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Staff Reviews: For Teens

Check out these reviews written by the staff of the Marathon County Public Library, featuring books and DVDs for teens! (For reviews of books for all ages, visit our main Staff Reviews webpage.) Staff book reviews also are published at Goodreads.com; follow us for the latest updates. The book reviews on this website represent the personal opinions of the individuals who created them and do not represent any official views of the Marathon County Public Library.


Cover: 'How to Love'

"How to Love" by Katie Cotugno

★★★★ Reena has always been the good girl: straight A student, responsible job holder, and good friend. Despite her good girl status, Reena has also always been in love with bad boy Sawyer LeGrande. When Sawyer starts to take notice of her, Reena's life becomes an exhilarating and devastating roller coaster of events. The chapters alternate between Reena's...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, romance

Cover: 'Hate List'

"Hate List" by Jennifer Brown

★★★★ In this harrowing and eye opening novel, we are taken inside the lives of students affected by a school shooting. The main character, Valerie, is not only recovering from a gunshot wound, but dealing with the constant struggle of being the shooter's girlfriend. Shunned even by her own family afterwards, Valerie has a lot of healing, both physically and...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, tragedy

Cover: 'The Art of Secrets'

"The Art of Secrets" by James Klise

★★★★ Left homeless after a fire of unknown origin destroys their apartment, Saba Khan and her family’s lives are changed forever. Fellow students at Highsmith School decide to collect items for an auction to be held at school with the proceeds to be donated to Saba’s family. But when a rare and valuable painting worth hundreds of thousands of dollars gets...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Will Grayson, Will Grayson'

"Will Grayson, Will Grayson" by John Green

★★★★ This is a hilarious story of how two different teenage boys with the exact same name come to meet one another and change each other's lives. I listened to this book twice on audio book and both times found myself laughing out loud on my commute! Both Will Grayson's lives are at a turning point in love, relationships, and life when their paths cross. The...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Allegiant'

"Allegiant" by Veronica Roth

★★★★★ The intriguing conclusion to the Divergent series, this book will be hard to put down. Tris and Four continue to search for answers and a way to put the pieces of their broken lives back together. What began with a choice that changed their lives forever continues to be a journey of choices and tough lessons in love, courage, truth, and sacrifice.  

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, dystopian, science fiction

Cover: 'Insurgent'

"Insurgent" by Veronica Roth

★★★★★ The second book in Veronica Roth's Divergent series continues to follow 16-year-old Tris Prior as she struggles to make sense of her world as it crumbles around her. Tris has finally embraced her divergence but must now figure out what to do about the danger it places on those closest to her. She must make peace with herself as she battles guilt, grief, and...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, dystopian

Cover: 'The Registry'

"The Registry" by Shannon Stoker

★★★★★ Looking for a new dystopian trilogy? Look no further! This is a book that will be hard to put down and will leave you wishing you had the next book. In this new America, girls are raised to be brides and sold to the highest bidder, and boys are raised to be soldiers ready to fight. Follow eighteen year old Mia as she goes on a journey to be a free woman and...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, dystopian

Cover: 'Nantucket Red'

"Nantucket Red" by Leila Howland

★★★★ A sequel to Nantucket Blue, Nantucket Red finds protagonist Cricket Thompson newly graduated from high school. Cricket is accepted to Brown University with a coveted spot on the lacrosse team, and heads back to Nantucket in order to earn money for the Ivy League life. Soon after arriving, one night on the island causes Cricket's future to be thrown up in...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'This Song Will Save Your Life'

"This Song Will Save Your Life" by Leila Sales

★★★★ Elise has always struggled to make friends, so much so that she had even once turned to suicide as an answer to her loneliness. After her failed attempt at suicide, she continued to be a loser at school.  Just as Elise is resigned that her life will never get better and be what she knows it could, she haphazardly discovers an underground dance club....

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, music

Cover: 'Say What You Will'

"Say What You Will" by Cammie McGovern

★★★★ Meet Amy and Mathew, two teens with different types of disabilities who somehow find one another and become best friends. When Amy leaves for college, they both need to realize their limitations or abilities, and learn to adapt to life without one another. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of recently popular teen fiction. This book...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'The One'

"The One" by Kiera Cass

★★ "The One" is the third and final book of The Selection Trilogy.  The central character, America, and three other young ladies are still vying for Prince Maxon's heart. The country of Illea is experiencing more and more unrest among rebels groups looking for equality and the dissolution of the chaste system. These rebels are threatening the selection...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Divergent'

"Divergent" by Veronica Roth

★★★★★ The first book in Veronica Roth's wildly popular series does not disappoint! We meet 16-year-old Beatrice Prior on the eve of the most important decision of her life. She must chose one of five factions to belong to for the rest of her years. Will she choose to stay with her family or find a new one? Her decision is complicated by her test results and her...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, ya fiction with adult appeal, dystopian

Cover: 'We Were Liars'

"We Were Liars" by E. Lockhart

★★★★★ WE WERE LIARS is the perfect summer read for teens and adults! Cadence Sinclair lives a life unfamiliar to most of us, full of money, privilege, and summers spent on a private island with her family. Something terrible happens the summer that she is fifteen between Cadence, her two cousins, and family friend Gat, whom are collectively know as "The Liars,"...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'Dangerous Creatures'

"Dangerous Creatures" by Kami Garcia

★★ This book is a disappointing attempt at a spin-off series from the writers of BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, the popular teen series about the supernatural world of Casters (witches) in South Carolina. Link and Ridley, now an on-again, off-again couple with magical abilities, escape their fictitious southern town of Gatlin, South Carolina, and head to New York City....

