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The Madman's Daughter - Review by Emma, Teen Blogger

Posted on 09-Mar-17 09:34
The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd is a YA science fiction inspired by H.G.Wells’s story, The Island of Dr.Moreau. In Wells’s novel, a castaway named Prendick is drifting around on a raft when a man named Montgomery rescues him. Montgomery tells Prendick that he is heading towards the island home of his benefactor, Dr. Moreau. Prendick and Montgomery soon become good friends, and Prendick accompanies Montgomery to the island where he finds out that Dr. Moreau has been performing strange experiments on the animals that Montgomery brings him.
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I'll Give You The Sun - Review by Jenna, Teen Blogger

Posted on 04-Mar-17 10:45
Art comes in an abundance of diverse mediums: paint, pencils, sculptures. Words. And all of these art forms, no matter how different, have one thing in common; they make you feel something. Jandy Nelson says “What is bad for the heart is good for art” and I’ll Give You the Sun will make you feel that in every morsel of your being in the way that great art does.
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Kids of Appetite - Review by Becca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 03-Feb-17 15:18
Kids of Appetite, or They Lived and They Laughed and They Saw That It was Good, by David Arnold is a stand-alone novel worth reading by anyone and everyone. It’s a dynamic and diverse read, written by an author with a clear skill for getting you inside the heads of his real-as-life characters. With both subtle and blatant messages woven throughout about growing up, acceptance, and the power of love, its relevance is clear. Though Kids of Appetite is meant for young adults, it is an novel to be thoroughly enjoyed by all.
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Eleanor and Park - Review by Sharon, Teen Blogger

Posted on 09-Dec-16 16:35
Rainbow Rowell, in her novel Eleanor and Park, captures the romance between two social misfits so beautifully. It’s awkward, it’s adorable, it’s painful, it’s heartbreaking and it’s so, so moving. I can relate to the characters, being a teenager around their age, and that makes this book even more special. Eleanor and Park are nothing alike; they come from different backgrounds, they live different lives, they have different destinies written for them, yet how they manage to find their first love in each other is a story worth reading.
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The Nightingale - Review by Jenna, Teen Blogger

Posted on 25-Nov-16 12:49
Think about a book or movie centered in World War II. Think about what the setting is, who the main characters are. I would guess that the story that popped into your mind was about a solider or nurse from an Allied country out on the front lines, or perhaps about someone in a concentration camp, because that’s the focus of most stories about World War II. However, in The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah looks at a different piece of the war that is often overlooked: the woman, particularly those in German-occupied France.
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The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton - Review by Emma, Teen Blogger

Posted on 08-Nov-16 10:07
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton is a book about underprivileged teens living in a city. The main character, Ponyboy, is a member of a gang called the Greasers. One day Ponyboy goes to a movie with his friends Dally and Johnny. While there, they pick up some girls, members of the opposite gang, the Socs. But it does not take long for the girls’ boyfriends to show up, and when they do, they are annoyed that their girls are hanging around with Greasers...
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Graceling by Kristin Cashore - Review by Jenna, teen blogger

Posted on 08-Nov-16 09:36
Graceling is a young adult fantasy novel by Kristin Cashore about a Graceling named Katsa. A Graceling is a rare and gifted person from the Seven Kingdoms that is born with an extreme skill, whether that is reading at a superhuman speed, seeing storms before they come, or simply cooking the most amazing dishes. Katsa is "Graced" with the ability to kill anyone, anywhere, in any way imaginable. She has been forced to work all her life as the thug of her uncle, who is the king of the Middluns, but she is also part of a secret council that helps to protect and serve the Seven Kingdoms. After a fateful night where she meets Po, a prince Graced with combat skills, she leaves the king’s services to join Po on a quest to figure out what is going on in the Seven Kingdoms.
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Passenger - Review by Becca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 30-Sep-16 11:55
Passenger is the first installment in a young adult fantasy duology-to-be by Alexandra Bracken. It’s a wonderfully refreshing twist on the old, popular genres it bravely takes on. It’s fast-paced and exciting, and at the same time, smooth and syrupy sweet. Bracken does a wonderful job of blending the many aspects of her novel—adventure, first love, historical, time travel—without anyone theme overshadowing the other.
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Prison Boy - Review by Hannah, Teen Blogger

Posted on 14-Sep-16 10:25
“Why do governments torture their enemies and own citizens? asked Kia. It was too big a question, too complicated to ask now, but he asked it anyway. Torture has a long and involved history. I will say this: torture is used by governments and regimes when they become afraid of losing power, when they have lost their moral compass.”
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Name of the Star - Review by Pranathi, Teen Blogger

Posted on 17-Aug-16 11:05
London 1888, Whitechapel district, five women brutally mutilated and murdered and one unidentified serial killer on the loose. The Name of the Star is who you seek. [Discover Catalogue - The Name of The Star] Jack the Ripper is the infamous serial killer of the London Whitechapel murders of 1888 who, to this day, is still unidentified and therefore considered one of London’s greatest mysteries. Throughout the years of 1888 to 1891 Mr. Ripper had established his name through the inhumane methods used to attack his victims. His actions were greatly recognized throughout the city of London and several forms of media, most particularly the Star newspaper, which had taken an interest into finding out who Mr. Ripper was and the motives behind the diabolical killer. Nothing was found and now it may be too late to ever find out who was the face behind the name.
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Red Queen - Review by Hannah, Teen Blogger

