Categories

The Fox Inheritance 

by Mary Pearson
07/03/2012 Categories: action dystopia sci fi suspense

Fox Inheritance coverJenna, Kara, and Locke were great friends who stuck together through everything, but one day an accident happens and as they lay dying, Jenna's father scans and saves their minds in the hopes of saving them. 260 years later Locke and Kara awaken to a new world and learn that Jenna has been alive for the past 260 years and has done nothing to save them from the darkness. After finding out that they are nothing more than floor models for prospective buyers who may want to preserve their minds for the future, Locke and Kara run away and find themselves in a whole new world. The two get separated, but their destination is the same: Jenna. Locke finds himself rushing against the clock because he knows that Kara's mad, he knows she wants revenge. 

This book is fantastic; the sequel to The Adoration of Jenna Fox, this book gives you insight as to what happened to the other characters and the lives in store for them. The future world that Pearson creates is realistic. This book will leave you wondering about the importance of friendship, trust, and the human mind and soul.

I would recommend this book to everyone who loves to wonder about the future and where mankind is headed. It will definitely leave you wondering and questioning. If you loved The Adoration of Jenna Fox, then this book is a must-read.

Jana, 16

Rating: 

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Perfect Chemistry 

by Simone Elkeles

Two seniors, Brittany Ellis and Alex Fuentes, are two completely different people. Brittany is head cheerleader and has a "perfect life", and Alex is a gang member who only wants to protect his family. When they are chemistry partners they find out that they need each other, and that opposites attract.

Perfect Chemistry is a good book because it shows you how people can change and you shouldn't judge people if you don't know their background. This is also a good love story, isn't inappropriate at all.

If you love love stories or stories about not judging people, I would recommend Perfect Chemistry to you.

Brianna, 16

Rating: 

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The Demon's Lexicon 

by Sarah Rees Brennan
06/28/2012 Categories: action demonology magic suspense

Demon's Lexicon coverNick and Alan have always been on the run from magicians who are hunting them down. The magicians are after a charm that their mother possesses; sure, they can easily give it away and the chase might stop, but the charm is the only thing keeping their mother alive. One day, Jamie and Mae, neighbors from the house next door, arrive asking for help. Jamie had been marked by demons. Alan, the sweet sensitive one, wants to help them. Nick, the one who is always rough, the one who does all the fighting, the one who really doesn't care about anyone other than Alan, wants to get them far away, especially after Alan becomes marked. Now Alan and Nick have to kill two magicians in order to get the marks off and for the very first time, Nick and Alan are going to the magicians instead of running away from them. Nick is about to learn a secret that has been kept from him his entire life, a secret that will rock his world.

This book was amazing! You'll be glued to the book as the story takes you on an adventure filled with action and surprises that you may never see coming. The characters, Nick especially, are well written; they come to life and seem as real as life itself. When you reach the end, you'll find yourself wishing that the characters were real and you'll find yourself yearning for the sequel.

I would recommend this book to everyone who loves being surprised and is willing to fall in love with these characters. If you like action, adventure, and a story that drags you in with the characters, then you willl love this book.

Jana, 16

Rating: 

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Ashes 

by Ilsa Bick
06/28/2012 Categories: dystopia natural disasters suspense zombies

Ashes coverAnything can happen in today's world, even a nuclear attack. In Ashes, Alex, a young teen who has a monster inside of her, a brain tumor, decides to go hiking in the woods so that she can finally say good-bye to her deceased parents. In the middle of her camping trip, she meets Ellie, a little stubborn eight-year old brat, and her Grandfather. Suddenly, something happens. Grandpa falls over in pain and before Alex could do anything, she finds herself enveloped in pain as well. When she finally awakens, she finds Grandpa dead and for once she can smell. Alex takes Ellie and tries to make her way to the ranger station because right now she knows that they need help. Along the way, Alex and Ellie come across kids like them only there's one difference: they've become savage cannibals. Alex and Ellie are rescued on their way to the station by Tom, a soldier, and the trio join together to find out what has happened to their world and if there is any safe place, any order within this chaos.

Ashes is an amazing book that leaves you wondering and questioning. You are constantly in the dark and piece things together just as Alex begins to understand them. The story is compelling and will hold your attention from beginning to end. Like few other similar books, Ashes explores the dark side of human nature and shows how in chaotic situations we too can become savages, we too are forced to do things we would never have dreamed of doing.

I would recommend this book to all others who enjoy a compelling story and don't mind being left in the dark and not one step ahead of the characters. If you liked books such as The Maze Runner and Lord of the Flies, books about survival, books with what-ifs and how-comes, then Ashes is the book for you.

Jana, 16

Rating: 

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Variant 

by Robison Wells

Variant coverBenson is a foster child who has been moving around from foster home to foster home ever since the age of 5, but then he decides to apply to Maxfield Academy and gets accepted along with a scholarship. Benson feels that for once everything is looking up, but then he gets to the academy and he sees that nothing is right. The school has no adults and the kids have to follow complex and weird rules. Break the rules and the punishment is death. The entire school is divided into three groups: Society, Havoc, and Variant. Benson joins the Variants and from day one begins planning his escape. And then he stumbles upon the schools secret and nothing is the same. Is escape even possible?

