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Kicky’s Post It Note Reviews: Royals, Twisted Fairy Tales, a Rabbit, a Robot, and Pure Evil

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At TLT, we like to hear what teens have to say about YA Lit. The Teen has been doing a lot of reading lately, so it’s time for another round of Kicky’s Post It Reviews.

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Royals by Rachel Hawkins

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Publisher’s Book Description

Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her to join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.

While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.

Post It Note Review

Cute, but I still don’t like Miles. (She liked the book, but she doesn’t like Miles AT ALL.)

Editor’s Note: This book came out in 2018

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

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Publisher’s Book Description

A big-hearted romantic comedy in which the First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends…

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

Post It Note Review

Absolutely fantastic, great representation

Editor’s Note: This book will be published in May of 2019

The Diviners by Libba Bray

We recently bought this book at a nearby book store because The Teen has read – twice now – Beauty Queens by Libba Bray and she is obviously a huge fan of that book, so she wanted to try reading something else by Libba Bray and she chose The Diviners.

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Publisher’s Book Description

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.

Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.

As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.

Post It Note Review

Loved it so much and can’t wait to read the next one when I get the time. So many unexpected twists and a great ending.

Editor’s Note: This book is the first book in a series and it was released in 2012.

Tin Heart by Shivanun Plozza

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Publisher’s Book Description

When Marlowe gets a heart transplant and a second chance at life, all she wants to do is to thank her donor’s family. Maybe then she can move on. Maybe then she’ll discover who she is if she’s no longer The Dying Girl.

But with a little brother who dresses like every day is Halloween, a vegan warrior for a mother, and an all-out war with the hot butcher’s apprentice next door, Marlowe’s life is already pretty complicated. And her second chance is about to take an unexpected turn…

Post It Note Review

Not exactly my type of book but still good.

Editor’s Note: This book will be published in March of 2019.

Rabit & Robot by Andrew Smith

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Publisher’s Book Description

Cager has been transported to the Tennessee, a giant lunar-cruise ship orbiting the moon that his dad owns, by Billy and Rowan to help him shake his Woz addiction. Meanwhile, Earth, in the midst of thirty simultaneous wars, burns to ash beneath them. And as the robots on board become increasingly insane and cannibalistic, and the Earth becomes a toxic wasteland, the boys have to wonder if they’ll be stranded alone in space forever.

Post It Note Review

This book was completely absurd, but in a good way. Definitely the book to read if you want to laugh.

Editor’s Note: This book was published in 2018.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

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Publisher’s Book Description

In a lush, contemporary fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, Brigid Kemmerer gives readers another compulsively readable romance perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer.

Fall in love, break the curse. 

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom. 

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

Post It Note Review

Not really for me but good for people who want fairytales.

Editor’s Note: This book publishes tomorrow, January 29, 2019.

 

 

 

The Day The Teen Discovered Hoopla and Everything Changed

My library subscribes to Hoopla, a service that I can honestly admit I haven’t used very much – until recently.

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This summer we traveled in the car a lot and after we got sick of listening to the same songs over and over again, I remembered Hoopla! So I introduced The Teen – and the family – to Hoopla.

Here’s my true confession: I am not a big audio book listener. I find that I personally tend to wander and lose what is happening in the story unless it is a really engaging story. I also really like music a lot so that’s my go to audio. It just doesn’t occur to me to listen to an audio book.

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So as we were driving from Ohio to Texas, we began listening to The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy. In this book, every few years (I can’t remember the exact number but I think it is seven), something different disappears from the town. For example, no one in town can see their reflection (and no, they’re not vampires) and they’ve lost the sense of smell. It’s now almost time to find out what this year’s disappearance will be and everyone is understandably on edge. Different people in town have different theories about who – or what – is to blame for the disappearances. And one of the theories blames the mother of Aila, who has just came back to town after her mother has passed away. She is about to learn all of her mother’s deepest, darkest secrets – including about the disappearances, which she hasn’t experienced before.

The Disappearances is eerie and pretty edge of your seat, especially as you get closer and closer to figuring out what everyone will lose this time. And what they do lose is shocking! The Teen, Things 2 and even The Mr. were really into listening to this book as we traveled. In fact, when we got back before it was over everyone had to promise to everyone else that they wouldn’t finish it without them. I’m not saying I broke that promise, but I’m also not saying that I didn’t. We also had great conversations about what we would hate to lose as we tried to guess what the next disappearance would be. As conversation starters go, this book has some pretty interesting ones.

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Then The Teen and I began listening to Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. To be honest, it will be hard for any book to ever compare to this excellent book and it’s excellent reading – by Libba Bray herself! Beauty Queens is the story of a group of teen dream beauty contestants whose plane crashes on a seemingly deserted island that holds a secret. It’s a dystopian tale about a world which is primarily run by the consumeristic corporation and money talks. It has a ton – and a do mean a ton – of powerful and important conversations about all kinds of issues surrounding what it means to identify as female in this world. It pulls no punches and we definitely made sure we didn’t listen to this one when Thing 2 was in the car, because she’s only 8. It’s a great story made even greater by the amazing reading by Libba (Libba and I are apparently on a first name basis now). Even if you have read the book, I highly highly highly recommend listening to the audio book version as well. It’s that good.

Listening with my teenage daughter has dramatically changed my experience of audio books. It’s fun to listen with her and see her reactions in real time. It also prompts a lot of conversations, funny, sweet, sometimes challenging, always bonding. She has enjoyed listening to audio books so much that she downloaded the app onto her phone and I set up an account for her. Bonus: she had to get her own library card to do it (she’s always just used mine because no fines) – yay for more statistics!

I know that many libraries use Overdrive, and we also subscribe to Overdrive. My library just happens to subscribe to both Overdrive and Hoopla. And I’ll be honest, I find Hoopla a little easier to use once you get it all set up. But either way, you can have the same fun experience listening to audio books as a family. And yes, 24 years as a librarian and I had never done this – even though I advocate for it ALL THE TIME. I feel your shame coming through the Internet. But look, I made it right!

Books Discussed

The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy

What if the ordinary things in life suddenly…disappeared?

Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home–and the place where Juliet grew up.

Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together–scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream–vanish every seven years.

No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible–and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind.

As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn’t going to hold on to anyone’s secrets for long before it starts giving them up.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

When a plane crash strands thirteen teen beauty contestants on a mysterious island, they struggle to survive, to get along with one another, to combat the island’s other diabolical occupants, and to learn their dance numbers in case they are rescued in time for the competition.