Posted on 13-Aug-16 11:48
“In school, we learned about the world before ours, about the angels and gods that lived in the sky, ruling the earth with kind and loving hands. Some say those are just stories, but I don't believe that. The gods rule us still. They have come down from the stars. And they are no longer kind.” - Mare Barrow Mare Barrow lives in a world, where people are categorized by the colour of their blood. You either have a magical talent and bleed silver blood, or a misfortunate, cursed life because of the red blood that pumps through your veins. Silver bloods are the gods: the kings and queens, the princes and princesses, the royalty, elites and nobles. From the moment they were born they lived a luxurious life in the clouds. They are the gods and because of their blood they rule Mare Barrow’s world. Mare was born to red-blooded family; she lives in a poverty stricken village with all the other Reds. She is soon turning 18, and with the celebration of entering adulthood also comes conscription. The Silvers are at war with the Lakelanders; the Silvers use the red blood of innocent fallen soldiers to fuel this never ending war. As her birthday gets closer and her plans for escape fail, Mare loses hope and becomes miserable, accepting the fact that she will be taken from her family and forced to fight in the war like her three brothers.
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Strong Female Protagonist - Review by Emma, Teen Blogger

Posted on 05-Aug-16 09:56
Strong Female Protagonist by Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag is a complex yet enjoyable story about being a superhero. Strong Female Protagonist follows Alison Green, a girl who discovered her superpowers when she was fourteen. Alison spent her teenage years fighting crime, under the alias Mega Girl. But now Alison is twenty, and no longer a crime-fighting hero. Instead, Alison is worrying about college and struggling to get her exams done. But school is not the reason she stopped.
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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of The Universe - Review by Becca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 12-Jul-16 16:04
One of my absolute favourite summer reads is definitely Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, ever since I picked it up on a whim this time last year. It's certainly not one of my typical reads; it isn't packed with dramatic action scenes, evil villains, heroic main characters. Instead, it’s set in Texas, 1987, and follows two aging boys. This novel is a sweet, slow burn of a romantic coming-of-age story. A good comparison, perhaps, would be swimming in honey—sweet and heavy; some parts are light, some parts are dark. I'd imagine it quite difficult to claw your way out of a pool of honey, not unlike the difficulty of getting out of this book. Personally, I found Aristotle and Dante to be a refreshing change from the typical boy-meets-girl, insta-love story that frequents young adult contemporary fiction. Between the poetically beautiful writing, the honest and real characters, and the numerous issues they're faced with, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a novel to remember for years to come.
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13 Reasons Why - Review by Anonymous

Posted on 05-Jul-16 12:40
The snowball effect is one that gets larger and larger as a result of the actions of others and how you react to those reactions but most of all, this effect can be deadly. Hannah Baker understood just how well the snowball effect affected herself and everyone around her. With one conflict came another and then another and another, like a giant snowball, until the madness overwhelmed the person at the center of the conflict and they chose to put an end to their suffering. As one who could relate to how Hannah felt in the midst of all this drama, the novel hit a little too close to home. But, as a result, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher turned into a life-changing novel which inspired me to take a different path than the one Hannah Baker chose...
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Six of Crows - Review by Emma, Teen Blogger

Posted on 20-Jun-16 13:47
Imagine that you live in a world where magic is a part of everyday life. Where the people who use magic are called Grisha, and they can transform objects, physical appearances, and material properties. What if their Grisha powers become amplified when they are given a drug called Jurda Parem? And what if this drug will eventually kill them? What if a powerful merchant tells you to bring him the maker of the drug, Bo Yul-Bayur, for a reward of 30 million kruge? The only catch is that Yul-Bayur is being held prisoner in the Ice Court, capital of Fjerda--a nation of Grisha haters, and the most secure place in the world. Would you take the job? Kaz Brekker would. But then, Kaz is a master thief, and he’ll do anything for money. Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows follows Kaz Brekker and his team as they begin their journey. But will they all live to see the end?
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After the Red Rain - Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 09-Jun-16 17:22
It seems that every day there is a new book trying to explore the idea of dystopia. It is a genre that has had a massive boom in recent years, with a number of popular books published. If you like dystopias, then I can highly recommend After the Red Rain. It is an interesting and thought provoking story that is sure to please fans of the genre. The plot takes place after a bizarre apocalypse known as the red rain. What makes this setting unique is how the majority of people seem to believe that the red rain actually helped society and, in fact, that the world is much better since it took place. Of course, this point is expanded upon later in the novel and leads to some interesting places. The main story follows a young woman who meets a strange man named Rose, and together they discover dark secrets about the world in which they live.
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Uncaged - Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 09-Jun-16 17:10
Despite the fact that most typical action novels do not interest me, I have enjoyed a few throughout my life. Uncaged is one that I am adding to that list. When I saw this book on the library eBook page (a place that I suggest all eBook owners take a look at) I thought it would be worth a try. Although I expected a regular run of the mill action novel, I was pleasantly surprised with what I found. The book follows the story of a girl who is searching for her brother, after he was involved in a crime gone wrong. She fights against a large corporation bent on the advancement of technology at any cost, and attempts to rescue her brother before he can come to harm. Uncaged is a book that uses the real fear of corporate and government corruption, combined with deeply personal character conflict, to create an incredibly engaging story. The characters within feel very real and dynamic, almost no one is left as a flat, meaningless plot tool - an issue with some novels in this genre. The story begins with a tense and powerful opening story arc, and manages to keep up the tension throughout the plot...
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Throne of Glass Series - Review by Becca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 26-May-16 11:42
The Throne of Glass series, written by Sarah. J Maas, is a high fantasy adventure series, composed of five books to date: Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire and Queen of Shadows. They follow Celaena Sardothien, a rogue trainee of the infamous Arobynn Hamel, and now a slave in the salt mines of Endovier. That is, until she is given a choice: enter a deadly competition to become the personal assassin for the King of Adarlan, or never see the light of day again. The competition offered only to the most feared and ruthless of killers. Celaena agrees to compete, though she hates to serve the King who locked her away. Her training is overseen by Chaol Westphal, Captain of the Guard, and, from afar, by Dorian, the Crown Prince of Adarlan— both of whom are taken with her fierce spirit and witty charm. Dorian rescues her from the mines, he is her sponsor. The other competitors also have sponsors, though many with reputations far less respected than the Crown Prince’s. Celaena must stay sharp and distrustful at every turn: of her fellow competitors, of the court, and even of her own mind. Because, even in a land where a whisper of magic is punishable by death, the other would-be champions and their sponsors are willing to risk using the outlawed taboo to win...
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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children - Review by Pranathi, Teen Blogger

