Reviews of Teen Books by Genre: Fantasy

Illuminae
Kaufman, Amie and Kristoff, Jay
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Illuminae is an enthralling mix of science fiction and thriller. Written as a case file and using many different formats (audio logs, transcribed security footage, and interviews are just a few), Illuminae has action, mystery, and romance to interest many teen readers, although its multimedia style may be jarring to some. Overall, an excellent book and the start of one of my favorite series to date.

Reviewer's Name: Locke
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
O'Brien, Robert
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Mrs. Frisby, a mouse, and her family have lived in peace, traveling between summer and winter homes to account for the farmer's plowing and the weather.
But when Timothy, her youngest son falls very ill, and cannot be moved in time, Mrs. Frisby sets out to fix her dilemma. She soon comes across the rats of NIMH, who are very strange and very smart. They are more than willing to help her, but they already have a problem on their hands, one they aren't even aware of.

This book is amazing! It shows the thoughts and worries of Mrs. Frisby, and then her ways of dealing with them in a terrific way. I loved the characters and the suspenseful plot. It kept me up late, because the rats are just so fascinating, especially in their way of coping with their unique problems.
This is a fantastic read, and everybody who reads this book will love the sweet and charming character of Mrs. Frisby, and the spectacularly mysterious rats. Even if you usually stick to nonfiction, you will love this book, because it shows some interesting science...

Reviewer's Name: Kelsey
The Song of Achilles
Miller, Madeline
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is the story of Patroclus and Achilles and what their lives were like. They meet each other at a young age and soon become fast friends. They go to train with the Centaur Chiron in the mountains, but soon the call of war comes knocking. Helen, the wife of the king of Sparta, has been kidnapped and taken to Troy. This causes the heroes of Greece to rally together to fight, including Achilles. Achilles desires the promise of glory, so he joins, and Patroclus, who can't bear to leave him, follows. This war will challenge of how far some will go for the promise of glory even at the cost of love. This book is told through Patroclus' perspective and gives a unique inside into what the Trojan War was like.

I've heard amazing things about this book, and I was not disappointed when I sat down to read it. Both of these characters were so lovable, I soon became invested in the story. I didn't know a lot about the Trojan War other than the wooden horse. I loved learning more about the history while following the boys' lives. This story was an emotional roller coaster for me. Be prepared to shed some tears and yell if you hop onto this wild ride. I loved this book so much and would recommend it to many. Every character had depth and played an impacting role in some way. It was beautiful. Here is one of my favorite quotes: "He is half of my soul, as the poet say." Song of Achilles.

-10th

Reviewer's Name: Alyson
Awards:
Wishtree
Applegate, Katherine
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Red is a tree. A red oak tree, to be precise. Red has helped and befriended many animals, and even a human! But as all trees know, it is forbidden to speak to them. That changes when a Muslim family moves in nextto Red. The next thing Red knows, a very bad message is carved into the wood. Red must decide whether it would be better to destroy the rule that trees have had for centuries, or to destroy a little girl’s hope.
I liked the way the author showed Red's thought process and Red's decision making. I also liked the names for the animals, especially the raccoons. The forgetful raccoon mom's name was Big You and her three kids were all named You. I think the humor added to the book so it was not all about hardship.

Reviewer's Name: Kelsey
Genres:
The Battle of the Labyrinth
Riordan, Rick
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Percy Jackson, a teenage demigod, is the son of Poseidon. He is on the lookout for Nico, who has no idea what he's gotten into, and who blames Percy for his sister's death. And, of course, on the lookout for Luke, who has been aiding the evil titan Kronos in his quest to destroy the gods, and who does not care if innocent people die in this quest. But even more problems come into view when an entrance to the Labyrinth (a maze that is quite capable of killing Percy and his friends) is found in the center of Camp Half-Blood. Percy, Annabeth, Grover, and Tyson must enter the maze and convince Daedalus to help them before Luke gets there first.

