Friday, November 20, 2015

Wither Book Review

Wither by Lauren DeStefano
    Set in a dystopian world, women die at 20 and men at 25, as a result of trying to perfect the race. Girls are married off as brides to keep the population going. Rhine Ellery has just been kidnapped and sold off as a bride to rich Linden Vaughn, who introduces her to a lavish world of wealth that captivates and stuns her. However, Rhine knows one thing: It’s all an illusion. She needs to get out and find her twin brother, and not be trapped in this world. Aided, by Linden’s servant Gabriel, she tries to get out of the illusion, but finds it may be harder to escape the gilded cage she is trapped in than she thinks.

     The world building in this book is very complex, and DeStefano fails on that front. She skimps on some of the more important descriptions of clothes. It all feels too forced. I didn’t enjoy this book, and I don’t feel that many others will. It begs comparison to The Hunger Games, but pales in its shadow. It simply sets a too big goal, and cannot live up to it. It treats a subject that can be expanded on to become a great novel, and only half expands it. It could be better, but with its mediocre plot and vocabulary, is simply not.   Briana B.; Teen Reviewer

We Were Liars Book Review

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars centers on Cadence Sinclair, an 18 year old, part of a wealthy family who vacations each summer on an island off the coast of Maine. Cadence has just been in an accident, and can’t remember much of the past two years, and hasn’t visited the island in two years. Back for the first time, she discovers that there is a secret tearing the Sinclair family apart. Aided by her cousins, she tries to discover what it is- until she discovers that everything she knows is false.

     This book is so good. There aren’t enough adjectives to describe how amazing of a read this is. It has very good imagery, and brings you into the world quickly. Although it is a small book, it feels like a long novel. 30 pages feels like 70. There are twists and turns at every page, and it constantly surprises you. It is a mystery to the end, and keeps you guessing. It’s meant for teenagers, who will definitely like it. I would definitely recommend it to everyone.
Briana B.; Teen Reviewer

Since You've Been Gone Book Review

Since You’ve Been Gone, by Morgan Matson

     Emily and Sloane have been best friends since eight grade. However, the summer before twelfth grade, Sloane suddenly disappears, leaving Emily with only a list of 13 things to do. Desperate to find her best friend, Emily tries to complete the list with Frank Porter, the attractive and charismatic student president who has a girlfriend. Emily goes into completing the list trying to find her best friends and discover why she left, but ends up finding more about herself.

     This book was highly enjoyable. It is a fun read, perfect for the summer. I think many high-school age students would enjoy it, and can connect to it. Emily is a very relate-able teenager who experiences many of the things a normal teen would. However, the list takes her out of her comfort zone, in a way that many teens would like to read about. What she experiences will change her, and inspire others. Morgan Matson does a good job of weaving a story together and getting the reader invested in it. Overall, I would recommend it to a reader who wants a quick, fun and cutesy read without committing too hard. Briana B.; Teen Reviewer

The Selection Book Review

The Selection by Kiera Cass

     In our near future, North and South America has joined to be a country named Illea, ruled by a king. Illea’s citizens are organized into castes, with 1 being the royals, and 8 being the untouchables. The only way to move up is to marry someone in a higher caste, or to enter the Selection. The Selection is a competition for 35 girls to compete for the heart of the Prince, and become the future Queen. America Singer enters with her heart belonging to another, and no real desire to win. However, she quickly falls in love with Prince Maxon. The problem? There’s 34 other girls ready to fight nail and tooth to become a 1.

