"The Vast Fields of Ordinary" by Nick Burd

Dade just graduated high school and now needs to survive the summer months until he can leave his broken home for college. His so-called boyfriend won't acknowledge his existence in public and now he's becoming enthralled by Alex, the local drug-dealer.
Follow Dade's real-to-life struggle with his sense of personal worth and the purpose of life, as his decisions and outlook determine whether he will survive college and beyond. Each character is very well written and defined making the story easy to become addicted to. With angst, teen love, and parental confusion, this book should appeal to any open-minded reader.

Reviewed by Duane Herendeen
Library Technical Assistant

Connecting To The Book!

Frank Beddor has not only created an amazing YA series which plays with the classic "Alice in Wonderland", but he's also made an exciting on-line connection. Go to http://lookingglasswars.com/home.html
to play interactive games, look at artwork, etc.... about "The Looking Glass Wars" Trilogy and graphic novel cross-over.
For all of you who wish that things had been a little different in Wonderland, this story is for you. Beddor's re-imagining of the wonderland of L. Frank Baum is sure to screw with your mind! And who doesn't like that?

"The Savage" by David Almond

There is a savage in each of us. Innocent, pure, or not. We are capable of ________ (fill in the blank).
When one young boy, Blue Baker, is left confused and in pain, he taps into that very savage, creating an artistic reality where his savage alter ego is capable of the things this boy can only dream of. Blue, a gentle kid, is connected to the savage he's writing about and is able to face his bully and take out his anger through his writings. The Savage becomes so real to Blue, that he begins to question his existence.
Getting to the core of human emotion, David Almond isn't afraid to get a little dirty, "If anybody ever seen him he chased them and cort them and killed them and ate them and chucked their bones down an aynshent pit shaft. He was savage. He was truely wild." With wild tri-color illustrations of the savage with his empty eyes and animal movements, Dave Mckean makes Almond's story as real as Blue's Savage was to him.
Loved loved loved this quick read! Recommended! For Sure!
Reviewed by Erin Reifsnider
Young Adult Coordinator

Impossible by Nancy Werlin

Question: Are the riddles found in the English folksong “Scarborough Fair” really impossible to solve? This song, which was made quite a hit in the 70's by Simon and Garfunkel, asks the “true love” to 1) build a shirt without any seams or needlework 2) find an acre of land between the salt water and the sea strand and 3) sow that acre with one grain of corn.

Well, Lucy Scarborough has 6 months before her daughter's birth to perform these impossible task, or she will go mad, just like her mother and all the other women in her family who have been cursed by the Elfin King. Read how Lucy deals with not only a curse, but also an unwanted pregnancy and an unexpected love in Nancy Werlin's new novel, Impossible. A nail bitter to the end and definitely a good read!

Written by Patricia Schroader
Children's Librarian

"Perfect" by Natasha Friend

"'Before you throw up, HALT. Ask yourself, how are you feeling? Are you hungry? Angry? Lonely? Or tired?' And for once I took the pencil out of my mouth, wiped the spit off on my jeans, and wrote something. I wrote one word. Lonely." Natasha Friend takes us along on Isabelle's journey through group counseling for girls with eating disorders. Free of cliche situations, overdone dramatics, and institutions with Hollywood perfect girls, Friend displays a realistic and a perfectly imperfect view of a teenage girl dealing with eating/body issues, death, and crappy self-esteem. This was the best book on eating disorders I've ever read. Unlike most in it's category, it doesn't make a girl feel worse about herself than she already does. Kudos Natasha Friend!

"The Host" by Stephanie Meyer

What if you were an alien given a human body, only to find the former owner hadn't left yet? Is it possible that a body, like a house can be haunted by it's former owner? What if you were a human who woke up only to find that you were't alone in your own body?

Stephanie Meyer juggles both uncomfortable perspectives with ease. Adventure, science fiction, survival, a messy love triangle and prejudice make The Host one novel I couldn't put down. I spent a week wondering what it'd be like to live in another's body. Who would I become? I highly recommend this book to Twilight lovers and haters alike. A Spring Break must!

The Eternal Smile by Yang & Kim

This 3 story Graphic Novel is not what you'd expect! I truly got into the stories. They meant something. The first, Duncan's Kingdom was reminiscent of Lord of the Rings, with Snappy Cola instead of a ring, and a huge spin at the end. The third, and my favorite, was about an "insignificant" office worker, Janet, who gets an urgent request from the prince of Nigeria. Janet makes the decision to help him with some surprising outcomes.

I couldn't put this book down. I loved the illustrations, and the plots. They sucked me in.

Even non-graphic novel readers may want to pick this one up!
From the writer of "American Born Chinese" a Printz Award Winner

Recommended by
Erin Reifsnider

"Don't Judge a Books By It's Cover" Review

Tropical Secrets
Have you ever read a book in verse? Getting used to the rhythm of novels written in poetic verse is like learning to listen to only the important words - each one meaningful. It's quick to read, slow to savor, and there's not a sentence worth skipping. I LOVE THIS BOOK! The cover stinks. Sadly, it's not gonna catch anybodies attention. But please! If you are into Historical Fiction, like to read a story with substance, or like poetry, well then give it a try!

