Other Award(s)

Book Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before

Author
Han, Jenny
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is an amazing book about love. This book follows a 16 year old girl named Lara Jean. When she has a crush so big she writes a letter about them to dumb her emotions out and let them go. She keeps these letters in a box hidden, so no one finds them or sees them. Until one day she finds that the letters are gone and someone sent them out to all the boys she has written about. One even being her older sister's ex-boyfriend! Lara Jean is trying to figure out how to deal with this messy situation, but it does lead to a happy accident.
I loved reading this book! I loved seeing what would happen next and how each of the boys reacted to getting the letters. I recommend this book to anyone who likes reading romance and any of Jenny Han’s books. I love this author, and this book was well written and fun to read.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name
Katie

Book Review: Projekt 1065

Author
Gratz, Alan
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

Projekt 1065 is a book about a boy in Nazi Germany in the Hitler Youth. Micheal O’Shaunsssey and his parents moved to Germany during Hitlers rule, though he’s from Ireland. Like any other boy at his school he joined the Hitler Youth. Although Michael and his family are spies; he can’t tell anyone. Michael dislikes everything the Hitler Youth is known for but he needs to get knowledge about plans the Nazis are planning such as Projekt 1065. Michael is in a very dangerous position but he needs to prove his loyalty to the Nazis and risk his life for everything he cares about.
I liked this book a lot. It kept me turning the next page to see what would happen next. I loved the way the book was written with the point of view being from a boy in the Hitler Youth. I recommended this book to anyone interested in this subject and this point of view during these events in time.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name
Katie

Book Review: Refugee

Author
Gratz, Alan
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

Refugee is a great book about three kids trying to seek refuge. Josef was a boy in Nazi Germany in the 1930s trying to escape as a Jew. Isabel, a girl in 1994 trying to leave Cuba during the rule of Fidel Castro. Muhmoud was a boy in Syria in 2015 trying to leave Syria with his family during the war. All three kids and family faced many challenges along the way trying to go to the United States or a place to find home.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I loved the way it was written with each kid telling their point of view during their time. I recommend this book to anyone who is trying to find a new book to read because of all the events that took place making you want to turn each page and see what would happen next. This book was emotional for me but extremely good with teaching you about the characters and the events they went through. After reading this book I have a better understanding of what refugees had to face.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name
Katie

Book Review: Ground Zero

Author
Gratz, Alan
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

Ground Zero is a book about the events of 9/11 in 2001 and war in Afghanistan in present day. Brandon, a nine year old boy, got into trouble at school and had to stay home, but his dad couldn’t let that happen and decided to take him to work at the World Trade Center in New York City. The date was September 11, 2001, while in the buildings two planes came crashing into them and Brandon and his dad were stuck inside the fire burning building. While in present day Afghanistan Reshmina and her family are surrounded by war. Reshmina has big dreams about peace and opportunities for her and her country. Reshmina’s village gets attacked and she finds a wounded American soldier that she decides to help. The soldier named Taz needs her help but she knows if she gets caught she could be in big trouble.
Ground Zero is an amazing book that everyone should read. There were many twists and turns which picked at my emotions. This book was very emotional for me but extremely good. I loved the way it was written with two stories being told with a clever twist that touches the reader.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name
Katie

Book Review: Mockingjay

Author
Collins, Suzanne
Rating
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review

Mockingjay is the third book to the Hunger Games trilogy. Katniss finds herself stuck in between a rebellion and the future of Panem. It is discovered that Katniss was rescued by District 13, which is an underground district that joined the rebellion against the capitol. Katniss is fighting for her loved ones yet again, and against the capitol directly. She is chosen as the symbol for the rebellion, but she doesn’t know if that is what she wants.
This book wasn’t my favorite out of all three, but I recommend reading it because it is still a good book. Definitely read the other two books before this one, so you can understand what is going on. Mockingjay is one of the more emotional books from this trilogy, but it still keeps you on edge like the other two.

Reviewer Grade: 8th

Reviewer's Name
Katie

Book Review: Catching Fire

Author
Collins, Suzanne
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

Catching Fire is the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy. After Katniss and Peeta return home from the games, they both go on the victor tour to all the districts. Before they left President Snows visits Katniss and says she still needs to be in love with Peeta so there won’t be an uprising in the districts. After that, the Quarter Quell (the 75th Hunger Games) comes along and everything changes. Katniss needs to fight for the ones she loves, and to stay alive. If you’re interested about reading Catching Fire make sure you read the first book of the trilogy, The Hunger Games. This book has a lot of good twists and turns, and kept me wanting to flip to the page to see what happens next. It was an emotional book, which keeps you on the edge. If you liked the first book I recommend reading the second!

