Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Book Review: Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan

Image result for boy meets boy
“I could point out that it isn't always easy knowing who you are and what you want, because then you have no excuse for not trying to get it.”

Hello readers! This month I picked up Boy Meets Boy and I really enjoyed it! It was the first novel I’ve read by David Levithan and I look forward to picking up another.

This is the story of Paul, a sophomore at a high school like no other: The cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen used to be a guy named Daryl (she now prefers Infinite Darlene and is also the star quarterback), and the gay-straight alliance was formed to help the straight kids learn how to dance. When Paul meets Noah, he thinks he’s found the one his heart is made for. Until he blows it. The school bookie says the odds are 12-to-1 against him getting Noah back, but Paul’s not giving up without playing his love really loud. His best friend Joni might be drifting away, his other best friend Tony might be dealing with ultra-religious parents, and his ex-boyfriend Kyle might not be going away  anytime soon, but sometimes everything needs to fall apart before it can really fit together right.

The first thing that struck me about this novel was how much I loved the town the main character, Paul, lived in. A place where all the teenagers gather together to dance away Sunday nights in the local bookstore and where the Boy Scouts quit and reform as the Joy Scouts because the Boy Scouts wouldn't accept gay members, and there may not be an accepting town like this for years to come, but it was nice to just live in this world for a short time while I read. Secondly I loved the unique characters that all shone in their own way and all seemed to steal my heart, and all felt like someone I would know in real life. The narrator Paul, is incredibly comfortable in his own skin, and his romance with Noah, the shy but strong artist had me smiling like an idiot for the majority of the novel. However despite the happy tone of this book, the third thing I loved was that it still addressed a majority of hard-hitting topics and it really just felt like a group of teenagers trying to find their place in the world, and the general happy tone of the plot doesn’t distract from these issues and topics which I really enjoyed.

Overall I adored this novel and all of it’s characters and would recommend it to anyone who loves feel-good books, lovable young love, and romantic comedies. Enjoy the end of your 2016, and we’ll see you next year with more great books!


Saturday, December 17, 2016

Book Review: Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige

Hi everyone! I'm glad to be back with another amazing book. This week I read Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige.

Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent her life 
locked in Whittaker Psychiatric-but she isn't
 crazy. And that's not the worst of it. Her
 very first kiss proves anything but
 innocent..when Bale, her only love, 
turns violent.
Image result for Pictures of Stealing snow

Despite Snow knowing that Bale would
 never truly hurt her, he is taken away
-dashing her last hope for any sort of 
future in the mental ward she calls home.
 With nowhere else to turn, Snow finds 
herself drawn to a strange new orderly
 who whispers secrets in the night about
 a mysterious past and a kingdom that's 
hers for the taking-if only she can find 
her way past the iron gates to the Tree
 that has been haunting her dreams. 

Beyond the Tree lies Algid, a land far 
away from the real world, frozen by a 
ruthless king. And there  awaits the River Witch, 
a village boy named Kai, the charming thief Jagger, 
and a prophecy that Snow will save them all.

I was thrilled when I found out Danielle Paige was coming. I have heard so many amazing things about her books. And everything was so true. Stealing Snow is Beautifully written. It made my heart melt in spots, ironically enough. I couldn't put the book down. It was a quick read, but a great one. I am planning on reading the rest of Danielle Paige's books over Christmas break.

There are some very funny scenes, that made me laugh out loud. Along with some sad parts, and happy parts, this book made me laugh and cry and of course fangirl scream. If you want a book that will make you feel alot, this certainly is the book for you.

As I was trying to think of similar books, I had trouble. It was unique, even though it is a retelling of the legend of The Snow Queen. The one book it kind of reminded me of was Red Queen be Victoria Aveyard, because Snow reminds me of Mare.

That's it for this one. I'll be back in January for another book review. I hope everyone has a great hloiday season and break!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Amazon Smile

Hello TBF readers!

The holidays are fast approaching! If you still have to do some Amazon holiday shopping, I have great news for you! If you decide to shop with Amazon Smile this year, please consider selecting the Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival for your chosen charity. Your purchases will help generate donations towards TBF! Shopping and helping out TBF? Win!

What are you waiting for?! Click HERE to start shopping at Amazon!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Book Review: Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

Hey everyone! Glad to be back with another book review. This week: Impulse by Ellen Hopkins.

Sometimes you don't wake up. But if you happen to, you know things will never be the same

Three lives, three different paths to the same destination: Aspen springs, a psychiatric hospital for those who have attempted the ultimate act -- suicide.

Vanessa is beautiful and smart, but her secrets keep her answering the call of the blade.

Tony, after suffering a painful childhood, can only find peace through pills.

And Connor, outwardly, has a perfect life. But dig a little deeper and find a boy who is in constant battle with his parents, his life, and himself.

In one instant, each of these people decided enough was enough. They grabbed the blade, the bottle, the gun -- and tried to end it all. Now they have a second chance, and just maybe, with each other's help, they can find their way to a better life -- but only if they're strong and can fight the demons that brought them here in the first place.

I’m not sure what my expectations were when I first opened this book. But whatever they were, this book completely blew them away. Impulse is definitely one of the most incredible things I’ve read all year. Written entirely in stanza, this book goes into detail expressing themes of love, anger, and what it means to be alive. The three protagonists, Connor, Vanessa, and Tony, all have such rich backstories with trauma and hate and just a tad bit of happiness that’s all strung together to pull at your heartstrings for the entire book.
One of the greatest things about Impulse was the characters and how they interacted and grew with each other. The three main characters were all at Aspen Springs for generally the same reason: they all tried to commit suicide. And while each of them start out depressed and feeling alone, they work off each other throughout the book and grow with every page you’ll read.
One last thing I can say about this book is how realistic and mature it is. Normally, I stick to middle grade and fantasy stories, so Impulse was a major change for me. Without giving much away, all I can say is that it doesn’t hold much back. This book gets depressing a lot and includes some scenes that are definitely meant for a high school audience. So if you enjoy books that are a bit more mature and will leave an impression long after you’ve read the last page, then I cannot recommend Impulse by Ellen Hopkins enough!

