tbpl teens

After a rather sizable gap, it’s time for another session of What’s Laura Reading? To be perfectly honest, most of what I’ve been reading lately is fanfiction - Avengers fanction, to get specific. I kind of fell down an Archive of Our Own rabbit hole and haven’t really emerged yet, but did squeeze in a few traditional titles as well during August. My mini review will come first and then the GoodReads description follows in italics. Click on the title to place your TBPL hold!

Soulless the manga by Gail Carriger: I actually really liked this one. I haven’t read the prose novels in the Parasol Protectorate series, but have read the first two Finishing School books (another series by the same author). This manga adaptation is light, quick and funny. I’m definitely picking up volume 2.

The life of a spinster in Victorian London isn’t an easy one on the best of days, but such a life becomes infinitely more complicated when said spinster is “soulless” - a preternatural bridging the gap between the natural and supernatural worlds. Miss Alexia Tarabotti has this unique distinction, and when she is assailed at a formal gathering by a rove vampire, an encounter that results in the death of the half-starved creature, her circumstances become exponentially more complicated indeed! Now caught up in an intrigue with life or death stakes, Alexia must rely on all her talents to outmatch the forces conspiring against her, but it may be the man who has caught her eye - Lord Conall Maccon - and their budding flirtation that truly drives her to her wit’s end.

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E Smith: This is the third book by Smith that I have read, and I definitely felt it was the weakest. Her romances are always high concept and despite their implausibility I usually enjoy them. However, I just didn’t buy the connection between the two characters. It wasn’t deep enough for me to believe in the inevitability of their reunion. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight worked a bit better for me. But if you are into contemporary romances (think Sarah Dessen, but without the additional focus on friendships), Smith might be another good option for you.

Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they’re rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father. Lucy and Owen’s relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and — finally — a reunion in the city where they first met.

Zac and Mia by A J Betts: Okay, so this book has been called “The Fault in our Stars meets Eleanor & Park” and I figured it had to be worth checking out. Unfortunately it didn’t do a lot for me - the characters were kind of unpleasant, especially Mia, and I found it hard to connect. But if you enjoy a cathartic cry, Zac and Mia might deliver.

The last person Zac expects in the room next door is a girl like Mia, angry and feisty with questionable taste in music. In the real world, he wouldn’t—couldn’t—be friends with her. In hospital different rules apply, and what begins as a knock on the wall leads to a note—then a friendship neither of them sees coming. You need courage to be in hospital; different courage to be back in the real world. In one of these worlds Zac needs Mia. And in the other Mia needs Zac. Or maybe they both need each other, always.

Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway: I may have had overly high expectations for this one because I LOVED the first book in her Also Known As spy trilogy so much (and as an aside, if you like the Gallagher series, try AKA). It was another cute high concept contemporary book, but I’m starting to think I should take a contemporary break and read some hard science fiction. Music and band fanatics might find this an idea read though.

Audrey Cutler is a normal Southern California girl. OK, her cat is overweight, but her best friend is awesome, and her parents might be hippies, but they adore her – because Audrey is funny, charming, and she likes her music loud. So she struggles with dumping her musician boyfriend, Evan. She loves his band, but he’s just too self-involved. Audrey needs to move on. Then at one of Evan’s gigs, Audrey gets to hear their brand new single and moving on doesn’t seem so easy now: the song is called Audrey, Wait and it’s all about her, and not in a good way… The song storms quickly up the charts and reaches the top. Suddenly everyone wants to know: who is Audrey? The media is all over her like a rash, and what started out as annoying is becoming a nightmare! On top of this, it is ruining her chances with James, her colleague at Scooper Dooper ice cream parlour. Audrey’s life is veering out of control and there’s only one thing for it. She’s going to have to stand up and tell the world her side of the story…

All descriptions via GoodReads.com


New books here at Brodie! As always, click on the title to place your TBPL hold.

