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Tana, Arvada Library

Game, by Barry Lyga is the follow up to I Hunt Killers, which was horrible in a good way.  In the first book we meet Jazz, a 17 year old living in a small town which seems to have attracted a serial killer.  Jazz, whose recently jailed father is one of the most prolific and terrifying serial killers in American history, tries to prove he is nothing like his dear old dad, by hunting down this deranged killer.  Needless to say the book is full of blood and guts and wierdness to the nth degree... and it's GREAT!

Game picks right up where the first book leaves off and it does not disappoint!  Fast paced, with tons of gruesome information you probably didn't know you needed to know, and plot twists galore, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat.  It will also keep you looking over your shoulder...



Arra, Lakewood Library

Sophronia is a trial to her family, always up to some mischief or another.  Her mother has made the decision to send her off to finishing school but all is not as it seems.  The quote from the cover says it all: "It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time."  Etiguette & Espionage is filled with lots of non-stop action and good snarky dialogue.   

Arra, Lakewood Library

Here are some books with dresses on the cover that I would love to wear.  Of course I wouldn't look nearly as good (imagine nerdy librarian in fancy dress.)


What book cover dresses would you love to wear? 

Briana, Evergreen Library

Boarding schools have always been good settings for coming-of-age stories (A Separate Peace, anyone?) but I've seen a lot more of them lately. Here are four great realistic YA novels set in boarding schools.

Looking for Alaska by John Green: Miles Halter makes new friends and pulls pranks during his first year at Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama, but his experience is dominated by Alaska Young, the beautiful, self-destructive girl who lives down the hall.

The Secret to Lying by Todd Mitchell: When he's accepted at an academy for gifted and talented students, 15-year-old James decides to leave his boring past behind and creates a new persona, but his lies lead to increasingly reckless behavior.

Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard: Alex, a junior at a boys boarding school in 1982, feels devastated and guilty when he fails to save a friend from accidental drowning. The truth about what happened at the river is revealed through Alex's journal and poems

The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan: Tim, a young albino, transfers to an elite prep school and falls for the most popular girl. She's into Tim, too, but her social status would be threatened if anyone knew about their secret relationship.

Erin, Golden Library

Isaac has his bar mitzvah in two weeks and is wholly unprepared for it.  It doesn't help that he saw his buddy Eric puke his guts out at his just a few days ago.  When Isaac's parents go out of town unexpectedly, Isaac's brother Josh (or Super Jew as some call him) decides it's time to make Isaac a man.  Josh is super athletic and home for awhile after he left Columbia University under mysterious circumstances. He puts Isaac on a vision quest that includes a myriad of tasks both mundane and creative.  This quest with Josh has Isaac investigating a number of age old questions, like where to look at a strip club and what do you do in a bar fight, to name a few.

I really enjoyed this book. It reminded me a lot of a Chris Crutcher's (who I LOVE) work. This title would definitely be a read alike to some of his work or something like Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach.This book had everything: it was hilarious and heartbreaking with some really engaging characters and some true soul searching. Rubens is apparently a former Daily Show writer and it shows. 

Amy, Edgewater Library

The final book in the Delirium trilogy is here!  Lena and Alex are two teens fighting the government that has outlawed love.  If you liked The Hunger Games trilogy check out this series!  Suspenseful and hard to put down-the series titles are Delirium, Pandemonium and Requiem

Delirium is going to be a TV movie with Emma Roberts soon.

Briana, Evergreen Library

Eleanor and Park are both outcasts - Eleanor for her wild red hair, weird clothes, and painfully difficult home life, Park for being a half-Korean comic book nerd in white, working class Omaha. When they meet on the school bus in 1986 and gradually bond over their shared love of X-Men and music, Eleanor and Park know their relationship will face obstacles. They're "smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try."

This is a smart, touching love story told in short alternating chapters. While it's full of '80s musical references, you don't have to be old enough to remember Walkmans and mix tapes to enjoy this story. Eleanor and Park are complex and relatable characters, whose adolescent struggles are universal. If you're a sucker for John Hughes movies or you love John Green's books, you'll like Eleanor and Park!

