By Adele Griffin
With Halloween right around the corner, I saw it fit to review a creepy thriller. Some people are scared by monsters and bloody gore, but I like a good old-fashioned ghost story. Tighter by Adele Griffin is loosely based on The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. The main character in the story is 17-year-old Jamie, who takes a summer job as an au pair on the New England island of Little Bly. Her mom convinced her to take the job to escape the problems back home including an addiction to prescription pills. Jamie soon finds that the little island is full of mysteries including the tragic death of two teenagers. She also begins to see ghosts. Is this real or just a cause of the pills?
This book has the ingredients for a great ghost story. Creepy island. Check. Tragic deaths. Check. Old mansion. Check. Unexplained sights and sounds. Check. The line between the living and dead is completely blurred in Jamie’s world. The best part is that the reader is unsure if the ghosts are real or just figments of her imagination due to the pills. If you are familiar with The Turn of the Screw you will notice the similarities in this book. However, Griffin plots some original twists and presents an ending that is stunning! Adele Griffin is also the author of Picture the Dead and My Almost Epic Summer as well as many other books.
If you enjoy Tighter, read Turning by Francine Prose. This book is also based on The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. This book was just released in September, and I can not wait to read it! I am sure it will be equally chilling and creepy!
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
By Stephen Chbosky
WARNING: This book has been included on the American Library Association’s annual “10 Most Frequently Challenged Books” list. It contains instances of drugs, suicide, and other potentially disturbing material. However, it was so good that I read it all in one day!
How many terrible things can one boy witness? For Charlie, the answer is a lot. He is a wallflower, someone who stands on the sidelines, never joining in. It’s his freshman year of high school, and he is struggling to break out of his shell. This book is like Charlie’s diary, written as a series of intimate letters from him to an anonymous person.
Charlie writes about kissing, getting high and dancing to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I really liked the way he holds nothing back as he describes these sometimes scary, sometimes thrilling experiences. Read this coming-of-age tale to see what high school is like through a wallflower’s eyes.
This book has been made into a major motion picture starring Emma Watson (from Harry Potter), Logan Lerman (from Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief), and Ezra Miller. The movie is due to be released in September 2012!
All Unquiet Things
By Anna Jarzab
If you like mystery, murder and secrets then read All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab. The main character is a teenage boy named Neily who can’t seem to forgive himself for not answering the phone call from his ex-girlfriend, Carly, the night she was murdered. Neily teams up with Audrey, Carly’s cousin, to try and solve the mystery of Carly’s murder. Much of this story is told in flashbacks, which can be confusing in some books, but this story was easy to read. The flashbacks actually helped to explain the relationship between Neily and Carly before she was murdered. Neily and Audrey discover secrets that are shocking, but mostly, they find out the truth about Carly and how she murdered.
This book is written quite well; although, be prepared for some strong language as this book is written for older teens. This is Anna Jarzab’s first novel. I have been waiting quite a while for her to write a second book, and now she has! Her second book, The Opposite of Hallelujah, will be released in October 2012. This book is also a mystery, but not in the same way as All Unquiet Things. This book is about family secrets, unanswered questions, and the relationship between sisters. Check it out!
By Marcus Sedgwick
Many young adult books that I read are light and happy and involve some sort of romance. However, White Crow is the complete opposite of light and happy. It is dark, twisted, and haunting.
This book is set in a small seaside village called Winterfold in England during two time periods: present-day and 1798. In present-day Winterfold, sixteen year old Rebecca is reluctantly spending the summer with her dad, a former policeman caught up in a scandal. She meets Ferelith, a local girl who is known for her oddities. Throughout the summer, they explore the sinister history of the town and Rebecca learns that Ferelith has her own troubled history. In 1798 Winterfold, a local rector learns that a man named Dr. Barrieux is coming to town to live at Winterfold Hall. They soon form a twisted bond over the afterlife and attempt to form an experiment to find out what really happens when a person dies. These two stories weave into a suspenseful, horrific tale of good and evil. This is a page turner at its best!
I read this book in three hours and can still say it haunts me. It was that good! Some books that incorporate more than one point of view can be confusing, but Sedgwick ties the two voices together seamlessly. I should say that this book is not for the faint of heart or those who like light reads. Marcus Sedgwick is the author of several young adult books including Revolver, a Printz Honor Book.
Lola and the Boy Next Door
By Stephanie Perkins
Stephanie Perkins’ second book does not disappoint! This is a funny, romantic read about a girl, Lola, who lives in San Francisco with her two dads. She likes to wear costumes everyday and dreams of becoming a costume designer one day. Everything is going great in her life including her punk rocker boyfriend. Then, twins Calliope and Cricket Bell move back into the house next door. When Cricket moved away, his relationship with Lola did not end well. Now, Lola has to face Cricket and his sister Calliope, who is not Lola’s biggest fan. Will Cricket win Lola’s heart? Read to find out!
This book is very witty, very funny, and of course very romantic. Stephanie Perkins is also the author of Anna and the French Kiss, a romantic tale of love in a Paris boarding school. This is a must read for fans of Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Dessen, E. Lockhart, and Susane Colasanti.