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What Teens Are Reading

When it comes to discussing young readers, most blog posts tend to focus on what children are devouring from the literary world. However, let's shift gears and dive into the fascinating realm of older teens—those aged 13 to 17 years old.

Teen girl reading in library

As part of the L. B. Anne Author Apprentice Summer Internship program, I had the privilege of peering into the reading choices of these young minds, and let me tell you, it's a delightful surprise!

Now, one might assume that these tech-savvy adolescents would be more interested in the latest releases or trendy book series. However, that's not entirely the case. To my amazement, the interns are also finding solace in the timeless pages of classic literature. There are some great science fiction and fantasy finds, too. Dive in and check out what teens are reading!

Are you there God It's me, Margaret. Judy Blume

Hi! I’m Gianna Sgalambro, an intern for L.B. Anne. This week one of my assignments was to read a book and write about it. I chose Judy Blume’s “Are You There God? It's Me Margaret”.

The book is about a girl named Margaret Simon. She moves from New York to the suburbs. She finds it very hard to fit in with her friends. While all her friends are practically “adults” she’s still struggling to grow up.

It’s a great book to show that growing up takes time and your body moves at its own pace.

I rate this a 9/10. It’s a great book for tween girls who want to learn more about growing up and their changing bodies. I recommend it for girls ages 9-12. It’s a good book if you’re looking for a nice, easy read. It’s one of my personal favorite books! I haven’t seen the movie adaptation yet, but I am really looking forward to it.

Legendborn, Tracy Deonn

The book I’m blogging about today is called Legendborn written by Tracy Deonn.

This book is about a girl named Briana Mathews who is attending a summer program at a college in south carolina after the loss of her mother. While attending she discovers a secret society exists within the college called The Order.

They are the descendants of the Knights of the round table. They’ve been fighting being called shadow born. Believing they were responsible for her mother’s death, Briana sneaks into the order to find out how they’re responsible.

While she is in the order she learns that she has special powers of her own that she uses to help fight the shadow born.

The book overall is great. From the storyline to the plot twists, to the writing itself. I never got bored while reading and couldn’t wait to pick the book back up. As a regular reader and writer, I have nothing but good things to say about this book.

By: Nolan Briggs

Saints and Misfits, S.K. Ali

Hikmat Balogun

Saints and Misfits by S. K. Ali

This author created a reminder that our society desperately needs!! Saint and Misfits is one of my favorite books for many reasons. The writing style, the character's development, and the list goes on. But most importantly the message of the book.

In Muslim society or any religious society for that matter, we tend to hide the sexual abuse that many young innocent girls go through by "religious leaders" or people that we see as "saints".

In the book, the author highlights the fact that the people whom these societies see as prodigies are actually criminals in disguise. S. K. Ali also emphasizes the emotion that comes with being sexually assaulted. The guilt even after knowing that the fault isn't yours, and the hiding because of the feeling of shame when you should be the one standing up. S. K. Ali is one of my favorite authors for many reasons. This book is one of my reasons.

Slay, Brittney Morris

My name is Leila Vanderloop. Today I read a book called “Slay” by Brittney Morris, a very talented and detail-oriented author.

In her immersive book, the main character Kiera, a black high school student, creates a complex multiplayer game called Slay as a safe environment for black gamers.

One of the most relatable aspects of this book is the exploration of identity. Like a lot of other people, Kiera feels the desire to hide her true self in certain situations and places because of society's biases and expectations. Through Slay, various black players from all around the world are joined together. As Slay’s (The game) purpose was for a positive impact, it also attracted negative attention, with some seeing the game as a threat and exclusionary. I would definitely recommend this book. My mouth was so dry after I finished reading the book because of how jaw-dropping it is! Loved it!

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby - A story of the ‘American Dream’

By: Inzhu Tanirbergen

The American Dream is the belief in the freedom that allows individuals to pursue prosperity through hard work and determination, typically associated with America because of the term “The American Dream”. In F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," the central main character Jay Gatsby uncovers this thought throughout the story. Like the first settlers who arrived in America, typically poor Europeans striving for a better future; Born into poverty, Jay Gatsby accumulates significant wealth, hoping to win somebody’s love throughout the story. His elaborate parties signify his attained wealth and his pursuit of love, his ideal of the ‘American Dream‘.

