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Teen Review: K-Drama - Doctors

June 20, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

DoctorsReview by Tasmia, member of the Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group

This K-Drama really intrigued me because of its unique plot. Here's a short summer to start it off. Doctors is the story of Yoo Hye-Jung (Park Shin-Hye), a young high school student who has a tough life. It revolves around her difficult family situation as Yoo Hye-Jung was left with her grandmother because her parents did not want to deal with her. Her life became even tougher as her grandmother dies, because a doctor purposely killed her. Yoo Hye-Jung then vowed to avenge her grandmother’s death and studied very hard to become a doctor as well. She then started to work in the same hospital as the man who killed her grandmother in order to slowly get revenge and that is when the adventure starts, with of course a huge love triangle, which causes more feuds.

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Teen Review: The House of the Scorpion

June 14, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (1)

Review by Prayash, member of the Dawes Road Youth Advisory Group

The house of the scorpion  by nancy farmerThe House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer is an extremely thought-provoking story. It is about an individual who faces many challenges in his life, including the sense of marginalization and his own identity being viciously judged by others. The main character, Matteo Alacrán, is a clone. He was brought to life by scientists who made him only to use his organs for transplanting them into his original “owner", who also happened to be a powerful drug lord in Mexico. Matteo's life story wasn't supposed to be a long one. He lived in a dark abandoned shed, never to have seen daylight. He had never experienced a life outside of his own area, and was far from understanding basic human characteristics. After all, there wasn't really a point. He was only made to be used.

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Teen Review: The Shining

June 12, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (2)

Review by Fahim, member of the Dawes Road Youth Advisory Group

The shining  by Stephen KingThe Shining is one of the greatest horror novels of all time. It is written by Stephen King who has written many other horror novels. This is a fiction novel based on a real life event. Stephen King once spent a night at the Stanley hotel in Estes Colorado. While sleeping he had nightmares which inspired him to write this story.

This book is especially scary because Stephen King used the mind of Danny, a kid, instead of using the mind of Jack or Wendy, who are the adults. Tony, who is Danny’s imaginary friend, shows him horrific visions of dead people and provides gory details. Stephen King could have chosen Tony, Jack’s imaginary friend or Wendy’s imaginary friend but he chose Danny instead.

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Teen Review - Chasing Coral

June 9, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Shree, member of the Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group

Chasing coralGoing into the theatre, I did not know what to expect. I was thinking this was going to be just like any other documentary, except about coral – a topic that does not really come up very often in everyday conversation. Minutes before the screening started, I was sitting among at least 2,000-3,000 other high school students under the dim lights of the humongous theatre hall, trying to relate to global warming, and climate change with beautiful and colourful coral that I had only known were found in Australia in the Great Barrier Reef until then – it was not until the movie ended that I became a bit more knowledgeable about coral.

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Teen Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

June 7, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Guardian's of the galaxy volume 2 posterReview by Sharoon, member of the Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group

The movie Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was released in May of 2017. This movie is the sequel to the very successful first movie that was released in 2014. This movie follows this group known as the Guardians of the Galaxy travelling around the universe as they try to help Peter Quill learn about the mysteries about his parents.

The real story begins as the Guardians get on the nerves of this race known as the Sovereign, after Rocket Raccoon steals batteries from them. This leads to the Sovereign going after them, but luckily they are saved by Ego. Peter learns the truth about his family as he figures out that he has Celestial powers.

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Teen Review: The Good Is Still Alive

June 5, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)


Review by Asifa, member of the Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group

A "nasheed" could be translated into “an Islamic song”. However the difference between nasheeds and songs is that while songs have musical instruments playing, nasheeds are vocals only. Also, nasheeds focuses on Islamic beliefs, etiquettes character etc. The particular nasheed I have chosen makes a person feel comforted and happier since it talks about (as the title suggests) how the good in the world is still out there. It also encourages a person to look at the goodness in the world, stating that the world cannot put you down so stand up to look at the world's beauty. The message is also to be an example that is noble and affects people positively. Personally this is a nasheed I like to listen to (on repeat) often when I’m doing my work or just sitting around since it’s a short but sweet message for everyone. 

