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MADreads for Teens

Book reviews for teens by library staff and guest contributors

How to budget for lamb and strychnine

Cover of Etiquette & Espionage
A review of Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

It's been a while since I've read such a delightful novel. And not only is this one great and good, I'm thrilled that there are several more books in this young adult series that I can read next. Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger is set in the same world as her adult Parasol Protectorate series (a combination steam punk/romance/paranormal series that is also super-fun). This YA entry takes place a number of years earlier and introduces Sophronia Angelina Temminnick.

Aug 21, 2019

My best book of the year

Cover of Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murd
A review of Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark

I can't imagine any book topping this one for me in 2019. The snappy and shocking title is one of the reasons I love it so much. It's funny, smart, and helpful in a cuddly way, despite the whopper of a title. The authors Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark are the true crime comedy podcast stars of My Favorite Murder and their podcast provides background for the book. True crime is what brought Karen and Georgia together and how and why they have a fabulous book deal.

Jul 31, 2019

Old favorite, rediscovered

Cover of Troubled Waters
A review of Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn

I used to love to wander through a bookstore and feed my reading need (this on top of checking many stacks of books out of the library). But at some point I stopped buying all those print copies, partially for space reasons, partially because of the changing bookstore landscape and partially because I was reading more and more digitally. So what's my version of strolling through the bookstore aisles? Late in the evening I look for ebook deals online to see if there's anything that catches my fancy (this on top of the library books I check out electronically and read on Libby!).

Jul 8, 2019

I'm just so curious

Cover of The Rook
A review of The Rook by David O'Malley

A week or so ago I saw a trailer for a new tv show and as it flashed across the screen in quick shots (as trailers do) it seemed so familiar and I thought, is it? Could it be? Yes it was. Starz has a new show starting at the end of June about one of my favorite fantasy novels, The Rook. I read the book a while ago but I'm re-upping my review to tie it in in with the show to come.

Jun 13, 2019

I take this hot dog to be my..

Cover of Food: A Love Story
A review of Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan

Oh, this is Humor. With a capital "H." Jim Gaffigan is clearly not getting married to a hot dog, as he already has a wife and five small children, and he's not that kind of weirdo, but he really does love the cured meats. Like, loves loves loves the cured meats. Hot dogs. Bologna. Bacon. All sausages, especially bratwurst. I did not think I could laugh more than I did while reading Dad is Fat, Gaffigan's take on parenting all those small children in New York City with a two bedroom, fifth floor walk-up, and here I am, laughing away as I think about Food: A Love Story.

Jun 10, 2019

Stories we tell

Cover of The Rest of the Story
A review of The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen

There was a time when I discovered Sarah Dessen and did a deep dive into her young adult novels. And once I'd caught up on her backlist I'd read each new one when it came out. But then I stopped doing an auto-read of her books. Can't really tell you why, though I'm guessing there were just too many other things on my TBR radar (a constant challenge in my life), but there it is. What's funny is I can't tell you why I decided to try her newest and why, when I decided to do so, I was kind of nervous. Would it be as enjoyable as the earlier ones were? Had I grown out of my love for her books?

Jun 6, 2019

Eye of the beholder

Cover of Little Dancer Aged Fourtee
A review of Little Dancer Aged Fourteen: The True Story Behind Degas's Masterpiece by Camille Laurens

What is art? What attracts or repulses the viewer? The colors, setting, images, tactile feel of textiles/sculpture? Does knowledge of the artist or the subject influence the viewer? All these questions and more are addressed in this surprisingly slim and amazing new book by the French novelist Camille Laurens detailing her fascination of one artist, Edgar Degas, and one work, his now iconic sculpture of a young dancer. 

Jun 5, 2019

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