YALSA Award

Book Review: Outrun the Moon

Outrun the Moon
Author: 
Lee, Stacey
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

I tore through this book. Mercy is strong and inspirational, but also displays characteristics not normally seen in fictional characters. All of the girls seem ahead of their time and are well-rounded and friendly. Mercy does not have everything handed to her on a silver platter, and she must work for what she wants. This book is realistic, fits the time period, and is very interesting.

Reviewer's Name: 
Brenna D.

Book Review: Maus II: A Survivor's Tale

Maus II: A Survivor's Tale
Author: 
Spiegelman, Art
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Maus II, the sequel/continuation to Maus, continues the story of Vladek Spiegelman told by his son in the form of a comic book. This book is amazing because, just like the first, it uses an animal metaphor to easily show the reader who is who in the story. Maus II takes a darker turn because Vladek is now in the depths of Aushwitz. I love these books and their creative outlook on the War and the Holocaust. No other historical book has made me this intrigued and want to continue reading.

Reviewer's Name: 
Maddie K.

Book Review: The 57 Bus

The 57 Bus
Author: 
Slater, Dashka
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

The book, The 57 Bus, by Dashka Slater, is quite the moving novel. The author does a great job of solidifying the main characters, Sasha and Richard, and develops there characters in a beautifully realistic way. The sudden transition for just normal everyday life to a calamity also flows well with the book. The fact that this story actually happens is also very interesting. Overall, The 57 Bus is a fantastic book and I would recommend it to anyone. The novel is a decent length but will have you engrossed in it until the end.

Reviewer's Name: 
Steven L

Book Review: The Lightning Thief

The Lightning Thief
Author: 
Riordan, Rick
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

In the first book of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, The Lightning Thief, Percy the protagonist has been accused of stealing Zeus’ Lightning bolt. Percy must get it back to avoid all out war among the gods. Along the way he makes some new friends and meets some strange characters.

This book is one of the best books I have ever read. This book is very unpredictable. My favorite types of books are the ones that are unpredictable and this one has one of the best twist ever in a book. This book did well in the bookstores and was made into a movie. However, in my opinion, the book is substantially better than the movie. The book has lots more parts that are really funny and the movie leaves out great parts of the story. I would recommend this to anyone interested in mythology as it is based on Greek gods and their over the top stories. Yet, this is an excellent book and is good for almost everyone, even if you are not a Greek mythology expert because it is pretty easy to follow along.

Reviewer grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: 
Alexander M

Book Review: Ranger's Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan

Ranger's Apprentice: The Ruins of Gorlan
Author: 
Flanagan, John
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This is a personal favorite series of mine, it is a very interesting, very fun book. Since it is the introduction to a 12 book series, at times it can feel a little boring, but once you get into it, it's the best series ever. Comparing it to other novels it feels very similar to the Percy Jackson series, in that the writing style is somewhat similar. This book is a must read for any teenager or pre-teen.

Reviewer's Name: 
Rohan G.

Book Review: Artemis Fowl

Artemis Fowl
Author: 
Colfer, Eoin
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Artemis Fowl is an interesting book, although it deals with a concept, I frankly thought stupid, (fairies and leprechauns) it does so in a fun and well put together way. This is only one in a series of eight fiction books and starts very well as an introduction to the series. What I had a problem with, was this book felt very insincere in the fact that I never really cared about the characters. All in all I think it was an alright book and definitely worth reading for a pre-teen or young adult.

Reviewer's Name: 
Rohan G.

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Author: 
Rowling, J.K.
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

With magic and wizardry, Harry Potter returns for his 2nd year at Hogwarts.
With last year having surprises and mysterious, this year no one saw coming.
After flying back in a magic car for they missed the train, their year already started with getting in trouble. Soon after, several students start turning into stone for no reason. With Harry and his best friend, Ron, they try to find clues, hints, and obviously, the culprit.

