Category Archives: teen

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

What if you aren’t the Chosen One?

The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

Award-winning writer Patrick Ness’s bold and irreverent novel powerfully reminds us that there are many different types of remarkable.


I was not entirely prepared for this story to be so epic. The contrast between the magical, supernatural aspects and the contemporary, real life aspects were very well done!

When I sat back to reflect on this very eclectic masterpiece, I realized something. The protagonists were not indie kids. They were not supposed to lead extraordinary  lives. They were supposed to lead mundane, simple lives, and yet I just kept thinking…what a crazy mix of super interesting and tragic stories from these regular kids! I mean, I can’t even imagine having friends who have all gone through such major life struggles, let alone imagine if I had to go through the events myself!

Like I said, the contrast between indie kids and regular kids was very well done! I mean, there really is no question as to who the so called “hero” kids were supposed to be when one was saving the world from vampires and the other was dealing with a workaholic mom, yet each friend could easily be the protaginist in their very own novel. Each and every character had such interesting back stories that there never was a chance for a lull.

Something else I thought was very cool? Each chapter title was actually a blurb on what the Indie kids were up to! If you read each one…it’s kind of like it’s own little story!! It’s like bunch of mini breaks, or lil’ intermissions. I really enjoyed them! 🙂

This story was exciting, moving, heart warming, thought provoking, and fun! I absolutly loved it!

I gave this one a *9.5/10*


Book Haul!! ARCs from Penguin Random House!! :)

I have recently received some advanced reader copies from Penguin Random House and I just wanted to share them with you!! Get ready! Prepare yourself! They all seem super amazing!!

The books I recieved from Penguin Random House are:


Warren the 13th and The All-Seeing Eye By Tania del Rio and Will Staehle

Meet Warren the 13th, a cursed 12-year-old Victorian bellhop who’s terribly unlucky . . . yet perpetually optimistic, hard-working, and curious. Orphan Warren’s pride and joy is his family’s hotel, but he’s been miserable ever since his evil Aunt Anaconda took over the management. Anaconda believes a mysterious treasure known as the All-Seeing Eye is hidden somewhere on the grounds, and she’ll do anything to find it. If Warren wants to preserve his family’s legacy, he’ll need to find the treasure first—if the hotel’s many strange and wacky guests don’t beat him to it! This middle-grade adventure features gorgeous two-color illustrations on every page and a lavish two-column Victorian design that will pull young readers into a spooky and delightful mystery.

The anticipate publish date is November 24th, 2015!

This story looks so interesting!! It promises witches, secret codes, monsters, mazes, and other sinister material! I can’t wait to meet the cast of characters in this for sure fun read 🙂



These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Set in gilded age New York, These Shallow Graves follows the story of Josephine Montfort, an American aristocrat. Jo lives a life of old-money ease. Not much is expected of her other than to look good and marry well. But when her father dies due to an accidental gunshot, the gilding on Jo’s world starts to tarnish. With the help of a handsome and brash reporter, and a young medical student who moonlights in the city morgue, Jo uncovers the truth behind her father’s death and learns that if you’re going to bury the past, you’d better bury it deep.

The anticipated publish date for this book is October 27th 2015.

This adult literature historical thriller sounds like it will be likely to keep me up at night! This crime novel is said to include death, violence, secrets, revenge and romance! This story also deals with the double standards between the sexes. What would you give up to follow your heart? I can’t wait to read this dark, haunting and inevitably memorable book!



The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier and Doug Holgate

The Simpsons meets  The Walking Dead in this hilarious post-apocalyptic graphic novel for middle-grade readers. 

Ever since the monster apocalypse hit town, average thirteen year old Jack Sullivan has been living in his tree house, which he’s armed to the teeth with catapults and a moat, not to mention video games and an endless supply of Oreos and Mountain Dew scavenged from abandoned stores. But Jack alone is no match for the hoards of Zombies and Winged Wretches and Vine Thingies, and especially not for the eerily intelligent monster known only as Blarg. So Jack builds a team: his dorky best friend, Quint; the reformed middle school bully, Dirk; Jack’s loyal pet monster, Rover; and Jack’s crush, June. With their help, Jack is going to slay Blarg, achieve the ultimate Feat of Apocalyptic Success, and be average no longer! Can he do it? 

Told in a mixture of text and black-and-white illustration, this is the perfect book for any kid who’s ever dreamed of starring in his or her own comic book or video game. And stay tuned for the sequel, coming in Summer 2016!

The anticipated publish date is October 13th 2015!

