Rebecca

by Daphne Du Maurier

RebeccaA shy young woman meets the mysterious Maxim de Winter at a hotel in Monte Carlo and gets swept up in a whirlwind romance and speedy marriage. As soon as she arrives at Manderley, the heroine feels the haunting presence of Maxim's first wife, Rebecca, lingering in the hearts and minds of Manderley's inhabitants. The heroine feels like she is always second behind Rebecca, who was beautiful, talented, and brilliant--or so everyone says--but as the story progresses, we realize nothing at Manderley is what it seems and everything leads up to the one last epic confrontation.

I originally wanted to read this book because my name is Rebecca, and I thought it would be funny to see myself as the heroine in a famous romance novel. I was surprised at the quality of du Maurier's writing which crafted a story I just couldn't put down. There was mystery, suspense and classic romance similar to Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. This is a good book and it kept me guessing until the shocking conclusion.

I would recommend this book to people that liked the classic romances such as Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre since there is a lot of figurative language and detail that slows down the story in some places, but there are other parts that have non-stop suspense and action that make the pace very fast. Also you have to have patience since the beginning is a bit slow.

Rebecca, 17

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The Raven Boys

by Maggie Stiefvater

Raven BoysBlue lives in a house full of psychics, but she is the only one in the house who does not posses these supernatural powers. Ever since she was little girl she has been told that she will kill her true love with a kiss, something that hadn't mattered until now. She becomes involved in the search for the long dead Welsh king Glendower, with a group of raven boys, boys who attend a private school near by, boys whom she swore to never become involved with because of their reputation as snotty rich kids. The story follows their search for Glendower and the growing relationship between Blue and the boys.

I though this book was amazing. Stiefvater creates really dynamic and compelling characters who develop throughout the book. The plot line is really interesting and you find yourself at the edge of your seat, just waiting to find out what happens next.

Yes, I would highly recommend this book to others, but especially to those who enjoy reading a supernatural story with a hint of romance. Overall if you love books with a supernatural plot you would love Stiefvater's The Raven Boys.

Daisy, 16

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Animal Farm

by George Orwell

One fateful night, the wise, but elderly pig Old Major gathers the starving animals of Manor Farm and speaks of an impossible dream, in which the animals throw off their tyrannical human masters and are free to enjoy the fruits of their own labors. After Old Major's death, two other pigs, Snowball  and Napoleon lead a revolution that drives their cruel master from his land and leaves the animals in charge of their own destiny. For a while, everything is perfect, but Napoleon soon becomes intoxicated with power and forces Snowball into exile, eventually turning the other animals against him. Napoleon leads the animals on a campaign of self-denial and hard work that promises security and freedom; however, it soon becomes obvious that Napoleon and the other pigs are growing fat while the other animals are starving, and are quickly becoming the sort of creature they once waged war against.

I loved this book because even though it was made to address the Russian Revolution and the spread of communism, it remains relevant today as a warning against big government. I was surprised how a story with meaning, power and an enjoyable plot could fit in a book so short. It is simple, but powerful with heart-wrenching scenes and an ending that comes with unstoppable force.

I would definitely recommend this book to everyone because even if you don't like stories that make you think, this book is good enough to just read as a fable or short story. You don't have to love history or understand the symbolism to enjoy this book.

Rebecca, 17

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Planet of the Apes

by Pierre Boulle

In the not-too-distant future, three astronauts land on what appears to be a planet just like Earth, with lush forests, a temperate climate, and breathable air. But while it appears to be a paradise, nothing is what it seems. They soon discover the terrifying truth: On this world humans are savage beasts, and apes rule as their civilized masters. In an ironic novel of nonstop action and breathless intrigue, one man struggles to unlock the secret of a terrifying civilization, all the while wondering: Will he become the savior of the human race, or the final witness to its damnation?

I love science fiction, so I was drawn to this book when the Rise of the Planet of the Apes came out in theaters. I wanted to see what the original story was since I never saw the original 1968 film.  I love the social commentary Bouelle dishes out and the shocking ending that I never saw coming.

