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King's Cage

by Victoria Aveyard

King's cage

King's Cage is the third book in the Red Queen series. It continues Mare Barrow's story of how she strives for equality between people of red and silver blood. At first all seems lost for Mare because despite her attempts to break free, she is stuck in a palace full of silvers, and is being tortured. As the book continues Mare eventually escapes the palace in an unexpected battle. She and her allies strategize new ways to take down the silver blooded king in order to create a world of equality.

This book was a little more slow moving than the previous book in this series because for about half of the book Mare is captured and not many interesting things happen. However, as the book goes on, Mare grows from her time that she spent captured and is more determined than ever— which makes the book more interesting.

I would definitely recommend this whole book series to others because it has a very well written and well thought out story. If you like dramatic books with lots of action and plot twists, I recommend that you read the Red Queen series.

Avery, 16

Rating: 

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Crown of Midnight

by Sarah J. Maas

Crown of midnight

This is the next book in the Thrown of Glass series. In this book, Celaena Sardothien is still trying to discover the darkness that could destroy their world. After an unspeakable tragedy, Celaena has to decide where her loyalties lay and who she really trusts in finding and defeating this darkness.

I really enjoyed reading this book! After getting hooked on the first book, I quickly read this one, and it only deepened my interest in this series. The character development in this series is amazing and I love to see how the characters grow throughout the book.

Yes, I would recommend this book to others! This series is fantasy fiction and is very intriguing! If your debating on reading this series, do it!

Avery, 16

Rating: 

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Glass Sword

by Victoria Aveyard

Glass sword

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard is the sequel to her book Red Queen. Glass Sword tells the story of Mare Barrow, a 17 year old girl who lives in a society that is divided by blood color. However, Mare has the ability of a person with silver blood, but she is red blooded. After escaping her former life at a silver palace, Mare Barrow and her allies try to recruit people like her to join her side and fight against the silver king and her former fiancé, Maven.

Overall, I did really enjoy this book, despite some of the slow moving parts. As I read further into the book, I became more intrigued and interested in it. It felt like I was traveling along with Mare and her allies while she was on her journey when I reading this book.

I would recommend this book to people who liked Victoria Aveyard's first book Red Queen because this book continues the story of Mare Barrow. If you like action or fantasy books, you will most likely like Glass Sword. If you are looking for a new book series to get into, I recommend this one.

Avery, 16

Rating: 

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

by Sherman Alexie

The absolutely true diary of a part-time Indian

Arnold Spirit, Jr. wants more than his sad Native American reservation life. He wants to pursue a higher education, which lands him at an all-white school and pronounced a traitor to his people. He must now learn how to navigate his new life and learns to uncover a strength he never new he had.

I loved this book! It really reflects how racism is an ongoing issue in our society. The book was very fast-paced and had a captivating plot. The conflict and tragedies in the novel keep you captivated the whole way through.

I would totally, 100% recommend it!! The characters are so relatable and you're bound to have a connection to at least one of them. The only thing that might be concerning is the amount of profanity. There is frequent swearing throughout the novel and some sexual themes. There are also homophobic slurs occasionally tossed around, as well. I'd say the book is for more mature readers, around 13 and up. If you are sensitive to these kinds of topics or make you overly uncomfortable, I strongly suggest you do not read it. But, if you're a more mature person and can handle such themes, then by all means, read it!

Ofel, 13

Rating: 

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The Stars and the Blackness Between Them

by Junauda Petrus

The stars and the blackness between them

This YA novel is about a young Black girl becoming terminally ill and coming of age. I picked it up a few weeks after listening to M. NourbeSe Philip in an episode of the Commonplace poetry podcast and heard her voice and poetry. Hearing her speak about Trinidad, my interest was piqued. Subsequently, I checked in on bookramble on YouTube and saw her bomb Bad Bunny tag, wherein she briefly discussed this book and mentioned that Trinidad played a part in it.

