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Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy

by Robin LaFevers

Ismae Rienne is born with a horrible scar running down her body, that marks her as the daughter of Death. She is feared and ridiculed by the local villagers and abused by her father. When her cruel father sells her to an even crueler husband, Ismae must escape or be killed.  She finds refuge at the convent of St. Mortain, where she is trained to be an assassin. The sisters of St. Mortain have long trained to assist the god of death in his pursuits. During her convent training, Ismae finds that she has many special gifts that help her excel as a handmaiden of death. The abbess assigns Ismae to the court of the Duchess of Brittany to protect the young Duchess and discover the traitors within the court. Of course, this means killing anyone with the the mark of Mortain. Trapped within the social confines of court life, Ismae must determine who she can trust and who she cannot. The smallest mistake, will lead to death. To make matters worse, Ismae has fallen for Duval, a man who may be marked by Mortain.

Grave Mercy is set in 15th Century France where danger, mystery, and death lurk around every corner. There is plenty of court intrigue, along with several memorable characters. The relationship between Ismae and Duval is intense and filled with many difficult choices for both characters. This is a great read for anyone who likes either historical fiction, fantasy, or mystery mixed with a good romance.

Watch and enjoy the book trailer.

By Barbara, Teen Outreach Librarian on July 31, 2012 Categories: Book Trailer, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance, Staff Pics

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

Little Brother

by Cory Doctorow

Marcus is an expert with a computer, and he has to be.  In his school computers rule.  They are not only for doing schoolwork, but technology is being used to keep track of and spy on the students.  In Marcus’ near-future world, technology is slightly more advanced than it is today.  In order to have some sort of  freedom and control while being online, Marcus has figured out how to maintain his privacy online while staying under the radar, mostly through hacking. 

This all changes one afternoon when Marcus and his friends skip class to join in a scavenger hunt as part of one of their favorite online games.  San Francisco comes under attack from terrorists and Marcus and his friends finds themselves close to the attack.  So close, in fact, the he and his friends are taken in by the Department of Homeland Security as possible threats.  Even though they had nothing to do with the attacks on San Francisco, Marcus and his friends are interrogated for days in an unknown prison about their involvement.  When they are finally set free, their lives are changed forever.  Marcus is scarred by the interrogation and to make matters worse his best friend Darryl was never released.

Marcus takes to the net determined to fight against all the new restrictions, curfews, and increased DHS presence in San Francisco as a result of the terrorist attacks.   Marcus feels that his story must be told and that people must fight back against Big Brother.  However, by fighting back, he risks everything… even his life. 

Little Brother is a great book for any reader.  There is a lot of action in this book and a good mystery.  Little Brother also makes you question if this could really be our future.  It is really believable that this world could one day be ours, and if it is, we all need to be better informed about how to maintain our privacy online.  This book will keep you on the edge of your seat and also give you a lot to think about.

Click here to find Little Brother in the Library!

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on July 30, 2012 Categories: Dystopian, Fiction, Guys Reads, Mystery, Science Fiction, Staff Pics

Fated by Alyson Noël


by Alyson Noël

Fated is the first book in Noël’s new Soul Seekers series.  If you are a fan of Alyson Noël’s Immortals series, then you should definitely pick up her new book Fated.  It is similar to the Immortals series because it has some supernatural elements to it, it has a mystery, and it has a really interesting main character with a unique ability.  If you like supernatural books, then this is definitely a good one to pick up, because this novel has a heavy basis in Native American mythology.  Daire, like Ever, has supernatural powers that allow her to be in the living world and also in the world of the dead–Daire is a soul seeker.  Her powers as a soul seeker give her visions and the ability to help souls in the living world and the after world.  She also has a spirit animal that guides her in her quests and gives her soul the ability to travel to the different worlds and in different forms.

Daire first experiences her abilities as a soul seeker through devastating visions that have her sent to a mental institution.  However, her grandmother reaches out to her and moves her to a small town in New Mexico so she can teach Daire to hone her new powers.  Daire comes from a long line of soul seekers on her father’s side.  However, in this small town called Enchantment, there exists another family of soul seekers.  This other family has set out to use their powers for evil.  In this family exists a set of twins, one that Daire knows to be evil and one that she feels an instant connection to.  As her powers as a soul seeker grow stronger, Daire must stop one brother from carrying out an evil act and figure out her connection to the other brother–a connection that she cannot even begin to understand.

Click here to find Fated in the Library today!

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on July 20, 2012 Categories: Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery, Staff Pics, Supernatural/Paranormal

Deadly Pink by Vivian Vande Velde

Deadly Pink

by Vivian Vande Velde

Fourteen year old Grace has been asked to rescue her sister, but she wonders if she is up to the task. Grace is the second sister, the average sister who depends on Emily for help. Her older sister is the special one. She is in college, mega smart, super popular, and better looking than Grace. While Grace is an avid gamer, Emily works as an intern for the Rasmussem Corporation, the creators of the world’s best virtual reality games. These games are not the average virtual reality game, but total immersion games where the player becomes part of the gaming world. Once in the game, players can taste, smell, feel, and move just like the real world. While their bodies remain lying on a couch, hooked to a computer, and safe. Emily has hidden herself in one of the games she helped create and altered the codes so she cannot be pulled out. The problem is, there is a time limit to how long gamers can stay in virtual form before dangerously injuring their real bodies. Grace must enter the game, find her sister, and rescue her before time runs out and her sister faces not just a virtual death. 

