YALSA Award

Book Review: Cosmic

Cosmic
Author: 
Cottrell Boyce, Frank
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This book is about a teenage boy who abnormally the size of an adult. Many mistake him as an adult when truly he is not. I liked this book because it connected my love of astronomy with my love of action in books. I picked this book because it is full of action and comedy. I enjoyed that so much action and comedy could be compacted into a truly meaningful book. I cannot find anything that I did not enjoy!! This book was both surprising and predictable at times. This is the best book I have read all year!

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: 
Alex L.

Book Review: The Immortal Rules

The Immortal Rules
Author: 
Kagawa, Julie
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

The Immortal Rules is the first in the Blood of Eden series written by Julie Kagawa. This book is about a teenage girl, Allison Sekemoto, living in a dystopian-like world where humans are subservient to vampires. In order to survive, humans must either give their blood to the vampires to live a somewhat comfortable life, or keep their blood and in turn, face hunger, disease, and torment from vampires and worser demons. Allison lives with other teenagers in the same position as her. When they go out of the city limits to look for food, Allison is forced to give up her humanity or die. Choosing to live, she has to leave and go with the person who turned her, and learn about the “immortal rules”.

I enjoyed this novel because futuristic or medieval vampire stories are my favorite genre of vampire books. I also liked the length of the book. There are 485 pages dedicated to The Immortal Rules, and a couple more pages for another series Julie Kagawa has written. I have collected all three of the Blood of Eden Series; The Immortal Rules, The Eternity Cure, and The Forever Song. The front cover is of a girl who has a tear of blood running down her face. And because I have the hard copy, the inside’s actual hard back is black with “Blood of Eden” written in dark red. The cover looked very promising and the length was perfect for me. These are what first drew me to the book.

My favorite part of the book was learning around the middle where more characters were introduced. There was one character who becomes a love interest for Allison who I thought had a good relationship with her. Also, the books’ antagonist was my favorite character because of his Cheshire personality. What I liked least of the book was how some sequences during the beginning felt rushed. The plot slowed down around the middle where she meets more side characters. Some of the things which felt hurried in the first book were made more clear in The Eternity Cure.

Some of this book was predictable because it follows quite a few of the sequences for teen vampire romances. Though because the main female character is in the distant future of today, I was still surprised by the turns The Immortal Rules took. I could relate to all the characters in some way. The character I related to most was Kanin; a teacher and father like figure to Allison. I believe he is the character with the most emotions.

I first read this series in the summer of 2015 but have been re-reading it as well as Julie Kagawa’s other works. In 2015, and in 2016, The Immortal Rules is one of my favorites.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: 
Larissa D.
Awards: 

Book Review: Fakie

Fakie
Author: 
Varrato, Tony
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Actual Rating: 4.5

Have you ever wanted to know what it's like to be running from people who want to kill you? If you have this book is for you. Fakie tells a story of a boy whose father is murdered and he is next. I liked this book because it is suspenseful and makes me feel as if I am right in the action. I picked this book because the author is one of my favorites of all time. I enjoyed that there were many twists and turns and I could never predict what was coming next. I did not enjoy that there was not very much of an explanation of characters. I cannot relate to the characters because I have never had such crazy events happen to me. This is very close to being my favorite book I have read this year!

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: 
Alex L.
Awards: 

Book Review: Matched

Matched
Author: 
Condie, Allyson Braithwaite
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

In Matched, the Society makes all choices. When citizens are 17, they have the option to be "matched" with their life partners. When the main character, Cassia, is matched with her best friend, she knows with complete certainty that he is the one... until she sees another face flash onto the screen. She soon finds herself conflicted about whether or not her match is right for her - and whether the Society is all that is seems to be.

I enjoyed this book. It was fun to watch as Cassia started to question things instead of believing everything she'd been told. I'd recommend checking it out if you're into dystopian books.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: 
Alex M.

Book Review: Matched

Matched
Author: 
Condie, Allyson Braithwaite
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Actual Rating: 4.5

This book is similar to The Giver by Lois Lowry, but it is a love story. This book stars a 17 year old girl named Cassia and her love journey with many risks and restrictions. I picked this book because it was recommended by sister when she was doing a school project. I liked this book because it gives you a different perspective on the things we have today and the challenges we face versus the challenges that Cassia faces. Though, this book, even though it is a trilogy, left some loose ends. This book has many twists and turns you would not expect. All in all, this book is by far the best book I have read this year. If you like this book, then read the next two books in this trilogy, Crossed, and Reached.

Reviewer Grade: 6

Reviewer's Name: 
Aayushi D.

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars
Author: 
Green, John
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This book, "The Fault in Our Stars," was very good, emotional, and had lots of romance!

