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Books for Teens

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 Books for Teens



Book jacket image for The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This book hooked me from the very first page.  It is a futuristic look at a collapsed United States where those in control keep control by a survival game.  Each of the twelve districts that are dominated by the capitol must send two teenagers every year to the capitol to participate in the hunger games.  There is only one victor and survivor.  These games are broadcast live as reality TV for entertainment.  Sixteen year old  Katniss, of district twelve, volunteers to take her younger sister's place in the grueling contest between twenty-four contestants.   Action packed, this is a very suspenseful book that also offers much to think about.  Many themes are touched upon. Katniss and all the characters are realistic and sympathetic. The first of a trilogy.  I would put it into the same category as THE GIVER.  A really good read!   Reviewed by Andy 1/23/09



Book jacket image for The Wild Girls

The Wild Girls by Pat Murphy

This is my 10-year niece’s all-time favorite book, and I read it on her recommendation. She loved it for its portrayal of the friendship of two 12-year old girls who, with the encouragement of one of their dads, a tattooed motorcycle-riding sci-fi writer, write a prize-winning story and gain entrance to a prestigious summer writing workshop at U.C. Berkeley. Their friendship and their imaginations help them deal with their different but equally challenging family situations. For me, the book’s setting—the San Francisco Bay Area, especially Berkeley and the Berkeley campus, in 1972—was an added bonus. Highly recommended for aspiring girl authors, aged 9-14. Reviewed by Elizabeth 10/17/08 



Book jacket image for Smack

Smack by Melvin Burgess

Smack depicts a story of two teen runaways who descend into homlessness and chemical addiction. In an attempt to gain independence and escape their flawed home lives, Tar and Gemma run away to squat in Bristol. The harsh realities of homeless life begin to take a toll on the couple as they attempt to support themselves and their habit. This easy read depicts the couple's decline, as heroin addiction dominates their lives. Reviewed by 10/10/08




Book jacket image for Rumors

Luxe and Rumors by Anna Godbersen

I really liked the first book in this series, The Luxe, but after the second book Rumors I am officially obsessed. The story centers on Manhattan society's elite in the late nineteenth century, particularly the friendships and rivalries between a specific group of teenaged girls. For these girls living under the ever watchful eye of high society means the constant struggle to maintain their places within it, usually by making proper but loveless marriage matches and fiercely protecting their reputations. The pressure often proves too much, and the girls resort to extreme measures to keep up appearances. The books are rife with deceit, passion, love, and drama - enough to put any modern day TV soap opera to shame! But don't be dismayed. This is some high quality reading from a top-notch author. I stayed up all night finishing Rumors, I was that enthralled, but now I'm left hanging for the third installment. Reviewed by Shireen 9/30/08


Book jacket image for Re-Gifters

Re-Gifters by Mike Carey

Jen Dik Seong ("Dixie") lives near Los Angeles' Koreatown.  She is very good at hapkido, an ancient martial art. When she falls for surfer and hapkido competitor, Adam, she struggles trying for his affection. She uses her tournament entry money to buy him a special gift -- that Adam re-gifts. Reviewed by Linda 8/21/08




Book jacket title for Quest for a Maid

Quest for a Maid by Frances Mary Hendry

A historical fiction novel blending fact with legend, this is essentially a story of the enduring love between two sisters set in 13th century Scotland. When Inge uses magic to change the course of history, she misinterprets her younger sister Meg's attempts to help. The lives of the girls' friends, relatives, and even two royal families are caught up in the ensuing crossfire. Weaving its way through whales, shipwrecks, murder, and witchcraft trials, this is an exciting and moving tale of misunderstandings, adventure, and finally forgiveness. It has been one of my personal favorites for years. Reviewed by Megan 08/05/08


Book jacket title for Keturah and Lord Death

Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt

A beautifully written and haunting tale of love and death in the time of plague. 

Teen-aged Keturah Reeve lies dying in the forest when Death personified appears to her.  Keturah and Death strike a bargain -- if she finds her true love before tomorrow's end, Death will let her live.  If not ....Reviewed by Carol-Anne 07/28/08





Book jacket title for Shark Girl

Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham

Jane's perfect Southern California life is shattered when she is attacked by a shark. Her right arm is amputated and her dreams of becoming a professional artist are lost along with her missing limb. Videotape of the incident is played over and over on the nightly news and she becomes nationally known as "Shark Girl".  Jane struggles to reframe her identity after the accident. What happened to Jane and who is Shark Girl? She refuses to be the brave and inspirational survivor everyone seems to expect her to be. She resists the encouragement of other amputees, her loving family, and close circle of friends. Instead she revisits the day of the attack. What if she'd stayed on the beach, entered the water in a different spot, waited for her brother to join her? Slowly, with the help of those who love her, Jane opens up to new possibilities and moves towards her future. The novel is written in sparse free-verse, that effectively imparts the intensity of Jane's story. This is a great pick for girls seeking a quick, contemporary read with emotional punch.  Reviewed by Nancy 07/24/08



Book jacket title for Beastly

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Kyle Kingsbury is a physically perfect, fatally flawed, over-privileged New York teen.    Kyle, following the example of his father, values beauty over substance.  Looks are everything.  When Kyle asks an unattractive Goth chick to a dance as a prank, he discovers she is actually a witch.  Under her spell he becomes an ugly, hairy beast who must find true love to end the curse.  What follows is classic Beauty and the Beast. Even though readers will know where the story is heading, they'll want to go along for the magical romance ride.  Those that love Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series may end up loving Beast Kyle almost as much as they love Edward the vampire.  Reviewed by Nancy 07/28/08

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