I was immediately enchanted by Audre, the main character, because I assumed that Audre was a shout out to Audre Lorde, and the novel later confirmed this suspicion of mine! Audre loves listening to rock by people of color and most other genres too, with a special affinity for Whitney Houston.

Moreover, the tenderness, healing, touching prose, fleshed out characters, magical realism, name dropping (namedropping Haruki Murakami, for example, and also referencing Biggie and James Baldwin in the same sentence), and immersion in a safe world for people of color and of strong women alongside sweet men made me feel warmth and security with myself.

I admire that this novel took a lovely anti-colonial stance, not shying away from denouncing mass incarceration and the endless discussion of white heteropatriarchs in places of education.

I would recommend this book to sensitive people of color of all ages. It is not too long, and worthwhile to read, if only for an excuse to bop to samba jazz, reggae, Aretha, Fishbone and many other creators this book introduced me to as I read it, and as I have continued to do since finishing it.

Mya, 15

Rating: 

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Caramelo

by Sandra Cisneros

Caramelo

This book is a real example of the Chican@ experience and its roots, with quips for days. The protagonist, Celaya, records three generations of her family history from her own memory and even interviews, some chapters interspersed with quotes from latin songs, icons, and wisdom.

This book held my attention for all of its 400+ pages with its compelling characters, amusing stories, and witticisms. It made me feel seen.

I would recommend this book to everybody with the caveat that it can be circular, full of little details, and may marginalize non-Latin@ or even non-Chican@/Mexican readers. It is peppered with Spanish that is not always explained and assumes a familiarity with Mexican/American history.

Mya, 15

Rating: 

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Note: Only available in adult collection

Salt to the Sea

by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the sea : a novel

This is a historical fiction novel with a focus on World War II. It is also a romance told from multiple points of view.

I did not like it, but I tolerated it. I was not drawn to the characters, so I was not emotionally affected by their stories. The novel itself also began to lag about half way through, becoming impossibly boring, yet picking back up for the last hundred pages or so. World War II has such a rich history, I'm disappointed with what this author did with it.

I would not recommend it, but this book will probably appeal to younger readers or people who do not read often, or only read on the plane. People who would like to gain a bit of history would also benefit from reading this book.

Mya, 15

Rating: 

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1Q84

by Haruki Murakami

1Q84

This is a nostalgic fantasy romance that takes place in an 80s Japan with a touch of mystery that compellingly dives into cults, communes, and organized religion. The two love interests are Aomame, a self defense instructor and assassin, and Tengo, a cram school teacher of math and novelist.

Though this book is a brick, what kept me coming back was the exquisite and subtle weirdness in the prose that cater to his obsessions, like his obsession with ears, cats, jazz, namedropping, and the shapes of people's heads. Moreover, the hints of "Probably," and "For now," ending chapters, the sense of humor, it felt very Japanese in the similes it used, many of which were related to Japanese food. The characters were also fascinating, and their dialogue was not everyday, these remarkable characters discuss Proust and time.

Though I loved this book, there were two glaring faults; the last few pages detailed what was for me an unsatisfying ending to a superb novel, and there are greater stories that I wish Murakami had elaborated upon within the book. People who enjoy dwelling within various characters' minds like flies on the walls of their brains will appreciate this novel. I whole-heartedly recommend this book, it is well worth the time.

Mya, 15

Rating:  

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Note: Only available in adult collection

The Selection

by Kiera Cass

The Selection

A teenage girl is chosen to be in a competition to win the prince's heart. It is like the bachelor with dystopian influences and a great heroine.

The Selection was interesting at the beginning and there was a good amount of humor with mystery. The main character did become slightly annoying and it was a bit cliché. The book was good for a light, fun read.

I would recommend this book to others who want an interesting, simple romance and who also like dystopian novels. It is also a part of a series if you enjoy seeing more character development.

