Review Crew - book reviews by teens, for teens

Legend
Lu, Marie
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Legends by Marie Lu is a novel set in a dystopian and apocalyptic future of Los Angeles. The author does an amazing job illustrating new apocalyptic Los Angeles, especially the divide between the rich and the poor. The rich have lavish meals, houses, and water. While the poor are lucky to just survive. The two main characters June and Day are born with this divide between them. June born to the rich is trained for success in the system while Day born into the poor and is the most wanted criminal. They would have never met but now June is tasked with hunting down Day. The book switches between their viewpoints helping the reader understand the difference in the class system. Not only that but the author does a great job of switching in the right times to reinforce the plot rather than an awkward switch. All in all I couldn’t set the enthralling novel down and would recommend it with 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewer's Name: Lucia
The Invisible Man
Wells, H.G.
1 star = Yuck!
Review:

"The Invisible Man" by H.G. Wells is a gothic literature novel about an albino man in the 1800s who turns himself invisible. The book follows his journey through England as he commits a multitude of crimes and inevitably gets caught and killed. I didn't like reading it because I felt it was boring, and it was hard to keep reading since I had a strong dislike for the main character. Despite not liking the novel, I read it for school during our gothic literature unit, and it is a good example of gothic literature. "The Invisible Man" isn't surprising but rather shocking because the invisible man's actions are so abnormal. It could be relatable if you were wronged by someone or something and want to take revenge on them. It's not one of the best books I've read this year.

Reviewer's Name: Oriana
Find Me Andre Aciman
Aciman, Andre
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is the sequel to Call Me By Your Name, and it is incredible! The novel is split into four sections, each following the lives of Samuel (Elio's father), Elio, and Oliver, characters who were first introduced in the first book. It isn't clear who the narrator is for each section, but and I love the ambiguity that it adds to the plot. The book is so beautifully written: I loved the metaphors and vivid imagery, and the overall theme of the book. Call Me By Your Name ended sadly, but this book was the closure I hadn't realized I needed.

The events of the book take place twenty years after the first book. In the first part, Samuel meets a young woman on a train and they quickly begin a romantic relationship. In the second part, Elio is now an established pianist and begins a relationship with an older man, but they break up later. In the third section, Oliver is married with two children and teaches at a university in New Hampshire. Often, he finds himself thinking of Elio and the time they spent together twenty years ago. In the final section, Elio and Oliver reunite and are raising Elio's half-brother. Overall, I definitely recommend reading this book (and reading the first one)! The movie for the first book is also a must-watch.

Reviewer's Name: Nneoma
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.
Out of the Dust book jacket
Hesse, Karen
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse is a historical fiction novel set in Oklahoma's Dust Bowl and during the Great Depression. It follows Billie Jo, a young girl as she struggles through the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. During the book, Billie must endure heart-wrenching experiences that no one should have to go through. The author does a bewildering job of illustrating the struggles of the Dust Bowl and gives you a new perspective on this historical event. The Dust Bowl is no longer a page in a history textbook but a story that will break your heart. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book with 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewer's Name: Lucia
Intensity book jacket
Kenyon, Sherrilyn
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Intensity is the last installment of the Chronicles of Nick series. In this book, Nick's destiny is tested in ways he never thought could be possible. For one, he learns that he has a son in the future and that he's come to the past to ruin Nick's life and destroy him and the world. Then, he learns that his greatest enemies have somehow enslaved his future self and turned his friends against him. And worst of all, he learns that his mother's death is the catalyst for him losing his mind. At this point, Nick wants to give up. How can he fight against a son he has no knowledge of, enemies he can't see, or the fact that the most important person in his life is going to be gone sooner rather than later?

This book was different structurally than the rest of the books because it includes pictures of the characters and jumps between different points of view. At first, it's confusing to figure out how much time has passed from the events of the last book to what's happening in this book, but after a moment, the plot gets clearer and more interesting. This wasn't my favorite book in the series because there wasn't as much action and the end was very confusing and I felt, didn't fit with the theme. A lot of new characters were introduced, some of which were largely irrelevant and I felt were just added to try to make the plot more complex, but just made it more confusing.

Reviewer's Name: Nneoma
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
The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell
Colfer, Chris
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Alex was always different. Like the puzzle piece that never fit in. Meanwhile her twin brother was her polar opposite. But the twins always shared a love of fairy tales. When their grandmother stops by their house one day and give them the infamous book called the Land of Stories they grew up with, the twins were excited. Soon the excitement turned to confusion when the book started glowing. To their surprise they landed in the Land of Stories.

This book is a great book for people who love twists on fairy tales, misinterpreted characters, and a good long series. This book was a great easy read to just sit down and enjoy. Highly recommend!

Reviewer's Name: Lilly
Curtsies and Conspiracies
Carringer, Gail
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Curtsies and Conspiracies follows Sophronia Temminnick, a girl who just finished her first semester at deadly finishing school. The new semester brings fresh battles, hardships, and fun! When there's a fancy ball in London that all the girls want to go to, Sophronia is skeptical. What could be there that's worth it? The plot of this book is filled with twists and turns, and you should definitely check it out!

