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Welcome to the book blog, featuring reviews for teens from InfoSoup librarians and users!


Author: John Green

Miles “Pudge” Halter is obsessed with famous last words; his favorite being that of poet Francois Rabelais who said, “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.”  The idea of finding his personal “Great Perhaps” inspires Miles to attend the Culver Creek Boarding School in Alabama. During his time at Culver Creek, Miles become friends with the beautiful, wild, and self-destructive Alaska Young, Chip “The Colonel” Martin, Takumi Hikohito and Lara Buterskaya. The group is thick-as-thieves and experiment with smoking, drinking, and drugs. The different cliques in school quarrel through pranks, with each prank being more extreme than the last. Alaska is determined to pull the best prank of all. That’s all I’m going to say…I can’t seem to find a great way to conclude a summary for this book without giving away all the “feels,” so I’m going to leave it at that for those that haven’t read it. 

Author: Holly Sloan

This book reminded me of Out of My Mind and Wonder (both books I loved by the way) being that it is about a 12-year old girl who is a genius, but feels detached from her peers.  Suffering the loss of her parents in a tragic accident sets this story on a hopeful mission to find Willow Chance a new family.  But what does it take to be a family?  Readers will have a lot to talk about after reading this book.  What is strange?  Are we all strange or at varying levels of strangeness?  Is it fair to group like strangers?  Hmmm.

Title: Hold Still
Author: Nina LaCour

This debut book for this author is AMAZING. Caitlin loses her best friend Ingrid. (they are in high school) Caitlin is grieving very hard and we journey with her as she comes to terms with her grief. Her parents take her on a trip in the summer to help her start to heal. When they get home her father leaves a pile of plywood in the backyard for her to build something which will give her a challenge and renewed purpose. Caitlin finds Ingrid's journal under her own bed and as she reads it, little by little, she realizes that she missed out on a lot of what her friend was thinking and feeling. Caitlin feels guilty but eventually gets to the point where she does some very positive things with the journal to help others on their grief journeys, too. For sure, the author does justice to the fact that everyone experiences grief in a different way. I love how art is shaped therapeutically in this book. *The scene where Caitlin goes to see "Rome and Juliet" is so well written. *Also, when Caitlin's mother sees her purchasing a rope in a hardware store. (These blew me away, among others!)

Author: Gayle Forman

Didn't find this novel quite as gripping as the first, but still a great read.

Author: Mick Cochrane

I have a new found understanding of baseball after reading this book. Molly's dad died in a car accident and Molly enjoyed playing baseball with him. She tries out for the baseball team at her school and she shows the coach her specialty: the knuckleball. This particular pitch was very interesting to learn about! Also, the legacy of women and/or the knuckleball in baseball history was enlightening. Via baseball and the confidence she gains from her gift, Molly works through the emotion of grief over losing her father. This book is very well written and the characters are engaging. The ending line is wonderful!

Author: Jandy Nelson

Nelson's writing style will win you over as much as her characters.  Suggest this to readers who like the sensuality of the Twilight series, they won't be disappointed.  Lennie is a lost soul after the untimely death of her sister and best friend, Bailey.  Wrapped in grief and struggling to make it through, she is oblivious to the others in her family who are certainly suffering in their own right, Grams, Uncle Big, and Toby, Bailey's fiance.  Add a love interest in Joe, the new boy at school, and things get really hot.  Lennie's character is very realistic and believeable.  For romance lovers, this book will be very satisfying.

Author: Morgan Matson

After her father dies, Amy's brother leaves for rehab and her mother relocates the family from California to Connecticut. While Amy's mother is readying their new home in Connecticut, Amy and the car are in California. Since her father's death, however, Amy can't bring herself to get behind the wheel, so Roger, a family friend, agrees to drive the car and Amy to Connecticut. Amy's mother carefully planned the travel itinerary--booking hotel reservations and mapping out routes between destination cities--but Amy and Roger find themselves winding through America at their own pace, conquering fears, making friends, taking chances, and coming to terms with their decisions. Well-written, emotional, funny, charming, and real, this book is the perfect travel companion.

Author: Sarah Dessen

Loved loved loved this YA/Adult Book about falling in love with the right person and about overcoming grief when you have lost a parent. The creativity comes in for Macy when she learns that catering is challenging & expressive.  She also falls in love with an artist.  She rejects a job at a library (it made me sad that the work was stale and the librarians were mean) and finds that catering is more her speed.  Her sister helps her & her mom through grieving with another creative project--redoing their cottage. The characters at Wish Catering are well-rounded and help Macy to grow. Cool read!