Nightshade


Reader: Ada
Age: 17
Title: Nightshade
Author: Andrea Cremer
Publisher: Penguin
Pub Date: 10/2010
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens Top 10: No
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: I thought the amount of background and history that Cremer put into the werewolf society was really neat. Most supernatural books just expect you to accept all of this assumed history and weight about their culture. I also thought it was cool that the werewolves actually existed in our world. They interacted with humans and the main character was actually in a love triangle with one of them. Usually, the humans are either seen as food or are just non-existent in the plot.
Compelling aspects of the book: The romance was definitely the coolest part of the novel. I liked how the characters are still in high school so you get that realistic, tension-in-the-hallways feel to the novel. Also, the love that exists between Cal and Ren. They seem to love each other, but it's an imposed love, more of an attraction. Both romances seem so real, I actually didn't know which one would win out until the very end. And even here, I'm still guessing.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: Yes
Reasons why you were disappointed with the book: One thing that I didn't like was the ending. It was very abrupt and I didn't really know what to think. I know that there is a sequel coming out, and I hate it when so many new series' books end like this. They expect you to just wait there on your couch until the next book comes along. Well, I need a conclusive ending to my novels. A book needs a beginning, middle, and an end. I feel that some authors are confusing the ending part of the novel with another beginning that I know frustrates a lot of readers.
Cover: I thought the cover was actually really cool. It definitely had that ethereal look to it that was part of the novel since it's about werewolves.
Age Range: 14-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal
Comments: This book was overall pretty good. I like Cal and admired her for her strength. I thought the pack dynamics were interesting, and I liked how the author wove wolf dynamics into a human-like society with dominant alphas, etc. I thought the rival pack units were cool, and the additional romances were a nice touch. Overall, I would say that if you love romance, can't get enough of it, then this is a good book for you.

The Six Rules of Maybe


Reader: Ada
Age: 17
Title: The Six Rules of Maybe
Author: Deb Caletti
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub Date: 03/2011
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens Top 10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: The characters in the book are so complex; you just can't help but identify with them. They are definitely not the most idyllic family. They have their issues, but that's what makes it so real. For example, you absolutely hate Scarlet's sister but you end up feeling the same sort of love that Scarlet feels towards her even if you still hate part of her.
Compelling aspects of the book: I thought the relationship between Hayden and Scarlet was the most intriguing. Not to give too much away, but there are definitely some sparks flying there. At the end, I was a mix of feelings, both happy and slightly disappointed. But overall, the romance was definitely a major plot-mover.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: Yes
Reasons why you were disappointed with the book: I was slightly disappointed at the end. I wanted... another ending but was still satisfied at the end. I had invested so much and hoping for a particular ending but it turned out differently. I guess that's life though, giving you those unexpected but satisfying twists.
Cover: I thought the cover was not that intriguing. It was mostly the fact that it was Deb Caletti that drew me to this book. The cover was relevant however in describing her favorite beach.
Age Range: 16-18+
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal
Comments: I originally picked this book up because I am in love with Deb Caletti's writing style. I felt that this book still had elements of those moments that had so captured my heart in her book Stay, but they weren't as prominent. Also, I felt that the plot in this one was a bit more whimsical and non-realistic than in Stay. This book is definitely a good one that people should read but go into it with a clear mind. I still had baggage from her other books and so was slightly disappointed with it compared to her other books.

Stay


Reader: Ada
Age: 17
Title: Stay
Author: Deb Caletti
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub Date: 04/05/2011
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens Top 10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: I think Deb Caletti's voice and style of writing is so unique and so appealing. She somehow is able to insert all of these anecdotes about life and her characters that you would think would slow down the pace of the story. But they don't. If anything, they keep you more hooked into the plot and the characters. You connect with them more because Caletti makes you go there. She reveals something about humanity in her little musings. I ended up just looking out for them, the little one or two sentences that would tie me into the novel. I would become invested suddenly into the character because Caletti described something about her that I could relate to.
Compelling aspects of the book: I thought the flashbacks into the relationship between Clara and Christian were really disturbing but also really fascinating, in a sick twisted way. It was clear to the readers that "DUH!!!! HE'S A STALKER PSYCHO!!!!" But that's because we had the beauty of hindsight. Clara didn't have that. I thought Caletti artfully showed how realistic that relationship was, how true to life. It really was an eye-opener, to be stuck in a relationship and then to get a wake-up call and realizing how blinded by "love" you've been this entire time. It also showed how powerful love can be, in any form.
Were you disappointed withy the book at all: I wasn't disappointed at all. I felt like I had uncovered a whole new world that I could just dive into. I love Caletti's style of writing, and her plot and characters were fantastic. I was surprised that I fell so in love with her writing.
Cover: I thought the cover was interesting. It didn't intrigue me to read it; the book jacket description did that. However, the cover was still nice and was definitely unique.
Age Range: 14-18+
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal
Comments: The relationships that she crafted were so real because they were complicated. She made reality seem almost like a fantasy, this complex mysterious dream that you never wanted to wake up from. She transformed the realness of life, its harsh contours and grief-stricken moments, into something beautiful, something to hold onto.

The Girl with the Steel Corset


Reader: Ada
Title: The Girl with the Steel Corset
Author: Kady Cross
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pub Date: 06/01/2011
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens Top 10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: This book is going to be the Book-Zero for an entire new frontier in teen literature. It is the only Steampunk book I've read, and now I am scanning all of the shelves in the libraries for anything like it. Cross expertly turned the Victorian-era aspects of the book into its own character which aided Cross in the telling of the main characters. I also like the romance and thought both were adorable and actually believable which is hard to come by sometimes in teen fiction. It didn't feel orchestrated and seemed to follow a natural progression with the plot which was really satisfying.
Compelling aspects of the book: I thought the background on the automatons was actually really interesting. It was so complex, like Cross had actually mapped and drawn all of this complex machinery herself. She was her own Emily and her machine-model was this book. It was fascinating, and the best part was that it all seemed actually plausible.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: I was not disappointed at all by this book, maybe because I went into the novel not really having any expectations or previous baggage. If I did have any previous notions, this book just shot them out of the water!
Cover: I thought the cover was brilliantly portrayed. It was intriguing and definitely reflected the book's plot and mood. The cover is definitely what drew me in.
Age Range: 14-18+
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal
Comments: I would recommend this book to pretty much anyone who had a few hours to spare (or was willing to create a few hours that they could spare). I loved the characters, the plot, the setting, pretty much everything appealed to me. Cross weaved her imagination so well into the Victorian setting that it was easy sometimes to forget that this stuff didn't actually exist in history. You just accepted for the duration of this book that this was a new history, retold, that she had just discovered and decided to write down. It was brilliant, and I envy her writing talent.

Rot and Ruin


Reader: Frances
Age: 15
Title: Rot and Ruin
Author: Jonathan Maberry
Publisher: Simon &Schuster Publishing
Pub Date: 10/5/10
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens Top 10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: The whole story is a completely new idea to me;a post apocolyptic zombie story where society still exists. Also, the characters are great. The bad guys are scary, and you care about the good guys immediatly.
Compelling aspects of the book: The most compelling aspect of the book to me is how people are too scared to try to regain their land back from the zombies. It seems like something that would actually happen.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: No
Cover: The cover tempted me a lot, maybe because the look in the guy's eye is really intense. It made me feel like this would be a thriller, which ended up being true.
Age Range: 12-18+
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal
Comments: **Annotation** In a world full of fear with heart full of misled hatred, Benny Imura begins to find out the truth about his past and his future.
*

Devastation


Reader: Frances
Age: 15
Title: Devastation
Author: Gloria Skuryvinski
Publisher: Atheneum Books For Young Readers
Pub Date: ?
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens Top 10: No
Recommend: No
Convince us to read the book: N/A
Compelling aspects of the book: I really loved the characters. They seemed very real and it wasn't hard to care about them.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: Yes
Reasons why you were disappointed with the book: The war was a little bit anti-climatic, though interesting. I found some parts to be a little drawn out and frustrating. Overall though a pretty good read.
Cover: The cover was reasonably tempting, but slightly misleading. First of all, the book is set in a post apocolyptic world instead of a apocolypse happening during the story. However, it is intriguing enough that I picked it up.
Age Range: 12-17
Quality: 3Q Readable
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

The Project


Reader: Maddie
Age: 18
Title: The Project
Author: Brian Falkner
Publisher: Random House
Pub Date: 9/13/11
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens Top 10: No
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: This story is entwined with infinite details and facts that make the story all the more enthralling.
Compelling aspects of the book: The most compelling aspect of the book would be that there is hidden meaning and undertone to everything that has happened in WWII, Leonardo's drawings, and creations.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: No
Cover: Before I read this book I had no idea what the Vitruvian man was. This book gave me the determination and drive to actually pursue the meaning in depth on what the topic was about.
Age Range: 14-15
Quality: 3Q Readable
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal
Comments: What I found enthralling about this story was the history and undertone behind it. I found the werewolf part of the story a little random. But other then that the story was quite elaborately written and made me reluctant to put it down.

Big Girl Small


Reader: Elise
Age: 15
Title: Big Girl Small
Author: Rachel DeWoskin
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Pub Date: 04/11
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens Top 10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: Big Girl Small really tells a story, more than other books I've read. In a way that's hard to explain, this novel hinges on the character's reaction to everything that's happening, and her role in that. Which doesn't sound very unique, I know, but when the characters are so real, the story takes on another level.
Compelling aspects of the book: Note to all authors wishing to write about people wih disabilities: this is how you should do it. Judy is a developed character. In some ways it almost seems like there are two aspects of the story: that she's a dwarf, and that she was involved in the scandal at school. Of course the two are linked, but what caught my attention was that, with her drama, Judy responded as a person, and not as a little person.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: No
Cover: This cover is a great example of striking simplicity. The color change gives it enough movement, and puts the emphasis on the title, and on the girl. The image of the girl and the balloons represents Judy's situation, without trying to tell the whole story.
Age Range: 14-18+
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making


Reader: Elise
Age: 15
Title: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making
Author: Catherynne M. Valente
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Pub Date: N/A
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens Top10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: This book is the perfect blend of old and new. The writing style has enough of a fairy tale-esque twist that the really unique world works. In a harder style of writing it would have felt like the writer was trying too hard, but, instead, it was cute, and quirky, and like your favorite bed time book that suddenly had deep insights into life, the universe, and everything.
Compelling aspects of the book: I honestly could not stop reading to find out what happened next. There was no way I could have predicted that ******. Even from sentence to sentence, the little things the author includes made me laugh out loud (herding wild velocipedes), made me cry (her shadow), and either way were insightful without sitting you down and telling you that this was a thought on life. I keep a little book next to my bed for when I'm reading, and I write down quotes that strike me. If I would have let myself, this book would have been written down verbatim in that notepad.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: No
Cover: This cover is the perfect mix of adorablity, charm, and intrigue. The more classic style of the outside, with framing and worn leathery stuff fits the style of writing. The illustration is the same way – it looks almost like a paper cut-out that came to life, Alice in Wonderland-y, with a touch of Tim Burton. The illustration style is carried through the book with amazing pictures that add a whole other dimension. And who doesn't love picture books?
Age Range: Under 12-18+
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

Comments: **ANNOTATION**

September is not entirely happy with her life of washing teacups, rude little dogs, and mothers who go to work, so when a Green Wind and his Leopard offer to take her to fairyland, off she flies. Upon arrival, however, she finds fairyland is not all it was, and it may just take a Wyverary, a djinn, and a very determined key to get to the bottom of the sudden appearance of taxes.