Teen Review: Scott Pilgrim

June 2, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Matthew, member of the Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group

Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O'MalleyIn the mysterious land of Toronto, Canada, Scott Pilgrim is just living his precious little life. He’s in a rock band, “between jobs”, and dating a cute high school girl. Everything is fantastic until he comes across the girl of his dreams (literally), Ramona Flowers. He wants Ramona, but the path to her isn’t covered in rose petals. She has seven evil ex-boyfriends, and they will challenge Scott one by one for the right to date her. Can Scott beat the bad guys and get the girl without having to turn his precious little life upside down?

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Teen Review: Beauty and the Beast

May 31, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (1)

Review by Naomi, member of the Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group

Beauty and the beast movie posterWe’ve all heard the story of Beauty and the Beast. It’s a Disney classic and loved by many children around the world. The story tells of a charming prince who was turned into a huge beast and falls in love with a sweet village girl, which reverses his curse and turns him back into his original form.

Just recently, this wonderful Disney tale was made into a blockbuster movie that received a lot of love. Emma Watson, one of my favourite actors, starred in the movie. I took the time to go watch it with my family; I had very high expectations. However I felt that the movie wasn’t so great.

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Teen Review: K-Pop Boy Band BTS

May 29, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

by Vyshnavi, member of the Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group

B.T.S.On Sunday, May 21, 2017, the popular Korean boy group, BTS, made history by becoming the first K-pop group that has been nominated for, and won a Billboard Music Award. The K-pop craze is becoming widely popular, and Korean pop music has been taking the globe by storm. BTS, an acronym for the Korean term "Bangtan Songyeondan" or "bulletproof boy scouts" in English, are an internationally sensational K-pop group that formed under BigHit entertainment in 2014.

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Teen Review: Thirteen Reasons Why

May 15, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Srithevi, member of the Malvern Youth Advisory Group

Thirteen reasons why  by Jay AsherThe storytelling telling style in Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is both creative and different from your typical young adult novel. It’s told through two characters’ perspectives with one from Hannah Baker, a teenage girl who committed suicide and narrates the story via seven double-sided audio tapes she recorded, and Clay Jensen, an acquaintance of Hannah’s who tells the story as he listens to the tapes. In the tapes, Hannah describes her experiences since she moved to Clay’s neighbourhood and names the 13 people who strongly contributed to her decision of killing herself. Clay Jensen, a typical teen boy, was an introvert with an unrequited crush on Hannah and once he learns of Hannah’s suicide, he becomes devastated and wants to know why she killed herself. He later receives the tapes in a package on his doorstep as they were being passed down by those on Hannah’s list and he happened to be one of the 13 people. He begins to listen, anxious about what Hannah had to say about him. Though this novel is written in the outlooks of two characters, Hannah’s narrative style is similar to what is seen in a diary, or an audio diary in this case, and Clay’s narrative style is similar to the common “telling the reader everything I know that relates to this situation” style as he gives his viewpoints while he reacts to what he hears. Although Thirteen Reasons Why is a recommended read for high school students, it may be fairly graphic for some due to its sensitive content and trigger warnings.

Read the ebook

Listen to the eaudiobook

Or get the audiobook on CD

Check out other books by Jay Asher

Teen Review - A Thousand Pieces of You

May 2, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Sohinee

A Thousand Pieces of You
The concept for A Thousand Pieces of You, by Claudia Gray, is both beautiful and insane. It's a book about destiny, fate, parallel universe, with actions and sprinkled with romance making it an all around amazing read. The book is about, without giving too much, a daughter, Marguerite, of two scientists who figured out how to 'dimension hop'. After a an orchestrated car accident caused her father's death, Marguerite chases her father's killer, her parent's graduate student, Paul, through parallel dimensions. Marguerite is so very relatable. She doesn't know anything about her parents work, parallel worlds, but she wants to do the right thing. Overall the book was a great read and bits and pieces of other genres. I would recommend this book to all fans of the Shades of Magic trilogy by Victoria Schwab



The Firebird Trilogy

A Thousand Pieces of You Ten Thousand Skies Above You  A Million Worlds With You

Place a hold on A Thousand Pieces of You, by Claudia Gray, read the ebook or listen to the eaudiobook.

