Escondido Public Library - Teen Book Reviews

Posts in Category: adventure

Jurassic Park

by Michael Crichton

Image result for jurassic park bookThe time of the future has finally arrived. Scientists Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler, and Ian Malcolm are invited to an island owned by John Hammond, who has finally made the breakthrough the world has been waiting for: The return of the dinosaurs. The island has Raptors, Brontosauruses, Apatosaurus, and even a Tyrannosaurus Rex. But then it all goes wrong. When the exciting vacation suddenly turns into a living two-day nightmare, the small group of survivors are forced to band together. The only question is--who will make it out alive?

This was a very exciting book, full of suspense and action and excitement. The science behind the creation of the park and dinosaurs actually make sense if you think about it. The book posed some interesting questions, like if it is even a good idea to bring back things from the past, or what impact will it have on society and even mankind as a whole? The only thing I didn't enjoy was the bad language.

I would recommend this book to people who enjoy action and suspense and sci-fi adventures. This is also for people who don't mind reading long lectures on scientific theory, because once you get past those, that's where the action comes in. This is also a book for people who don't mind getting a little gruesome in their reading (just as a heads-up).

Keila, 14


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Paper Towns

by John Green

Paper Towns is about a boy named Quentin as he embarks on a journey to find his elusive childhood crush, Margo, using cryptic clues she has left behind. 

Paper Towns, in comparison to John Green's other novels is quite noticeably sub-par. And I am usually a fan of John Green's stories. This novel, however, was not as compelling as the others; nothing about it made me want to keep reading. 

I wouldn't recommend this book. The story is cliche and the characters are not memorable; just a caricature of preexisting archetypes. I would skip this book and read John Green's Looking for Alaska instead. 

Hannah, 17


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The Darkness of Dragons

by Tui T. Sutherland

In the next book of the series, Wings of Fire, a two-thousand year old NightWing named Darkstalker has risen from his prison, where he had been buried by his best friend and forever sweetheart. Now he is out and free, rampaging all around Pyrrhia for revenge and world-conquering time. Only six dragonets stand in his way: Kinkajou, Moon, Anemone, Winter, Turtle, and Qibli. This story stars Qibli, a SandWing, while he battles Darkstalker in ways he would never have guessed, face his darkest fears, and battle himself from within.

I was really impressed with this book because the plot is so well thought-out and the characters really well developed. It's also really fascinating to be inside Qibli's brain--he is always thinking at high speeds--because he can read dragons like a scroll and it's interesting to know what he reads off them. Also the book puts fundamental morals into play, and questions the gray areas. Its really cool to read about how Qibli and his friends battle and defeat Darkstalker, because it's a way you would never expect, nor see coming.

I would absolutely recommend this book, The Darkness of Dragons, to anyone who likes a character that's can be related to, has secrets to his past that still need to be found out, and is incredibly, incredibly smart and kind. It's also a good book for people who want to see the bad guy be defeated after several books of him running around unchecked, and who like to think deeply about moral questions such as 'Is it right to take a dark path or murder and oppress when at the end of the road, the world will be a much better, brighter place?'

Keila, 14


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The Hobbit

by J.R.R Tolkien

Image result for the hobbit the novel

The plot of this novel is set before the events of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. This book follows the journey of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who favors the comfort of his home, and 13 dwarves whom Bilbo accompanies. The group's goal is to pass through the dangerous terrains and creatures of the Misty Mountains, and eventually reclaim their authority of the Lonely Mountains from the dragon Smaug.

The first few chapters of the book is pretty slow, but I've noticed that most of J.R.R Tolkien's books start off like that. You just have to get through those parts because eventually, you get sucked into the story. I really liked how Bilbo Baggins' character developed throughout his journey. At first, he came off as a pretentious creature who had too many fears to be of actual help to the dwarves. However, it was very interesting to see his better qualities such as tenacity, dexterity, and humility show through as he traveled and fought together with his dwarf companions.

