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Tag: Rachel Cohn

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2020) Nominees Round Up, March 19 Edition

My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life by Rachel Cohn
Hyperion / Disney
Publication Date: December 18, 2018
ISBN: 978-1368008396

On her 16th birthday, American foster teen Elle Zoellner is informed that her never-before-discussed father is a successful Japanese businessman who has sent for her to come live with him in Tokyo. Elle must face her past by meeting the father she never knew she had, while also contending with her mother who abandoned her to opioid addiction and is now in prison. What’s more, she has to adjust to the differences between Japanese and American life while living in a luxurious hotel and navigating an elite international high school.

#AA2018: Amazing Audiobooks Nominees, Volume 8

This edition of Amazing Audiobooks nominees features two funny stories!

Kill All Happies by Rachel Cohn, narrated by Lauren Ezzo
Audio Published by Dreamscape Media, LLC
Publication Date: May 16, 2017
ISBN: 9781520072210

Kill All Happies is Cohn’s newest solo title. Cohn is well-known for her collaborative titles with YA author David Levithan, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares, the Twelves Days of Dash and Lily and Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List. In Kill All Happies, Victoria “Vic” Navarro or “General Navarro,” as she is called by peers, is determined to give the seniors of Rancho Soldado one last party they won’t forget. Like most of the townspeople of Rancho Soldado, Vic is devastated that the local restaurant Happies has closed and is being sold to developers. Vic gets permission to host the party in the Happies restaurant, with the understanding that the party will in no way overflow into the abandoned Happies theme park behind the restaurant, and that Annette Thrope, a.k.a. “Miss Ann Thrope,” Vic’s arch-nemesis, teacher, and real estate agent for the Happies property, will not find out. Vic is assisted in this endeavor by her two best friends, Genesis “Fletch” Fletcher and Mercedes “Slick” Zavala-Kim.  But Vic also has another goal for the evening, to hook up with her number one crush, Slick’s older brother Jake. At first, the party seems to be going on without a hitch, but soon Happies from all over arrive to celebrate the “last night at Happies.” The night begins to veer off course and Vic has to decide to try and fix the problems the party is causing or give up and join in the fun.

YA Literary Tropes: The Old Clunker I Drive

“Trope” is defined as “a common or overused theme or device.” (Merriam-Webster). There are definitely over-used themes in the YA world; I know many of you have had enough love triangles and dystopian worlds.  On the flip side, tropes have always been used in literature, and they play an important part in driving a story.   Shakespeare himself successfully used literary tropes (mistaken identity anyone?)  I have found many times over that if a book has the goods, it doesn’t really matter how many common themes the author utilizes.

That said, I would like to invite you to join me each Wednesday for a hump day roundup of books that follow a familiar literary trope I have noticed and fully embrace.  Full credit and many thanks to my fellow Hub bloggers: Hannah Gomez, Jancee Wright, Carly Pansulla,  Robin Brenner, Anna Tschetter, Sharon Rawlins, Molly Wetta, and Kimberli Buckley for their awesome suggestions and input.

Literary Tropes -The Old Clunker I Drive

Literary Trope for Week 1: The Old Clunker I Drive

To say that cars are important to teens is putting it lightly.  A license to drive plus a set of keys equal freedom in a most tangible way.  Of course, most teens in life and literature have financial limitations and many drive rusty, second-hand, and always breaking-down cars.  But, those unexpected stops are usually what makes the journey so fantastic.  So, thank you clunker car literary trope, we love you.

Adult Genre Readers: Break out of a Reading Rut with YA

TeenBooks

Adults reading young adult  books has been discussed here, and here and here, and let’s keep talking about it!  YA  has clearly been established as a force as we continue to see titles fly off the shelves at libraries and book stores (not to mention those virtually flying onto smart phones, kindles, and nooks.)  Clearly it’s not only teens reading YA anymore.

Speaking of adults reading YA… do you know any adults stuck in a reading rut who might appreciate some suggestions?  Two of the most widely-read adult fiction genres today are horror and romance.   There are some truly wonderful YA alternatives out there — and it can be argued that YA authors take greater risks than their mainstream adult genre counterparts do– resulting in diverse, exciting, and ground-breaking books.  Exclusively reading genre selections which follow an established and familiar formula (even when the formula works)  can become tedious. Here are some suggestions to help a genre reader shake things up.

Horror/Serial Killers

i hunt killers barry lyga coverJames Patterson fans will enjoy Barry Lyga’s I Hunt Killers series: a nail-bittingly suspenseful serial killer manhunt trilogy with a flawed hero.  Lyga explores issues of identity, parenthood, nature vs nurture, race, and attraction.

rottersStephen King readers will like Daniel Kraus’s terrifying Rotters (2012 Odyssey Award winner) and Scowler (2014 Odyssey Award winner) Grave digging, monstrous fathers, rat kings, gruesome imagery… Kraus is truly a master of literary horror; nothing run of the mill here!

Dean Koontz lovers will enjoy The Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco: a terrifying tale of vengeful ghost named Okiko. This spooky tale was inspired by Japanese folklore.

Edgar Allen Poe fans can’t help but enjoy Bethany Griffin’s The Fall and Masque of the Red Death couplet. These atmospheric tales were inspired by Poe’s short stories.   It’s also a refreshing change of pace to find quality literary horror featuring strong female characters.

