All Book Reviews
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
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
This book was about a kid named Jesse who was Samantha's (Protagonist) best friend. She stayed with him through everything and they find out that they are meant for each other. I really liked how it showed that through this tough situation love prevailed. But they don't know how long Jesse has left and everyone is worried about Sam.
I choose this book because I read what it was about and really wanted to read what happened. I enjoyed that it kept me wanting to know what happens between them and how it will all go.
Reviewer Grade: 11
This was one of the best books I have ever read. I couldn't put it down. To sum it up, this kid Bank is a kid that had always tried to stay in the background and to not draw attention to himself. But when this new girl, Tara, shows up, he is blamed for things and he is teased. There are a few people that try to help him like Lovejoy and Trevor.
It all around was a really good book.
Reviewer Grade: 11
I loved this book. I felt like I was right there in post-WWI Paris amongst the Lost Generation and the great writers of that time. Having studied literature in college, I appreciated the insight into the mysterious personalities of Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein. I also liked the way the author portrayed the Fitzgeralds. While this is a work of historical fiction, it was based off of detailed research and correspondences of that time. I've never been a fan of Hemingway's works, and honestly I'm still not a fan, but Hadley was fascinating. It's telling that his second wife is just a flash in the pan, while Hadley is regarded as his great love. I've got A Moveable Feast on my list to read now
Anthony is a 8 year old non-verbal autistic boy, and the author gave him a voice. I could hear him and what he was thinking.
Actual Rating: 3.5
Lord of the Flies is a strange and sometimes creepy yet surprisingly good book by “one hit wonder” author William Golding. The story is about several British schoolboys crashing on a deserted island with no adults, and details how they try to manage by finding and hunting food, building shelters, and making smoke signals to any would-be passing ships to try to get themselves rescued. All of the boys stick together at first with choir boy Jack as their leader, but when Jack and the other choir boys become obsessed with hunting and killing the wild pigs on the island and let the rescue fire go out, Ralph and Piggy, our other main characters, are furious at them and banish them into the jungle. They go off and start their own tribe, and when they do catch a wild pig, they roast the meat and invite any boys that want it to join their tribe. Ralph and Piggy remain on the beach with the other boys, but when they learn about the “activities” that go on in Jack’s part of the jungle, primarily hunting and performing strange rituals, most of them leave to join him, and Ralph’s attempt at civilization just goes downhill from there. I really can’t say any more as it may give away the book’s ending. I will tell you, however, that the ending is a surprising one and is ultimately bittersweet, so those who like everything to be resolved happily, be warned. I recommend this book to those who like shipwreck and plane wreck stories and those who can tolerate gory detail in some spots.
Reviewer Grade: 7
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
A brilliant page turner for readers who love fast paced storyline and drama. Angels and Demons is an amazing thriller by Dan Brown, the same writer who wrote Da Vinci Code. The book has the same protagonist, Robert Langdon who is an iconology professor and is set in in the cobbled street of Europe and the Vatican City. Having read both the books and several others by Dan Brown, I can say that the story grips the attention of the reader very quickly, however since both of the books have similar characters and settings, it can be confusing to differentiate between the storylines after some time.
The story is set in CERN (One of the biggest physics centers of the world) in Geneva, Switzerland where a physicist working on antimatter is killed with the words Illuminati branded on his chest. Antimatter in real life is the most expensive substance and it costs 62.5 trillion dollars to make one gram of it and it must be preserved in cases where it cannot touch any matter or the process of annihilation would create an explosion higher in strength than any atomic bomb. Robert Langdon an iconology professor who is also well known for his studies on illuminati is called on a mission to find the murderer. He is accompanied by the physicist's daughter with whom he eventually falls in love. An antimatter bomb with the antimatter stolen from the lab of the physicist is found in Vatican building where the cardinals from all around the world are gathering for the papal elections in the enclave however the four proffered cardinals or the preffereti have been kidnapped. Robert and his companion go through the streets of Vatican and Rome to stop the killer from murdering the preffereti. The antimatter bomb has a timer which would set off the bomb which gives additional suspense to the story.
