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Goodreads Choice Award/Nominee

Book Review: Dark Matter

Dark Matter
Author: 
Crouch, Blake
Rating: 
2 stars = Meh
Review: 

Jason Dessen is a physics professor who lives with his wife and son in Chicago. One night as he is walking home, he is abducted by a man in a geisha mask, made to drive to an abandoned building on the outskirts of town, and drugged. He regains consciousness surrounded by strangers who say they’ve been anxiously awaiting his return.

The title itself is a bit of a spoiler for what it takes Jason the first 100 pages to figure out, which is an unrealistically long time, as he is purportedly a “brilliant experimental physicist.” The narrative is tainted with passive misogyny as well, and the whopping total of two female characters are barely characters at all, and the author makes it quite clear how easily disposable either of them are. Once Jason’s situation becomes clearer, the description of the book's technology is both imaginative and logical (really the only part of the book I enjoyed). Following this plot point, the squishy-brained version of Jason whom we have no option but to see as the protagonist makes stupid decisions as overgenerously as Peter Jackson makes Hobbit films.

The story Crouch attempts to tell has literally limitless potential, yet he explores, well… not very much of it. The strongest characters fail to live up to even their basic outlines, and overall the book falls face-first into disappointment and unintentional humor. It’s a science-fiction story written in the style of a supernatural drama. Crouch should not have strayed so far from Wayward Pines.

Reviewer's Name: 
Andy

Book Review: The Martian

The Martian
Author: 
Weir, Andy
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

The Martian tells a tale of a man named Mark Watney who is abandoned on Mars. Watney was one of the first people to walk on Mars in the Ares III spacecraft. After a dust storm nearly kills Watney and leaves his crew members no choice but to evacuate the planet, Mark is left all alone on an unknown planet with no contact to the Earth world. With his humorous personality, will Watney survive the harsh conditions that Mars has to offer?
This book is absolutely incredible. Completely accurate facts about Mars, humor, and all around just amazing to read. The Martian is definitely one of my favorite reads.
Reviewer grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: 
Kristin V.

Book Review: Steelheart

Steelheart
Author: 
Sanderson, Brandon
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Steelheart is an amazing book with vivid details, vigorous action,and real emotions. I heard about this book from school but only just recently read the book. While it has similar aspects of other teen dystopian novels it is still entirely different. The book is worthy of five stars because of the enjoyment I found reading it. Some books are good but you may not enjoy them.

The author took me into the world of Steelheart and showcases a different side of being human through the power of fear. However Steelheart shows a hopeless world humans are no longer strong. Many dystopian novels are about hope of a cure(etc). The book shows a world which there is no hope for the hero to come. David Charleston saw it, the death of his father. From that day on he searches to avenge his father's death. David Charleston spends all his time researching the Epics for one of them killed his father.

The Epics were the super humans who over power the world with brutal cruelty.

Not only are the epics cruel they also have superpowers. The only people still fighting Epics are the Reckoners and David may have to join them.

Reviewer Grade: 6

Reviewer's Name: 
McKenzie W.

Book Review: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Author: 
Skloot, Rebecca
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This book tells three intertwining stories and spans decades, centering on an immortal line of human cells, taken from an African American woman named Henrietta Lacks in the 1950’s. She was afflicted with an aggressive form of cervical cancer, and through deception, gave her consent for the doctor to take cell samples. Her cell sample was coded as HeLa, and her real identity was not known. This event starts a fascinating, disturbing tale of medical ethics gone awry, capitalism in medicine, investigative journalism, and the contrasting lives of Lacks descendants.

The discovery of Henrietta’s immortal cancer cells, laid the foundation for most of the scientific discoveries we have made, and created a multi-billion dollar industry where her cells were sold all over the world as an infinite supply of scientific testing material. At the same time companies and hospitals were selling the HeLa cells, the Lacks family were living in extreme poverty, with no medical care. Author Rebecca Skloot bounces back and forth between Henrietta’s final days, and the present day, as she attempts to gain the trust of the Lacks family, discover who HeLa was, and how medical ethics were not always a reality. For a non-fiction book about cellular biology, it is a riveting detective story that also exposes medicines sordid past, and makes the reader question whether advancement of medicine is worth it at any cost.

