Skip to content

Tag: ann aguirre

#QP2019 Nominees Round Up, October 2 Edition

Like Never and Always by Ann Aguirre
Tor / Tor Teen
Publication Date: July 17, 2018
ISBN: 9780765397614   

In an instant the lives of Liv, her best friend Morgan, and their boyfriends are forever changed when they are in a tragic car accident. Liv survives but when she awakens in the hospital she quickly realizes she has woken up in Morgan’s body. There is no going back because “Liv” died in the accident. Adapting to Morgan’s life isn’t easy as she has to adjust to living in a mansion, a new unlikely boyfriend (who just so happens to be the brother of Liv’s boyfriend) and of course, a scandalous mystery to solve that brings to question how much Liv really knew about her best friend.

Comments closed

What Would They Read?: Jane from Blindspot

Have you had a chance to take our readers’ survey? We’d love your feedback! 

She wakes up inside a duffle bag in the middle of Times Square. Her body is covered in tattoos and she doesn’t remember who she is or how she got there, but she has amazing fighting skills that hint at special forces training. This is Jane Doe from the television show Blindspot. Jane is spending all of her free time trying to remember her past, but if she wanted a book break, this is what I’d recommend to her.blindspot

thenaturalsThe Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Cassie is recruited by the FBI to work in a special group of teens with exceptional abilities. The recruits will have to work together to survive and catch the killer before they are killed.

The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry. The girl wakes up in a cabin to hear her captors discussing her execution. She doesn’t know who she is, why she’s there, or how to escape, but she knows that if she wants to live, she must get out now.

Mind Games by Kiersten White. Fia has perfect intuition. She always, always knows how to react. Fia is going to need to use all of her powers to rescue her sister, Annie, who is being held captive so that Fia will do her captors’ bidding. Annie is blind, but has visions of the future. Can Fia manage to overcome her captors and rescue her sister?

The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston. Meg has a new name, a new look, and a new address. Her family is in witness protection, and she’s tired of constantly hiding and running. She can’t figure out why they are in hiding and she doesn’t want to follow the rules she’s been given. Meg will need to use all of her ingenuity to ensure her survival – and that of her family as well.

killer of enemiesKiller of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac (2014 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers). Lozen is a monster hunter, and the privileged Ones she serves keep her family hostage to guarantee Lozen’s compliance. But as Lozen’s power grows, she wonders if she is fated for something more. Does she have the courage and cunning to rescue her family?

Enclave by Ann Aguirre. Deuce has lived her whole live underground battling the freaks, but when she is exiled from her people, she must rely on Fade and his memories of the topside world.

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau (2014 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers). Cia is thrilled to be chosen for the elite testing program, where applicants compete for slots in the university program. However, her father warns her that all is not as it seems. Will Cia be able to keep her wits (and her memories) and use them to survive the rigorous test?

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill. Em is trapped in prison. She finds a list, written in her own handwriting, hidden inside the drain in the middle of the room. She doesn’t remember writing this list, but she knows that it is up to her to escape and stop horrible things from happening.

i am the weaponI Am the Weapon by Allan Zadoff (2014 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Readers). The boy was taken from his family and trained as an assassin. Now he goes from mission to mission, always the new kid in school and in the neighborhood, until his mission is complete and he disappears to a new town to start over again. What would happen, though, if the Boy wanted out of this program?

The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey. Cassie is certain she’s being followed, but she has to locate and rescue her brother before the final alien invasion occurs. The first four waves wiped out most of the planet and Cassie is determined to reunite with her brother before it is too late.


— Jenni Frencham, currently reading Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert

Comments closed

What Would They Read?: Liv from iZombie

izombieI was intrigued by the concept of iZombie before I ever saw an episode. A girl who becomes a zombie, but is fighting her zombie impulses? Moreover, a girl who works in a medical examiner’s office to have easy access to her new food source and conveniently is able to step into the shoes of those whose brains she eats? A girl who now solves crimes through the “visions” she has from eating brains?  Sign me up!

