Reviews of Teen Books

Book Review: The Maze Runner
Dashner, James
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This is a very good book. It's a teen fiction book, but I didn't notice that like I normally do. The main character found himself in a bizarre situation with very little memory of his past and who he was. This book was really about a group of kids overcoming insurmountable odds to beat a game, the success or failure of which determined their lives. There was a lot of mystery about what was going on behind the scenes. Small pieces became known as the book progressed, just enough to pique my curiosity, but not enough to ruin the suspense. I'd like to read the others in this series. Really VERY well done.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Planet Tad
Carvell, Tim
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This is an absolutely hilarious book told in the form of an online blog based on the MAD magazine feature of the same name. If you liked Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the Origami Yoda books, or like MAD, you will love this book. It tells a story in journal/ blog form about a 13 year old boy named Tad who is trying to survive middle school along with doing other things such as growing a mustache, doing a kickflip on his skateboard, and finally getting girls to notice him (which all end up in disasters.). He also makes funny observations on just about everything, from Hansel and Gretel to Peeps. It is laughing-so-hard-you-can't breathe type funny and I highly recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the books above.

Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Jacob U.
Cinder
Meyer, Marissa
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Similar to the old tale, Cinderella, Cinder follows a cyborg with a mysterious past. Living with a horrible family, much like Cinderella, in the midst of the blue fever, she works as a mechanic and considers herself as useless as her family accuses her of being. That is, until she meets Prince Kai and the Lunar people. What follows is a love story of unbelievable proportions, with action and climax, and every chapter a cliff hanger. A must read for the lovers of the old Cinderella and anyone who wants to experience the story coming back to life in a way that is wholly unexpected.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Alyxandra S.
Airborn
Oppel, Kenneth
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Actual Rating: 3.5

There will always be those stories that manage to completely transport our existence into their pages, and “Airborn” by acclaimed author Kenneth Oppel is one of those page leaping stories. Jump onboard the luxury passenger airship Aurora with young cabin boy Matt Cruse and experience an adventure unlike any other with the most surprising encounters. Experience the freedom that comes with the speeding wind and the mystery of the strange creatures that fly on them.

Reviewer Grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: Summer W.
Thérèse Raquin
Zola, Émile
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Actual Rating: 4.5

“Therese Raquin” by Emile Zola is a book that defied the literature of its time and had the people of the late 19th century in an uproar over its shocking content. Content that involved murder, wrongly placed passion, adultery, and a voice that refused to glorify the ever flawed human race. Meet Therese: a quiet woman who is niece to elderly shopkeeper Madame Raquin and wife to the Madame’s son Camille. She finds that sin somehow manages to bring her back to life, but with chilling consequences. Will deceit finally bring her the joy she has so longed for, or result in her doom? Defy the time with this twisted, blood-chilling read.

Reviewer Grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: Summer W.
Storm Front
Butcher, Jim
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Actual Rating: 3.75

Are you looking for a series that will get you back into the sport of reading, and will help tackle that stack of books by your bed with a story more thrilling than the last? How about cheeky, ruggedly handsome modern day wizards? The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher are exciting, quick reads that will entice you into a world of unexpected turns, mythical creatures, and the occasional vengeful mob boss in the city of Chicago. Dragged into the chaos of these rarities is wizard/private detective Harry Dresden, who only wants enough money to pay for his next meal. Lose yourself in these pages that will have you coming back to your local library to snatch the next book off its shelf.

Reviewer Grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: Summer W.
The Giver
Lowry, Lois
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The giver, is a story about a tyrannical society in which a system called "Sameness" is used. That system irradiates all color, terrain, and climate from its community as well as all the memories from its population. Following Jonas, the Memory Receiver, or the person who stores all memories of a time before Sameness, this book takes rapid turns and can get a bit confusing at times but is all in all a wonderful story of a unlikable situation.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Alyxandra S.
The Great Gatsby
Fitzgerald, F. Scott
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

A man who had been in love for years, who had accumulated wealth and power by numerous, secretive ways, Jay Gatsby. A woman who had married another out of need and stayed out of being accustomed to that lifestyle, Daisy Buchanan. And a man who became stuck in the middle, Nick Carraway. The scene is set in the roaring '20's where everyone is wild, young, and free. All except Gatsby as he was stuck in the wild embrace of Daisy's love. This beautifully written book of love, loss, revenge, and dark honesty comes to life as the desperate Gatsby tries to win Daisy back from her oppressive husband. A book with so many twists and turns that its impossible to put it down, The Great Gatsby is an underrated novel that will be read for years to come.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Alyxandra S.
Looking for Alaska
Green, John
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

After years of having no friends and being ignored by so many, Pudge, or Miles Halter switches to a new boarding school. There he meets a woman that will sweep through his life, like a hurricane, Alaska. Another best seller by Mr. Green, Looking for Alaska is an unmistakably amazing novel, with every prank pulled my the mischievous Alaska, and every new experience she puts Miles through, the reader feels just what Miles does, love. Love for the characters the mishap, and the very words that were written down on paper. Unable to put the book down, every reader will once again, fall for the writings of John Green.

