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All Book Reviews

Pretties
Westerfeld, Scott
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Tally has finally become pretty. As she's waiting to see if she'll be allowed into the "Crim" clique, she runs into somebody from her past, and her whole new perfect life is turned upside down yet again. Now, she has to choose between fighting to forget or fighting for her life.

This book was alright. The plot felt a bit repetitive to me; it was the same basic concept as the first book. It wasn't too bad, though.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Alex M.
Of Mice and Men
Steinbeck, John
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

I am neutral about this book. Most of the people I know hate this book because it is so sad. It is about the story of a man named George and the obstacles he faces while trying to take care of his friend Lennie. The ending of this book drove me crazy and it gives absolutely no closure to its readers. If you are someone who enjoys books with a happy ending do not read this book. For the people brave enough to read it, beware. This book will haunt you for years to come.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Gerilyn M.
Genres:
Night
Wiesel, Elie
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas was a heartbreaking story, but it was a work of fiction. This story is just as sad, but is written by a holocaust survivor himself. This story will make you cry so beware. It made me cry, but was a complete eye opener to the history of WWII. This book is a classic and will satisfy all audiences with its moving story.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Gerilyn M.
Awards:
The Breadwinner
Ellis, Deborah
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

If anyone who doesn’t like sad books, I say beware! This is one of the saddest books I have ever read. This book beautifully depicts the struggles that people around the world must overcome to survive. The story of a young middle eastern girl who changes into a courageous woman is a heartbreaking tale that is inspiring to all ages. I truly encourage everyone to read it even if they struggle with sad books. This a beautiful story and it will inspire courage to anyone who reads it.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Gerilyn M.
Awards:
Genres:
One Crazy Summer
Williams-Garcia, Rita
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

I honestly don’t have the words to describe how much I loved this book. It has won four national book awards and has left its mark on my heart. I really enjoyed how this book gave a new aspect on the life of other people in our world. This is a story that readers will look back on for years to come. The changes that these three girls go through are remarkable and their love for each other is touching. A phenomenal piece of work that will stick with children, teens, and anyone who appreciates a good story.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Gerilyn M.
The Son of Neptune
Riordan, Rick
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I absolutely loved Percy Jackson and the Olympians series , but I think that The Heroes of Olympus has surpassed it. All the new characters introduced in this story are really interesting with a mystery aspect. This whole story will keep you guessing because of the little background information given on every character. With a new war and new enemy to defeat this book will keep you up all night!

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Gerilyn M.
Reckless
Funke, Cornelia Caroline
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Reckless is a very unique book that I think only certain readers will like. I really enjoyed the fantasy adventure aspect of the story, and found the suspense unbearable. Only people who have enjoyed stories like Inkheart or Harry Potter will enjoy this book. The plot twist in the end, and the antagonist will make this book unforgettable for anyone who reads it. This book is definitely at a higher reading level, but if someone younger is looking for a challenge this is a fantastic book!

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Gerilyn M.
Awards:
Genres:
The Key to Rondo
Rodda, Emily
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is an absolute surprise. I was skeptical about this book at first, and thought it wouldn’t be that good, but it sure proved me wrong! This is a fantasy adventure that both boys and girls can enjoy. The completely unpredictable plot,characters, and resolution will keep readers up all night long. I enjoyed all the intricate details of the hidden world in this story, and all the unique characters. This is a truly unforgettable book, and needs more recognition for its brilliance!

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Gerilyn M.
Genres:
Life As We Knew It
Pfeffer, Susan Beth
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This is absolutely one of the best books I have ever read. This book is incredibly terrifying in a realistic fashion, and the series kept me hungry for more. It is about a natural disaster that leaves the world in ruins. The story of a young girl’s survival is absolutely phenomenal. This book will entertain any audience. If anyone is looking for a truly good book to read, here it is!

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Gerilyn M.
Ruined
Morris, Paula
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Of all the books I have read, this book’s chilling story-line has remained ingrained in my head the most vividly for the longest. This book is about a young girl who uncovers the buried secrets of her family while on a vacation in New Orleans. The discovery of her only friend being a ghost led to more mystery and cliff hanging than any reader could handle! This book has heartbreak, love, suspense, and adventure. A must read book for all teens!

