Reviews on our favorite and newest teen and tween books!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Teen Speak

Check out what our teens had to say about some of their favorite books!

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
Genre: YA Fiction
Published: May 2011

            Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley is a book that follows the lives of two teenagers. The bulk of the story focuses on Cullen, a recent high school graduate, who lives in the small town of Lilly, Arkansas. This dull town is brought to life upon the recent sightings of the Lazarus woodpecker that was previously thought to be extinct. As the town becomes invested in the woodpecker, Cullen’s family and friends must cope with the inexplicable disappearance of Gabriel, Cullen’s younger brother, who seems to have not an enemy in the world. Benton is a missionary that has gone to Africa to do God’s work. He begins his mission work only to become confused as to what his purpose in life really is. These two characters, though unknowing of each other’s existence, start a series of events that will reshape the lives around them and those that are far away.

            Although I was unsure as to how this book was going to pan out, I must admit that I am glad to have read this story. It touched on the important and difficult aspects of life and portrayed them in a way that was real and understandable rather than being stilted and shallow. The author captured the meandering way that the mind works without detracting from the integrity of the plot. Daydreams were intermixed with reality without confusion and gave the reader a sense of how the character was feeling without being blunt and tactless. This truly displayed the inner conflict that Benton was going through and the stress and monotony that plagued Cullen. Where Things Come Back is a book that is difficult to describe, however, I must say that it is worth the time to read. As I understand the small town life, this book really hit home and made me appreciative of my place in this world. With a plot filled with sadness and hope, and a cast of characters the likes of which everyone knows, Where Things Come Back brings readers into the lives of several young adults and shows the challenges that they must overcome to simply function in a world wrought with difficulty. I received this book as an ARC from Simon & Schuster.

--- Posted by Lauren G.

Abandon by Meg Cabot
YA Paranormal Romance
Published: 2011

            The main characters of this book are Pierce and John Hayden. Pierce is a sixteen-year old girl and John is Lord of the Dead. The main character changes from hating John to understanding him by the end of the story. The book takes place in present-day Florida in Las Islas Huesos, as well as the Underworld. This story takes place because Pierce trips over her scarf and drowns in her pool. She appears in the Underworld and John Hayden, who is like Hades, falls in love with her immediately. He attempts to keep her there forever but Pierce throws tea in his face and escapes. Pierce and her mom move to Las Islas Huesos, where Pierce hopes she can finally escape John, but meets up with him again when Furies, dead people unhappy where they landed in the underworld, attempt to kill her.   
            I like how the story was similar to the Greek myth of Hades and Persephone, but I didn't like how Pierce thought she could handle stuff on her own when she actually couldn't. Because of this, sometimes Pierce annoyed me. Though the flashbacks were a little confusing, I liked the book and did not think it was predictable. If you liked Meg Cabot’s Avalon High series then you will enjoy Abandon.

 --- Posted by Natalie R.

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