Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Book Review: Inside Out by Terry Trueman

Hi guys! Katie C. here with my first book review for TBF 2018!!! This week: Inside Out by Terry Trueman

You're worthless...You need to die, Wasteoid! Yeah, die, Wasteoid...

Zach Wahhsted is used to hearing these brutal words. But today he isn't the only one in danger of dying. 

A busy coffee shop, a robbery gone wrong. Two gunmen, nine hostages, flashing lights, itchy trigger fingers. And Zach, a seemingly ordinary teenager, is caught in the middle of the mayhem. 

But nobody realizes that Zach, who has no gun and no knife, has a mind more dangerous than any weapon.

Never what he seems and always on the edge, Zach is an unforgettable character in a new book by Terry Trueman that is  filled with the same shocking power and heartbreaking compassion as his Printz Honor Book, Stuck In Neutral.

This book was super short, but super super amazing! I'm really glad I picked it to review this year. Out of all the great things Inside Out had to offer, the thing that stuck out the most was the writing. The book is written from the first point of view of a kid with schizophrenia and it's done so well. From the way Zach talks, to the pattern of his thoughts, to the reaction and behavior of different people around him, everything is written in a realistic manner that doesn't come off as silly or discriminatory. A lot of research was put into this book and every word expresses just that.

In addition to fantastic writing, the plot itself was breathtaking and kept me turning pages. I read this entire book in one sitting, unable to put it down (for a very good reason)! The story starts off with a robbery and the events that follow are filled with a lot of suspense and plenty of plot twists, some that even I didn't see coming!

Finally, while this book had amazing writing and a super enjoyable plot, something that'll stick with me after reading this will be the characters. I love it when I read a book and every character just jumps off the page. This book was no exception. Every character was three dimensional and written well, but I especially loved how the two robbers were written. They could have easily been the stereotypical villains who were nothing but cruel and bad for the sake of being bad.Instead, however, Trueman wrote them with different personalities and goals and made them so much more real, showing the reader in the end how everyone has a different goals and issues to deal with and everything might not be as it seems.

This was just a great read and if you're into more serious books that explore deeper themes and real world issues, or just love any other books by Terry Trueman, I highly recommend you check this book out too!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Top 3 Authors I Want To Meet This Year

Hey everyone! I'm super excited to kick off my second year of blogging with one of our new Friday Fun Posts. If you're like me you probably have our website bookmarked so you can check our upcoming authors often and so you have seen all of the amazing authors coming to TBF this year. Without further ado, here are the top three authors I want to meet at TBF this year!

Ellen Hopkins: Ellen Hopkins writes hard-hitting, young adult books about real issues, written in free verse that will captivate you with every word. Several of her books have been on my to-read list forever and since it was announced she was coming back to Rochester again this year I knew I finally have to pick up one of her books this year which I'm very excited to do so. From reading her website I've realized that she's just as honest as her books in the best way possible, and I'm so excited to hopefully meet her and talk about her books this year at TBF!
website goodreads twitter

Justina Ireland: 
As every author was announced in these past months I would excitedly look up their books and read all about them. As I started to read about Justina Ireland and her novels I was taken and I'm planning on reading Promise of Shadows as soon as possible. Greek mythology with a strong female main character who's also an assassin? Sign me up! Based on her social media Justina Ireland sounds as cool as her books do and I hope I can meet her and talk all about her and her books in May!
website goodreads twitter

Brendan Kiely:
If you're on the internet as much as I am you probably heard all of the (well deserved) hype earlier this year surrounding All American Boys by Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds, both who are coming to TBF this year which is very exciting! I'm reading one of Brendan's other books right now, The Last True Love Story, and I am really enjoying the story so far. His writing, reminiscent of John Greens, is a mix of humor, powerful quotes, and pop culture all wrapped up into one compelling story. Overall I am very excited to hopefully meet Brendan Kiely this year and talk about his books!
website goodreads twitter

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Book Review: Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce

Hi TBF readers! I hope everyone's October is off to a good start. I'm excited to start the new blogging year! I can't wait to share all these amazing books and authors for this upcoming season with you all. To start us off strong I read Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce!

Young Daine’s knack with horses gets her a job helping the royal horsemistress drive a herd of ponies to Tortall. Soon it becomes clear that Daine’s talent, as much as she struggles to hide it, is downright magical. Horses and other animals not only obey, but listen to her words. Daine, though, will have to learn to trust humans before she can come to terms with her powers, her past, and herself.

