Monday, March 27, 2017

Guest Blogger Book Review: We Know It Was You by Maggie Thrash

My name is Debbie and I am excited to contribute to the Teen Book Festival Blog this year. I am a teacher going back to college for Library Media Science after 23 years in the classroom. I reviewed the book We Know It Was You by Maggie Thrash. I was spellbound with this book, not wanting to put it down until I found out who was behind this terrible tragedy. If you like mysteries, you will love this book too.

It was a typical Fall Friday night at Winship High. The school had come together to watch the Wildcats Football game. The Pep band played and the cheerleaders were getting ready for the half-time show. That’s when it happened! The school mascot started spinning out of control on the field and than took off running for the woods. Everyone started to follow the Wildcat only to see it jump from the bridge into the water below. The students are in shock and the small private school in thrown into commotion. The cheerleaders rally everyone together and put on a brave face.

The schools Mystery Club jumps into action and are on the case. They were there that night and found one key piece of evidence before the police arrived. Tracking down new leads, watching their fellow classmates and getting into sticky situations. There are many twists and turns that will keep you guessing who is up to mischief at Winship.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Book Review: Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

Image result for everything leads to you
“We love films because they makes us feel something. They speak to our desires, which are never small. They allow us to escape and to dream and to gaze into the eyes that are impossibly beautiful and huge. They fill us with longing. But also. they tell us to remember; they remind us of life. Remember, they say, how much it hurts to have your heart broken.”

I read Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour and I absolutely adored it. It focuses on both the magic of films and movies in Hollywood as well as an adorable romance and interesting mystery pertaining to an old famous actor who had recently passed away leaving a legacy behind.

A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.
Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

There were so much in this book that I loved, and it was all intricately woven together into one story about loving movies and about love. The writing was so beautiful and real, and it was easy to get into Emi’s mindset and see her view on the world. While reading I was engrossed in the main character Emi’s life, and her passion of set designing. The novel showed a whole other side of Hollywood that I’ve never seen portrayed in a novel before, and I just found it incredibly interesting. And then there is the whole mystery aspect of the plot that was woven throughout the novel, and just when you thought you had it figured out, it would surprise you again. The romance of this book was adorable and beautiful, while also seeming realistic as if you were actually watching the two fall in love. While I adored the romance, I also loved how important friendship and family is to Emi, and throughout the story.

Overall, I was easily captivated by this book, leading to me reading it in one sitting, and I have the feeling I will read this one again, in hopes to experience the happiness this book causes you to feel. Look forward to another book review about another amazing book next week!


Monday, March 20, 2017

Guest Blogger Book Review: Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Hello readers, I’m Jocelyn. I am a teacher who has always wanted to be a librarian. So, after 30 years of teaching I am back in school to become one. I chose this book because it was identified as “humorous”. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

16 year old Cameron Smith describes himself as a slacker and is getting through high school by doing very little. Cameron begins to have hallucinations, and finds out he is dying from the human version of mad cow disease. The doctors don’t give him much time to live. While he is in the hospital Cameron meets a winged angel, by the name of Dulcie, who convinces him that there is a cure for him, if they go on a quest to find a Dr. X who has the cure. He sneaks out of the hospital with a classmate, a dwarf by the name of Gonzo, and they begin their journey.

On this crazy and humorous journey, they meet strange characters and have wild adventures and Cameron begins to appreciate his family and most importantly, learn about himself.

At the conclusion of the story, Cameron wakes up and realizes that he is still in the hospital and the nurses are disconnecting his life support and all his family is mourning his death.

This book will have you laughing and will make you sad at the same time. It leaves you wondering if his journey was a hallucination or was it real.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Court Of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

 Greetings from Jamaica! I reread this
week's book on the plane. Let's just
say that during out layover all I wanted
to do was get on the plane so I could finish
reading it! Which is saying something because
I am not a big fan of planes.

A Court Of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J.
Maas is a gripping, high fantasy book. It
is the first book in a series. So far book 2 is
also out. Book three comes out May 2cd.
Just in time to read before tbf!

When nineteen-year-old huntress 
Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like
 creature arrives to demand retribution for it.
 Dragged to a treacherous magical land she
 only knows about from legends, Feyre
 discovers that her captor is not an animal,
 but Tamlin--one of the lethal, immortal faeries 
who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for

 Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery 

passion that burns through every lie and warning

 she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous

 world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow 

over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must

 find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin--and 

his world--forever.

First let me point out there is a key in
the back to help you pronounce the names,
which I didn't figure out until the end. It
would have made it alot easier had I known.
I do wonder how she comes up with these
names. As in all of Sarah J. Maas' books.

This is a great book if you love Game of Thrones
as well as of Throne of Glass lovers. This is also
 great if you like Kristin Cashore, and George R.R.
Martin. It also kind of gave me a Beauty in The Beast 
meets Cinderella vibe, with a unique spin.

