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Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Posted: 18 Sep 2017 02:56 AM PDT
Lina's mom died, leaving Lina alone in the world with one wish. She wants Lina to go to Italy - just like she did as a teen. She hopes that Lina will fall in love with the country.

When Lina arrives, she's staying with the father she's never known. He works in a cemetery. Lina can't wrap her head around living in a cemetery, especially so soon after losing her mother. Plus, she's curious as to why she's never known about her father.

When her mother's friend gives her a diary, Lina starts learning about the past and her mother's choices. What she learns will change Everything.

My Thoughts: I'd been wanting to read this book forever after hearing so many great things about it, but it's always checked out at my library. I went to check the shelf before I left for vacation, but it wasn't there. But luckily I checked the return cart and there it was!

And it didn't disappoint, I couldn't put this book down. I lost myself in the pages of Italy - the sights, the relationships, and of course the gelato. I loved Lina trying to navigate life after her mother's death, especially in a new country. I loved reading her mother's journals and discovering the truth about the past. I love how that changed everything and yet it didn't.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

 New Fiction

Wonder Woman : Warbringer / Leigh Bardugo        
Product DetailsDiana, Princess of the Amazons, longs to prove herself to her warrior sisters. When the opportunity comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law to save a mere mortal. Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer-- a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, Diana and Alia will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

Empress of a thousand skies / Rhoda Belleza          (Empress of a Thousand Skies bk.1)
    Product Details
  Two fugitives, a princess-in-exile and her accused killer, cross the galaxy as they fight to reclaim her family dynasty and save the universe from a deadly threat.

Little & Lion / by Brandy Colbert           
Product Details
 Suzette returns home to Los Angeles from boarding school and grapples with her bisexual identity when she and her brother Lionel fall in love with the same girl, pushing Lionel's bipolar disorder to spin out of control and forcing Suzette to confront her own demons.

Spellbook of the Lost and Found / Mo├»ra Fowley-Doyle              
Product Details Six teenagers come together one stormy Irish summer and after they discover a tattered spellbook, find out they are connected in ways they could never have imagined.

Soldier boy / Keely Hutton           
Product Details Follows Ricky from 1987-1991, and Samuel in 2006, as they are abducted to serve as child-soldiers in Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda. Includes historical notes and information about Friends of Orphans, an organization founded by Ricky Richard Anywar, on whose life the story is partly based.

I see London, I see France / Sarah Mlynowski             
Product DetailsNineteen-year-old Sydney has the perfect summer mapped out. She's spending the next four and a half weeks traveling through Europe with her childhood best friend Leela. Their plans include Eiffel Tower selfies, eating cocco gelato, and making out with hot strangers. Her plans do not include Leela's cheating ex-boyfriend showing up on the flight to London, falling for the cheating ex-boyfriend's hot friend, monitoring her mother's spiraling mental health via texts, or feeling like the rope in a friendship tug of war.

Dress codes for small towns / Courtney Stevens
              Product Details     As the tomboy daughter of the town's preacher, Billie McCaffrey would rather wear sweats, build furniture, and get into trouble with her solid group of friends: Woods, Mash, Davey, Fifty, and Janie Lee. When Janie Lee confesses to Billie that she's in love with Woods, Billie realizes that she is also in love with Woods ... and maybe with Janie Lee, too. She keeps her conflicting feelings to herself as she comes to terms with the gray areas of love, gender, and friendship.

Ones and zeroes : a Mirador novel / Dan Wells
                 Product Details     Searching for a mysterious hacker when her Overworld team is invited to compete in an exclusive tournament, Marisa discovers that the event is rife with corruption, infighting, and dangers that render winning the only way to survive.

Lucky in love / Kasie West
    Product Details         Maddie is a hard working high school senior, waiting to hear from the colleges she applied to, when on a whim she buys a lottery ticket and wins; suddenly she is the center of everybody's attention, including her struggling family, and not necessarily in a good way--only Seth Nguyen, her charming coworker at the local zoo, seems oblivious to her luck, and Maddie is not sure whether telling him will change their developing relationship.

Friday, August 25, 2017


Posted: 17 Aug 2017 03:13 AM PDT
Sydney and her BFF talked about traveling to Europe, but Sydney doesn't want to leave her agoraphobic mother.When Leela's boyfriend kisses another girl, she begs Sydney to travel with her instead.

The two have them have four and a half weeks in Europe with a starting point (London), some plans for France, and leave from Rome. But the rest of the trip is open.

Where will they go? What will they do? And which boys might they kiss?
My Thoughts: God I loved this book. It reminded me of my traveling days  (I did a semester abroad in Bath, England in college). I liked how they had wiggle room in their travel plans. I loved reading about all the sights. 

I loved the romance. 

Leela's behavior annoyed me at times. But I'm glad they took this trip together and had time to readjust their friendship. 

I felt terrible for Sydney and how she took care of her mother, sometimes putting her life on hold. 

I also love how these girls are in college.

Cover Thoughts: Adorable

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Teen Summer Reading Review

The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Blood of Olympus written by Rick Riordan. Readers who have enjoyed other books by Riordan will also love The Blood of Olympus. Anyone who likes adventure will want to keep reading throughout the book.  The Blood of Olympus continues the plot of the seven chosen Demigods who battle against Gaea and her monsters as she continues to rise. They use wit and battle skills in times of distress. Their solutions are often crafty and/or humorous. This action-packed story gives readers an exciting plot with each characters being different. This book also informs the reader facts of Greek and Roman mythology. Riordan uses cliffhangers to keep the reader engaged. I never wanted to stop flipping the pages when reading. 
This is a perfect book for anyone who likes adventure and mythology. You won't regret reading The Blood of Olympus. 


