The Romantics

by Leah Konen

Gael Brennan's girlfriend just broke up with him in the most cruel way possible and now, a few days later, he's about to fall for the totally wrong girl. This is a story of love, in the point of view of Love itself. 

When I first heard about the concept of this book I thought it was genius and I knew I had to get my hands on it. I loved this book. I loved the totally new way to tell a story from third-person, by telling it by an emotion. The main character, Gael, was so lovable.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves love or is looking for a quick, fun read. You see him falling for the wrong girl and roll your eyes, but later see him falling for the right one and you'll have hearts in your eyes. There are a lot of family moments and some flashbacks that will have you awing. You will not regret picking up this book!

Katelyn, 14

Rating: 

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

by Becky Albertalli

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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A Long Way Gone

by Ishmael Beah

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier is a very stirring autobiography about Ishmael Beah and his journey to becoming a boy soldier and how he recovers from it. Beah takes the reader through his painful journey of loss and pain, but also a journey of discovery and growing up. Beah takes the reader deep into his thoughts and heart, describing the devastating disappointment and pain of his family's death, the hatred that fueled his drive in being a boy soldier in the Sierra Leone civil war, and finally how he reconciles with his past and how he finally regains his childhood and humanity. 

This novel was very good because Beah is very honest about his experiences and pain. It's interesting to read about how he learned to cope with the memories of his painful past and losses. But it's also interesting to see him grow and recover from his past.

I would recommend this book to all people. It's a good book about culture, war around the world, recovery from grief, and the loss of childhood. It also questions the role of the idea of 'Humanity' and what happens to people who have lost it.

Keila, 14

Rating: 

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Flint

by Louis L'Amour

Image result for Louis L'Amour FlintJim Flint is a man known by many names: James T. Kettleman, Jim Flint, and the legendary kid at The Crossings, known for being so fast with his gun he killed five men in as many seconds. But now it seems his life has come to a tragic end--he has cancer. Flint is a powerful, cunning, and cold man, a man who has never known a family and has never needed one. But his life has seemingly come to an end, and Flint has chosen to go down fighting. When he unexpectedly starts to fall in love with a beautiful and strong woman, he finds himself fighting for her, risking his life in gun battles, escaping trained assassins, and neatly outwitting his wife and her father, who tried to kill him. But Flint won't live long enough to save them anyway . . . or will he?

This was a fantastic book because Flint is basically a nameless man, and a lonesome one. It's interesting to read about how he views the world from the viewpoint of someone dying. He is a very admirable character for his now-disregard for life, and his determination to go down fighting no matter what the cost. Flint also has many enemies, and it's impressive on how he deals with them.

I would recommend this book to all Western fans who like a good showdown gun battle with a strong and brave main character up against impossible odds. This is a good book to read even if you don't like reading Western novels (like me), and it's good for people who like books about a main character who fights until the end, not just for himself, but for others. And in doing so, finds that he is actually a better man than he ever thought himself to be.

Keila, 14

Rating: 

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The Lonesome Gods

by Louis L'Amour

Image result for The Lonesome GodsThe Lonesome Gods is about a man named Johannes Verne. His mother and father were on the run from his mother's father, Don Isidro, who wanted to kill them both for disgracing the family name. But they escape and have Johannes, but when his parents die, Johannes is left in the desert to die alone by his grandfather. Johannes is forced to grow up mostly alone, but always he prepares himself for that day when he meets the men who had killed his father and who wanted to kill him, because on the day Johannes was left in the desert, he never forgave . . . and he never forgot.

The Lonesome Gods was an excellent book because it's a very inspiring growing-up story. Johannes is a inspiring and relatable character, and very admirable because of his quiet strength, wits, courage, and talent with the gun. Louis L'Amour also writes the story in such a way you can't help but think, 'Dang. That guy's awesome.'

I would definitely recommend this book to others because it's suspenseful, daring, adventurous, and has romance, but it's really subtle. For those who enjoy reading tales of the Old West and gun battles, and who don't really want to focus on the romance, than this is the book for you. Johannes is also a very great, complete character, and anyone who gets to know him can't help but be in awe.

Keila, 14

Rating: 

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The Poisonwood Bible

by Barbara Kingsolver

Nathan Price, an arrogant Baptist missionary, settles his wife and four daughters in a Congolese village determined to spread the word of God. During a time of tumultuous politics, racism, and Congolese independence, Nathan forces the family to stay, despite the risk of increasing danger. The family endures life-altering hardship and battles with feelings of guilt, grief and loneliness. The events that take place during their time in the Congo will haunt them for years to come.

I loved this book. It was definitely one of the best books I've read because of its depiction of historical events, racism, and portrayal of real, raw emotion.

I would recommend this book to others because of its dynamic plot line, important message, and its awesome portrayal of life in the Congo. If you like historical fiction and stories with a powerful message, The Poisonwood Bible would be the perfect book for you.

Bethany, 15

Rating: 

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Wintergirls

by Laurie Halse Anderson

Lia's friend died of anorexia and she had a difficult time with accepting her life without her best friend. Lia later on, try's to move on with her life, but she feels like the more days past, the more she feels like life woun't be the same without her.

This book was a good book because this it is similar to other teenagers in life. A lot of people suffer from anorexia and very little survive.

I would recommend this book for teenagers ages 14 and up. It’s a really good book to learn life lessons from. 

Yessica, 15

Rating: 

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Girl Stolen

by April Henry

Girl Stolen is about a girl name Cheyenne who, when she was younger, contracted pneumonia and became blind. Her life takes a dangerous twist one day when waiting for her mother in the car, a random guy hijacks the car!

I really liked this book because it was creepy! Knowing that this happens sometimes in real life is scary!

Yessica, 15

Rating: 

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Island of the Blue Dolphins

by Scott O'Dell

Karana lives on the island with a tribe of Native Americans. However, one day, Karana and her brother were left behind. She has to figure out how to survive on a island where no one else lives. Karana has no food or weapons. 

I really liked this book, it was the best book ever. I love how she figures out how to survive on an island where she has no help from no one.

I would recommend this book to everyone who likes reading survival stories. Even if you don’t like reading books, I really recommend this book to you it’s a really good book, trust me! 

Yessica, 15

Rating: 

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Horsefeathers: & Other Curious Words

by Charles E. Funk

This book isn't just a story, it's better! It's a bunch of little ones combined into one book! It is filled with different sayings throughout history. To list a few(If you don't know, Google it.): Joe-Pye Weed Butterscotch Belladonna Nuthatch and Earwig.

I think that the words are very interesting, and I am very fond of my class--English, and I think it is a great way of expanding your vocab, and blowing people's mind when you do.

I believe that everyone should read this book, like I said earlier, it is a great book for more understanding of uncommon words most people don't even use.

Priscilla, 12

Rating: 

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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

by Ransom Riggs

This book is about a troubled sixteen year old boy named Jacob who goes to an island because he is drawn to the land of Wales. There, is where he finds out the crumbling abandoned mansion that was once a place of peace for peculiar children. Miss Peregrine sends a couple of kids to get Jacob, and help him explore the odd past of the mansion, and the story of Miss Peregrine's home(mansion) for peculiar children will unwind. . .

I think this book was a great coming-to-age story like Harry Potter. This book is frighteningly good. With pictures throughout, and each have a unique story behind it. The author did a really good job of explaining Jacob's story. The only thing that bothers me is that there is excessive cursing in it. Or in other words, 'This world isn't perfect. Nor are the books.'

I recommend this book to those who enjoy looking at pictures, and reading text that makes you think about what you think the word 'peculiar' means. Unique children with different abilities. 

Priscilla, 12

Rating: 

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Divergent

by Veronica Roth

Beatrice Prior is a unique character. She grew up in one of many factions. Abnegation is a value found in her parents and brother, but not her. To be Abnegation is to be selfless. Beatrice finds it difficult to fit into her own family. After taking an an aptitude test, and discovering that she is in fact, different, Beatrice is faced with a new problem: Who is she? What faction will she pick at the Choosing Ceremony?'

I enjoyed this book because it really expresses the beauty of being different, and maybe even helping you find yourself. Imagine yourself as one of the teens at the Choosing Ceremony. What virtues do you most relate to? 

Everyone should read this. Despite some romantic text, this is a truly great story. 

Priscilla, 12

Rating: 

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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

Rating: 

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Nancy Drew: The Secret Of The Old Clock

by Carolyn Keene

I have to be honest to you, I have lots of these stacked in my room. All of them have a unique case that is different from the last one. Old books are my fave, and for Nancy Drew, it just kind of stuck. I would say you'd start with the very first book which is The Secret of the Old Clock!

I really, really like this series. It is the most fantastic series which goes on for forever, and Nancy Drew herself is an interesting character. She has a different way of thinking, and she is the daughter of the police sheriff, so don't mess with her. . .

Everyone is able to read the book, and those who are willing to try new things and be an exotic reader, I recommend Nancy Drew. I would be awesome if you guys tried this book!


Priscilla, 12

Rating: 

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The Making of a Navy Seal

by Brandon Webb

This book is about the amazing journey of the author, Brandon Webb, on becoming a Navy Seal(hence the title). Through the first couple chapters, you really get into Brandon's life, and you can really see the changes from when he was a vigorous sportster to one of America's Deadliest Snipers. Through the difficulty of his father, and getting a spot into the Navy Seal training, Brandon Webb's story is a truly interesting tale. A story worthy of telling your friends. 

I really like this book because you explore the HARD-core training the recruits have to go through. In order to graduate onto the next level, they have to go through a really hard training week. Guess what it's called(c'mon, it may be easy. . .). Hell Week. That's right, not nonfiction no more. Though it seems like it might be the hardest thing in life(probably is), the funny thing is, it is the most interesting thing in the book. It might not be for you. But there's one way to find out. . . 

Anyone can read this great, powerful book. Get the excitement of the capturing of al-Qaeda, and the terror of 9/11. I think this book is a great nutshell capturing all the military training, and Brandon Webb must be a great author, father, and sniper. After you read this book, I can totally assure you that it will change your mind about looking at Navy Seal's walking around. R-e-s-p-e-c-t.

Priscilla, 12

Rating: 

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