Megan, 15

Rating:  

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New World Rising

by Jennifer Wilson

In a world where the cities are dominated by competing tribes, a young woman must try and find her way and not be found by the cruel tribe members. She desires revenge for her parents deaths but soon finds that revenge is not the way to go and decides to help find the answer to making their run down city functional again.

This book was really good. It was quick paced and had plenty on action with just a little bit of romance. The characters felt real and believable. The whole book gave me Divergent vibes. The whole time you want to know more and really can connect with the main characters.

If you enjoyed the Divergent series and are looking for something similar I would recommend this book. It is an easier read but it is so worth it.

Rory, 17

Rating: 

smiley Suggest the library 

Mexican WhiteBoy

by Matt de la Peña

Mexican whiteboy

The setting is in San Diego more specifically National City. It's about a teenager that's Mexican and white and how he struggles to fit in with the Mexican community because he doesn't know Spanish. His struggles become even worse once he moves in with his uncle and aunt because their entire neighborhood speaks it.

This book was slow in the beginning but as I kept reading, it got better over time. This book is good because of the way it portrays how one feels when they don't fit in and I connected with the main character in that way.

I would recommend this book if you struggle with feeling like you don't fit in with a certain community. This book also revolves around baseball and that helps the main character fit in with more people.

Nadia, 16

Rating: 

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You Deserve Each Other

by Sarah Hogle

You Deserve Each Other is a cute romance book that has a forced proximity trope. The book is about a couple that are both so perfect but they don't like each other anymore. They also don't want to be engaged but if one of them calls off the engagement they have to pay for the wedding expenses so they make a deal to become the worst they can be to see who breaks first. While challenging each other, the main girl has a realization and doesn't know what to do about it.

I chose to read this book because I'm a fan of romance books and I heard many people rave about it. After reading it, I was happy I did it's a good book that's very funny. All the pranks they do to each other makes you laugh. The book explains how they both were trying to be someone they weren't in their relationship and that's what caused them problems.

I would recommend this book to anyone that likes the forced proximity trope in romance. I think if people struggle with trying to make themselves perfect for a significant other then this is a good read for you because it explains how that isn't the best in a relationship and it's better to be honest.

Nadia, 16

Rating:  

smiley Suggest the library purchase this book

Eleanor & Frank

by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park

Eleanor is the new girl with unruly red hair and wild outfits. Park is the boy at the back of the bus and has his nose always stuck in a comic. Slowly, they grow closer and exchange mixtapes with each other. As they talk, share interests, late night conversations, and comic book sharing, they soon fall in love.

It was such a heartfelt book!! The storytelling and imagery is just stunning. Only a few pages in, I immediately realized that I was invested in the characters and already wanted to draw them. To me, that's a sign of a captivating novel. I love how it's told in different perspectives, because you really get to know the characters intimately.

I'd recommend this book to older teens. There's lots of swearing and some pretty disturbing things written on Eleanor's books. Like, perverted stuff. It does cover some triggering topics, like ab*se. But, if you want a fast paced and romantic novel to read while sheltering in place, then you should definitely read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell!

Ofel, 13

Rating:   

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Before We Were Strangers

by Renee Carlino

Before We Were Strangers: A Love Story

This book is about two people; a guy and a girl fall in love with each other over their time at college and then life happens so they stop speaking, but one day many years later they reconnect. Since reconnecting they talk about how much time has passed and their versions of why they broke up. The book goes between past and present, it also goes between the girl Grace's point of view and the guy Matt's point of view.

I loved the book it was really heartbreaking for the characters once they realized why they broke up and why they viewed their break up in different ways. The realization of them falling out could have been prevented and it hurt them to realize they wasted so much time apart when they could have been together.

I would recommend this book to others that believe in second chances with romance. The book also talks a lot about different types of art such as music, and photography and how the characters use it in a way to show their love and affection.

Nadia, 16

Rating:  

smiley Suggest the Library purchase this book

Elsewhere

by Gabrielle Zevin

A young girl is adapting to her new life in Elsewhere. She meets new people and finds love and discovers what she values most in life.

