Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Revenge Playbook by Rachael Allen

Four girls out for revenge. The football team has run the school for too long. The players get special exceptions with class work. They never get into trouble no matter how heinous the crime. They are treated like gods.

Well, enough is enough. When Liv and Melanie Jane are both dumped by their football player boyfriends at the same time, the secret of the List is revealed - some underclass players are forced to break up with their girlfriends or face the consequences on and off the field.

By chance the two girls find each other (and team up with Peyton and Ana who have their own reasons for disliking the football players) to beat the team at its own game - no, not football, the annual scavenger hunt. Losers have to walk on the field at homecoming naked.

The girls enter the scavenger hunt secretly (only team members are allowed). They are driven to get the sacred Football of '76, the good luck charm of the team. If they can just get the attention of the school and knock the team down a few notches...

We follow the girls on their hunt and learn the events leading up to it in flashbacks. Each girl tells her own part of the story. Liv is the girl with an undeserved reputation. Peyton is the shy girl who tries not to draw attention to herself. Melanie Jane has relationships with expiration dates - why be too serious at her age? Ana is the girl no one talks to - her reputation was cemented the night of the party that caused the split between her and Melanie Jane.

As they progress toward their shared goal, they bond with each other and address old wounds. It is a fun story with justice being the goal, but friendship being the result.

For more info, check out the Indianapolis Public Library catalog.



Wednesday, July 29, 2015

So Cute It Hurts Vol. 1 by Go Ikeyamada

Twins, a girl and a boy. They are just so cute. Mitsuru, the boy, likes girls and they love him. He is popular and a strong fighter. Megumu (or Mego), the girl, is a history nerd and gamer. She has two otaku friends who share her interests. Neither twin has ever found true love.

Mitsuru and Mego go to different schools; his all boys and hers all girls. Mitsuru has a week of history quizzes that he needs to pass and Mego is good at history, so he thinks they should trade places for a week. She is reluctant, but has no choice when Mitsuru leaves early for school dressed as her (leaving his clothes and a wig for her to use).

The quizzes are forgotten as the story moves at a rapid pace with the brother and sister having their own adventures in each other's place. The brother's school is a rough place where the meeker Mego quickly runs into trouble thanks to her brother. Mitsuru finds Mego's friends confusing, but nice. He takes on the reigning queen of the school to protect a shy girl being bullied.

Both twins may have found their true loves in accidental encounters but now must interact with them as members of the same sex. How will it all be sorted out? I can't wait for future volumes to find out.

One must not question the improbability of it all and just fall right in with this fun, wacky story.

Did I mention there's a guy with an eye patch?

For more info, check out the Indianapolis Public Library catalog.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Since You Asked by Maurene Goo

The most striking thing about this book for me was that I am sure I've read it before. So if I have, why did I not blog about it? Did I not like enough to include it? I liked it this time, so here we go.

Holly is a sophomore, and it's her first time on the school newspaper staff. Out of boredom, she rewrites a column by one of the editors that rips the school and all the boring, stupid stuff that everyone else seems to love. No big deal except the column accidentally gets published in the paper.

Holly has never sought attention, but now she has lots of it. Some students think her column is funny, others are furious. And the administration...not happy, but decide the newspaper needs a fresh voice that will bring interest to the paper.

Her columns are not the focus of the story; they are just the impetus for the changes in Holly's life: being friendly with the hot popular guy her friends hate, getting love notes from a secret admirer and disobeying her strict parents. Even though some things stay the same (like dealing with her parents and their insistence on sticking with annoying Korean traditions), Holly's life is influx, but with her good friends to support her maybe her won't be so bad after all.

For more info, check out the Indianapolis Public Library catalog and the author's site.



Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Kidney Hypothetical or How to Ruin Your Life in Seven Days by Lisa Yee

Poor Higgs. His life falls apart in one week. Just normal teen angst, you say? No, his whole future might be in jeopardy after this. So how does Higgs Boson Bing (yes, that is his real name) go from being top of his class, captain of the debate team to being the most hated kid in school? It all started with one question...

Heading into the last week of his senior year, Higgs was on the senior boat cruise sitting with his girlfriend, Roo and some friends. Higgs was desperately fighting sea sickness when Roo's friend, Samantha, proposed the following, "If Roo needed a kidney, would you give her one of yours?" Higgs being the rational, logical thinker that he is (just ask his debate opponents) refused to answer such a ridiculous hypothetical question. Conclusion: Higgs refusal to answer means 'no,' therefore Higgs is a horrible, selfish person.

