Realistic

The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky

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The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky
Author
Schindler, Holly
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

When the house Auggie Jones lives in with her grandpa Gus is deemed "in violation" by the new House Beautification Committee, she sets to work renovating it with the help of her grandpa and local community. It starts small, with replacing the boring, clear glass in Auggie's windows with colorful stained glass that had once been part of the nearby church. Soon, though, the project expands to creating sculptures out of materials like toasters and curling irons that grandpa Gus found while working as a trash hauler. What was once junk is turned into masterpieces that redefine the town's idea of beauty.

The book's cover was what first drew me in, as it reminded me of how I like to make things out of up-cycled materials. I love the story this book tells and the characters present in it. One of my favorite things about The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky is the vivid imagery the author uses literally from the first sentence, where she describes how grandpa Gus's truck "shimmies like she's dancing the jitterbug." Although it was written for children, this is a wonderful book for readers of any age to enjoy. The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky challenges the reader's ideas of beauty and serves as a reminder that there's always more to something, or someone, than meets the eye.

Reviewer's Name
Jacie

Counting Thyme

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Counting Thyme
Author
Conklin, Melanie
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

This book is the kind of book that touches your heart and leaves an imprint. Counting Thyme is an amazing book for all grades! It tells a story with everyday problems, implied ones, and the ones that stare you in the face with seemingly no solution. Thyme, an everyday middle schooler who just moved to NYC, doesn't really know how to fit in. She isn't happy with the move, but her brother is sick. Really sick, and she would do anything, even move into a small apartment across the country. As she tries to find her place in this big city, with all kinds of people, her journey is one of understanding. Thyme meets a grumpy old man, tries to reconcile with her sister, and so much more, all while struggling to get enough 'Thyme (Time)' to fly back home to California for a week for her birthday.
Would I recommend this book? Absolutely!
This read will be worth your Thyme, and I hope you enjoy it!

Reviewer's Name
Sharvari

Book Review: Some Other Now

Author
Everett, Sarah
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

Some Other Now is about a girl torn between two summers, two brothers, the mistake that will destroy them all, and what it's going to take for her to move forward.
This book is pretty solid, very emotional, has some good characters, and doesn't do much else. I did like reading it, but it was a very typical story. Some of the tropes seemed played out and overly dramatic, especially in the romantic scenarios. But the things it does well, it does very well. I really liked the contrast between the narrator in the first summer and the narrator in the second summer, and how it showed her guilt and grief. I liked the complexity of her family structure, both chosen and biological, and how it weighed on her. The main character overall is very well developed, with a lot of complexity and flaws and inherent kindness that makes her very easy to root for. I honestly didn't like either brother that much, but that's to be expected. The story does a great job of exploring depression and grief and guilt and mistakes that we can't take back, making it very relatable.
All in all, it's a very typical story, but done very well, and I don't have much to say about it. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a sad story, some drama, and good characters!

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name
Eve

Book Review: The Summer I Turned Pretty

Author
Han, Jenny
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

This was so cute and comforting. I could relate to the main character Belly in many ways which made this book really enjoyable to read. The summer I turned pretty made me laugh, cry, and even made me frustrated at times. I usually don’t like reading books with love triangles but this one was an exception. I love the way Jenny Han wrote it. She keeps you guessing. At some points in the book I thought it would be Conrad and others I thought it was Jeremiah. This book was really sad at some points with Susanna having cancer and belly not knowing. It just added to the emotion of the story. Overall I really enjoyed reading this book and I’m really excited to find out what happens next in book!
11th grade

Reviewer's Name
Megan
Awards

Book Review: Roller Girl

Author
Jamieson, Victoria
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

This graphic novel has lovely art and an even better storyline. Astrid is a middle-schooler who has a tough time doing roller derby without knowing anyone on the team. She has to learn how to hold her own and find her place doing a sport she loves. I liked how the author depicted Astrid's friendship with Nicole and they were able to learn from each other despite not being on the same path anymore. It was also cool to see Astrid's character development as she gained confidence and found her identity. The dedication it took to do that is a great lesson for anyone!
Grade 12