"Tropical Secrets" is the story of:

-- Daniel, a Holocaust Refugee in Cuba, who is alone and trying desperately to hold onto his heritage : the quiet music of home. Break to the loud and colorful drums and dances of Cuba!
"Where do lies come from-
who dreams up insults
that make ordinary people
sound like beasts
and feel like sheep
in a forest
of wolves?" - pg. 43 Daniel

-- Paloma, torn between the fear of her father's angry prejudice and her own convictions to minister to a war-torn and desperate people.

Highly Recommended

Review by Erin Reifsnider
Book Reviewer
Movie Viewer
Novel Buyer
Mind Reader :)

LIAR by Justine Larbalestier

Liar is the psychologically driven story of Micah who is a girl. Or is she a boy? She is a human. She has a brother. She's lots of things...or is she? Micah is a pathological liar. Hiding beneath layers of lies which often are used as a security blanket, Micah begins the journey towards truth after the tragic death of her secret boyfriend, Zach. Bound to leave you guessing, this book will be one you and your friends will talk about.

Posted by Erin Reifsnider
Young Adult Program Planner
Book Reviewer
Movie watcher
Mind reader

"The Real Real" by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus

Confession, I don't like chic-lit very much. I just find it quite shallow sometimes (most of the time). But, and this is a big but, I LOVE GILMORE GIRLS. I think the witty, sarcastic, quick dialogue is incredible, and anything but shallow!
For this same reason, I adore Emma and Nicola! When I first read The Nanny Diaries, about 6 years ago, I laughed from the first to last page, and then read it over and over again! It is golden! They kept their same hilarious dialogue and modern sarcasm in the new YA book, The Real Real.
Set in The Hampton's of Long Island, New York, The Real Real introduces Jesse, an average, non-fabulous, teenager. She, however un-interesting she may seem, is chosen for a reality TV show for XTV (think MTV). The Real Hampton Beach, is a huge hit, but not without it's disadvantages.

Posted by Erin Reifsnider

Young Adult Program Planner
Book Reader
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Shakespeare for Teens

Warning: Don't read if you insist on hating Shakespeare.

The Bard is finally making sense!
I picked up Hamlet the other day, a new book by John Marsden, in which the story is told from Hamlet's more personal viewpoint. Marsden used imagination here, but really not too much! It is surprisingly accurate, and disturbingly so! I had always heard that Shakespeare was graphic and a little risque (if you know what I mean ;), but really I had no idea! It was shocking in parts!
I've always loved Shakespeare stories, especially when read in class with a teacher helping me understand them! But on my own, it's so easy to miss really important things in the story, getting caught up too much in the old language. If this happens to you, then this book is definitely a good one!
Even if you don't like Shakespeare at all, give Marsden's adaptation of Hamlet a try. Its a ghost story, full of teen/parental frustration, and a absolutely tragic and frustrating love story. Don't be surprised to see that Shakespeare is full of sarcasm, wit, and smut. :)

Posted by Erin Reifsnider

Young Adult Program Planner
Book Reader
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"Living Dead Girl" by Elizabeth Scott

What drew me to this book was it's size and title. Living Dead Girl, it sounded like my type of book. I opened it, scanned it's pages, and was even more intrigued by the short and poetic to the point chapters, and raving reviews from authors like Ellen Hopkins, Crank.

Nothing, though, could have prepared me for this book. Read in one evening, Living Dead Girl is going to haunt me for months, maybe years.

This book is about pain. This book is about abuse. This book is NOT for everyone.

But as Ellen Hopkins put it, "Some books are read and put away. Others demand to be talked about. Elizabeth Scott's Living Dead Girl will be talked about."

Recommended for Mature Readers Only

Erin Reifsnider
Young Adult Program Planner
Book Reader
Movie Viewer

"The Summoning" by kelley armstrong

In this first installment of the Dark Powers series, we meet Chloe, a girl with a literal (or not so literal????) "sixth sense". I listened to this book on a plane, turned up high to drown out the engine, and when the plane landed I didn't want to get off! The beginning was that good! But after my weekend vacation, as I sat down with the book again, I just couldn't get into it! It suddenly became a little forced, and the characters were not, in my opinion the most believable. But when I finally made myself finish it, I was okay with how it ended. It was a little slow in the middle, like trying to chew a Rollo, but altogether it was pretty decent! It set up nicely for a sequel, and contains enough paranormal activity to keep all you ghost hunters amused.

Teen Review "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies"

Review by TAB member, Jeremiah Ochoa
Book Blurb - "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies"
By: Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

Think about classic literature: Mark Twain, Jane Austen,
Charles Dickens, etc. Now think zombies. Put together and you
get a hilarious narrative about a young woman who is trying to
balance social prejudices and love while battling the dreaded

Meet Elizabeth Bennett, a young woman who is tough as
nails and is three times more beautiful than your favorite
heroine. She battles zombie menace while still finding time to
work on her limited social life. This book unfolds as new
people enter Elizabeth's life and try to win her heart.

This is a great story for those of us who find it difficult
to get into classic literature and love bloody zombie mayhem.

Book Rating: 9 out 10