Overall I loved this book and would totally
recommend it! See you next week for
another exciting book review. Only 2 more
months until tbf!


Monday, March 13, 2017

Guest Blogger Book Review: After the Woods by Kim Savage

Hello to the TBF Readers! I have a shocking, page turner to share with you today! I never could have predicted the shocking ending to this thrilling book!!

Kim Savage, a Massachusetts native who is directionally challenged, will captivate you with her mysterious, realistic fiction, After the Woods. She wrote the book based on the area she grew up in and her own fear of getting lost in the woods. (Who hasn’t had that fear at some point??)

“Statistically speaking, girls like me don’t come back when guys like Donald Jessup take us.”

After the Woods begins almost one year after two best friends survive a horrible incident in the woods in their town. Read to find out how two high school girls cope with (or try to forget) being kidnapped (or barely getting away) from a man in the woods. As Julia, the narrator, discovers the truth about what happened and what her best friend has been hiding she struggles to cope. Will she ever find the truth? Can she really trust anyone? Who is her enemy- her perpetrator? The press? Her best friend? As new information begins to surface, Julia remembers more and more details about her two days in the woods and tries her best to understand what really happened.

This book will capture you from the first page and keep you hooked until the very end! I couldn’t stop reading! Can’t get enough of Savage’s page turning writing? In February 2017, Kim Savage is releasing her next book, which is sure to be as much of a suspense as After the Woods! The book will be titled Beautiful Broken Girls. Make sure you come out to TBF to meet Kim Savage and learn more about her suspenseful writing! If suspense and plot twists pull in in then be sure to find After the Woods at your local library. I hope it intrigues and keeps you guessing as much as it did for me! Happy reading!

~Brandie R. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Book Review: We Know It Was You by Maggie Thrash

Hey guys! Katie's back again with another book review! (and will now stop speaking in third person). This week: We Know It Was You by Maggie Thrash.

Image result for we know it was you maggie thrashIt's better to know the truth. At least sometimes.

Halfway through Friday night's football game, beautiful cheerleader Brittany Montague - dressed as the giant Winship Wildcat mascot - hurls herself off a bridge into Atlanta's surging Chattahoochee river. 

Just like that, she's gone

Eight days later, Benny Flax and Virginia Leeds will be the only ones who know why

This book was quite interesting to read! Before I picked it up, I thought it was going to be a sci-fi supernatural type of book. However, it's actually more of a realistic mystery novel, so it was nice to read something that was outside of my normal go-to genre.

One of the most memorable things about this book was the two main characters, Benny and Virginia. What I loved about these two wasn't just their personality, but how they interacted with each other. There were multiple times when their personalities clashed together and formed conlict that kept me glued to the page. And yet, they were still able to interact and work together as a team to solve the newest mystery at Winship Academy. Both Benny and Virginia were likable and easy to cheer on, and at the same time they both had huge flaws in their character that made them seem all the more realistic and relatable (even when you wanted to scream at them at times).

While this book was mainly from the point of view of  Benny and Virginia (third person though), there were some chapters that were from the POV of other secondary characters involved in the mystery. This factor added so much more to the story since it gave me a glimpse into the heads of different characters to look at their motivations and wants as well.

Overall, this book was an unexpected, but great read. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm heading back to the library to see what else Maggie Thrash has written. See y'all next time and happy reading!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Guest Blogger Book Review: NERDS by Michael Buckley

I am so excited to have the opportunity to review a book by Michael Buckley, and can’t wait to get his autograph at the TBF 2017. This is my first book review ever. This book brought me back to a time when I had braces, and middle school anxiety. It’s so cool that this is on the TBF website, awesome!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a spy? To be part of a team that completes covert missions? To work towards saving the entire planet?! Well read NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society, book 1, by Michael Buckley and all your wishes will come true. I’ve imagined being a spy often, and this book completely describes how it would have likely happened to me in real life. 

I think middle school is really hard, and it is difficult to feel like you belong. I enjoyed how this book has a huge twist to what we normally think about for those we consider weird or different. The five weirdest students in Jackson Jones school turn out to be the most interesting. Jackson Jones was living it up. He was popular and the star of the football team. Then he learns he needs a head gear. Once he gets his head gear, his social status drops quickly, and he is struggling to fit into a group. His grades drop, and he spends his time watching people instead of interacting with them.

Jackson Jones accidentally happens upon the secret lair of the NERDS. He finds that the thing that makes him weird now is his super power, and he is called braceface. He has to learn to work with people he used to look down on, and prove himself before he gets kicked out of NERDS. He has a lot of work ahead of himself to prove he is worthy, and together with his new team, they have to learn how to work together to save the planet.

NERDS make being weird ok. The book was very exciting, and I look forward to reading the next book in the weeks to come. I liked that the book made being different acceptable. I laughed a lot, and could see anyone enjoying this book, from tween to adult. If you are looking for a great series I would totally recommend NERDS.

