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Saleena's picks 5/5/22

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  I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did.  I honestly tried it based on random "you should read this" remarks I had seen around, but fully expected it to be the same old story with new faces.....but it wasn't.   Skye enters a contest competing in a K-Pop competition aired on Korean TV.  She decides to compete both as a singer and a dancer, fully confident in her abilities; however, she is unsurprised to find that many doubt her dance abilities based on her weight, and even in the singing portion, she is questioned about "being willing to lose weight in order to be more attractive to an audience".  Skye has struggled to build her self esteem, and refuses to let anyone take that from her or to apologize for who she is, but she is still human and it is not easy being the focus of so much attention.  Adding to the attention is that infamous celebrity, Henry Cho, is also competing.  Of course she finds him attractive, but what I love is that he likes

Saleena's picks

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  I decided to reread the entire series, and finally got to read v 4 (bought it for myself, and hope to have a copy for the library soon). I am looking forward to the Netflix series, but am always worried they will mess it up. So, Heartstopper is sweet and awesome....if you haven't read it, you should.  In v. 4 Oseman dives deeper into depression, eating disorders and family issues but the optimistic spirit and the love still shines through......sigh......so lovely. Nicola Yoon writes awesome stories, but be ready...this one is not only a romance but also a tearjerker, with a touch of magical realism......I don't want to say too much because it will give away the story, but suffice to say there is dancing, there is love (family, friend and romantic) and there is growth but happy endings are not guaranteed.

If you liked these BookTok favorites, try these recommendations from Nicole!

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If you're having trouble deciding what to read next, here are some underrated recommendations based on popular BookTok picks!    A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas or The Cruel Prince by Holly Black  Sarah J. Maas and Holly Black shot immediately into the TikTok spotlight, but there are plenty of fae-inspired fantasy stories out there, like Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones. The author draws on goblin lore to weave together a captivating dark romance between Liesl and the infamous Goblin King. The emphasis on family, music, and magic make this a unique spin on the traditional faerie story.  Six of Crows  by Leigh Bardugo This magical heist story has been a YA favorite since its release. If you liked it, try Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody! It has a really cool magic system and a cast of memorable characters including a young woman looking for her missing mother, a charming street lord/con man, mafia leaders, and more. If you enjoy card games, cons, and the dark, gritty city se

Nicole's March 2022 Picks

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I  did a quick reread of the first two books in the Scythe trilogy because I wanted a refresh before I finally tackle the final book. They are even better than I remembered. Like actually this is objectively one of the best books ever. The writing is engaging, there is a sincere depth to each central character, the dystopian world building is fire, and the plot is off the charts fast-paced. All the 5 star ratings are well deserved. Candid, chilling, and difficult to read at times, because the subject matter is so heavy--trigger warnings for drug abuse, pedophilia, and other troubling subjects. Summers does a fantastic job of unraveling this staggering narrative. She crafts a raw, direct protagonist in Sadie, and the podcast script is the perfect vehicle to tell the rest of her story when she is not telling it herself. A wonderful group of young women building each other up to fight for what they believe in, and some incredibly important and well executed disabled main character represe

Saleena's picks 4/2/22

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  This is a new version of the old story of Snow White and her sister Rose Red, but from a Latinx point of view, and with a more modern perspective.  I love reading new versions of fairy tales, and so went into this expecting to enjoy it, and I did.  =) What I didn't expect was the added elements of class struggles, racism and transphobia/homophobia that were also touched on, that still mixed with the magic and tragedy and made for a compelling story that went in a direction I wasn't expecting. Definitely worth a read, and alternates between the viewpoints of all 4 major characters, which also makes for a fast & intense read. I listened to this one (read by Lin Manuel Miranda!) on the library's Libby app.  Definitely awesome!  Once again Saenz breaks our hearts and heals our souls in this love story continuation of Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.  Since the story jumps right in from where it left off previously, it is easy to get back into th

Jason's Last Read - It's Your Funeral by Emily Riesbeck

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It's Your Funeral is an excellent graphic novel by Emily Riesbeck. When a Marnie dies right before she changes her life around she gets stuck on Earth because she hasn't come to terms with her death. Therefore, she is assigned to an interdimensional case worker named Xel who will help her pass on to the afterlife. When that plan goes awry, she ends up interning for Xel's agency.  Overall, I thought this book was excellent. It was humorously written with many unique characters (I loved Carol). Amazing illustrations. Quick lighthearted read. I am hoping for a sequel! It is available to check out from other libraries (if you place it on hold, it will be shipped to South Brunswick!). Thanks for reading! Jason Information Assistant - Teen Services