From teen to teen: four great books to read over March Break

 Submitted by Courtney Mellor – 

Are you a teen looking for a good book to read? No problem. Carlingwood’s Teen Advisory Group has you covered! Check out these four new releases that every teen (or grown up!) should read in 2017.

geekerellaGeekerella, by Ashley Poston
Book review by Vanessa Ippolito, age 16

If you like fairy tales and fandoms, Geekerella is the ideal story for you. It incorporates the perfect balance between the old story of Cinderella that we all know with a twist on current-day fandoms. As I read it, I immediately related to the main character, Elle Wittimer, who is completely infatuated with the classic sci-fi show, Starfield. She’s witty and independent and lives a similar life to Cinderella, with an evil stepmother and two oblivious stepsisters. One day, Elle gets an invitation to go to a Cosplay Ball where she has the chance to meet the reboot actor of a Starfield character, Prince Carmindor. She saves up enough money to attend the event, even though she’s totally not into Darian Freeman, otherwise known as Prince Carmindor. Darian Freeman, teen heartthrob, is used to girls throwing themselves at him, fighting for his heart. That is until he meets Elle!

Geekerella is fantasy meets fandom. It’s anything and everything you’ve wanted in teen fiction. Elle is your average and relatable teenage nerd and Darian is your misunderstood, dreamy star.

as-red-as-bloodAs Red as Blood, by Salla Simukka
Book review by Claire Keenan, age 16 =

If you found thousands of dollars covered in blood in your school’s darkroom what would you do? Lumikki Andersson decides to stay out of it. She decides to not get involved but eventually finds herself wound up in a world she never knew existed. The unpopular, pessimistic girl ends up befriending Elisa, the daughter of a policeman. Elisa, along with two friends, had found the money at a party and now can’t let Lumikki go because she already knows too much about the situation. They enlist her for help and she begrudgingly agrees. A couple of chase scenes, hacking of computers, and plotting of plans later, Lumikki’s last task is set out for her. Go to a party dressed as Snow White in the hopes of discovering why the money came to Elisa in the first place.

The story switches between Lumikki’s point of view and three men on the other side of the dilemma. Boris Sokolov, Viivo Tamm and Terho Väisänen are all men somehow connected to the bloody money. All Lumikki has to do is connect the dots, then get out safely. This novel is a gory thriller with a strong female lead and little slices of humour and mystery sprinkled in. Everything fits together.

the-secret-of-a-heart-noteThe Secret of a Heart Note, by Stacey Lee
Book review by Charlotte O’Donnell, age 14

The Secret of a Heart Note takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster. The beginning is comparable to waiting in line for a main event: slow and lengthy, patience required. It was these first pages that made me question finishing the novel. The main character, Mimosa, new to high school, is plagued by her struggles of getting bullied, forbidden love, and dealing with her strict mother.

This may sound like an ordinary story these days, but there is a twist. Mimosa and her mother have a special gift that burdens them but has the ability to aid others. When Mim meets Court Sawyer, a boy who’s head-over-heals for her, she doesn’t realize that every action has a consequence. I had my nose deep in this book, rarely coming up for air. This novel is quirky like a John Green book and passionate like a Robyn Schneider novel. I recommend it to all who seek a lighthearted romance with a hint of fantasy.

The Fixes, by Owen Matthews
Book review by Bizuri Rwentambo, age 15

fixesThe Fixes is about a boy named Eric Connelly who is quite a high achiever for the sake of his father and the family name. His father believes that “Connelly Men” are to pursue greatness as other “Connelly Men” have done in the past. With so much weight on Eric’s shoulders, the thought of neglecting his studies is seemingly impossible, yet he is tempted by it. It wasn’t until the hot, easy-going guy named Jordan Grant caught Eric’s eyes that he realized that his internship would be an even bigger burden than he first thought. This new relationship leads Eric through lots of amazing (and illegal) acts of fun and rebellion along with Jordan and his friends. One would question how far this group of teens can go with their shenanigans before the fun goes off like a bomb! Along with the amazing storyline, the author’s way of explaining the story through Eric Connelly is fun and very entertaining. Through the protagonist’s blunt honesty and witty sarcasm, The Fixes becomes a whimsical story with relatable characters. It paints the struggle to understand where and when to stop before things go too far, before it’s too late. It shows there is no shame in living life with no regrets and a pinch of semi-sweet romance.

Carlingwood Library’s Teen Advisory Group (also known as TAG), is a group of teen volunteers in Grades 9 to 12. They work with the librarians and give input on library YA collections, contribute to blogs or help lead and create programming and contests for teens. They also volunteer at events, organize community service projects, and influence how their library serves teens. All of the books listed above can be found at

Courtney Mellor is the teen services librarian at the Carlingwood branch of the Ottawa Public Library. 

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