Reviewer's Name
Maggie

Book Review: Radio Silence

Author
Oseman, Alice
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

If I had to convince you to read this book in one sentence it would be this. Multiple times I had to stop reading, set down my book, and contemplate if Alice Oseman was in my head. If there is one thing Alice Oseman can do it is write relatable characters. This book follows Frances, a straight-A student whose heart is set on getting into Cambridge, and Aled, a quiet boy who is secretly the creator of a hit fantasy podcast. Brought together through art/media, Frances and Aled become close friends and tackle life changes, emotionally abusive people, mental health, censorship, and just being teenagers. This book perfectly describes the life of a teen going through high school and showed pure friendships based on a mutual love for something. This was extremely captivating and it helped me get out of a reading slump instantly. If you are looking for a book with characters you can relate to, diversity, true depictions of mental health, or just something exciting to read, I would recommend this over and over.
Reviewer grade: 11

Reviewer's Name
Keira
Awards

Book Review: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Author
Reid, Taylor Jenkins
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

It is a deal breaker for me when a book's main character is unlikeable. This book was not like that. Evelyn is a talented and determined character who was able to break away from her traumatic experiences and pave the way for female actresses that don't match Hollywood's cookie cutter movie stars. She isn't always polite and malleable, which was cool to see when other books set in the same time period only focus on men's perspectives. I was invested in Evelyn's life throughout the progression of her seven marriages and how they ended. Monique is a scatter-brained but relatable character as well. I enjoyed how she and Evelyn interacted and the twist of how their stories intertwined. Try this book if you like historical fiction and being uplifted by female empowerment.

Reviewer's Name
Maggie

Book Review: Roller Girl

Author
Jamieson, Victoria
Rating
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review

I liked this book a ton! This book is an easy read considering it’s a graphic novel. The story in this book is very inspiring for “shooting for the stars” or doing what you love. In other words, commitment. I can relate with the main character, Astrid, by getting through something tough with something you love. For Astrid, the love is all about roller derby.
I picked this book because I love graphic novels. The storyline to this book was extremely interesting, I could barely put the book down! I was honestly surprised by how good the book was. This book is by far my favorite graphic novel. I have read this book many times since my first.
Astrid was a teenager in junior high. The only thing getting her through the rough days of school was roller derby. Astrid loved roller derby and was committed to putting in her best work. Astrid’s character develops over time in the novel, and it’s interesting to read about her change.

Reviewer's Name
Abigail

Book Review: Bailey's Story

Author
Cameron, W. Bruce
Rating
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review

Bailey is a dog with a purpose. His owner, Ethan, is a loving caretaker and even better friend to this pup.
I picked out this book at a book fair, I saw the front cover and thought the little puppy was so adorable. I love animals and would definitely recommend this book for others who love animals too. I enjoyed the storyline of this book. I felt that it worked really well with Bailey and Ethan’s characters as the story goes on.
Bailey and Ethan have a great bond that gets better over time. This is a real benefit for the story and allows the reader to have different emotions while reading. This isn’t the genre I would normally go for, but it really surprised me how much I enjoyed the book.
Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name
Abigail

Book Review: A Little Life

Author
Yanagihara, Hanya
Rating
4 stars = Really Good
Review

This book is very heavy and grim, but Hanya Yanagihara gives a detailed insight into living with disabilities, mental illness, and addiction. I became attached to the characters from the start. Four young men- Jude, Willem, JB, and Malcom, have been best friends since being college roommates in New York, but their individual lives and struggles make it complicated to work through their mid-life crises. Despite the grief and somber moments in A Little Life, I appreciated the resilient mentors that the four, especially Jude, had. It had a loving message of always having a support system somewhere even if it doesn't feel like it, and that your past doesn't define you- your present choices do. However, the ending was open ended and left a lot for me to ponder over later. I'd recommend this if you like more somber, down to earth books (and if you're a fast reader, because this book took forever to read!)
Grade 12

Reviewer's Name
Maggie