Someone Like You

Reader: Kelly S
Age: 17
Title: Someone Like You
Author: Susane Colasanti
Publisher: Penguin Group
Pub Date: 2010
Galley: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: It was a very good book for young girls reading about relationships and friendship. Not everything turns out the way you think it will.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: The friend did not forgive her the way that I thought she would.
Cover: It made me want to read it. It looked sneaky and secretive but very romantic; exactly like the book.
Age Range: 12-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

Amy and Rogers Epic Detour

Reader: Kelly S
Age: 17
Title: Amy and Rogers Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon and Shuster
Pub Date: 2010
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: I loved it. You have to read this! It has everything in it that young teens go through. Parental struggle, relationship struggle, and emotional struggle with yourself. It was funny and witty. You won’t be able to put it down.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: I loved all of the playlists and little pictures of places that they stopped.
Comments: This book was phenomenal!!!
Cover: Yes, It made me think that it was just an easy romantic comedy however when I opened the book and really read it I figured out it was much much more.
Age Range: 16-18 and up
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 5P Everyone wants to read it

Hard To Get

Reader: Kelly S
Age: 17
Title: Hard To Get
Author: Emma Carlson Berne
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub Date: 2010
Galley: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: It is a good book for those comfy days when you just want to snuggle and feel good.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: I really liked the main character.
Cover: It made me want to pick up the book. The cover was very much a sneak peak into the book but it did not give too much away just by looking at it. I think it was very nice.
Age Range: 12-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

The Secret Life of Prince Charming

Reader: Kelly S
Age: 17
Title: The Secret Life of Prince Charming
Author: Deb Caletti
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub Date: March 2010
Galley: Yes
Recommend: No
Did you finish: No
Were you disappointed with the book: I did not like this book at all. It was slow and boring.
Cover: Yes the cover made me pick it up but it did not reflect the book.
Age Range: 12-15
Quality: 2Q Needs more work
Popularity: 2P Only for special interest

At First Sight

Reader: Kelly S
Age: 17
Title: At First Sight
Author: Catherine Hapka
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub Date: April 2010
Galley: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: It is a feel-good novel that will make you ready to jump up and do something or just stay comfy in bed. You can take it anywhere and it’s a quick and easy read.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: I thought that it was funny she didn't find him until the end of the book.
Cover: Yes, I have read other romantic comedies from Simon pulse and this one just like the others looked to be a promising good read.
Age Range: 12-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

Beautiful Darkness

Reader: Payton G.
Age: 14
Title: Beautiful DarknessAuthor: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Publisher: Little, Brown, and Company
Pub Date: 10/26/2010
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: Yes
Annotation: Just when Ethan thought that things might start getting normal again (or as close to normal as things can get when you're dating a powerful Caster,) they get even more complicated. What with Lena withdrawing from him, and the mysterious new girl working at the library. Will things in Gatlin ever be what they appear to be?
Recommend: Yes
How would you convince someone to read this book: I think all I would have to tell them was that it's the sequel to Beautiful Creatures, and they would want to read it. But if they required further tempting, I would tell them that Ethan and Lena's world is getting complicated, and things in Gatlin are crazier than ever.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: I found the most compelling aspect of the book to be the mystery that the new characters introduce into the mix.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: I was initially quite disappointed with not so much the book as the characters. They were really strong, powerful characters in the first book, and they started out incredibly whiny in this one.
Cover: The cover definitely drew my eye, because you would be a fool not to infer that this is the sequel to Beautiful Creatures. I think that the cover was really well done. It took a somewhat essential part of the book for the cover without cramming the whole plot into the cover.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: 12-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

Sisters Red

Reader: Elise S.
Age: 14
Title: Sisters Red
Author: Jackson Pearce
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pub Date: June 2010
Galley: Yes
Recommend: No
Compelling Aspect of the Book: This was one of those stories where you keep on reading, even though you're not quite sure why. The action was interesting and exciting, but got repetitive. After a while, one just stops caring about exactly how she sliced open a wolf's gut. Noticing the parallels between the fairy tale and the book was another thing that spiced it up.
Did you finish: Yes
Were you disappointed with the book at all: The plot was SO obvious! Within the first couple of chapters you know who the person they're seeking is, and exactly how the Fenris are going to lure him out. Capturing her? Really? And then the 'catch?' It would have been much more interesting if she just killed Silas, the wishy-washy git. And then there was Rosie. She was okay for the first little while, but then you just stopped caring about her. Scarlett was a tad better, she at least was interesting and had reasons for complaining. But then there was the romance which sent the entire book spiraling down. The author took forever setting it up (mentioning fluttery feelings at least 16 times in the process - "His hand brushed my arm, sending a wave of dizziness through my body," no. Way overused.), and then had the female character think, like it was a huge revelation to all parties involved, "I really think I'm in love with Silas Reynolds." :.(
Cover: This cover is fantabulous. The black and red are used very artfully, and the design is awesome! I love the way their hair intertwines (sort of like the thing with their hearts) and their characters are expressed in little details. The whole thing relates back to the book and is very beautiful.
Age Range: 12-15
Quality: 2Q Needs more work
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

