Awards

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Diaz, Junot
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I picked up this book because it was on a list of Pulitzer Prize winners and I figured that was a good enough metric to give it a shot. I was not disappointed. Told from a few different perspectives, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a fantastic look into the lives of Dominican Americans. I could tell the author was writing from deeply personal experiences, and the result was riveting.

There's a lot I don't know about the Dominican culture, but I felt this book was an eye-opening look into their history. Told as personal anecdotes from the characters, it was wild to see the effects of living under a dictator. However, even once someone escaped from that oppression, life in America wasn't an easy walk in the park either. The effects of racism might not be as bad as having your daughters sold to a dictator, but they still aren't pretty. Using these point-of-view stories to convey all this made the experience of reading this book feel more authentic.

This audiobook also included a short story by the same author, "Drown." While this story wasn't quite up to the quality of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, a lot of the author's style was still present. Of course, this style felt a little rougher than his Pulitzer Prize-winning work, but it was interesting to see how it evolved between the two. Ultimately, the Pulitzer Prize can be a somewhat subjective metric for whether a book is good or not. Here, it's spot-on and I think people should read it because of its award-winning status.

An excellent and authentic examination of the life of a Dominican American, I give The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao 4.0 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: Benjamin W.
Genres:
Eragon
Paolini, Christopher
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Eragon is a 5-star book because though it is long and hard to understand to the right reader it is wonderful. If you think you have a big vocabulary read this book as a test and get absorbed into the inheritance trilogy. I chose this book because it was long, and I like long books but though it is long don’t let that stop you from exploring with Eragon the newest dragon rider all throughout Alegaesia 15 leagues (51 miles) from Carvahall his hometown deep in the dwarf city of Farthen Dur. This book had plot twists all around the corner, it was not at all super predictable and all throughout Eragon's final battle you will be sitting on the edge of your seat. If you want something to do over the summer that isn’t just sitting down, playing video games try reading this book, it is a great summer read.

Reviewer's Name: Landon J.
Eragon
Paolini, Christopher
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Eragon is a 5-star book because though it is long and hard to understand to the right reader it is wonderful. If you think you have a big vocabulary read this book as a test and get absorbed into the inheritance trilogy. I chose this book because it was long, and I like long books but though it is long don’t let that stop you from exploring with Eragon the newest dragon rider all throughout Alegaesia 15 leagues (51 miles) from Carvahall his hometown deep in the dwarf city of Farthen Dur. This book had plot twists all around the corner, it was not at all super predictable and all throughout Eragon's final battle you will be sitting on the edge of your seat. If you want something to do over the summer that isn’t just sitting down, playing video games try reading this book, it is a great summer read.

Reviewer's Name: Landon J.
Eragon
Paolini, Christopher
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Eragon is a 5-star book because though it is long and hard to understand to the right reader it is wonderful. If you think you have a big vocabulary read this book as a test and get absorbed into the inheritance trilogy. I chose this book because it was long, and I like long books but though it is long don’t let that stop you from exploring with Eragon the newest dragon rider all throughout Alegaesia 15 leagues (51 miles) from Carvahall his hometown deep in the dwarf city of Farthen Dur. This book had plot twists all around the corner, it was not at all super predictable and all throughout Eragon's final battle you will be sitting on the edge of your seat. If you want something to do over the summer that isn’t just sitting down, playing video games try reading this book, it is a great summer read.

Reviewer's Name: Landon J.
Eragon
Paolini, Christopher
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Eragon is a 5-star book because though it is long and hard to understand to the right reader it is wonderful. If you think you have a big vocabulary read this book as a test and get absorbed into the inheritance trilogy. I chose this book because it was long, and I like long books but though it is long don’t let that stop you from exploring with Eragon the newest dragon rider all throughout Alegaesia 15 leagues (51 miles) from Carvahall his hometown deep in the dwarf city of Farthen Dur. This book had plot twists all around the corner, it was not at all super predictable and all throughout Eragon's final battle you will be sitting on the edge of your seat. If you want something to do over the summer that isn’t just sitting down, playing video games try reading this book, it is a great summer read.

Reviewer's Name: Landon J.
To All the Boys I've Loved Before book jacket
Han, Jenny
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is an amazing book about love. This book follows a 16 year old girl named Lara Jean. When she has a crush so big she writes a letter about them to dumb her emotions out and let them go. She keeps these letters in a box hidden, so no one finds them or sees them. Until one day she finds that the letters are gone and someone sent them out to all the boys she has written about. One even being her older sister's ex-boyfriend! Lara Jean is trying to figure out how to deal with this messy situation, but it does lead to a happy accident.
I loved reading this book! I loved seeing what would happen next and how each of the boys reacted to getting the letters. I recommend this book to anyone who likes reading romance and any of Jenny Han’s books. I love this author, and this book was well written and fun to read.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Katie
Projekt 1065 book jacket
Gratz, Alan
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Projekt 1065 is a book about a boy in Nazi Germany in the Hitler Youth. Micheal O’Shaunsssey and his parents moved to Germany during Hitlers rule, though he’s from Ireland. Like any other boy at his school he joined the Hitler Youth. Although Michael and his family are spies; he can’t tell anyone. Michael dislikes everything the Hitler Youth is known for but he needs to get knowledge about plans the Nazis are planning such as Projekt 1065. Michael is in a very dangerous position but he needs to prove his loyalty to the Nazis and risk his life for everything he cares about.
I liked this book a lot. It kept me turning the next page to see what would happen next. I loved the way the book was written with the point of view being from a boy in the Hitler Youth. I recommended this book to anyone interested in this subject and this point of view during these events in time.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Katie
Refugee book jacket
Gratz, Alan
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Refugee is a great book about three kids trying to seek refuge. Josef was a boy in Nazi Germany in the 1930s trying to escape as a Jew. Isabel, a girl in 1994 trying to leave Cuba during the rule of Fidel Castro. Muhmoud was a boy in Syria in 2015 trying to leave Syria with his family during the war. All three kids and family faced many challenges along the way trying to go to the United States or a place to find home.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I loved the way it was written with each kid telling their point of view during their time. I recommend this book to anyone who is trying to find a new book to read because of all the events that took place making you want to turn each page and see what would happen next. This book was emotional for me but extremely good with teaching you about the characters and the events they went through. After reading this book I have a better understanding of what refugees had to face.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Katie
Refugee book jacket
Gratz, Alan
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Refugee is a great book about three kids trying to seek refuge. Josef was a boy in Nazi Germany in the 1930s trying to escape as a Jew. Isabel, a girl in 1994 trying to leave Cuba during the rule of Fidel Castro. Muhmoud was a boy in Syria in 2015 trying to leave Syria with his family during the war. All three kids and family faced many challenges along the way trying to go to the United States or a place to find home.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I loved the way it was written with each kid telling their point of view during their time. I recommend this book to anyone who is trying to find a new book to read because of all the events that took place making you want to turn each page and see what would happen next. This book was emotional for me but extremely good with teaching you about the characters and the events they went through. After reading this book I have a better understanding of what refugees had to face.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Katie
Ground Zero book jacket
Gratz, Alan
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Ground Zero is a book about the events of 9/11 in 2001 and war in Afghanistan in present day. Brandon, a nine year old boy, got into trouble at school and had to stay home, but his dad couldn’t let that happen and decided to take him to work at the World Trade Center in New York City. The date was September 11, 2001, while in the buildings two planes came crashing into them and Brandon and his dad were stuck inside the fire burning building. While in present day Afghanistan Reshmina and her family are surrounded by war. Reshmina has big dreams about peace and opportunities for her and her country. Reshmina’s village gets attacked and she finds a wounded American soldier that she decides to help. The soldier named Taz needs her help but she knows if she gets caught she could be in big trouble.
Ground Zero is an amazing book that everyone should read. There were many twists and turns which picked at my emotions. This book was very emotional for me but extremely good. I loved the way it was written with two stories being told with a clever twist that touches the reader.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Katie
Ground Zero book jacket
Gratz, Alan
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Ground Zero is a book about the events of 9/11 in 2001 and war in Afghanistan in present day. Brandon, a nine year old boy, got into trouble at school and had to stay home, but his dad couldn’t let that happen and decided to take him to work at the World Trade Center in New York City. The date was September 11, 2001, while in the buildings two planes came crashing into them and Brandon and his dad were stuck inside the fire burning building. While in present day Afghanistan Reshmina and her family are surrounded by war. Reshmina has big dreams about peace and opportunities for her and her country. Reshmina’s village gets attacked and she finds a wounded American soldier that she decides to help. The soldier named Taz needs her help but she knows if she gets caught she could be in big trouble.
Ground Zero is an amazing book that everyone should read. There were many twists and turns which picked at my emotions. This book was very emotional for me but extremely good. I loved the way it was written with two stories being told with a clever twist that touches the reader.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Katie
Invisible Man book jacket
Ellison, Ralph
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

