All Book Reviews

Children of Blood and Bone
Adeyemi, Tomi
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Children of Blood and Bone takes place in Orisha, a place where magic used to thrive before a ruthless king came to power. The king was afraid of magic, so he killed the people who used it. The story follows a girl named Zelie who goes on a quest to restore magic in Orisha. I really enjoyed reading this book because there were lots of plot twists and it was very surprising. I also really liked the setting! The only thing I didn't like very much was that it was slow paced. This is one of my favorite books!

Reviewer's Name: Lotus
Genres:
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
Transcendent Kingdom
Gyasi, Yaa
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

There was no sophomore slump for author Yaa Gyasi, who lit the literary world ablaze with her searing debut novel, Homegoing (2016). That work of historical fiction was deeply personal and her exceptional contemporary follow-up Transcendent Kingdom (2020) draws upon her experiences growing up with Ghanaian parents in in northern Alabama. This powerful and emotionally raw novel centers on Giffy, a fifth-year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the connections between depression and addiction. Her brother was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after a knee injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal, deeply religious mother is bedridden. Dad left long ago. Giffy hopes science will find the why behind the suffering. But she still hungers for her childhood faith and struggles to find a balance between religion and science, hope and despair, living and inertia. It’s a personal journey with a conclusion that will leave you with hope, if not a clear answer.

Reviewer's Name: Joe P.
The Guest List
Foley, Lucy
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Those longing for an Agatha Christie-style yarn with red herrings that keep you guessing (incorrectly) will enjoy this mystery by Lucy Foley, author of The Hunting Party. This whodunit – by the end you may ask yourself who wouldn’t? – uses alternating points of views to reveal small, important details about each character. Those alternating chapters provide arguably understandable reasons to kill the eventual "victim," whose identity remains as murky until the end as the weather enveloping the isolated island off the Irish coast. Is the victim or murderer the Bridezilla? The reality TV star groom? The depressed bridesmaid? The jilted former lovers? Just how many of them are there? Or was it the jealous best friend? This modern tale evoking And Then There Were None and Murder on the Orient Express, may make you wonder if Christie, if she were alive, would have considered revenge porn as a motive for murder.

Reviewer's Name: Joe P.
The Henna Artist
Joshi, Alka
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Escaping from an abusive marriage, 17-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s city of Jaipur. There she becomes a highly requested henna artist and confidante of the wealthy women of the upper class, all while keeping her own secrets buried. This eloquent story of one woman’s struggle for fulfillment in a society transitioning from the traditional to the modern provides a window into a lush society marked by stark class divides. Those divides make her vulnerable to gossips and threaten to upend lower-caste Lakshmi’s hopes of a comfortable future. Years of work could be ruined after her husband tracks her down and puts her in charge of a younger sister Lakshmi never knew she had. It is then that Lakshmi, flaws and all, rises to the challenge. She scrambles to lift up those she loves and cares for in this moving story of self-discovery and familial love.

Reviewer's Name: Joe P.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Morris, Heather
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Lale Sokolov is a well-educated charmer whose proficiency in languages lands him a privileged, albeit odious job as The Tatowierer – the tattooist – whose way to survive means marking his fellow prisoners forever as they enter Auschwitz-Birkenau. One of them is a terrified young woman, Gita, whose gaze grips his heart immediately. Discovering love at first sight gives the Slovakian Jew the reason he needs to survive against near-impossible odds.This work of historical fiction does not flinch away from the horrors of The Holocaust, but manages to balance the inhuman horror with a story of love, hope and survival shared decades later by an aging Lale. Sokolov’s deteriorating memory in his final years and Morris’ admitted dramatic embellishments prompted deserved criticism concerning historical accuracy. But those moments do not detract from the novel’s central messages of survival as resistance, faith, and the power of love and compassion.

Reviewer's Name: Joe P.
The Screaming Staircase
Stroud, Jonathan
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Screaming Staircase takes place in London, where suddenly, ghosts have been popping up all around the country. For some reason, only kids can see and hear the ghosts. I decided to read this book because it was a part of a school project. I really enjoyed this book because it was full of suspense and mystery. I thought the characters were very well written and they all felt genuine. This book is in a series, so I have recently started the second book. The only thing I didn't like very much was that there were lots of different terms that the author used to name the ghosts, so sometimes I got a little confused. I give this book an 8;10 because it was one of the most interesting books I have read this year!

Reviewer's Name: Lotus
Profiles in Courage
Kennedy, John F
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book contained a lot of wisdom from a president’s point of view and was a very useful insight into his perspective. I appreciated the many different stories about many different historical figures and their trials, however, i did notice a strong bias against others and their perspectives. If i was to recommend this book to someone else, I would advise them to be careful about taking every word he says to heart, as he doesn’t phrase things from a neutral perspective. Overall i enjoyed the book, but it should be read by people looking for insight, not as an entertaining or exciting book. Though it may not have been thrilling or suspenseful, overall it was really good.