This book is just amazing. I loved the balance between action, humor, ( I even had to stop reading at some points, to show my family the excellent jokes) suspense, and mystery. The book, being based on Greek mythology, has lots and lots of references to the Greek gods and goddesses, myths, and some of the heroes. And yet, it manages to have a unique plot, despite all of the other stories inside it. Rick Riordan did an excellent job of this, and the book is just amazing. However, I would recommend reading the first books in the series before this one, as it is a continuation of that story. It was great, and an especially good read for people who are bored out of their minds, because it was long and filled with great writing.

Reviewer's Name: Kelsey
The Kiss of Deception
Pearson, Mary E.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Lia is escaping from her future. Marrying the Prince of Dalbreck is not what she had in mind for the rest of her life. Fleeing Morrighan, Lia and her best friend, Pauline, rush to Terrivan. The undercover princess is at peace until two mysterious gentleman show up in her town. Little does she know one is an assassin, and another is none the than her betrothed. Lia finds out her escape isn't as discreet as she thought. The disorder she left behind is only getting worse.

I wholeheartedly enjoyed this book. I couldn't put it down and found myself finishing it within days. Pearson has a perfect flow for the story and keeps you wondering what's next.

Reviewer's Name: Lilly
Genres:
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:
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:
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
The Dream Thieves
Stiefvater, Maggie
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater is the second book in the Raven Cycle series, and it picks up after the events of The Raven Boys. It follows Blue and her raven boys as the ley line awakens, Ronan reveals he can take things out of his dreams, and Gansey continues his quest to find Glendower all while sinister people begin to make their way into Henrietta. I really liked this book and thought it was a great continuation of the series. I liked the way it explored Ronan as a character as well as Adam’s struggle with the ley line and himself. It expanded the world of the raven boys for the better, and it nicely set up the rest of the series (including future relationships). I recommend this for anyone who has read The Raven Boys, as well as anyone who is looking for a more relaxed fantasy series. In comparison to series like Throne of Glass or Six of Crows, the pacing is more relaxed, but it is still an intriguing and fun read with lovable characters and a good plotline.

Reviewer's Name: Cora
Ten Thousand Skies Above You
Gray, Claudia
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Ten Thousand Skies Above You I enjoyed immensely.
I picked this book because, well, I judge books by their covers. I mean just look at the cover, it's skillfully done! When reading the book there were some slow parts but it makes it all worth while once you get to one of the groundbreaking plot twists. I recommend this book to people who love a little bit of romance, mystery, fantasy. This swept me away to a new world, and while I can't say I can relate to Marguerite (because, well, I have traveled to other dimensions first hand) I liked the story, it has a excellent structure and build up. I like the first one a bit better but again this one was executed well too.

Reviewer's Name: Lilly
Rule of Wolves
Bardugo, Leigh
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo is the second book in the King of Scars duology, and the 7th book set in Bardugo’s Grishaverse. It follows Nikolai, Zoya, and Nina after the events of King of Scars as Ravka is pushed down the path towards war. In my opinion, Rule of Wolves was better than King of Scars and closer to the level of Six of Crows. I loved the dynamics between Nikolai and Zoya as well as being able to see some of the Crows, even if it was only for a few pages. In addition, I thought the conclusion was a very satisfactory ending to the story (a certain couple finally getting together was especially exciting). Though it wasn’t perfect and it contained a few characters I didn’t really like, the rest of the story made up for it. For fans of Leigh Bardugo who have read her other books, I highly recommend Rule of Wolves.

Reviewer's Name: Cora
The Midnight Library
Haig, Matt
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

