Codes for Reviews

First Initial (Overall Rating):
E = Exceptional
VG = Very Good
G = Good
F = Fair
NR = Not Recommended

Second Initital (Reading Level):
A = Average Reading Level
E = Easy
M = Mature

“The views expressed are of individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of their respective institutions.”

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Thursday, October 23, 2014


Young Adult Fiction

G/A  Westerfeld, Scott.  Afterworlds.  Simon Pulse, 2014.  608p. 978-1-48142-234-5.  19.99.

Darcy Patel just graduated from high school and instead of going to college, she’s taking a year off to move to New York City to finish her debut YA novel and work on the sequel. In alternating chapters, we, the reader, get to read her novel, titled Afterworlds, giving us essentially two novels in one book. As Darcy navigates NYC and changes and grows as an individual, her novel’s main character, Lizzie, experiences a change in life as well, when she is the sole survivor of a terrorist attack and becomes a living escort for newly deceased souls to the afterlife. While both “novels” are interesting, the chapters seem to alternate just when you want more of the current story. Switching back and forth takes the reader out of each story too abruptly. Setting the formatting aside, the two novels were fun reads, one realistic (and really geared towards book lovers) and the other a new twist on the paranormal. Loren Spector, LAPL, Memorial Branch Library

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Truth About Alice

High School Fiction

G/M  Mathieu, Jennifer.  The Truth About Alice.  Roaring Brook, 2014.  199p.  978-1-59643-909-2. 16.99.

In a very small town in Texas, where everyone knows each other, there is a rumor going around that high school junior, Alice Franklin slept with 2 boys at a high school party. Normally, around here rumors disappear after a while, but this one seems to keep growing and getting more vicious as it does. This novel about bullying and friendship is told from multiple perspectives, all high school juniors connected to Alice in some way, including her former best friend, the popular girl, the odd genius boy and the football player’s best friend. Even though it is sometimes hard to read, because the bullying gets that bad, the story rings true and it’s not bogged down with too many extra “issues” beyond the bullying. It’s definitely more appropriate for older teens given the subject matter. Patrons who like realistic fiction with heavy drama a la Living Dead Girl will enjoy this novel. Loren Spector, LAPL, Memorial Branch Library