Book Reviews by Genre: Fiction

Truly Devious
Johnson, Maureen
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Truly Devious is about a girl, Stevie, who goes to a school that is for genius students. At this school, two murders have happened. One from 1936 and one from when Stevie was there. Throughout the book, Stevie attempts to solve both murders. With her parents concerned about her safety, and her friends concerned about her sanity, Stevie digs into the deep and dirty details of the murders.
I loved this book! It kept me intrigued and I couldn't put the book down. The chapters were packed with detail and it was like I was solving the mystery as well. There is also a sequal, called the Vanishing Stairs, which is just as good!

Reviewer's Name: Mackenzie
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Stevenson, Robert Louis
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Lewis Stevenson is a novel about a scientist in London, Dr. Jekyll, that has the misfortune of having to control and mask his alter identity, Mr. Hyde. After some unfortunate events partake, others begin to realize that the wise Dr. Jekyll has an alter identity. This novel has an unpredictable ending that left me stunned. I thought that the book was really good due to the continuously moving plot and the amazing characters that create a wonderous mystery throughout the book. I was required to read this book for school and I would definitely recommend it for readers that are in middle school and beyond that enjoy a great science fiction or mystery novel. Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Nicola
To Kill a Mockingbird
Lee, Harper
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is in the top 10 definitely! To Kill A Mockingbird is a story of prejudice Jim Crowe South and the constant fight for justice. Jem is the older brother of 'Scout', a tomboy constantly trying to fit in with the big kids. In the story, they attempt to fight for a black mans rights in attempt to prove his innocence in a rape trial. I would highly recommend this book to middle and high schoolers. This book has a deep meaning of the powerful message that kids can have and their outlook in bad situations.

Reviewer's Name: Luke
The Outsiders
Hinton, S.E.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

One of the most inspirational and powerful books to date. The Outsiders is a story about a 14 year old boy named Ponyboy Curtis. He and his brothers and apart of the social group called the greasers . They continuously fight for the right to be treated the same when fights begin to break out. When an accident happens involving one of Ponyboy's closest friends, they flee and begin to doubt why they continue fighting.
This book is an excellent representation of fostering a community of love and empathy amongst our fellow peers.

Reviewer's Name: Luke
Genres:
Magnus Chase: The Sword of Summer
Riordan, Rick
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is a highly regarded book by critics and for a good reason! After a horror stricken-night 2 years ago, Magnus is forced to live in the streets of Boston by himself. When he discovers his Uncle Randolph is tracking him down, he resorts to hiding remembering the stories his mother told about him. Magnus' Uncle eventually finds him and explains terms of Norse mythology and his birthright to have a unique weapon. This book is an amazing story for thrill seeking and adventurous souls.

Reviewer's Name: Luke
The Mysterious Benedict Society
Stewart, Trenton Lee
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Mysterious Benedict Society is by far one of my best reads. Orphaned children are put to a series of tests by adults and a 'caretaker'. After the long and slightly dragged out beginning, you really begin to grasp the story. The Antagonist of the story chooses to use orphaned children because they have no roots or family. He trains them to never be afraid of their biggest fears . Although this book is slightly long and drawn out, it is still packed with lots of suspense. I would highly recommend for kids 12-14.

Reviewer's Name: Luke
Broken Beautiful Hearts
Garcia, Kami
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Kami Garcia's Broken Beautiful Hearts is a heart-felt teenage romance that highlights the importance of mending broken hearts and learning how to trust again. As a high school senior with a scholarship for soccer, Peyton is thrown into a dark time when she and her boyfriend, Reed, are at odds and he pushes her down a staircase causing a big injury that puts her out for many months. When it becomes uncomfortable to live in her town due to her pushy ex, she moves in with her twin cousins and uncle. There, she meets Owen, a fighter in the same league as Reed. Peyton distrusts the feelings she begins to feel for Owen because of the hurt from her past. As their relationship grows, Peyton learns how to trust again, and the heart Reed broke is slowly healed by Owen. If romance and healing hearts are your pace, Broken Beautiful Hearts will be a great fit.

Reviewer's Name: Sophi
Wait For Me
Leech, Caroline
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Beautifully written by Caroline Leech, Wait For Me embodies the importance of love and learning other peoples' stories before passing judgement. Lorna, a teenage Scottish girl growing up during World War II is quick to pass judgement for a German POW (prisoner of war) who has been assigned to her father's farm to work. Paul, a scarred German teenage soldier is quiet and hard-working, helping wherever he is needed. As Lorna begins to warm up to Paul and Paul to her, they begin to build a friendship, and Lorna's original view alters as their relationship builds even though the views of her schoolmates, church friends, and fellow townspeople remain the same: judgmental and unkind. When Lorna receives news of her brother's disappearance, she reacts unkindly toward Paul, but their love for one another mends their broken bond over time. A sweet, romantic historical fiction that is sure to have you feeling for the characters and thinking of how your reaction may be similar or different from that of Lorna's.

