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Teen Book Reviews
These a-MAZ-ing reviews were written by the teens on our Teen Book Review Board. New reviews are posted monthly.
Reviewed by Tori
Accomplice by Eireann Corrigan seems like it could be a really good book. The plot of the story circles around two girls that have begun to apply to college. They decide that extracurriculars and A’s in their classes are not enough, so they come up with a plan that will gather enough attention that they will be guaranteed to get into any college they want. Their plan is to set up a fake kidnapping. Wow how exciting! Yeah it could've been, if the author was a better writer. One of the girls; Chloe, hides away for weeks on end as the other girl; Finley, plays the distraught friend. At first it seemed like this book could really go somewhere but with the author's lack of clear sentences, monotonous dialog, and a very anti-climactic ending, I would not recommend this book. Personally, I don't think it was worth me staying up late to finish reading it. I was quite disappointed,and although it had potential, I would not suggest reading it.
Reviewed by Jaslyn
This novel has relevance to our current society. People are happy as they are kept away from thinking, with enough consumer products, entertainment, drugs, and sex to distract them from potentially destabilizing ideas like politics, religion, or morality. The theme of the novel is what you love the most destroys you, which is witnessed through the eyes of John and Bernard. John has feelings and, unlike others, he is brought up in a Native American society with his mother and respects the idea of morality and faith. He also believes in marriage. Bernard is more of the society guy; he has no parents and was brought up with other deltas. Just like John, Bernard too does not feel accepted in society and it is very interesting to see the two men interact, befriend and betray. This book shows how the growing society and technology could affect our lives in a positive and negative way.
Genre: Science Fiction, Utopian and Dystopian Fiction
Reviewed by Kaitlyn
Everland by Wendy Spinale is a new steampunk-style take on the classic story of the boy who never grows up. In this story, Gwen Darling and her little siblings, Joanna and Mikey, have been living in the toxic ruins of London--now called Everland--for a year without their parents and with few encounters with anyone else other than the marauders, an army created by Hook to capture any children still living in the city. Once captured, these kids are experimented on to find a cure for the disease that was released when a bomb was dropped on London's biological weapons lab. One day while out scavenging for food, Gwen spots a boy in a green coat and a little girl with mechanical wings taunting a group of marauders. She uses it to her advantage to safely return to her hideout to find that Joanna had been taken. Desperate to find their sister, Gwen and Mikey join Pete and Bella who take them to the Lost City, a hideout for dozens of "lost boys" that have evaded capture. As Gwen searches for her sister, she encounters new dangers and meets new allies that she never dreamed of. Despite being based on the popular and well known story of Peter Pan, Spinale manages to add creative twists. Everland is sure to thrill readers with this modern take on the timeless characters and tale of flying children, pirates, and adventure.
Genre: Steampunk, Dystopian,
Sherri L. Smith
Reviewed by Samantha
The one thing Ida Mae Jones wants more than anything in the world is to fly. She's been in love with flying ever since her daddy taught her how to fly the Curtiss JN-4 resting in their barn. Now, in 1943, WWII is still raging on and women finally have a chance to become pilots: through a program called the Women Airforce Service Pilots or WASP. For Ida Mae, this is her greatest opportunity and only one thing is holding her back: she's black. However, Ida Mae knows her skin tone is light enough to pass for white; and that's exactly what she does. Thus begins Ida Mae's journey, one that will challenge her and be full of hardships; but, throughout it all, Ida Mae holds strong to the only thing she's ever known: just like her daddy, she was born to fly. This book, Flygirl, by Sherri L. Smith was amazing. Although Smith explains at the end that Ida Mae and her life was fiction, the WASP program was not and neither was the discrimination of female and black pilots during WWII. I've currently been studying WWII in history, and in my opinion, this book reminded me of the movie The Tuskegee Airmen mainly because some of the events Ida Mae experienced were similar to the ones the men went though. Overall, this book was inspiring and very humbling.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reviewed by Leslie
Forever addresses the difference between first love and true love, tracing the romance between Katherine and Michael during their senior year of high school. Amidst much hesitation, cautiously dating, and coming to the decision that she is in love with Michael, Katherine agrees to have sex with Michael, to whom she gives her virginity. At the same time, Erica offers to have sex with Michael’s friend Artie, who is questioning his sexuality, in order to find out whether he is gay. Although Katherine later questions whether Michael is her true love, the situation surrounding her decision to have sex with Michael is essential. Forever was originally published in 1975, when the discussion around consensual sex and birth control was much more suppressed, so its message of the importance of protected sex, as well as the high importance it places on communication between partners and respecting people’s sexual boundaries was even more relevant. Although today’s discussion regarding sexuality and sex is much more open, Forever is still relevant because it unabashedly talks about adolescents’ feelings about and experiences with sex, details which are not strictly taboo today, but are rarely discussed.
