Reviews of Teen Books by Genre: Romance

The Night Circus
Morgenstern, Erin
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern, is a beautiful, exquisitely written, spellbinding novel of magic, love, and a special circus only open at night.

Celia and Marco are two young magicians, students of respective magical instructors, one of whom is Celia's father. These magicians, fierce rivals for decades, propose a challenge-- an ambiguous feat where the two magicians compete against each other in an expansive setting. At the same time, a theatrical producer, Chandresh Christophe Lefevre, creates his newest masterpiece-- The Night Circus, an expansive theatrical production, where the theatrics are not confined to the stage. Celia and Marco become involved in this circus through the will of their instructors. Celia becomes the illusionist, disguising her magic powers as stage illusions. Marco becomes an assistant to Chandresh, running the circus from the inside, and helping with the coordinated particulars instead of traveling with the circus like Celia.

The competition within the circus begins, Celia and Marco creating new tents in an attempt to outdo each other until one is declared a victor. And slowly, as they begin to realize that the other is their opponent, Celia and Marco fall in love, which sets off a chain of devastating events for the circus and all of the people in it.

Erin Morgenstern is a fantastic writer. Her sumptuous prose is gorgeous, and her level of detail in describing the circus makes it feel as if she had actually visited this place herself instead of creating it in her head. Even the smallest atmospherical details of the circus are mentioned, and such a rich and vivid setting envelopes the reader into the book. The story within the gorgeous setting, that of Celia and Marco, is exquisite. The book takes pace over a vast expanse of years, allowing them to grow and change and mature within their characters as the challenge progresses and they begin to fall in love with each other. Watching Celia and Marco grow throughout the novel from children to finally finding each other was a very satisfying process in the story.

The story does jump, from the main story of Celia and Marco to the story of Bailey, a young boy on a farm in Concord, Massachusetts, who visits the circus and becomes enamored with it, until the time of both stories intersect and Bailey's life crosses with Celia and Marco's.

I cannot say enough good things about The Night Circus. The story, the setting, the writing, and the characters are all wonderful. This book is such a gem, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy, romance, or just a good story. The Night Circus, with it's gorgeous setting and wonderful prose, is the kind of book every reader longs to read-- the kind of book that envelopes the reader into the world created in the story, one that readers will not want to leave long after the last page finished.

Reviewer's Name: Allie
Sick Kids in Love
Moskowitz, Hannah
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Sick Kids in Love was a good book; however, throughout the whole book it felt like something was missing. It would skip what seemed like long periods of time and go to the next topic. It also felt like the same thing kept happening or was talked about over and over. There were some minor plot twits that made it interesting, but they didn't last long and were not really developed. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an easy read that doesn't go into much detail on anything and nothing too sad.

Reviewer's Name: Jana
Awards:
Deep in the Alaskan Woods
Harper, Karen
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Deep in the Alaskan Woods is a mystery thriller that will keep you wanting to read till the end. Alex decides to visit her cousins in the Alaskan wilderness to serve as a gateway from her toxic relationship. Alex loves the Alaskan wilderness and enjoys getting to be unplugged from the internet. It is a great vacation until someone is found dead! Can Alex and the others find out what or who is responsible for this action? I liked this book because I love reading thrillers and this book was definitely a thriller. I disliked that the author repeated a lot of information through the book.

Reviewer's Name: Ananth
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
Cohn, Rachel & Levithan, David
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, by author team Rachel Cohn and David Levithan is a delight of a holiday novel, perfect for anyone who adores Christmastime, New York City, and cute romances based in book stores. I happen to be a fan of all three of those, and found Dash and Lily's Book of Dares to be a super adorable, fluffy, and happy book perfect for the holiday (or any!) season.

Dash is antisocial, moody, prefers to keep to himself and read, and despises the chaos around the holidays, especially with his divorced parents and complicated family life. Lily, on the other hand, adores Christmas with her large family and therefore is disheartened when her parents leave her and her brother alone during the holidays in favor of a trip to Fiji. Lily's brother, Langston, decides that she needs something to occupy the time during the holidays, and gives her the idea to start a scavenger hunt of "dares" in a little red notebook, placed in her favorite bookstore, the Strand. Dash finds the notebook and accepts the dares, and the adventure begins. What follows is a chase around New York City at the holidays, a rapid exchange of dares, dreams, hopes and eventually flirtation between Dash and Lily, both of whom find that corresponding with the other is something that they desperately needed this holiday season.

