Saturday, December 23, 2017

An Upcoming TBF Book I'm Dying To Read

Hello everyone! Happy Holidays!

*Cover not final
When Lizzie Lavenza enrolled at Ingold as its first female medical student, she knew she wouldn't have an easy time. From class demands to being an outsider among her male cohorts, she'll have to go above and beyond to prove herself. So when she stumbles across what appears to be a faulty Bio-mechanical--one of the mechanized cadavers created to service the school--she jumps at the chance to fix it and get ahead in the program.

Only this Bio-mechanical isn't like the others. Where they are usually empty-minded and perfectly obedient, this one seems to have thoughts, feelings...and self-awareness.

Soon Lizzie realizes that it is Victor Frankenstein--a former student who died under mysterious circumstances. Victor, it seems, still has a spark of human intelligence inside him, along with memories of things he discovered before his untimely death...and a suspicion that he was murdered to keep that information from getting out.Suddenly Lizzie finds herself intertwined in dark secrets and sabotage that put her life, and the lives of Victor and their friends, in danger. But Lizzie's determined to succeed--even if that means fighting an enemy who threatens the entire British Empire.

I cannot believe that it is already December, which means that Teen Book Fest is only five months away! Going to TBF is always a pretty awesome experience and each year it is unique and amazing. This year I am dying to read Cadaver and Queen by TBF author Alisa Kwitney. 
It comes out on February 27, which can’t come soon enough. The first female medical student at a selective school and a mechanized cadaver Frankenstein? Sign me up! The book description has the perfect mix of mystery and feminism that promises an enticing story. And an enemy that threatens the entire British Empire? That sounds like it’s going to be an interesting and fast paced story. I first heard about this when I was doing some research on the TBF authors and their books. I have to admit that when I heard about this book I freaked out and immediately started wishing I could get my hands on a copy. Of course, there’s not much longer to wait now. And isn’t Lizzie Lavenza such an awesome name? 

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and stay warm! Enjoy the break and read a few books. See all of you at TBF! 

Until next time.





Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Porcupine of Truth book review

Happy Holiday season!  The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg is the perfect book to read over break. This year I am trying to read books outside of my usual genres(science fiction and fantasy). When I heard about this book I thought "why not" and I am so glad I did.

Carson Smith is resigned to spending his summer in Billings, Montana, helping his mom take care of his father, a dying alcoholic he doesn't really know. Then he meets Aisha Stinson, a beautiful girl who has run away from her difficult family, and discovers a secret regarding his grandfather, who disappeared without warning or explanation decades before. Together, Carson and Aisha embark on an epic road trip to try and save Carson's dad, restore his fragmented family, and discover the "Porcupine of Truth" in all of their lives.-Amazon

Image result for the porcupine of truth

I flew through this book. That could have something to do with the fact that I couldn't put it down or the fact that it was a pretty quick read. I laughed a ton. The two main characters, Aisha and Carson, are both into improv and that led to many funny moments. There were also some not so funny moments(I might have cried once or twice...).

There was a bit of a history lesson, although not as much as I expected. It is told in an intriguing way that made it feel very unlike history class. I loved how messy all the families were. The small town aspect was great as well. My grandparents live in a small town and even though the one in the book is in a totally different location I kept picturing all the town scenes happening in my grandparents town. Both of the main charecters were interesting, and I related to both of them in different ways.

I can't wait to read more of Bill Konigsberg's books. I honestly don't know what it is like because like I said I don't really read realistic fiction. So I will just suggest it to anyone wanting a light, funny, quick read over break that will make them think a little. Oh and sorry for the weird highlight thing on the summary, can't figure out how to get that to go away!

Happy Holidays,

Friday, December 15, 2017

Friday Fun Post: An Upcoming TBF Book I'm Dying to Read

Cover May Not Be Final
So many talented TBF authors with upcoming books… how to choose? Somehow I narrowed it down to Furyborn, the first book in the Empirium trilogy, a new fantasy series from Claire Legrand, set to publish on May 22, 2018.

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world—and of each other.

I will pretty much look into any YA fantasy novel that involves the words “dangerous,” “rebel,” “war,” or “kingdom,” but what drew me in the most to this particular novel was the plot- a cosmic war with magic with trials with assassins? I have already read (and reviewed) one of Legrand’s other books and I know this promising plot is in good hands with her straightforward yet thought-provoking writing style. She has also stated that Furyborn and the Empirium series are the books of her heart, and that she took special care in ensuring that her characters are flawed, real, and unapologetically themselves as well as heroic so I'm very excited for Furyborn’s cast. I’m curious how the dual perspectives will work together with the centuries separating them, and since each one seems to follow a different plot-line, I’m sure it will be exciting to read. The reviews I've seen have been full of praise, and recommend Furyborn to fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo. The summary also gave me Red Queen/Ember in the Ashes vibes, other books I thoroughly enjoyed, and Legrand is sure to include her own unique twists and turns as well. In any case, I’m sure Furyborn will not disappoint, and it's definitely a book I would keep an eye on!

PS The cover is gorgeous (even though it might not be final yet)

Be sure to check out Furyborn and meet Claire Legrand at TBF 2018!


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Book Review: The Dead Inside by Cyndy Etler

Hey Guys! Katie C. here with another book review: The Dead Inside by Cyndy Etler

All Cyndy wanted was to be loved and accepted.

The Dead InsideAt age fourteen, she had escaped from her violent home, only to be reported as a runaway and sent to a "drug rehabilitation" facility that changed her world.

to the public, Straight, Inc. was a place of recovery. But behind closed doors, the program used bizarre and intimidating methods to "treat" its patients. in her raw and fearless memoir, Cyndy Etler recounts her sixteen months in the living nightmare that Straight, Inc. considered healing. 

