SYNC Audiobooks: Week 9


This summer, SYNC will be providing two free teen audiobooks each week from May 5th to August 11th. Each week will focus on a specific theme, pairing a classic YA title with a more modern YA title. This week starts Thursday, June 30th with The Omnivore’s Dilemma: The Secrets Behind What You Eat, Young Readers Edition by Michael Pollan and Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith.

omnivores-dilemmaMacLeod Andrews offers such an enthusiastically engaging narration that it almost doesn’t matter that the subject of this audiobook is fascinating and compelling in its own right. It explores where exactly our food comes from and what its ecological, economic, political, and social implications are. In this Young Readers Edition, the editors have toned down some of the more technical discussions and rephrased some sections (“voting with your fork,” for example). But overall, the content and impact are left in force. Andrews varies his tone and pacing nicely. When the author seeks to be ironic, he adds the appropriate inflection. When the author is surprised, so are the narrator–and the listener. Adults should enjoy this production as well as younger listeners. The library owns the book version as well as the ebook version.

grasshopper-jungleOh, the complications of being a teenager! Falling in love with your two best friends, one female, one male, then accidentally unleashing a plague that causes the end of the world. Philip Church narrates Smith’s novel with blunt tones, presenting a Vonnegut-like tale with straightforward prose. It works perfectly. The outlandishness of people turning into giant, murderous praying mantises is somehow perfectly balanced by the painful honesty of the teenage heart. Church takes the short, declarative sentences and, by simply performing them with a rapid, matter-of-fact delivery, captures the quick wit and sly thoughtfulness of the novel. Although Church has great energy and charm, be warned: The story’s narrator swears like a sailor. The library owns the book version of this title.

These two titles will be available to download for free this week only (from 6/30 to 07/07) at the SYNC website. The theme for this week is “Consuming nature, real and imaginary.”

Review: The Help

Cover image for The helpThe Help by Kathryn Stockett takes place in Jackson, Mississippi in 1692. The main focus of the book is to expose the injustice and discrimination that maids, or “the help,” have to deal with every day when they work for white women. The story is told from three different points of view. The first point of view comes from Skeeter, a young white woman that just graduated college and it trying to get a job in the publishing business. Aibileen and Minny are two black maids and they also help tell the story from their point of view. This book offers three new perspectives of the racial prejudice that occurred in the south and it is an accurate portrayal of everyday life during the civil rights movement.

Explode Your Holds List with More Realistic Fiction!


We have even more new realistic fiction for you to read this summer:

a-hundred-hours-of-nightA Hundred Hours of Night by Anna Woltz

New York steals Emilia's heart at first sight -- even though absolutely nothing goes to plan. She didn't plan to end up homeless on a stranger's doorstep. She didn't plan to make friends with Seth, Abby, and Jim. And she could never have known that Hurricane Sandy would be barreling up the coast, straight for the city.

the-world-beneathThe World Beneath by Janice Warman

In 1970s South Africa eleven-year-old Joshua, living with his mother in their employer’s house, rescues a freedom fighter on the run and becoming aware of the political situation around him, makes difficult choices that will change his life forever.

every-exquisite-thingEvery Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick

Nanette O'Hare, a star student and athlete, is given a mysterious out-of-print cult classic novel by her beloved teacher that sparks the rebel within her, but as she befriends the reclusive author and attempts to insert her true self into the world with wild abandon, Nanette learns the hard way that sometimes rebellion comes at a high price.

the-fall-of-butterfliesThe Fall of Butterflies by Andrea Portes

Willa leaves a small town in Iowa to begin a new life in the East at an ultra-exclusive prep school.

silence-is-goldfishSilence is Goldfish by Annabel Pitcher

Fifteen-year-old Tess Turner of Manchester, England, decides to stop speaking in the wake of discovering a heartbreaking family secret.

meet-me-hereMeet me Here by Bryan Bliss

On Thomas' graduation night, as he is set to leave for the Army the next day or decide to go against the expectations of his family and small town, he takes up an invitation from his long-estranged best friend Mallory for one last adventure.

