Book Shop Blog
Reviews are every Monday, Wednesday, & Friday, from staff, local writers, and from our fantastic Teen Picks reviewers. Our Teen Pickers are doing their best to stay on top of the Advanced Reading Copies we get, so we can give you reviews the second the book comes out!
They're doing a super job staying on top of the freshest new books out there.
Pretty New Release!
On the sixteenth birthday of a select few, your thumb transforms into either an H or a V. V for Villain and H for Hero. You also receive your “powers”.
So, when Damien finds himself at his sixteenth birthday, he totally expects a V. And why not? His mom is a retired Super-Villain and his best friend Kat already has a V. Damien is not prepared for what happens to his thumb. The unheard of happens: he receives an X.
Which means it’s undecided if he a villain or hero, which equals not good. Damien was planning to get into the super-villain academy, and this infuriating sign has ruined everything. Upon further investigation, Damien finds out his dad was a super-hero. Which immediately sets his life a-whirl. And he’s taking the whole city with him.
This fast-paced, traditional “Marvel” story is a wonderful tale of finding your true self, with a few romantic and exciting twists and turns thrown in there too. I found it’s very easy to get caught up in this super-villain/super-hero fantasy. Don’t be afraid to face the X!
Pretty New Release!
5 of 5 stars
The book begins with Livie's Pa bringing her mother home from the hospital- in a coma.
While Livie's sisters care for her Mother and the home, Livie is busy catching frogs at night with her Pa, poling around the bayou in her pirogue, and risking the wrath of her Aunt to do anything but touch her Mother.
Livie's got a secret, and the weight of that secret, as well as her complicated feelings based on her being a tomboy and not understanding her "girlie" mother or sisters, colors everything she does.
In a desperate attempt to help her mother, Livie goes deep into the bayou to find the shack of a traiteur, a healing creole healer, to find a spell to help her mother wake up.
The spell forces Livie to change the way she sees herself and the love in her family.
The flavor of this book is incredibly believable, the language, the food, the customs described here really come alive, forming a picture of life in the Louisiana bayou that was authentic-seeming to non-expert me.
Livie was sometimes a bit too angsty emotional for me, but totally believable as a teenager. What I really appreciated about Livie's journey is how we get to see how she goes from feeling inadequate and conflicted about her Mother to rethinking the way she can act and how other people's actions have different motivations than she once thought. It was a journey about allowing yourself to love your family, and allowing their love for you.
This Book's Food Designation Rating: Jambalaya for all the spicy local flavor and the delicious mix of characters and setting
Come in and be a Book Hero!
Now through Sept. 30, choose from a wide selection of books for local schools. The schools put together wish lists for their libraries, all they need is a Book Hero to buy the books. You'll get a 20% discount on every book you buy to support your local school, and your name will appear in the book.
Here are some sample titles:
A lovely and quick summer read, I was sucked into Belly's world as quickly as you can say "let's go to the beach!"
Every year for as long as she can remember, Belly has been going to the coast with her family. They stay in her mother's best friend's house with Conrad and Jeremiah, her brother figures and off-and-on crushes. When this summer comes, Belly feels like it'll be one of the best.
She's both right and wrong. Things change, and even though some of the changes are difficult, are they really for the better?
I enjoyed this book thoroughly, and I felt that Belly was a believable character, along with all the rest.
Narnia: a land of talking animals, magic spells, and an enchanting atmosphere almost everywhere.
It had been a long time since any of the four Pevensie children had set foot in Narnia. On their last visit they helped Prince Caspian gain the land’s throne. After that grand adventure the two elder children learned that they will never again enter this magical realm.
Now the younger two, along with their snobby cousin Eustace, will have to save this magical land once more. Stepping through a magic picture frame onto Caspian’s ship, the Dawn Treader, the three must help the boy king find the 7 lords exiled by his evil Uncle Miraz. Sailing east they battle magical curses, dishonest legislators, and deception. Can they get Eustace to believe in Narnia? Can they reach Aslan’s country at the end of the world? And how will the three ever get home?
