Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is the story about a homosexual sixteen year old boy. Simon Spier, has been emailing with a mysterious boy from school who is the only person that knows of his sexuality. But when he forgets to log out of his email on the school computer, his secret spirals out of hand. 

I absolutely loved this book. I was laughing out loud continuously and taking pictures of lines from the book and sending them to friends. The only thing I didn't like about this book was how annoying some of Simon's friends got at times. 

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a laugh or anyone who wants an insider look on the struggles of coming out. I would like to state a trigger-warning for swearing, sexually explicit content, and alcohol. If you liked this book, I suggest that you read The Upside of Unrequited where the main character, Simon Spier, even makes a cameo. 

Katelyn, 14

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Divergent

by Veronica Roth

Beatrice Prior is a unique character. She grew up in one of many factions. Abnegation is a value found in her parents and brother, but not her. To be Abnegation is to be selfless. Beatrice finds it difficult to fit into her own family. After taking an an aptitude test, and discovering that she is in fact, different, Beatrice is faced with a new problem: Who is she? What faction will she pick at the Choosing Ceremony?'

I enjoyed this book because it really expresses the beauty of being different, and maybe even helping you find yourself. Imagine yourself as one of the teens at the Choosing Ceremony. What virtues do you most relate to? 

Everyone should read this. Despite some romantic text, this is a truly great story. 

Priscilla, 12

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Sense and Sensibility

by Jane Austen

This book details the trials and tribulations in the love lives of the Dashwood sisters. The eldest sister, Eleanor, is logical, reasonable and levelheaded, while Marianne, the younger sister, is emotional, passionate, and romantic. Eleanor finds herself in love with an engaged man, while Marianne is pining after a local rascal.

I liked this story a lot because it kept me on the edge of my seat. Jane Austen novels are wildy unpredictable, but always possess a happy ending.

I definitely recommend this book to others because of its dynamic plot. If you like classic love stories or other Jane Austen books, Sense and Sensibility is perfect for you.

Bethany, 15

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The Sun Also Rises

by Ernest Hemingway

The Sun Also Rises chronicles the disillusionment of American expatriates in post-World War I Europe. Jake Barnes, Lady Brett Ashley, and their friends travel to Pamplona, Spain to observe the bull-fighting. Hapless Jake continuously pines after the beautiful, charming Brett, though she hops from one man to another.

I liked this book. Hemingway's style of writing is very different from what I have read before, with his short, declarative sentences. His point comes across very promptly, yet poignantly. The story itself is very short, yet full of meaning, which I really enjoyed.

I would recommend this book to others due to its exciting, ever-changing storyline. This novel is a good read for those that like the classics.

Bethany, 15

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Heartless

by Marissa Meyer

So. Good. This book is about Catherine Pinkerton, the future Queen of Hearts! Why is she so cruel? What made her say "Off with your head" in the first place? Find out in this twisted, gripping tale. . .

It was amazing! You really dip into the dream of a bakery for Catherine. And the real story behind the Jabberwocky! Interesting pumpkins, daring jokers, heartbreaking scenes, and scenario's that make you go "Oh! I remember that!" or "Eureka!"

I would recommend this book to 12-1,000. Why? Well, because this is a bit more mature book. Just because it's mature, doesn't mean it isn't a great book! Be prepared for a tale of roses and thrones...

Priscilla, 12

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Fangirl

by Rainbow Rowell

Cath and Wren have been attached to the hip from the moment they were brought into the world, until now when Wren decides to go out into the world of college by herself. With Cath alone, she struggles to juggle her favorite hobby of writing 'fanfiction' for her favorite series about the wizard, Simon Snow and her new college work load. Cath has to learn to survive as she struggles to get along with her new roommate and deal with her first love.

I've read the same Young Adult novel about the girl with a troubled past who meets the perfect boy quite a few times now and I was pleased to find something different when I came across this book. Fangirl overall felt like a very fun but real read. You could connect to the characters and the troubles they were going through were quite realistic for a freshman in college. This novel is probably one of my favorites that I've read in a while because of easy it was to connect it to my own life.

I recommend Fangirl to anyone who likes witty humor, realistic characters, and a cute, but not overwhelming, love story. Fangirl is the whole package wrapped up in a novel that isn't like every other one in the Young Adults section.

Karley, 14

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The Diabolic

by S.J. Kincaid

Nemesis is a word and name that indicates negative influences, just like all the other Diabolic names. Diabolics are soulless, savage creatures, incapable of any human emotion other than love and rage. Or so everyone thought. When Nemesis is sent to the court of her tyrant King, she encounters unexpected situations: a supposedly insane but handsome man, a plot to destroy the king, dark motives, twisted lies, and . . . true love? When it comes down to it, will Nemesis trust what everyone's been telling her, or her heart . . . which tells her she can be something more?

I really enjoyed this book because it was a fantastic story about how a young woman breaks free of what everyone has told her about herself--and what she believed--and chose to be someone SHE wanted to be. Nemesis is also a very interesting character because she's strong and brave, but utterly confused by what her heart is telling her, and her head. But what I didn't like was that there were some sexual references--not a lot, but some.

This is a good book for anyone who likes a cool, strong, karate-chopping girl who finds out who she is only by not listening to the voices she had been listening to her entire life. There is some romance in it too, as an added bonus, which really makes Nemesis's whole world flip upside-down. Also, if you like the victory of a scenario where a tyrant is given his dues and replaced by a better person, this is also a good book. But here's a warning--this book is a little emotionally chaotic, especially at the end (personally, I relish it).