Beautiful Darkness

Reader: Meghan K
Age: 16
Title: Beautiful Darkness
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Publisher: Little Brown & Company
Pub Date: 10/26/10
Galley: Yes
Recommend: No
Convince us to read the book: Beautiful Darkness is the sequel to Beautiful Creatures, a book so okay it was average. I liked Beautiful Creatures, but I remember being frustrated by how seriously the book took itself. The plot was ridiculously convoluted, and there were too many bland, cookie-cutter characters introduced at once with no characterization. The story itself and the writing were pretty good, but they were weighted down by overly flowery language and every single cliché available. The sequel suffers from the same problems, only more so.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: Beautiful Darkness suffers from uneven pacing and exposition dumps. Characters are introduced, forgotten about, and then become important ten chapters later. The normal human characters are dull and stereotyped, and the magical characters are flat. The authors seem to be striving for realism by putting in dozens of background characters who have no bearing on the plot, but this simply does not work in writing. Readers have been trained from birth to place importance on all named characters. There are no unnamed characters in this book. Everyone has a name and back story, but few of them are important. This book is too dense, it really needs someone to go in and take all of the extra stuff out.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: I felt like I should be taking notes when I was reading Beautiful Darkness. There's too much information and too many characters to process. The unimportant details are described lovingly, while important things are glossed over, then reintroduced with no warning. I read this book for the story, but I eventually gave up on trying to keep the characters and events separate in my head. Once I stopped thinking or applying 'logic' to the book, it became much more enjoyable.
Comments: This book takes itself waaaaay too seriously. Every third word is Capitalized, because it has some Great Significance in the Magic system of the Book. I can't take a book seriously when the main characters are A Wayward, a Keeper, a Siren, and a Mortal, all in search of the Great Barrier where their best friend, who is a Catalyst, has to Claim herself to Dark or Light. Also, this series has moved from "magic teenagers trying to get by in a close-minded small town" to "adventures in the underworld!" with no warning. I don't really like high-fantasy adventures, and this series is wandering dangerously in that direction. A good story is about normal people with fantastic problems, or about fantastic people with normal problems. This series was originally the former, and has warped into fantastic people with fantastic problems. I can't relate anymore, and am losing interest.
Cover: This series has had pretty good covers so far. Not spectacular, but they do set the scene nicely for the story.
Did you finish: Yes
Quality: 3Q Readable
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

The DUFF

Reader: Emily
Age: 16
Title: The DUFF
Author: Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pub Date: 09/2010
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: Although the cover makes it seems like a typical romance book, it is a fascinating story about finding love in someone who you wouldn't consider. The story also deals with the reality of divorce and alcoholism, subjects that are slightly taboo in books of this genre.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: Bianca piper, the heroine, deals with issues that many teens would be able to relate to and manages to keep a semblance of a life together in the process.
Comments: Good book with some serious issue. Kody Keplinger writes in a unique style that is makes a book both riveting and humorous.
Cover: The bold lettering and title are humorous, suggesting a good book. Although the cover looks good, the face on the front is contradictory towards the title. The "DUFF" is the "ugly, fat, friend", and the face is neither of those.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: 14-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

Mindblind

Reader: Payton G.
Age: 14
Title: Mindblind
Author: Jennifer Roy
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
Pub Date: 10/01/2010
Galley: Yes
Recommend: Yes
How would you convince someone to read the book: I would say that it is about a boy with Asperger's Syndrome, who is on a quest to become a genius. On the way, he has to learn how to fit in and be himself at the same time.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: I most liked that the main character was a total nerd. I always enjoy truly nerdy characters, especially those who make equations in their heads, such as this one. Cover: The cover is really interesting, and was what drew me to the book, but I don't think it reflected the contents of the book very well. Yeah, the main character plays the keyboard, but this doesn't play a major enough role, in my opinion, to be the only thing on the cover.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: 14-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

The Replacement

Reader: Emily
Age: 16
Title: The Replacement
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Publisher: Razorbill
Pub Date: 09/2010
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: This is a riveting story about faeries, tradition, and the supernatural. Yovanoff writes a compelling story that you'll find impossible to put down and leaves you wanting more.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: The story is based upon an interesting blend of modern times and traditional folklore.
Comments: This has to be one of the best books I've read in a long time.
Cover: GREAT cover, suggesting a story of dark suspense. The baby carriage reminds me of a gruesome fairy tale.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: 14-17
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 5P Everyone wants to read it

The Gathering

Reader: Sydney T
Age: 15
Title: The Gathering
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Pub Date: 4/12/11
Galley: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: This is a really cool and different book. It takes the whole paranormal theme but in a new direction that has been explored already, but again, changing it so it is original.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: The thing I really like about this book was that it had the whole fantasy grounded in reality thing going, but it was still a unique take on it.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: The book was the first of a trilogy, so at the end it kind of trailed off and didn't have a solid ending. However, it wasn't as annoying as other books like that because it was announced on the back cover that it was part of a trilogy, and kind of prepared you for the drop.
Cover: Yes, the cover was the reason I picked this book, however it didn't really reflect the story (other than that the protagonist is female).
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: 12-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