the-way-back-to-youThe Way Back to You by Michelle Andreani and Mindi Scott

Six months ago, Ashlyn Montiel died in a bike accident. Her best friend, Cloudy, is keeping it together, at least on the outside. Cloudy's insides are a different story: tangled, confused, heartbroken. Kyle is falling apart, and everyone can tell. Ashlyn was his girlfriend, and when she died, a part of him went with her. Maybe the only part he cares about anymore. As the two people who loved Ashlyn best, Cloudy and Kyle should be able to lean on each other. But after a terrible mistake last year, they're barely speaking. So when Cloudy discovers that Ashlyn's organs were donated after her death and the Montiel family has been in touch with three of the recipients, she does something a little bit crazy and a lot out of character: she steals the letters and convinces Kyle to go on a winter break road trip with her, from Oregon to California to Arizona to Nevada. Maybe if they see the recipients--the people whose lives were saved by Ashlyn's death--the world will open up again.

dig-too-deepDig Too Deep by Amy Allgeyer

With her mother facing prison time for a violent political protest, seventeen-year-old Liberty Briscoe has no choice but to leave her Washington, DC, apartment and take a bus to Ebbottsville, Kentucky, to live with her granny. There she can at least finish high school and put some distance between herself and her mother--or her former mother, as she calls her. But Ebbottsville isn't the same as Liberty remembers, and it's not just because the top of Tanner's Peak has been blown away to mine for coal. Half the county is out of work, an awful lot of people in town seem to be sick, and the tap water is bright orange--the same water that officials claim is safe. And when Granny's lingering cold turns out to be something much worse, Liberty wonders if somebody at the mine is hiding the truth about the water. She starts to investigate and is soon plunged into a world of secrets, lies, threats, and danger.

hurricane-kissHurricane Kiss by Deborah Blumenthal

For sixteen-year-old Jillian McKay, the threat of Hurricane Danielle means a long car ride with her neighbors--including River Daughtry, the former star quarterback of Harrison High. The guy who was headed to glory until suddenly he disappeared to a West Texas juvenile detention center. Once cocky and flirtatious, he's now silent and angry. When their evacuation route is gridlocked, River is the first to recognize the danger they're in. Together he and Jillian set out to seek shelter in their abandoned high school. As they wait out the storm, they confront the past and realize survival is about more than just staying alive--it's about fighting for yourself.

south-of-sunshineSouth of Sunshine by Dana Elmendorf

In Sunshine, Tennessee, the main event in town is Friday night football, the biggest party of the year is held in a field filled with pickup trucks, and church attendance is mandatory. For Kaycee Jean McCoy, life in Sunshine means dating guys she has no interest in, saying only "yes, ma'am" when the local bigots gossip at her mom's cosmetics salon, and avoiding certain girls at all costs. Girls like Bren Dawson. Unlike Kaycee, Bren doesn't really conceal who she is. But as the cool, worldly new girl, nobody at school seems to give her any trouble. Maybe there's no harm if Kaycee gets closer to her too, as long as she can keep that part of her life a secret, especially from her family and her best friend. But the more serious things get with Bren, the harder it is to hide from everyone else. Kaycee knows Sunshine has a darker side for people like her, and she's risking everything for the chance to truly be herself.

the-language-of-starsThe Language of Stars by Louise Hawes

After an incident involving the vandalism of a cottage museum that once belonged to famous poet Rufus Baylor, sixteen-year-old Sarah is sentenced to community service and a poetry appreciation course taught by Baylor himself.

100-days-of-cake100 Days of Cake by Shari Goldhagen

Molly suffers from depression, and when she finds out that the exotic fish store she works at is closing down, her whole life, which is already hanging on a thread, starts to crumble.

frannie-and-truFrannie and Tru by Karen Hattrup

When fifteen-year-old Frannie's seventeen-year-old cousin Tru moves in for the summer after a bad coming-out experience, Frannie feels desperate to impress her worldly older cousin, only to discover that his charismatic facade may hide a dark secret.

