Reviews of Teen Books by Genre: Contemporary

Book Cover
Emmich, Val
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is the book that inspired the musical Dear Evan Hansen. In the book there is a tragedy. It is written in two point of views. The situation benefits one person but not the other. There are many lies as well. The book ends in a happy sad state, but overall it is a good book.

Reviewer's Name: Jamie
Ayesha at Last
Jalaluddin, Uzma
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Definitely an amazing book. It puts such a difficult topic into beautiful words that pull at the strings of the readers heart. The way the main characters conflicting situation throughout the story unfolds is very surprising. The author places the reader in the main characters shoes and makes it feel as if it is the reader who is going through it. I wish there was a second book that really grasps the life after.
Reviewer Grade: 11th

Reviewer's Name: Anna
I'll Give You The Sun
Nelson, Jandy
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

When books have awards on the cover it doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll enjoy the book because the reviewers/critics are often adults and have a different perspective on teen/YA books. However “I’ll give you the Sun” actually lives up to the awards and reviews. This book has a complex plotthat weaves between the perspectives of Noah and Jude. Noah and Jude are twins who were always inseparable until high school and their mother’s death. Noah’s portions of the story are from before their mother’s death at age 13 and Jude’s perspective is from 16. Between the three years they both change dramatically, and you can see why they changed, and how everything became different. I really liked the title of the book, it fits the story without giving away too much. The characters are amazing, they all have depth, complexity, and a unique background, which drives the plot. This also made it easy to relate to the characters because they felt very real and human. Noah has a very clear way of seeing the world through color, and art. Jude sees the world through a very physical sense. It is pretty easy to get into this book and I found it hard to put down. This book has a great message of love and its complexities as well.

Reviewer's Name: McKenzie
Field Notes on Love
Smith, Jennifer E.
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

The concept is intriguing, and many reviewers tout this book as "romantic," but the experience was flat for me. Jennifer E. Smith is not a bad writer, and I've enjoyed many of her books, but this one could not captivate me. It's mostly because the characters were not extraordinary in any way. They were caricatures only existing with a goal and problem to serve the plot, and I barely knew them, cared nothing at all for them. This contributed to my total lack of emotional involvement. Smith did not create an emotional experience for me, even though the bones of the story and the lessons the characters grasp at the end are smart. I love romance, but this book was not romantic. I felt nothing except an impatience to finish the book so I could begin something else.

Reviewer's Name: Erika
Turtles All the Way Down
Green, John
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book has a lot of problems between characters. Best friends, billionaire friend, and parents all have a part in the story more than you can think. Aza Holmes, the protagonist, knows shes crazy, but this is the world she lives in. A billionaire goes missing, and Aza reunites with her old friend. The issues between the family of the billionaire is heart breaking. In the end there is a happy ending. The story is a great mystery.

Reviewer's Name: Jaime
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You
Carter, Ally
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This is the first book of the Gallagher Girls series. It is about a girl who goes to a special school for girls. The only thing is that this school has a big secret. The main character Cammie is a student at the school and her mother is the Headmistress. She has many secrets throughout her Sophomore year. A new girl comes and there is a certain someone that she hasn't told the truth about.

Reviewer's Name: Kaitlyn
Awards:
Wonder Book Cover
Palacio, R. J.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Wonder is a book that I would 100% recommend. The story is based off of a boy who struggles with a disease, altering his appearance. This book contains the point of view of his peers, as well as his struggles, friendships, pain, and
overcoming of Auggie. The book also tells the story of his family going through their own struggles or going through Auggie’s struggles with him. Out of the many books that I have read, this has to be one of the best and most emotional books that I have read, and would definitely be on my list of books I recommend.

Reviewer's Name: Shieana H.
My Fairy Godmother Is a Drag Queen
Clawson, David
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The book 'My Fairy Godmother is a Drag Queen' by David Clawson is a funny LGBT version of Cinderella. The main character Chris lives with his step-mother, step-sister, and step-brother who have recently lost their family wealth. The family wants to keep up with their rich lifestyle, and the best way to do that is to try to find his step-sister a wealthy boyfriend to marry, which they will do by attending a fancy ball. Chris's family does not buy him a ticket to the ball, but he meets a drag queen who helps him get into the ball. What happens when Chris meets the richest boy in the state and falls head over heels for him?
I thought this book was absolutely amazing! I would definitely give it five stars. It is very funny and entertaining, I spent hours reading this book without even moving because it was so captivating.