Vivian Divine is Dead by Lauren Sabel: When a death threat arrives with teen celebrity Vivian Divine’s fan mail, Vivian has no choice but to go on the run to Mexico. She soon discovers, though, that her Oscar-nominated performance killing villains on-screen did nothing to prepare her for escaping a madman in real life. Some people say he’s a hero, others tremble in his presence, but one thing is clear: he won’t stop until Vivian is in his grasp. Why didn’t she pay more attention during those judo lessons for her role in Zombie Killer?

Vivian finds an ally in the mysterious and charming Nick. He is everything Hollywood boys are not-genuine, kind, and determined to see Vivian for who she really is. But even he seems like he can’t be trusted-what could he be hiding? Beat up, hungry, and more confused than ever about who she’s running from, Vivian is living in a real-life blockbuster horror flick. But there’s no option to yell “cut” like there is on set….

Sleep No More by Aprilynn Pike: Charlotte Westing has a gift. She is an Oracle and has the ability to tell the future. But it doesn’t do her much good. Instead of using their miraculous power, modern-day Oracles are told to fight their visions—to refrain from interfering. And Charlotte knows the price of breaking the rules. She sees it every day in her wheelchair-bound mother and the absence of her father. But when a premonition of a classmate’s death is too strong for her to ignore, Charlotte is forced to make an impossible decision: continue following the rules or risk everything—even her sanity—to stop the serial killer who is stalking her town.

Meridian by Josin L McQuein, book 2 in the Arclight series. (Aside: on my goodness this is a BEAUTIFUL book cover!!! ahem, back on topic) To stay spoiler-free, I’m only including the summary for book 1, Arclight: The Arclight is the last defense. The Fade can’t get in. Outside the Arclight’s border of high-powered beams is the Dark. And between the Light and the Dark is the Grey, a narrow, barren no-man’s-land. That’s where the rescue team finds Marina, a lone teenage girl with no memory of the horrors she faced or the family she lost. Marina is the only person who has ever survived an encounter with the Fade. She’s the first hope humanity has had in generations, but she could also be the catalyst for their final destruction. Because the Fade will stop at nothing to get her back. Marina knows it. Tobin, who’s determined to take his revenge on the Fade, knows it. Anne-Marie, who just wishes it were all over, knows it.
When one of the Fade infiltrates the Arclight and Marina recognizes it, she will begin to unlock secrets she didn’t even know she had. Who will Marina become? Who can she never be again?

When Mr Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan: Dylan Mint has Tourette’s. For Dylan, life is a constant battle to keep the bad stuff in – the swearing, the tics, the howling dog that escapes whenever he gets stressed. And, as a sixteen-year-old virgin and pupil at Drumhill Special School, getting stressed is something of an occupational hazard. But then a routine visit to the hospital changes everything. Overhearing a hushed conversation between the doctor and his mother, Dylan discovers that he’s going to die next March.

So he grants himself three parting wishes: three ‘Cool Things To Do Before I Cack It’.
Number One: Have real sexual intercourse with a girl (preferably Michelle Malloy and definitely NOT on a train or any other mode of transport … if it’s possible at her house). Number Two: Fight heaven and earth, tooth and nail, dungeons and dragons that people stop slagging my mate Amir because he smells like a big pot of curry. And, help him find a new best bud. Number Three: Get dad back from the war before … you-know-what … happens. It isn’t a long list, but it is ambitious, and he doesn’t have much time. But as Dylan sets out to make his wishes come true, he discovers that nothing – and no-one – is quite as he had previously supposed.

