Author Archive

Teen fiction excellence: Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

Posted on January 6th, 2013 by Teen contributor

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Teen fiction excellence:  Where Things Come Back by John Corey WhaleyWhere Things Come Back written by John Corey Whalley
Young Adult Fiction published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, a division of Simon and Schuster

Before Cullen Witter’s final year of high school, everything he thinks and understands about his small and painfully dull hometown of Lilly Arkansas vanishes. His cousin overdoses, his town becomes obsessed with the reappearance of an extinct woodpecker, and, most disturbingly of all, his gifted younger brother disappears, leaving Cullen to hold his family together as he muddles his way into adulthood. On the other side of the world, a young missionary in Africa searches for meaning wherever he can find it. When their two stories collide, they, and the people whose lives they’ve touched, will be changed forever.

There are a lot of coming of age stories out there. This is probably why I don’t read them that often. After reading the backs of a bunch of them at the library or book store, they all start to blur together, and it is hard for one to stand out. Where Things Come Back does stand out, becoming one of the best books I’ve read this Winter Break.

For me, my favorite thing about this book was its characters. The characters were interesting, understandable, and relatable. I could feel their emotions clearly throughout the book, as they searched and lost and found. Almost every character had some sort of back story or development and they were the driving force behind the plot, their stories weaving together and connecting in ways I never saw coming. As the author gradually brought all their stories together, he creates a well constructed and creative narritive, leading up to a unexpected, heartbreaking, yet hopeful finale. The last few chapters were my favorite part of the story, as I got to watch all the threads of this story finally come together as one.

Where Things Come Back is my first read of 2013, and it has set the bar very high for the rest of the books I read this year. Thought-provoking and original  this book has become one of my favorites, and I would recommend it to anyone, no matter what they prefer to read.

Where Things Come Back at Amazon.com

Where Things Come Back at Amazon.ca

Where Things Come Back won the William C. Morris YA Debut Award and the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. As well, it was named an Indigo Books and Music Best Teen Books of 2011 Pick, a New Voices for Teens Selection -ABC Children’s Group at ABA and Best Fiction for Young Adults 2012 Nominee -American Library Association.

The Nature Of Monsters – Clare Clark

Posted on August 1st, 2012 by Teen contributor

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Storytime Standouts’ teen contributor writes about young adult fiction title, The Nature of Monsters

Storytime Standouts' teen contributor writes about young adult fiction title, The Nature of MonstersThe Nature of Monsters – written by Clare Clark
Young Adult Fiction published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt




In 1718 Eliza Tally arrives in London to work as a maid for an apothecary, a position arranged to protect the father of her unborn child from scandal. But why does her master want another maid when he already has one, a half-wit named Mary? And why is she never allowed to look her master in the face, or enter his study where he pursues his experiments? Soon Eliza realizes the nature of his obsession and must act to save the child, Mary, and herself.

Though not the most light and happy way to start off my summer reading, I really enjoyed this book. I loved the imagery in this book. It made me really feel that I was in that world. The whole novel is very descriptive, creating a dark and claustrophobic atmosphere. The story its self is haunting and scary, the author paints a very real picture of what London must have been like for the common people in the eighteenth century. Overall I really enjoyed this book. It has a different, mysterious plot line that would be enjoyed by fans of both the gothic and historical genres.

The Nature of Monsters at Amazon.com

The Nature of Monsters at Amazon.ca

Clare Clark @ 5×15 from 5×15 on Vimeo.

The Knife of Never Letting Go written by Patrick Ness

Posted on January 31st, 2012 by Teen contributor

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The Knife of Never Letting Go written by Patrick Ness
Young Adult Fiction published by Walker Books





Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in a never ending stream of noise. One month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog Manchee stumble upon an area of complete silence. They find that, in a town where privacy is impossible, a secret has been hidden, one so awful that Todd and Manchee must run for their lives. But how do you escape when your pursuers can hear your every thought?

This is the first book in the Chaos Walking series. And I thought it was so good that I cannot wait to read the second book. The book keeps you guessing all the way through. It is very fast paced and I like that the author broke the book up into parts so that there are multiple climaxes through out, leading up to the big one at the end. As a series opener it was very promising and I think it will appeal to almost all readers, especially if you like adventure, mystery or science fiction. The Knife of Never Letting Go is one of the best books I have read in recent weeks, shaping what is probably going to become one of my favorite series.

Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize (2008)
Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production Honor (2011)
James Tiptree Jr. Award (2008)

The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book One at Amazon.com

The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book One at Amazon.ca


This was one creepy book and I loved it – Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Posted on July 28th, 2011 by Teen contributor

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Storytime Standouts' Teen Contributor Looks at Darkness Becomes HerDarkness Becomes Her – written by Kelly Keaton
Gods and Monsters Young Adult Series published by Simon and Schuster





Ari feels lost and alone. With strange teal eyes and silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, she has always stood out. And, after growing up in foster care, she longs to have a sense of who she is.  But, after uncovering a message from her long dead mother and an ominous attack, Ari knows only one thing: she must travel to the rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving in New Orleans she discovers that New 2 is very… different. Here, Ari is normal. But every creature she encounters here seems to be afraid of her. Ari won’t stop until she finds out who she really is. But some truths are too horrifying to be revealed…

This was one creepy book and I loved it. This book is mysterious, keeping you always guessing, as well as being well written. It took mythology and urban legends and turned them into something very different. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes creepy books, fantasy, and urban legends of Greek mythology.

Darkness Becomes Her at Amazon.com

Darkness Becomes Her at Amazon.ca

Highlighting Young Adult Fiction: Paper Towns by John Green

Posted on March 18th, 2011 by Teen contributor

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Storytime Standouts' teen contributor writes about Paper Towns by John GreenPaper Towns by John Green
Young Adult Fiction published by Dutton Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.





Quentin Jacobsen has spent his life loving the adventurous Margo Roth Spieglman from afar. So when she cracks open his window and summons him for an all night campaign of revenge- he follows. The next day, at school Q discovers that Margo, always an enigma, has become a mystery. But there are clues, and they’re for him. urged down the disconnected path, the closer he gets the less he sees the girl he thought he knew…

This was the first of John Green‘s books that I have read and I am very impressed. The story is intriguing and well crafted, the characters interesting. Paper Towns involves the reader, you will find yourself puzzling at night as you try to unravel the mystery for yourself. And you will be laughing frequently for John Green writes with brilliant wit.

Paper Towns is Young Adult fiction that can be enjoyed by almost everyone. I defiantly recommend it as one of my favourites.

Anthony Award Nominee for Best Children’s/Young Adult Novel (2009)
Corine – International Book Prize for Young Adult Novel (2010)
School Library Journal Best Book of the Year (2008)
Edgar Award for Best Young Adult (2009)
YALSA Teens’ Top Ten (Young Adult Library Services, American Library Association) (2009)

Paper Towns at Amazon.com

Paper Towns at Amazon.ca

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