Teen Book Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

In this teen classic that was adapted into a fantastic film in 2012, Charlie is starting his first year in high school and is very scared. However, he soon finds friendship in step-siblings Sam and Patrick, and in his English teacher, Mr. Bill. He develops a very Charlie-esque crush on the beautiful Sam and reads so many books that all end up being his favorite. He goes through his freshman year in a heart wrenching tale that has a climax in the most devastating way, explaining why Charlie is not exactly like the others, part of the reason he is such a wallflower.

This book has broken and rebuilt me every single time I’ve read it, which happens to be 12 times as of last week. Chbosky has written an incredible lead, Charlie, a sweet and layered character who I only wish I could be friends with in reality. The novel is written in the form of letters written by Charlie, subsequently in first person point of view. It goes into a more mature setting with drugs and adult themes, so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who is not comfortable reading that kind of material. That said, he also approaches topics that were somewhat taboo in the time the novel was written while giving many lessons on love. On another note, Chbosky throws in many cultural references, ranging from music to plays to other classics. He creates a world seen by someone so painstakingly honest and thoughtful; it really has changed my perspective on reality. This novel is small but incredibly powerful; it drags the receiver of Charlie’s intimate letters through laughter, love, smut, tears, and the emotion of feeling infinite. In a sign off that you will understand after reading the book, “Love always, Charlie”.

Written by Veeshva R.

Interested in writing a book review or a shelfie? Contact the Teen Librarian for more information: lhilty@grayslake.info.

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Teen Book Review: The Duff

The Duff by Kody KeplingerThe Duff by Kody Keplinger

Bianca, a cynical girl, is in her senior year of high school and thoroughly hating it. To her, what’s not to hate? There was the blindingly bright blue and orange of her school, the local club her friends always dragged her to, and worse of all, womanizing playboy, Wesley Rush. He was the first person to her dub her as a DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend. However, as she faces problems with her family that become too much to handle, she seeks escape with Wesley, set on keeping a no-strings-attached physical relationship with him. As time goes on though, to her utter horror, she finds herself actually caring about him.

This book was absolutely eye opening. It was a book embedded in common troubles facing teens, such as strong insecurities, labels, and family dilemmas, ending happily but with a message of self positivity. It sounds like a typical feel-good coming-of-age novel when said like that, but it’s anything but. We’re thrown into Bianca’s world in a first person narration, in the throws of her fears for her dad, confusion about her feelings about Wesley, and a good amount of pages that viewer – uh, reader discretion is advised. It’s a bit like watching a good TV drama in motion with wonderful characters, including Bianca’s beautiful best friends; Casey, the savior of the three, and Jessica, the kind-hearted soul. Wesley’s own problems are heart wrenching and to see Bianca’s character fix him is astounding. Overall, this story is new and refreshing, albeit being definitely for more mature audiences. I loved the characters, the overall plot, and the cute banter throughout the book. A must read for anyone who loves a good drama!

Written by Veeshva R.

Interested in writing a book review or a shelfie? Contact the Teen Librarian for more information: lhilty@grayslake.info.

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Teen Book Review: Crown of Midnight

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. MaasCrown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

In the thrilling second installment to the Throne of Glass series, we get more of our favorite assassin, Celaena. In Crown of Midnight, she is busy working as the King’s Champion. In other words, she does his dirty work for him by killing those he chooses. Or so he thinks. Celaena plays a dangerous game by having her own agenda while making sure the King is convinced of her loyalty. She discovers even more horrifying secrets about the castle and what the King is really up to, and in the meantime, a relationship grows between her and the Captain of the Guard, Chaol Westfall. Her friendship with Nehemia however, hits a few bumps on the road before a heart shattering tragedy that leaves Celaena broken and lost.

This book completed me and then shoved me off of a cliff, much like what it put Celaena through. Crown of Midnight gave me chills all down my spine at some points because of fear of what to come. Maas’s writing is like none I’ve ever experienced before. Her writing puts you right there next to Celaena to the point where you can vividly see and feel and even smell exactly what Celaena is. Her writing is descriptive without being tedious. The plot twists in this book were unpredictable by even the most seasoned readers, which makes it all the more enjoyable. We learn more about Celaena’s past, which is a massive plot point, so much more won’t be said about it. The high-fantasy-action-thriller of a novel makes me weak in the knees. As does Mr. Chaol Westfall. I fell head over heels for the Captain and I don’t think it’s possible not to in this book. Once you start reading, you will not be able to put this book down!

Written by Veeshva R.

Interested in writing a book review or a shelfie? Contact the Teen Librarian for more information: lhilty@grayslake.info.

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Gotta Catch ‘Em All!


Grayslake Library PokestopCome on in!  We have:

  • AC (chill out while you stock up)
  • Charging Stations (save your battery)
  • Drinking Fountains (hydration is important)
  • Free Wi-Fi (save your DATA!)

To connect to Wi-Fi:

Select GAPLD Network



The library is crawling with Pokémon, too!






And while you’re here, you can also play our:


Grayslake Library Lawn Sign

You’ve seen the lawn signs, but who else are LIBRARY CHAMPIONS?



Throughout the library, we’ve hidden 29 “READ” posters of some familiar faces in our community who also love reading!

When you find them all, turn in your bookmark to be entered in a raffle for a $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD!

You must find all 29 posters. The name of each person is listed on the back of the bookmark alphabetically by last name.  Bookmarks can be found at any service desk.