I've read so many books over the course of my life, but this one really stood out because of the fact that it's based on a true story. Reading through, it was easy to get lost in the plot and characters just like every other book i've read. However, afterward, knowing everything that I read really happened gave the book a whole new feel. Normally, I consider myself an avid fantasy reader, but I'm super glad i picked up The Dead Inside! Watching not only Cyndy grow and change throughout the book, but the world around her as well kept me glued to the pages the entire time.

One small thing I really enjoyed about the book was the chapter titles. Normally, authors either go with the name of the person of view (POV), or a title that relates to that chapter, or sometimes just a number. Instead of that, Etler took a different path and named each chapter after a rule. One thing about Straight, the "drug rehabilitation" place Cyndy goes to, is all the pointless rules they had there. The chapter titles for the book were all the different rules that straight had, such as "no getting out of seat without permission" and "host home doors and windows must be locked and alarmed". this interesting choice in chapter titles might not seem like much, but I thought they really added something to the story overall.

One more thing that I will say about The Dead Inside is that it's not a fun light read. This book is a true story about abuse, harassment, drugs, and more. This book will make you think. Even if you're like me (a person who enjoys light hearted middle school fantasy), I still recommend reading The Dead Inside. Sometimes its hard to imagine the lives of others when your so caught up in your own. And reading a book like this will not only bring you hours of intense, uninterrupted reading, but it will also leave you with a new perspective on the world that will stay with you forever.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday Fun Post: An Upcoming TBF Book I'm Dying to Read

Cover May Not Be Final

As I looked over the upcoming releases of our many TBF authors this year the one that really stuck out to me was American Panda by Gloria Chao. This is Gloria's debut novel and she has already announced her second novel, Misaligned, which is set for release in fall of 2019.

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents' master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a pre-approved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can't bring herself to tell them the truth - that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels? -Goodreads

I read a lot of contemporaries and often the summaries don't stand out to me but this one did.  Mei sounds like such an interesting character to read about and get in the head of. The idea of the forbidden love story is always present in literature but American Panda is a version I've never read before. Plus the added on storyline about Mei not enjoying biology is something I bet many of us high schoolers may relate to. As I learned more about the book all of the reviews I read were positive and wrote of the perfect mix of humor and heartfelt moments which are two of my favorite things to read about. Overall I am highly looking forward to reading this adorable sounding novel next year and hopefully meeting Gloria in May at TBF!


American Panda is set to be released on February 6th, 2018

Friday, December 1, 2017

An Upcoming TBF Book I'm Dying to Read

Cover May Not Be Final.
After several years of anticipating and attending Teen Book Fest, I’ve learned that one of the best aspects of the event is how it introduces me to new, incredible authors. This year (of course) is no exception. If you’ve been monitoring the TBF attending authors page as obsessively as I have, you may have noticed that the acclaimed graphic novelist Penelope Bagieu will be coming to the Festival next year. She is the author of both Exquisite Corpse, California Dreamin’: Cass Elliot Before The Mamas & the Papas and a new book coming out in March 2018 Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World.

Throughout history and across the globe, one characteristic connects the daring women of Brazen: their indomitable spirit. With her characteristic wit and dazzling drawings, celebrated graphic novelist Pénélope Bagieu profiles the lives of these feisty female role models, some world famous, some little known. From Nellie Bly to Mae Jemison or Josephine Baker to Naziq al-Abid, the stories in this comic biography are sure to inspire the next generation of rebel ladies.

Sounds cool, right? In the first place, I love graphic novels-- seeing different artistic styles and how they allow the reader to view characters in new ways-- but I love novels about amazing historical women even more. Hearing about fascinating stories about people that you know are real is a different experience than reading a fantasy novel, but in my view, similarly appealing. For example, Nellie Bly traveled around the world in seventy-two days, beating the fictional Phileas Fogg’s record by eight!If you’re as intrigued as I am, check out the page previews on Macmillian Publisher’s site and make sure to attend Teen Book Fest this spring to meet the amazing Penelope Bagieu in person!

See you there,
Kate G.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Top 3 TBF Authors I Can't Wait to Meet

Hi it is Anica again. Today I am here with the top three TBF authors I can't wait to meet. I had not heard of most of the authors, which I love, but narrowing it down to three was tough but I think I have got it. I am going to count down just because I want to be different.

3). Justina Ireland. Her book Promise of Shadows is in my tbr pile(it is a big pile). She writes fantasy and science fiction, two of my favorite genres. Her book titles sound amazing. Like Vengeance Bound how cool of a title is that!?!

2). Alisa Kwitney. A new young adult author.She has written some adult books before. I always love when we get newer authors, or ones who are trying out a new genre. It is interesting to see someone a little earlier in the process. Her book Cadaver & King comes out in February 2018.

1). Roshani Chokshi. I absolutely loved The Star-Touched Queen. First of all I can't even with the cover. I know people say don't judge a book by it's cover, but in the case it works. I loved the cover and I loved the book. It was so beautifully written and captivating. There were so many twists and turns I never saw coming. I can't wait for the next book and the opportunity to meet her.

I have never met any of these authors and can not wait to have the opportunity to in May. Only about six more months to go!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Book Review: Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix

It's a familiar story: In spite of the obstacles put in her way by her wicked stepmother, Ella goes to the ball, sweeps Prince Charming off his feet, and is chosen to be his bride. Now she's comfortably ensconced in the palace, awaiting marriage to the man of her dreams. It's happily ever after time, right?
Wrong! Life for Ella has become an endless round of lessons and restrictions; even worse, Prince Charming turns out to be more like Prince Boring. Why can't she talk with him the way she can with Jed, her earnest young tutor?
Slowly, Ella comes to realize she doesn't want the life she fought so hard to win. But breaking her engagement proves more difficult -- and dangerous -- than escaping her stepmother's tyranny.