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why

Cover image for Th1rteen r3asons why :The entire book of Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher takes place throughout the course of one day. The main character, Clay, receives a package with thirteen cassette tapes inside. The tapes are from Hannah, a girl that committed suicide at Clay’s school. Each tape explains a reason why she decided to end her life, and there is a list of people that Hannah wanted the tapes to be sent to. Clay isn’t sure why he receives the tapes, but he soon gets to see an entirely different side of a person he thought he knew. This is a book that allows you to see the repercussions of bullying and the insensitivity of many teenagers. It shows that the little things, good or bad, go a long way.

The library owns this title in many different formats, including book, eBook, eAudiobook, CD, and Playaway.

SYNC Audiobooks: Week 8


This summer, SYNC will be providing two free teen audiobooks each week from May 5th to August 11th. Each week will focus on a specific theme, pairing a classic YA title with a more modern YA title. This week starts Thursday, June 23rd with Donny’s Brain by by Rona Munro and Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan. These two titles will be available to download for free this week only (from 6/23 to 6/30) at the SYNC website. The theme for this week is “Do you know whom you love?”


donnys-brainA man is involved in a devastating automobile accident. Memory loss and surgery are involved. He’s making progress, but he can’t remember anything more recent than three years ago. He’s stuck in time. British acting standouts Jared Harris (“Fringe”) and Sophie Winkleman (THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA), along with Irish newcomer Siobhán Hewlett, are off to the races with Scottish playwright Rona Munro’s play. Her crackling, insightful dialogue illuminates Donny’s former wife (whom he can remember) and current girlfriend (whom he also can’t remember)–both of whom can’t help but feel that Donny has become an entirely new person. DONNY’S BRAIN is a special production of the LA Theatre Works Relativity Series, which encourages science-themed plays, but it’s the human voices inside and outside Donny’s head that make this story special.
boy-meets-boyDavid Levithan sets his love story in a contemporary world in which all forms of sexual orientation are accepted. Paul falls head over heels for Noah, a new student at his school, but, as in every romance, complications abound in their attempt to come together. Full Cast Audio pulls out all stops in this production, with perfectly chosen voices for all the characters, including a transsexual football captain who mimics Scarlet O’Hara. Jazzy musical segues and even a well-placed song round out this performance, reminding the listener that not all audiobooks are the same. Sincere in its approach and heartfelt in its intense emotion, this audiobook stands tall with its appeal to idealism, authenticity, and outstanding quality of production. The library owns this in book and eAudiobook formats.


Check out the rest of the June SYNC schedule here… you can even get text alerts about upcoming titles!


Review: A Game of Thrones

agameofthronesA Game of Thrones is a book that has a lot of different things going on at once. It takes place in a time where the warm years of summer are ending and a harsh, cold winter is coming. There are unknown creatures causing destruction outside the northern walls of the kingdom, and no one knows how to stop them. Many highborn families have made alliances with each other to protect themselves, but those alliances fall apart when lords start suffering from untimely deaths. This is a book that deals with deception, mystery, war, and magic. Every character has their own agenda and they will do whatever it takes to win the Iron Throne, even if that means killing thousands of people and betraying their family.

There are hundreds of characters that you will encounter throughout A Game of Thrones, and it’s important to know who is who in order to understand what is going on. There are also large portions of the book that do not contain dialogue, but instead just describe what is going on and what the characters are thinking. If you enjoy those things, you will also really enjoy this book.

This book is the first in the series, A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin.

