South Kingstown Public Library Teens

The Fetch

The Fetch

The Fetch by Laura Whitcomb

Calder is a Fetch, an otherworldly escort who appears to people on death’s door. If a soul decides that it is ready to die, it is his job to use his key to open a door, through which lays the path to heaven. In general the living can not see him, and he is not to interfere with the soul’s decision. He knows that someday, he must choose a squire, a dying soul to whom he will offer his key, acceptance of which will apprentice them into a “life” as a Fetch. It has been over 400 years though, and Calder has yet to find the right soul. Until he sees her. A beautiful young woman, weeping for the dying soul of a baby boy. A woman that he is certain can sense his presence.

His overwhelming desire to meet this woman leads Calder to do the unthinkable. He convinces a dying soul to let him use his body, an action that creates havoc between the delicate balance of the real world and the afterlife. What Calder doesn’t realize is that the woman who fascinates him is Alexandra Romanov, the Empress of Russia, and that body he has taken belongs to Grigori Rasputin. What follows is a spiritual and epic story set in the midst of the Russian Revolution, where worlds dangerously begin to collide and overlap.

Overall, despite being a little slow in spots, I really enjoyed this book. I would definitely recommend this to teens who like the otherworldly books, but are looking for something with a little more depth.

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The Comet’s Curse: A Galahad Book

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The Comet’s Curse by Dom Testa

Two hundred fifty one souls. None of whom is over sixteen years old. They are mankind’s final hope for survival.

The very existence of all mankind is at stake after the tail of the comet Bhaktul contaminates Earth’s atmosphere, infecting everyone over the age of eighteen. When he and his colleagues are unable to develop a cure, renowned scientist Dr. Zimmer proposes a radical plan: select and 251 of the world’s brightest, strongest and bravest teens and train them to undertake the dangerous mission of traveling through space to Eon, a new earth.

Although his plan is met with much resistance, Dr. Zimmer, along with his associates Dr. Bauer and Dr. Armstead, begin the creation of Galahad, a ship that will support the selected teens for during their five year journey. Everyone aboard will be led by The Council, Captain Triana Martell, and Roc, their detailed and life-like systems computer.

All appears to go according to Dr. Zimmer’s plan, when shortly after takeoff, a crew member must dragged to the Sick House, frantically screaming that he has spotted a stowaway. At first the Council assumes that Peter is space sick and simply imagining things, a sickness that is common after the initial takeoff. However, when crops are vandalized and the words, “This is a death ship” are scrawled across a wall, Triana knows that this wasn’t just a hallucination, and the entire mission may be at stake.

This was a great start to a new science fiction series, one that deals more with the human aspect of the mission rather than the futuristic details of the teen’s world. I look forward to reading more of Testa’s Galahad series.

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The Diary of Pelly D

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The Diary of Pelly D by L.J. Adlington

Toni V knows that he should turn it over, that’s what the Rules and Regulations state. He doesn’t even want to think about the trouble he could get in for taking something from the Demo Site. But his curiosity gets the better of him, and he smuggles it back to his room in the block and hiding it under his pillow where no one else can see it. Reading snippets when no one else is looking.

The Diary of Pelly D

At first, Toni V thinks Pelly D seems a bit shallow and petty (but, he decides, most likely gorgeous). She’s more concerned with her popularity, dating the hot new guy and hanging out at the new Waterworld Park than with anything else going on in City Five.

Soon though, her diary entries begin to allude to a growing unrest between the cities. People are becoming obsessed with which gene pool others belong to, after all, everyone knows the Atsumisi have the all important epigene and Galrezi don’t.

Pelly D’s world takes a drastic turn when the Atsumisi government in City One pass a law declaring everyone must be tested and gene identifying hand stamps become mandatory. As Toni V reads more, he begins to connects events of the past with the current post-war state of City Five.

Adlington has created a post apocalyptic story of a futuristic Holocaust, intentionally reminiscent of events in World War 2. She causes the reader to wonder if mankind ever really changes, or if they are doomed to repeat the same mistakes, regardless of time and place.