Reading this book feels like playing a game. Grace has to use her gaming knowledge (and sarcastic wit) to win coins, battle enemies, and save her sister. All this makes for a fast-paced and funny journey, with a little danger thrown in. Along the way, Grace learns that all is not as it seems and that nobody is as perfect as they appear. If you like gaming or have a sister, check this book out.

Other books by Vivian Vande Velde that include the Rasmussem Corporation:

By Barbara, Teen Outreach Librarian on July 12, 2012 Categories: Fiction, Science Fiction, Staff Pics

Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks

Friends With Boys

by Faith Erin Hicks

If you like quirky graphic novels with a touch of supernatural, then you’ll love Friends With Boys.  Not only is the artwork of Friends With Boys really well done, the story is also really interesting and quietly captivating.  It centers on Maggie who is about to enter high school after being home-schooled by her mother.  She is the youngest in her family with three older brothers, and their mother has just left.  Maggie has always relied on her brothers, to be her friends and to do stuff with. However, now that she is in high school, her brothers cannot be there for her, and Maggie has to make new friends to survive.  Maggie is doing her best in trying to deal with her mom leaving, even with the huge adjustment of attending a public high school, and the ghost that has followed her throughout her life is not helping things… 

According to her website, Faith Erin Hicks says that she wrote this graphic novel with a little basis in her own life experiences.  I always find it cool when an author uses their own experiences to influence their work.  Read more about what real life experiences Faith Erin Hicks used in this graphic novel by clicking here.  This book is not all drama, though, it is also hilarious!  Especially the relationship between Maggie’s twin brothers Lloyd and Zander.   Check out some of the artwork from Friends With Boys below:

It is simple black and white drawings, but I really like the style.  The characters are realistic portrayals, and I love the styling of all the characters–I feel like I can picture what these characters would look like in real life and I also love that each character has a distinct style that stays consistent through the whole book.  Finally, I really love the drama that Faith Erin Hicks can create with simple black and white drawings, check out this example (one of my favorites):











Click here to find Friends With Boys at the Library!

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on July 11, 2012 Categories: Fiction, Graphic Novel, High School, Staff Pics

Life as it Comes by Anne-Laure Bondoux

Life as it Comes

by Anne-Laure Bondoux

Life as it Comes is the French pick for our 2012 Book Crossing program with our Sister City Sèvres, France.  It is a great read to pick up this summer, especially because it centers on the first summer that two sisters spend together after the death of their parents due to a car accident. 

Mado is fifteen and Patty is twenty.  You would think the opposite was true, though, because Mado is the responsible one and Patty is the reckless one.  Mado makes the dinners, makes sure that the bills are paid, and is always doing homework so that she gets good grades.  As long as Mado does well in school and makes it look like everything is OK, then the social workers will let Patty keep custody of Mado.  Patty, however, is everything but OK.  She leaves Mado alone all the time, and it is when Patty gets home from one of these weekends away that she reveals to Mado that she is pregnant. 

Patty’s pregnancy could ruin everything, especially because it could mean that she would no longer be able to care for Mado.  The sisters don’t know what to do and are afraid of their social workers finding out.  So, they continue on as if nothing’s wrong and go ahead with their planned summer vacation at their family home in Southern France.  For awhile, their summer is perfect.  They even meet two brothers who are vacationing from Amsterdam and have a bit of summer romance.  However, as the days grow shorter and autumn approaches, Mado and Patty have to come to terms with Patty’s pregnancy and try to do what’s best for themselves and for the new baby.

As I said, Life as it Comes is the perfect summer read if you want a little bit of drama, a little bit of romance, and a really great story about what it means to be a family after a tragedy.  Click here to find Life as it Comes in the Library today and be sure stop in at the Library to learn more about our Book Crossing program.

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on July 9, 2012 Categories: Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Staff Pics

Young Sherlock Holmes, Starring Nicholas Rowe

Young Sherlock Holmes

Starring Nicholas Rowe, written by Chris Columbus, and Directed by Barry Levinson 

Can’t get enough Sherlock? Try this classic movie, it will keep you on the edge of your seat and guessing whodunit. The movie takes a different spin, on a classic tale, by having Sherlock Holmes meet Dr. Watson at London’s prestigious boarding school, Bromton Academy. The light-hearted mystery, is set in the Victorian era, with plenty of fog and some gothic horror. The friends must navigate the tough social setting of boarding school, while trying to find out why seemingly ordinary men are acting crazy. A local gentleman throws himself out of a window and Holmes’ mentor, Professor Waxflatter, stabs himself while fighting some invisible force. Holmes suspects the deaths are connnected and foul play is involved.  He alerts Scotland Yard, but they rebuff his claims as being ridiculous.  This means that Holmes, Watson, and Waxflatter’s niece, Elizabeth, must solve the mystery of these deaths. The only clues they have are a mysterious, hooded figure with a blowpipe, a jingling noise every time the figure appears, and Waxflatter’s dying word,  “Eh-tar”. Their enemies are on to them and the school is trying to expel them, but Holmes, Watson, and Elizabeth push forward with an investigation that pits them directly against their enemies and puts them in mortal danger.

