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The Dream Giver 

by Bruce H. Wilkinson

Meet Ordinary, he lives in a place where everyone lives in the Comfort Zone, and everyone is the same. Until one day, Ordinary decides to leave the Land of Familiar to pursue his Big Dream, no matter the Border Bullies that block his true potential.

I think this book is a great reminder that anyone could achieve their dreams. Even though there will be some roadblocks, we can always think our way through the problem, not around. It is a fantastic book that will question your way of thinking, and it will help you explore yourself and your values.

Everyone should seriously read this great book. Anyone who wants to expand their horizons, and create a different way of thinking. I hope you like it as much as I do!

Priscilla, 12

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The Overachievers: The Secret Life of Driven Kids 

by Alexandra Robbins

Image result for The Overachievers: The Secret Life of Driven KidsThis book is a thrilling non-fictional piece that highlights the lives of nine upperclassmen at Walt Whitman High School. We journey with these students through the stress of their hectic academic schedules, their equally ambitious parents, and their internal struggles. The college admissions process is always present, and it makes you feel just as trapped as the students that go through it. See what it is like to be the Superstar, the Perfectionist, the Workhorse, the Teacher's Pet, the Slacker, the Meathead, the Flirt, the Popular Girl, and the Stealth Overachiever as they give us a glimpse of their overachieving lives.

This book is very interesting because it gives the reader a behind-the-scenes perspective on the overachieving culture that many high school students across America are a part of today. I like the fact that instead of seeing this world from one perspective, you get perspective from nine different people that are well-trained in the field.

Every high school student should pick up this book at some point, as well as parents, counselors, high schools, and colleges. If you are involved in any educational environment at all, or even if you just like to read for pleasure, this book is for you.

Anna, 14

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The First Time She Drowned 

by Kerry Kletter

This book is a very depressing book, and it will ruin your day. Seriously. You can try to read it, but I am just writing a review on this book just to warn you. The book itself is about a 16-year old girl, Cassie O' Malley. Her family is abusive, and her mother forced Cassie into a mental institution. This is where she understands herself. She struggles through her two and a half years there. She befriends someone named James. He smokes, and teaches her how. She claims that the only reason why she smokes is because there is 'nothing else' to do in the bland, dull colored mental institution.

It was a sad, depressing story. Cassie was different in her family, and she was pulled from her house, and placed in a mental hospital. Her mother forced her into the car, and even tied her up, and told her brother not to help her. The reason why the book is called The First Time She Drowned, was because when she was younger, her brother always showed off in front of his mother. Cassie tried to also, but the only thing she got from her mother, was a look as if she was threatening her brother. Her mother is so full of herself, and she can manipulate you little by little.

I would recommend this book to those who like bleak stories, and depressing characters. When you read it, you feel like you are the one who is suffering. Not Cassie herself. The language is harsh, and the plot is really bad. People comment that the book is about a girl, who goes through a change, and gets into college. They claim it is a beautiful story. I wonder what they mean by that...

Priscilla, 12

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The Light of Paris 

by Eleanor Brown
06/29/2017 Categories: emotions & feelings france true stories

The Light of Paris is a novel that switches perspectives between Margie, a young American woman in Paris in 1924, and her granddaughter named Madeleine. Madeleine discovers her grandmother's diary, and reads of her time in Paris. She learns that she and Margie have a lot in common, including their strained home life. Her grandmother's experiences help Madeleine forage the right path for her own life.

I like this book because of the time period that it takes place in- the 1920's. It was a nice story, however, it was quite predictable.

I would recommend the book to others because it is a heartwarming story. I suggest this book for people that enjoy uplifting and encouraging stories.

Bethany, 15

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All The Bright Places 

by Jennifer Niven
06/10/2017 Categories: emotions & feelings friendship suicide

This novel is a classic retelling of two misfits who come together and find solace in each other. Together, they fight through their demons as they charge towards normalcy together.
 

I really liked it! I felt that it depicted the daily struggles of people that are plagued with mental illness in a way that both humanizes them and empowers them!
 

I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys teen romances with a bit more substance. It is a novel that will keep you thinking.

Hannah, 17

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Eleanor and Park 

by Rainbow Rowell
04/20/2017 Categories: emotions & feelings family drama romance

The novel, Eleanor and Park, tells the love story of two outsiders during the 1980's who find solace and comfort in each other's differences. Eleanor and Park is a story of family, emotional turmoil and first loves and how fleeting they truly are.

The novel, as a whole, was exceptional. The writing style is beautiful yet witty; there are no boring scenes within this book. The characters are well-developed and for the most part, quite realistic. The ending leaves a bit to be desired, but the journey easily makes up for it.

Yes, I would highly recommend this book! It was a fun and easy read. If you like coming of age stories with a slight 80's twist, you will definitely enjoy this novel! 

Hannah, 16

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Underwater 

by Marisa Reichardt

Underwater is about a teenage girl who goes through a traumatic experience. On October fifteenth, at a school in California, everything changed. That day was the day that Morgan tried to help somebody and do something nice but that small act of kindness plays a role in a deadly tragedy. Before that day, Morgan loved the beach, the smell of the ocean breeze, and hanging out with her friends and talking about the latest gossip. After that day, Morgan can’t move on. The idea of leaving her house has her sobbing at her door step. She can't even move beyond the front door of the apartment she shares with her mother and little brother. Morgan feels like she’s underwater, unable to surface, drowning. The only person she interacts with besides her family is Brenda, her psychologist. But before Morgan can step outside, she must find the courage to forgive, first someone who did something that might be unforgivable, and herself.