Reviewer Grade: 8th

Reviewer's Name
Katie

Book Review: The Hunger Games

Author
Collins, Suzanne
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

The Hunger Games follows a girl named Katniss Everdeen. She lives in a world where there is 12 districts, which are controlled by the capitol. This nation is called Panem. A very long time ago, the districts rebelled against the capitol, so the capitol created the Hungry Games. The Hunger Games is a game played each year, and one boy and girl from each district is sent to fight to the death. When Katniss’ younger sister Prim is chosen as the tribute for district 12, Katniss couldn’t let her sister go, so she volunteered to go in for her as the female tribute for district 12. Katniss and the male tribute of district 12, Peeta Mellark, are sent to the capitol to train for the games.
This was an amazing book that I recommend to everyone including new readers like myself. I’m not a big reader, but this book really had me stuck to the pages. I was up all night and couldn’t stop thinking about what is going to happen next! The Hunger Games is definitely one of my favorite books!

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name
Katie

Book Review: The Association of Small Bombs

Author
Mahajan, Karan
Rating
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review

First, there was an explosion—a small bomb in a Delhi marketplace place. The Kurana boys were killed, and their friend Mansoor survives. This small bomb had devastating results on two families, and The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan reveals the interconnectedness of grief and disaster as it follows the lives of the families and the terrorists after the explosion. Mahajan confronts tough topics and raises questions about terrorism and war. It is an uncomfortable read, definitely not a book for pure pleasure. Frankly, The Association of Small Bombs is not my favorite book, nor do I believe it is meant to be. While it certainly covers hard and uncomfortable topics, it could have been written in a less dry manner. The characters also seemed to always fall on some extreme, and I feel some less extreme characters would have enhanced the novel. At least for the first chunk of the novel, the characters' names are challenging, and sometimes essential plot points are overshadowed as I attempt to remember who some characters are. That being said, it definitely prompted me to think about grief differently and about all the interconnected pieces of a single action.

Reviewer's Name
Lucia

Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Author
Maas, Sarah J.
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

Fairies are terrifying, violent creatures; they haunt the humans’ worst nightmares. A wall and a twisted treaty are the only barriers between these terrifying creatures and the vulnerable, weak humans. However, the wall is weakening, fairies are venturing through the cracks, and the humans have long forgotten the treaty's terms.

Ferye’s family relies on her hunts, but over time, she has to venture deeper into the woods toward the wall dividing the fairies and the humans. These hunts are risky and dangerous, and it’s only a matter of time before she might have to confront a fairy. When Ferye accidentally breaks the treaty's terms, she has no choice but to follow Tamlin, a fairy, into his lands, the Spring Court. Ferye can never return to the human world and will live out her days in the fairylands, away from her family and home. She expects cruelty but finds beautiful, stunning lands and kind, generous fairies. As she adapts to her new home and overcomes her original opinions, she falls in love with the mysterious Tamlin and the fairies.

The plot is immaculate, the world-building is absolutely stunning, and the characters are enthralling; A Court of Thorns and Roses is a must-read for anyone who loves high fantasy and romance. It is one hundred percent a page-turner and will keep you enthralled until the last word.

Reviewer's Name
Lucia

Book Review: Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Author
Kawaguchi, Toshikazu
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

“Before the Coffee Gets Cold” is a story about a cafe that can send you back in time, so long as you drink your coffee in a particular seat. A variety of customers come to the cafe to meet with people they’d otherwise have no chance to see. However, there are several rules. The two most important are that the present will never be changed and that the time traveler must return before the coffee gets cold.

Each story is interesting and heartfelt in its own right. My personal favorite was Hirai’s story about her sister, particularly because of how it was up in the previous stories. That’s another aspect of this book. These stories are all interconnected. Aside from the first woman, each main character is shown beforehand. This book also keeps the stories from being repetitive. There’s enough of a twist on each story, one woman wants to meet her husband who’s losing his memory. Another wants to express her feelings to her ex-boyfriend. All the reasons are different enough to keep the story fresh.

The characters are all likable too, although there are a few strange moments in the beginning. All of them are given a little backstory, but not much. All in all, it’s nice without being extraordinary.

This is a quick and cozy read that I’d recommend to almost anyone. Especially if you’re interested in speculative fiction.

Reviewer's Name
Rose