Hello again everyone! Happy Thanksgiving! I’m sure that many of you are on a Thanksgiving break of some sort right now and looking for an amazing book to read. Well, fear not! I have just finished reading Just Ella, a wonderful book by Margaret Peterson Haddix. I would highly suggest all of you take advantage of the time you have off and give it a try.

First of all, I have a confession to make: I love fairytale retellings. Just Ella is a delightful retelling of the age old story Cinderella. Of course in this version, Ella is completely capable of taking care of herself while Prince Charming, on the other hand, is not. I loved the fresh spin Margaret Peterson Haddix put on the original story of Cinderella and the addition of many new characters (don’t worry, characters from the tale of Cinderella that we all know so well make an appearance). As a child I always wondered what would happen when Cinderella reached the palace. Would she enjoy the responsibilities of a princess? Would she find that she truly loved the prince even after his flaws were revealed? Just Ella answers all of my questions and more, recreating the world of Cinderella so vividly in the pages that I feel like I’m watching the movie again. Ella tells her story in the blunt, fresh voice of a girl just discovering that the world isn’t anything like she imagined it to be and that she is, to put it frankly, disappointed. She is a relatable character and it is entertaining to see her learn about the world around her and herself as she grows throughout the book.

Just Ella is a quick read, perfect for curling up with on the couch while drinking hot cocoa after a Thanksgiving meal. The plot is fast moving and doesn’t involve any long term book commitments (I’m looking at you Count of Monte Cristo) which is nice if other things are taking up a lot of your time (school anyone?). The ending is surprising and pleasing, wrapping up the book in a realistic but happy way and not seeming hypocritical or at odds with the rest of the story. One of my favorite things about Just Ella was the underlying tone of feminism and empowering women that was present in the book. I loved the way that Margaret Peterson Haddix turned Cinderella, a story about a young girl being saved by a prince and a fairy godmother, to a story about a smart young woman who saved herself and found out what she truly wanted. Ella wasn’t afraid of self examination and she understood her flaws as well as her virtues. I admired that fact that Ella had guts. She was not afraid to speak her mind and stand up for herself, despite the consequences and the people telling her that she should just do what she was told. I would recommend Just Ella to fans of the Cinder which is another phenomenal book. Just Ella is a great fairytale retelling for anyone who has wondered what comes next after the movie credits role.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and get reading! Remember TBF is only six months away. Until next time.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday Fun Post: 3 TBF Authors I Can't Wait to Meet

Hey fellow book lovers! Katie C. here to tell you the top 3 authors I can't wait to see at TBF this year!

Charles Benoit

I've read 4 of Charles Benoits books, Cold Calls, You, Fall From Grace, and Snow Job, and loved every single one! Not only have I seen him at TBF in years past, but he also came and spoke at my middle school book club when I was in 8th grade. All in all, he's such a fun person to not only talk to, but listen to as well. He's always full of energy and has so much great advice to give to his readers. If you haven't read any books by Charles Benoit, I highly recommend all of them. And whether you read any or not, Charles Benoit is still someone to keep an eager eye out for at TBF this year! 

Margaret Peterson Haddix

While I've never met Haddix in person, I've read Among the Hidden, as well as the rest of The Shadow Children series. Among the Hidden was an assigned book for school, but I loved it so much that i immediately borrowed the rest of her series and read them as fast as I could. The ongoing plot excited me so much that I could never put any of her books down I can't wait to read some more of her books as well as finally see her in person in May!

Penelope Bagieu

I can't wait to read Bagieu's book! Not only is it all about spirited women throughout history, but it's a graphic novel as well!  I really love graphic novels and love talking to the artists behind them (last year I saw Matthew Loux at TBF and it was really fun and inspiring). Penelope Bagieu's book, Brazen, has been on my TBR list ever since i first head of it's existence and I can't wait to not only read it, but meet the amazing author behind it at TBF this year!

Ahhh! just writing about all these amazing authors is getting me super pumped for TBF this year! Make sure to check out these three wonderful authors, plus a bunch more, this coming may at the Teen Book Festival! that's all for today, see you guys sometime in the near future!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Book Review: The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand

Hello again! Today I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Claire Legrand’s novel The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls. This delightfully creepy story does not disappoint.

Victoria cannot stand messes. She has perfect grades, perfect hair, and she always follows the rules. So she surprises even herself when she befriends Lawrence. Lawrence, who can’t tuck his shirt in or comb his hair. Lawrence, who Victoria is determined to fix. With a little work, he can be as perfect as she is. 

But then Lawrence goes missing. When Victoria starts investigating, she soon realizes he’s not the only kid who has disappeared. Lots of kids in Belleville have vanished- misfit kids, to be exact. And all roads lead to the mysterious Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls. Kids who go there come out smarter, prettier, better- or they don’t come out at all. 

It’s up to Victoria to save her friend and her town… even if it means getting a little messy.

I was trying to come up with a metaphor for how I felt while reading this book, and here’s what I came up with: you're lost in the middle of an unfamiliar forest at night with no plan out and the trees closing in... and then you hear a branch snap somewhere behind you. Part of this novel is that sinking feeling of uneasiness associated with being alone and lost in the dark, while the other part is the stomach-drop that occurs when you realize that you are, in truth, not alone. Legrand's skill in creating such an eerie tone/atmosphere is impressive, and she takes age-old fears such as being forgotten, having nowhere to turn for help, and not knowing who to trust and twists them into a story that keeps readers both fascinated and horrified. While there a couple gruesome aspects, they definitely don’t overpower the story, which is more of a psychological horror/suspense than a blood-and-gore one. It’s the type of book that fills you with the sense that something is inherently wrong by the end of the first chapter. “Mr. Prewett smiled at Victoria like someone had pins in the corners of his mouth and was slowly pulling them back toward his ears. It looked just like a smile should look. In fact, it looked better- wide and bright and shining.” Creepy, right? As you go along, you’ll realize Belleville isn't the perfect town it seems, or maybe, it's a little too perfect.

