Categories

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan 

by Lisa See
06/05/2012 Categories: chinese history friendship

Snow Flower coverThis book takes place in China in the 19th century.  A girl, Lily, is force to have her feet bound after seeing her younger sister die of foot-binding. Lily is then introduced to her matchmaker who tells her of her Laotong, or long life friend. Lily and Snow Flower come from two completely different worlds yet still hold a strong bond.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is an incredible book that has a fairy tale in real life. However, in this book, Lily and Snow Flower must endure many obstacles before they find their true happy ending. Nevertheless, Not everybody or book has a happy ending
and life has many twists. 

I greatly recommend this book to people who like sharp twists in books and shocking endings. This book does contain intense scenes and may not be suitable for young teens. This book is a must- read from Lisa See. If you are interested in China's history or even if you aren't, you will be after you read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.

Lauren, 16

Rating: 

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Matched 

by Allie Condie
06/05/2012 Categories: dating drama dystopia

Matched coverCassia lives in the Society that controls everything. They control what you eat, what your job is, and who you love and marry. To most, it is hardly the price to pay for a long life. The Matching ceremony happens the year they turn 17, and it's where guys and girls find out who they will spend the rest of their lives with. When Cassia sees her Match, she is certain that he is the one, until she glances at the microcard she is given, and sees another boy she knows. She then has to choose, a thing the Society forbid a long time ago, between the life she knows and loves or the unknown. 

Matched is a book that makes you think about how lucky you are to have choices. Because the setting is in the future, and references back to this time, you realize what could become of our society and way of living. It really hits that note of how important choices are because without them, someone else would rule our lives.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! I would most defiantly recommend this book to others because of the way it makes you feel about your life. Some take this for granted when actually we are very lucky to have our own choices everyday! Matched is a book for all and is amazing!

Chanel, 13

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Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close 

by Jonathan Safran Foer
06/05/2012 Categories: 9/11 family drama realistic fiction

Oskar is a nine year old boy who has lost his father in the terrorist attacks of 9/11. He "invents" things in his mind to cope with living with a secret he keeps from everyone. He finds a key in his father's room, and that leads to an adventure filled with meeting new people to find out more.

This book is definitely one of my favorites, because the way Oskar thinks is unlike anyone I've ever read of, but it gets sort of confusing because it tells from the point of view of several people.

I would recommend this book for everyone because it is just that good!

Alexis, 15

Rating: 

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White Oleander 

by Janet Fitch

White Oleander coverThis book takes the reader through the life of a teenage girl whose mother goes to prison for killing her ex-boyfriend. She is then sent to several foster homes, where she learns more about herself. 

White Oleander is an interesting book because it really brought into perspective that there are people living in these types of situations in the world.

I would recommend this book to high school age and older due to the mature content. There is also a movie with the same name based on the book!

Alexis, 15

Rating: 

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Fire 

by Kristin Cashore
05/29/2012 Categories: battles fantasy murder

Fire coverFire is a human monster--unearthly in her beauty, she charms everyone around her to the point that it's dangerous. Even though she has the ability to control anyone's mind, her life isn't that great, either. With an infamous monster father and relationship troubles between an old friend and a new unlikely one, she struggles to find herself in a time of war and strife.

Fire was pretty good overall. Like Graceling, its companion novel, it is spun in the same world and has an intricate, complex plot. It's a little darker than the first book (though you don't have to read it to understand it) and it does have some inappropriate moments, so beware.

If you like fantasy or if you've read Graceling, you would definitely enjoy this book. Due to the content, I would rate it for 8th graders and up.

Erica, 16

Rating: 

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The Book Thief 

by Marcus Zusak
05/29/2012 Categories: holocaust

A foster girl named Liesel, is taken to the Hubermanns. The narrator of the book is Death, which just adds to the amazingness of this book. Death explains the story in precise detail and explains how "Papa", also known as Hans Hubermann is a comforting man, who teaches Liesel to read. Liesel learns to read and steals books during the time of the Holocaust in Germany. 

This book really makes you think about Death and what it is. Death explains about taking people and you realize how the Jews and anyone who helped the Jews, suffered severely. It really helps grasp the concept of that time period.

I would definitely recommend this book to others. Most kids, like myself, love to read about fighting and Death. Everything about this book was amazing!

Chanel, 13

Rating: 

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Brisingr 

by Christopher Paolini
04/30/2012 Categories: adventure battles fantasy magic

Brisingr coverIn the third installment of the Inheritance Cycle, Eragon encounters old enemies and new as well as some unexpected friends as he seeks to fight for the good and stop Galbatorix once and for all. With the help of his dragon Saphira, he embarks on yet another quest--but this time, his enemy may just be himself.

As an avid follower of the Inheritance Cycle, I was pretty excited when this came out years ago. However, I was let down by the fact that the plot not only seemed to die down, but none of the chapters captured me except the part where the "Brisingr" part of the title comes into play.

If you like fantasy, dragons, magic, and action, this series is for you, but be warned that the books get worse as they go. I can only hope that the last book will rectify everything and restore Eragon's world to its former glory. Also, these are very thick books (Harry Potter size) so if you don't like big books, I'd try with something else.

Erica, 16

Rating: 

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Of Mice and Men 

by John Steinbeck
04/30/2012 Categories: friendship handicaps

An old classic, Of Mice and Men recounts the sad tale of a friendship between two men, George and Lennie. Although it is a short book, this novel will keep you at the edge of your seat despite its simplicity.