When the Stars Go Blue

Reader: Emily
Age: 16
Title: When the Stars Go Blue
Author: Caridad Ferrer
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Pub Date: 12/10
Galley: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: When The Stars Go Blue really is a magnificent story of growing up and pursuing your dreams, while learning about love along the way. I think the main character is very realistic and shows a dynamic personality that can be hard to find in teen books today.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: Soledad, the main character is subject to the realistic dilemma's of being a teenage girl. Granted, she is a professional ballet dancer (which is uncommon). But like people in reality, she has to make tough decisions about her future, family, and love life.
Comments: A. Jonathan Crandell's mother seemed too weak for most of the book, it was good to see her take a stand at the end, but it seemed like she was downplayed too much. B. The soccer playing was a good, and a different aspect.
Cover: The cover of the book is BEAUTIFUL! It really captures the main character and one of the main symbols in the book, a red rose.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: 16-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

Tutored

Reader: Emily
Age: 16
Title: Tutored
Author: Allison Whittenberg
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pub Date: 12/14/2010
Galley: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: Allison writes an interesting tale about two people from different backgrounds finding each other and falling in love. Short but sweet, it makes for a good read.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: Most teen books don't talk about racial issues, which creates a nice change.
Comments: It feels like the author could have added more to the plot, less two-dimensional characters.
Cover: The cover seemed like it was a stock photo. There needs to be a cover that more accurately represents the characters and their lives.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: 12-15
Quality: 3Q Readable
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

The Scorch Trials

Reader: Payton G.
Age: 14
Title: The Scorch TrialsAuthor: James Dashner
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pub Date: 10/12/2010
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: Yes
Annotation: Thomas and his friends, freshly escaped from the Maze, think that all is well, and that WICKED is done with them. But they are in for a surprise when they find out that everything they had been through was only Phase One. Now it's time for Phase Two. Will they survive... the Scorch Trials?
Recommend: Yes
How would you convince someone to read the book: Really, you just have to mention that it's the sequel to The Maze Runner, and I'm pretty sure they would say something along the lines of "Gimme gimme gimme!!!"
Compelling Aspect of the Book: I think the most compelling aspect was that it was never dull. There is always something happening in this series, which makes me, at least, not want to put it down ever.
Did you finish: Yes
Were you disappointed with the book at all: The ending was disappointing, but less in a "This is a bad ending" way and more of a "Grrr, why don't you ever answer questions" kind of a way.
Cover: I quite like the cover, and it does a pretty good job expressing both the tone and contents of the book. Overall, the fact that it was the sequel to The Maze Runner was what made me pick it up. But I would not have noticed it if not for the cover.
Age Range: 14-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 5P Everyone wants to read it

Extraordinary

Reader: Emily
Age: 16
Title: Extraordinary
Author: Nancy Werlin
Publisher: Dial Books
Pub Date: 09/2010
Galley: Yes
Recommend: No
Convince us to read the book: This is a good read for a lazy Saturday afternoon and you're looking for a enthralling book about faeries, magic,
Compelling Aspect of the Book: The main character comes from a well-endowed family, but is able to make friends with someone who comes from a different background. This idea makes one feel just a little bit better about the world we live in.
Cover: The front image appears to be over-exposed. Everything is too vivid and the image seems too foo-foo.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: 12-17

Fall for Anything

Reader: Emily
Age: 16
Title: Fall for Anything
Author: Courtney Summers
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pub Date: 01/2011
Galley: Yes
Recommend: No
Compelling Aspect of the Book: Eddie Reeve's has to deal with a parent who has committed suicide, another thing that is normally not talked about in reality. I think that this is positive book on one girl's journey to better understand her father and the reason for his death.
Cover: Good sepia tones, suggesting an artsy tone. The character on the cover doesn't represent the main character.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: 14-18 and up
Quality: 3Q Readable
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

Born at Midnight

Reader: Sydney T
Age: 15
Title: Born at Midnight
Author: C.C. Hunter
Publisher: St. Martin's Press`
Pub Date: 4/00/11
Galley: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: This is a really good book about a girl that gets shipped off to a summer camp for what she calls "freaky freak", aka witches, vampires, werewolves, fairies, and shapeshifters. I really liked that it was based in real life but had some supernatural twists.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: I really liked the supernatural/reality mix, as well as the love twists. The main character and her friends were funny and endearing.
Comments: This is the beginning of a series, but it still had its own story (start, middle, end) which a lot of books that are part of a series don't have anymore, which made me happy, and want to read the rest of the books.
Cover: Yes, the cover (and title) compelled me to pick up the book. It didn't really reflect the story too much.
Did you finish: Yes
Were you disappointed with the book: No, I really liked this book.
Age Range: 14-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

The Demon Trapper's Daughter

Reader: Sydney T
Age: 15
Title: The Demon Trapper's Daughter
Author: Jana Oliver
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pub Date: 2/00/11
Galley: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince to read book: It seems like an intriguing book.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: It is in the future, where demons are running amuck in the world, and there are people trained to catch them.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: I wasn't disappointed in the book, but I still didn't finish it. For me, it was hard to keep reading, even though the story was interesting, I just ending picking up a different book and reading that instead.
Cover: Yes, the cover did cause me to pick up the book. It somewhat reflected the book.
Did you finish: No
Age Range: 16-18 and up
Quality: 3Q Readable
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