That’s all for me this week. I’ll be back in January with another book by a 2017 TBF author. So until then, happy holidays and happy reading!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Book Review: The Only Ones by Aaron Starmer

Hey everyone! I hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving!On my little break I had a chance to read The Only Ones by Aaron Starmer.

"Call it coincidence, call it fate. This is the place you come. There's nowhere else. There's no one else. This is the entire world." These words welcome Martin Maple to the village of Xibalba. Like the other children who've journeyed there, he faces an awful truth. He was forgotten. When families and friends all disappeared one afternoon, these were the only ones left behind. 

There's Darla, who drives a monster truck, Felix, who uses string and wood to rebuild the Internet, Lane, who crafts elaborate contraptions, and nearly forty others, each equally brilliant and peculiar. Inspired by the prophesies of a mysterious boy who talks to animals, Martin believes he can reunite them with their loved ones. But believing and knowing are two different things, as he soon discovers with the push of a button, flip of a switch, turn of a dial... 

The Only Ones was such an adventure to read. I started out this book not knowing anything about it, so much so that I hadn't even read the inside cover before jumping right in. It follows our main character Martin from his lonely island home, where he had lived secluded from the world his entire life, to the mainland where everyone had, as far as anyone could tell, vanished off the face of the Earth when no one was looking. All except a small thriving town of forty some kids, that is. The entire book caried the underlying question of "where did everyone go?" as we follow Martin and his newfound neighbors through the story. I was so enticed by the dynamic of the characters and really felt their dedication and desperation as they held onto their hopes that Martin could bring their families back with his crazy machine. Aaron Starmer did a fantastic job of sucking me right into the story and bringing me along for the ride. 

The Only Ones wouldn't be a book I would quite place as dystopian but I'm certain that any readers who are fans of dystopian or science fiction should give it a look. Happy reading!


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Today is ROC the Day!

Happy Tuesday TBF readers!

Today is ROC the Day! Please support and join TBF today as we celebrate this special day in our Rochester community.

Here is the link to our donation page: RIGHT HERE!

Thank you so much for all of your support!


Monday, November 21, 2016

ROC the Day for TBF

Happy Monday TBF readers!

In case you didn't know, on Tuesday, November 29, the Rochester community will come together to ROC the Day and we need YOU to join us! It’s 24 hours of unprecedented community giving. And it’s your chance to make a real difference right here in the Greater Rochester region.

The Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival is celebrating its 12th year on Saturday, May 20th 2017. This is a one day FREE event that connects teens with the authors and illustrators they love. The authors who attend TBF have well-written, diverse books and love speaking to teen readers. We are able to coordinate a FREE event every year, thanks to generous support from community partners and donors.

How can you help?

Join us on ROC the Day and support TBF! The ROC the Day TBF page is right HERE!

Thank you all so much!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Book Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Hey readers!

It’s almost Thanksgiving, which means free time and family – and though you may have a great time during the holidays, it can often get pretty stressful. Why not grab a book for when you need a little down time – especially a warm, wonderful book like Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz?

Summer 1987. Aristotle Mendoza is bored and friendless. He lives with his mother and father, and though they are incredibly loving to him, they don’t talk about the hard things – his father’s experiences in Vietnam during the war, or the fact that Ari’s older brother is in prison. Ari spends most of his time at the town pool, even though he can’t swim, and it’s there that he befriends Dante, another Mexican-American boy who’s in just as much need of a friend as Ari is. As the weeks go on, Ari and Dante become inseparable, true kindred souls. Over the course of the next year, they must weather the many hardships put in their paths – distance, familial conflict, and, most importantly, self-discovery. Only through relying on each other and the strength of their relationship will Ari and Dante come through the other side better than before.

Aristotle and Dante has been one of my favourite books for years. I first read it back in 2013; I don’t think I was entirely sure of what to expect, but I knew that it sounded interesting and had won awards. (A lot of awards – the Printz Honor Award, the Stonewall Book Award, and the Lambda Literary award, just to name a few.) Sometimes when YA books win a lot of awards they end up being pretentious or high-brow, but Aristotle and Dante remains approachable and relatable throughout. Narrated by Ari, the novel is in many ways a coming of age novel; but in most other ways, it’s a story about relationships, with friendships, family, and romance all playing important parts throughout the book. Aristotle and Dante gives the reader a glimpse into Ari’s life during the hardest times he’s yet had to deal with, and we get to see him grow and become stronger throughout.

Those aren’t the only reasons this novel is so amazing though. Unlike many other YA novels, this one paints a detailed portrait of a teen’s position in and relationship with his family, with Sáenz creating complex adult characters right alongside his equally complex teen characters. Also, the book features primarily – if not completely – minority characters, especially Mexican-American and queer characters. This is not only refreshing on a larger scale – since there are overwhelmingly few YA novels featuring main Latinx characters – but it is especially wonderful to find Latinx characters in a YA historical novel too.

For years Aristotle and Dante has been the book I turn to for comfort in the hardest of times. Ari and Dante’s story has stuck with me every time I re-read it, and I hope that Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s words will affect you just as deeply as they’ve affected me. I can’t wait to meet him this year at TBF!

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Book Review: We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

Hello TBF readers,

“Think about the absurdity of life.” So starts Henry Denton in the first paragraph of We Are the Ants by Shane David Hutchinson. And quite frankly he has a right to.

Henry Denton has spent years being periodically abducted by aliens. Then the aliens give him an ultimatum: The world will end in 144 days, and all Henry has to do to stop it is push a big red button.

Only he isn’t sure he wants to.

After all, life hasn’t been great for Henry. His mom is a struggling waitress held together by a thin layer of cigarette smoke. His brother is a jobless dropout who just knocked someone up. His grandmother is slowly losing herself to Alzheimer’s. And Henry is still dealing with the grief of his boyfriend’s suicide last year.

