Friday, July 31, 2015

Read This/Watch That: Hard Days Edition

Every summer we like to do something fun for Fridays. This year we've got lots of picks for book and movie pairings to keep your brain busy.  Today our teen author, Mira gives us a peek at a pairing of teens trying to look on find their bright sides. 


All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

When Theodore Finch and Violet Markey interact for the first time, it’s less of a meet-cute and more of a meet-terrifying. Both standing on the ledge of their school’s six-story belltower, gathering the strength to either get down or jump, they realize each others presence. It’s not totally clear who saves whom, but they both make it back into the building, physically unharmed. Forced to spend time with each other through a class project exploring Indiana’s natural wonders, they discover beautiful, new, amazing things about their state. As Finch fights his own intense depression, he helps Violet accept the loss of her sister, Eleanor. But as Violet opens up, Finch starts to shut down. Will they be able to save each other a second time?

This book has some heavy themes: Finch deals with dangerous depression that takes over his life, keeps him shut in his room for weeks at a time, makes him think of all the different ways he could kill himself. Violet struggles with PTSD after surviving the car crash that killed her sister

This book is currently being madeinto a movie that will come out in 2017 starring Elle Fanning , but until then, I think the one listed below is a pretty good alternative.


After almost jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge, Craig Gilner checks himself into a mental hospital. The pressures of teenage life have forced him into depression, and he wants a way out of it. Stuck in the adult psychiatric ward because of renovations in the youth clinic, he meets two people who turn his world around, and help him to learn more about his depression and himself.

Both book and movie deal with the topic of teenage depression, something that has always been covered up in the past, but recently is becoming an increasingly visible subject matter. Being a teenager is incredibly stressful, and it’s very important to be able to have conversations about what this stress can cause. The destigmatization of mental health issues has become more important as pressures on young people grow. This book and movie pairing definitely are not your typical light summer beach read, but they’re guaranteed to make you think more deeply about the importance of life. 

More to read:

Radio Week: "I Set Fire to the Rain" by Adele

Radio Week: A Tribute to Regina Spektor


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Teen Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

A teen review of one of the biggest dystopian teen reviews. Here's Sarah, who is a teen volunteer at Westover's, look:
Divergent by Veronica Roth

As of late, dystopian novels have become pretty popular, what with books like The Hunger Games, Cinder, and Matched. Divergent by Veronica Roth is one of my personal favorite dystopian stories. Divergent follows a 16 year-old girl named Beatrice (Tris) Prior living in Chicago of the future. In her society, people are split up into five factions, based on what character traits they value most. Kids are raised in the faction of their parents, but at age 16, they get to choose whether they would like to continue life in their current faction, or transfer to one that better fits their personalities. Tris is raised in Abnegation, the faction that values selflessness. Before making her choice at the Choosing Ceremony, she must take an aptitude test that is designed to tell her what faction she belongs in. This test is inconclusive, causing her to be even more nervous about the choice she is about to make. This one choice could change her entire life.

I don't want to say more than that, although that is not what the entire book is about. The book follows her as she chooses, but her choice happens pretty early on, and the rest of the story takes place during initiation, in which the teenagers are tested to see if they are worthy of being members of their factions. This may not sound like an interesting plot line, but that is likely due to the fact that I do not want to give you any context in the fear of giving things away. In any case, this book is very heavily driven by plot. It is a fast-paced action story, but it also has thoughtful or heartfelt moments.

Admittedly, some of the characters feel a little bit forced or one-note, but overall, the characters are well-developed. And I realize that books are not written for the sake of having likable characters, but I was impressed with how relateable Tris was. There is also a male protagonist who I do not want to name for sake of not revealing too much of the plot, but he is also pretty likable most of the time.

Overall, though ,the power of the book is in it's fast-paced plot. The action is intriguing and well written. I often find that battle-type action is uninteresting in that it is simply a blow-by-blow of people hitting one another, but such action scenes are quite well done in this book.

One other indication that it was a good book is that I was able to reread it. In one weekend. It does have value the second time through, which is something I really appreciate in a book. So if you enjoy fast-paced action or dystopias, this is the book for you!

 More to Read:

Teen Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Teen Review: Neeka is Ready For You to Meet Your Next Big Dystopian Series

Jordan's Top 5 Dystopias for July

Teen Review: Cinder by All TAB Author Marissa Meyer

Marissa Meyer Visits All TAB

Friday, July 24, 2015

Read This/ Watch That: Greasepaint and Mosquitoes Edition

Every summer we like to do something fun for Fridays. This year we've got lots of picks for book and movie pairings to keep your brain busy. This week, Kady takes us to summer-stock.