~Erika M.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

My Volunteer Experiences

Hi TBF readers, attendees, and fellow volunteers,

The Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival is right around the corner and volunteer forms are already out! I'm going to encourage you and everyone I know to hurry up and get that volunteer form submitted. Whether it be dedicating your whole day or just a few hours of your time it can be a huge help to the festival and all it's participants.

So I've been volunteering for TBF since 2012 and I'm telling you, its worth every second you spend there. My first year volunteering I just did a few hours of my time volunteering and got to explore the festival for the rest of the day, and I'll admit that it was pretty cool, but for the rest of my time volunteering I was privileged to be an author assistant, which allowed me to meet and hang out with some of my favorite authors and all around coolest people I've ever met. Author assistants are teen helpers that announce the author's panel, take them too and from places they need to go throughout the day, and overall help the authors in any way they can. (And for you aspiring writers out there, in between sessions they might even pass along some of their authorly wisdom to you if you ask them). Going to TBF every year as a volunteer has been seriously rewarding for me. I've learned a lot, met a lot of people, done and seen a lot of cool things, and heard my fair share of inspiring stories. I promise there's a reason we all get out of bed bright and early for this wonderful event. Volunteering is one of the stones that holds up TBF, without us, without you, we wouldn't have a Teen Book Festival to go back to every year.

If you're thinking about volunteering this year, go for it. If you're not, why not just attend? What's a festival with no one at it? TBF is, as many of you probably already know, May 20th this year, so come, bring a friend! Everyone is welcome!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Sandra Uwiringiyimana

Hello TBF readers!

I have very exciting news! TBF has added Sandra Uwiringiyimana to the author line-up! She is the author of How Dare the Sun Rise, a YA memoir. Fun fact about Sandra: She lived in Rochester, NY! She is a 2013 graduate of Our Lady of Mercy for Young Women and volunteered for TBF when she was a teen. Sandra's debut novel, How Dare the Sun Rise will be out May 16th! Mark your calendars because you do NOT want to miss out on this fantastic read!

That is all for today! Be sure to check out the blog again for more book reviews!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Calling all TBF Volunteers

Hello TBF readers!

Do you love TBF? Do you love volunteering? Do you wish TBF and volunteering were put together like a snow day and a good book? Your wish is my command!

This year, the 12th Annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival will be held on May 20th, 2017. TBF will host 27 amazing YA authors and one YA narrator this year. This wonderful event connects thousands of readers throughout the Rochester area and beyond.

We need volunteers to help make the day magical. There are volunteer positions for both teens (grades 6-12), college students, and adults. Volunteers positions include being an author assistant, festival greeters, festival guides, and sales associates at the TBF merchandise booth. Volunteers must work a minimum of a two-hour shift. For those who are available all day may apply to be author assistants.

All interested volunteers MUST attend a mandatory training meeting at Nazareth College on Tuesday evening, May 16th from 6:00-8:00 pm. You are responsible for your own transportation to and from the mandatory training meeting.

Are you interested? If yes, what are you waiting for?! The TBF Volunteer Registration is open from February 15-April 1. Click HERE to sign-up.

If you need any more reassurance about volunteering for TBF, check the blog soon. Some of our TBF bloggers have volunteered in the past and want to share their experiences with YOU!

That is all for today! Happy reading!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Book Review: The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Córdova

Hi all, TBF and spring are coming up fast! While there's still time I'm going to share a few more books with everyone, including today's The Vicious Deep.

For Tristan Hart, everything changes with one crashing wave.

He was gone for three days. Sucked out to sea in a tidal wave and spit back ashore at Coney Island with no memory of what happened. Now his dreams are haunted by a terrifying silver mermaid with razor-sharp teeth.

His best friend Layla is convinced something is wrong. But how can he explain he can sense emotion like never before? How can he explain he's heir to a kingdom he never knew existed? That he's suddenly a pawn in a battle as ancient as the gods.

Something happened to him in those three days. He was claimed by the sea...and now it wants him back

The Vicious Deep is the first book in a trilogy that left me hungry for more the minute it ended. Our main character, Tristan Hart, thinks that he's an ordinary teenage boy, focused on fleeting relationships, days at the beach, and summers with his friends at Cony Island. Of course that never is the case when you're reading a book about the weird, wacky, and supernatural. When he finds out that he's the grandson of the king of the seas, he and his friends have to track down an heirloom that is rightfully his. While reading, I found the dynamic between Tristan and his posse of one human and two merfolk, Layla, Kurtomathetis or Kurt for short, and Thalia, only added to what I thought was an already interesting plot. In addition to the story and it's characters, I thought that Zoraida Córdova has a unique righting style. The book was written in first person but it was almost like we were being dragged along for the ride rather than having it be told to us which was an interesting and cool way to be dragged into the book. 

I don't want to reveal too much about the plot because I want you to go read it for yourselves, so that will be all for today! Happy Reading!