Wiping the slate clean sounds like a pretty good choice to him.

But Henry is a scientist first, and facing the question thoroughly and logically, he begins to look for pros and cons: in the bully who is his perpetual one-night stand, in the best friend who betrayed him, in the brilliant and mysterious boy who walked into the wrong class. Weighing the pain and the joy that surrounds him, Henry is left with the ultimate choice: push the button and save the planet and everyone on it…or let the world—and his pain—be destroyed forever.

This book is one of the rare few that I can truthfully say almost made me cry. I loved everything about it- the themes addressed, the relationships between the characters and especially their overall growth as the story goes on.

The main character Henry is one of the most well-developed characters I've found. He’s curious about the role humanity plays in the universe and overall, considering its vastness, how much our existence really matters. The question throughout the book about whether the human race is worth saving is also fascinating as you delve into Henry’s point of view while he deals with grief, bullying and ultimately hope. Also, as someone who loves science fiction, watching his interactions with the aliens was one of my favorite parts.

However not only Henry but each of the characters in the novel have similar depth. There's Audrey, his former friend, who is still dealing with her own sadness and guilt after the suicide of the third in their group, Jesse. There's Diego, the artist who Henry finds himself falling in love with and who has a murky past of his own. Even the bully who harasses Henry every day has his own secret doubts.

Overall though, the most amazing thing about this novel was the way that the characters grow. I don't want to give away anything about the ending but I can tell you that each of them learns and changes throughout the story. Although not everything turns out happily-ever-after, by the end of the story, the characters all come in more to themselves and grow up, even the adults. This is amazing to watch and really reminds me why I love reading

As for whether or not the world ends- I'll leave that for you to find out.

Katie G.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Book Review: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

Image result for labyrinth lost
We all get scared and want to turn away, but it isn’t always strength that makes you stay. Strength is also making the decision to change your destiny.

Hello everyone! I’m very happy to share my first book review for the TBF blog and I’ll be starting with the wonderful Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova, which is the first of the Brooklyn Brujas series.

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.
Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange markings on his skin.
The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

If I could give this book more than five stars I would. I haven't ever read a book like Labyrinth Lost, and I have the feeling I won't read one like it ever again. It was the book I've wanted for years without even knowing it, and it is the book that I could read over and over and still find new parts to love. It was full of diverse characters that all stood out to me, and I even loved the villains. The worldbuilding was incredible and the world of Los Lagos reminded me of a creepier Wonderland. As the main characters traveled into the heart of Los Lagos the world kept me questioning and just as I thought I knew what was happening, new twists and turns would pop up and I would grow to love this book even more. This isn’t just a book about witches and magic, it’s a book about real people, and their journey to accepting and embracing themself.  I recommend this novel to fans of Alice in Wonderland and those who like diverse books full of magic and adventure.

So if you haven't picked this wonder up yet, I strongly recommend you do, and I hope you love it as much as I did. Look forward to another review coming next week from one of our amazing bloggers!


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Book Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Hey everyone. 

I am thrilled to share my first book review. Over the past few weeks I have reread Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, which one of my all time favorite books, and the sequels are just as good. It is a fantasy novel that is a lot like The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau (another great book). Throne of Glass is part of Sarah J. Maas's first series, and has five books out so far, with one more to come. Without further ado here is a quick summary:

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier after being caught,ruthless 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king's council. If she beats her opponents in a series of tough challenges and eliminations, she'll serve the kingdom for four years and then be let free and forgiven of her crimes.. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she's bored by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her ... but it's the CaptainWestfall who seems to understand her best. Suddenly a contestant turns up dead..and then another one. Can Celaena solve the mystery before it is too late?
This is a very captivating book that you won't be able to put down. I would recommend it to people who have enjoyed The Hunger Games, The Testing,or Game of Thrones or anyone who is looking for a good fantasy.

That's all for this week. Next week there will be another wonderful review of a different tbf author. Sorry for any typo's, my computer was not cooperating! What can I say, I am book person not a technology person!


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Book Review: Undertow by Michael Buckley

Hey everyone! Glad to share my very first review for the TBF blog. This week, I read Undertow by Michael Buckley. Michael Buckley has written two other fantastic series, N.E.R.D.S and the Sisters Grimm, both I would highly recommend. This book is the first of his newest series that, after finishing Undertow, I'm sure will be just as fantastic and exciting as everything else he writes!

Sixteen-year-old Lyric Walker’s life is forever changed when she witnesses the arrival of 30,000 Alpha, a five-nation race of ocean-dwelling warriors, on her beach in Coney Island. The world’s initial wonder and awe over the Alpha quickly turns ugly and paranoid and violent, and Lyric’s small town transforms into a military zone with humans on one side and Alpha on the other. When Lyric is recruited to help the crown prince, a boy named Fathom, assimilate, she begins to fall for him. But their love is a dangerous one, and there are forces on both sides working to keep them apart. Only, what if the Alpha are not actually the enemy? What if they are in fact humanity’s only hope of survival? Because the real enemy is coming. And it’s more terrifying than anything the world has ever seen.

Starting from the very moment I opened this book, it has been nothing but a rush. The thing that makes this read so great is how realistic it feels. There are many people the main character, Lyric, meets, and each one comes off the page with a different personality. There are characters that I love and cheer on as well as others that I love to hate! But one thing that they all have in common is how real they are. There are no two dimensional stereotypes, which is really good for a book who's main premise is how the world would react if refugees from a different species suddenly showed up out of nowhere. Undertow is filled with gripping scenes where people say certain things or make huge decisions. And each time they act as relatable human beings (even if not all of them are human) that never stray from their character. That's why when you read this book, it's going to be a struggle to put it down!

I would recommend this to anyone who's looking for a really good read. Not a fun one that you can read in a night and go about your day tomorrow like normal. This book will leave you thinking about yourself, human morals and behavior in general, and especially about Raging Sea. AKA the second book in the Undertow series!

