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That Summer 

by Sarah Dessen

That SummerHaven is tall and feels awkward with herself. Her parents are divorced, her dad remarries, and her sister is getting married at the end of summer. Her whole life is changing, and she feels as if she has no control. Then, one of her sister's old boyfriends comes back to town and she feels happy again. She remembers only good memories about when he and her sister were dating, back when their family was in one piece. It seems that every time something terrible goes wrong, he is there and it always cheers her up.

While reading, I felt indifferent about whether or not I liked it. I mean, it wasn't a waste of time, but it wasn't the best book every. Until I got to the end. I have a sister of my own, so I know how it feels to have a connection with someone so close. After reading the end, I loved the book and the relationship between Haven and Ashley.

I would recommend this book to any teenager. It's a quick book but it holds a lot of messages.

Chanel, 14

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Dead City 

by James Ponti
04/24/2013 Categories: family drama horror zombies

Dead cityThis book by James Ponti is about a young girl who has a connection to the under belly of New York City. Molly’s mother is an expert on zombies - not as a hobby but as her night job.

I really enjoyed this book because of the suspenseful scenes that make you keep reading. But I also liked how the story was written and how the writer told the inside thoughts of the characters such as how Molly felt after she found out that her mom never told her about her night job.

I think most kids would like reading this book, boys and girls alike. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!

Lindsy, 11

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Princess Academy 

by Shannon Hale
04/23/2013 Categories: family drama fantasy friendship romance

Princess AcademyIn Princess Academy, Miri, a young, weak Lowlander who so desperately wants to help the rest of town working in the quarry, is chosen to be one of the girls sent to the top of Mount Ekenl. Her job is to attend the Princess Academy, run by the harsh and sometimes cruel Olana, and train in order to compete for the Prince's heart. Throughout her training, Miri makes both friends and enemies and she becomes torn. Where does her heart lie: with the Prince who can offer her and her family a better future or in the village with Peder? Yet, what Miri does not realize is that she and the rest of girls are living on a deserted mountain top where they can easily be taken hostage without anyone realizing. Can Miri prove her strength to everyone and will her Prince save her?

Princess Academy is a beautifully written book filled with both adventure and romance. Miri is a character that all girls can relate to in one way or another, and her story forms a lesson to all: true strength comes from within and true love is stronger than any storm. Hale does an amazing job of portraying a beautiful and unique tale and connecting with the reader.

This book is perfect for all female readers, especially preteens. Every girl who reads this will come away with a very important lesson whether it be about true love, friendship, strength, or family. This story was written to show every girl what it means to be a princess and how every girl is a princess inside.

Jana, 17

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Divergent 

by Veronica Roth
02/19/2013 Categories: dystopia family drama family secrets romance

DivergentThis book is about a group of five factions. In the book a girl gets a new chance at life when she gets to choose what she wants to be. She left her family to become a dare devil. She is trying to stay alive at this compound. But can she stay alive with the people that are there?

I loved this book. I actually read it five times! This book can catch your eye just by the cover. I liked it because I like to read dramatic books. 

I know for a fact that others would love this book. I had recommend it to my friend and she loved it. When you finish this book you will want to get the next one. If you like DANGER you will like this book.

Rebecka, 14

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The Necromancer 

by Michael Scott
02/19/2013 Categories: adventure family drama mythology siblings

NecromancerThe world is ending. Soon. With Josh and Sophie Newman, two 15 year olds as the world's only hope, every side is battling for the twins to join them. Who will win? Read The Necromancer to find out.

This book was really good. I loved the cliff-hangar endings and mythological references. Anyone who loves action-packed books like Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series will like this one.

Hieu, 13

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Chicken Soup for the Teen's Soul II 

by Jack Canfield
01/14/2013 Categories: family drama funny short stories true stories

Chicken soup coverMoving to a new school. Dating. Breakups. Divorces. This is a book written by teens (technically) that tells about their story on a particular subject.

This book was good because these teens tell stories that are not unlike what you are experiencing.

Yes, I would recommend this book because I could connect to the stories and it is heartwarming.

Hieu, 13

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Sense and Sensibility 

by Jane Austen
12/27/2012 Categories: classic family drama romance siblings

Sense and Sensibility is mainly about two girls, Marianne and Elinor Dashwood, who have moved into a small cottage after the recent death of their father. Elinor and Edward Ferrars are thought to be in love with each other, but Elinor is unaware of the secret Edward has. Marianne meets John Willoughby while nearly injuring herself, but is all of it just a game?