I would definitely recommend this book because it is a short read that opens your mind to crazy possibilities and makes you really think about the future of the human race. It also has plenty of irony like picturing inarticulate humans being subjected to degrading, invasive experiments and chimpanzees ruling the planet with intellectual might.

Rebecca, 17

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Of Mice and Men

by John Steinbeck

Two migrant workers, George Milton and Lennie Small, travel together looking for work and always hoping to save enough to settle down on their own piece of land. Things are looking up for them when they get hired as ranch hands, but just as their dream is within reach, their story screeches to a halt in unspeakable tragedy.

Steinbeck's portrayal of the Great Depression is poignant and incredibly powerful in its realism. Characters are developed nicely, all with a dream they strive for and fail to achieve. I was surprised by how much I felt for all the characters, from the gentle giant Lennie to the aging Candy.

I would recommend it because it is a great book with a believeable plot, realistic characters, historical significance and universal themes anyone can relate to.

Rebecca, 17

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Gone with the Wind

by Margaret Mitchell

This epic historical romance depicts the turbulent love affair between Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler during the Antebellum Era, Civil War Era, and Reconstruction Era. Scarlett O'Hara, the spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner, struggles to survive in a world destroyed by the American Civil War and Reconstruction. Scarlett uses every means at her disposal to claw herself, her loved ones, and her beloved Tara out of the poverty and out from under the heel of the victorious Yankees.

This book is one of my favorites, if not my favorite, book of all time. I was expecting a lengthy novel glorifying slavery and revolving around a sappy relationship between the perfect Southern gentleman and a Southern belle. I couldn't be more wrong! While it is a long book, the story never gets boring or repetitive. While many of the characters represent ideas, they have amazing depth and never fail to touch your heart and stay there. 

Yes, I would recommend this book, but beware!  This book is a real commitment and takes a long time to finish, but it is more than worth it in my opinion. The action is balanced by beautiful imagery and the character development, especially in Scarlett. It is definitely worth reading. One problem I had was keeping all the characters straight, since there are a lot of them, but since the book is so long you'll have a lot of time to get to know all of them before long.

Rebecca, 17

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That Summer

by Sarah Dessen

That SummerHaven is tall and feels awkward with herself. Her parents are divorced, her dad remarries, and her sister is getting married at the end of summer. Her whole life is changing, and she feels as if she has no control. Then, one of her sister's old boyfriends comes back to town and she feels happy again. She remembers only good memories about when he and her sister were dating, back when their family was in one piece. It seems that every time something terrible goes wrong, he is there and it always cheers her up.

While reading, I felt indifferent about whether or not I liked it. I mean, it wasn't a waste of time, but it wasn't the best book every. Until I got to the end. I have a sister of my own, so I know how it feels to have a connection with someone so close. After reading the end, I loved the book and the relationship between Haven and Ashley.

I would recommend this book to any teenager. It's a quick book but it holds a lot of messages.

Chanel, 14

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Sea of Monsters

by Rick Riordan

Sea of MonstersPercy Jackson and his friends must go to the Sea of Monsters in order to save Grover and Camp Half Blood. There's a monster guarding what they need, making it the hardest quest they have ever received. 

I really liked it because Percy and his friends are brave. They take risks for each other; even Clarisse gets to be part of the team. The mythological gods help their children even though they may not see. The Gods are greatly involved trying to defeat Kronos.

If anyone doesn't understand mythology gods they can read the Percy Jackson series. Percy Jackson makes it fun and easier to remember the myths.

Jacki, 16

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Dead City

by James Ponti

Dead cityThis book by James Ponti is about a young girl who has a connection to the under belly of New York City. Molly’s mother is an expert on zombies - not as a hobby but as her night job.

I really enjoyed this book because of the suspenseful scenes that make you keep reading. But I also liked how the story was written and how the writer told the inside thoughts of the characters such as how Molly felt after she found out that her mom never told her about her night job.

