Book Review: Delirium

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
(Click here to find a library copy.)

In the future United States, there is a cure for love.  Everyone is operated on around the age of 18, then they proceed into a trouble-free adulthood.  The problem?  Teenagers.  Some of them can't make it to 18 without being infected.  Lena is counting down the days until she is through the danger and can be given the cure.  However, when Lena's evaluation day is pranked with a herd of stampeding cows, it starts a chain of events that opens her mind to the implications of being denied the opportunity to love.  Delirium is part of a mini-trend in dystopian literature in which romance drives the story.  Lauren Oliver's writing is excellent, which I think makes up for some of the generic dystopian plot elements.  Our recent dystopian book discussion covered a lot of ground in the genre, and I would compare this book to Matched and the Uglies series.  Check this one out if you're looking for a quick, exciting read with a swoon-worthy love interest!  Visit Lauren's website to learn more about her and her books.  I really enjoyed her previous book, Before I Fall.


Uno Tournament

Last Wednesday, 23 people showed up for our after-school Uno Tournament.  To make it more fun, everyone got to pick their group for the first rounds.  I mean, it's no fun if you can't compete with your friends, right?!  The first two winners from each table advanced to the semi-finals, and then the first two winners from the semi-finals advanced to the final round.  As people left the tournament, they could continue playing Uno or choose other board or card games.  (And, as usual, the Yu-Gi-Oh guys brought their own cards along.)  The final game was among Janae, Warren, Billy, and Zaynah. There had been much trash talking on Facebook, and Warren backed up his claims with victory!  He won candy and a $10 gift card to Wawa.  The other three finalists each got a card game, and everyone who played in the semi-finals got candy.  It was so much fun, we have to do it again sometime!


Upcoming Releases for June and July 2011

Look for these series books coming out this summer!

6/7/11--Cruel Love by Kate Brian (Privilege series)
6/9/11--The Bones of the Holy by Jennifer Allison (Gilda Joyce series)
6/21/11--Homecoming by Felicia Pride (Kimani Tru)
6/21/11--Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter (sequel to Heist Society)
6/28/11--The Secret Prince by Violet Haberdasher (Knightly Academy series)
7/5/11--Twisted by Sara Shepard (Pretty Little Liars series)
7/12/11--Forever by Maggie Stiefvater (Wolves of Mercy Falls series)
7/19/11--Mayhem by Artist Arthur (Kimani Tru)


Realistic Fiction Reads

I've been reading more than usual lately, but I haven't caught up on the blog!  Here are three recent reads of note, covering a wide variety of realistic fiction:

Jane by April Lindner
(Click here to find a library copy.)

Noticing all of the attention Jane Austen's books been getting recently, April Lindner thought it was Charlotte Bronte's turn.  A passionate fan of Bronte's Jane Eyre, Lindner created an updated retelling of this classic story.  Forced to drop out of college after her parents' death, straight-laced Jane takes a nanny job at a remote estate for the daughter of Nico Rathburn, a reclusive rock star.  Of course, tortured romance ensues, as Jane falls for Nico against her better judgement.  This is an engaging and romantic read, especially if you are familiar with the original.  Curl up with it when your schedule is open, because you will want to finish it once you start!

Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Davitt Bell
(Click here to find a library copy.)

Going to summer camp is one thing, but what if your mom decided that the whole family should spend time together at pioneer camp?  Gen's family has packed off for a summer at Camp Frontier, where they will live, work, and eat like American pioneers.  Gen sneaks her phone in, and texts desperate messages to her friends about this "Little Hell on the Prairie."  What she doesn't know is that they are reposting her texts to a blog that is rapidly gaining popularity.  When Gen's friends show up with a TV camera crew to rescue Gen, it could be the best thing that ever happened to her--or the worst.  This is a light read that will make you laugh, especially if you were a fan of the Little House books and always wanted to live like Laura's family!  And, it will definitely make you feel better about wherever you have to go to camp this summer.

How to Steal a Car by Pete Hautman
(Click here to find a library copy.)

Everyone needs to escape from their own lives sometimes.  For some of us, it's through books, exercise, movies, or another healthy activity.  For Kelleigh, however, it's stealing cars.  She falls into it by accident, finding a set of keys on the ground and taking advantage of the opportunity.  But the thrill gets her hooked, and she spends her summer toying with increasingly dangerous car thefts.  Why does Kelleigh do this?  Even she doesn't know for sure.  However, she rationalizes each theft to herself in such a convincing manner that it all seems perfectly OK.  My favorite moment of the story is definitely when she steals the obnoxious yellow Hummer of an equally obnoxious classmate as revenge and drives it into a lake!  As a reader, I was wondering when Kelleigh would learn her lesson or get arrested.  But, the author creates a really interesting dilemma by not allowing those things to happen during the story.  This is a short read (only 170 pages and it's double-spaced), so read it and think for yourself!