The Ivy

Reader: Emily
Age: 16
Title: The Ivy
Author: Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur
Publisher: Greenwilow Books
Pub Date: 09/2010
Galley: Yes
Recommend: No
Compelling Aspect of the Book: This is a very engaging story of college life that has general appeal, in addition to feeding if of a stereotype about college.
Comments: A. The end of the book felt really raw, as if there was supposed to be more to the story. Is there supposed to be a sequel? B. The severity of antagonist seemed unreal and didn't create a good reading experience.
Cover: The cover is intriguing, although it is bothersome that the title is not capitalized. Instead of living ivy, the iron ivy suggests the book is darker than first the first impression.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: 16-18 and up
Quality: 2Q Needs more work
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

The Deathday Letter

Reader: Elise S.
Age: 14
Title: The Deathday Letter
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Galley: Yes
Recommend: No
Compelling Aspect of the Book: The idea of Deathday letters is a cool one, but not interesting enough to keep me reading.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: While there wasn't anything particularly wrong with the book, nothing was really right either. The characters were shallow, the plot scattered, and the writing bland. It was the kind of book that I wanted to like, but was just blah. Another thing: Ollie's sense of humor was very stereotypical. Teenage boys may think like that, but that doesn't mean one needs to emphasize it so much in a book. You wouldn't have them going on and on about what they were planning to have for breakfast, would you?
Cover: I thought the cover was interesting. While it might get a little bit lost in the sea of red and
black covers right now, the smiley death face was fun! The font of the title, combined with the catch sentence both struck me as cliché, and could use polishing.
Did you finish: No
Age Range: 12-15
Quality: 2Q Needs more work
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

Jumpstart The World

Reader: Sarah B
Age: 13
Title: Jumpstart The World
Author: Cathrine Ryan Hyde
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Pub Date: 10/12/10
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: This book talks a lot about acceptance. It's really about how Elle reacts to Frank, and how she accepts him.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: How Elle finally learns to accept Frank.
Comments: This is an amazing book, I really enjoyed reading it.
Were you disappointed with the book: I was only disappointed that this book wasn't longer!
Cover: I really liked the cover, because the cat was a very important part of the story, and this picture on the front really represents the book.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: 12-18 and up
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

Amy and Rogers Epic Detour

Reader: Maita L
Age: 16
Title: Amy and Rogers Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon&Schuster
Pub Date: 2010
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: Teenage issues, kind of cliché, but written in a realistic and interesting way.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: The most compelling aspect of the book is when Amy drove again. I believe that, that was the turning point when she could trust herself again and because she changed she was able to get much further in her life and with Roger.
Comments: I love the structure of this book. Matson uses pictures to capture moments and even added music lists to make the detour realistic, therefore putting the reader in a spot where they actually feel like they are in the book.
Cover: I guess you could say that the cover tempted me to pick up to the book. I actually just really liked the font used on the cover so I decided to pick it up.
Did you finish: Yes
Were you disappointed with the book at all: I was not disappointed with the book.
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

Bleeding Violet

Reader: Olivia S
Age: 14
Title: Bleeding Violet
Author: Dia Reeves
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub Date: 1/5/10
Galley: Yes
Recommend: No
Compelling Aspect of the Book: The main character has an interesting perspective on the world. Her point of view is neither too harsh nor romanticized; she tends to tell things as they are but still have her own voice. It's different than a lot of things I've read.
Were you disappointed with this book at all: It started off being interesting, but had a lot of cliché elements: the "new girl in town" learning to fit in, someone who really just wants to be loved, finding who your family is. These would have been okay if the main plot had held together well, but the conclusion was weak and the whole idea just seemed a little lame. I never knew quite what these weird monsters were, where they came from, or the story behind them. Some parts got random and didn't lead anywhere. The characters seemed promising at first, but turned out just shallow and unrealistic. Teenagers these days don't really act like that, and they all just got on my nerves after the first couple hundred pages.
Comments: If you have some extra time on your hands and don't have high expectations for this book, you can go ahead and read it. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother. It is a quick read, but isn't worth it.
Cover: The cover interested me, but I don't think it reflected the book itself particularly well except that the main character only wore purple clothes. It was the same with the title. The author definitely could have tied in the purple/violet theme better with the actual story.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: 14-18 and up
Quality: 2Q Needs more work
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Reader: John D
Age: 16
Title: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Publisher: Random House
Pub Date: 10/26/2010
Galley: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: It's an incredibly sweet and touching book and is guaranteed to make you say "awwwww." This book also manages to stay fresh when so many other romantic texts fall into time worn patterns that destine them for obscurity.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: The most compelling aspect of the book for me was the two different character plot lines that continued through the book together. I loved knowing what was going on to one character while the other was trapped by doubt.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: This book most definitely did NOT disappoint! I loved every page and actually reread it in the month that I had the galley. If there was one flaw it was in the ending which seemed to almost come out too well. However this is up for debate and all in all it is a fantastic read.
Cover: The cover intrigued me but didn't really draw me in. It did reflect the contents however. Now that I have finished it I can reflect on the cover more fondly.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: 12-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