Besides the ominous atmosphere, I also admired the main character Victoria for her incredibly strong will and unwavering resolve to get to the bottom of the mystery at any cost. In many stories, it’s almost a given that the protagonist will persevere against all adversity, but with Victoria, she is truly out of her depth. She’s in a situation where her sense of order has been turned upside down; where playing by the rules like she’s been doing her entire life won’t help her win, and she knows that she’s at a disadvantage, but that doesn’t stop her. Victoria is one of the few with the choice between false security or the truth, and in her mind it’s simple. She won’t accept failure. Her unending desire to keep going and find her friend overrides her fear and makes her such a strong character. Furthermore, the growth she exhibits throughout the story from cold, almost destructively ambitious to understanding the worth of others as different, not worse, is another aspect I love. And while most of the book is focused on Victoria, I enjoyed Lawrence as well, with his quiet strength, and their friendship is genuinely fun and believable.

In all, this book was unsettling and bittersweet in the best way, and fans of Coraline or The Mysterious Benedict Society will enjoy this read.

Find The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls in the Monroe County Library System and Barnes & Nobles.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Book Review: The Last True Love Story

For my first book review this year, I read The Last True Love Story by Brendan Kiely who will be attending TBF for the first time in 2018! This is the first book by Kiely I’ve ever read, and it’s safe to say I’ll definitely read another, and that’s because of his writing. It was emotional and hopeful and felt real  as if I actually knew these characters and they were simply telling me this story themself.

The point of living is learning how to love.
That’s what Gpa says. To Hendrix and Corrina, both seventeen but otherwise alike only in their loneliness, that sounds like another line from a pop song that tries to promise kids that life doesn’t actually suck. Okay, so: love. Sure.
The thing about Corrina—her adoptive parents are suffocating, trying to mold her into someone acceptable, predictable, like them. She’s a musician, itching for any chance to escape, become the person she really wants to be. Whoever that is.
And Hendrix, he’s cool. Kind of a poet. But also kind of lost. His dad is dead and his mom is married to her job. Gpa is his only real family, but he’s fading fast from Alzheimer’s. Looking for any way to help the man who raised him, Hendrix has made Gpa an impossible promise—that he’ll get him back east to the hill where he first kissed his wife, before his illness wipes away all memory of her.
One hot July night, Hendrix and Corrina decide to risk everything. They steal a car, spring Gpa from his assisted living facility, stuff Old Humper the dog into the back seat, and take off on a cross-country odyssey from LA to NY. With their parents, Gpa’s doctors, and the police all hot on their heels, Hendrix and Corrina set off to discover for themselves if what Gpa says is true—that the only stories that last are love stories.

To say it simply this is a story about love. From Gpa and his lost love to Corrina and her music, this book to me is about different kinds of love, and how if you really love something then it will stay with you forever. This book took on the road trip trope and spun it around completely which I loved. While the trip consisted of several normal road trip necessities from a great playlist with music for everyone to a sense of camaraderie among the passengers, it also was different. Kiely didn’t just skim over the places where they stopped to eat or rest, instead creating smaller characters and places that help the reader place themself in the story. But my favorite part of this book was the music and how big a part it played in this story. Corrina and Gpa bond over their shared love of classic rock while sharing stories of what these songs mean to them. I’d recommend this book to fans of John Green as well as any who are looking for a good book about family, love, and rock n’ roll.


more about the book here:
barnes and noble 

Friday, November 3, 2017

TBF Friday Fun Post: Top 3 Authors I Can't Wait to Meet

Hello TBF readers,

I am so excited for this year's author line-up. We have some returning authors and some that haven't even been to TBF before. Here are three authors I can't wait to meet this year.

Roshani Chokshi: She is the best-selling author of THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN. I have been meaning to read this Hindu mythology and folklore-inspired novel. Readers have been enchanted by the magic and romance and I am ready for it! I know for a fact that I will have to read the companion novel, A CROWN OF WISHES. I am also very excited to read Roshani Chokshi's upcoming novel, ARU SHAH AND THE END OF TIME. She has teamed up with Rick Riordan and his brand-new publishing imprint to bring audience this novel to life. We can expect ARU SHAH AND THE END OF TIME to have a Percy Jackson flair but this time introducing Hindu gods and heroes.

Website     Twitter     Instagram

Taran Matharu: He is the best-selling author of The Summoner series. Fun fact about The Summoner series, the first book, THE NOVICE was originally posted on Wattpad. It had a huge following. Lucky for Taran Matharu, he got THE NOVICE published. Taran Matharu had been on my TBR-list for awhile now. It gave me the perfect excuse to read his books. In addition, I was craving a high-fantasy novel. You can read my book review of THE NOVICE here!


Dhonielle Clayton: She is the co-author of TINY PRETTY THINGS (Sona Charaipotra co-wrote it with her), the COO of the non-profit organization, We Need Diverse Books, and the founder of Cake Literary, a "literary think tank" for diverse books. I read TINY PRETTY THINGS and the sequel SHINY BROKEN PIECES over the summer and it was super delightful--full of betrayal, gossip, and backstabbing. I was interested in the backdrop of the competitive ballet world as well as the diverse cast of characters. Dhonielle Clayton will releasing her next novel, THE BELLES, this February. You will have to keep your eye out because I will be sharing with you my book review of it soon! THE BELLES have been getting rave reviews from early readers.

