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

high school

Author: Kate Hattemer

Selwyn Academy is a school for the arts; for the prima ballerinas, the future stars of Broadway, the artists who's work is identical to real life. However, the elite school is being destroyed by a reality TV show, For Art's Sake, a sleazy production that manipulates the students and teachers at Selwyn. Or at least, that's what Luke, Ethan's best friend says. Ethan doesn't mind the show that much; it allows him to gawk at Mia, a contestant on the show, whom he has a huge crush on, without being a stalker. But Luke is determined to bring down For Art's Sake and restore Selwyn's honor. Following in the steps of Ezra Pound, Luke, Ethan, and two of their others friends, write a long poem, capturing the attention of their fellow students. However, the people who are behind For Art's Sake are craftier than they realized, and soon the four are surrounded by a web of lies and betrayal that runs deeper than they could have ever imagined. Hattemer's quirky novel, filled with humor, wit, and interesting characters, and a deeper lesson that will resonate will everyone who picks up this marvelous book.

I Stayed!!

Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman

I loved this book! The gut wrenching decision Mia has to make and the pain her family and friends go through come through beautifully with Gayle Forman's writing. It kept me riveted throughout. I can't wait for the movie - can already tell a lot of Kleenex will be needed!

Author: Robyn Schneider

I have read that originally the book was to be titled Severed Heads, Broken Hearts, but that was later changed to The Beginning of Everything. Both titles are fitting!

This was an interesting story about Ezra Faulkner, who was the "It" boy at his high school. In a split second he experiences his own "personal tragedy" and discovers everything and everyone he knew were not what it or whom they seemed.  As he recovers, he has to learn where he fits in with the other students and openly look at who he used to be and opinions that he held. Thanks to a new student and new love he learns to take a fresh look at his life and define what he is looking for in his future even when that includes heartbreak.

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!)


Title: Bluefish
Author: Pat Schmatz

Bluefish is the fourth book by Wisconsin author Pat Schmatz (rhymes with jots, not cats) who was born in Amherst, WI.
This book is an introduction to two main characters. Travis is new at the middle school. Velveeta, confident and individualistic, attends the same middle school. Inherently, both of them are lonely. Travis is a lover of the outdoors whereas Velveeta has a penchant for colorful scarves.
Travis is suffering from the loss of his dog and Velveeta is sad about the death of a good friend. This is one of many parallels they share. However, Travis has a deep-seated secret that is thwarting his ability to succeed.
A special teacher and a special librarian help Travis and Velveeta out. Other adults are described, flaws and all, which make for a realistic portrait of life. The dialogue in this book resonates, too.
The symbol of bluefish begins as derogatory and evolves into a triumphant emblem of empowerment!
This enjoyable and uplifting read leaves the reader grateful for friendship and hopeful. During the course of the novel, a gamut of feelings is tapped which is a satisfying growth experience. An appreciation for literacy is also achieved with this story.
Praise goes to Pat for her sensitive writing style. Her ability to express the middle school mindset, in particular, and humanity, in general, is to be lauded.

Author: Geoff Herbach

Felton Reinstein makes phenomenal changes in Stupid Fast: He goes from joke to jock, slow to fast, skinny to barbarian, hairless to hairy.  He comes to these self-realizations through a difficult summer when his dysfunctional family is at it's most vulnerable.  Maybe it all started when, at age 5, he found his father had committed suicide in the garage.  This book has very funny, honest and realistic glimpses into being sixteen and discovering new things about the world.  There's romance, sports, humor, mystery..... something for everyone.  Wisconsinites can get a mental image of Plateville, WI when reading Stupid Fast. Geoff Herbach will be a featured author at the Waupaca Book Festival on October 13, 2012.  Read this book and come meet the author.

Title: Spells
Author: Aprilynne Pike

This is an amazing book! It was a quick read and very thrilling!
The story is based upon a 15 year old Lauren and her life as a little girl growing up with hippie parents (no medicine, no artifical, all healthy) and when she turns 15 her life has suddenly begin to change...
She finds out her parents are not her true parents, she has a plant-cell based body (no blood just cloroplast) and she finds out she is a fairy and finds her true home! This book is a true mystical fiction with trolls,fairies,romance,and fighting for the right cause.

Leap Year

Title: Leap Day
Author: Wendy Mass

This book is a realistic fiction book that takes place over the span of one day (February 29th, leap year and Josie's 4th birthday, she is turning 16.) Lots of things happen to Josie, a girl at her school gets pregnant, Josie's brother's girlfriend breaks up with him, Josie's scavenger hunt group gets tied for 2nd place, she gets over a crush, she gets her drivers license, she hears the biggest secret from her best friend Katy, and much, much more. However, you must read the book to find out more.

Author: Melissa Jensen

Summary: Ella is invisible at Willing School and that's okay with her. She has her two best friends Frankie and Sadie, art, and Edward Willing, a 19th - century painter. But Ella wishes sometimes she wasn't invisible since her crush is Alex Bainbridge, one of the most popular guys in school. Will Ella find a way to get the boy of her dreams? Read It!

I loved this book! It wasn't what I thought it would be when I first picked it up, but I still liked. The French/Italian statements added a nice tough to the book, but I wish there would have been translations. I would recommend this book to anyone that likes love stories, art, or just a good book. Rating 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Author: Sara Shepard

This book and series is great for any girl who loves to read! It is such a page turner and is so intersting! If you start you will not be able to stop. Don't think that you will only be reading the first book because you will be kidnapped by Sasa's outstanding talent and have to read the rest! I am now on "Heartless" and loving it! If you like mystery, romance, murder, and surprise; This book is SO for you! (: