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Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson

UltravioletUltraviolet

by R.J. Anderson

What would you do if you woke up in a psychiatric ward, with no memory of how you got there?  That is what happens to Allison at the beginning of Ultraviolet.  We meet Allison when she awakes, restrained in a bed in a psych ward.   As she remembers  more and more about what happened to her, the mystery is revealed as to the strange and unexplainable event that occurred that landed her in that bed.  Allison witnessed her classmate Tori’s death.  However, this was a death that was like no other because Tori literally unravelled before Allison’s eyes.  Allison does not know if what she saw was real, she thinks it is, but is too scared to tell anyone.  Even worse, the police suspect that Allison may be guilty of Tori’s murder since she was the last one to see her alive.

Ultraviolet is an exciting read! It is one part mystery and one part science fiction, and I guarantee you will never guess the truth of what Allison saw.  This novel definitely kept me guess up until the end of the book.  One cool thing about this novel is that you never really know if Allison can be trusted, but the story is from her point of view so you wonder if you are getting the true story.  I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone who likes a good mystery, and also to those who like sci-fi, action and adventure reads.  Click here to find Ultraviolet in the Library!

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on May 16, 2013 Categories: Action/Adventure, Fiction, Science Fiction, Staff Pics

The Blessed by Tonya Hurley

OK, I admit it: I picked this book up purely because of its cover.  The girl is so creepy and there is something not quite right about her–I think it is the eyes… Anyways, I am glad that I judged a book by its cover, because The Blessed turned out to be a really good read!

This novel starts out as we are introduced to three different teenage girls.  Each of these girls finds themselves in the same emergency room on the same night.  Agnes is the kind of girl who tries to do everything right, but ends up feeling miserable.  She tries to kill herself after her most recent breakup with a boy who she was head over heels in love with.  Cecilia is a very talented musician, but she is heading down the wrong path.  After a gig, she parties a little too hard and is rushed to the ER when she almost drowns in a puddle.  Then there’s Lucy.  She is a famous socialite who has everything anyone could want.  Unfortunately, that comes with a price, as she is surrounded by people who are a bad influence.  She is brought into the ER because of an accidental overdose.  After each of these girls are treated and released from the ER, they are visited by an enigmatic stranger.  The young man says his name is Sebastian and he gives each girl a bracelet.  What follows is a strange story that connects the three girls’ fates together as they mirror the saints they are named for.  Sebastian holds the key, however, to the truth about why these girls’ lives mirror the saints’ lives.

The Blessed is good pick for anyone who likes realistic fiction, with a mysterious air about it.  While reading this novel I was never really sure if there was something supernatural going on or not.  Plus, all three of the main characters (Agnes, Cecilia, and Lucy) were very interesting and you really wanted to get to the bottom of what was happening to them.  The Blessed is also pretty suspenseful.  I would definitely call it a page turner and it will leave you guessing all the way to the last page.  Click here to find The Blessed in the Library!

 

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on April 11, 2013 Categories: Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Staff Pics, Supernatural/Paranormal

March Madness is upon us

March is the ultimate month to be a basketball fan!  If you can break yourself away from NCAA tournament, then check out some of these basketball themed books (click on the cover to find it in the Library!):

The Final Four

by Paul Volponi

YA VOLPONI, P.

Alternating chapters center on four different players on the two teams that meet in a semi-final game of the NCAA Final Four Tournament.

  Last Shot

by John Feinstein

YA MY FEINSTEIN, J.

Two eighth grade students win the opportunity to cover the NCAA Final Four first hand as journalists, but while reporting live at the tournament they uncover a scandal that involves blackmail.

  Game

by Walter Dean Myers

YA MYERS, W.

Drew is a senior living in Harlem and has dreams of making it in the NBA, but he has to learn to control his anger issues first.

  Boy21

by Matthew Quick

YA QUICK, M.

Two basketball teammates, one black and one white, form a connection through tutoring and find that they have a lot more in common than they had first thought.

  The Pick-Up Game: a Full Day of Full Court

YA SS PICK-UP

This collection of short stories focuses on different perspectives of one pick up game played on a hot day in July in New York City.

  Girl Got Game

by Shizuru Seino

YA GRAPH SEINO, S. V.1

This manga series centers on Kyo, whose father is determined to live out his NBA dreams through his daughter.  Her father signs her up for the boy’s basketball team and Kyo masquerades as a boy on the team to make her father happy.

