Categories

Blood of the Reich 

by William Dietrich
07/18/2012 Categories: action battles holocaust suspense

Blood coverBlood of the Reich is a book about Nazi fanatics attempting to gain control of a mysterious power called the Vril, which was said to have been gotten by an ancient civilization that lived and died in a secret valley in Tibet. The book alternated between the past, in 1938-1945, and the present. It included mind boggling science, huge Nazi schemes, betrayal, icy mountains, explosions, and more.

I liked this book because of its intriguing plot and characters, along with the action and adventure that occurred throughout the story.

I would recommend this book to devoted readers who can handle some scientific terms and large plot twists. This book was hard to put down and highly entertaining!

Brian, 15

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Daughter of Smoke and Bone 

by Laini Taylor
07/11/2012 Categories: action fantasy romance suspense

Daughter coverKarou is not your average heroine: she's blue-haired, ethereal, and can perform "magic" through wishes. She was also raised by a pack of unlikely mythical creatures--the chimaera. Tough and strong, she is a skilled messenger for her adoptive chimera father's trade, but after a slip up on a job, she encounters someone who will change her life forever.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was a highly acclaimed book, and it is definitely fascinating to read. However, the only downside I saw was that Karou was TOO perfect, and therefore unrelatable as a person. (This point does make sense later on in the book, but is a personal annoyance of mine.)

Fantasy and romance lovers will enjoy this book as well as readers of the supernatural!

Erica, 16

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Mathilda Savitch 

by Victor Lodato
07/11/2012 Categories: mystery realistic fiction romance suspense

Mathilda Savitch coverMathilda Savitch is a story about the troubling time Mathilda goes through after her sister's death. Mathilda sees the world in a different light; she vies for attention, especially her mother's, and the only way to get that attention is by becoming bad. And yet, Mathilda is still trying to find her place in the world; she, like any other teen, is trying to discover who she really is. But she's also going on another quest: to find the guy who pushed her sister in front of the train. As she rummages through her sister's things, she uncovers secrets that her sister has always kept hidden, but that's not the only thing she uncovers: she discovers the truth about herself and the world.

This book was amazing despite some issues with language and a bit of content. The ideas and thoughts explored are ones that plague people today and Lodato does a great job bringing them to the forefront. It really gets you wondering about issues that many times we try to ignore.

I would recommend this book to anyone who find him or herself wondering about the mystery of life. Anyone who likes to wonder and who likes to feel and get his or her heartstrings pulled would love this book, although as a warning there is some very foul language and mature content.

Jana, 16

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The Fox Inheritance 

by Mary Pearson
07/03/2012 Categories: action dystopia sci fi suspense

Fox Inheritance coverJenna, Kara, and Locke were great friends who stuck together through everything, but one day an accident happens and as they lay dying, Jenna's father scans and saves their minds in the hopes of saving them. 260 years later Locke and Kara awaken to a new world and learn that Jenna has been alive for the past 260 years and has done nothing to save them from the darkness. After finding out that they are nothing more than floor models for prospective buyers who may want to preserve their minds for the future, Locke and Kara run away and find themselves in a whole new world. The two get separated, but their destination is the same: Jenna. Locke finds himself rushing against the clock because he knows that Kara's mad, he knows she wants revenge. 

This book is fantastic; the sequel to The Adoration of Jenna Fox, this book gives you insight as to what happened to the other characters and the lives in store for them. The future world that Pearson creates is realistic. This book will leave you wondering about the importance of friendship, trust, and the human mind and soul.

I would recommend this book to everyone who loves to wonder about the future and where mankind is headed. It will definitely leave you wondering and questioning. If you loved The Adoration of Jenna Fox, then this book is a must-read.

Jana, 16

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The Demon's Lexicon 

by Sarah Rees Brennan
06/28/2012 Categories: action demonology magic suspense

Demon's Lexicon coverNick and Alan have always been on the run from magicians who are hunting them down. The magicians are after a charm that their mother possesses; sure, they can easily give it away and the chase might stop, but the charm is the only thing keeping their mother alive. One day, Jamie and Mae, neighbors from the house next door, arrive asking for help. Jamie had been marked by demons. Alan, the sweet sensitive one, wants to help them. Nick, the one who is always rough, the one who does all the fighting, the one who really doesn't care about anyone other than Alan, wants to get them far away, especially after Alan becomes marked. Now Alan and Nick have to kill two magicians in order to get the marks off and for the very first time, Nick and Alan are going to the magicians instead of running away from them. Nick is about to learn a secret that has been kept from him his entire life, a secret that will rock his world.

This book was amazing! You'll be glued to the book as the story takes you on an adventure filled with action and surprises that you may never see coming. The characters, Nick especially, are well written; they come to life and seem as real as life itself. When you reach the end, you'll find yourself wishing that the characters were real and you'll find yourself yearning for the sequel.

I would recommend this book to everyone who loves being surprised and is willing to fall in love with these characters. If you like action, adventure, and a story that drags you in with the characters, then you willl love this book.