That's all for today. Come back next week for another review about an amazing book by a TBF author!


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Meet the 2017 TBF Blogging Team

Hello everyone!

As we are starting to kick off the new TBF cycle, you may notice new faces. I'm here to introduce to you three new members of the 2017 TBF Blogging Team. Please give a warm welcome to Anica, Katie C. and Claire!

Hi, my name is Anica and I am in 9th grade. I have gone to TBF for three years (this will be my fourth). I have volunteered at one. I was one of Rachel Hawkins author assistants. I enjoyed it and can’t wait to do it again. This is my first year blogging. I love dystopian, science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy books. I love TBF because I have met so many amazing authors.

Hi! My name’s Katie and I’m a sophomore this year. This will be my fourth time attending TBF and my first time as a book blogger as well as getting involved behind the scenes with this wonderful festival. I love the middle school genre, but won’t mind reading a couple more mature YA novels every once in awhile. I love fantasy (specifically contemporary fantasy) and I will devour any superhero book you give me. I can’t wait to start book blogging this year!

Hello! I'm Claire and I'm in eighth grade. This is my second year attending and being involved with TBF. I will read almost anything, from fantasy to contemporary as long as it's good! I love TBF as every year I get to meet new authors and find new books to love!

Alongside our newest TBF bloggers, TBF's veteran bloggers, Elizabeth, Theresa, Katie G. and I will be sharing all the greatest TBF reads! So stick around! There are a TON of books and fun things to share with you throughout the year!

We can't wait to talk to you!
Miranda and the TBF Blogging Team

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Book Review: Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone

Happy fall everyone! I hope your school year has gotten off to a great start. I spent my Columbus Day this year reading Tamara Ireland Stone's Time Between Us cover to cover. Let me tell you, it was worth it. 

Anna and Bennett were never supposed to meet: she lives in 1995 Chicago and he lives in 2012 San Francisco. But Bennett’s unique ability to travel through time and space brings him into Anna’s life, and with him, a new world of adventure and possibility.

As their relationship deepens, they face the reality that time might knock Bennett back where he belongs, even as a devastating crisis throws everything they believe into question. Against a ticking clock, Anna and Bennett are forced to ask themselves how far they can push the bounds of fate, what consequences they can bear in order to stay together, and whether their love can stand the test of time. 

Time Between Us was a perfect way for me to start off the TBF blogging year. There's nothing like a good book to sit down with and tell everyone "yes, I recommend" once you've finished it. Tamara Ireland Stone did a great job beautifully crafting this love story. 

What I found so alluring about Time Between Us was it's wonderful characters and interesting plot. Anna, our main character, from page one was introduced as average teenage girl who had wanted to just get away from her small town. Bennett, on the other hand, was a mystery to Anna. Out of place in her average life. So full of secrets. He was her daring adventure, so to speak. When combined with the amazing power Bennett possesses, and the underlying reason he was spending time in 1995 in the first place, the story became a powerful one. Not just an adventure for Anna or Bennett but for us as readers as well. If you pick this book up expecting a cliché love story you are definitely not going to get it. 

I would definitely recommend Time Between Us to any reader who is a big fan of time travel and or romance. You will definitely get sucked into the 1995 right along with the characters.

That's all for today. Happy reading!


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Book Review: The Amateurs by Sara Shepard

Hello TBF readers!

Are you guys excited?! This is the FIRST book review of the brand new TBF year. Before I jump right in to my book review, I do have an author announcement! Benjamin Alire Saenz will be attending TBF this year! He is the well-known author of ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE. So cool!

Now, time for the book review. When I should've been studying for school, I was too busy reading, Sara Shepard's newest book THE AMATEURS. Take a look:

As soon as Seneca Frazier sees the post on the Case Not Closed website about Helena Kelly, she's hooked. Helena's high-profile disappearance five years earlier is the one that originally got Seneca addicted to true crime. It's the reason she's a member of the site in the first place.

So when Maddy Wright, her best friend from the CNC site, invites Seneca to spend spring break in Connecticut looking into the cold case, she immediately packs her bag. But the moment she steps off the train in trendy, glamorous Dexby, things begin to go wrong. Maddy is nothing like she expected, and Helena's sister, Aerin Kelly, seems completely hostile and totally uninterested in helping with their murder investigation.

But when Brett, another super user from the site, joins Seneca and Maddy in Dexby, Aerin starts to come around. The police must have missed something, and someone in Dexby definitely has information they've been keeping quiet.

As Seneca, Brett, Maddy, and Aerin begin to unravel dark secrets and shocking betrayals about the people closest to them, they seem to be on the murderer's trail at last. But somewhere nearby the killer is watching . . . ready to do whatever it takes to make sure the truth stays buried.

THE AMATEURS is my first Sara Shepard novel (I know, I’m behind). If THE AMATEURS is anything like her other novels, I will be binge-reading them in the next few weeks. The first book in this brand new series is fast-paced, thrilling and full of drama.

What I love about THE AMATEURS is cast of the characters. There are four teens to this detective wannabe group: Seneca, Maddy, Brett and Aerin. They all of have their own personal motives for solving the mysterious death of Helena Kelly. They have no resources or forensic knowledge. All they have going for them is their ambition, quick-thinking and the desire to know what happened to Helena. In a strange way, solving cold cases is even therapeutic for them.

I highly recommend THE AMATEURS to every mystery reader lover. You will be very addicted to the plot, characters and the drama.

That's it for today! Be sure to check back for more book reviews and more!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Another TBF Author has been announced!

Hello everyone!

Are you sitting down? No, Take a moment to do so. Are you sitting down now? Good. Because I have some SUPER EXCITING TBF author news. Are you ready for this one? The one and only, SARAH J. MAAS will be joining the TBF 2017 Author line-up! TIME TO FREAK OUT!