Reviewer Grade: 9th

Reviewer's Name: 
Aiden F

Book Review: Red Queen

Red Queen
Author: 
Aveyard, Victoria
Rating: 
2 stars = Meh
Review: 

"Red Queen" is the first book in a series by Victoria Aveyard. I chose it at a friends suggestion.

The setting is a dystopian world where the color of your blood determines a lot about you. Reds are the common-folk, with nothing extraordinary about them. To make matters even worse, if a red doesn't have a job by 18, they are drafted into the ongoing war.
Silvers, however, live in the lap of luxury. They are cruel, biased, and power hungry. Plus, they have advantages over the reds. Silvers have extraordinary abilities like mind reading, controlling fire, and more. They use these powers to keep the reds in check.
Mare is a red, 17, and about to be drafted for pick-pocketing instead of getting a job. In a strange turn of events, she is saved from that cruel fate by a mysterious boy, and hired to be a servant to the royal family. Her first day on the job, however, things go array. Turns out, not all reds are powerless, and Mare is only the beginning.

To be honest, I didn't enjoy this book as much as most. The concept is fantastic, but the execution... not so much. Victoria Aveyard spends a lot of time in her subplots- a love square (not a love triangle, a love square). It might have been alright, except this is the ONLY subplot she uses. Romance is overused in this book, in my opinion. Then again, I'm not one for romance. So I would still suggest you try it, if only to step out of your reading comfort zone.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: 
Adia R.

Book Review: The Girl From Everywhere

The Girl From Everywhere
Author: 
Heilig, Heidi
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

In "The Girl From Everywhere," sixteen-year-old Nix and her father lead a crew of time travelers abroad their ship, the Temptation, in a quest to find a way to save Nix's late mother. I really enjoyed this book -- I was hooked from page one. I think what really pulls you in is the complexity of the time travel -- in this story, they use maps of places during specific time periods to reach where they want to go. It's such an interesting concept that I hadn't seen before this story. I also really liked the crew -- they were all very diverse with interesting backgrounds and personalities. If I had one complaint, it's that Nix's love interest, Kashmir, is sort of your typical YA love interest -- suave, charming, sometimes abrasive, a little arrogant. Maybe it's just because this is a really common archetype in YA, but I found his character a little irritating. Nevertheless, this is an incredible story that is definitely worth checking it.
Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: 
Gillian P.

Book Review: Mortal Engines

Mortal Engines
Author: 
Reeve, Philip
Rating: 
2 stars = Meh
Review: 

In "Mortal Engines", the first book in the Mortal Engines series by Philip Reeve, Earth is now a dystopian world where cities have become huge, mobile machines that compete for resources. London is the biggest of them all, capturing and destroying smaller cities for personal gain. A young archivist in training (and Londoner) Tom Natsworthy looks up to the leaders of London, particularly a man known as Valentine. But when a mysterious girl sneaks into the city and tries to kill Valentine, things go horribly wrong -- and both Tom and the girl are banished -- and they must find their way back.

This story had great ideas, but slightly poor execution. The overall plot started off really interesting, but as time went on, I felt like so much of it became filler content -- events seemed to just randomly happen for the sake of filling the time until we got to something important. There were also a lot of POVs to keep track of -- and it felt like there were just way too many cooks in the kitchen. In addition, the characters were really hard to root for. Tom complained often (almost to the point of whining). Hester had good moments, but was often too closed off to show a lot of emotion, which hindered character development. These characters could've been more interesting, but their flaws really kept them from developing.

What kept me reading was the world-building. The world in this book is expansive and complex, unlike any I have read about in a long time. It is utterly unique and intriguing, which made me keep reading, despite what I didn't like.

Although there is a movie adaptation of this book, I would recommend reading the book first. Because the book has more time to explain things, it allows for a better understanding of some of the confusing components of the story (in my opinion).

Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: 
Gillian P.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - YALSA Award