Legend


Reader: Guananí
Age: 15
Title: Legend
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: Penguin
Pub Date: 11/11
Galley: No
Nominate For Teen's Top 10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: This is an extremely well-executed dystopian action book with intrigue, believable world building, and characters that might as well breathe.
Compelling aspects of the book: Legend has excelled in a detail that an incredible amount of stories overlook; injured characters stay injured for a plausible amount of time. They care about things, they change, and you root for them all the way despite their flaws. This is the best YA book I've read in a long time, especially in the action genre.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: I was not disappointed at all. I had high expectations from what I had heard before starting, and those expectations were exceeded. I was hooked from the first paragraph. The only things that even mildly bothered me were that the title isn't particularly relevant (doesn't really matter because the rest is so amazing) and the gold font for Day's perspective, which looked cool but was difficult to read under the covers with a flashlight.
Cover: The Republic symbol on the cover reflect the contents well, but what really got me interested in the book was other people raving about how awesome it was.
Age Range: 12-17
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

The Replacement


Reader: Guananí
Age: 15
Title: The Replacement
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Publisher: Razorbill
Pub Date: Sept. 2010
Galley: No
Nominate for Teen's Top 10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: This is a very refreshing and creative modern adaptation of the changeling myth, where fairies steal babies and replace them with one of their own. It's from the perspective of Mackie, the changeling, when he's a teenager, and explores all the difficulty he has fitting in and dealing with his adverse reactions to iron.
Compelling aspects of the book: The characters in this story are vivid and compelling. My favorite aspect was the descriptions of Mackie being sick from the iron and how his friends and family tried to help him. The plot was fast-paced and prose was clear and lucid.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: I was not disappointed in the least. The book exceeded my expectations in so many ways that I was just dumbfounded, and the ending was conclusive without wrapping things up too much.
Cover: This cover is beautiful, haunting and relates to the book's content so well that it left me amazed. I had been thinking of reading it and then finally did when a friend recommended it with fervor.
Age Range: 12-17
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend


Reader: Guananí
Age: 15
Title: A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend
Author: Emily Horner
Publisher: Penguin
Pub Date: June 2010
Galley: No
Nominate for Teen's Top10: No
Recommend: No
Convince us to read the book: I would not recommend this book because even though it tried to tackle several big themes like dealing with grief, forgiveness, figuring out your sexual identity and slapstick ninja musicals, the story and main character just weren't convincing. Most of the prose was the main character complaining, explaining and griping about her romantic and grief confusion, which was fine at first but became exhausting after sixty pages. The style of switching back and forth every chapter between the epic bike ride in June and tedious theater work and relationship slogging in August was confusing and made me frustrated because I kept wanting things in order. Then again, without the switching the book would have lost the little suspense it had. I ended up skimming and skipping many chapters, and by the end only a couple predictable things had changed.
Compelling aspects of the book: The one thing I liked about this book was when Cassandra kisses the random bass player in the motel hallway. It was the most descriptive scene and was funny and interesting at the same time. I think I would have rather read a short story adaptation of that scene than the rest of the book.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: Yes
Reasons why you were disappointed with the book: I think I covered my disappointment. Since I skipped or skimmed about half the book, I think it doesn't count as actually finishing it.
Cover: I picked up this book because the style of the cover made me think it would be a silly, slightly dumb but fun summer kind of book. It also had "dead" in the title, which always gets my attention. The image of the motel and the bike fit the content physically, but was too cheerful for the book's mood. The pictured girl looks very happy, fashionable and giddy, almost the complete opposite of the grief-stricken,conflicted main character trying to pedal away from her thoughts and obsessing about not being cool and pretty.
Age Range: 12-15
Quality: 2Q Needs more work

Cinder

Reader: Emily
Age: 17
Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Pub Date: 01/03/2012
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teen's Top 10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: Cinder is a fascinating story about a cyborg mechanic in New Beijing. Hundreds of years in the future, Cinder is in the guardianship of a spiteful stepmother and two unpleasant sisters. New Beijing is under the threat of invasion by "Lunars," people from the moon. Cinder is a fascinating tale that embraces the old cinderella story and takes it on a quirky twist to the future. Cinder is the first teen novel I've read in the past few years that is a action packed, romantic, robotic, quixotic novel that keeps you at the edge of your chair. The rest of the series better be as good as this. A+
Compelling aspects of the book: Even though this is a futuristic novel of Cinderella, it is not just a retelling. Ms. Meyer creates an entirely new story.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: No
Cover: Fantastic cover! (and I don't say that often) The red shoe and older font acknowledge the original Cinderella story, but the leg with cyborg parts perfectly represents the science fiction, cyborg main character.
Age Range: 14-17

Genesis Alpha


Reader: Emily
Age: 17
Title: Genesis Alpha
Author: Rune Michaels
Publisher: Athenum Books
Pub Date: 04/26/2011
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teen's Top 10: No
Recommend: No
Convince us to read the book: N/A
Compelling aspects of the book: I think the psychological aspect of this book is fascinating, especially when the reader's find out (spoiler) that Josh is Max's clone. For most of the book, the reader is bewildered as to why Max murdered the girl, but with the clone coming out, it makes sense. The book is bizarre and confusing, but manages to make sense by the end of the novel
Cover: The cover is fairly busy, not attractive and quite confusing. Although, to be fair, the book is confusing as well. The cover fits the book, but is not an attractive cover.
Age Range: 14-17
Quality: 3Q Readable

