Fiction

Book Review: The Silent Patient

Book Review: The Silent Patient book jacket
Author: 
Michaelides, Alex
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Alicia Barenson is a famous painter who shoots her husband in the face five time then stops speaking. A psychotherapist works with her to get her to speak again and becomes obsessed with her.

Maybe mystery/thrillers aren't my cup of tea? It started out very good, pulling in the reader with a fascinating story about Alicia. However, the way it played out in the end was convoluted and disappointing. I wasn't like "Oh wow! What an ending!" Instead, I was like "Huh? What the...?" If you can get over the ending, the book is a good read.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

Book Review: The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar
Author: 
Plath, Sylvia
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Sylvia Plath creates vivid,realistic and gripping narrative in The Bell Jar in order to depict the harsh treatment of both women and the mentally ill.
The story follows Esther Greenwood, who is a young and successful woman, slowly descending into madness. It chronicles her interactions with men, other young women, and her mother, and how those things had contributed to her becoming mentally ill.
This book is easily one of my favorites. Throughout the entire story, the readers are in Esther’s mind. We see first hand how she becomes insane.
Sylvia Plath has such an intense and realistic writing style that Esther’s actions almost seem rational. It makes us question our own sanity. This book definitely had the best portrayal of mental illness I have seen so far. It also deals with other intense themes such as the treatment of women in society. Despite these themes being severe and somewhat terrifying, the book remains eloquent and lyrical. The Bell Jar is provocative and heart wrenching at the same time, and I believe it is one of the best books ever written.

Reviewer's Name: 
Sophie L

Book Review: To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird
Author: 
Lee, Harper
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

“It’s a sin to kill a mockingbird”. Harper Lee writes a beautiful and provocative narrative in To Kill a Mockingbird in order to create a conversation about relevant themes that affect our world. The story follows Scout and her brother Jem as their father, Atticus, defends an African American man named Tom Robinson in court for raping a young white woman.
Meanwhile, the children meet a new boy named Dill, and are curious about their neighbor, “Boo” Radley. The book deals with intense themes such as racial injustice, class, and growing up.
When I first read this book in 9th grade, I didn’t care too much for it. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t think it was something that I could read again.
But I was wrong. While re-reading this book, I discovered why it is a classic. The book deals with serious issues while still remaining eloquent and poetic. I adored Scout’s character and her development seen through her interactions with Boo Radley. I thoroughly enjoyed Harper’s writing style and her ability to create distinct and well rounded personalities for each of her characters. I believe that this book should be read both in schools and outside of them because of its powerful and controversial narrative.

Reviewer's Name: 
Sophie L

Book Review: 1984

1984
Author: 
Orwell, George
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

George Orwell depicts a horrific and terrifying alternate reality of 1984.
After years of war and conflict, the world is governed by three totalitarian regimes. The one that our main character, Winston Smith, resides under is ruled by the “party” and its leader “Big Brother”. The narrative follows Winston as he meets a mysterious woman named Julia, and the two begin to secretly rebel.
When I first started reading this book, I was a little bit disappointed. I had such high expectations (I think that was the problem) ,and it just didn’t live up to them. In the beginning, I thought Winston’s character was somewhat flat, and I didn’t feel a lot of sympathy for what he was living through. I thought Julia was unrealistic and a bit obnoxious. But in the second half of the book, my opinions had changed. The book becomes quite disturbing, and it makes you question what is actually real and what is just a fabrication of the party. It’s terrifying to say the least. Despite the fact that I enjoyed parts of this book, I have to rate it 3 stars because I wasn’t engaged in the first half of the narrative.

Reviewer's Name: 
Sophie L

Book Review: Frostfire

Frostfire book cover
Author: 
Hocking, Amanda
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

A hidden kingdom lies deep within a snow-covered wilderness, a kingdom filled with beautiful Kanin people who have dark hair and dark eyes. Bryn Aven is an outsider a half-blood, she stands out with her blond hair and blue eyes. Her only dream in life is to prove her allegiance to the Kanin kingdom and become a royal guard. As she struggles to prove she can be a guard, Bryn falls in love with her ruggedly handsome boss Ridley Dresden. Although both of them share feelings for one another their relationship is strictly forbidden.
Bryns journey continues as she must fight for the kingdom in a terrifying battle and the love of her life.
Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: 
Madison S

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars book cover
Author: 
Green, John
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Nobody was more devastated than Hazel Grace’s mother when Hazel was diagnosed with lung cancer. Hazel was forced by her mom to attend a support group for cancer patients because her mom thought it would be beneficial for her mental health. At first Hazel was not excited to be in a support group, that is until she meets Augustus Waters. Augustus is a young man who had lost his leg to cancer, but through all of his hardships uses cancer for the basis of his sarcastic humor. Hazel and Augustus hit it off, and enjoy the bliss of a whirlwind romance. However, their happiness is cut short by a sudden tragedy that leaves one of them in total despair. And as John Green writes in this novel “Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.”
Reviewer Grade:12

Reviewer's Name: 
Madison S

Book Reviews: If I Stay

If I Stay book cover
Author: 
Forman, Gayle
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

A tragic story, reflecting the struggle of a girl who clings to life. This novel brought many tears to my eyes as I read it. The main character Mia and her family had just been in life threatening car crash; when in the hospital Mia wakes up but outside of her body. She is faced with a heartbreaking
decision: to stay and live, or to die and leave. Mia while in this conscious drift apart from her physical body re-lives all the life changing moments of her past and witnesses all of her relatives and friends as they come to the hospital to potentially say goodbye. Mia is then faced with the decision of whether she should stay. Sadness, memories, romance, heartbreak, the novel If I Stay has it all.
Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: 
Madison S

Book Review: Plague

Plague book cover
Author: 
Grant, Michael
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

The thrilling Gone series continues with this fourth book, and Grant does not disappoint. This series has been one of my favorites and Plague is no exception. As a highly contagious, fatal illness spreads at an alarming rate and predatory insects terrorize Perdido Beach, morale continues to drop.
However, Sam, Astrid, and even Caine are determined to find a way to survive.
Everyone must make difficult decisions when it comes to saving themselves and those they love. Grant has written another phenomenal dystopian horror with suspense around every corner. I highly recommend this book to all high school aged readers.

Reviewer's Name: 
John B

Book Review: Bob

Bob
Author: 
Mass, Wendy, Stead, Rebecca
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This book is about a girl who goes to her grandma's house after not being there for five years. She finds a small goblin named Bob awaiting her arrival. The two set off on an adventure to find Bob's family before they forget each other forever. This is a great story about the power of friendship. Rebecca Stead writes many amazing books and this is one of the best. This is a book that will leave you wanting more unable to put it down.

Reviewer's Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: 
McKenna B

Book Review: The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret Life of Bees
Author: 
Kidd, Sue Monk
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Phenomenal. That is one of the best words I can use to describe this book. The secret life of bees is an amazing story about a girl who leaves her abusive home with her housekeeper (1950s-60s era) and finds herself living with three sisters who make honey. A story bursting with vivid description and creative storytelling, the secret life of bees draws you in and keeps you there until you are suddenly done with the book. Truly an amazing story that shows that the family you're born with isn't always the family you end up with.

Reviewer's Name: 
Maddie K

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