    Kiera Cass delivers a quick and easy read. It’s funny, believable, and the world building isn’t forced on the reader. It’s a very girly book, with a lot of descriptions of the dresses. It isn’t too complex. There aren’t many other books of this topic, so it isn’t truly comparable. This book is marketed for pre-teens, who I l believe would like it. I would pick up this book if you want to simply have a fun read. Briana B.; Teen Reviewer

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Lightning Thief

The Lightning Thief
Rick Riordan

                There are many books out there I liked but this one happened to be my favorite.  I enjoy reading about Gods and Goddesses because I love thinking a long time ago people made up these stories and now people are telling them still!  The Lightning Thief is about this boy who finds out that he is Poseidon’s son and someone stole Zeus’s lightning bolt and the boy (Percy Jackson) has to find it.
 I would rate this book an 8 (ten being great, one being bad).  I also love this book because it’s an action/adventure/humor book.  It is very funny and very serious at times.  I love books like that and it doesn’t take forever to get to the point.  I would definitely suggest this book for 5th or 6th graders to read.  I can’t wait to read the next one!!! Olivia H., Teen Reviewer


Friday, April 24, 2015

How To Rock Braces and Glasses Book Review

How to Rock Braces and Glasses by Meg Haston

Kacey Simon is the popular girl of Marquette Middle School. All’s going well for her until her three best friends turn on her after she gets braces and glasses, forcing her to team up with an old accomplice and a new student to win them back. While the story flows fairly well, the structure is solid, and the wording of the book is easy to understand, the cons of this book definitely outweigh the pros. The characters are unrealistic and pretentious, the story, though it moves at a good pace throughout the novel, is flat and predictable, and the first person point of view really makes you start to severely dislike the protagonist, Kacey, as the way she thinks and acts are many times irritating and impractical.

Overall, this book has little to no appeal, and though there are interesting parts included in the novel, in the long run it is not worth reading and falls flat in many areas. Lauren B. Teen Reviewer

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Book Thief Book Review

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief is about a little girl named Liesel. She is transferred into a new home with foster parents, Rosa and Hans Hubberman. The story is told by Death, whose character you come to respect and even start to feel sorry for. The Book Thief takes place in Nazi Germany, at the beginning of World War Two. On the train to her new home, Liesel’s brother dies. At the burial of her brother, which was next to the train, the gravediggers apprentice dropped a book called “The Gravediggers Handbook”.  That book became the start of The Book Thief’s book stealing carrier. Liesel’s foster mother, Rosa, did the laundry for the rich in town including the mayors and his wife. The mayor’s wife has a huge library. Liesel starts to sneak into the library through the window to steal the books. Liesel has the help of her next door neighbor, Rudy Stiener. Rudy always helps her steal everything from apples to books. Before Liesel stole books, she never knew how to read or write. Hans started to do a “midnight class”. “Midnight Class” is where Hans teaches Liesel to read and write. While all of this is happening, Liesel forms a bond with Max. Max is a Jewish man who the Hubbermans are hiding in their basement.

The authors writing style is a little wordy but it gives the full effect of the situation. The only thing I would tell other teens about before reading the book is to not give up on the book but to keep reading!! :)  Other teens should also to read the book before watching the movie. I would recommend this book to any teens that have an interest in the holocaust.  Amanda P., Teen Book Reviewer

The Giver Book Review

The Giver by Lois Lowry

This book is about a boy named Jonas who lives in a different community that does things differently. The people in the community do not have birthdays. The whole community (except the adults) celebrates their “birthday” in December. The newborns are considered a year old at the next December after they were born (even if they were born in November or January). When the newborns reach the age of 8 they can start their volunteer hours. Now that they can go during their free time and volunteer at jobs that suit their interests. The committee of elders, the government that makes all of the decisions, watches closely and pays attention to where they spend their hours. They use this information to pick a job for you when you are twelve. When you turn twelve ages no longer matters and you become an adult. You receive your job and you will train for years before you start working. Each December brings new changes. For example, when you turn 9 you get your bicycle. Some kids are almost certain what the assignment (job) will be but some have no idea. Jonas is one of those people that have no clue because he spent all of his volunteer hours in many different places. Jonas’s father on the other hand was almost certain of what his assignment would be because he spent almost all of his hours in the nurturing center. Jonas was given the job of highest honor. Jonas was given the assignment of receiver of memory.

