Audiobook Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Description: Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

Review: I’ve had this title on my radar for a while, since it’s been winning tons of awards recently (Stonewall Book Award, Printz Honor, YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults--Top Ten, Pura Belpré Author Award, and Lambda Literary Foundation Award for LGBT Children’s/Young Adult). Plus the cover kept drawing me in. How gorgeous is that? I went into the book with high expectations, and it definitely did not disappoint.

This was a quiet and beautiful coming of age story filled with honest, authentic characters. I felt as if the characters were very real and their complicated relationships were portrayed perfectly. Ari and Dante’s friendship grows and changes over time. Ari comes to appreciate his imperfect but loving parents, and he begins to learn about everything that happened with his brother.

While the story was slow-paced, I didn’t mind because I loved the writing so much. I wanted to savor every word! Overall, I found it to be a thought-provoking story of self-discovery and self-acceptance. Ari struggles with questions of ethnic and sexual identity, but ultimately discovers that he doesn’t need to be ashamed of being different.

I really enjoyed the audiobook performance! The narrator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, sounded believable as a teenage boy, and he clearly differentiated between characters when speaking. I was drawn in from the first few sentences, and I feel like I connected more with Ari when listening to the narrator than I might have when reading in print. This was an emotional listening experience—I found myself smiling, sighing, gasping, and laughed out loud while I was listening. I even had to fight back the tears at a few points. I cannot recommend this audiobook enough! --Reviewed by Brittany, Information Assistant at TCPL


Book Review: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Summary: SHHHH!
Don't spread the word!
Three-day weekend. Party at White Rock House on Henry Island.
You do NOT want to miss it.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

Review: I enjoyed reading Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, so Ten was recommended to me as a read-alike. It was a quick, suspenseful, and action-packed read that kept me on the edge of my seat. It reminded me a bit of the game and movie Clue where several people are lured to a remote location and then start getting killed one by one. Ten explored themes of revenge, friendship, and loyalty. If you’re a fan of mystery and horror, give this one a try! --Reviewed by Brittany, Information Assistant at TCPL


Wii Wednesday: Mario Kart Competition

Thanks to the guys who participated in our Wii Wednesday: Spring Break Mario Kart Competition!
We had snacks, prizes and fun!


Wii Wednesday: Spring Break Edition

Remember to bring your game 
on Wednesday, April 9th from 1pm - 4pm 
for a Mario Kart competition in the Teen Scene!


Book Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Summary: Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed. She expects to awaken on a new planet, 300 years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed's scheduled landing, Amy's cryo chamber is unplugged, and she is nearly killed. Now, Amy is caught inside an enclosed world where nothing makes sense.Godspeed's passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader, and Elder, his rebellious and brilliant teenage heir. Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she? All she knows is that she must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again.

Review: I'm not usually a fan of stories set in space, but the concept for this book stood out to me as original and very interesting. The dystopian world building was fantastic. I could really imagine this fictional ship's society in all its intricate detail. It brought up a lot of questions about power, leadership, and trust in authority. I enjoyed getting both Amy and Elder's perspectives as alternating narrators. I didn't really feel a strong sense of chemistry between them as their relationship developed, so that was a bit disappointing. But as more and more secrets of the ship were revealed, I became more intrigued with the story. The ending was left unresolved, but luckily the 2nd and 3rd books in the trilogy are already published, so we don't have to wait to find out what happens next! 
--Reviewed by Brittany, Information Assistant at TCPL