This book was one of the most breathtaking, heart pounding, gripping books ever! From the beginning, the entire school is a mystery and as you read along, trying to uncover its secrets, you slowly become more and more entangled into the story. The ending, especially the last two lines, was a great cliffhanger and leaves you yearning for book two. Although some of the school's secrets are uncovered, there are still so many more questions that keep arising.

This book is one that I think everyone who loves action, fast-paced stories will love. Variant is somewhat a modern version of The Lord of the Flies. If you loved The Maze Runner series than this book is definitively the one for you!

Jana, 16

Rating: 

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If I Grow Up 

by Todd Strasser
06/18/2012 Categories: gangs realistic fiction suspense

If I Grow Up coverTo children everywhere, the question of what they want to do with their lives is always when I grow up, but with DeShawn and the other children from the gang-run projects, it is a question of IF I grow up. If I Grow Up explores the life of DeShawn, a young boy who was raised and lived in the Projects, a run-down part of town and home to the Disciples, a gang. DeShawn is a young, bright boy and everyone sees him as the type to grow up and make something of himself and DeShawn promised himself that he would never become one of the gangbangers and get involved in the mess of the projects. Yet, under harsh conditions and with want of money in order to feed his family, the gangs are his only answer. Joining the Disciples and learning the ropes, DeShawn's life slowly goes downhill.

If I Grow Up is a book that will leave all readers speechless and wondering. It opens the readers' eyes and shows them what is going on in the dark side of town and gives the story of those who live with broken families in broken towns. Yet, it does more than just make the reader hope for change; it forces the reader to want to get up and do whatever is humanly possible to help those that need it, to help save innocent children before they turn to the dark path.

I would beyond a doubt recommend this book to everyone and anyone who wants to make a change. Those of you who want to see how the world really works and what goes on in the broken parts of town, what forces innocent kids join gangs and go to jail, will love this book. Trust me, it will get you thinking not only about what is going on, but about what you can do to help.

Jana, 16

Rating: 

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A Separate Peace 

by John Knowles

A Separate Peace is a novel that takes place during WWII, and talks about two best friends. Finny and Gene seem to be unlikely friends, because Finny is really into sports and having fun, while Gene focuses on his studies and being number one in his class. Gene becomes extremely jealous of Finny' s popularity, and becomes paranoid that Finny doesn't want Gene to be number one in the class. Gene's jealousy controls him and gets the better of him and starts the main conflict in this novel.

This book teaches the life lessons of friendship and loyalty. A true friend should not feel jealous and want to bring down a friend, but should be happy and support his or her friend. A true friend will acknowledge and accept their wrong doings toward their friend, and finally his or her friend will accept the apology. Another life lesson I learned was that you should always think before acting because you might regret it until your death.

This book is more than two covers filled with printed pages. The words and story itself come to life with each turned page. The characters become a friend you yourself will not want to say good bye to. The whole book was amazing, because the book starts out as a comedy but becomes and ends as a tragedy. If you are a strong reader and can withstand a sad ending like this one, I strongly recommend this book. A Separate Peace is more than a book , it's a soul that keeps living.

Lauren, 16

Rating: 

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Gentlemen 

by Micheal Northrop
06/18/2012 Categories: high school drama murder mystery suspense

GentlementIn Gentlemen, Tommy, Mixers, Bones, and Micheal are a tight-knit group that no one in school or outside of school dares to mess with. One day, while in class, Tommy throws a "tantrum" and is sent to the vice-principal's office, but he never makes it there nor does he go home. Tommy disappears and the rest of the group can't find him anywhere. They begin to worry that something is wrong and are convinced that Tommy has been brutally murdered, especially when their English teacher, Mr. Habermann, the one man who actually calls them "gentleman", begins acting very strangely, speaking of murder and the ideas of crime and punishment.

Gentlemen is definitely a book that I liked. It's very fast paced and gripping and has you enthralled until the very end. The ending itself is unexpected and although it may seem slightly disappointing at first, continue reading on till the end and you'll find that feeling of disappointment replaced with one of content. By the end of the book, you'll find yourself wondering about the true meaning of friendship and respect.

This book is one that I would recommend to everyone and anyone who loves to read and wonder about the deeper things in life. Yet, I believe that those who like reading crime thrillers and stories about the dark side of society would greatly appreciate this book.

Jana, 16

Rating: 

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Love & Leftovers 

by Sarah Tregay

Love and Leftovers coverThis book was about a teenage girl named Marcie who moved for a brief period of time to New Hampshire. She felt lonely and hooked up with a boy from her new school and did not tell her boyfriend back at home.

I really enjoyed this book. It was easy to relate to, fun to read, and had a good storyline.

I would definitely recommend this book to others. People who like realistic fiction, love stories, and novels written in verse would love this book.

