“The Cemetery Boys” by Heather Brewer

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Stephen and his father move to Denver, Colorado, after his dad loses his job. They are forced to move in with his grandmother back in his dad’s tiny hometown of Spencer, Michigan. Stephen instantly feels out-of-place in this small Michigan town where everybody knows everybody until he meets twins Cara and Devon. He is instantly attracted to Cara and so Stephen joins Devon’s group of boys who hang out in the cemetery, known locally as the “Playground”, during the night. They tell Stephen local stories of the Winged Ones: large, black flying birds that supposedly cause Spencer to go through bad times if they are not appeased with a human sacrifice. Stephen does not take this myth seriously, but as the summer goes on he finds that Devon and the group seem to think the Winged Ones actually exist. Stephen begins to question the group’s actions and starts to wonder if it is his new friends that are causing all of the mysterious accidents that are happening in Spencer.

The Cemetery Boys is geared towards teens that prefer reading mystery novels. The prologue at the beginning of the book hooks the reader in, with the main character Stephen in peril, which makes the reader want to continue reading to find out more. Brewer also created a voice for Stephen that is generally sarcastic and curious while being skeptical of the existence of the Winged Ones. The small town history and description of Spencer makes it an interesting town and setting. However, Brewer could have possibly elaborated on the town’s back-story a little more, even though the current back-story provided would satisfy most readers. The mystery element of the novel kept building from the beginning to the end, and very few readers will see the plot twist that comes towards the end of the novel. The ending of the novel was more abstract and unique than other young adult books, which allows readers to interpret the ending in their own way. The Cemetery Boys is a book that should be checked out by teenage readers who like getting to the bottom of mysteries.

Check this book out or put it on hold

-Caylee P.

“Alive” by Chandler Baker

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Seventeen year old Stella Cross was diagnosed with a failing heart when she was just fifteen years old. After two years of waiting, she finally receives a heart transplant from an anonymous donor. Luckily, Stella’s body accepts the new heart, but every day after the transplant she feels extreme pain. This would seem normal, except the pain only occurs at 5:08 p.m. on a daily basis. Stella returns to school after her transplant surgery and she experiences horrifying hallucinations that involve harm coming to her family, friends, and even Stella herself. Soon after Stella returns to school, a new boy named Levi Zin arrives at Stella’s Seattle prep school. When Stella is around Levi, the pain she feels in her heart instantly disappears, but Levi starts becoming obsessed with Stella. She tries to pull away from being with Levi, but the only result is that Levi’s infatuation with her becomes stronger. Stella sets off to discover why only being around Levi can calm the side effects of her transplant while also trying to figure out why Levi is unnaturally obsessed with her at the same time.

This book is recommended for teens who are interested in mystery or horror novels. Readers should expect mild descriptions of situations involving blood, drowning, and danger. Stella and her friend Henry are obsessed with the scary and the supernatural, and they figure out that her heart is acting up because it is from another person’s body. Stella’s hallucinations are also somewhat gory or violent, as they usually involve terrible things happening to her or her family and friends. This book is also very suspenseful and will keep readers guessing throughout the novel. The plot is very original and it also has little pieces of action and love thrown in, but it is done in a way that does not take away from the suspenseful and mysterious mood that is set by Baker. The fast-paced action-filled ending, although a little confusing to understand immediately, is satisfying and wraps up the novel nicely. This 2015 release by Baker is definitely a must read for teens who prefer scary and suspenseful novels over other genres.

-Check out this book or put it on hold.

-Caylee P.

“Jackaby” by William Ritter

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Described as a cross between Doctor Who and Sherlock, I could not pass over this book by first time author William Ritter. Indeed, the character of Jackaby is best described as a Sherlock Holmes specializing in cases related to the supernatural and occult.

At the opening of the novel, Abigail Rook is newly arrived in America and looking for an adventure. She soon ends up by the side of Jackaby, a self- proclaimed detective, aiding him as he investigates a bizarre series of murders. Abigail proves herself an asset to Jackaby for her ability to notice the ordinary details that would be overlooked by others. She also gets the adventure she has been searching for as she is confronted with the existence of magic, banshees, ghosts, trolls and a whole host of other supernatural creatures; some of them friendly, some dangerous.

