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The Great Gatsby 

by F. Scott Fitzgerald
09/21/2015 Categories: classic love triangles murder social classes

The Great Gatsby, set in the 1920s, follows Nick Carraway as he becomes acquainted with a mysterious man by the name of Jay Gatsby. Gatsby's dream and ambition for the last five years was to win back the love of his life, Daisy Buchanan, after their love was thwarted when Gatsby was away fighting in World War I. Nick aids in their eventual reunion, which puts Gatsby at odds with Daisy's husband.

This novel is considered by many as one of the greatest American novels ever written, and it certainly holds up to that bar. Although the plot seemingly reflects that of a love story, it really is SO much more. Fitzgerald uses the characters (and Gatsby's dream in particular) to explore deeper themes such as the corruption of the rich and the untruthfulness of love and devotion. I liked the book especially for its memorable characters and the amazingly descriptive writing that Fitzgerald utilizes.

I would recommend The Great Gatsby to people above the age of 13 because the type of writing in this book used to convey themes can be hard to interpret for a younger audience.

Giabao, 15

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The Body Finder 

by Kimberly Derting
06/18/2013 Categories: murder romance serial killer suspense

Body finderThis book details the life of teenager Violet Ambrose, who has had a gift- an ability to sense the bodies of the dead, ever since she was a child. When a serial killer begins to terrorize the town she lives in, Violet has to put this gift to use, while at the same time falling in love with her best friend Jay, and coping with the challenges high school presents.

I really liked this book. The Body Finder is a novel full of both romance and suspense, but they fit well together and enhanced the book. The novel went by at just the right place, and the characters were generally pretty believable. Interestingly, it tells the perspective of not only Violet, but the serial killer as well. The author wrote in a way that made you feel the emotion in the book.

I highly recommend this book for its outstanding writing. Those wanting a solid suspenseful love story will be pleased with The Body Finder. Once you pick it up, it's hard to put down.

Jakob, 15

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Cross My Heart, Hope to Die 

by Sara Shepard
06/05/2013 Categories: detective stories murder mystery siblings

Cross my heartThe book continues to follow Emma Paxton as she tries to find her twin's murderer. But things seem to become more complicated as the twin's birth mother shows up in Tucson, and  recognizes Emma as her self, and not Sutton who she is still pretending to be. Throughout the book Emma tries to clear her mother's name because she appears to be a top suspect of Sutton's murder.

Yes, I really enjoyed reading this book, it was full of mystery and dangerous situations. The same old lovable characters continue to appear, and they are faced with even more dangerous situations than in the previous books. Overall the mysterious element of the book continues and you are always kept at the edge of your seat.

Yes, I would very much recommend this book to others, because it is a thrilling mystery novel that keeps the reader thinking. I would especially recommend it to those who are fans of Sara Shepard's previous novels, and to those who enjoy reading mystery novels. 

Daisy, 17

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Confessions of a Murder Suspect 

by James Patterson
06/05/2013 Categories: murder mystery

Confessions of a Murder SuspectThe parents of the perfectionist Angel family, Malcolm and Maud Angel, are mysteriously murdered one night. Being the only ones in the house, their children are noted as suspects. Malcolm and Maud's only daughter, Tandy Angel, begins investigating to find the murderer. As she puts together the pieces of this perilous puzzle, she discovers secrets about her parents, family, and herself.

Confessions of a Murder Suspect is a solid murder mystery. I enjoyed the short breaks between chapters that provided extra exposition and detail. The characters are all interesting and Tandy's narration is both funny and perspicacious. Aside from that, the only fault of the novel is that there isn't much to separate it from other murder mysteries out there.

Nevertheless, if anyone needs a decent murder mystery, Confessions of a Murder Suspect is definitely worth a try. I recommend it for its narration, characters, and an ending that will make you want more.

Jakob, 15

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Hide and Seek: a Lying Game novel 

by Sara Shepard
06/05/2013 Categories: love triangles murder mystery romance siblings

Hide and SeekHide and Seek is the fourth book in the Lying Game series, and continues to follow Emma Paxton's search for her sister's murderer. Emma continues to impersonate Sutton, her dead twin sister, in the hopes that she will find her killer and be able to return to her normal life. But her search becomes more complicated as Sutton's secret boyfriend arrives. Now Emma needs to lie to the boy who loved her sister.

I really liked this book. It had some really crazy plot twists and major cliff hangers that would not let me put the book down. The characters are really endearing and you find yourself rooting for Emma who desperately wants to find her sister's murderer, and return to being herself.

Yes, I would recommend this book to others but most likely to girls who like a good mystery book. It would be a good read to those who like the Pretty Little Liars series also written by Sara Shepard. Girls would love this book because it has love triangles and really crazy plot twists.

