Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, 5 years ago. It's a closed case. But Pippa doesn't think so. I absolutely loved A Good Girl's Guide to Murder.
The story follows Pippa Fitz-Amobi, or Pip, a 17 year-old girl whose end of year project is a solved murder case.
The "murder" of Andie Bell, and the suicide of her boyfriend that followed. Pip doesn't believe the end result of the case, and that Sal Singh, Andie's boyfriend wouldn't have murdered her.
Pip shows up at Sal's brother, Ravi Singh's door, asking for help. She tells him she doesn't think Sal did it, and wants help proving it. The rest of the book continues with Pip and Ravi doing what the police couldn't. A deep dive into Andie Bell and Sal Singh's life.
This book was very well written, and so were the other books and novella in this series. The plot twists were perfectly placed and made sense, yet not easy to guess. This was not a book to take lightly, details from the very beginning of the book would resurface.
The other books in the series connected perfectly with this one, and each page left you wanting more. There was definitely a romance subplot, as Ravi and Pip got to know each other, but it didn't take away from the mystery at any point.
Overall, I really liked A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, and would recommend it any day, whether you are just starting with mystery, or are an expert.
Better than the Movies is a young adult rom-com about Liz Buxbaum. The story centers around Liz’s senior year and her crush that just moved into town. It’s also centered around her neighbor, who tries to help Liz get her crush to ask her to prom. I think the author did a good job at talking about Liz and her emotions. Most of the story is Liz being a rom com lover like her mom who passed away. She tries to make her life like the romcoms she and her mother enjoyed together. The romance in this book was cute, but I also enjoyed how Lynn Painter kept it solely around Liz and her emotions about her mom and senior year. The coming of age part was very realistic while also playing out kind of like a rom com that Liz loves so much. So I thought that was a clever twist.
Love on the Brain is stacked full of misunderstandings. When Bee Königswasser gets her dream job at NASA, she is ecstatic, except when she realizes her archnemesis, Levi, is her co-worker. So, who does she blame when her equipment stops working? Or when the staff ignores her? Levi. Through all of Bee’s misadventures, the reader is pulled along seamlessly and introduced into the narrative with an enviable writing style.
So here’s an equation: Romance plus STEM equals?
"Far From the Tree" by Robin Benway is a exploration of family, identity, and the bonds that tie people together. The book follows the interconnected lives of three siblings—Grace, Maya, and Joaquin—who are all separated and discover each other's existence and embark on a journey to understand the meaning of family. Benway skillfully intertwines the perspectives of these three characters, creating a narrative that unfolds with genuine emotion and authenticity. The story delves into themes of adoption, acceptance, and the profound impact of family connections on one's sense of self.
Awarding "Far From the Tree" a rating of 3/5 reflects my appreciation for the novel's engaging storyline and the author's adept portrayal of complex family dynamics. The characters are well-developed, and their individual struggles and growth are compelling. However, at times, the narrative can feel slightly formulaic, with certain plot points following predictable trajectories. Additionally, while the exploration of adoption is insightful, some aspects of the story may feel a bit too neatly resolved. Despite these minor critiques, Benway's ability to craft a touching narrative around the theme of found family makes "Far From the Tree" a solid and emotional read, deserving a 3 star rating.
"It Ends With Us" by Colleen Hoover is a real and effective novel that explores the story of Lily Blossom and Ryle Kincaid. This book very evidently gives off the message, that it is okay to not be normal. To be scared to make tough choices. I think of this book as Hoover's courageous attempt in relation to her personal life to share awareness about abuse and harassment. I believe reading this novel will help change many lives that have been held under similar circumstances. This narrative will help teach people that sometimes, moving on or letting go is the best decision you can make for yourself. I felt proud when Lily was able to make extremely hard life-changing decisions to prioritize herself and her happiness. She is a character to admire and love. Hoover has derived so many layers to each character which adds depth to the story as a whole. Colleen Hoover’s subject is heartbreaking, but in our lives, it’s become such an ordinary deal that we naturally begin to avert our eyes easily from such content.
Love has no boundaries, but your health does. Real love should not end in excruciating pain. Taking your chances will only result in you getting used to the affliction.
"All Your Perfects" by Colleen Hoover is a deep, emotional novel that delves into the complexities of marriage and the impact it has on the physical and emotional well-being of its characters. The story primarily revolves around Quinn and Graham, a couple who were once so deeply in love but find their relationship strained by the challenges of infertility, putting their marriage to the test. Colleen Hoover's narrative represents a tale of love, loss, and resilience, exploring the ups and downs of this couple's journey.
I give "All Your Perfects" a solid 4-star rating because the book shines in its depiction of the many struggles people face in maintaining a healthy, thriving marriage. I love how it addresses the issue of infertility, shedding light on how it can strain even the most loving relationships. This novel also doesn't shy away from the emotional toll this takes on the characters, which makes it a relatable and thought-provoking read for those who have faced similar challenges. Hoover's writing is very engaging, and she masterfully captures the depth of the emotional agitation that couples may tend to experience when dealing with such issues. This novel clearly excels in its portrayal of human vulnerability and the strength it takes to navigate the complexities of love and marriage, making it a compelling read.
In "The Upside of Falling" by Alex Light, readers are treated to a heartwarming and charming YA contemporary novel. This story revolves around Becca Hart, a high school student who, in an unexpected turn of fate, fake-dates Brett Wells, the most popular boy in school. Although the trope and theme may sound familiar, Light's storytelling immerses it with a fresh and engaging twist. Becca and Brett's journey through the ups and downs of their "pretend" romance is filled with humor, relatable characters, and a delightful exploration of the complexities of high school relationships.
I give "The Upside of Falling" four stars for its simplicity, like a cute, short Wattpad (where it was originally published) story. Alex Light's writing style is refreshingly light and accessible, making it an delightful read for fans of YA romance. The story's direct and endearing approach to love and self-discovery is very enjoyable, and the characters are relatable and easy to root for. This book's likable and uncomplicated narrative is suggestive of the online stories many readers adore, making it a perfect choice for those seeking a sweet and heartwarming escape into the world of high school romance.
John Green's "The Fault in Our Stars" is a heartwarming and pleasant YA novel that explores a variety of themes like love, illness, and essence. This particular story follows the narrative of Hazel and Augustus, two teenagers who battle cancer and embark on a journey of love and self-discovery together.
I rate "The Fault in Our Stars" 3 out of 5 stars for its easy readability, enjoyable narrative, and the extremely important message it conveys about cancer awareness through Hazel's and Augustus' characters. It is an incredibly nice, short book to read, particularly for audiences who are young adults. However, compared to some of the other books I've read, it doesn't delve as deeply and lacks the complex storytelling that I often seek while reading. While it certainly has its lovely positives that I enjoyed, the book, in my opinion, falls a little short in terms of depth and construction, which is why I choose to give it a 3-star rating.
To all the Boys I’ve loved Before is a coming of age novel. Lara Jean Covey writes love letters whenever she has a crush so intense she doesn’t know what else to do. She has five in all, and keeps them all in a blue hatbox for her eyes only. Until by accident someone sends them out and her life spirals out of control
This was an interesting take on love letters as she only wrote them to get over a crush and not to confess her feelings. I enjoyed Lara Jean’s personality throughout the book and liked the supporting characters as they developed. This book is a good focus on grief and letting go as her older sister is off at college and now she’s the woman of the house since her mom died years prior. I feel like I could connect to Lara Jean a lot as she is scared to try new things and makes a realistic approach on growing up.
We were liars is a young adult drama/thriller. It’s about the seemingly perfect Sinclair family and their summer private island. Cadence Sinclair is the heir to the Sinclair fortune and going to the island during the summers is what she looks forward to during the year. However, after an accident and two summers missed on the island, Cadence returns with little memory and a suspicious feeling.
This was an overall good book to read. It got a little slow at times, but it was not predictable and kept me on the edge of my seat. I will say I was expecting a predictable ending but the plot twist completely blew me away! It’s also not very long and a quick read but with a lot of emotions. E. Lockhart did a good job at making me feel things. I laughed, I cried, and had more than one jaw dropper. I would rate it a 3 just because it got a little boring and confusing, but I would recommend!