Elsewhere is an interesting read. I liked the concept and the characters. It was an extremely easy read and probably intended for a younger teen audience. In the end though you feel good and happy for all the characters.

I would recommend this to younger teens (13 or 14 years old). I think the way the story is told and the characters would be ones that younger people could connect with.

If you like a little romance and in the end a feel good kind of book you may enjoy Elsewhere.

Rory, 17

Rating:  

smileySuggest the Library purchase this book

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

by Chris Grabenstein

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's library

An eccentric game-making billionaire opens a library in Alexandriaville, Ohio. 12 lucky kids from the local middle school are invited to the grand opening. They must use what's in the library to get out of the library.

This is my all-time favorite book. Not only does it keep you in suspense for a good part of it, but you can also try to solve the puzzles before the characters in the book do.

If you like books with suspense, puzzles, and more, this book is for you. If you don't, this book is only *most likely* for you.

Seth, 13

Rating:  

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Available in the juvenile fiction collection

All the Bright Places

by Jennifer Niven

All the bright places

Two teens bond over difficult situations and find happiness and learn how to overcome hard times. In the end they experience a deep friendship and love that most do not get to experience.

This book was so good. So moving... I actually cried. It makes you really think and appreciate the good little things in life. It's the kind of book that makes you cry but once you finish it you can't stop thinking about it. It's the kind of book you read more than once.

 

I would recommend this book to all of my friends. It's a story that many teenagers can relate to and really gets you emotional and thinking. It deserves a place on everybody's bookshelves.

Rory, 17

Rating:  

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Lumberjanes

by Noelle Stevenson

Lumberjanes. 1, Beware the kitten holy

Welcome to Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Hardcore Lady Types! Follow the adventures of five girls: Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley as they go on countless fantastical excursions and unlock secrets about their camp as they explore. They're all determined to have an awesome summer, and they won't let supernatural occurrences get in their way!

AMAZING SERIES. I've read almost all the books this library has to offer, and I crave more! It's the most action-packed, captivating, and one of the most comedic graphic novel series I've ever read! There's, like, nothing to hate about this series. Seriously, it's amazing.

I would recommend this to young teens, older teens, anybody! There's no harsh language, but there's a bit of romance, but nothing over the top. It's also jam-packed with LGBTQ themes, featuring a transgender girl as one of the main characters, and a nonbinary side (maybe a side character? I'm not really sure) character. There is a lesbian relationship between two of the main characters, so if you're not supportive of the LGBTQ community for some reason, then I don't recommend this series.

Ofel, 13

Rating:  

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The Tattooist of Auschwitz

by Heather Morris

The tattooist of Auschwitz : a novel

This book centered around the life of a Jewish male who had been brought to the concentration camps. After months (or a year) he laid his eyes on what he described as a beautiful woman. Although males weren't allowed to interact with women he didn't let the love he had developed for her go to waste. Eventually they got together and made it out of the camp.

Personally, I fell in love with this book. I could not stop reading it. Morris vividly described everything and made it feel as if I were there. This book brought me to tears and has to go down as one of the most emotional books I've read.

The book is a bit intense, if you're okay with that then it should be perfect. I picked this book up on a whim and it seems to have been one of the best decisions I've made. Although it isn't considered YA I definitely recommend this book.

Edith, 13

Rating:  

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Note: Only available in adult collection

Kill the Boy Band

by Goldy Moldavsky

Kill the boy band

A story about four friends who hatch a plan to meet their favorite boyband, The Ruperts. When things go wrong and their plans being to spiral out of control, secrets are revealed and true natures come to light.

I liked this book a lot, because it shows you that a lot of times, the celebrities that we love aren't who we think they are. It is interesting to see the story from the perspective of a diehard fan as her life begins to get out of hand and she realizes who her idols really are.

I would recommend this book, because it is very well written and keeps the readers interested. I would especially recommend it to people who like thrilling books and are interested in pop culture.

Carina, 15

Rating:  

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