Posts Tagged ‘young adult books’

Win a copy of Rookie Yearbook Three!

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 is a website created by and for young women to make the best of the beauty, pain and awkwardness of being a teenager. When it becomes tough to appreciate such things, we have good plain fun and visual pleasure. When you’re sick of having to be happy all the time, we have lots of rants, too. Every school year, we compile the best from the site into a print yearbook. Behold: our Junior year!

In Rookie Yearbook Three, we explore cures for love, girl-on-girl crime, open relationships, standing for something, embracing our inner posers, and so much more. Featuring interviews with Rookie role models like Sofia Coppola, Amandla Stenberg, Greta Gerwig, and Kim Gordon, and a bonus section chock-full of exclusive content including a pizza pennant, sticker sheet, valentines, plus advice and contributions from Lorde, Shailene Woodley, Dakota and Elle Fanning, Grimes, Kelis, Sia, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer of Broad City, Haim, and more!

Thanks to the fab people at Penguin, we have 5 (five!) copies to give away! All you have to do to win one is answer the following question:

Who is your female role model, and why?

Mail your answer to by December 10th*. Please include “Rookie Yearbook” in the subject header.

*Please note that we don’t answer the mails to individually. The winner will be contacted after the cut-off date. The names of the winners and ALL answers are posted on this blog periodically in Prize Draw Winners posts.

Image credit: panel from comic by Margaret Machlan, taken from’s November 30th, 2014, Sunday Comic “Up to Scale”.

You Review: Noggin – John Corey Whaley

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Reviewed by Debby Kasbergen

When I was offered Noggin by John Corey Whaley for review, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. From the blurb it just sounded unique and sort of weird. With the head cut off element, I thought it would be a bizarre kind of sci-fi, but nope. This book surprised me in the best possible way.

Noggin is actually sort of a cancer book. It centers on Travis Coates who, indeed, has his head cut off – but for a medical reason. He had a terminal form of cancer that had destroyed his body – except for his head. Knowing he had no other options, he consented to participate in a new medical procedure. His head would be cut off and cryogenically frozen until such time as technology had advanced enough to allow him to survive reattachment to another body. He first expects that he would wake up far in the future, but instead he wakes up 5 years later: just long enough for his family, girlfriend and friends to have moved on, but not long enough for him to be able to let them go entirely, as for him no time has passed at all.

I honestly was not expecting that kind of story from the blurb, but it just instantly drew me in. I’m not the type of person who often goes for sickness or grief stories, because I find it hard to connect. But here the connection was instantaneous, mostly because Travis has such a refreshing voice. It was really fluid and easy to understand his thoughts, to be drawn into his mind and sympathize with his story. He has a wry kind of humor that pops out at just the right times and puts a smirk on your face despite his circumstances.

So the book tells Travis’s story of coming back to life with much fanfare to the world as a medical miracle interspersed with flashbacks to show how his former life ended. Tons of emotions abound. Honestly, there were moments when I had tears in my eyes because of the beautiful bond Travis had with his family, his girlfriend Cate, and his best friend, Kyle. This book is mostly about the relationships between these characters, all of which are rather strained because of the circumstances. Everyone wants to move on, but nobody really knows how. Strangely there’s no handbook on what to do when your son/(ex-)boyfriend/best friend comes back to life. And slowly it becomes obvious just how big of an effect Travis’s presence (and absence) has on all of them. I really felt touched by their stories and basically loved all of the characters, including Travis’s new friend, Hatton. Their relationships are beautiful, and they all give each other the reality checks they need.

I was seriously enjoying this and was super engrossed, but in my opinion, the story trailed off in the end. I didn’t feel like the ending was that strong, and I was rather frustrated with Travis and some of the choices he made. While it sort of fit the trend of his desperation and clinging to his former life, I would have liked to see more growth. However, I can also imagine that this is a more realistic take on how someone in such a situation would truly react.

Ultimately, Noggin is a really unique take on a cancer aftermath story. It’s a book that really makes you think about your own life, choices and relationships, and about the passage of time. When I finished, I felt sort of fragile. I needed to just lie in bed for a while and digest – and it’s very rare that a book has that kind of effect on me. So while I didn’t feel like the ending was that strong, it did leave a mark on me as a reader. And that is excellent. For what it’s worth, I think this would be a brilliant book for a book club, because it definitely fosters discussion.

