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Fast Track 

by Julie Garwood

Fast Track is a story about Cordie, a teacher in Chicago. After Cordie's father dies, Cordie decides to find her mother who has been absent for most of her life. She and Aiden, her friend since childhood, fly to Australia to track down her mother. Once there, Cordie faces danger as her mother's family is determined to erase Cordie from their family history.

Fast Track, like the name suggests, is a fast-paced and exciting read. There are however, lots of  scenes with more mature content that may appeal to older teens.

I would recommend this book to fans of action and mystery novels.

Amanda, 16

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Where The Stars Still Shine 

by Trish Doller
05/27/2016 Categories: family drama identity kidnapping older teens

Where the Stars Still Shine is a book about Callie, a seventeen-year-old girl who was abducted by her mom at a young age. Callie is found by the police, and brought home to her dad, but she struggles to adjust to living a normal life.
 

I am a tough critic, but this book was not my favorite. Even if you can handle the adult content scenes, there's a lot of sad moments, and the ending with the love interest left me dissatisfied.

Where the Stars Still Shine ends in a cliffhanger fashion where you get to decide what happens without the author explicitly telling you which may be appealing to some readers.

Amanda, 16

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The Anti-Prom 

by Abby McDonald

This book follows the lives of three high school girls on prom night. Bliss has just found out her boyfriend has cheated on her, and wants revenge. She pulls Jolene into the act, and together, they convince Meg to help them. The three unlikely friends work together throughout the night, getting revenge, and ultimately finding themselves.

 

This book was interesting to read, because it follows three different perspectives, so that you could see what all three characters were thinking. It was interesting, but the main characters could be frustrating to read about at times.

 

This book would be good for people who enjoy reading about the darker sides of happy events, and for people who enjoy reading about how the people who are your friends, are not always who you think they are.

 

Natalie, 14

 

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Don't Even Think About It 

by Sarah Mlynowski

This book follows the lives of one high school class, which develops telepathy by the administering of a faulty batch of flu shots. The class now has the ability to hear each other's thoughts, as well as the thoughts of everyone around them. They have to learn to work together, and learn how to handle their new powers.

This book was an interesting read, because I was able to follow all the points of view in one fluid perspective. The twists and turns throughout the book kept me guessing, and it was never boring to read.

 

This book is good for people who like interesting and quirky plot lines, as well as those readers who like reading about special powers. The book doesn't involve much action, as its focus is mostly on everyday settings.

 

Natalie, 14

 

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Fangirl 

by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl follows the life of a college freshman, Cath, who has to learn to live on her own, while simultaneously worrying about her twin sister, and her father. She meets new people, but her fixation on finishing her fanfiction keeps her from being too outgoing. She does make friends, but not in the way she imagined.

I liked this book because of the realistic setting, and relatable vibe it sent to people. The book also had a good love story, which made it interesting, and worthwhile to read. It also shines a realistic light on how difficult life can really be, and how we have to handle it.

I would recommend this book to those who have a love for realistic books.  The novel might also appeal to those who like to read fanfiction, and can understand the obsession that Cath has.

Natalie, 14

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Vicious: A Pretty Little Liar's Novel 

by Sara Shepard

This book was about the ending of the Pretty Little Liars Series. It follows the lives of the four girls as they are set to go into trial. The girls must find a way to prove their innocence, before it is too late. Along the way, they learn what they truly want, and who they really are.

This book was interesting because it was full of suspense and really make you second-guess everything you thought you knew about these girls. It also provided a cliffhanger ending that really made you want more.

I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a bit of mystery, while also enjoying a modern day take. The book is filled with suspense, and the switching perspectives make it very fun to read.

Natalie, 14

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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children 

by Ransom Riggs
04/19/2016 Categories: murder mystery older teens suspense

Jacob Portman thinks he's just about as normal as a 16 year old boy could get. However, after his grandfather's strange death, he begins to ask questions about his grandfather's peculiar life. Who really was Grandpa Portman? A trip to the island from his grandfather's childhood answers these questions, and turns Jacob's life upside down.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is slightly scary at first. There are so many unanswered questions, which makes you want to read more. I love the twists that the author puts around every corner, making it an unpredictable story.

If you like creepy or 20th century setting books, then Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children would be perfect for you. Also, if you like unexpected outcomes and monsters, this will be a great read for you.

Alex, 15

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And Then There Were None  

by Agatha Christie
04/09/2016 Categories: murder mystery older teens

Eight people arrive on Soldier Island, invited by their friends Mr. and Mrs. Owen.

The housekeeper and butler inform them that their hosts are not yet on the island.

Things seem fairly ordinary until, one by one, people start to disappear.

And Then There Were None is basically like the game of Clue. Everyone is trying to figure out who the murderer is. The language; however, is a little old, which may make it boring for some people.

I would recommend this book to people in their teens and over. Anyone younger wouldn't find it interesting, as it is a complex murder mystery.

Alex, 15

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Speak 

by Laurie Halse Anderson

Melinda Sordino, busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone. Inside her own head, but even that’s not safe. There’s something she’s trying not to think about. Something about the night of the party that, if she let’s it in, it would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak.

