chat loading...

All Book Reviews

Their Eyes Were Watching God
Hurston, Zora Neale
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Actual Rating: 4.5

When I first saw the cover and title of this book, I was intrigued. The title of this novel does not reveal much about what the plot was all "about". The main character of the book, Janie, is a woman of mixed race who is trying to find her happiness, which she believes is love. Hurston writes this novel in a way that the readers too, can feel what Janie is feeling, and see what Janie is seeing. Even though this book was written in the 1930's, the topics that pop up are still relevant today, including Feminism. This book may have been predictable at certain times, it was surprising as well. I have never read a novel like this one before. I encourage others to read this book, so they too can experience the journey of Janie's coming of age.

Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Jessica J.
The Tempest
Shakespeare, William
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

When assigned this novel for school, I did not expect much to be completely honest. In fact, the story of The Tempest was actually a pleasant surprise. The story is about Prospero, a man looking for revenge against the one person who took his Dukedom away from him, his brother Antonio. At the beginning, the story moves a bit slow and can be a bit boring. Although, it does not take too long for Shakespeare to interest the reader with the plot of the novel. I did not find the story to be predictable, which is what made it so interesting! A theme that the story revolves around was Compassion VS Cruelty, making The Tempest very interesting and intriguing. The language of Shakespeare may be difficult to understand, but is not too difficult. Although, it would be useful to choose a version of The Tempest that has annotations/footnotes as there are various terms and mythological references that some people may not understand or know.

Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Jessica J.
Genres:
The Sound of Waves
Mishima, Yukio
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

The reason why I picked this novel was because of the cover I had. It was unique and in my opinion, very pretty. Also, if you skim through the book, each chapter has a simple illustration which is quite interesting. However, I found the book to be mediocre. This book takes place on a made up island nearby the city of Tokyo. The main character Shinji, is a hardworking boy who partakes in the fishing business on this small island. He soon meets a girl by the name of Hatsue, and their story begins...This book did not surprise me at all, but it was cute. Mishima touches base on the idea of coming of age and love, and wrote it all beautifully. Mishima's style is full of imagery and is what really makes this novel different.

Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Jessica J.
Genres:
Fathers and Children
Turgenev, Ivan Sergeevich
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

To be completely honest, Fathers and Children by Ivan Turgenev did not appeal to me when I first saw. However, that changed when I began to read it. This book takes place in Russia around the mid 1800's. For a translated work, this novel was quite intriguing. The book not only speaks of the generation gap between parents and children, but also talks about the coming of age. In Fathers and Children, the reader gets the chance to see various characters find their way through love, social revolution, and coming of age. Despite how old this story is, several of the topics [coming of age] that it discusses still applies to teenagers today. This novel surprised me in the way, as the one person who you may expect to be the antagonist of the story, is actually the protagonist...If you are looking for a bit more of a challenging read, this is the book for you.

Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Jessica J.
Genres:
Rise of the Evening Star
Mull, Brandon
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is about another adventure of two siblings in Fablehaven. New events happen, which keeps the reader in suspense and on the edge of his/her seat. I liked this book because it perfectly sequences the first book of this series. I picked this book because the first book of this series was very good. I enjoyed the amplified suspense in this book. I did not enjoy the shortage of action in this fictional book. This book surprised me around every corner, I could not predict what would happen next. I can relate to the two main characters because I love animals of all kinds. This is one of the best books I have read all year!

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Alex L.
Genres:
Fablehaven
Mull, Brandon
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is about two siblings who are sent to live with their grandpa over the summer. When in his house they find a new land full of mysterious creatures. I liked this book because it had a lot of action and was adventurous. I picked this book because it was recommended by one of my teachers. I enjoyed the mystical creatures found around every corner of this book. I did not enjoy that the creatures were sometimes not described. This book was suspenseful and surprising. I can relate to the two main characters because I have been sent to live with my grandparents over break, and I had a great time. This is one of the best books I have read all year!

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Alex L.
Genres:
Reached
Condie, Allyson Braithwaite
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

When Cassia and Ky finally find each other, they lose each other yet again. Cassia works for the Rising from within the Society, while Ky works for them from outside the borders. Nothing goes as planned, though, as the veil lifts and things shift once again.