                The author wrote this book in a very easy to read fashion. It is a small book, a quick read and you should try to read the book in one sitting to really understand the book as a whole. I would recommend this book to 11 to 12 year old boys and girls because Jonas, the main character, is 11 and turning 12 so they might understand it better. Joshua P; Teen Reviewer.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Anna and the French Kiss Book Review

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna had everything going for her in Atlanta; a job, a best friend, and a boy on the verge of becoming her boyfriend. Yet, this all changes when her father decides to ship her off to a boarding school in Paris, France. What she never expected was to actually love the place, make close friends, and meet the amazingly handsome Étienne St. Clair. He seems to have it all; including a serious girlfriend. That doesn’t stop them from talking and becoming best friends, but will spending a whole year in the City of Love change that?

Perfectly capturing the concept of teen love and its confusion, Anna and the French Kiss is definitely worth having in the library’s collection. The author, Stephanie Perkins, adds the right amount of affection and conflict between Anna and St. Clair that will make readers both gush over them as a couple and become frustrated with their problems as well. She gives the characters such realistic qualities that will make you fall in love with them completely.  I recommend this book to anyone in middle school and older looking for an unbelievably adorable, easy, and romantic read. It is a wonderfully, funny book that will make you want to jump into the story and live it yourself. Cassie W.; Teen Reviewer

The Fault in Our Stars Book Review

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars is a captivating novel written by John Green. It is about the life of a teenage girl, Hazel Grace, who has been battling cancer throughout her life. Her mom believes that the cancer has triggered her emotions and is making her depressed, so she forces Hazel to go to a cancer support group. There, she meets a boy that is currently in remission, Augustus Waters.  She meets Augustus’ friend, Isaac, who has eye cancer. After going to the support group a couple of times, Hazel and Augustus become immersive friends that tell each other everything; they are flirtatious when they talk too. Hazel showed Gus, An Imperial Inflection, her favorite book, and it too became his favorite book. Hazel was always curious about how the book was going to end and Gus would say to use her death wish on it, a wish that genies grant you for your death wish. But she already used her wish so Gus used his on her. He then surprises her and takes her to Amsterdam, to meet Peter Van Houten. They were disappointed when they arrived at Amsterdam because Peter Van Houten was nothing but a mean drunk. Gus told Hazel before they went back home to Indianapolis, that his cancer has returned. Gus asked for one favor from both, Hazel and Isaac, that they write a eulogy for him at his funeral. In the end of the novel, Hazel discovers that Augustus wrote her a eulogy and asks if she was happy with the decisions she made.

Let me start by saying I do not particularly like to read but, I flew through this book. It was so amusing and there was never a dull chapter. The writing was very easy to understand, but there were few words I did not understand in the novel. John Green added plenty of humorous parts in the book which made it an enjoyable quick read. If you know a little bit about cancer this book will be easier to read. You can understand and feel how scary and emotional it is for the characters in the book. I think this is a book anyone can read. I would recommend this book to anyone who wanted to read about a book with a bit of drama or a love story. Erica B.; Teen Reviewer

Soul Surfer Book Review

Soul Surfer

The true, inspiring and fascinating book, Soul Surfer, was written by Bethany Hamilton. Bethany was raised in a family of avid surfers. Bethany has always been passionate about surfing ever since she got her first board as a toddler. At the age of seven, she started competing in surf competitions and ever since, she has had the dream of becoming a professional surfer. On Halloween in 2003, Bethany and her best friend, another top surfer, Alana Blanchard, were soaking up the sun in Hawaii, when everything changed in a matter of seconds. Bethany and Alana were just paddling out in the waves, but when Bethany had her hand dangling off her board into the water, she felt a tug, and immediately was pulled off her board into the water. Everyone was anxious, that her career would be over. Bethany Hamilton never let the loss of her one arm, get in the way. Although Bethany had to make a few adjustments, she still never gave up on herself. With the determination to surf again, she stood back up on her board and caught a wave. She continued to surf and compete in competitions and was even at the Nationals Championship in 2005. Her dad even created a new surf board to help her duck dive, going under the waves to get out to sea. With the support of her fans and her family Bethany never gave up on herself and she won the United States National under eighteen surf Championships. 