Joey Majkut

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Teen Summer Reading Book Review  - 2017

The War That Saved My Life
By Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

This book was amazing. It takes place in WW2. The book's main character is Ada, a 10 year old girl with a twisted foot. Her Mother is too embarrassed to let her outside. When news of the War arrives, her brother Jamie is sent out of London as an evacuee. Ada sneaks out to go with him, and her world changes forever. This book made me laugh and cry as the interesting plot took lots of unexpected twists and turns. Ada is brave, caring, and not afraid to do what is right.

Lauren Fogel
Grade 6

Teen Summer Reading Book Review - 2017

Counting by 7's
By Holly Goldberg Sloan

Willow Chase the main character is a genius. She lost 2 sets of parents and is once again an orphan, she meets 7 different people that will forever change her life. This is an intensely moving middle grade novel about an outsider, losing her loved ones, obsessing about nature, and a diagnosed medical condition, this all does not stop Willow from having a happy life. She pushes through her grief. Her journey to find a family is extraordinary.

Kitana Le-Garcia
Grade 6

Teen Summer Reading Book Review - 2017

Live By Night
Dennis Lehane

It seemed like the book dragged on. Joe Caughlin was the main character and I felt no emotional connection to him he was just ....there. I would not recommend this book. The plot was all over the place. I enjoyed the Boston "Rum Running", "Bank Robbery" parts than the Miami parts. Once the main characters hit Miami there was a halt. I really was not a fan.

Brendan Egan
Grade 9 - 2.5/5 Points

Teen Summer Reading Book Review - 2017

The Lost And The Found
Cat Clarice

I read the book, The Lost and Found. This book was amazing. It was about a young girl named Laurel who was taken when she was 6 years old. Laurel's sister has been looking for her. Then, magically 13 years later she was found on the lawn where she was taken from. "Laurel" had been through a lot. Then, "Laurel" took over her sister's boyfriend. Then "Laurel's" sister finds out it isn't really Laurel. It was a young girl named Sadie that was also kidnapped by the same person. Laurel had died in bed and buried in the backyard. This was a sad story, but I would give this a 10/10 Points.

Fiona Galvin
Grade 10

Teen Summer Reading Book Review - 2017

Veronica Roth

Once you are a certain age you are put into one of five sections. The main character Beatrice was tested to see what category she would be put in. When she got the results back she was told she was qualified for more than one section so she was divergent. There ends up being a War and Beatrice's
Mom was killed and her leader was on to her about being divergent which was bad because she could have been killed if she was found divergent.

Deirdre Galvin
Grade 9

Teen Summer Reading Book Review - 2017

Joseph Stalin
Janet Culkins

The first book I read for the Westwood Library's Summer Reading Program was a book about Joseph Stalin, a biography to be clear. It was written in 1990 by Janet Culkins in Connecticut and has a few very interesting historical photos, The book changed a few of the ideas I had about him and the Soviet Union. I learned that he was a lot worse than I thought he was, I always thought he was horrible but I learned more and it showed me just how horrible he was. He was a key part in the 1917 revolution and he even became part of the Politburo, he had built up hatred in him from college and life as a peasant in Georgia.

He seemed quiet and harmless, but once he won his quarrel against Trotsky, he took power and began his terror. He killed about 20 million people in total. He even let his son Yakov die in a German Concentration Camp and then proclaimed, " I have no son named Yakov". He also made prisoners of war that were taken by the Germans be deported back to the Soviet Union and then killed, because of "treason", so he was bad to say the least! One man who summed Stalin up perfectly was a biographer named Isaac Deutscher who said, "He found Russia equipped with a wooden plow and left her equipped with atomic piles."

Review by Greely

Teen Summer Reading Book Review 2017

Title of Book: Short
Author: Holly Goldberg Sloan

Review: Short, by Holly Goldberg Sloan is about a very short for her age girl named Julia. She has never thought of herself as a performer, but when she gets cast as a munchkin in the production, "The Wizard of Oz" she begins to see herself in a new way. Julia meets new friends who change her life. Olive, a wise adult with dwarfism, proves that it doesn't matter how tall you are. Artistic neighbor Mrs. Chang proves no matter how old you are you can always chase your dreams.

Book Review by Ellie Owens, Grade 7.

Title of Book:The Brightest Stars of Summer

Author: Leila Howland

Review: Marigold, Zinnie, and Lily are back in Pruet! But this Summer, its an especially special visit. Aunt Sunny is getting married to soon to be Uncle Tony! Along with all the excitement for the wedding, Zinnie has to write a story as an entry for 1 of 5 spots in the coveted writers workshop. Marigold is feeling down lately after a year of friendship issues, and the fact that her scene got cut in the #1 movie. Lily is feeling left out at her Nature Camp by being the only kid there who doesn't live their year round. When all three girls get in a huge fight which in result almost ruins the wedding, the girls are crushed to do this to Aunt Sunny. In the end they fix it, but they find out that the best present to Aunt Sunny, is them.

Book Review by Ellie Owens, Grade 7.

Title of Book: Just Like Me
Author: Nancy J. Cavanaugh

Review: Just Like Me, is about a girl named Julia. Julia was adopted when she was a baby, from China. She and 2 other girls adopted from the same orphanage end up keeping in touch. So the Moms decide to put them in sleep away camp, so the "chinese sisters can bond together". The thing was though, Julia was much different than Avery and Becca. Julia hated all the chinese cultures, while Avery and Becca were totally excited to learn about their background. Julia just wanted to be an ordinary American girl. In camp the girls and the other cabin mates didn't seem to get along no matter what. When they get in deep trouble, they learn a lot about each other, and how they each seem to be going through tough times.

Book Review by Ellie Owens, Grade 7.