Hello everyone! My name is Shannon, and I am the new librarian down in the Teen Room. I’m starting a new series here on the Kirkwood Public Library’s blog about the Hot Reads in Teen. Every week, I will give you my impressions of a few of our offerings in the Hot Reads section, which will help you decide what to grab next time you visit the library! Please feel free to ask questions, or give your opinion in the comment section below.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

I should probably put a disclaimer on this one: Holly Black is one of my favorite authors, so I went into this a bit biased. But, I think that if you love dark fantasy than this book will enthrall you from the very beginning. I could not put it down once the courtly intrigues really got going, and all of the characters are so well-written. There is no black and white in this story—everyone seems to have a good side and a bad side, including the main character. I would definitely recommend checking this book out immediately if you haven’t already. P.S. The sequel, The Wicked King, is due out in January and I CANNOT wait! It is definitely on my TBO list (to be ordered) for the Teen Room!

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

I was intrigued by the premise of this book and went into it not knowing exactly what to expect. The first thing I noticed was the different font that the publisher used for the text. I know that is strange, but I read so much that these things stand out for me. I liked the change, and the computer-like quality of the design fit the story. I enjoyed the main character because she was not perfect. She seemed like a real teenage girl stuck in an impossible situation, with all the emotional damage that would result from being all alone in the vastness of space for years. I felt the story dragged a bit in the middle, and I saw one of the plot twists coming a mile away (the other one did surprise me), but I read and write a lot so that might not be the case for the majority of readers. This is classified as a science fiction book, but I think that the story would also appeal to the realistic fiction crowd because the science aspect is not the focus here. The focus is the main character and her journey to come to terms with the past.

Invisible Ghosts by Robyn Schneider

I decided to read this novel because my Epic Reads horoscope chose it as my July reading recommendation. Yes, the YA book website www.epicreads.com provides a monthly horoscope that includes a book that they believe fits in with what the stars have in store for you that month (you should check it out!). I don’t usually read contemporary teen fiction, but sometimes you need to step out of your comfort zone. And I am so glad that I did! This book does include a supernatural element to it, but it was so grounded in reality that it didn’t feel like that kind of story. I really related to the main character (well, my teenage self did), especially because she is a theater geek. The romance between the main character and her childhood friend was sweet and realistic, and I have to confess that I cried at the end. If you are looking for a new contemporary or romantic YA read, look no further than this novel.

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.