Reviewer's Name: Lillian L.
The Upside of Unrequited
Albertalli, Becky
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book 'The Upside of Unrequited' is by the popular author Becky Albertalli, who also wrote 'Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda. This book follows Molly, a hopeless romantic who has never even had a boyfriend. When Molly introduces her twin sister, Cassie, to a new girl who Cassie may be developing a crush on, Molly realizes that she and her sister may be growing apart. This book goes through the journey where Molly struggles between her two new crushes, Will and Reid. The boys are very different... who will she end up with?
This book was absolutely amazing! A must-read for fans of 'Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda'. This book easily earns five stars.

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

The Hate U Give is about a 16 year old black girl raised in a fictional poor community of garden height who goes to a private school on the other side of town. The main problem in this book is when Starr the main character’s best friend Khalid, who gets pulled over from leaving a party and sadly gets shot by a white police officer. The book contains some sensitive topic about black oppression and police brutality. Although it does talk about cop brutality it isn’t a police- bashing book. The book's intention is to spread awareness on the deep conflict with in poor black communities in our nation. I highly recommend this book 10 out of 10.

Reviewer's Name: Miguel
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Yoon, Nicola
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The reason I chose this book is because of the many books I have read this one stood out the most. The story is about a girl and a boy meet one day in New York. The girl is trying to get her deportation reversed and the boy has a Yale interview. The meet during several events and become fast friends. What I enjoyed most about this book was the events that lead them to become friends, then more than friends. What I didn't like about the book was the ending. I didn't like how everything turned out.

Reviewer's Name: Kaitlyn B.
Let's Get Lost
Alsaid, Adi
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Lets Get Lost is about a girl who somehow gets involved in strangers lives by chance, and ends up making them realize something or helps them. The book is very real on teen life, and learning things about yourself. The people in the stories are always facing some type of hardship which makes it easy for the reader to relate. While this book is good it is often frustrating when it switches to a new story without giving you what you wanted at the end. I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys short stories that turn into one big one that is easy to follow.

Reviewer's Name: Jana M.
The Problem With Forever
Armentrout, Jennifer L.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

When two abused teens who grew up together meet again their worlds collide. They both got out of the situation in very different ways, yet they both have issues that they work through together in one way or another. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is wanting a book that they will not be able to put down until you have read it all. While it is up and down on your emotions, it is very realistic on the topic of abuse and real-life hardship. This book is perfect for someone who wants a romantic heartwarming yet painful book.

Reviewer's Name: Jana M.
Fireworks
Cotugno, Katie
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

I LOVE KATIE COTUGNO. If every reader had a written-in-the-stars author who wrote exactly her type of book, she would be mine.

This book has:
-the perfect amount of kissing
-major boyband vibes that will make you listen to Backstreet Boys' "Millennium" for 3 days straight
-a bile-inducing ending that you didn't want, but you actually need
-a dreamy, too-perfect boy that will raise your standard for romantic partners who may come your way

Cotugno's writing is smart and spot on 18-year-old. I would not mind a sequel to this book.

Reviewer's Name: Erika
Before I Fall
Oliver, Lauren
2 stars = Meh
Review:

Samantha Kingston is just a normal teenage girl going to a normal high school and doing normal things, at least until she died. Samantha finds herself reliving the day she died over and over again until she makes the right decisions. This book goes over her days events in detail and changes that she makes every time she relives that day. The book, while pretty repetitive, goes into the importance of living a life full of integrity and living everyday like its your last because you don’t know when it will be. This book did teach me the importance of living everyday to its fullest and did think that it teaches important lessons.

Reviewer's Name: Madison S.
The Stone Girl
Sheinmel, Alyssa B.
1 star = Yuck!
Review:

Sethie has perfect grades, a boyfriend, and a new best friend. However, she has the constant struggle of losing weight to conform to the model society sets. She knows that by skipping a few more meals, and vomiting a few more meals away, she can achieve her goal. She has working on her body her number one priority, even when everything she loves is gone.

Personally, I don't recommend this book. While I appreciate the book's attempt to bring light to the issues of body image and anorexia, it's not well written. There are way too many time skips and not enough clear transitions between them and the present time in the book, which made the story way too complicated to follow. There were some scenes I could understand, and the chemistry between the characters is well done, but it's kind of hard to connect with a story when you have no clue what's going on. I couldn't even finish this book, it was that bad! This book is a solid skip for me.