Summing Up:  This is a strange little book, but I cannot stress enough how glad I am that it found its way into my hands. While it’s a story that’s a bit out of my comfort zone, it worked out extremely well. I loved this unique premise, with its awesome characters, beautiful relationships, and refreshing voice. It’s a book that will linger on in your mind for days. And personally, I’m betting it will beg me for a reread at some point.

Recommended To:  Fans of character-driven stories dealing with the consequences of life and death, and/or, potentially, fans of The Fault in Our Stars.

You Review: The latest releases, reviewed by ABC customers.

Debby is the author of the fabulous Snuggly Oranges blog, with a gazillion more book reviews.

You Review: Us Minus Mum – Heather Butler

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Reviewed by Ana Chen Liao

Cancer.  This one word can turn a person’s world upside down. This disease does not just shake one person, but also his or her family in profound ways. It is especially challenging for children to face death at such a young age. Us Minus Mum is about how a mother’s terminal brain cancer affects her husband and two young sons. You can’t help but fall in love with this adorable family and empathize with their struggles.

The book is narrated by the older son, George, and the author has perfectly captured the musings of a young child’s mind. His life is normal, filled with things such as best friends, bullies, art class – until he finds out about his mother’s diagnosis. In the span of a few days, his happy days become tainted by dark thoughts. George’s family tries to continue a level of normalcy and there are many funny moments involving the family dog, Goffo.

Despite the deterioration of his mother’s health, George’s last memories of his mother are filled with happiness such as a trip to the zoo and a pet competition. Make sure you have a box of tissues ready because the ending is truly heart-breaking. Heather Butler perfectly captures the process young children go through while coping with cancer and death.

You Review: The latest releases, reviewed by ABC customers.

Besides books, Ana Chen Liao also loves to review restaurants on Yelp.

Ebook available for Us Minus Mum.

ABC’s Gift Ideas: Travel, True Crime, Young Adult Fiction

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

The gift-giving season is upon us – hooray!

The ABC Staff has rummaged through their sections and order lists, and come up with another year’s worth of wonderful gift ideas for you: from fiction to history to cookbooks to children’s books to travel to non-books and onwards.

In a series of blog posts and recommendation lists throughout the coming month, you will find what we think will make great gifts, whether you celebrate Sinterklaas, Christmas or just like giving books to people. And since we’re a bookstore, these posts will be alphabetical by subject. :-)

Today we’ve reached the end of our alphabet and you’ll find gift ideas for Travel, True Crime and Young Adult Fiction as picked out by section buyers Tom, RonG and PeterL. Bear in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg – come to either one of our stores to browse many, many more titles in any of these subjects.

We are ready as ever to be your personal shoppers again this year, and hope you will find our selections useful and inspiring!

You can find our gift ideas from previous years here (scroll down a bit pas 2013), and be sure to have a look at our ABC Favorites, too.


You Review: Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn

Friday, July 5th, 2013

Reviewed by Denise Wolfs

Ever since The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer saw the light of day, the book industry is awash with young adult books. Kate Karyus Quinn is the author of one of them. Another Little Piece is her debut novel. The book is described as a cross between Stephen King and Sara Shepard.

Annaliese has been missing for a year, after disappearing from the edge of the woods, covered in blood. Now she is back, but she has no idea who she is or where she has been. This is all I can say about the plot without giving too much away.

Let me start by saying that this book is original. It is not your average story about vampires or angels. I enjoyed the book and together with Annaliese I went on a journey to find out what happened to her. However, it is a shame that the mythos behind the story is never explained or expanded upon. That is why what’s going on remains kind of blurry and vague. The characters are likeable, well-written and they draw you in, although the many switches between perspectives is sometimes a little confusing.

In my opinion the comparison to Stephen King is a little premature, but overall, this is a quick and enjoyable read which I can surely recommend to the young adult readers among us.

You Review: The latest releases, reviewed by ABC customers.