  Basketball Slave

by Mark Johnson

YA 796.323 JOHNSON, A.

Andy Johnson’s son, Mark Johnson, tells his father’s story of how Andy became one of the original Harlem Globetrotters.

  In the Paint: Tattoos of the NBA and the Stories Behind Them

by Andrew Gottlieb

YA 796.323 GOTTLIEB, A.

This is a collection of high res photos of some of the more unique NBA tattoos and the first hand stories by the players about why they got them.

 

  When March Went Mad

by Seth Davis

796.3236 DAVIS, S.

Larry Bird and Magic Johnson are famous for one of the most well known basketball games in history: the 1979 NCAA Championship game between the Michigan State Spartans and the Indiana State Sycamores.  Davis retells the events that led up to the famous game.

  Longshot

by Lance Allred

796.323 ALLRED, L.

Lance Allred is the NBA’s first deaf player.  In this memoir he tells his story of growing up in a fundamentalist Mormon household, realizing his dream of being in the NBA, and how hard it was to get there.

  The Ultimate Book of March Madness

by Tom Hager

796.3236 HAGER, T.

This book includes a history of every NCAA tournament from 1930 to present and provides an analysis of the top 100 games played in the tournament.

 

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on March 7, 2013 Categories: Action/Adventure, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Guys Reads, Mystery, Nonfiction, Realistic Fiction, Staff Pics

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

Embrace

by Jessica Shirvington

Violet is just like every other girl about to turn seventeen years old.  At least she thought she was.  As her birthday approaches, Violet starts having some pretty disturbing dreams.  Then her dad gives her a gift that was promised to her on her seventeenth birthday by her mother that has passed away.  This gift is the start of Violet uncovering her true nature and why her mother died.  Violet is a Grigori: a protector of humanity who is half human and half angel.  However, Violet can give up her Grigori nature and go on being a normal teen.  She has to choose whether or not she wants to embrace her powers.  If she embraces her Grigori power, she becomes a warrior in an epic battle between the protectors of humanity (the Grigori) and the angels who have been exiled from heaven and who want to overtake the human race (the Exiles).  Making her choice a difficult one is her good friend, crush, and training partner Lincoln.  Violet discovers that he is also a Grigori and would be her Grigori partner if she chooses to embrace.  What will Violet choose?  And does she really even have a choice?

Embrace is a fast past and exciting read for anyone who likes epic supernatural books.  And don’t be turned off by the whole angel story line–the angels in Embrace range to truly evil to truly kick-butt.  What I really liked about this book, though, was the character of Violet.  It is hard to believe that a character who has to choose between being normal and being a powerful angel of protection would be easy to relate to, but Violet is!  The supporting characters are all pretty interesting too.  As Violet learns more and more about the Grigori world, she meets a whole range of Grigori, some who have been living for hundreds of years.  Also, to add another level of interesting to this book–it was originally published in Australia and while it doesn’t necessarily take place in a specific area of Australia, there is that feel of the Australian way of life throughout the novel.

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on January 10, 2013 Categories: Action/Adventure, Fiction, Staff Pics, Supernatural/Paranormal

Teeny-tiny Mochimochi by Anna Hrachovec

Teeny-tiny Mochimochi 

by Anna Hrachovec

If you know how to knit and love tiny things, then you should checkout the book Teeny-tiny Mochimohci!  You’ll find over thirty different tiny creations to make.  There’s tiny animals, tiny edibles, tiny humanoids, and more.  There are a ton of photos of these cute creations, as well as step by step instructions on how to create most of them.  Even if you are still learning to knit or if you don’t know how to knit at all, these creations are so cute and fun to look at!  For example, here’s the tiny cupcake:

And the tiny gnomes:

You can also check out the Mochimochi Land website: http://mochimochiland.com/

There’s a blog that you can follow, some additional how to instructions for all things knitting and stitching, and a gallery that features some of Anna Hrachovec’s creations as well as creations submitted by fans of Mochimochi.  Right now the results of the Mochimochi Land photo contest have been posted on the blog.  Here’s the winner:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on December 20, 2012 Categories: Crafts, Nonfiction, Staff Pics

Teen Boat by Dave Roman and John Green

Teen Boat: the angst of being a teen–the thrill of being a boat!