The 5th book in a classic series, “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” is fun for everyone who reads it. This Tolkien-like story is full of action, adventure, and mystery. This is another 5-star book. Watch for the movie in December!
5 of 5 stars!
Shade is the story of Aura, a young teenager whose boyfriend fronts an Irish rock band in Baltimore. More importantly, she is a post-shifter, a person born after a curious event 16 years ago causing all who were born afterwards to be able to see ghosts. The world is still working out the kinks of how to handle children who see ghosts, and adults who do not.
Shade hit all my buttons in a good way. Angst from Aura when her boyfriend becomes a ghost, espionage and secrets for her to delve into as she discovers circumstances surrounding her own birth that have greater implications for society, side characters who have their own problems, and tension-filled romance as she begins a school research project with a new guy at school, who just happens to be Scottish and hot.
One of the best things about this book for me, though, is that it delves into how the world might react to having ghosts visible to kids. "Translators" at court cases (kids who repeat what ghosts say), areas that are Blackboxed (covered in a thin layer of obsidian that keeps ghosts out), and whole generations of people who wear red all the time (red being an anti-ghost color.) It's apparent that this author has taken time to work out the implications of the world described here.
Another best thing, of course, is the Irish music references (Pogues, Flogging Molly, etc) and Aura's worship of the Scottish guy's accent. Great beginning to a series (and its obviously a series as it ends somewhat unresolved.)
This Book's Food Designation Rating: Beef Stew with soda bread for the just plain deliciousness of the relationships depicted here, topped off by the Foamy sweet bitterness of a perfectly-drawn Guinness for the angst and love
New Release! Mysteries mark the planet of Earth, mysteries like the lost City of Atlantis, the Bermuda Triangle, The Loch Ness Monster, and many others. The only explanation is that aliens have been visiting our planet, and influencing events, for a very long time. This explanation is, in fact, true.
Far away on the planet of Lorien, war has destroyed everything but nine children and their nine guardians. They fled to Earth, and are now living among us, waiting to one day avenge Lorien and live on their planet once again. The same evil ones that destroyed Lorien are now on the hunt for the nine. Three have been killed. It is up to the remaining six to fight off the evil, because next it’s coming to Earth.
I really enjoyed this fast-paced Sci-Fi book. It kept me on the edge of my Spaceship. Usually I’m not that into Sci-Fi so this was a pleasant surprise. I’m looking forward to the next book in the Lorien Legacies series.
"Evermore" is a teenage fantasy/romance told from the perspective of Ever Bloom, a normal girl who becomes psychic after a fatal car accident kills everybody in her family but her.
Finding herself more hopeless as the days go on, Ever has her world turned upside down when Damen, mysterious, hot, and perfect (and whose mind she cannot read), comes to town. Ever finds herself falling in and out of love with him.
The plot is not the most original you will find, but the ending is unique, unlike lots of books in this popular genre. The pacing of the story is flawlessly timed, revealing details at just the right moment, never keeping things hidden forever just for the sake of being vague. Alyson Noel, the author, chose to write it in first person present-tense, which is rather difficult. It works - "Evermore" is well written and entertaining.
Please note: I would not recommend this to readers younger than 12 due to mature themes, language, and etc.
Doug Lee is just an ordinary kid until a hot vampire chick kills him, and he becomes one of the undead. So now he's going to be fifteen, geeky, and fat for all of eternity.
While I do admit that this book had some potential, and it did look like it was going to be hilarious, i was not impressed. There were too many swear words and sex jokes for me. But if you think you can stomach all of that, this paranormal comedy might just be the thing for you.
4 of 5 stars
Rose, a depressed and friendless ballerina, lives in New York city and goes to the prestigious Performing Arts school to do what she loves. Yrena, a member of the soviet union and also a Lonely Ballerina, lives next door to Rose, and when their paths collide with Yrena bursting through Rose's window, they embark on a night that will change their lives.
Full of history, real-life problems teens face, and how a friendship can develope between to opposite people sharing one common interest, this book is definitely a to-read.