Register Now

We are registering now for these programs for the end of the school year.  Sign up soon!

Decoupage a Time Capsule
Wednesday, June 1, 3:30 to 5:00
Remember this year forever! Decorate a tin with pictures and designs, fill it with memories of 2010-2011, and keep it for the future.

Dr. Who Night
Friday, June 3, 6:30 to 8:30
For students in grades 8 to 12 ONLY
Do you know what TARDIS stands for? Do you have a favorite Doctor? Planned by Dr. Who fans on the Teen Advisory Board, this event is a must for everyone who enjoys sci-fi.

Craft Closet Cleanout
Wednesday, June 8, 3:30 to 5:00
Make something you missed or create something totally new as we get rid of craft supplies from recent events. Come with your friends, eat snacks, and make stuff!

Nintendo Night
Friday, June 10, 6:30 to 8:30
Bring your DS and favorite games, enter a Super Smash Bros. Brawl tournament on the big screen, play games on an original NES, and more! Permission slip required. Group size is limited.


Spring DDR Day

Yesterday, 11 people showed up after school to play Dance Dance Revolution.  I had out decks of cards and board games for when people weren't dancing, and (of course) there was food.  After some time for free play, I ran a little tournament.  Ross was victorious, and won a $5 Dunkin Donuts gift card!  We won't do DDR again until the fall (no room in the summer schedule), so look for it then. 


Stuffed Shelves

We've got more new books this week, so come in and check them out!  The shelves are getting packed again!!  Here are the newest of the new:

  • Pick-Up Game:  A Full Day of Full Court edited by Marc Aronson and Charles R. Smith Jr. (short stories)
  • Complusion by Heidi Ayarbe
  • Wishful Thinking by Alexandra Bullen
  • Leverage by Joshua C. Cohen
  • Angry Young Man by Chris Lynch
  • Subject Seven by James A. Moore
  • Mad Love by Suzanne Selfors
  • Warlock by Michael Scott (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series)
  • Blink & Caution by Tim Wynne-Jones
  • Ana's Story:  A Journey of Hope by Jenna Bush
  • Ripley's Believe It or Not!  Enter If You Dare!


Spring Pokemon Night

Last Friday, 26 teens showed up for Pokemon Night.  We showed the first Pokemon movie, hooked up the Nintendo64 to the TV to play Pokemon Snap, and used the Wii to play old GameCube Pokemon games.  Almost everyone brought their DS and Pokemon game (Black or White) for our tournament.  Because we had uneven brackets, we ended up with a three-way final.  John, Joseph, and Le all battled each other, and Le won two of the games.  Le earned a $25 gift card to Game Stop, while John (who won one game) got the second-place prize of a $10 gift card to Game Stop. 

Thanks to the participants in the Random-A-Thon Fundraiser this winter for providing the money to purchase prizes!  Additional thanks to David J., Le, and Sara for the use of their equipment and games at the event.  I appreciate your help!  We will probably try another Pokemon event in the fall, so keep it in mind.


It's the End of the World As We Know It: Dystopian Fiction Book Discussion

Last Wednesday, 10 teens showed up for the dystopian book discussion.  I pulled our library's books in that genre from the teen section, and they covered almost the whole table.  Dystopia really is the hot genre right now.  (Good-bye supernatural romance!)  We talked about what defines a dystopia, how it fits in with other genres, and the different kinds of dytopian books.  People talked about their favorite dystopian novels, which included Uglies, The Hunger Games, Unwind, and Gone.  We also discussed the issue of how much romance is appropriate in a dystopian novel.  We read this recent New York Times article, which raises some interesting thoughts about new books like Matched and Delirium, where romance drives the dystopian plot.  It was a great discussion, and a lot of people checked out books at the end. 

You can continue the discussion on The New York Times' website.  In their Room for Debate category, there is a whole section about dystopian teen books called The Dark Side of Young Adult Fiction.  It has short articles (including ones by Scott Westerfeld and Maggie Stiefvater) from different viewpoints, plus you can add your comments!

Here's a list I put together of books for fans of The Hunger Games, which is mostly dystopian teen novels.  Want to read more?  Check out these lists from Wikipedia:


Shiny & Bright

Get these new books fresh from processing!