Genre: Romance, Fiction
Reviewed by Samantha
Life for an immortal is never ending. For Nastasya, life has become useless as every day is spent partying; a routine she has managed for years. Witnessing an unspeakable act of dark magic performed by her friend Innocencio is the final straw, leaving her frightened and exhausted with her current lifestyle. Unable to bear living one more day with the people she calls friends, Nastasya leaves without a trace and seeks shelter at a place she was invited to years before: River's Edge. Once there, Nastasya meets River and many other immortals, including the amazingly hot Reyn, all who are trying to embrace life and the goodness inside of them. Over 400 years old, Nastasya has spent far too long trying to run away from her past. River’s Edge provides the solitude she needs to rediscover herself and the power she has long forgotten. “Immortal Beloved” by Cate Tiernan is without a doubt one of my new favorite books. Her writing is excellent and she succeeds in creating a realistic, relatable character. Throughout the entire book, Nastasya- even with all her faults- remained someone I wanted to know and befriend. You won't regret reading this book and like me you will most likely end up ordering the next two in the trilogy the minute you finish the first one!
Reviewed by Kaitlyn
Kendra and Seth Sorenson’s journey continues in this second installment of Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven series. They return to Fablehaven the summer following their discovery of the true purpose of their grandparents’ reserve to find that conditions are getting worse. The Evening Star (a group trying to overthrow the reserves in order to find keys to unlock a prison full of the most powerful and feared creatures ever) has infiltrated the safety that Fablehaven provides and is desperately searching for an artifact that can be used to unlock the prison that is hidden somewhere on the vast reserve. In the race to find the artifact, Kendra and Seth discover new wonders that the creatures of Fablehaven have to offer. They become crucial in the search for the artifact when it becomes clear that both Kendra and Seth have acquired certain skills that will be vital in retrieving the artifact from a cursed area of the reserve. As the story unfolds, the true nature of previously trusted allies is revealed and others become suspects. Rise of the Evening Star is filled with just as much, if not more, suspense and action as the first book and has twists that kept me on edge until the very last page.
Reviewed by Tori
One day Bruno comes home from school to find his house being packed up. His father got a work promotion and the family must move out to the German country side. The story takes place in Germany, 1942 during WWII and Bruno's father is an important man in the fight against the Allies. Being a young boy in the middle of a vast countryside with no friends for miles is a concoction for boredom. A few miles behind his new house, Bruno spots a tall barbed wire fence that cuts him off from some strange people behind it. Bruno feels the excitement of adventure tugging at him, so he heads out to explore the fence and its abnormal residents. But, as he discovers that there is more to this new place than meets the eye, Bruno meets a boy his age named Shmuel. Shmuel's life and reasons for being where he is are very different from Bruno's. Will their meeting hold a lasting friendship or an acquaintance that has devastating consequences? Reading this book was a real eye opener, it shows you that not all German citizens during WWII knew what was going on with the Jewish people. This story revolves around an innocent child who knows nothing of his fathers job or the prejudices he is expected to have. I always seem to add this to the end of my review, but once again I found myself crying over this story and I highly recommend it.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Reviewed by Amber
The title of this novel says it all. From the moment you pick it up to the moment you put it down this book will truly have you feel as though you are a part of this sisterhood. Ann Brashares' The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants is much more than a story about a fabulous pair of blue jeans. The story is about a group of four best friends (Lena, Tibby, Bridget and Carmen) who spend their first summer apart from each other. The four friends vow to share the pants, so they mail them to each other along with notes about the adventures they have while wearing the jeans. Along with adventure comes the growing up part of life that these four will surely experience. I'm sure anyone can find themselves relate to their life’s roller coasters of love, heartache, and even family upsets. Brashares' story revolves around this magical pair of pants that seem to symbolize the flexibility, comfort, and confidence each of the four main characters has. I was fascinated with all four characters in this novel and wanted to know how each of their paths would unravel. Overall, this is a great story for teens as this novel is perfect to read when one needs that extra shoulder to lean upon.
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Reviewed by Stacy
In the last book of the tiger’s curse series, Kelsey, Ren, and Kishan are off once again to find the final missing objects to break the curse. Now more than ever, the love triangle between the three has intensified and is at the edge of breaking with Ren now having his memory back. Out of five stars I would give this book a four point seven because all throughout the series I was intrigued and even when I left the series alone for a while, because I needed to buy the last book, I still felt like I didn’t miss a moment. Once I turned to the first page, I couldn’t stop reading and wouldn’t until I finished the entire book which was probably at around one in the morning. I don’t regret at all picking up this series and I would definitely recommend everyone to read this book and the series in a heartbeat.
Genre: Romance, Adventure