Oscars Best Picture Nominees: Readalikes

Credit Flickr user Rachel Jackson
Credit Flickr user Rachel Jackson

We are in the midst of Hollywood’s award show season with what seems to be an endless variety of shows every weekend. Each show bringing new red carpet styles, Youtube-able acceptance speeches and a new list of what films to watch. In the spirit of this flurry of film festivities and movie lists, we thought a readalikes post would be the best way for us at the Hub to partake in all of this fun. So in preparation for the quintessential award show, the Oscars, we’ve come up with a list of a YA readalikes for some of this year’s most talked about films – The Academy Awards Best Picture Nominees.

Special thanks goes to Hannah Gomez, Jennifer Rummel, Erin Daly, Tara Kehoe, Sharon Rawlins, Jessica Lind and Wendy Daughdrill for helping to create these booklists.  

A Bad Romance– Love Gone Wrong in Teen Lit

By CMEarnest (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By CMEarnest via Wikimedia Commons
Springtime is when love is in the air.  New relationships are blooming, the warmer weather drives people outdoors and puts everyone in a better mood, and it just seems like the perfect time to fall in love…

But what happens when you don’t want to fall in love?  When you just want to snarkily smirk at those silly people holding hands and picking flowers?  How do you avoid, nay how do you embrace the idea that falling in love is just not for you..?

Well, one good way is to read books about love gone wrong.  Luckily, teen lit is filled with excellent examples of books about all the ways love can be so harmful to your well-being.  From bad breakups to unrequited crushes, check out the list below if you want to fall in love with a bad romance!

Star-Crossed Love

tearcollectorswoongeneration deadmonstrous beautyEveAdamUnderNeverSky

The Tear Collector by Patrick Jones

Cassandra comes from a long line of vampire-like creatures who need human tears to survive rather than blood.  Cassandra is very good at collecting tears by being the shoulder for her friends to cry on, and even volunteering as a grief counselor.  However, Cassandra is growing tired of her life and wants to be human, especially when she begins to fall in love with Scott.

Teen Tech Week: Building a Better Human

TTW14_featureslideMarch 9 – 15 is YALSA’s annual Teen Tech Week, when libraries shine a spotlight on all of the great technological tools that they offer for their patrons. And though this event only lasts for one week, technology is a core element of most libraries’ mission year round. More and more are offering digital labs and makerspaces where patrons can learn to use technology to create fantastic projects and give free rein to their imagination.

Photo by unloveablesteve. CC BY-NC-SA
Photo by unloveablesteve. CC BY-NC-SA

One of my favorite examples of this is the prosthetic Robohand that was recently created for a young boy using the 3-D printer at the Johnson County Library Makerspace. As soon as I read the story, it got me thinking about all of the great stories I have read about technology being used to augment the human body or even change what it means to be a person. And, so, in honor of Teen Tech Week, I decided to create a list of some of my favorite books about technology being used to augment the human body or fundamentally alter humanity as we currently conceive of it.

What Would They Read: Glee Edition, Part 2

Since I got so much positive feedback from last month’s Glee edition of Glee-Themed-Karaoke-Revolution-Announced-2“What Would They Read?,” I thought I would continue with a few more characters.  I actually had some recommendations in the comments section which I plan to include in this post.

Last month I tackled reading options for Finn, Rachel, and Quinn.  In order to include as many characters as possible, I’m going to do a quick Reader’s Advisory for several more people.

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your AssSantana Lopez – I’m going to start this off with one of the recommendations left in last month’s comments section.  While Santana does not appear to be a very big reader, she would definitely find some common ground in Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina (2014 Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers).  In Medina’s book, Piddy discovers that Yaqui, a girl she doesn’t eve know, has decided to target her in an aggressive bullying situation.  Santana would like the book not only because of the strong anti-bullying sentiments she developed while protecting Kurt, but also because of the strong Latina characters with whom she can relate culturally.

Tina Cohen-Chang – As we all know, Principal Figgins has revealed his dislike for Tina’s wardrobe, stating that it makes Vampire_Kissesher look like a vampire.  I assume Tina would appreciate a few vampire novels once in a while.  In particular, I would give her Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber.  While this is a bit of an oldie in the YA perspective (it came out in 2003), I believe that Tina would breathe new life into the title.  In Vampire Kisses, Raven is an outcast who dresses in all black and dreams of someday becoming a vampire.  When new neighbors move in next door, Raven can’t help but notice that they do not venture out during the daytime and Alexander, the teenaged son, hangs out in the cemetery quite frequently.  This could be Raven’s chance to embrace the afterlife of a vampire.

Is This the Real Life? Food Edition

This time of year always means one thing to me: baking. My family and I have always baked (and cooked) a lot between Thanksgiving and the New Year since the weather is finally cool and we have a lot of get-togethers. Instead of doing the predictable “holiday” contemporary books, I decided to focus on the bakers or those whose lives were affected by food. I searched for some male protagonist bakers, but couldn’t find any. Let me know if you know of any!

What happened to goodbyeWhat Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen (2012 Teens’ Top Ten)
This is the story of McLean Sweet who loves with her father since her mother ran off with the college basketball coach. Her father is a chef and it’s because of his job that she and her father have moved four times in the last two years. Each time they move, McLean takes on a new personality in her new city, but she seems to find her true ‘self’ in Lakeview, just as her father decides to move to Hawaii, forcing McLean to figure out what she really wants and how to deal with her mother.