Southbury Teen Review Blog

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Stranger Reads November 2, 2017

Filed under: Books,Uncategorized — Heather @ 9:59 pm
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stranger reads

Are you obsessed with Netflix’s Stranger Things? Well, we are too! Here are some stranger reads to fill the time between binge watching…

Try these, for younger readers…

 

The Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting by Joe Ballerini

Disappointed babysitter. Check. Missing kid. Check. Baseball bat just in case. Check. Who knew there was a secret society of monster hunting babysitters? Not Kelly – and now she’s one of them!

babysitter's guide cover

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline moves into a creepy new house and finds a secret passage to an alternate version of her reality. Practically perfect, except for the fact that everyone has button eyes. Neil Gaiman is the master of a creepy tale and this one is perfect for the youngest fans of Stranger Things. 

coraline cover

The Jumbies by Tracey Bapiste

Jumbies are real, right? That’s what Corinne assumes until she follows one into the forest. Now there’s a mysterious stranger in her own house, possibly bewitching her father. Does Corinne possess the magic necessary to save the world?

jumbies cover

Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar

Master of comedy, Louis Sachar, takes a darker turn with this tale about a biological contagion right next to a middle school. Sound familiar? BFFs Tamaya and Marshall team up with bully Chad to find a solution.

fuzzy mud cover

The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brailler

This one’s a graphic novel – and a series! Described as Diary of a Wimpy Kid meets The Walking Dead. Follow Jack and his band of misfits as they save the world.

last kids on earth cover

For middle grade readers and beyond…

The Riverman by Aaron Starmer.

Alistair thinks his neighbor Fiona must be crazy when she tells him there’s a portal to another world in her basement. Guess who lives there and want to steal the souls of children? The Riverman! Fans of Stephen King’s It looking for a more gentle read will devour this trilogy…unless the Riverman does first.

 

riverman cover

The Nest by Kenneth Oppel

In hopes of saving his sick baby brother Steve makes a deal with the wasp queen while dreaming. What could go wrong, right? Truly the stuff of nightmares, this one is not for the faint of heart!

nest cover

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Time travel. A mysterious island. Children with various gifts. This tale is spooky and sweet at the same time. Beautifully chilling black and white photographs add to the creep factor.

miss peregrine cover

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Bradbury’s classic tale about a mysterious and perhaps evil carnival arriving in town continues to haunt and enchant generations of readers.

something wicked cover

For more mature readers…

Replica by Lauren Oliver

A flip book told by dual narrators Gemma and Lyra. Lyra, aka 24, has escaped from a mysterious research facility with another boy, 72. Gemma’s life turns upside down when searching for answers she may not be ready to hear. Super cool format and visually stunning cover add to this story.

replica cover

Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughn

A graphic novel for the older crowd, Paper Girls follows four teenage girls on bikes in the late 80s as they try to save the world from invasion on Halloween.

paper girls cover

The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue

Jack hasn’t been the same since he almost drowned three years ago. Now he’s drawing monsters that may or may not be coming to life. His family unravels as this thrilling tale evolves.

boy who drew monsters cover

Basically anything by the master of horror and suspense, Stephen King. Try It, Firestarter, Carrie, or any of his short story collections for a real scare.

stephen king books

 

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Shelter February 14, 2013

Filed under: Books — Jessie @ 10:53 pm
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Shelter (Mickey Bolitar #1)
Harlan Coban

After the death of his father, Mickey Bolitar is sent to live with his estranged uncle Myron while his mother enters rehab.  Mickey is finally starting to settle into his new life and even has a girlfriend Ashley, but when Ashley suddenly disappears and strange men with dark glasses start poking around Mickey’s neighborhood, Mickey gets drawn into a bigger mystery than he was expecting.