Tamora Pierce is one of our returning authors to TBF this year and over the years she has written many fantasy novels to capture our hearts. Even so, this is my first time experiencing one of her books and it did not disappoint. The first installment in the Immortals series caught my attention and kept me interest the entire time. As we explore the world of Tortall our characters are faced with the likes of which they've never seen as mythical creatures are summoned from their imprisonment long ago. With Daine and her connection with animals along for the journey, I got sucked right into the story full of griffins, spirits, and the inner fire of everyday animals. Throughout her journey Daine is such a relatable character to any of you animal lovers out there, and even if you're not but you love a good fantasy novel, this book is for you.

I had a great time reading this book over my long weekend and I hope all of you love it as much as I did. Happy reading!


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Three Authors I'd Love to Meet at Teen Book Fest

Hi guys, Kate G. here and even though it’s still fall, I’m definitely beginning to get pumped up for TBF. If you’ve been monitoring the TBF authors page as obsessively as I have, you’ve probably noticed that there are a lot of really cool writers coming to the event next May. It’s incredibly hard to whittle down a list and choose, but if I had to pick three amazing authors that I can’t wait to meet this TBF, I’d choose:
Margaret Peterson Haddix: I started reading books by Margaret Peterson Haddix when I was still in elementary school and I can still remember the concept of Among the Hidden-- a world where any child the third to be born in a family was illegal and had to hide to survive-- being incredibly chilling to me. More recently, Just Ella and Found are on my To-Be-Read list, and I can’t wait to finish them so I can talk with their author!
Tamora Pierce: Tamora Pierce is like a legend when it comes to female-powered fantasy YA. Literally, I've been waiting to read her books since forever and now I have an excuse. If anyone asks me why I'm not working on homework (high school senior problems, guys), I can say that I am-- "TBF preparation homework." Not to mention if you read her author bio, it's easy to see that Tamora Pierce sounds like one of the coolest people out there, a suspicion I'd be all too happy to confirm at TBF.
A.S. King: Last but not least, one author I really can't wait to see at TBF is A.S. King. I first met her a couple of years ago (at TBF, big surprise!) and since then I've read as many of her books as I could get my hands on. As one reading fan to another, if you like contemporary literature with on-point exploration of current issues or just anything so surreal and mind-blowing that for about half an hour afterward, you have to lie on the floor of your bedroom asking what even is life?, her books are for you. And, in person, she's just as cool as her books are, definitely setting you at ease if you get nervous meeting authors (as I tend to do). So basically if I'm going to conclude this I'll just say that if you see someone coming about 30 minutes early to get to A. S. King's author session or carrying a bag full of books that I need her to sign, that'll be me.
Wow, somehow, (and I did not believe that this was physically possible) just trying to pick three out of all the amazing writers coming to TBF has gotten me even more excited for the event. Happy reading everyone and keep your eye out for any authors that you'd like meet at Teen Book Festival this spring!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Book Review: The Novice by Taran Matharu

Hello TBF Readers,

Welcome back to the TBF Blog! From now until the 13th Annual Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival, which is May 19, 2018, expect a ton of posts from all of us here at the TBF Blog. This year is a super exciting year because TBF will be a TEEN just like you!

To start off the TBF Blog, I have for you the first TBF Book Review. I recently read THE NOVICE by Taran Matharu, the first book in The Summoner series, and I loved every bit of it. Take a look:

Fletcher is working as a blacksmith's apprentice when he discovers he has the rare ability to summon demons from another world. Chased from his village for a crime he did not commit, Fletcher must travel with his demon, Ignatius, to an academy for adepts, where the gifted are taught the art of summoning.

Along with nobles and commoners, Fletcher endures grueling lessons that will prepare him to serve as a Battlemage in the Empire's war against the savage Orcs. But sinister forces infect new friendships and rivalries grow. With no one but Ignatius by his side, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of the Empire is in his hands. . . .

THE NOVICE is unlike anything I have ever read before. The world-building of The Summoner series is fantastic and completely original--I am super jealous of our heroes, Fletcher, Othello, and Sylva who get to live in this world, Hominum, every day. The best way to describe it is that it is a mixture of The Lord of the Rings and Pokémon (Trust me on this). The Summoner series is centered around an age-old battle between humans and orcs. One advantage to the human race is that there are special humans called summoners who can call, command, and train demons from the ether world. These summoners eventually become battlemages who then enter the hard and bloody war. Of course, these summoners try to collect the most powerful demons to battle the orcs--gotta catch 'em all! This concept is so cool--like I want a sidekick demon buddy! It screams to my love for fantasy, The Lord of the Rings, and Pikachu (Who doesn't love Pikachu?).

