YALSA Award

Book Review: Every Day

Every Day
Author: 
Levithan, David
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

The book, Every Day, by David Levithan is wonderful. The book has a genius concept, and it's brilliantly written. The premise of the book is that the protagonist becomes a different person every single day. The author does a great job of writing about the difficulty of taking on the lives of others. The protagonist's own personality isn't developed a whole lot, but each new character is somewhat unique and interesting. The book is a decent read, but it is definitely worth it. Overall, I would recommend this book to people who like intriguing concepts and adventures.

Reviewer's Name: 
Steven L

Book Review: The Ruins of Gorlan

The Ruins of Gorlan
Author: 
Flanagan, John
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

A boy by the name of Will is eager to become a knight, but he has a very scrawny build and is very short. He is refused knighthood. Then someone gives the person who is testing him a note. The man hides the note and Will, who is very curious about said note, sneeks into the place where the note is being kept. He then is caught by Halt and because he was so stealthy he is told that if he wishes he may work towards becoming a ranger. I loved this book, the author John Flanagan, uses great word choice and is always keeping you thinking what is going to happen next. Will is very relate-able to me because he is scrawny but very strong in the mind. This is a great book to keep a dictionary out because it is always shooting new words at you. One of my friends has read multiple books in this series and encouraged me to try the book, I was happy I did.

Reviewer's Name: 
Alexander

Book Review: The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass
Author: 
Pullman, Philip
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

The Golden Compass is about a little girl named Lyra, and her animal companion that can change form. They want to find her friend that has been kidnapped by really bad people. On her way she meets witches, gets captured, rides an armored ice bear, starts a war, and discovers who past family members were. And it all starts with a particle they call, “Dust”!

Reviewer's Name: 
Chess

Book Review: Looking for Alaska

Looking for Alaska
Author: 
Green, John
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Looking for Alaska follows the ordinary story of a boy by the name of Miles "Pudge" Halters. In his chaotic first year at Culver Creek Boarding School, he meets many people who guide him in his search for himself, including Chip Martin and Alaska Young. Love, friendship, and innocence are tested in this rapid novel as John Green marvelously weaves unpredictability and relatability in between the lines of this gripping book. I liked this book because of its intricate simplicity; the telling of the story made it feel like it was specific to Pudge, but within the awkward relationships and persistent daydreams I saw a bit of myself reflected back at me. I picked this book up in an effort to empty my bookshelf, and as it cleared my shelf it filled my heart with raw emotions that I was not expecting. My favorite part was the contrast of the before and after of the pivotal point in the story. The only thing I didn't particularly enjoy was the undeveloped relationships between characters that were evident in some chapters. Overall, Looking for Alaska was worth my time and told a unique story that twisted the basic "new kid" story into an unpredictable plot.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: 
Anya G

Book Review: I Am Number Four

I Am Number Four
Author: 
Lore, Pittacus
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

I am Number Four is one of the best books I have ever read. An alien race, known as the Loriens, send nine children along with their guardians to Earth to save their kind. The Loriens have been invaded by the evil Magadorians and their only hope are these nine children. The Loriens have special powers and magic associated with them, yet look like humans. I am Number Four follows the journey of the fourth Lorien child sent to Earth and his thrilling quest to stay hidden and alive. This novel blends science fiction, action, and romance in a fantastic roller coaster that will have you on the edge of your seat and will pull at your heartstrings. While it contains violence, I recommend this book to anyone, but especially middle and high schoolers.

Reviewer's Name: 
John B

Book Review: A Study in Charlotte

A Study in Charlotte
Author: 
Cavallaro, Brittany
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

A new take on Holmes and Watson, two teens in an American boarding school bond over their family's shared history. Both of them are descended from the infamous Sherlock Holmes and his infamous partner Watson, and they find a way to live up to their history. They become detectives of their own stories when they are framed for murder. Thrilling and exciting, the story of Charlotte and Jamie kept me captivated with every turn of the page. I am sure readers who enjoy mystery and romance alike will enjoy it. Recommended for ages 15+
Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: 
Settare R

Book Review: Fangirl

Fangirl
Author: 
Rowell, Rainbow
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

"Fangirl" of Rainbow Rowell, a beautiful story of love and finding yourself, shows that often times things are not always as they seem. This book is a page-turner; the way Rowell writes flows easily and you can tell her words hold meaning. This book is told from the perspective of an anxious college freshman, making many readers (like myself) connect due to relating to the feeling of new surroundings and people. However, I not only liked this book because of the instant connection, but the way the plot was so interesting and engaging. This book does include some older topics, so it may be inappropriate for younger audiences. If you like happy endings, "Eleanor and Park" or more by this author, or a well written and attention-grabbing read, then this book is for you!

Reviewer's Name: 
Siena G

Book Review: The Haters

The Haters
Author: 
Andrews, Jesse
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

"The Haters" of Jesse Andrews, a down-to-earth novel about lust and dreams, depicts that life does not always go as planned. This book is by the author who also wrote "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl". "The Haters" is a book about two best friends who sneak away from band camp with a girl they met there. This book is both immature and wise... it has a moral and lessons throughout, but the way this story is written lightens the mood and makes it seem as if written by a teenager. I really liked how smooth and easy of a read this book is. It was clear and easy to understand, and entertaining and nearly impossible to put down. This book does include some PG-13 themes, so if you are of a younger audience, this book is not for you. However, if you liked "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" or you just want a fun and engaging read, this book is for you!

Reviewer's Name: 
Siena G

Book Review: The Nazi Hunters

The Nazi Hunters
Author: 
Bascomb, Neal
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Adolf Eichmann, a notorious Nazi responsible for the deaths of millions of people during the holocaust, disappeared without a trace after the war ended. An Israeli group of spies, known as the Mossad, along with other key allies carefully locate and capture Eichmann in an attempt to bring him to a fair trial in front of the entire world. Several of the members of the mission survived concentration camps and nearly all of them had lost family there. Thus, they were determined to complete their mission, even if it lasted fifteen years and took them to the other side of the world. I highly recommend this non-fiction adventure to anyone interested in the holocaust or looking for great a spy thriller.

Reviewer's Name: 
John B.

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Author: 
Rowling, J.K.
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is a classic for today's generation. It tells the story of a boy named Harry Potter who finds out he is a wizard and proceeds to attend a wizarding school and encounter the dark wizard who killed his parents. This story was a large part of my childhood and one of the reasons I enjoy reading so much. Although it is a very easy read and truly a children's story, the Harry Potter books are magical for all ages and I would suggest everyone read them.

Reviewer's Name: 
Maddie K.

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