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MADreads for Teens

Book reviews for teens by library staff and guest contributors

Pitch perfect

Cover of Five Flavors of Dumb
A review of Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

"For the record, I wasn't around the day they decided to become Dumb. If I'd been their manager back then I'd have pointed out that the name, while accurate, was not exactly smart. It just encouraged people to question the band's intelligence, maybe even their sanity. And the way I saw it, Dumb didn't have much of either."

Gloomies, like Goonies, but not exactly

Cover of Misfit City Vol. 1
A review of Misfit City Vol. 1 by Kirsten Smith

This graphic novel series is set in Cannon Cove, where a popular adventure movie called The Gloomies was filmed in the 1980s. Decades later, fans of the movie continue to visit and annoy the residents who cater to the tourism with mild resentment. Then a cool group of teen "misfits" who begrudgingly live in the sleepy coastal town discover something unexpected, mysterious and adventurous: a pirate map belonging to the legendary Black Mary!

Heart and depth

Cover of It's Not Like it's a Secre
A review of It's Not Like it's a Secret by Misa Sugira

I tried it, and I liked it! I’m not usually into angsty teen romance novels, but Sugiura provides plenty of layers to this one. Sana is discovering her sexual identity (lesbian), she is discovering her father’s infidelity (he is having an affair of sorts), and at the same time she is struggling with her peers’ racism (she is of Japanese descent), and her own racism (she falls for a Latina girl at her high school and stumbles with her own preconceived beliefs).

The magic of the stage

Cover of The Backstagers
A review of The Backstagers by James Tynion IV, Rian Sygh, Walter Baiamonte, Jim Campbell, and Veronica Fish

Have you felt enchanted when experiencing live theater? I have! This new graphic novel series explores the weird and wild magic that happens behind the scenes of high school theater productions. Jory is a new student at St. Genesius looking for an after-school activity. He stumbles into the backstage crew on accident and immediately finds a place in their ranks. They are a welcoming and motley bunch working the lights, sound, sets and costumes and they have a secret.

Perception is everything

Cover of Tess of the Road
A review of Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

I was so excited when I was offered a galley of Hartman's new novel set in the fantasy realm of Goredd first introduced in Seraphina. Here we meet Seraphina's half-sister Tess. Tess chafes at the role she's had to take on in her family and the restrictions placed on her as a female. She's bitter and angry and yes, she drinks too much to dull her frustrations. But she's chugging along with the goal of getting her sister settled in a good marriage.

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