The Way We Fall


Reader: Emily
Age: 17
Title: The Way We Fall
Author: Megan Crewe
Publisher: Hyperion
Pub Date: 01/24/2012
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teen's Top 10: No
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: The Way We Fall is a novel about Kaelyn, a girl with a solid family and warm community...until people start dying. A mysterious sickness leaves people falling ill and going crazy as a sickness spreads throughout the island. The government prevents any evacuation and through their paranoia, end up killing several citizens. Kaelyn tries to keep her family from falling apart as no cure is created and people resort to violence.
Compelling aspects of the book: As a virus, biological, government threat, natural selection, etc novel, I was quite impressed. I think that the plot was well written and believable, and didn't have people turning into zombies or running around like headless chickens. There was a sense of order to the story, which made it believable and enjoyable to read.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: Yes
Reasons why you were disappointed with the book: I don't think that this novel needs to be part of a series, it reads as if it were meant to end when it did, without a follow-up.
Cover: The cover is very bland and washed out, which is the opposite of the book. Some color would be nice, or just not a giant face on the cover.
Age Range: 14-18 up

Saving June


Reader: Emily
Age: 17
Title: Saving June
Author: Hannah Harrington
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pub Date: 11/11/2011
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teen's Top 10: No
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: Saving June is a poignant story about Harper Scott, a teenager whose older sister June just died. Left with her single mother and a religious aunt, she wonders why her sister did it and what was wrong with her life. At the funeral, she runs into Jake, a moody 19 year old who must have some connection with June. After contemplating on her life, Harper, Laney (Harper's best friend), and Jake take a spiritual journey to California to release June's ashes. Saving June is an emotional story that is both somber and tender.
Compelling aspects of the book: Ms. Harrington writes a deep novel that takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster. Reading the novel, you feel as if the characters truly come alive. Saving June is not a light hearted book, but it is a beautiful story.
Cover: Peaceful cover. The overall effect is melancholy, which sums up some of the undertones of the novel. I enjoy the falling petals, which seem symbolic of letting something go. I think this cover fits the book as it is.
Age Range: 14-17
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 5P Everyone wants to read

The Gathering Storm


Reader: Emily
Age: 17
Title: The Gathering Storm
Author: Robin Bridges
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pub Date: 01/10/2012
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teen's Top 10: No
Recommend: No
Convince us to read the book: N/A
Compelling aspects of the book: I think what is interesting about this book is that Robin Bridges chose to write about 19th century Russia. Instead of creating a hypothetically historical route (although this book is full of historical ideas), she wrote about magic, necromancy and the undead. Bridges starts the book in a conflicting manner, but manages to tie in vampires, werewolves, and all manner of strange beasts by the end of the book.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: Yes
Reasons why you were disappointed with the book: First, the first few chapters of this book are quite confusing to the reader. The book starts off as a historical novel, but quickly changes into a story of the supernatural. The reader will feel confused about the direction of the story, perhaps the vampire princesses and princes could be tied in better? Second, the synopsis on the back of this book barely suggests supernatural beings, only the main character having the powers of necromancy. The reader would be misguided when first reading this book and think it was more of a historical romance than an historical paranormal novel
Cover: This cover could do with some improvement. The title's font contrasts with the crisp image on the cover. When viewing the cover, it can be difficult to focus in on either the girl or the title. Also, a little less snow on the girl, it would be nice to see more of what she is wearing and perhaps give the reader a better sense of the time period. I suggest a more angular font which would better represent the book.
Age Range: 12-17
Quality: 2Q Needs more work
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

Pink


Reader: Elise
Age: 15
Title: Pink
Author: Lili Wilkinson
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pub Date: 02/11
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teen's Top 10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: Breaking out of the bland model of most teen books, and was actually complex. Instead of a cheerleader whose secret was that she read comics, Ava was switched around in that she wanted more room to experiment with pink, and other fluffier things. Not only did the book have a mixed up aspect going for it, but all of the characters were complex, and reacted in surprising, but plausible ways.
Compelling aspects of the book: As Ava's problems kept stacking up, so did my interest. All of her issues came from her, so the reader could follow her actions and their consequences, without feeling like yelling and screaming at the character. In the end, the way she deals with her mess is utterly human, and realistic because it doesn't tie up all of the ends in a nice little bow, but is a conclusion.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: No
Cover: This book attracted me less because of the cover, and more because of the recommendation from John Green on the cover. However, the more I got into the book, the cooler the cover got, because it fit in, described the character, and introduced a theme that was pulled through the novel. The contrast was eye-catching, and the shadows around the lips made them almost 3-D.
Age Range: Under 12-17
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

Countess Nobody


Reader: Emily
Age: 17
Title: Countess Nobody
Author: Lynn Kiele Bonasia
Publisher: Egmont
Pub Date: 06/14/2011
Galley: Yes
Top 10: No
Recommend: No
Convince to read book Comments: N/A
Compelling aspects of the book: Sophie manages to gain international attention about a fictitious count visiting America. The reality of this is relatively impossible, but makes an interesting read.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: Yes
Reason why you were disappointed with the book: Reading the book resulted in several issues. The main character seems to be inconsiderate and rather selfish. She should know what not to post on the internet. It feels as if the character is just doing whatever pops into her head, and her thinking is completely out of this world. Her character is not established and seems flimsy.
Cover: The cover of the book does look like a blog, reflecting the contents.
Age Range: 12-15
Quality: 2Q Needs more work
Popularity: 1P Yech! Forced to read it

The Vampire Stalker


Reader: Emily
Age: 17
Title: The Vampire Stalker
Author: Allison Van Diepen
Publisher: Point
Pub Date: 06/01/2011
Galley: Yes
Top 10: No
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: In a day when vampire books number by the hundreds, The Vampire Stalker proves to be an engaging and rather exciting story about fictional characters becoming real. Amy encounters her dream vampire after almost being killed by his arch enemy, also transported to the real world. After stalking down and killing the evil vampire, peace is restored and Amy gets the man she always wanted.
Compelling aspects of the book: Amy can be appreciated as a rather sensible character, as she never throws herself at Alex's feet and drools at every move he makes. Amy is well rounded and that adds to a readable story.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: Yes
Reasons why you were disappointed with the book: It feels like the story is a little like Inkheart, the book, but manages to stand alone.
Cover: The cover is certainly interesting, nice use of grays contrasting with red. I think it suggests a vampire book, but doesn't over-power the cover.
Age Range: 12-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