The story is sometimes a bit loose and has too many details, problems take longer to solve as compared to Da Vinci Code. It is a description of one day in over 600 pages of gripping storyline where each chapter leaves you hanging by a thread and you just can't put this book down. Overall, it's highly recommended to anyone who loves a great thriller. Good Tip: Listen to some never before listened and suspenseful music while reading this and the action though the streets of Rome would flashback whenever you listen to the song again.
Reviewer Grade: 11
This novel is the first book of a prospective trilogy by Rick Riordan. In my opinion this novel surpassed Percy Jackson in the Lightning Thief as an origin story. I found the Norse Mythology the most interesting mythology ever presented by Uncle Rick. It is unique and of course humorous. The plot was both daring and nostalgic as it put characters into familiar roles, but also had twists that I was not expecting. I enjoyed each of the four main characters—particularly Magnus’s cool friend Sam, who defies what people expect of her in order to make the world a better place. What I remember best about the book is how funny it was. I liked the book overall and look forward reading the rest of the series.
Reviewer Grade: 9
While a line isn’t all that extraordinary, a line that divides a country, separates the known from the unknown, and has people fearing to go near it is. To end a war, a line crossed out part of the country, dooming those still on its other side to either death or a fate worse than it. Rachel likes to sit in a broken, mysterious told greenhouse, just gazing out, imagining what lies beyond the line. Many people say mutated humans or monsters, but Rachel can only find beauty in its lush forests. Until, that is, she receives a message asking for help, which she can only assume comes from the other side of the line. Naturally, an adventure then is embarked upon.. I liked this book because of its slow moving, mystery-building pace, and its “chaos in the midst of the clam” sort of setting. a must-read for those who enjoy both reading between the lines, and a story that, not the author, but the reader, deciphers.
Set in a world where warfare is the top priority, all school systems are adapted to better shape children into viable subjects for the training program-Battle School. This program’s main goal is to shape perfect soldiers for the war against an alien race threatening humanity, or what’s left of it, as it is. While being the youngest student there by far, he advances far past the other students in warfare, academics, and strategy training very quickly. But, unknown to Ender, he is being used as a weapon in training and after to accomplish a goal that goes against all of his morals. I enjoyed this book because it was a new twist on an old idea-special treatment for the geniuses, but this time, it was not with their well-being in mind. From the cover to the synopsis, this book entices the reader to dive into this dystopian world. Besides the story, this book also has many thought-provoking moral lessons-do what’s right or serve the common good? This space centered tactic game is one the reader can play right along side Ender.
Reviewer Grade: 9
Written in 1865, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by a mathematician writing under the pseudonym Lewis Carol, is a charming classic that continues to fascinate both children and adults. This clever book can be re-read multiple times because of its intricate language. While the plot may be simple, I enjoyed rereading this and discovering new layers and comedic elements like puns that I had not noticed before. One of my favorite characters was the Cheshire Cat because of his cleverness and his backward logic. The story includes a number of poems so iconic that people recognize them without having read Alice’s tale. I enjoyed this equally well as the sequel, Through the Looking Glass, And What Alice Found There.
Reviewer Grade: 9
The Wind in the Willows, written in 1908, is a classic tale that still has appeal to both adults and children. Each of the main characters has a distinct and charming personality. Mr. Toad is a likable and iconic character because of his zany personality. Ratty is very loyal and adverse to change. Mole is a homebody who worries. Badger is sage, somewhat antisocial, and values tradition. I highly recommend this novel to all creatures with more than one pocket!