Posted on 13-May-16 16:19
Everyone has their peculiarities, some more than others. So what are yours? Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children should not even exist, so how is it that it does? How is it that anybody who ever stayed in the house permanently is still the same age as they were 50 years ago? How is it that these children, who are protected in the house of Miss Peregrine, have such strange peculiarities? Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, written by Ransom Riggs, brings the nightmares of children to life through the use of sinister vintage photographs and a suspense level which never ceases to surprise the reader. Four phrases launch the adventure of our hero. Four phrases spoken through the last breaths of his beloved and supposedly deranged grandfather. Four phrases which lead our hero to a home of the most peculiar children in the world, monsters who are after the children and a quest to protect the children from the monsters.
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Six of Crows - Review by Becca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 13-May-16 16:14
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, I think, is my favourite book I've read so far this year. It was simply incredible. It was action packed, suspenseful, and I'm well aware of the cliché of the phrase “keeps you on the edge of your seat,” but I'll say it anyway. Throughout this book, I was literally gasping aloud-something that admittedly can be problematic when you're trying to read in a public area. The plot was fast paced, the characters unique and well-developed, and the world setting intriguing—the recipe for a perfect adventure novel. In Six of Crows, we follow six main characters, Kaz Brekker, Inej Ghafa, Nina Zenick, Matthias Helvar, Jesper Fahey, and Wylan Van Eck. Though each known for different expertise, they' all bear the same name-criminal. And these six, they're the best of the best: the most brilliant lock picks, quietest spies, deadliest fighters. They're the cutthroats, blackhearts and convicts of the slums they live in, called the Barrel. So, when a job comes up offering them 30 million kruge, how could they resist? It's one impossible heist, into the most secure court ever built for the prize of a lifetime. All they need is a bit of luck and a ton of skill—and definitely a strong stomach...
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The Waters and The Wild by Francesca Lia Block – Review by Emma, Teen Blogger

Posted on 30-Apr-16 14:27
The Waters and the Wild by Francesca Lia Block is about a girl named Bee who has always felt like an outcast. Many people experience this at some point or another, but Bee really is an outsider. She has no friends and has always had a deep longing for the earth, even fantasizing about eating it in handfuls. Bee’s story, told in poetry and prose, is both magical and starkly real. As an outcast, Bee rarely talks to anyone at school. But then she starts seeing an extra version of herself, a doppelganger as she comes to think of it. To unravel this mystery she ends up speaking to people she would never have conversed with usually. She speaks with her fellow outcasts: Haze, a boy who thinks he is an alien, and Sarah, a girl who has dreams about being a slave in the 1800s...
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Peeled by Joan Bauer - Article by Angela, Teen Blogger

Posted on 26-Apr-16 13:41
Teen Blogger, Angela decided to try something different with this blog post so she wrote it as a newspaper article about events in the book, Peeled by Joan Bauer. Check it out!
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Vicki Grant - Interview by Kaela, Teen Blogger

Posted on 29-Mar-16 15:19
Vicki Grant has written many popular teen fiction books. In 2004, she published her first book called The Puppet Wrangler. Since then, her most favoured genre of writing has been mystery, including Dead-End Job, Not Suitable for Family Viewing, hew newest book Small Bones and many others. She has received many awards for her work as an author and a television scriptwriter. Vicki has been one of my favourite authors for many years now and I was fortunate enough to be able to conduct an interview with her.
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Cinder by Marissa Meyer– Review by Pranathi, Teen Blogger

Posted on 10-Mar-16 11:30
What if I told you that humanity was dying of a deadly virus and your race was the only one able to save the world? You would save the world and be forever remembered as a hero wouldn’t you? But here’s the catch, if you save everyone else you lose your connections to the people you love most and are thrown in jail for being of your kind. Would you save the world and meet your inevitable doom or would you watch everyone around you, the people you hate and love, fall? Cinder by Marissa Meyer takes an unusual but deeply intriguing twist on the classic Cinderella story, pulling the reader into the action and making them feel deeply for each and every one of the characters on a personal level. Unlike any other Cinderella twist I’ve read before, Cinder takes place in a dystopian future where the universe consists of humans, Lunars, cyborgs and androids. Humanity is reaching its end faster every day due to an unknown contagious virus and the Earth is on the brink of war with an alien race called the Lunars. Just as the situation reaches the point...
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All the Bright Places – Review by Kaela, Teen Blogger

Posted on 16-Feb-16 13:24
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven begins with the two main characters, Finch and Violet, standing at the top of a bell tower. They both want to jump but after talking to each other, they decide not to. After, Violet and Finch become very good friends, offering different types of support that the other needs but is lacking from their own life. Finch brings Violet out of her shell again and Violet makes sure Finch stays grounded. These characters are so funny and vulnerable you can’t help but fall in love with them. The ending was very surprising and it made the book very memorable...
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A Big Dose of Lucky - Review by Hannah, Teen Blogger

Posted on 26-Jan-16 11:26
A Big Dose of Lucky by Marthe Jocelyn is one of the 7 books from the Secrets series. I have to say it was hard picking which book to read first. They all seemed to appeal to me, but at last I guess A Big Dose of Lucky appealed to me more. After the devastating fire that burned the orphanage to the ground, Malou and all the older girls were told that there was no place for them and they were on their own. They were each given a clue and sent on their way to find their biological family. Malou is at first very hesitant about going on the journey. With nowhere else to go she heads for the small town of Parry Sound, Ontario following the clue that she was given. As she arrives in Parry Sound, she soon discovers more shocking clues that drive her closer to solving the mystery of her biological parents.
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Secrets Series - Teaser by Hannah, Teen Blogger