TW: This book contains racism and police brutality. If either of these topics trigger you, I would recommend finding a different book.

‘Invisible Man’ is a story about an unnamed black man in the 1930s. He attempts to make his way in the world, but is blocked at every turn by society’s barriers and refusal to see him. He goes from university to the brotherhood trying to find his place. The story includes steady commentary on racism that remains prevalent to this day.

Almost all the main characters have a layer of depth to them. From Dr. Bledsoe to Mary, they all have clear motivations and roles in the story that contributes to the themes. The main character in particular surprised me. It’s not uncommon for the point of view character to be serviceable, but not have many defining traits. This narrator did, though. He was an eloquent speaker and was obsessed with his grandfather’s last words. It’s not the most exaggerated personality, but it was clear and consistent.

The plot moves along nicely, never staying in one place for too long. The progression makes sense, and no scene feels wasted.

This is a classic novel for good reason. I would recommend it to those who are looking for a longer, thought provoking read.

Reviewer's Name: Rose
The Summer I Turned Pretty
Han, Jenny
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Summer I Turn Pretty is an amazing book about young love and coming of age. The story follows a girl named Isabel (Belly). She and her family have been going to a beach house during summer since she was born, along with her mother’s best friend and her two boys, Conrad and Jeremiah. Belly has always loved Conrad, but this summer was a little different. This summer Belly was growing up and found herself in between the two brothers.
I really enjoyed this book and thought that it was good. The plot was well written with twists and turns along the way. If you like romance books, I recommend this book to you.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Katie
Awards:
Mockingjay book jacket
Collins, Suzanne
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Mockingjay is the third book to the Hunger Games trilogy. Katniss finds herself stuck in between a rebellion and the future of Panem. It is discovered that Katniss was rescued by District 13, which is an underground district that joined the rebellion against the capitol. Katniss is fighting for her loved ones yet again, and against the capitol directly. She is chosen as the symbol for the rebellion, but she doesn’t know if that is what she wants.
This book wasn’t my favorite out of all three, but I recommend reading it because it is still a good book. Definitely read the other two books before this one, so you can understand what is going on. Mockingjay is one of the more emotional books from this trilogy, but it still keeps you on edge like the other two.

Reviewer Grade: 8th

Reviewer's Name: Katie
Mockingjay book jacket
Collins, Suzanne
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Mockingjay is the third book to the Hunger Games trilogy. Katniss finds herself stuck in between a rebellion and the future of Panem. It is discovered that Katniss was rescued by District 13, which is an underground district that joined the rebellion against the capitol. Katniss is fighting for her loved ones yet again, and against the capitol directly. She is chosen as the symbol for the rebellion, but she doesn’t know if that is what she wants.
This book wasn’t my favorite out of all three, but I recommend reading it because it is still a good book. Definitely read the other two books before this one, so you can understand what is going on. Mockingjay is one of the more emotional books from this trilogy, but it still keeps you on edge like the other two.