Shadow's Edge


Reader: Emily
Age: 17
Title: Shadow's Edge
Author: Maureen Lipinski
Publisher: Flux
Pub Date: 01/08/2012
Galley: Yes
Top10: No
Recommend: No
Convince us to read the book: N/A
Compelling aspects of the book: Shadow's edge is a mildly entertaining book with a predictable plot and standard characters. The only unique thing in the book was the family full of young women with special talents. It was like a bad female Harry Potter in a way.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: Yes
Reasons you were disappointed with the book: First, the spelling of creatuir is insanely impossible to spell! Also, the name is suspiciously Spanish sounding. Perhaps a pronunciation key could be provided? Do the sisters need to all be the key to save the magic people? I find that very predictable. The "bad" creatuir should be more developed. They need a more solid background with a larger role. It felt as if the story moved to fast, nothing wrong with elaborating.
Cover: The cover of the book seems aimed for a younger audience. As an older reader, it causes me to avoid the book.
Age Range: Under 12-15
Quality: 2Q Needs more work
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

The Mephisto Covenant


Reader: Emily
Age: 17
Title: The Mephisto Covenant
Author: Trinity Faegen
Publisher: Egmont
Pub Date: 09/27/2011
Galley: Yes
Top10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: The Mephisto Covenant is a page-turning sci-fi romance about a girl who must stay with her only relatives after her mother is forced to deport to Russia. Did I mention the aunt is possessed? While living with family, Sasha meets a handsome boy who turns out to be a son of hell, tasked with guarding souls. The two fall in love with some difficulty, danger, and adventure. The book may seem dull from the cover, but once you pick it up, you won't ever want to finish.
Compelling aspects of the book: The plot is loosely tied to a good vs. evil theme, but avoids dullness by creating a rich world, full of tension and emotion. The characters were superbly developed.
Cover: Beautiful cover, I don't believe the main character ever walks down the road in a dress, but the lighting and image itself are attractive.
Age Range: 12-17
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 5P Everyone wants to read it
Comments: I can't wait for the second book! How many are in the series?

Flirt Club


Reader: Elise
Age: 15
Title: Flirt Club
Author: Cathleen Daly
Publisher: Roaring Book Press
Galley: Yes
Top10: No
Recommend: No
Convince us to read the book: N/A
Compelling aspect of the book: I'm not really sure why I finished reading this book. Disbelief?
Were you disappointed with the book at all: Yes
Reasons you were disappointed with the book: While I never had high hopes for the book, there were a couple of problems that were especially pressing. First of all, the age of the characters and the things that were happening to them were out of whack. Not that much drama happens in 8th grade, certainly not pressure to have sex, but in high school, where it would be a more fitting setting, they're too immature to deal with those realities, creating a book that's in this weird state of limbo. Everything just amounted to one, huge, middle school soap opera that was uninteresting to an extreme.
Cover: Something about the “item will self destruct in 5-4-3-2-1” aspect of the girl's eyes, staring into my very soul inspired me to pick up this book, which was a very stupid thing to do. The other reason was shock. It's not everyday you read a letter on the inside flap of a book addressed to a pork chop.
Age Range: Under 12-13
Quality: 1Q How did it get published?
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

How I Stole Johnny Depp's Alien Girlfriend


Reader: Guananí
Age: 15
Title: How I Stole Johnny Depp's Alien Girlfriend
Author: Gary Ghislain
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Pub Date: 06/2011
Galley: No
Top10: No
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: I wouldn't recommend this to all my friends, only the ones I'm sure enjoy really weird books. I would say that it is a story about a dull French kid whose life gets a lot more interesting when he falls in love with one of his dad's psychiatric patients who happens to be a supergirl alien on a mission to bring Johnny Depp back to her planet.
Compelling aspects of the book: Besides the silliness of the main concept, I was impressed by the depth of the characters, the quick pacing and careful conclusion to the story. The world-building of Zelda the alien girl's planet is well developed and often humorous as well as intimidating. I particularly enjoyed reading the character of Malou (sarcastic, partying step-sister) and David's mom (strict, materialistic neglectful lawyer) and watching them clash with the whole alien situation.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: This book was better than I expected, so I wasn't disappointed. It was an enjoyable quick read.
Cover: The cover is really nothing special, just black with stars and some random butterflies (Why? Butterflies have nothing to do with anything!). What really jumps out is the absolutely ridiculous title, which perfectly describes a deeply absurd and entertaining story.
Age Range: 14-17
Quality: 3Q Readable
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

Anna and the French Kiss


Reader: Sabrina
Age: 17
Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton
Pub Date: 12/10/11
Galley: Yes
Top10: No
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read book: If you are a die hard French fanatic you will love this book. How Perkins described France was dead on perfect. By her imagery she re-created France perfectly from the tourist attractions, to high schools in France, to little cafes. Reading Perkins' book made me feel as if I where in France again.
Compelling aspects of the book: The most compelling aspect of the book was seeing Anna's love for France grow. I thought it was more compelling seeing her personal growth than her "romantic" growth blossom. It made the book and the character more humbling and realistic. You can really sense in the end of the book a progression of the character from the begging to the end of the book. It was lovely to have been able to read this transformation story.
Cover: The cover did tempt me to pick up the book because it looked like a cheesy but cute romantic novel for teen girls. This did reflect the contents of the book. I just wish you could see Etienne's face or some glimpse of more of his body.
Age Range: 14-17
Quality: 3Q Readable
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal
Comments: The ending was abrupt, which disappointed me because I wanted to know what happened to the characters. I had read Perkins newest book before reading Anna and the French Kiss and was amazed to see that both books could stand without the other but intertwined great with the other. More authors should learn how to do sequels like Perkins. Both books stand out on their own perfectly.

