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Their Eyes Were Watching God 

by Zora Neale Hurston

It takes Janie a while to discover her own voice in a society that has ignored her as both a woman and an African American. This novel follows her through various relationships and stages of her life that allow her to realize what she values in companionship and what she values in herself. 

I enjoyed this book because it is not like every other coming of age novel. It focuses on Janie's hopefulness and courage and how this leads her to find a solid understanding of herself while overcoming tragedy. It deals with themes such as fear, love, ambition, and femininity.

I would absolutely recommend this book. Though set in the early 1900's, the themes are still completely relevant to today. For this reason, I believe that most people will enjoy reading this novel. 

Juila, 18

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David Copperfield 

by Charles Dickens
12/13/2017 Categories: classic historical movie realistic fiction

Image result for david copperfield book coverThe orphaned David Copperfield grows up amongst a variety of both comical and frightening characters. He faces trial after trial, but eventually grows up. This is a classic coming of age novel that demonstrates how David learns to deal with loss, responsibility, and love. 

This book is a nice, cheerful story. It is not dramatized or very mysterious, and yet the simplicity of the story allows for many serious themes to be addressed. It is a refreshing reminder of what is most important in life (friendships, love, and courage). 

While I absolutely love this book, I do admit that some people might find it boring. If you like Charles Dickens, then this is a must read since this is considered his most autobiographical work. 

Juila, 18

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One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest 

by Ken Kesey
12/13/2017 Categories: classic handicaps movie

Image result for the one who flew over the cuckoo's nest bookWhen the unruly McMurphy joins the submissive patients of a psychiatric ward, he influences them to rebel against the attendants and nurses who routinely humiliate them and treat them with scorn. McMurphy goes head to head with the frighteningly influential Nurse Ratched as his antics become increasingly extreme. 

Hands down one of my favorite novels! The captivating characters, ironic humor, and emotional ending balance out the seriousness of the topics and events. Especially interesting is the fact that the story is told from the point of view of Chief Bromden, who is not completely sane himself and periodically lapses into moments of panicked hallucinations. 

Everyone should should read it! It is both depressing and happy at the same time. Kesey artfully criticizes the well-oiled machine that is society in this novel that encourages the reader to live their life freely and undeterred by others. 

Juila, 18

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The Kite Runner 

by Khaled Hosseini
12/13/2017 Categories: friendship movie rape social classes

As a wealthy child in Afghanistan, Amir reads stories with his young servant Hassan, competes in the annual kite fighting contest, and constantly wishes for the approval and attention of his father. As a young adult in the United States, Amir tries desperately to forget the past and the guilt that he cannot let go of. But after he receives a phone call one day, he is summoned to return to Afghanistan and face what he did long ago. 

This book is extremely emotional. Some events in the book are shocking, frustrating, harrowing, and depressing. That being said, this an excellent book that deals with complex themes such as redemption, loyalty, race, and innocence. 

Everyone should read this book sometime in their lives. While the topics are serious, the writing is not difficult. In fact the contrast of the simple style of the book almost makes the tragic events more horrible. This novel leaves the reader thinking for many days after finishing it. 

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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And Then There Were None 

by Agatha Christie
06/29/2017 Categories: movie murder mystery

Image result for and then there were none

This suspenseful book is mainly about ten different people who each gets a letter from the mysterious Rogers, a couple who bought a house on Solider Island. When they arrive, they can't escape. . .

It was a fairly pleasant book. The author, Agatha Christie, is known as the Queen of Mystery. And Then There Were None is a murder and mystery story that grips your fingers on the edge of your seat. And in the end, the murderer reveals himself, explaining why he did what he did.

I would highly recommend this book to people who have a passion for mystery, and those who like the feeling of being freaked. With an old nursery rhyme counting down one by one. . . One by one, the guests begin to die.

Priscilla, 12

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Les Miserables 

by Victor Hugo
06/29/2017 Categories: classic epic poetry france movie

This story is filled with passion, the strength of love, and sadness on a low scale. The story begins with a lady named Fantine. Her husband abandoned her while she was still pregnant with their future daughter, Cosette. Fantine had to work at a factory, so she decided to put her daughter in the greedy hands of the Thenardiers. They own an inn. Little did Fantine know of the dangers that her daughter had to go through while living with the selfish family. . .

I found the story itself enjoyable with lots of interesting characters to explore and get-to-know-of. Other than the sadness, and some miserable people in this book, some characters, like Jean Valjean, change in a good way throughout the book. Jean was changed by a man by the name of M. Myriel who is a humble bishop of Digne.

Other than being a world-famous book, this story really highlights the hardship of the past. Filled with odd and cool characters, such as Cosette, Marius, or even Javert, people who admire bravery, flames of love, and a book filled with real historic events would love this book.

Priscilla, 12

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Thirteen Reasons Why 

by Jay Asher
05/10/2017 Categories: high school drama movie suicide

Thirteen Reasons Why is about a teenage girl who commits suicide. Before she dies she records thirteen tapes, thirteen reasons why she killed her self. Those tapes are then passed to select number of people, until everyone on those tapes has heard them.

