All Book Reviews

Epic
Kostick, Conor
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The world of New Earth is one where the game Epic decides all. Wealth, social standing, even access to resources and medical care. Erik Haraldson has become tired after dying one last time to the red dragon, a kill that would earn him and his family money beyond their wildest dreams. Erik decides to go against the normal conventions of Epic and decides to create a female swashbuckler with all points in beauty, a trait unheard of due to its uselessness in battle. But when the game itself starts talking to Erik, he soon discovers that there is a lot more at play in Epic then just grinding and wasting away.

Reviewer's Name: Ryan
 Renegades
Meyer, Marissa
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Nova Artino feels betrayed. The Renegades, a group of superheroes functioning as law enforcement celebrities, promised her family protection from a villain gang. Instead, Nova saw her family slaughtered before her eyes, one by one.Now, she’s part of a group of villains bent on destroying The Renegades. In order to do so, she has to infiltrate them and dismantle them from the very bottom.

Reviewer's Name: Ryan
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Chbosky, Stephen
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Charlie is likely my favorite character ever written, and certainly will be for a long time. Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower shows usthe thoughts of Charlie through letters sent to an anonymous person who “didn’t sleep with that person at that party even though you could have.” We see how Charlie grows when he meets Sam and her stepbrother Patrick, who he befriends quickly. Charlie tells us how he begins to
experiment with drugs and sex and we see how beautiful he and his world really is.

Reviewer's Name: Ryan
Mockingjay
Collins, Suzanne
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

In the exciting conclusion to the "Hunger Games" series, "Mockingjay" follows Katniss Everdeen after she defied the Capitol in the Quarter Quell and fled to the underground city of District 13, where she is haunted by the idea of an impeding war and thoughts of her fellow tribute (and now captive of the Capitol) Peeta Mellark. In order to win this war against the Capitol, she must become a symbol of the rebellion -- the Mockingjay -- and unify the districts. Just like the others in the series, this book was phenomenal. I was completely invested in all the characters and had to see their journeys through to the end. The plot twists were even more shocking than ever. I cannot say enough about this series -- it is absolutely amazing. However, there is one thing about this book that made me enjoy it just slightly less than the others in the series. While the writing style of the other two books is relatively straightforward and direct, there were several parts in this book that left me confused, especially during action scenes -- which happened almost too quickly to follow. I didn't always entirely understand Katniss's motives (most particularly at the end) or why certain decisions were made.
This may've been on purpose, since Katniss is disoriented and suffering from mental problems during this time, which distort her sense of reality. Either way, I found it a little difficult to follow. Regardless, this book was amazing. I highly recommend the entire series. It is utterly legendary, and unlike anything I've read before.
Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Gillian P.
Catching Fire
Collins, Suzanne
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

In the sequel to "The Hunger Games," "Catching Fire" begins with a reeling Katniss Everdeen, having just survived the 74th Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Their survival greatly upset the Capitol, the ruling city of the country of Panem, and now they must deal with the consequences of their rule-bending victory. On their mandatory Victory Tour around the country, Katniss discovers that her actions have sparked the idea of revolution throughout the nation -- a revolution she never intended to start. And everything is about to change with the Quarter Quell -- the 75th Hunger Games -- looming over their heads....

This book was amazing! Having finished the first book (which was also fantastic), I didn't think the sequel could ever surpass the first. But, "Catching Fire" was equal parts surprising and intriguing. I love how the plot has thickened since the end of the first Hunger Games -- and how Katniss and Peeta deal with the consequences of their actions. We get to know more about some of the characters from the first (such as Haymitch and his backstory) and the growing relationship between Katniss and Peeta. The plot twists caught me completely off guard -- and almost every chapter ends with some sort of cliffhanger that makes you want to read even more! The only negative thing I can say about this book is that the beginning is just a little slow -- I think this is for the purpose of showing how Katniss's life has gotten slower (and more painful) since the end of the Games. But, this really shouldn't deter anyone from reading this amazing sequel. The writing is fantastic, the characters are incredibly well-developed, and the plot is epic. Another absolutely phenomenal book from Suzanne Collins!
Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Gillian P.
Storyworld First
Williamson, Jill
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

