EBPL's First Look

EBPL's First Look program is a community service project by East Brunswick teens.

Teens get an exclusive look at young adult books before they are released for publication.  The books reviewed here have been read by teens and reviewed for the library.  

Check out these reviews to find your next favorite book!

For more information on how you can participate in the First Look program, please check out our Teen Volunteering page here.

Dear Martin

The book is very intriguing, and has a lot of detail in it.
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Tiny Pretty Things

This book is about 3 girls at a ballet school - Bette, Gigi and June - who will do anything to get the lead role.
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A Crown of Wishes

This fiction book is a story about a prince of Ujijain named Vilkram and the princess named Gauri.
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Forget Me Always

In Sara Wolf's Forget Me Always, the main character, Isis Blake, struggles to remember her old life after being involved in a tragic event.
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How To Say I Love You Out Loud

In Karole Cozzo's How To Say I Love You Out Loud, the main character, Jordyn Michaelson, struggles to be able to express her love to not only her crush, but also her autistic brother.
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Select

Select by Marit Weisenberg is a book that has similar features to dystopian and science fiction novels, but has a very unique and different plot, making it enjoyable.
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Just a Normal Tuesday

Kim Turrisi's Just a Normal Tuesday has become one of my favorite books. It captures loss, grief, acceptance, and all the ups and downs in life. The book will fly by and have you never wanting to put it down but, there will be just enough unanswered questions to make you speculate and reflect on the book.
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Textrovert

In Lindsey Summer's "Textrovert" the main character, Keeley Brewer, struggles to maintain her relationship with her boyfriend, Talon.
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The One Memory of Flora Banks

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr managed to grip my attention from the moment I read the prologue.
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Survivors Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz

Survivors Club is a Holocaust story, but one that differs from others due to the young age of the main character.
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Freya

Freya by Matthew Laurence is the charming story of a goddess gone rogue, Freya.
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Hello, Universe

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly is a must read for anyone in middle school. A relatively easy read, you will NOT want to put the book down!
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The Sky Between You and Me

The Sky Between You and Me, written by Catherine Alene, is a beautifully crafted book that’s written in the form of poetry.
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Thick as Thieves

Thick as Thieves, a Queen’s Thief novel as it declares on the front, was as a whole unsatisfying.
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At the Edge of the Universe

This is personally one of my most favorite books that I have ever read.
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Wintersong

Disclaimer: When I started the book, I really really didn’t want to write a review completely destroying the book because I thought it had potential. Unfortunately for you, me, and S. Jae Jones however, the book completely squandered its potential and turned into an utter dumpster fire of a book, so you’ll have to deal with me and my complaints.
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A Crack in the Sea

Reminiscent of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon for its story of family, belonging, and magic coupled with detailed illustrations, A Crack in the Sea is a story that takes you back to simpler days.
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Roar

Roar, as with many other stories, focuses on a plucky young princess out to make her destiny.
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Forget Me Not

Terry's novel Forget Me Not centers on the story of a young girl, Callie, struggling to embrace herself and share her story.
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City of Saints & Thieves

Anderson's novel is unlike anything I have ever read before. This is a story that educates readers about the violence and dangers of gang involvement, human trafficking, and dirty business deals.
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Grendel's Guide to Love and War

After reading Grendel's Guide to Love and War I was a little disappointed.
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Revenge of the Star Survivors

Revenge of the Star Survivors brings you back to an unfamiliar time period- back to a time when being a nerd was socially unacceptable, when bullies got away with their deeds because there were no fancy cameras to keep watch over a school’s population, and when computer glitches were prone to wiping a student’s entire record clean.
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The Upside of Unrequited

Albertalli's The Upside of Unrequited is a wonderfully woven story about a girl who finds herself and accepts who she is, finding love during the process.
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Looking For Group

The story of Dylan and Arden, two internet friends that go on a real life quest, is one that has been told before-by other young adult authors.
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The Cruelty

