Review Crew Book Reviews by Genre: Realistic

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
Awards:
Crenshaw
Applegate, Katherine
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Crenshaw is a fictional story about a boy whose family is very poor, and the importance of imagination. In his opinion, Jackson is way too old for imaginary friends, and is confused and upset when Crenshaw, his walking, talking, imaginary cat shows up again. Jackson knows his parents are only trying to help him, but sometimes, he just doesn’t understand. He wants to know what’s going on. Don’t they know he can tell that the world isn’t always ice cream and sunshine? This book might make you cry, and it is an excellent read.

Reviewer's Name: Kelsey
Bat and the End of Everything
Arnold, Elana
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Bat and the end of everything is about a boy named Bat who is worried about losing his pet skunk, Thor. Bat and his mom agreed to take care of a rescued Thor, until he got better. As the end of third grade ends, and Thor gets better, Bat starts to get worried. Thor and him had grown really close and Bat doesn't want Thor to leave. This book is a great easy read. It is probably a 1st or 2nd grade level book. If you are looking for a quick, easy, and a book you could read somewhat mindlessly, this is a great book for you. I would rate this book a 7/10 just because it is so easy.

Reviewer's Name: Mackenzie
Genres:
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:
Rain Reign
Martin, Ann M.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is a great read for anyone who wants to smile and cry at the same time. In this book, Rose Howard is different than other kids. She is obsessed with homonyms! (her name is a homonym which she loves) She named her dog Rain, which has two homonyms, rein and reign. One night a storm hits and there town streets flood, and there is water everywhere. During the storm Rain goes missing and Rose needs to find her. This book is a great read for any animal lover, and anyone who wants to smile and cry. I loved this book and so will you!

Reviewer's Name: Estella
Genres:
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 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
Awards:
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus
Bowling, Dusti
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is about a girl named Aven who has no arms. Avens parents
get a job which makes them have to moves to an amusement park in Arizona. She
struggles because people look at her like she dose not belong, someone even
asked her if her having no arms in contagious! She meets a boy named Conner
with Tourette's, and they become good friends. They think there has been a
murder at the amusement park and try to solve it while over coming stuff they
both have been struggling with. This book will leave you wondering what is
going to happen next, with a big twist at the end. This book is a must read
for anyone that wants an entertaining book with twist hidden in it.

Reviewer's Name: Estella
Awards:
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
If I Stay
Forman, Gayle
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I've watched the movie of this book, so I decided to read the book too. Mia was a 17 year old girl who went through a treacherous car crash and lost everything. She was deciding whether she wanted to go to Julliard or spend the years with her boyfriend before this happened but because of this accident, all her dreams shattered. It's a really emotional story, as she loses her entire family because of the accident, and has to restart her dreams from square one. I think that teenagers would love reading this book because it's a bit of every genre and it has a mix of happy and sad emotions.

Reviewer's Name: Trisha
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise
Gemeinhart, Dan
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is about a girl and her father who are constantly on the road, living in a bus, trying to save a memory. When Coyote Sunrises mom and sisters died her father couldn't stand the memories, so they got on the road. 5 years later, Coyote finds out a park her, her sisters, and her mom created a memory box is getting destroyed and being made into some buildings. Coyote must get to Washington, without her father knowing, from Florida within a week if she hopes to get that memory box. I really liked this book. It was a great mix of emotions. I felt happy, nervous and sad throughout the book. I would rate this book a 9/10.

Reviewer's Name: Mackenzie
Genres:
All American Boys
Reynolds, Jason and Kiely, Brendan
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

My friends told me about the tv show All American, so I decided to read the book All American Boys first. I thought it was the same thing at first, just one as a book and the other as a movie, but it isn't. Both have different plots and stories even though they both talk about racism.This book is about police brutality and racism from the eyes and perspectives of two young high school boys. It's a very emotional and sad book even though it could be and was very true in the past and still in the present. This book strongly mixes up your emotions into a twist but overall, is a really good book. The book starts with Rashad getting beaten up by cops and Quinn seeing the whole thing, starting their fight for justice.

