Reviews of Teen Books

Schooled
Korman, Gordon
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Cap Anderson has been living on a farm with his hippie grandmother. He has never been to a public school and he does not know many everyday things such as what a TV is or how to act in a public setting. When his grandmother has an accident and is now staying at the hospital, Cap moves in with a guidance councilor and her daughter. He begins to go to a public middle school where big man on campus: Zach Powers uses Cap's strangeness to his advantage by nominating Cap for class president as a joke, but that plan soon backfires as Cap becomes more popular.

This book reminded me of Jerry Spinelli's Star Girl, but with a twist. School is my favorite book by Gordon Korman because the plot is so funny and unbelievable, but it teaches a valuable lesson about being who you are and not changing for people. The book goes by really quickly and I like the way that Korman writes the story in different perspectives. This is a really good book and I think it is definitely one to try if you like Stargirl.

Reviewer's Name: Emma M.
Awards:
Genres:
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.
Matilda
Dahl, Roald
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Roald Dahl's Matilda, is a good short read. The concept of a heroine rising to action is decently intriguing. However, the book feels very lackluster with its characters being so one dimensional. While the characters are great for its intended audience, creating some depth to characters can always benefit a novel. Overall, the book is great for younger reader and those looking for a short book that has a lot of fun packed into it.

Reviewer's Name: Steven
Awards:
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:
 The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
Collins, Suzanne
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins is a prequel to the Hunger Games trilogy, but instead of following Katniss it takes the perspective of a much younger President Coriolanus Snow. It’s the 10th annual Hunger Games, and this year students from the Capitol’s Academy will serve as mentors for the tributes. Coriolanus is assigned Lucy Gray, the female tribute from District 12. What starts as ambition to win a spot at the University quickly evolves as the Games approach closer. While it was a decently good read, I couldn’t help thinking as I read it that it did not need to be written. President Snow’s perspective wasn’t really one I thought I would read or needed to. However, it was interesting to see his opinions/outlook when he was young and to witness the bitterness within him along with his loyalty to the Capitol. Seeing the evolution of the games and small nods to the Hunger Games trilogy was also a nice touch. I really liked the first half of the book, but the second half was kind of boring, and I wasn’t very invested in the characters at that point. It’s definitely nothing compared to the Hunger Games, but it wasn’t all bad either.

Reviewer's Name: Cora
American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History
Kyle, Chris
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is phenomenal! American Sniper is the autobiography of Chris Kyle, a U.S. Navy SEAL and the most effective sniper in United States military history. Chris Kyle writes honestly about the brutality and pain of war and the toll it took on him and his family. This book is absolutely captivating and unforgettable. Everyone who reads this book will become appreciative of the United States Armed Forces and will gain a glimpse of their courage on and off the battlefield. I highly recommend this book for everyone.

Reviewer's Name: John
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
Covey, Sean
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Seven Habits remade!

6 stars. (This helped me a LOT with my state of mind ☺)

I loved seven habits because it helped me see that a lot of the stuff that we blame on others is actually the fault of ourselves, and it taught me to be kind to both myself and others. I highly recommend Seven Habits for Teens to anyone who is having a tough time. It taught me to have a clearer mind, a better outlook, and to trust myself. Although it is very hard to implement these changes in yourself, it helps you be so much better. Anyone can read this book and feel better about themselves if they follow the book's
instructions. If you don’t read this book, then it’s your loss.

Reviewer's Name: Ethan
Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio
Kehret, Peg
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio is about a girl named Peg who is diagnosed with polio. Polio (poliomyelitis) is a disease that causes paralysis. You can get it by consuming contaminated water and food or by contacting an infected person. Peg gets dragged away to the hospital without even getting to say goodbye to her family. For the next couple weeks Peg must take on not moving, feeding tubes, and physical therapy to get her muscles moving again. I really loved this book. It messed with my emotions the whole time. I was either balling my eyes out or smiling ear to ear. This was one of the best books I have ever read. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a nonfiction, emotion pulling, great book.

Reviewer's Name: Mackenzie
Awards:
Book Cover
Bayron, Kaylynn
2 stars = Meh
Review:

Cinderella is dead is about a girl in a society where women are expected to behave like Cinderella in the beloved (well, they're forced to love it) fairy-tale: wait until you're somethingth birthday and then you must go to a ball to be chosen by a boy/man/grandpa who you will be forced to obey for the rest of your life. Those who refuse are executed. When our main character falls in love with another girl instead of waiting to be chosen at the ball, she decides it's time for a change.

