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Never Let Me Go 

by Kazuo Ishiguro

As children, Kathy, Ruth, Tommy, and all the students of Hailsham are taught that they are special children, that they have a purpose, and that above all they must keep themselves healthy. However, the true nature of their horrifying life's purpose is eventually revealed and they must deal with the psychological trauma of facing their fate one by one. 

Though disturbing to read, this novel is refreshing in its own way because it follows the lives of characters who do not necessarily fight the corrupt system that they are born into. This causes the readers to consider how acceptance and desensitization play a role in a society that is so much bigger than the power of one individual. Through such a pessimistic point of view, Ishiguro actually inspires the reader to not give in to corruption and to appreciate the beauty of life. 

This book is different. It isn't fun to read at all, but in a way it feels necessary. Frustrating and depressing, it forces the reader to consider the value of life and the twisted side of humanity that will do anything to live as long as possible. In addition, it deals with love, jealousy, fear, and regret. 

Juila, 18

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Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince 

by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, returns to Hogwarts now known as the Chosen One. Rumors about his adventure to the Ministry of Magic and his second duel with Voldemort fly like wildfire around the Wizarding world, and even darker rumors encircle the acts of the terrible Dark Lord. Nevertheless school goes on, and Albus Dumbledore believe that it is time for Harry to be educated in the mysterious past of Lord Voldemort. But the more they learn, the more questions appear, and as the school drama heightens, things get strange. But Harry is always sure of one thing: One cannot live while the other survives.

I thought this was a really good book (like all the Harry Potter books). The ending is so full of action and emotion, and so many questions get answered while at the same time making more. Questions like 'Why does Harry feel Voldemort's emotions?' This is one of the biggest questions in the entire series, but you have to read all the books to understand, and I love that about it.

I would recommend Harry Potter in general to anyone who likes a very well-put-together story, a series, magic, and incredible action. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is a really good book if you like anything listed above, plus a good mystery coupled with romance and a character that feels real and is someone you can relate to.

Keila, 14

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The School for Good and Evil 

by Soman Chainani
06/24/2017 Categories: boarding school fantasy friendship

The School for Good and Evil takes place in the world where fairy tales come from. It's called The Woods. There is a small village in The Woods, where the protagonists come from, Sophie and Agatha. Every year, two children are taken from the village to attend the School. While Agatha is the dark, depressing, reject of the village, Sophie is the bright, popular girl. Agatha's best friend. Yet when the both get taken to the school, Sophie is taken to the School for Evil while Agatha is taken to the School for Good. With princes, rivalry, and a Schoolmaster that no one knows his true intentions, these village opposites need to work together with the children of famous characters to discover how The School for Good and Evil is truly run.

I absolutely love this book, and the entire trilogy. The characters are so easy to fall in love with. Especially how Sophie believes that she should be in the Good school, how she's the nice one. And Agatha just wants her best friend Sophie back. The love triangle is written beautiful and not awkward at all. The way the book concludes leaves enough mystery to make you want to read the rest of the books, yet anwsers enough questions to make you feel like you understand everything.

I would honestly recommend to everyone. It's an epic fantasy and fairy tale story. It talks about the balance between good and evil, friendship, and love. It has action and has a plethora of fairy tale references and children. If you like fantasy trust me, you will love The School for Good and Evil.

Alexis, 14

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Looking for Alaska 

by John Green
06/10/2017 Categories: boarding school death friendship romance

This novel is about the life of a young teenage boy as he goes away to a boarding school and meets an unlikely companion in the form of a larger than life girl named Alaska.

It was a very captivating book, complete with John Green's trademark witty dialogue. As always, John Green's characters are the highlight of his novels, with this novel being no exception. The main characters are all charming in their own ways.

If you like introspective stories with a simple premise, then you would definitely enjoy this novel. It is a novel that is both entertaining and stimulating to the mind.

Hannah, 17

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I'd Tell You I Love You, but then I'd have to Kill You 

by Ally Carter
02/23/2017 Categories: boarding school romance spies

I'd Tell You I Love You, but then I'd have to Kill You is the first book in the Gallagher series written by Ally Carter. This book is a fun series to read, and while it may not have a lot of depth, it is still a great story about a young teenage spy. This book is a fantastic kick off to the rest of the exciting. Throughout this book, and the whole series, Cammie Morgan, learns about the hardships of living a double life as a spy as she struggles between wanting a normal life with a normal guy, or upholding the family legacy.

I loved reading I'd Tell You I Love You, but then I'd have to Kill You, and the whole Gallagher series in general, because it is a interesting story, and it brings your spy fantasies to life in the book.

If you love spy stories and all around mysteries, this book is the perfect book for you! I recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun book to read. 

Sara, 14

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 

by J.K. Rowling
02/16/2017 Categories: boarding school magic witches & wizards

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second book in the Harry Potter Series. This book reveals some unknown secrets about the Hogwarts school and teachers as well some new information of He Who Must Not Be Named and his plots to destroy Harry Potter.

I enjoyed reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (The first Harry Potter Book), but Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets blows the first book out of the water. This outstanding book is full of mystery and adventure and is the true beginning of Harry Potter and his friends' journey.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves mystery. This is an action packed and mysterious book full of interesting characters and a wonderful story. 

Sara, 14

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Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire 

J.K Rowling

Harry Potter is back to his fourth year at Hogwarts. This time, he is getting roped into taking part in the Tri-wizard Tournament; the problem is, he didn't enter. The whole school is against him, and he has to ignore that, while also trying to stay alive.