I loved so much about this book. The descriptions of New York City were detailed and really made me feel like I was in the city with Dash and Lily. The author's note informs readers that Levithan wrote Dash's chapters while Cohn wrote Lily's, and having two authors really gave Dash and Lily their own different and very unique voices. This novel was adorable and sweet, and watching Dash and Lily go from strangers, to friends through the notebook, to a romantic relationship left plenty of room for character arcs and growth in both Dash and Lily. Watching them grow was satisfying and fun. The dares are humorous, and there are touching moments with themes of being brave and getting out of your bubble.

My only issues with Dash and Lily's Book of Dares were the extremely unrealistic scenarios and the characters that sometimes popped up out of nowhere. I started this book fully expecting that it would be unrealistic, and enjoyed it for being so-- to a point. For example, Lily has so many family members in Manhattan that conveniently work at places perfect for dares, who she can call on to aide her in her exploits for Dash, such as a great aunt that works at Madame Tussaud's, a cousin that works at the Strand, and even an uncle who works as a Santa at Macy's, and that seemed way too unrealistic to me. My other issue with this book was that a lot of characters, especially on Dash's side, were not given a proper background as to how they were connected to Dash. Characters seemed to frequently pop up without introduction, and served no point to the plot.

However, those elements did not take away from my enjoyment of Dash and Lily's Book of Dares. It is an adorable holiday romance read that is a perfect read for the holiday season.

Reviewer's Name: Allie
Cover of the book A Walk to Remember
Sparks, Nicholas
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

A Walk to Remember is set in 1958, North Carolina, and is about two seniors who fall in love despite their different personalities. Landon, the mayor's son, is fun and carefree, while Jamie, the preacher's daughter, is 'annoyingly' perfect. Jamie is often clowned by her classmates for her rigid lifestyle, feverish devotion to Christ, and her rather drab way of dressing. When Landon finds himself in desperate need of a date to the school dance, he has no option but to ask Jamie to come with him.

Landon and Jamie begin spending time together, and while Landon tries to hide his feelings, he eventually realizes he loves her for her kindness. He tells Jamie about his feelings, but Jamie responds with hesitance, leaving Landon confused.

The ending is a little sad, but it's also cute and romantic. I liked how Landon developed as a character; he was a bit of a jerk at first, but being with Jaime helped him learn compassion and kindness. Jamie and Landon's relationship is a good example of why you shouldn't take things or people for granted.

Reviewer's Name: Nneoma M.
Five Feet Apart
Lippincott, Rachel
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Five Feet Apart is a really good book that I recommend reading. The story is about two teenagers Stella Grant and Will Newman who both have cystic fibrosis. Both of their lives are very different from our teenage lives. They experience lots of ups and downs in life and the biggest one is them falling in love with each other and having to stay five feet apart. They took a major turn in their lives and risked the rule of being five feet apart because Stella had a dream to see the city lights. Lungs had arrived for Stella that's what she needed but she wasn't in her room. Doctors started to panic because she was nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, Stella and Will were out on the ice until Will finds himself trying to save Stella's life. Read Five Feet Apart to find what dramatic accident they come upon.

Reviewer's Name: Kiana
They Both Die at the End
Silvera, Adam
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

They Both Die In The End is about two boys who find out they have one day left to live, and end up finding each other to spend their last day together. The book is very sad, yet really makes you think about what would you do if you only had one day left to live. This book has so many twists and turns, but in the end everything comes together and makes sense, which I loved. The author did a great job of having pieces from everyone's lives play a part in other peoples, but people don't know this only the reader sees these connections. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a sad book that is very well written, and doesn't really touch on any hard subjects.

Reviewer's Name: Jana
All the Bright Places
Niven, Jennifer
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

All The Bright Places shows two teens struggling with suicide and other mental illnesses, but when they find each other things start to look up. I loved how this book did not romanticize suicide and mental illness, but shows them in a very realistic, meaningful way. The book is absolutely heart breaking when out of no where there is a huge tragedy, so you may want some tissues on hand. This book is for a more mature reader who can handle the topic of suicide, and is wanting a sad book. Although the book throws you for a turn it leaves you with a sense of peace at the end.

Reviewer's Name: Jana
Book Cover
Berry, Julie
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

After being caught with her lover, Ares, Aphrodite tells the stories of two couples that fell in love during World War 1. James and Hazel met at a party that Hazel was playing piano for. They start to go on dates and they really like each other, but James is shipped of to the battlefield. Hazel decides to join the Red Cross to be closer to James. There she meets Colette, who becomes a fast friend.

This book was amazing! I loved the perspective of the gods on the story. They often make appearances to discuss specific parts of the story relating to the gods' affinities. I also loved seeing the couples be together, even during their struggles. While reading this book I cried multiple times and couldn't be happier about that.

I would also highly recommend the audiobook. There were so many different narrators it truly felt like I was in the story. One of the characters passions is composing music and in the audiobook you can actually hear the music! It is a wonderful experience.

Reviewer's Name: Savannah H.
Today Tonight Tomorrow
Solomon, Rachel Lynn
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

(4.5 stars)
Today Tonight Tomorrow by Lynn Solomon tells the story of high school senior Rowan and her nemesis, Niel. They’ve been competing since freshman year, from writing contests to student body elections, and now, for the title of valedictorian. But at the end of their last day of high school, the seniors--partaking in the school’s tradition of Howl, a scavenger hunt-like game-- find themselves teaming up and realize that perhaps they’re not the enemies they thought they were. I thought this book was really cute. It made me smile much more than I thought it would. I really enjoyed seeing the progression of the characters as the story went on, such as learning their little quirks or about their pasts. I liked the romance, and even though the haters to lovers trope is kinda cliche, it turns out I really, really like it. The author did a great job of executing their relationship. I strongly recommend this book, not just for those who like the YA romance genre. It was so sweet and fun, and even though I’m not yet a senior, I think it covered the topics of nostalgia well and that feeling of leaving what you know behind.

Reviewer's Name: Cora
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Sáenz, Benjamin
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Aristotle is 15 and has no friends. One day at the pool Aristotle metDante, Dante offered to teach Aristotle how to swim. After swimming they became fast friends. They laughed and joked together. Then one day Dante saw a bird in the middle of the road with a broken wing then picked it up. Dante stood in the middle of the road and didn't notice the car coming. The next thing Aristotle remembered was waking up in the hospital. Then Aristotle's parents told him that he pushed Dante out of the way. After the accident
Aristotle learns that Dante's family is moving to Chicago for the school year, for Dante's dads job. They wrote and they called each other. In one letter Dante told Aristotle that Dante would rather kiss boys than girls. Aristotle didn't think much of it till 4 people beat up Dante so bad he has to go to the hospital. In the end they go out in the desert and Aristotle realizes something with help from his dad. The ending was quite different then what I expected. The book is happy and sad. I recommend this book to any one who likes to have a good cry. It is really good. I also recommend the authors other books.

Reviewer's Name: Jaime
Awards:
No Judgments
Cabot, Meg
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Sabrina Beckham moves to a little island in the Florida Keys. She moves to Little Bridge because she had just gone through a rough time. She moved to the island to take a break from the busy life of living in New York. After 3 months of living their a category hurricane is coming. After the hurricane Sabrina and her friend Drew go out to take care and feed all the pets of the people who evacuated and couldn't come back, because the bridge to the main land got washed out. The book ends with a happy ending and everything in the hurricane worked out.

The one reason I picked this book was because it was one of the books by Meg Cabot I hadn't read. I really like her other books. After reading the book I thought about what I thought the way it would end, but the ending was different then I thought. The book was really good and I recommend it to any one who doesn't know what to read.

Reviewer's Name: Jaime
The Raven Boys
Stiefvater, Maggie
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater tells the story of Blue, a teenage girl in a family of psychics. Blue doesn’t have the family gift, but on St. Mark’s Eve she sees a phantom boy--Gansey, one of the boys who attends Aglionby Academy. As a non-psychic, there are only two reasons Blue would see someone: she either kills or falls in love with him sometime in the course of the next year. One other little problem: Blue has been told her whole life that she’ll kill her true love with a kiss. Despite this, Blue still finds herself drawn in by Gansey and his world of the Raven Boys at Aglionby Academy. It only took me a day to finish The Raven Boys, proof it’s a good page turner. The plot pulled me in and left me wanting to read the second book in the series. I’ve read better books this year, but it’s by no means bad or even close to the worst book I’ve picked up in 2020. I don’t really have anything negative to say about this book, so if you’re considering reading it, just go for it.

Reviewer's Name: Cora G.
The Betrothed
Cass, Kiera
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Betrothed is set in a fantasy kingdom called Coroa where Hollis Bright, a noble, is trying to catch the king's eye and become the next Queen of Coroa. The King soon picks her, and Hollis is shoved into this new lifestyle as future queen, which becomes a lot more extravagant and challenging than she first thought. The King of Isolten is soon to be visiting Coroa, and Hollis uses this to prove that she can be queen. That is, until Isolten refugees comes to Coroa seeking saftey, her plan stops when she meets them and Hollis leaarns that being future queen is not her ideal future.