Place a hold on the second book in the Firebird Trilogy, Ten Thousand Skies Above You, read the ebook or listen to the eaudiobook.

Place a hold on the third book in the Firebird Trilogy, A Million Worlds With You, read the ebook or listen to the eaudiobook.


Teen Review - Room

March 31, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

review by Naomi, member of Cedarbrae Library's Youth Advisory Group

Room  by Emma DonoghueRoom, a novel by Emma Donoghue, is an award winning, thrilling, inspiring, and powerful story about the love between a mother and her five-year-old son. The back-story is about a Woman who had been kidnapped in her twenties and kept inside a shed for seven years. In that eleven by eleven foot space she gave birth to a son named Jack and raised him. Soon she grew impatient and Jack began to become curious about the outside world. This story is about how they devise a plan to escape from the kidnapper and the tiny shed and how they try to adjust to the world they had been kept away from for almost a decade. The novel is has been made into an Oscar-winning movie.

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Teen Review - The Orange Grove

March 27, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Reviewed by Kisanth, member of the Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group

The orange grove  by larry tremblayThe novel, The Orange Grove written by Larry Tremblay, revolves around twins named Amed and Aziz who are living in a small town in the Middle East, where bombings are a daily occurrence. A tragedy strikes the family when the twin’s grandparents die in bombings. The family decides to take revenge for the death. They come to a decision that one of the twins will train to be a suicide bomber and bomb the other side of the mountain from where the bombs have been thrown at them. Since Aziz is sick and cannot be cured, he cannot be the chosen one. Instead, Amed becomes the chosen one. Aziz didn't want go because he has a fear of death and his mother, Tamara, too does not want him to go either. Tamara plants an idea in Amed that will be life changing for both him and Aziz.

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Teen Review - The Leveller

March 22, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Asifa, Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group member

The leveller  by julia durangoThe Leveller is a novel about a game that allows a person to play with their minds in a virtual-reality gaming world while they are asleep, or in a sleep-like state. The protagonist of the book, Nixy Bauer, is a girl whose job is to bring kids back from the virtual-reality game if they have been in it for too long. When the game’s developer (who, mind you is quite rich) finds out that his son has decided to “commit suicide” by staying in the game, he decides that Nixy should be the one to go after his son and take him out of the gaming world. Turns out, the guy is actually stuck in the game and cannot get out. It’s up to Nixy and the boy to figure out how to get out of the gaming world.

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Teen Review - The Art of Not Breathing

March 17, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Reviewed by Dawes Road Youth Advisory Group member Marilyn

The art of not breathing  by Sarah alexanderThe Art of Not Breathing, written beautifully by Sarah Alexander, is a lot like the Art of letting go. This book tells a story of a girl's best friend, her twin brother, in a devastating incident. Through all the challenges Elsie, the protagonist, and her family face she still tries to reach her brother and forever let go. Even after her brother was physically gone from her life, she always felt that he was right next to her at all times. Through struggles of growing up herself, Elsie starts to get used to bad habits after her brothers death. When she finds someone to show her a better passion of free- diving, her whole world changes, and she finds a way to reach her brother for one last time to say goodbye.

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Teen Review - Girl Rising

March 6, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Amen, member of the Malvern Youth Advisory Group
Girl risingGirl Rising is a book of stories that tell about the lives of girls in underdeveloped countries such as Ethiopia, Nepal and Sierra Leone. In these stories, the girls talk about the hardship and discrimination they face almost every day. Some of the girls in the book are not able to go to school just because they are “girls.” Without proper education, these girls are subject to slavery, human trafficking, and childhood marriage. But with the help of organizations, like Girl Rising, the girls receive an education and have a brighter future in different countries.