Website     Twitter     Instagram     We Need Diverse Books     Cake Literary

That is all for today! Be sure to check out the blog this Wednesday!


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Book Review: All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

In an unforgettable new novel from award-winning authors Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, two teens—one black, one white—grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and, ultimately, the country bitterly divided by racial tension.
A bag of chips. That’s all sixteen-year-old Rashad is looking for at the corner bodega. What he finds instead is a fist-happy cop, Paul Galluzzo, who mistakes Rashad for a shoplifter, mistakes Rashad’s pleadings that he’s stolen nothing for belligerence, mistakes Rashad’s resistance to leave the bodega as resisting arrest, mistakes Rashad’s every flinch at every punch the cop throws as further resistance and refusal to STAY STILL as ordered. But how can you stay still when someone is pounding your face into the concrete pavement?
But there were witnesses: Quinn Collins—a varsity basketball player and Rashad’s classmate who has been raised by Paul since his own father died in Afghanistan—and a video camera. Soon the beating is all over the news and Paul is getting threatened with accusations of prejudice and racial brutality. Quinn refuses to believe that the man who has basically been his savior could possibly be guilty. But then Rashad is absent. And absent again. And again. And the basketball team—half of whom are Rashad’s best friends—start to take sides. As does the school. And the town. Simmering tensions threaten to explode as Rashad and Quinn are forced to face decisions and consequences they had never considered before.
Written in tandem by two award-winning authors, this tour de force shares the alternating perspectives of Rashad and Quinn as the complications from that single violent moment, the type taken from the headlines, unfold and reverberate to highlight an unwelcome truth.

It’s incredibly difficult to write a book about a powerful and divisive social issue such as the police brutality at the center of the story of All-American Boys. Yet Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds, both authors that we are lucky enough to have at TBF this year, do so with sensitivity, attentiveness and sheer emotional strength.
The two main characters of the novel, Rashad and Quinn, are incredibly compelling. In fact, switching in and out of each of their heads was part of what made the novel so enjoyable for me to read. Both experience a good deal of self-reflection and growth about who they are and what they are willing to believe in. Watching their courage as they navigate the complexity and oftentimes bitterness of the world around them was incredibly exciting and I knew I was rooting for each character until the very last page. Besides that, the characters each contained the little details and idiosyncrasies that really take them from the page to your head. They each have their passions--for Rashad art, for Quinn basketball-- and you can really tell the focus and enjoyment both characters experience in them. They each have things that bug them-- little brothers, soggy chicken nuggets-- and they each have their fears-- which are confronted repeatedly throughout the novel.
Aside from its incredible characters, this book is also a good resource for anyone who wants to learn more about social justice issues in America. The symptoms of racism are examined throughout the novel through the perspectives of both Rashad and Quinn and the effects of racism are investigated at a personal level. Statistics and past instances of police brutality are also incorporated in a fluid way throughout the narrative, so the story contains all the information of a textbook but not the dryness so often seen as well.
In conclusion, All American Boys is definitely a great addition to your to-be-read pile. Pick it up then get ready to meet both Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds at TBF!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Top 3 Authors I Can't Wait to Meet at TBF

Hi everyone! I'm Laura and this is my first time blogging. I’m so excited for TBF this year! We have so many amazing authors lined up and I can’t wait to read every single book on the list! However, because I have a lot of schoolwork and other commitments, this is highly unlikely. So here are my top three authors whose books I can’t wait to read and who I am so excited to meet:

The first author on my to read and meet list is Margaret Peterson Haddix. I was looking over the TBF author list and saw this book by her called Just Ella. I thought that that sounded interesting so I looked it up and found out that it was a Cinderella retelling. I then (of course) got insanely excited because I love fairy tale retellings. This fairy tale retelling in particular seems to take it up a notch and tells what happened after Ella fell in love with Prince Charming. Now her books are at the top of my rather lengthy to be read as soon as possible list. I can’t wait to get to meet her at TBF (which is only in seven months)!

The second author that I can’t wait to meet at TBF is Alisa Kwitney. Alisa Kwitney is writing a book called Cadaver & Queen which is coming out in late February and I am so excited! Cadaver and Queen takes place in Great Britain (how awesome is that) and seems to have a steampunk twist. The main character, Elizabeth, is the first female medical student to go to her school, Ingold. This concept sounds amazing to me and I am dying to read it (Can it be published sooner? I want to read it so badly!). I can’t wait to ask Alisa Kwitney where she got the idea for Cadaver & Queen because it sounds beyond amazing.

The third author that I am insanely excited to meet is April Henry. April Henry has written multiple thrillers and mysteries. My sister suggested that I read her books, which I have sadly yet to do ( As I mentioned, I have a to read list that feels like a mile long). However, I was looking into her backstory a little bit and she has had such an interesting life. Her backstory is fascinating (and involves Roald Dahl. Seriously though, look up her backstory. You will not regret it). I can’t wait to meet her and get to talk to her about her life. And also she knows how to pick locks which is really cool skill that I want to learn.

As you can see, I have a lot of reading to do of amazing sounding books (Yay!). And there are only seven more months until we get to meet these amazing people at TBF!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Book review- What Happens Now by Jennifer Castle

Hey guys! It is Anica here back for another year of amazing books. I am thrilled to be here and I have a great book for you guys this week; What Happens Now by Jennifer Castle.