I saw this book ages ago on Netgalley and while I love the cover (and don't be afraid to chose a book by it's cover, kids!), I'm pretty over anything to do with Cinderella as I feel as though I've read around 8 million re-tellings in the last five years or so. Then, I heard some folks from Bloomsbury talk about this book at a recent conference, and I was sold! Unfortunately, though, there was way too much Cinderella in it for me to truly enjoy it. The worldbuilding and plot waffled between being creative and a bit silly. The characters were one-dimensional and the romance unearned. That said, I think the book's audience, younger teens, will enjoy it, so I'll definitely be recommending it.

This is the perfect book for younger teens who just can't get enough of Cinderella or who are looking to make the jump from middle grade to young adult fiction. For this older reader, the coolness of the author's innovation with the Cinderella fairytale was outweighed by bland characters and forced romance. 2 stars - it was ok.

Thanks to Bloomsbury YA and Netgalley for the eARC which I received for an unbiased review. You can put Cinderella is Dead on hold today!

Reviewer's Name: Britt
Book Cover
Cho, Zen
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water follows a nun who joins a group of bandits trying to protect a religious relic from those who would destroy it. It's a novella, so that's really most of the book, but Zen Cho crams a ton of character development and plenty of plot into this short little read. The two main characters are so well drawn, and I absolutely fell in love with them. The banter between the bandits is loads of fun - I laughed out loud on multiple occasions. There are plenty of fight scenes. I got to learn the word wuxia (think Chinese martial arts heroes). It's very rare that I want a book to be longer, but I so wanted more of this. I'll be checking out Cho's backlist work, Sorcerer to the Crown. 4 stars - that was very good.

Thanks to Tor and Netgalley for the eARC, which I received in exchange for an unbiased review. The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected on Water is available now - put your copy on hold today!

Reviewer's Name: Britt
Book Review: The Hunger Games
Collins, Suzanne
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Hunger Games is about a girl named Katniss who becomes a tribute in the hunger games. The hunger games is a battle royale. A battle royale is a game where two tributes from twelve districts fight for their lives to be the last person standing. The Hunger Games is a punishment because there was a rebellion. While being dragged off to prepare for battle, Katniss must process the thought of life or death.

This was one of the best books I have ever read. There was never a dull moment and it kept me intrigued the whole time. This book is full of adventure and definitely brought out some of my emotions such as, sadness, happiness, and anger. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a great and fast book to read.

Reviewer's Name: Mackenzie H.
Book Cover
Messenger, Shannon
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Keeper of the Lost Cities is about a girl named Sophie Foster who has never fit in with her family or classmates. One day Sophie learns that she is an elf and a very powerful one as well. Sophie is then taken to the Lost Cities where the other elves live. To keep her human family and herself safe, she must leave everything and begin her new life in the Lost Cities. Sophie is enrolled at Foxfire, a very prestigious elven school. There she must re-learn many things, and if that isn't enough, someone is out to get Sophie and the secrets hidden inside her mind. This book was really popular with my classmates in sixth grade. I have just now gotten a chance to read it and I really enjoyed the book. This is the first book in the series and the author ended the book with me wanting more. I personally think the book is well written. It took me on the adventure with Sophie in a different reality. Some names in the book such as the school name and things that were considered top secret had some really plain names compared to the characters names and names for stones or chemicals. Other than that, it was a really good book. This book may be better for older elementary or middle school readers, but if you're curious about reading it, I would give it a try. Don't let the size of it intimidate you.

Reviewer's Name: Emma M.
Awards:
Keeper of the Lost Cities
Messenger, Shannon
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Keeper of the Lost Cities is about a girl named Sophie Foster who has never fit in with her family or classmates. One day Sophie learns that she is an elf and a very powerful one as well. Sophie is then taken to the Lost Cities where the other elves live. To keep her human family and herself safe, she must leave everything and begin her new life in the Lost Cities. Sophie is enrolled at Foxfire, a very prestigious elven school. There she must re-learn many things, and if that isn't enough, someone is out to get Sophie and the secrets hidden inside her mind.

This book was really popular with my classmates in sixth grade. I have just now gotten a chance to read it and I really enjoyed the book. This is the first book in the series and the author ended the book with me wanting more. I personally think the book is well-written. It took me on the adventure with Sophie in a different reality. Some names in the book such as the school name and things that were considered top secret had some really plain names compared to the characters names and names for stones or chemicals. Other than that, it was a really good book. This book may be better for older elementary or middle school readers, but if you're curious about reading it, I would give it a try. Don't let the size of it intimidate you.

Reviewer's Name: Emma
Awards:
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
The Obsidian Tower
Caruso, Melissa
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Obsidian Tower still fills Readers with Mystery….and Dread…..