In case you didn't know, Sarah J. Maas is the bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series and A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy. If you haven't read this two amazing high fantasy series, I suggest you do so, right now!

And in case you missed it, I announced some of our TBF 2017 Author Line up in this blog post. Check it out!

That's all for today! Be sure to check back very soon because our TBF blogging cycle will be starting! And you don't want to miss the latest book reviews and author interviews coming up in the next months!


Thursday, September 8, 2016

TBF 2017 Author News

Hello TBF readers!

It's been such a long time! How have you all been?

So it's that time of the year again (no, not the winter holidays. Although curling up in ten pounds worth of blankets, drinking a nice cup of hot cocoa with a book on your lap sounds really nice)! Time to reveal our TBF 2017 Author Line-Up (so far)! Are you ready?!

Charles Benoit: author of You, Fall From Grace, Cold Calls and Snow Job

Scott Bergstrom: debut author of The Cruelty (This debut novel is coming out February 2017)

Libba Bray: author of the Gemma Doyle trilogy, Beauty Queens, Going Bovine and The Diviners series

Zac Brewer: author of The Blood Between Us, Soulbound, The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod, The Slayer Chronicles and Cemetery Boys

Michael Buckley: author of The Sisters Grimm series, NERDS series and the Undertow series

Don Calame: author of Swim the Fly series and Dan vs. Nature

Selene Castrovilla: author of The Girl Next Door and Saved by the Music

e.E. Charlton-Trujillo: author of Feels Like Home, Prizefighter en Mi Casa and Fat Angie

Zoraida Córdova: author of The Vicious Deep trilogy and Labyrinth Lost, the first book in her new series called Brooklyn Brujas

Ellen Hopkins: author of Crank, Glass, Fallout, Burned, Smoke, Impulse, Perfect, Tricks, Traffick, Identical, Tilt and Rumble

A.G. Howard: author of the Splintered series and RoseBlood (Her latest book, RoseBlood will be released January 2017)

Shaun David Hutchinson: author of We Are the Ants, The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley, The Deathday Letter and At the Edge of the Universe (At the Edge of the Universe will be released February 2017)

A.S. King: author of The Dust of 100 Dogs, Please Ignore Vera Dietz, Everyone Sees the Ants, Ask the Passengers, Reality Boy, Glory O'Brien's History of the Future, I Crawl Through It and Still Life with Tornado (A.S. King's newest book, Still Life with Tornado will be out October 11)

David Levithan: author of Every Day, Boy Meets Boy, Two Boys Kissing, The Realm of Possibility, Love is the Higher Law, Every You Every Me and Wide Awake

Matthew Loux: author of Salt Water Taffy series and Sidescrollers

Danielle Paige: author of Dorothy Must Die series and Stealing Snow (Danielle Paige's latest novel, Stealing Snow, will be released September 20)

Kim Savage: author of After the Woods and Beautiful Broken Girls (Her second novel, Beautiful Broken Girls will out February 2017)

Sara Shepard: (YES, THAT SARA SHEPARD) author of Pretty Little Liars series, The Lying Game series, The Perfectionists series and newest series, The Amateurs (The first novel in The Amateurs series will be released November 1)

Tamara Ireland Stone: author of Time After Time duology and Every Last Word

Maggie Thrash: author of Honor Girl: A Graphic Memoir and We Know It Was You (Her latest novel, We Know It was You, will be out in October 4)

Terry Trueman: author of Stuck in Neutral, Life Happens Next, Inside Out, Cruise Control, No Right Turn, 7 Days in the Hot Corner, Sheehan: Heartbreak and Redemption and Hurricane

Look at all those FANTASTIC authors so far! And yes, we are still confirming some more!

That is all for today! Be sure to check back for more author news, book reviews and more!


Friday, August 26, 2016

Eastman PhotoFinish 5K

Hello TBF readers!

One of the greatest things about TBF is that it is FREE to attend! For over 11 years, we have managed to keep an admission free event thanks to the fantastic and wonderful fundraising. One of our biggest fundraisers is the Eastman PhotoFinish 5K. This year, the Eastman PhotoFinish 5K will be held on Saturday, October 1st, starting at the Eastman Museum. We did a great job fundraising last year and we need your help again!

"How can I help?" you say.

There are two options:

Option #1: We are looking for participants to run, walk, skip, jog or kazoo as part of our team this year. If you are interested in doing so, please register with the race here:

After you register to participate, start your fundraiser forTBF through Crowdrise. Sign up here:

Option #2: If you don't want to participate in the race, but still helpTBF have its best fundraiser ever, please consider donating to our Crowdrise page:

If you have any questions about signing up to participate in the Eastman PhotoFinish 5K, email Kimberly Rouleau at

Thank you all so much! We are looking forward to your participation!

Thursday, May 26, 2016


Hello TBF readers!

It’s been almost two weeks since TBF 2016! I still have a ridiculous smile on my face because I have so many happy memories from TBF! There are so many people to thank for making TBF happen so here we go!

THANK YOU…to the 31 authors who traveled long and far to come to Rochester! You have changed our lives forever by talking to us, signing all of our books, taking pictures with us and just being there. You have touched all of our hearts! Please come back someday!

THANK YOU…to the various publishers who sent and supported all of those wonderful authors! We hope that you know that your authors have treated like the rockstars that they are. We love your authors and their books.

THANK YOU…to all who have donated to TBF! Your support for TBF means the world to us! TBF would not be possible without you! We can keep the event FREE for all who attend. Every teen from different backgrounds can come together without fear and share the love for books!

THANK YOU…to the TBF volunteers! You gave up your whole day to help run this huge event run smoothly. You helped bring a smile to the authors and attendees faces!

THANK YOU…to the fantastic TBF Committee! These wonderful people worked all year to help plan and bring you TBF. They are dedicated to bring happiness and spread the love of reading. Without their passion and dedication, TBF would not be possible.