Image result for pictures of what happens now by jennifer castleAri Logan is battling to win her war against depression and the dark night she hurt herself on purpose. It's not easy: her best friend is drifting away, her mom's emotionally checked out, and she spends her days playing caregiver to her handful of a half-sister, Danielle. But it's summer, and anything is possible...
That's when Camden Armstrong steps onto the beach of Ari's local swimming lake. At first, Ari quietly longs for Camden from afar, seeing in him everything she wants to be. When the two discover a true connection the following summer, Ari lets herself fall not just for the quirky and self-assured Camden but also his friends, tumbling into their world of independence, adventure, and shared sci-fi fandom. As Ari's romantic dreams come true, she must unlock the mysteries of the very real and troubled boy behind her infatuation, while also struggling with her own demons, obligations, and loyalties.From the acclaimed author of The Beginning of After and You Look Different in Real Life, What Happens Now is a touching, insightful novel about learning to heal, learning to love, and what happens when fantasy becomes reality.


I have to admit I am not much of a realistic fiction person, but this book pleasantly surprised me. It is a quick read, which is good seeing that I am in a reading slump. I loved all the charecters. Her little sister was so cute. They all had really unique, different personalities that I don't see too often in books. I love that they were so into their fandom. I, being a big fangirl myself loved seeing this in a book. There were so many cute little moments when they were talking or making costumes that my heart just wanted to melt. At the same time there was such a wonderful discussion of mental health and I definitely cried a few times. One of my main problems with realistic fiction is that there never seems to be any real problem expect heartbreak, and that isn't true in this novel.

This is the part where I am supposed link you to books like it but I honestly don't know what books to compare it to seeing that I pretty much never read realistic fiction. However my geuss is that anything by Jennifer Castle is amazing and if this sounded good to you at all I would definitely recommend you pick this book up.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Top 3 Authors I Can't Wait to Meet at TBF

Hi everyone! I’m Amy, and this is my first post as part of the TBF blogging team!
Teen Book Festival is up to 23 authors as of right now, and I’m excited for each and every one of them, new or returning. Today I’ll be sharing the top 3 TBF authors I can’t wait to meet.

Margaret Peterson Haddix:

I was first introduced to Haddix’s books in elementary school, and I can still remember the hype around them. Up to that point I had mostly read realistic fiction or fantasy, and to be exposed to the unique blend of realistic, sci-fi, and historic fiction in her The Missing series definitely broadened my reading horizons. It was the first series that I can remember that made me want to research outside of the reading, so I became *a little* obsessed with missing persons cases. The plots of her stories are so captivating, and kept me engaged with all the questions they raised. Unfortunately, I never got around to finishing the series, but having the opportunity to see her in person next May is definitely a good reason to pick it up again. Haddix has also written other series, including Shadow Children, and any fan of compelling and thought-provoking stories should pick up one of her books.

Claire Legrand:

I have not read any books from this author yet, but I’m sure that will change soon! Claire Legrand seems to have a wide range of writing, from Winterspell, a loose Nutcracker retelling, to The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, which sounds delightfully sinister and disturbing. I’m also excited for her soon-to-be-published book Furyborn (May 2018). Two women fighting a cosmic war across the span of millennia? Seems like a must-read in the fantasy section. She has written several other novels, including Some Kind of Happiness, a 2017 Edgar Award nominee, and her latest book, Foxheart. I admire any fantasy writer, especially one as diverse as her, and am excited for her TBF appearance!

Bruce Coville:

Bruce Coville is one of those authors that I’ve never forgotten (and probably never will), even though it’s been about 8 years since I’ve read one of his books. From the moment I picked up his Unicorn Chronicles series back in 2nd grade, I was hooked- he had created a world that was so magical yet so terribly real at the same time. I firmly believe that Song of the Wanderer is one of the contributing factors to my love of reading. So, yes, I may be biased, but everyone should go see him at TBF. He has written over a 100 books for children and young adults alike, and is a fairly local author from Syracuse.

Well, that’s it! Stay updated on the TBF website as more authors are confirmed!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Book Review: Inside Out by Terry Trueman

Hi guys! Katie C. here with my first book review for TBF 2018!!! This week: Inside Out by Terry Trueman

You're worthless...You need to die, Wasteoid! Yeah, die, Wasteoid...

Zach Wahhsted is used to hearing these brutal words. But today he isn't the only one in danger of dying. 

A busy coffee shop, a robbery gone wrong. Two gunmen, nine hostages, flashing lights, itchy trigger fingers. And Zach, a seemingly ordinary teenager, is caught in the middle of the mayhem. 

But nobody realizes that Zach, who has no gun and no knife, has a mind more dangerous than any weapon.

Never what he seems and always on the edge, Zach is an unforgettable character in a new book by Terry Trueman that is  filled with the same shocking power and heartbreaking compassion as his Printz Honor Book, Stuck In Neutral.

This book was super short, but super super amazing! I'm really glad I picked it to review this year. Out of all the great things Inside Out had to offer, the thing that stuck out the most was the writing. The book is written from the first point of view of a kid with schizophrenia and it's done so well. From the way Zach talks, to the pattern of his thoughts, to the reaction and behavior of different people around him, everything is written in a realistic manner that doesn't come off as silly or discriminatory. A lot of research was put into this book and every word expresses just that.

In addition to fantastic writing, the plot itself was breathtaking and kept me turning pages. I read this entire book in one sitting, unable to put it down (for a very good reason)! The story starts off with a robbery and the events that follow are filled with a lot of suspense and plenty of plot twists, some that even I didn't see coming!

Finally, while this book had amazing writing and a super enjoyable plot, something that'll stick with me after reading this will be the characters. I love it when I read a book and every character just jumps off the page. This book was no exception. Every character was three dimensional and written well, but I especially loved how the two robbers were written. They could have easily been the stereotypical villains who were nothing but cruel and bad for the sake of being bad.Instead, however, Trueman wrote them with different personalities and goals and made them so much more real, showing the reader in the end how everyone has a different goals and issues to deal with and everything might not be as it seems.

