Teen Tuesday: The Young World by Chris Weitz

The Young World by Chris Weitz“It’s another gorgeous spring day after the fall of civilization.” In The Young World by Chris Weitz, black humor, uniquely diverse characters, and a vividly descriptive contemporary New York setting help push this novel to the front of the post-apocalyptic pack.

It’s two years since a mysterious sickness killed all the children and adults – leaving the teenagers unaffected. At least, that is, until they mature and succumb to the sickness themselves.

With clear memories of life “before,” and struggling to live in the “after,” many of the teens have formed geographical tribes, banding together for protection and survival, and battling others for dwindling supplies of food, medicine and weapons.

Jefferson has recently taken charge of the Washington Square tribe, a motley assortment of teens once led by his older brother. When one of his friends discovers an article that could potentially identify and help cure the sickness, Jefferson leads a band of five on a dangerous trek across the city to that bastion of information, the New York Public Library. Continue reading

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Book Review – This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein

Review by: Taylor P.

thisdarkendeavorAfter reading Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, I became very interested in reading books that involved the dark ideas and thoughts about science and creation Shelley had. This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel showed many qualities of what life was like in the 1800’s. I absolutely enjoyed reading this novel of an adolescent Victor Frankenstein.

The story begins by shedding some light on Victor and his twin brother Konrad’s lives. Both Victor and Konrad grew up liking many of the same things and always being around each other. They also attended school together with their other friends Elizabeth and Henry. All four of them always go imaginary exploring and always get into trouble. This is how all four of them wind up finding Victor and Konrad’s father’s Dark Library and is also where they are told to never again enter the Dark Library, for some things are better left unseen. Of course Victor is the one to become deeply interested in the Dark Library and plans to further investigate the library.

Some time later, Konrad becomes deathly ill and the doctors say that they have no cure or medicines to help him because they have no idea what is wrong. After Konrad is bed stricken, Victor becomes saddened to know that he does not have his brother to be around anymore. Everyday Konrad shows no signs of getting better which takes a toll on Victor and Elizabeth causing both of them to be very emotional. Victor then gets an idea to once again return the Dark Library to see if there is anything to cure Konrad’s illness. It is here that Victor finds a potion recipe called the Elixir of Life. Together, Victor, Elizabeth, and Henry go in search of the ingredients to create the Elixir of Life to save Konrad before it is too late. What they encounter is twisted, crazy, and utterly enjoyable.

This book was fantastically amazing and gave so many details about Victor’s life as an adolescent. I continually thought of how Mary Shelley did not include much detail about Victor as a young teen. I loved how Oppel gave me an idea of what Victor might have done or gotten himself into as a teen. One thing that I found refreshing was that all of the characters Oppel included in the story were all the original characters included in the original Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I adored getting into the big twists and turns that the story included, keeping my interest peaked. From start to finish it was an interesting book. I recently found out that Kenneth Oppel has made a second book to the series with This Dark Endeavor. The next book in the series is called Such Wicked Intent which I have still been unable to read. Once I do I will let you what I thought! I can’t wait to read it!

Teen Tuesday – PROM!

Signed up for the Teen Summer Reading Program yet?  Do it online or in person in the Young People’s Department.  With this summer’s theme “Own the Night” as our inspiration, last week’s challenge was to recommend books that took place over the course of a night, and what night is bigger in a teen’s life than . . . PROM?!

The dresses!  The dancing!  The decor!  Here are two recent titles that take decidedly different views of prom night.  First up is Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber.  Clever use of college essay questions begin each chapter of this fast-paced, action-packed thriller.  Gobi is a shy, homely foreign exchange student living with Perry’s family.  Up to now, Perry has managed to kindly ignore her until his mother forces him to take Gobi to the prom, which happens to be the same night that Perry’s band has their first gig in New York City.  Hoping to make a quick evening of prom so he can still perform with his band, Perry has no idea that Gobi has a plan of her own — one that will put his family in danger and get him chased, beat up, kidnapped and shot.  If the Alex Rider series ever took Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen to a dance, it would probably look something like this.  Over the top, but fun.

In Ditched: a Love Story by Robin Mellom, Justina is literally climbing out of a ditch when her story begins.  Prom was supposed to be Justina’s chance to maneuver her best friend, Ian, into the perfect kissing spot and declare her true feelings for him.  It was definitely not supposed to be the “abandoned with strangers” night that it turned into.  Sitting in a 7-Eleven, Justina tells her sad story using her dress stains and bruises as visual aids.  Disastrous decision-making and kooky characters may have some readers wondering if Ian was on the right track when he ditched Justina in the first place, but fans of books like Anna and the French Kiss will enjoy this romantic comedy.

We want to hear from YOU!  This week’s challenge: comment on our Facebook post and tell us about your favorite prom book or a favorite moment from your own prom and you’ll win something awesome.