Shadowsong

S. Jae-Jones

Six months after the end of Wintersong, Liesl is working toward furthering both her brother’s and her own musical careers. Although she is determined to look forward and not behind, life in the world above is not as easy as Liesl had hoped. Her younger brother Josef is cold, distant, and withdrawn, while Liesl can’t forget the austere young man she left beneath the earth, and the music he inspired in her.

When troubling signs arise that the barrier between worlds is crumbling, Liesl must return to the Underground to unravel the mystery of life, death, and the Goblin King―who he was, who he is, and who he will be. What will it take to break the old laws finally? What is the true meaning of sacrifice when the fate of the world―or the ones Liesl loves―is in her hands?

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The Warnings 

Margaret Buffie

Original title, The Guardian Circle

Rachel’s single father sends her off to live with a strange great aunt she has never met before while he travels across Canada for work. When she arrives in Toronto, Rachel’s strange visions and feelings become stronger and more ominous than ever before. They feel like warnings. Luckily, she meets a new friend who doesn’t think she is crazy and they set off to find out what they are, and what is happening? Is it ghosts? Magic? Or are the old people who live with her aunt playing tricks on Rachel?

The Warnings (original title, The Guardian Circle) is a great book for older children and teens. I would recommend it for grades 4-10. The Warnings is a wonderful ghost story with intrigue and a little bit of history in it. The story takes places in Toronto and Western Canada. This book was not predictable, I had no idea what was going to happen until the very end and there is a large cast of supporting characters who had a lot of involvement in the plot. This book is not part of a series. – Heather M.

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The Hazel Wood

Melissa Albert

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. When Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get. Her mother is stolen away—by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. Now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began—and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

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Blurryface

Twenty One Pilots

Blurryface by Twenty One Pilots is a striking, emotion-filled album like no other, taking you on a different journey throughout each of the 14 songs. Bringing together multiple genres – hip-hop, pop, electronic, and rock – during this musical voyage, each song with a new diverse sound from the other. With its 14 diverse songs regardless of what kind of music you’re into, this album has a song for everyone.

The album’s vocals produced by vocalist Tyler Joseph, with a voice unlike any other, place Twenty One Pilots as a highly recognizable sound to all. Through his voice, the raw emotion in the songs pours out to the listeners, all backed by distinctive drums, piano, and electronic beats. The drums further the band’s sound through nearly all their songs, adding a unique and catchy beat behind the lyrics with drummer Josh Dun’s display of expert drumming. Altogether, emitting music with a catchy tone, whether it be purely vocals, drums, electronic, piano, and often a mix of all.

Not only does the sound of the album itself resonate with listeners, the lyrics themselves ooze with emotion in songs such as “Goner”, “HeavyDirtySoul”, and “Stressed Out” and people can find ways to relate to them in some way. While other songs such as “Tear In Your Heart”, “Ride”, and “Lane Boy” will have you on your feet, singing along to the catchy, upbeat lyrics. It is an album that all teens can connect to, whether you’re going through tough times or having the best time of your life, providing true comfort and understanding. This album will have everyone dancing along, rocking out, crying, and connecting with each song. – Eve L.

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Tempests and Slaughter

Tamora Pierce

Arram Draper is on the path to becoming one of the realm’s most powerful mages. The youngest student in his class at the Imperial University of Carthak, he has a Gift with unlimited potential for greatness–and for attracting trouble. At his side are his two best friends: Varice, a clever girl with an often-overlooked talent, and Ozorne, the “leftover prince” with secret ambitions.

Together, these three friends forge a bond that will one day shape kingdoms. As Ozorne gets closer to the throne and Varice gets closer to Arram’s heart, Arram realizes that one day–soon–he will have to decide where his loyalties truly lie.

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Masterminds: Criminal Destiny

Gordon Korman

Masterminds: Criminal Destiny is the long-awaited continuation of the cliffhanger in book one, Masterminds. In this second book of the Masterminds trilogy, we follow four kids, Eli, Malik, Tori, and Amber who are running from their peaceful town named Serenity.