THANK YOU…to Stephanie Squicciarini! You have seen this remarkable and amazing woman. Stephanie is the woman behind TBF. Without her, we would not TBF. We would not have an awesome teen book festival right here in Rochester. We wouldn’t have the wonderful memories at TBF with the authors or other teens if TBF did not exist. She has been working ELEVEN hard years to make sure that TBF is what you imagined.

And lastly, THANK YOU to YOU! Yes, you! TBF is about you! TBF is about bringing the Rochester community together. It amazes me that so many people attend TBF each year. It once was an itty bitty teen book festival and now it bloomed into a big festival! Without your endless excitement for TBF, it would not continue to be an event to look forward to.

If you attended TBF this year, please fill out this survey! We want to help make sure TBF is perfect for next year and we can’t without your help! The due date for the survey is June 3rd. Also tell us which authors you want to see at TBF 2017!

Thank you all so much! I will talk to you all soon!


Friday, May 13, 2016

TBF Author Bio: Rachel Hawkins


Are you guys excited?! To celebrate the fact that TBF is TOMORROW, Katie will share some fun facts about TBF Author, Rachel Hawkins! Take a look:

Looking for sass, superpowers and strong leading ladies? Search no further as Rachel Hawkins is your woman. Author of the wonderfully hilarious Rebel Belle series about a homecoming queen forced to protect her arch nemesis and Hex Hall which she describes herself as "... if you got sent to Hogwarts, only it TOTALLY SUCKED, ” she has a similarly fantastic sense of humor in real life (just wait until you find your time sucked away stalking reading her tumblr).
Here are ten fabulous facts about Rachel Hawkins:
  • Obviously, she’s a big fan of spooky tales and names R.L. Stine, Stephen King, and Lois Duncan as some of her favorite authors.
  • She was born in Virginia and now lives in Alabama.
  • She is married to a geologist.
  • Her favorite Southern slang is “bless your heart.”
  • She got stabbed with an arrow when she was 5.
  • Some of the fandoms she’s in are Doctor Who and Game of Thrones.
  • She knits (Apparently very badly…)
  • She once was a high school teacher that had to help seniors understand works like Beowulf and The Canterbury Tales.
  • If she ever was in a beauty pageant, her talent would be monologuing.
  • If she only could use one word to describe herself it would be “shenanigans.”

Make sure to visit Rachel Hawkins and other authors at TBF which is less than ONE WEEK AWAY! :)

Thank you so much, Katie!

See you all, tomorrow!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Book Review: Identical by Ellen Hopkins

IdenticalGreetings readers! Only two more days until TBF!

I've been reading Ellen Hopkins' Identical and let me just preface it with this: it is intense. For those of you familiar with Ellen Hopkins, this shouldn't be a surprise; she tackles a lot of dark issues afflicting teens and their families and Identical is no exception. The one difference is that the issue that she's tackling isn't apparent for some time into the book. I won't spoil it for you though, that's not what I'm here to do. I just want to warn you that if you aren't familiar with Ellen Hopkins and the themes she tackles but want to read her books, I would probably recommend a different book of hers to you first, Burned, before you dive into the intensity of Identical or other books. It's still deals with serious issues, but is a touch tamer than most of her other books (I actually started Burned and that's how I got into her other books).

Now that I've finished that little caveat, on to Identical!

Written in free verse like Hopkins' other books, Identical is filled with first person snippets and poems from the point of view of Kaeleigh and Raeanne, twin daughters of a local judge and a politician. On the outside they're an ideal family, but each family member holds trauma and secrets. Their mother is on the campaign trail, and while she's away, their father smothers Kaeleigh in misdirected love. Raeanne wants nothing more than that attention from her father, but when she doesn't get it, she turns to drugs and sex to cope. Both twins are on a downward spiral but their differences drive them apart more than their kinship brings them together. Their facades need to come down for them to really live, but who is going to step up to change themselves and make up with the other?

As I mentioned before, this is something right up Ellen Hopkins' alley of controversial, deep and dark, and the verse fits so well with the themes she's trying to express. The free verse and the poems allow for a lot of texture and visual aspects that only further the story and the emotion that goes along with each excerpt, even hinting at other things between the words. And Kaeleigh and Raeanne represent different ways that dysfunction manifests in people and how different people internalize or act on their pain.

Raw, painful, and tragic, this book is definitely for anyone who has read and enjoyed Ellen Hopkins in the past. She perfectly captures the emotional depth required to convey the situation of Kaeleigh and Raeanne. Just keep in mind the book is meant for ages 14 and up, and if you're new to Ellen Hopkins, I would still recommend Burned first. And since they're both written in verse, I bet an avid reader could read both before the festival ;)

Happy reading! See you all at TBF this weekend!


Book Review: Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan

Hello TBF readers!

TBF blogger, Katie reviewed Sarah Rees Brennan's latest novel, TELL THE WIND AND FIRE. Take a look:

“In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets.

Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised.

Lucie alone knows of the deadly connection the young men share, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.

Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?

Celebrated author Sarah Rees Brennan tells a magical tale of romance and revolution, love and loss.”

If you’ve read A Tale of Two Cities, the name Lucie Manette may seem very similar to you. And it certainly should, since Tell the Wind and Fire is actually a retelling of Dickens’ classic tale, replacing the two cities in the title, Paris and London, with two sides of New York City- Light and Dark.

In this reimagined modern-day society, humanity has discovered two types of magic and while Light Magicians who derive their power from the sun and moon receive a place at the top of society where they are ruled by the ruthless Mark Stryker, Dark Magicians, taking magic from blood, are confined to the slums where unrest is always brewing.

Caught between these two worlds is Lucie Manette, a.k.a. the Golden Thread through the Dark who became a city-wide celebrity after trying to save her father from the Cages, a cruel Light punishment. Having moved from her previous home with her aunt in the Dark side of the city, she now has a better life ahead of her, along with a happy relationship with Ethan, Mark Stryker’s nephew- but only as long as she can keep her image clear and her past out of the spotlight.

