Teen Book Review – The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas



I just finished reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This book was powerful and timely. The book is sort of nod a to the Black Lives Matter movement but not in a “in your face” kind of way. It tells the story of the friends and loved ones who lost someone to an unjustified police killing. It’s heartbreaking and honest. The story centers on the life of a teenaged girl named Starr Carter. Starr navigates between two worlds. One, Garden Heights, a low-income neighborhood that most people would deem as the ghetto. Garden Heights has gangbangers, drive-bys, and poverty but it’s also a place where people care about and love each other. The other world is the world of Williamson, a posh prep school in a predominately white suburb where she desperately tries to “fit in.” She has a white boyfriend, rich friends, and a chance to have a better life. Her two worlds couldn’t be more different, and because of this, she hides her life in the Gardens from her prep school friends.

One night while leaving a party with her childhood friend Khalil, the police stops their car and kills her unarmed friend, leaving Starr and the key witness and the only person who can fight for justice. She’s torn between speaking up for her friend and torn between keeping a low profile so she can continue blending in at Williamson.

She soon learns that it’s impossible to do both and soon finds her world crumbling when she is called to testify against the cop who killed her friend. This book will take you on an emotional journey that has you rooting for Starr as she tries to do the right thing.

It’s hard not to think about the deaths of other unarmed men and woman who the justice system has failed, but in the midst of reading the story, you’ll enjoy a beautiful coming of age story filled with teen crushes and first loves. It’s the kind of combination that keeps you wanting more until the very end.


Teen Writing Tip – How to Write a Synopsis



After you’ve created a list of which YA agents you’d like to submit your manuscript to there are a few things an agent will request before he/she requests your entire manuscript. The query letter is one and the synopsis of your book is the other. The synopsis basically plots out your story along with your Protagonist’s emotional journey. It doesn’t have to retell ever detail but it should retell the story from beginning, middle, and end.

There are two great articles about writing a synopsis. Just check out the links below. The tough part( writing the book) is over and now it’s time for you to reap the benefits of all your hard work.



Teen Writing Tip – Finishing Your Book



I recently finished my book after about 9 drafts. I read several books on revision and Walter Mosley’s book This Year You Write Our Novel, one of my favorites which suggests that writers look at each character and follow their character arc/ story in your book. It was hard work but taking a look at each character one by one as they helps to allow you to focus on mini-stories and interweave with overall larger in your novel.

I also had several people who read YA (Young Adult Fiction) read by book and that led to more notes. After years of writing my book, Bait I decided to create an agent list. Every writer thanks their agent in the acknowledgement section so after I read a YA novel that I enjoyed I wrote down each name of author’s agent and researched the agents. Right now I have ten agents, three of which I plan to write a query letter to. Each agent has a list of what they want you to send if you are interested in having them represent you. Most lists want a letter and in the letter you tell them about yourself and your book.

Start making your agent list as you read your favoriate books. One day you’ll need it.

Teen Picture Prompt 790


Write a story based on these photos.

I looked across the East River wondering what I should do. They were going to find me if I didn’t leave. I look at Roosevelt Island, a lonely looking place often forgotten in the midst of this crazy city.

If I snuck aboard one of those boats I could make it across. It was worth a chance and maybe a chance is all I needed….

Create your own story or continue mine. Be creative and have some fun!

Teen Writing Prompt 789


Pick a story or a book and bring them into your life. Perhaps you are reading The Hunger Games, then one day our country gets into a war and after the war, the country is divided into 13 areas with billionaires living the good easy life in The Capital while the rest of us struggle to survive?

Bring the story to life? Maybe that hot new guy is a vampire? Or we end up having factions after a war that destroys our country? There are so many great stories, select one and take us on your journey.


Teen Book Review- Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs


All I can say is WOW! This last novel in the Peculiar Children series. This novel brings the peculiar children led by Jason and Emma on a hunt for their headmistress Miss Peregrine who was kidnapped by Wights.

There was so much going on in this book and every bit of it was exciting. Jason and Emma travel to the Devil’s Acre looking for Miss Peregrine and their friends after they were captured by Wights as learns that his peculiar powers extend farther than just seeing Hollows.

In this novel, we are introduced to new loops (homes for peculiars) and an underworld where peculiars are hunted down and killed for their very souls.

There are so many twists and turns that even as I was sleepy s ready to go to bed I fought sleep just so that I could read a little more. I am sure you’ll also enjoy this book. I don’t want to tell you too much expect that there are lots of twists, turns, and unexpected events that will make you love this book.