Book Review – Firstlife

Firstlife (Everlife, #1)Firstlife
By Gena Showalter
Place a hold.

The life that Tenley is living now – her firstlife – is fleeting and largely meaningless. Her real life – her everlife – will begin after she dies. But first, she must decide where she wants to spend eternity. There are two factions of the everlife, Myriad and Troika, warring with one another. Every person must pledge loyalty to one or the other during firstlife in order to gain entry at the time of one’s death. For some, the choice is easy; they choose to follow their family or other loved ones. For Tenley, the choice is more complicated than that and her indecisiveness has landed her in Prynne Asylum, an institution to “help” teens choose their everlife.

Both Myriad and Troika want Tenley. She is visited by Laborers from both factions who will do anything to win her over to their side. There are promises. There are threats. There are those who would rather see her dead than join the other side. And, if she dies before pledging to a faction, she will end up in Many Ends, a hellish eternity full of monstrous creatures and torturous ordeals. Will she make a decision before it’s too late? More importantly, will it be the right decision?

Lifeblood (Everlife, #2)Firstlife is fast-paced, thrilling, and fun with elements of adventure and romance and a whole lot of sarcastic banter. Tenley’s character is easy to relate to despite her futuristic surroundings and fantastic situation. At the heart of the story, she’s a teenager trying to distinguish her needs and desires from those of her parents. She’s trying to become her authentic self in a world that would rather tell her who she is than let her discover that for herself.
Keep your eyes peeled for the second book in the series, Lifeblood, scheduled to be released in February of 2017!

Mobile Media Lab September: Photography

The Vortex would like to give a huge thanks to Jeremy who was wonderful enough to bring the Studio 300 to the Vortex with the Mobile Media Lab for September! He helped the teens show off their sweet photography skills!

In his words “They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Take a look at what teens in the Vortex are saying! These pictures were taken by students in the Vortex…Teens got to use professional photography equipment from Studio 300 to take pictures of their friends!

Mobile media will be back in the Vortex on October 17th from 4-5. This time instead of photography teens can use radio quality recording equipment to produce their own Podcast!”

Thanks again Jeremy, and we’ll see you again in October!

View some of the photos in the below!

Miss Peregrine Day!

Have you ever felt… peculiar? Like maybe there’s something just a little different about you? Have you ever wished for a super power? Have you read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs? Did you love it? Are you eagerly awaiting the film release on Friday, 9/30? Did you answer yes to all of the above?


Join us as we celebrate all things peculiar on Monday, September 26 from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. You can make your own peculiar mini-scrapbook, get your own peculiar ability, take some peculiar photos, and grab a peculiar snack!2016-sept_nov-miss-peregrine-daySee you there!



Cosplay! Cosplay! Cosplay!

Hey guys, it’s the middle of September and guess what?? That makes it almost October which means it’s almost Halloween!! Any idea what you’re going to wear? Yes? No?


Either way, it’s a great time to get started, and let the library help you!

October will be a Cosplay-fest of programs!

Oct 5th
Using Wigs & Makeup with Cosplay

Wrangle your wigs AND manage your makeup? This whirlwind session is designed to show you how to use fiber and color to give your cosplay that cutting edge while fitting any budget.

Also, a huge thanks to Arda Wigs for donating two 15 dollar e-gift certificates that will be given out as a drawing at the end of the program to two lucky winners!

Oct 12th
Cosplay Costumes on the Cheap


Oct 19th
Prop-making and Tech Integration into Cosplay

Get some tips for making props for your cosplay and learn how to integrate technology into those props!

And finallly…..

Oct 28th

Dance and snack the night away in the cosplay of your choice! Live D.J, Mu Meux, will be in attendance!

We hope to see you there, bright-eyed and filled with questions and ideas for our fabulous presenters!

Book Review: If I Was Your Girl

If I Was Your GirlIf I Was Your Girl
Meredith Russo
Place a hold.

Amanda is a girl like any other. She’s a senior in high school trying to get good grades so she can go to college in New York. She loves to read and draw and hang out with her friends. She wants to be loved. She gets nervous talking to cute boys.

But Amanda is also not like the other girls. She went through months and months of therapy.
She has had numerous surgeries. She has to remember to take her estrogen pills. Because when Amanda was born, her parents named her Andrew and called her their son. Because Amanda was born male.

At age 15, she knew she couldn’t live with this lie anymore. She tried to take her life. It was at the hospital, after the stomach pump and around-the-clock surveillance that she finally said the 6 words that give her back her life. “I should have been a girl.”

After being bullied and brutally beaten in a public restroom, Amanda moves to her father’s small Southern town, begins a new school year at a new school, and tries to start fresh. She makes new friends and even meets a cute guy who’s totally crushing on her. Can she make this work? Can she be happy here? Or is she doomed to relive the violence she encountered at her old school?

What I love about this book is that the protagonist here has already transitioned. There has been a wellspring of great, recent YA fiction aimed at trans* youth that focuses on the basics. They let questioning teens and kids know that they’re not alone and reaffirm that it’s okay to be different. These books speak to the young person who’s realizing “I don’t feel like a boy/girl/whatever. What do I do now?” It also speaks to the ally who wants to be supportive but doesn’t know how. And that is absolutely where YA fiction needs to start. But it’s not the end by a long shot. This book is for teens who already know who they are. They’ve figured out their gender identity and maybe even started to change their gender presentation or begun a medical transition. Their questions are “What now? Can I do this? Can I live a ‘normal’ life as my authentic self? What does being trans* mean for me?” If I Was Your Girl may not answer all these questions for every teen, but it depicts a girl who has discovered herself and is now struggling with the next hurdles, just as every trans* teen must. The novel concludes with a wonderful author’s note that also addresses transmen and boys and genderqueer or non-binary youth.

Regardless of the subject matter, I enjoyed this depiction of teen life, the quest for love (from others and for oneself), and the complicated relationships between characters.



Happy 50th Anniversary Star Trek!

Two days ago was the 50th anniversary of Star Trek!

What are you guys going to do to celebrate? Binge watch your favorite movies and TV shows or have a reading marathon of Star Trek books?

Check out the various materials found at the library for inspiration! (Get Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, it’s my favorite)

Or maybe you’ll just change your profile picture to be Star Trek themed!

Either way, Happy Anniversary Star Trek! May you live long and prosper always in our hearts.

Nifty Websites:

Do you have a bajillion questions about the workforce that are burning to be answered but you’re unsure of reliable sources to find said answers?

Girl biting laptop

No, eating your laptop will not give you the answers you seek. (Image: graphicstock)

Fret no more! is an advice blog written by Allison Green. She gives amazing advice regarding job searching, interacting with coworkers, and more! The comment community is very active and every Friday there are open threads where people can ask fellow commenters for advice as well. Ask a Manager is one of the few sites where the general internet rule “don’t read the comments” does not apply.

Click here to see all the different categories she answers. (So far this is one of my favorite stories published.)

You may find it enlightening! I know I do!