Here are some great zombie, monster, and murder mystery reads that I would recommend to Liv Moore:

Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry (2011 Best Fiction for Young Adults)

This is the first installment in the Benny Imura series, and it follows Benny as he turns fifteen in post-apocalyptic America and is forced to work in the last job he’d ever thought he’d have: apprentice zombie killer.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (2010 Best Books for Young Adults)

This series follows Mary as she tries to discover what is true and what is false in the stories she’s been told since she was a child. Also, there are baby zombies involved.  Baby zombies now invade my nightmares.

1 Comment

Choose a Book by Its Cover

Every Day was one of The Atlantic Wire's most Wonderful Book Covers of 2012
Every Day was one of The Atlantic Wire’s most Wonderful Book Covers of 2012

Choosing a book by its cover is typically frowned upon, but lately I have been finding that it can be a great idea for both readers and libraries! Creating a book display centered solely on book cover art is not a new concept, but it is a visually appealing way to successfully recommend some good books. My library first learned about creating book recommendations based on the cover art for teens from another local teen librarian who was asking her teen advisory board to choose the next year’s lineup of book displays, with most of her displays choices being centered on similar visual imagery on book covers. What has been a surprise to me, though, is how popular some of our cover-themed displays have been with readers of all ages. They are eye-catching, they draw a browser in, and, as a result, we are constantly restocking these displays.


Reel Good Reads: January

6991676973_23dac0ddf2_bWelcome to another month of matchmaking books and movies! This month, we’ve got fairy tales gone action-flick, creepy children, and just the right amount of gallows-humor.

The Movie: Fractured fairy tales are always a favorite, and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters promises to provide some action to the tried-and-true tale. Picking up fifteen years after the, um, gingerbread incident, this film re-imagines Hansel and Gretel as attractive young people with a penchant for tracking down those of a more witchy persuasion.

pretty bad things c j skuse coverBook Soulmate: There’s definitely no shortage of fairy tale retelling in YA lit. If the thing that intrigues you most about Witch Hunters is that it’s a retelling of the Hansel and Gretel tale, check out Pretty Bad Things by C.J. Skuse. This isn’t a straight-up rehash, but H&G fans will relish in spotting the details (like twin protagonists, some serious woodland action, and plenty of candy) that tie these two stories together.

1 Comment

All I Needed to Know About Surviving Post-Hurricane Sandy I Learned From Post-Apocalyptic Novels

Hurricane Sandy was a devastating natural disaster. While I write this somewhat light post, I am well aware that many people have lost their homes, and the destruction the hurricane caused was tremendous. Our local communities and groups have coordinated many efforts to donate clothing, food, and other supplies directly to affected families. These efforts are ongoing, so please consider helping out in any way you can. If you are not on the Eastern seaboard you can help out by donating to the Red Cross (text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief), Salvation Army (Text the word STORM to 80888 to make a $10 donation), and other organizations.

On October 29 Hurricane Sandy blew through my state — New Jersey — wreaking havoc as she went. We live about an hour away from the shore, so we were fairly confident that we would lose power, but still be okay. That turned out to be true, but it was also the scariest natural disaster I’ve ever personally encountered. Sitting in our dark house late at night feeling the house shake and hearing the winds howl was a nerve-wracking experience that reminded me that we are still always at the mercy of nature. The days that followed were so strange that I found myself saying many times to my husband, “Thank goodness I read all those post-apocalyptic novels — I know just what to do!” And so here you have my survival guide to our post hurricane days, as learned from post-apocalyptic YA fiction.