Jana, 16

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Ashes 

by Ilsa Bick
06/28/2012 Categories: dystopia natural disasters suspense zombies

Ashes coverAnything can happen in today's world, even a nuclear attack. In Ashes, Alex, a young teen who has a monster inside of her, a brain tumor, decides to go hiking in the woods so that she can finally say good-bye to her deceased parents. In the middle of her camping trip, she meets Ellie, a little stubborn eight-year old brat, and her Grandfather. Suddenly, something happens. Grandpa falls over in pain and before Alex could do anything, she finds herself enveloped in pain as well. When she finally awakens, she finds Grandpa dead and for once she can smell. Alex takes Ellie and tries to make her way to the ranger station because right now she knows that they need help. Along the way, Alex and Ellie come across kids like them only there's one difference: they've become savage cannibals. Alex and Ellie are rescued on their way to the station by Tom, a soldier, and the trio join together to find out what has happened to their world and if there is any safe place, any order within this chaos.

Ashes is an amazing book that leaves you wondering and questioning. You are constantly in the dark and piece things together just as Alex begins to understand them. The story is compelling and will hold your attention from beginning to end. Like few other similar books, Ashes explores the dark side of human nature and shows how in chaotic situations we too can become savages, we too are forced to do things we would never have dreamed of doing.

I would recommend this book to all others who enjoy a compelling story and don't mind being left in the dark and not one step ahead of the characters. If you liked books such as The Maze Runner and Lord of the Flies, books about survival, books with what-ifs and how-comes, then Ashes is the book for you.

Jana, 16

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Variant 

by Robison Wells

Variant coverBenson is a foster child who has been moving around from foster home to foster home ever since the age of 5, but then he decides to apply to Maxfield Academy and gets accepted along with a scholarship. Benson feels that for once everything is looking up, but then he gets to the academy and he sees that nothing is right. The school has no adults and the kids have to follow complex and weird rules. Break the rules and the punishment is death. The entire school is divided into three groups: Society, Havoc, and Variant. Benson joins the Variants and from day one begins planning his escape. And then he stumbles upon the schools secret and nothing is the same. Is escape even possible?

This book was one of the most breathtaking, heart pounding, gripping books ever! From the beginning, the entire school is a mystery and as you read along, trying to uncover its secrets, you slowly become more and more entangled into the story. The ending, especially the last two lines, was a great cliffhanger and leaves you yearning for book two. Although some of the school's secrets are uncovered, there are still so many more questions that keep arising.

This book is one that I think everyone who loves action, fast-paced stories will love. Variant is somewhat a modern version of The Lord of the Flies. If you loved The Maze Runner series than this book is definitively the one for you!

Jana, 16

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If I Grow Up 

by Todd Strasser
06/18/2012 Categories: gangs realistic fiction suspense

If I Grow Up coverTo children everywhere, the question of what they want to do with their lives is always when I grow up, but with DeShawn and the other children from the gang-run projects, it is a question of IF I grow up. If I Grow Up explores the life of DeShawn, a young boy who was raised and lived in the Projects, a run-down part of town and home to the Disciples, a gang. DeShawn is a young, bright boy and everyone sees him as the type to grow up and make something of himself and DeShawn promised himself that he would never become one of the gangbangers and get involved in the mess of the projects. Yet, under harsh conditions and with want of money in order to feed his family, the gangs are his only answer. Joining the Disciples and learning the ropes, DeShawn's life slowly goes downhill.

If I Grow Up is a book that will leave all readers speechless and wondering. It opens the readers' eyes and shows them what is going on in the dark side of town and gives the story of those who live with broken families in broken towns. Yet, it does more than just make the reader hope for change; it forces the reader to want to get up and do whatever is humanly possible to help those that need it, to help save innocent children before they turn to the dark path.

I would beyond a doubt recommend this book to everyone and anyone who wants to make a change. Those of you who want to see how the world really works and what goes on in the broken parts of town, what forces innocent kids join gangs and go to jail, will love this book. Trust me, it will get you thinking not only about what is going on, but about what you can do to help.

Jana, 16

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Gentlemen 

by Micheal Northrop
06/18/2012 Categories: high school drama murder mystery suspense

GentlementIn Gentlemen, Tommy, Mixers, Bones, and Micheal are a tight-knit group that no one in school or outside of school dares to mess with. One day, while in class, Tommy throws a "tantrum" and is sent to the vice-principal's office, but he never makes it there nor does he go home. Tommy disappears and the rest of the group can't find him anywhere. They begin to worry that something is wrong and are convinced that Tommy has been brutally murdered, especially when their English teacher, Mr. Habermann, the one man who actually calls them "gentleman", begins acting very strangely, speaking of murder and the ideas of crime and punishment.

Gentlemen is definitely a book that I liked. It's very fast paced and gripping and has you enthralled until the very end. The ending itself is unexpected and although it may seem slightly disappointing at first, continue reading on till the end and you'll find that feeling of disappointment replaced with one of content. By the end of the book, you'll find yourself wondering about the true meaning of friendship and respect.

This book is one that I would recommend to everyone and anyone who loves to read and wonder about the deeper things in life. Yet, I believe that those who like reading crime thrillers and stories about the dark side of society would greatly appreciate this book.

