My Cup Runneth Over: the Life of Angelica Cookson Potts – Cherry Whytock

Angelica Cookson Potts wants to be a chef after she graduates from high school. Like her name, the novel is filled with witty, intentional puns. Angel’s room is on the top of her house, aptly referred to as heaven, but her adolescent life is far from perfect. She is taller and heavier than all of her thin, shapely friends. Her used-to-be-a-model mother constantly reminds her to watch what she eats, and she can’t get Adam, the Love of her Life, to notice her. Angel is not one to whine. She knows she needs to make life changes and pokes fun at all that is wrong in her life.

This is a really cute “beach read.”  Something fun and easy for when you just want to relax.  It’s a YA book that has both pictures and recipes randomly stuck in.  Fun!  Angel is also a really relatable character and her friends are cute.  There is some British slang mixed in, but you should be able to figure it out.  Recommended.     – Jessica, Teen Librarian


Radiant Darkness – Emily Whitman

He smiles. “Hello.”

It’s a deep voice. I can feel it reverberate in my chest and echo all the way down to my toes.

I know I should leave, but I don’t want to. I want to keep my senses like this forever. I’m all eye, all ear, all skin.

Persephone lives in the most gorgeous place in the world. But her mother’s a goddess, as overprotective as she is powerful. Paradise has become a trap. Just when Persephone feels there’s no chance of escaping the life that’s been planned for her, a mysterious stranger arrives. A stranger who promises something more—something dangerous and exciting—something that spurs Persephone to make a daring choice. A choice that could destroy all she’s come to love, even the earth itself.

In a land where a singing river can make you forget your very name, Persephone is forced to discover who—and what—she really is.

As a huge fan of mythology, I already knew the story of Persephone and Hades.  It was really interesting to think of the story from a different angle and Whitman wrote a really beautiful and heartrending story.  Highly Recommended!   – Jessica, Teen Librarian

Reincarnation – Suzanne Weyn

From prehistory to the present, theirs was a love for the ages. It starts with a fight in a cave over an elusive green jewel . . . and then travels over time and lives to include Egyptian slaves, Greek temples, Massachusetts witch trials, Civil War battlefields, Paris on the eve of World War II, America in the 1960s . . . and a pair of modern-day teenagers. For readers who believe that love is stronger than time or death, this is an unforgettable novel from a wonderful storyteller.

If you love the idea of love conquering all this is a good book to read.  It was okay, though it got somewhat predictable at points.  You do get the warm fuzzy feelings, though.  A good summer read.    – Jessica, Teen Librarian

Uglies – Scott Westerfeld

Tally Youngblood lives in a futuristic society that acculturates its citizens to believe that they are ugly until age 16 when they’ll undergo an operation that will change them into pleasure-seeking “pretties.” Anticipating this happy transformation, Tally meets Shay, another female ugly, who shares her enjoyment of hoverboarding and risky pranks. But Shay also urges Tally to defect with her to the Smoke, a distant settlement of simple-living conscientious objectors and skip the “pretty” surgery. Tally declines, yet when Shay is found missing by the authorities, Tally is coerced by the cruel Dr. Cable to find her and her compatriots–or remain forever “ugly.” Tally’s adventuresome spirit helps her locate Shay and the Smoke. It also attracts the eye of David, the aptly named youthful rebel leader to whose attentions Tally warms. However, she knows she is living a lie, for she is a spy who wears an eye-activated locator pendant that threatens to blow the rebels’ cover.

This is a great book.  Imagine wanting to be “beautiful” just like everyone else, to the point of undergoing total body plastic surgery to get there!  The questions this book raises are good, but it also has so much adventure that you won’t think too hard while you are reading it.  Great conversation starter! – Jessica, Teen Librarian

Specials – Scott Westerfeld

“Special Circumstances”:

These words have sent chills down Tally’s spine since her days as a repellent, rebellious ugly. Back then Specials were a sinister rumor — frighteningly beautiful, dangerously strong, breathtakingly fast. Ordinary pretties might live their whole lives without meeting a Special. But Tally’s never been ordinary.

And now she’s been turned into one of them: a superamped fighting machine, engineered to keep the uglies down and the pretties stupid.

The strength, the speed, and the clarity and focus of her thinking feel better than anything Tally can remember. Most of the time. One tiny corner of her heart still remembers something more.

Still, it’s easy to tune that out — until Tally’s offered a chance to stamp out the rebels of the New Smoke permanently. It all comes down to one last choice: listen to that tiny, faint heartbeat, or carry out the mission she’s programmed to complete. Either way, Tally’s world will never be the same.

A very satisfying conclusion to the Uglies trilogy!  The descriptions of Tally’s new powers, bone structure, etc. are chilling, but really cool.  This whole series is built on Tally conquering her programming and becoming herself.  Just herself.  A really cool concept written in an addictive setting!  Highly recommended.   – Jessica, Teen Librarian

So Yesterday – Scott Westerfeld

Ever wonder who was the first kid to keep a wallet on a big chunky chain, or wear way-too-big pants on purpose? What about the mythical first guy who wore his baseball cap backwards? These are the Innovators, the people on the very cusp of cool. Seventeen-year-old Hunter Braque’s job is finding them for the retail market.

But when a big-money client disappears, Hunter must use all his cool-hunting talents to find her. Along the way he’s drawn into a web of brand-name intrigue- a missing cargo of the coolest shoes he’s ever seen, ads for products that don’t exist, and a shadowy group dedicated to the downfall of consumerism as we know it.

I love the concept of a group of teens deciding what is “IT.”  The idea of this whole book, that companies would pay teens to find the next big trends and dictate their ideas to an unknowing society, is really interesting.  But, it’s not just about trends or whether we should live in this type of consumer society.  There’s real danger and excitement too.  Check it out.      – Jessica, Teen Librarian

Pretties – Scott Westerfeld

Tally Youngblood struggles to retain her mental acuity after undergoing the operation that transformed her into a Pretty. While in the renegade Ugly community, Tally learned that along with cosmetic enhancements, new Pretties are given brain lesions that leave them in a perpetual state of lazy vanity. Tally volunteered to take a drug developed to cure the lesions, but now that she is a Pretty, she has forgotten her promise. A coded message leads her to some pills and a letter that she wrote to herself before her transformation, and after swallowing the cure, she is catapulted into a dangerous new adventure, in which she discovers that the peace and happiness of Pretty society come with a terrible price.

A great sequel to Uglies. I couldn’t put this book down.  Talk about daredevil adventures… these kids jump off towering buildings, just for fun!  Is it really a party all the time, though?   – Jessica, Teen Librarian

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