I liked this book because it made me realize how much can affect a person. Also how depressing someone can be without showing any signs. I thought it was an emotional book and it was hard to read but it's worth it.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading about mysteries/crime. Also it's really interesting to read about why someone committed suicide, even if it's just a story. A lot can be learned from reading the book, like how to spot signs of someone who is suicidal.

Sandra, 16

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower  

by Stephen Chbosky
05/03/2017 Categories: high school drama identity movie suicide

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is about a quiet 15 year old named Charlie. The books starts with him writing to an unknown recipient about his life and two traumatic experiences he has gone through. Charlie eventually becomes friends with two seniors and starts experiencing drugs and parties while dealing with his own thoughts and problems.

I really liked this book because it made me think about how many people deal with traumatic experiences. The plot was emotional with some comedy, overall is makes you want to keep reading.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading books about coming of age. But be warned, this book has content that includes: suicide, sexuality, adolescents and drug use.

Sandra, 16

Rating: 

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The Hunger Games 

by Suzanne Collins
04/20/2017 Categories: action dystopia movie romance

Katniss Everdeen is a 16-year old girl who's job is to keep her mother, and her little sister Prim, and herself, alive. Then her whole life is changed when she volunteers to be tribute in the Hunger Games. She must fight to stay alive and play along with her fellow tribute to keep themselves alive, and be crowned victors of the games.

I thought this was a very amazing book. It shows you just how unfair things can be in life, and how diverse every person, culture, and country is different. You can also relate this book to the world, and how different and diverse everything and one is different. 

I would recommend this book to people who like action, romance, and surprises.

Cailin, 11

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Catching Fire 

by Suzanne Collins
04/20/2017 Categories: action movie romance survival stories

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are victors of the Hunger Games, and are going on their victory tour of the 11 districts. Things don't go very well, and a few districts rebel against the Capitol. Then, for the Quarter Quell Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta (along with one male and female victor from the other 11 districts) go back into the Hunger Games. Katniss is then part of a bigger rebellion than she thought she was in and had already made.

Catching Fire was an excellent book that made the movie in my head really interesting. I like how it is told from Katniss's point of view, so you know what she is thinking and feeling about the things that are going on.

I would recommend this book to people who like action, suspense, and war. But I recommend that you read the first book, The Hunger Games, or else most parts in the book will not make sense.

Cailin, 11

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The Giver 

by Lois Lowry
02/23/2017 Categories: dystopia ethics movie

The Giver, a well praised and well written book, is about a boy named Jonas who realizes that his world may not be as perfect as it seems. In this supposedly idyllic society, Jonas trains with the giver, or all knower in his town. When he, and only he, is exposed to the knowledge of the past, he realizes that everything that is happening in his once called home. In an effort to protect his loved ones, and live life the way it should be, Jonas realizes that he must successfully escape this fake world and leave behind the wrong world he use to love.

I loved reading The Giver, because it has a lot of deeper meaning and hidden messages underneath the interesting plot. This book has quite a bit of social commentary as well as an interesting plot that will leave you wondering why in the end.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone, because of the well written messages laced in the outstanding plot. If you like books with depth, and interesting stories, I recommend The Giver.

Sara, 14

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Divergent 

by Veronica Roth
11/24/2016 Categories: action dystopia movie

In the book Divergent, Veronica Roth explains how Tris's world changes in a matter of days. Responsible for choosing her own future, she becomes part of the Dauntless group and discovers that she is divergent.

I loved this story a lot and also the movies. Although I like the book better because it has more details about what she's feeling. Her emotions and her hardships are expressed and show the action and romance better.

I would totally recommend this book to others. I believe everyone would enjoy it because, like duh, its amazing.

Anahi, 14

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Tuck Everlasting 

by Natalie Babbitt
09/21/2015 Categories: family secrets fantasy friendship movie

Tuck Everlasting revolves around a 10-year-old girl named Winnie who stumbles upon a spring that bestows eternal life. The spring is kept secret by the Tuck family, who have been blessed (or cursed) with this everlasting state of undying. When Winnie stays and bonds with the Tucks for a few days, she gains insight into the implications and meanings of such a secret. However, a stranger also knows of the spring and wants to market it to make a fortune.

I liked Tuck Everlasting; the novel was a simple, yet beautiful, read. Thought-provoking themes such as mortality, life and death, and morality are woven into the story and looked at from Winnie's point of view. And above all, these themes make the reader think. For instance, many in our society today look at death with fear, but SHOULD it be seen that way? Or should it be taken as a natural component of the wheel of life, as the Tucks see it?

I recommend this book to children who are old enough and ready to contemplate these themes, as these play a big role in making the book so magical. I would also recommend Tuck Everlasting to adults and anybody who enjoys fantasy.

Giabao, 15

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The Fault in Our Stars 

by John Green

The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars followed two teenage cancer victims. Both of them had a serious form of cancer and they knew that eventually it would win, but they still managed to make a little infinity together.

The book was amazing. It would take you from tears to pure joy and then back to tears again. The moral of the story was just heart-warming: No matter how much time you have left, you can always find happiness and love. It was just a beautiful story.

I would recommend this book to everyone who loves to read a sweet love story with heart-ache and heart-warming scenes. It was just amazing how realistic the characters seemed, which forced you to feel many emotions, ranging from sadness to pure joy. I would definitely recommend this to everyone, it is a must-read.

Chanel, 15

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