Whats New Category: High School

Candor by Pam Bachorz

Candor book cover “Always be courteous.”

“Academics are the key to success.”

“Studying is your top priority.”

“Healthy breakfasts make for smart minds”

What if messages like this ran through your head all day? What if while you were listening to your favorite CD you were being brainwashed at the same time?  Well, then you’d be living in Candor, otherwise known as every parent’s dream.  No one really knows about the messages, but what they do know is teenagers in Candor love to do chores, they get straight A’s, and no one is ever an outsider. 

Meet Oscar, the founder of Candor’s son. He’s handsome, smart, popular, and seemingly perfect, except he’s found a way to fight the messages: to shut his brain off to them.  He’s also found a way to make some money on the side byhelping free kids from Candor before they get sucked in by the messages, because once that happens you’ll be walking around like a programmed drone the rest of your life. 

Oscar’s latest target for business is Nia, except that Oscar finds himself completely smitten by her.  He must a make a decision to save Nia from the messages and never see her again, or keep her close and risk everything exposing everything.

Audrey Wait! by Robin Benway

Audrey Wait! book cover Audrey is a loud music lover, big word user, fashion forward, your average high school student… and followed by paparazzi, called by gossip columnists, wanted for a reality TV show, stalked by reporters, asked for autographs, analyzed on messages boards, and a trend setter. Okay maybe not your average high student anymore. 

In Audrey Wait!, Audrey tells her side of the story, a story that began when she broke up with her boyfriend Evan because it just wasn’t working.  Evan just so happened to be part of a band and Audrey breaking up with inspired him to write a song “Audrey Wait!”  He debuted the song at a local concert, that was attended by a big record label exec, zoom a couple of months forward and cue to Audrey working at Scooper Dooper the local ice cream shop.  Then on the radio she hears “Audrey Wait!” and suddenly nothing is private.  There are always cameras, people observing, people misquoting, other musicians looking for inspiration, or people just making stuff about her.  Luckily, she has her always supportive and spunky best friend Victoria, like the queen, to help her navigate. But as the fame seeps more and more into her life, the affect it’s having on her life, her friendship with Victoria, and a budding romance become more and more apparent and Audrey doesn’t want to wait, she just wants it all to STOP. 

Reviewed by Renee-Teen Outreach Librarian

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri

yummy book coverRobert Sandifer, also known as Yummy because he couldn’t be without candy and cookies, was a real boy living in Chicago.  He was also a killer, a victim, a shorty, a boy who still curled up with his teddy bear, and a gangster.  In 1994 Yummy graced the cover of Time magazine- after he shot a fourteen year old girl in his neighborhood while trying to prove himself to a local gang the Black Disciples.  Robert, the narrator, will show you how the neighborhood, the schools, the city, and the whole country reacted to the events and he’ll give a peak into Yummy’s life and how he ended up in the horrible situation he found himself in at 11 years old.  Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty  by G.Neri pulls you in right away and leaves you wondering if Yummy was a cold blooded killer or just a boy who had been led astray?

Leverage by Joshua Cohen

Leverage Joshua Cohen pulls together the brutal, intense, harsh worlds of: football, gymnastics, bullying, horrible secrets, and meeting expectations, in excellent but painfully harsh at times read.  Leverage throws you into the world of Danny and Kurt, two completely different guys, or maybe not so different.  Danny is small, athletic, and dreams about getting himself a full ride to college for gymnastics. His moves on the uneven bars make audiences gasp.  Kurt is a beast, a football playing beast, who was recruited from another high school by his coach. But Kurt has much more to him, a nightmarish past and a future that greatly depends on his success in his new spot on the hardcore and hard hitting Oregrove Knight’s high school football team.  A team with some members, pumped full of steroids, who bully and brutalize the seemingly small and weak. When this bullying goes beyond just teasing to terrible cruelness and evil Danny and Kurt find themselves coping with the terrible repercussions and a unlikely friendship that helps them through it. 

Recommended for students in 9th grade and up

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Delirium book cover“It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected a cure.”

In 95 days seventeen-year-old Lena is scheduled to have the procedure, which ensures she will never become infected with amor deliria nervosa, or love, the deadliest of all diseases. After her procedure she’ll be paired with a boy whom the evaluators have chosen for her.  She won’t have to worry about love affecting her mind so she cannot think clearly, or rationally.  After the procedure she will be safe and free from any pain that love might have brought her.  However, one day when Lena and her best friend Hana are up for their evaluations, Lena sees a boy.  Their eyes meet for a moment and then everything changes.  A whole other version of the world she lives in is revealed to her because of this boy and her best friend Hana. Lena finds herself making choices that may seem irrational and she’s definitely not thinking clearly.  Where do Lena’s choices lead her? Delirium by Lauren Oliver will infect you once you start reading it and you will find it very hard to put down.  Your stomach will flutter with anticipation of what’s coming next and you might even find yourself falling in love with it. It’s quite contagious.

Keep up to date with author Lauren Oliver here.