This is definitely one of the best books that I've read in a while. It tied up the trilogy quite nicely. I've read so many great series with terrible endings, but this was not one of them. The entire book kept me captivated until the very last second.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Alex M.
The Candymakers
Mass, Wendy
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is about a group of children who specialize in candy making. After all, it is expected, since they are the legacies of famous candy inventors. I picked this book because very many people in my grade have read it and liked it. I enjoyed the imagery in this book. I did not enjoy that the suspense was not very exciting. This book both surprised me and was predictable. I can relate to some of the characters because I like other people. This is one of the best books I have read all year!

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Alex L.
Awards:
Genres:
The Old Man and the Sea
Hemingway, Ernest
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is about an old man who is having bad luck in catching fish. One day he goes fishing in the early morning and has the experience of a lifetime. I liked this book because it showed that the journey is more important than the destination. I chose this book because it seemed very meaningful. I enjoyed that very many idle objects represented important concepts. I did not enjoy that the book is so predictable. I cannot relate to the characters because they were very thoughtful and knew what life means. This is not one of the best books I have read all year.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Alex L.
Awards:
Genres:
Peak
Smith, Roland
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Actual Rating: 3.5

This book is about a teenage boy who tries to become the youngest person to climb Mt. Everest, while doing so he finds his true self. I liked this book because it demonstrates the problem teenagers have growing up. I picked this book because it was recommended by a friend with similar literature interests. I enjoyed that this book shows that even the worst people of this world still do the right thing. I did not enjoy that the book could be very repetitive. This book was sometimes predictable, which made it less interesting. I cannot relate to these characters because they were too complex. This is not one of the best books I have read this year.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Alex L.
Genres:
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Rowling, J. K.
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.
Cosmic
Cottrell Boyce, Frank
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is about a teenage boy who abnormally the size of an adult. Many mistake him as an adult when truly he is not. I liked this book because it connected my love of astronomy with my love of action in books. I picked this book because it is full of action and comedy. I enjoyed that so much action and comedy could be compacted into a truly meaningful book. I cannot find anything that I did not enjoy!! This book was both surprising and predictable at times. This is the best book I have read all year!

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Alex L.
Millions
Cottrell Boyce, Frank
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is about a very Christian boy who stumbles upon a gift from God. But was this gift truly a from God? Soon everyone wants a piece of it and chaos breaks out. I liked that a boy and his brother want to live their lives to the fullest, as many people wish to achieve. I picked this book because Frank Cottrell-Boyce has very many great books for teens around my age. I enjoyed that the main characters had true human qualities that not many people possess. I did not enjoy that the characters were rarely serious. This book surprised me around every corner, I could not predict what would happen next. I can relate to some of the characters because they love God. This is by far one of the best books I have read all year!

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Alex L.
Genres:
Outliers: The Story of Success
Gladwell, Malcolm
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Don't let the genre discourage you from picking up this book. Extremely interesting and eye-opening, this book offers me lots of insight and tips on being successful in your professional and personal life. I'd encourage many young readers like me to pick up this book and give it a try. It's not a book to give excuses to why we are not the next Bill Gates or Einstein. It gives lessons to why these people became successful in the area they were/are successful in, and the steps they took toward it. It's a matter of whether you let their success discourage you or turn it into motivation and lesson to be successful in your own life.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Vy D.
Genres:
The Immortal Rules
Kagawa, Julie
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Immortal Rules is the first in the Blood of Eden series written by Julie Kagawa. This book is about a teenage girl, Allison Sekemoto, living in a dystopian-like world where humans are subservient to vampires. In order to survive, humans must either give their blood to the vampires to live a somewhat comfortable life, or keep their blood and in turn, face hunger, disease, and torment from vampires and worser demons. Allison lives with other teenagers in the same position as her. When they go out of the city limits to look for food, Allison is forced to give up her humanity or die. Choosing to live, she has to leave and go with the person who turned her, and learn about the “immortal rules”.