Reviewer's Name: Trisha
The Red Pencil
Pinkney, Andrea Davis
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

I actually analyzed The Red Pencil as a choice book for English class, but I really enjoyed it. It's told through a series of first-person poems, rather than the standard prose, which I liked because it helped me go deeper into the main character's perspective and her feelings about the things that were happening to her. The book tells the story of Amira, a twelve-year-old Sudanese girl whose village is destroyed by the Janjaweed as part of the Darfur conflict. She aspires to go to school where she can learn to read and write, and, among her numerous trials, finds relief through her art. The book is a work of fiction, but pulls from many stories that Andrea Davis-Pinkney gathered from real survivors of the Darfur conflict who faced similar challenges to Amira. The Red Pencil is very well-written and effective at evoking emotion and empathetic responses, and it provides the reader with insight into a life very different than the typical American's. I would definitely recommend it to anyone.

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

Two teens, one struggling from cancer, one a cancer survivor, meet and start becoming close. The struggles of cancer, the chance of death, the fear of not leaving a mark on the world and so much more make their relationship hard at some points. John Green is a fantastic author who really draws you in. You get really invested into the characters and their lives and you start to feel their pain. This book will make you laugh, smile, cry, and jump up and down and it’s amazing. I would definitely recommend!

Reviewer's Name: Rylie
The Thing About Leftovers
Payne, C. C.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book was by far my favorite book, as it's very emotional but at the end, heartwarming. Fizzy is a 12 year old girl who has a strong passion for cooking. She's very good at it, but because of her divorced parents, she feels like no one cares about her and she is a leftover that no one wants. Through the book, she learns that just because her parents are divorced doesn't mean either side doesn't care, it means both sides care. This could also be very relatable for kids with divorced parents who don't seem to fit into either side. At the end, Fizzy realizes that each side is proud of her and loves her and that she could find good qualities in each other step parent.

Reviewer's Name: Trisha
Awards:
Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
Cohn, Rachel and Levithan, David
2 stars = Meh
Review:

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares, co-authored by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, is a lighthearted romance set at Christmastime. When Lily, a spunky nerd, leaves a red notebook filled with mysterious clues at the Strand in New York City, an unexpected relationship begins. Her notebook is found by Dash, a cynic who detests Christmas, and thus begins a montage of absurd dares as the red notebook is passed back and forth around New York City by the two teenagers and their strategically-placed relatives. Along the way, Dash and Lily come to believe they love each other, though they’ve never set eyes on each other before.

This book lacks a stable plot and character development. Lily’s character is unbearably obnoxious and immature, while Dash’s cynicism is over-the-top and irritating. Lily undergoes virtually no change through the duration of the book; however, Dash does open up and become slightly less self-absorbed. The authors’ excessive use of big, flowery language did not fit the characters. It seemed as though the authors believed this was necessary in order to portray Dash and Lily (mostly Dash) as intelligent and intellectual beyond their years, but I found it to be distracting and inappropriate for the context. The plot of this book was severely lacking. It was chaotic and disjointed, and never reached a strong climax. I was irritated with the unrealistic and completely bizarre parts, and disappointed when the ‘romance’ fell flat.

I understand that this book is meant to be fun and amusing, but it would have been much higher quality with likable characters and a coherent plot. I enjoyed the Christmas-y setting, but I believe the authors could’ve used New York City in a more impressive way for the dares. Only read this book if you’re in the mood for a fluffy, vapid story with no substance whatsoever. There are lots of Christmas romances out there, and I’m sure most are better than this one.

Reviewer's Name: Alexa
Refugee
Gratz, Alan
2 stars = Meh
Review:

The novel “Refugee” by Alan Gratz wasn’t a very good book in my opinion. I read it for my English class in high school and I didn’t really enjoy it. It’s about three refugees throughout history, but the stories are kind of connected. One refugee is a young boy escaping from Nazi Germany, the second is a young girl escaping from Cuba in the 90s and finally the third is a young boy escaping from Syria in 2016. Before reading this I had read a book about a boy who was in a concentration camp, and it was a true story written by him. Refugee doesn’t even come close to how good that book was. Along with that, it’s not very well written.
Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this book, there are far better books about this topic.

Grade: 11th

Reviewer's Name: Emani

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