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We Are Okay

We Are Okay
Nina LaCour
Dutton Books for Young Readers, 2017
Source: E-Galley
Audience: Older Teens

From Goodreads:
Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

The cover doesn’t really match up with the story, in my opinion. It doesn’t like it would appeal to older teens. While it captures the isolation Marin feels, it doesn’t seem to reflect her life in New York or the grief she experiences. In fact, most of We Are Okay is about grief. The cause of it is slowly unravele…
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Beartown

Beartown
Fredrik Backman
Atria Books, 2017
Source: E-Galley
Audience: Adults, Older Teens

From Goodreads:
People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hope…

Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science

Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science
Jeannine Atkins
Atheneum Books for Young Readers,
Source: Library
Audience: Older Children, All Teens

From Goodreads:
A novel in verse about three girls in three different time periods who grew up to become groundbreaking scientists.

Maria Merian was sure that caterpillars were not wicked things born from mud, as most people of her time believed. Through careful observation she discovered the truth about metamorphosis and documented her findings in gorgeous paintings of the life cycles of insects.

More than a century later, Mary Anning helped her father collect stone sea creatures from the cliffs in southwest England. To him they were merely a source of income, but to Mary they held a stronger fascination. Intrepid and patient, she eventually discovered fossils that would change people’s vision of the past.

Across the ocean, Maria Mitchell helped her mapmaker father in the whaling village of Nantucket. At night they explored the starry sky…

Nightlights

Nightlights
Lorena Alvarez
Nobrow Press, 2017
Source: Library
Audience: Older Children, Younger Teens

From Goodreads:
Every night, tiny stars appear out of the darkness in little Sandy's bedroom. She catches them and creates wonderful creatures to play with until she falls asleep, and in the morning brings them back to life in the whimsical drawings that cover her room.

One day, Morfie, a mysterious pale girl, appears at school. And she knows all about Sandy's drawings...

The artwork in Nightlights was incredible. It was colorful and detailed. Usually, I’m not one for pausing to look at illustrations, but this book definitely had me examining each page. The artistic character was unique and imaginative, something may readers will relate to. I will definitely be reading more books by Lorena Alvarez.

The Drowned Cities

The Drowned Cities
Paolo Bacigalupi
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2012
Audience: All Teens
Source: Library

From Goodreads:
In a dark future America where violence, terror, and grief touch everyone, young refugees Mahlia and Mouse have managed to leave behind the war-torn lands of the Drowned Cities by escaping into the jungle outskirts. But when they discover a wounded half-man--a bioengineered war beast named Tool--who is being hunted by a vengeful band of soldiers, their fragile existence quickly collapses. One is taken prisoner by merciless soldier boys, and the other is faced with an impossible decision: Risk everything to save a friend, or flee to a place where freedom might finally be possible.

I loved Shipbreaker, and definitely wanted to learn more about Tool, so I was looking forward to reading The Drowned Cities. However, it wasn’t so much about Tool as it was about Mahlia. The Drowned Cities wasn’t as good as Shipbreaker in general and was way too long. As I read, …

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book
Jennifer Donnelly
Disney Press, 2017
Source: My Own Bookshelf
Audience: Older Children, Younger Teens

From Goodreads:
An original addition to the beloved Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, Lost in a Book follows the lonely, bookish Belle as she finds an enchanted book in the Beast’s library called Nevermore that carries her into a glittering new world. There, Belle is befriended by a mysterious countess who offers her the life she’s always dreamed of.

But Nevermore is not what it seems, and the more time Belle spends there, the harder it is to leave. Good stories take hold of us and never let us go, and once Belle becomes lost in this book, she may never find her way out again.

This deluxe hardcover novel expands upon the beautiful story and world seen in the new Walt Disney Studios' film, Beauty and the Beast.

I had so much fun at the new Beauty and the Beast movie, I started reading Lost in a Book on the same day. Both were delightful. Lost in a …

Effie Starr Zook Has One More Question

Effie Starr Zook Has One More Question Martha Freeman Simon & Schuster, 2017 Audience: Children Source: E-Galley
From Goodreads: City girl Effie Starr Zook is the opposite of excited about spending the summer on her aunt and uncle’s farm in Nowheresville, Pennsylvania, until she stumbles across a mystery that leads her smack into an old family feud. Luckily, Effie isn’t afraid to ask questions.

A rich girl from New York City, Effie Starr Zook isn’t afraid of much. When her parents go on a dangerous round-the-world adventure in a solar airplane, she’s packed off to her aunt and uncle’s farm for the summer. Expecting boredom, she runs smack dab into a family secret. Why does the neighbor kid want to avoid her? What are her aunt and uncle so worried about? And what does “bad blood” mean, anyway?

Effie’s got a brand-new bicycle, time on her hands, and an unlimited capacity for asking questions. With these, she sets out to uncover whatever it is the grownups are hiding. Along the way, sh…