Reviewer Grade: 12

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

After an intense battle with cancer, Hazel had finally started to get her life back to normal, or as normal as it can be for a girl who hasn't been in proper school for years, and who's best friend is an author she had never met. But then, her life turned upside down when she met Augustus. What follows is a whirlwind romance that leaves the reader grasping for more and wishing for time. John Green brings his characters to life in this novel, and with every turn it is impossible not to fall in love. This wonderful book has a way of bringing the reader in and bringing them back for more and more. A must read, and a book that makes it seem impossible to put down.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Alyxandra S.
Book Review: Far Far Away
McNeal, Tom
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This is and isn't your typical fairy tale. It is haunting, but not because Jacob Grim is the narrator ghost that only Jeremy can hear. Jeremy's mother may or may not be dead, a child may or may not be missing, the sheriff may or may not be evil, the baker may or may not be jolly, the girl may or may not be gotten and it may or may not have a happy ending. But read it and see if you can predict what happens in Far Far Away...

Reviewer's Name: Renee
Book Review: Matched
Condie, Ally
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Most amazing book! an intruiging dystopian novel that exites and entrances! its also a series READ IT!!!

Reviewer's Name: Alethea
“Who Could That be at This Hour?”
Snicket, Lemony
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

A mysterious town no longer by the sea. People far more mysterious, with secrets and secret motives. A stolen statue of a mythological creature that was not really stolen. A clueless chaperone with a truly astounding amount of hair. This is the life that almost-thirteen-year-old Lemony Snicket is dropped into during his apprenticeship in the town of Stain’d-by-the-Sea.

The first book in the fictional autobiographic series “All the Wrong Questions” by Lemony Snicket, and prequel to his books, “A Series of Unfortunate Events”, Who Could That be at This Hour? chronicles the first of four wrong questions asked about a perplexing mystery and the perplexing people involved. The fast paced plot, complete with the humorous yet thought-provoking narration fans of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” will expect, will have you itching to read more. The characters are surprisingly sincere considering some of their over-the-top quirks, but the seeds of suspicion that are sown will make you wonder—along with the protagonist—who exactly can be trusted. One of the best books I have ever read, any mystery fans will find themselves unable to put it down.

Reviewer Grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: Tessa L.
Ash & Bramble
Prineas, Sarah
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This is a wonderful story that is set in a cruel fairy tale world filled with Godmothers (but not the Disney version of her), shoemakers and glass slippers. I loved the characters of Pin and Shoe and their fight against what is expected of them. The author has created a world that I became completely involved in. Highly recommended!

Reviewer's Name: Lisa
Genres:
Book Review: The Hired Girl
Schlitz, Laura Amy
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Newbery winning author Laura Amy Schlitz has written a wonderful story set in 1911 about 14-year-old Joan Skraggs who runs away from a dismal home life on a farm to Baltimore where she finds employment as a hired girl in a Jewish household. The book is written as Joan's diary so it reveals her innermost thoughts and feelings which made me really want her to succeed. Her deep love of literature really hit a nerve for me too! Highly recommended.

Reviewer's Name: Lisa
Book Review: Truancy
Fukui, Isamu
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This is a completely new take on dystopian at least for me, If you like storys of rebellion and like a extremely intelligent character then this is the book for you. It follows Tack, a citizen of the city ruled by a Tyrant of a mayor and his scheming "Educators" who hope to control future generations with the Education system. I could'nt put this down and would recommend it to anyone.

Reviewer's Name: Kyle
Book Review: Fever, 1793
Anderson, Laurie Halse
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This started off as a typical teen novel, adult writer trying too hard to relate to young people. But as the book went on, either I got used to it, or the narrative improved. I positively enjoyed about the halfway point onward. Good historical fiction. Educational and compelling.

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn
Book Review: Denton Little's Deathdate
Rubin, Lance
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is a totally out-there look at death and dying young. In a world where everyone knows the day that they're going to die, Denton Little has known that he would die when he was 17 for his entire life.

Though this could be more of a tear jerker along the lines of a John Green novel, Rubin has turned a gruesome topic into a hysterical read. Denton's end of life adventures are super funny and irreverent. A great read for anyone who enjoyed "Going Bovine" or "Grasshopper Jungle".

Reviewer's Name: Corrie
Genres:
Elsie Dinsmore
Finley, Martha
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Elsie Dinsmore Series was published between 1868 and 1904. In the first book of 28 novels, we find Elsie, a half orphaned, love-starved child, struggling to obey her Heavenly Father, while missing her own dad terribly. Elsie’s mother died when she was only a few weeks old, and, since her father was traveling, she lived with a guardian until he also passed away. Elsie was only two. She was then taken under the wings of her grandparents (her father’s parents) who don’t seem to care a smidgen for their granddaughter. At the start of the book, we find Elsie, now eight, living in the cold shadow of her grandparents. For some reason, her young aunts and uncles also despise her. One of her only comforts is when her nurse “Aunt Chloe” teaches Elsie to love even when others do not love in return. But the most important thing Aunt Chloe has taught her is that God loves her. Elsie’s other comfort is her well-loved Bible. When Elsie’s earthly father returns from his long travels, his cruel treatment of his daughter leaves Elsie feeling more sorrow and need for God’s everlasting love than ever before. Read this adventure to find out the rest of the touching story. I think this book has a good Christian message as the reader follows Elsie through a number of faith-building trials in a desperate attempt to gain her heartless father’s longed for love. This is a book I recommend for those searching for a strong spiritual message and a faith-based challenge to love even the unlovable.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Cosette P.
Book Review: American Born Chinese
Yang, Gene Luen
2 stars = Meh
Review:

Not bad. I enjoyed every part of this book except for the monkey god sections. I don't know, those parts just didn't appeal to me. I rarely read graphic novels so maybe certain things were lost on me because of the format. Overall I was somewhat underwhelmed

Reviewer's Name: vfranklyn