Of Mice and Men is one of the few books that I like, just because of the messages and themes portrayed in the book. Even if you're not analyzing the brains out of this book in English class, this is still an enigmatic and enjoyable read.

As the language and length of the book are short and simple, anyone can read this. However, there is some profanity and slightly vulgar references in this book, which is why I suggest at least 8th grade and up.

Erica, 16

Rating: 

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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler 

by E.L. Konigsburg
04/26/2012 Categories: adventure art clean read mystery

Mixed up coverClaudia and Jamie Kincaid have run away from home to--of all places--the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Big Apple. As they explore the museum's nooks and crannies, they eventually discover something bigger: a little mystery to solve and a secret to call their own.

This has been one of my favorite books for years since I was in middle school, and it still is. It's a short read, but is absolutely enthralling and never ceases to draw me in every single time.

Anyone of all ages can read this. It's an easy, relaxing read! If you liked watching Night at the Museum, you'll definitely like this book.

Erica, 16

Rating: 

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Twilight 

by Stephenie Meyer
04/26/2012 Categories: dating drama romance vampires werewolves

Twilight coverTwilight is about a girl who moves to the town of Forks, Washington. On her first day of school, she meets a mysterious boy, Edward Cullen; and for some reason he seems to hate her. She immediately goes through many ups and downs just to be with him.

Twilight was well written and honestly, I loved it. The story line is just like Romeo and Juliet about how love can conquer all the twists and turns of life. The author did an amazing job making the book come to life.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves just a little bit of romance and a little bit of action all mixed together in one of the best books that I have ever read.

Aleck, 14

Rating: 

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Hunger Games 

by Suzanne Collins
04/26/2012 Categories: action adventure dystopia romance

Hunger Games cover12 districts offer up 2 tributes to participate in the Hunger Games, a deadly game created as punishment for when the districts rebelled. One girl, Katniss Everdeen, does the most shocking thing anyone has ever seen or heard... she volunteers for the Hunger Games when her sister is chosen at an event called the reaping. Soon after, she and Peeta Mellark, the other tribute from her district, are then taken away to the Capitol to begin their training to fight for their right to live.

The Hunger Games is the most heart-stopping and palm sweating book I have ever read! Suzanne Collins did the most amazing job in writing this book. It makes you rethink your opinions of the underdogs in any competition.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a great action, love, and adventure book. It has everything you could ever need in a book.

Aleck, 14

Rating: 

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Anna and the French Kiss 

by Stephanie Perkins
04/26/2012 Categories: boarding school dating drama romance

Anna coverAnna Oliphant is your typical Southern girl who ends up transferring to a different school for senior year: boarding school, that is. In Paris. Shocked, bewildered, and more than a little angry at the sudden change of events, Anna finds herself unwilling to like Paris and uncomfortable in the polar-opposite environment. However, with the help of her new friends (and handsome Etienne St. Clair), she learns to fall in love with Paris after all.

Anna and the French Kiss was the best comfort read I've read in a long time. It reminds me of pink cupcakes and tutus, sugar cookies and frosting. Sweet, fluffy, and all around very nice, even if the title choice leaves much to be desired. If you're a girly-girl or simply someone who likes to indulge in sweet love stories, you will definitely enjoy this book.

Erica, 16

Rating: 

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City of Bones 

by Cassandra Clare
04/26/2012 Categories: dystopia fantasy magic mystery

City of Bones coverCity of Bones is a story about a girl, Clary Fray, who finds out more about her family than she could have ever imagined. She finds that her mother used to fight evil monsters, that the boy she likes, or might even love, might be her brother who was supposed to be dead, and to top it all off... her father was the most evil and manipulative man in universe. Clary has seriously wished that she never went out that faithful night.

City of Bones is a very magical book. It makes you want to look into your family history and see what is hiding. The story itself has so many interesting parts that it can not be put down. I would recommend City of Bones to anyone who loves a great action and adventure page turner. You have to have a lot of time for this book because you'll never be able to put it down!

Aleck, 14

Rating: 

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Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy 

by Ally Carter
04/26/2012 Categories: detective stories mystery spies

Cross my heart coverThe Gallagher Girls are back--and Cameron "Chameleon" Morgan has been tangled up in her newest web of troubles: this time involving a mysterious spy school just like the Gallagher Academy for Girls, but for boys! What's even worse, one of the boys has his eyes on Cammie...the battle between the Gallagher Girls and Blackthorne Boys has begun.

I loved this book! The Gallagher Girls series is always spunky and exciting, and there was not one moment where I got bored. Any 7th grade and up girl would enjoy this book! If you like spy genres or books with strong female protagonists, this series is definitely for you.

Erica, 16

Rating: 

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Infinity 

by Sherrilyn Kenyon
04/26/2012 Categories: horror paranormal vampires zombies

Infinity coverNick Gautier, age 14, is the smartest kid in school, even if he only has his mother and is living on scholarship. Nick soon finds himself learning that things that go bump in the night... are actually real! He befriends Kyrian, a man who gives him a job and apparently fights demons. He has new enemies and they make his old ones look like wimps compared to them. He needs to save the world and he needs help doing so. Nothing can go wrong, right?

Infinity is a great story of how a boy can go from a normal outcast to the most wanted person in the universe. This is the most gripping book I have ever read, and I never put it down!

I recommend this book to anyone who loves scary fiction and can relate to being a social outcast.

Aleck, 14

Rating: 

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