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Gerilyn M.
The Selection
Cass, Kiera
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Going into this book I had no idea what it was about, but it was a very pleasant surprise! This book is a utopian novel with a little bit of a romantic twist. I absolutely loved how differently the US was depicted in this book. This book wasn't very predictable at all either! The plot was about a girl who was put in a competition to become queen of her country. It was practically The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games. I personally thought this was one of the best books targeted towards teen girls, that I have read all year. If you enjoyed Divergent, The Hunger Games, or The Giver this is another book for you!

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Gerilyn M.
Awards:
School of Fear
Daneshvari, Gitty
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I read this book a few years ago, but it has remained one of my favorites for a long time. This is a more challenging children's book, but it is full of humor for all ages. It is very fascinating to learn about all the different phobias that exist, and interesting to watch the characters conquer their worst fear. All the quirky characters and twisted plot will keep readers flipping pages all night long!

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Gerilyn M.
Genres:
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Riggs, Ransom
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Actual Rating: 4.5
This book is fun and thrilling from start to end. If you like something with a Tim Burton's feel, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is for you. We follow the journey through the eyes of a 16 years old boy named Jacob Portman. When Jacob was younger, his grandfather would always tell him stories about these strange children at the home he grew up in. The pictures that come with every story are creepy yet at the same time intriguing. After the mysterious death of his grandfather, Jacob followed the clues that he left behind in order to discover the world his grandfather grew up in. There are lots of mysterious elements that I don't want to spoiler in my review. If you're up for a fun, thrilling and easy read, definitely pick up this book.
Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Vy D.
The Enchanted Castle
Nesbit, Edith
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Before I start, I would like to clarify that although I DID give this book 3 stars, I probably would have given it more if it had been written in a slightly less complex manner. The storyline is great and the characters are interesting, but the whole book is D.B.D. (Death By Description) and it can go on for a dozen pages at a time detailing a single short event. That can make the story difficult to follow, leaving you (or at least me, anyway) almost unable to appreciate it. As for the summary: The Enchanted Castle is a fantasy book by Edith Nesbit about three children, who, while playing in the forest, discover a secret passageway into the garden of a castle. They make believe that it is enchanted, and wake a young girl sleeping there, who they pretend is a princess. The girl is only the castle’s housekeeper’s niece, but the four of them soon discover that the garden really is enchanted, as is a ring that they find inside the castle. Both get them into such predicaments as turning invisible, accidentally wishing themselves taller and older, bringing mannequins to life, and accidentally turning into a statue and dining with members of the Greek pantheon. I will leave the outcomes of those situations to the book, as well as the ending, which I will only say is a happy one with everything resolved. I would recommend this book to those who like classic fantasy or other books by Nesbit (Five Children and It, The Phoenix and the Carpet, etc.).
Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Jacob U.
Heart of Darkness
Conrad, Joseph
2 stars = Meh
Review:

Actual Rating: 2.5
Heart of Darkness is a classic book by Joseph Conrad that is deep, heavy, and somewhat disturbing. I probably would have given this book more stars if it were not for the immense amounts of dialogue and a maddeningly complex storyline. I did find what the book was actually about interesting, however, trying to follow along with what was happening with all the detailing and talking practically made my brain come out my ears. So, in spite of the complexity, I will sum it up as best as I can. Here’s basically what happens: The book begins with the narrator (presumably an unnamed sailor), along with several others, listening to a man named Marlow tell a story on board the Nellie, a sailing vessel. Marlow tells them a story about when he was a young man working a job as an ivory transporter on the Congo. Through an ivory trading expedition, he develops an interest in a man named Kurtz, who seems to have a godlike power over the natives. Through talking to several others, he discovers three main things about the mysterious Kurtz: that he is in poor health, that he has tons of ivory, and, according to one source, that he may be trying to steal the manager’s job. Marlow and some of Kurtz’s acquaintances then take a boat to bring relief to the man, but are attacked by the natives. They later learn that the natives attacked them because they were worried that Kurtz would be taken away from them. I will not give away any more as it may ruin the story, but it is a somewhat tragic one. I would recommend this book to people who like books that are deep and thought provoking, and can comprehend complex plots and conversations.
Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Jacob U.
Book Review: Sabriel
Nix, Garth
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

A solid and original high fantasy title. Sabriel knows her father, who has taken her into Death before, has an unusual occupation. But she doesn't realize just how serious it is until her boarding school is attacked by the dead and she has to journey into the Old Kingdom to save her father and the rest of the world. While at times a little slow in the beginning, the build-up to the action-packed end is more than worth it.