However this all begins to change when she finds out, through a series of unfortunate circumstances, that Ethan has a doppelganger created by Dark magic, the roguish Carwyn. And to make matters worse, the Dark side of the city is starting a revolution, using her name as their rallying cry.

With magic, and evil shadow twins, this book is a good read if you don’t enjoy the long-windedness and historical setting of classics. I also found the main character, Lucie Manette, to be quite more in control of her own destiny than the original which is great if you’re like me and enjoy reading about strong female leads.

But when it comes to my favorite character in the novel, it would have to be Carwyn. Funny and wildly sarcastic, he was a wonderful doppelganger not just for Ethan but for his counterpart in A Tale of Two Cities Sydney Carton. Here are some of his best lines:

“‘Well, said Carwyn, ‘I’m a growing avatar of darkness and I’ve been waiting for room service a suspiciously long time. Like two hours. I’m wondering what to do about it.’”

“‘I know,’ said Carwyn [pretending to be Ethan]. ‘I am just not very bright. Well, you’ve seen the kind of clothes I choose to wear, with the entirety of New York’s men’s fashions at my disposal, right?’”

“‘I said I wasn’t a criminal mastermind whose devious plans topple cities,’ Carwyn told me. ‘I never said I was nice.’"

So all in all, make sure to pick up Tell the Wind and Fire before May 14th and check out Sarah Rees Brennan at Teen Book Fest! You certainly won’t regret it!

Thank you so much, Katie!

That's it for today! Talk to you guys soon!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

TBF Author Bio: Scott Westerfeld

Hello TBF readers!

One of the the most famous authors to be frequenting TBF this year is Scott Westerfield whose fantastic books have topped the New York Times Bestsellers Chart for more than 50 weeks. Author of such mind-bending dystopian fiction such as the Uglies series, and illustrated steampunk such as Leviathan, Scott Westerfield is a genre-hopping rebel. His latest book, in fact, is a paranormal romance crossed with coming of age story as a teen author makes her way in New York.

However he still has a lot more coming with a super- not hero but zero- tale about six friends who use their powers for a lot more than to fight crime, and a sequel, Swarm, which will be available in September.

Here are 10 fun facts about Scott Westerfield:
  1. He is a vegetarian.
  2. He never wears jeans.
  3. He is married to Justine Larbalestier, a YA author in her own right with such works as Razorhurst.
  4. Besides YA, he’s written a space opera, a couple of Goosebumps books, and three Powerpuff Girls choose-your-own adventures.
  5. He’s also ghostwritten- not that he’ll tell us who it was for.
  6. If he wasn’t a writer, he would be a game developer.
  7. He does not like winter- which makes sense as he spends half his year in Australia.
  8. He’s been mentioned in Time Magazine as the author of Uglies.
  9. He is writing another book as a complement to Afterworlds which is a handbook for emerging authors called How to Write YA.
  10. Most of the events that happen to Darcy in Afterworlds are based on real events that he either experienced or heard about from his friends. 
Enjoy and remember to come see Scott Westerfield and all the other amazing authors at TBF!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Book Review: The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York by Kory Merritt

Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York Comic, Page
It's the home stretch readers! TBF is THIS WEEKEND and I'm so excited!

This is going to be one of the last couple book reviews. Today I'm writing about The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York by Kory Merritt. I'm hard pressed to describe it as one particular genre; I've never read anything like it before, and the medium and story telling are unique and enjoyable. If I had to describe it in three words/phrases, I would call it quirky, artistic and thought provoking.

The story opens when Jonathan York, a boring, simple man with a boring simple life, gets lost in a swamp that is anything but boring and simple. His terrifying adventure has one hope of reprieve: he finds an inn in the middle of the swamp, and if he can tell the innkeeper a story, he will be granted a room to stay the night. Sounds easy right? Until you take into account that Jonathan has no stories to tell and fears public speaking! So his adventure resumes when the innkeeper kicks him out and he faces the swamp to make a story right then and there, and boy is it an interesting one.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone of the street, really, because it appeals to a lot of different age groups and demographics. It touches on a few pieces of wisdom that we learn through life, with humor and candor, rhyme and rhythm. It's also short 'n' sweet and has very interesting art and storytelling. I'd almost like to say it's like a darker version of The Little Prince (with a little more art involved and a more relatable protagnist) in that anyone can read it, understand it, and enjoy it. It's also a great one to read the week just before TBF because it's so quick, so if you get a chance, pick up a copy! Happy Reading!


Saturday, May 7, 2016

37 Things I Love (in no particular order) by Kekla Magoon

Hi readers! I hope you all have been getting through APs alright, but just think, TBF is right around the corner.  If you're anything like me, you probably haven't had much time to relax, much less read, but if you're looking for a quick and heartwarming book 37 Things I Love is the perfect choice.

Ellis is approaching the end of her freshman year of high school and her life is falling apart.  She and her best friend seem to be locked in an endless fight, her mom is trying to force her to make decisions that she doesn't want to deal with, and her father is in the second year of a coma.  Amidst all this drama, she reconnects with a friend who she grew apart from and discovers the truth behind stories and what it means to be a friend.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.  As many readers know, stories about high school students can often seem forced, but Magoon did a wonderful job making her characters realistic and interesting.  Every one has had fights with their friends and has had to deal with the fallout and Ellis is no different.  Romance and confusion and grief mingle beautifully throughout the novel, leaving the reader wanting more at the end of every chapter.  I know that I will remember this book for a long time and I know that it will leave an impact on every person who reads it.

Any fan of Susane Colasanti, Jennifer E. Smith, Sara Dessen or Rainbow Rowell will certainly enjoy this book.  Even if realistic fiction usually isn't your thing, this is the perfect book if you're looking to branch out and expand your horizons. Well, that's all from me today! Happy Reading!


Friday, May 6, 2016

TBF Author Bio: Terry Trueman

Happy Friday!

