Get Ready for Fall Reading!

compiled and summarized by Emma Shacochis

The school year beginning means a bittersweet end to the free time summer gave us to pour through as many books as we wanted. However, with the seasons about to change, it seems like the perfect time to start thinking about which spooky, autumnal reads we can borrow from Fairfax County’s libraries this fall!

GRAPHIC NOVELS

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Pumpkinheads, by Rainbow Rowell

Seasonal best friends Josiah and Deja devote their last night working at their local pumpkin patch to talking to their longtime crush (Josiah), trying every snack available (Deja), and avoiding the need to say goodbye to one another.

Mooncakes, by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu

When the woods of their town begin to fill with ominous and supernatural creatures, werewolf Tam reunites with their childhood best friend Nova and her family of witches to whip up some magic to stop it.

Fake Blood, by Whitney Gardner

In order to get the attention of his vampire-obsessed crush Nia, AJ decides to go big and pretend that he’s the undead boy of her dreams. Foolproof, right? …Too bad that she’s secretly a vampire slayer.

Sheets, by Brenna Thummler

Lately, the bedsheets at Marjorie’s laundromat have been scattered across the floor each morning. It’s not the fault of faulty machines or the seedy businessman who’s trying to buy the store from her family – only ghosts!

NOVELS

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The Lantern’s Ember, by Colleen Houck

Cross the bridge alongside Ember, her town’s only witch, and “lantern” Jack, the guardsman between worlds, into a nightmarish realm of every Halloween monster you’ve ever heard of – and worse.

When We Were Magic, by Sarah Gailey

Six teenage witches struggle to maintain their friendship while covering up crushes, insecurities, and an unfortunately high number of magical murders.

The Babysitter’s Coven, by Kate Williams

A group of teenage girls team up to make dinner, put the kids to bed, and use their supernatural powers to protect the world from evil – all in an evening’s work.

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, by Kiersten White

When she’s taken out of her abusive home to be a companion of the serious, mysterious Victor Frankenstein, Elizabeth is delighted by her new life. But the closer she gets to the family’s terrifying secrets, the more she realizes her own capabilities for darkness.

 

Grab your candy corn and dive into these fascinating reads!

Review: Sara J. Maas’s The Throne of Glass

     Celaena Sardothien has been trained as an assassin since she was eight. When she was captured at 17 and taken to the Endovier prison where most people don’t live more than a month, Celaena focuses on the only thing she can: staying alive. So when the Crown Prince and his Captain of the Guard come to visit her and offer her a way to earn her freedom, of course, Celaena says yes. All she has to do is defeat 23 of the kingdom’s best thieves and assassins, and she will become the King’s Champion with her freedom coming soon after. Sounds easy, right? Wrong.

     Besides the fact that both the Captain of the Guard and the Crown Prince have caught Celaena’s eye yet both seem to provoke her in their ways, there is dark magic roaming the hallways of the castle and more and more competitors are being murdered. With a foreign princess as one of her only allies, Celaena must discover as much as she can about the forbidden magic that has entered the castle without the king finding out. After all, magic has been banned for many years and the king doesn’t respond kindly to people who disobey the law….

     Sara J. Maas spins another breath-catching tale that has roots in the Cinderella fairytale but soon takes on a life of its own. The Throne of Glass will make you question authority and teach you that sometimes life isn’t fair, so you have to play by your own rules. The Throne of Glass is perfect for fans of the Hunger Games and Game of Thrones!

 

Review: Jenn Bennett’s Alex, Approximately

     Bailey Rydell lives in DC with her mother, where she spends most of her time online chatting with a guy who calls himself Alex. They both love movies, and when Alex asks Bailey to come to a movie festival with him in his home town in California, Bailey realizes that he lives in the same town as her father. So when Bailey goes to live with her father at the beginning of the summer, she starts looking for him but doesn’t tell him that she’s here. With her new summer job, new best friend, Grace, and new mortal enemy, Porter, it just slipped her mind.

     With Porter seemingly always around, Bailey and he just can’t seem to get along! However, as Bailey gets to know this cute little surfing town better and Porter along with it, her feelings start to change into something different, something … sweet? Bailey can’t help feeling bad about “cheating” on Alex, even though they’ve never met or dated, but it turns out that she doesn’t need to worry. You see, Porter is Alex … approximately.

     Alex, Approximately is the cute beach romance that everyone dreams of, and if we can’t all have it, why not read about it! Jenn Bennett spins a sweet, irresistible story that will get you sucked in and gasping with all the plot twists, steamy scenes, and drama that happens in Coronado Cove, California. Population: all romance lovers.

 

 

Review: Mary E. Pearson’s The Kiss of Deception

Amazon.com: The Kiss of Deception: The Remnant Chronicles, Book ...