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Marcelo in the Real World

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Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork

Marcelo, diagnosed as having Asperger’s syndrome is happy in his comfortable life, guided by his organized and familiar routine. He hears music in his mind that noone else can hear, he has a deep desire to learn about religion and he loves his school, Paterson, where he works as a stable hand tending to the ponies. However Marcelo’s father Arturo does not believe that anything is really wrong with his son. He feels that Marcelo ‘s mother and doctors are being over indulgent and protective and that Marcelo needs to grow up, attend the public high school in Oak Hills and learn to get along in the “real world”.

In order to prove that he is right about his son, Arturo makes a deal…instead of spending his summer working at Paterson with the ponies, Marcelo will come to work in the mailroom of his lawfirm, where if he learns to interact with “normal” people and completes his tasks satisfactorily, then he will be allowed to choose which school he will attend in the fall. If he fails, he will automatically have to go to Oak Hills High School. After careful consideration, Marcelo realizes that if he wants to stay at his beloved school, then he must accept his father’s deal. Besides, three months isn’t that long, is it?

And so begins Marcelo’s journey into the “real world”. He befriends his beautiful mail room co-worker Jasmine and learns more than he cares to know about life from Wendell, the son of another partner in the firm. He learns not only about anger, jealousy and beauty, but also that life is not always black and white, that it is full of moral ambiguities of which not even his father is immune.

Stork has created a wonderful story for older teens, told from a unique perspective it shows the different ways of interpreting what what the “real world” is really like and it means to grow up.

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Bonechiller

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Bonechiller by Graham Mcnamee

I don’t scare easily; I enjoy everything about zombies, monsters and other things that go bump in the night. I find very few things scary (except, perhaps the movie The Descent). So imagine my surprise when I realized that while reading Graham Mcnamee’s new book, Bonechiller, I was holding my breath a bit, every so often glancing up wide eyed and stealthily checking out my very quiet house.

Bonechiller takes place in the far north of Canada, in the sparsely populated town of Harvest Cove, where the days are short and the nights are long and cold. Danny and his father are relatively new to the town, trying to escape the memory of his recently deceased mother. One night after hanging out with friends, while on his way home, Danny is attacked by…something. He’s unable to get a good look, but he knows it’s bigger than any dog, wolf or bear he’s ever seen. It sticks to the shadows, slowly toying with him—stalking him like prey—until it corners him and bites or stabs him (Danny’s not really sure) and then runs off into the night.

The next day, he’s pretty sure he may have imagined the whole thing; until he noticed a small blue mark on his hand and finds animal type footprints at the spot where he was attacked. As strange things beginning happening, Danny realizes that there is something out there in the darkness, and that he and his friends must stop it before they just disappear into the Arctic night.

Combining monsters and aspects of Inuit folklore, Mcnamee’s Bonechiller is a riveting read, perfect for those who enjoyed Darren Shan’s books and are now looking for another creepy title.

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Big Fat Manifesto

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Big Fat Manifesto by Susan Vaught

Being fat isn’t easy. Clothes don’t fit you. People stare at you or pretend that you are not there; they feel uncomfortable around you. They whisper, wondering if you know how big you are and, if so, why don’t you just do something about it?

Jamie Carcaterra knows how it feels first hand how it feels to be fat, and frankly she is sick of how people act around her. She knows she is overweight. She is fat. In fact, she is Fat Girl, author of the Fat Girl features in her school newspaper, The Wire. Started as a way to win a journalism scholarship, she uses her column to explore what it’s like to be fat in such a weight obsessed, skinny world, as well as to dispel myths such as “Poor Fat Girl needs to be educated about her problem” and “all Poor Fat Girl wants to do is lose weight”.

However, column and her life take an unforeseeable turn when her boyfriend Burke decided to undergo a risky gastric bypass surgery. Now Jamie is forced to think about the questions that really matter. Will Burke still love her when he’s thin? Is being fat all she is? Is she really committed to being the “fat girl activist spokesperson”? And why does it seem like Heath, her co-editor on the paper, might like her as more than just a friend? Doesn’t he know she’s fat?

Although at times a bit predictable and preachy, Vaught has written a funny yet thoughtful look at what it’s like to be a Fat Girl in today’s world.

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Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment

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Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson

The Maximum Ride series focuses on a group of six very special kids. As babies, they were part of a scientific experiment conducted at the School, where their DNA was grafted together with avian DNA. The result: along with other varied powers each of them now has wings.