I really liked this book because the main character, Morgan, and I almost share some things like not having an amazing father and having to go to therapy but then there are things like a school shooting that I cannot relate to like completely isolating myself from the outside world. This book had been pretty emotional and the message was really interesting. The way that Morgan describes how she used to view the outside world is something that I've never thought much about and made me realize never to take certain things for granted.

I think that if anybody were dealing with some similar experiences as Morgan, then I would suggest that you read this book. This book has not only changed the way I feel about a certain place and person but made me feel like this character understood what I went through a little bit in the past and the saying "You're not the only one" is something that I constantly tell myself when I'm going through a hard time.

Isabella, 16

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How To Catch A Prince 

by Rachel Hauck

How to Catch a Prince is story about Stephen, the prince of Brighton, who doubles as a war veteran and a rugby player. As the media dubs him the most eligible bachelor in Brighton and attempts to set him up, Stephen recalls the one girl he'd like to be with, and the reasons why he cannot.

I liked How to Catch a Prince because it was not the typical romance story. With subplots about war and survivor's guilt, How to Catch a Prince kept me engaged in the story.

I would recommend this book to fans of Dee Henderson's O'Malley series. Fans of war, politics, and romance all in one would enjoy this book.

Amanda, 16

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The Probability of Miracles 

by Wendy Wunder

The Probability of Miracles is about Campbell, a girl who's days are numbered. Her mom, refusing to accept this inevitability, moves Campbell and her sister to a town in Maine where miracles have been known to happen. As Campell resigns herself to a quiet life and quieter death, her sister and mom encourage her to live her life to the fullest.

I loved The Probability of Miracles. It was hilarious and devastating at the same time. Probably one of the most honest portrayals of the human experience I've read.

I would recommend this book to older teens who love film references and sarcastic characters who are brutally honest. Fans of John Green's The Fault In Our Stars and Looking for Alaska would enjoy this book.

Amanda, 16

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Once Upon A Prince 

by Rachel Hauck

Once Upon A Prince, is a novel about a character named, Susanna Truitt. As readers we witness her life as it is falling apart. She looses her boyfriend, her job, and her home all at once. But then she meets Nate Kenneth. When Susanna finally realizes he is the Crown Prince of Brighton, and he has fallen in love with her; the question is, is she in love with him?

I enjoyed reading Once Upon a Prince for its blatant belief in fairy tale endings. I also loved the voice the author employed, which made you read the book in such a way that you could hear Susanna speak.
I would recommend this book to fans of The Heir series. If you're a fan of fairy tale romances, you'd love Once Upon A Prince.

Amanda, 16

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Me Before You 

by Jojo Moyes

Me Before You is about two people who are nothing alike but fall in love anyway. He is a disabled man who misses his fast-paced life and she is a quirky girl stuck in a boring town. She teaches him that life does not have to be perfect to be good and he teaches her that life is an adventure.

I loved this book, it was thought-provoking and funny at the same time. I laughed and I cried. Any book that can make you feel emotions like that must have been written in such a way as to make you feel like you are part of the story.

If you like tear jerkers and stories about life's imperfections, you would love Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I highly recommend this book to fans of Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl and The Fault in Our Stars.

Amanda, 16

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Fangirl 

by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl follows the life of a college freshman, Cath, who has to learn to live on her own, while simultaneously worrying about her twin sister, and her father. She meets new people, but her fixation on finishing her fanfiction keeps her from being too outgoing. She does make friends, but not in the way she imagined.

I liked this book because of the realistic setting, and relatable vibe it sent to people. The book also had a good love story, which made it interesting, and worthwhile to read. It also shines a realistic light on how difficult life can really be, and how we have to handle it.

I would recommend this book to those who have a love for realistic books.  The novel might also appeal to those who like to read fanfiction, and can understand the obsession that Cath has.

Natalie, 14

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The Perfectionists 

by Sara Shepard

This book was about five girls who all share a hatred of one common person. They pretend to plan out his murder, but only meant to prank him, not murder him. The night of their prank, their victim dies, exactly the way they planned. They now have to find the killer before it's too late.

The book was an interesting one to read, because it was suspenseful and kept you guessing throughout the entire book. It was good to read from all the switching perspectives throughout the book, showing you how each person thought.

 

I would recommend this book to others who like to read from different perspectives in a story. I would also recommend this book too people who like a suspenseful story. However, if you don't like switching perspectives, then this book might not be for you.

Natalie, 14

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Speak 

by Laurie Halse Anderson

Melinda Sordino, busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone. Inside her own head, but even that’s not safe. There’s something she’s trying not to think about. Something about the night of the party that, if she let’s it in, it would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak.

Speak is a book about depression. Depression is the unspoken theme that defines Melinda's behavior. I like how the book was well written.

I would recommend this book to everyone. This is such an important book for the he content and message it presents.

Yessica, 14

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Eleanor & Park 

by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park is a story about two 16-year-old misfits who find themselves sitting by each other on the bus everyday and sharing things they enjoy with each other. The novel tells the tale of a first love and the heartbreak and happiness that comes with it.

I enjoyed this story very much because it can relate to teens in a variety of ways. It talks about first love which I, as well as many other people, are going through.

I would highly recommend this book to teens! It relates to everyone and it has an great plot that I think many people would enjoy. Most teens can relate to the characters in the story in how they act, what they do, and their rebellious side.

Analyss, 17

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