I thought it was pretty good because it explained how most women in that time period basically had nothing to look forward to except to get married.

I would definitely recommend this book if you have read other Jane Austen books. If you like Pride and Prejudice then try this one!

Audrey, 15

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It's Not Summer Without You 

by Jenny Han

Not Summer coverBelly has just gotten a major wake up call when someone important in her life passes away and losing Conrad doesn't help. This would be her first summer not going to Cousins Beach......until she gets a mysterious phone call from Jeremiah saying that Conrad has left college and it's up to them to go and find him.

I thought this book was different... not in a bad way at all. I still liked it but it was more complex than the first book. I did like how Belly ended up with the nice guy for a change, plus you got to see a different point of view.

Of course I would recommend this book if you read the first one. But it has a different mood whereas the focus is more than just Belly's relationships.

Audrey, 15

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Kite Runner 

by Khaled Hosseini

Kite Runner coverTwo friends, a servant child and a rich child, are friends at home but act as if they don't know each other in public. The servant child is always made fun of and the rich child never stood up for him. As they grew up, they started drifting apart until they moved far away from each other. Then they find out that they are half brothers and now wish to be together again.

The Kite Runner is an interesting book because it shows how far family will go for you. I liked it because it was about family and how they risk their own lives to save a loved one. It was good because  it was mainly suspense built up. I really enjoy suspense.

I would recommend this book to others because it's full of suspense, and it is a real page turner.

Safiro, 16

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All-American Girl 

by Meg Cabot

All American girl coverThis book is about an average teenage girl, Sam, and a not-so-average teenage boy, the President's son. All-American Girl is about how Sam goes from being a normal teenager, to being a hero.

This book is interesting because most of the drama that Sam goes through is relatable to teenage girls. I like how her love life is different and interesting since it includes the President's son.

If you like reading about a relatable teenager girl's life with a hint of cute romance, you would love All-American Girl by Meg Cabot.

Ashley, 14

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My Sister's Keeper 

by Jodi Picoult

My Sister's Keeper coverThis book is about a thirteen year old girl, Anna who likes independence. She doesn't want to be only known because of her sick sister. She doesn't have a normal teenage life because her sister has cancer. Anna's entire family depends on her to keep her sister alive. Anna has a very close relationship with her sister.

This book became boring in the middle. I was surprised by the tragic ending which I strongly disliked. I kept thinking to myself that this cannot happen. But what I liked about this book is that it shows many things that are actually happening in people's lives right now. For example, this book shows how a family faces many troubles going through living with their sick daughter with cancer.

I would recommend this book to others because it shows you how it feels like to be part of a family with someone going through cancer. If you are someone who knows a person going through cancer, you might enjoy this book.

Alissa, 14

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Second Chance Summer 

by Morgan Matson

Second Chance coverThis book is about a 17 year old girl named Taylor. Taylor has the tendency for running away from her problems. When things got hard, she would just run away. Due to her father's cancer, her family must go to their lake house during the summer to spend time with each other. Taylor has been trying so hard to avoid going there since running away from the problems she had caused 5 years ago. She finally learns to accept the fact that she has to face her problems.

This book is one of my favorites. It was amazing! I was so surprised by how much I loved it and could not stop reading it. I could not put this book down. I was so into it, that I read 450 out of the 468 pages in one day. I decided to read this book when I saw how pretty the cover was.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone! Typically in the ages of 13-17. If you like stories of friendship and stories that teaches a good lesson, you would enjoy Second Chance Summer.

Alissa, 14

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That Summer 

by Sarah Dessen
11/13/2012 Categories: family drama realistic fiction siblings

That Summer coverWith Haven's whole world shifting around her she can't help to look back when her family was whole. Suddenly Summer reappears-the sister haven is about to lose.

I liked this book because it makes me think of times at the beach.

People who like fiction would like this book.

Rebecka, 14

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The Glass Castle: a memoir 

by Jeannette Wells

Glass Castle coverThe book is about a young girl and her rough, tedious childhood. The book shows her struggles and how she overcame them, against all odds.

I loved this book so much, it was really interesting and kept me interested until the last page!

 I would recommend this book mainly to young girls, but the interesting story can capture the heart of anyone, at any age.

Khrystina, 17

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A Child Called It 

by Dave Pelzer

Child coverThis is a very sad book about the abuse that a kid suffers at the hands of his mom.

It was a very hard book to read but makes you become aware of people's lives behind closed doors.

I would recommend it because you will get the actual meaning of someone who is being treated very badly by his own mother.

Rebecka, 14

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