Reviewer's Name: Gemma
Etiquette and Espionage
Carriger, Gail
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The book, Etiquette and Espionage, follows the teenage, mischievous, unladylike Sophronia. Her mother deems her manners unfit, and sends her off to finishing school. As she quickly learns, this "finishing school" isn't what it seems. The school is an academy for spying and deadly maneuvers. Throughout her first few weeks and months, Sophronia makes friends with some colorful characters, and learns that life might not be all manners and fun. This book is packed with adventure and will make you hang on to the edge of your seat! Try it out, there'll be some plot twists and laughs all along the way.

Reviewer's Name: Gemma
Renegades
Meyer, Marissa
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Renegades is about a place where life is controlled by The Renegades, a group of people who were born with super powers. The main character, Nova, detests the Renegades, and she wants to overthrow them. Nova joins a group of like minded individuals that are determined to dismantle The Renegades. I really enjoyed reading this book because it was very suspenseful and the concept was very entertaining. I also liked that it was science fiction because I have never really read any science fiction books. This is one of my favorite books.

Reviewer's Name: Lotus
The Wild Robot
Brown, Peter
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Wild Robot takes place on an island where a shipment of robots has crashed. Only one Robot had survived the crash, so she has to learn how to adapt to the wilderness. On her journey, she befriends the woodland creatures and learns to speak their language. I enjoyed this book a lot because it was light hearted. I enjoy being outside and in nature, so this book was interesting to me. The only issue I had with it was that it was very short, and I would have liked to have read more of it.

Reviewer's Name: Lotus
Born A Crime
Noah, Trevor
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This story explains what it was like to be born a crime. Trevor Noah is the child of a South African mother and a European father, which in South Africa, was illegal. Trevor has to learn how to stay positive with a racist government in control. This book does an excellent job explaining what it was like to grow up during Apartheid. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book because despite the bad circumstances, this book made me laugh a lot.

Reviewer's Name: Lotus
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
11/22/63
King Stephen
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

22/11/63 by Stephen King is about the Kennedy Assassination, and time travel. I really like stuff about time travel and alternate universes, so this book sounded pretty interesting. Basically, an English teacher named Jake gets to go back in time, and ends up changing history. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Stephen King, time travel, or finds the JFK assassination interesting. I will say though, that while I really enjoyed this book, and think it’s good, it’s definitely not Stephen Kings best work.

Reviewer's Name: Emani
Under the Lilacs
May Alcott, Louisa
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The book, Under the Lilacs, is a heartwarming story that everyone of all ages would enjoy. It follows Bab and Betty, two young girls living with their mother. While out on a picnic with their dolls, the girls find that someone has stolen their cake. They find that the culprit is a dog-and the dog belongs to a boy named Ben. After learning that Ben is alone without a guardian, Bab, Betty, and their mother take him in. Ben is mischievous, but well mannered and fun. Throughout the rest of the novel, Ben finds a place inhis new home, and though there are struggles along the way, it's ultimately a happily ever after. Under the Lilacs by Louisa May Alcott is an amazing book that you should definitely try!

Reviewer's Name: Gemma
Where the Crawdads Sing
Owens, Delia
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

This book takes place in North Carolina and follows the life of a girl named Kya. Kya has lived alone in the marsh since a young age and has always loved the life within. The book follows her as she grows up and the challenges she faces. Then her life takes a drastic turn when she is accused of the murder of Chase Andrews. The book deals with themes of love, loneliness, and more.

This book was pretty good, but outside of what I normally read. That said it was a very interesting book to read. It reminded me of To Kill a Mockingbird because of the trial and theme of prejudice. Kya was such a unique character to follow with her lifestyle and how she acted. It was easy to cheer her on during the trial or feel her pain. It was fun to follow along with the trial and see the evidence. That said, I didn't rate this higher because of the twist at the end. The twist caught me off guard and it wasn't one I liked. I felt it went against some of the points made in the book. Although I know some people really loved this book. So this is one of those books you should read for yourself and see what you think. You might really like it or you might not. Either way, I think this book did a good job of showing Kya's world and life.

Reviewer's Name: Alyson
The Heart of Betrayal
Pearson, Mary E.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Heart of Betrayal is how Lia travels through the dessert trying to figure out how to get out of this situation. On the way she crosses how to truly connect with her gift. Then she arrives at Venda. People are succumbing, and start to begrudgingly like her. For some people a little too much. Lia has gone through the whole rainbow of emotions. Now she has to take action before it too late.
In this book the beginning was a little slow for me but it sped up significantly once she got to Venda. Lia is no "little girl" in this book, her character arc is so perfect. This book has a character everyone can love.

Reviewer's Name: Lilly
Lore
Bracken, Alexandra
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Lore is about a girl trying to forget her past. When Castor, her childhood best friend, shows up unexpected, Lore is questioning what does she really know about her old life. The story she made up about her families murder doesn't make sense anymore, but she refuses to believe she's wrong. This is a book about Lore's journey through grief and sorrow. Throughout this book Lore acquires more people from her past. The end was a twist I would have never expected. This was a book of betrayal, acceptance, change, forgiveness, and love. This tale is one of my favorites.

Reviewer's Name: Lilly
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