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Realistic

Book Review: Reunited

Reunited
Author: 
Graham, Hilary Weisman
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Middle school best friends separate as high school approaches. Just as the girls broke up their favorite band does as well. The ex-best friends went their separate ways for high school. Alice hit the books studying for her dream college. Summer on the other hand takes up her social life becoming popular. Rebellious teen,Tieran ended up in boarding school for high school.

After graduating high school Level 3 reunite for one concert.When their favorite band comes back together will they? Reunited tells the story of a of three friends who go on a journey of changing friendship. The characters must overcome what tore them apart in the first place and make new memories along the way. This book is so much more than I expected. I thought Reunited would just be about ex-best friends becoming best friends again. However the author give you detailed descriptions and allows you to see a clear image in your mind. Which really made the book more than I expected. Before reading this book you should know the book changes perspective frequently so you have to figure out who's perspective it is. Overall I would recommend reading Reunited.
Reviewer Grade: 6

Reviewer's Name: 
McKenzie W.

Book Review: A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove
Author: 
Backman, Frederik
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

I absolutely loved this book. On the cover it said you would laugh and cry as you got to know a Man Called Ove. And it was true! Ove is a man with blinding grief after losing his wife and then being forced to retire from his job. He has no purpose and doesn't want to live. But one by one, people (and a cat) come into his life and gives his purpose. Friedrik Backman was able to tackle so many social issues in this book. I was very impressed how he handle things and didn't really have to "hit" you over the head with the issues. This book is a fast read and great for book discussion groups. I can't wait to read more by Fredrik Backman!

Reviewer's Name: 
Melissa

Book Review: Beneath Wandering Stars

Beneath Wandering Stars
Author: 
Cowles, Ashlee
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

In a lot of ways, Gabriela’s life has felt just like Homer’s Odyssey: one never-ending journey with no place to call home. From birth, she has been learning that “people are the only home the Army issues” as she moves from base to base at the whim of her father’s marching orders. Now that her boyfriend’s back in Texas and her older brother has abandoned her to enlist, Gabi decides that their new post in Germany is her last. She dreams of her escape the minute she graduates from high school in a year's time.

Gabi’s plans are put on hold when her brother, Lucas, gets seriously wounded in action. In one of his last letters, Lucas requests that if anything were to happen to him; Gabi, Gabi’s father, and Lucas’ best friend Seth walk the Camino de Santiago—a 500 mile pilgrimage across Spain—for him. This is harder than it sounds since Gabi thinks Seth is the reason Lucas enlisted and Gabi’s dad has responsibilities he can’t abandon to walk the trail. As Gabi starts out on her adventure, she is determined to discover how much Seth really is to blame for her brother’s injuries, and what exactly is keeping her and her father from understanding each other.

While I'm not quite a military brat, I grew up moving back and forth from overseas and I love how Gabi (the main character) expresses some of the struggles she faces moving, moving again, and adapting to new cultures--even on base.

While being age-appropriate for the average teen, this book covers a lot of the tough issues that all of us, and especially military brats, come up against on a regular basis. Cowles allows you to think it all through and has her character come up with some answers, but doesn't force you to decide what you think by the end of the book. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who have ever felt like a wanderer.

Reviewer's Name: 
Danielle

Book Review: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Author: 
Alexie, Sherman
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a book that was assigned for my literature class, meaning I had low expectations and thought I would hate the book. However, the opposite was true, and the author actually uses a humorous outlook to portray a witty teenage character in this novel. The book follows one school year in the life of Junior, a fourteen-year-old boy living with his family on the Spokane Indian Reservation near Wellpinit, Washington.

It is told in a diary style, moving from the start of the school year, through the major holidays, and ending with the beginning of summer. It includes both Junior's written record of his life and his cartoon drawings, some of them comically commenting on his situations, and others more seriously depicting important people in his life. The story, as a whole, is entertaining, funny, and is still able to discuss darker issues such as abuse, alcoholism, and poverty. Overall, I thought this novel was fantastic, and was an easy and casual read. I would recommend this book to practically anyone looking for a fun, entertaining story.
Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: 
Alex K.

Book Review: The Tyrant's Daughter

the tyrant's daughter
Author: 
Carleson, J. C.
Rating: 
2 stars = Meh
Review: 

The Tyrant’s Daughter, written by J. C. Carleson, is a novel about a girl named Laila, who is uprooted from her home and moved to the United States after her father’s death. She soon realizes her mother is full of secrets, and is told by classmates at school that her father was a tyrant in her home country. This was news to Laila who then does more research on her father and finds out shocking facts about the man she thought she knew. Her mother is working with what she has been told is a CIA agent, and had another family from their country that Laila’s mother worked with as well. Throughout all of this happening, there is a love interest named Ian introduced earlier in the novel. In parts of the book, the novel got too descriptive in a way that makes readers uncomfortable. Overall, the book is okay, but should not be read by anyone under the age of at least 13. If very detailed make out scenes and high school dance scenes make you uncomfortable, I would not recommend this book, or just skip those chapters. Additionally, the author does not effectively merge ideas and events together, leading to a choppy and disappointing story.

Reviewer's Name: 
Alex K.

