APL's Teen Space

Book – All Fall Down by Ally Carter

all fall down

Grace is back at her grandfather’s on Embassy Row in Adria three years after her mothers death. Growing up an army brat she has moved around morn them most. She knows how to protect herself and she has no problem with danger. Grace has to learn to behave herself now since she is back representing the US in another country, but when she hears his voice and sees the scarred man from that night she knows its him! The man who killed her mom. Everyone said she made up the story about a scarred man. That her moms death was an accident, but Grace was there. She knows the truth, even if they did have her strapped to a bed and kept thinking she was crazy. She knows she’s not, and she is going to prove it by following the scarred man and figuring out what he is up to.

Wow. Okay. I have theories about where this is heading and I really hope that someday this series meets up with one of her others. This is one of those stories that grabbed me, like all of Ally Carter’s books do. I saw parts of the story coming, but others totally surprised me. Still not sure about a few things. For example Alexei? What’s happening there? Overall a great read!

Book – The Young Elites by Marie Lu

young elitesAdelina Amouteru has survived the sickness that took her eye, loosing her mother in that same sickness and an abusive father who would sell her off to the highest bidder to lessen his debt. He has beaten her but praised her sister who came out of the sickness unmarked. Adelina is a Malfecto and her father only wants to unleash the powers that he believes are inside of her. When he finally promises her to be an unknown mans mistress before she is even old enough to be married Adelina leaves in the middle of the night.  When her father tries to stop her the power he hoped for reveals itself. She has the power of illusion. Dark shapes rise up around her and attack her father. This scares him enough that he falls back and is trampled. The inquisitors track her down and want to burn her at the stake, but one of the Young Elite (Malfectos with powers) saves her. They teach her how to control her powers and use them for the good of the rightful king, Prince Enzo, the Young Elite that saved her from the flames.

While the story is something that held my interest I have no real love for any of the characters. Maybe Enzo, but that poor kid… Adelina is a horrible person who can’t help being afraid and that is what feeds her power and makes her crazy. She doesn’t want to be horrible. She just wants someone to love her without stings attached. The inquisitor is just being used and to fight his own kind he must be messed up in the head. Each of them has their own set of issues that make them hateful in my mind. I can’t stand behind any of them.

Book – Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

lies we tell oursleves

In Davisburg, Virginia 1959 the courts had ruled in favor of integration. The white High School had to accept black students in. Sarah and her sister Ruth are two of the ones allowed in since they were on the honor role. Having been raised in Chicago, Virginia is like another world. The name calling, shoving, thrown objects and “accidents” that happen are all ignored. Anyone caught fighting by a teacher will be expelled. Being good Christians, none of the black students speak up for themselves, not even when they are all put in remedial classes.  The NAACP is encouraging them to integrate without trying to cause anymore agitation then necessary, so none of the black students are supposed to try out for extra curricular activities. But when Sarah is paired with two of the white girls for a project things at the school started to change.

Linda is the daughter of a well respected white journalist. She is on a path to marriage straight out of high school. Her parents, not thinking much of her intelligence, had her placed in remedial classes all through high school.  When the black students came she wasn’t one of the ones screaming at them. But when Sarah sat next to her in class Linda moved to another seat as fast as she could. She believes in segregation, but she doesn’t know why she is fascinated by Sarah. When they are paired together, along with Judy (Linda’s best friend), for a project Linda tries to tell Sarah why integration is a bad thing, but Sarah has a response for everything and slowly starts to make Linda see the truth behind it all. These two girls have more secrets and tell more lies to themselves then most. With less than a school year until they graduate Sarah and Linda are set on a path that could be catastrophic. Can they all survive until graduation?


I read the advance reader copy of this sent to me by the publisher! Thanks for this! This is one of those books that I knew was about integration, but I hadn’t read anything about it being about their attraction towards each other so that came as bit of a shock when I first figured that out, but I enjoyed the book. It’s really about the lies that we tell ourselves. We don’t have to face the major injury that Sarah did everyday, but we all tell ourselves lies to get us through hard times. This is a really hard topic to talk about since it is so huge a part of our history and I think the author did a great job of it. I think everyone should read a book about integration and this is a great one to go with.


