Reviews of Teen Books by Genre: Contemporary

Every Other Weekend book jacket
Johnson, Abigail
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The life of Adam Moynihan got turned upside down after his brother died. Before, his family was almost perfect. His brother and him didn't fight and his mother and father were happy and Adam made straight A's. After, his brother and him couldn't have one conversation without fighting each other without fighting and his mother and father decided that they couldn't be happy together so they decided to take a break from each other. Everything was messed up for Adam.

Jolene Timber's life was the opposite. Her life was full of nothing but chaos and mental pain. Her parents divorced when she was younger and had been fighting with each other since. Adam and Jolene had both been forced to stay with one of their parents in the same apartment building which is where they met each other. Almost as soon as Adam and Jolene met, they had an immediate connection. Adam and Jolene needed each other to help one another get through their equally tough situations. Adam and Jolene both knew that they had had romantic feelings for eachother since the beginning, but they didn't want to ruin their amazing friendship. Adam and Jolene were both going through extremely difficult times but they helped and supported each other throughout the whole thing.

I chose to read this book because in the summary it told me about the problems that both Jolene and Adam went through. I also happened to relate with one of the problems that Adam went through. The reality of the book really satisfied me because it's easier for me to follow along with a storyline when it's easier to relate to. The book also included some humorous content which I think is very important to accompany serious events. There weren't many things that I didn't like about this book, however, the switch between points of view did mess me up quite frequently.

If you appreciate a book with things that would happen in real life, you'd appreciate this book immensely. If you enjoy funny characters who slowly fall in love with each other then you would fall in love with this book by Abigail Johnson.

Reviewer's Name: Cece T.
The Inheritance Games
Barnes, Jennifer
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Avery always felt like wallpaper at her school, practically invisible. That was until Tobias Hawthorne, a complete stranger, left her billions. She has to uproot her life and move to Texas to inherit the billions. She has to figure out why she inherited the money. Though it is hard while most of the household holds a grudge against her. There Avery finds a complex puzzle waiting to be solved, and not to mention a love triangle.

This book was an amazing read. It tells Avery's story and her scavenger hunt of a life time. It's a great book to help get out of a reading slump. Highly recommend!

Reviewer's Name: Lilly
Look Both Ways
Reynolds, Jason
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Look Both Ways By Jason Reynolds is a ten different short stories about kids walking home from school. The ten stories are woven together by the context of a school bus falling from the sky. But no one knows because they were all too busy with their lives. In ten different walks home from school, Look Both Ways captures the humor, poetry, and liveliness encompassing middle school and early high school life. It also explores seeing two sides or more of the same perspective. For example, the ‘bad kid’ may be good-hearted. I think the book was masterfully put together and woven ten stories seamlessly together. This book made me laugh, hope, cry, and believe. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book with 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewer's Name: Lucia
One of Us Is Lying
McManus, Karen M.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This story is written in several points of view to truly capture how one regular detention turned into a murder scene. Four kids from Bayview High, full of hidden truths and an app that exposes everyone if they like it or not. The kids were from different social clicks, the classic "no-good" boy, the baseball star, miss perfect, and the girl who has her heart full of dedication to join Yale. Everywhere they went they were constantly watched, no alone time without someone bothering them about the boy that died from something so simple as an allergic reaction. The possibilities are endless when it comes to solving the puzzle, did the four students do it, or did someone from outside the room do it?

Reviewer's Name: Savanah
Out of My Mind book jacket
Draper, Sharon
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper is written from the perspective of Melody
Brooks, an eleven year old kid that cannot talk, walk, or feed herself. Even
with all of her challenges Melody is incredibly smart with a photographic
memory. However because of people's prejudices against her people think she
is dumb, doctors, teachers, and other students. Out of My Mind tells an
amazing story about overcoming disabilities and prejudices in both life and
school. This book broke my heart and left me with hope through a powerful
ending. I would recommend this book with a 4 out of 5 stars.

Reviewer's Name: Lucia
We Are Okay
LaCour, Nina
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

We are ok is about a girl who recently lost a family member who wasn't as trustworthy as she thought. When Marin's gramps passes away, she realizes that he had made her forgotten about her deceased mother because he had more pictures, dreams, and memories than he had said. Marin, now a year older, is visited by her childhood friend. Throughout the visit, she gets memories of her life before her gramps died. I love this book. It had all my emotions mixed up and I couldn't put it down. This book is great for people that can handle mature topics and words. I rate this book 10/10.