16 Things I Thought Were True by Janet Gurtler:
Heart attacks happen to other people #thingsIthoughtweretrue
When Morgan’s mom gets sick, it’s hard not to panic. Without her mother, she would have no one—until she finds out the dad who walked out on her as a baby isn’t as far away as she thought…
Adam is a stuck-up, uptight jerk #thingsIthoughtweretrue
Now that they have a summer job together, Morgan’s getting to know the real Adam, and he’s actually pretty sweet…in a nerdy-hot kind of way. He even offers to go with her to find her dad. Road trip, anyone?
5000 Twitter followers are all the friends I need #thingsIthoughtweretrue
With Adam in the back seat, a hyper chatterbox named Amy behind the wheel, and plenty of Cheetos to fuel their trip, Morgan feels ready for anything. She’s not expecting a flat tire, a missed ferry, a fake girlfriend…and that these two people she barely knew before the summer started will become the people she can’t imagine living without.


All descriptions via GoodReads.com


So I went and saw The Giver movie this weekend. And despite the many bad reviews, I actually enjoyed it. The first two thirds or so really worked for me - the look of the community, the casting, and other specific elements were bang on. I thought I’d be bothered by the aging up of the characters, but that worked for me too - Jonas is just on the age of adulthood, rather than the age of young adulthood - his Stirrings are a bit stronger, let’s say, leading to that somewhat superfluous romantic element but overall it didn’t really affect the story. Alexander Skarsgaard was amazing as Jonas’ father. Just watch his eyes - the tiny micro-expressions around them are really telling. Especially in his climatic scene, you can see the confusion/enlightenment warring so clearly. I’ve mostly only seen him as Vampire Eric, which is generally a very theatrical role, so this restrained acting was super impressive for me. I also liked the child cast as the younger sister, Libby. I definitely saw the affection between the siblings, and how one-sided it becomes once Jonas starts feeling more than she is capable of. The ramped up action did seem out of place and tacked on, and the fact that the ending walked through one of the two doors that Lowry has set out rather than just ending with the beautiful ambiguity of the book is frustrating, but overall if you were considering seeing it, I’d recommend you do so and decide how you feel about the changes yourself. 

Despite all this, the most entertaining moment came for me once the movie ended and my friend who was watching it with me said indignant, “A baby is NOT an air bag.” If you’ve seen the show, you know what he’s referring to. :)

And if you haven’t read The Giver yet, for heaven’s sake get on it because it is GREAT. And if you didn’t know there are sequels, then get on those because they are also GREAT. Click on the title to place your TBPL hold.

The Giver / Gathering Blue / Messenger / Son

And if you have read them all, click through to Vulture to read this fun article (**spoilers for the entire series**) about the probabilities of the other books making it to the screen.


New books and books new to Brodie! Click on the title to place your TBPL hold.

Gottika by Helaine Becker: Secrets Destroy You.
The Truth Sets You Free.
What is the most dangerous secret of all? For fifteen-year-old Dany, is it the shame that his once-vital mother now suffers mutely from “the staring sickness?” Or is it that Count Pol, the corrupt absolute ruler of Western Gottika, may be scouting the city clandestinely for teenage girls to kidnap and ravish? Could the worst secret be the mystery behind why all the kids in the Estat are only children? Or could it be that Dany’s father possesses the secret knowledge of how to bring clay to life, and transform it into a terrifying weapon – an all-powerful Gol?
When Dany’s father is framed for the brutal murder of Gottika’s Princess Avivia, Dany is forced to confront all of these secrets. But that won’t be enough. In order to save his father, he’ll have to go still deeper. He’ll have to uncover his own family’s secret, one even darker and more disturbing than the rest. The worst lies, after all, are the ones we tell ourselves.

Salvage by Alexandra Duncan:
Ava, a teenage girl living aboard the male-dominated, conservative deep space merchant ship Parastrata, faces betrayal, banishment, and death. Taking her fate into her own hands, she flees to the Gyre, a floating continent of garbage and scrap in the Pacific Ocean.

This is a sweeping and harrowing novel about a girl who can’t read or write or even withstand the forces of gravity. What choices will she make? How will she build a future on an earth ravaged by climate change?

