Categories

Girl Online : The First Novel By Zoella 

by Zoe Sugg

Girl Online follows an anonymous teenage blogger, who is known as “Penny” – a clumsy, anxious, and sweet girl who has struggled a long time with panic attacks. When in New York for her mom's job, she meets Noah. She slowly begins to fall in love with him, unaware of his secret identity of a famous musician.

This book was a really good book to read, because it was exciting throughout, and was not entirely predictable. It also has a great romance storyline, and is very relatable to teenagers.

This book would be good for someone who likes reading about romance with a more realistic storyline. It isn't much of an action filled book, and has a particularly English tone.

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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Of Sound Mind 

by Jean Ferris
10/12/2015 Categories: family drama handicaps realistic fiction

Theo, who is a senior in high school, is the only hearing son of deaf parents. He meets a new girl at school, Ivy, and discovers that she is in a similar situation as him, as her dad is deaf but she is hearing. Theo's dedication to his family and Ivy is put to the test in various circumstances.

Of Sound Mind was a very intriguing book because it gave insight into Deaf Culture. I enjoy how loving and relatable the characters are in this story.

If you want to learn a little bit about Deaf Culture yet still get connected and fall in love with characters, you'd love Of Sound Mind by Jean Ferris.

Janae, 16

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The Grapes of Wrath 

by John Steinbeck
10/12/2015 Categories: adventure classic realistic fiction

The Grapes of Wrath follows the Joad family as they try to escape the Dust Bowl in Oklahoma by heading out west to California to try to make a new life. Ma, Pa, and Tom carry the rest of the family, along with Jim Casy, as they face the hardships and cruelness of migrants heading west, dealing with the law, religion, and social interactions that the define the Joad's and the rest of the migrants. The unity of love and community and the idea of a whole rather than individuality during the harsh times is seen through out Steinbeck's work.

This book is one of my favorites, as it depicts the hardships of people who are trying to make a living in a fast paced society such as America. Also, how Steinbeck was able to capture what was going on in the era the book was written about through people that were going through it. The use of multiple symbols and motifs are what really made me think and what Steinbeck intended and they way he made everything fall into place.

This novel is for those who like the seriousness side of books rather than the over zealous books. This is for those who are moved by words and what is happening in their society that is affecting them. If you want to see change in questionable parts of your society, then The Grapes of Wrath will positively motivate you in doing so.

Anthony, 16

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The Wonder of All Things 

by Jason Mott

The people of Stone Temple, North Carolina have only a matter of seconds to cope with a tragic plane crash before they are faced with an even more earth-shattering realization; Ava, the sheriff's daughter, has healed someone with nothing more than the touch of her hands. This book centers around the life of thirteen year-old Ava and those of the people close to her in Stone Temple as they deal with not only the tragedy of the crash, but the international spotlight brought on by the girl deemed a Miracle Child. Jason Mott's The Wonder of All Things is a book that deals with more than just the miracles that surround us.

This book includes a discussion on a wide variety of topics that most books fall short on even covering. Similar to all of those dystopian YA novels publishers are intent on mass producing, this book features a young, average girl that no one seems to think much of; until of course everyone makes her out to be a miracle-maker. Mott, however, does not make out his young protagonist to be the only readable character in this tale; her friends and family face many struggles that are deeply rooted in the past and surface in light of the more recent dilemma. Through all of this, we see a picture of people who face the same trials we all do; whether it's the lack of autonomy in youth, grief, or mental illness, this novel displays them in a way that many can relate to.

The Wonder of All Things is a book that begs to be read in one sitting; the story is intriguing, the relationships are realistic (even if the characters occasionally lack depth), and the message has an impact. For those who are interested in books that subtly question that meaning of humanity, this book is for you. 

Melina, 16

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Shutout 

by Brendan Halpin
10/05/2015 Categories: friendship realistic fiction soccer

Image result for shutout by brendan halpinFourteen-year-old Amanda and her best friend Lena start high school looking forward to playing on the varsity soccer team, but when Lena makes varsity and Amanda only makes junior varsity, their long friendship rapidly changes.

I really liked this because it showed how friendships could change after decisions are made. I liked it because it was a real-life example.

I recommend this book to all because its a friendship crisis. For those interested in soccer stories this book is definitely for you 

Melissa, 13

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Go Ask Alice 

by Anonymous
10/05/2015 Categories: classic drugs realistic fiction

This story is about a teenage girl who gets served a drink laced with LSD at a party. Since then, she gets addicted and she can't stop. This novel is about the hardships she goes through in being addicted to drugs.

I liked this story because it was sort of a graphic novel. It successfully showed the side effects of drugs and what the teenage girl had to overcome when taking drugs.

I would definitely recommend every teenager to read this novel. This story seems very anti-drug abuse and it shows teenagers what the affects of drugs are. Aside from teaching teenagers a lesson, it is also a great read.

Analyss, 17

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Eleanor & Park 

by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park is a story about two 16-year-old misfits who find themselves sitting by each other on the bus everyday and sharing things they enjoy with each other. The novel tells the tale of a first love and the heartbreak and happiness that comes with it.

I enjoyed this story very much because it can relate to teens in a variety of ways. It talks about first love which I, as well as many other people, are going through.

I would highly recommend this book to teens! It relates to everyone and it has an great plot that I think many people would enjoy. Most teens can relate to the characters in the story in how they act, what they do, and their rebellious side.

Analyss, 17

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Chasing Normal 

by Lisa Papademetriou
09/29/2015 Categories: family drama funny realistic fiction

When Mieka Baker's grandma has a heart attack, her summer plans (if she had any) were turned upside down. She has to stay with her normal cousin in her normal house, go shopping for normal clothes, and attend a normal religious summer camp. What follows is anything but normal.

I really enjoyed Chasing Normal. It addresses a growing girl's concerns about periods, religion, body image, and (of course) boys, all the while inserting humor.

I recommend this book to any girl who feels like the odd one out. The main message is to embrace your inner different. Any mature girl between 11-14 will love this book.

Payton, 12

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Speak 

by Laurie Halse Anderson
09/25/2015 Categories: emotions & feelings rape realistic fiction

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, is a story about a girl named Melinda Sordino who busted an end-of-the-year summer party because she called the cops. Everyone starts to hate her and her friends don't even talk to her anymore. She is secluded to herself and there is something that happened at the party that she is avoiding from her mind. If it enters her mind, she would have to speak the truth, hence the title.

The novel, Speak, was very enjoyable to me and has a great underlying message. It was not an overly depressing story which made it bearable to read. This novel is one of the few novels that I would definitely read again.

I definitely would recommend the story to others. It sends a great, but not harsh message and it just is an overall enjoyable story. I would recommend it to people who are oversensitive, as I am.

Analyss, 17

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Tender is the Night 

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Tender is the Night is a tragic romance novel about an 18 year old actress by the name of Rosemary Hoyt who goes on vacation to the French Riviera. There she meets the handsome Dick Diver, whom she falls in love with. Dick Diver is a psychiatrist who is the doctor and husband of Nicole Warren. The story depicts the life of Dick Diver, in which the wealth he has encountered provokes him into a different lifestyle other than his own.

This book was to a moderate extent, interesting, but it is very difficult to understand. Fitzgerald writes in a very complex and wordy way that actually makes it strenuous to know what is truly happening. This book also doesn't have the greatest plot in the world and it seems as if I was never really intrigued with what was happening.

I do recommend this book if you really admire a complex way of writing in an author, but if you don't, I don't think you will like this very much. I thought that after reading The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald, I would like it a lot. The Great Gatsby has such an interesting and clear plot that the plot. However, Tender is the Night was mildly disappointing but a little disappointing. I know many people who have very much enjoyed this novel, so might as well give it a read. 

Analyss, 17

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Since You've Been Gone 

by Morgan Matson

Since You've Been GoneHave you ever had a best friend who brings you out of your comfort zone and makes you try crazy things? Emily has. But what happens when her best friend, Sloane just randomly disappears leaving nothing behind but a list filled with insane things for Emily that she would never do. It's only the beginning of summer and things are about to get crazy with a lot of unexpected surprises and new friends.

This was one of my favorite books from 2014, because I could relate to it SO much. It displayed all the quirky features I love in books and it just really reminded me of Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen.

I would recommend this book because you can relate to how you depend on your friends, and when that's ripped away you feel a sense of loneliness. Also this book displays how whether you like it or not, you need to put yourself out in the world to experience life. 

Audrey, 17

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Paper Towns 

John Green
02/12/2015 Categories: mystery realistic fiction

Paper Towns

Paper Towns by John Green is the third book by the author whose tragic novel The Fault in Our Stars stayed on top of the New York Times Bestseller List for 49 weeks on end. It follows Quentin Jacobsen, a high school senior from Orlando whose life has been spent next door to the mysterious Margo Roth Spiegelman, a girl with a propensity for disappearing and carefully leaving behind clues as to where she’s run off to. One night she climbs in his window and asks him for help on a brilliant escapade of revenge, and he tags along. After their all night campaign of destruction, Quentin (or Q) arrives at school and finds that Margo is no longer there. He enlists the help of his friends Radar and Ben to help him follow her scarce hints and find where Margo Roth Spiegelman might have hid herself- even though as they seem to get closer, she seems to be farther away.

This novel is Green’s under-appreciated masterpiece, raw and gripping at every turn. The characters were far from the average trite, two-dimensional high school kids found in too many young adult books- Q, Ben, Margo, Lacey, and Radar (whose parents hilariously own the world’s largest collection of black Santas) are written with real depth and a surprising realism. They suffer from the same stresses and expectations all teenagers do, and they manage to be funny but very thoughtful, and deeply moving. Green makes you feel Q’s anguish and fear as the reader’s own, he makes you feel the giddy high of the night of revenge and the heartbreak of the concluding pages.

It is a soon to be major motion picture, and it needs to be read by anyone with a love for young adult fiction. It proves to be one of the books you can fall into and not return from until you have flipped closed the back cover, and it deserves easily its five stars.

Jake, 15

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The Fault in Our Stars 

by John Green

The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars followed two teenage cancer victims. Both of them had a serious form of cancer and they knew that eventually it would win, but they still managed to make a little infinity together.

The book was amazing. It would take you from tears to pure joy and then back to tears again. The moral of the story was just heart-warming: No matter how much time you have left, you can always find happiness and love. It was just a beautiful story.

I would recommend this book to everyone who loves to read a sweet love story with heart-ache and heart-warming scenes. It was just amazing how realistic the characters seemed, which forced you to feel many emotions, ranging from sadness to pure joy. I would definitely recommend this to everyone, it is a must-read.

Chanel, 15

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How My Summer Went Up in Flames 

by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Image result for how my summer went up in flames

"I did not blow up Joey' s car. It caught fire!" To be honest Rosie really
didn't. Now that her ex boyfriend has enforced a restraining order against her, Rosie' s parents decide to send her on a cross country road trip with her neighbor Marty and his two friends. With the distraction of 3 guys she begins to forget about her ex and start enjoying what this trip has to offer her.

I liked some parts of it, but I just found it really unrealistic. It started out alright, but the main character wasn't strong enough to hold it all together.

I honestly don't think I would recommend this book. It's basically a fluff book that has no purpose but to mildly entertain you.

Audrey, 16

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