Escondido Public Library - Teen Book Reviews

Posts in Category: murder

The Hunger Games

by Suzanne Collins

Hunger Games coverThe Hunger Games is set in district 12, where a girl named Primrose Everdeen, gets reaped (picked to be a tribute in the Hunger Games). Her sister Katness Everdeen volunteers as a tribute in order to have her sister saved from the fight to the death to entertain the Capitol. As the fight continues, Katniss finds her love, Peeta.

The Hunger Games is an incredibly detailed book that writes with raw power. Suzanne Collins writes this novel is such a realistic way, despite the fact that it is fiction.

I would warmly recommend The Hunger Games to anyone who loves action, suspense, and romance. The book was so good for me that I read it in less than a week!

Francesca, 12


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by Micheal Northrop

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 Lovely Bones

by Alice Sebold

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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White Oleander

by Janet Fitch

White Oleander coverThis book takes the reader through the life of a teenage girl whose mother goes to prison for killing her ex-boyfriend. She is then sent to several foster homes, where she learns more about herself. 

White Oleander is an interesting book because it really brought into perspective that there are people living in these types of situations in the world.

I would recommend this book to high school age and older due to the mature content. There is also a movie with the same name based on the book!

Alexis, 15


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by Kristin Cashore

Fire coverFire is a human monster--unearthly in her beauty, she charms everyone around her to the point that it's dangerous. Even though she has the ability to control anyone's mind, her life isn't that great, either. With an infamous monster father and relationship troubles between an old friend and a new unlikely one, she struggles to find herself in a time of war and strife.

Fire was pretty good overall. Like Graceling, its companion novel, it is spun in the same world and has an intricate, complex plot. It's a little darker than the first book (though you don't have to read it to understand it) and it does have some inappropriate moments, so beware.

If you like fantasy or if you've read Graceling, you would definitely enjoy this book. Due to the content, I would rate it for 8th graders and up.

Erica, 16


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Name of the Star

by Maureen Johnson

Name of the Star coverRory Deveaux, a Louisiana senior in high school, arrives at her new London boarding school to a chilling series of events: someone has been imitating Jack the Ripper, a historical villain who was famous for his gruesome murders of young women. The police have gotten nowhere; security camera footage shows only the victim...or so they think. Separated from everything she knows as home, Rory sees what no one else sees--the invisible criminal, and the secret side of London.

I really liked this book! It was a little scary because of the murders and the general spookiness (this is a supernatural, slightly gory book) but the plot caught me immediately. I wasn't able to put this book down!

Both guys and girls can read this, though I think that girls who like darker books would enjoy this the most.

Erica, 16


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by Jeff Sampson

Vesper coverEmily Webb doesn't fit in anywhere. She doesn't talk much, is best friends with the most sarcastic girl in school, wears sweatshirts every day, and watches movies as her daily diet. Suddenly, strange things begin to happen to her: starting with the night her classmate, Emily Cooke, is murdered. That same night, she is hit by a spur-of-the-moment urge to sneak out her window, only to look down and realize just a few moments before, her personality turned into someone (or something) completely different. Confused and scared, Emily realizes that there's something different about her that separates her from possibly humanity itself, and that someone is out to get her. 

I would give this a 3.5 if I could, mainly because although the plot was confusing, I couldn't put this book down and immediately scoured through the sequel afterwards. Firstly, the thing that bugged me the most was how exactly Emily came to the conclusion that she was (SPOILER ALERT) a werewolf. Maybe I missed something, but I genuinely thought she had some sort of Jekyll and Hyde syndrome until she, well, sprouted fur. Despite my confusion, however, there is something about this book that wouldn't let me put it down. Maybe it was the plot action, or the interesting book setup. 

This 'drive' to gallop through the book is what I think has made a lot of books (such as Twilight and The Hunger Games) famous. I think that this itself warrants at least a peek at the first couple of chapters, so werewolf-lovers, make sure to pick up a copy the next time you stop by at the library!

Erica, 16


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Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot, a quirky detective, is trapped on the famed Orient Express, a famous luxury train. Unfortunately, being the type to often become stuck in the oddest situations, a murder has occurred and Hercule must get to the bottom of it--with the murderer still on the train. 

It was interesting, to say the least; I felt like although the words and writing style were poignant, it was a bit boring and felt a bit rushed. The hints throughout the book were TOO well hidden, and at the end when Hercule Poirot spilled the secrets of the mystery, it felt like it was altogether too much information at once. 

I would recommend the book to anyone who enjoys classics or mysteries (or both) and has a higher reading level (e.g. high school). Preferably Sherlock Holmes fans, because if you're used to the language of Doyle, reading Agatha Christie will be a breeze.

Erica, 16


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