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All Book Reviews

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.
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.

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