Each poster will have a number written in the bottom right-hand corner. You must correctly write down the number of each poster to qualify for the raffle.

You have until the end of July to find all the posters. Turn in completed bookmarks to the raffle bin behind the Adult Reference Desk.

Posters will not be hidden in:

  • Bathrooms
  • Conference rooms
  • Meeting rooms
  • Study rooms
  • Staff areas
  • Outside the building

Please remember that while you are in the library or out in the community looking for READ posters or Pokémon, to:

  • Be alert at all times
  • Stay aware of your surroundings
  • Be respectful of others and the places you visit

Happy hunting!  Stay safe, Trainers!

Haven’t signed up for Summer Reading yet?  You still have time to enter.  Register on-line here or at any of the Reference Desks!  Read for the Win!

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Teen Book Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. MaasThrone of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Celaena Sardothein, aka Adarlan’s Assassin, is imprisoned in the slave camp Endovier. That is, until the Crown Prince protected by the Captain of the Royal Guard, Dorian and Chaol, comes with a proposition that would result in freedom after a few years in the King’s service. Celaena faces a potentially fatal competition, a ruthless and bloodthirsty king, an unknown killer, dark secrets about the castle and kingdom, and, possibly more frightening than all of the above, to Celaena, at least, unexpected friendship and possibly more at the glass castle.

I first heard about this book from my absolute favorite BookTuber, Piera Forde, who is absolutely obsessed with it. After reading Chapter 1, I completely understood her utter adoration. Celaena’s cold, tough, witty, and sarcastic exterior captivated me from the very first page. Written in third person limited with occasional chapters from other characters, Maas wrote the original version of this book on FictionPress at the age of 16, and I am so eternally grateful for her decision to publish it. It puts the readers through suspense and lets us form guesses about how the mystery is going to unravel, only to turn out in a brilliantly unexpected way. It goes through death and evil and some absolutely horrid things that makes you grateful you don’t live in a world like Erilea. I also really love the characters, especially our protagonist, Celaena. Even though she’s fatal and kick butt, she shows kindness, humor, worry, and even time-of-the-month symptoms. In addition, I love Dorian. He not only would be one of my best friends, but also proves that how you grew up doesn’t decide who you end up being. I could go on and on about this book, but I reckon I’d spoil the book by then. If you are going to only read one book this entire year, this is it!

Written by Veeshva R.

Interested in writing a book review or a shelfie? Contact the Teen Librarian for more information: lhilty@grayslake.info.

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Teen Book Review: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles DickensA Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Set before and during the infamous and bloody French Revolution, this book is written by the legend who wrote A Christmas Carol and Great Expectations, Charles Dickens. It follows multiple story lines involving love, dramatics, war, and death. They all tie together towards the end in a brilliant finale with yet another character that will make this book forever go down on the bookshelf that will last throughout the ages.

In all honesty, I read this novel because of an English class assignment, but to my surprise, I found myself thoroughly enjoying it. It was a heart wrenching book that took you through a roller coaster of emotions. It had me falling head over heels for Sydney Carton and sobbing from the realistic depiction of the horrors that occurred in both the book and the French Revolution. The language was in a narration sort of form, though Dickens broke the fourth wall a good few times, with advanced vocabulary. Symbolism reoccurred throughout the novel and successfully boggled the minds of my entire Honors English II class in the best way possible. Dickens spends a good amount of time world and character building while hiding clues about the ending in ways you don’t notice until the ending is upon you. While the finale broke my heart and shattered my soul, I eventually came to terms and loved every word on the pages of A Tale of Two Cities. It changed my perspective on something I had learned about in history class and really puts you in the midst of the entire Revolution. In summation, it made me laugh at the wit, swoon for Mr. Carton, cry for the people, and hate the bloodshed, and it’s truly an eye opening and emotional book that should be on everyone’s TBR pile.

Written by Veeshva R.

Interested in writing a book review or a shelfie?  Contact the Teen Librarian for more information: lhilty@grayslake.info.


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Teen Book Review: Holes by Louis Sachar

Holes by Louis SacharHoles by Louis Sachar

Stanley Yelnats, as a now juvenile delinquent, has been sent to Camp Green Lake because of a bad-luck curse started by his “no-good dirty-rotten pig-stealing great-great-grandfather”. Stanley faces other juvenile delinquent kids, Mr. Sir, and the Warden, all while digging holes and discovering more and more about the area and its peoples’ histories. He makes unexpected friends and we get glimpses of two other time periods with other characters.

As for me, I very much enjoyed this novel. It isn’t a book that has large action sequences or in-depth characterization, but it has an intricate and well thought-out story line. The friendships and back stories were my favorite part of the book. There is no rushed or greatly varied style of writing; rather, it is written almost as a legend or fairy tale would be told over the campfire. However, don’t be fooled; while it contains more mystical aspects at times, it also explores serious issues such as racism and harshness of imprisonment while not making it the main focus of the book. On a lighter note, the actual story left me thinking about how everything is connected and tied together in ways I can barely wrap my mind around. Holes is a feel good book, albeit slow-paced, and the resilience against so many hardships of nearly each and every character really hits home. It was a refreshing read with a plot like you’ve never thought of before. For readers who enjoy a book whose mysterious dots slowly begin to connect as the plot thickens, this is definitely a must-read.

Written by Veeshva R.

Interested in writing a book review or a shelfie?  Contact the Teen Librarian for more information: lhilty@grayslake.info


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