The Angel Experiment opens several years after they had escaped from the School. Unable to live normal lives, the six of them (led by Max) have lived as a family, safely in seclusion from the rest of the world. That safety is broken when the youngest of the flock, Angel, is kidnapped by Erasers. Erasers are another School experiment, humans crossed with wolves and raised as brutal hunters.

Max and the others vow to save Angel, and set out on a rescue mission where they not only encounter danger at every turn, but start to learn more about who they are and where they came from. This new found knowledge leads them from the School in Death Valley across the country to New York in search of answers.

The writing of the book is a little choppy, with the short 2-3 pages chapters. However, this is easily overlooked as Patterson quickly lures you in with action and plot twists; and of course, leaves you with so many unanswered questions at the end that you just have to pick up the next book.

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Darkside: Book One

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Darkside by Tom Becker

“The darkening son, I can feel the darkening…”

Jonathan Starling is used to being on his own, going unnoticed by almost everyone around him. His mother disappeared before he was old enough to remember her and his father, Alain, spends the majority of his time locked away in his study, suffering periodic episodes, claiming he can feel “the darkening” that is coming. With only his neighbor Mrs. Elwood to keep an eye on him, London is Jonathan’s playground.

One night, while alone in his house after another one of his father’s breakdowns, Jonathan hears an intruder downstairs. He runs hiding in his father’s study barricading the door while something scratches violently trying to get in. The next day at the library he is almost kidnapped by a strange woman and two sinister looking men.

When Alain hears of these events sends his son to seek out Carnegie, the only one who would be able to protect him. However, Carnegie lives in a part of London that most people have never noticed…and are better off for it. Called Darkside, it is home to the city’s most dangerous and undesirable people and creatures, none of whom should ever be trusted. With people who will stop at nothing to capture him, will Jonathan be able to find safety a place like Darkside? And more importantly, exactly who is after him?

This is a great book for fans of Darren Shan’s Cirque du Freak series. Becker has created a spine chilling world, filled with things that go bump in the night. Originally published in England, Darkside is the first in a series; the sequel Lifeblood is also currently available.

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Disguised: A Wartime Memoir

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Disguised: A Wartime Memoir by Rita la Fontaine de Clercq Zubli

Disguised follows the life of 12 year old Rita La Fontaine, a prisoner of war in Indonesia during World War II. In January 1942, when the Japanese began to invade the island of Sumatra, Rita’s family decide that it would be best for her safety if she disguised herself as boy, lowering the odds that she would become a “comfort girl” for lonely soldiers.

She agrees, cuts off her long hair, and becomes Rick, an identity that she would keep for over three years as she traveled to different POW camps. As Rick, she has the opportunity to work in offices and take Japanese language classes, leading eventually to her becoming the official camp translator. Acting as a liaison between the other prisoners and the soldiers, Rita takes on responsibilities beyond her years and she sees firsthand the hardships, sickness and daily struggles of the other prisoners.

Overall, this was a very well told story. Rita is forced to remain neutral in her work, keeping secrets and shouldering many adult responsibilities (such as knowing whose husbands have died in the men’s camp). There is always the lingering knowledge of the horrors of what could happen to her if her true identity is discovered. Most stories about WWII focus on Hitler and events in Europe; making Disguised a book with a unique perspective.

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The Adoration of Jenna Fox

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The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

Jenna Fox knows that she was in a terrible accident, one that put her in a coma for weeks. When she awakens, she finds that her family has moved from Boston, to a remote area across the county in order to “facilitate her recovery.” Despite watching countless DVD recordings of her life, the people she calls mother and father feel like complete strangers.

However, while Jenna finds that she can’t remember anything about the accident, her childhood, even her family and friends; she is able to randomly quote pages of Walden by Henry David Theroux and recall minute details of historical events. As bits and flashes of images begin to appear in her mind, she starts to feel that those closest to her are hiding something…something big.

Mary Pearson’s book causes the reader to contemplate one of life’s great questions—“What makes us human?” Is it our body? Our memories? Our knowledge? Or it is something more? This is a chilling and thoughtful book, perfect for teens who think they don’t like science fiction.

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