Witch Eyes


Reader: Sabrina
Age: 17
Title: Witch Eyes
Author: Scott Tracey
Publisher: Flux
Pub Date: 09/08/11
Galley: Yes
Top 10: No
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: This book had a sense of adventure and romance. So many books right now have female heroines. It was nice to read about a male hero who had super powers that could either hurt or aid him.
Compelling aspects of the book: Branden's struggle between using his eyes showed a great internal conflict between the character and his actions towards others creating a great plot. With the eye's as well Branden learned more about his family and himself moving back to Bell Dam showing yet a whole other side to Branden and the people he trusts.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: Yes
Reasons you were disappointed with the book: At times the main character Branden seemed to doubt himself too much. Lately, books seem to be having heroes who know they have the strength but doubt their capabilities to fully succeed. At a point the book got a bit annoying because pages where full of rants from Branden not believing in himself. For once I'd like to see a character that trusts themself and doesn't have a big ego about it.
Cover: The cover tempted me to pick up the book. It looked dark and mysterious -- reflecting the contents of the book. Branden's witch eye was dramatic making the book cover intriguing. What confused me though was the red/brown building below his face. Throughout the book there where description of the towns buildings but none that seemed to be the one depicted on the cover.
Age Range: 14-17
Quality: 3Q Readable
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

Hush, Hush


Reader: Ada
Age: 17
Title: Hush, Hush
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pub Date: 2009
Galley: No
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: No
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: Fallen angels are a supernatural species that are less celebrated than vampires, werewolves, or zombies but are just as interesting. They also make for great love interest as well, as this book clearly states. The plot has a definite twist in the works, and Fitzpatrick keeps the pages turning with cool character developments. Also, the romance element definitely was there. If you're into that, then this book is a definite yes.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: I thought the twist of events at the end of the book was the best part of the novel. Learning who Jules really was came as a genuine shock and an unexpected turn. I also liked the way that Fitzpatrick explained the reason fallen angels possess Nephilim and how they can't feel. I thought that was really unique and clever.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: Yes
Reason why you were disappointed: I didn't think that it was very believable that Nora went from freaking out about Patch being a fallen angel to just going with the flow. When they're in the motel, she says that she has to shut the rational part of her brain off to process the situation. She never seems to turn on that part of her brain again because we never get her for once doubting the fact that Patch is a fallen angel. She doubts his motives for sticking around her and if he wants to kill her but never if he's lying about one of the most crucial pieces to the book's plot. I just thought that was really unrealistic. Even a simple conversation between Nora and Patch in the car driving or something would have satisfied me on the subject. Also, I thought going into the book that I would find out where the title came from, but at the end I was still really confused. Did it come from the fact that Nora couldn't tell anyone about Patch? I have no clue and it kind of bugs me now
Comments: Overall, I would say that this book was good. At times the reality of it got away from the author; however, it was very cleverly put together and turned out well. The ending definitely left room for a sequel which sometimes irritates me with books because it seems like the author is either milking the plot for more money or they don't know how to tie up loose ends, both which annoy me. In this case, I'm okay with there being a sequel. I just hope that the next book has genuine new developments and isn't the author or publisher trying to stretch out a good thing past its expiration date.
Cover: The cover really captivated my attention and was one of the main reasons that I picked it up. After reading the book, the cover made complete sense as the plot is about fallen angels. The cover definitely did its job of capturing the reader's attention and looked really awesome at the same time
Age Range: 16-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

Bestest. Ramadan. Ever.


Reader: Emily
Age: 17
Title: Bestest. Ramadan. Ever.
Author: Medeia Sharif
Publisher: Flux
Pub Date: 07/08/2011
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: Bestest. Ramadan. Ever. is a intriguing novel about a girl named Almira who is trying to fit in, while being the only Muslim-American. Almira has her friends, but finds life difficult when everyone notices her attractive mom and ignores Almira. When a hot new guy transfers into her school, Almira sees a chance to be noticed, if only another girl, Shakira, who happens to be Muslim as well, wasn't in her way. Bestest. Ramadan. Ever. is a novel you will surely enjoy and smile at.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: I enjoyed how the main character is Muslim. A lot of teenage books are about a wanna-be musician, or a teen angst, but very few novels are written about Muslim teenagers. This difference makes an interesting read.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: No
Cover: The cover is very light-hearted and fits the story well. The only issue is why does the guy on the cover look like he's in college? No high school guy looks like that. They're all younger. Finding a younger guy who fits the age would be desirable. Also, that cupcake is very attractive in a food-y way.
Age Range: 12-17
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 5P Everyone wants to read it

Blood


Reader: Emily
Age: 17
Title: Blood
Author: K. J. Wignall
Publisher: Egmont
Pub Date: 09/27/2011
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: No
Recommend: Yes
Compelling Aspect of the Book: Will, the vampire of the story, is not a mindless creature, but a person with history and feeling, I enjoyed how it was written from his point of view and he seemed sensible and dislikes the word "vampire".
Were you disappointed with the book at all: Yes
Reason why you were disappointed:
Cover: Please, not another vampire book. Why is the book called blood? That is a stereotypical title for a vampire book, and is not the central focus of the book. Yes, Will needs blood when he wakes up, but he's not a raging demon running around sucking people dry! This is a decent book, but less blood on the cover, please.
Age Range: 14-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal
Comments: Although there have been quite a lot of vampire books, I think Blood, as terrible as the title is, is a promising book. The story is worth reading because the main focus is not on vampires, but Will, who happens to be a vampire, discovering his origins and retaining his humanity. Instead of another twilight romance, Blood is a story with a quest and purpose, something that is very attractive to readers.

