Whats New Category: High School

Seth Baumgartner’s Love Manifesto by Eric Luper

Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto book coverSeth Baumgartner’s summer is off to a great start.  First his girlfriend dumps him at Applebee’s and then as he’s leaving the restaurant feeling dejected he sees his dad eating lunch with a woman who’s definitely not his radio talk show host  mom. To top it all, off he arrives at work late and gets fired- his forth firing in a year.  So, maybe his summer isn’t off to best start after all.

Luckily, his best friend Dimitri  is there to hook Seth up with a new summer job at the local country club, where Dimitri works too.  But, Dimitri’s not the only one in his family who works there.  His younger sister Audrey, who turned long and lean sophmore year, does too.  Audrey recommends that Seth make a list of all the reasons he wants to get back with his ex, Veronica, which inspires him to start a anonymous podcast, the Love Manifesto.   Thinking there’s no way his friends or classmates will ever find his podcast, Seth uses it to not only to pine over Veronica but to ponder  love , vent about his dad’s escapades, and all the other adventures he encounters over the summer. Except, the podcast doesn’t  stay undiscovered.   Suddenly Seth is in way over his head.  Can he set things right with not just Veronica but Dimitri and all the other people he managed to anger  with his podcast ? And of course he still is trying to get to the bottom of what’s going on with his dad and that other woman.  So tune in and see if Seth’s summer ends with disaster like it began or if he’s able to clean up the messes he managed to get himself into.

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff

The Replacement book coverGentry appears to be a nice, small town in the United States filled with loving families, friends, and community.  Not quite, though.  Gentry has something horrible dwelling underneath it, full of mayhem and misery. 

Two feuding sisters lurk just beneath the nicely cut lawns.  One sister, who wants nothing more than to be loved, rules the House of Mayhem.  The other sister, who thrives on cruelty, torture, and blood, rules over House of Misery. The sisters rule a mash up of people, if you can even call them that, which live in between dead and undead–some with mouths full of maggots and others with horrible scars.  

An unspoken agreement between Gentry and these two houses exists: every seven years one child of Gentry is taken and replaced with a child of the House of Misery.  The Gentry child is sacrificed to please the House of Misery.  If all goes as planned then both Gentry and the House of Misery live happy and content.  These “replacement” children usually don’t live long in Gentry. The families they’re stuck with just can’t bring themselves to love the replacement children. Except for one: Mackie. Mackie  is a replacement that has lived longer than almost any other, but now he finds himself in a weakening state.  He’s dying, and after his sister strikes a deal with the House of Mayhem to get Mackie a cure for what ails him, Mackie must reunite with his real family in the depths of the House of Mayhem.  As Mackie gets more and more involved with the House of Mayhem he begins to uncover secrets about his family, the town of Gentry, and how the houses of Mayhem and Misery really began.  This very twisted and disturbing tale is reminiscent of a good horror movie and will keep you on edge as Mackie digs deeper and deeper in the creepiness of Gentry, Misery, and Mayhem.

Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

Monstrumologist book coverIf you’re not a big fan of blood and gore- then this is not the book for you.  If you like blood, guts, gore, suspense and nightmare provoking monsters– then The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey is like winning the lottery for you! 

It takes place back in 1800’s, where Will Henry is an assistant to Dr. Warthrop, a Monstrumologist who is someone who studies and sometimes kills monsters.  The story begins with a knock at the door in late one night revealing a grave robber with a very special delivery…a dead monstrous beast, with its last meal still in its mouth.  The beast is known as an Anthropophagi, a headless monster complete with a mouth in its chest full of skull crushing teeth.  Soon the doctor and Will Henry begin to realize that this Anthropophagi appearance wasn’t random when more gruesome killings are discovered.  Extra hands have to be called in to launch a great hunt for these blood thirsty creatures and Will Henry finds himself at the dangerous forefront of it all – either as the victor or perhaps just monster bait.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent by Veronica Roth book coer Beatrice lives in Chicago– well actually she lives in Abnegation, one of the factions of Chicago.  Everyone in Abnegation is self-less.  There are four other factions: amity (friendship/peace), dauntless (fearless), erudite (intelligence), and candor( who always speak the truth).   Beatrice is now 16, which means it’s time to figure out which faction she’ll spend the rest of her life in.  If she doesn’t chose Abnegation, this choice also means cutting herself off from her Abnegation parents.  A test, which is actually a simulation, helps decide which faction she would be best suited for, but Beatrice still has the final choice.  Beatrice’s test doesn’t offer an conclusive results, her test proctor informs her that she’s a divergent.  Being a Divergent means you are someone who doesn’t fit in any of the clearly defined factions, and is a result she must not share with anyone because the consequences could be terrible. 

Which faction does Beatrice settle on? Dauntless, and the action ramps up from that point on.  Beatrice, who now goes by Tris, finds out that even her though she has chosen Dauntless as her new faction this doesn’t mean they chose her.  Only ten initiates will be accepted in the faction and the newbies must prove themselves by performing well in intense tasks like fighting, knife throwing, shooting, and most of all confronting and overcoming their fears.  Tris seems to have the odds stacked against her  since she was an Abnegation and kind of scrawny, but her determination and some support from one of the trainers, who’s named Four, help her stay in the running for a slot.  While proving her worth to Dauntless, Tris also finds herself questioning the Dauntless and the other factions and their true motives.  Her divergent-ness starts to become more apparent to not just her but to others who are secretly observing her.  Will she be able to keep her secret and what does her divergence mean for the future of all of the factions?

Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie reviewed by Lexi

Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar

In Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie, a boy named Scott is entering his first year at Zenger High School. While Scott is faced with troubling classes and drifting friends, he balances writing weekly sports reviews for the school paper along with a couple of other extra activities. One day, he gets news that nobody ever expected-he’s going to be a big brother! So, with knowing this, Scott writes daily entries to his microscopic brother about how to survive the beginning of high school. No experience at high school is ever complete without a little bit of drama. Scott has had his eye on a girl for a while now and tries many times to get her attention. But a freaky girl with to metal all over her face, vomit green hair, and shirts that are indescribable transfers to Zenger, and Scott found her interesting. And who knows, the two people from different worlds that face the same judgmental people five times a week just might be perfect for each other.

review submitted by Lexi