It’s not many authors that receive a Printz Honor for their first book but, then again, Terry Trueman isn’t most authors. In 2001, Stuck in Neutral, the story of a kid with cerebral palsy who lives right on the edge between life and death, got its first success of many more to come.

Of course, however, a fascinating book deserves a fascinating writer which is exactly who Terry Trueman is. Here are ten fun facts about the author of Stuck in Neutral, Cruise Control, Inside Out, No Right Turn and Life Happens Next.
  1. He originally started writing at seventeen.
  2. His writing role model is Charles Bukowski, a poet.
  3. For that matter, Stuck in Neutral originally started out as a poem about his son Sheehan.
  4. He lives in Spokane, Washington... (Pretty far from Rochester, eh?)
  5. … But was born in Birmingham, Alabama.
  6. He has one dog whose name is Rusty, and says he likes dogs as long as they aren’t barking (Fairly relatable).
  7. He likes corvettes.
  8. He prefers to start his writing in the center of tension and loves revising.
  9. For Stuck in Neutral, he has mentioned that he revised it a minimum of 50 times.
  10. Writing has always been his dream job, and especially after Stuck in Neutral, he has really began to see how much he loves it.
Enjoy and get excited! TBF is only in one month!


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

TBF Radio Interview

Hello everyone!

Are you guys excited for TBF?! Three Mercy High School students will be interviewed about TBF on "Fresh Perspectives” on 104.3 WAYO this Thursday at 4 p.m. They are just as excited about TBF as you are! For any first timers, this would be a wonderful opportunity to get a better idea about what TBF is all about. Here is the link to listen to the radio interview live!

That is all today! Talk to you guys very soon!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

TBF Author Bio: Ellen Hopkins

Happy Tuesday!

Ellen Hopkins’ claim to fame in teen literature is twofold: firstly, the fact that her books are written in entirely poetry and secondly, that she is unafraid to touch on tough subjects in teenage life. Without fear of censorship, in her books Burned, Crank, Glass, and many more, she confronts the issues of drug abuse, sexual abuse and teenage prostitution in ways that make her writing identifiable to most teens and a source of hope for a great many who are in the positions described by her books.

Here are 10 facts about this amazingly influential author:
  1. A few of her favorite teen authors are fellow TBF attendee Laurie Halse Anderson, John Greene, Laura Weiss, Neal Shusterman, and Meg Cabot.
  2. Her first job in writing was as a freelance journalist. Afterward she moved into children’s nonfiction and then eventually the fiction that she writes today.
  3. Poets that influenced her are Billy Collins, Sharon Olds, Langston Hughes and T.S. Eliot.
  4. She prefers print books to online.
  5. If she wasn’t an author, she says she would probably be a pilot. As a kid she wanted to be(if not a writer) then a lawyer or work with horses.
  6. For that matter, when she was nine, she published her first poem.
  7. Her advice for young writers is to read and write often, especially in genres that you don’t frequently experience.
  8. Crank was the 4th most censor-challenged book in 2010.
  9. Impulse was the most emotional book for her to write as well as her favorite.
  10. Her research often involves talking to those affected by the issues she writes about and is often very extensive.
Enjoy and remember TBF is in less than a month!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Alan Lawrence Sitomer

Happy Friday, readers!

I have some news. Unfortunately, Alan Lawrence Sitomer will not be attending TBF this year due to unexpected scheduling complications. But wait! Did you notice that we have 31 wonderful authors coming to Rochester in 15 DAYS?!

Yes! It's that close! Grab a calendar and start crossing out those days!

TBF Author Bio: Laurie Halse Anderson

Hello TBF readers!

It is a known fact that authors are some of the awesomest people on the planet. After all, what’s cooler than devoting your life to developing entire worlds inside your head, writing about them and then having them actually be read by hundreds of teenagers. But even among the best of the best, some writers still stand out.

One of these is Laurie Halse Anderson. Author of several famous YA books such as Speak, The Impossible Knife of Memory, and Wintergirls, Laurie isn’t afraid to take a tough stance on issues most people are afraid to speak about.

Here are a couple of facts about one of the most amazing authors to grace TBF.
  1. She started writing in second grade.
  2. Her first job as an author was being a freelance reporter.
  3. She also has written several picture books, several of them about women in American history.
  4. If she could have one book to read on a desert island, it would be Ulysses by James Joyce.
  5. She lives in a town called Mexico in northern New York...
  6. ...where she has her own writing cottage built by her husband.
  7. A couple of her hobbies include: knitting, running and gardening.
  8. A tip for meeting her at TBF: “Halse” is pronounced like “waltz.”
  9. She has worked on a pig farm.
  10. And to top it off, she’s been given the Margaret A. Edwards award for lifetime achievement.
Enjoy and hope to see you at TBF!


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

TBF Blogger Katie's Experience at TBF

Hello TBF readers!

As you all know, TBF is literally right around the corner! TBF blogger, Katie shares her experience at TBF last year! Take a look:

TBF was definitely an amazing experience (how could it not be- it was a day devoted to books). I’ve been an attendee for the past two years and have enjoyed it so much both times. Obviously, the best part was meeting the authors. Last year, I managed to get in to see Ally Condie, author of Matched. Together, several other teens and I, got to hear all about what actually inspired her to write the series and what her thought process was. Then we got to ask any questions we had about her series or her as an author. It was like being inside an author’s brain- but in a non-creepy way. Later, there was book signing where you actually got to talk to the author yourself and deliver a short 30-second speech about why their books are the best things known to man actually that was probably only me. Before the signing, of course, is book buying. If you are so inspired by one of the author’s talks (or, like me forgot to bring your own books), then Barnes and Noble has a whole table set up for you to buy their work. Bring money. As much money as you can. Believe me, you will not regret it.

Verdict: TBF gets a thumbs-up from Dumbledore and the odds may always be in its favor.

Thank you so much Katie!

Talk to you guys again!