Dramarama by E. Lockhart

If there's one thing best friends Sadye and Demi know, it's that they're meant for bigger and better things than their tiny podunk Ohio town. So when they try out, and are both accepted, for a prestigious summer theater camp in upstate New York it seems like everything's coming up roses. After all, they know all the music, they know all the original casts and choreography and they are far and away the most talented people they've ever been around. Surely everyone else will recognize their greatness too, right? Well, yes and no. Sadye immediately gets stuck in the ensemble, a place she has far too many opinions for, and has to sit on the sideline as Demi's star begins to rise. Will Sadye and Demi's dynamic friendship survive a summer of singing, dancing, and cat fighting aka Theater Camp?


Camp (PG-13)

Camp Ovation, the theater camp at the center of this 2003 cult classic is A LOT like Wildewood Academy in Dramarama, in fact, they're both modeled on the same, real life theater camp Stagedoor Manor. The kids in Camp are similar to the kids in Dramarama too- the loud and musical kids, the ones who don't quite fit in at home, the quiet and meek kids just waiting for their chance to shine, even the gay kids who finally don't have to hide in the closet when they're at camp. Camp follows a small group of campers through a typical summer at Camp Ovation, through the try outs, rehearsals, performances and all the inter personal drama that happens when the stage lights have dimmed for the day. Bonus: Even though the cast is mostly unknowns, Camp is the first movie Anna Kendrick ever had a part in, so keep your eyes (and ears) open for the former unknown and current blockbuster star.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

You Oughta Be in Pictures: I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

I'll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

Last year this was the most beloved book of our staff. It is gorgeously written and clearly belongs on the biggest of big screens.

While we wait for Hollywood to get its act together, here is our dream cast for I'll Give You The Sun . The story of Jude and Noah who used to be inseparable but now can't even stand to be in the same room with each other. It's full of art, fights, love and more.

Here's one apology before we get going.... We know that the main family has a lot of blondes in the book, so don't hate us cause we changed that....
A photo posted by Alia Shawkat (@aliashawkat) on
Jude played by Alia Shawkat

In middle school, Jude was the girl who everyone wanted to be and who didn't care at all what anyone thought. But, three years later she's so wrapped up in hurt and grief that her only real friend is her dead grandma. The actress who plays Jude would have to be able to portray both versions of her and we think the extremely cool Alia Shawkat (from Arrested Development, Whip It and more) would have no problem.

 Image used under CC license from Flickr user: Gage Skidmore

Noah played by Robert Sheehan
Jude's twin brother, Noah, used to spend his days dreaming about going to art school and avoiding bullies. Now he's a teen who barely talks to his family and spends every waking moment with the soccer team. We think Robert Sheehan could play this brooding and brilliant teen, no problem.

 Image used under CC license from Flickr user: Eric Sudias

Brian played by Thomas Brodie SangsterWhen Brian moves next door, Noah is sure that he will be too cool to hang out with him. Instead they become the fastest of friends. Noah is pretty sure they could be more than friends if life ever worked out the way he wanted it to. We're casting Thomas from Game of Thrones and Maze Runner as Noah's cute neighbor. 

Image used under CC license from Flickr user: WEBN-TV
Oscar played by Andrew GarfieldOscar is a very cute English artist that Jude is interested in despite herself. Oscar's also working through personal problems of his own (with the help of the artist Guillermo). This was a fun one to cast, but after looking at lots of cute, English actors, we're giving it to Andrew Garfield.

  Image used under CC license from Flickr user: GUE/NGL

Guillermo played by Javier Bardem
This was who we pictured when we read the book. The temperamental sculptor who takes in Oscar and lets Jude apprentice with him could be no one else!

 Image used under CC license from Flickr user: The Hudson Union Society

  Dianna (The twins' mom) played by Minne DriverWho could play the enchanting Dianna? She's an art historian who raises her kids on the world's greatest paintings and sculptures. Not only do we think Minnie Driver could definitely play this charasmatic woman, but we also think she looks a lot like our choices for Noah and Jude.

   Image used under CC license from Flickr user:ramsey beyer

Benjamin (The twins' dad) played by Jake Gyllenhaal  
For the grieving dad who can’t seem to connect with his kids, we’re casting Jake Gyllenhaal. We think he could do the in-over-his-head acting necessary to play Benjamin.

Monday, July 20, 2015

More E-Only Titles to Add to Your Devices

Last week we told you about our selection of e-only titles. Here are a few more to put on your radar

Descriptions from our catalog:

The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas

Celaena Sardothien is her kingdom's most feared assassin. Though she works for the powerful and ruthless Assassin's Guild, Celaena yields to no one and trusts only her fellow killer for hire, Sam.When Celaena's scheming master, Arobynn Hamel, dispatches her on missions that take her from remote islands to hostile deserts, she finds herself acting independently of his wishes—and questioning her own allegiance.

Along the way, she makes friends and enemies alike, and discovers that she feels far more for Sam than just friendship. But by defying Arobynn's orders, Celaena risks unimaginable punishment, and with Sam by her side, he is in danger, too. They will have to risk it all if they hope to escape Arobynn's clutches—and if they fail, they'll lose not just a chance at freedom, but their lives.

In The Jewel, we followed Violet in her servitude under the Duchess of the Lake. Now we'll hear Raven's story and her time as a surrogate for the Countess of the Stone in this digital novella from Amy Ewing. When Raven is bought at the Auction, she knows immediately that things will not go well. And when she arrives at the Countess's palace, Raven quickly discovers that the Countess is much less interested in having a baby than experimenting with Raven's mind and body. Raven can only hope for an escape...and to see Violet again, all the while reminding herself that she is Raven Stirling, and she does matter.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Read This Watch That: So Fetch Edition

Read this:
Mortal Danger by Anne Aguirre (see our full review here)

One little deal helped Edie go from a social outcast to the most beautiful and sought after girl on campus. So what if that deal was with a shady organization who expected favors in return? So what if the deal might be behind some horrible things happening to the very people who used to be mean to Edie?

This book features character who are every bit as mean as Regina George, teen villainess in pink...

Watch That:

Mean Girls (PG-13)
Cady Heron is the child of two scientists who study animal behavior. When she enters her first real school after being homeschooled through most of her life, Cady can't help but see the students through the lens of the animal kingdom.

Especially when the teens seem to roam in packs. And when the group of girls fronted by Regina George act like the queens of the jungle. But, when Cady becomes adopted by the mean girls, can she stay an impartial observer??


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

E-Only Extravaganza: What E-Only Novellas are in our YA Section??

 Sometimes the wait for the next book in a series can be too hard to bear. Luckily, some authors have given us a special novella to hold you over. Here is our list of all the e-only books in our collection so far. Be sure to track our tag "e-only list" to find more books as they come out!

Neverfall by Brodi Ashton
The Shadow Cats by Rae Carson, Girl of Fire and Thorns
The Shattered Mountain by Rae Carson, Girl of Fire and Thorns
The Goddess Hunt by Aimee Carter
The Prince by Kiera Cass, The Selection
The Queen by Kiera Cass, The Selection
Buried Above Ground by Cypress
Gunner Skale by James Dashner, Eye of Minds
The Maze Runner Files by James Dashner, The Maze Runner
A Dawn Most Wicked by Dennard
Lindy's Diary by Flinn, Beastly

Dangerous Dream
by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl, Beautiful CreaturesDream Dark by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl, Beautiful Creatures
BZRK Origins by Grant, BZRK
Half Lies by Sally Green, Half Life
Glitter and Doom by
Bethany Griffin
Radiant by Cynthia Hand
Gilded Ashes by Rosamund Hodge, Cruel Beauty

Six Earlier Days
by David Levithan, Every Day

Life Before Legend by Marie Lu, Legend
Alex by Lauren Oliver, Delirium
The Fallen Legacies by Pittacus Lore
, I am Number Four
The Last Days of Lorien by Pittacus Lore, I am Number Four
The Lost Files: the Search for Sam
by Lore, I am Number Four
The Lost Files Series, Book 6
by Lore, I am Number Four
The Lost Files: Nine's Legacy by Lore, I am Number Four
The Lost Files: Six's Legacy by Lore, I am Number Four

Destroy Me
by Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me
Fracture Me by Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me
Carnival of Lies by Melissa Marr, Untamed City
Phoenix Overture by Meadows, Incarnate
Raven by Lauren Oliver
One More Day by Aprilynne Pike
Die for Her by Amy Plum
Brooke by Veronica Rossi, Under the Never Sky
Roar and Liv by Veronica Rossi
, Under the Never Sky
Free Four by Veronica Roth, Divergent
The Transfer by Veronica Roth, Divergent
Mitosis by Brandon Sanderson, Steelheart
The First Lie
by Shepard, The Lying Game
True Lies by Shepard, The Lying Game
UnStrung by Neal Shusterman, Unwind
Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor, Daughter of Smoke and Bone
by Dan Wells
Stupid Perfect World by Scott Westerfeld