Posted on 15-Jan-16 10:23
Imagine your whole world rising in flames, burning everything that you had ever known, loved, touched and cared for. Waking up in a foreign bed wondering how one day you're surrounded with loving people who took you in when nobody else wanted you, and another day the remains of your beloved home lie in front of you, nothing but burnt garbage, and you're forced to go on an adventure discovering your unwanted past . While it would be unlucky for the person living it, reading about how somebody’s life blew up in flames would make an entertaining novel. Not to sound inhuman at all but I think we all have to admit that the more sad and dramatic the content of the story, the more fun it is to read. Ever read a book about a little girl that had no problems and was happy 24/7? There is a reason why most of us haven’t. Luckily, seven award-winning authors decided to gang up and each write a book contributing to the Secrets series.
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Fragile Bones - Review by Hannah, Teen Blogger

Posted on 22-Dec-15 15:17
Every year around 50,000 books printed in the United States are fiction. I can't help but notice that the majority of those novels are similar in one way or another. In my opinion they are written about something of no importance (e.g. mystery, murders, female and soldier romance ending with the soldier death, magic, aliens invasion, etc.). I have read quite a number of books in my short lifetime, but I would be lying if I said many really made a difference or had any useful meaning/value. That was the main reason why I was jumping head over heels to be reading Fragile Bones by Lorna Schultz Nicholson. It is truly a unique book...
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Namesake by Sue MacLeod - Review by Emma, Teen Blogger

Posted on 19-Nov-15 09:58
Lady Jane Grey is famous for having ruled England for nine days. After Edward the Sixth’s death, Lady Jane Grey was named Queen but Edward’s half sister, Mary, exercised her right to the crown and had Lady Jane thrown into the Tower of London where she stayed until her execution in 1554. Namesake, by Sue MacLeod, tells Lady Jane’s story in a wonderful and exciting way, tying it in with the modern world of a Haligonian high school student.
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The Girl from the Well - Review by Tori, Teen Blogger

Posted on 04-Nov-15 11:34
"Okiku is a lonely soul. She has wandered the earth for centuries, freeing the ghosts of the murdered-dead. Once a victim, she now takes the lives of killers with the vengeance they're due. But releasing innocent ghosts from their ethereal tethers does not bring Okiku peace. Still she drifts on."- from the publisher
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The Song of Achilles – Review by Kaela, Teen Blogger

Posted on 03-Nov-15 11:51
The thing that drew me to read The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller was the fact it is all about Greek mythology and the author was actually inspired by the original works of Homer. In my experience, a lot of books about Greek mythology are based on the more modern versions of the stories and are kind of like a remake of a remake. The nice thing about this one was that the author had studied these subjects and drew on the originals for inspiration. The book is all about the famous Greek hero named Achilles but is actually told from the point of view of one his greatest companions, Patroclus. Patroclus is neither a god nor a half-god like Achilles but an exiled prince. When the two were both boys, Achilles’ father used to foster boys with no homes and that’s how the two had met. The book details the transformation of Achilles from child to man through the eyes of Patroclus. The two grow up together and later support each other in the war against Troy...
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Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel - Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 03-Nov-15 11:13
Language was at one point considered what separated us from other animals; this was until in the seventies when there were trials that indicated that chimps could in fact be taught sign language to some degree. The book Half Brother looks at a fictional version of one of these trials and all the implications it creates about ourselves and the lives of animals. We see the story revolve around Ben, a thirteen-year-old boy living with his parents, and Zan, a newborn chimp that attempts to learn American Sign Language...
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Betsy Wickwire’s Dirty Secret by Vicki Grant – Review by Kaela, Teen Blogger

Posted on 21-Oct-15 10:00
One of the funniest books I have ever read would definitely be Betsy Wickwire’s Dirty Secret by Vicki Grant. It’s about a popular girl named Betsy who has just finished high school but has also lost her boyfriend and most of her friends. Betsy thinks she’s going to have a terrible summer but then she meets Dolores, who is very quirky and not like her old friends. During the summer they begin a cleaning business and through a lot of funny events, Betsy grows as a person...
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Speak of the Devil - Review by Emma, Teen Blogger

Posted on 16-Oct-15 10:02
The Word on the Street festival this year led to many great book finds for me, but among my favourites was Shawna Romkey’s Speak of the Devil. I was even fortunate enough to meet Shawna herself, which only added to my excitement about reading her book. This young adult novel is set in modern day United States. The main character, Lily, is a high school junior in Missouri. One night she is in a car accident along with her best friends, Mike and Julie. Lily is the only one who survives, sort of. In fact, she dies in the accident but only briefly, to be pulled back from heaven at the last minute...
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The Secret Sky - Review by Hannah, Teen Blogger

Posted on 13-Oct-15 12:18
“[The Secret Sky is] a tale of the indomitable Afghan spirit of hope and love. Among the many novels set in Afghanistan for young people or for adults, The Secret Sky stands alone. Unputdownable. Unforgettable.” –Trent Reedy, author of Words in the Dust The Secret Sky by Atia Abawi is a story of love, beliefs, culture and betrayal. First thing I want to make clear is that this book is not a happily ever after swoony romantic story with no significant purpose. It explores in-depth the corrupt society of Afghanistan at that time.
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Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Review by Becca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 13-Oct-15 11:04
Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a fantasy, paranormal romance novel, written by Lani Taylor. It is the first book in a recently finished trilogy. Lani Taylor is the winner of The Cybils Award for Fantasy and Science Fiction (Middle Grade), and a finalist for the National Book Award. She also received the Oregon Spirit Award, was a finalist for the Andre Norton Award, and the Children’s Choice Teen Book of the Year Award, among many other awards and acknowledgements.
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Scrawl by Mark Shulman - Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 01-Oct-15 16:31
The story of an anti-hero is one of the more difficult things a writer can do. Trying to get the reader to empathize with a character who is evil is the main problem with this type of writing. Scrawl is a book that takes this idea to a familiar setting for many people, specifically a high school. The main protagonist is an unpopular, poor boy named Tod Munn, or Pops as he is known to his friends, and he is a bully, a thief, a fighter, and a constant problem for his school. We have all seen bullies; many readers may be victims of such people. Yet with just a few chapters Shulman manages to create a character who is clearly more than he seems.
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Battle of the Books – Article by Hannah, Teen Blogger

