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Blue Spruce Award Nominee

Book Review: Red Queen

red queen
Author: 
Aveyard, Victoria
Rating: 
2 stars = Meh
Review: 

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard reminds the reader that anyone can betray anyone. At the beginning of the book, Mare meets Farley, the leader of a group called the Scarlet Guard, a group that strives for equality between those with silver blood and those with red. Later, Mare, a red, gets a job at the royal palace because she talks to the prince, who decides to hire her. On her first day of the job, a freak accident causes her to get the power to create and control lightning. Because only silvers are supposed to have powers, the royal family decides to lie about her backstory and have her become the new princess. Mare and her new fiancé, Mavis, join the Scarlet Guard in order to give reds and silvers equal rights. In the end, Mavis reveals to Mare that he had been using her all along and attempts to kill her, but fails.

Red Queen was a total disappointment. I have heard so many people saying that it is a great book, and I know it was nominated for the Blue Spruce awards, but I don’t see why. It’s like the author combined the plots of Hunger Games, The Selection, and Divergent. I love all those books, but I was hoping for something more unique. It was the most like Hunger Games, with the people in the districts like the reds, and the people in the Capital are like the Silvers. Also, most of the main characters were annoying, unlikable, and impossible to grow attached to. I thought it was fine at the beginning, but it lost my interest as it went on. I thought that the parts with the Scarlet Guard were very boring. The book in my opinion would have been much better without the Scarlet Guard. Also, the book does not provide any information of how their society came to be that way, something that should be included in any dystopian novel. I want to know how the Silvers came to be, and how they got their powers. I didn’t like how they wanted to fight against the silvers because of inequality between reds and silvers, holding all the silvers responsible for what only a few government officials did. Red Queen was hugely overrated, and I will not be finishing the series.

Reviewer in Grade 8

Reviewer's Name: 
Nicole B.

Book Review: Cinder

Author: 
Meyer, Marissa
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Linh Cinder is unusual. Her stepsisters and stepmother hate her. Her best friend is an android. Oh, and she’s a cyborg – and she wants to go to the ball. Politics, adventure, and a deadly plague all play roles in this book.

Cinder was fun and exciting. Cinder is a protagonist you can really root for. Prince Kai is complex and interesting – he’s more than just the love interest. Queen Levana is a great creepy villain. The futuristic sci-fi world of New Beijing is expansive and really quite interesting. The plot moved at a very fast pace.

I only have one complaint: the plot twists were a little predictable. But, besides that, it is a fun and interesting book! I have yet to read the rest of the series, but I really think they’re going to be spectacular based on what I’ve seen from this awesome book.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: 
Gillian P.

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars
Author: 
Green, John
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

When Hazel attends a cancer patient support group, she expects to be bored out of her mind. She doesn't need this support group; the only reason she even bothers to go is to please her mother. But when she meets a boy named Augustus Waters, her entire life changes. She learns what it is to fall in love and what it means to be alive.

This book was alright. It didn't end the way it made people believe that it would, which was cool. Life is a precious thing and people don't cherish it enough. Also, people always view people with cancer as "sick" and sometimes forget that they are human and have lives and hopes and dreams just like the rest of us. Overall, I liked it.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: 
Alex M.

Book Review: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games
Author: 
Collins, Suzanne
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

The nation of Panem resides in a place that was once known as North America. It is a Capital surrounded by 12 districts. Once, the districts rebelled against the Capital and were defeated. Thus, The Hunger Games were born. Every year, each district must send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12-18 to fight to the death in The Hunger Games, which is broadcasted across national television. When Katniss' sister is chosen, she volunteers to go in her place, knowing that to go means certain death.

I really enjoyed this book. I found it to be very interesting. It's scary to think that anybody would allow an event such as The Hunger Games to occur. Power in the wrong hands can lead to terrible things.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: 
Alex M.

Book Review: Eclipse

Eclipse
Author: 
Meyer, Stephenie
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Once again, Bella has found herself in the center of a dangerous battle between vampires. James' mate, Victoria, is on a murderous rampage; she's determined to get her revenge on Edward for killing her love.

Meanwhile, Bella is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob. Vampires and Werewolves are natural enemies, but can they ever get over their differences? Bella's life may depend on it.

This book was alright. There was a lot of tension due to the love triangle, but it wasn't too bad. I liked it overall.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: 
Alex M.

Book Review: Cinder

Cinder
Author: 
Meyer, Marissa
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This is one of my favorite book series of all time. Overall, it is a mix between star wars and princesses, perfect for both genders. Rather than set in the past like Cinderella, though, Cinder lives in the future. International affairs on Earth are not so much a problem as the impending war with the Lunars, ruled by Queen Levana. Cinder and Prince Kai have to squash their feelings for each other for more serious matters such as the epidemic spreading quickly across the world as well as how to keep Levana happy, in order to prevent a war against all of Earth. Read this book for an epic, unique dystopian along with a fantastic, surprising ending.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: 
Madison H.

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Author: 
Rowling, J. K.
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This is the sixth book in the series, and it happens to be my favorite. It's not nearly as long as The Order of the Phoenix, but it's still a fair bit thicker than the first three books. The length of the novel isn't necessarily a bad thing because it keeps the plot moving along. The best part of this book is the character development. For most of the plot, Harry is actually happy and with his friends, so many characters gain a level of complexity. This is the darkest book yet chronologically, but through themes of hope and witty dialogue it recaptures the beautiful lighthearted magic of the first few books.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: 
Caroline J.

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars
Author: 
Green, John
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This book, "The Fault in Our Stars," was very good, emotional, and had lots of romance!

In this book, you meet a girl named Hazel Grace. She is an ordinary girl with an extraordinary problem. She has lung cancer. And as the years go by, she has a couple of close calls. Then, one day everything changed when a new boy joins her support group. He's handsome, kind, and funny. Once she gets to know him, she falls in love, and he does too. But as their love story goes on, Hazel learned something that will change her for years to come.

I loved this book because it was truly inspiring and you get really attached to the characters. But, I do not recommend it to people who are sensitive about cancer. Also, this is definitely not for people under fifth grade.

I picked this book because I had several friends recommended it. But, as in every book, there were good and bad parts. I loved it when Hazel gets to know this guy, but when that twist I was talking about comes in, it gets depressing. :( Also, there is some inappropriate stuff. You never know what is going to happen in this book. (Unless you've read it before or got a spoiler alert!) I personally think this is one of my most favorite books and I hope to read it again.

Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: 
Alie M.

Book Review: Cinder

Cinder
Author: 
Meyer, Marissa
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Similar to the old tale, Cinderella, Cinder follows a cyborg with a mysterious past. Living with a horrible family, much like Cinderella, in the midst of the blue fever, she works as a mechanic and considers herself as useless as her family accuses her of being. That is, until she meets Prince Kai and the Lunar people. What follows is a love story of unbelievable proportions, with action and climax, and every chapter a cliff hanger. A must read for the lovers of the old Cinderella and anyone who wants to experience the story coming back to life in a way that is wholly unexpected.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: 
Alyxandra S.

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars
Author: 
Green, John
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

After an intense battle with cancer, Hazel had finally started to get her life back to normal, or as normal as it can be for a girl who hasn't been in proper school for years, and who's best friend is an author she had never met. But then, her life turned upside down when she met Augustus. What follows is a whirlwind romance that leaves the reader grasping for more and wishing for time. John Green brings his characters to life in this novel, and with every turn it is impossible not to fall in love. This wonderful book has a way of bringing the reader in and bringing them back for more and more. A must read, and a book that makes it seem impossible to put down.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: 
Alyxandra S.
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