Happy Fall everyone! I made it through three amazing Hot Reads this month, as well as two more of the nominees for YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten for 2017. Teen Read Week is October 7th through the 13th, and 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 here at the library are also conducting our own vote to see how Kirkwood’s 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 make your voice heard! PLEASE vote! I want to have a celebration with cupcakes (yum), and need a Kirkwood Teen favorite to do so!

I loved this book. The mixture of pirates, girl power, and interesting technology grabbed me from the very beginning. The main character Caledonia’s emotional arc throughout the novel was not only understandable, but I related to her on a deep level. The action scenes were well-written but not over the top, and I could tell that Parker put a lot of effort into researching ships and sailing. I found the technology in the book interesting because it is a mixture of old and new—for example, the girls sail on a pirate ship that uses solar energy from the sails to power an engine and lights. I am looking forward to the next book in the series!

This book will haunt you long after you put it down. Sadie is a unique novel in that it tells the story through the eyes of the main character, and through the transcript of a true crime podcast trying to find out what happened to her. Summers writes a dark, intense, but necessary look into a young girl’s life marred by drugs, abuse, and poverty. I felt like I was watching a documentary where you want to look away but you just can’t. The ending leaves many questions unanswered, but that is usually how these stories turn out. I would highly recommend this book, especially to fans of crime and realistic fiction. I would add a trigger warning for sexual abuse and drug use.

I read this book in one day, staying up way past my bedtime to finish it. I am a huge Jane Austen fan, and am always interested in seeing how authors take her classic stories and fit them into the modern world. Ibi Zoboi did a marvelous job of using the framework of Pride & Prejudice to tell this story of the gentrification of a diverse neighborhood in Brooklyn. Her language is so poetic, and the way she described some of the romance scenes made me swoon. I felt immersed in a culture that is so unlike my own. But there was still a spark of familiarity because of the framework. So well done. Everyone should read this book!

YALSA’S TEENS’ TOP TEN NOMINEES

I had heard so much about this book, and it was on my TBR pile forever. I thought that the story started out kind of slow, and I did not really like Scarlett because I felt that she was too passive to be the main character. However, I got lost in the magical world of Caraval once she arrived at the island. The descriptions of the world and the magic made me feel like I was really there, and never knowing who was lying or not kept me flying through the pages. I warmed up to Scarlett by the end of the book, but still like her sister better. I was surprised by the ending, and that is not something that is easy to do. I would suggest this book to anyone who loves a fantasy that has something “new” to it, because the story and world did feel fresh.

I am all over any novels that have gaming in them because I am a gamer myself. I was sucked into the near-future world of Warcross right away, and I think that the characters in this novel are the strongest selling point. I felt like all the characters had multiple layers to them, and everyone had a reason for acting the way they did, good or bad. The moral dilemmas that Emika faces are really what made me keep reading. The romance sometimes seemed rushed, at least from Hideo’s point of view, but not unrealistic. The in-game action sequences were okay. They reminded me way too much of Quidditch from the Harry Potter books. Overall, I would recommend this book for its well-written characters and dialogue, not the action.

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.