Reviewer's Name: Mackenzie
Paper Towns
Green, John
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

When I was looking for good books to read for teenagers, this book came up, so I decided to read it, also since I've seen the cover before. I also know that there's a movie about this book and I enjoy comparing books to their
movies. This book is very interesting and suspenseful, and I think that teenagers would really love reading this book.

It's about a guy named Quentin who is secretly in love with a girl named Margo. They become really close, in distance and relationship, because they are also neighbors. During their high school years, they drift apart until one day Margo asks Quentin for a favor getting revenge on her cheating boyfriend and her friends. Quentin agrees and they complete their mission. Things start to look up for Quentin as Margo shows signs of her liking him back and they start to hangout.
A little while later, Margo is reported missing. Quentin becomes scared for Margo and attempts finding her and helping her, with the help of his friends. They discover a bunch of mysteries and secrets about her on the path to find out what happened to her. They soon find clues about where she might be, but Quentin begins to worry if Margo might've killed herself. What happened to Margo? Will Quentin find her? Did she run away or did someone kidnap her?
Read this book to find out.

Reviewer's Name: Trisha V
One of Us Is Lying
McManus, Karen M.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

One of Us Is Lying is a captivating mystery written from the perspective of four main characters. The author brings you into the lives of four teenagers who have all witnessed the death of a classmate. Each of these kids is suspected of murdering Simon, but having been one of the most hated kids in school it is hard to pin his death on one person. Every page I read I got even more involved in these characters' lives. All their stories were so realistic I felt connected to them through more than just the tragedy that made all their lives change. Secrets are hard to live with and get over, but this book shows how whole schools taken by a gossip site can grow with them or fail to live up to the challenge. The surprising twists and very sincere characters give you a look into how fast life can change because of one person and what secrets can do to people. Karen McManus brought up many difficult topics in this book and melded them with the character's lives showing how they dealt with them and lived through their different hardships. This book leaves you thinking about how anything can happen to you but what happens after and how you react to it is always most important in the end. The feeling of satisfaction and happiness the characters make you feel is rewarding and shows you that it's possible to get through what seems impossible.

Reviewer's Name: Clare
A Short History of the Girl Next Door
Reck, Jared
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

A short history of the girl next girl is about a 15 year old boy, named Matt, who struggles with the thought of losing his best friend. Matt and his best friend Tabby, have been together their whole life. They rode the bus together everyday and went over to each other's houses almost everyday. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention they were neighbors. But, as they start high school, Tabby starts dating a senior. She starts hanging out with the senior, and pays less attention to Matt. Matt gets jealous because he misses his best friend, and he has had a crush on Tabby since 7th grade. When trajedy hits, Matt realizes that he isn't the only one who loves Tabby.
This book was amazing! It made happy, sad, and angry all at the same time. I could not put this book down. One thing I will say about this book is that it has swear words on every page, so it may not be a great book for a 3rd or 4th grader. This book has amazing lessons. I would rate this book a 10/10!

Reviewer's Name: Mackenzie
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
Harley in the Sky
Bowman, Akemi Dawn
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

A must-read! A teenage girl ready to graduate high school, choosing what she wants to do with her life. Her parents own a circus and all she wants to do is be a trapeze artist. After a fight between her and her parents, she leaves home and runs away to another circus. Finding someone she loves and finding who she truly is. Filled with romance and conflict. The perfect read for a teenage girl!

Reviewer's Name: Maria
Not Hungry
Quinn, Kate Karyus
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The book Not Hungry it's about a girl, May who has an eating disorder because she feels fat. Little dose she know that the popular football boy watches her throw up her food. May's sister has a boyfriend who thinks he's better than everyone else. This book will leave you wondering what will happen as May try's to stop her eating disorder. This book is a short book that you can finish in a day. If you are sensitive to eating disorders, and throwing up i wouldn't recommend this book for you. Overall this is a great book!

Reviewer's Name: Estella
Awards:
The Fault in Our Stars
Green, John
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is utterly amazing. The Fault in our Stars is about two teenage cancer survivors who fall in love. Its in Hazel’s perspective as she experiences everyday life. Hazel and Augustus Waters meet at a cancer survivor support group, in a place they call “the literal heart of Jesus ”. Hazel and Augustus start being around each other more and Hazel gets Augustus to read a book she loves. “An Imperial Affliction.” He falls in love with the book as well. It brings their relationship to so many different places. Green’s vocabulary is extraordinary, and the way he displays her thoughts is beautiful. This book really made me feel something, its a tragedy, but so romantic. Reading it, you get to experience not just their relationship, but also Hazel’s life with cancer, her relationship with her parents, and other relationships important to her. The Fault in our Stars is such a wonderful book. It feels real, even though it is fiction.

Reviewer's Name: Macey
The Paper Girl of Paris
Taylor, Jordyn
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

When Alice ends up in Paris for the summer her whole world changes. When her grandmother passes away she inherits a mysteriously locked apartment in Paris. Upon finding the apartment, she acquires help from a cute Parisian student named Paul. Paul and Alice quickly become friends and realize there may be more to their friendship. Between figuring out a mysterious apartment from World War 2 and a budding romance this book is a keeper! Couldn't put it down.

Reviewer's Name: Maria
The Hate U Give
Thomas, Angie
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is about Starr Carter who is constantly switching between her Garden Heights self and Williamson Prep self. She switches her speech, personality, and behavior to match where she is at. After a shooting with her childhood friend, Starr finds it increasingly difficult for both Starrs’ to remain separated. Angie Thomas does a wonderful job at making you love some characters, hate others, and at times make you feel genuinely uncomfortable along with an ending that will make you feel satisfied. All in all, I loved this book and at times could not set it down and would recommend this book with a 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewer's Name: Lucia
A Short History of the Girl Next Door
Reck, Jared
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

A Short History of the Girl Next Door by Jared Reck is about an awkward high school freshman Matt and his best friend neighbor, Tabby. If everything went according to plan Tabby would find out Matt was madly in love with her and she would fall into his arms. But that's not how it worked. Tabby falls in love with a senior on Matt’s basketball team, Liam. Jared Reck does a great job in making the characters' emotions come to life in a realistic awkward teenager kind of way. This book made me laugh, cringe, broke my heart, but still left me with hope. It would not give this book justice to say it was some romantic comedy because it becomes so much more. I would recommend this book with a 4 out of 5 stars.

Reviewer's Name: Lucia
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
Beyond the Break
Buchta, Heather
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The main theme of this book is questioning can you still be a good Christian while still navigating romance. After a 17-year-old girl, Lovette's brother almost dies in a freak surfing accident she is banned from surfing and the ocean. Since her brother's accident, she has given her life to God and is a committed Christian. That is until Jake comes into her life. She now questions can I be a good Christian and am I placing Jake over God. She realizes that she wants nothing more than to surf again, that surfing is a part of who she is. That Jake is a part of who she is. I love this book because of the sweet romance and the drama between the characters. You won't be able to set the book down once you have started it. I highly recommend this book to any teenage girl.

Reviewer's Name: Maria H.
Punching the Air
Zoboi, Ibi and Salaam, Yusef
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is about a boy, Amal Shahid, who gets treated differently
because of his race. He had always been smart, artistic, and poetic, but
because of biases in his school, his good work is ignored and he is only seen
as disruptive. Everything goes downhill for him one night in his
neighborhood. A group of white teens and a group of black teens fight and he
is caught in the middle of them. He is caught in the middle and is charged
guilty of a crime that he didn't commit, and he is sent to prison. This ruins
everything for him, including school and college plans. I think that this is
a really interesting and informative book, but it uses a lot of slang
language and harsh language such as swearing too, so younger ages should be
aware.

Reviewer's Name: Trisha
The Hate U Give
Thomas, Angie
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Starr is a sixteen-year-old Black teen living in Garden Heights. Although she lives in a poor neighborhood, Starr attends a private school in a predominately white affluent neighborhood. While Starr is at a party in her neighborhood, a shooting forces her to leave with her friend, Khalil. On their way back, they're pulled over by police, and when Khalil is asked to step out of the car, he's shot and killed. Following his death, Starr finds it increasingly more difficult to balance her two lives, and gains attention when she takes getting justice for Khalil into her own hands.

I loved this book! Besdies the fact that it addresses a real world issue, it was also full of the everyday and the mundane, which was a good balance to the overall conflict in the story. I also liked how the ending was realistic, even if it was sad. Starr is my favorite character because her story is an important example of how each of us has a voice that is valuable, and she also shows that advocacy doesn't always have to be through demonstrations or riots.

Reviewer's Name: Nneoma