Try Magical Realism for a Surreal Haunt this Halloween 
Itís almost Halloween, and that means many of you may be in the mood for something with a touch of paranormal. Iíll admit that horror is not my genre; I steer clear of books with too much gore. I prefer ghost stories, especially when you canít tell if the ghosts are real or imagined. When there is a thin line between the real and the surreal.

Right now, the master of surrealism for teens is Nova Ren Suma. For those unfamiliar with surrealism, it can be an acquired taste. Itís not quite realistic fiction and itís not quite fantasy or paranormal. Her books leave you with more questions than answers, and you may feel the story was dreamed rather than read. Suma says she was inspired by magical realism, which is a genre that introduces magical elements into an otherwise normal world. This isnít the magic of Harry Potter, but magic that exists at the edges of things. These books arenít fully paranormal, but as a reader you canít shake the feeling that something is amiss. If youíre the kind of reader that likes a solid ending that answers all of your questions, these may not be right for you. If you like open endings and enjoy the psychological heebie-jeebies, then you are in for a treat.



Nova Ren Sumaís YA debut, Imaginary Girls, was released in the summer of 2011. At its surface, this book is about the relationship between two sisters, our narrator Chloe and her enigmatic sister Ruby. There are parties by a reservoir, cute boys, and interesting new friends; but readers will quickly discover that things are not what they appear. The first oddity is the reappearance of a girl who drowned two years prior, but Chloe is the only one who seems to remember. There are also the stories Ruby tells about the former residents of Olive, a town flooded when the reservoir was built. Are the former residents still living beneath the water? This book isnít a traditional paranormal thriller, but it is certainly unsettling. There is a dreamy quality to Sumaís writing and this novel is unlike anything I have encountered in YA.

Favorite Quote:


ďRubyís stories didnít have morals. They meant one thing in the light and one thing in the dark and another thing entirely when she was wearing sunglasses.Ē



Sumaís most recent novel is 17 & Gone . The narrator, Lauren, is haunted by girls who disappeared the year they turned 17. Police never fully investigated the disappearances because it was believed the girls ran away willingly, but Lauren knows better. The missing girls keep appearing in her car, in her room, on the side of the road; and they want her to find out what really happened to them. The book is a mix of mystery, ghost story, and psychological thriller. There is a bit more action than in Imaginary Girls, but the same unsettling atmosphere remains. Determining what is real and what is just in Laurenís head may be the focus, but the real horror of the novel is why no one cared to investigate after the girls went missing.

Favorite Quotes:


ďI was 17. I was a girl. Didn't we matter?Ē

ďHow heartless it was for a girl to be forgotten and buried before there was even anything of her to put in the ground."

-Ruth Houston, Youth Services, Teen Underground, Main Library

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Vampires, vampires, vampires! Okay, do I have your attention now? Good. 


Do you like dystopia? Do you like vampires? Then I have the book for you: When the Sea Is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen. Yep you guessed it: itís vampire dystopia! In the society that is the backdrop for this story, marriages are arranged, class/caste is everything, and vampires are part of society. Felicita is a 17-year-old girl who is a member of the highest class, and her best friend, Ilven, has just committed suicide rather than marry the man her parents chose for her. When Felicitaís family announces that her own marriage has been arranged to a man she has absolutely no wish to marry, Felicita decides to fake her own death and run away. She hides in the cityís slums and becomes a dishwasher in a tea house. She also meets two very different guys: Dash, a charming bad-boy type, and Jannik, a vampire. And then, to top it all off, Ilvenís suicide has called up some sort of sea creature bent on destruction, and Felicita has to save her new friends, her family, and the entire town from the creatureís wrath.



Now for more vampires! This next book is a loose retelling of the Snow White fairy tale with vampires (and a little bit of The Godfather thrown in for good measure). Nameless by Lili St. Crow is about a girl named Camille. When she was a small child, Camille was discovered shivering in the snow by Enrico Vultusino, the head of one of the seven powerful vampire clans. Camille doesnít remember who she used to be or where all of her scars came from. And then she meets Tor, who has scars similar to her own, and wonders if he could be a link to her mysterious past.

Have a favorite vampire book or story? Share with us below.

-Emily Mauldin, Youth Services, Middletown Branch

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Waiting for More Lives on Candy Crush? Grab a Sweet Read! 
So I just discovered Candy Crush Saga, and I do believe it will suck my soul dry before (and if) I ever have the willpower to delete it from my phone. Have you discovered this incredibly addictive game yet? You can play it on your smartphone, iPad, or come to the library and use a computer to play it on Facebook.

If you need to kill some time while waiting for more lives, here are some ideas:


Sweet Fiction, Non-fiction and DVDs


Sweet Links


Some of these look really cool and fun.

So get reading! Or crafting and baking Ė you have 30 minutes between lives to waste or until your Facebook friends give you more. And just keep telling yourself, ďI can quit whenever I wantÖĒ Thatís what Iíll be telling myself.

-Heather Lee, Children and Teen Services, St Matthews Branch

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Just Can't Wait! Fall Teen Lit Releases 
This fall promises to be full of some awesome new releases in the world of teen lit. Weíve already seen new books by Ellen Hopkins, Smoke , (released September 10) and Walter Dean Myers' Invasion (September 24)



October New Releases


Hold on to your hats! Here are some of the most anticipated titles of October: the fourth title in Rick Riordanís Heroes of Olympus series, House of Hades (releases on October 8); Allegiant, the fourth book in the Divergent series (October 22); and a new book in the House of Night series, Revealed (October 15)!

November New Releases


In November, we will see new titles from Margaret Peterson Haddix, Full Ride (November 12); Tamora Pierce, Battle Magic, from the Immortals series (November 24); and of course, we have the theatrical release of Catching Fire (November 22).

So much win for one season!

Are there any upcoming books, or movies youíre excited about? Leave a comment and let us know!

-Stephani, Youth Services, Highlands/Shelby Park Branch

[ 138 comments ] ( 1422 views )
Teen Tech Tip #34: Make Your Own Apps and Websites with Treehouse 
Welcome back to the Tech Blog! If you'll reminisce with us for a movement, you'll recall that we've had posts in the past about creating your own websites and mobile apps. Learning how to do that just got a thousand times easier with the Library's recent release of Treehouse - Click on the banner below.



Learning Adventures


Learn the basics for creating your own website, mobile app, or web app. The instructors recommend free software, show you how to create and edit apps and sites, and explain the process for launching a site or adding your app to a Marketplace.

Deep Dives


Want to know all there is to know about HTML, CSS, Javascript, Ruby, or Database Foundations? Then be sure to go through one of the Deep Dives to sharpen your skills.

So Much More


Each section is taught by a professional developer and contains video instructions, quizzes, code challenges, and a forum to reinforce your learning. The forums are moderated to keep the content relevant and to ensure correct information.

In the current job market, there is a strong demand for individuals with computer coding skills, and these careers are very well paying. Be sure to check out this amazing resource freely available through your library.

Have you tried Treehouse? We'd love to hear from you, so comment below.

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