Banished

Reader: Sydney T
Age: 14
Title: Banished
Author: Sophie Littlefield
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pub Date: 10/12/2010
Galley: Yes
Recommend: No
Compelling Aspect of the Book: The most compelling aspect is that it is about a girl who has the power to heal people, and that the author creates a history for that power.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: I was very disappointed with the end of the book because it stops very abruptly, in the middle of a scene, and I think that that is really bad writing.
Comments: If you get really frustrated when authors stop books before the story is done, like they are forcing you to buy the sequel when it comes out to find out what happened, do NOT read this book. Its engaging while you read it, and it’s a good story, but if that really, really bugs you, don't even start the book.
Cover: The cover did intrigue me into picking up the book. However, I don't think it really reflected on the contents.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: 12-17
Quality: 3Q Readable
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

Matched

Reader: Olivia S
Age: 14
Title: Matched
Author: Ally Condie
Publisher: Dutton Books
Pub Date: 11/30/2010
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: It's set in an interesting society, where everything is monitored and predicted. It makes you think about the freedoms we have... or whether we don't have all that many freedoms after all. I couldn't put it down!
Compelling Aspect of the Book: The messages were strong, and I loved the part about poetry. It wasn't super action-packed, but it wasn't slow either, which made me want to keep reading and reading and reading.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: I can't say I was disappointed with this book. However, there was something about it that seemed unoriginal. Like they'd taken bits from a ton of other science fiction books and squished them all together. Also, it was a little
predictable.
Comments: It was an interesting and well thought-out read, but not THE best book I've ever read.
Cover: My first impression of the cover was, this is a little plain. But maybe that was the point - to have the attention focused on the girl, while there's not much around her. I
don't know... I guess there could be symbolism I'm not reading into.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: 12-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

Fallout

Reader: Sabrina K
Age: 16
Title: Fallout
Author: Ellen Hopkins
Publisher: Simon & Shuster
Pub Date: October 14
Galley: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: Is there much more than to say than Ellen Hopkins wrote it? I think not! But honestly, since she has made herself into this great author you really have expectations that it will be a great book—and it does live up to these expectations.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: The most compelling aspect would be how Hopkins putting light yet again on young individuals that go through a great extent of turmoil pain. Still somehow after all this struggle they reach a point of growth and learn from all these horrible incidences. I loved how all these characters have a similar, yet different situations due to Meth and that they don't get together till the "end" end of the book. It made more sense and really put light on their relationship with each other, their mother, and what Meth has done personally for them.
Comments: I think Ellen Hopkins needs to expand on the characters that she chooses. It was great to read another one of her books, but it feels like the characters are getting a bit repetitive.
Cover: The cover is not original, but I'm not going to complain since it is an Ellen Hopkins book and all her books are like this.
Age Range: 16-18 and up
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

Crescendo

Reader: Briana G
Age: 17
Title: Crescendo
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pub Date: 10/19/10
Galley: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Compelling Aspect of the Book: I have yet to place what the exact hypnotic quality of this book is, but I don't think it's any one aspect alone. The author does a fantastic job of keeping you guessing throughout the book, and a lot of times my predictions were happily let down in terms of the plot. The setting is vivid enough to picture yourself there, but it isn't overdeveloped. The characters are enthralling, fantasy aside they're very realistic in terms of personality. They're really consistent and even though you might not *want* a character to be the villain, the explanations she gives are quite reasonable. The characters developed according to what happened to them in the first book, and I really appreciated that. One of the things I appreciated most, especially so because this was a sequel, was the author was able to keep you in the dark enough to be unsure if Nora's life was actually in danger. Though in the back of my mind I know it’s unrealistic for the author to kill her main character, I always appreciate the illusion, and few authors have managed to pull it off well in my experience as a reader. She also managed to wonderfully surprise me by the villain. Most authors would've made Scott the villain, and I was certain it was going to be him, but she switched it up on me, and I'm glad. It made the story a lot better. I also loved the title. Succinct, and a great word besides. Simple titles really appeal to me as a reader, especially when they manage to captivate the essence of the book.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: The hardest push for me was the first three chapters, they seemed cliche and didn't motivate me to read the rest of the book, I'm glad I did continue reading, but the set-up in the first part of the book was lacking. I also don't care much for cliffhanger endings. It was *more* acceptable in this story than it would have been in Hush, Hush but I still believe it’s better to end on a note where the author doesn't appear to be forcing the reader into the next book in the series.
Comments: deathly captivating. Thank you. (and the book took me away from my school work...it was that good, which is both awesome and annoying)
Cover: I thought the cover was merely 'okay'. I believe the red feather ruined the effect for me, on the cover of Hush, Hush the feathers looked far more realistic. Here it looked like bad computer stickers screened onto a photograph. The rest was great, and I was pleased at how similar it looked to the first cover. I can't wait to see what the next cover looks like.
Age Range: 14-17
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

