Tag Archives: author crush

Gym Candy – My Favorite Book of All Time

Gym CandyTitle: Gym Candy
Author: Carl Deuker

Summary: Helped by his father to be a star player, football is the only thing that has ever really mattered to Mick Johnson, whose dedication and hard work can get him a spot on the varsity team his freshman year, then tries to hold onto his edge by using steroids, despite the consequences to his health and social life.

Gut reaction: My favorite book of all time.

Why: As an athlete this touches my heart. If you thought steroids make better athletes, then get ready to change your mind. The story never bores you whether the scene is a football game or a simple conversation with Mick and his father.

Who would like this book: People who like football.  And reading about the struggles of an athlete.

–El hombre mas fuerte, University, Teen Blogger


Terrier: Most Likely to Catch a Crime Lord

TerrierTitle: Terrier
Author: Tamora Pierce

3-Sentence summary: Beka Cooper is a new trainee (Puppy) in the proto-police force known as the Provost’s Guard, or the Dogs. Almost immediately after joining up, she gets caught up in two big cases, one involving multiple murders to protect the whereabouts of a vein of extremely valuable fire opals, and the other involving a mysterious child killer known as the Shadow Snake. It’s tough going for Beka, but she has a secret: she can hear the voices of the dead.

Six word review: Pierce rocks a new writing style.

I started reading because: Tamora Pierce is covering new territory with this book, as it is not only narrated differently (first person past tense, in the form of a journal, instead of third person omniscient past tense), but it stars a non-noble heroine, and is a detective story (although it doesn’t skimp on the action). I wanted to see how she did with it.

I kept reading because: She did great. It’s a very engaging read, with an awesome heroine, an interesting plot, and diverse and fleshed out supporting characters.

I loved: The chemistry between the characters, especially Beka and her trainers Goodwin and Tunstall.

I hated: Well, I don’t really hate anything, but for someone trained to rely on her memory as much as possible and is writing the story as a memory exercise, Beka sure has trouble remembering plot points that aren’t supposed to be revealed yet.

I couldn’t get enough of: Beka and Rosto. Those two have such fun chemistry.

If the lead character was in a high school yearbook, she would be voted most likely to: Catch a crime lord.

On a deserted island, the main character would probably: Immediately start working on a way to get out. She’s a city girl at heart, and practical enough to know that she doesn’t have the right survival skills.

–Thea, 16, Douglass-Truth, Teen Volunteer


Need a book for winter break? I have a list!

There’s always so many books that I want to, but never have the time to read!  Of the many books that are on my to-read list, these are my top five.

1.)    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak bookthief

My sister got this book for me as a present a few years ago. I read the first 30 or so pages, and then for some reason I didn’t pick it up again. My mom “borrowed” the book from me (I swear she’s a book thief – pun intended), and I didn’t get it back until a few months later. In 8th grade, I read Zusak’s ‘I Am the Messenger,’ and I loved it. Ever since then, ‘The Book Thief’ has been one of my top five to-read books. Also, the movie is out so after I get around to reading it, I can watch that too.

2.)    City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

TImagehe Mortal Instruments series is my favorite series that I have read, no doubt. The last book in this series FINALLY comes out on May 27th, which has been one of the most painful waits for a book. Hopefully Amazon is quick in getting the book to me, because I do not think my sanity will hold past the release date. Unfortunately, I asked Cassandra Clare if she would be coming to Seattle for a book tour, and she said that she would not be (due to some contract that keeps her from touring throughout most of the U.S.)  (*sobs forever*).  But we’ll have the book right? I mean, she’s only killing six (known) characters.  I’ll try not to cry too hard.  And if you’re looking for spoilers, check her Twitter and her Tumblr.  She’s given away a few things that could either comfort your worries, or perhaps heighten them (but hey, Church the cat doesn’t die!).

3.)    Allegiant by Veronica Roth allegiant

Well, this is the last book in the Divergent series, and it’s been out for a while… I’ve been avoiding this book for the past couple of months since the ending was spoiled for me.  I’ll probably get around to reading it… Someday… The second book was a little confusing to me, so maybe I could reread it to clear some things up.  And then, there’s also the movie that was recently (or not-so-recently?) in theaters, which was pretty good.  And when I saw it, I hadn’t read the books in at least a year, so I didn’t have too much critique of the differences between the book and the movie.  My friend, on the other hand, had plenty to share with me.  Maybe I’ll muster up the courage to get through this book.  We’ll see.

4.)    Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor dreamsofgodsandmonsters

ACTUALLY MAYBE THIS IS MY FAVORITE SERIES.  This and the Mortal Instruments are tough competition. Laini Taylor writes beautifully, and this story is incredible. I’ve actually started reading this book, slowly making my way through it, (because school takes up all of my time – it’s not boring!) and I’m about a third of the way through it. I  would highly recommend this book.  Laini Taylor lives in Portland, Oregon, and she has the coolest hot-pink hair.  And one time, she replied to me on Twitter.  Her favorite kind of cheese is ‘EVERYKIND’.

5.)    Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children #2) by Ransom Riggs hollowcity

I read the first book last summer, and loved how the book incorporates old photographs into the story. I really love the setting that the first book set, the characters, and the plot. This was one of those books where you need the next book after you finish the first. The second book has been out for a few months now, and I just haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. But since summer is coming, I’m looking forward to reading it. There’s also the graphic novel, for the first book, that came out recently. Cassandra Jean illustrated it, and I’m a big fan of her work.