The Hangman’s Revolution by Eoin Colfer (book 2 in the W.A.R.P. trilogy): Young FBI agent Chevie Savano arrives back in modern-day London after a time-trip to the Victorian age, to find the present very different from the one she left. Europe is being run by a Facsist movement known as the Boxites, who control their territory through intimidation and terror. Chevie’s memories come back to her in fragments, and just as she is learning about the WARP program from Professor Charles Smart, inventor of the time machine, he is killed by secret service police. Now they are after Chevie, too, but she escapes—into the past. She finds Riley, who is being pursued by futuristic soldiers, and saves him. Working together again, it is up to Chevie and Riley to find the enigmatic Colonel Clayton Box, who is intent on escalating his power, and stop him before he can launch missiles at the capitals of Europe.

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi (book 3 in the Shatter Me trilogy). Novella collection Unite Me also available!

All book descriptions via GoodReads.com



So I’m going to see The Guardians of the Galaxy tonight. Despite never reading a Guardians comic, I’ve been interested ever since I heard of it (and I’ve ordered all newly released comics for our library with every intention of reading them… at some point!). I only started reading comics about five years ago, thanks to an amazing friend in library school - Scott Robins, co-author of the excellent Parent’s Guide to the Best Kids’ Comics - and am still far more familiar with the kids’ side of things. Graphic novels (or comics, I use both interchangeably) are hugely popular here at TBPL, and I take my responsibility for the collection seriously - I read comics reviews, follow relevant blogs, and am always working on growing from a traditional book nerd into a more well-rounded geek, especially in the sci-fi and fantasy pop culture arena.
You’re probably waiting for me to get to the point here. Well, the point is that along with the great and enjoyable aspects of the graphic novel world - things like attending my fourth  Toronto Comic Arts Festival, Ms Marvel, Owly, Stitches, and my new love for Avengers fanfiction :P to name just a few - there is also some deeply unsettling corners. I’m probably exactly what some male comic readers would most resent - a “fake geek girl” (only a few years spent delving into the world) with a Batman button on her work lanyard and one with the power to make decisions about comics reading for a large group of people (I’m responsible for purchasing graphic novels for the public library). Stories about harassment at Cons, nasty comments towards female writers with opinions about comic news or movies online, and the unpleasant memory of a very pushy dude who wouldn’t stop debating me about feminism in a comics store (he didn’t even work there!!) really demonstrates to me that there is a problem here. Despite my growing affection for comics, I have some real reservations about diving headfirst into the community. Anyway. That’s enough personal reflection – what exactly am I talking about?
-the review by Stephanie Zurach about the Guardians of the Galaxy that prompted the nasty comments
-the response from her editor
And a link to the article on LaineyGossip that lead me to the story.

So I’m going to see The Guardians of the Galaxy tonight. Despite never reading a Guardians comic, I’ve been interested ever since I heard of it (and I’ve ordered all newly released comics for our library with every intention of reading them… at some point!). I only started reading comics about five years ago, thanks to an amazing friend in library school - Scott Robins, co-author of the excellent Parent’s Guide to the Best Kids’ Comics - and am still far more familiar with the kids’ side of things. Graphic novels (or comics, I use both interchangeably) are hugely popular here at TBPL, and I take my responsibility for the collection seriously - I read comics reviews, follow relevant blogs, and am always working on growing from a traditional book nerd into a more well-rounded geek, especially in the sci-fi and fantasy pop culture arena.

You’re probably waiting for me to get to the point here. Well, the point is that along with the great and enjoyable aspects of the graphic novel world - things like attending my fourth Toronto Comic Arts Festival, Ms Marvel, Owly, Stitches, and my new love for Avengers fanfiction :P to name just a few - there is also some deeply unsettling corners. I’m probably exactly what some male comic readers would most resent - a “fake geek girl” (only a few years spent delving into the world) with a Batman button on her work lanyard and one with the power to make decisions about comics reading for a large group of people (I’m responsible for purchasing graphic novels for the public library). Stories about harassment at Cons, nasty comments towards female writers with opinions about comic news or movies online, and the unpleasant memory of a very pushy dude who wouldn’t stop debating me about feminism in a comics store (he didn’t even work there!!) really demonstrates to me that there is a problem here. Despite my growing affection for comics, I have some real reservations about diving headfirst into the community. Anyway. That’s enough personal reflection – what exactly am I talking about?

