Fiction

Book Review: The City of Ember

The City of Ember
Author: 
DuPrau, Jeanne
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

The City of Ember is a fictional book in which the author explains a dystopian society. In this society young people are given their jobs that they must do for the rest of their lives. The city is also falling apart because they are running out of supplies like food and are running out of an energy source. Their "government" system is corrupt making it impossible for change to easily happen. The main characters, Lina and Doon, are determined to find life outside of their enclosed city so they embark on a journey. On this journey they face many struggles but eventually make it out with hopes of a better life.

I would recommend this book. "The City of Ember" is a fun, easy book to read. I read it the first time because I was in battle of the books. I couldn't relate to the characters. It wasn't predictable and it was a good book.

Reviewer's Name: 
Oriana O

Book Review: According to a Source

Book Review: According to a Source
Author: 
Stern, Abby
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

I can't believe I'm even saying this, but I really enjoyed this novel. It's about a tabloid reporter in Hollywood and is as vapid of a novel as you can probably imagine. Nonetheless, I found myself wanting to carve out time to read it. Much like cotton candy, it was empty calories but oh so good. Actually, while it starts out vapid, plot elements like friendships, romantic relationships, and family relationships are visited with surprising aplomb. Should I be reading the great American novel instead of this? Perhaps, but sometimes it's necessary to eat junk food to appreciate quality cuisine.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray
Author: 
Sepetys, Ruta
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Taking place during WWII... Lina, a fifteen-year-old girl, lives a peaceful and normal life drawing and going to school but when the NKVD, better known as Soviet officers, force them to leave, adventure and chaos abduct Lina's normal lifestyle. Lina, her brother Jonas, and her mom Elena have to travel by train living with the bare minimum to survive off of. From Soviet officers forcing them to work to stealing food to survive, Lina has to find a way to outlast WWII and the capture of her family. Her main goal through all this; to find her dad. This dramatic adventure written by Ruta Sepetys will pull you off your seat.
Reviewer's Age: 15

Reviewer's Name: 
Aiden F

Book Review: United As One

United As One
Author: 
Lore, Pittacus
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

The final battle is upon the Loric. They have prepared for this their entire lives and the time has finally come. However, will all that they have done be enough to defeat Setrakus Ra. Pittacus Lore has written a thrilling conclusion to this blockbuster series. This action packed adventure is wonderful and a great read. I highly recommend this book to all middle and high school aged readers.

Reviewer's Name: 
John B

Book Review: The Marvels

The Marvels
Author: 
Selznick, Brian
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This book begins on a ship at sea with a boy named Billy Marvel. He survives a terrible shipwreck and later finds work in a London theatre. There his family lives for generations as brilliant actors--some who are the best kind of people, some who are awful people. All of the family are actors and love the stage and spotlight until young Leontes Marvel. He hates acting, misses his cues, and can’t remember his lines. His parents are ashamed and banish him from the stage. He decides that his destiny lies somewhere else so he runs away.

A century later, Joseph Jervis, another runaway, finds a place to stay with an uncle in London. Grumpy Uncle Albert and his strange but beautiful house lure Joseph on a search for clues. He begins to think that he might be related to the Marvels and begins an incredible adventure to find out who he truly is.

I really enjoyed this book. During the mystery, I felt like I was right alongside Joseph as he found clues to his mysterious past. I am happy that I figured out the mystery before Joseph did. The story had a very sad ending, but overall stayed pretty bright. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Brian Selznik’s other books, mysteries, or heartfelt books.

