Hello everyone! I know it has been awhile since I have blogged, and that is because I have decided to turn this into a monthly thing. Unfortunately, I just do not have the time to read so many books over one or two weeks, not unless I want to give up all my other hobbies and social life. Ah, adulthood. Anyway, I have also decided to expand this blog to include my impressions of the other books I read each month, not just Hot Reads. Teen Read Week is coming up in October, and as part of the celebration, YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) encourages teens to vote on their favorite book of 2017 from a list of 25 nominees. You can do so at www.ala.org/teenstopten. We are also conducting our own vote here at the Kirkwood Public Library to see how our pick compares to the national pick. So, if you are between the ages of 12 and 18, head on over to www.kirkwoodpubliclibrary.org/teen to record your selection. I realized that I had not read any of the nominees yet, so I finally read two that were in my TBR pile. Remember you can check out any of these books and many other awesome reads in the Teen Room!

HOT READS

I’m a sucker for a good murder mystery/thriller, and this novel did both very well. I read it in a day because I could not put it down. I felt that the author portrayed all of the characters well, especially the lengths we will go to when we are grieving. I should include a trigger warning for suicide, domestic violence, abortion, and statutory rape—however, I felt that the author handled these heavy topics well and with sensitivity, and they were not included just for sensationalism. If you love a fast-paced thriller, I highly recommend this book.

One of the best books I’ve read this year. Michael is one of the most relatable teenage characters I have ever encountered in a YA book. His emotional journey through his first year attending a Catholic school as an atheist was hilarious, and at times, very painful. I thought that Katie Henry did a wonderful job of portraying how much your relationship with your family and friends can affect everything that you do, especially during the difficult high school years. You should check out this book and read it as soon as possible!

I’ve read a lot of fantasy over the years, and it doesn’t often surprise me. This book’s ending was unexpected, and now I am looking forward to the sequel (since it ended on a frustrating cliff hanger). I felt that the world-building was well done and I wanted the main character to succeed in her quest. The book is also full of feminism and the importance of sisterhood, which was a nice change to many of the fantasies I have read before. I don’t think that this novel would change the minds of those who do not like fantasy, but if you do love the genre and girl power, then this book is for you.

YALSA TEENS’ TOP TEN NOMINEES

I was never really a Wonder Woman fan before this book (and I am ashamed to say I have yet to see the movie either). But after reading about Diana and Alia’s adventures both on Themyscira and the real world, I want to be Wonder Woman when I grow up. This book has a fast and furious pace, and the development of both girls is well-written. The research that Bardugo put into the writing of this novel is obvious, with lots of Greek mythology interwoven throughout. I loved this book so much that I hope she writes another chapter in Diana’s adventures!

This book was on my TBR pile forever, and I finally checked it off. This book is a mystery/thriller, though I don’t think that the plot is the strongest part of this novel. I did enjoy the story, but I saw the solution coming a mile away. However, that did not dim my appreciation of this book, because the four main characters and their journey as they deal with being murder suspects is the best part. McManus did a wonderful job of creating four dynamic and interesting teens who supposedly embody the “teen movie” character type. But real people are more than that, and she deftly reveals that through their alternating narration. I definitely recommend this novel to everyone.

Shannon is a Teen and IT Librarian for the Kirkwood Public Library. She is new to St. Louis and enjoys exploring the city. Her hobbies include gaming of all kinds, reading fantasy and true crime books, and working on her novel and comic book series. Her favorite authors include Terry Brooks, Agatha Christie, Ann Rule, and Holly Black.