With all of the hype of Zombies and apocalypse, and with the growing popularity of graphic novels, this middle grade story is sure to please!! I also suspect that anyone who enjoys video games and super heroes will enjoy this book. It’s just a feeling I have.



The Devil and Winnie Flynn by Micol Ostow and David Ostow

Winnie Flynn doesn’t believe in ghosts. (Though she wouldn’t mind a visit from her mom, explaining why she took her own life.) When her mysterious aunt Maggie, a high-profile TV producer, recruits Winnie to spend a summer working as a production assistant on her current reality hit, Fantastic, Fearsome, she suddenly finds herself in the one place her mother would never go: New Jersey.

New Jersey’s famous Devil makes perfect fodder for Maggie’s show. But as the filming progresses, Winnie sees and hears things that make her think that the Devil might not be totally fake after all. Things that involve her and her family. Things about her mother’s death that might explain why she’s never met Aunt Maggie until now.

Winnie soon discovers her family’s history is deeply entwined with the Devil’s. If she’s going to make it out of the Pine Barrens alive, she might have to start believing in what her aunt is telling her. And, find out what she isn’t.

The anticipated publish date is October 13th 2015!

What an eclectic mix of themes!! I’m really interested to see how this one unfolds! Suicide, abandonment, paranormal abilities, jersey devils, and reality TV. Oh my!! This book should be interesting to say the least!!

So these are the books I have recieved from Penguin Random House! Im glad I could share them with you! I can’t wait to let you know what I think of these amazing stories after I have read them! Keep your eyes peeled for my reviews!!

If you’re not having fun…
You’re not reading the right books 😉

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero. But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still a road of yellow brick—but even that’s crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I’m the other girl from Kansas. I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked. I’ve been trained to fight. And I have a mission: Remove the Tin Woodman’s heart. Steal the Scarecrow’s brain. Take the Lion’s courage. And—Dorothy must die.

I had such high hopes for this book. Maybe I had just built it up In my mind so much that there was no way for the book to compare to what I had imagined it to be.

Don’t get me wrong. I did enjoy it! The very dark and oh so twisted versions of the characters we all know and love. The new misfit cast of “hero’s” bent on taking back their Oz.

Oh, and Dorothy is just as evil as you have heard! There are 2 instances in which you just kind of suck in your breath and hold it, while a shiver runs up your spine. You’ll know what I’m talking about when you read this book. And if you have read this book….am I right??

I suppose my only problem is that I feel part of the description on the back has almost nothing to do with the first book. It does, however; feel like a lead into the second book “The Wicked Will Rise”. I suppose some things that I expected in the first book just haven’t happened yet.

I am looking forward reading the other books! If you are a fan of anything Wizard of Oz, fairytale adaptations or anything dark and twisted, Dorothy Must Die is definitely worth reading!

I give it 8/10

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So There’s This Book…The Story of Owen by E. K. Johnston


Listen! For I sing of Owen Thorskard: valiant of heart, hopeless at algebra, last in a long line of legendary dragon slayers. Though he had few years and was not built for football, he stood between the town of Trondheim and creatures that threatened its survival.

There have always been dragons. As far back as history is told, men and women have fought them, loyally defending their villages. Dragon slaying was a proud tradition.

But dragons and humans have one thing in common: an insatiable appetite for fossil fuels. From the moment Henry Ford hired his first dragon slayer, no small town was safe. Dragon slayers flocked to cities, leaving more remote areas unprotected.

Such was Trondheim’s fate until Owen Thorskard arrived. At sixteen, with dragons advancing and his grades plummeting, Owen faced impossible odds—armed only with a sword, his legacy, and the classmate who agreed to be his bard.

Listen! I am Siobhan McQuaid. I alone know the story of Owen, the story that changes everything. Listen!

I’ve wanted to read this story for months now! Ever since I stumbled upon it just sitting on the shelf, I’ve been recommending it to everyone!

Actually, I thought I would get a chance this past month…the author has recently been to my local book store to do a book signing! But I’ve had a lot of mandatory reading lately.

I do have a signed copy now though! YaY! Thank you E. K. Johnston!!

From what I’ve heard, the first chapter is very Canadian! Lots of reference to Canadian places, which I thought was really cool! The other thing that seemed really interesting to me is that the story is told in the perspective of his friend, not by the hero figure himself. Apparently his friend wants to be a dragon slayer, but she is too tiny, so she helps out every other way she can, like being Owen’s bard and telling his story!

I’ve also heard that this story reaches a wide age range! 11 or 12 and up from what I can tell, and even younger depending on your tolerance for violence. When I read this one, I will definitely explain this more accurately! As of now I’m not sure of the level of violence.