Posted on 18-Sep-15 08:22
“It is 4:00 PM. The game host has welcomed everyone and explained the rules. The four students from the two teams are clustered, on opposite sides of the room, hunched over, leaning in towards each other, knees touching, possibly stroking a team mascot. Anxious and proud teachers and parents are watching from chairs, placed around the walls... A hush falls over the room as the first question is read aloud... "In what book is there a spider who can spell?" The stop watch clicks on. A Battle of the Books game has begun.”...
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The War at Ellsmere by Faith Erin Hicks – Review by Emma, Teen Blogger

Posted on 14-Sep-15 18:52
I was intrigued by the art and title of The War at Ellsmere by Canadian illustrator and author, Faith Erin Hicks. Hicks tells us the story of Juniper, a scholarship student at an elite boarding school. Juniper (Jun for short) has plans; she’s had them since her dad got sick and died. She’s going to be an incredible doctor and to get there she’s going to graduate from Ellsmere, an old, all-girls school, built by the eccentric and mysterious Ellsmere family. Once Jun reaches Ellsmere though, she realizes there’s more to the school than just focusing on homework and exams...
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The Bar Code Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn – Review by Rebecca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 14-Aug-15 13:17
The Bar Code Tattoo is a young adult dystopian novel set in a future world where everyone has to have a bar code implanted in their arm by the time they’re sixteen. This barcode gives you access to everything, from your car to your bank account. Every time teenagers turn sixteen they’re all excited to get this new “key to adulthood”. Kayla doesn’t want one though. She’s about to turn sixteen and she thinks the idea of the bar code tattoos is really creepy. When she denies the chance to get one though, she becomes an outcast in the world and she finds the government out to ruin her...
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Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen - Review by Ashlee, Staff Blogger

Posted on 30-Jul-15 15:21
Stolen Songbird, author Danielle L. Jensen’s first novel, takes place in a historical fantasy setting in which trolls exist but were cursed by a witch to live underground in secret. The protagonist is Cécile de Troyes, a farmer’s daughter with a lovely voice who is kidnapped, brought to the city of Trollus under the mountain, and sold to trolls who intend to marry her to their troll prince, Tristan. This element of cursed creatures abducting a beautiful human bride and taking her below ground reminded me of the 1991 animated movie The Princess and the Goblin, but after that, there are fewer similarities. Contrary to popular belief, Stolen Songbird explains, trolls aren’t ugly; they’re “more like beautiful things that have had the misfortune of being broken.” Most of the troll characters in this novel have various misfortunes like no limbs, misaligned halves of their face, or being conjoined twins. However, the book misses a potentially interesting element in exempting Prince Tristan from the difficulties of living with an unusual body. Instead, he is tall and beautiful, though cold and sardonic.
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The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean by David Almond – Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 30-Jul-15 13:44
There are some books that after finishing the last page can only be described as odd. This book is one of those. This is not to say that it is bad, in fact I quite enjoyed it, but only that it is not like anything I have read before. David Almond has created a truly unique perspective on the world, seen through the eyes of a boy as he falls from innocence. Everything from the diction of writing to the topics explored within the story; it is all unusual and meaningful.
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Black Hole Sun by David McInnis Gill - Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 30-Jul-15 13:10
Setting a book in a sci-fi world can be difficult, especially when looking at how to be consistent with the science and technology. This is even more difficult when trying to set a story on Mars, a planet we know a fair amount about. Black Hole Sun does an excellent job of this however, becoming an interesting and action packed novel without any of the problems that often plague the genre (such as suddenly having a gadget for every situation or being inconsistent with the science throughout the novel). The author does a great job, creating an amazing world and filling it with powerful, realistic characters...
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Mister Death's blue-eyed girls by Mary Downing Hahn – Review by Rebecca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 25-Jun-15 08:50
Many people have either read the novel or seen the movie adaptation of the paranormal drama novel The Lovely Bones. For some time I’ve been looking for a novel with a similar theme and it turns out that the Halifax Public Libraries does have a copy of one I wanted to read: Mister Death's blue-eyed girls by Mary Downing Hahn. This teen novel takes place in the 1950’s and the story follows several teenagers as their lives are changed dramatically by the tragic murder of two of their friends in the woods near their neighborhood. It’s a very nostalgic view of the way things were for kids back in the Fifties. There were no cell phones or texting, no computers, most girls had to wear skirts rather than pants, television wasn’t as popular, cars were more powerful, and so on.
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Coraline by Neil Gaiman – Review by Rebecca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 24-Jun-15 09:50
Summary: Coraline has just moved into a strange old apartment complex called ‘the Pink Palace’ with her parents. Coraline is adventurous and creative whereas her mom and dad are sort of boring people, and her eccentric neighbors aren’t the best company. One neighbor was a Chernobyl liquidator* and has become insane, and then there are the two actresses, sisters who are equally strange. With no friends and a boring preppy school to look forward to, the only thing to entertain her is the strange door in the wall of the apartment. One night Coraline has a dream about what’s beyond it, a perfect wonderland where new things happen every day – but it turns out it isn’t as amazing as she thought it was, in fact it’s a total nightmare.
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Home Movies – Article by Rebecca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 23-Jun-15 14:15
It’s the 21st century, so any kid has the ability to make an amateur movie with their computer, digital camera or cell phone. I love my digital camera and my laptop, but recently I got a super 8 home movie camera. My super 8 camera isn’t digital, it uses film, and it’s a little more difficult to use. If you make a film with it, you have to be careful – a cartridge of super 8 film can only record up to three minutes, 20 seconds of footage and can’t be deleted. The film is expensive so you can’t just film your cat over and over again or numerous videos that have no meaning. Film isn’t instant, it has to be sent off for developing in a photo lab and to post it anywhere online you have to have it transferred to digital formats.
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Insurgent: Did this happen in the book? – Review by Angela, Teen Blogger

Posted on 04-Jun-15 10:10
I must admit that I went through a bit of shock after watching the movie Insurgent. It has been quite some time since I last read the novel, but I was dead certain that the movie did not follow the book for about half of the time. The differences are significant and in my opinion a bit disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, I love the movie and it has great actions, however, it is relatively shorter and a few minor characters were cut out completely. Moreover, there are enormous plot changes that alter the tone and the atmosphere of the story. Here are a few changes in the movie that I can think of right off the bat:
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Last Message by Shane Peacock - Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 07-May-15 12:15
When I first picked up this book I must admit I was quite curious at the whole idea of it: a series of seven books that could be read in any order. My local library was carrying a number of them, so I simply chose the one that I thought would interest me the most. A quick summary of this book would be: an old man has recently died and left a series of tasks for his grandson Alex to complete in France. I found the concept of this very interesting; an exciting family legacy leading to a number of great adventures.
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I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson - Review by Kathleen, Teen Blogger

Posted on 24-Apr-15 09:37
“Some books are just meant to be in each other’s lives.” I’m paraphrasing this line: “Maybe some people are just meant to be in each other’s stories”, from Jandy Nelson’s second YA novel, I’ll Give You the Sun. I believe Nelson is hitting a poignant truth here, but it goes beyond the context of her book and applies to real life, even if it’s something as simple as a book. I believe that some people are meant to read certain books, and those books are meant to change you, make you grow, and see the world with eyes that are no longer foggy.
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Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks - Review by Rebecca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 07-Mar-15 10:20
Maggie is just like any other high school kid, but she’s been homeschooled her entire life by her police officer father and her recently estranged mother. Her four brothers assure her that high school is easy, but when Maggie gets there she realizes how many different types of kids there are and how much she doesn’t seem to fit in with any crowd. She befriends a goth boy and his younger sister, but soon she finds herself caught up in a fight between her new friends and her brothers. Meanwhile, she is trying to solve a mystery of an eerie woman who keeps following her everywhere she goes.
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Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson – Review by Angela, Teen Blogger

Posted on 06-Mar-15 10:06
“I feel the frozen stillness melt down through the inside of me, dripping shards of ice that vanish in a puddle of sunlight on the stained floor. Words float up.” (pg. 198) of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. Have you ever felt a strong urge to say something but you can’t? The following piece is my own re-enactment of the protagonist, Malinda’s thoughts. It is written in third person, and I am the narrator. Sometimes it seemed that she was two different people, one being the carefree self before the incident. But things were different in high school, and it was no secret. She recalled the painful experiences of her freshman year…
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Smile by Raina Telgemeier – Review by Rebecca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 04-Mar-15 11:02
Smile is the autobiographical graphic novel of Raina as a girl growing up in the early 1990’s. In elementary school, during a Girl Scouts meet, Raina trips and smashes in her front teeth resulting in dental work throughout junior high and high school. The book depicts her life as a teenager, from seeing The Little Mermaid come out in the movie theater to losing friends and many more interesting events that I won’t give away (you’ll have to read it to see for yourself). As time goes on, Raina begins to question her life, her so-called friends and her decisions.
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Kiki Strike: Inside The Shadow City by Kirsten Miller - Review by Rebecca, Teen Blogger

Posted on 02-Mar-15 20:12
Inside the Shadow City by Kirsten Miller is the first book in the Kiki Strike series, which follows a group of five outsider girls living in Manhattan and exploring its underground world. The book starts off in one of Manhattan’s dirty, polluted areas, in a small apartment where an incredibly bored twelve-year-old girl named Ananka Fishbein lives.
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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - Review by Angela, Teen Blogger

Posted on 20-Feb-15 16:21
You might have read this in grade 10 English. Great, another piece of great American literature, you might think. But it is in fact really meaningful and well written. To Kill a Mockingbird is the only published book that was written by Harper Lee. The elements of the story such as the setting, characters and the plotline are inspired by Lee’s childhood experiences in a small town in Alabama...
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The Darkest Path by Jeff Hirsch - Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 17-Feb-15 15:58
Upon first seeing this book I didn’t think it was for me at all. A dystopian novel following the story of a fifteen-year-old boy as he works his way through society. It seemed a little cliché, especially in recent years with many authors going that way after the Hunger Games craze. The “teenager in dystopia America” is much overused. I expected this to be something similar, but was gladly wrong...
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Creeps by Darren Hynes - Review by Angela, Teen Blogger

Posted on 14-Jan-15 14:35
When your dad is drunk again and starts to throw his bowl of pea soup on the ground, you know your mom is leaving, again. Well, at least she comes back but it never seems to end. And you know that the next day, Pete “The Meat” will make you eat the yellow snow. Wayne Pumphrey’s hates his life, until he meets Marjorie. For once, he is not alone. But, Pete will not let them go, or will he?
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Nation by Terry Pratchett – Book Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 19-Dec-14 13:35
Terry Pratchett is one of my favourite authors, but I had never heard of this particular book. It is outside of the usual Discworld novels and one of the less fantasy-like stories that I have read from him (although it does have a splash of the magical). It can be best described as an alternate history novel, set on an earth much like ours in the 1860s. A small island known simply as “The Nation” exists in the middle of the Great South Pelagic Ocean (the Pacific Ocean of this alternate world). It centers upon a boy called Mau, who is about to become a man, but then the wave comes. It destroys all of the nation. Left is only Mau and a shipwrecked girl from another land entirely.
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Holocaust/WWII Novels and a Movie - Review by Gina, Teen Blogger