Jana, 16

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The Color Purple 

by Alice Walker

The Color Purple might be a violent and challenging book; however, it has a very rich and deep meaning. Celie has become one of my favorite woman characters because of all she has endured in her life. Having to suffer seeing her two children taken from her at a young age and seen as subordinates, Celie still has hope in God. Woman are just as strong as men.

This book is an inspiration to a lot of woman who are suppressed by men. Celie is one of those characters you get very close and by the end of the book I was wishing it wouldn't end. Celie assumes her sister is dead after not hearing from her for years. The Color Purple has many twists and a very shocking ending.

I would recommend this book to older readers who want a challenge - it's an amazing book but is very explicit and has a lot of violent scenes. This book also has many racial and gender arguments and ventures into an era when women didn't wear pants and were looked upon as a man's property. The tile can be seen as a symbol throughout the story and is told like if you were reading through an old journal. Remember the reason this book is a challenge is because the speaker, Celie was learning how to write.

Lauren, 16

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The Lovely Bones 

by Alice Sebold
06/05/2012 Categories: child abuse ghosts murder suspense

Lovely Bones coverThe Lovely Bones is told by the main character, Susie, whose murderer is unknown in the
beginning. A mixture of mystery and romance, Susie's knowledge of her murderer gives the reader anxiety because she's dead and telling her story from heaven. Susie learns more about her family when she is dead than if she would of have been alive.

This book was seriously a spine chiller!  You feel sympathy for Susie and her family. This book is filled with a lot of irony and sarcasm. The way this book is told from the beginning is amazing, because the perspective of Susie makes the reader see the whole story of a person who couldn't tell their story. Most homicides and suicides committed only have one or two stories but not the person who died. Those of us left behind usually never get the real story about how the person died or what they were thinking when they died. 

I would certainly recommend this book to older teens as it does contain intense and dramatic scenes. Alice Sebold did an amazing job crafting and writing The Lovely Bones, so I hope you read and enjoy this book.

Lauren, 16

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Divergent 

by Veronica Roth
04/26/2012 Categories: dystopia identity romance suspense

Divergent coverIn a future Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to a particular virtue- Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Each year, every 16 year old must choose a faction to devote the rest of their lives to. For Beatrice Prior, her decision is between family and herself. She makes the choice to leave her family in Abnegation and be who she was really meant to be- Dauntless. First, she must compete with other initiates to stay in Dauntless and not become factionless. She endures many trials and finds out more about herself than she could have ever imagined. But, she must keep this information to herself... or she could be killed.

Divergent is the most amazing book that I have ever read. I like the moral lesson, to become what YOU want to become rather than follow the path everyone else wants you to choose.

If you can relate to having other people make choices for you, this book is meant for you. "One choice can transform you."-Veroncia Roth

Aleck, 14

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The Hunger Games 

by Suzanne Collins
04/09/2012 Categories: action dystopia movie suspense

Hunger Games coverTalented and resourceful Katniss Everdeen is the breadwinner of the family--except there hasn't been much bread to go around for her impoverished family. Set in a dystopian society far into the future, The Hunger Games follows Katniss as she is forced to venture into a deadly, gladiator-like battle, solely for the elite's entertainment.

The Hunger Games was one of those books that I just couldn't put down, but at the same time, I felt like it was very depressing, so I couldn't make it on to the next book. Although I can't deny that the plot, characters, and setting were both enthralling and imaginative, I just couldn't find the motivation to pull myself through another bittersweet book.

Honestly, I think that everyone should at least give this book a try, but 7th graders and up would understand it better than younger kids. Also, this book is not for the squeamish! If you're afraid of some gory (but not too elaborate) details, feel free to revisit this book when you're a little older.

Erica, 16

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Divergent 

by Veronica Roth
04/05/2012 Categories: dystopia suspense

Divergent coverDivergent is set in a post apocalyptic future. Everyone is split up into 5 groups called factions. At 16, you have to choose which faction to initiate into. Finding out she's divergent, which means she's meant for all the factions and can't be affected by any mind control devices, Beatrice leaves her faction and when one faction tries to take over, it's her job to save the world.

Divergent is one of the best books I've read. It makes you think about your own feelings toward life but still makes you want to read about Beatrice's.

People who really enjoy reading books like The Hunger Games or the Uglies series would really love this book.

Sydney, 15

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The Lab 

by Jack Heath
02/29/2012 Categories: action dystopia spies suspense

The Lab coverAgent Six of Hearts is the best and youngest field agent in the vigilante force, The Deck, fighting against the evil government ChaoSonic that has corrupted the continent. The world is filled with an impenetrable fog, creating pollution and sickness--it's a miracle if one can live to 60. As an old enemy that was supposed to be crushed rises up once again, it's up to Six to stop them from creating a weapon of mass destruction that will allow ChaoSonic to gain complete control of not only their continent, but the world.

I loved this book for the action scenes. What's more exciting than a teenage spy in a dystopian world? Heath caught me by surprise in many of the twists and turns in this book, and every character is both memorable and likeable.

Anyone who likes the Alex Rider series (spies) or even the Hunger Games (dystopia) would enjoy this book.

Erica, 16

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