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All Book Reviews

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.
Me Before You
Moyes, Jojo
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Me Before You is a tragically beautiful story about life and peoples will to live in it. After you read this it is impossible to look at life the same as you did before.

Louisa Clark has just lost her job of six years and is desperate to find a new one. She is even desperate enough to work for the Traynor's, a wealthy family whose son, Will, was paralyzed in an motorbike accident two years in advance. She is hired as Will's caretaker, but soon learns that caring for him is easier said then done. Despite his efforts to make her quit, and their constant bickering, she soon grows to like him as they grow closer as companions. When she overhears an argument between his sister and mother, her job, and life, will never be the same.

Seldom books have the power to make me cry, but this book left me bawling (I suggest you stock up on chocolates and tissues in advance). The further you read into the book the more you understand Will's
requests. It leaves you with a different outlook on life, and on love. Moyes does a wonderful job on never letting us really know what to expect. Even though parts of the storyline were slow, and some characters hard to relate to, the books dynamic and plot made up for it.

This book first caught my eye when I saw the new trailer for the movie adaption. The trailer looked so interesting I had to put the book on hold immediately. I am glad I picked up this book, and am looking forward to the movie coming out in June. I highly suggest it for anyone looking for a quick read.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Kaitlyn C.
Awards:
The Great Gatsby
Fitzgerald, F. Scott
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Actual Review: 4.5

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a very well written book. There's a lot of drama that takes place. Narrated by a character named Nick, tells the many things that had taken place from his experience. Love, mystery, and drama happen throughout giving the book an interesting story. It is pretty easy to read and comprehend. Overall it has a good story along with theme.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Dominique R.
Genres:
The Things They Carried
O'Brien, Tim
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Actual Rating: 3.9

This book is good and fairly understandable if you like books that take place in war times. It has A LOT of symbolism which many can be examples of the exact things they carried. There are many back stories and stories about the soldiers as well giving you a lot of imagery as to what is happening. It talks about their missions and thoughts emotionally. It was a little difficult for me to read it but it's a pretty well written book otherwise.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Dominique R.
A Separate Peace
Knowles, John
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

A Separate Peace by John Knowles, is a pretty good book in that it shows a lot of emotion and drama. It gets you thinking: How did this happen? What does this mean? And what will happen next? There is a strong friendship between Gene and Finny and the actions are either caused by envy or just pure accident. Many signs of symbolism are found throughout the book and some also can relate to religion. This book is good also when relating to real life situations which can relate to a majority of the people who will read it. I really liked this book and it was pretty easy to understand.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Dominique R.
Genres:
The 5th Wave
Yancey, Rick
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is about an alien apocalypse that comes in 5 waves. Except the aliens – called the “others” – aren’t the traditional kind that most people picture. The book starts off after four of the five waves hit. The main protagonist, Cassie, is in a tent all alone in the forest. The thing that I liked the most about this book was the fast-paced writing, which made it entertaining and enjoyable. However, a few characters weren't as interesting in my opinion and sometimes appeared generic or like the standard character in YA/dystopian series. Also, to be overly critical, I thought there wasn't any logic to a few things in the story. Overall, though, this book was very entertaining and I read through it quickly.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Camille A.
What's Left of Me
Zhang, Kat
2 stars = Meh
Review:

This book is about a society where children are born with two souls. As they get older, the recessive soul of the two disappears, while the dominant one becomes the only one controlling the body. However, in some people, the recessive soul doesn't completely disappear, making them a hybrid. The society in this book doesn't accept hybrids, which our main characters – Addie and Eva – happen to be. I thought this book was okay for the most part. It was interesting to see the different characters’ personalities and how they interacted with each other, especially when sharing a body. However, I thought the pacing was just too slow. It took forever for something important to happen. There are maybe two or three pages that actually feel fast-paced, at least in my opinion. Also, the whole point of the story isn't too clear, such as why the hybrids are viewed as a threat and not accepted in society.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Camille A.
Code Name Verity
Wein, Elizabeth
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is about Verity, a spy imprisoned by the Nazis during WWII who agrees to write everything she knows down for them, just to buy time. I found the format very interesting in this book. Although it was slow and seemingly pointless at the beginning, the little details all come together in the end to complete the story. Even though the ending may appear predictable, it is pulled off in a surprising way. I liked the characters in this book; most of their personalities were well developed and there were some plot twists about them revealed later in the book.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Camille A.
Genres:
Fairest
Meyer, Marissa
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