Posted on 28-Oct-14 15:10
It seems that once in a while, we imagine what it’s like to live during a war. By doing so, we realize how blessed we are to be living in a war-free country. It hasn’t even been a century since the most recent war has ended when our grandparents experienced the turmoil themselves. The most respectable thing we can do to honour those who served for the peace of this country is to remember their service and be grateful. I’ve sorted out some literature related to World War II and the Holocaust. There are hundreds of remarkable English books related to this topic, in other languages even more, but I’ll be introducing a few books that I have read.
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Undercurrent by Paul Blackwell – Review by Gina, Teen Blogger

Posted on 23-Oct-14 15:03
Callum survives a plummet over a waterfall in his neighborhood, but when he wakes up, his world is no longer the world he knows any more. Everything is twisted. He struggles to get used to what he doesn’t know and who he used to be. There are so many questions to answer and solutions to find.
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The Hunger Games Books and Films - Review by Ashlee, Staff Blogger

Posted on 21-Oct-14 13:41
Thanks in part to a very successful movie adaptation, I’m sure you’ve heard of this dystopian novel in which children are forced to fight to the death in a televised gladiatorial arena. Some have even called it the “next Harry Potter,” so I was very excited to read this first book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. For me, at least, while the book is quite entertaining and certainly addicting (I literally couldn’t stop reading and had it finished in a day), it’s not as special as I would have hoped. Certainly no Harry Potter, at least for me, largely because I wish the author had paid more attention to the world-building and characterizations. I was pretty disappointed that with all this new technology, what the game-makers chose for the arena was essentially a glorified forest. I wanted something more exciting, like that barren wasteland mentioned where everyone either froze or starved to death in a few days. Good luck hiding in trees there, Katniss! Speaking of Katniss Everdeen...
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Jeremy Stone by Lesley Choyce - Teaser by Cindy, Staff Blogger

Posted on 08-Oct-14 08:31
I first noticed the book, Jeremy Stone, by author, Lesley Choyce because of Word On The Street, where Lesley Choyce read an exerpt on the Vibrant Voices Stage on the Halifax waterfront. I was intrigued by the story and by Lesley's comments on various parts of the story, so I put this book on my reading list.
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Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card - Review by Ashlee, Staff Blogger

Posted on 19-Sep-14 13:11
One of my favourite novels is Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, so I eagerly picked up his Pathfinder hoping for the same kind of experience as I had with Ender’s Game. However, I ended up having mixed feelings about Pathfinder: enjoying some moments but disliking others.
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Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson – Review by Gina, Teen Blogger

Posted on 29-Aug-14 13:34
The character, Tiger Lily, wasn’t my favorite type of person to read about. She was mysterious and didn’t say much, so she was hard to relate to, or get to know. I think that’s why the author chose to write the book in alternating perspectives, where readers read not only from Tiger Lily’s perspective but from her little friend, Tinkerbell's. It was very interesting how...
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The Queen’s Thief series — Review by Ashlee, Staff Blogger

Posted on 26-Aug-14 13:50
If there’s something I adore in a young adult novel, it’s a misunderstood hero. Well, that and great world-building—oh, and perhaps a romantic sub-plot with a wickedly awesome heroine. And maybe throw in a jaw-dropping twist, just for good measure? Fortunately, this series has it all.
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The Girl Who Never Was by Skylar Dorset - Review by Ashlee, Staff Blogger

Posted on 26-Aug-14 13:28
In this young adult fantasy novel, The Girl Who Never Was, Selkie Stewart thinks she’s a normal Boston teenager being raised by her eccentric aunts because her father is in a mental institution and her mother abandoned her on the doorstep when she was a baby. When she turns seventeen and goes searching for her long-lost mother, though, things really start getting weird, and Selkie discovers her connection to a magical world of faeries, ogres, wizards, and the dreaded Seelie Court. And meanwhile, there’s a very special boy in her life…
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An Abundance of Katherines by John Green – Review by Angela, Teen Blogger

Posted on 26-Aug-14 12:57
Summary: Colin Singleton, a child prodigy but not-yet-a-genius has just been dumped by another Katherine (number 19 or K-19). Heartbroken and devastated, Colin agrees to a road trip with his best friend Hassan to clear his mind. What they did not know is that they would find friendships and maybe even love in a small town named Gutshot, Tennessee. For once, it seemed like Colin wouldn’t be dumped by another Katherine...
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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - Review by Gina, Teen Blogger

Posted on 20-Aug-14 13:20
Summary: The book thief is ten-years-old. She is thirsty for books, so when she sees the pile of books burning on the street, she picks up a small book in the ashes and runs away. Living in Nazi Germany during the Holocaust makes owning books risky but books are precious to the book thief. The Book Thief is a beautiful story of a curious young girl, narrated by Death....
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We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart - Review by Kathleen, Teen Blogger

Posted on 19-Aug-14 15:50
This is a story about a happy group of kids who go to a beach house every year for summer vacation. They laugh and tell ghost stories by the fire. Their parents look on fondly as they reflect on their own childhoods. The grandfather plays chess with the kids, who form healthy bonds with one another. Then, they have a picnic at sunset, and everyone lives happily ever after. The end. I’m lying. You probably guessed that, but here’s why:
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Never Let Me Go – Review by Margaret, Teen Blogger