Keila, 14

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Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Austen

Image result for pride and prejudice bookPride and Prejudice, which takes place in early 1800s England, follows the relationship between Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. Upon first meeting, Elizabeth thinks the wealthy Mr. Darcy as arrogant, conceited, and rude. The story describes the many twists and turns in their relationship that ultimately leads to a gratifying conclusion.

This book was very enjoyable because of the many unanticipated dips and turns in the plot. I especially liked the witty dialogue between the characters and the resolution of the story.

I would recommend this book to others because it was very well-written and also possesses a very valuable lesson. If you like the classics, then you will love Pride and Prejudice.

Bethany, 15

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Emma

by Jane Austen

This book takes place in early 1800's England in a small village named Highbury and follows the story of Emma, a cunning and well-mannered girl. Emma is very clever, and uses this skill to her advantage in order to pair couples together. Ultimately, Emma's mischievous hijinks result in many awkward situations between her and her friend Harriet, whom she tries to match with men of noble birth.

Emma is a fantastic book. However, the beginning is a bit slow and it took me a while to get into it. Near the middle of the story, I couldn't put the book down because it was so interesting. I really enjoyed this book because it takes dozens of unexpected turns and is quite comical at times.

I would definitely recommend this book to others. Although the story starts off slow, I encourage you to keep reading it because it grows increasingly more interesting and fun. For those that like classic literature and other Jane Austen novels, this book is perfect!

Bethany, 15

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The Great Gatsby

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby takes place during the 1920's, or the Jazz Age. It is about the downfall of a man named Jay Gatsby that throws lavish parties in his Long Island Mansion every Saturday night, all through the perspective of Nick, his neighbor. Jay Gatsby throws parties every week in hopes of reuniting with his former lover, Daisy, who doubles as Nick's cousin. Through Nick, Daisy and Gatsby rekindle their love, which ultimately leads to a wild turn of events.

I really enjoyed this book. It is an amazing story due to its sad, yet beautiful plot. It is also very realistic and a true epitome of life in the roaring 20's.

I would recommend this book to others because it has a great message behind it. If you like realistic fiction, historical fiction or other authors of the time such as Hemingway, The Great Gatsby is the perfect book for you.

Bethany, 15

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Throne of Glass

by Sara J. Maas

In a world where magic is forbidden, a young assassin named Celaena Sardothien is working a mine as her prison sentence. But, being chosen by the Crown Prince, Celaena will be able to fight to serve as the King's Champion, if she can defeat twenty three other convicts. But as the competitors start dying one by one, it stops being a fight for freedom but a fight for survival. And she's the only person who can stop this evil.

This book is a mystery within itself. The writing style was intricate. The way how the past is explained throughout the book instead of in the beginning was beautiful, and everything came together in the end. It's extremely unpredictable, but in a good way. For me, I found it boring at first but kept reading because I knew something big would happen. But before I knew it, I was hooked. The characters really drew me into it.

I would recommend this book to anyone wanting a storytelling experience. It does take a bit of time to get into, but after that I think that the writing style just pulls you in. This book would also be good for people who like to come up with theories. It does have a love triangle, which I found a bit awkward, but for fans of dystopias such as The Hunger Games, I think that you'll like it. It's also the first book in the series.

Alexis, 14

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Seven Daughters and Seven Sons

by Barbara Cohen and Bahija Lovejoy

Image result for seven daughters and seven sons

This incredible book takes place in an ancient Arab nation. The main character, Buran, longs to leave the house, and not wait for her father to chose a husband for her. Buran then decides to try for something she has always wanted.

I completely adored this book. This covers the femininity of a woman, the author really dives deep into being a woman and what that means. The story itself is a mix between romance and friendship.

Anyone who likes the Disney movie, Mulan, would love this book. Think of an Arab version of Mulan. Except the character herself wants a full life. And so she disguises as a boy, and travels to a city far away from her house where she meets the dishy Mahmud. She tries to keep their friendship from going too far. Because if she reveals to the prince, Mahmud that she is a woman, then she will lose everything she has worked for.

Priscilla, 12

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Everything, Everything

by Nicola Yoon

A girl named Maddy suffers from combined immunodeficiency disease (SCID). New neighbors move in next door, and she locks eyes with a boy named Olly. Later on they become friends and eventually fall in love. Maddy is becoming more and more frustrated with not being able to go outside and see the world. She tests the limits with Olly and learns about something shocking that changes her life.

I enjoyed this book very much, because it shows a person's perspective on SCID. Also, it was a lovely teen romance story.

It's an innocent love story between two teens and it shows the psychological impact SCID has on someone. If you like a cute love story, but also dealing with a serious disease, then this is for you.

Johanna, 16

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We Were Liars

by E. Lockhart

This novel is a captivating mystery-drama depicting the main character, Cadence, as she deals with the repercussions of tragedies that happened the previous summer.

This book had never-ending surprises and twists that kept me at the edge of my seat. This book was captivating from beginning to end. It had an unsettling atmosphere that haunted both the main character and the reader.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of mysteries with no definitive ending. I recommend that you go into this book blind, without any prior knowledge of what it's about, in order to enjoy it to its fullest potential.

Hannah, 17

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Looking for Alaska

by John Green

This novel is about the life of a young teenage boy as he goes away to a boarding school and meets an unlikely companion in the form of a larger than life girl named Alaska.

It was a very captivating book, complete with John Green's trademark witty dialogue. As always, John Green's characters are the highlight of his novels, with this novel being no exception. The main characters are all charming in their own ways.

If you like introspective stories with a simple premise, then you would definitely enjoy this novel. It is a novel that is both entertaining and stimulating to the mind.

Hannah, 17

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