Jessie, Columbine Library

In the past few days I've had several people ask me for more books like Divergent by Veronica Roth. If you haven't read Divergent yet, it takes place in a future in which all members of society are divided into five factions. When it comes time to choose her future, Beatrice learns that she is Divergent, not fitting into any of the five groups. She also learns that someone in the government is hunting down Divergents and killing them. It's full of action and adventure and it's great!

Here are a few more futuristic titles you may want to try:

Legend by Marie Lu: In a dark future, when North America has split into two warring nations, Day, a famous criminal, and prodigy June, the brilliant soldier hired to capture him, discover that they have a common enemy.

Dualed by Elsie Chapman: In this future, everyone has an identical twin that they never meet, also known as an Alt. At some point between the ages of 10 and 20 the two twins are forced to seek each other out and try to kill each other. Only one twin can survive.

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi: Aria lives inside a dome, safe from the poisonous atmosphere outside. But one bad decision leaves her exiled to the outer wastelands known as the Death Shop. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent energy storms will. She meets a wild and dangerous Outsider named Perry who is her only chance of survival.

Briana, Evergreen Library

If you think writer's workshops are only for amateurs, think again. Since 2008, YA authors Maggie Stiefvater, Brenna Yovanoff, and Tessa Gratton have posted more than 250 works of short fiction on their collaborative website, Merry Sisters of Fate. Like their respective novels, the flash fiction and short stories on Merry Fates deal with the paranormal, the weird, and the strangely beautiful.

Thirty stories from the Merry Fates project are now available in The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories. The stories are great on their own, but what makes the book really special are the introductions and handwritten notes and critiques from the trio. They provide insight into the creative process - how three acclaimed writers construct story arcs, build worlds, and create believable characters. This is an inspiring read for anyone interested in writing fiction!


Tana, Arvada Library

Try NON-Fiction – it can be a real trip!  Here are some of my recent favs from the realm of the real…

Pretty much anything by Jon Ronson is a lot of fun to read and if you can listen to him read it himself – even better!  He is a British journalist, and he tackles some weird topics with rare wit. 

The Psychopath Test – Go deep into the madness industry and see just how crazy it is.  Ronson explores how we define madness, how we treat the mentally ill and how most of top CEOs are probably psychopaths. 

The Men Who Stare at Goats – you might have seen the movie, but the book is pretty funny!  Yes.  The United States military tried to create a secret unit of highly trained psychics who could kill with their minds… or something like that.  It’s true!  Weird, but true!

Mary Roach writes books about stuff you want to know about but didn’t know you wanted to know about.  Like what you would need to take on a trip to Mars, and how how much of our society we owe to dead bodies / cadavers.

Spook – This book talks about the science of the afterlife; chronicles the research regarding the human soul, reincarnation and whether electromagnetic fields can make the human brain see ghosts?  How much does the human soul weigh?  Let’s see…

Stiff - From being crash test dummies to being something someone would like to snack on, this book looks at all the ways that society uses human corpses.  Sometimes disturbing, sometimes funny, this gives you something to think about.

Michael Pollan is the guru of the organics movement, thanks to his entertaining and informative books on botany.  Yes.  I said, “Botany.”  These books will make you think twice about your food and just how cunning apples really are.

The Botany of Desire - This book is about apples (surprisingly devious!), tulips (which single-handedly destroyed the Dutch economy!) and marijuana (which has mutated into a monster of its former self!).  Funny and bizarre, this book makes you reconsider your house plant (and what it might be thinking about you!).

The Omnivore’s Dilemma – If you love eating McDonald’s French fries… don’t read this book.  This book goes on a journey through the American food universe and what Pollan finds is not always fun to know, but it’s important… and might just keep you from mutating into some sort of deranged man-bear-pig type creature.  Just sayin’…


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