Fitzgerald's novel vividly captures the Roaring '20s, an era of prosperity and cultural shift, symbolized through Gatsby's opulent lifestyle and wild parties. Like a loud jazz symphony masking a sad melody, these extravagant parties, though fun, reveal the era's moral superficiality. Fitzgerald critiques the era's materialism through some characters, symbols of old money, and Gatsby, a symbol of new wealth.

I would recommend this classic to teenage readers and older, so that they could understand all the central themes and hidden undertones. I really enjoyed how this novel uncovered substantial themes through beautiful storytelling and phenomenal character dialogue. I also really enjoyed how all the characters, even secondary characters were uncovered in the book, allowing people to become immersed in Scott Fitzgerald’s opulent and mystical interpretation of the 1920s. Overall, if you love books with deep meaning, exquisite storytelling, and mystery, then I would recommend the ‘Great Gatsby’

Unwind, Neal Shusterman

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Unwind is the first novel in its series. It is about Connor, a boy who is set to be taken apart and sold for parts. Unwilling to accept his fate, he runs away from his home before the authorities come to take him away. During his escape he meets the ward of state, Risa and Tithe, Lev and together they run from the police and unwinding.

Unwind kept me spellbound, and I was compelled to keep reading. The plot was cleverly woven, with each scene leading toward a larger goal. The conclusion answered all the questions the story asked and resolved the plot. It started and ended strong.

The characters each played a vital role in Unwind. I connected to these characters so deeply that I didn't want their story to end. I was totally invested in them throughout the entire book. There were times when I found it hard to put the book down. It was fast-paced, engaging, and suspenseful; a joy to read. Unwind provided a gripping glimpse of how the characters lived in this well-developed political evolution of our world, and the action was heart-pounding and effortless to visualize. I am blown away by the author’s ability to write such engaging, real-life, entertaining, phenomenal scenes. The writing style was consistent and used precise words so that exposition didn't slow the pace. My favorite part about Unwind was the description of what it was like to be unwound. I found myself intrigued but also repulsed at how the surgeons could take apart a living human being and distribute the limbs and organs to those in need of donors against the patient's will.

By: Fatoumata Cissé

The Cost of Knowing, Brittney Morris

Something I love about this book was its creativity and complexity with its characters' actions, thoughts, and their “curse”. The relationship between the main character and the secondary character was on point, in the sense that the secondary character really helped develop the main character a lot, in a way that he was able to be his best self and overcome his struggles and face his “curse”.

Another thing I really like was that the book had a past to build the story from. For example, the main character's brother's death leads to everything that's happening in the book. Plus, the life he lived before and his relationship with the living characters.

I think that creating a past history that didn't necessarily happen in the book, but the author keeps referring to it, is a great way to add to the story if stuck. Also, the forming of relationships, reliving of disputes, and building of connections between the characters were beautifully written and formed.

In addition, the book was not predictable, and the suspense and its turning point are absolutely surprising and that keeps the readers hooked. It also had a great climax and lessons to learn from: Not knowing some things can be beneficial for you, do not run too wild with your curiosity, and always keep family close.

The book also touched on having to deal with racism as a black person. And the non-fiction part of it was very innovative and intricate. Finally, I love a good ending in a book, regardless of whether it's happy or a sad one and I would say this book had a good ending, there was justice at the end, and that made me the reader content. By: Sonde Ololade

The Inheritance Games, Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Hey guys! I want to make a blog review about The Inheritance Games.

Here's a little about the plot. Avery, a girl in high school, who wanted to graduate and have a good life, inherited billions of dollars from an old man. She has to solve riddles and puzzles and find out why she was the one to inherit the money other than the four boys that lived for the money.

This is the first book of three. The fourth one will be coming some time in October. I rate this book an eight and a half out of ten. Why? It's because the plot was so annoying. It took forever to get to the ending, and Avery fell for the wrong guy, in my opinion. By: Madilyn

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