Book = A Beautiful Friendship by David Weber

beautiful friendship

Stephanie has been moved to a new planet, Sphinx. With the moving comes the fact that she wont get her internship with the forestry service she wanted. Steph is the type of girl who needs to explore the outdoors. But on the wilds of Sphinx there are creatures that could kill a young girl very easily. Being restricted to the house isn’t easy but when her parents give her a puzzle to solve she never expected to find a new sentient species.

Climbs Quickly is the best of the advance scouts if he does say so himself. He has been watching the two-leggers for a while now and has started to think of them as his two-leggers.  His job is to watch them and figure out if they are dangerous. None of the people have been spotted by the two-leggers so they are unaware of the people, but Climbs Quickly thinks that they must have a way of understanding each other, but they are truly mind blind. When he went into their growing place during a storm he wasn’t expecting to be seen by the youngling two-legger.

These two form a bond unlike any other in existence. With no real way to communicate they still feel the need to protect each other. This story had me from the beginning. I’m not one to read a lot of Sci-fi with alien species and such, but this was fantastic.  Humans making the age old mistakes that we make on epic scales. I want to know more that happens with these two so I will pick up book two as soon as I can .

Book -H2O by Virginia Bergin


Ruby is at a BBQ with a bunch of her friends at Zak’s house in the country, hanging out in the hot-tub kissing the boy she likes when IT happens. The RAIN… It’s deadly! One drop on the skin will kill you within 3 hours. There was no real warning. The only reason the kids didn’t get caught outside in it was because Zak’s parents came hoe early having been told by their family in the house of lords about what was going to happen. Ruby makes it home to her mom’s house, but her step-father locks her in the spare room overnight to make sure she isn’t infected. It’s in the Rain, its in the water in the pipes, it’s everywhere. Who will survive?

Spoilers from here on!!!!

Okay, So I finished the book last night and had to sit and think about this story as a whole and here is what I came up with.

The author made a conscious choice to make Ruby act the way she did. And she (the author)did it for a reason. The way the story ended with the Army people only allowing certain people to stay if they have something to offer society was just odd. The population is devastated! Why aren’t they trying to save all they can? Why only those that can help rebuild the society that the government wants. It takes all kinds people! Why didn’t they ever explain that they wanted to know what you could offer to society to the people waiting in the line? Plus they never explained anything in the emergency messages all through the book! They just told people to stay home. They never said to avoid the water in the pipes. Its almost like the author is saying something about the British Government and how they withhold information from their people. Plus making Ruby one of the governments undesirables from the very beginning and reinforcing the fact that she isn’t one to think ahead (or at all) at every turn in the book just reiterates this. I marked the pages where Ruby did or said something that was (lets face it) dumb! There are a lot of them! Is anyone else seeing this??!?? Or am I just being crazy? Is she just a self-involved teen who doesn’t think things through and is so much in shock at what is happening that she makes snap (stupid) decisions?

We are talking about this in our Goodreads discussion group. Join the “Aurora Public Library Teen Space” Group if you want to talk about the book with us.

Book – Destined for Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon

destined for doonThis is Book 2! The sequel to Doon

Kenna knows she made a huge mistake by going back. She didn’t realize that Duncan was in fact her imaginary friend from when she was a kid. They had a real calling and she never realized it was him. Then Duncan shows up in her dressing room and says she needs to go back to Doon. There is a threat to Doon that the Queen needs her help with.  She knows she crushed his heart, but he is acting odd around her.

Vee is now Queen of Doon. Jamie is driving her crazy by trying to protect her from everything and do all the ruling for her, not all the subjects of Doon see her as their Queen, plus the killer limbus is surrounding the kingdom and turning all living creatures in it into zombies. She needs Kenna’s help! So she sends Duncan to go find her and bring her back.

This series has captured my interest, but it is always lacking something. I’m not sure what, but the story is one that keeps me coming back for more. Book two, like book one, leaves us with a cliff hanger. I still think Vee can do better.; hopefully Jamie will prove that wrong in the next book.

Book – Timebound by Rysa Walker

timeboundTime travel, Alternate Realities, The Chicago’s World Fair, & the murderer H.H. Holmes!