There are no rainbow and unicorns here, but what would you expect from a book called The Cruelty?
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10 Things I Can See From Here

Carrie Mac's 10 Things I Can See From Here is a charming novel about the amplified struggles of a girl named Maeve who deals with anxiety disorder.
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Definitions of Indefinable Things

Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor is a modern twist on the classic teen romance novel.
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The Devil's Banshee

What happens when you kind of take a Viking Prince from the 10th century, a woman who died from the devastating and horrendous, Great Fire of London of 1666, and two recently deceased teenagers from around our era, who go on a journey through the nine circles of hell in hell itself in order to basically find the devil's wife and banshee and try to make it on piece?
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Ashes

Eight years after the publication of Laurie Halse Anderson’s critically acclaimed Chains, Anderson is back with the final book of her Seeds of America trilogy, finally ending the adventure of the two African American characters we’d come to know and love: Isabel and Curzon.
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Everything, Everything

The book Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon is unlike any book I had ever read before.
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The Diabolic

The book The Diabolic takes place in a dystopian future where machines run themselves and humans have relied so much on these machines that they cannot function without them.
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The Book Jumper

Built on the premise of people able to enter the worlds of other books, The Book Jumper uses the rich variety of characters and backgrounds of the classics to enrich its own plot.
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Life in a Fishbowl

This book is really intriguing and clearly resembles the title: Life in A Fishbowl.
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The Thing About Jellyfish

On the surface, The Thing About Jellyfish is a middle-grade book about a girl named Suzy struggling with the death of a former best friend. But when you look closer, you see a girl struggling with much more than that - the divorce of her parents, growing up, not having anyone to talk to, feeling like a pariah even in her own home - and now the guilt of feeling like she failed her friend.
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Terror at Bottle Creek

This book gives an exhilarating glimpse into the terrifying experience of three young kids as they battle their way through a Hurricane Igor-ravaged swamp.
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Weregril

I would recommend the novel, "WEREGIRL" by C. D. Bell for any fantasy-loving person.
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My Sister Rosa

My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier was a thrilling book that I couldn't put down.
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Replica

Replica is a flip book that tells the same story from two different perspectives.
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Scyth

Scythe by Neal Shusterman is about a world where there is no more death.
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The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle

Overall the story was very well crafted and it is definitely worth a read.
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A List of Cages

“The things I know stay in my head as I stand on my own two feet at the end of the day, and I walk back to my room with my journal to write my list of cages.” This first mention of the title in the story is thirty five pages from the ending, which is right around the time your heart overloads on emotions and bursts into a million pieces. Not unlike a more teen friendly version of A Child Called ‘It,’ A List of Cages by Robin Roe centers on a story of friendship, abuse, and the ability to move on.
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The Problem with Forever

The Problem with Forever by Jennifer Armentrout is a spectacular novel that will capture the hearts and minds of readers', and I highly suggest it for any teenager that's up for a nice, lovely read that is equally heart-wrenching and dynamic.
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To Catch a Killer

Penguin Books claims that a mystery only needs to have five basic but important elements: characters, a setting, a plot, a problem, and a solution. Now, for a basic mystery, this is fine. But a good mystery novel should have more complex components, and Sheryl Scarborough, author of To Catch a Killer, certainly attempts to create a more intriguing mystery novel. Unfortunately, she doesn’t quite get there.
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Remember to Forget

Remember to Forget by Ashley Roye , is a cheesy chick flick that is both laughable and romantic.
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Ghost in the H.A.T.B.O.X.

This is definitely a book I recommend reading for fantasy lovers.
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Stalking Jack the Ripper

The whole story is sort of like a house of cards so intricately set up but it ultimately falls down.
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The Bone Sparrow

You cried at The Boy in Striped Pajamas. You were shocked by the unrestrained, grim reality in A Thousand Splendid Suns. Now, experience Zana Fraillon’s The Bone Sparrow, a combination between endearing childhood innocence and the cold, harsh reality of the life of refugees in Australian detention centers.
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