Categories

Witch and Wizard 

by James Patterson
02/06/2012 Categories: dystopia siblings witches & wizards

Witch and Wizard coverOne sister and one brother are accused of being a witch and wizard. It's about this new society, run by The One Who Is The One, and how they are afraid of kids because they suspect that they have powers.

I absolutely loved this book! I thought that the writing was very easy-to-follow, and it wasn't a complicated storyline! I love all books about different societies, and how it makes you think how lucky we are, living in a country like ours.

I would definitely recommend this book to all lovers of the Hunger Games. I read this book right after I read the Hunger Games series and didn't think low on either of them. This was overall an AMAZING book!!

Chanel, 13

Rating: 

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Mockingjay 

by Suzanne Collins
02/06/2012 Categories: battles dystopia romance survival stories

Mockingjay coverMockingjay is the last book in the Hunger Games series and picked up right where it left off in Catching FireMockingjay was all about the rebels and how they are trying to take over Panem and rule the country. Katniss has many decisions to make, including whether she wants Gale or Peeta. She is as determined as ever in this book to kill President Snow, but must decide if she likes President Coin!

Overall, Katniss is amazing and so is this book!! Itwas amazing and overall perfect. It was very interesting because it makes you think how nice our civilization really is. It made me think about my little sister and how much I really care about her, just like Katniss does to Prim. The book had the perfect ending!

Yes, I would recommend this series to everyone, whether you are a boy or girl! Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins, has the perfect combination of romance and fighting and is perfect for anyone!!

Chanel, 13

Rating: 

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Sarah's Key 

by Tatiana de Rosnay

The Jewish Starzynski family had their lives turned upside down when they were taken away by French police in the long forgotten Vel d'Hiv' roundup that took place in Paris, France during WWII. Their daughter, Sarah, hides her 4-year old brother Michel in a secret cabinet, believing that she'll be able to return and find him. Sarah's hopes are in vain when she is torn away from her parents and sent to a concentration camp. A journalist by the name of Julia Jarmond works to uncover Sarah's story and remind others of the lives lost in the Vel d'Hiv'.

Sarah's Key was one of those books that I couldn't put down. It goes back and forth between Sarah's and Julia's points of view, slowly bringing their fates together.

I would definitely recommend this book to readers who are interested WWII stories and enjoyed The Diary of Anne Frank and David Faber's Because of Romek

Gillyn, 15

Rating: 

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Angel Burn 

by L.A. Weatherly
01/31/2012 Categories: paranormal romance supernatural

Angel Burn is one of an angel's worst powers: it gives its victim the illusion of happiness but, like a sunburn but a million times worse, completely rips them of their energy and even their sanity. In this book, angels are now the enemies, and it is up to young but seasoned assassin Alex and strange, different Willow to defeat their incoming onslaught.

Angel Burn was an altogether confusing book. It didn't exactly focus as much on "Angel Burn" as I would have liked it to, and I wondered at times what was the focus of the book: defeating the angels or the relationship between the two main characters? The ending was unsatisfactory, and although it could be considered a "cliffhanger" for the sequel, I'm not going to be finishing the trilogy anytime soon.

7th grade-high school girls would probably like it if you liked books like Twilight. However, if you're not a fan of the supernatural or romance (I want to add in that there is rarely, if no mention of God in this book, though it deals with angels) check out something else.

Erica, 16

Rating: 

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Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld 

01/31/2012 Categories: adventure sci fi steampunk suspense

Deryn Sharp is a girl who has always been fascinated by heights and, more importantly, the air. She masquerades as a boy and enters the Airforce, soon becoming a daring and valued airman. Meanwhile, Prince Aleksandar of Austria suffers a shock when both his parents are murdered overnight, and he must escape his country to seek safety elsewhere. In a world where hybrid creatures and giant robot-like weapons fight in an ugly World War I, the two struggle to survive until their fates collide...

This was my first steampunk book, and it was both weird and fascinating how the lines between future and past were blurred. The inventions made by the Clankers and creature-weapons made by the Darwinists astounded me. I also loved the pictures included in the book. 

