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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda 

by Becky Albertalli
11/06/2017 Categories: friendship high school drama lgbtq romance

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is the story about a homosexual sixteen year old boy. Simon Spier, has been emailing with a mysterious boy from school who is the only person that knows of his sexuality. But when he forgets to log out of his email on the school computer, his secret spirals out of hand. 

I absolutely loved this book. I was laughing out loud continuously and taking pictures of lines from the book and sending them to friends. The only thing I didn't like about this book was how annoying some of Simon's friends got at times. 

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a laugh or anyone who wants an insider look on the struggles of coming out. I would like to state a trigger-warning for swearing, sexually explicit content, and alcohol. If you liked this book, I suggest that you read The Upside of Unrequited where the main character, Simon Spier, even makes a cameo. 

Katelyn, 14

Rating: 

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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

Rating: 

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Kingdom Hearts 

by Shiro Amano
08/10/2017 Categories: fantasy friendship manga

There are lots of comics for Kingdom Hearts. The main character is named Sora. His friends, Kairi and Riku were both kidnapped by a mysterious dark magic guy. There are no curse words, or inappropriate content in these books. This is Sora's coming-to-age story of friendship, OMG-moments and Disney characters!

I really liked these books, and it will leave you thirsting to order the second, third, fourth, and so on. You will meet Maleficent, Pete, Belle, Jasmine, Beast, Goofy, Donald, and new characters who live in Traverse Town, like Leon, Yuffie, and many more. When there is light, like Sora, there is darkness, like the Heartless(lol! It rhymes!)

YES! Totally! Anyone can read it! It's all ages, and anyone who loves Disney characters would enjoy this book with Mickey as king, and Minnie as queen. It isn't babyish, fellow teens, it's manga!

Priscilla, 12

Rating: 

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Pride and Prejudice 

by Jane Austen
07/20/2017 Categories: classic friendship historical romance

Image result for pride and prejudice bookPride and Prejudice, which takes place in early 1800s England, follows the relationship between Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy. Upon first meeting, Elizabeth thinks the wealthy Mr. Darcy as arrogant, conceited, and rude. The story describes the many twists and turns in their relationship that ultimately leads to a gratifying conclusion.

This book was very enjoyable because of the many unanticipated dips and turns in the plot. I especially liked the witty dialogue between the characters and the resolution of the story.

I would recommend this book to others because it was very well-written and also possesses a very valuable lesson. If you like the classics, then you will love Pride and Prejudice.

Bethany, 15

Rating: 

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Emma 

by Jane Austen
07/19/2017 Categories: classic friendship funny romance

This book takes place in early 1800's England in a small village named Highbury and follows the story of Emma, a cunning and well-mannered girl. Emma is very clever, and uses this skill to her advantage in order to pair couples together. Ultimately, Emma's mischievous hijinks result in many awkward situations between her and her friend Harriet, whom she tries to match with men of noble birth.

Emma is a fantastic book. However, the beginning is a bit slow and it took me a while to get into it. Near the middle of the story, I couldn't put the book down because it was so interesting. I really enjoyed this book because it takes dozens of unexpected turns and is quite comical at times.

I would definitely recommend this book to others. Although the story starts off slow, I encourage you to keep reading it because it grows increasingly more interesting and fun. For those that like classic literature and other Jane Austen novels, this book is perfect!

Bethany, 15

Rating: 

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Code Name Verity 

by Elizabeth Wein
07/13/2017 Categories: france friendship wwII

Code Name Verity is about two British best friends that crash in Nazi-occupied France in World War II. One of the girls is imprisoned by the Gestapo, where she is tortured into releasing British secrets and information-only it is not what one would expect. The story follows both of the girls' backgrounds and struggles for survival during the tumultuous and dangerous war.

I like this book because it gives insight to what the Prisoners of War of the time endured and the inner-workings of the war effort. It touches on many different topics, such as the behind-the-scenes of the British Royal Air Force and the adversity that women faced in the work force. The plot line is also very emotional and takes many unexpected, yet thrilling turns.

I would recommend this book to others because it will always keep you on your toes. People that enjoy history or action would love Code Name Verity.

Bethany, 15

Rating: 

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Althea and Oliver 

by Cristina Moracho
07/13/2017 Categories: friendship high school drama

Althea and Oliver is a story about two best friends, one with a serious illness that causes him to sleep for weeks or months at a time, and the other that can't help falling in love with the other. Due to his illness, Oliver leaves for New York from their sleepy little town for a clinical study. Althea and Oliver go months without seeing each other, until Althea runs away from home and drives to New York to see him.

I didn't like this book because the plot was unrealistic and weird. I also couldn't relate to any of the characters, which made it harder to enjoy the book.