The Game of Triumphs


Reader: Emily
Age: 17
Title: The Game of Triumphs
Author: Laura Powell
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pub Date: 08/09/2011
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: The Book of Triumphs is a fascinating book that follows fifteen-year-old Cat as she stumbles upon life-altering game of tarot. Her reluctance to join in the game quickly ends as she learns the truth about her parents’ death and its connection to the game. Cat becomes a player and joins up with three other teens to release the Hanged Man, find out the truth, and restore the old rules.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: A story centered around a never-ending game of Tarot is certainly a new and refreshing idea. I have never read a book with a plot like this. It appeals to readers of multiple interests and is worth reading.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: Yes
Reason why you were disappointed: I thought the ending of the book was lacking in answers. The main characters didn't solve their problems, all it says is the Arcanum begins to fade and they get the cards they want. What happens to them? Does Cat learn the truth behind her parents’ murder? Does Blaine get his revenge? Is Flora's sister released from her coma? How does Toby become a hero? As good and captivating as the Book of Triumphs is, it does not need a sequel, but there is plenty of room for a satisfying ending.
Cover: The cover is very intriguing! In a way it reminds me of a manga illustration, but overall the cover is attention grabbing. The only issue with the cover is the font used in the title on the tarot card. The font is cool, but slightly illegible. Perhaps something simpler could be used? Overall, the cover seems original and relates well to the book.
Age Range: Under 12-17
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 5P Everyone wants to read it

Pearl


Reader: Emily
Age: 17
Title: Pearl
Author: Jo Knowles
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Pub Date: 07/19/2011
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: No
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: Pearl is an emotional story about a 15-year old living with a mother who acts half her age and a grumpy grandfather who is a better parent than her mother. When Gus, the grandfather dies, Pearl, a.k.a Bean, seeks answers about her father, while trying to maintain a "normal" life. With the support of Henry, her best friend, and Sally, his mother, Bean finds answers and comes to a sort of peace with her mother.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: I enjoyed how Pearl is not only the story of Pearl's quest for answers, but also about her mother learning to be responsible and connect with her.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: No
Cover: The cover is simple, charming, but a little gray. The gray and white theme is a small turn-off because it looks so boring. Also, the girl in the pearl has a creepy expression on her face. She's not happy or sad, she's staring off into the distance with a weird expression on her face.
Age Range: 12-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

Paradise


Reader: Emily
Age: 17
Title: Paradise
Author: Jill S. Alexander
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Pub Date: 06/05/2011
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: No
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: Paradise is a memorable story about one high school junior's journey to become the drummer she has always wanted to be, while dealing with the inevitable: facing her mother. Paradise details Paisley's emotions and self-discovery. Through Paradise, an accordion playing singer, she learns to expand her abilities and learn the importance of coming clean to family.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: When Paisley finally tells her mother and confessed to playing with the band, it was refreshing to have her mother still be a mother and not be easily won over. The slow transition is realistic, instead of having an instantaneous transformation, something that adds to the quality of the book.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: No
Cover: The cover is a little girly, but I appreciate the black and white photo. The girl's hair should have been shorter, because in the book her hair was not that long. The cover is attracting to female readers, but doesn't reflect the contents as much as it should. Perhaps the cover picture could be shot from farther away maybe in the airplane hanger doorway instead of a close up.
Age Range: 12-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

Level Up


Reader: Payton
Age: 15
Title: Level Up
Author: Gene Luen Yang
Publisher: First Second
Pub Date: 2011
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: No
Recommend: Yes
Compelling Aspect of the Book: I liked that a majority of the story was a Pacman reference. It was also interesting that it was a cartoon style comic book. Other than that, though, it wasn't very good.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: Yes
Reason why you were disappointed: I was slightly disappointed with the book. It was a very dumbed down version of a plot that had potential for greatness. I did finish it, but only because it was a quick read. I don't think I would have if it hadn't been a comic book.
Cover: I really love this cover. It looks like a Gameboy Color, or a super old Nintendo. It made me stop and look twice at it. It also was the perfect cover for the story. I wouldn't change it at all.
Age Range: Under 12-13
Quality: 3Q Readable
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

In Trouble


Reader: Payton
Age: 15
Title: In Trouble
Author: Ellen Levine
Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab
Pub Date: 08/2011
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: I would describe it as an historical fiction, set in the era of Governor McCarthy and his Communist hunt, about teen pregnancy. It may seem like an odd pairing of plot choices, but they work together really well.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: I found the most compelling aspect to be the decisions that the main character had to make, given the society that surrounded her, and the strict rules about how girls should be that presided in this era.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: Yes
Reason why you were disappointed: I finished this book in practically one sitting, but I'll admit that that was mostly due to insomnia. It was however a really good book, and certainly a unique one. I know there are a lot of teen pregnancy cautionary tale books out there, but I would wager that most are contemporary.
Cover: The cover is quite interesting. I was drawn to the street sign effect that was used on the title, even though it isn't actually a street sign. The cover didn't really reflect the story, but more the general mood of the book. If I were to change it, I might say have it be set up as a newspaper, as newspapers are rather important to the story.
Age Range: 14-18+
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

A Monster Calls


Reader: Sophie
Age: 15
Title: A Monster Calls
Author: Patrick Ness
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pub Date: 2011
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: No
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: This book is moving, disturbing, and absolutely beautiful. It is the story of a boy trying to come to terms with his mother's cancer, while at the same time battling nightmares and realizing that the truth is not so straightforward as he thought it was.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: The monster was fascinating. We never really know if it is real, or just a figment of Conor's imagination. The stories the monster told are, as Conor says, "cheating", because they have a twist at the end. The monster teaches Conor that good and evil are not always separate, and that we have to confront the things inside of us which we fear and hate the most.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: Yes:
Reason why you were disappointed: I wish it hadn't been so short, and I thought the ending was too abrupt. Besides that, it was perfect.
Cover: The cover, and in fact all the illustrations, are beautiful and haunting. They are completely black, grey, and white, and add to the tone of the book. The drawings are abstract enough to let you form your own images of scenes and characters, and they seem to reflect the monsters and nightmares that are constantly plaguing Conor.
Age Range: 12-17
Quality: 5Q Hard to imagine a better book
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