Reviewer Grade: 8th

Reviewer's Name: Katie
Catching Fire book jacket
Collins, Suzanne
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Catching Fire is the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy. After Katniss and Peeta return home from the games, they both go on the victor tour to all the districts. Before they left President Snows visits Katniss and says she still needs to be in love with Peeta so there won’t be an uprising in the districts. After that, the Quarter Quell (the 75th Hunger Games) comes along and everything changes. Katniss needs to fight for the ones she loves, and to stay alive. If you’re interested about reading Catching Fire make sure you read the first book of the trilogy, The Hunger Games. This book has a lot of good twists and turns, and kept me wanting to flip to the page to see what happens next. It was an emotional book, which keeps you on the edge. If you liked the first book I recommend reading the second!

Reviewer Grade: 8th

Reviewer's Name: Katie
Catching Fire book jacket
Collins, Suzanne
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Catching Fire is the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy. After Katniss and Peeta return home from the games, they both go on the victor tour to all the districts. Before they left President Snows visits Katniss and says she still needs to be in love with Peeta so there won’t be an uprising in the districts. After that, the Quarter Quell (the 75th Hunger Games) comes along and everything changes. Katniss needs to fight for the ones she loves, and to stay alive. If you’re interested about reading Catching Fire make sure you read the first book of the trilogy, The Hunger Games. This book has a lot of good twists and turns, and kept me wanting to flip to the page to see what happens next. It was an emotional book, which keeps you on the edge. If you liked the first book I recommend reading the second!

Reviewer Grade: 8th

Reviewer's Name: Katie
Catching Fire book jacket
Collins, Suzanne
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Catching Fire is the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy. After Katniss and Peeta return home from the games, they both go on the victor tour to all the districts. Before they left President Snows visits Katniss and says she still needs to be in love with Peeta so there won’t be an uprising in the districts. After that, the Quarter Quell (the 75th Hunger Games) comes along and everything changes. Katniss needs to fight for the ones she loves, and to stay alive. If you’re interested about reading Catching Fire make sure you read the first book of the trilogy, The Hunger Games. This book has a lot of good twists and turns, and kept me wanting to flip to the page to see what happens next. It was an emotional book, which keeps you on the edge. If you liked the first book I recommend reading the second!

Reviewer Grade: 8th

Reviewer's Name: Katie
The Hunger Games book jacket
Collins, Suzanne
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Hunger Games follows a girl named Katniss Everdeen. She lives in a world where there is 12 districts, which are controlled by the capitol. This nation is called Panem. A very long time ago, the districts rebelled against the capitol, so the capitol created the Hungry Games. The Hunger Games is a game played each year, and one boy and girl from each district is sent to fight to the death. When Katniss’ younger sister Prim is chosen as the tribute for district 12, Katniss couldn’t let her sister go, so she volunteered to go in for her as the female tribute for district 12. Katniss and the male tribute of district 12, Peeta Mellark, are sent to the capitol to train for the games.
This was an amazing book that I recommend to everyone including new readers like myself. I’m not a big reader, but this book really had me stuck to the pages. I was up all night and couldn’t stop thinking about what is going to happen next! The Hunger Games is definitely one of my favorite books!

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Katie
The Hunger Games book jacket
Collins, Suzanne
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Hunger Games follows a girl named Katniss Everdeen. She lives in a world where there is 12 districts, which are controlled by the capitol. This nation is called Panem. A very long time ago, the districts rebelled against the capitol, so the capitol created the Hungry Games. The Hunger Games is a game played each year, and one boy and girl from each district is sent to fight to the death. When Katniss’ younger sister Prim is chosen as the tribute for district 12, Katniss couldn’t let her sister go, so she volunteered to go in for her as the female tribute for district 12. Katniss and the male tribute of district 12, Peeta Mellark, are sent to the capitol to train for the games.
This was an amazing book that I recommend to everyone including new readers like myself. I’m not a big reader, but this book really had me stuck to the pages. I was up all night and couldn’t stop thinking about what is going to happen next! The Hunger Games is definitely one of my favorite books!

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Katie