Reviewer's Name: Becca
Awards:
Genres:
Uglies
Westerfeld, Scott
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

In this book, everyone is turned "Pretty" by extreme cosmetic surgery upon reaching the age of 16. Tally Youngblood can't wait until the day that she's finally pretty... that is, until she becomes best friends with a girl named Shay. When Shay runs away, Tally is denied the surgery she's spent her entire life waiting for. She must choose whether to betray her friend, or stay ugly forever.

I loved this book. I enjoyed the plot a lot. It was fun to watch as Tally's beliefs were challenged and she developed as a person.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Alex M.
Frankenstein
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Frankenstein begins with Robert Walton, an explorer, writing letters to his sister about his journey to the North Pole. Along the way, he rescues a man named Victor Frankenstein from an ice drift. The story follows Frankenstein down memory lane as he tells Walton about his pursuit for knowledge and the deadly consequences that followed.

I really enjoyed this book. I've always been meaning to read it, so I'm glad that I finally did. I loved how it was written; the characters were highly intelligent, and the word choice did an excellent job of showing it. The only thing that I wasn't so huge on was the end. It felt a bit too abrupt to me. Regardless, I found this to be an excellent book.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Alex M.
The New Recruit
Williamson, Jill
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book caught my eye because of the title. Just the sound of "The New Recruit" makes the book sound like it is full of adventure...and it is!
The story opens with the introduction of the main character, a prospective freshman varsity basketball player named Spencer Garmond. He is living with his grandmother in Pilot Point, California, and has been living with her ever since his dad left the family and his mother died. Spencer's grandmother threatens to pull him out of his Christian school and put him in military school. Fortunately for Spencer, a mysterious man named Mr. Stopplecamp wishes to recruit Spencer for a Bible club called Mission League. Forced to chose between military school and the league, Spencer signs up with the Mission League, but soon realizes the true purpose of the league (which is not to be Bible geeks). This book is filled with adventure, action, spying on Russia, and other "fun stuff." A must read for anyone who is looking for a James Bond type story with lots of humor and, maybe, a bit of romance.
Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Alex N.
Lady Midnight
Clare, Cassandra
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

If you are looking for a fantasy novel to swift you away into a new and complex world, this is the book for you. This is the first book to the sequel trilogy of the Mortal Instruments series, which you must read before this, if you wish it to make any sense.

Emma Carstairs' parents were murdered by Sebastian Morganstern. Or else that's what the Clave has declared. She, however, is not convinced that is the whole story. When murders similar to her parents erupt in the city, her and her friends, Julian and Cristina, are desperate to find the truth. Finding Emma's true parents murderer is not the only thing at stake. Julian's older brother, Mark, was captured by the Wild Hunt years ago. They are a group of Faeries that took Mark in, seeing that he is half Fae. Now, someone is murdering the Fae, and they have offered to give Mark back, in exchange for Julian and Emma bringing them the murderer. They have two weeks, to not only find the murderer, but to also convince Mark to stay with them.

These are not their only worries though. Emma and Julian are parabatia, meaning they are connected in the deepest kind of friendship possible. However, it is forbidden for parabatia to fall in romantic relationships. This is a problem for Julian and Emma, seeing that they might not be able to contain their love for much longer. The repercussions for their love includes banishing them from ever seeing their family again, which means everything for Julian and his seven brothers and sisters.

I have read all other books written by Cassandra Clare, and I did not believe this was the best of them. I did think that Julian and Emma's love was a bit too overpowering, and made the action and rest of the book seem like sides to the main dish. I would have preferred more action and battles, rather then deep conversations about infatuation with one another.

She was able to surprise me at the end, with multiple plot twists and action. Not everything was easy to guess, and it made for good brain exercise. I am looking forward to the rest of the series, which should come out sometime in 2017.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Kaitlyn C.

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