Sara Teen Librarian

I'm a librarian and would love to start keep track of my readings virtually :) My blog descriptions may give away spoilers, as I will be writing them to help ME remember what happened in the book.

Like No Other By Una LaMarche

Described as a book for those who have loved Eleanor & Park, Like No Other shares a story of two teens who fall in love and could never, ever be together.

 

Devorah is a good girl who has never challenged her strict Hasidic upbringing. Never allowed to be in the same room alone with a male, not even family, never mind actually date. Her family will choose her future husband, someone from the same community, and they will fall in love after they marry.

 

Jaxon is a black, book-smart, nerd who experiences normal teenage stuff: stress from his parents to get into college, care for his younger sisters, and balance time at school, work, and with friends.

 

Devorah and Jaxon get stuck in an elevator together at the hospital when the power goes out during a hurricane. After this meeting and the fact that they both can’t stop thinking about each other, Devorah and Jax arrange secret meetings and risk everything to be together.

 

LaMarche does a great job of making the reader want to know what happens to these forbidden lovers. I, however, wanted the story to move along more quickly than it did. Do they really have to almost get caught numerous times? Do they not realize that someone will catch onto their lies? Why have they not just run away already if they really know they want to be together?

 

Eleanor & Park was a unique love story with much more character, quirkiness, and storyline than Like No Other. I would say the only thing they have in common is that they are about a couple that can “never be together” and with both stories you want to fight for them until the very end.

Courage Has No Color

Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America's First Black Paratroopers - Tanya Lee Stone

The story of the black paratroopers of WWII explained how heavily prejudiced the US military was. Being allowed to serve your country but not allowed to share the same restaurants as whites. The stories of these men share a unique part of history I didn't know existed. Not the most fast-paced non-fiction book I've read but enjoyable.

When You Were Here - Daisy Whitney

Danny's mother passes away right before graduation, the day she was holding on for. She fought cancer for 5 years. Confused, lost, and alone, Danny tries to figure out why she didn't hold on and how he will ever be happy again. With a father that died six years ago and an adopted sister exploring her roots in China, Danny is at the hands of his mom's best friend. When he has to figure out what to do with his mother's belongings, including the apartment in Toyko, he decides to visit over there and see if he can find answers. She visited there frequently for treatments with "the last great hope" doctor - the guy that was supposed to save her.

 

Toyko provides Danny with a new best friend, a shocking surprise, and answers to how his mom enjoyed the remainder of her life.

Who Is AC? - Hope Larson

Meet Lin, a formerly average teenage girl whose cell phone zaps her with magical powers. But just as superpowers can travel through the ether, so can evil. As Lin starts to get a handle on her new abilities (while still observing her curfew!), she realizes she has to go head-to-head with a nefarious villain who spreads his influence through binary code. And as if that weren’t enough, a teen blogger has dubbed her an “anonymous coward!” Can Lin detect the cyber-criminal’s vulnerability, save the day, and restore her reputation? (from Amazon.com)

Sky on Fire - Emmy Laybourne

As suspenseful as the first, the sequel to Monument 14, keep me on the edge of my seat -- I even finished in one day! It starts with Alex and his crew on the bus trying to get to Denver Airport to help their dying friend Brayden. Dean, Astrid, and the kids are staying at the store because their blood type makes them all crazy if exposed. Many, many trials approach both groups. There is a bus-jacking, a bomb shelter, a pitfall trap, men with guns, cigarette smoke helping to breathe in the compounds (what!?)... There is love, sex, drug addiction, chainsaw killing... Overall, the outcome was much rooted for! I'm not quite sure what the author could do for a 3rd book, if there is one, but I have no doubts if anyone could make it as thrilling, it would be her!