I would recommend this book to people who like fantasy novels. Everything in The Hobbit as well as The Lord of the Rings is from Tolkien's imagination. He writes about dwarves, elves, goblins, and other fascinating creatures. I think that the language may be a little hard for some to understand, but I think the way Tolkien used Bilbo's character development to illustrate motifs and themes was great. Even though this may have been just another fiction with a tale of an adventure to others, to me, it was a story that taught me to get out of my comfort zone and enjoy all of the things (good or bad) that life has to offer.

Heejeong, 18


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by Jeff Stone

Fu is the Cantonese name for Tiger. Fu is a strongly built boy who finds himself in the evil clutches of his older brother, Ying(eagle). The brothers are all monks, and they barely have the time to mourn over their so-called 'Secret Temple'. Ying turned evil because of the Grandmaster's mistake. This book is one of many of the Five Ancestors series.

I fell in love with this series. Especially this book, Tiger. The boy's name was chosen by Grandmaster because of his body type. He was also trained to be taught in the way of the tiger. Or in other words, Tiger martial arts. I hope you enjoy this book!

I would definitely recommend this book to like, everyone. Why? Well, obviously it's a good book. Who doesn't like martial-arts-butt-kicking monks who go on journeys with cool names? Hok, Fu, Maolo, Ying, and countless others.

Priscilla, 12


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The River

by Gary Paulsen

Brian Robeson, who was forced to live alone for several weeks in the wilderness, is on his next life-threatening quest through the woods. When asked by the government to show them how he was able to survive, Brain agrees and goes back to the forest accompanied by a psychologist named Derek Holtzer. But when a freak storm hits them out of nowhere and everything goes wrong, Brian is once again fighting for his life on a trek to also save the life of his friend.

This was a really fantastic book. It had some really interesting psychological elements to it, but it definitely wasn't lacking in action, either. It's a striking story of the relationship between man and nature, and how for Brian it's not man v.s. nature, but nature shaping man for survival.

I would recommend The River to anyone who enjoys a good survival story. This is also a good book for anyone who enjoys a psychological explanation, the story of what's going on in the main character's brain.

Keila, 14


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Mim's parents divorced, her dad remarried, and then she found out that her mom is terminally ill in Cleveland. Upon hearing this news, Mim packs her belongings and takes a Greyhound bus to Cleveland to see her mom. Along the way, Mim encounters some unexpected turns and meets two hilarious travel companions. Ultimately, this road trip teaches Mim exactly what she needs to confront her fears at home with her dad and step-mom.

This novel was relatively good. It's not my favorite book, but it was enjoyable to read. The plot kept me on my feet, but it was all over the place. I could barely keep up with the rapid movement and constant changes of the storyline.

I would recommend this book to others because of its entertaining plot. If you like action and adventure, you would enjoy Mosquitoland.

Bethany, 15


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The Apothecary

by Maile Meloy

It's 1952 and Janie Scott moved to London from Los Angeles, California. At school, Jane meets Benjamin, the mysterious son of an apothecary. When the apothecary goes missing, Benjamin and Janie must uncover the secrets of the apothecary's Pharmacopoeia, all the while keeping the ancient book out of the hands of his enemies. With the help of the book, Janie and Benjamin discover new potions and spells and embark on a race against time in order to save the world from their enemies, the Russians.

The Apothecary was a good novel. I liked it because it put a magical spin on the seriousness of the Cold War. The adventurous storyline also kept me on the edge of my seat.

I would recommend this book to others because of its adventurous, yet has a serious plot. This book is perfect for those that enjoy fantasy, magic, and history.

Maile, 15


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by S. Jae-Jones

Image result for S. Jae-Jones wintersong

Wintersong is about this girl named Liesl. But the Goblin King only knows her by her other name which is Elisabeth. This story is a bit of a coming-of-age story. It has the heat of passion burning in this story.

It was average. She sacrifices herself to save her sisters life, and is trapped in the Underground until she passes away. She is kept with the Goblin King unless he decides to free her into the human world.

I would recommend this book to those who like the feeling of the flames of passion and music, and those who enjoy a simple 'once upon a time' story written for teens.