Speak is a book about depression. Depression is the unspoken theme that defines Melinda's behavior. I like how the book was well written.

I would recommend this book to everyone. This is such an important book for the he content and message it presents.

Yessica, 14

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The Virgin Suicides 

by Jeffrey Eugenides
06/18/2013 Categories: older teens sex suicide

virgin suicidesThe Virgins Suicides is an eerie yet intriguing tale about 5 beautiful sisters who one night decided to kill themselves. The story is told from the perspective of a group of teenage boys who are infatuated with the girls.

The Virgin Suicides is a fantastic book. It is very unique and intriguing. The reader finds themselves as drawn to the girls' lives as the teenage narrators. Eugenides's technique of telling the haunting story of the girls is very masterful. There isn't a part of the novel that readers will find monotonous at all. From the first page to the last, the reader is captivated.

I would recommend the novel to more mature teens. It deals with a very serious subject and it also has some sex and violence. I believe they would enjoy the book because it is written exceptionally and the story is incredibly mysterious and compelling.

CJ, 17

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Hunger Games 

by Suzanne Collins

Hunger GamesThe book is about a girl name Katniss Everdeen. Her sister is picked for the hunger games (where teens fight to the death and there is one winner). Katniss volunteers in the place of her younger sister and fights to the death in the hunger games.

I really liked this book because of the love story and the fight scenes it had.

Yes, I would recommend this book to others of an older age of about 13 because of some the the intense fight scenes and the sort of love triangle that goes on. But over all, I really like this book.

Sabrina, 14

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Devil in the White City 

by Erik Larson
05/21/2013 Categories: murder non-fiction older teens true stories

Devil in the White CityIn 1893, the World's Fair was to be the biggest event of the century, and it was. Numerous exhibitions from across the country and even the world traveled to Chicago to be displayed next to newfangled creations like the Ferris Wheel and the jawdropping shows of Buffalo Bill. Little did anyone know that danger was lurking in the shadows in the form of serial killer Dr. H. H. Holmes: the devil in the White City.

I LOVED this book. As an avid reader of murder mysteries, the story of Dr. Holmes was at once intriguing and frightening. Coupled with the story of the World's Fair, I found this book to be a wonderful dose of both true history and an enthralling plot. Even if you don't like history, you'll still enjoy this book because the story is not overwhelmingly filled with data yet is still realistic. The actual events of both the Columbian Expo and Holmes's killing sprees are portrayed in a wonderful narrative format that is a delight to read. However, due to the rather gory aspects of this novel, I'd recommend this book only to strong readers with equally strong stomachs.

Erica, 17

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A Feast for Crows 

by George R.R. Martin
05/13/2013 Categories: fantasy older teens politics war

A Feast for CrowsThis fourth installment in the Game of Thrones series chronicles the story of the characters readers have come to love. With the war in Westros changing tides, alliances are made, friendships broken, and many, many lives are lost. Everywhere there is chaos and scheming, and secrets never stay that way for long.

I liked this book because the believable characters keep the story rolling at a fast pace. The plot never stops twisting in ways you never expect, and the author goes in depth with every detail so I felt like I was standing alongside my favorite characters.

I would recommend this book to someone who wants to know all of the gritty details of the fights and enjoys seeing things play out from multiple viewpoints.

Liam, 15

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The Lovely Bones 

by Alice Sebold
04/29/2013 Categories: child abuse movie murder older teens rape

Susie Salmon is a normal, 14-year-old girl with a happy family and looks forward to going to high school and maybe dating her crush, Ray Singh.  That all changes when she is brutally raped and murdered on her way home from school and she, and her family, have to deal with the aftermath. Susie narrates to story from her personal Heaven as she comes to terms with her death and watches her loved ones move on and live in a world without her.

It was an interesting read and very touching. Expect an emotional rollercoaster, I was crying by the end, but there is a happy ending so hang in there.  I wanted to read this book because it sounded very original and I wanted to see how Sebold handeled  the whole Heaven issue and having a narrator who was dead.  I thought she handled it well overall and really shows how Susie and her family mature and move past her death.

I would recommend this book for someone that wants something different and is open to unorthodox and sometimes difficult-to-swallow subject matter.  This is not a book for someone very sensitive; there is teenage sex, rape, character death, adultery and some other subjects readers may be uncomfortable with. Read with an open mind and be ready to cry.

Rebecca, 17

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The Scarlet Letter 

by Nathaniel Hawthorne
04/29/2013 Categories: classic movie older teens romance

The novel begins with the town gossiping about resident Hester Prynne. The reader wonders what Hester Prynne did that was so bad. The novel is mostly about how Hester raises her child and why the father won't confront that he is the father.

I loved this book because of its romantic quality, and that even though is was written like two centuries ago, love still exists. I love the part when Hester and the father first meet each other after so long and they still feel love for each other. I hated how the father was such a coward to face the town and say that he was the father.

I would recommend this book to people who can read books with difficult language, and love romantic novels. People who love a suspense love story will love this book, and I loved this book even though everyone in my class disliked this book. This book has a deeper meaning and moral of you read it carefully, and do not treat it as homework.

Lauren, 17

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