Reviewer's Name: 
Ben C

Book Review: Scarlet

Scarlet
Author: 
Meyer, Marissa
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

"Scarlet" is the second book of Marissa Meyer's series, "The Lunar Chronicles". We left off with new information on Cinder's true identity and her trapped in jail. With gifts from Dr. Erland Cinder must pull a daring escape from prison, using her wits and new allies to push her towards her next goal.
Meanwhile, Scarlet has been waiting weeks for information on her grandmother's disappearance. When nothing turns up, she is forced to turn to more sketchy sources.
Marissa Meyer expertly weaves the two view points to keep the series moving in the dashing book known as "Scarlet".
Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: 
Adia R

Book Review: Talons of Power

Talons of Power
Author: 
Sutherland, Tui
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

I am an avid fan of the Wings of Fire series, and Talons of Power is by far my favorite! Individual books in the series have been from another dragons point of view, and this time we get to see the world through the eyes of Turtle the Seawing. As Darkstalker's grip over Pyhrria tightens, Tui gives the most unassuming and fearful character in the group to lead them towards victory. The dragonets will be forced to get creative if they want to stop Darkstalker. Each chapter is full of thrills and plot twists, with an ending I'm sure no one saw coming.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: 
Adia R

Book Review: The Wishing Spell

The Wishing Spell
Author: 
Colfer, Chris
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Twins, Alex and Connor Bailey, are two average middle school kids. Alex is a bookworm and is very lonely, while Connor is the class clown and has a lot of friends. Their dad died a year before, and their mother is still struggling to pay off bills. Both of the twins have grown up loving all the classic fairy tales. On their twelfth birthday, their grandmother comes into town to celebrate with them. Alex and Conner are given the old family storybook, filled with all those classic stories they grew up with. Late that night, while Alex is reading, the storybook begins to glow and hum. Alex is shocked, and throughout the week, she realizes its a portal to the land of stories, where fairytales come to life. I chose to read this book because I was told it was about a spin on classic tales. I think that people that like the show once upon a time would like this. I love how Chris Colfer made a connection and a community of the stories like Cinderella, Thumbelina, Sleeping Beauty, and much more. The only part I don't like is that there is sometimes profanity and foul language. Otherwise, this is an AMAZING book and I highly recommend it.

Reviewer's Name: 
Abby P.

Book Review: There's Someone Inside Your House

There's Someone Inside Your House
Author: 
Perkins, Stephanie
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

It's been almost a year since Makani Young came to live with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska, and she's still adjusting to her new life. And still haunted by her past in Hawaii. Then, one by one, the students of her small town high school begin to die in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer. Makani will be forced to confront her own dark secrets.

"There's Someone Inside Your House" is a compelling book that at times feels impossible to put down. Stephanie Perkins excels at writing fast reads and this book is no exception. Being my first time reading one of her books I have to say that I wasn't disappointed, but I also wasn't won over. If your looking for a complex horror novel, this is not the book for you. It's murder plot is very straightforward and its essentially about a serial killer terrorizing a town. The beginning of the book was my favorite part, the murders were slow and calculated, each one more interesting then the last and the characters were brand new so I was still suspicious about all of them. Not knowing who I could trust made the beginning my favorite part, but once the killer is revealed and the action starts to speed up my interest began to decrease. My main problems with the book was the serial killer's baffling motivation and lackluster reveal. I also thought Makani's mysterious past was brought up way too much to be believable. In almost every chapter she worries "do they know about my past?" "could he have found out what I've done?" and when it actually is revealed what she did, her constant worry seems all the more unrealistic. I wished her two friends would have been more developed, especially Darby. I felt like they were both pushed to the background to make way for Ollie's development. That being said I did enjoy Alex, Darby's, Makani's interaction/friendship. And I think Makani makes an interesting protagonist. Her mysterious past adds intrigue and any references to her childhood in Hawaii feel genuine and well-researched. Ollie is also unique and likeable. All in all it was different sort of book for me, I doubt hardcore mystery or horror fans would enjoy it, but if your looking for a simple YA slasher then I think you would enjoy this.

Reviewer's Name: 
Zion

Book Review: Floors

Floors
Author: 
Carman, Patrick
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Leo lives in a hotel. The hotel consists of many rooms and some of them are crazy. Thee owner of the library is inside one of the rooms and has the keys to the room that Leo needs to open to save the hotel from closing. He and his friend Remi go around the whole hotel to find the room. Join Leo and Remi with their awesome adventure to find the keys that will help the hotel form closing down.

Reviewer's Name: 
Harshith J.

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