April 22, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Teens Review Medieval Romances, Contemporary Fiction, and More

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Dawn_splinterIn their penultimate column for SLJ, the Kitsap (WA) Regional Library YA Book Group tackle loss, cellphone swaps, and suspenseful mysteries.

DAWN, Sasha. Splinter. Carolrholda. Mar. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781512411515.

Gr 8 Up— Samantha’s mom has gone missing. The police, FBI, Samantha and friends are trying to find her.

The setting was very fast-paced. This was a mystery on trying to find out what happened. It wasn’t very thrilling or suspenseful.—Marquan P., 14

HEDLUND, Jody. For Love & Honor. Zondervan. Mar. 2017. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9780310749301.

For-Love-HonorGr 9 Up— For Love & Honor is about how the chivalrous Sir Bennet tries to marry unsuspecting Lady Sabine to get some of her money to save his kingdom that is in terrible debt. Lady Sabine thinks she is coming to buy some of Sir Bennet’s impressive art collection and ends up extending her trip for unexpected reasons.

I do like the cover because it shows the woman wearing the blue velvet dress and the blue pearl necklace, which both get mentioned in the book. From that you can infer that the woman on the cover is supposed to be Sabine. I think it reflects the castle and roughly how I imagined the environment to look. I think the cover showed an appropriate amount of things from the book. It doesn’t give anything away; it more made references to things in the book.

What kept me reading was the anticipation of Sabine and Bennet’s relationship. It was interesting reading from both character’s perspectives. I liked seeing how both characters began to like each other more and more. I was waiting for them to confess their love to each other.

I can’t think of anything that I was unhappy about. Maybe I would have liked to flash forward and read about their lives in 20 years or when they have kids.—Mia V., 12     

Kemmerer_Letters to the LostKEMMERER, Brigid. Letters to the Lost. Bloomsbury. Apr. 2017 Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781681190082.

Gr 7 Up— What if a total stranger knew what you were thinking? Your most private thoughts? Bad boy and good girl face off in this complex literary puzzle of a novel.

I love the cover! I think it is cool how the flowers are made out of the very first letter. The colors look good together without actually matching. The cover partially reflected the contents, by using the letter. I think that the flowers on the front are a cool idea, but they don’t really show up in the book. Maybe the author could write them in?

ONE of the most compelling aspects of the book was the lying. It was very interesting to watch Declan try to make up two separate narratives of his life at the same time. I also thought the characters are all very well-developed, everything they do and say makes sense and doesn’t seem contrived. I was not disappointed in any way.

I would recommend this book to everyone! It speaks well about loss, but with an accessibility that means even though you may not have lost your mom or sister, you can still feel with the characters and understand their experience of high school and their complicated friendship.—Olivia V., 13

Summers_TextrovertSUMMERS, Lindsey. Textrovert. Kids Can Pr./KCP Loft. May 2017. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781771387354.

Gr 9 Up—Keeley accidentally picks up the wrong cell phone and she finds out a boy named Talon has hers, and he just left for a weeklong football camp. They get to know each other through text and soon they start to have feelings for each other. But what happens when someone isn’t the same person you thought they were? Textrovert is a fun to read book with many twists and turns. You will get to know the characters more and more and feel like you are in the book.

I liked the cover because it didn’t really give away much about the book, which relates to the book because the characters didn’t really know each other. The cover is just a girl with a text message bubble covering most of her face that says the title. I like how simple it is because the two characters only know each other by text, so they don’t know what they look like.

It is hard to pick one element as the most compelling. I really liked the plot. I thought it was kind of cheesy and not very creative when I read the back, but after reading the book, I realized the author spun the plot in ways to take it off-track from what you thought the book would be about. I also liked the characters because they were very unique and seemed like they could be real people.

I wasn’t really disappointed, some parts of the book not much was happening but otherwise it was a fun read.—Veronica C., 13

The Kitsap (WA) Regional Library YA Book Group teen reviewers are part of YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten program. The participants select the books that go on to be nominated for YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten—a “teen choice” list.


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