-enactment of the protagonist, Malinda’s thoughts. It is written in third person, and I am the narrator. Sometimes it seemed that she was two different people, one being the carefree self before the incident. But things were different in high school, and it was no secret. She recalled the painful experiences of her freshman year…
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Smile by Raina Telgemeier – Review by Rebecca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 04-Mar-15 11:02
Smile is the autobiographical graphic novel of Raina as a girl growing up in the early 1990’s. In elementary school, during a Girl Scouts meet, Raina trips and smashes in her front teeth resulting in dental work throughout junior high and high school. The book depicts her life as a teenager, from seeing The Little Mermaid come out in the movie theater to losing friends and many more interesting events that I won’t give away (you’ll have to read it to see for yourself). As time goes on, Raina begins to question her life, her so-called friends and her decisions.
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Kiki Strike: Inside The Shadow City by Kirsten Miller - Review by Rebecca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 02-Mar-15 20:12
Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller is the first book in the Kiki Strike series, which follows a group of five outsider girls living in Manhattan and exploring its underground world. The book starts off in one of Manhattan’s dirty, polluted areas, in a small apartment where an incredibly bored twelve-year-old girl named Ananka Fishbein lives.
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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - Review by Angela, Teen Blogger

Posted on 20-Feb-15 16:21
You might have read this in grade 10 English. Great, another piece of great American literature, you might think. But it is in fact really meaningful and well written. To Kill a Mockingbird is the only published book that was written by Harper Lee. The elements of the story such as the setting, characters and the plotline are inspired by Lee’s childhood experiences in a small town in Alabama...
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The Darkest Path by Jeff Hirsch - Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 17-Feb-15 15:58
Upon first seeing this book I didn’t think it was for me at all. A dystopian novel following the story of a fifteen-year-old boy as he works his way through society. It seemed a little cliché, especially in recent years with many authors going that way after the Hunger Games craze. The “teenager in dystopia America” is much overused. I expected this to be something similar, but was gladly wrong...
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Creeps by Darren Hynes - Review by Angela, Teen Blogger

Posted on 14-Jan-15 14:35
When your dad is drunk again and starts to throw his bowl of pea soup on the ground, you know your mom is leaving, again. Well, at least she comes back but it never seems to end. And you know that the next day, Pete “The Meat” will make you eat the yellow snow. Wayne Pumphrey’s hates his life, until he meets Marjorie. For once, he is not alone. But, Pete will not let them go, or will he?
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Nation by Terry Pratchett – Book Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 19-Dec-14 13:35
Terry Pratchett is one of my favourite authors, but I had never heard of this particular book. It is outside of the usual Discworld novels and one of the less fantasy-like stories that I have read from him (although it does have a splash of the magical). It can be best described as an alternate history novel, set on an earth much like ours in the 1860s. A small island known simply as “The Nation” exists in the middle of the Great South Pelagic Ocean (the Pacific Ocean of this alternate world). It centers upon a boy called Mau, who is about to become a man, but then the wave comes. It destroys all of the nation. Left is only Mau and a shipwrecked girl from another land entirely.
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Undercurrent by Paul Blackwell – Review by Gina, Teen Blogger

Posted on 23-Oct-14 15:03
Callum survives a plummet over a waterfall in his neighborhood, but when he wakes up, his world is no longer the world he knows any more. Everything is twisted. He struggles to get used to what he doesn’t know and who he used to be. There are so many questions to answer and solutions to find.
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The Road by Cormac McCarthy – Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 16-Oct-14 15:17
Summary: A man and his son venture along a road in a post-apocalyptic land. This is a grim story that takes a look at the strength of human spirit in a world that has no hope or happiness.
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An Abundance of Katherines by John Green – Review by Angela, Teen Blogger

Posted on 26-Aug-14 12:57
Summary: Colin Singleton, a child prodigy but not-yet-a-genius has just been dumped by another Katherine (number 19 or K-19). Heartbroken and devastated, Colin agrees to a road trip with his best friend Hassan to clear his mind. What they did not know is that they would find friendships and maybe even love in a small town named Gutshot, Tennessee. For once, it seemed like Colin wouldn’t be dumped by another Katherine...
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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - Review by Gina, Teen Blogger

Posted on 20-Aug-14 13:20
Summary: The book thief is ten-years-old. She is thirsty for books, so when she sees the pile of books burning on the street, she picks up a small book in the ashes and runs away. Living in Nazi Germany during the Holocaust makes owning books risky but books are precious to the book thief. The Book Thief is a beautiful story of a curious young girl, narrated by Death....
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We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart - Review by Kathleen, Teen Blogger

Posted on 19-Aug-14 15:50
This is a story about a happy group of kids who go to a beach house every year for summer vacation. They laugh and tell ghost stories by the fire. Their parents look on fondly as they reflect on their own childhoods. The grandfather plays chess with the kids, who form healthy bonds with one another. Then, they have a picnic at sunset, and everyone lives happily ever after. The end. I’m lying. You probably guessed that, but here’s why:
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Panic by Lauren Oliver - Review by Emily, Teen Blogger

Posted on 07-Apr-14 12:56
As a huge fan of Before I Fall and the Delirium series, I was naturally excited upon discovering that Lauren Oliver had a new book coming out this month. I read blogger Julia’s interview with the author and it pumped me up enough to make me go out and buy the book the day it was released. While it’s very different from her other books, Panic is sure to be Lauren Oliver’s next bestseller.
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Nancy Drew and Rainy/Snowy Days - Article by Havana, Teen Blogger

Posted on 13-Dec-13 14:20
For most people a rainy/snowy day can be a drag, especially on a weekend. But, sometimes, it's good to have a stay-at-home day to relax. Relaxing doesn't always mean doing nothing though. There are lots of great things to do on a rainy/snowy day. Here are my top choices of things to do (all on a Nancy Drew mystery theme):
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Switch by Tish Cohen – Teaser by Havana, Teen Blogger

Posted on 19-Sep-13 11:47
Do you ever wish you were someone else? Andrea Birch definitely does. Not that you can really blame her. Who wouldn't get fed up? ...
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Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingstone – Review by Cecilia, Teen Blogger

Posted on 10-Sep-13 10:37
Canadian author, Lesley Livingston, knows how to spin a tale. In Wondrous Strange, her debut novel, she gives us a story of a young girl and her struggle to discover her heritage and identity.
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  • The Lie Tree
  • The way he lived
  • A drop of night
  • Thief of lies
  • Defender
  • Character, driven
  • Every young adult's break-up survival guide
  • Hidden gold
  • The heart of stone
  • The last boy and girl in the world
  • The epidemic
  • I see reality
  • Finding Hope
  • Under the Dusty Moon
  • Flawd
  • Dark energy
  • Hot pterodactyl boyfriend
  • Harmony House
  • Burning
  • See no color
  • One of us
  • A tangle of gold
  • It should have been a #GoodDay
  • Beautiful broken things
  • The radiant road
  • Speak a word for freedom
  • When we collided
  • Hit count
  • Fig
  • The beast of Cretacea
  • Essential maps for the lost
  • Queen
  • Exit, pursued by a bear
  • The Raven King
  • Breakaway
  • The forbidden orchid
  • The young adult's guide to public speaking