Mockingjay

Reader: Mollie W
Age: 16
Title: Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pub Date: 08/24/2010
Galley: No
Recommend: No
Compelling Aspect of the Book: For most of the book you feel connected with someone in the story. Even if it isn't Katniss, you end up caring about a couple of characters. It's easy to see some of yourself or someone you know in this book.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: The first 300 pages were decent—sub-par is how I would describe them, but I shrugged it off. I tried to go with it. I TRIED. This is where we enter into spoiler territory. The following information will leave it very clear how it ends, you have been warned. She skipped the revolution, killed Prim(?!?!??!!), turned Katniss into a weakling, and killed off Finick, leaving Peeta AND Gale completely untouched. Oh and Katniss ALMOST dies every other page.
Let's start from the top. The whole climax of this book is Katniss breaking into the Capitol and settling the score with Snow. But instead she's in the hospital, wakes up and the revolution is over. If that's not anti-climactic, I don't know what is. Secondly, Prim is the main reason Katniss is fighting. She's one of the few that Katniss has been working to protect this whole time. The way she killed off Prim was very weak as well. Some may say that it's realistic for Katniss to crumble under the pressure and have a meltdown for the first half of the book, but I ask, why now? She's survived two Hunger Games. One of the most admirable traits of Katniss was her strength which is not present for any of this book.
Finick was another unnecessary casualty. By this point, it's not so much that Finick died, it was that she didn't kill Peeta or Gale. If we're being "realistic" by the same standards as the people who disagree with me on the Katniss front, then one of them or both should have died. They were in harm’s way for the majority if not all of the book. Lastly, Katniss getting hurt all the time got really old. That's self-explanatory.
Comments: WHY SUZANNE COLLINS, WHY????????
Cover: The cover didn't stick with the pattern of the other two books. I didn't care for the color or the position the bird is in. It was a let-down and was nearly as intriguing as the other two were.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: Under 12 to 18 up
Quality: 1Q How did it get published?
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

Lord Sunday

Reader: Guananí
Age: 14
Title: Lord Sunday
Author: Garth Nix
Publisher: Scholastic
Pub Date: 3/2010
Galley: No
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: If you have read the other six books, this is a very satisfying ending to the series without being too happy or leaving any major loose ends. It was better than I expected and an enjoyable read.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: The most compelling thing to me about this series is the complexity of the House and all its systems, random magical objects and fascinating inhabitants. There are a lot of interesting and original characters who move the story along and make you care about the fate of their world. Even though there are some minor characters who are cooler and more interesting than Arthur, the protagonist, this adds to the story rather than taking away from it.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: I was very satisfied with this book, especially the well planned ending. I was not at all disappointed, though at first I thought I would be just because that seems to happen with many long series.
Cover: The cover matched the other six books and also reflected the contents of the book. I picked it up because I instantly recognized the cover as The Keys to the Kingdom series, and was curious to how Garth Nix would end such a long story.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: 12-15
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

Linger

Reader: Payton G.
Age: 14
Title: Linger
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pub Date: 07/??/2010
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: Yes
Annotation: Sam and Grace thought they had worked everything out. They had cured Sam, or so it seems, and it looked to be happily ever after. But all that changes when Grace becomes suddenly ill, and a new wolf who doesn't seem to obey the laws of shifting appears. What will disappear? And what will linger?
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: You really only need to say that it's the sequel to Shiver. If you read Shiver, and liked it, then you should read this, as it's the continuation of the story.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: I liked that all the werewolf business became logical in this book. Maggie managed to think up scientific explanations for werewolfism, and that made me so happy. A lot of the time with cross-species dating, it's just "Oh, a mythical creature, I think I'm in love!" But with this it was actually grounded in logic. Nice change from the status quo.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: The ending disappointed me, but only because I've never been one for cliffhangers. I like instant gratification with books, not long, drawn out waits between them.
Cover: I like the cover. I liked the cover for Shiver also, and with this one, you can tell their part of the same series. I think it was a reflection of both the mood, and to some extent the contents.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: 14-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

Dark Life

Reader: Guananí
Age: 15
Title: Dark Life
Author: Kat Falls
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pub Date: 5/ /2010
Galley: No
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: The world building in this book is fantastic. You can really believe all the systems of the underwater colony and understand how it could work in real life. The story also has some exciting twists and well-conceived characters.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: The setting is definitely the most interesting and compelling part of the book. The plot is actually pretty simple and wouldn't be nearly as interesting if it weren't for the cool setting and brave main characters.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: The only disappointing thing in the book was some random romance in the ending that wasn't very important or relevant and made me roll my eyes. Besides that small detail, it was an enjoyable read.
Cover: The cover is absolutely beautiful. It made me pick up the book and even after I read the blurb, which didn't seem super interesting, I kept this book in my stack because of the cover.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: 12-13
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

