Teen’s Choice Reviews April 2014

At the end of last year I decided to start having my book club students recommend titles for me. I have each person pick three titles that they would like me to read and then I randomly select one. Here are the two Teen’s Choice books for April:

At my high school book club, I drew Maggie’s suggestion:

universe verses

The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence
June 25, 2013
Redhook
Hardcover, 407 pages

What it’s about:

When he was ten-years old Alex Woods, the bookish son of a fortune-teller, was hit in the head by a meteorite. This event left him scarred and seizure prone and made him the perfect target for the village bullies. Life isn’t easy for him, but he has the bullies to thank for introducing him to Mr. Peterson, a reclusive American expat and Vietnam veteran. What begins as a punishment develops into an unlikely friendship between the two. It is the story of this friendship that Alex tells the police after he is stopped at customs with an urn of ashes and 113 grams of marijuana. Despite the potential trouble he faces, Alex knows he has done the right thing.

Why you might like it:

Do you like quirky stories with memorable characters? Alex and Mr. Peterson certainly are a memorable pair! Are you interested in issues surrounding death and dying? This book tackles assisted suicide and euthanasia. Do you enjoy books about books? You might enjoy all the discussion about the works of Vonnegut and you may be inspired to check out some of the other works Alex reads. Do you appreciate a tear-jerker? You might want to have a tissue handy while reading this one! The Universe Versus Alex Woods quietly worked its way into my heart. This debut is lovely and moving and I loved the experience.

Want more like this?

You might enjoy The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Staniford, and A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.

 

This next suggestion came from another high school book club reader, Olivia. She wasn’t a fan of this one, but thought I might like it because it has zombies and is creepy.

chasers
Chasers by James Phelan
First publish May 25, 2010
K-Teen
Paperback, 256 pages

What it’s about:

Jesse and three of his friends from a Youth Ambassador Camp in New York City are on the subway when the explosion happens. As the four crawl from the wreckage the carnage is immediate. People are dead, buildings have collapsed, and the other survivors seem to be infected in some way. In a once crowded and bustling city the only signs of life are the predators who used to be human.

Why you might like it:

If you like creepy, post-apocalyptic stories you may enjoy Chasers. If you are a fan of psychological suspense you might want to try this one. Do you like survival stories? Jesse and his friends have some pretty clever survival techniques. Do you like a book with a surprising twist at the end? Chasers certainly ends with a shock. I did not love this book, but after the twist at the I may go back to the second book. I need answers!

Want more like this?

For more post-apocalyptic survival stories you might like Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer, Ashfall by Mike Mullin, The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, and Ashes by Ilsa Bick.

Happy Reading!

∼Megan

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2 responses to “Teen’s Choice Reviews April 2014

  1. I was send the Alex Woods book but it sounded a bit to quirky for me, but maybe I will give it a try one day. 🙂

  2. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday-Authors I Have Only Read One Book From But Need to Read More! 9/16/14 | YA? Why Not?

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