I think most kids would like reading this book, boys and girls alike. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!

Lindsy, 11

Rating: 

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The Time Fetch

by Amy Herrick

Edward picked up a rock. Simple, right? Wrong. That rock was a Time Fetch, a mysterious rock that is home to some Time Foragers, little beings that eat time. Normally, it only eats the little time that won't be missed, but now that they are awoken from their deep slumber and escaped, they unravel the very fabric of time and space. The whole world will be unraveled... or will it? 

This book has a really good sci-fi concept. Sci-fi lovers will love the action and suspense.

Hieu, 13

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If I Lie

by Corinne Jackson

If I LieWhen a photo of Quinn kissing another boy surfaces while her boyfriend, Carey, was in Afghanistan, she is condemned and ostracized by her military town who accuses her of being a traitor. Quinn, however, has information that can clear her name, but was sworn to secrecy by Carey. Facing constant humiliation, she battles between keeping the secret and enduring the pain. 

If I Lie is a definite page turner. It causes the reader to sympathize for Quinn's situation, but also admire her for being a strong female character who endures pure chaos.

This book is worth checking out. It has a great female character and it draws the reader in quickly. Girls and boys can both enjoy this book. Many will be able to relate to the main character's situation of being the outsider.

CJ, 17

Rating: 

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

by Stieg Larsson

Girl with the Dragon TattooJournalist Mikhail Blomkvist is asked by a millionaire to investigate the 40 year old murder of his beloved niece. He gets help from the peculiar and frightening expert hacker Lisbeth Salander in solving the case. Set in snowy Sweden, they go off on a journey full of terror and surprises.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an excellent novel. It is a very enticing story and one of the best murder mystery stories. The book definitely keeps the readers on their toes and guessing.

This book would be recommended for older teens who can handle violence and nudity. The characters and the story are very interesting and will be enjoyed by many who love a good murder mystery.

CJ, 17

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Les Miserables

by Victor Hugo

Les MiserablesJean Valjean is a convict who has experienced great despair while in jail for 20 years, causing him to be spiteful. However, when a single act of kindness is shown, he pledges to be a better human being, but is halted by many obstacles that cause great despair.

Les Miserables is an incredible book. It has multiple powerful themes that connect to many people. The characters are very endearing. The overall story is very influential and captivating. Victor Hugo's masterpiece is very touching and leaves people speechless and crying.

This book is recommended to people of all ages. Jean Valjean and the other characters' journey will surely captivate readers.

CJ, 17

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Me and My Invisible Guy

by Sarah Jeffrey

Invisible guyMe and My Invisible Guy is about a girl named Mallory who makes up a pretend boyfriend, Todd, just to feel included at school. She is a cheerleader and the only virgin, so she figures that Todd is the only way out. But difficulties come when a cute new boy starts at the school she goes too. Not only is she overwhelmed with what to do, but her best friend is having major family problems at home.

This book really opens your eyes to the affects of peer pressure on teenagers. I personally enjoyed the book. I thought the whole story was interesting and an easy-read.

I would recommend this book to others because it shows the effects of peer pressure on teens. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a teenage story and an easy-read.

Chanel, 14

Rating: 

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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

To Kill a MockingbirdTo Kill a Mockingbird is set during the Great Depression and also revolves around racism in the South. Scout Finch is the narrator and the main character who grows up in the segregated South. Her brother, Jem, their friend, Dill, and she are all intrigued by story of Boo Radley, a young man who has been prisoner in his house for multiple years. When their father, a lawyer, takes on a court case defending a black man accused of raping a white woman, their world changes.  

The book follows their lives and proves the theme that you can't judge a person unless you have been in their shoes. I thought the book was interesting in the way of how segregated the community was. It was a good story with an underlying theme and multiple conflicts. Overall, Harper Lee did a fantastic job of portraying the South.

I would recommend it because it has a good message of not judging a person until you have experienced what they have been through. People of all ages would enjoy this novel.

Chanel, 14

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