by Dave Roman and John Green

Teen Boat is a collection of comics that follows a boy named Teen Boat, who is seemingly your average teen guy, but who has the unique ability to transform into a boat.  As you can imagine, this comic collection is filled with hilarious adventures where Teen Boat gets into trouble because of his unique ability.  One of the funniest escapades chronicles Teen Boat trying to get his driver’s license.  Teen Boat is not comfortable in cars (because, duh, he’s a boat), so he puts off getting his license.  However, he wants to impress a girl at school who is really into cars, so he decides to try and get his license.  He has to wear floaties when he starts to learn how to drive, though, because he is so scared.  Then, when he takes the test, he spills his instructors coffee.  The coffee spills into Teen Boat’s ear, which holds his nerve center for turning into the boat.  Since liquid has hit his Teen Boat nerve, he turns into a boat inside the car!  Teen Boat is now a boat with a car underneath him.  He looses control and crashes into a semi carrying a tanker of gas.  Is this the end of Teen Boat!?  You’ll have to pick up this laugh out loud comic to find out.

Writer, Dave Roman, and cartoonist, John Green, have created a very interesting and easy to read collection of comics that, I have to admit, I have not seen or heard anything like this before.  The style of the art of Teen Boat reminds me of Archie comics.  It is a traditional comic, thankfully in color, but Green adds to Roman’s sidesplitting, humorous writing by adding his own funny imagery.  Check out some of the art style of Teen Boat below.  Included at the end of this book is the description of the creation process between Roman and Green.  They both worked very closely on Teen Boat, and there was a lot of back and forth between the author and the cartoonist.  You can really tell how much they were both in sync when creating this comic.  Teen Boat is definitely a great read for those who like out there comics that are filled with humor and ridiculousness.  Click here to find Teen Boat in the Library!

 

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on November 20, 2012 Categories: Action/Adventure, Fiction, Funny, Graphic Novel, Staff Pics

Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow

Pirate Cinema

by Cory Doctorow

Set in a near future dystopian Britain, Pirate Cinema centers on Trent McCauley.  Trent is an average teenage guy, with an obsession for creating movies.  Not the regular “point the camera and action!” movies, though.  Trent takes footage from old movies (his favorite are old films starring the popular actor, Scot Colford) and splices them together to create a new movie.  What Trent does is technically illegal under copyright law.  But Trent just can’t stop making his movies, and he knows what he creates are really good.  Trent just assumes that since everyone illegally downloads movies, music, and whatever else, as long as he is careful he will be fine.  However, Trent is not careful and he gets caught.  As punishment, his entire family cannot access the Internet for an entire year.  This means his sister can’t do her homework and continue to be an A student, his mom can’t get her medical prescriptions, and worst of all his dad cannot work.  Trent is ashamed and feels so guilty that he runs away from home to the streets of London.

One his first day on the streets he meets Jem, a street kid that helps him survive.  Jem and Trent actually do pretty well for themselves.  They find food for free from the dumpsters of grocery stores and restaurants and they find an abandoned pub that they refurbish and are able to live in (illegally).  They are so comfortable, in fact, that Trent is able to start making his movies again and soon he finds himself being recognized in the underground  pirating culture of London.  Trent’s underground fame, however, gets him involved with a political movement that wants to legalize downloading and copying licensed works for creative use.  Is Trent in over his head, or is he just the right person to take this movement all the way to Parliament?

The main focus of this Pirate Cinema is technology, piracy, fair use, and the right to creative expression.  However, this  novel is packed with a  ton of interesting issues.  There’s the drama of Trent living on the streets and learning how to survive, the family issues that Trent has to deal with, and there is even a love interest for Trent.  You should definitely pick this book up if you are interested in technology, especially when it comes to fair use and creative expression.