Cloaked in Red

Reader: Elise S.
Age: 14
Title: Cloaked in Red
Author: Vivian Vande Velde
Publisher: Marshal Cavendish
Pub Date: Oct 1 2010
Galley: Yes
Recommend: No
Compelling Aspect of the Book: The most interesting part of the book was just seeing what she could come up with next, and how absurd it got. The majority of the short stories were unoriginal, and played exactly to the things that she complained about the original in
the introduction. There was one about a Little Red Riding Hood doll that stood out, and gave me hope to finish the rest of them. Also, it was really short, so the blahness wasn't prolonged.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: I felt like there could have been a lot more room for creativity. Every single story started out the exact same way: Once upon a time, before there were (insert electronic/modern name here). Yes, it was intentional, but
after a while just got irritating. The introduction also got on my nerves. "It has bad characters, animals acting totally against their natural instincts, a bad plot, bad role models, implausible actions, terrible setting, bad writing-" and on and on and on. And all in this
faux funny/sarcastic/hip writing. The kind that might get a laugh if it were being used in a story, but written down just looks sad and washed out. And unfortunately authors seem to think teens love. But it was the complaining that really got to me. No, the wolf doesn't act like a real wolf, but it's a FAIRY TALE. That's OKAY. And when one goes through her stories, almost all of them have anthropomorphic wolves too. Bloody hypocrite.
Cover: I thought that the cover was the most interesting thing about the book. The dark red against the green looked dramatic and mysterious. As a cloak collector myself, I covet her cape very dearly. One thing that did bother me was the age of the woman. She looks to be at least 16, and Little Red was a lot younger than that.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range : Under 12
Quality: 2Q Needs more work
Popularity: 2P Only for special interest

Brian Farrey at TKB in October

If you missed us in October, you really missed out! Brian Farrey, Aquiring Editor at Flux Books, dropped by for a visit at our monthly meeting to talk about the exciting world of editing and publishing. Brian shared some great advice as our aspiring authors and future book editors were on the edge of their seats.

According to Brian, “research is the key to everything!” If you’re trying to get your book published, take a moment to go online and find the publisher’s submission guidelines before spending money on sending out a manuscript. If you’re looking for an agent, Brian says to look at the acknowledgements in a book similar to yours and you’ll usually find the name of that author’s agent (again, research). What is Brian looking for as he’s reading submissions?? Since Flux is a smaller imprint, they publish about 24 books in a year, so Brian is more interested in themes than the trends—in other words, “I don’t care that mermaids are the next werewolves,” lol.

Brian was almost giddy about a new book he recently acquired, called Skyship Academy, The Pearl Wars. He says he read it cover to cover in one sitting, because “it constantly surprised me!” All we know is that there may be some strategically placed explosions that will catch you by surprise. The book will be published next fall by Flux, thanks to Brian’s immediate offer “sprinkled with sparkly dust.” It’s no wonder Flux has gotten so much attention lately, with Brian’s good taste working for them.

TKB was also very interested in Brian’s new experience: switching gears from editing to being edited! Simon and Schuster picked up the new book he wrote, called Chasers, which will be hitting shelves July 12th, 2011—and we can’t wait! Brian let us read a few pages and even showed us some of the many edits. He admits that he was surprised that, being an editor, he missed so many things in his own writing. “As a writer, you get too close to the book.” Easy to see why though—it sounds like a story you’d get wrapped up it. Congratulations on the huge accomplishment, Brian! And congrats on your new marriage as well! Brian actually got married a few days before our meeting. He must have wanted to come to TKB so much that he postponed the honeymoon getaway—just kidding.

By the way TKB members, Brian says they have internships for high school students at Flux! If you’re interested, you can email the HR director at erikac@llewellyn.com.
(posted by JuliAnn Betker)

TKBs Meet Suzanne Collins and David Levithan

Hey everybody, we had a lot of fun at the Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul on Saturday!  We got to meet Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and MockingJay.  One of her editors, David Levithan was also there--another of our favorite authors (Will Grayson, Will Grayson and Dash and Lily's Book of Dares), which was a nice surprise.


Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Reader: Elise S
Age: 14
Title: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
Author: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Pub Date: Oct. 26th
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: Yes
Annotation: When Dash finds a red notebook containing dares written by a stranger named Lily, adventure beckons. As they exchange the dreams, dares, and true wishes in the notebook, both of their dream soul mates seem to be growing, but when they finally meet face to face, will all of their ideals become reality?
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: This is the ideal, but realistic romance. Both the characters are very relateable, funny, wonderful, and just real. Both Dash and Lily had quirks that made me think they could be alive somewhere (I hope), and weren't forced. The perpetual nerdiness made very VERY happy! Creativity was brimming from every page. Basically, it's the best romance I've ever read, and I am very jealous of the characters. (Contemplating starting my own notebook - definitely.)
Compelling Aspect of the Book: The characters were the absolute best part. People like that bolster my faith in the human race. The idea that two strangers were willing to take that kind of risk, without freaking out about "Oh no, it's a creeper" paranoia was very refreshing. Dash and Lily were amazingly, wonderfully, awesomely nerdy. I learned some new words, and laughed out loud.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: Did it have to end?
Comments: Another great thing about this book was that the entire romance wasn't focused on sex, which was fabulous. This is how I want my romance to be.
Cover: I must admit that the cover wasn't particularly to my taste. It fit the book, was colorful, and creative (love the title and authors on the signs). However, when I see books like this, I usually think of fluff. Lots of it. The heart-shaped snowflakes were a tad overboard. The heart on the light already gives enough of that huggy feel to it.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Rang: 12-18 and up
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 5P Everyone wants to read it