Reviewer's Name: 
Michael

Book Review: Cress

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

The third book to the Lunar Chronicles is long, but totally worth reading!
This book takes Rapunzel and twists it in with the Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella from the first two books. There is tons of action in this novel and a whole lot of planning. They still have to stop Kai's wedding and the risks they are willing to take to get there make the whole book one riveting adventure! I loved it so much and can't wait to read it again! If you enjoyed Meyer's first two books then you'll absolutely fall in love with this one.

Reviewer's Name: 
Marina G.

Book Review: Scarlet

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

This book takes Little Red Riding Hood and twists it with a unique Cinderella story. It's a bit confusing at first they way it jumps around between characters, but once you get the hang of it, its hard to put the book down!
There is plenty of action and just enough romance that nobody can resist. I have read this book several times and I still never get bored of it! There is so much information that you discover in this book after reading Cinder, the first book in the Lunar Chronicles, that reading this one is a must!!
Review Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: 
Marina G.

Book Review: Cinder

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

I have read this book multiple times and it never gets old! There are plenty of Cinderella stories out there, but do they have Lunar cyborgs who can manipulate your thoughts at the drop of a hat? Do they have flying cars and a deadly virus set out on killing every human that contracted it? Cinder is a riveting and unique tale that Meyers wrote incredibly well! She managed to take an ordinary story and turn it into something so unique and amazing. I would 100% recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy!

Reviewer's Name: 
Marina G.

Book Review: The Heir

the heir
Author: 
Cass, Kiera
Rating: 
2 stars = Meh
Review: 

I had high hopes for The Heir, as it is the fourth book in the selection series; this book, however, did not live up to my expectations. In the book, Princess Eadlyn, the main character, is just about to start her selection.
Even though Eadlyn has no desire to get married, she is participating in the selection to make her father, King Maxon, happy. I disliked the main character Eadlyn, because I found her tiresome and annoying. Also, I found the plot lacking action. The Heir, unlike the other books in this series, has no antagonist. To me, this book felt very similar to the earlier books of this series with the action and fantastic characters cut out. Although I did enjoy reading about the end of Maxon and America’s story, I would not recommend this book to most readers of The Selection series.

Reviewer's Name: 
Hailey K.

Book Review: Before I Fall

before I fall by Lauren Oliver
Author: 
Oliver, Lauren
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Until, Friday, February 12, Samantha Kingston has a perfect life; she has great friends, a hot boyfriend, and is one of the most popular girls in her school. She never thought that February 12 would be her last day, but it is.
However, she gets a another chance at a last day. For one week, Samantha relives her last day, trying to right the wrongs of her past. In that week, she realizes what really caused her death, and the true value of her life.
This book is a really good read. The characters are surprisingly human, and the issues that Samantha struggles with are unusually real. I loved how my opinion of Samantha could developed throughout the story. I enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to people that like realistic fiction.

Reviewer's Name: 
Hailey K.

Book Review: Clockwork Angel

Clockwork Angel
Author: 
Clare, Cassandra
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Clockwork Angel is the fantastic first book in the Infernal Devices Trilogy, a series set in the Shadowhunter's universe. When Tessa Grey arrives in London, she is simply looking for her brother, Nate, however she quickly is drawn into London's Downworld, where fey, vampires, and demons run wild on the streets. Taken in by the London Institute, she meets Jem and Will, Shadowhunters that are devoted to the fight against downworlders. As she begins to realize the depth of her own power, a plot comes to light that could threaten the safety of the world.
This is a great book filled with just enough romance, action, lore and adventure. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that enjoyed Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instrument series or generally likes historical fantasy. As a whole, this book is an amazing read that draws you in immediately.
Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: 
Hailey K.

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