This week we are delighted to introduce a new voice to the Free-For-All–the marvelous members of our Teen Room–the same incredible people who brought you last year’s PILCon, and who are always on hand for the most up-to-date book recommendations around! It’s a genuine pleasure to have this list of recommendations from the Teen Room, and we look forward to all the terrific announcements, book titles, and shenanigans that they will be bringing to the Free For All in the future!
Here are some of the Teen Room’s Top Picks for this month:
Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
We’re pretty positive that you’ve heard about Youtube famous author John Green’s new book Turtles All They Way Down, but hey, if you’ve been living under a rock playing Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp for weeks then here’s the scoop on the hottest new YA book on the press right now. Turtles All They Way Down combines heartfelt companionships with an amazing cast of characters as John Green continues his niche talent for writing emotion filled teen drama. The avid melodrama of Aza’s mental health battle leaves the reader rooting for her success and still wondering “what comes next?”. Plus, a murder mystery best friends super sleuth duo? Sign me up! This story focuses on first loves, best friends, and the harsh reality of dealing with mental health issues. One thing I will warn to readers is that the description of Aza’s symptoms can be triggering to some readers who also experience anxiety disorders or who have any mental health issues. The description of Aza’s compulsions to pick at her scab was enough to cause my skin picking compulsion to act up as well. Honestly, I chalk that up to Green’s incredible talent to bring such a visceral sensation to life through words. I’ll finish up by saying this book comes highly recommended and with my favorite quote from the story… “I, a singular noun, would go on, if always in a conditional tense.”
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee
If you have been looking for a Europe vacation, LGBT, pirates, and hijinks filled novel, then let me say have I got the perfect one for you. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue is Lee’s third novel and is already making its home into bookshelves and libraries. Nominated for Goodread’s YA Fiction Book of the Year The Gentleman’s Guide boasts a rich world full of life, characters that you’ll fall in love with, and more adventures than you can ever imagine. The journey is told through main character Henry “Monty” Montague, a debaucherous bisexual teenage boy, who has landed himself with a less than excited sister and a less than exciting chaperone on his and his best friends’ holiday across Europe. With his best friend (and longtime crush) Percy alongside him, the pair seek to have adventure despite the minor setbacks of unwanted company, but when Monty ends up putting his nose where it doesn’t belong their journey takes a turn for the unexpected. Lee’s characterization of Monty kills the male protagonist macho-ism trope quicker than The Cure can sing “Boy’s Don’t Cry”. His character has a full rounded feeling as we see different facets of his personality throughout the entire story. This can be said for all of the characters such as Felicity, Monty’s “kick-ass and take names” sister who shows incredible intelligence in extreme situations and devotion to her brothers wellbeing (though she may not admit it). This novel tackles issues such as race-inequality, disabilities, and homophobia in a realistic and heartfelt way that leaves a lasting impression after the book is closed. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to pretty much anyone who wants a much deserved contender for Book of the Year. … “I don’t think it’s a good idea to go courting trouble, is all.” “We’re not courting trouble,” I say. “Flirting with it, at most.”
Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World by Reshma Saujani
Since 2012, the organization Girls Who Code has been leading the charge to get girls interested in technology and coding. Now its founder, Reshma Saujani, wants to inspire you to be a girl who codes! This book is bursting with beautiful artwork, basic breakdowns of coding principles and stories from young girls and women in the career of coding! If you are a coding fanatic or someone who’s just getting started this book will hit all the points of learning and application that you will need. If coding is something you would like to explore further, you may also be interested in the Teen Makers class in our very own Creativity Lab located in the Lower Level of the Main Library Branch. Click on the link for more info!
NEW IN APPS
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
Listen. I’m obsessed. I’ve always been a sucker for Nintendo’s cutesie side, whether it be Animal Crossing, Miitomo, or that tiny Toon Link in Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. No matter what, they get me everytime…hook, line, and sinker. AC: Pocket Camp is a great game to keep on your smartphone or tablet and itches the scratch of completionists and game grinders. The app has a faithful feel to the original GameCube game as well as adding new features that integrate well with touch screen capabilities. You can definitely find yourself spending hours running requests for campers, fishing, crafting, and just enjoying the overall scenery. I haven’t found the need to purchase any leaf tickets yet, because the game offers log-in bonuses as well as rewards for completing daily goals that keep your inventory fairly stocked and money at a reasonable level. Right now the server needs improvement with the surge of players signing up, the crafting can be somewhat tedious and time consuming, and I wish I had more room to build new amenities but otherwise the game is enjoyable and great if you want to leave behind the real world for a few hours for some cute virtual glamping. This game requires a constant internet connection and I would definitely recommend sticking to WiFi because this app is a data eater. Have fun happy campers!
TEENS TOP PICKS OF DECEMBER
Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
The Death & Life of Zebulon Finch by Daniel Kraus
Snotgirl by Bryan Lee O’Mally and Leslie Hung
I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson