Book Reviews by Genre: Realistic

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
Admission
Buxbaum, Julie
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Chloe Wynn Berringer is a privileged teen in Beverly Hills who leads a normal life, with a movie star mom, a genius sister, and a cool best friend. But everything is flipped on its head when Chloe's mom is arrested as part of the famous admissions scandal. As the paparazzi swarm her house, as she loses old friends, as the nation turns again her, and as the charges are brought forward, Chloe must grapple with her part in the matter. Will this ruin her family? Do they deserve it? Did she know? Or did she choose not to know?
This story was very interesting, as it takes the average admission scandal story and flips the perspective. Instead of shaking our heads from the sidelines, the audience is meant to sit in her perspective, in the shoes of the child who must grapple with their worth after their parents spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and commit hundreds of misdemeanors and crimes to get them into college. It also forces the reader to confront the toxic culture of college applications in America. The parents in this book often end up in prison just to get their child a name-brand college. It exposes the obsessive culture of the elite, while also exploring the way wealthy parents feel obligated to give their children everything their wealth can buy. The characters in this book all play a part in this narrative of privilege and college culture. Every part of the story is focused towards the main goal, with no throwaway side characters, which made the story tight and more memorable, in my opinion. While the prose wasn't excessive in this book , the thing that bumped it up to 4 stars for me was the main character, Chloe, and her development. Chloe goes from believing herself a complete victim, to questioning herself, to reconsidering her life of privilege and her worth. Another notable thing is, in the end, everyone gets what they deserved. No punches are pulled, and the characters are forced to learn from their mistakes. Overall, while this was in no way a perfect book, it was a page turner, and I really enjoyed it!
Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Eve
The Skin I'm In
Flake, Sharon G.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Skin I'm In by Sharon G. Flake is a realistic fiction novel from the point of view of seventh grade Maleeka. Maleeka has low self-esteem and poor body image because of people teasing her for being too black and too tall. When Maleeka meets Miss Saunders, the new English teacher, who has messed up skin from a rare skin condition, Miss Saunders is taunted by the children. But, she never lets it get to her. Throughout the book, Maleeka rethinks her biases and her insecurities. This book's story is powerful, and there is a lesson to be learned through Maleeka's experience about overcoming low self-esteem. The author illustrates the problems of this century perfectly and guides the reader through a rollercoaster of emotions.

Reviewer's Name: Lucia
Every Other Weekend book jacket
Johnson, Abigail
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The life of Adam Moynihan got turned upside down after his brother died. Before, his family was almost perfect. His brother and him didn't fight and his mother and father were happy and Adam made straight A's. After, his brother and him couldn't have one conversation without fighting each other without fighting and his mother and father decided that they couldn't be happy together so they decided to take a break from each other. Everything was messed up for Adam.

Jolene Timber's life was the opposite. Her life was full of nothing but chaos and mental pain. Her parents divorced when she was younger and had been fighting with each other since. Adam and Jolene had both been forced to stay with one of their parents in the same apartment building which is where they met each other. Almost as soon as Adam and Jolene met, they had an immediate connection. Adam and Jolene needed each other to help one another get through their equally tough situations. Adam and Jolene both knew that they had had romantic feelings for eachother since the beginning, but they didn't want to ruin their amazing friendship. Adam and Jolene were both going through extremely difficult times but they helped and supported each other throughout the whole thing.

I chose to read this book because in the summary it told me about the problems that both Jolene and Adam went through. I also happened to relate with one of the problems that Adam went through. The reality of the book really satisfied me because it's easier for me to follow along with a storyline when it's easier to relate to. The book also included some humorous content which I think is very important to accompany serious events. There weren't many things that I didn't like about this book, however, the switch between points of view did mess me up quite frequently.

If you appreciate a book with things that would happen in real life, you'd appreciate this book immensely. If you enjoy funny characters who slowly fall in love with each other then you would fall in love with this book by Abigail Johnson.

Reviewer's Name: Cece T.
Look Both Ways
Reynolds, Jason
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Look Both Ways By Jason Reynolds is a ten different short stories about kids walking home from school. The ten stories are woven together by the context of a school bus falling from the sky. But no one knows because they were all too busy with their lives. In ten different walks home from school, Look Both Ways captures the humor, poetry, and liveliness encompassing middle school and early high school life. It also explores seeing two sides or more of the same perspective. For example, the ‘bad kid’ may be good-hearted. I think the book was masterfully put together and woven ten stories seamlessly together. This book made me laugh, hope, cry, and believe. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book with 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewer's Name: Lucia
I Survived The California Wildfires, 2018
Tarshis, Lauren
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Josh and his mother travel to California to see Josh's cousins, Nicole and her daughter, Holly, who run a reptile shelter. At first, he doesn't think he'll like Holly, because she's so different from him. And while Josh loves basketball, she doesn't even know any famous players! But when disaster strikes, and he and Holly are trapped in a wildfire, he learns that maybe she isn't so different after all.

Even though I put four stars, I think that this book deserves 4.5 out of 5. This is quite possibly my favorite book in the I Survived series, that I have read so far. The only thing I didn't really like is that it was too short. This book is a great read for long road trips, because it is very entertaining, and it is also rather quick, so you won't have time to get bored of it.

Reviewer's Name: Kelsey
Out of My Mind book jacket
Draper, Sharon
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper is written from the perspective of Melody
Brooks, an eleven year old kid that cannot talk, walk, or feed herself. Even
with all of her challenges Melody is incredibly smart with a photographic
memory. However because of people's prejudices against her people think she
is dumb, doctors, teachers, and other students. Out of My Mind tells an
amazing story about overcoming disabilities and prejudices in both life and
school. This book broke my heart and left me with hope through a powerful
ending. I would recommend this book with a 4 out of 5 stars.

Reviewer's Name: Lucia
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise
Gemeinhart, Dan
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise is about a Girl named Coyote who travels around the country in a school bus with her dad, Rodeo. On their Journey, they meet lots of new people and they help people in need. I really liked this book because it was very funny and made me laugh a lot. I also liked that there were lots of different characters. Even though I did like this book a lot, I thought it was a bit slow paced. It was a very enjoyable and emotional book to read, and I am glad I read it. Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Lotus
I Survived the Joplin Tornado, 2011
Tarshis, Lauren
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Dexter has always wanted to go storm chasing. So when Dr. Gage, a meteorologist comes to Joplin, Dex has a chance to do just that. The storm seems harmless enough, at first. But when they realize the clouds are hiding a tornado, the storm chases them instead. Dex is trapped in the car. Can he survive, just like his brother Jeremy, a Navy SEAL?

This book is ok. It had lots of detail, and I especially liked the tour of the meteorology van, because I enjoy science. I also liked the way Mrs. Tarshis described all of Dex's feelings about his brother and the tornado. It seemed like Dexter was real, at some points in the book. It also got to the action pretty quick, and it is interesting the whole way through. I would read this book if you are bored, like most of the books in the I Survived series. It could have been longer, though.

Reviewer's Name: Kelsey
We Are Okay
LaCour, Nina
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

We are ok is about a girl who recently lost a family member who wasn't as trustworthy as she thought. When Marin's gramps passes away, she realizes that he had made her forgotten about her deceased mother because he had more pictures, dreams, and memories than he had said. Marin, now a year older, is visited by her childhood friend. Throughout the visit, she gets memories of her life before her gramps died. I love this book. It had all my emotions mixed up and I couldn't put it down. This book is great for people that can handle mature topics and words. I rate this book 10/10.

Reviewer's Name: Mackenzie
Lucky Broken Girl
Behar, Ruth
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Lucky Broken Girl is about a Girl named Ruthie and her family, who moved to America from Cuba. Ruthie's English is starting to improve and she is making friends at her new school. But that all changes when she gets into a car accident, and breaks both of her legs. She has to spend a year in a cast and she has to relearn how to walk once it is off. I really liked this book because it was emotional. I laughed and cried while reading this book. I liked how the characters were written, I thought they had a lot of personality. I also really liked the plot. Overall I thought this book was very enjoyable to read.

Reviewer's Name: Lotus
Paper Towns
Green, John
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

When I was looking for good books to read for teenagers, this book came up, so I decided to read it, also since I've seen the cover before. I also know that there's a movie about this book and I enjoy comparing books to their
movies. This book is very interesting and suspenseful, and I think that teenagers would really love reading this book.

It's about a guy named Quentin who is secretly in love with a girl named Margo. They become really close, in distance and relationship, because they are also neighbors. During their high school years, they drift apart until one day Margo asks Quentin for a favor getting revenge on her cheating boyfriend and her friends. Quentin agrees and they complete their mission. Things start to look up for Quentin as Margo shows signs of her liking him back and they start to hangout.
A little while later, Margo is reported missing. Quentin becomes scared for Margo and attempts finding her and helping her, with the help of his friends. They discover a bunch of mysteries and secrets about her on the path to find out what happened to her. They soon find clues about where she might be, but Quentin begins to worry if Margo might've killed herself. What happened to Margo? Will Quentin find her? Did she run away or did someone kidnap her?
Read this book to find out.

Reviewer's Name: Trisha V
A Short History of the Girl Next Door
Reck, Jared
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

A short history of the girl next girl is about a 15 year old boy, named Matt, who struggles with the thought of losing his best friend. Matt and his best friend Tabby, have been together their whole life. They rode the bus together everyday and went over to each other's houses almost everyday. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention they were neighbors. But, as they start high school, Tabby starts dating a senior. She starts hanging out with the senior, and pays less attention to Matt. Matt gets jealous because he misses his best friend, and he has had a crush on Tabby since 7th grade. When trajedy hits, Matt realizes that he isn't the only one who loves Tabby.
This book was amazing! It made happy, sad, and angry all at the same time. I could not put this book down. One thing I will say about this book is that it has swear words on every page, so it may not be a great book for a 3rd or 4th grader. This book has amazing lessons. I would rate this book a 10/10!

Reviewer's Name: Mackenzie
Crenshaw
Applegate, Katherine
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Crenshaw is a fictional story about a boy whose family is very poor, and the importance of imagination. In his opinion, Jackson is way too old for imaginary friends, and is confused and upset when Crenshaw, his walking, talking, imaginary cat shows up again. Jackson knows his parents are only trying to help him, but sometimes, he just doesn’t understand. He wants to know what’s going on. Don’t they know he can tell that the world isn’t always ice cream and sunshine? This book might make you cry, and it is an excellent read.

Reviewer's Name: Kelsey
Bat and the End of Everything
Arnold, Elana
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Bat and the end of everything is about a boy named Bat who is worried about losing his pet skunk, Thor. Bat and his mom agreed to take care of a rescued Thor, until he got better. As the end of third grade ends, and Thor gets better, Bat starts to get worried. Thor and him had grown really close and Bat doesn't want Thor to leave. This book is a great easy read. It is probably a 1st or 2nd grade level book. If you are looking for a quick, easy, and a book you could read somewhat mindlessly, this is a great book for you. I would rate this book a 7/10 just because it is so easy.

Reviewer's Name: Mackenzie
Harley in the Sky
Bowman, Akemi Dawn
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

A must-read! A teenage girl ready to graduate high school, choosing what she wants to do with her life. Her parents own a circus and all she wants to do is be a trapeze artist. After a fight between her and her parents, she leaves home and runs away to another circus. Finding someone she loves and finding who she truly is. Filled with romance and conflict. The perfect read for a teenage girl!

Reviewer's Name: Maria
Not Hungry
Quinn, Kate Karyus
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The book Not Hungry it's about a girl, May who has an eating disorder because she feels fat. Little dose she know that the popular football boy watches her throw up her food. May's sister has a boyfriend who thinks he's better than everyone else. This book will leave you wondering what will happen as May try's to stop her eating disorder. This book is a short book that you can finish in a day. If you are sensitive to eating disorders, and throwing up i wouldn't recommend this book for you. Overall this is a great book!

Reviewer's Name: Estella
Awards:
Rain Reign
Martin, Ann M.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is a great read for anyone who wants to smile and cry at the same time. In this book, Rose Howard is different than other kids. She is obsessed with homonyms! (her name is a homonym which she loves) She named her dog Rain, which has two homonyms, rein and reign. One night a storm hits and there town streets flood, and there is water everywhere. During the storm Rain goes missing and Rose needs to find her. This book is a great read for any animal lover, and anyone who wants to smile and cry. I loved this book and so will you!

Reviewer's Name: Estella
The Fault in Our Stars
Green, John
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is utterly amazing. The Fault in our Stars is about two teenage cancer survivors who fall in love. Its in Hazel’s perspective as she experiences everyday life. Hazel and Augustus Waters meet at a cancer survivor support group, in a place they call “the literal heart of Jesus ”. Hazel and Augustus start being around each other more and Hazel gets Augustus to read a book she loves. “An Imperial Affliction.” He falls in love with the book as well. It brings their relationship to so many different places. Green’s vocabulary is extraordinary, and the way he displays her thoughts is beautiful. This book really made me feel something, its a tragedy, but so romantic. Reading it, you get to experience not just their relationship, but also Hazel’s life with cancer, her relationship with her parents, and other relationships important to her. The Fault in our Stars is such a wonderful book. It feels real, even though it is fiction.

Reviewer's Name: Macey
Book Review: The Color Purple
Walker, Alice
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

I loved this book. Celie, Shug, Nettie, and Sofia were such strong women, facing a hard life and rising above it. Celie in particular has cemented herself in my mind as one of the great female protagonists in all of literature. I love how she didn't let her circumstances squash her spirit. I learned so much about a wide variety of things in this book. I learned a lot about Africa in the 30s leading up to WWII and the desecration of the tribal land by the English. I learned about the treatment of African American women by African American men and about their resilience and bravery. I loved the ending. Perfect.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn