Monday, December 29, 2008

Book Review by Tara

Venomous by Christopher Krovatin

      Okay, so the first awesome thing about Chris is that he published his first novel before he was a junior in college, which isn’t that much older than a teenager. The second awesome thing about him is that he is a fantastic, clever writer. While a lot of authors think they can present an authentic teen voice in their books, a lot of them also fail horribly; Chris doesn’t. The characters in Venomous (and those in Chris’ first novel, Heavy Metal and You) are so well-developed and realistic that you become completely enveloped in their world—they’re the kind of people you’d want to be friends with (well…most of them). The narrator, Locke Vinetti, is witty and engaging even while he’s dealing with his own (very formidable) problems, and while not everyone has violent rage outbursts like his, any reader can identify with Locke’s struggle with elements of his own personality.

      Here’s the basic idea: Locke Vinetti has serious, serious anger problems. When he was eight, he bit off the tip of a classmate’s nose. His anger isn’t just a small part of his life—it’s a separate entity (which he calls “the venom”) that bubbles up and consumes him, and he’s having more and more trouble keeping it at bay. To complicate things further, Locke has just met Renee, the “beautiful, unpredictable, messed-up goth girl of his dreams.” Hanging out with her seems to help him at first, but when things start to go awry in his new circle of friends, he finds himself struggling with the venom more and more. The novel is intense and fast-paced, and each chapter is followed by a stylized illustration and a passage from the sub-narrative involving Locke’s superhero alter ego, Blacklight.

      Venomous is a fun, powerful read, and it will keep you interested the whole way through. If you love it (and you will), be sure to check out Heavy Metal & You next. You'll want to be familiar with Chris and his books, in case you see him around here sometime soon...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Introducing Ann

Ann is our other new Teen Services Assistant.
Stop by the teen room and welcome her to the library!

HOMETOWN: Spartanburg (technically Roebuck)

FAMILY: I have a husband named Randy (married for almost 2 years), 2 older brothers and 2 sister-in-law's, niece: Ellie (Elizabeth Logan) and a nephew on the way who's yet to have a name.

EDUCATION: I graduated from Dorman High School and have an Associates Degree in Business Management with Marketing Elective from Spartanburg Community College.

HOBBIES: I enjoy spending time with my husband, hanging out with my girlfriends, going to mountains, going to parks.
FAVORITE TEEN BOOKS: all four of "The Sisterhood and The Traveling Pants", all four of "Pretty Little Liars Club", "Let It Snow", and "A Starry Night."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Book Review by Susan

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I can't remember the last time I started a book and didn't want to put it down. I wish it happened more often, but who knows if it is my inability to choose books, my short attention span or my tendency to watch a lot of TV that is to blame. :) In any case, I am so glad this book was recommended to me (thanks, June)!

The Hunger Games tells the story of Katniss Everdeen, a 16 year old girl living/surviving in the future North America, now known as Panem. She lives in district 12 (there use to be 13, but during an uprising against the Capitol it was obliterated), one of the poorest districts, and is forced to hunt for food for her family in forests that are actually off limits. Each year, to commemorate the rebellion and basically remind the districts that the Capitol will always win, each district has to send two residents between the ages of 12 and 18 to compete in The Hunger Games. The goal of the Games? Don't die. The last one standing wins and receives a life of luxury. The other 23 die, mostly at the hands of each other.

Intriguing plot, huh? When I started it, I liked it immediately. Unfortunately, I started it at 11:30pm on a Sunday night. I kept reading, thinking I would quit and sleep when it got boring, only IT NEVER DID. Finally, at 3am, I forced myself to stop at the end of a chapter. I finished it the next day and now I'm telling everyone about it. This includes you! We own six copies at the library and soon, thanks to a donation, we'll have seven. So check out The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.