-the review by Stephanie Zurach about the Guardians of the Galaxy that prompted the nasty comments

-the response from her editor

And a link to the article on LaineyGossip that lead me to the story.


The final book in the Throne of Glass series, Heir of Fire, is arriving soon to some serious excitement here at TBPL! While you’re waiting, try one of the titles off this assassin-themed booklist - click on the title to place your TBPL hold, or click here to place a hold on The Assassin’s Blade, a collection of novellas by Sarah J Maas that are part of the Throne of Glass series.

Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne: Growing up on Forge’s streets has taught Kyra how to stretch a coin. And when that’s not enough, her uncanny ability to scale walls and bypass guards helps her take what she needs.
But when the leader of the Assassins Guild offers Kyra a lucrative job, she hesitates. She knows how to get by on her own, and she’s not sure she wants to play by his rules. But he’s persistent—and darkly attractive—and Kyra can’t quite resist his pull.
Tristam of Brancel is a young Palace knight on a mission. After his best friend is brutally murdered by Demon Riders, a clan of vicious warriors who ride bloodthirsty wildcats, Tristam vows to take them down. But as his investigation deepens, he finds his efforts thwarted by a talented thief, one who sneaks past Palace defenses with uncanny ease.
When a fateful raid throws Kyra and Tristam together, the two enemies realize that their best chance at survival—and vengeance—might be to join forces. And as their loyalties are tested to the breaking point, they learn a startling secret about Kyra’s past that threatens to reshape both their lives.

Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson: In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.
In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.
On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.

The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings: An action-packed, blood-soaked, futuristic debut thriller set in a world where the murder rate is higher than the birthrate. For fans of Moira Young’s Dust Lands series, La Femme Nikita, and the movie Hanna.
Meadow Woodson, a fifteen-year-old girl who has been trained by her father to fight, to kill, and to survive in any situation, lives with her family on a houseboat in Florida. The state is controlled by The Murder Complex, an organization that tracks the population with precision.
The plot starts to thicken when Meadow meets Zephyr James, who is—although he doesn’t know it—one of the MC’s programmed assassins. Is their meeting a coincidence? Destiny? Or part of a terrifying strategy? And will Zephyr keep Meadow from discovering the haunting truth about her family?

I Become Shadow by Joe Shine: Ren Sharpe was abducted at fourteen and chosen by the mysterious F.A.T.E. Center to become a Shadow: the fearless and unstoppable guardian of a future leader. Everything she held dear—her family, her home, her former life—is gone forever. 
Ren survives four years of training, torture, and misery, in large part thanks to Junie, a fellow F.A.T.E. abductee who started out as lost and confused as she did. She wouldn’t admit it was possible to find love in a prison beyond imagining, but what she feels for Junie may just be the closest thing to it.
At eighteen they part ways when Ren receives her assignment: find and protect college science student Gareth Young, or die trying. Life following a college nerd is uneventful, until an attack on Gareth forces Ren to track down the only person she can trust. When she and Junie discover that the F.A.T.E. itself might be behind the attacks, even certain knowledge of the future may not be enough to save their kidnappers from the killing machines they created.

Boy Nobody by Allen Zadoff: Boy Nobody is the perennial new kid in school, the one few notice and nobody thinks much about. He shows up in a new high school, in a new town, under a new name, makes few friends and doesn’t stay long. Just long enough for someone in his new friend’s family to die — of “natural causes.” Mission accomplished, Boy Nobody disappears, and moves on to the next target.
When his own parents died of not-so-natural causes at the age of eleven, Boy Nobody found himself under the control of The Program, a shadowy government organization that uses brainwashed kids as counter-espionage operatives. But somewhere, deep inside Boy Nobody, is somebody: the boy he once was, the boy who wants normal things (like a real home, his parents back), a boy who wants out. And he just might want those things badly enough to sabotage The Program’s next mission.

