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Servamp Vol. 2

Servamp Vol. 2 - Strike Tanaka Looooove this series

Puella Magi Kazumi Magica, Vol. 3: The Innocent Malice

Puella Magi Kazumi Magica, Vol. 3: The Innocent Malice - Masaki Hiramatsu cool story but the art is so all over the place that I can't tell wtf is happening on most pages

Beyond the Pond

Beyond the Pond - Joseph Kuefler Best picture book of the year.

In a Village by the Sea

In a Village by the Sea - Muon Van, April Chu In a village by the sea there is a family cooking dinner, waiting for the sun to set when father comes home from fishing. IN A VILLAGE BY THE SEA is a brilliantly imagined new picture book written by Muon Van and illustrated by April Chu. With beautiful illustrations and perfectly lyrical text, this is a must have picture book for families, educators, and libraries.

A culturally authentic, fantastically woven story that opens a window to another world for the reader to experience and explore. In the pages of this book, the reader is able to spend some time in the shoes of another family, one that is not so very different from their own.

Masterfully told and illustrated, IN A VILLAGE BY THE SEA is highly recommended for anyone wanting a unique picture book and a great story that shows the reader a hint of Vietnamese family life.

Tokyo Ghoul, Volume 1

Tokyo Ghoul, Volume 1 - Sui Ishida Disgusting. Creepy. Not incredibly original. Kinda cool, but too gross for me.

Violent Ends

Violent Ends - Shaun David Hutchinson, Neal Shusterman, Brendan Shusterman, Beth Revis, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Courtney Summers, Kendare Blake, Delilah S. Dawson, Steve Brezenoff, Tom Leveen, Hannah Moskowitz, Blythe Woolston, Trish Doller, Mindi Scott, Margie Gelbwasser, Christine Jo Incredibly powerful storytelling with a consistent tone despite the 18 different authors. One of the best contemporary books I've ever read, and highly recommended. Each story is very well written, and while told from different perspectives, keeping the story straight is easy because of the quality storytelling and editing. The violent end happens in the beginning, and the rest is like a web of stories woven together in a masterful way.

Taking Aim: Power and Pain, Teens and Guns

Taking Aim: Power and Pain, Teens and Guns - Michael Cart, Marc Aronson, Edward Averett, Francesca Lia Block, Chris Crutcher, Alex Flinn, Gregory Galloway, Jennifer Hubbard, Peter Johnson, Ron Koertge, Chris Lynch, Walter Dean Myers, Joyce Carol Oates, Eric Shanower, Will Weaver, Elizabeth Wein, Tim Wynne-Jones Poor storytelling, too much message-sending, bland characters, unbelievable and predictable settings and situations, unreadable short stories that no teen will find appealing. Sorry, I did not enjoy this at all and I don't think teens will either.

Servamp Vol. 1

Servamp Vol. 1 - Strike Tanaka Loved it. The characters, the plot, the dialogue, the art, the freaking cliffhanger at the end of the first volume...So, so good.

I Crawl Through It

I Crawl Through It - A.S. King I CRAWL THROUGH IT is the weirdest book I've ever read. Period. Reminiscent of Haruki Murakami's singly unique style, King has delivered yet another standalone masterpiece.

Personally, I have a hard time understanding metaphors in fiction, and I struggle with literary writing. I think this book is brilliant but I don't know quite why. There is a lot being said about an educational system based on standards and testing, and the effects that has on youth. King also has a lot to say about expectations and becoming adults, and her characters have very unique yet relatable reactions to that.

The story follows 4 teens who are coming of age together in their sleepy little town where everyone knows everyone else's business. They long to escape from their own boxes and cages, and they have very strange ideas of how they're going to do so. One boy is building an invisible helicopter to fly away in. Another girl writes impressive poetry that so accurately reflects the world around her. The lives of these teens are intertwined, their actions and reactions affecting each other in nuanced ways. I couldn't stop turning the pages, to find out what happens next. A great book with a clever premise and fantastic writing that will keep readers enthralled.

A.S. King is a master of literary YA fiction, and her latest novel is no exception. Metaphors and analogies, combined with skilled writing and a fascinating plot, ICTI is simply brilliant.

Chester

Chester - Ayano Imai, Kathryn Bishop Very pretty illustrations for a cute story about an adorable, lovable dog.

Wandering Son Vol. 8 (Vol. 8) (Wandering Son)

Wandering Son Vol. 8 (Vol. 8)  (Wandering Son) - Shimura Takako This manga continues to be amazing.

Mistaken

Mistaken - Liz Coley perfect perfect perfect perfect!!!

Scorched

Scorched - Mari Mancusi Very cool book, start to an intriguing series, but not something I'm so interested in that I'm going to keep reading. will definitely be recommending it to my teen library r eaders, though!

Cut Both Ways

Cut Both Ways - Carrie Mesrobian This is a story about choices. Will is a real guy, who makes bad choices, good choices, and deals with the consequences. This is a story about realistic, coming-of-age decision making and the mistakes teens make. This is a book I wish I had had, as a teenager. I know it's going to be so important to the teens who discover it, and find themselves within the pages.

The protagonist, Will, is not the greatest friend. He ends up dating his best friend, Angus, and a girl from school, Brandy. Angus and Brandy go to different schools and live in different towns - Will travels between them as he spends time with his divorced parents. Will knows he's doing something wrong. He very much knows that he's messing up by being with both of them. But he also knows that he doesn't want to choose, and while his feelings for Angus are incredibly confusing, he doesn't want to hold back. And so he doesn't - Will is full of so much feeling for both Angus and Brandy, not to mention his relationships with his parents, that the book was practically dripping with emotion.

CUT BOTH WAYS has the most honest, realistic, and sad ending to a YA book I've ever read. Mesrobian's writing is so powerful that when it was over, when I turned the last page and then closed the book, I physically hurt with feeling. My chest ached with compassion for Will, and with a tainted hope for his open-ended future.

I highly recommend CUT BOTH WAYS to adult and teen readers. Every library should have a copy - you need to have this book for teens who are questioning their own sexuality and decisions in life.

Very in Pieces

Very in Pieces - Megan Frazer Blakemore Good, but not spectacular. Very slow start, powerful finish, moderately interesting in between. hints of I'll Give You The Sun. Worth reading, but not for everyone.

Honor Girl

Honor Girl - Maggie Thrash, Maggie Thrash A touching memoir that every teen will be able to relate to, HONOR GIRL is the story of Maggie's most special summer at Camp Bellflower for Girls.

Maggie's always been just another girl at camp, one who's just a little more into Backstreet Boys than anyone else and doesn't really like group activities. Until this one summer, when she starts feeling strange things for an older camp counselor who happens to be female. Maggie has never had an interest in the boys who work around the camp, but she's never been interested in girls, either. Watching Maggie fall for Erin and sort through her chaotic mess of feelings is so familiar, so relatable, that she could be writing about anyone. The story of Maggie's first love is deliciously awkward and hopelessly appealing. Combined with the always-a-little-weird summer camp setting and Maggie's own unique voice and that makes HONOR GIRL a very enjoyable book.

With sketchy, light illustrations painstakingly colored in watercolor paints, HONOR GIRL's graphic elements reflect its casual yet unique tone. The characters are well-defined and interesting, with their own set of expressions and quirks.

The Verdict: HONOR GIRL is an honest, relatable, and touching story of one girl's summer of self-discovery.