First, the word spread. Then, an all-out campaign to discredit Higgs started. There was no escape...until Higgs wandered off into the forbidden area near the water tower and found Monarch, a quirky, strong-willed girl who is living on her own in an abandoned trailer.

Intriguing - a girl his own age who is living with no rules, no school and no overbearing parents to decide where she will go to college and what her profession will be. And she is so different from Roo. Maybe she is just what Higgs needs.

For more info, check out the Indianapolis Public Library catalog and the author's site.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach

The world may end as we know it. An asteroid named Ardor is coming to earth. Will it hit or just pass closely? Unknown. Will it change the lives of Peter, Anita, Andy and Eliza? Yes.

Anita wants to be a singer, but her strict parents have done everything to discourage her. For them, it's all about going to Princeton and becoming a respected professional. Prestige is important to her father.

Peter is an athlete dating a popular girl named Stacy, but he's not sure why anymore. He kinda accidentally kissed Eliza last year in the school's dark room. They were seen and word got around quickly. As Peter was dating Stacy at the time, she made sure everyone knew Eliza was a slut.

Eliza loves photography. Her father, who is dying from cancer, encourages her creativity. She likes being on the fringe observing rather than being observed. Getting a reputation and becoming the talk of the school was a nightmare.

Andy is a drug user living in the basement with practically no supervision from his parents. He plays guitar in a band with his friend Bobo. Their music is loud and mostly incomprehensible, but Andy does write other songs, more melodic and personal. He bets Bobo he will no long be a virgin when the world ends.

The lives of these four young people seem interconnected as society falls apart in the (possible) impending disaster. Just like the world, their relationships are in flux. Sometimes they hate each other and other times they need each other. Whatever happens (and I'm not going to tell you), the four are given new opportunities to make their lives better (no matter how short those lives may be).

For more info, check out the Indianapolis Public Library catalog and the author's site.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Endangered by Lamar Giles

She aims her camera, framing the shot from her place in the bushes. As always, Lauren (aka Panda) wants to go unnoticed. Anonymity is critical when exacting revenge via her blog. The photos she is taking tonight will bring retribution for another. Panda is a vigilante of sorts, specializing in bringing justice down on those who deserve it with her camera and computer. 

Her target this night is Keachin, a stunningly beautiful, popular girl who was unusually cruel to Nina, a girl who needs crutches due to cerebral palsy. Keachin is hardly an angel to those she believes are beneath her, but hiding Nina's crutches was too much for Panda to endure. 

Gray (Panda’s alias on her blog) has many followers. Sticking it to those who deserve it turns out to be popular on the internet. Her post about Keachin catches the attention of a lot more people than usual and ultimately leads to a huge scandal and death for someone involved. 

Panda is more determined than ever to keep her identity secret (people who are exposed do not tend to be happy about it). Someone who calls him/herself the Admirer has uncovered Panda's secret and uses it to blackmail her into a 'game' that pushes each of them to dangerous places. 


So many questions and so much tension...this is a nail biter for sure as Panda finds herself trapped in the mess she created with no easy way out. 

For more info, check out the Indianapolis Public Library catalog and the author's site.



Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Silent Alarm by Jennifer Banash

The gun was pointed right in her face. Just minutes before, someone had come into the school library yelling about the shooter. Alys heard shots fired and found herself facing the gunman, her brother Luke. The gun shots, the screams, the blood - a horrible nightmare and she was right in the middle of it.

In her life before the shooting, Alys had her best friend Delilah and her boyfriend Ben. She had time for little else, practicing her violin for an important audition at the end of the school year - the one she'd been preparing for her whole life. Her parents had sacrificed so much to get her to this point.

In her life after, Alys has lost everything. Her family is blamed for her brother's actions. Her parents are breaking apart. And Alys can't even pick up her violin. The only person who will speak to her is her brother's best friend, Riley and he is as confused as anyone about Luke's actions.

Alys cannot reconcile the brother of her childhood and the one who killed people. She is haunted by him; seeing him and talking to him. Is it real? It doesn't matter since the tragedy will never make sense. Luke will never be able to explain why he killed so many people including ones he knew his whole life, like Ben's younger sister.

Luke spared Alys's life, but she is a victim, too. He killed the life she had before and maybe the one she was going to have. This story gives us just a glimpse into an all too common event in our society.

For more info, check out the Indianapolis Public Library catalog and the author's site.