In this book, you meet a girl named Hazel Grace. She is an ordinary girl with an extraordinary problem. She has lung cancer. And as the years go by, she has a couple of close calls. Then, one day everything changed when a new boy joins her support group. He's handsome, kind, and funny. Once she gets to know him, she falls in love, and he does too. But as their love story goes on, Hazel learned something that will change her for years to come.

I loved this book because it was truly inspiring and you get really attached to the characters. But, I do not recommend it to people who are sensitive about cancer. Also, this is definitely not for people under fifth grade.

I picked this book because I had several friends recommended it. But, as in every book, there were good and bad parts. I loved it when Hazel gets to know this guy, but when that twist I was talking about comes in, it gets depressing. :( Also, there is some inappropriate stuff. You never know what is going to happen in this book. (Unless you've read it before or got a spoiler alert!) I personally think this is one of my most favorite books and I hope to read it again.

Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: 
Alie M.

Book Review: The Sword of Summer

The Sword of Summer
Author: 
Riordan, Rick
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This novel is the first book of a prospective trilogy by Rick Riordan. In my opinion this novel surpassed Percy Jackson in the Lightning Thief as an origin story. I found the Norse Mythology the most interesting mythology ever presented by Uncle Rick. It is unique and of course humorous. The plot was both daring and nostalgic as it put characters into familiar roles, but also had twists that I was not expecting. I enjoyed each of the four main characters—particularly Magnus’s cool friend Sam, who defies what people expect of her in order to make the world a better place. What I remember best about the book is how funny it was. I liked the book overall and look forward reading the rest of the series.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: 
Caroline J.

Book Review: Ender's Game

Ender's Game
Author: 
Card, Orson Scott
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Set in a world where warfare is the top priority, all school systems are adapted to better shape children into viable subjects for the training program-Battle School. This program’s main goal is to shape perfect soldiers for the war against an alien race threatening humanity, or what’s left of it, as it is. While being the youngest student there by far, he advances far past the other students in warfare, academics, and strategy training very quickly. But, unknown to Ender, he is being used as a weapon in training and after to accomplish a goal that goes against all of his morals. I enjoyed this book because it was a new twist on an old idea-special treatment for the geniuses, but this time, it was not with their well-being in mind. From the cover to the synopsis, this book entices the reader to dive into this dystopian world. Besides the story, this book also has many thought-provoking moral lessons-do what’s right or serve the common good? This space centered tactic game is one the reader can play right along side Ender.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: 
Molly Q.

Book Review: Dead End in Norvelt

Dead End in Norvelt
Author: 
Gantos, Jack
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Dead End in Norvelt is a very good story about a boy named Jack Gantos (the author gave the character his own name as it is a somewhat true story) who lives in the 1960s in a little town called Norvelt, founded by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. When Jack is grounded for the summer for using his dad’s WWII binoculars to watch a war movie at the drive in that he couldn’t go see, and then proceeding to accidentally shoot a WWII Japanese rifle at the screen, he receives an unusual chore as a punishment: typing obituaries for old Miss Volker across the street. Jack is told that it was Miss Volker’s duty to Mrs. Roosevelt to type the obituaries of all of Norvelt’s original citizens before she moves away or passes away. While busying himself typing the obituaries and having to spend the rest of his time in his room, he still manages to go on strange misadventures with his friends, family, and neighbors involving a two seater airplane, a plastic skeleton, cornstalks, dead rodents, poisonous mushrooms, Hells Angels, a Halloween costume, Girl Scout cookies… and murder? This is a one of a kind book, so I can’t really recommend it to people who like a certain genre, however, if you are looking for an unusual, funny, interesting, and sometimes creepy murder mystery book disguised as a realistic fiction novel, Dead End in Norvelt is a great book for you.

Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: 
Jacob U.

Book Review: The Mysterious Benedict Society

The Mysterious Benedict Society
Author: 
Stewart, Trenton Lee
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Oddball children with specific circumstances. A strange series of tests only some can pass. When these children see an advert in the newspaper asking for children with smarts, these parentless kids meet by chance. Soon after, they get thrown into a world of futuristic danger and must solve one problem after another the only way children can-creativity.

I very much enjoyed this book because while reading, you are just as much lost in the confusion as the characters are! You go through the tests and the challenges with the mains, and the twists never stop coming, yet somehow intricately connect in the end. This book makes you look at the world with more imaginative eyes, and you see the more creative solutions to problems as you take inspiration from the characters. Upon seeing the cover, I was already intrigued, and reading the synopsis only further increased my curiosity. Not at all predictable, yet still an easily-followable plot line, this book was a fantastic read from start to finish.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: 
Molly Q.

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