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares

Reader: Payton G
Age: 14
Title: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares
Author: Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Publisher: Random House
Pub Date: 10/26/2010
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: Yes
Annotation: If you found a little red notebook nestled in with your favorite author in your favorite book store, what would you do? The answer is simple for Dash. He would pick it up, only to discover a gateway into the best relationship of his life.
Recommend: Yes
How would you convince someone to read the book: I would tell them that it is the most ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE book on the face of the planet, with well written plot, and characters.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: I liked that it was fluff. I mean to say that while it was fluffy, it also had depth, plot, and well developed characters.
Cover: I have mixed feelings about the cover. I think it reflected the MOOD, rather than the contents of the book (the mood is totally freaking adorable, in case you were wondering.) I wouldn't mind if they changed the cover, but I also wouldn't mind if they left it alone.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: 14-18 and up
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 5P Everyone wants to read it

Brain Jack

Reader: Elise S
Age: 14
Title: Brain Jack
Author: Brian Falkner
Publisher: Random House
Pub Date: Sept 28
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: Yes
Annotation: When Sam Wilson crashes the internet, phone, TV, ATMs, and bank systems all across the US, and then goes through a very unique job interview, it's just the beginning of an intense battle against a power-hungry electronic entity.
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: WARNING: will instill you with a paranoia (in a good way) of computer games, technology, and hackers. Apart from that, the idea of this technology-based future is very creative and, quite frankly, terrifying. This futuristic world is different from a lot of what's out there now in the sense that it feels very close. What the author describes could be 20 years from now, instead of 200 like in the Hunger Games.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: The plot was so gripping, I couldn't put it down. It kept me guessing, and was fast paced. I loved how creepy the whole video game addiction thing was, and the intricacy of the technology.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: Not so much disappointed, as confused by a couple of things. 1) Some of the descriptions of them fighting hackers seemed out of place. I would have liked more description about what the screens looked like, and the actual, physical actions they did (keys, mice, pressing buttons, etc.) 2) The relationship between Sam and Vienna was very sudden, there was no build up, and I wondered about how it continued.
Cover: First of all, this color green almost always gets a thumbs up from me. I'm not quite sure what exactly it is, but the design definitely looks computer-y, and dramatic.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: 12-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

Epitaph Road

Reader: Emily
Age: 16
Title: Epitaph Road
Author: David Patneaude
Publisher: Egmont USA
Pub Date: 02/2010
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: Epitaph Road is a curious, exciting read about a young man who grows up in a world where women rule and a "plague" has wiped out almost all men on earth. Finding out about a plot to kill his birth father, he undertakes a quest to find him and warn him about the almost certain death. This book is told from a new perspective, in a world that seems very realistic.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: The best part of this book is that it is told from the perspective of a young teenage boy that has grown up in a world of women. This sort of circumstance is usually reversed in the books similar to this one; it proves to be a provocative read.
Comments: I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in looking at the future with a different point of view. The future in this book is barely fifty years away from when it is written, and yet it seems like nothing like that could happen in our lifetime. This books stress's the idea that the world can change in a very short amount of time.
Cover: The cover of this book was quite compelling, in a slightly sinister manner. The gray clouds overhead don't quite fit, since the world in the story is supposed to be happy with sunny blue skies, but otherwise the fields of metal crosses fit right into the contents.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: 12-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

Hunger

Reader: Emily
Age: 16
Title: Hunger
Author: Jackie Morse Kessler
Publisher: HMH Children's Paperback
Pub Date: 10/2010
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: Hunger is a thrilling book that once you start, you must finish. A compelling read to men or women, it portrays the difficulties a teenager must face in the high profile life of today. The main character faces problems with a neglecting family and an eating disorder that has the potential to turn deadly. The interesting twist appears when death beckons her to become Famine, one of the four bringers of the apocalypse.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: I think the most compelling part of this book is that it is centered around real life issues and the main character really struggles to work through them. She doesn't face the fact that she has a problem at first, driving away friends and family.
Comments: This book really relates to many issues that teens face today. Ms. Kessler writes a compelling story, albeit short, conveys the hardships and hurdles that many people face as they grow up.
Cover: The cover of Hunger does a wonderful job at conveying the dark tone and theme of the book. The set of scales clearly represents the balance the main character uses and finds in the book.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: 16-17
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

This World We Live In

Reader: Charlie S
Age: 17
Title: This World We Live In
Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group
Pub Date: April 2012
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: This book is great, there is not one boring point in the book. It gives us a glance at the future without sunlight, what things would be like and what not. I would read it if I were you.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: Just how the family survived without sunlight and much food at all was amazing. How they tried to keep things as normal as possible in a very imperfect world.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: The only thing that disappointed me was the back of the book. It gave away too much information I think. Don't include information about the Tornado hitting Howell. That part definitely ruined it for me when the tornado actually hit.
Comments: Very good book, just remove the part on the back of the book talking about the Tornado.
Did the cover reflect the contents of the book: Yes it did. Yes the plot was about how the moon was pushed closer to Earth and that is exactly what is on the cover.
Did you finish: Yes
Age Range: 12-18 and up
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 5P Everyone wants to read it