Priscilla, 12


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The Lost World

by Michael Crichton

Jurassic Park is gone, never to be seen or heard from again. But as time goes on, people start to find strange, warped carcasses . . . the bodies of dinosaurs? Richard Levine--friend of Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park survivor--thinks so. But when his expedition goes wrong, Malcolm and his friends take the trek across the sea and into dinosaur territory to save their friend . . . before the jaws of a T-Rex close around them.

The Lost World is almost completely fast-paced, but it does have certain parts where scientific debates start, which I actually find interesting. It's a great thriller if you don't mind a little blood, and there are a few funny parts. The only thing I didn't like was the bad language, like 'hell' and 'shit' and the F-word (which I won't even dare to type).

This is a good book for people who don't mind blood and bad language (or who can at least skip over them), who enjoy good chase scenes, and who like being so anxious and scared by the image you see in your head you can't breathe.

Keila, 14


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Water for Elephants

by Sara Gruen

Water for Elephants is about an old man named Jacob Jankowski who lives in a nursing home. During that time he gets flashbacks of his youth. From the moment his parents get into a car accident to when he ends up taking care of the animals on a circus. The novel is a mix of adventure and romance.

The novel takes you through all the challenges and feelings Jacob was feeling. Very well written makes you feel as if you're there. As well as heartbreaking at times when romance is involved.

I would highly recommend this novel if you're into adventure, conflict, and a little romance. Very heartfelt and makes you want to read it all over again. I highly recommend you read the novel first before seeing the movie.

Anahi, 16


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The Red Pyramid

by Rick Riordan

A boy named Carter Kane who lost his mom and now lives with his dad, a brilliant Egyptologist. On Christmas Eve, he is reunited with his sister, Sadie, and their father takes them to the British Museum. Everything goes wrong when their father tries to summon a mysterious figure. The siblings have to fight against the evils to try to get their father back.

I really like this book because it was a fun fiction book. I really like reading books about Egyptian gods and magic because they are really interesting and easy to read. I also liked how the author uses teenagers as characters because many can relate to how they feel after having to face gods.

If you like books about gods and magic, you should try this book. Also if you have read any Percy Jackson books, I would recommend this book because it is written by the same author. The book is fun for all ages and I encourage anyone to read it.

Sandra, 16


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The Isle of the Lost

by Melissa de la Cruz

The Isle of the Lost is about Mal, Evie, Carlos, and Jay going on an adventure looking for Maleficent's scepter. In their adventure, each of the characters have to go through a puzzle based on their life. Also, the book talks about how Mal, Maleficent's daughter, feels about her mother and her own future.

I liked this book because it talks about each of the characters emotions and how I can relate to them. Also, it was great to see Mal standing up to her mother, even though her mom has always put her down and compared her to her "weak" father.

I would recommend this book because I think that many people enjoy dramatic and powerful books, such as this one. If you like fantasy with drama, you"ll like The Isle of the Lost! Lastly, I would recommend it to others because if you enjoy going deeper into the characters lives and getting more details, you'll like this book!

Michelle, 11


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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

by Mark Twain

A young boy named Huck Finn ventures out with his best friend Tom Sawyer. They encounter the world of discrimination and racism during their trip. In this coming of age novel, these two characters experience intellectual growth as well. 

I did really enjoy this novel. It dealt with racism and showed how society was back then. As the characters learned, the reader learned alongside them. 

Yes, I would recommended it. For adolescents, it's good to read a coming of age novel since they can relate to it better. If one enjoys learning about the deep racial issues back then and reading how a young boy reacts and learns from it; this is a novel you would enjoy. 

Johanna, 16


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The Probability of Miracles

by Wendy Wunder

The Probability of Miracles is about Campbell, a girl who's days are numbered. Her mom, refusing to accept this inevitability, moves Campbell and her sister to a town in Maine where miracles have been known to happen. As Campell resigns herself to a quiet life and quieter death, her sister and mom encourage her to live her life to the fullest.

I loved The Probability of Miracles. It was hilarious and devastating at the same time. Probably one of the most honest portrayals of the human experience I've read.

I would recommend this book to older teens who love film references and sarcastic characters who are brutally honest. Fans of John Green's The Fault In Our Stars and Looking for Alaska would enjoy this book.

Amanda, 16


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