Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2022) Featured Review of Prom House by Chelsea Mueller

Prom House Cover Art

Prom House by Chelsea Mueller
Underlined/Random House/Penguin Random House, LLC
Publication Date: May 4, 2021
ISBN: 978-0-593-18005-1

To celebrate prom weekend, Kylie and her friends rent an incredible beach house on the Jersey Shore where they plan the most epic post-prom pool party on record. It’s roomy, well-appointed, and remote. But, perhaps too remote. Because when Kylie and her friends lose their cell signal to the incoming hurricane, are surrounded by an electrified moat of storm water, and are being picked off one by one by a vicious killer they realize the only ones who can keep them alive are themselves…but what if one of them is the murderer? How will they survive what was meant to be the perfect party weekend?

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Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2022) Featured Review of Jay’s Gay Agenda by Jason June

Jay's Gay Agenda Cover Art

Jay’s Gay Agenda by Jason June
HarperCollins / HarperTeen
Publication Date: June 1, 2021
ISBN: 978-0063015159 

Jay Collier is an out and proud white gay teen in rural Washington. As everyone in school has paired off and are busy experiencing their first relationships, Jay has no one to date. He creates “Jay’s Gay Agenda”: a bucket list of relationship experiences he wants to have. When his family moves to Seattle at the start of his senior year, he is overjoyed at the idea of being surrounded by other queer teens and hopes to start marking things off his list. As Jay jumps into life at his new school and starts making new friends, he discovers that the balancing act between balancing his time and energy between his new and old friends is hard; throw in dating and crossing off agenda experiences and suddenly life is really complicated. 

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Jukebox by Nidhi Chanani

Jukebox Cover Art

Jukebox by Nidhi Chanani
First Second / Macmillan
Publication Date: June 22, 2021
ISBN: 9781250156365

Follow this enchanting time-traveling jolt through history with Shaheen and her cousin, Tannaz, as they search for Shaheen’s missing father. One moment, Shaheen is involved in an endless discussion with dad about his timeless vinyl collection (though partly tuning him out). The next moment, she is wondering when he will be home and why he isn’t answering calls. Shaheen and Tannaz decide to pretend they are solving a Nancy Drew case as they whisk through town visiting shops such as Otis Street Records. It is here that they are confronted with the “Jukebox.” Could this be the timeless classic involved in Shaheen’s dad’s missing case? Or could this be a dead end?

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Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Featured Review of This is Not the Jess Show by Anna Carey

This Is Not the Jess Show Audiobook by Anna Carey cover art

This is Not the Jess Show by Anna Carey; narrated by Suzy Jackson

Blackstone Publishing

Publication Date: February 2, 2021

ISBN: 9781094032535

Jess is living in the 90’s and dealing with some complicated issues. She has a major crush on her childhood best friend, unsupportive friends and a younger sister sick with a terminal illness. To make matters more complicated, unexplainable things start happening to Jess. She hears chanting no one else can, a flu knocks out half her classmates, and her best friends keep pressuring her to date the annoying school jock. When her sister ends up in the hospital, it’s the catalyst that Jess needs to slowly unravel a deep secret about the town.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2022) Featured Review of Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson

Before the Ever After Cover Art

Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson
Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin Random House 
Publication Date: September 1, 2020
ISBN: 978-0399545436

ZT has the perfect life. He has a group of friends he’s super tight with. His family is loving and supportive, and his dad is a football superstar. But this idyllic life begins to unravel when his father starts getting debilitating migraines, ending his football career. As his father begins to lose his memory, ZT learns that not all success stories have happy endings. And sometimes supporting the people we love most can be incredibly difficult.

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Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2022) Featured Review of Perfectly Parvin by Olivia Abtahi

Perfectly Parvin by Olivia Abtahi
Penguin Random House / G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 18, 2021
ISBN: 978-0593109427 

Parvin Mohammadi can’t wait to start high school after a magical summer at the beach with her first-ever boyfriend — but when he dumps her on the first day of high school in front of her friends for being “too loud,” Parvin hatches a scheme to become the perfect rom-com girl so hunky sophomore Matty Fumero will ask her to homecoming. Parvin will do whatever it takes to suppress her loud, hairy, flashy, prank-obsessed self and live her high school dream, even if the boy she’s growing closer to in her Farsi classes seems to like those things about her. 

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Let’s Talk About It: The Teen’s Guide to Sex, Relationships, and Being a Human by Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan

Let's Talk About It Cover Art

Let’s Talk About It: The Teen’s Guide to Sex, Relationships, and Being a Human by Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan
Random House Graphic / Penguin Random House
Publication Date: March 9, 2021
ISBN: 9781984893147

Written by a married team of professional cartoonists who focus on sex education, Let’s Talk About It is an open and honest graphic novel guide to sex, consent, relationships, and everything in between and provides teens—or anyone who hasn’t had the chance to examine themselves or their relationships with others fully—an intelligent and easy-to-understand jumping off point to explore. The bright and colorful illustrations show a diverse group of characters representing various body types, genders, and abilities, covering topics which include not just consent, sex, and gender, but also consideration, boundaries, communication, and friendship-things that are needed in order to build positive and lasting relationships, romantic or otherwise.  

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Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Featured Review of Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean

Tokyo Ever After Audiobook by Emiko Jean - 9781250804167

Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean, narrated by Ali Ahn
Macmillan Audio
Release date: May 17, 2021
ISBN: 978-1250804167

First book of the Tokyo Ever After series, the story begins with a report from a newspaper about an unnamed princess. Juxtaposed between each news article, Izumi struggles with the “cultural punches” of beauty standards, not knowing her father, and being a unilingual Pan-Asian. When her friend Nora accidentally stumbles across a scrapbook with a name, Izumi has to decide whether she wants to learn more about her father, her father’s family, and herself.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2022) Featured Review of Poison Ivy: Thorns by Kody Keplinger, Art by Sara Kipin

Poison Ivy Thorns Cover Art

Poison Ivy: Thorns by Kody Keplinger, Art by Sara Kipin
DC Comics 
Publication Date: June 1, 2021
ISBN: 9781401298425

This original graphic novel offers a gothic take on the origin story of DC’s antihero/sometimes villain Poison Ivy. Teenager Pamela Isley’s father has taught her to keep her head down to avoid drawing attention to the horrible things going on in their mansion at night. Without any real friends and facing bullying and harassment at school, Pamela finds comfort in plants — her true passion. It often feels like no one else cares about plants like she does, and she finds herself turning to dangerous methods to save a nearby park. One day, a cute goth girl shows interest in her, and Pamela has to decide whether it’s worth the risk of being found out, both for her family’s secrets and her own.

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Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2022) Featured Review of A Sitting in St. James by Rita Williams-Garcia

A Sitting in St. James by Rita Williams-Garcia
HarperCollins / Quill Tree Books
Publication Date: May 25, 2021
ISBN: 978-0062367297

Louisiana, 1860: Elderly white matriarch Madame Sylvie Guilbert presides over La Petite Cottage, her family’s plantation. She is determined to sit for a portrait in spite of the financial troubles that are threatening to ruin the Guilbert family. After all, that’s what the heads of all the great families do, and Sylvie will do almost anything to project that kind of power and influence. Also caught up in Sylvie’s scheming are her son, grandson, and the enslaved people forced to work at La Petite Cottage. 

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