Monday, June 27, 2016

Drag Teen by Jeffery Self

JT has only done drag once - and it was humiliating. Of course, it wasn't the best venue with the most receptive audience (high school talent show with jocks watching). JT will not put himself through that again.

The problem is that JT does not want to be stuck working in his family's gas station in Florida for the rest of his life. His parents do not have the money to send him to college and do not seem to care what happens to him as long as he works at the station. How can he escape? His boyfriend, Seth, discovers a teen drag contest that gives the winner a four year scholarship to college.

So here are the problems (as JT sees it): 1)The contest is in New York City and he has no money to get there and 2) He is not a real drag queen since his only performance was a total embarrassment.

It's a good thing JT has friends like Seth and Heather. They are constantly talking him through his insecurities. And they have a plan. JT just has to find the confidence in himself and trust the people who want to help him. In New York and on the trip there, JT finds many of those people.

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

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Don't Get Caught by Kurt Dinan

Max is tired of being 'Just Max.' So when he receives a mysterious invitation  from the Chaos Club to meet at the water tower, he goes. For decades, the Chaos Club has pulled pranks around the school. Could this be an invitation to join the secret society?

Max soon realizes he is not the only one to get the invitation. The group includes a dumb jock, a tough girl, a slacker/troublemaker,  and the girl Max has a crush on. They make it to the top of the water tower as instructed only to realize they have been set up (and the whole thing is recorded and uploaded to the internet).

Tired of being pushed around, the group decides to pull their own epic pranks and take down the Chaos Club at the same time (and if they can make a certain coach look bad, too, all the better). Each group member will pull a prank to see who can do the best one.

How do you pull of pranks without involving innocent people? It's a question Max asks himself as the 'war' escalates. He wants to be somebody, but is it worth getting expelled?

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

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

Holmes and Watson must solve the mystery before the killer catches up to them. No, not Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson (they are long dead). This is Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson, decedents of the famous crime solving team. Through coincidence (or is it?), they both end up at a private school in Connecticut. Watson knew of Charlotte, of course, but had never met her.

The death of a classmate finds them awkwardly paired. Jamie must adjust to Charlotte's unusual habits and eccentricities. From birth she has been trained in the Holmes tradition of crime solving and all the goes with it (observation, forensics, interrogation). Although the Holmes and Watson families have shared history, Jamie's mother has tried to keep him away from the Holmes'.

But once Jamie follows Charlotte through the dead student's window to examine the crime scene, there is no going back. Jamie is completely immersed in Charlotte's world. Adding another level of intrigue, the crime (and the ones that follow) mimics the stories of the original Holmes and Watson.

I have never been a reader of Sherlock Holmes (other than a few in high school), so I do not know how closely the characters of Charlotte and Jamie resemble their famous ancestors. I do know that there is enough mystery (mixed with teen angst) to keep the pages turning.

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

Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Truth Commission by Susan Juby

Almost by accident, Normandy, Dusk and Neil start a movement to find the truth. They ask the questions everyone wants to know but are afraid to ask. Why did Aimee have plastic surgery over the summer? Is Tyler Jones gay? But how do you get the answers - you go right to the person of interest and ask them.

Normandy, Dusk and Neil attend the Green Pastures Academy of Art and Applied Design. It is a unique school that allows students to focus on different aspects of art. Neil is a painter (of the female form). He also likes to dress as characters from classic 60s and 70s movies. Dusk is currently working on taxidermy. She is the most effortlessly beautiful girl in the school. Normandy is a writer who is famous for being portrayed in her sister Keira's hugely popular graphic novel.

Normandy is uncomfortable asking others about their secrets because she has enough of her own family secrets (like how her sister has left college in California but won't tell anyone why including her agent). Normandy's family has always revolved around her sister's gifts and talents, so as long as Keira is working on her novel her parents will not do anything to upset her.

Normandy tells the story in a paper (aka the book itself) she is writing (complete with footnotes) for her Spring Special Project. She includes all the humor and drama that is her life: her sister's breakdown and her friend's quest for the truth that becomes bigger than all of them.

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

23 Minutes by Vivian Vande Velde

Imagine if you could go back in time to change something. Correct an answer on an exam. Take back something hurtful you said. Save someone's life. It seems easy enough, but time can be unforgiving. Suppose you can only go back 23 minutes. Zoe can. She doesn't know why, but she has the ability to jump back 23 minutes (and reset 10 times before the she reaches her oringinal starting time).

So on a rainy day, she ducks into a bank to stay dry and finds herself in the middle of a robbery. The young man who steps between her and the gunman should not have to die, no one should. Zoe tries to intervene using her time travel abilities.

It should be easy enough - call the police before the robbery happens; try to stop the robber from entering the bank; tell the young man not to enter the bank. Zoe has ten tries to stop people from dying. Her time travel has never been needed for something so important.

The author has given us a tight scenario with strict rules that makes for a tense story.

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