I expected this book to be decently interesting but I found that I couldn't put it down and ended up finishing it in a day. It tells the story of Nora Seed, who, after taking her own life, finds herself in the "Midnight Library," in which every book is a different life that could have been hers had she made a different decision in any given moment. She explores several of these lives, trying them out, in an attempt to find the right one that she really wants.
Nora is a relatable, three-dimensional character with an arc of development that was touching and well-done. The development of the book's themes, too, was immaculate, and they were crafted and portrayed in a way that hits the reader hard. If you're looking for a heartfelt book about self-discovery, regret, potential, and the joy of life, I would highly recommend.
Content-wise, there's the occasional swear word, and two mentions of the main character having sex, but it wasn't described and there wasn't anything graphic. I'd probably give it a 14+ age rating.
Reviewer grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Elanor
Artemis Fowl. The Time Paradox
Colfer, Eoin
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Just like Godwin’s law asserts that internet conversations eventually lead to comparisons of Hitler, the longer a book series progresses, the more likely it is to include a time travel story. For the Artemis Fowl series, I was glad that it took six books to get here. Unfortunately, this plotline completely stalled the forward momentum the series had developed from the last entry, The Lost Colony (especially with introducing a potential love triangle). Sure, The Time Paradox does set up a revival for bringing back one of the series’ best antagonists, but mostly it is used to highlight the growth of the titular character.

Of course, in comparing the old Artemis Fowl with the new one, there seemed to be a regression of the one I had come to enjoy at the end of The Lost Colony. It was almost like he saw how he used to act and thought, “You know, I should try and be that way again.” Granted, he’s still basically a teenager, and he doesn’t necessarily use logic when it comes to emotional decisions—especially emotional decisions about his family. But perhaps the weakness of this story was that he had to regain all the allies he had built through the last five volumes, thus wasting time in a nearly-solo adventure.

In the end, the fact that the Artemis Fowl series finally reached its “time travel” book signals to me that there might not be many ideas left to explore. The time travel trope is so played out that most of this book was entirely predictable. Nothing drastic ever really changes in these storylines since you know that everything will return to normal by the end in a “deus ex machina” moment. Considering only two more books are left in this series, I believe my suspicion may be correct.

A standard time travel plot every book series must have, I give The Time Paradox 3.0 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: Benjamin W.
Into the Drowning Deep
Grant, Mira
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I was viewing some of the recommended books in the PPLD website and I
found this book. The title seemed suspenseful and interesting, and it drew me
in, so I decided to read this book. It's about mysteries wanting to be
discovered and uncovered. Years ago, the "Atargatis" filmed a documentary
about bringing ancient life back and discovering mythical creatures. It was
all going fine until the crew disappeared- and what's weird is how footage of
the crew getting slaughtered by mermaids got leaked out. Because of this, the
public grew suspicious and began to wonder if this was just to mock. Because
of this, Theodore Blackwell is curious and forms a new group of people to
voyage to the Mariana Trench. Each person in the crew has their own specialty
and has their own reason of wanting to explore the same area. Along the way,
they discover that a lot of the "myths" are true while finding fheir way to
safety.

Reviewer's Name: Trisha
Catching Fire
Collins, Suzanne
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

SPOILERS FOR THE HUNGER GAMES!

Catching Fire by Suzane Collins is recommended for 11 and above. This book involves the Hunger Games, in which people have to kill each other until one person is left who will be the victor. The main characters in this book are Katniss Everdeen, Gale, and Peeta. Katniss and Peeta are both friends because they were chosen as the two tributes from District 12. They both made a team and won the 74th Hunger Games. Peeta and Katniss were living together happily until the Quater Quell, (75th Hunger Games). This year tributes will be chosen from the group of victors from previous years. I personally liked this book. Although this book involves a lot of blood and fighting, it is intense and fun to read.

Reviewer's Name: Pranav
Rage of Dragons
Winter, Evan
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Winter cultivates a nearly tangible world with his words and skillfully executes almost anything that he writes. Taken from African mythos and culture, the story follows Tau, a member of one of the lower caste systems, who starts with only ambition but uses it to fuel what he achieves and what he does. Almost everything in this book is tied together. The caste system is directly related to the magic system, while the magic system is tied to political structures, and those structures are then connected to the plot. I think the biggest strength in this book is the characters. Each is created with understandable motivations, and each with aspirations that maybe aren't so noble. Everyone feels very real when reading this book, and even the politics are linked logically. Winter displays how much Tau sacrifices for his goals, and how much he's suffered for it. And afterward, he's not much of a hero. He still has the same goals, but is driven by things that aren't as pure. I would definitely recommend this book, and it seems to have promising leads to the coming sequels.

Reviewer's Name: Noah
Awards:
Genres:

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