Reviewer's Name: Naomi S.
Since You've Been Gone
Matson, Morgan
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Emily is an introverted teenage girl who is best friends with Sloane who is a huge extrovert. They have been best friends for a long time and they can't be separated. When it came time for summer break though, Sloane disappeared. There was no sign of her anywhere and every time Emily went to her house to check to see where she was; Sloane was nowhere to be found. Emily was confused and hurt that her best friend didn't tell her where she was, but then a letter showed up. It was in Sloane's handwriting and it was a summer checklist. They were things that Sloane knew Emily would have to get out of her comfort zone to do. Emily debated on whether or not she should even do the list, because why would Sloane give it to her with no context? But the thought that it might bring her to her best friend made Emily determined to check everything off the list. With the help of some unexpected new friends, and love interests, Emily started the list and the search for her best friend.
I loved this book because it was so interesting to read. There was something different in every chapter with unexpected events as well as flashbacks for the needed backstory and to develop Sloane as a character. The plot and development of the story is surprising and a fun representation of a teenage girls' life. It is also a pretty easy read and easy to follow, I would definitely recommend!

Reviewer's Name: Courtney C.
Book Cover
Reed, Amy
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Evie has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and she's agreed to stop
treatment, prepared to face the bitter end. That is, until by sheer miracle,
her cancer completely heals and she can move on with her normal life again.
However, everyone still sees her as Cancer Girl, and she's unable to live the
life she thought she gained back. That is, until she meets Marcus. To her,
even with the danger involved, he is the light at the end of the
tunnel,making her feel invincible to all harm. However, she had no idea she'd
soon be on a winding path down the drain.

This is a story that gets more and more depressing as it goes on. Already
dealing with the depressing topic of cancer from the start, you'll soon find
yourself jumping into topics of death, loss, abuse, and drugs. Since this
comes right from the eyes of the main character, this book has an almost
unbearable pain leading up to a depressing and nerve-racking conclusion. This
book is beyond criticism.

Reviewer's Name: Naomi S.
Book Review: The Last Forever
Caletti, Deb
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

After tragedy strikes a family, Tessa is left alone with her father who doesn’t know how to grieve the death of Tessa’s mom. Her dad's way to fix their grief is to embark on a last minute road trip which lands them in her grandmother's coastal town. While Tessa tries to grieve she also asks her grandmother about the numerous questions she has about the past, questions about her mother and questions about her dad. Her dad leaves her alone with her grandma but the longer she stays there the less she wants to leave, especially after she meets the very handsome Henry Lark. She can’t help but wonder if she goes home if she will be faced with crippling grief over her mother and forced to take care of her delusional dad. She does her best to live in the moment and enjoy the time she has left with Henry before she leaves. Although it wasn’t my favorite romantic novel it is an enjoyable book and was fun to read.

Reviewer's Name: Madison S.
Book Review: Starry Eyes
Bennett, Jenn
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Zorie, a young girl who lives with her mother and father who are happily married; or so she thought they were happy. Zorie is suddenly struck with life altering information when her neighbor/ ex-best friend, Lennon hands her a manila envelope that had accidentally been delivered to the wrong house. Zorie is mortified when she opens it only to see photos of her dad with another woman, and is even more mortified that there was a possibility Lennon and his family had seen the photos too. Struggling to figure out what to do with the photos while juggling work and drama with friends, Zorie is all too happy to say yes when her best friend Reagan asks her to come on a camp trip. However, Zorie forgot about a previous commitment she made to go to the astronomy clubs stargazing party just one peak over from where Reagan's camp trip was. Wanting so badly to leave home for as long as possible and put her worries behind her Zorie decides she can do both, she will go on the camp trip and from there take a bus to Condor Peak for the star party. Zorie’s plans are turned a little upside down when Reagan picks her up for camping and Lennon is with her and some other familiar faces from school sitting in the back seat. Once they reach the campsite things take a turn for the worst when a fight between Reagan and Zorie ends up with Reagan and her other friends abandoning Zorie and Lennon in the middle of the night. Zorie and Lennon are then forced to talk about the past and all of the miscommunications that led them to hate each other as they hike their way to Condor Peak. This novel had a very intriguing plot, I loved the unpredictability of every page turn.

Reviewer's Name: Madison S.

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