Back to top

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."

May 1, 2018

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!

April 23, 2018

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).

April 13, 2018

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.

March 5, 2018

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.

January 30, 2018

Disappearing twin

Cover of Beautiful Lies
A review of Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman
Beautiful Lies was an amazing book. The fact that it offered many experiences that I haven't been exposed to was incredible. It showed me what could happen with a problem that I may not currently face. Somehow, even though the story was very different from my life, I was still able to relate with the character. I knew how she felt when her twin disappeared as I would be devastated if one of my siblings just disappeared mysteriously. I would definitely recommend this book as well as other books by Jessica Warman.
January 16, 2018

Monsters need to eat, too

Cover of Brave Chef Brianna
A review of Brave Chef Brianna by Jillian Crab

A famous chef and restaurateur in failing health decides to pit his children against one another in order for one of them to achieve the rights to his successful empire.  All of the children (12 boys!) and one daughter, Brianna Jakobsson, must start a new restaurant.  The child with the most successful restaurant wins the inheritance.  Each restaurant must be in a different town and all of the children must open their restaurant without any assistance from their father.  Brianna is at a major disadvantage because she is the youngest in the family and has only recently graduated from culinar

January 12, 2018

I Do?

Cover of When Dimple Met Rishi
A review of When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

This YA Rom-Com with a nod to Bollywood is both sweet and addicting! When Dimple Met Rishi (Simon Pulse, 2017) is told in two voices, alternating often. The reader feels the giddiness of new love – as well as the push and pull of culture, family expectations, and being true to oneself. I was a fan of both Dimple and Rishi from the very start – and I truly, achingly, wanted everything to work out! It is a warm and cozy read – and definitely a big win for first-time writer Sandhya Menon. I am eagerly awaiting her next book – From Twinkle, with Love - to be out summer of 2018.

December 22, 2017

Pages