"Storyworld First" is an amazing writing book that covers everything a fantasy writer needs to create a spectacular world in their novels. This in-depth book is great for crafting three-dimensional settings, characters, and themes that will leave a lasting impression on readers. I highly recommend this book just for the enormous amount of detail alone -- you can literally create your novel's world from the ground up with this book (climate, language, religion, population, etc.) Not to mention, the author Jill Williamson is apart of Go Teen Writers, a website dedicated to helping teen writers improve their work -- this book is like the best of their website wrapped into one package! If you are a writer (even if you don't write fantasy or sci-fi), I highly recommend you pick up this book. It will change your writing forever.
Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Gillian P.
Genres:
Ready Player One
Cline, Ernest
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Wade Watts, a high school student like any other, starts his journey off in the slums of a world on the verge of economic and social collapse. In an attempt to escape the seemingly bleak world, many turn to the Oasis, an augmented version of virtual reality where the impossible is possible and people can become something other than what they are in the real world. The creator of the Oasis meets his untimely death due to a terminal illness, and in turn leaves behind his fortune and most prized possession, control of Oasis. The catch is, all you have to do is find his little “Easter Egg” within the vast world of the Oasis by finding keys linked to his favorite pastimes, such as old arcade games. It having been a long time since the announcement of this and now leads found, very few still pursue the egg. Wade Watts is one of them.

After discovering the first key on an online school’s virtual planet, Wade and the many others he meets along the way race to find the egg before the other hunters and the huge corporation, IO; in this science fiction world designed by Ernest Cline. I greatly enjoyed this book due to the vast worlds within his virtual one that he has illustrated for his audience.

Reviewer's Name: Liam G
Six of Crows
Bardugo, Leigh
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

In a town of thieves and murderers, one man is feared as the most brutal, the most wicked, and the most intelligent: Kaz Brekker. Willing to kill as much as he needs to, and able to pick any lock, Kaz is the perfect man for the greatest heist ever: Stealing a hostage from the high security Ice Palace. He gathers a crew to help take on the toughest challenge he’s ever faced. Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows follows the viewpoints of a vicious leader, a spider-like assassin, a gunslinger, a disgraced soldier, a heartrending mage, and a runaway rich boy to create a wonderful story where death is around every corner and only the strong survive.

Reviewer's Name: Ryan
Genres:
Renegades
Meyer, Marissa
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Nova, one of the few gifted with powers after their emergence, struggles in the societal aftershock and ruin left behind by the collapse. Now in the place of the governments that once stood, is a new organization, The Renegades, that provides stability and safety through the use of powers.

Before them was a time when groups of “villains” reigned over the weak, Nova was a member one of the most powerful groups referred to as the Anarchists. Now she attempts to infiltrate the Renegades to help bring back the waning power of the Anarchists, and along the way meets many who teach her just how vast the moral grey area is.

I enjoyed this book, given its science fiction/dystopian world that Marissa Meyers gives to her audience and the surprises that might come from just turning a page.

Reviewer's Name: Liam G
Morning Star
Brown, Pierce
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Darrow was captured and his identity revealed, the leader of the Sons of Ares was killed, and now the future of rebellion looks bleak. Darrow, now in a state of grief and failure, his body withering away as he waits for his execution, is rescued and given a second chance to realize Eo’s dream; to topple the corrupt society that stole everything from him. Now the leading force and face of the rebellion, Darrow has many struggles that await him in the final book in the Red Rising Trilogy. I greatly enjoyed this book due to how the many underlying plots are tied off in the end of the series as well as the resolution of each character’s internal struggles. Pierce Brown builds on many previous sub plots that as the reader you might forget, marvelously tying this book in with the rest of the series.

Reviewer's Name: Liam G
Golden Son
Brown, Pierce
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Darrow, having rose through the ranks of the Golds at the academy, becomes a member of the house of Mars. Having made enemies at the Academy, Darrow must prove his worth at the the Naval Institute; to attain a fleet for his house and in the future, the rebellion. Faced by his many adversaries, Darrow gets caught up in a civil war between the Gold’s houses. Darrow leads his audience through the corrupted society, with a view both from the bottom of society and the top, all the while exploring the concepts of grief, hatred, and what it means to fully understand your enemy. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys science fiction and stories on societal struggles. I enjoyed the world Peirce Brown created in this series as well as the dynamic characters and their internal struggles.

Reviewer's Name: Liam G
Ashfall
Mullin, Mike
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Yellowstone national park holds a super volcano with the potential to end the world. Mike Mullin explores the disastrous scenario of that volcano exploding with enough force to plunge the world into a nuclear winter in his debut novel, Ashfall. Following the story of 15-year old Alex, we see how the world transforms suddenly with the volcano’s explosion. After leaving the riots and looting of the city, Alex leaves for the countryside where he meets a farmhand named Darla. After unexpected complications arise at the farm, Alex and Darla are forced to leave. Now they must support each other as they face the biting cold of this new world as they face off against bandits, cannibals, and the military in order to survive and find Alex’s parents.

