Review Crew Book Reviews by Genre: Contemporary

One of Us Is Lying
McManus, Karen M.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

One of Us Is Lying is a captivating mystery written from the perspective of four main characters. The author brings you into the lives of four teenagers who have all witnessed the death of a classmate. Each of these kids is suspected of murdering Simon, but having been one of the most hated kids in school it is hard to pin his death on one person. Every page I read I got even more involved in these characters' lives. All their stories were so realistic I felt connected to them through more than just the tragedy that made all their lives change. Secrets are hard to live with and get over, but this book shows how whole schools taken by a gossip site can grow with them or fail to live up to the challenge. The surprising twists and very sincere characters give you a look into how fast life can change because of one person and what secrets can do to people. Karen McManus brought up many difficult topics in this book and melded them with the character's lives showing how they dealt with them and lived through their different hardships. This book leaves you thinking about how anything can happen to you but what happens after and how you react to it is always most important in the end. The feeling of satisfaction and happiness the characters make you feel is rewarding and shows you that it's possible to get through what seems impossible.

Reviewer's Name: Clare
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:
Black Girl Unlimited
Brown, Echo
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Black Girl Magic is about a girl named Echo, who fights through the struggles of being a black woman. Throughout Echo's life, she has watched her siblings and parents struggle with alcohol and drugs. Because she cares about her siblings future and doesn't want them to spend their lives in jail, she works miracles. She slows time down to tell her siblings, friends, and parents how to turn their life around, through different people. I loved this book. There were times where I was sad, nervous, happy, and mad
throughout the book. There are some racial words and statements and a lot of bad words, so if you get offended easily, I would not read this book. Other wise, this is a great book. It has some lessons many people need to hear. I would recommend this book to anyone who can handle racial injustices and bad words. I rate this book a 9/10.

Reviewer's Name: Mackenzie
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:
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 Paper Girl of Paris
Taylor, Jordyn
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

When Alice ends up in Paris for the summer her whole world changes. When her grandmother passes away she inherits a mysteriously locked apartment in Paris. Upon finding the apartment, she acquires help from a cute Parisian student named Paul. Paul and Alice quickly become friends and realize there may be more to their friendship. Between figuring out a mysterious apartment from World War 2 and a budding romance this book is a keeper! Couldn't put it down.

Reviewer's Name: Maria
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:
The Midnight Library
Haig, Matt
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

I expected this book to be decently interesting but I found that I couldn't put it down and ended up finishing it in a day. It tells the story of Nora Seed, who, after taking her own life, finds herself in the "Midnight Library," in which every book is a different life that could have been hers had she made a different decision in any given moment. She explores several of these lives, trying them out, in an attempt to find the right one that she really wants.
Nora is a relatable, three-dimensional character with an arc of development that was touching and well-done. The development of the book's themes, too, was immaculate, and they were crafted and portrayed in a way that hits the reader hard. If you're looking for a heartfelt book about self-discovery, regret, potential, and the joy of life, I would highly recommend.
Content-wise, there's the occasional swear word, and two mentions of the main character having sex, but it wasn't described and there wasn't anything graphic. I'd probably give it a 14+ age rating.
Reviewer grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Elanor
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
To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Han, Jenny
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is absolutely amazing compared to the hit film on Netlfix; TonAll The Boys I've Loved Before. The movie covers the basic climax diagram andnonly runs through shallow waters. In the meantime, the book adventures moreninto Lara Jean's life and world. The places described and the moments thatnoccur make the reader feel as if they are a friendly neighbor walking by.nEven though this book has been made into a film, I was shocked about how thenbook set the scene in various ways and made each moment special.

Reviewer's Name: Savanah
Losing Hope
Hoover, Colleen
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Losing Hope is about a guy named Dead Holder meeting a troubled girl named Sky. This book continues from Hopeless, a book in Sky's perspective. Losing Hope is in Dean's perspective, as it reveals the truth about Dean. We find out that Holder had been stressed about the girl because he couldn't save her from grave danger. Because of this, his life has been filled with guilt and anger over himself. This book was very interesting when I started to read, but when I kept going, I realized that it might be for an older and more mature age level, as there might be some things I don't completely understand. Also, it could be slightly disturbing to younger readers because of how Dean is addicted to stalking and searching for her, which is odd. I will probably continue reading the book when I'm older, so I could get the complete context of it. Overall, it's a very interesting book and good book for older readers.
Reviewer's age- 14

Reviewer's Name: Trisha
The Proposal
Guillory, Jasmine
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

A romance filled with heartwarming moments, and powerful women this book is pretty good! If you want a cute, quick read this might be the book for you. The main character is a hard worker who puts her priorities first, which is very refreshing to see. She dose not take anything from anyone and it’s great! If your looking for a cute book with a strong female lead definitely check this one out!

Reviewer's Name: Rylie
Awards:
The Inheritance Games
Barnes, Jennifer Lynn
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is perfect for anyone who loves a good puzzle or even just a good story. This book is hard to put down once you start, you get so involved in the mystery, and the characters. If you like the movie ‘Knives Out’ you will definitely love this book. The characters are well rounded and feel realistic, and the plot is amazing! If your looking for a good book to really make you think check this one out!

Reviewer's Name: Rylie
Red, White & Royal Blue
Casey McQuiston
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is perfect for all of the hopeless romantics like me who love to imagine an epic love story. This is a super cute LGBTQ+ book that will make you want to jump with joy as you read it. The characters are amazing and so easy to root for. The more you read it, the hard it is to put the book down. This book while super cute is definitely a 16+ book. So if your looking for a heartwarming story then look no further and check out this book!

Reviewer's Name: Rylie M.
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
Eliza and Her Monsters
Zappia, Francesca
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

I enjoyed reading Eliza and Her Monsters, which, as the title suggests, is about main character Eliza who created a well-known webcomic called Monstrous Sea, but remains anonymous online. It was fun because I could relate to Eliza as an artist (not a visual artist, but the world-building aspect) and Wallace, the inevitable love interest, as a writer. Also, of course, the whole fandom idea tends to be very relatable for many teenage readers. Eliza starts to fall for Wallace at school when they connect after discovering that they're mutual fans of Monstrous Sea, though Eliza keeps her identity as the creator of Monstrous Sea secret. Their story goes through the predictable, somewhat cookie-cutter stages of a YA romance before concluding with... actually, I won't spoil it, but you'd probably be able to guess after reading the first few chapters of the book. Besides the predictability – which you'd honestly get with just about any YA romance – my other complaint is the characterization. A lot of Eliza's development or the introduction of her personality was done through telling instead of showing, and Wallace felt rather flat and underdeveloped. The book was entertaining though, and I might recommend it if you're looking for something quick, fun, and easy, and don't mind knowing what's going to happen ahead of time. In terms of content, it's clean besides the occasional profane language.

Reviewer grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: Elanor
Awards:

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