 

These kids have uncovered that their true identities are clones of criminal masterminds, and that their entire lives have all been a scientific experiment. Now they have to travel and navigate through the states, find billionaire Tamara Dunleavy, and avoid the purple people eaters. These problems are a lot of for a few kids to handle, so when they are put in multiple fly-or-die situations, these 4 clones have to use their criminal abilities to help themselves.

 

They are attempting to expose the scientists behind project Osiris and get justice for themselves and the others back in Serenity. This is a thrilling book and is so interesting that you will not be able to put it down even for a second. Not only is this book entertaining, but it is also a thoughtful book. It makes you constantly wonder what you would do in a situation like this even if it were to be highly unlikely. Masterminds: Criminal Destiny is another great book by the fantastic author, Gordon Korman and fans will not be disappointed to continue reading this series. A wonderful series for grades 4-6. – Aquilin C.

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The Defiant

Lesley Livingston

Be brave, gladiatrix… And be wary. Once you win Caesar’s love, you will earn his enemies’ hate.

Fallon has been warned. Now she is about to pay the price for winning the love of the Roman people as Caesar’s victorious gladiatrix.

In this highly anticipated sequel to THE VALIANT, Fallon and her warrior sisters, find themselves thrust into a vicious conflict with a rival gladiator academy, one that will threaten not only Fallon’s heart – and her love for the Roman soldier Cai – but the very heart of the ancient Roman Empire.

When dark treachery and vicious power struggles threaten her hard-won freedom, the only thing that might help the girl known as Victrix save herself and her sisters is a tribe of long-forgotten mythic Amazon warriors. The only trouble is, they might just kill her themselves first.

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Iron Gold

Pierce Brown

A decade ago Darrow was the hero of the revolution he believed would break the chains of the Society. The Rising has shattered everything: Instead of peace and freedom, it has brought endless war. Now he must risk all he has fought for on one last desperate mission. Darrow still believes he can save everyone, but can he save himself?

And throughout the worlds, other destinies entwine with Darrow’s to change his fate forever.  A young Red girl flees tragedy in her refugee camp, and achieves a new life for herself, one that she could never have imagined.

An ex-soldier broken by grief is forced to steal the most valuable thing in the galaxy—or pay with his life. Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile to the Sovereign, wanders the stars with his mentor, Cassius, haunted by the loss of the world that Darrow transformed, and dreaming of what will rise from its ashes.

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Someone to Love

Melissa de la Cruz

Olivia “Liv” Blakely knows how important it is to look good. Her father is running for governor and Liv is thrust into the bright media spotlight. She has an image to uphold—to her maybe boyfriend, to her new friends and to the public, who love to find fault on social media.

Liv’s sunny, charming facade hides an inner voice that will settle for nothing less than perfection. No matter who she has to give up, or what she has to lose, to achieve it. But as the high price of perfection takes a toll, Liv realizes that the love she feels for herself is more important than all the ‘likes’ in the world.

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Slider

Pete Hautman

Slider is a witty story of a teen who loves to eat and he’s good at it too. 14-year-old David checks stats on all his favourite food competitors and their competitions. He finds out a half-eaten hot dog, eaten by one of his idols, is being sold online but he needs a credit card to purchase it. Through “borrowing” a credit card and setting up an automated bidding system he ends up the not so proud owner of a preserved old hot dog.

He has many bouts of bad luck throughout the plot and slowly gets into debt with his friends. He begins to train in eating and attempts competitions himself with slider burgers, pizza, and many other foods. David struggles to make plans to get the money back, some more realistic than others. All the same, no matter the quality of his plan he vows to earn the money back or his life will be ruined by spending so much. Food competitions aren’t always as they seem: there are rule changes, sabotage and sometimes the prize isn’t what you had expected. Making friends in some of his competitions at some points help him to up his ante and find new and gross food eating techniques.

David is also assigned to take care of his brother Mal who has autism and only speaks one word, “okay”. Mal doesn’t talk much or eat a variety but his feats in learning help push David for his brother’s sake. Things may not always be right but are sometimes the right things to do; this is a lesson David learns through experience and later presents closer to the end of the story.

Overall, Slider is a hilarious read that will make you laugh out loud and maybe look at burgers a little differently. It is a must-read for those who love comedy and are looking for a fun light read. – Zoe P.

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