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

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Author: Audrey Shafer

Vernon Culligan had been dead to the town of Draydon, Virginia, so long that when the crusty Vietnam vet finally died, only one person noticed. Twelve-year-old Gabe grew up in the foster care system until a social worker located his Uncle Vernon two years before. When he comes home to discover that his uncle has died of a heart attack, he's terrified of going back into the system--so he tells no one. The next day, he discovers a strange note in his mailbox: I HAVE A SECRET. DO NOT BE AFRAID. And his uncle's body is gone. At first I thought this book was going to be preternatural, but it's not. It's pretty amazing though. It's not really long, it's mysterious, sometimes sad, but you can always tell that this boy really loved his uncle. I give this book 5/5 stars because overall it's such a nice story.

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Author: Maureen Johnson

The Last Little Blue Envelope is one of the best books you'll ever come across. This book is a sequel to 13 Little Blue Envelopes, so it may be helpful to read that book first. In Ginny's (the main character) previous adventure, her backpack gets stolen in Greece. Her backpack also contained the last blue envelope to complete her mission around Europe, which made her come home early. Just before Christmas Break, a few months after returning home, she receives an e-mail from an English man named Oliver. In the e-mail it says that he bought Ginny's bag in Greece from a man (the man that stole her bag) and that he is willing to meet her in London, England to work it out. So, over Christmas break, Ginny takes the hike over to England.

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Author: Gaston Leroux

Okay, so who hasn't heard of the Phantom of the Opera? It's a story about an opera house that is haunted by a man, a genius, a mad genius, a mad genius that happened to a monster, but he was quite human, though, still a monster. He has the face of "Death's head", four dark holes in his face. Two holes instead of eyes, he had no nose, and for a mouth, well...you'll have to figure that one out for your self. He also did some terrible things, including murder, kidnapping, torturing...the list goes on. It is also a story of a young girl named Christine Daae, who lost her father at a young age. Before he died he told her that when he was in heaven, he would send her the Angel of Music, and she has been visited by the angel. Then one day she comes forth on the stage and enchants every one with a voice like...an angel's. In the crowd there is a young man who recognizes her from their child-hood years. But when they meet each other again, Christine seems distant.

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Author: Jaclyn Moriarty

Since I finished reading all of Meg Cabot's teen books, I decided it was time to try some new books. Looking through the list of teen reads, I saw this book and decided to give it a try. I was quite pleased with this book. It kept me entertainted all the way to the end. I would definitely recommend it.

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Author: Gail Carson Levine

Ella is cursed. That fool of a fairy Lucinda didn't mean it, not really. She gave Ella perfect obedience when given a specific order. This fact makes Ella's life absolutely miserable. When Ella's mother dies, she is sent by her father to a finishing school, with her future stepsisters, and it is they who torture her the most, at first. Ella will soon be tortured even more by the fact that her curse will prevent her from doing what she wants most. Will she ever be free of it? Ms. Levine certainly has mastered the art of writing (or rewriting) fairy tales. Ella Enchanted is probably the best Cinderella spin off I have ever read. Read more»

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Author: Joan Kaywell

This book shows us the power that authors have to change people’s lives. We read letters that were written to authors and the authors’ responses. These encounters are enlightening and heartwarming. As a librarian, this book is a tool for me because it includes the best Young Adult authors in the U. S. If I use this book as a guide for my reading in the Young Adult genre, I will have exposed myself to some of the most important YA books of our time!

Undercover

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Title: Undercover
Author: Beth Kephart

The title is misleading--this is not a book about detective work. Rather, the teenage protagonist is writing poetry "undercover" for boys to woo girls @ her school. The poetry is quite good! And as she sorts her own love life out, as well as watching the demise of her parents’ marriage, this story is gripping. It has a fabulous ending in which she really gets to triumph and shine. Terrific book.

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Author: Jaclyn Moriarty

Ultimately, a book about gaining self-confidence and navigating the world of being a teenager. The format was great. It was written in a series of letters. Some of the letters were from "anonymous" groups such as "The Cold Hard Truth Association". Those groups represented the negative thoughts that can go through your head. The protagonist is actually Elizabeth who is trying to discern her changing relationship with her lifelong friend, Celia. In the meantime she is creating a strong supportive relationship with Christina via letter writing. Also, in the book we have some pretty useless adults--at least from Elizabeth's point of view. Very interesting. Age does not necessarily breed maturity! This is a great fast read. I can see why this is a popular title.