This was just a great read and if you're into more serious books that explore deeper themes and real world issues, or just love any other books by Terry Trueman, I highly recommend you check this book out too!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Top 3 Authors I Want To Meet This Year

Hey everyone! I'm super excited to kick off my second year of blogging with one of our new Friday Fun Posts. If you're like me you probably have our website bookmarked so you can check our upcoming authors often and so you have seen all of the amazing authors coming to TBF this year. Without further ado, here are the top three authors I want to meet at TBF this year!

Ellen Hopkins: Ellen Hopkins writes hard-hitting, young adult books about real issues, written in free verse that will captivate you with every word. Several of her books have been on my to-read list forever and since it was announced she was coming back to Rochester again this year I knew I finally have to pick up one of her books this year which I'm very excited to do so. From reading her website I've realized that she's just as honest as her books in the best way possible, and I'm so excited to hopefully meet her and talk about her books this year at TBF!
website goodreads twitter

Justina Ireland: 
As every author was announced in these past months I would excitedly look up their books and read all about them. As I started to read about Justina Ireland and her novels I was taken and I'm planning on reading Promise of Shadows as soon as possible. Greek mythology with a strong female main character who's also an assassin? Sign me up! Based on her social media Justina Ireland sounds as cool as her books do and I hope I can meet her and talk all about her and her books in May!
website goodreads twitter

Brendan Kiely:
If you're on the internet as much as I am you probably heard all of the (well deserved) hype earlier this year surrounding All American Boys by Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds, both who are coming to TBF this year which is very exciting! I'm reading one of Brendan's other books right now, The Last True Love Story, and I am really enjoying the story so far. His writing, reminiscent of John Greens, is a mix of humor, powerful quotes, and pop culture all wrapped up into one compelling story. Overall I am very excited to hopefully meet Brendan Kiely this year and talk about his books!
website goodreads twitter

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Book Review: Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce

Hi TBF readers! I hope everyone's October is off to a good start. I'm excited to start the new blogging year! I can't wait to share all these amazing books and authors for this upcoming season with you all. To start us off strong I read Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce!

Young Daine’s knack with horses gets her a job helping the royal horsemistress drive a herd of ponies to Tortall. Soon it becomes clear that Daine’s talent, as much as she struggles to hide it, is downright magical. Horses and other animals not only obey, but listen to her words. Daine, though, will have to learn to trust humans before she can come to terms with her powers, her past, and herself.

Tamora Pierce is one of our returning authors to TBF this year and over the years she has written many fantasy novels to capture our hearts. Even so, this is my first time experiencing one of her books and it did not disappoint. The first installment in the Immortals series caught my attention and kept me interest the entire time. As we explore the world of Tortall our characters are faced with the likes of which they've never seen as mythical creatures are summoned from their imprisonment long ago. With Daine and her connection with animals along for the journey, I got sucked right into the story full of griffins, spirits, and the inner fire of everyday animals. Throughout her journey Daine is such a relatable character to any of you animal lovers out there, and even if you're not but you love a good fantasy novel, this book is for you.

I had a great time reading this book over my long weekend and I hope all of you love it as much as I did. Happy reading!


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Three Authors I'd Love to Meet at Teen Book Fest

Hi guys, Kate G. here and even though it’s still fall, I’m definitely beginning to get pumped up for TBF. If you’ve been monitoring the TBF authors page as obsessively as I have, you’ve probably noticed that there are a lot of really cool writers coming to the event next May. It’s incredibly hard to whittle down a list and choose, but if I had to pick three amazing authors that I can’t wait to meet this TBF, I’d choose:
Margaret Peterson Haddix: I started reading books by Margaret Peterson Haddix when I was still in elementary school and I can still remember the concept of Among the Hidden-- a world where any child the third to be born in a family was illegal and had to hide to survive-- being incredibly chilling to me. More recently, Just Ella and Found are on my To-Be-Read list, and I can’t wait to finish them so I can talk with their author!
Tamora Pierce: Tamora Pierce is like a legend when it comes to female-powered fantasy YA. Literally, I've been waiting to read her books since forever and now I have an excuse. If anyone asks me why I'm not working on homework (high school senior problems, guys), I can say that I am-- "TBF preparation homework." Not to mention if you read her author bio, it's easy to see that Tamora Pierce sounds like one of the coolest people out there, a suspicion I'd be all too happy to confirm at TBF.
A.S. King: Last but not least, one author I really can't wait to see at TBF is A.S. King. I first met her a couple of years ago (at TBF, big surprise!) and since then I've read as many of her books as I could get my hands on. As one reading fan to another, if you like contemporary literature with on-point exploration of current issues or just anything so surreal and mind-blowing that for about half an hour afterward, you have to lie on the floor of your bedroom asking what even is life?, her books are for you. And, in person, she's just as cool as her books are, definitely setting you at ease if you get nervous meeting authors (as I tend to do). So basically if I'm going to conclude this I'll just say that if you see someone coming about 30 minutes early to get to A. S. King's author session or carrying a bag full of books that I need her to sign, that'll be me.
Wow, somehow, (and I did not believe that this was physically possible) just trying to pick three out of all the amazing writers coming to TBF has gotten me even more excited for the event. Happy reading everyone and keep your eye out for any authors that you'd like meet at Teen Book Festival this spring!

[EDIT: A.S. King will not be joining us at TBF in 2018 as her book tour is headed Down Under instead- those lucky Australians! :) - Carly]

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Book Review: The Novice by Taran Matharu

Hello TBF Readers,

Welcome back to the TBF Blog! From now until the 13th Annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival, which is May 19, 2018, expect a ton of posts from all of us here at the TBF Blog. This year is a super exciting year because TBF will be a TEEN just like you!