Kate Pierce-Keller has never had a relationship with her grandmother. Her mom and grandmother, Katherine, don’t get along, but when grandma comes to town she has something big to share with Kate.  Kate has the ability to time travel. Grandma Katherine herself is from the future where she worked for a company called Chronos with her husband, Saul. Together they went back in time to study history. She got stuck in the past because Saul decided to change history and create a religion around himself called the Cyrist’s.   Katherine herself can no longer use the amulet to time travel. She needs stable points to make the jump and without a connection to Chronos she is stuck, but since Kate is the grandchild of 4 time travelers from Chronos she has the unique ability to jump wherever she likes.  But when one the the Cyrist’s kills Katherine in the past, Kate’s life disappears. The only reason that Kate and Katherine are still around is because they are each protected by a Chronos pendant. In order to get her parents back and save both her grandmother and herself she must go back to when they killed off Katherine and save her, but Katherine made a lot of jumps to the past. Several to the Colombian Exposition in Chicago where notorious murderer H.H. Holmes killed women without remorse.

There is a very twisted plot to this story that kept my head trying to think it through. Apparently there was a version of Kate that even she can’t remember where she fell in love with a boy from the past named Kiernan. But she wasn’t wearing a pendant when they changed the timeline the first time and can’t remember him anymore. But when they killed off Katherine in the past, Kate was protected by the pendant. That is the moment she meets Trey. She falls for Trey and can’t remember Kiernan, but he remembers her.

This story had me from the get go. I listened to the audio and I think that made all the difference for me. With so many twists to this book I think that is the only way I was going to be able to keep up with it. The fact that her aunt looks like her twin is kind of scary. It left a lot of questions unanswered, but I guess that is why there is a book 2!

Book – Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

lola and the boy next door

This is book 2!

Lola dresses in costume every day. The only child of two fathers, (that she did not get her fashion sense from) Lola is a devoted daughter who thinks her life is perfect. Especially with her rocker older boyfriend. But just when everything in her life is going good the Bell twins move back in next door.  Calliope and Cricket Bell used to be her friends, but Calliope tried to pull Cricket away and Cricket’s life always revolves around his sister and her ice skating career. But, Lola and Cricket used to be close. So close that Lola thought that there was a romance growing there, but he broke her heart and moved away. Now he is back and he is still in love with Lola. Can Lola decide between her first love and the guy she thinks is the rest of her life?

A cute little romance. This is actually book two in a series, but I saw no problem starting here. This one is for older readers, but it has that element of first love in it that makes it sweet. I could see any girl falling for Cricket Bell. He is the ultimate boy next door. I honestly couldn’t believe that Lola’s dads didn’t call the cops on her older boyfriend. Even if they thought Lola a flight risk like her mom they could have gotten a restraining order on him. Over all a light read that I listened to on audio.

Book – The Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

iron trial


Callum Hunt has been told all his life about the Magisterium and how magic is bad. How magic killed his mother and how the Magisterium Mages don’t protect their students, but use them for experiments. So on the day of his testing Call sets himself up to fail. Call fears magic and hasn’t learned anything about it or the world that it comes from. His father wont even speak about Call’s mother. So when Call is last on the leader board during the testing he thinks he is safe, but then he is chosen by Master Rufus, the highest ranking Master there. Taken to a school in the ground Call just wants to get back to his father, but soon he makes friends and learns that magic isn’t all bad.  But then there is a prophecy about Call and his two friends.  “One will be expelled, one will die, and one is already dead!” With the Enemy of Death out there somewhere and chaos ridden animals to fight and magic to learn, Call’s Iron year is anything but boring, even if his training starts out that way.

After meeting these authors at Anderson’s Teen Literature Conference I decided to read their joint novel. They made it sound interesting to write together the way they did this so I wanted to see how it turned out. The main gist of the story is much like Harry Potter and a number of other books that are similar. However the big twist is something I didn’t see until almost half way through the book. I listened to the audio of this and found myself drawn in by Call. Though anytime anyone used his name I was thinking “why do they keep talking about calling someone.” I really what to know what happened to the Lizard and I can’t wait for book two after that ending!