Reviewer's Name: Aubrey
A Dragon's Guide to Making Your Human Smarter
Yep, Laurence
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The second book in the series A Dragon's Guide switches perspectives between Winnie, a human girl, and Miss Drake, a dragon. Winnie is sent to a fabulous school of magic, and makes friends and enemies. Meanwhile, her dragon tries to save her from her nefarious grandfather, Jarvis.

This book is very well written, tying in the supernatural with the familiar, like the difference in the attitude of sorcerers and witches. I liked how the authors made the reader identify with both Winnie and Miss Drake, even though they don't always see eye to eye. This book has some suspense, but it also manages to be very lighthearted. (Also, even though this is the second book in the
series, and there are references to things that happened in the first book, you don't need to read it to understand what is going on in THIS book.)

Reviewer's Name: Kelsey
Genres:
Sophocles I: Antigone, Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus
Sophocles
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Very good.

Reviewer's Name: Shafa
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
One of Us Is Lying
McManus, Karen M.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

One of Us Is Lying is a captivating mystery written from the perspective of four main characters. The author brings you into the lives of four teenagers who have all witnessed the death of a classmate. Each of these kids is suspected of murdering Simon, but having been one of the most hated kids in school it is hard to pin his death on one person. Every page I read I got even more involved in these characters' lives. All their stories were so realistic I felt connected to them through more than just the tragedy that made all their lives change. Secrets are hard to live with and get over, but this book shows how whole schools taken by a gossip site can grow with them or fail to live up to the challenge. The surprising twists and very sincere characters give you a look into how fast life can change because of one person and what secrets can do to people. Karen McManus brought up many difficult topics in this book and melded them with the character's lives showing how they dealt with them and lived through their different hardships. This book leaves you thinking about how anything can happen to you but what happens after and how you react to it is always most important in the end. The feeling of satisfaction and happiness the characters make you feel is rewarding and shows you that it's possible to get through what seems impossible.

Reviewer's Name: Clare
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Twain, Mark
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an exceptional novel filled with mischief, fun, and excitement. Huckleberry Finn is a young teenage boy who just ran away from his civilized, structured life in search of something adventurous and new. After leaving on a raft, he meets a slave, Jim, who slipped away from his home. Huck and Jim set out on a rafting journey down the river to make a new life and find Jim’s family. Along the way, Huck is conflicted between turning Jim, the runaway slave, in, or letting him reach freedom. As they go along, he discovers his true self and makes his decision about Jim. Filled with fun stunts, mishaps, and laughter, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an amazing classic you’re sure to love.

Reviewer's Name: Gemma
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
Black Girl Unlimited
Brown, Echo
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Black Girl Magic is about a girl named Echo, who fights through the struggles of being a black woman. Throughout Echo's life, she has watched her siblings and parents struggle with alcohol and drugs. Because she cares about her siblings future and doesn't want them to spend their lives in jail, she works miracles. She slows time down to tell her siblings, friends, and parents how to turn their life around, through different people. I loved this book. There were times where I was sad, nervous, happy, and mad
throughout the book. There are some racial words and statements and a lot of bad words, so if you get offended easily, I would not read this book. Other wise, this is a great book. It has some lessons many people need to hear. I would recommend this book to anyone who can handle racial injustices and bad words. I rate this book a 9/10.

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
A Million Worlds With You
Gray, Claudia
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

This book is my least favorite in the series. To be honest, I felt Marguerite was self-centered and only focused on Paul. I felt this way in the second book too, but not as strongly. I enjoyed the ending but, like I said Marguerite was annoying in my point of view. Overall though I thought the plot was just good and I did not expect it to end that way. I honestly feel neutral about this book. For those reading I hope you enjoy.

Reviewer's Name: Lilly Font
Circe
Miller, Madeline
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This is a book everyone should read once in their life no matter their age. It is about an immortal witch named Circe banished to an island to be forever alone. This is because the greek gods fear her powers. The book follows her life as she grows as a woman and learns what it means to live. It was very empowering to see her grow so much in the span of 300 pages. At first, I was not excited to read this book, but it very quickly surprised me. Quickly I was led into Circe's world and couldn't pull away. It has everything I love growth, love, loss, change, and a well-written story. I was angry when Circe was suffering and happy when she found joy. One should read this book especially if into greek mythology, but never fear for those who know nothing about it can follow along. It was amazing to see Circe meet characters from her point of view including the well-known Odysseus and her time spent with him. It was well written and showed what it truly means to live.
- 10th grade

Reviewer's Name: Alyson
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