Novels in Verse

From Janet Spaulding and Michael:

April is many things to many people, but for us literary types, it’s “National Poetry Month”. Poetry can be traditional couplets, weird haikus, rap, old-school, modern, freeform, and the list goes on and on. The Library offers different programming not just through April, but throughout the year in various ways. We’ve offered poetry slams, weekly open mics, contests and more.

But one of the most interesting things that’s out there for our readers are teen titles that are novels-in-verse. Instead of the story being told in prose (the usual way), the tale is told through poetry. It makes for some unusual and wonderful reading. You’ll find some intense emotional scenes, interesting use of white space, and often some pretty edgy content tucked away between the covers. Instants can pass between pages. Or years. Viewpoints switch, sometimes in the same stanza or section.

It might seem like it’s hard to read or something to pass on, but the books are easy to read, great for reluctant readers and voracious readers alike. Are you up to it? Here’s a sampling of teen titles that are novels-in-verse.

Happy reading and comment below or on our Facebook page about what you’ve read!

October Mourning


October Mourning by Lesléa Newman





Hidden by Helen Frost





Perfect by Ellen Hopkins



Addie on the Inside


Addie on the Inside by James Howe



The Girl in the Mirror


The Girl in the Mirror by Meg Kearney





Sold by Patricia McCormick



After the Kiss


After the Kiss by Terra Elan McVoy



The Day Before


The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder





Orchards by Holly Thompson





Audition by Stasia Ward Kehoe



The Watch That Ends the Night


The Watch That Ends the Night by Allan Wolf



Love & Leftovers


Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay



Amiri & Odette


Amiri & Odette by Walter Dean Myers


Altered, by Jennifer Rush

AlteredWhat happens when everything you think you know is only scratching the surface of the truth? Anna’s life has fallen into a routine. When she is not being home-schooled, she is taking martial arts classes and trying out recipes from her deceased mother’s journal. She also helps her scientist father in the lab, who is working for an organization called the Branch on a top-secret mission that involves monitoring the condition of four genetically altered boys confined in lab cells – Nick, Cas, Trev, and Sam. With the exception of Nick, who takes his fury over his imprisonment out on her, she befriends the other three with a special preference towards Sam, whom she finds herself mysteriously drawn to. However, those friendships are called into question when the Branch decides to take the boys and Sam stages an escape. During the ensuing aftermath, each boy changes before her eyes in ways that she never dreamed possible. To keep her safe, the boys take her with them on Sam’s quest to discover his past using clues he had planted before the Branch wiped his memory. What they discover will change Anna’s life forever and put into question everything she held true.

All in all, this was a stunning and captivating debut by Rush. Although only told in first-person from Anna’s perspective, Rush very deftly creates smart and descriptive dialogue that breathes life into every one of the characters and turns them into dynamic, three-dimensional individuals. The story is action-packed and suspenseful with a touch of humor, including several unexpected twists and turns that will keep the reader breathlessly wanting to turn page after page to discover what happens next. The ending was satisfying, yet open-ended enough to merit another installment. Altered is a must-read!

–Emily Chandler, Lawrence Library

Prom Season is upon us.

It’s that time of year. THE PROM. (Insert appropriate theme music here.) So many things to worry about. So many things to do! Browsing through catalogs, dreaming of the perfect dress, picking just the right color. Tuxedo rentals. (Why don’t they rent dresses?) Trying to get the nerve to ask that special person to go to the prom with you. Waiting for that special person to ask you. Then there’s the Prom Committee. The posters everywhere. The theme of the prom. The high-priced tickets. And the details of the event: Who’s driving? Limo or carpool or drive yourselves? Negotiating curfews with the parents. Where to eat afterwards? Budgeting your money. Hair appointments. Nail appointments. The corsage. And of course, DANCING!!!!

Seems overwhelming, doesn’t it? Well, here’s a list of books to help you with the whole experience. Pick one up today! And we hope that your prom experience is memorable and safe!

How-to books:

The Prom Book: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need


The Prom Book: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need by Lauren Metz


The Book of Styling


The Book of Styling by Somer Flaherty


Seventeen Ultimate Guide to Style


Seventeen Ultimate Guide to Style by Ann Shoket


Fashion Design Workshop


Fashion Design Workshop by Stephanie Corfee


Lauren Conrad Style


Lauren Conrad Style


Bobbi Brown Teenage Beauty


Bobbi Brown Teenage Beauty


Interested more in prom-related stories? Here are a few titles to check out and curl up with. Enjoy!

Princess in Pink


Princess in Pink by Meg Cabot



Cindy Ella


Cindy Ella by Robin Palmer



Zombie Queen of Newbury High


Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby





Prom by Ellie O’Ryan





Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson



A Really Nice Prom Mess


A Really Nice Prom Mess by Brian Sloan



Prom Anonymous


Prom Anonymous by Blake Nelson



Prom Nights from Hell


Prom Nights from Hell by Meg Cabot et al



–sent by Michael, and by Janet Spaulding

Top 10 Best Fiction

Head’s up, Readers! We’ve got more top ten lists for you to check out. This week, we bring you YALSA’s (Young Adult Library Services Assoication’s) 2013 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults.


Andrews, Jesse Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Socially invisible Greg becomes friends with Rachel, who has leukemia. When she stops her treatments, everything changes.



Bray, Libba The Diviners
The Diviners

It’s in the 1920’s and Evie is from Ohio, but New York is a whole different experience. Throw in some occult murders for a mystery and Evie and her uncle are on an interesting adventure. If they can survive.


Hartman, Rachel Seraphina

A decades long peace has existed between humans and mathematical dragons that fold themselves into human form. A plot is unraveling that end the peace, but can Seraphina discover who is behind it in time?


Kontis, Alethea Enchanted

Sunday the Princess kisses the magical frog. But who really is this prince? And why does her family despise him so?



Levithan, David Every Day
Every Day

What would your life be like if you woke up in a different body every day? Boy? Girl? And every day, you are still in love with the same girl. A love story like no other.


McCormick, Patricia Never Fall Down
Never Fall Down

Based on the true story of Arn Chorn-Pond, this is the story off how Arn is changed in one day from a regular kid, living day to day, selling ice cream with his brother to just another body working in a labor camp in Cambodia.


Quick, Matthew Boy 21
Boy 21

Finley plays basketball, it’s the only solid thing in his life. Wearing the number 21 keeps him sane. Among all of the other craziness, in walks Russ. Who doesn’t answer to his name, only “Boy 21”, the number of his former basketball jersey.


Saenz, Benjamin Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Two problem teens. At least that’s what the adults say. One has a brother in prison, the other is a oddball smart-aleck. Swimming is the thing that brings them together and helps them grow.


Stiefvater, Maggie The Raven Boys
The Raven Boys

First in a series, Blue is a girl with no psychic ability. Since she’s born in a family where that’s the norm, this is a problem. But when she finds out that people who are near her “See” more clearly, several interesting developments begin. Including a prophecy that her first love’s kiss will kill.


Wein, Elizabeth Code Name Verity
Code Name Verity

In 1943, a British spy plane crashes in France. Captured by Nazis, the passenger “Verity” is forced to weave a written and intricate confession of how her and her pilot friend met and became friends in an effort to survive.


Have you read any of these? What did you think? Would you recommend these to your friends? Let us know in the comments below.

–sent by Michael Perry