Reviewer Grade: 9
Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon was full of emotion, adventure, and romance! Maddy is a girl who is allergic to practically everything. She has never left her house in the length of seventeen years, and her books get delivered to her in airtight bags. It all changes when Olly, her new neighbor, catches her attention, and she falls in love with a person she can't even breathe the same air as. I absolutely fell in love with this book! Though there was not thrilling adventure, I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat! I mainly chose this book because Maddy's medical condition was intriguing to me, but the cover is also stunning! Everything Everything caught me off guard many times with its unpredictable turns and its heartwarming ending. Overall, this was one of my favorite books this year, with a rating of 5/5 stars!
Wonder revolves around a kid who is starting middle school and the people around him. This kid, Auggie, has facial deformities and they cause others to treat him differently. The book follows eight different perspectives. Each character has their own distinct voice. This is probably the novel's greatest strength, as it makes each character much more realistic. It has many touching moments and carries a great message. It is one of the best books published in recent years.
Reviewer Grade: 9
I loved this book so much! Its written in a series of IM's, secret documents, emails, the mind of the AI and more! Its the most unique book ever. It is full of twist and turns and it made me cry and laugh and feel frustrated and more! I could not put it down!
Dead End in Norvelt is a very good story about a boy named Jack Gantos (the author gave the character his own name as it is a somewhat true story) who lives in the 1960s in a little town called Norvelt, founded by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. When Jack is grounded for the summer for using his dad’s WWII binoculars to watch a war movie at the drive in that he couldn’t go see, and then proceeding to accidentally shoot a WWII Japanese rifle at the screen, he receives an unusual chore as a punishment: typing obituaries for old Miss Volker across the street. Jack is told that it was Miss Volker’s duty to Mrs. Roosevelt to type the obituaries of all of Norvelt’s original citizens before she moves away or passes away. While busying himself typing the obituaries and having to spend the rest of his time in his room, he still manages to go on strange misadventures with his friends, family, and neighbors involving a two seater airplane, a plastic skeleton, cornstalks, dead rodents, poisonous mushrooms, Hells Angels, a Halloween costume, Girl Scout cookies… and murder? This is a one of a kind book, so I can’t really recommend it to people who like a certain genre, however, if you are looking for an unusual, funny, interesting, and sometimes creepy murder mystery book disguised as a realistic fiction novel, Dead End in Norvelt is a great book for you.
Reviewer Grade: 7
The Breadwinner is an excellent story about a young girl named Parvana and her family living in the Afghanistan that was under rule of the Taliban, an extreme religious group, from 1996 to 2001. Parvana and her sisters and brother and mother and father used to live in a giant house before it got bombed and they had to move to war torn Kabul. They scraped by for a long time by living in a one room house and her father selling some of their old things and reading and writing for others (most people there can’t read or write) with Parvana’s help in the marketplace. When her father is kidnapped by the Taliban soldiers because he went to England for his education and supposedly has “foreign ideas”, the family has no one to work for money, as the Taliban forbid women to leave the house without a man. Their solution- cut Parvana’s hair and dress her in her dead older brother’s clothes so she can go out and work for money. The book goes on to describe her many adventures working in the marketplace and doing strange odd jobs such as digging up human bones and trying to sell cigarettes and gum at what she thinks is a soccer game but is really a gruesome event. I would definitely recommend this book to people who are interested in world conflict and fiction based on relatively recent events. Overall, a really good story.
Reviewer Grade: 7
I honestly was not expecting this to be as good of a book as it was. I guess I was thinking it would be more like Treasure Island (which I didn’t like too much). It actually turned out to be a really good story about a twelve year old girl named Charlotte Doyle who has booked a voyage with two other families on the Seahawk ship to return home from her school in England to see her family. Charlotte then discovers that the two other families have mysteriously cancelled their trip, making her the only girl on the ship. She then has many adventures on the Seahawk with the shipmates and the cruel Captain Jaggery involving a silver dirk, storms at sea, muskets, round robins, watery coffee… and possibly murder. I highly recommend this book to anybody who likes historical fiction, books told in diary form, books about seafaring, or is just looking for a good book to read.
Reviewer Grade: 7