Most of these books are part of a series, and I would recommend any of these series.  Cassandra Clare and Laini Taylor are two of my favorite authors, and they craft wonderful storylines and characters and I love their writing… I could go on about this.  But if you’re looking for books to read, I would definitely recommend these authors and series.

–Claire, Magnolia, Teen Volunteer


Web Round-up: John Green…Teen Whisperer

How the author of The Fault in Our Stars built an ardent army of fans.

John GreenIn late 2006, the writer John Green came up with the idea of communicating with his brother, Hank, for a year solely through videos posted to YouTube. The project wasn’t quite as extreme as it sounds. John, who was then twenty-nine, and Hank, who was three years younger, saw each other about once a year, at their parents’ house, and they typically went several years between phone calls. They communicated mainly through instant messaging….

…The Greens started posting videos several times a week, under the name the Vlogbrothers. The project was less a conversation than an extended form of parallel play. They shared personal stories—John confessed that the only sports trophy he ever got was made by his parents, and bore the inscription “All-Star in Our Hearts”—but mainly they exchanged ideas. The brothers had signature preoccupations, which they discussed with excitable urgency, talking into the camera at tremendous speed. John discussed books, existential anxiety, and pizza; Hank was into science, math, and corn dogs. John invented a highly undignified “happy dance”; Hank wrote and performed songs, many of them about Harry Potter. The tone of their monologues ranged from goofily informative (how giraffes have sex) to wonkish (Why Are American Health-Care Costs So High?). Many posts dispensed adult wisdom, but in a reassuringly modern way. In a post advising boys on how to charm a girl, John jokingly said, “Become a puppy. A kitten would also be acceptable or, possibly, a sneezy panda.” But he also said, “If you can, see girls as, like, people, instead of pathways to kissing and/or salvation.”

To read Margaret Talbot’s complete article, visit The New Yorker.

To watch more vlogbrothers (which we highly recommend!) visit their Youtube channel.

To order the über cute giraffe shirt, go here.  🙂

Growing Up Alice

AliceI recently attended my first book signing at Powell’s Books in Beaverton, Oregon. My best friend and I left school early and drove for four hours to see one of our favorite authors, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Naylor, who lives in Maryland, is the author of over 130 books, among them the beloved Alice series. The series chronicles a girl named Alice from the age of 8 to 60.

My friend and I both started reading the Alice series when we were 8, and feel like we have grown up alongside Alice. When the last book in the 28-book Alice series came out October 15, 2013, she and I eagerly snatched up our own copies and read them within a couple days. When we heard that Phyllis Reynolds Naylor was going to be in the northwest, we knew we had to go see this remarkable women who helped shape both of our lives through her stories.

–Natalie, Northeast Teen Adviser


My Love of Jane Austen (as a Teen)

Jane AustenWhen they hear the words Jane Austen or Classic novel then most of my fellow schoolmates tend to think of boring novels which are hundreds of pages long and not of a book worth reading.  But I’m here to tell you differently.  Now some of you may have heard of Jane’s most popular novel Pride and Prejudice, and probably some of you have seen the 1995 film version featuring Colin Firth.  Yet, you may never have, and that’s why I’m here, to tell you about my “Austen experience.”
When I was in the seventh grade, I honestly had no idea who Jane Austen was.  I think I had seen the film Pride and Prejudice once before, but I couldn’t recollect the basic plot of the story.  That all changed when I saw another film Lost in Austen, a remake of Pride and Prejudice.  It made me extremely curious to read the book myself.  Fortunately, the book was available at my school library so I picked it off the shelf and brought it home to read.  Now as a seventh grader my reading level was not very advanced and classics were a bit difficult for me to analyze.  But after slowly reading the book out loud, word for word, the words stuck and I found myself plowing through this book.  I don’t know when and how exactly it happened, but I found myself in love with this author’s writing style.

Quickly, I got more of Austen’s novels and eventually I had read six of her completed novels. Each book was very similar, and yet so different.  Each of the characters had their own personalities and qualities which made them unique and different from each other, from Anne the serious to Marianne the dreamer.  Each book had its own taste and feel as well.  If you read Persuasion for instance, you will get a far more serious novel than the comedy Northanger Abbey.  It was like my own little world or secret; a topic no one at my school had ever heard of, and a little retreat from the world around me into a different century.  I felt at home reading those books.  I would find myself thinking about them in class and in all my leisure time, wrapped up in the different stories.
It sounds rather amazing having this beautiful knowledge of a great story, but at points it frustrated me a bit that I had no one to talk to about these novels.  None of my friends had read them, let alone heard of them.  It seemed that no one was interested.  But I think that if someone were just to take a jump into the deep end and just give it a go, I think that they would enjoy it as well.
You never know until you try, right?
If you are interested in Austen’s books, I have a couple to recommend.   My two favorites are Persuasion and Northanger Abbey, and I think these are great reads for people starting out with Austen.  If you would rather be more comfortable in something more familiar, Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility are by far the best known, and would be great starts to get to know the author.  I hope you give Austen a try, and if not, try some other classics.  Maybe you’ll find your secret world, too.
–Ailsa, Ballard Teen Blogger