I wouldn't recommend this book to others because the story line is so impractical. I would only encourage you to read this book if you had absolutely nothing else to read.

Bethany, 15

Rating: 

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Sky of Red Poppies 

by Zohreh Ghahremani
06/28/2017 Categories: family secrets friendship social classes

Sky of Red Poppies is about two girls named, Roya and Shireen, who both live opposite lives financially, politically, and religiously in 1960's Iran. However, even through their differences they become best friends. Roya is jealous of Shireen's independent lifestyle and begins to question of how she was raised and stands for controversial political stances which gets her in trouble at times even with the government at one point. With Iran being closed to opinions, it makes it difficult for both girls to achieve their goals as people morally.

I liked how the novel incorporated poetry which the girls would recite and memorize for themselves. As well how they explored political views in a nation at the moment who usually oppresses or objectifies different opinions that opposes their government.

If you like learning of different cultures and political views of a different nation then Sky of Red Poppies by Zohreh Ghahremani is the right novel for you. As well as if you like the everlasting bonds of friendships and getting through obstacles.

Anahi, 17

Rating: 

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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

Rating: 

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas  

by John Boyne
06/21/2017 Categories: friendship realistic fiction wwII

During World War ll, 8-year-old Bruno (Asa Brunofield) and his family leave Berlin to take up residence near the concentration camp where his father (David Thewlis), has just become commandant. He finds a Jewish boy of his age, though the barbed-wire fence of the camp that separates them.

This is a lovely book that made me feel so many emotions at once. I loved this book because it explained everything exactly how a 8 year old would see it.

This book was amazing! I would recommend this book to a person who likes to hear people's survival stories. I would say you want to be a little older 13 to understand this book.

Yessica, 15

Rating: 

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Seven Daughters and Seven Sons 

by Barbara Cohen and Bahija Lovejoy
06/21/2017 Categories: friendship realistic fiction romance

Image result for seven daughters and seven sons

This incredible book takes place in an ancient Arab nation. The main character, Buran, longs to leave the house, and not wait for her father to chose a husband for her. Buran then decides to try for something she has always wanted.

I completely adored this book. This covers the femininity of a woman, the author really dives deep into being a woman and what that means. The story itself is a mix between romance and friendship.

Anyone who likes the Disney movie, Mulan, would love this book. Think of an Arab version of Mulan. Except the character herself wants a full life. And so she disguises as a boy, and travels to a city far away from her house where she meets the dishy Mahmud. She tries to keep their friendship from going too far. Because if she reveals to the prince, Mahmud that she is a woman, then she will lose everything she has worked for.

Priscilla, 12

Rating: 

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Kristy's Great Idea: The Baby-Sitters Club 

by Raina Telgemeier based on the novel by Ann M. Martin
06/10/2017 Categories: comics friendship manga realistic fiction

This book is about five girls: Claudia, Stacey, Marry Anne, Kristy, and Dawn. In the first book, Kristy decides to create a club in which they all could babysit. She invites Claudia, and Marry Anne to join. Claudia eventually invites Stacey into the club. This wonderful book reflects the ups-and-downs in relationships with friends and family.

I think this book is a very great book. It is great because there is no bad language, the pictures(this book series I'm talking about is a comic) are appropriate, and the characters are interesting.

I would hands-down recommend this series to others! The books tell the basics of friendships, morals, and this book series may give you a smile every so often. Anyone of any gender can read this magnificent book, but I think the story will most likely appeal to girls. Have fun reading it!

Priscilla, 12

Rating: 

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Everything, Everything 

by Nicola Yoon
06/10/2017 Categories: friendship realistic fiction romance

A girl named Maddy suffers from combined immunodeficiency disease (SCID). New neighbors move in next door, and she locks eyes with a boy named Olly. Later on they become friends and eventually fall in love. Maddy is becoming more and more frustrated with not being able to go outside and see the world. She tests the limits with Olly and learns about something shocking that changes her life.

I enjoyed this book very much, because it shows a person's perspective on SCID. Also, it was a lovely teen romance story.

It's an innocent love story between two teens and it shows the psychological impact SCID has on someone. If you like a cute love story, but also dealing with a serious disease, then this is for you.

Johanna, 16

Rating: 

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We Were Liars 

by E. Lockhart
06/10/2017 Categories: dating drama family drama friendship romance

This novel is a captivating mystery-drama depicting the main character, Cadence, as she deals with the repercussions of tragedies that happened the previous summer.

This book had never-ending surprises and twists that kept me at the edge of my seat. This book was captivating from beginning to end. It had an unsettling atmosphere that haunted both the main character and the reader.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of mysteries with no definitive ending. I recommend that you go into this book blind, without any prior knowledge of what it's about, in order to enjoy it to its fullest potential.

Hannah, 17

Rating: 

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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

Rating: 

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