This book focuses on the main antagonist of The Lunar Chronicles series: Levana, before she became the queen of Luna. This book explains many things that were mentioned in The Lunar Chronicles, and shows Levana’s journey from an unfortunate youth into the powerful queen. It was interesting to see the world through the younger Levana’s eyes, and understanding her past. This book also describes drastic steps she took in order to become the ruler of Luna. The setting for the story, the moon, was described and built from a unique perspective, which made it interesting to see Earth from the moon’s.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Camille A.
Surrender
Hartnett, Sonya
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This is a dark horror and mystery book told by Gabriel; a 20 year old recounting his humiliation-filled life on his deathbed. All of Gabriel’s recollections add up to the present situation that he and his town are in. This book has a lot of imagery, which gives readers a good picture of the horrific things that play out. It also has a lot of complexly-worded phrases, and some rhyming. The characters were fascinating, especially Finnigan, and develop a lot towards the very end. I found the story interesting enough to read through quickly, but the ending was a little too dark and confusing in my opinion.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Camille A.
Genres:
Lord of the Flies
Golding, William
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Actual Rating: 4.5

In the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, I found it to be based upon the ideas of good vs evil. A group of British boys are traveling on a plane when unexpectedly their plane crashes on an unknown island. Many examples of symbolism can be found throughout this book which play a big role on finding the true meaning of it overall. Good vs evil can also be found throughout the boys and what they go through when trying to survive and keep stable. This book makes you want to keep reading so you can learn what happens next, which I believe can be some of the best books to read. Keep an eye out for the meaning of the title and how it plays along with the things that are affecting the boys and their survival.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Dominique R.
Genres:
Clockwork Angel
Clare, Cassandra
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, is a pretty interesting novel. There are a lot of different scenarios taking place for the main character named Tessa, who is also trying to find out who she really is along with finding her brother, Nate. A majority of the book is taking place at the institute, which is a place where not so normal people are taken to. This book has many different fantasy-like aspects from demons, shadow hunters, downworlders, vampires, etc. I thought it was a pretty good book and super fun to read, though it's somewhat long for some.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Dominique R.
Awards:
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Wilde, Oscar
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Actual Rating: 4.5

In the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, it depicts many aspects relating to actual things in today's society. Many concepts such as love, hate, beauty, selfishness, and more help to do this. In this book Dorian also goes through a series of emotions and battles with his own thoughts. Throughout, many people have had a great or little effect on how the book plays out overall. This book was very interesting and kept me engaged the whole time while reading it. If you love reading novels that are a bit crazy but really puts others lives in perspective this is a great book to read.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Dominique R.
Genres:
Book Review: The Great Gilly Hopkins
Paterson, Katherine
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Very good, as all Katherine Paterson novels are. A quick read, and like her other novels, it shows rather than tells. My only problem with the book was the ending was too abrupt for my taste. I would have liked for it to be longer and show her life with her grandmother and the effects of Courtney's visit.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Book Review: Bellweather Rhapsody
Racculia, Kate
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Brimming with snappy dialogue, mistaken identity, and lots of musical references, "Bellweather Rhapsody" is a raucous read. The book takes place at a high school music festival so its full of hilarious yet relatable high school drama and hijinks. When a high school flute prodigy goes missing and the festival participants get snowed in at the Bellweather Hotel, the festival gets even more chaotic. The book does have some dark elements - there's a fair amount of murder. For fans of dark comedies like "Big Little Lies".

Reviewer's Name: Corrie
Awards:
Genres:
Morning Star
Brown, Pierce
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Action-packed and heartbreaking, Red Rising has no doubt become one of my favorite series of all time. Morning Star is a powerful conclusion to a thrilling series that left me satisfied with how the story concluded. There are many points where I just want to stop and write down all the quotes I love in the book. Pierce Brown writes beautifully and he did every justice to Morning Star. Since it's a sequel and the final book to a trilogy, I won't say much about what happen in case someone new to the series happens to stumble on this review. If you are new, what you need to know about Red Rising is that it's a sci-fi fantasy that borrows elements from mythologies. Red Rising is a phenomenal series and I hope that more people would pick up and give this book a try.
Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Vy D.
Golden Son
Brown, Pierce
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book left me speechless so many times, shocked by the brutality that brought upon hopes and dreams for a race of the oppressed. War is ugly, yet Pierce Brown paints art and beauty to every word written in this book. There wasn't a moment that bore me. My heart broke many times for the characters in the book, for Darrow, for the young innocent boy he once was and the death stained Reaper he has become. We witnessed the rise of the Reaper in Red Rising and his fall in Golden Son. This is one of the best book I've read so far this year, possibly one of my all-time favorite book. I definitely highly recommend anyone who has already read Red Rising to continue with this book. For anyone who have not read or heard of the series: please pick it up. It is very much worth your time.
Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Vy D.

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