Posted on 06-Aug-14 12:56
Never Let Me Go is a 2005 adult futuristic science fiction novel by Kazuo Ishiguro. If you are into science fiction and dystopian literature, this book is for you. Investigating themes of the human condition, free will, and communication between youth, this book will make you empathize with characters in such a way that very few novels can do with such success.
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Stargirl – Review by Gina, Teen Blogger

Posted on 05-Aug-14 15:00
Summary: Just like her name suggests, the moment Stargirl arrives at Mica High School, she is the center of attention. She sparks up the students with just one cheer. She melts Leo Borlock’s heart effortlessly. Everyone is fascinated with her. At first...
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The Beginning of Everything - Review by Emily, Teen Blogger

Posted on 29-Jul-14 10:25
Summary: A remarkable coming of age story which follows a young man by the name of Ezra Faulkner who suffers an injury that’s enough to change the course of his life. Ostracized and alone, Ezra is forced to finally become himself and get to know the people around him, including the new girl in town, in a way he had never attempted before. Comedic, honest, and occasionally poignant, The Beginning of Everything answers the question of what one would do if they had to start all over.
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Crisps and Chips: Teen Fiction with a British Connection - Teaser by Emily, Teen Blogger

Posted on 06-May-14 08:45
Daniel Radcliffe and Benedict Cumberbatch, Doctor Who and Sherlock. Those are all very well known (and mostly loved) creations straight from the UK. We may tune into the BBC to watch our favourite shows and actors, but how many of us have taken the chance to read some good young adult fiction with a British connection? If the only books you could come up with were written by J.K. Rowling, have no fear, I’m here with a few great suggestions....
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Panic by Lauren Oliver - Review by Emily, Teen Blogger

Posted on 07-Apr-14 12:56
As a huge fan of Before I Fall and the Delirium series, I was naturally excited upon discovering that Lauren Oliver had a new book coming out this month. I read blogger Julia’s interview with the author and it pumped me up enough to make me go out and buy the book the day it was released. While it’s very different from her other books, Panic is sure to be Lauren Oliver’s next bestseller.
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Rainbow Rowell - An Author to Check Out this Year - Article by Kathleen, Teen Blogger

Posted on 14-Feb-14 10:00
Rainbow Rowell is a name that’s been making the rounds in both critic and book lover circles everywhere. Her first novel, Attachments (which this blogger confesses, with a heavy heart, she has not actually read) was released in 2011. Following that, she wrote two young adult fiction novels, both of which were released in 2013: Eleanor and Park and Fangirl. (Both of which, this blogger has had the pleasure of reading.)
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The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Anna, Teen Blogger

Posted on 31-Jan-14 11:27
In the cold months of winter, we often need a light, fun book to drive away the winter blues...
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Favourite Reads of 2013 - Reviews by Various Teen Bloggers

Posted on 14-Jan-14 09:53
We share our favourite reads (both old and new) of 2013.
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New Reading for a New Year - Article by Cindy, Staff Blogger

Posted on 24-Dec-13 10:05
I can't wait to see what 2014 will bring for new reading material. In the meantime, I may revisit some old favourites or catch up on older books that I missed reading when they came out. I've been browsing through the Teens Read lists at the Library and have found some gems that I just can't wait to explore:
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The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson- Review by Tarah, Teen Blogger

Posted on 06-Sep-13 15:40
Imagine that, hundreds of years ago, a supernatural discovery was made. Imagine how different the world today could be different because of that one tiny discovery....
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The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson - Review by Talia, Teen Blogger

Posted on 08-Aug-13 08:41
I was a little apprehensive when I started reading this book. I’ve read lots of fantasy books, and while I really enjoy a few of them, I find that they are often predictable and a little dry. But not this one! I was hooked after chapter 1.
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Clockwork Princess by Anna, Teen Blogger

Posted on 18-Jul-13 14:56
Clockwork Princess is the third book in Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series. The series is set in late 1800’s England. In the first book, Clockwork Angel, Tessa Gray moves to England from America in search of her brother. In this search she discovers....
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Throne of Glass by Anna, Teen Blogger

Posted on 18-Jul-13 09:08
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, is a novel about an eighteen year old assassin. Not just any assassin though; she is the most feared assassin in the land, Calaena Sardothien. Her name was spoken with fear for years.
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The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Anna, Teen Blogger

Posted on 18-Feb-13 11:21
In the cold months of winter, we often need a light, fun book to drive away the winter blues...
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Stories of War - Reviews by Kathleen, Teen Blogger

Posted on 13-Nov-12 14:57
I'd like to recall that moment of silence on Remembrance Day. Below are some wonderful stories of war, some fiction and others not, that never fail to strike a chord in me, and I hope they can do that for you, too.
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Series in the Spotlight by Angela, Teen Blogger

Posted on 14-Sep-12 15:24
Looking for a series to start or re-read? Try these picks...
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Divergent Letter to a Producer by Anna, Teen Blogger

Posted on 14-Sep-12 15:22
What if you liked a book so much you wrote a letter to a producer and asked that the book be made into a movie? This is how it might go...
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  • The Lie Tree
  • The way he lived
  • A drop of night
  • Thief of lies
  • Defender
  • Character, driven
  • Every young adult's break-up survival guide
  • Hidden gold
  • The heart of stone
  • The last boy and girl in the world
  • The epidemic
  • I see reality
  • Finding Hope
  • Under the Dusty Moon
  • Flawd
  • Dark energy
  • Hot pterodactyl boyfriend
  • Harmony House
  • Burning
  • See no color
  • One of us
  • A tangle of gold
  • It should have been a #GoodDay
  • Beautiful broken things
  • The radiant road
  • Speak a word for freedom
  • When we collided
  • Hit count
  • Fig
  • The beast of Cretacea
  • Essential maps for the lost
  • Queen
  • Exit, pursued by a bear
  • The Raven King
  • Breakaway
  • The forbidden orchid
  • The young adult's guide to public speaking