March 17, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Teens Review Damico’s ‘Rogue’, Rowell’s ‘Fangirl’, and Douglas’s ‘After Eden’

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Gina Damico wraps up her “Croak” series in “cracktastic” style with the fall release of Rogue. If you loved Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, it’s a good bet you’ll be smitten with Fangirl, “written by a writer writing about a writer writing.” The question posed in After Eden, from Helen Douglas, circles around when it is or isn’t right to keep a secret, especially when a loyal friend and a whole planet depend on it.

DAMICO, Gina. Rogue. Houghton Harcourt. Sept. 2013. pap. $8.99. ISBN 9780544108844.

Rogue Gr 7 Up—Let me start by saying that if you haven’t read the other two books in this series, Croak (2012) and Scorch (2013), I strongly suggest you do so. However, to the other faithful fans of Damico’s books who will dig right in, please have some tissues ready because you will cry. The book starts off with a little description of Grotton’s past. Chapter one, however, picks up where Scorch left off. After Mort and the others get away safely, secrets are revealed and hidden agendas become known. The gang never questions their loyalty as they agree to risk their lives to save the world they love. People will die, hearts will be broken, and an amazing twist will probably have you meet your ‘DeMyse’. This book is hands-down morbidly “cracktastic.”

This book had me on the edge of my seat from the very start. I cried when I finished this book. Gina Damico, you have truly outdone yourself. Although the ending is messed up and downright evil, I wouldn’t have made it any other way. The wild ride this series took me on has come to an end, but I am confident it will last forever in the Afterlife. Damico has put an amazing spin on death and turned it into a very awesome experience. This book has all the passion, humor, drama, action, thrills, and suspense any reader would look for. Thank you for this amazing series, and I hope that you make more. I look forward to seeing how you will possibly top this.—Fred T., age 14

ROWELL, Rainbow. Fangirl. St. Martin’s Griffin Tr $18.99. September 2013. ISBN  9781250030955.

Gr 9 Up—Cath just wants to write. Well, she just wants to write Simon Snow fanfiction—because that’s the only thing that seems to be working. Between dealing with her twin sister Wren, being a college freshmen (and unable to deal with most social situations), having to finish her internationally adored fanfiction Carry On, Simon, and trying to impress her Intro to Fiction-Writing professor, all Cath wants is to hide away in the online world and finish her fic before the eighth and final Simon Snow book is published. Life doesn’t seem to agree with what she wants, though, and instead throws chaos her way in the forms of romance, friendship, and family.

FangirlThis is the second book by Rainbow Rowell I’ve read, and of course she blew me away again! Fangirl explores reaching adulthood and fighting the battle of doing what you want to do versus what you should do, all the while managing whatever life throws at you. A book about a fanfiction writer is a long time coming, and I think Fangirl was pretty spot on. With YA novels, sometimes it can feel, for a reader, like the author finds the world of fandoms and fanfiction boring or weird, but Rowell puts fanfiction writing into perspective for readers. She gives the pros and cons of fanfic writing through conflicts in the novel, and that this book is written by a writer writing about a writer writing is so much fun to me. As I reader I could tell Cath and Rowell both feel passionately about writing.—Destiny B., age 16

DOUGLAS, Helen. After Eden. Bloomsbury. Nov. 2013. tr. $17.99. ISBN 9781619631304.

After EdenGr 8 Up—The new boy, Ryan, has caught the eye of everyone at Perran High School, but it seems Ryan is solely interested in Eden. Eventually, Eden and Ryan start to fall in love and Ryan tells Eden the biggest secret she’s ever had to keep—Eden’s best friend Connor will discover a beautiful new planet that can support human life. Discovery of the new planet, however, ruins life on Earth. Ryan has traveled back in time to prevent Connor from discovering the planet and he needs Eden’s help. But Eden isn’t sure she wants to take away Connor’s future of fame and fortune.

Time travel, love,  and destiny combine to create a thrilling sci-fi love story. Falling in love with someone that’s over 100 years younger than you was an interesting twist to the typical tale. I liked the secrecy of Ryan’s mission and origin and the time traveling details. I recommend this quick-read to anyone who likes futuristic, out-of-this-world elements.—Paris E., age 17

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