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Digital Innovation at Malvern Library

March 2, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Malvern DIH 1One of the most exciting developments at the Malvern Public Library this year is the opening of the Digital Innovation Hub, located within the SPOT at the library. The Digital Innovation Hub opens up a whole new world for teens by giving them access to an incredible variety of tech resources. It contains two 3D Printers, several Mac laptops and iMac computers, and even more PC computers. These computers are equipped with state-of-the-art software that allows young people to experiment with photo editing, movie making, and even DJ equipment! The Hub also contains Arduino and Raspberry Pi tools that are open for anyone's use! This is an incredible addition to the library and to the Malvern community at large, because it provides open, easy-to-access interaction with some of the newest and most dynamic digital technology.

However, all of this technology may seem intimidating to a beginner who doesn't know a computer mouse from a real one...Luckily, one of the main purposes of the Digital Innovation Hub is to provide education on the use of these tools and programs. A diverse range of classes are offered weekly at the Hub on a wide range of topics. These include beginner's photo editing, Introduction to iMovie, and many more to come! Not only can here classes be taken for personal interest, but they can also be used to make school projects and presentations look professionally made. The Hub also has open house days and meet ups such as the Arduino Meetup, for people who share a love of technology and digital innovation to drop in and share ideas, trade tips, and help each other out. Finally, one of its most exciting features is the 3D Printer Certification course it offers, which will help teens develop and entirely new skill.

Malvern DIH 2In short, the opening of the newly revamped Digital Innovation Hub is a fantastic opportunity for newcomers and more experienced lovers of technology! It's an amazing resource that should definitely be taken advantage of and explored, and is hopefully only the start of exciting new programs at the Malvern Public Library!

Review by Sakeina, Malvern Branch Youth Advisory Group member.

Teen Review - The Free

February 28, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Fariha, with thanks to Helena at TPL for providing an ARC to read and review!

Release Date: February 28, 2017

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When you’re a thief, you’re also a liar. It comes with the territory.

The FreeThe Free by Lauren McLaughlin is about Isaac West, a high school teenager with a rough childhood, who landed himself in juvie for a month because he was caught stealing. We follow Isaac through his sentence and his experiences at juvie: the good, the bad and the wishes to just get out of there.

I thought I’d turn to the “Things I Liked” and “Things I Didn’t Like” list that I haven’t done in quite a while for this review.

Things I Liked:

**I really loved Isaac’s love for his sister and everything he was willing to do for her. Isaac was an alright character throughout the novel but I loved this certain aspect of him. We don’t see nearly enough siblings in YA, especially ones who have a good relationship with each other.

**I’m quite glad that there was no romance in here. I mean, there were references to sex and romantic partners but it was not a big deal throughout the novel.

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Teen Review - King's Cage

February 15, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Sohinee

*Spoilers ahead*

King's cage coverKing's Cage by Victoria Aveyard, the third book in the Red Queen series, is probably so far the best in the series. The characters have developed so much and the story is more vibrant and electric and the author's writing flows like fine ink. Mare Barrow is no longer naive 16-year-old trying to save her best friend from getting conscripted. Now she is a woman wanting to go home to be with her family, wanting to be with the man she loves, and continuing to fight for what she believes in. Evangeline is no longer a cold-hearted b****, she's a sister trying to protect her brother from Mare's wrath. She is in love with a girl she cannot be with because she is a pawn on her father's chessboard. Maven isn't a boy king who betrayed everyone to be king, no, he's a tortured soul who can't tell right from wrong. The only person who stays disappointingly the same is Cal who makes promises he can't keep. Again chooses the crown over Mare. King's Cage is a fantastic read that I would recommend to anyone... but read the first two books first!

Read the ebook!

Teen Review: A Tragic Kind of Wonderful

February 8, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Fariha, with "thanks a lot to HBG Canada for providing an ARC to read and review!"
Release Date: February 7, 2017
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Tragic kind of wonderfulA Tragic Kind of Wonderful follows Mel, a 16-year-old who is dealing with bipolar disorder. The novel explores how the mental illness affects her life and her experiences and her relationships.