The other aspect I love about THE NOVICE is that it deals with real-life problems such as racial tensions and the divide between the social classes. In The Summoner series, there are humans, elves, and dwarves. Much like The Lord of the Rings, these three races do no get along until Frodo unites respective leaders (Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli) and they become The Fellowship of the Ring. What I love about THE NOVICE is that there is no Frodo and no one really wants to ally themselves with elves and dwarves and fight the greater good. There are only a handful of dreamers--our heroes--who do believe that they can live in a peaceful co-existence and defeat the orcs. We, the readers, experience their strained relationship (humans vs. the elves and dwarves) through character interaction and background stories--a rare factor in fantasy novels. In addition, THE NOVICE addresses the issue of inequality between social classes. The students who are training to become summoners are divided between the royals and the commoners. The royals believe they should get the best position in the army and the best demons just because their families have power, influence, and money. They hate the idea of commoners, and recently dwarves and elves, becoming summoners and taking away the royals' "rightful" place in the world. This startling parallel to our own reality makes this novel even more compelling to read.

I highly recommend THE NOVICE for fans of The Lord of the Rings and Pokémon. You will love the incredible world-building, sympathetic characters, and the fast-pace of the novel. I am definitely checking out the next two books in The Summoner series, THE INQUISITION and THE BATTLEMAGE, both out now!

Check out The Summoner series by Taran Matharu at the Monroe County Library System, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.

That is all for today! Be sure to check the TBF Blog this Friday for our brand-new blog posts called "TBF Friday Fun Posts". Your TBF Bloggers will share with you all of our excitement for our TBF authors and books.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

TBF 2017 Map and Schedule

TBF is THIS week! Are you guys excited?!

If you are like me, I'm a planner. I love to look ahead and start planning. Today, I have very helpful links for anyone who wants to see where our wonderful 27 TBF authors will be throughout the day.

For the awesome and useful *color-coded* map AND schedule, click HERE!

In addition to the author sessions, there will be special workshop sessions that are open to all teens. Check out programs and the times HERE!

I can't wait to see you all there!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

My TBF Experiences

Greetings fellow bookworms,
In light of the the rapidly approaching Teen Book Fest (17 days and counting), I’ve gathered a couple of tips and tricks from both my own experiences at TBF and that of my friends. I know it’s really easy to get caught up in the sheer awesomeness of what is happening all around you (Fav authors! Presentations! BOOKS!) but just making sure to keep in mind a few things can be particularly helpful in making sure your day is just as amazing as a new series by your favorite writer- or at least at close as it can get to that level of euphoria.
  1. Plan in advance. Yes, there may be tests and APs but just taking a few minutes to plan can make sure you don’t get hit with any nasty surprises on festival day. The TBF site has both a map and schedule for anyone who wants to look at them so consider taking a couple moments just to figure out which authors you want to see and where you have to go BEFORE you hit the festival grounds.
  2. Don’t forget your books. You’d think this would be obvious but I can (shamefully) tell you that I have, indeed, left them before at home. This is one of the worst feelings in the world so make sure you have all the books you want to get signed. Put them in the car, your bookbag, duct tape them to your leg, it doesn’t matter; just make sure you have them at TBF.
  3. Bring water and snacks. A tip from someone who’s been to TBF a couple of times before: you will do a lot of walking and chances are, whether you want to go to all the author sessions or not, you won’t have a ton of time to grab any lunch. So bringing some food and a water bottle can likely both save you some time and possibly prevent the very embarrassing scenario of having your stomach grumble right in front of your favorite author.
  4. Get there early. Again, maybe this is obvious but I know I’ve showed up late once before and really regretted it. Part of the fun at TBF is seeing the rally in the morning and not to mention showing up late can put you in jeopardy of missing an author’s panel. So don’t make the same mistakes I did- get there on time.
  5. Finally, don’t be nervous. I know that when I see a favorite author, my brain tends to kind of blow up right on the spot and I begin to babble all over the place. It’s ok. Calm down. Authors are really, really cool people. Just be yourself and you'll have a much better experience.
So in conclusion, TBF is going to be great, guys. We’re all going to have a lot of fun, meet our favorite authors, and probably bankrupt ourselves buying books. Hopefully, all of these tips are
going to be helpful but remember not to get too caught up in the planning. Just have fun- that’s what TBF is all about.
Happy Reading,