Teen Book Review Blog

Review by Katie

September 1, 2020

Beloved Toni Morrison

5 stars of 5

Beloved by Toni Morrison

"Beloved" by Toni Morrison is a historical fiction novel that follows the life of Sethe, a woman born into slavery who escaped to Cincinnati, Ohio. Its use of paranormal elements creates a debate on its place in the horror genre, but the novel’s haunting qualities are undeniable. The book begins in 1873, opening with the description of the haunted house that Sethe and her daughter Denver reside in. The ghost attached to the house is Sethe’s baby daughter’s spirit, who died nameless. The feelings that the residents of this house have toward the ghost are polarizing; Sethe believes it drove her two sons to run away and Paul D, an escaped slave from the same plantation as Sethe, is similarly horrified by it. However, Denver and Sethe are somewhat comforted by it. The novel explores intergenerational trauma and the indelible devastation of slavery that lives with Sethe, even in her freedom. Soon, a mysterious young woman named Beloved enters Sethe’s life in unknown circumstances. As her character becomes understood, the already incredible prose begins to feel revolutionary as it reveals a terrifying insight in an utterly unique way.

Tags: Beloved Toni Morrison Historical Fiction Horror Slavery Ghost

Read more: Katie's Review of "Beloved" by Toni Morrison

Review by Paige

July 9, 2020

Where the Crawdads Sing cover

4 and a half stars of 5

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

“Where the Crawdads Sing,” written by Delia Owens is a multi-award winning novel and New York Times Bestseller. The coming-of-age story follows Kya or the “Marsh Girl,” an intelligent and self-sufficient protagonist who is forced to survive almost entirely by herself in the marshlands of North Carolina. Abandoned by her mother, her siblings, and later her father, Kya takes interest in nature and learns to love and appreciate her surroundings. The novel takes a turn after the death of the widely beloved, Chase Andrews, resulting in growing suspicions in the fictional town of Barkley Cove. Following a dual narrative, the reader is taken on a journey through Kya’s character growth as a young girl, along with the effects of Chase Andrews’ death several years later. Overall, this coming-of-age novel entwined with a murder mystery tells a compelling story of resilience, survival, and hope.

Tags: Where the Crawdads Sing Coming of Age Marsh Girl Mystery North Carolina Nature

Read more: Paige's Review of "Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens

Review by Jude

June 11, 2020

4 stars of 5

Armada by Ernest Cline

The book “Armada” by Ernest Cline is a sci-fi book set in 2018. He is about to graduate from high school, when he sees a UFO flying above his hometown. But this is no ordinary UFO; it is a ship from his favorite video game, Armada. He believes he is just a crazy teenager, until it turns out it’s a lot more real than he thinks. But something still seems off. The bad guys are acting exactly like they do in the videogame, and everything seems a little too easy. 

Tags: ScienceFiction Armada Ernest Cline Alien Invasion

Read more: Jude's Review of "Armada" by Ernest Cline

Review by Katie

May 22, 2020

4 stars of 5

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

"The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion is a memoir about Didion’s experience and her grief following the death of her husband, John. Only a couple days before his death, their daughter, Quintana, was hospitalized, and Didion is forced to simultaneously grapple with that and her loss. The account begins on the day of John’s death and ends the day after the one-year anniversary of his passing. It documents Didion’s emotional process in all its grittiness and honesty. She relives the love she shared with her husband and all their memories, positive and negative. She searches for any signs or clues that pointed to her husband’s death, convincing herself she could’ve prevented it. She explores her own self-pity and the irrationality of grief, or trauma in general. This is where the “magical thinking” title comes from -- the idea that Didion can reverse her husband’s death if she tried hard enough, or if she could’ve stopped it, or if she missed a symbol that would’ve warned her. The entire book is startlingly heartbreaking.

Tags: biography the year of magical thinking teen blog joan didion grief

Read more: Katie's Review of "The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion

At long last..

.....we are starting to circulate our collection again!

We are very happy to be back and allowed to offer contactless pickup service.  Materials will be circulated from a table behind the front doors.  Holds can be placed for items not currently available and now you can also request items that are on the shelf.  Place holds and requests through the online catalog or call us.

There are some limitations so please be sure to check else where on this site for the complete list of instructions.  

Read more ...

377 ELKWOOD AVENUE
NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ 07974
908-665-0311