I do not enjoy romance novel's very much, but I really liked this one. Cass mixes many plots together to create this really cool story. It has romance, action, and mystery. This book was really well written and I soon became connected to Hollis and the other characters when the story began. The book left off at a very suspenseful point and I hope there will be second book. This book is somewhat different from the other books the author has written such as The Selection, but if you are a fan of Casses books, or like
princessy, fairy tale type books, then I would give this a try.

Reviewer's Name: Emma
Genres:
Frankly in Love
Yoon, David
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Frankly in Love by David Yoon tells the story of a Korean-American high school senior named Frank Li. Frank’s parents only have one rule when it comes to dating--date a Korean girl. But Frank finds himself in love with a white girl, and in a crazy attempt to hide their relationship from his parents, he teams up with his friend Joy Song to orchestrate a wild fake dating scheme. However, along the way, Frank finds himself wondering if he really knows what love is after all. I enjoyed reading this book. It was deeper than just a teenage love story. It held both the expectations of Korean parents for their kids and Frank trying to find his place, feeling neither Korean or American enough. Some of the character’s choices weren’t really the best and sometimes they can be extremely awkward, but overall it was still an enjoyable read. I recommend it not only for the romance but everything else it touches.

Reviewer's Name: Cora
A Very Large Expanse of Sea
Mafe, Tahereh
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi is an amazing book. The novel isma coming of age/romance story, based around a 16 year old, muslim girl named Shirin. Shirin experiences horrible acts of Islamaphobia at her new high school and in public because of her hijab. Things get even worse when Ocean, a popular white boy at the school befriends her. The interracial aspect of their relationship makes not only Shirin vulnerable towards acts of hate, but Ocean as well.

Once I started reading this book, I could not stop! I am very thankful my teacher recommended it to me. The story was engaging and fast paced! I loved how beautifully the story was written, and the powerful message behind the words. It is important that teens learn about serious topics like racism and religious discrimination to help prevent hate in the future. There are a few parts in the book with mature language and topics, but I still recommend that teens and adults read this novel!

Reviewer's Name: Aztin
To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Han, Jenny
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

It’s a really good book about a shy girl who has a hard time expressing her feelings. Lara Jean, main character, writes love letters to boys that she’s had a crush on but keeps them afraid of their reaction. Eventually the letters got out and one of the recipients of one of the letters goes to her school. At first there relationship started of fake but the more they fake it the more their feeling become real. It’s a really good book highly recommend!

Reviewer's Name: Miguel
Breaking Dawn
Meyer, Stephenie
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

“Breaking Dawn” is one of my favorite books out of the twilight saga. The book is separated into three parts Edwards and Bella’s wedding and honeymoon, Jacob Blacks Perspective and Bella’s new life as a vampire. Also let me just say this book is the most brimming with details and so many events. This book always just find a way to keep me interested, never dries out. I would say that the book is way better than the movie 10 out of 10 recommended.

Reviewer's Name: Miguel
Awards:
City of Bones
Clare, Cassandra
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The summer of going from eighth grade to freshman year I was required to do a book report of my choice as a summer project. I chose “City of Bones” by Cassandra Clare. It’s pretty good and in my opinion it somewhat has to do something with religion. The book talks about demons and angels especially when it mention Ángel Gabriel and Micheal some of the most mentioned angels in the Bible. “City of Bones” is a fiction book about two separate worlds, one with ordinary humans (mundane) and shadow hunters
(nephilim). Anyways, the book is very detail as to talking about the battles and descriptions of demons and certain settings. Its just a really good book, always keeping it interesting.

Reviewer's Name: Miguel
Awards:
Everything Everything
Yoon, Nicola
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Everything Everything is about a girl named Madeline Whittier. Madeline is sick, she has been sick for a long time. Her brother and dad died when she was very young and it was only her and her mother. She was so sick that she couldn't leave her house and was practically allergic to the world. Then all of a sudden a new neighbor moved in and that changed her life. The neighbor, a boy named Ollie, moved in and they became fast friends through emailing. After awhile, Carla, Madeline's nurse, let her see Ollie as
long as he got decontaminated beforehand. Madeline was so happy till she went outside and her mom found out and she got grounded and she couldn't see or email Ollie anymore to the point where she made some decisions that questioned her health. Throughout the year she was eighteen, she found out that she was lied to and became a new person.

Reviewer's Name: Kaitlyn

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