     Princess Arabella Celestine Idris Jezelia has it all – including an untraditional name tacked on to the end of her official title. But to her, that is the name that has always felt the most real to her, and so she decides to go by Lia. On the day of Lia’s wedding, she runs away with her attendant Pauline to escape an arranged marriage. As she sees it, the prince of Dalbreck doesn’t deserve her hand in marriage if he can’t even be bothered to meet her beforehand. With only the clothes on their backs, their horses, and a stolen secret, Lia and Pauline set off in search of a new life.

     They reach the town of Terravin and start over by working at a local tavern. There, Lia meets two men, Kaden and Rafe, but what she doesn’t know about them is that one of them is the prince she was supposed to marry and the other a hired assassin there to kill her. As Lia realizes that she is in more danger than before, she also finds herself falling for one of the new men in her life. Will love be enough to save them all?

     The Kiss of Deception is a riveting novel that will grasp you and not let you put it down until you’ve finished. With plot twists keeping you hooked until the very end, Mary E. Pearson has created a story that will never let you go. You’ll find yourself rooting for love and hoping that Lia doesn’t pick the wrong person and damn them all.

 

Review: Ami Polonsky’s Gracefully Grayson

Amazon.com: Gracefully Grayson (9781484723654): Polonsky, Ami: Books

Grayson Sender is a boy. Or at least that’s what everybody else sees. Inside, Grayson is a girl. Ever since she was a child, she’s known that she wasn’t who everyone thought she was. She pretends that her sweatpants are skirts, and draws princesses in her notebooks with glitter pens. Grayson is desperate to not let anyone know her secret, and it’s not very hard. You see, Grayson has no friends. She spends all her time either in thrift stores or in her own room.

When the school play auditions start, Grayson tries out for the lead. The female lead. And she gets it. Of course, because Grayson looks like a boy to everyone else, this poses some issues, issues that end up breaking Grayson’s arm. When the PTA considers firing the teacher that gave Grayson the part she has dreamed of, she knows this has gone too far. Once she gets on stage for that final performance, she shows them all that who you are on the outside doesn’t match who you are on the inside.

Gracefully Grayson is a beautiful story that will drag you along with it, making you pull for Grayson, and soon you will fall in love with the amazing character that Ami Polonsky has created. Gracefully Grayson will teach you that it’s OK to be yourself, that what you look like doesn’t define who you are, and that if you reach out to someone, you can change their world.

Review: Josephine Angelini’s Starcrossed

Starcrossed: The Starcrossed Trilogy 1 - Pan Macmillan AU

     Helen has lived her whole life as an outcast in her town. She is tall, super strong, and fast, not to mention gorgeous! So when a new family moves in that seem to have the same “problems” like her, she is immediately intrigued. Except, of course, when she sees them. Whenever Helen encounters any member of the Delos family, she is thrown into a murderous rage and then immediately gets terrible cramps. What she doesn’t know is why.

     Suddenly, after Helen saves one of the boys’ lives, she doesn’t feel the urge to murder anyone anymore. Especially not Lucas, whom Helen can’t seem to stay away from. As she spends more time with them, she learns more about what they are – herself included. The Delos’ and Helen are one of the remaining few Scions – descendants of the gods. While Helen is developing her normal Scion talents, as well as a few extra rare ones with the help of the Delos’, she soon learns that no matter how badly she and Lucas want each other, they can never have each other or they will start an eternal war. And to make matters worse, Helen soon learns that the rest of the Delos’ relatives are coming to kill her. Will she be able to stop a war that will destroy civilization as we know it and herself?

     Josephine Angelini has written a gorgeous tale of starcrossed lovers trying to save themselves and the world at the same time. The perfect mix of Twilight and Percy Jackson & the OlympiansStarcrossed will pull you in and never let go. Learn to love yourself and others alongside Helen and find out what Fate truly means.

 

Review: Natasha Friend’s How We Roll

How We Roll by Natasha Friend

Alopecia is an autoimmune disease that makes your hair fall out. It sucks. Especially during high school. When Quinn McAvoy’s hair starts falling out the summer before 8th grade, her whole life starts falling apart. She no longer fits in with her school, especially not with her friends. So when her family decides to move Gulls Head, Massachusetts, she has a chance to start over. A chance to start a new life.

On the first day of school, Quinn wears a wig to school. How would anyone know that that’s not her real hair? When the popular girls take her in as one of their own, Quinn thinks she may have finally found a place for herself in this new school, until a boy in a wheelchair turns her world upside down. Ever since his accident, Nick has had a hard time fitting in. When Quinn decides to become friends with him, she changes both their worlds for the better.

How We Roll tells the story of Quinn McAvoy, a girl with many things that go wrong in her life, including everyone finding out her secret, a brother who has autism, and friendship that could possibly fall apart at one touch until one day changes it all. How We Roll is a story of how to deal with whatever life throws your way, how one person can change your life, and how friendship will make you a better person.