Reviewer's Name: Sophi
The Nightingale
Hannah, Kristin
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Nightingale is a priceless work of historical fiction literature written by Kristin Hannah that highlights the journeys of two sisters, Vianne and Isabelle, throughout World War II in France. Vianne, the eldest and quieter of the two is determined to keep her head down and follow the rules the Nazis put in place; however, when her outspoken younger sister is found on her doorstep, she has no choice but to bring her in. Rebellious Isabelle is frustrated with Nazi rule and is determined to make an impact in the war to turn the tides in France and drive the Nazi invaders out. Throughout the novel, Vianne and Isabelle live their separate lives at odds with one another and as they see best for themselves. But, as the war continues, the sisters must find a common center in love, forgiveness, and respect for one another.
This book was very thought-provoking and intriguing to read, and I learned lessons that I can apply to my own personal life.

Reviewer's Name: Sophi
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Stevenson, Robert Louis
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson is a novel about a scientist in London, Dr. Jekyll, who struggles with controlling his alter ego, Mr. Hyde. As he attempts to mask his other personality, horrifying events occur that present the horrible personality of Mr. Hyde. Other citizens begin to discover the connection between Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as the novel finishes with a jaw dropping climax and resolution. I was required to read this book for school and I would recommend it for readers middle school and above. I really enjoyed the progression of the plot and the ending that was unpredictable. Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Nicola
Scythe
Shusterman, Neal
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Based in the future, Scythe takes place in a world where no one can die. To prevent over population, the Scythes are the only people who can end life. Rowan and Citra have been chosen to be apprentices to a scythe. There they will learn what that it means to take a life.

Scythe is an amazing book. I could not put it down! This book was so well written and thought provoking. I can’t wait to read the next book. Rowan made me cry so much closer to the end of the book and Citra was so easy to relate to. You will be wondering what is coming next at the end of each chapter. Also, the scheme that goes on throughout the book is insane!! One thing I did like about this book is there is not much gore, which is good because in some other books that I have read there is a lot and I don't really get the point of detailed gore; but that is just personal preference. Neal is truly an incredible writer and knows how to get a readers attention.
Reviewer Grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: Hayden
If I Stay
Forman, Gayle
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

If I Stay is about Mia, a 17 year old girl who used to have everything: a family that she loved, a boyfriend that cared about her, and a future with music. After, a tragic accident everything she loved is taken away from her. She has a choice to live or die, which will she choose?
I loved this book so much that I read it in under three hours. This is definitely a book to get lost in, you will forget that you are reading. I could relate so much to Mia and the thoughts that she was having when she making her choice to live or die. This book was also made into a movie, which is really good. It follows the book almost perfectly. This book is one of my favorites and it gets readers thinking about life, and what it means to live.
Reviewer Grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: Hayden
Wings of Fire: The Lost Heir
Sutherland, Tui T.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Wings of Fire: The Lost Heir, is a great book! After being held captive by and potentially killing the queen of the Skywings in the first book, the adventure continues! The dragonets are now on their way to the Sea Kingdom, where they meet one of the dragonet’s mother! After the heartwarming reunion, the dragonets are thrown into chaos in the Sea Kingdom! Read the book to find out more! I really love the characters and their relatable and diverse personalities. The humor and drama mixed in makes the book even better. The book is one of my favorite books of all time! I couldn't put the book down, and before I knew it, I'd finished the whole series! I definitely recommend it!
Reviewer's grade: 9th

Reviewer's Name: Jenny
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer book jacket
Twain, Mark
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

One of Tom's adventures. Really Good.

Reviewer's Name: Olivia
Ember Falls book jacket
Smith, S. D.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

"Ember Falls" is an amazing book and a great sequel to the first book, "Green Ember." It has a great plot that keeps you reading until the end. It is a real page-turner and you will have a hard time putting it down! The illustrations are also amazing and help you imagine the scenes as they play out in the book.

Reviewer's Name: Isabela
The Green Ember book jacket
Smith, S. D.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

S.D. Smith's "The Green Ember" is an amazing book with an exciting plot and interesting characters that readers will love! The book centers around two rabbits, Heather and Picket, who get thrown into extraordinary circumstances. I highly recommend reading this book, as well as the three others in the series and the short stories the author has also written.

Reviewer's Name: Isabela
Gone book jacket
Grant, Michael
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

In a little town on the coast of Cali, it's a normal day for everyone. Until out of nowhere everyone over the age of 15 disappears. While fighting for leadership, the kids start getting powers and the animals are mutating.
This book was really good. It's kinda like Maze Runner meets Lord of the Flies and his friend X-men. Overall i really liked it. It definitely a book for middle schoolers through; which is why I gave it 4 starts because I am in high school and am at a college reading level. If I was in middle school, this would probably be my favorite book.