I liked this book because it was very action packed, and was interesting to read. It was very descriptive, and made me almost feel like I was there.

 

I would recommend this book to people who want to continue with the Harry Potter series, or anyone who likes reading about magic.

 

Natalie, 14

 

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Princess Academy : Palace of Stone  

by Shannon Hale

This book was about a young girl, Miri, who was invited to her best friend's wedding. Her best friend happens to be a princess, and Miri soon discovers a plot to assassinate her. Miri must use her skills to find the killer, while also making sure it never happens again.

It was an interesting read, but can also be a bit slow at times. The overall plot was interesting and unpredictable.

I would recommend this book to people who like reading about medieval times with modern twists. In my opinion, the book would appeal more toward girls.

Natalie, 14

Rating:

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Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban 

J.K Rowling

Harry Potter is back at Hogwarts for his third year, and is having a rough time. His “Quidditch” games are on, but the new additions to the school are making it hard to concentrate. To make things worse a dangerous murderer is on the loose and appears to be hunting him down.

I liked this book because it kept me guessing, and had many different twists that made it impossible to guess the ending. It was full of surprises and made me want to keep reading.

I would recommend this book to people who want to continue with the Harry Potter series or to those who want to read about magic and suspense.

Natalie, 14

Rating:

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Princess Academy 

by Shannon Hale
This book is about a young girl, Miri, who lives in the small village of Mt. Eskel. Her town is picked to attend Princess Academy, where the prince will pick a bride, and Miri and the girls must all attend. At the academy, Miri must contend with fierce competition, new learning styles, and her own inner desires to see what she really wants.
I liked this book, because it was interesting to read about princesses, but with a much more modern twist. The book was unpredictable, and always kept me guessing, which made it fun to read.
I would recommend this book to people who like reading about princess stories, but it a much less fairytale-like way. The book is suspenseful, so if that is what appeals to you, this book is good.
Natalie, 14
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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 

by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and his friends are back at Hogwarts after the summer break. After an incident with a flying car, they are now under pressure to live it down. Sadly for Harry, a mysterious problem is spreading around the school, and he is being blamed for it. Harry and his friends must find out what is causing it before it is too late.

I liked this book because it was full of action, and kept me guessing throughout the book. It was very suspenseful, and made me want to keep reading it.

I would recommend this book to people who want to continue on with the Harry Potter series, or to those who love action and magic.

Natalie,14

Rating: 

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 

by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the epic conclusion to the Harry Potter series. In this book, Harry and his best friends, Ron and Hermione, embark on a journey to find and destroy the seven “horcruxes”. Each containing a piece of Voldemort's evil, and dark soul. Throughout the journey, the three friends will encounter many obstacles and enemies, which they’ll have to overcome in order to finally defeat Voldemort and bring peace to the wizarding world.

This book was a grand finale to an epic series. J.K. Rowling has created an amazing story, and many things that were kept a mystery throughout the series are now explained in this book. All of the books in the Harry Potter series are great.

If you like exciting and action packed fantasy novels, then Harry Potter is the series for you. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is a real page turner and a satisfying conclusion to this great series.

Bryan, 13

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 

by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter finds out on his 11th birthday, that he is a wizard and can finally escape his horrible aunt and uncle. He is now set to attend Hogwarts, a school for wizards. Harry is known all around the wizarding world as the Boy Who Lived. He has to face difficult obstacles with his two best friends, who help him along the way.

Harry Potter finds out on his 11th birthday, that he is a wizard and can finally escape his horrible aunt and uncle. He is now set to attend Hogwarts, a school for wizards. Harry is known all around the wizarding world as the Boy Who Lived. He has to face difficult obstacles with his two best friends, who help him along the way.

I liked this book because it is a thrilling story that makes you imagine a world where magic is real. The book is full of twists and turns, and it leaves you guessing until the very end.

I would recommend this book to people who are looking for a fantasy to read, people who love reading about magic, or someone looking for a suspenseful book.

Natalie, 14

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The Princess Academy 

by Shannon Hale

In the kingdom of Danland, a prince comes of age and the chief official selects a province that the princess will be selected from. This time, the territory of Mount Eskel is chosen, which is filled with rough mountain girls, so a princess academy is organized to prepare the girls. Miri, the main character, is one of these girls who attends the academy and learns about what it takes to be a princess, from reading to poise and conversation.

I love this book because Shannon Hale whips up a great story that is original but still incorporates the best qualities of popular books- romance, courage, and adventure. This is my favorite of Shannon Hale's books!

I would recommend this book to girls who like princess type books, though just about anyone would like it because it isn't your typical princess story. I have personally recommended it to many people and all have loved it.

Emma, 18

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The Forgotten Sisters 

by Shannon Hale
09/26/2015 Categories: adventure boarding school fantasy royalty

Miri had spent a year in Asland but is just about to return home to her family on Mount Eskel when King Bjorn asks a favor. He agrees to give her the rights to the land of Mount Eskel if she travels to the swamp in Lesser Alva to be a tutor to the King's cousins. Miri learns the tricks to the swamp and becomes best friends with the three sisters- Astrid, Felissa, and Sus. Miri manages to save the kingdom once again from war, knits the royal family back together, and returns to her home of Mount Eskel.

I loved this book because there were so many twists and turns I had not seen coming. This book has a different feel then the other two in the series, but the adventure and romance is definitely consistent.

This book is mostly intended for girls. Be sure to read the other two in the trilogy before reading this one.

Emma, 18

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