Explode Your Holds List with New Summer Romance!

explodeyourholdsLooking for some stories about love, heartbreak, and romance this summer? We have some great new books for you:

love-lies-and-spiesLove, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey

In the early 1800s, when her father sends her to London for a season, eighteen-year-old Juliana Telford, who prefers researching ladybugs to marriage, meets handsome Spencer Northam, a spy posing as a young gentleman of leisure.

no-love-allowedNo Love Allowed by Kate Evangelista

A wealthy boy's plan to survive the summer social season by hiring a fake girlfriend goes in an unexpected direction when he falls in love with bi-polar artist Didi.

love-and-gelatoLove & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

After her mother dies, Lina travels to Italy where she discovers her mothers's journal and sets off on an adventure to unearth her mother's secrets.

hot-pterodactyl-boyfriendHot Pterodactyl Boyfriend by Alan Cumyn

Everything changes for a teenaged girl with a perfectly controlled life when she falls for the hot new first-ever interspecies transfer student, a pterodactyl named Pyke.

a-walk-in-the-sunA Walk in the Sun by Michelle Zink

While grieving following an unexpected family tragedy, Rose Darrow finds her quiet world turned upside down when Bodhi Lowell is hired to spend the summer working on her family's farm.

summer-of-supernovasSummer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods

As the daughter of an astrologer, Wilamena Carlisle knows the truth lies within the stars, so when she discovers a rare planetary alignment she is forced to tackle her worst astrological fear--The Fifth House of Relationships and Love--but Wil must decide whether a cosmically doomed love is worth rejecting her mother's legacy when she falls for a sensitive guitar player.

this-is-my-brain-on-boysThis is My Brain on Boys by Sarah Strohmeyer

Addie Emerson doesn't believe in love. Not for herself anyway. With one year left of high school, she's more interested in snagging a full scholarship to Harvard than a full-time boyfriend. That doesn't mean she's oblivious to the ways of the heart. Or, rather, the head. Because after months of research, Addie has discovered how to make anyone fall in love. All you need is the secret formula. But will her discovery be enough to win the coveted Athenian Award and all its perks?.. Or will she be undone by Dexter, her backstabbing lab partner, who is determined to deep-six her experiments at their exclusive private school? Those are the least of her problems now that she's survived a death-defying flight with a mysterious, dark-haired boy, who has delicious chocolate-brown eyes and a few secrets of his own.

girl-against-the-universeGirl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

Maguire is bad luck. No matter how many charms she buys or good luck rituals she performs, horrible things happen. She spends a lot of time in her room to avoid causing damage. But then she meets Jordy, a talented, lucky, aspiring tennis star. He's convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak; she is convinced the best thing she can do for Jordy is stay away. But it turns out that staying away is harder than she thought.

summer-of-sloaneSummer of Sloane by Erin L. Schneider

Seventeen-year-old Sloane McIntyre spends a summer in Hawaii as she deals with being betrayed by both her boyfriend and her best friend, and she and her twin brother, Penn, begin new, complicated, romances.

SYNC Audiobooks: Week 7


This summer, SYNC will be providing two free teen audiobooks each week from May 5th to August 11th. Each week will focus on a specific theme, pairing a classic YA title with a more modern YA title. This week starts Thursday, June 16th with How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon and The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson. These two titles will be available to download for free this week only (from 6/16 to 6/23) at the SYNC website. The theme for this week is “American history past and in the making.”

how-it-went-downCherise Boothe anchors this production with her performance as world-weary Jennica, a teen we meet when she tries to save her schoolmate, Tariq Johnson, after he’s shot in broad daylight. In the wake of Tariq’s death, a full cast alternates between points of view as diverse as that of the shooter, who believed Tariq was armed, and that of the Reverend Alabaster Sloan, who comes to town in the wake of the tragedy to bolster his political career. As Tariq’s family, other teens, and neighborhood stalwarts fail to agree on the facts or on what they mean, the full-cast approach highlights the way people’s expectations and assumptions influence what they see and believe. Timely, but also timeless in its exploration of the mysteries at the core of being human. The library also has this in
book format as well.