The Newest and Best YA Books Reston Has to Offer!

compiled by Emma Shacochis

Are you eager to pick up some of the most recent and most buzzed-about young adult titles? If so, Reston Regional’s Teen Section’s shelves are packed with options for your reading appetite. Here are a few that you can head over and check out for yourself!

When We Were Magic, by Sarah Gailey

Alexis and her five best friends are your typical, close-knit group of high school girls. Oh, except for the magical powers that they share. And the fact that they have to help cover up an accidental murder on prom night.

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Lifestyles of Gods & Monsters, by Emily Roberson

For fans of Greek mythology comes a retelling of the myth of Theseus and the minotaur…by way of reality television and The Hunger Games. Princess Ariadne agrees to help contestant Theseus win her family’s competition show, The Labyrinth Contest, but will helping him bring her family’s empire to ruins?

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Someday We Will Fly, by Rachel DeWoskin

In 1940, teenage Lillia flees with her father and sister from Shanghai to escape persecution that Jewish people were facing in her home of Warsaw, Poland. Lillia embarks on a journey to help raise her sister, learn Chinese, make a living – and find her missing mother.

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Freaky in Fresno, by Laurie Boyle Crompton

Cousins Ricki and Lana find themselves Freaky Friday-d during an unfortunately electrifying argument. Their journey to returning to their own bodies (as well as saving Ricki’s beloved drive-in theatre and Lana’s appearance at an online convention) is paved with crushes, convertibles, and chihuahuas.

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Little Universes, by Heather Demetrios

Sisters Mae and Hannah winters are made to move from one coast to the other for their senior year of high school after a tropical storm claims the lives of their parents. Both struggle to deal with their losses, as well as stay tied to one another even as their circumstances pull them apart.

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Place a hold or come check out these new titles today!

Review: Gloria Chao’s American Panda

American Panda by Gloria Chao, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

     Mei is a 17-year-old in college, and she should have her whole life planned out, but she doesn’t. Then again, it doesn’t matter as her parents have planned it for her: pre-med at MIT, become a doctor, marry a Taiwanese Ivy League students (preapproved by her parents of course, and have children with him, preferably starting with a son. And if Mei doesn’t follow this plan, well, then she’ll end up like her brother: disowned, left on his own, with no financial or emotional support whatsoever. However, the one thing Mei does know is that she doesn’t want to be a doctor. She hates germs and everything related to medical school, but she still tries to convince herself it’ll be okay by shadowing a doctor on campus, but it’s hard to make yourself into the person you least want to be.

     As Mei starts to figure out what she wants and who she is, away from her parents (mostly), she also discovers what really happened with her brother. He got disowned because he started dating the wrong girl. Mei starts to reconnect with them, and she starts to wonder if lying to herself and her family is worth it. She doesn’t want to end up like her brother, but she also doesn’t want to become the perfect Chinese girl, especially with her love for dance, and this new boy that’s caught her eye – a boy that is not Taiwanese. Can she fix everything before it all blows up in her face?

     Gloria Chao has given us a heartfelt novel that shows us how to find the best of every situation and how to be true to ourselves, no matter what anyone says. American Panda will have you rooting for Mei all the way through, crying with her, laughing with her, and hoping for the best. American Panda is a story about acceptance and loving yourself, even in the face of adversity.

Books That are on netflix

Here are some books I’ve compiled that you can read, and then watch on Netflix! Due to quarantine, many of us are stuck inside. You can check out books from Reston Regional’s online collection, read them, and then watch the corresponding movies on Netflix! How cool is that?

Anyways, have fun reading these and stay safe! We will get through this!

 

The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner - Wikipedia

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.
Outside the towering stone walls that surround them is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.
Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying: Remember. Survive. Run.

 

Gone Girl

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

 

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.

 

Still Alice

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life—and her relationship with her family and the world—forever. As she struggles to cope with Alzheimer’s, she learns that her worth is comprised of far more than her ability to remember.

 

The Great Gatsby

Set in Jazz Age New York, the novel tells the tragic story of Jay Gatsby, a self-made millionaire, and his pursuit of Daisy Buchanan, a wealthy young woman whom he loved in his youth.

 

Drive

Most people believe that the best way to motivate is with rewards like money—the carrot-and-stick approach. That’s a mistake, says Daniel H. Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others). In this provocative and persuasive new book, he asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction-at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.

 

Black Hawk Down

On October 3, 1993, about a hundred elite U.S. soldiers were dropped by helicopter into the teeming market in the heart of Mogadishu, Somalia. Their mission was to abduct two top lieutenants of a Somali warlord and return to base. It was supposed to take an hour. Instead, they found themselves pinned down through a long and terrible night fighting against thousands of heavily-armed Somalis. The following morning, eighteen Americans were dead and more than seventy had been badly wounded.
Drawing on interviews from both sides, army records, audiotapes, and videos (some of the material is still classified), Bowden’s minute-by-minute narrative is one of the most exciting accounts of modern combat ever written—a riveting story that captures the heroism, courage, and brutality of battle.