Book Review: Bitter End

bitter end
Author: 
Brown, Jennifer
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Although Alex has two amazing friends, Bethany and Zach, she has always felt rather alone, that is until she met Cole. Cole is new at school, and seems perfect. He is a funny, star athlete, and very attractive, so Alex believes he is way out of her league. When she starts tutoring him, however, sparks begin to fly. Cole asks her out, and at first, it seems like destiny to Alex.

He is sweet to her, and she starts to fall for him. There is one problem
though: Cole is very jealous of her friend Zach; he hates it when they hang out and gets angry with both Alex and Zach. He begins to take out all of his frustrations on Alex, and it quickly escalates from put-downs to violence.
Bitter End is a heart wrenching that takes a candid look at domestic violence. I think this book is amazingly written, and I would recommend it to most people. Be warned though that this book is hard to get through. Because Alex is so innocent and good, it is easy to empathize with her. And even though what Cole is doing is wrong, he seems like a real person. Brown did a great job creating human characters that you can completely empathize with.

Reviewer's Name: 
Hailey K.
Genres: 

Book Review: I Have A Bad Feeling About This

I Have A Bad Feeling About This
Author: 
Strand, Jeff
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

In I Have A Bad Feeling About This by Jeff Strand, Henry, a 17 year old boy, is sent to a survival camp by his parents because they think he's a wuss, and to be honest he is kinda wussy. But this camp is not what it seems. I really like how embarrassing Henry was, I could definitely relate. I didn't like that the book was dragged on, it took a few chapters to get to the really good action. I picked this book because it's title was intriguing to me and made me want to find out what happened. This book was extremely surprising and made me have to do a double take. I could relate to all the wimpy kids who were sent to the survival camp because let's be honest I can't throw a ball five feet. This was not the best book I have read this year but if someone asked for a good book recommendation I would totally recommend this.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: 
Gemini K.

Book Review: Scars

Scars
Author: 
Rainfield, Cheryl
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

In Scars by Cheryl Rainfield, Kendra, a young teenager, struggles with self-harm, depression, and having the constant fear of her rapist following and threatening her. All throughout the book she struggles with many things, and Rainfield describes her journey with passion and accurately describes what depression can and does feel like. I really liked that this book brought attention to in-home neglect, as her mother does not pay much attention to what is happening with her daughter more as how her daughter is being portrayed. I didn't like how fast paced everything is, although it does positively affect the book in some aspects it is a bit overwhelming in certain chapters. I picked this book because of the title and the cover, I have struggled with self-harm and it seemed like I relate to it, which I could in so many ways. This book was very surprising and it made me gasp out loud when the big truth was revealed. I could definitely relate to Kendra, as I said before I struggled with self-harm and have plenty of scars I need to heal. But not only in that way, she and I both have homophobic mothers who at first did not accept the "choices" we made. This book was really, really, great and it truly is one of the best books I have read this year.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: 
Gemini K.

Book Review: Shadow

Shadow
Author: 
Morpurgo, Michael
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Shadow was a very good book that I thought had essentials to make into a review. Shadow was about an eight-year-old named Aman and him telling his entire story of how he met Shadow, and why he wanted to get out of Afghanistan. Taliban (people who didn't like Aman's people) invaded his part of Afghanistan, so him and his mother needed to get out of his town after his grandmother died. Right before he left, a dog he named Shadow accompanied him. Throughout their journey, they needed to walk many miles to get to Turkey, a place where an airport is. However, cruel people started robbing the family of all of their belongings, and even their grandmother's jewels she left behind just in case they lost all of their money, which they just did. Even through all of the struggles, the family still pushed on.

Eventually, Shadow gets picked up by the military, who claimed it was their dog. Aman eventually got to England. I thought that this book was good because it gave an accurate demonstration of a loving relationship between a boy and a dog.

Reviewer's Name: 
Logan L.

Book Review: Holes

Holes
Author: 
Sachar, Louis
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

The book Holes by Louis Sachar is an astonishing book that braids together three different stories that eventually will come together because of the main character known as Stanley Yelnats. Stanley Yelnats, a boy who has bad luck because of a curse put on his "no good dirty rotten pig stealin' great-great-grandfather", is sent to Camp Green Lake, a juvenile detention camp, for a crime he did not commit. Stanley and the other boys at the camp are forced to dig large holes in the dirt every day that are 5 feet wide and 5 feet deep in the blistering heat, but they aren't digging holes to build character like Mr. Sir says.

Louis Sachar was born in East Meadow on March 20th 1954 and lived there until 4th grade and it wasn't until high school that he really started to love reading. Louis Sachar is an award-winning author of twenty-five books for children and young adults. The book Holes has won around 16 awards and recognitions. He didn’t really just sit down and start writing the story, he built the story around the setting at camp green lake. In a Q&A he said that he "started writing about Camp Greenlake and it developed from there. I suppose the initial inspiration for writing about the camp came from the heat of summers in Texas." And "Anybody who has ever tried to do yard work in Texas in July can easily imagine Hell to be a place where you are required to dig a hole five feet deep and five feet across day after day under the brutal Texas sun." That was where he started the book and his inspiration. Louis basically just started with writing about camp green lake and the fact that its just a desert instead of basing the book on any characters, which I found was interesting.

I think that Holes is an amazing book that it all ties together in the end. I just love this book because of how complex it is with putting three stories together to create one detailed and vivid story that you will want to read more than once.

Reviewer's Name: 
Sydney P.

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