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on November 16, 2012 Categories: Dystopian, Fiction, Guys Reads, Staff Pics

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Monument 14

by Emmy Laybourne

Monument 14 is a book that will have you hooked from page one.  This novel begins as Dean and his younger brother Alex are getting ready for school.  Both begin their day by catching their separate school buses.  This average morning is torn apart, though, with a hail storm.  They begin as tiny pellets but quickly become football sized hail that come crashing down, tearing the bus up.  Both Dean and Alex’s bus drivers attempt to find shelter in the local Greenway store.  Alex’s bus crashes right through the front doors, while Dean’s bus just plain crashes.  Fourteen kids and one of the bus drivers survive.  They barracade themselves in the Greenway for shelter.  When the bus driver leaves to find help, the six teens and eight children are left to take care of themselves.  At first they think it will be temporary, however, they soon learn  that a super-volcano has set off a chain of natural disasters and they may be stuck in the Greenway for awhile.  The up side: they have everything they could ever want, including a pizzeria.  The down side: they don’t know that is happening on the outside or even if their families are still alive.  As the days pass, more and more things go wrong, and they have to decide: is it better to stay safe in the Greenway as long as possible and wait to get rescued, or do they risk leaving to find their families not knowing what is on the outside?

This novel is full of action, and it definitely packs a punch.  There is a ton of thrilling suspense, and it really makes you question what you would do if you were in the position of these teens and kids.  Monument 14 is also really hard to predict.  Sometimes when you read a book you see what is coming, but not in Monument 14!  I was surprised with every turn of the page, and I definitely was left guessing all the way until the last pages.  Be warned, though!  This ending is a huge cliffhanger!  But there will be a sequel.  Definitely pick this book up if you like action or survival stories, and if you like to read post-apocalyptic books.

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on November 8, 2012 Categories: Action/Adventure, Fiction, Staff Pics

The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison

The Butterfly Clues

by Kate Ellison

Since Lo’s brother disappeared, she cannot stop the counting.  Multiples of 3 are the safe numbers that mean everything is going to be OK.  Lo has also taken to wandering the streets of Neverland, the gritty area of Cleveland that is just a bus ride away from her family’s home in the posh suburb of Lakewood.  While wandering she also takes things.  Things that will make everything OK.  While stealing an angel statue from the front step of a worn down house, Lo hears a gunshot.  When Lo later learns that the gunshot was one that killed a young stripper named Sapphire, Lo must find out why the girl was murdered.  Lo delves deep into Neverland to unravel the mystery, with only her counting to protect her.  It is there that she meets Flint, a runaway, who sees something in Lo that no one else does.  Together they try to discover who murdered Sapphire.  However, in Neverland you cannot trust anyone.  

The Butterfly Clues is an intricately woven mystery that will keep you guessing all the way up to the last chapter.  Lo is a hard character to read.  She lives in fear everyday and her compulsive behaviors prevent her from being a normal girl.  However, as you get to know Lo better you see how strong she really is.  The relationship that develops between Lo and Flint is pretty interesting too, since you never really know what Flint’s role was in Saphhire’s life.  There’s more than one mystery to this story, so definitely pick this up if you like to read an excellent mystery novel.

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on October 23, 2012 Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Realistic Fiction, Staff Pics

The Plain Janes by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg

The Plain Janes

by Cecil Castellucci and Jim Rugg

Jane was in the heart of Metro City when there was a terrorist attack.  Lucky to survive, Jane’s parents move to the suburbs for a more “safe” place to live.  In a new town and a new high school, Jane is not only alone, she is also bored by suburban life.  So, on her first day of school, Jane is surprised to find three other Janes who are all friends and eat lunch together.  Jane asks to join them and instantly finds friendship.  Each of the Janes has their own unique personalities and together they all just fit.  To fight the boredom of suburban life Jane rallies the other Janes to form P.L.A.I.N., or People Loving Art in Neighborhoods.  They create art installations all over their suburban town to challenge people’s everyday notions of what art can be.  Some residents like the art, however, there are those who are outraged and frightened of it and start calling the installations “art attacks”.   What does this mean for the Janes?  Do they continue their installations, risking arrest?  Or worse?

The Plain Janes is a great graphic novel for anyone who is interested in art and how it can challenge our everyday beliefs or thoughts.  It is also a good read for anyone who has felt like an outcast.  It really shows how you can take the things that make you unique, and instead of being negative about them, you embrace them and try and challenge people with your ideas.

Also, the art in The Plain Janes really matches the plot of the story.  The black and white drawings add to the drama of the of the terrorist attack, Jane’s first day of school, and the sneaking around when creating the art installations.  However, I do wish the art installations could have been in color!  The characters are portrayed very realistically, which helps to add the idea that this could be a true story. Check out a sample of the art below:

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on October 11, 2012 Categories: Art, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Realistic Fiction, Staff Pics