This was my first time reading a Harlan Coban book so I wasn’t sure what to expect but I really liked it; I read it pretty much in one sitting!  It was fast-paced and full of suspence and twists, as soon as I thought I had figured it out there was new evidence that changed everything!  I thought Mickey was a good character even though he may have done some unrealistic things for a 15 year old.  Ema was one of my favorite characters, she started off as a sterotypical Emo kid from highschool but as she and Mickey became closer, her true nature comes out and she helps solve the mystery.  Spoon is also a very likeable character, he’s quirky, geeky and very random but he a has good heart and only wants to help his new freinds.

The ending was action packed and while the mystery surround Ashley’s disappearance is resolved, there are still a lot of questions that Mickey has to find answers for.  I guess I’m going to be reading the next book, Seconds Away, to find out what happens next!!

 

The Space Between Trees by Kate Williams February 13, 2013

Filed under: Books,Staff Pics — Heather @ 1:44 am
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The_Space_Between_Trees

Evie is a loner, emotionally distant, without friends.  She invents realities more colorful than her true life.  She imagines scenarios involving Jonah Luks, the handsome drop out and dead animal remover for whom she harbors a secret crush. One Sunday morning she stops to chat with Jonah while on her paper route.  Used to the sight of dead animals, he is startled by the discovery of the body of a girl.  Evie recognizes her as Zabet McCabe.  They were friends years ago in Elementary School.  Evie immediately fixates on the murder of her past friend.

While attending Zabet’s funeral Evie encounters her grieving father.  Mr. McCabe, eager to find a connection to his murdered daughter, latches on to Evie and urges her to tell him about his daughter.  Evie, adept at stretching the truth, weaves a story that will comfort Zabet’s father.  Zabet’s real best friend, Hadley continues the charade.  The two girls vow to discover the killer of their friend.  Hadley becomes obsessed with unearthing the truth.  Evie’s life is spinning out of control.  She wants to find Zabet’s murderer as much as anyone, but at what cost?

Kate Williams’ debut novel is a hauntingly beautiful story.  The cover itself is stunning.  What lies beyond is a lyrical masterpiece.  I am a big mystery lover, but this one goes beyond the simple whodunit.  The focus of this novel is not the murdered girl or the identity of the killer.  It is how those left behind are changed by the events.  I can’t accurately do justice to the depth of this book.  The Space Between Trees is one of my favorite books.

 

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Filed under: Books,The Classics — Heather @ 12:31 am
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rebecca-by-daphne-du-maurier

“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.”

A young woman, a paid companion, is in Monte Carlo with her rich, American employer. It is here she meets Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower not impressed with the frivolities of the French Riviera. Drawn to her unpretentious character and attractive inexperience, the two spend all their spare time together. Somber Mr. de Winter was married before. A mystery surrounds the death of his wife. They say he just can’t get over Rebecca. Our heroine seems to melt Maxim’s chilly exterior and soothe his wounded heart.

After a whirlwind romance the new Mrs. de Winter arrives home at Manderley, a picture postcard perfect estate on the Cornish coast of England. The young bride (who remains nameless throughout the story) is in for a shock. Along with the estate comes a litany of servants and responsibilities. Mrs. Danvers rules Manderley with her steely façade and grim presence. Danny loved Rebecca and takes every opportunity to remind the new Mrs. de Winter she’ll never fill the void left by her predecessor.

Feeling like an outsider, not belonging to the world of landed gentry into which she has been dropped, the new bride hopes she hasn’t made a mistake. Inept at every turn, the second Mrs. de Winter is haunted by the past perfection that was Rebecca.

Maxim’s first wife was the epitome of elegance and beauty. Her shadow hovers over Manderley, casting doubt into the heart of her successor.

Maxim never speaks of Rebecca, never mentions her death. She drowned off the coast while boating alone one night. Haunted by her memory, happiness evades Maxim. Our young protagonist is the antithesis of glamorous Rebecca. Can she fill the shoes that trampled over Maxim and all of Manderley?

Since publication in 1938, Rebecca has stood the test of time. A classic tale of romance and suspense, it will satisfy lovers of both. Famous for introducing readers to the windy Cornish coast, dashing Maxim de Winter, and insidiously creepy Mrs. Danvers,  Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca is worth reading and re-reading…and re-reading.