7.21.2014

Staff Pick: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress by Marissa Meyer
From goodreads.com:

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. 

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.


Pick it: for a book that mashes up your favorite fairy tales with some dystopian sci-fi. 

Skip it: if you want more crowns and gowns in your YA fairytales.

Pair with: another twisted fairy tale, Beastly by Alex Flinn - or check out the first two books in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Scarlet.

Reviewed by: Deena

7.14.2014

Staff Pick: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
From goodreads:

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black.


Pick itif you’re looking for a book that mixes paranormal romance with a touch of dystopia. Tana is definitely not a main character who shies away from danger or bad decisions - maybe she's just your type of girl.

Skip itif you’ve had enough bloodsuckers to last you for the next few years.

Pair with: Diabolical by Cynthia Leitich Smith for an even more heightened paranormal drama set in New England.

Reviewed by: Deena

7.11.2014

Join Us for Teen Open Mic Night on July 17


We know you're a star. Your stuffed animals think your comedy routine is hilarious. Your writing journal is ready for you to branch out into slam poetry. The hairbrush you've been using as a microphone is secretly convinced you should try out for The Voice (however, it does want you to consider a song other than "Let It Go"). Showcase your stuff at our Teen Open Mic Night! 

If you're not in the performing mood, join us in the audience to see some amazing local talent. Performer sign-up begins at 6:00, show begins at 6:30.

Open to grades 7-12.
 Thursday, July 17
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

 Java City Cafe Outdoor Patio
No Registration Required

7.10.2014

Divergent Day - July 16


Feeling brave? Peaceful? Selfless? Honest? Intelligent? A tricky mix? 

Find your faction!  Join us on Wednesday, July 16 for some outdoor fun inspired by the bestselling Divergent series. 

Open to grades 7 - 12. 
Friendship Grove

7.07.2014

Staff Pick: Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
From goodreads

While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women's concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that's in store for her?

Elizabeth Wein, author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling Code Name Verity, delivers another stunning WWII thriller. The unforgettable story of Rose Justice is forged from heart-wrenching courage, resolve, and the slim, bright chance of survival.


Pick it: for an incredible story of female friendship in the face of one of history's most devastating tragedies. I was really moved by the way Wein entwined historical facts into this story of an unlikely prisoner.

Skip it: if you prefer your fiction a little more modern.

Pair with: Wein's Code Name Verity for more female-driven WWII stories. 

Reviewed by: Deena

6.30.2014

Staff Pick: Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick

From goodreads:

Seven stories of passion and love separated by centuries but mysteriously intertwined—this is a tale of horror and beauty, tenderness and sacrifice.

An archaeologist who unearths a mysterious artifact, an airman who finds himself far from home, a painter, a ghost, a vampire, and a Viking: the seven stories in this compelling novel all take place on the remote Scandinavian island of Blessed where a curiously powerful plant that resembles a dragon grows. What binds these stories together? What secrets lurk beneath the surface of this idyllic countryside? And what might be powerful enough to break the cycle of midwinterblood? From award-winning author Marcus Sedgwick comes a book about passion and preservation and ultimately an exploration of the bounds of love.

Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of 2013
Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013


Pick it: if you are looking for a mystery that is slowly unraveled as the story travels back in time. I loved reading as the pieces of the story came together. Beautifully spooky. 

Skip it: if you want something a little more straightforward - this is definitely a strange read.

Pair with: White Crow, for another creepy read by Marcus Sedgwick.

6.23.2014

Staff Pick: The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
From goodreads:

For the past five years, Hayley Kincain and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own. 

Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down.

Pick it
if you’re looking for a story that explores PTSD and the ways children can end up taking care of their parents. This book was beautiful and heart-breaking.

Skip it
if you prefer your realistic fiction to be a little less intense.

Pair with
: Dana Reinhardt's The Things a Brother Knows for another story about the effects of PTSD on a family.



Reviewed by: Deena