  • Love, Inc. by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout
  • What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
  • Alicia by Lisi Harrison (Clique Summer Collection)
  • Claire by Lisi Harrison (Clique Summer Collection)
  • Cliquetionary:  The Wit and Wisdom of the Clique by Lisi Harrison (Clique series)
  • Dylan by Lisi Harrison (Clique Summer Collection)
  • Massie by Lisi Harrison (Clique Summer Collection)
  • The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
  • Everfound by Neal Shusterman (Skinjacker trilogy)
  • The Book of Potentially Catastrophic Science:  50 Experiments for Daring Young Scientists by Sean Connolly
  • Going Blue:  A Teen Guide to Saving Our Oceans, Lakes, Rivers, and Wetlands by Cathryn Berger Daye and Phillppe Cousteau
  • Shonen Jump magazine back issues from 2007 and 2008 (donation)


Urban Legends

On Wednesday, 10 people showed up for our after-school urban legends day.  Urban legends are stories that get passed around by people that are false or only partially true.  Sometimes a person will tell a story that happened to "a friend of my mom's" or "a girl down the street."  Other times, you hear a story in an email or text, or read something in a Facebook or Twitter post.  You should always be sceptical, because they're often urban legends!  If you want to know if a story you heard is real or fake, check out http://www.snopes.com/.  Another great way to tell is to try to find newspaper articles or news stories that back up the claim. 

At the program, we talked about urban legends we had heard, took a quiz, watched a few segments from Mythbusters, and wrote our own urban legends.  Each urban legend was created by randomly drawing a perpitrator, a victim, a location, and an object and weaving them into a story.  Here are a few of our own urban legends:

Urban Legend #1 by Kaitlyn and Alyssa
OK, oh my God, I read this crazy story in Seventeen magazine.  There was this really nice teacher/professor lady walking around the mall with her two-year-old toddler, shopping for a Christmas outfit.  And they were all minding their own business and stuff, right?  And then some crazy dangerous escaped criminal came up behind them, pointed a gun at the lady's head, and stole her kid's lollipop!  Then he, like, ran away!  The store clerk call the cops and they arrested him in the next town.  Turns out he was a serial lollipop stealer!  Insane, right?  But totally true.

Urban Legend #2 by Billy and Ashton
A pizza delivery guy stopped by a store to deliver a pizza and soda to Mark, a store clerk.  Mark went out to pay the pizza guy.  As the pizza guy drove away, Mark dropped the can of soda in the road.  The wheel of the pizza van drove right over the soda and the pressure made the can shoot right into Mark's head!  He was in a coma for six months and has a permanent indentation of a soda can on his forhead.  True story!

Urban Legend #3 by Taliah, Janae, and Blya
This really happened to my friend's cousin!  One day this innocent child was in a pet store and a nerdy computer whiz came in.  Since he was a nerd, he had a mini-stapler in his pocket.  It fell out of his pocket just as a dog escaped from its cage.  The dog thought it was a bone and picked it up with its mouth!  It ran over to the child while biting the stapler, and the dog accidentally stapled the child's ankle!! 


Check Out Something New

Here are the new books you can look for in the teen section this week.  There's a lot to choose from, so come in and borrow something.  Relieve your stress from AP exams, school projects, tests, and life in general with a good book!!

  • I Am J by Cris Beam
  • Rival by Sara Bennett-Wealer
  • Chime by Franny Billingsley
  • Abandon by Meg Cabot
  • Subway Girl by P. J. Converse
  • Flirt Club by Cathleen Daly
  • Entwined by Heather Dixon
  • Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey (replacement copy)
  • Gool by Maurice Gee (Salt trilogy)
  • Gone by Michael Grant (Gone series; replacement copy)
  • Nocturne by L. D. Harkrader (Dungeons and Dragons)
  • The Rogue Crew by Brian Jacques (Redwall series)
  • Invincible by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Chronicles of Nick series)
  • Death Cloud by Andrew Lane (Sherlock Holmes:  The Legend Begins)
  • Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (Twilight Saga; additional copy)
  • A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull (Beyonders series)
  • All You Get Is Me by Yvonne Prinz
  • Virals by Kathy Reichs
  • Illegal by Bettina Restrepo
  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis
  • The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan (Kane Chronicles)
  • The Break-Up Diaries by Ni-Ni Simone and Kelli London
  • The Return:  Midnight by L. J. Smith (Vampire Diaries series)
  • Tutored by Allison Whittenberg
  • Steel by Carrie Vaughn
  • Yes You Can!  Your Guide to Becoming an Activist by Jane Drake and Ann Love