Category Archives: Teen Book Reviews

Reviews of YA books you’ll love.

Teen Book Review – The Last Star by Rick Yancey

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angry-woman

I just finished reading The Last Star by Rick Yancey. I waited an entire year for this book to be released and it was worth the wait. The story is  from various characters point of view. It follows Ringer as she makes her way back to Zombie after loosing another member of their team. Cassie and Evan Walker deal with the aftermath of Grace, a sniper who tried to kill them.  Zombie continues to  deal with the loss of his sister and his own insecurities as he continues to take charge of his child soldiers who are fighting to save the Earth. Meanwhile, Vosch is getting ready for the Fifth Wave.

One thing I love about this book is the strength of its female characters. Cassie and Ringer both have undying strength and courage. The love story is a backdrop but it’s still there.

This book is packed with action. I don’t want to release spoilers so all I can say it that I read it in three days. Can I say more?

Teen Book Review – The Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

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I just finished reading The Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver. The story is about two sisters who live in a quaint beach community. One sister is wild, while the other is “very normal”. They are so close it’s almost as if they are twins, except that Dara likes to break all the rules and seems to have a knack for getting into trouble. Nick, short of Nicole on the other hand always follows the rules. Everything seems perfect in their relationship until Dara starts “hooking up” with Nick’s best friend, Parker. Now Nick feels like a third wheel and she resents it. Nick does her best to move on and even starts dating another guy.

Just when Nick starts to move on with her life Nick and Dara get into a serious car accident leaving Dara scarred and Nick trying to find a way to cope with the guilt from what really happened during the accident.

It’s a great book. There’s romance and mystery and suspense as Nick tries to find Dara after she vanishes shortly after the accident.

 

Teen Book Review- Paper Towns by John Green

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bible-and-other-booksIf you plan on watching the movie instead of reading this book you’re really going to miss out on another great book. Paper Town by John Green is tells the story or Quentin Jacobsen or Q as his friends like to call him. Q falls in love with Margo, the girl next door. Margo is bold and exciting a total contradiction to Q who lives life by the rules.

When the story beings Margo moves next door to Quentin and they become best friends. One day while walking to the park they discover the body of a man who committed suicide. Instead of being afraid Margo is curious and intrigued by the dead man, while Quentin blocks out memory of the incident. Once the duo hit high school Margo is popular and dating the most popular boy in school while Quentin joins nerdbom and hangs out with his best friends and fellow band member Ben and Radar.

After Margo discovers that her boyfriend Jase  is sleeping with her best friend she sets out to right some wrongs and takes Quentin along for the ride.  After a night of revenge old feelings emerge and Quentin falls in love with Margo again. Everything seems to being going right for Quentin until Margo mysteriously disappears leaving clues for Quentin to find her.

It was a very romantic story and Radar and Ben Quentin’s friend’s who team up with him to find Margo makes the book irresistible.

Teen Book Review- Prodigy by Marie Lu

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unnamed-1What can I say? I loved this book. There are many of times when sequels don’t live up to the first book but this isn’t one of them. This book is told from two perspectives, June, a rich, military prodigy that falls in love with a young rebel named Day.

Lu swifts back and forth as both characters tell the story of their fight to save their county. At times they are at odds against each other and unsure about their love as others fight for their love.

Lu sets up two love triangles and manages to captivate her readers with wanting more and getting it. More action! More romantic! And some great writing. I read this book in one week and feel kind of sad that the journey is over. YOU WILL LOVE THIS BOOK!

 

Teen Book Review- Undivided by Neal Shusterman

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unnamed-1I just finished reading Undivided by Neal Shusterman. This is the fourth and final book in the Unwind series. Not many series hold up after the first book but this one sure does. This series holds up among my favorites. The story is about a time in our world when troublesome children can be unwind or taken apart piece by piece, while their parts are donated to people. Connor Lassiter and his partner Risa Ward fight against the individuals who feel that it’s okay to unwind troubled teens.