This 1912 novel is a fictional autobiography of an unnamed biracial man, with lessons and observations that are still fresh today. Alan Bomar Jones performs in a smooth voice. He adopts cultured, barely inflected tones for the narrative and the protagonist’s dialogue, while using strong Southern and New York accents for the dialogue of other African-Americans. Jones’s uninflected Spanish, French, and German phrases contrast sharply with Johnson’s descriptions of the protagonist’s near-native fluency. Full of sophisticated vocabulary, thoughtful ruminations, and detailed observations, the autobiography is replete with long discussions of race and discrimination as the hero travels throughout the South, New York, Boston, and Europe. Author James Weldon Johnson was a Harlem Renaissance writer as well as an educator, musician, and lawyer. The library does not currently own any copies of this title at this time, but we would be more than happy to request a copy for you from one of the libraries in our reciprocal borrowing system.


Check out the rest of the June SYNC schedule here… you can even get text alerts about upcoming titles!


Explode Your Holds List with More Speculative Fiction!


See what's new in Speculative Fiction:

dreamologyDreamology by Lucy Keating

Experiencing dreams about her soulmate all of her life, Alice meets the real boy, Max, when she moves to a new school and finds that their real relationship is more complicated than their dream one. 

a-fierce-and-subtle-poisonA Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry

Spending the summer with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico, seventeen-year-old Lucas turns to a legendary cursed girl filled with poison when his girlfriend mysteriously disappears.

away-we-goAway We Go by Emil Ostrovski

Youths infected with the fatal Peter Pan Virus are sent to Westing Academy where Noah Falls pins his affections on a boy who does not reciprocate, and soon tarnishes his other relationships and increases his feelings of self-loathing.

klickitatKlickitat by Peter Rock

Having joined her older sister, Audra, and a mysterious man on a wilderness survival adventure, Vivian seeks a connection between the man and the mysterious writing appearing in her notebook.

heir-to-the-skyHeir to the Sky by Amanda Sun

As heir to a kingdom of floating continents, Kali has spent her life bound by limits: by her duties as a member of the royal family, by a forced betrothal to the son of a nobleman, and by the edge of the only world she's ever known—a small island hovering above a monster-ridden earth, long since uninhabited by humans. When Kali falls off the edge of her kingdom and miraculously survives, she is shocked to discover there are still humans on the earth. Determined to get home, Kali entrusts a rugged monster-hunter named Griffin to guide her across a world overrun by chimera, storm dragons, basilisks and other terrifying creatures. But the more time she spends on earth, the more dark truths she begins to uncover about her home in the sky, and the more resolute she is to start burning for herself.

saving-montgomery-soleSaving Montgomery Sole by Mariko Tamaki

An outcast teen girl explores the mysteries of friendship, family, faith, and phenomena, including the greatest mystery of all—herself.

drag-teenDrag Teen by Jeffery Self

JT is a gay high school senior determined to get out of Clearwater, Florida, and be the first person in his family to go to college, even though he can not figure out how to pay for it—until his friends convince him to compete in a drag teen competition where the first prize is a college scholarship.

down-with-the-shineDown with the Shine by Kate Karyus Quinn

After the death of her best friend, Lennie takes some of her family's moonshine to a party where the wishes everyone makes before drinking seem to come true.

burningBurning by Danielle Rollins

After three years in juvenile detention, Angela is just months shy of release, but then ten-year-old Jessica arrives in shackles and is placed in segregation, and while no one knows what she did to end up there, creepy things begin to happen and it becomes clear that Jessica and her possible supernatural powers are more dangerous than anyone expected.

Review: Divergent Series by Elizabeth Morris



My book review is over the Divergent Series by Veronica Roth. All the books in the series are jam-packed with intense action scenes. Also there are four books in the series: Divergent, Insurgent, Allegient, and Four. In all books there is a faction system where there are five groups: Amity, Candor, Dauntless, Abnegation, and Erudite. If people end up not fitting into any of these categories, they are Factionless and live in poverty. In the books the main focus is on a teenage girl named Tris Prior. She goes through a lot in all the books. All of these books make up my favorite series and I would suggest them to everyone.