Reviewer Grade: 8
Looking for Alaska details the story of a kid who, in his pursuit of something new and, in the aim of sucking the marrow out of life, fails to recognize the plain truths of the people around him. He is entranced with the interesting world of Culver Creek, the mystical boarding school of his father's youth. He aids his roommate in pranks and grows closer with friends Lara, Takumi, and mysterious Alaska, all the while oblivious to her deep underlying hurt. At its heart, Looking for Alaska is about being blinded by one's own expectations to the point of pushing away important friends. The story itself, though somewhat meandering in its execution, is quite well-written, and John Green portrays a realistic, captivating, and unique cast of characters.
With this book series becoming a show, I was interested in reading the books, and I am glad that I did! These books follow a young girl named Belly who grows up with family friends at their beach house. The series tells the story as they all get older, and their bonds that break and grow back together. It is a comfort book that I would definitely recommend. I would recommend this book to young teenage readers, about 14+. I gave this book a rating of 4 stars because the characters were beautifully written, with you learning something new about the characters each time you turned the page. I personally enjoyed some of the flashbacks in time that detail when Belly was a kid at the beach. It has a sweet comforting feeling. I did not give this book 5 stars because it did take me a bit longer to read since there weren't many twists or turns that kept me super intrigued. At least not in the first book, but in the last two books the drama, and romance definitely keep you interested. If you are looking for a slow-burn comfort romance series for young readers, this is the book/series for you!
One of my favorite books so far. The book is full of twists and turns and one of the most gripping story. I loved most of the characters.
Every chapter showed us a new suspicious person. Every chapter changed the perspective towards each character. I loved this series. At last it's not a book of black and white, there were so much gray ...
Through the eyes of a soul who hasn't left for an afterlife or complete darkness, Ellie Walker traces the days before her suicide, the day of her suicide, and the more indelible days that built her person and childhood. Chapters are written as epistolary entries, which the intended recipients—Momma, Father August, Life, and Dreams—will never get to read, as it was suppressed beneath the devastating end of a soul that didn't speak all truths while alive. She awoke with her mind, dazed and chipped of fundamental segments—abuse, friendship, love, the love of a mother, an advancing future, and more—that once conjoined her memories with coherence. The lament after death was her hand on the clock that struck a new hour as she accepted time's shadow that crept over her and swallowed, despite any interjections she could only attempt to make. Too late, Ellie Walker meandered through the gallery of her memories and realized all they meant to her and all she could become from them.
Anna, 10th Grade
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is about a French girl who did not want to get married and prayed to a dangerous higher being made a deal. The deal makes Addie cursed to live until she gets tired of living and not being able to remember as she lives. Throughout the novel Addie is alone for 300 years her only company this higher being who enjoys to mock her. Finally after 300 years someone remembers her.
The novel is written in a bit of a slow pace, but it slowly builds up as it goes on. The novel switches between the past of characters lives and the present. The ending is a little surprising. The book is worth the read.
Reviewer Grade: 9
Holes by Louis Sachar is a piece of young adult fiction that weaves together elements of mystery, adventure, and coming-of-age themes. The novel's plot centers around Stanley Yelnats, a young boy who is sent to a juvenile detention camp after being falsely accused of stealing a pair of shoes. At Camp Green Lake, Stanley is forced to dig holes in the desert as part of a rehabilitation program, leading him to uncover a mystery that has haunted the camp for generations. Sachar's portrayal of Stanley and the other boys at Camp Green Lake is one of the novel's strongest qualities. Through their interactions and experiences, Sachar explores themes of friendship, loyalty, and the importance of perseverance in the face of adversity. Stanley's transformation from a timid and isolated boy to a confident and capable young man is both inspiring and heartwarming. This novel is very appealing due to is humor, unexpected backstory, and suspense that kept me hooked throughout. The novel's themes of friendship, perseverance, and the importance of doing what is right resonate with readers of all ages and make it a true gem of young adult literature, I'd recommend it to all!
