Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst

Posted: September 16, 2014 by cplteen in books
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Conjured by Sarah Beth DurstEve doesn’t remember much. In fact what she doesn’t know is far more than what she does know. She can’t remember who she is, but she knows the face she wears and the name she has is not her own. She knows that she is a survivor of a serial killer who is hunting her, and she knows that somewhere in her blank mind is the solution to everything, if only she can access it. That is exactly what the agents with her want. The question is – what is Witness Protection willing to do to get that information?

Conjured is a beautiful mix of mystery and fantasy. While not told from Eve’s first person perspective, the reader experiences everything she does. When the sudden memory loss happens, it doesn’t just happen to Eve. The reader feels every painful moment of uncertainty and fear.

For the first part of the book, we are as lost as Eve. This is somewhat problematic because it takes a patient reader to get through this. But it is worth it. The journey Eve takes to find herself and her place in the world is filled with language that takes you from uncertainty and fear to magic and freedom and then back again to that place of fear.

The mix of fantasy into what at first seems to be a straight mystery is a bit strange at first but Durst pulls it all together very well. I recommend this book to readers who enjoy a slowly unfolding mystery with a bit of romance thrown in as well.

Did you read it?  What did you think?

League of Extraordinary Teens

Posted: July 29, 2014 by cplteen in books

Hey everyone,

The League of Extraordinary Teens meets tomorrow, July 30th at 6:30.  Get ready to talk some library teen business and then have some fun.  Pizza and soda will be provided.  Hope to see you there.

Big Fat Disaster by Beth Fehlbaum

Posted: July 24, 2014 by cplteen in books
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Big Fat Disaster Big Fat Disaster is all about Colby, her perfect family that isn’t so perfect, and her weight. The story starts off by introducing us to Colby and her perfect (i.e. skinny and blonde) older sister fighting.  During that fight, a drink spills and as Colby cleans up, she finds a picture of her father kissing a woman who is not her mother.  Events spiral out from there and we follow Colby’s journey from a perfect life to a perfect hell.  I don’t want to give too much away, but this is not a story about weight loss.  If you are looking for an inspiring story of teen weight loss – look elsewhere (Fat Cat by Robin Brande, Skinny by Donna Cooner, or Forty-five Pounds (More or Less) by K.A. Barson).  This book covers heavier issues including verbal abuse (although it is never called that) and suicide.

I have mixed feelings about this book.  On the one hand, it is well written and I certainly sympathized and empathized with Colby.  It is difficult when you don’t feel like you fit in with your family or even your friends. I liked Colby even when I didn’t agree with her actions.  On the other hand, there are very few likable people in this book.  Even the people I’m supposed to like and want Colby to be near are iffy.  Perhaps it’s my world view, but I can’t believe that in an entire town (no matter how small it is) there wouldn’t be people who are nice and supportive.  Let me know what you think about that – I’m always looking to broaden my horizons.  Another issue I had with the book is that it is very issue heavy.  Not only does the book cover weight, self-esteem, suicide, and abuse, but it also covers rape.  If any of these are trigger issues – don’t read this book.

Having said that, I feel better for reading Big Fat Disaster.  It isn’t a book that I would pick for fun, but it is one that really opened my eyes.  The writing is tight and nicely done.  I admit that I cried through most of it and, while I won’t be rereading it anytime soon, I wouldn’t mind the opportunity to read it again in the future.

Have you read it?  Tell me what you thought.

Gallery  —  Posted: June 30, 2014 by cplteen in books

Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

Posted: June 4, 2014 by cplteen in books

RoomiesRoomies takes us through the adventures of Elizabeth and Lauren as they enjoy/endure their last summer at home before college.  Both girls are attending UC Berkeley and have discovered that they have been assigned as roommates.  Elizabeth is from New Jersey but Lauren is a native Californian.  Excited at the prospect of getting away from her home situation and possibly seeing her estranged father, Elizabeth (also known as EB) sends Lauren an email introducing herself and telling a bit more about herself than maybe she wanted.  Soon the two are writing back and forth, sometimes telling secrets even their friends don’t know.  Will all this openness lead to a close friendship at college or drive the two apart?

The book is written in alternating chapters with Elizabeth starting everything out.  The two communicate by email, but the story is not told just through that medium.  Each of the girls has a distinctive voice and personality as well as their own issues to deal with.  I liked how when differences arise, the two work with each other instead of against each other.  I won’t say anything more because I don’t want to give anything else away.

This is a great book to while away a gloomy afternoon – it is fun and upbeat and I love the cover.  Isn’t the artwork great?

Did you read it?  Tell us what you thought.