This is a fun, fast-paced movie with a great mystery and intense ending. Because the movie is set in the Victorian era, the film’s age is not a distraction to the plot line. The special effects are not as sophisticated as movies made in 2012, but they are still pretty cool. In fact, Young Sherlock Holmes had the first CGI (computer generated) character in any movie – a stainless steel knight. Fans of the character, Sherlock Holmes, will be interested in learning the origins of his pipe, his cape, his cap and and his archenemy, Professor Moriarty. Young Sherlock Holmes has mystery, adventure, and a moving love story. This is a sure hit for some indoor summer fun.


By Barbara, Teen Outreach Librarian on July 5, 2012 Categories: Movies, Mystery, Staff Pics

There is no Long Distance Now by Naomi Shihab Nye

There is no Long Distance Now

By Naomi Shihab Nye

 This is a book of 40 short stories set in the current moment and told by teen narrators from around the world. The stories are all less than 1,000 words and give a flash of insight into the characters’ lives. Each protagonist is different, many have quirky personalities, and all are memorable. The book includes topics like loss, friendship, enemies, accepting responsibility, and siblings. The one factor that each story shares, is their character’s desire to connect with the world. These connections are made mainly through relationships, but sometimes through actions. 

This book is a great summer read for those who want a fast read, with meaning. The stories are really short on words, but leave you thinking about the characters and their lives. You wonder how Amel deals with being made fun of because of her heritage, how Jack comes to terms with his body image, and if Lily will forgive Brianna for judging her when they first meet. With titles that include, We Like you for Your Flaws, Killer Chili,and Will You Hold My Bullet, Please?, you can read one story or the whole book.

By Barbara, Teen Outreach Librarian on June 28, 2012 Categories: Issues, Nonfiction, Staff Pics

Dearly Departed by Lia Habel

Dearly Departed

by Lia Habel

If you are a fan of steampunk and zombies then Dearly Departed is the book for you!  Set in a future South America in 2195, this world has been rebuilt after a series of catastrophes.  There are two different classes in this new society.  One is the high society that has been rebuilt heavily influenced by the Victorian era in England and also has access to all the latest technology. The lower class has been nicknamed the Punks, and are viewed as hostile and violent people who want to take down the upper class. 

Dearly Departed centers on Nora, part of the upper class and who has just lost her father who was a famed scientist.  Nora is in danger but she doesn’t know it, and so she is kidnapped and taken to a military base for her own protection.  Bram, her captor, is not a normal soldier.   He is infected with the Lazarus virus, a new virus that turns the average person into a zombie.  Bram and his fellow soldiers, however, react differently to the Lazarus virus.  They still turn into zombies, but they also keep their human nature.  The Lazarus virus is sweeping the nation and Nora’s father held the key to its containment. 

This novel is action packed, and the world building in Dearly Departed is really well done.  Also, this novel is narrated by different characters in alternating chapters.  So, you get to read from the point of view of Nora, Bram, Pamela (Nora’s best friend), Victor Dearly (Nora’s father who may not be dead after all), and Wolfe (the commander of Bram’s unit).  This is a cool way to read a book.  Each character’s story lines come together, and it is interesting to read from the different points of view.  Dearly Departed is long read, at 470 pages, but if you like action-packed adventures with zombies and steampunk themes, then this is the book for you!  Click here to find Dearly Departed in the Library!

By Colleen, Teen Services Librarian on June 25, 2012 Categories: Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, Staff Pics, Supernatural/Paranormal

Handmade Chic by Laura Bennett

Handmade Chic

by Laura Bennett

Project Runway star, Laura Bennett, shares tips and techniques on how to make 35 high-fashion projects. The beginning of the book explains a variety of techniques from finishing leather to dyeing feathers.  Bennett gives the reader helpful information on where to buy different materials, using faux fur, and even sewing terminology. The projects are divided into four sections, Small Luxuries, Fashionably Organized, Stylish Carryalls, and Evening Extravagances. Each project comes with great instructions, a lot of pictures and even patterns. Plus, helpful tips to encourage you along the way.

This is a great book for anyone interested in creating designer quality belts, bags, bracelets, and even a beaded dress.  The author stresses the point that “handmade” does not have to look “homemade” and her quality projects show this.  Another benefit of the book is that there are different project levels.  You can start with a simple key ring tassle and work your way up to a feathered evening clutch. Whatever your skill level, you can find fun, fashion projects to work on this summer, that will look great. 

If you like fashion and creating your own clothes or accessories, just click one of the book covers below to find it in our catalog.


By Barbara, Teen Outreach Librarian on June 20, 2012 Categories: Crafts, Nonfiction, Staff Pics