To start off the TBF Blog, I have for you the first TBF Book Review. I recently read THE NOVICE by Taran Matharu, the first book in The Summoner series, and I loved every bit of it. Take a look:

Fletcher is working as a blacksmith's apprentice when he discovers he has the rare ability to summon demons from another world. Chased from his village for a crime he did not commit, Fletcher must travel with his demon, Ignatius, to an academy for adepts, where the gifted are taught the art of summoning.

Along with nobles and commoners, Fletcher endures grueling lessons that will prepare him to serve as a Battlemage in the Empire's war against the savage Orcs. But sinister forces infect new friendships and rivalries grow. With no one but Ignatius by his side, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of the Empire is in his hands. . . .

THE NOVICE is unlike anything I have ever read before. The world-building of The Summoner series is fantastic and completely original--I am super jealous of our heroes, Fletcher, Othello, and Sylva who get to live in this world, Hominum, every day. The best way to describe it is that it is a mixture of The Lord of the Rings and Pokémon (Trust me on this). The Summoner series is centered around an age-old battle between humans and orcs. One advantage to the human race is that there are special humans called summoners who can call, command, and train demons from the ether world. These summoners eventually become battlemages who then enter the hard and bloody war. Of course, these summoners try to collect the most powerful demons to battle the orcs--gotta catch 'em all! This concept is so cool--like I want a sidekick demon buddy! It screams to my love for fantasy, The Lord of the Rings, and Pikachu (Who doesn't love Pikachu?).

The other aspect I love about THE NOVICE is that it deals with real-life problems such as racial tensions and the divide between the social classes. In The Summoner series, there are humans, elves, and dwarves. Much like The Lord of the Rings, these three races do no get along until Frodo unites respective leaders (Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli) and they become The Fellowship of the Ring. What I love about THE NOVICE is that there is no Frodo and no one really wants to ally themselves with elves and dwarves and fight the greater good. There are only a handful of dreamers--our heroes--who do believe that they can live in a peaceful co-existence and defeat the orcs. We, the readers, experience their strained relationship (humans vs. the elves and dwarves) through character interaction and background stories--a rare factor in fantasy novels. In addition, THE NOVICE addresses the issue of inequality between social classes. The students who are training to become summoners are divided between the royals and the commoners. The royals believe they should get the best position in the army and the best demons just because their families have power, influence, and money. They hate the idea of commoners, and recently dwarves and elves, becoming summoners and taking away the royals' "rightful" place in the world. This startling parallel to our own reality makes this novel even more compelling to read.

I highly recommend THE NOVICE for fans of The Lord of the Rings and Pokémon. You will love the incredible world-building, sympathetic characters, and the fast-pace of the novel. I am definitely checking out the next two books in The Summoner series, THE INQUISITION and THE BATTLEMAGE, both out now!

Check out The Summoner series by Taran Matharu at the Monroe County Library System, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.

That is all for today! Be sure to check the TBF Blog this Friday for our brand-new blog posts called "TBF Friday Fun Posts". Your TBF Bloggers will share with you all of our excitement for our TBF authors and books.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

TBF 2017 Map and Schedule

TBF is THIS week! Are you guys excited?!

If you are like me, I'm a planner. I love to look ahead and start planning. Today, I have very helpful links for anyone who wants to see where our wonderful 27 TBF authors will be throughout the day.

For the awesome and useful *color-coded* map AND schedule, click HERE!

In addition to the author sessions, there will be special workshop sessions that are open to all teens. Check out programs and the times HERE!

I can't wait to see you all there!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

My TBF Experiences

Greetings fellow bookworms,
In light of the the rapidly approaching Teen Book Fest (17 days and counting), I’ve gathered a couple of tips and tricks from both my own experiences at TBF and that of my friends. I know it’s really easy to get caught up in the sheer awesomeness of what is happening all around you (Fav authors! Presentations! BOOKS!) but just making sure to keep in mind a few things can be particularly helpful in making sure your day is just as amazing as a new series by your favorite writer- or at least at close as it can get to that level of euphoria.
  1. Plan in advance. Yes, there may be tests and APs but just taking a few minutes to plan can make sure you don’t get hit with any nasty surprises on festival day. The TBF site has both a map and schedule for anyone who wants to look at them so consider taking a couple moments just to figure out which authors you want to see and where you have to go BEFORE you hit the festival grounds.
  2. Don’t forget your books. You’d think this would be obvious but I can (shamefully) tell you that I have, indeed, left them before at home. This is one of the worst feelings in the world so make sure you have all the books you want to get signed. Put them in the car, your bookbag, duct tape them to your leg, it doesn’t matter; just make sure you have them at TBF.
  3. Bring water and snacks. A tip from someone who’s been to TBF a couple of times before: you will do a lot of walking and chances are, whether you want to go to all the author sessions or not, you won’t have a ton of time to grab any lunch. So bringing some food and a water bottle can likely both save you some time and possibly prevent the very embarrassing scenario of having your stomach grumble right in front of your favorite author.
  4. Get there early. Again, maybe this is obvious but I know I’ve showed up late once before and really regretted it. Part of the fun at TBF is seeing the rally in the morning and not to mention showing up late can put you in jeopardy of missing an author’s panel. So don’t make the same mistakes I did- get there on time.
  5. Finally, don’t be nervous. I know that when I see a favorite author, my brain tends to kind of blow up right on the spot and I begin to babble all over the place. It’s ok. Calm down. Authors are really, really cool people. Just be yourself and you'll have a much better experience.
So in conclusion, TBF is going to be great, guys. We’re all going to have a lot of fun, meet our favorite authors, and probably bankrupt ourselves buying books. Hopefully, all of these tips are
going to be helpful but remember not to get too caught up in the planning. Just have fun- that’s what TBF is all about.
Happy Reading,