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MADreads for Teens

Book reviews for teens by library staff and guest contributors

It takes a con

Cover of City of Secrets
A review of City of Secrets by Victoria Thompson

In the second of her new series set in 1920s New York former con artist Elizabeth Miles helps a friend whose husband has died (killed by a streetcar). As though grieving her suddenly dead husband weren't bad enough, Priscilla Knight learns after his death that all of her money is gone. She'd come into this second marriage a wealthy woman and somehow in less then a year her husband Endicott made all that money disappear. Now Priscilla isn't sure how she'll support herself and her two young daughters.

January 16, 2019

Swoon.

Cover of 99 Percent Mine
A review of 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

Fans of Sally Thorne's debut novel, The Hating Game, have been RABIDLY waiting for her second book for what feels like decades, but was actually three years. Her hilarious, galloping writing never lets the reader rest a beat between moments of chemistry-- it has a wonderful dizzying effect. Almost everyone I know has read The Hating Game at my insistence, and many of them simply and reverently refer to it as The Book. 

January 15, 2019

Judith & Susanna & Artemisia

Cover of Blood Water Paint
A review of Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough

This fictionalized biography of Artemisia Gentileschi is as beautiful, powerful, and haunting as the paintings its subject produced. Gentileschi is best known as a celebrated Italian Baroque painter, and for insisting on trying her rapist in a court of law-- two things that were near unheard of for women of her time. 

January 9, 2019

By day a comic book writer...

Cover of The Frame-Up
A review of The Frame-Up by Meghan Scott Molin

MG Martin is a writer working for the comic book publishing company responsible for the comics that spurred the geekdom of her youth. Her dream job, or so you'd think. But things have stalled. She struggles to have her ideas heard in a building full of men and while she still wants to write the comics she loves, she's wondering if she should be pushing for more or even pursuing her love of costume design. Then into her lap falls a real-life mystery.

January 7, 2019

War lingers on

Cover of Treacherous is the Night
A review of Treacherous is the Night by Anna Lee Huber

It's 1919 in England and the Great War is over, but its shadow still looms large over England and all of Europe. Verity Kent is one of those struggling with a new life and her attempts to find a new normal. She's grounded in the here and now, but when a friend asks that she attend a seance, she agrees. Verity is a skeptic, to say the least, so when the medium channels a woman Verity once worked with in Belgium during the war, her suspicions are raised. Why would the medium make mention of a woman who worked as an anti-german spy?

December 18, 2018

A once in a lifetime pet

Cover of How to Be A Good Creature:
A review of How to Be A Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals by Sy Montgomery

Have you ever had a truly special pet? Not just a pet that you love and care for, but a pet who profoundly changes you? Naturalist and National Book Award finalist Sy Montgomery refers to "a lifetime dog" even though she's known three or four of these and many more animals that she considers notable. I, too, have had three of these "lifetime" pets in my world, plus a few that were honorable mention. 

December 17, 2018

Countdown begins

Kiss Quotient book cover
#libfaves18

I posted a couple "best of" lists last week. Today starts the 10 day #libfaves18 countdown. Each day for the next ten days library workers across the land will be posting their favorite 2018 titles, one day at a time. They'll use the hashtag #libfaves18 on Twitter so you can follow along. Tallying is happening each day and at the end of the countdown the biggest vote-getters will be posted.

December 10, 2018

Poetry that gives life

Cover of Not Here
A review of Not Here by Hieu Minh Nguyen

What a time to be alive. What a time for poetry that gives life. Rupi Kaur, Nayyirah Waheed, Danez Smith, Ada Limón, Morgan Parker, Tommy Pico, Chen Chen, Kaveh Akbar, Ocean Vuong, Solman Sharif, Mai Der Vang, Yesika Salgado. There is no shortage of new school poets with distinctive viewpoints and a moving way with words. Add Hieu Minh Nguyen, the Minnesotan son of Vietnamese immigrants, to that list.

December 6, 2018

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