Teen Reads – January 22, 2016

The Agency- A Spy in the House By Y.S Lee

In this gripping tale of murder and mystery, Y.S Lee tells the story of Mary Quinn, a reformed thief-turned-secret-agent. Quinn delves into the aristocratic life of the Thorolds, hoping to find evidence of illegal and dangerous dealings. The book itself was perfect for a historical-fiction lover like myself, as Lee’s use of period language and imagery was very successful, and the story’s ending provided the satisfying twist that all mystery-lovers do not expect, and wholesomely enjoy. “The Agency” is actually a series of novels about Quinn and her work as a secret agent. Though I have not read them yet, I fully expect to enjoy those books as much as I did this one. Overall, “A Spy in the House” is a worthwhile, entertaining read that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys mysteries and/or historical-fiction.

(Reviewed by Gray Grunsky)

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Teen Reads – December 7, 2015

Not After Everything by Michelle Levy

For the ordinary high school student, Senior Year is the most anticipated year of high school. It means fewer classes, easier work, more free time, and best of all, graduation. For seventeen year old Tyler, Senior Year is anything but ordinary. While it may seem like Tyler has it all, the perfect girlfriend and a football scholarship to Stanford, he is faced with many obstacles. The suicide of his mother the summer before intensifies Tyler’s father’s emotional pain, creating a hostile home environment for him. As he begins to work in order to avoid his father, he is reunited with his childhood friend, Jordyn. Tyler is then faced with a dilemma, could he sacrifice his super hot girlfriend for a true relationship with his childhood friend? Levy follows the path of Tyler through his senior year as he is faced with some very serious decisions while she utilizes eloquent speech to move the reader through this extremely emotional novel. I would recommend this novel to anybody interested in a good read, especially all young adults!

The Night We Said Yes by Lauren Gibaldi

After a night of fun, excitement, and adventure comes to a close, Ella is heartbroken and confused. She is determined to focus on her schoolwork and her friends in order to forget about her one amazing night with Matt, the one who broke her heart. As a year goes by, Ella begins to forget about her night with Matt, until an unexpected surprise makes Ella question if she believes in second chances. If she could recreate that one night with Matt could they start over? If Ella took a chance, could she and Matt stay together this time? Lauren Gibaldi’s writing alternates between past events and present events, making the reader feel like they have developed strong relationships with the characters. This novel is an amazing read for anyone in the mood for a lighthearted and fun story as the two main characters set out for a night of adventure (or rather nights of adventure). I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in a romance novel as the characters are incredibly likeable and Gibaldi utilizes language to relate to the audience.

Everything Leads to You by Nina Lacour

As Emi embarks on a new life following her recent graduation, she is trusted with her brother’s apartment for the summer. While Emi is an up and coming film maker in Los Angeles, her love life begins to suffer as the summer rolls on. It isn’t until her and her best friend Charlotte find a dated letter in the house of a former film legend that her summer begins to take a turn for the better. As Emi and Charlotte investigate the former film star’s love life, Emi is presented with a surprise for herself, love. Emi is immediately attracted to Ava’s personality from the moment they meet, allowing Emi to find true love for the first time. This novel is an excellent read for anyone interested in a modern-day love story with a hint of mystery. Lacour keeps the reader on their toes with every turn of a page, making this novel a must read for every young adult.

(Reviewed by Natalie Purdy)

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Teen Reads – October 14, 2015

The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

When Tess Kendrick is sent to live with her older sister, Ivy Kendrick, her world spins upside down. As soon as Tess is enrolled in Hardwicke High, she finds out that Ivy is the capital’s number one “fixer”. Classmates ask Tess to help them with their problems, and Tess finds herself tangled in a sticky situation, that involves life or death. The Fixer, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, is a thrilling, action-packed suspense story about two sisters trying to find their footing. The book also throws in a mix of politics; as Tess lives in D.C. now. It is exciting to read because Tess is always thinking up different, wacky ideas to get her way.

(Reviewed by Magan Stuhr)

Better Than Perfect by Melissa Kantor

Juliet Newman’s life is perfect- she has a picture-perfect boyfriend, a perfect family who supports her on everything she does, and a perfect life plan. But when her parents divorce, Juliet’s mother has a terrible accident in the bathroom that lands her in the hospital. As if that isn’t enough, Juliet meets Declan, the guy who makes her wonder if perfect is what she wants. Better Than Perfect, by Melissa Kantor, is a book on the brink of tragedy, that is sure to keep you on your toes. Juliet’s adventures through life are both funny and breathtaking, with things that she would normally never do.

(Reviewed by Magan Stuhr)

Proof of Forever by Alexa Hillyer

What would you do if you were given a second chance to relive your high school years? Would you do things completely different? Or would you continue down the same path? This wish of a second chance was granted to four former best friends, Joy, Zoe, Luce, and Tali during a camp night reunion. After a shocking chain of events, the girls are somehow transported by a photo booth to their very last summer together when they were still fifteen years old. In attempts to find their way back to the present, the girls must be careful not to disturb events of the past for fear of altering the future. As the girls attempt to recreate the exact moments they shared that last summer together, many buried secrets are dug up, but are the secrets too much for these once best friends to handle? Lexa Hillyer takes us all on a nostalgic journey back to our childhood through her relatable characters in her novel, Proof of Forever. This book is by far one of the funniest, most comforting, and emotional books I have ever read. It remains a must read for anyone interested in more than just a quick read as you will become invested in these characters’ stories of love, loss, self-acceptance, and friendship.

(Reviewed by Natalie Purdy)

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Teen Reads – September 11, 2015

Galgorithm by Aaron Karo

Graduation is right around the corner for high school senior Shane Chambliss. As Shane begins to develop an extreme case of senioritis and experience the typical emotions of nostalgia that generally surround high school graduation, he manages to protect his largest secret yet. An AP student at heart with recluse-like tendencies, Shane appears to be an ordinary student, aside from the fact that he secretly solicits girl advice to timid high school boys. Many years of observation and an intense break up of his own lead Shane toward the creation of the “Galgorithm”, a fail-proof method to picking up girls. After being named the school Svengali, Shane begins to reevaluate his method. Is it possible that there isn’t actually a formula to win over girls? Is it possible that love is actually more fulfilling than lust? Join Shane on his roller coaster ride of emotions as he must decide whether to retire the “Galgorithm” in order to gain the girl he really loves or to continue soliciting advice to other classmates and distance himself from his true friends. This book is a great read for anyone interested in romantic comedies and lighthearted reads. The subtle humor that Karo injects into the novel adds a comical element to a romantic drama, making this book a must read.

(Reviewed by Natalie Purdy)

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