Reviewer's Name: Ryan
Red Rising
Brown, Pierce
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Review: Darrow, a lowly “Red” , the bottom rung of the hierarchical ladder in a society divided by “Colors”, mines Helium 3 far below the surface of Mars. This mining community is where he and his family have worked for generations, under the duress and harsh conditions that come with living underground in the mines. The Reds are always told that they will one day be able to return to the surface once they mine enough of the Helium 3, which is vital to the terraforming efforts. This lie shatters when one day he loses everything he loves to this society and learns the truth, that a vast civilization sits atop these mines; a civilization run by the cruel tyranny of the top class, the Golds. In this amazing work of science fiction, Darrow infiltrates the Golds in an attempt to bring down this rotting society that stole so much from him. During this journey, Pierce Brown brings you along with his protagonist, identifying many moral concepts, as he illustrates a living, breathing world within this complex story of a growing revolution. I really enjoyed this book, I felt that the book created an alternate world for its audience to get lost in; the world and how the author portrays it is something I look at when looking for a good book.

Reviewer's Name: Liam G
Mortal Engines
Reeve, Philip
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

In a world of giant roaming cities, London is greatest. Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines explores a post-apocalyptic world where cities roam on wheels and survival of the fittest reigns supreme. The novel follows Tom Natsworthy, an orphan who has become an apprentice historian, and his fateful encounter with Hester Shaw, a girl with a disfigured face who tries to kill Head Historian, Thaddeus Valentine. The two are thrown out of London, where they must reconcile their differences to overcome the harsh wasteland. From outwitting pirates, outrunning murderous cyborgs, to stopping a weapon that could destroy an already broken world, this book is a truly awesome experience.

Reviewer's Name: Ryan
Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio
Kehret, Peg
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

"Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio" by Peg Kehret is an interesting autobiography that gives insight to what people with Polio experienced. The main character, Peg, faints one day during school and has a high temperature so she is taken to the hospital. There she is diagnosed with Polio. This news is devastating to Peg and her family but Peg's family decides to stay positive while Peg is sad. Throughout her journey Peg gets better with the support of her parents.

I would recommend this book. "Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio" is sad but also heartwarming at times. I read this book because it is a battle book. I couldn't relate to any of the characters, however the emotions Peg felt could be related to a lot of other people. The book isn't predictable at all. It is not the best book I have read this year but I would still recommend this book as it is still good.

Reviewer's Name: Oriana O.
The Name of the Wind
Rothfuss, Patrick
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind is a beautifully written coming-of-age tale about a boy named Kvothe, a member of a group of traveling performers, and his journey towards becoming a master namer. Experiencing intense hardship and sorrow at a young age, Kvothe is forced to become strong and fend for himself. Eventually, he escapes his life of pain and charms his way into the world’s greatest academy of science and magics where he gains many friends and just as many enemies. With his trusty lute in his hand and his quick wit, Kvothe is ready to take on any threat his ugly world has to throw at him.

Reviewer's Name: Ryan
Awards:
Genres:
The Last Holiday Concert
Clements, Andrew
2 stars = Meh
Review:

The Last Holiday Concert is an okay book. It tries to address themes of popularity and leadership, but doesn’t do a good job of it. The characters are all bland, and the conflict is generic. Although it's a children’s book, I felt like the author could have done a way better job in all aspects. Overall, I wouldn’t really recommend this book to anyone.

Reviewer's Name: Steven L
Awards:
Every Day
Levithan, David
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The book, Every Day, by David Levithan is wonderful. The book has a genius concept, and it's brilliantly written. The premise of the book is that the protagonist becomes a different person every single day. The author does a great job of writing about the difficulty of taking on the lives of others. The protagonist's own personality isn't developed a whole lot, but each new character is somewhat unique and interesting. The book is a decent read, but it is definitely worth it. Overall, I would recommend this book to people who like intriguing concepts and adventures.

Reviewer's Name: Steven L
Genres:
Queen of Air and Darkness
Clare, Cassandra
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

In Cassandra Clare’s “Queen of Air and Darkness”, even though it is a lengthy book, the author really uses their plotline and writing style to suck you into the story and get you invested. I highly reccommend the Shadowhunters Chronicles for people who enjoy a fantasy world that is not too hard to wrap your head around.

Reviewer's Name: Denise
Genres:
The Ruins of Gorlan
Flanagan, John
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

A boy by the name of Will is eager to become a knight, but he has a very scrawny build and is very short. He is refused knighthood. Then someone gives the person who is testing him a note. The man hides the note and Will, who is very curious about said note, sneeks into the place where the note is being kept. He then is caught by Halt and because he was so stealthy he is told that if he wishes he may work towards becoming a ranger. I loved this book, the author John Flanagan, uses great word choice and is always keeping you thinking what is going to happen next. Will is very relate-able to me because he is scrawny but very strong in the mind. This is a great book to keep a dictionary out because it is always shooting new words at you. One of my friends has read multiple books in this series and encouraged me to try the book, I was happy I did.

Reviewer's Name: Alexander
Genres:

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