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