I enjoyed this novel because futuristic or medieval vampire stories are my favorite genre of vampire books. I also liked the length of the book. There are 485 pages dedicated to The Immortal Rules, and a couple more pages for another series Julie Kagawa has written. I have collected all three of the Blood of Eden Series; The Immortal Rules, The Eternity Cure, and The Forever Song. The front cover is of a girl who has a tear of blood running down her face. And because I have the hard copy, the inside’s actual hard back is black with “Blood of Eden” written in dark red. The cover looked very promising and the length was perfect for me. These are what first drew me to the book.

My favorite part of the book was learning around the middle where more characters were introduced. There was one character who becomes a love interest for Allison who I thought had a good relationship with her. Also, the books’ antagonist was my favorite character because of his Cheshire personality. What I liked least of the book was how some sequences during the beginning felt rushed. The plot slowed down around the middle where she meets more side characters. Some of the things which felt hurried in the first book were made more clear in The Eternity Cure.

Some of this book was predictable because it follows quite a few of the sequences for teen vampire romances. Though because the main female character is in the distant future of today, I was still surprised by the turns The Immortal Rules took. I could relate to all the characters in some way. The character I related to most was Kanin; a teacher and father like figure to Allison. I believe he is the character with the most emotions.

I first read this series in the summer of 2015 but have been re-reading it as well as Julie Kagawa’s other works. In 2015, and in 2016, The Immortal Rules is one of my favorites.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Larissa D.
Awards:
Crossed
Condie, Allyson Braithwaite
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

In Crossed, Cassia travels to the Outer Provinces to find Ky, who has been sent there to die. When she arrives, though, she finds that he's already escaped and left a series of clues in his wake. The book follows her as she attempts to find and rescue Ky, while questioning everything she's ever known.

This book is the second in a series. I didn't enjoy it as much as the previous book. It reminded me too much of other books and also was a bit dull. Most of it just felt like a filler to move the series along.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Alex M.
Fakie
Varrato, Tony
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Actual Rating: 4.5

Have you ever wanted to know what it's like to be running from people who want to kill you? If you have this book is for you. Fakie tells a story of a boy whose father is murdered and he is next. I liked this book because it is suspenseful and makes me feel as if I am right in the action. I picked this book because the author is one of my favorites of all time. I enjoyed that there were many twists and turns and I could never predict what was coming next. I did not enjoy that there was not very much of an explanation of characters. I cannot relate to the characters because I have never had such crazy events happen to me. This is very close to being my favorite book I have read this year!

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Alex L.
Awards:
Bless the Beasts and Children
Swarthout, Glendon Fred
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The book Bless the Beasts and Children tells a story of a group of misfit teens who find their way to adulthood and selflessness. These boys face a traumatic event and try to stop the same event from happening again. I liked this book because it portrayed the necessary emotional and mental growth that a child has when changing into an adult. I picked this book because it seemed interesting and it had some awards. I enjoyed the background knowledge given of the characters, as I soon felt that I personally knew the characters. But, I did not enjoy that the book could at times be boring. I can relate to the characters, as their mindset comes from their parents. This is the best book I have read all year!

Reviewer Grade:8

Reviewer's Name: Alex L.
Genres:
Matched
Condie, Allyson Braithwaite
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

In Matched, the Society makes all choices. When citizens are 17, they have the option to be "matched" with their life partners. When the main character, Cassia, is matched with her best friend, she knows with complete certainty that he is the one... until she sees another face flash onto the screen. She soon finds herself conflicted about whether or not her match is right for her - and whether the Society is all that is seems to be.

I enjoyed this book. It was fun to watch as Cassia started to question things instead of believing everything she'd been told. I'd recommend checking it out if you're into dystopian books.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Alex M.
Matched
Condie, Allyson Braithwaite
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Actual Rating: 4.5

This book is similar to The Giver by Lois Lowry, but it is a love story. This book stars a 17 year old girl named Cassia and her love journey with many risks and restrictions. I picked this book because it was recommended by sister when she was doing a school project. I liked this book because it gives you a different perspective on the things we have today and the challenges we face versus the challenges that Cassia faces. Though, this book, even though it is a trilogy, left some loose ends. This book has many twists and turns you would not expect. All in all, this book is by far the best book I have read this year. If you like this book, then read the next two books in this trilogy, Crossed, and Reached.

Reviewer Grade: 6

Reviewer's Name: Aayushi D.

Pages