I read this book right after reading History Is All You Left Me and I couldn’t ignore how similar the two novels are. They both contain peeks into the past as we get to see what happened before the books started, both explore mental illnesses (that perhaps don’t get as much recognition. Bipolar Disorder and OCD are not talked about or explored as much as some others, such as depression and anxiety), a lot of characters aren’t straight, and both main characters deal with losing a loved one. However, they’re both so incredibly different at the same time, in atmosphere and characters and how the story progresses.

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Teen Review - History Is All You Left Me

January 17, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Fariha, with thanks to "Helena at TPL for sending the ARC my way!"

Release Date: January 17, 2017

Rating: 4/5 stars

History is all you left me coverHistory Is All You Left Me follows Griffin as he mourns and tries to come to terms with the death of one of his best friends and his first love. There is guilt and the complex relationships at play, as well as the memories and the things left unsaid.

I read History Is All You Left Me for two weeks and a couple days. As a voracious reader, it is unlikely that I take even a week to read a single book and yet, I read this book over a long period of time and I think I enjoyed it more for it. I feel so connected to the story as it has been actively taking up a part of my mind for the better part of a month and this story is one that will stay with me for a long while yet.

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Teen Review - The Boy Most Likely To

January 14, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Rifa, member of the Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group

The boy most likely to coverThe Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick is a young adult contemporary novel that focuses on Tim Mason’s and Alice Garrett’s story. I anticipated this book to be a light-hearted romance that focused on the relationship between the two main characters. However, this book was much more than that and actually brought up quite a bit of serious topics. In this story we deal with two different perspectives. The first one is Tim who is an alcoholic, abuses drugs, gets kicked out of his home and has an unexpected surprise coming at him a little bit after the beginning of the book. The second perspective is Alice, a girl who struggles to take care of her large family while her dad is in the hospital recovering from an injury.

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Teen Review - Never Always Sometimes

January 12, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (0)

Review by Tasmi, member of the Cedarbrae Youth Advisory Group

Never always sometimes coverJulia and Dave are longterm best friends that are just about to start their freshmen year in high school. But they aren’t your typical cliché best friends that will end up being a quarterback of the football team, or the cheerleading captain and grow apart like other high schoolers. Right before they embark on their journey towards the next four years of high school, they write a Never List, that includes all the cliché things you could do, and vow to never do any of them. Some of the rules are like, #5 Never dye your hair the colour of rainbows, or #7 Never hook up with a teacher. But of course, rules are meant to be broken, as Dave broke rule #8 Never pine silently after someone for the eternity of high school. 

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Teen Review - Frostblood

January 10, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (1)

Review by Fariha, with "thanks a ton to HBG Canada for providing me with an ARC! All quotes are from the ARC and are subject to change."

Rating: 2/5 stars
Release Date: January 10, 2017

Frostblood coverFrostblood by Elly Blake was one of the 2017 releases I was eagerly waiting to get in my hands because it’s a High Fantasy novel by a Canadian author that involves powers of frost and fire, a deadly tournament and a thirst for revenge. What more could a girl want? Possibly for the book to be actually good, whoops.

As excited as I was, the very first chapters disappointed me. I hadn’t realized that the book was in first person, which is my least favourite of the POVs (2nd person might be slightly uncomfortable but it’s interesting) and I find 1st person to usually be very un-atmospheric in fantasy. I also wasn’t a fan of the writing style, it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t unique or memorable. The events that were occurring seemed abrupt but not engaging. I felt my hopes for the book crashing around me as I read the first couple pages. Also, the beginning of the book required empathy, or at least sympathy, to make any impact from the readers but there was nothing that made the reader empathetic. Oh, look, something terrible that happens in literally every other book happened! I care so much!

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Teen Review - Moana: The Perfect Disney Movie

January 5, 2017 | Teen Blogger | Comments (1)

Review by Vyshnavi

MoanaWhen one thinks of Disney princesses, they probably picture your average young white maiden, who is a magically talented damsel in distress. Said damsel in distress would obviously need a young, strong, powerful prince to save her. Not to mention both princess and Prince are drop dead gorgeous. How typical of Disney. Moana breaks all of these stereotypes.

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