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rebel belle Title:
Rebel Belle
 Author: Rachel Hawkins
 Series: Rebel Belle #1
 Recommended for: 7th grade and up
 Pages: 345
 Call Number/Link: 
Teen Fiction Hawkins, R.

Synopsis: Harper Price, peerless Southern belle, was born ready for a Homecoming tiara. But after a strange run-in at the dance imbues her with incredible abilities, Harper’s destiny takes a turn for the seriously weird. She becomes a Paladin, one of an ancient line of guardians with agility, super strength and lethal fighting instincts. Just when life can’t get any more disastrously crazy, Harper finds out who she’s charged to protect: David Stark, school reporter, subject of a mysterious prophecy and possibly Harper’s least favorite person. But things get complicated when Harper starts falling for him–and discovers that David’s own fate could very well be to destroy Earth.

I read this on my daughter’s recommendation.  She described it as a cross between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Legally Blonde.  That pretty much sums it up.  When Harper suddenly becomes a paladin she still has to deal with being student body president, perfect student, southern belle and prepare for cotillion.  What’s an over achieving southern girl to do?  Keep evil at bay with snarky humor, incredible fighting skills, and of course good manners.  Lots of fun for middle school and older fans of witty girl hero books.

 

Jacket (1)

  Title: Fairest
 Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles (3.5)
Recommended for: 6th grade and up
Pages: 222 (approx. 60 pages is a preview of ‘Winter’, book 4 in the series)
Call Number/Link: TEEN FICTION MEYER

 Synopsis:  Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her      “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and    Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

I really like the Lunar Chronicles series and was looking forward to reading this.  It was a somewhat disappointing.  I was hoping for some of the action, dialog, and character development from the previous books but didn’t get it.  It did offer some insight into Queen Levana’s nature but didn’t evoke any sympathy for her.  Yes, she endured horrific treatment from her sister (she has to learn to use her ‘glamor’ to cover burns inflicted by her sister) and neglect from her parents but her reaction was equally horrible.  I would recommend the previous books in the series for younger kids with high reading levels but not this one.  Levana’s obsession with her married guard and then her use of mind control to get him into her bed is totally creepy and not for younger audiences.  This isn’t graphic or anything, just the idea is horrible.  Also, Levana uses mind control to make the nanny set fire to herself and the princess so Levana can become queen.  This woman makes serial killers look tame.

The book does offer some interesting background on the lunar characters from the other books.  We understand their back stories a little better but not a lot.  It also helps set up the next book in the series ‘Winter’ and includes a 60 page or so excerpt. All in all I would say an ok book for older fans of the series but not up to the level of the previous books and not for younger audiences.

19668526Title: Silhouetted by the Blue
Author: Traci Jones
Series: N/A
Recommended for: 5th grade & up
Pages: 208
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Jones, T. or J Jon

Synopsis: Seventh-grader Serena Shaw is trying to keep up at school while rehearsing for the lead role in the spring musical and dealing with a father so “blue” he is nearly catatonic. With the aid of a not-so-secret admirer as well as a growing sense of self-confidence, she faces the challenges of caring for herself and her ball-of-charm younger brother, all while attempting to lead the life of a normal pre-teen. .

I picked this book up thinking it was a new title, but in reality it was once that had been reprinted/repackaged for YA. However, I’m glad it was otherwise I may not have discovered it. It’s a fast read and would be PERFECT for those tweens/younger teens looking for something that edgier/issue novels, but not ready for the YA edgy stuff. Serena has a lot on her plate. She’s trying to deal with her mother’s death & taking care of her brother as her dad falls deeper and deeper into depression. This book handles mental illness so well. It shows how medication doesn’t “numb/kill the spirit” but can help a person function as normal. There is no shame in being depressed or needing the medication. In fact, Serena begs him several times to go to the doctor so that he could return to his old self. This is a stark difference how many YA books have been handling mental illness lately (thank goodness!)

22554204Title: Lumberjanes
Author: Noelle Stevenson
Series: Lumberjanes
Recommended for: 5th grade and up
Pages: 128
Call Number/Link:  GN J Stevenson, N 

Synopsis: At Miss Qiunzilla Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s camp for hard-core lady-types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams. Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together… And they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here.

This is just an amazingly, fun graphic novel. The four friends get into all sorts of trouble due to their adventures. I laughed the most at their poor camp counselor who they’re often giving the slip to. It’s very female positive, but it isn’t preachy in the least. The coloring and artwork are spot one. I love that girls have varying body types that were realistic and not sexualized.  It’s very fast paced and filled with tons of adventure, making it an excellent recommendation for everyone of all ages. It does end with a cliff-hanger that will have fans screaming for more. Expect to see this one on tons of best graphic novel lists in the future.

Read-a-likes:

  • Bandette by Paul Tobin
  • Adventures of Superhero Girl by Faith Erin Hicks
  • Adventure Time by Ryan North
  • Cleopatra in Space by Mike Maihack

 

41xTH4whq9L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series: Red Queen
Recommended for: 8th Grade and Up
Pages: 383
Call Number/Link:  Teen Fiction Aveyard, V.

Synopsis: The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.
To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change. Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?

This is a GREAT book. The was the selection for the teen book group last month and we almost all enjoyed it. There is a good amount of action, but there are some lulls in the book as well as it deals a lot with political and mind games. However, the lulls aren’t too bad & some of it is pretty cool/shocking. There is kind of a love triangle going on, but it’s not too horrible. Most of the book Mare is just trying to figure things out. The silver world is so different from anything she’s ever known and it takes everything she has to adjust to this new life AND try to control her powers. It’s a pretty quick read and I guarantee this one will be flying on the shelves!

Read-a-likes:

  • Matched by Ally Condie
  • Shatter My by Tahereh Mafi
  • Young Elites by Marie Lu

Bonus:

Here’s the video I’ve been showing  during school visits!

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