4 Stars. Bit dramatic for my taste.

This book is about a young woman living in a world of magic, where the world is divided up by people who have different kinds of magic. Ironically, she lives in the section of people with life magic, but she possesses the magic to kill… An outsider, rejected by her parents, she was made the warden of the Obsidian Tower by her grandmother, who saw promise in her. I loved this book for the magic, and the realistic fear of people passing her, afraid to touch her. Lonely she is, she keeps going because the Obsidian Tower needs her.

Reviewer's Name: Ethan
Genres:
Lone Survivor
Luttrell, Marcus
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is incredible! Lone Survivor is the firsthand account of Marcus Luttrell, a Navy SEAL, who served in the Middle East. In an attempt to kill a notorious al Qaeda leader, Luttrell and his team are ambushed leaving him as the only survivor. Lone Survivor shows the courage, bravery, strength, and valor of Marcus Luttrell and every other Navy SEAL. This book is truly inspiring and will make you grateful for all of the US Armed Forces. I highly recommend this book for everyone.

Reviewer's Name: John
Awards:
Genres:
Book Review: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Rowling, J. K.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban is about Harry’s 3rd year at Hogwarts. Along with friends Ron and Hermione, Harry investigates the case of Sirius Black, an escaped prisoner from Azkaban, the wizard prison. Sirius Black is believed to be one of Voldemort's allies, and he is the only wizard ever to escape Azkaban, so he is definitely powerful. Harry Potter then overhears that Sirius Black wants to kill him.

This book is full of creeps and chills, like in one part, the train to Hogwarts is stopped because of terrible flying things that can suck out your soul. Because of these soul-suckers, Harry almost dies, but in the end, Harry learns a lot about himself, his parents, and friends (both of his, and his parents’).

But this book is still full of interest. In a memorable moment, Harry Potter flies on a Hippogriff, which is a hybrid between a horse and eagle. In another part, The Prisoner of Azkaban goes from fantasy to sci-fi, because of time travel, where Harry goes back in time to save himself.

With the adventurous and scary parts in perfect balance, this book is a good read, and personally, it is my favorite book in the whole series.

Reviewer's Name: Gurman S.
Genres:
Saving Red
Sones, Sonya
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Saving Red is about a girl named Molly who is trying to finish her community service hours for school and to do that, she is helping do the homeless count for her city. Here is where she gets her first glimpse of Red, a girl who cannot be much older that Molly herself, on a sleeping bag and twitching and screaming throughout a bad dream. Molly gets a sudden feeling that she needs to help this girl. A friendship soon develops between the two girls because Molly wants to help Red get back to her family. That is until Molly discovers that Red may need more help than Molly originally thought. Molly is motivated to help Red because of past guilt. Molly soon learns that Red is not the only one who needed saving.

This book is one of my personal favorites because it is so interesting, and it keeps me wanting to read it. The book is written in verse so it is really easy to read and it was quick to finish. Saving Red is a very heavy book so I would suggest this book to high school students and mature middle school students.. Whats cool about this book is that every poem could be read on its own and still make sense. This book was really good, super quick, makes you think and leaves you wanting more.

Reviewer's Name: Emma M.
Thunderhead
Shusterman, Neal
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Citra and Rowan have diverged into lawful and lawlessness. Since Citra was selected to become a scythe she began to glean with Scythe Curie meanwhile Rowan went off the grid. Though there had been rumors of a Scythe gleaning other Scythes, who became known as Scythe Lucifer. Fighting the corruption of the Scythedom in their own ways, Citra and Rowan continue to learn what the mortal age world was like.

This book is better than the first book, “Scythe” because the Thunderhead excerpts between chapters add more complexity and depth to the story. Also inmthe first book the perspective switches were a lot less climatic, both main characters were in relatively similar situations. In this book the different perspective adds more suspense to the book, and perspective. The side characters were not static in this book, a lot more about them is reveled in this book. “Thunderhead” also had good foreshadowing that was sometimes a bit too obvious. The main thing this book lacked like the first book of the series was detailed descriptions. It almost makes the book seem more like a movie because it’s all action. Overall though I would recommend it to those who read “Scythe” and want to continue the series since this book is better.

Reviewer's Name: McKenzie
Hour of the Bees
Eagar, Lindsay
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Hour of the Bees is about a girl, Carol, who has to spend the summer helping her grandpa, Serge, whom she's never met. Her grandpa suffers from Dementia, and wants "Carol-een-a" to learn about her roots. While Carol's older sister, Alta, is complaining, and her parents are trying to sell the farm house, she bonds with her grandfather over fairy-tales centered around a life-giving tree.

The storyline does progress a little slowly, and the supporting characters don't change or have a major impact on the plot, but despite the small imperfections, I did not regret reading this book! I liked how the ending was very unexpected and captivating, and how easy it was to bond with the main characters. I recommend this book to people of all ages. Thank you for reading :)!!

Reviewer's Name: Aztin
Genres:

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