Forbidden


Reader: Maddie
Age: 18
Title: Forbidden
Author: Tabitha Suzuma
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub Date: 6/28/11
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: No
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: This book gives the other dangerous side of the story for which no one has dared to write about yet. It was a risky move with successful results.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: The most compelling aspect of the book was the unyielding courage of this author to embark and write about such a topic that no one has talked about before. Many people judge and misunderstand this act but this novel opens up a whole new array of light on the subject
Were you disappointed with the book at all: No
Cover: The cover had a very intricate array of wire fencing which was catching to the eye.
Age Range: 16-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 3P Some teen appeal

The Mephisto Covenant


Reader: Sydney
Age: 15
Title: The Mephisto Covenant
Author: Trinity Faegen
Publisher: Egmont
Pub Date: 09/2011
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: No
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: This is a really cool book that has its own supernatural ideas, instead of things most people have heard of like vampires or werewolves. It kind of has a cult in it, which is interesting.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: I really like that the author seemed to create her own history and myths, instead of taking popular ideas and reusing them. I also liked that the protagonist didn't see the love interest as a love interest until a little more than half-way through the book. She didn't see him and instantly fall in love with him. However, she was a little narrow-minded, and didn't want to understand what was going on in her own life, which bugged me a bit.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: No
Cover: Yes, the dark swirls, with the white cursive attracted my eye.
Age Range: 16-18+
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

The Vampire Stalker


Reader: Sydney
Age: 15
Title: The Vampire Stalker
Author: Allison Van Diepen
Publisher: Point (Scholastic)
Pub date: 6/11
Galley: No
Nominated for Teens’ Top Ten: No
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: This is a twist to the vampire craze. The protagonist is in love with the vampire hunter in her favorite book. Somehow he and the evil vampire in the book appear, and she has to help him catch the vampire. This is a book for anyone who wishes a book character could come to life.
Compelling aspects of the book: I really liked the idea of characters coming out of a book and the alternate reality theory.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: No
Cover: The black and grays mixed with blots of red drew my attention.
Age Range: 14- 18+
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

The Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills


Reader: Sydney
Age: 15
Title: The Rites and Wrongs of Janice Wills
Author: Joanna Pearson
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Pub Date: 07/11
Galley: No
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: This book gives a hilarious twist to the somewhat clichéd theme of finding-yourself/ becoming-a-better-person. The anthropology is interesting, the protagonist is witty, and I actually liked it, even though I generally don't like the above mentioned clichéd theme.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: The anthropology twist.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: No
Cover: The cover intrigued me, but it was mostly the spelling of 'rite' that made me take notice.
Age Range: 14-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

Blood Wounds


Reader: Sophie
Age: 13
Title: Blood Wounds
Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Pub Date: 9/12/11
Galley: Yes
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: Yes
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: If you hate blood, I would not recommend this to you. There is a scene where the author describes how Willa's father killed his family, and it is in great detail. I am usually not bothered by that type of thing, but this book made me feel like I was there and I definitely was tearing up.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: The characters were very believable and so were their reactions to what was going on around them. Willa's step sisters seemed like your typical teenage girl, while Willa was more dark and secretive. Willa was not a very likeable character, but through the book you learned more about her past and you start to learn why she acts the way she does. As you get further in, her secrets are revealed and everything she's been holding back and not telling anyone comes out.
Were you disappointed with the book at all: Yes:
Reason why you were disappointed: I was not disappointed with the writing, but some of the characters, like Willa's step father, didn't appeal to me as much as others. I guess the author wanted some non- likeable people in the book though so it all worked out.
Comments: The book has horror aspects but in the whole it's not a scary book. I think a lot of teens will like that about it.
Cover: The way that the girl is staring from the cover is sorta creepy, at one point I had to turn the book over just so I could fall asleep. The girl on the cover looks like she is angry and sad and confused all at the same time. I guess the girl is supposed to be Willa, but in the book she has different features.
Age Range: 12-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal

Hacking Timbuktu


Reader: Guananí
Age: 15
Title: Hacking Timbuktu
Author: Stephen Davies
Publisher: Clarion Books
Pub Date: 2010
Galley: No
Nominate for Teens’ Top 10: No
Recommend: Yes
Convince us to read the book: This book is about a pair of pals who not only practice the sport/martial art of parkour, but also hack! This is a very original premise and a much needed fresh topic in the action genre. It was enormous fun to read the parkour chase scenes and the witty dialogue as the main characters raced through London and Mali looking for clues that lead to an ancient treasure. Even though some concepts suspended my belief (being chased by fanatic treasure-hunting Facebook groups, hacking an airport computer system, figuring out how to find the treasure with relative ease), I read two thirds of it in one night and then finished as soon as I woke up.
Compelling Aspect of the Book: The most compelling parts of this book are the descriptions of parkour and the dialogue between the two main characters. The prose was fresh, exciting, and didn't take itself too seriously.
Did you finish: Yes
Were you disappointed with the book at all: Yes
Reasons you were disappointed with the book: Unfortunately, the last 60 pages did not live up to the rest of the book. The ending seemed rushed, had less parkour and sort of fizzled out without a strong stopping place. Nonetheless I would read a sequel because the beginning was so amazing.
Cover: The jumping guy overlaid on the computer chip and city background does a neat job of showing the three main topics of the book (parkour, hacking, Timbuktu). It was refreshing to see a cover that was not black. The font of the title ties in to the ancient treasure hunt aspect nicely.
Age Range: 12-17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal
Comments: I really wish there were more books, and attention in general, about parkour.