Historical

Book Review: Between Shades of Gray

Author
Sepetys, Ruta
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

This book really made me want to cry. I loved how this entire story revolves around a 12 year old girl who is forced to move from place to place. I could relate to the protagonist because she has to make tough choices and she had to make sacrifices for the greater good. This story will cause sadness and also create a spark of hope. This is a beautifully written story and is perfect for any age.

Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name
Isabella Z.

Book Review: The Book Thief

Author
Zusak, Markus
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

The Book Thief is about a girl living in the times of the holocaust. After the Nazi book burning she seals a book and hopes to learn to read it. Then her family takes in a Jewish prisoner who escaped the concentration camps. This will leave you on the edge of your seat. I chose this book based on the movie and I loved it. This is a wonderful story told from Death's P.O.V. I can't say anything bad about this book. This book is full of twist and turns. Reviewer Grade:7

Reviewer's Name
Isabella Z.

Book Review: Little House on the Prairie

Author
Wilder, Laura Ingalls
Rating
2 stars = Meh
Review

Little House on the Prairie is a mediocre novel about a little girl named Laura, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and her Ma and Pa traveling across a prairie then settling down and building a house. Almost the entirety of the first 18 chapters are mind-numbingly boring (the most exciting thing that happens in the first 240 pages is Ma dropping a log on her foot). The last few chapters were pretty good, but it didn't outweigh the annoyingly long descriptions of prairie grass and dull accounts of cooking supper that dominated most of the story. I do not recommend it to people who like action or adventure stories, however, I would recommend it to anyone who read and enjoyed Little Britches by Ralph Moody or anyone who is a fan of the late 1800's settlement genre.

Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name
Jacob U.

Book Review: Great Expectations

Author
Dickens, Charles
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

Although it was first published in 1861, this classic novel is still fresh and relevant in the 21st century. It is the story of a poor, rural, uneducated boy named Pip who meets and falls in love with a rich, beautiful, and cruel girl named Estella. Through the generosities of a mysterious benefactor, Pip is able to move to London and become a wealthy, eligible, gentleman. It seems that he may at last be worthy of Estella's love.
If only it were so simple.

Filled some of the most famous characters in English literature, including several murderous convicts, a bizarre and sadistic woman who dresses only in a moldy wedding gown, a law clerk with a double life, and an exceptionally loyal best friend, this book is unforgettable. A commentary on the nature of social mobility as well as a coming-of-age novel, this story is equal parts mystery, romance, and legal drama, with enough plot twists to keep any reader turning pages (trust me -- I read it during finals week).

Most importantly, this book is a good choice for teenagers because it is relatable. It deals with finding yourself, searching for meaning in a seemingly meaningless world, coping with unrequited love, being financially responsible, finding good friends, spending your time and money on the right things, being appreciative and kind towards people who you may believe to be below your station, giving second chances, and the importance of staying close to your family even if you think that they are embarrassing, ignorant, or are not good enough for you.

This is one of the best books I have ever read. Even if you think that classics are boring or that historical fiction just isn't your thing, try Great Expectations. You won't regret it.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name
Caroline K.

Book Review: Honolulu

Author
Brennert, Alan
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

A young girl desperate to escape her stifling existence in Korea in the early 1900s decides to become a "picture-bride" to a man starting life in Hawaii. This story was beautifully written, we follow Jin throughout her life, marriage, struggles and triumphs in Hawaii. Absolutely loved it. If you liked this - make sure to read Alan Brennert's other book, Moloka'i!

Reviewer's Name
Krista

Book Review: The Notorious Pagan Jones

Author
Berry, Nina
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

Pagan Jones was a 1960s teen movie superstar until a terrible accident happened landing her in juvenile detention. A mysterious stranger
arranges her release, only if she will star in a movie being shot in Berlin.
This story is a fascinating race through the city at a time when the Berlin Wall is just being built. While the story has very fun moments (you get a great taste of 60s culture and clothing), there are also real characters and events sprinkled throughout that make it very interesting!

Reviewer's Name
Krista

Book Review: Thérèse Raquin

Author
Zola, Émile
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

Actual Rating: 4.5

“Therese Raquin” by Emile Zola is a book that defied the literature of its time and had the people of the late 19th century in an uproar over its shocking content. Content that involved murder, wrongly placed passion, adultery, and a voice that refused to glorify the ever flawed human race. Meet Therese: a quiet woman who is niece to elderly shopkeeper Madame Raquin and wife to the Madame’s son Camille. She finds that sin somehow manages to bring her back to life, but with chilling consequences. Will deceit finally bring her the joy she has so longed for, or result in her doom? Defy the time with this twisted, blood-chilling read.

Reviewer Grade: 10

Reviewer's Name
Summer W.

Book Review: The Great Gatsby

Author
Fitzgerald, F. Scott
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

A man who had been in love for years, who had accumulated wealth and power by numerous, secretive ways, Jay Gatsby. A woman who had married another out of need and stayed out of being accustomed to that lifestyle, Daisy Buchanan. And a man who became stuck in the middle, Nick Carraway. The scene is set in the roaring '20's where everyone is wild, young, and free. All except Gatsby as he was stuck in the wild embrace of Daisy's love. This beautifully written book of love, loss, revenge, and dark honesty comes to life as the desperate Gatsby tries to win Daisy back from her oppressive husband. A book with so many twists and turns that its impossible to put it down, The Great Gatsby is an underrated novel that will be read for years to come.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name
Alyxandra S.

Book Review: The Hired Girl

Author
Schlitz, Laura Amy
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

Newbery winning author Laura Amy Schlitz has written a wonderful story set in 1911 about 14-year-old Joan Skraggs who runs away from a dismal home life on a farm to Baltimore where she finds employment as a hired girl in a Jewish household. The book is written as Joan's diary so it reveals her innermost thoughts and feelings which made me really want her to succeed. Her deep love of literature really hit a nerve for me too! Highly recommended.

Reviewer's Name
Lisa