Lately we've been trying something new with our teen book clubs: instead of reading and discussing books that have been out for a while, we've decided to read and discuss books that haven't even been published yet. Upon signing up, every teen gets an Advanced Readers Copy (ARC) of a book, and at the appointed date they come to the store and discuss what they've just read with our friendly neighborhood bookseller Margaret. Thus far, the response has been fantastic!
Check back for our next Be First selection, to be announced late summer.
Below is a listing of our most recent Be First books our teens have reviewed, as well as their reactions to them. Click here to see our full repertoire of reviewed books. These are now available at a McNally's near you!
If you're interested in taking a look at more books that haven't been released yet, check out our Two Thumbs Up review program.
The Lake and the Library by S.M. Beiko
Wishing for something more than her adventureless life, 16-year-old Ash eagerly awaits the move she and her mother are taking from their dull, drab life in the prairie town of Treade. But as Ash counts the days, she finds her way into a mysterious, condemned building on the outskirts of town. What she finds inside is an untouched library, inhabited by an enchanting mute named Li. Brightened by Li's charm and his indulgence in her dreams, Ash becomes locked in a world of dusty books and dying memories, with Li becoming the attachment to Treade she never wanted. As the summer vanishes underneath her, and her quest to discover who Li is proves nearly impossible, Ash must choose between the road ahead or the dream she's living.
"This book makes you question the blurred line between reality and imagination." -John
"How do you believe in the real world when you don't even know your own reality?" -Keeshan
"This is a beautifully descriptive novel obviously written by an author who loves the physical book as well as the magic of the story." -Margaret
The Program by Suzanne Young
Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program. the only proven course of treatment. But she also knows that everyone who's been through it returns as a blank slate. Their depression may be gone, but so are their memories.The only person Sloane can be herself with is James and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But it's getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.
"The Program takes a unique twist on teen suicide, full of anticipation, romance, and action, keeping you glued to every page until the very end." -Thalia
"Sad, depressing and suicidal - it's Dystopian, you'll love it!" -Rooshan
"You'll find yourself feeling the raw emotions of the characters rather than just imagining them." -Grace
"A book that clearly defines emotions through writing that changes with the changes in the characters." -John
The Fall by Colleen Nelson
Before Luke came into his life, all Ben cared about was skateboarding, and whether his father would ever remember that he was alive. Then there was Luke, and it felt like he was being carried along on some sort of wave. But then Luke died, and everyone at school thinks it's his fault. Maybe it is. The Fall charts the lives of three boys as they deal with the death of their friend and brother. One turns to alcohol to escape his guilt. Another looks to a gang to replace what he's lost. Ben needs to find a way to reconcile his role in Luke's death and prove that he was not to blame. He must also learn that the man he will become is his to define.
"This book was a very in-depth look at grief, taking you on a tough ride with these boys." -Keeshan
"Deep and realistic, this book will pull you in." -Rooshan
"The Fall is an uncompromising view of how individuals deal with grief." -John
"This story gives you the sensation that you are falling along with the characters." -Grace
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