Book Bites: Teen Choice

YA lit is where it’s happening, friends. Have you noticed? Here at the shop, we pride ourselves on our teen section, and on bringing some of the best YA writers in the game to our annual TeenBookCon festival each spring. Of course, we couldn’t do any of it without a community of thoughtful, engaged young readers. We’re so grateful to everyone who has joined our Teen and Young Adult Reviewer Program, where we collect reviews from readers ages thirteen to twenty-four to help us understand which books y’all are excited to read, and which authors we should bring to town. Today, we’re featuring a selection of those reviews below, in our first-ever “teen choice” reviews roundup! Read on.

(Pssst. Want in on the reviewing action? Participating in our teen reviewer program is easy. All you have to do is submit reviews of books you love through this form. At the end of every month, we'll draw the name of a random reviewer to win a $20 store gift card. Older than 24? Well, you don’t qualify for this program, but we’d still love to hear from you—stop by and chat books with us!)

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Maddy is not an ordinary 18-year-old girl. She has never left her house because she is allergic to the world. One day she meets the boy next door, Leo, and her whole world is turned upside down. Everything, Everything is a book you will never regret picking up and will never want to put down. Read if you love The Sun is Also a Star. Pass if you don’t like reading amazing books.
—Lucynda R.

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When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

This book is a compelling story about friendships and poverty and has a twist of time travel mixed in. Miranda, the main character, is on an adventure to figure out who is writing mystery notes. While on this adventure, she runs into many issues that make it much harder to reach her discovery. I believe everyone should read this book because it teaches you valuable lessons and has a fun twist.  

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NEED by Joelle Charbonneau

This enticing novel centers around the story of 16-year-old Kaylee Dunham. One by one the students at Nottawa High join the newest networking site and begin to answer its “simple” question: What do you need? As the students start to perform this seemingly simple task for the site, they begin to question not only their morals, but those of their peers as well.

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Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Hey, Kiddo is an amazing book about life struggles and family. Jarrett is a boy without a mother, due to addiction, and a father that never knew about him. Jarrett lives with his grandparents who love him very much, but they have problems of their own due to Jarrett’s mother. As Jarrett grows up he begins to understand how difficult it is to grow up without the stereotypical “normal family.” This book is Jarrett’s journey through life without stability at home.
—Sophie F.

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A Short History of The Girl Next Door by Jared Reck

Matthew Wainwright is navigating his way through life as a high school freshman. He doesn’t know how to tell her, but he has feelings for his best friend Tabby. However, with high school comes new boys. So, Tabby falls in love with a senior on the basketball team who everyone adores. After a major accident, Matthew loses control of himself and struggles to maintain sanity.

I would recommend this book to those who love romance novels. Well-written and entertaining, this book is funny enough to make you laugh out loud, but also sad enough to make you cry.
—Sydney L.

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Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Citra and Rowan were both just normal teenagers living their normal lives till one day their lives were turned upside down. They have a run-in with a man named Scythe Faraday, and when they try to test him he takes them into apprenticeship. Scythes in this book are people required to “glean” others to keep the population in control in this world where death was beaten. But whenever they are forced to have a run-in with other Scythes they discover that corruption runs the community. I would recommend this book to everyone as there is a real connection with the characters and lots of internal and external struggles.

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