Lesson #1: Make Alliances

In all the books I’ve read, this is a number #1 lesson: you have to have people on your side, someone you can rely on when disaster happens or the world is ending. In a novel, that might be a partner with a gun who’s got your back (Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse — an adult novel, but a good one!), someone who prevents a zombie or mutant from eating you (like Fade and Deuce in Enclave and Outpost by Ann Aguirre or Mary’s villagemates in The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan), or someone who shares their skills with you (Katniss, Peeta, and Gale in The Hunger Games).

In our case it would be neighbors who have tractors and chainsaws.


Quick Picks: Not always what you expect

While we adore all of the YMAs and the lists produced by YALSA, we occasionally find ourselves overwhelmed by so many lists and so many titles. There is one, list, however, that I find myself referencing throughout the year. That list? Quick Picks.

Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers is an annual list compiled by a selection committee of YALSA members. It was created in 1996, with the implementation of the Top Ten list the following year. It is a great place to start when you encounter someone (or are some one) who doesn’t like to read, for any reason. Quick Picks, like many of YALSA’s lists, has both a fiction and a nonfiction section, since we all know there is that very large, very bizarre group that has no interest in made-up stories.

The fabulous thing about Quick Picks is the very variety of reads. If you look at the list across the fifteen years that it has been produced, you’ll see books that are still going strong, like Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries and Angela Johnson’s The First Part Last; stories that mark a period in popular history (books on N’SYNC and Star Wars come to mind); and hidden gems that sadly, a lot of people might not search for these days.

One issue that can occasionally come up when trying to recommend a book for someone who doesn’t like to read is relevance. Why would I bother reading this book? Why should I read about people who aren’t like me? What do I care about a world in which I don’t exist? The goal of Quick Picks is to counter that with people, places and ideas that can cross experiences, worlds, and situations that anyone might find interesting. Also, anyone can nominate a book for the following year’s Quick Picks, as long as it matches criteria that include attractive physical appearance, clear writing, and emotional appeal for novels, and approachable, objective nonfiction.

Comments closed

Staking the Vampire

Smile! Your days are numbered!

It’s the beginning of the end, folks–for the Twilight series that is. As any Twi-fan knows, Breaking Dawn, Part 1 premiered last weekend, and it’s only a matter of time until “Part 2” wraps up the series in a happy little bow. Whether they like the Twilight saga or not, astute commentators must agree that those books changed the shape of teen literature, propelling paranormal romance, and vampires, to the top of the charts.

But have the blood-drinking sophisticates started to overstay their welcome? November 14th’s Hub poll determined that of all the trends in teen literature, “Vampires” was the one most Hub readers wanted to see go. So The Hub is here to ask the question “What next?” Towards which creature should we direct our adulation–or mockery? Who will put the stake in the vampire trend? Let’s examine the options.


Dystopian vs. Post-apocalyptic Teen Books

The Hunger Games series has spawned a slew of new dystopian and post-apocalyptic teen books. I can’t always distinguish between the two types of books because sometimes the terms are used interchangeably. I looked up their definitions and found a great blog post on Bibliotropic on July 5 that really has a great explanation of the differences between the two.

The blog states that “Dystopia is the idea of a society in a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian.” Of course! Lois Lowry’s The Giver or Feed by  M. T. Anderson. (Not to mention Orwell’s 1984 or Huxley’s Brave New World but I’m only going to focus on current or soon to be published YA books).

Post-apocalyptic is defined as “set in a world or civilization after a disaster such as nuclear warfare, pandemic, impact event, etc.”  These types of books are the ones where the characters are struggling to survive against some kind of cataclysmic event – man vs. nature. These are the types of books that I love reading because they make me feel that as bad as my life might be at times, it’s not nearly as bad as it is in these  novels.

Another clue is that many of the new post-apocalyptic novels seem to have the word “Ash” or “Ashes” in the title. Ilsa Bick’s Ashes (due out in Sept.) is an exciting story of how a teen with a fatal disease & and troubled young army veteran struggle to survive after a massive electromagnetic pulse destroys all electronic devices, kills billions of people, and in the process, creates zombie -like creatures.