Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Featured Review of Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant

Happily Ever Afters Audiobook by Elise Bryant Cover Art

Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant; Narrated by Jordan Cobb
Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: January 5, 2021
ISBN: 9780063058132

Tessa Johnson is excited to have been accepted into the creative writing program at a prestigious art school, but nervous at the same time: she’s never shared her writing with anyone but her best friend, Caroline.  When she gets to her first workshop, her words are gone and she’s terrified she’ll never write again and the whole school will find out she’s a fraud.  Caroline is convinced that the only solution is for Tessa to star in her own personal love story and the perfect candidate for her happily-ever-after is the most popular kid in school and her crush, Nico.  Or is he?

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Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Featured Review of Love in English by Maria E. Andreu

Love in English Audiobook by Maria E. Andreu - 9780063058118 | Rakuten Kobo  United States

Love in English by Maria E. Andreu; narrated by Frankie Corzo
Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: February 1, 2021
ISBN: 978-0063058118

Sixteen year-old Ana and her mom arrive in New Jersey from Argentina to reunite with Ana’s father, who has been in the United States for three years. Ana starts her junior year in a new country, in a new school, speaking a new language, and has to navigate her new surroundings. Ana makes a couple friends but grounds herself by writing poetry, which she uses to help her understand American conventions at school as well as shifting relationships at home. 

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Booklist: Read-a-Likes for Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Nicola Yoon’s debut novel Everything, Everything took the book world by storm when it was published in 2015. This May readers will get to see this much loved story come to life on the big screen when the film adaptation starring Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson hits theaters. In the meantime this booklist has everything, everything you might want to read if you are a fan waiting for the movie to come out.

collage art for Booklist: Read-a-Likes for Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

If You Want a Book Where a Character is More Than Their Illness:

cover art for The Memory Book, Zac and Mia, Before I Die, Hold Me Like a Breath

  1. The Memory Book by Lara Avery: Sammie doesn’t believe that one diagnosis can change her entire life. She starts writing down her memories big and small as her degenerative illness, Niemann-Pick Type C, begins to take its toll on her memories and her health.
  2. Zac and Mia by A. J. Betts: Zac and Mia would never be friends friends in the real world. But different rules apply when you’re in a hospital.
  3. Before I Die by Jenny Downham (2008 Best Books for Young Adults, 2015 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults): Tessa knows she is dying. Instead of waiting to disappear without a trace, Tessa decides to complete her “before I die” list in the precious weeks she has left.
  4. Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt: When disaster strikes, Penelope is thrust into a world of secrets and betrayals she is ill-equipped to understand. As she struggles to make sense of her shattered past and shape her own future she’ll also learn that life isn’t always a fairy tale. Sometimes you have to make your own happy ending.

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Hub Bloggers Love: Recent Young Adult Romances

Valentine’s Day might be over but that doesn’t mean some readers aren’t still in the mood to fall in love with a good love story!  If you’re looking for some recent titles to spice up a suddenly sparse book display or you’re in need of some new recommendations for your eager romantic readers, the Hub bloggers are here for you!HubLoveRomance

This week we’ve gathered together to showcase just a few of our recent favorite young adult romances.  Some of our picks are well-known titles while others might have slipped under the radar.  Either way, we hope you’ll find something new and exciting to read or share.  Want even more romantic reading inspiration? Check out Dawn Abron’s latest Diversify YA Life post highlighting interracial couples in young adult fiction or search our tags for past romance book lists.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (2016 Morris Award Winner; 2016 Best Fiction for Young Adults)

After several months anonymously corresponding with a classmate he knows only as Blue, Simon Spier is sure of several facts: he is definitely gay, he is falling in love with Blue, and he does not want to share either of these realities with anyone else–at least, not yet.  But then Simon’s emails fall into the wrong hands and suddenly, his–and Blue’s–secrets are in serious danger of being revealed.  Can Simon find a way to come out on his own terms, without causing even more drama amidst his increasingly complicated group of friends, becoming the center of unwanted attention at school, or–worst of all–losing his chances with Blue, the perfect boy he’s never met? -Kelly D.

What We Left Behind by Robin Talley

In high school, Gretchen and Toni were that couple.  They prided themselves on the fact that they never fought and their friends all joked that they were already practically married.  Gretchen and Toni had the kind of love everyone else envied.  Then Gretchen decides that she’s not coming to Boston with Toni in the fall–she’s going to try out NYU for at least a semester instead, abandoning the plan the two have carefully constructed.  Toni is angry and Gretchen is guilty but still they’re convinced that they’re going to make it.  But while Toni, who’s quietly identified as genderqueer for about a year, finds a new sense of belonging with a group of older transgender students, Gretchen struggles to redefine herself as someone other than Toni’s girlfriend.  Is love enough or is the distance between more than mere geography?  – Kelly D.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Sandwiched between the dependable Margot and mischievous Kitty, Lara Jean feels secure as the shy and quirky middle Song sister. She’s content being the one who stays home to scrapbook or bake on Friday night and she finds expression for her unrequited crushes in writing letters that she hides in a hatbox under her bed. But then Margot is heading off to Scotland for college and within weeks, disaster strikes when Lara Jean’s secret letters are mistakenly mailed out.   Now all her past crushes are coming back to haunt her as her first kiss, her camp crush, and the boy next door ( also Margot’s ex-boyfriend) each confront her about the letters.  And suddenly Lara Jean’s dependable and tidy life is spinning out of control.  -Kelly D. Continue reading Hub Bloggers Love: Recent Young Adult Romances

Diversify YA Life: Social Justice League-Reader’s Advisory for Teens Dealing with Social Issues

As library workers, especially those of us who work with teens, our role can shift to “social worker” in an instant. Our teen patrons visit the library everyday and they begin to trust and confide in us.  Because most of us don’t have the training to work with at-risk youth, we can feel a little helpless but we don’t have to because we have the power of a good book.

About a year ago, a member of my book discussion group seemed to be questioning his sexuality and he never talked about it.  I gave him Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith to read because I thought the ending was perfect for his situation.  He loved the book and now he’s very open with his sexuality and he accepts who he is.  Did my recommendation help him? I don’t really know but I like to think it gave him some perspective.  When I see a teen who I think or know is struggling with a personal problem, I’ll strike up a book conversation on their next library visit asking them what they like to read.  If they are a reader, I’ll find a book from their favorite genre that deals with the subject they are struggling with.

In my library, I see homeless teens, teens with alcoholic parents, teens living with a dying parent, and teens dealing with gender identity and body image.  I used to feel powerless but after I recommended Grasshopper Jungle, I realized that I could be an effective adult in the lives of teens. Below are a list of good books that blend popular genres with social issues.  Gone are the days of feeling helpless. Say goodbye to sifting through numerous Google results.  You now possess the power of reader’s advisory in a flash.  You are the newest member of the Social Justice League!

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