Monday, August 31, 2015

Teen Book Review: Hold Me Closer

Title: Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story
Author: David Levithan
Teen Reviewer: Mikaela Palandra
Rating: 4/5 Stars

The story is in a script form, although the stage directions are more detailed and are used as the way to give better insight into the story and the character’s thoughts. The first act goes through Tiny’s basic journey of self-discovery as he grew up until he was able to confidently accept that he’s gay. The second act takes a different route; now that he’s come out, he feels ready to act on his sexuality and find love. The rest of the script shows what Tiny learns from his many, many ex-boyfriends and keeps a hopeful ending for the future.

 The big confidence of Tiny--that he showed throughout almost the whole story--wasn’t super relatable for some people who still have doubts, but it was refreshing to see. i.e It’s uplifting to see proud gay characters. The script format isn’t one of my favorites but that’s of course up to opinion. I came into this with some knowledge of Will Grayson, Will Grayson but not a ton. I think it stood well on its own and made sense, cohesively. I liked the way the character dealt with issues outside of his sexuality, and while it wasn’t incredibly in depth due to short length and the format, it had really positive messages and was, generally, just a lighthearted quick read.

Find it in our catalog

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly Teen Book Review

Title: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly
Author: Stephanie Oakes
Teen Reviewer: Mikaela Palandra
Rating: 5/5 Stars

The scene starts with Minnow, a 17-year-old girl who’s never seen outside her isolated world in a religious cult, finally escaping to society and assaulting a man in a lapse of rationality.  The rest of the novel alternates between her life in prison and flashbacks to her life in the forest and how she ended up in her situation. Throughout the novel, Minnow keeps secrets from authorities and friends, as well as the reader. We only discover her secrets when she is ready to share them with others. The nightmare that the Prophet brought to her life and the crimes of herself and others that led to its destruction are slowly exposed. Minnow comes to terms with her past and creates her own ideas to replace the lies she was taught by the Prophet in order to grow and find passion for life again.

            Overall, I rated this book really high because the author managed to handle a lot of dramatic themes without making them overly cheesy and cliché. The religious cult that Minnow was a part of was described in a way that brought the wild and dramatic ideas and occurrences down to earth, so it was seen in a realistic rather than absurd way. Minnow had a relationship with a boy Jude she met in the woods, who was outside her religion. While she did place a lot of importance in him, by the end of the novel, the two did show differences and flaws; again, realistically displaying the troubles even with someone you love.  Also, Minnow’s thoughts while in prison reflecting on her past brought her many questions. She learns to be independent and create her own decisions and ideas about life. As a character, she is incredibly strong and thought provoking. As she questions what she once believed about life and the world, she asks herself questions that force you into your own self-reflection. I would recommend this book because its over the top enough to be something different than other YA novels while still being relatable.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Teen Book Review: Prom Dates From Hell

Title:  Prom  Dates From Hell
Author: Rosemary Clement-Moore
Rating: 5/5 stars
Teen Reviewer: Emily St. Louis

Teen Reviewer: 
At first glance, I didn't really think I would like this book. But I never was so wrong. Rosemary Clement-Moore wrote that this was her first Young Adult novel; but her humor was outstanding. From movie/book references, to normal feelings that a senior in high school would feel. This was a girl who had to face supernatural forces (something you don't really expect the book to have) and she also was dead against Prom. But, in the end; I love a book with just a touch of romance. This book was just purely wonderful.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Darkness Strange and Lovely Book Review

Book: A Darkness Strange and Lovely
Author: Susan Dennard
Teen Reviewer: Elisha Cutter
Rating: 2/5
A Darkness Strange and Lovely is about Eleanor who is part of an organization known as the spirit hunters and when her brother gets killed she preforms a ritual, but instead of bringing back her brother it brings back something else. Due to all the havoc the spirit is reeking, Eleanor must find a way to send the spirit back where it came from and return her brother's seamless reputation that has now been lost. 

Honestly, I was not a fan of this book. I made several attempts to finish the novel, but was unsuccessful. The story lacked any creativity and could barely keep my attention. Maybe, other readers will find it interesting and a good read, but I cannot say I enjoyed the overall read.  

Monday, January 26, 2015

Book Review: Schizo

Title: Schizo
Author: Nic Sheff
Teen Reviewer: Elisha Cutter
Rating: 4/5 stars
Schizo is about a boy named Myles who was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Myles realized he had schizophrenia when his brother died. Myles believes his brother was kidnapped. Myles goes on an extensive search for his brother not knowing the actual cause of his brothers disappearance may not be as he believes. Myles believes the only witness is a girl who eventually shows up at school. This is a story of  Myles journey to understand what is truly real and what may only be in his head. 

I enjoyed reading this book because it is extremely different than most books coming out. Not only did I enjoy this story I gained additional understanding about the overall symptoms and disease that is schizophrenia. I would definitely recommend this book to other people and to keep an open mind while reading this.