SPOILER ALERT!
2 Days - L.B. Tillit

Neema gets thrown out of her house when she accuses her mom's creepy boyfriend of trying to touch her breasts and her mom doesn't believe her. She leaves in such a hurry she forgets her birth control. She stays with her boyfriend, Nate, and his family for the next two weeks -- breaking in at home after 2 days to retrieve some things. When Nate's family kick her out, she moves in with Aunt Amina who sets a strict curfew. Nate wants nothing to do with that. He dumps her. After several days of puking and her breasts hurting, she decides to get tested for being pregnant. Positive. She is given a pamphlet about all her choices. She finishes reading "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" and the main character, Maya, has an unexpected pregnancy and keeps the baby. This is what she will do. Aunt Amina said she will help her through it. Neema's mom shows up after leaving her boyfriend. Neema tries to tell Nate but he won't listen. She goes to his graduation and his parents act like she isn't there -- super-big belly and all. She discovers the class jerk is not a jerk, just an over-worked big brother. He helps her through labor when it is time and they end up on the road to more-than-friendship but not for awhile. Neema first has to learn how to be a mom, get though her postpartum depression, get back to school.

 

Easy, quick, urban but not ghetto. May be perfect for that teenage girl that's not into reading. Loving L.B. Tillit

SPOILER ALERT!
The Running Dream - Wendelin Van Draanen

Jessica's track team is in an accident which causes their teammate, Lucy, to die and Jessica to lose a leg. After many hard trials and wishing she was the one to die, Jessica overcomes her own odds -- gains strength and determination. She slowly improves on crutches and goes back to school. She learns to walk with her new temporary leg. Her teammates and coach convince her she can run again -- they raise $20,000 for her running leg with the help of an "anonymous" donor. She gets tutored in math by Rosa who has cerebral palsy. Rosa really helps Jessica build her determination. Jessica gets her running leg and is determined to help Rosa be seen -- past her condition. She trains for weeks pushing a wheelchair with sandbags. Rosa, Jessica, and members of "Team Rosa" gear up and complete a 10 mile race with Jessica pushing Rosa the whole time. Rosa gets to feel the wind in her hair, gets to know what running feels like, and gets to cross the finish line. This marks Jessica's new starting line.

 

AMAZING!! So touching and inspirational!!

SPOILER ALERT!
Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong -

I love Faith Erin Hick's drawings and am bound to read anything by her! This story is about a robot competition vs. cheerleaders and how they end up working together. First the two groups battle each other for the funding, then they decide to work together, and with this they come in 2nd place with enough money for both groups to get what they want. Light, fun, and great drawings. An easy Sunday read :)

SPOILER ALERT!
Unchained - L.B. Tillit

TJ lives with his drug addicted parents, feeling no love and hardly being touched. When dad dies, he is placed into protective services. At first, Miss Dixie's is a scary new place and hard to adjust to. He eventually makes friends and after two years of living with home cooked meals and a safe place to sleep, TJ is told he must return home to his clean mother. He gets kicked out every night so she can bring home a different guy. He gets in trouble with the local gang again -- getting beat, beating, pushing drugs, earning his chain links tattoo. When a drive-by occurs at the gang house and the leader is killed along with some members, TJ takes this opportunity to get out. His mom and his case worker do not stand in his way, he returns to Miss Dixie, Mae, and Annabelle. Back Home.

Every Day - David Levithan

Every day “A” wakes up in a different body: male or female; east coast or the west coast; large family or no family. When “A” falls in love with a Rhiannon, he’s intent on being around her as much as possible. Can they ever actually be together? 2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults

 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristotle and Dante, two 15 year old, Mexican-American loners, meet in the summer of 1987. They are complete opposites: Dante is outspoken and confident; Ari is quiet and unsure of the world. These amazing characters share their honest, beautiful story about exploring family, identity, and sexuality. Multiple awards winner, including 2013 Printz Honor Book.

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

Hazel has never been anything but terminal. She meets Augustus Waters at Cancer Support Group and her whole life changes. In this quirky, funny but heartbreaking novel, John Green shares with us an insightful character-driven novel about life and death. 2013 Odyssey Award winner (listened on audiobook)