Category Archives: Staff Recommends

Calling Maggie May REVIEW

Through a series of entries in the diary she left behind, a teenager, living a normal life, describes how seemingly minor choices quickly spiraled into a life as a sex worker.

Calling Maggie May by Anonymous

Available in Print.

This particular novel is written diary style by a young girl named Maggie May. At first we get a couple of boring entries but then suddenly she starts really writing. We learn about her school crush and about Ada, a mysterious girl at her school that is unlike all the other girls. Maggie comes from a normal home where there is a lot of pressure put on her to excel academically. However, Maggie loves to swim and doesn’t care so much about academics. Constantly compared to her over-achieving and smart brother, she frequently feels less-than.

Eventually Maggie an Ada have an encounter and as the story progresses we learn that Ada is a prostitute. Maggie becomes one, not because she comes from a broken or abusive home, but simply just because. She is interested and it is easy money. Besides, if Ada can handle it, so can she. Maggie seems to have her head in the clouds with idealistic views of how things can be, but the reality never quite seems to match up.

-Review by Michelle Frost


In complete denial that she is pregnant, straight-A student and star athlete Devon Davenport leaves her baby in the trash to die, and after the baby is discovered, Devon is accused of attempted murder.

After by Amy Efaw

Available in Print, CD Audiobook, ebook and Downloadable Audiobook.

I finished this audiobook in two days and absolutely loved it. How could someone deny a pregnancy, and what happens when they can no longer deny it?

This story provided an interesting perspective behind why someone would hide their pregnancy and throw their baby away. It also provides the reader with a glimpse into the judicial system, although the majority of the story revolves around fifteen year old Devon and how/when she comes to terms with the reality of what she did.

The only part of the audiobook that I did not like was the mother’s character. It didn’t seem authentic to me. She was always a little TOO perky, upbeat, outgoing… even in inappropriate circumstances. She seemed more immature than her daughter, Devon, which is perhaps how the author intended for her to be.

I’m looking forward to reading future books by this author, but after reading her bio and how she is busy with 5 kids of her own, it may be a while.

-Review by Michelle Frost

Between the Lines REVIEW


Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer (Jodi’s daughter!)

Available in Print and Audiobook.

Between the Lines is about Delilah and Oliver. They meet, fall in love, have a barrier they must overcome in order to be together, and then live “happily ever after.” Or, do they?

There is a twist. Oliver is a character in a book that Delilah finds in her school library. For some reason, she is the only one that has ever been able to hear him or see him move. Her mom thinks she is going crazy, her BFF feels neglected and hurt, and occasionally she brings up missing having a father.

Oliver is stuck. He is the Prince in a fairy tale, destined to repeat each scene every time the book is opened. When the book is closed, all the characters live lives that may be somewhat contrary to what the story tells the reader. For example, the villain is not really a villain at all, behind the scenes. And Oliver, well, Oliver is not in love with the Princess that he is supposed to live happily ever after with. He wants out, and when he meets and falls in love with Delilah, it becomes imperative.

The book alternates between the voices of Oliver, Delilah and The Book. The rest of the story is about the various ways Oliver and Delilah try to get him out of the book and into her world.

Look for the sequel, Off the Page (also available as an ebook).










-Review by Michelle Frost


The Impossible Knife of Memory REVIEW


The Impossible Knife Of Memory

Laurie Halse Anderson

YHBA 2015-2016

Available in Print, Large Print, eBook, and CD Audiobook.

Hayley Rose is a teen who grows up in a town and time and a manner pretty similar to you and I. She thinks school sucks, she doesn’t like her teachers, and she has a hard time making friends in a new school. But there is something more dark in Hayley’s life… Her father is a combat veteran raising her alone. This is a story about how a parent’s substance abuse and depression can wound the child at home. This is about how a family can truly struggle under the weight of circumstances that are almost too difficult to overcome.

Reviewed by Joe Fox, Irvington Branch


Life Unaware by Cole Gibsen REVIEW

lifeLife Unaware by Cole Gibsen

Available in Print.

On the outside, Regan is Little Miss Perfect, but really she is a schemer looking for dirt on people – sometimes for no other reason than to be part of the popular group. But sometimes she does it to get what she wants, like a spot on the cheer leading squad. She shouldn’t need to (she was on the squad last year and is good friends with the captain), but a little bit of dirt on her closest competition won’t hurt. Until…

Someone prints out Regan’s texts and plasters them all over the school. Every nasty comment (including ones about her friends) is there for everyone to read. She quickly becomes the most hated person in school. Christy (the cheer captain) becomes openly hostile and ‘steals’ Regan’s best friend, Payton. Only Nolan, Payton’s weird brother, will talk to her. He follows her around with his video camera which she finds annoying.

Regan must be perfect at all costs; that is what her mother, the congresswoman, taught her. Cheerleading, National Honor Society and student council are all part of the plan. Regan needs to be successful and not embarrass her mother (especially with an election coming up). It’s no wonder Regan suffers from panic attacks and relies on medicine to get her through the day.

Regan just wants to wait until it all dies down and in the meantime try to figure out how to return to her previous social status. What she finds on the way is that others have secrets even bigger than hers and that she has misjudged a lot of people. Time for Regan to make some changes – and you will be cheering for her.

~Review by Will Smither, Indy PL Librarian and Teen Services Committee. You Know You Wanna Read It Blog.