Reviewer Grade: 11.
"Summer and July" by Paul Moiser is a warm novel about a girl named Juliet. Juliet's mother is a nurse who has to travel to California for the summer. Juliet is very upset about the move because she did not want to leave her best-friend Fern. Then Juliet meets Summer, a local surfer girl. Summer helps her adjust to the new surrounding, (which is very hard due to her mental illness). She faces her struggles with her new positive companion. When Summer reveals her own pains, Juliet must now be the one to help Summer overcome them.
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton is a timeless classic that explores the lives of teenage boys growing up in a society divided by socioeconomic class. The novel's plot centers around Ponyboy, a member of a gang known as the "greasers," who are constantly at odds with the wealthier "Socs." When Ponyboy's best friend Johnny kills a Soc in self-defense, the gang is forced to go on the run, leading to a series of events that force Ponyboy to confront the harsh realities of his world. Hinton's portrayal of Ponyboy and the other greasers is one of the novel's greatest strengths. Through Ponyboy's eyes, we see the struggles and challenges of growing up in poverty, dealing with absent parents, and trying to find a place in a world that seems to be against you. The characters are all fully developed and unique, each with their own backstory, motivations, and distinct personalities, adding depth and complexity to the story. Hinton's portrayal of the greasers' bond highlights the importance of having a support system, even in the face of adversity. Additionally, the novel explores themes of social inequality, prejudice, and the challenges of coming of age in a world that is often unfair and unjust. I really enjoyed the authenticity of this novel through the abundance of dialogue and interactions between characters. I highly recommend this book as The Outsiders resonates with readers of all ages.
Reviewer Grade: 11.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, written by Stephen Chbosky, is a coming-of-age novel that explores the complexities of adolescence and the struggles of navigating social and emotional challenges. The novel is narrated by the protagonist, Charlie, a high school freshman who is struggling to fit in and find his place in the world. Charlie is a sympathetic protagonist, with his struggles with mental health and social anxiety serving as a powerful critique of the challenges of adolescence. His relationships with his friends Sam and Patrick provide an exploration of the complexities of friendship and the ways in which it can provide a sense of belonging and acceptance. Chbosky combines elements of romance, personal drama, and coming-of-age themes to create a plot that is emotionally resonant and suspenseful. The novel's themes, particularly mental health and the effects of trauma, are poignant and impactful, with Charlie's struggles serving as a critique of societal marginalization and stigmatization. Chbosky's descriptions of Charlie's thoughts and emotions are vivid, immersing readers in the experience of living with mental illness and navigating social and emotional challenges. His use of literary devices, such as symbolism and foreshadowing, adds depth and meaning to the story that kept me engaged throughout. While this book was heartwarming, it was also heartbreaking and took me on a roller coaster ride of emotions. I would recommend this novel to all who love a sappy, coming of age, insightful read that gets you thinking about life.
Reviewer Grade: 11.
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green is a very insightful novel that explores themes of mental health, friendship, and self-discovery. The story follows the life of 16-year-old Aza Holmes, a young girl who is struggling with obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety, as she navigates the challenges of adolescence and tries to solve a mystery involving a missing billionaire. Aza's struggles with mental health serving as a powerful critique of the ways in which society can stigmatize and marginalize those with mental illnesses. Her relationships with her best friend Daisy and her love interest Davis provide an intriguing exploration of the challenges of friendship and the complexities of romantic relationships. Green’s prose perfectly captures the voice of a young girl struggling with mental illness- his descriptions of Aza’s thought processes and compulsions are vivid and immersive, offering a nuanced portrayal of the experience of living with obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety. His use of metaphor, such as the titular “turtles all the way down,” adds depth and meaning to the story, inviting readers to reflect on the deeper themes of the novel. I loved the depth and detail that this book had, and I feel like each and every character had so many layers to them that really helped me visualize the story as I read. Turtles All the Way Down is both heartwarming and heartbreaking, and I plan to read it again. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys coming of age, narrative style books with strong takeaways.
Reviewer Grade: 11.