Soul Surfer was a truly inspiring novel. The book was very straight forward, and it had minor words that I did not understand. I would highly recommend this book anyone; it will change your life forever. I read this book, and I loved it. Bethany’s novel inspired me to surf. I think anyone could read this book. I would recommend this book to people who like suspense and survival novels. Bethany added plenty of humorous parts to the novel. This book tells many morals, for instance, you should never give up on yourself because you do not know what will happen as the end result. Erica B.; Teen Reviewer

The Hunger Games Book Review

The Hunger Games

            Suzanne Collins has written the thrilling book, The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games are a cruel and vicious tournament set in place years in the future where children fight each other till the death. Katniss Everdeen is the sole provider for her family, her mother and sister Prim. She hunts in the forest, which is forbidden by the Capital, with her only friend Gale. On the day of the reaping, her younger sister Prim gets picked as a tribute for the Games.  Katniss then volunteers to take her sister’s place, as she is too young and too innocent to be thrown into the arena.  Peeta Mellark, Katniss’s secret admirer from when they are children, gets reaped, as well.  Once in the arena, Peeta makes unlikely allies with the Careers, the tributes from District 1 and 2, while Katniss keeps to herself until she meets Rue.  With her exceptional hunting skills with a bow and arrow there is a chance that she could win and make it back to her family and Gale.  The Games will either make her a Victor or she will never return home to District 12.

            Suzanne Collins uses easy context with minimum words that I did not understand. Every Chapter was filled with action that drew me in each time. The Hunger Games is part of a series that continues to get better and better. There are movies that make the book more real and vivid. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who liked The Maze Runner Series, Divergent, and to people who like action books with a hint of romance. Erica B.; Teen Reviewer

The Maze Runner Book Review

The Maze Runner

            James Dashner wrote The Maze Runner, one of three books from the trilogy. This is the story of a sixteen year old boy, Thomas, who finds himself in a mysterious camp, known as the Glade, with other boys known as the Gladers. Here, they have all had their memories erased, but Thomas remembers just a little too much, he remembers his name. Thomas finds out from the Gladers that the camp he is in is a camp that is surrounded with trapped walls, which in one wall there is a trapped door leading to an elaborate maze. Thomas wanted to be the runner, the boy who plots out the map of the maze and saves people who are trapped inside the walls with the Grievers, electronic robot animals that sting the Gladers and cause you to have memories, which no doubt, will make you insane. Some of the Gladers agree that staying in the cold, cruel place is better than going back to where they came from. In this made up society, the Gladers still have jobs such as butchering their own meat and farming. Thomas wanted to be the runner, the leader of the army that the Gladers have always needed. The Gladers needed an army to fight against the monsters, or the Grievers, and the people who created the maze and put them in the cruel isolated world. The Gladers face many problems trying to overcome the course of the outside world.

            The Maze Runner was an easy book to comprehend, and let’s just say I don’t typically like to read but I flew through this book. The book is a little violent and gory for younger readers, but I would highly recommend this book to teenagers in high school. If you loved this book I would recommend that you see the movie that goes along with the book. The movie makes the book come alive. I would recommend that you also read The Hunger Games that is similar to The Maze RunnerErica B.; Teen Reviewer

Of Mice and Men Book Review

Of Mice and Men

            John Steinbeck composed the fascinating novel, Of Mice and Men. The story is the tale about how two nomadic friends, George and Lennie, who are ranch hands,who arrived in California's Salinas Valley, during the Great Depression. Lennie has great physical strength, husky and tall, but has the intellectual capacity of a juvenile. George is the more astute of the two, but he still gets caught up in Lennie’s dream of owning his own farm. George and Lennie are itinerant from their last suspicious act up North. George and Lennie continuously work to try to achieve their goal of owning their own farm, for milking cows and raising puppies. They do whatever it takes to try to make their dream come true. Throughout their journey they meet Candy, an elderly man who lost his hand in a ranch accident. George tells Lennie about their dream of having a little farm where they can be their own boss and nobody can tell them what to do, where Lennie will tend their rabbits, and where they will "live off the fatta the lan'." Lennie has heard this story so often he can repeat it by heart. George emphasizes that this dream and their relationship make them different from other guys who don't have anyone or a place of their own. George and Lennie realize that toils of work, trying to “build their dream,” can lead to fate that will muddle heir best-laid plans.  The friendship and loyalty of George and Lennie transformed in the matter of hardships.

            The novel was interesting tale with an abrupt ending; I had copious troubles understanding the context. The book also had various uses of foul and degrading languages. Otherwise, the book was very interesting and it had plenty of good morals that were taught in it, such as friendship and the difference between right and wrong. I highly recommend this book to teenagers who are interested in fiction books with plot twists. I enjoyed this book because it was wrapped up short and nicely and had a twisted ending that shocked me. I suggest that you see the movie if you liked the book. Erica B.; Teen Reviewer

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Wintergirls Book Review

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

            Lia and Cassie were the best of friends who did everything together, including a dangerous competition to see who can be the thinnest. Because of this, Cassie pays the ultimate price; her life. This leaves Lia to feel completely guilty for not being there to save her. All she hears is Cassie’s voice as she continues to starve herself, trying to get as thin as she can possibly be. She doesn’t know when to stop, until she reaches that moment where everything is put into perspective, changing her life.

            The book, Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson gives readers an intense look inside the life of someone dealing with anorexia. The author uses a unique writing fashion that lets you know exactly what the person thinks when it comes down to food and their weight. With a beautifully written storyline and characters that make you feel their emotions deeply, Wintergirls is definitely worth recommending to anyone in high school and older. This book, although chilling, aims to aware teenagers of such eating disorders by vividly capturing the motivations and isolation of a teenager going through this by herself. By putting yourself in Lia’s shoes, this becomes a haunting novel that keeps you thinking way after you put it down. Cassie W.; Teen Reviewer

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Thirteen Reasons Why Book Review

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
            Clay Jensen doesn’t understand how he could have been a reason for Hannah Baker’s suicide. Yet, his name is on one of those thirteen tapes she sent out before she died, explaining why she did it and the people involved in those reasons. Hannah wants those certain people to listen to the tapes and follow the map given, so they can comprehend what she was feeling at the time and see how they had a part in it. That is exactly what Clay does. In some way, he is responsible for Hannah’s death, and he needs to find out how. So, he listens to her thirteen reasons throughout the night and what he hears alters his life forever.

            Featuring an unbelievable storyline with a very important concept many teenagers need to hear about nowadays, there are many reasons to read the book, Thirteen Reasons Why. The author, Jay Asher, takes the readers on a journey where they can have a look inside the life of someone who can make such an unfortunate decision. It teaches a lasting lesson, which is that everything you say or do can have a huge impact on someone else’s life, whether you realize it or not. It gives you chills as you read and even years after you put the book down, you will still remember the heartbreaking plot and return back to it. I recommend Thirteen Reasons Why to anyone in high school and older, for it makes everyone realize the same devastating truth about a sensitive subject that you can’t and won’t forget. Cassie W.; Teen Reviewer

Monday, February 23, 2015

Stolen Book Review

Stolen by Lucy Christopher
                Gemma never imagined she would ever be kidnapped and taken to a desert in the middle of Australia. Let alone, by the familiar face, Ty. Ty just wants to protect her from making past mistakes occur all over again. He has been there through it all to see them, even when she had no idea he was around. He claims he will never hurt her and that she should trust him, but how can anyone take faith in their own kidnapper? Ty gives Gemma space to do her own thing and to become comfortable with the land he says she will be staying on for a long time. Gemma, although unintentionally, slowly starts to appreciate the land and, against all odds, starts to appreciate Ty. He has stolen her away from her home, her family, and her normal lifestyle, but will he also happen to steal her heart?

                Stolen by Lucy Christopher is written as a journal from the victim’s, Gemma, point of view. It draws readers in right from the start by using the word “you” to address her kidnapper, making the readers feel as if she is talking to them personally. From there, the plot flows very smooth so, the readers can understand what is happening quite easily. The author gives many details to help imagine the scenery and to help us feel the emotions that Gemma feels as she goes on with Ty. The book captures the appropriate reaction towards being taken and allows the readers to get inside the head of a victim of kidnapping, which catches the interest of teens right away. With a suspenseful plot and characters that make you feel strong emotions, Stolen is definitely worth having in the library’s collection and should be recommended to audiences of various ages, starting from high school. Cassie W.; Teen Reviewer

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Catching Fire Book Review

Catching Fire
Suzanne Collins

The second novel in the trilogy Catching Fire, starts with Katniss Everdeen the girl on fire. Katniss has just gotten out of the 74th Hunger Games with Peeta Mellark and is now a victor. If you thought the Capitol couldn't get any more twisted... you were wrong. Before they head off to start the Victor’s Tour, Katniss is visited by President Snow. He warns her to stop the rebellious stunts because someone will get hurt. The next Hunger Games is a special one, the Quarter Quell. It celebrates the anniversaries of the tributes. On this Quell, the previous winners will have to go back and compete in the arena. This means Katniss and Peeta must go back and fight for their lives again. Will she make it out alive with Peeta? Will she even make it out at all?

This book was really good too. Out of all three this was my favorite. In my opinion it had the most adventure and kept you wanting to read more. There was so much action and drama I could not put the book down. I would recommend this book to mature teens in middle school since it has violence. This book appeals to guys and girls because it is filled with action but also has romance for the girls. The words in this novel were easy to comprehend but some were a little challenging. It would be helpful to read the first book, The Hunger Games before reading this one. I would also recommend this book to anyone who has read TwilightThe Maze Runner, or Divergent and has enjoyed the book. For anyone who likes adventure and survival this is the book for you! Emma B.; Teen Reviewer

Sharks & Boys Book Review

Sharks & Boys
Kristen Tracy

            When 15 year-old Enid Calhoun follows her boyfriend Wick to a party, because she fears that he might be intending to cheat on her, she finds herself sneaking on board a houseboat where her boyfriend and his friends plan to have a crazy night. But before the boys can have any fun, a hurricane strikes, and the teenagers are carried many miles away from the shore and are shipwrecked. Four sets of twins, that know each other very well since they are a part of a study together, are on a deadly adventure in a horribly realistic but comical tale. When the boat goes down and they are left with only a plastic raft, the reality turns increasingly deadly .What follows is a story of survival as the teens battle sharks, dehydration, their darkest secrets and even themselves to stay alive. Will Wick and Enid get back together? Will they all stay alive?

            This book was the most interesting one that I have ever read. I could not put the book down. It was very good and I always wanted to know what was going to happen at the end of the chapter. Kristen Tracy always kept the reader on their toes and left them hanging to read more. The writing was easy to understand and there were few words that I could not comprehend. This book will make you think about life and how fragile it is. I would recommend this book to anyone who is in middle school or up. While the book has semi-happy moments, most of the book is filled with pain and sadness. If you liked reading The Hunger Games or Lord of the Flies I would read this as well because it is a similar read. For anyone who likes adventure and survival this is defiantly the book for you!     Emma B; Teen Reviewer