A story of surviving high school and dragons, I’m sure this book is a winner! I can’t wait to dive into The Story of Owen!

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All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

An exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death. Every day he thinks of ways he might die, but every day he also searches for—and manages to find—something to keep him here, and alive, and awake.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her small Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school—six stories above the ground—it’s unclear who saves whom. And when the unlikely pair teams up on a class project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, they go, as Finch says, where the road takes them: the grand, the small, the bizarre, the beautiful, the ugly, the surprising—just like life.
Soon it’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a bold, funny, live-out-loud guy, who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet forgets to count away the days and starts living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

Now here is a book that will make you re-evaluate your priorities and take stock of all the amazing things in your life.

I expected this book to be very depressing. I’m not entirely sure why. The cover doesn’t look depressing…the title is bright and optimistic! Maybe I just read that it was about suicide and made some assumptions.

Of course there were some dark moments, and some sad moments, but the happy parts were magical! Sparkling! Uplifting!

I would have to say that my favorite part about this book is that all of the places they visit on their wanderings were real. I found myself looking up each place along the read. It was like my own scavenger hunt! Even the online magazine Germ magazine is real! And really neat! It has a section for wanderings!

Half way through I was pretty much breathing this book. I just couldn’t get enough! Near the end I was yelling at the main characters! I’m just glad I read the last half while I was at home…lol

Discover all of Finch and Violet’s bright places and make plans to find some of your own!

*I gave this book a 9/10*

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One of their wanderings led me to this video. I thought it was pretty spectacular. Check it out!

Miss Peregrine ‘ s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here—one of whom was his own grandfather— were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

I had heard so much hype about Random Riggs and his novel written around these old creepy photographs that I had to at least flip through this book. Once I flipped, I had to purchase and read. It looked so interesting!!

And it was!

I really did expect it to be a lot scarier than it was. Im sure that if you’re researching this book you have probably already heard this a million times. I had imagined kind of a odd creepy horror book, which it was not. There are only really 1 or 2 scary parts and everything else is suspense and mystery. I think the pictures lead you to believe that the story will be scary…but the story itself makes the pictures less creepy with a little bit of explaining.

This book was hard to put down! I really enjoyed getting to know all of the characters and their special gifts. I can’t wait to read hollow city to find out more…I can’t wait for the 3rd book to come out…and guys…it’s going to be made into a movie…and I really can’t wait to see what Tim Burton brings to the story!!

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Walking Home by Eric Walters

Thirteen-year-old Muchoki, his younger sister, Jata, and mother can hardly believe what has become of their lives. Only weeks ago they lived with their family in a quiet Kenyan village, but sudden political violence has destroyed their home and forced them to flee for their lives. Now they live in a tent in an overcrowded refugee camp. Driven by further tragedy they are forced to undertake what seems like an impossible quest: to walk over a hundred miles across Kenya in search of their last remaining family. Even the longest of journeys must begin with just one step – and a bit of hope.


I’ve been wanting to read an Eric Walters novel for a long time, and I’m happy it was Walking Home. Not only was it completely different from what I’ve read  before, but Penguin Random House Canada is donating $1.30 to the Creation of Hope for every copy sold in Canadian bookstores! YaY!

This book was hard for me to get into, and that is probably  because it is very different from anything that I’ve read  before.  I also thought that the beginning dragged a bit.  For a book called Walking home, they spent a huge portion of the book at the refugee camp. The walking part took a while to get to. But, oh man, when it got underway I just couldn’t stop talking about it. Trying to imagine myself in the situations the characters were in was tough and scary at times, and very, very humbling. There were a couple of instances that seemed unbelievable, but never impossible.  More like, ” I cant believe that just happened! but it totally could, and I don’t even know what I would do!”

And guys,…the ending…..oh my god. I’m trying to tell you about it without spoiling you. I’m not saying it was happy, or sad, or gratifying, or dissapointing….i’ll just tell you it’s so great! Nice work Eric Walters! Loved it!

I didn’t even get to the cool part. Throughout the book, there are symbols in the margins for things like video clip, picture, map, authors note, etc. When you find one of these symbols, which is surprisingly often, you can go to the website and follow along with the digital companion! Real life pics and videos and notes on the journey.

I have to admit. I didn’t follow along very well. I read everywhere I go, and some places don’t have wi-fi. But you can go back later and check out the website after you read the book. Either way, I recommend you check out the website. It is very cool and super informative and really helps you understand the severity of different situations in the book.

This book was a wonderful eye opener and a great change of pace.There were so many wonderfully sweet moments filled with charity and good will and faith and hope.

Everyone should check out this book!! Keep Walking Home! (which is how he signs this book!)