Daisy, 17

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City of Ashes 

by Cassandra Clare
06/05/2013 Categories: action fantasy murder paranormal romance suspense

City of AshesThere's a murderer in New York City. It's not humans that are victims but something much more devastating: a warlock, faerie, vampire, and werewolf. All are 18 years old or younger. Valentine needs these children in order to transform Raziel's Sword into a demonic item. Meanwhile, Jace is kicked out of the Institute by his adopted mom and has gotten on the Clave's Inquistor's bad side. With all this going on, Clary doesn't know what to do. Does she rescue Jace with some help and stop Valentine or fail?

I liked this book because there's a lot of romance and action. This book is so good; you won't want to put it down until you have read the last word. For all you fantasy lovers, you have found the perfect book.

Hieu, 13

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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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Hush, Hush 

by Becca Fitzpatrick
05/13/2013 Categories: angels murder romance

Hush HushA fallen angel, Patch, doesn't know whether or not to kill the human he has fallen in love with. Meanwhile the human, Nora, is being stalked by an an unknown person who is also trying to kill her.

I loved this book because the more Patch tried to be apart of Nora's life, the more mysterious Patch became. You slowly find out about Patch's past and how he got to where he is now.

I would recommend this book for any girl who likes mysterious men who are really hot. If you love romance it will be an epic love story for you.

Jacki, 16

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Out of the Easy 

by Ruta Sepetys
05/13/2013 Categories: adventure murder mystery realistic fiction

Out of the EasySet in 1950's New Orleans, Josie Moraine, the bright daughter of a prostitute, wants to escape the Big Apple and reach for an exceptional college. However, a mysterious death involving her mother disrupts her plans. Josie sets off to find the truth, escape New Orleans, and still get accepted to the college of her dreams.

I was hooked with this book from the first few chapters. The vivid characterization makes the wide number of characters alive and believable, and the plot is quite a roller coaster. There's also a lot of research put into the setting of 1950, but not extensively, just subtly. The author's writing style is very simple and her writing doesn't disappoint.

I'd definitely give it a recommendation to mature teens and adults. Those wanting a fantastic romance mystery will get a thrill from Out of the Easy.

Jakob, 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 Secret Prophecy 

by Herbie Brennan
04/01/2013 Categories: action detective stories murder spies

Secret ProphecyImagine if your dad died and some really strange people showed up at his funeral with guns hidden in their jackets. That's what happened to Edward Michael Goverton. Call him Em. When Em stumbles on a Nostradamus "secret prophecy" he is in for the adventure of a lifetime. Aided by a Secret Service (Section 7) agent named Victor and a good friend, Em discovers what kind of mess he is really in and along the way, finds out the truth about his dad.

 I loved this book because of all the action. I couldn't put it down. I would recommend this to anyone who likes action and spy stuff.

Hieu, 13

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 

by J.K. Rowling

Deathly HallowsThe book is about a wizard, Harry, who is wanted dead by Lord Voldemort. Harry is on a journey to find things that will help kill Voldemort. When Harry puts his friends life in danger he finally ends the feud.

I started reading the Harry Potter books in seventh grade. When I was reading them I got more and more interested with each book I read. It got my attention because of the mystery. I wanted to figure out why Lord Voldemort wanted to kill Harry.

I would recommend these books because they are very interesting. If you read this you should be interested in dramatic books

Rebecka, 14

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The Lovely Bones 

by Alice Sebold
12/18/2012 Categories: kidnapping murder mystery rape

Lovely Bones coverA teenage girl, Susie Salmon, gets raped and killed by her own neighbor. She tried calling out for help but nobody heard her. Throughout the entire book, the only one who suspects that the neighbor did it is her sister, Lindsay. Susie's parents' marriage falls apart because of Susie's death and they get divorced and end up together in the end again.

I really enjoyed this book because it's full of mystery. It makes you think about who you can and can't trust. It's a perfect example of the saying "Don't judge a book by its cover" because she thought he was a nice guy but he turned out to be a rapist.

I would recommend it to those who like mystery, crime, and love affairs. There isn't a single page in this book that doesn't have one of the three.

Safiro, 16

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The Outsiders 

by S.E. Hinton
12/08/2012 Categories: friendship gangs movie murder

This book is about a gang generally known as "Greasers" who are in a gang war with high class teens known as "Socs". It takes place in the mid 1960's and involves a boy name Ponyboy who is 14 years old. He and his gang have been fighting the Socs for a while now and Ponyboy thinks it is about time they did something about it. His friend Johnny and he are walking in the park late one night and a group of Socs come up on them with the smell of booze present on them. Johnny ends up doing something crazy, and they have to run away and stay hidden for a while.

I really like this book! It is a very easy book to get into and very interesting.

I would definitely recommend this book to others. It is a very versatile book for readers of all ages. Anybody from the ages of 13 and order I feel will find this book very fun to read.

Kevin, 14

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Lord Loss 

by Darren Shan
10/22/2012 Categories: demonology horror murder

Lord Loss coverGrubitsch Grady has problems in school but he soon realizes that those are the least of his problems as he witnesses his family being murdered by a demon lord.

It was amazing because it introduces the Demonata series and you could visualize the story as you are reading it.

I recommend this book to anybody who can sleep late because once you pick up this book, you won't want to put it down.

Alexis, 13

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