Reviewer's Name: Hayden
Shatter Me book jacket
Mafi, Tahereh
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This is by far the best book I have ever read!!! Shatter Me is about a 17 year old girl named Juliette living in a dystopian world. She can't touch anyone because if she does, she kills them. The leader of her sector wants to use her as a weapon, but her childhood friend wants to save her. I love, love, love this book! The plot, characters, and everything about the book is incredible. Also, the love triangle that goes on throughout the series will leave you thinking about the book for days. I have read the entire series, including the series finale that just came out: Believe me. I can't say enough about this book series. Mafi does an amazing job bringing the readers along, she always has a deeper meaning to what she is saying, and her writing style is truly one-of-a-kind! I love the whole series and have reread each book about three time. This book is my all time favorite and its worth taking time to read.
Reviewer Grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: Hayden
The Dragonet Prophecy book jacket
Sutherland, Tui
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Wings of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecy is an awesome book! Five dragonets destined to save the world from the Sandwing Succession War finally escape the cave they've been held captive in for their whole lives, but before they can soak the beautiful and unknown world, they've been taken captive! How are they going to save the world and bring peace when they're to fight to the death? Read the book to find out! I really enjoyed the unique and relatable personalities of each of the characters, the amazing storyline, and the humor added in the book. This book is one of my favorite books of all time! I couldn't put the book down, and before I knew it, I'd finished the whole series! I definitely recommend it!
Reveiwer's grade: 9th

Reviewer's Name: Jenny
The Midnight Library book jacket
Haig, Matt
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

‘Between life and death there is a library,’ she said. ‘And within that library, the shelves go on for ever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?’-Matt Haig- The Midnight Library is a fantasy novel, written by Matt Haig and published on 29 September 2020 by the editorial Penguin Publishing Group. This novel was an instant bestseller and a BBC Two Between the Covers Book Club pick and was winner of the Goodreads Choice Award for Fiction 2020. The Midnight Library is a book about life and its ending, focusing on the choices people make, how these affect them and how they regret so many things throughout their lives, always wishing they could undo the mistakes they made, which in real life is impossible, but in the Midnight Library this is a totally different story. It is fundamental that in life you have a passion, something you live for, something that makes you wake up every single morning, something that makes you feel enthusiasm, something that gives you happiness and something that fuels your heart.

Nora Seed, a 35 year old woman from Bedford, England, decided to kill herself. Twenty-seven hours before she decided to die, she sat on her sofa scrolling through other people’s happy lives, waiting for something to happen. Nine and a half hours before she decided to die, she lost her job. Nine hours before she decided to die, she received a text from a loved one telling he wanted to talk with her, something she did not do, not because she didn’t feel things for him, but because she did. Eight hours before she decided to die, Nora entered a newsagent, where she saw a magazine with a black hole and she realised that was what she was. Seven hours before she decided to die, she had no one to talk to, so she texted her friend Izzy, even when things had dried up between them, and she didn’t get an answer from her. Four hours before she decided to die, Nora passed her elderly neighbor and she comprehended that no one needed her and that everyone would be better without her in their lives. Two hours before she decided to die, Nora was regretting almost everything she did in life; she opened a bottle of wine and left her brother a message telling him how much she loved him and that nothing was his fault, he couldn’t do anything. It was twenty two minutes past eleven and the only thing Nora knew was that she didn’t want to reach tomorrow. She took a piece of paper and wrote her last letter, her suicide note, where she explains that she blew all the chances she had in life, that if she felt it was possible to stay she would had, but this wasn’t the case, and so she couldn’t because she made everyone’s life miserable. She took an overdose and faded away. At 00:00:00, she woke up at a place that looked magical and she found her school librarian from her younger days in Bedford, Mrs Elm. This old woman explained to Nora that between life and death there was a library, full of books that provide the possibility to try another life they could have lived. In this way, Mrs Elm became Nora's imagined guide through the Midnight Library and the wonderful and unexpected things that happen throughout this story.

Nora Seed was a woman who had everything to make her life great, but she didn’t because of her outstanding depression and anxiety, the reason why she decided she didn’t want to live anymore. Joe Seed is Nora's brother, an extremely talented musician who struggled with addiction. Mrs Elm is the librarian from Nora’s school, 19 years before Nora decided to die they had a conversation about the future and all the possible lives ahead of her. Dan is Nora’s ex-fiance, which she loved and regrets not marrying.

From my point of view this book has a strong and meaningful lesson, and it is that the average human being spends their life regretting every wrong move they made. This drains their energy, and is not worth it because instead of worrying about things that you clearly can’t undo, you should be focusing on learning about your errors and put all you have on being better everyday, understanding that everyone makes mistakes and the most important is to keep going and never look back, only forward.

I recommend this novel to everyone that is struggling with mental health issues, because it can help you to appreciate things and it can also teach you many valuable lessons, such as finding your purpose in life so you can actually enjoy it. As well, this is an inclusive publication, taking in consideration that Nora’s brother, Joe, is homosexual. I enjoyed all the fantasy this book has, reading this is like travelling to the Midnight Library, feeling all the powerful emotions that take place there, and lastly but not least, connecting with every character’s story. The main lesson that this awesome book gave me is that it is ok to get lost, as long as you find your way back; and also there is people that are all the colors in one at full brightness, but some situations in their lives can turn them off, that’s why you should always be there to support your loved ones.

Reviewer's Name: Gabriela