Jennifer, 16

Rating: 

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The Diary of a Young Girl 

by Anne Frank
06/18/2012 Categories: holocaust survival stories true stories

Anne Frank is a 13-year-old Jewish girl, who spends two years of her short life hiding in a cramped attic, located in Amsterdam, along with several other families. This real-life story takes place in 1942. Anne and her family are in the "Secret Annexe," because at the time, the Nazis were occupying Holland. Anne keeps a diary, in which she writes all about her life.

The story of Anne Frank is very touching and powerful. It is a remarkable book that is perfect for any advanced reader. I liked it because of the plot line and vivid details. It is interesting to read about a girl your age, and to compare your life to her's.

If you are interested about learning more about Europe's history, and discovering how life was back then, you should consider reading The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. You won't be disappointed!

Milla, 12

Rating: 

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Catching Fire 

by Suzanne Collins
06/18/2012 Categories: action dystopia romance survival stories

Catching Fire coverCatching Fire is about a violent game called, The Hunger Games, where children fight to the death -- until one person remains standing. It contains romance, action, and drama.

Catching Fire is a brilliantly plotted book, and you won't be able to put it down until you are done. I like how it uses so much detail, and how the story is told from the perspective of Katniss, the main character. If you are a fan of science fiction books with romance mixed in, then you would love to read Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.

I recommend reading the first book of this series, The Hunger Games, before reading Catching Fire.

Milla, 12

Rating: 

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Desert Flower 

by Waris Dirie

Desert Flower coverDesert Flower was written by a well-known model Waris Dirie. The most amazing factor of this book is that this is a true story and is still as or more interesting than fiction. The reader explores the life of a circumcised woman in Somalia and all of her obstacles.

I love this book based on the fact that Waris Dirie's life as a child must have been difficult, and you explore a different country with different cultures. The type of society we pretend doesn't exist is still alive and well in other countries. This book is an eye- opener to our lack of knowledge beyond our country.

I would certainly recommend this book to older teens due to the inappropriate and intense scenes. This book truly captivates the reader and reinforces the lesson that not all of our lives will be easy and there will be challenges we must overcome. The title is a symbol, because a beautiful flower or woman like Waris can grow from anywhere, even in the desert, and still prosper.

Lauren, 16

Rating: 

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The Color Purple 

by Alice Walker

The Color Purple might be a violent and challenging book; however, it has a very rich and deep meaning. Celie has become one of my favorite woman characters because of all she has endured in her life. Having to suffer seeing her two children taken from her at a young age and seen as subordinates, Celie still has hope in God. Woman are just as strong as men.

This book is an inspiration to a lot of woman who are suppressed by men. Celie is one of those characters you get very close and by the end of the book I was wishing it wouldn't end. Celie assumes her sister is dead after not hearing from her for years. The Color Purple has many twists and a very shocking ending.

I would recommend this book to older readers who want a challenge - it's an amazing book but is very explicit and has a lot of violent scenes. This book also has many racial and gender arguments and ventures into an era when women didn't wear pants and were looked upon as a man's property. The tile can be seen as a symbol throughout the story and is told like if you were reading through an old journal. Remember the reason this book is a challenge is because the speaker, Celie was learning how to write.

Lauren, 16

Rating: 

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The Lovely Bones 

by Alice Sebold
06/05/2012 Categories: child abuse ghosts murder suspense

Lovely Bones coverThe Lovely Bones is told by the main character, Susie, whose murderer is unknown in the
beginning. A mixture of mystery and romance, Susie's knowledge of her murderer gives the reader anxiety because she's dead and telling her story from heaven. Susie learns more about her family when she is dead than if she would of have been alive.

This book was seriously a spine chiller!  You feel sympathy for Susie and her family. This book is filled with a lot of irony and sarcasm. The way this book is told from the beginning is amazing, because the perspective of Susie makes the reader see the whole story of a person who couldn't tell their story. Most homicides and suicides committed only have one or two stories but not the person who died. Those of us left behind usually never get the real story about how the person died or what they were thinking when they died. 

I would certainly recommend this book to older teens as it does contain intense and dramatic scenes. Alice Sebold did an amazing job crafting and writing The Lovely Bones, so I hope you read and enjoy this book.

Lauren, 16

Rating: 

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The Reader 

by Bernhard Schlink
06/05/2012 Categories: holocaust romance world war I

Reader coverThe Reader, written by Bernhard Schlink, is a book that talks about inapprpiate
relationships. The main character, Michael , becomes enthralled by Hanna, a
woman is his neighborhood, who is twice his age. Fifteen year old Michael lies
to his parents, goes back to school, and even sells his prized stamp collection
for his new lover, Hanna. This book has two parts. At the beginning, Michael is fifteen when he firsts meets Hanna, but is later in his twenties when he finally sees Hanna again.  Michael finds out why and where Hanna disappeared.

I would recommend this book to teens who enjoy a good mystery, and if you pay close attention you can solve the mystery. However this book does contain intense scenes. Remember, Michael and Hanna do have a inappropriate relationship. This book was a fast read book because of the awesome mystery - it's a total page turner!  There is also a movie with the same name based on this book.

Lauren, 16

Rating: 

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