While the mystery at the heart of Jackaby is somewhat predictable, the characters are what make this book so enjoyable. Abigail is independent, resourceful and adaptable. She is quick to piece together clues, and shows real strength when confronted by a world of the supernatural that she did not even know existed. Jackaby is somewhat of a mystery himself, but any fan of Sherlock Holmes will enjoy his rapid deductions and eccentric manner. I look forward to more of his past being revealed in the book’s sequel. Recommended for fans of mysteries and the supernatural.

Check this book out or put it on hold.

-Caitlin Connelly

 

 

“Unbreakable” by Kami Garcia, (The Legion #1)

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Kennedy Waters is just a normal seventeen-year-old girl until a ghost tries to kill her. Luckily, she is saved by identical twins Jared and Lukas Lockhart. Not only do they save her, but they explain that her mother was part of a secret organization, now known as “The Legion”, that protects humanity from evil.

Kennedy joins them and two other members, Priest and Alara, as they try to find out who killed the previous members. It’s a race against time to figure out the various puzzles left by the previous group on their way to finding the one weapon that can destroy the demons forever.

Originally I picked this up because I enjoyed her book, Beautiful Creatures. It also helped that they claimed it was Supernatural meets The Da Vinci Code. The twins reminded me somewhat of the Winchester brothers from Supernatural, without me being able to make obvious comparisons. I love Garcia’s writing style and I loved this book even more than her last series. I really can’t wait to see what comes next.

Check this book out or put it on hold.
-Natalie Martinez

“The Unquiet” by Jeannine Garsee

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Rinn Jacobs has bipolar disorder. Before she started taking medication to control her condition, her moods — and her life — swung wildly out of control. When her actions indirectly led to the death of her grandmother, she attempted suicide. Rinn and her mother left California to return to her mother’s hometown in Ohio. Now it’s Rinn’s job to get her disorder under control while her mother and stepfather are separated and dealing with the aftereffects of her step-grandmother’s death.

But it’s hard to be normal when you’re renting a house and sleeping in a room where a woman hanged herself. It’s hard to be normal when a creepy hallway and an abandoned swimming pool at school seem to be haunted by Annaliese, the ghost of the hanged woman’s granddaughter. And it’s especially hard to be normal when tragedy falls on everyone who experiences paranormal activity in the eerie corridor.

Rinn becomes convinced that Annaliese is haunting her and preying on her friends and her mother. But will people believe her, or just think it’s her bipolar disorder talking?Give this book to horror fans who are looking for a genuinely creepy, page-turning ghost story.

Check this book out or put it on hold.

–Amanda Coppedge Bosky

“A Monster Calls” by Patrick Ness

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Thirteen-year-old Conor wakes from a nightmare to find a monster waiting for him. The yew tree in his yard has transformed into a wooden man bristling with twigs and branches. The monster says over the coming weeks it will tell Conor three stories and then Conor will tell the monster his own story.

Conor’s life becomes more and more bizarre — he spends his nights listening to the monster’s strange, confusing stories while dealing with a sick mother and a school bully in the daytime. Slowly he begins to understand the meaning behind the monster’s stories and come to terms with the story burning inside him — the story he swore never to tell anyone.

This book is a thing of painful beauty. Jim Kay’s stark black, white and grey images of the monster add to the books atmospheric creepiness and sadness. The story was inspired by the final idea of now-deceased young adult author Siobhan Dowd (author of “Solace of the Road” and other books). The book’s emotional, no-holds-barred examination of grief combines beautifully with its celebration of the power of story.

Check this book out or put it on hold.

–Amanda Coppedge Bosky

“Give Up the Ghost” by Megan Crewe

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Ever since her sister died, Cass McKenna has been able to see Paige’s ghost — as well as other ghosts at her school and around town. The best thing about hanging out with ghosts? They won’t dump her like her so-called best friend did, and they can dig up all kinds of dirt on the jerks at Cass’s high school.

When Cass gets to know a popular boy named Tim, her perceptions about the privileged crowd begin to change. She begins to realize that, though she was bullied in the past, now she has turned into somewhat of a bully herself. Can Cass work past her own hurt and loss, stop using the ghosts’ information to blackmail people, and reach out to Tim when he needs a friend?

Author Megan Crewe visited the library in early 2011 to talk about her debut novel. This book is great for provoking discussion about the afterlife, bullying and friendship. It is also a breath of fresh air: a paranormal story that features a friendship, not a romance, between a girl and a boy. Highly recommended for reluctant readers because of the fascinating paranormal elements and the level, non-hokey exploration of topics such as bullying and peer pressure.

Check this book out or put it on hold.

–Amanda Coppedge Bosky