Death Sworn by Leah Cypess: When Ileni lost her magic, she lost everything: her place in society, her purpose in life, and the man she had expected to spend her life with. So when the Elders sent her to be magic tutor to a secret sect of assassins, she went willingly, even though the last two tutors had died under mysterious circumstances.
But beneath the assassins’ caves, Ileni will discover a new place and a new purpose… and a new and dangerous love. She will struggle to keep her lost magic a secret while teaching it to her deadly students, and to find out what happened to the two tutors who preceded her. But what she discovers will change not only her future, but the future of her people, the assassins… and possibly the entire world.

False Memory by Dan Krokos: Miranda wakes up alone on a park bench with no memory. In her panic, she releases a mysterious energy that incites pure terror in everyone around her. Except Peter, a boy who isn’t at all surprised by Miranda’s shocking ability.
Left with no choice but to trust this stranger, Miranda discovers she was trained to be a weapon and is part of an elite force of genetically-altered teens who possess flawless combat skills and powers strong enough to destroy a city. But adjusting to her old life isn’t easy—especially with Noah, the boyfriend she can’t remember loving.
Then Miranda uncovers a dark truth that sets her team on the run. Suddenly her past doesn’t seem to matter… when there may not be a future.

Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes: There are people in this world who are Nobody. No one sees them. No one notices them. They live their lives under the radar, forgotten as soon as you turn away.
That’s why they make the perfect assassins.
The Institute finds these people when they’re young and takes them away for training. But an untrained Nobody is a threat to their organization. And threats must be eliminated.
Sixteen-year-old Claire has been invisible her whole life, missed by the Institute’s monitoring. But now they’ve ID’ed her and send seventeen-year-old Nix to remove her. Yet the moment he lays eyes on her, he can’t make the hit. It’s as if Claire and Nix are the only people in the world for each other. And they are—because no one else ever notices them.

Grave Mercy by Robin la Fevers: Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.
Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?


Quick new books roundup here at Brodie! As always, click on the book title to place your TBPL hold.

In the Shadows: story by Kiersten White, art by Jim Di Bartolo: A spellbinding story of love, mystery, and dark conspiracy, told in an alternating narrative of words and pictures.
Cora and Minnie are sisters living in a small, stifling town where strange and mysterious things occur. Their mother runs the local boarding house. Their father is gone. The woman up the hill may or may not be a witch. Thomas and Charles are brothers who’ve been exiled to the boarding house so Thomas can tame his ways and Charles can fight an illness that is killing him with increasing speed. Their family history is one of sorrow and guilt. They think they can escape from it … but they can’t.

The Rules for Breaking (sequel to The Rules for Disappearing) by Ashley Elston. Rather than possibly spoiling the first book, I’m going to include the description for book 1 here instead… but know that book 2 is also available! She’s been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky … But now that she’s been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last. Witness Protection has taken nearly everything from her. But for now, they’ve given her a new name, Megan Rose Jones, and a horrible hair color. For the past eight months, Meg has begged her father to answer one question: What on earth did he do – or see – that landed them in this god-awful mess? Meg has just about had it with all the Suits’ rules — and her dad’s silence. If he won’t help, it’s time she got some answers for herself. But Meg isn’t counting on Ethan Landry, an adorable Louisiana farm boy who’s too smart for his own good. He knows Meg is hiding something big. And it just might get both of them killed. As they embark on a perilous journey to free her family once and for all, Meg discovers that there’s only one rule that really matters — survival.

Relativity by Cristin Bishara: There are so many moments Ruby Wright wishes she could change. The moment her dad uprooted her from California to live in backwoods Ohio with their new stepfamily. The moment she moved away without telling her best friend George she loved him. The moment a car accident ended her mother’s life. But no one can rewrite time. At least, that’s what physics-obsessed Ruby believes.
Then she stumbles upon a lightning-powered tree—a doorway to a series of parallel universes. How many possible worlds will Ruby have to explore to find the one with the perfect combination of people, relationships, and experiences? And is she willing to risk everything she has to get back what she has lost?


A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller: Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.
After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams.

All descriptions via GoodReads.com


Hello to Thunder Bay blog readers! There is a program TOMORROW, Thursday July 10 at the Waverley Library. Starting at 6pm, we will be talking about books we love to hate - like a certain disappointing series conclusion I could name (*cough*Allegiant!) - and others that we are tired of hearing about - I’m sorry but I just can’t bring myself to love The Fault In Our Stars and it’s because of that Anne Frank House scene. Want to try to convince me otherwise? Talk about how a different YA book is totally overrated? Come out for book talk and snacks; leave with (hopefully) some new reading suggestions or just new perspectives. For ages 10+. Visit teens.tbpl.ca for more info!

Hello to Thunder Bay blog readers! There is a program TOMORROW, Thursday July 10 at the Waverley Library. Starting at 6pm, we will be talking about books we love to hate - like a certain disappointing series conclusion I could name (*cough*Allegiant!) - and others that we are tired of hearing about - I’m sorry but I just can’t bring myself to love The Fault In Our Stars and it’s because of that Anne Frank House scene. Want to try to convince me otherwise? Talk about how a different YA book is totally overrated? Come out for book talk and snacks; leave with (hopefully) some new reading suggestions or just new perspectives. For ages 10+. Visit teens.tbpl.ca for more info!


Are you into reading stories that were “inspired by” something else?

I was thinking of creating a YA booklist myself based on classic lit retellings, but stumbled across a massively comprehensive one online first. Click through to Epic Reads for the detailed flow charts and category breakdowns, or click on one of the titles below to place a hold on my personal favourite retellings.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer - retelling of Cinderella: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

I really, really enjoyed this series! It is so much steampunk-y fantastic fun and reminds me tons of Firefly, actually - it has that wild west in space sort of vibe starting in book 2.

Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron - retelling of Frankenstein & a ton of other myths and classic stories: Sixteen-year-old Boy’s never left home. When you’re the son of Frankenstein’s monster and the Bride, it’s tough to go out in public, unless you want to draw the attention of a torch-wielding mob. And since Boy and his family live in a secret enclave of monsters hidden under Times Square, it’s important they maintain a low profile. Boy’s only interactions with the world are through the Internet, where he’s a hacker extraordinaire who can hide his hulking body and stitched-together face behind a layer of code. When conflict erupts at home, Boy runs away and embarks on a cross-country road trip with the granddaughters of Jekyll and Hyde, who introduce him to malls and diners, love and heartbreak. But no matter how far Boy runs, he can’t escape his demons—both literal and figurative—until he faces his family once more.
I thought this would just be a quick throwaway read, but I actually found it really engrossing. A very interesting take on Frankenstein and how technology would impact that story. Plus there are dragons and Medusa and trolls and a road trip and ogres and all sorts of other mythological beasties and people…

A Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healey - not exactly a retelling, but more of a “what happens next” for some of the best known fairy tale characters: Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You’ve never heard of them, have you? These are the princes who saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel, respectively, and yet, thanks to those lousy bards who wrote the tales, you likely know them only as Prince Charming. But all of this is about to change. Rejected by their princesses and cast out of their castles, the princes stumble upon an evil plot that could endanger each of their kingdoms. Now it’s up to them to triumph over their various shortcomings, take on trolls, bandits, dragons, witches, and other assorted terrors, and become the heroes no one ever thought they could be.

This pick is sort of cheating because it is a middle-grade book, but it just pleases me so much I had to include it. This series is HILARIOUS. Proof: I read a chapter to a class and then had students show up at the library requesting it within days. One was physically bouncing up and down, she was so excited. Just read it!

All descriptions via GoodReads.com