This book doesn’t focus on romance as much as it does survival. The book centers on various characters and each storyline draws to a conclusion. We start we Connor, a unwind AWOL turned fugitive hero and his partner Risa Ward. The book then shifts and focuses on Mason Starkey, a boy who leads the stork rebellion as they free unwinds and destroy harvest camps. The storyline shifts once more the story shifts to Cam, a rewind who is trying to find his place in the world. It’s hard to say more and not divulge too much of the story. The enemies are most deadly this time and the stakes are high for all of the characters. One by one each character faces their worst enemy and not everyone pulls through unscathed.

This book has lots of action and it’s a great read!

 

To Copyright or not Copyright

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The Library of Congress allows writers and other creative people to register their original work. Copyrighting your work with the Library of Congress proves ownership. In the past I’ve received lots of advice on how to protect your work. Some people told me to just mail a copy of my script to myself and that was enough proof instead of doing that I decided to register my work with the Library of Congress.  For scripts I’ve used form PA and for my novel I use form TE. There are different forms to fill out depending on what you are registering.

The cost have gone up and there is a different fee if you register online or mail in your application. It cost me $35 to register my novel online. If I mailed in the material it would have cost me $85. Registering online is also a quicker process. The cool thing about registering your work is that if can log on and see all the work you’ve ever registered along with the copyright number.

If you’ve worked hard on your screenplays, stories, drawings, or other creative projects why not spend the extra money and make sure that if someone tries to make claims on your work you have proof that your own the rights to the work?

http://www.copyright.gov

coyright

 

Plans for Winter Break

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Prompt 128I realize that I missed a post on December 21st. Now that winter break has started what are you planning to do with all your time? We have more than a week off. The Scholastic Arts and Writing deadline has probably passed already each region has a different deadline but I think you should still work on a short story. Either one you’ve started or a new one.

I plan to work on book two and write out the synopsis for book one so I can start submitting the manuscript soon. I hear Santa is going to be giving me the new printer I desperately need in order to print out my manuscript.

I think it would be a great idea to look back at one of your stories and get to work. I’ll plan on posting some more writing competitions soon so you better get ready.  Happy writing!

Teen Writing Prompt 722

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It’s 70 degrees outside but it’s suppose to be freezing. Lately, when I give students in my writing class a writing prompt each and every story is about doom! I guess that’s because things seem so bleak and there is so much violence all around us.

Write a story about the weather changing. Why is it changing and how does your character react to the change? Is it getting colder and colder? What’s the deal? Be creative and have some fun

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How to Plan Your Stories

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How to Plan Your Stories

Years ago when I was working with WriteGirl, a teen mentorship program for teen writers I took part in a writing workshop. Every month we worked on a different genre and that month it was fiction. I was told to create a character and to think about what that character wanted. Years later that character and writing exercise evolved into my first novel.  I just finished my manuscript this year.

I want you to try that exercise. I’ve added a few more components. Let’s see how it works for you.

Think about a character. What does your character want? Love, success, revenge? Now think about who or what wouldn’t want your character to achieve his or her goals. Remember it can be a thing. In the book Up in the Air, the protagonist was Mount Everest.

Now create a flaw or special skill for your character. This doesn’t mean that your character has to be a superhero. Everyone is unique what makes your character different?

Now create obstacles that will make things difficult for your character to get what he/she wants. I’ll check back and add more on my next post.

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What I’m Reading

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I am back to the I am Number Four series. The Fate of Ten has finally been released.  I can’t believe I missed the release date. So many books of my book list are series and I just end up reading more and more series so it’s difficult to keep up. Undivided by Neal Shusterman is also out. That book is part of the Unwind series. I think I left off at book three. Looks like I will be catching up on a lot of books.

Sometimes it’s difficult to remember what happened in the last book. I think you should all think about this especially if you are writing a series. Find a way to bring your reader back to the story. Maybe have your character reflect on what has happened to them. Anyway keep up with your writing and reading. I’ll post a review as soon as I finish the book. Happy Writing!