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, paranormal, supernatural

Cover: 'Winter Town'

"Winter Town" by Stephen Edmond

★★★★ Every winter break, Evan's best friend Lucy returns to visit her father.  This year is no exception...however, Lucy has changed.  Evan struggles to reunite and reconnect with his closest friend, while Lucy struggles to reconcile her behavior while living with her mom in Georgia with who she is around Evan and his family.  Nothing earth...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, realistic, character-driven

Cover: 'City of Heavenly Fire'

"City of Heavenly Fire" by Cassandra Clare

★★★★ A satisfying end to an interesting young adult series, Cassandra Clare does not disappoint fans of The Mortal Instruments with this final installment. The book is over 700 pages, but it’s full of Shadowhunters, lycanthropes, faeries, warlocks, and vampires battling Clary’s evil brother Sebastian and his legion of dark Shadowhunters in Hell. Much of the plot...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, fantasy

Cover: 'Guy In Real Life'

"Guy In Real Life" by Steve Brezenoff

★★★★ So you read "Eleanor and Park" and you're looking for something similar. Look no farther, as I have your next read right here! Steven Brezenoff's "Guy in Real Life," is an excellent companion to "Eleanor and Park." Lesh is into heavy metal and black dusters. After a Labor Day metal show, he drunkenly smashed into Svetlana...no worries, he's walking and...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, realistic

Cover: 'This One Summer'

"This One Summer" by Mariko Tamaki

★★★★★ Every summer Rose and her parents visit Awago Beach.  There are the timeless jokes (Rose's father jokes about Rose being born at the turkey farm) and the old summer only friends, in Rose's case, Windy.  This summer is different.  Rose's mom and dad aren't getting along and Rose thinks she knows why:  Rose's mom wants to have another baby...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, graphic novel, realistic, award-winning, printz award winner

Cover: 'The Testing'

"The Testing" by Joelle Charbonneau

★★★★ Fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent trilogies who are looking for their next read should grab The Testing. This young adult novel describes a dystopian society ravaged by the Seven Stages War, in which graduation day brings celebration and a wish for the future. Graduate Malencia Vale desperately hopes that she is one of the select few chosen for a...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, dystopian

Cover: 'The Here and Now'

"The Here and Now" by Ann Brashares

★★★★ In "The Here and Now" we meet Prenna, an immigrant not from another country, but another time. Leaving behind the future dying world that has been ravaged by a plague, those few lucky survivors emigrate to the present day. They bring with them twelve strict rules they believe will protect the world they saw destroyed. But when Prenna is frantically warned...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, romance

Cover: 'Where She Went'

"Where She Went" by Gayle Forman

★★★★★ This is the companion book to "If I Stay".  This story picks up a couple of years after the first book ends and is told from the point of view of Mia's former boyfriend, Adam, who is now a rock star.  This story tells the aftermath of Mia's choice from the end of "If I Stay". There are sometimes no words for a book where at the end all you can...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'If I Stay'

"If I Stay" by Gayle Forman

★★★★★ Forman leaves us wondering just which choice we would make in the same situation as Mia.  This touching young adult novel has it all, from love, to heartache, and devastating loss.  I was gripped not only by the story line, but also by the way Forman was able to make me hear the music of the novel simply through words on a page.  The emotions...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction

Cover: 'The 5th Wave'

"The 5th Wave" by Rick Yancey

★★★★★ In this fast paced teen dystopian novel, aliens have invaded and Cassie, one of earth's last surviving humans, must fight the odds to rescue her little brother, Sam. Cassie has remained on the run, trusting only herself, since her parents were killed, until she meets Evan Walker. The mysterious Evan may be Cassie's only hope for survival, but is he really...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, science fiction, survival

Cover: 'Fangirl'

"Fangirl" by Rainbow Rowell

★★★★★ Cath and Wren are identical twins entering their freshman year of college. Wren jumps into the party scene while Cath dives into her favorite hobby: writing fanfiction about the literary phenomenon Simon Snow. Wren and Cath used to write it together, but Wren is slowly drifting apart from her twin, wanting to make her own identity apart from Cath. Feeling...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, realistic

Cover: 'The False Prince'

"The False Prince" by Jennifer A. Nielsen

★★★★ Sage, an orphan boy in the land of Carthya, is mysteriously bought by nobleman Conner, along with three other boys. As they start on their journey to Conner's estate, Conner reveals a plot to prevent civil war in Carthya. He wants to make one of the chosen boys into a false prince to replace the missing Prince Jaron to keep the other regents and noblemen...

Audience: teens | Genre: fiction, fantasy

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