Anyone who likes steampunk, historical fiction, slightly futuristic genres, battles, and a mindboggling storyworld, you might want to check this one out. Be careful, this book is pretty long! But if you love it and can't wait for more, this is the first in a trilogy. The sequels are Behemoth and Goliath.

Erica, 16

Rating: 

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Heist Society 

by Ally Carter
01/31/2012 Categories: adventure masterminds romance spies

Kat Bishop's family has an unusual trade: they steal famous and valuable pieces of art for a living. Torn between wanting to live a normal life and loyalty to her family, Kat decides to leave the "family business" to enter a normal boarding school. However, when her father is wrongly accused of stealing a powerful man's paintings, she is jerked back into her family's world as she tries to find the missing paintings--with her father's life on the line.

I loved this book! Kat and the supporting characters that arrived later on in the story (especially Hale, her love interest) were unique and likeable. The plot had me on my toes the entire time!

If you are a girl who likes books with thieves, smart teens, romance, or anything similar to a "spy genre", read this book! If you're a Gallagher Girl fan, also by Ally Carter, you'll definitely love Heist Society.

Erica, 16

Rating: 

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The Case of the Left-Handed Lady 

by Nancy Springer

Left-Handed Lady coverIn this sequel to the young adult spinoff of the classic Sherlock Holmes (the first book was The Case of the Missing Marquess), Enola Holmes, the unconventional and resourceful little sister of the greatest detective in London, discovers yet another strange case while on her escape from her older brothers. As she solves the mystery, she must also dodge her brother's observant eye as their paths cross in London.

This book's language had a really "classic" taste to it, but it was easy to read! It wasn't too long and was the perfect book for light perusal. The plot had me hooked, although I did get a little scared at some points.

Anyone who likes mysteries and/or classics will enjoy this. The series is geared more towards girls, with Enola as the heroine of the story.

Erica, 16

Rating: 

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Luka and the Fire of Life 

by Salman Rushdie
01/31/2012 Categories: adventure fantasy mythology

Luka coverLuka, along with his pets, dog and bear, set off into a magical world created by his father, Rashid Khalifa. This story revolves around Luka's journey as he retrieves the "Fire of Life" in order to save his father's life.

Luka and the Fire of Life is one of those novels that has you completely enthralled in the story. The novel incorporates several figures from various mythologies along with references to the tangible world. 

I would recommend this book to anyone 10 and up that enjoys fictional adventures/travels. It's a great read that emphasizes a son's love for his father. All in all, it's a really great book!

Gillyn, 15

Rating: 

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Shugo-Chara! 

by Peach-Pit
01/07/2012 Categories: manga

Image result for Shugo-Chara! volume 1 englishAmu is a girl who is slightly awkward with an automatically hostile personality, as well as a giant crush on the school's prince, Tadase. One night, she wishes to be reborn as her would-be self and awakens to three eggs on her bed. They hatch to reveal her Guardian Characters, who help her to become her ideal personality and push her into Tadase's world.

I read this series a while ago when I was still in middle school. Back then, I liked the series a lot. It was peppy, optimistic, and was encouraging and uplifting for younger kids. Now, as a high schooler, I find the series elementary and the protagonist annoying.

Girls just starting out in manga, or girls in middle school would enjoy it. If you're looking for a more mature plotline with more substance, look elsewhere.

Erica, 16

Rating: 

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The Road 

by Cormac McCarthy
12/10/2011 Categories: dystopia survival stories

The Road coverBoth a father and a son head south through desolate America after an apocalypse occurs. The father and son, both nameless throughout the story, create a false sense of hope that down south the weather will be warmer and other people will be there. Whether either truly believed it is up to the reader. The father's sole reason for remaining alive is to help show his son how to survive in a world that, for the most part, is dead.

I did enjoy reading this book because it was an amazing story that demonstrates parental love. The only thing that I did not like from this book was the mother's lack of courage to keep on living right from the start. A good example to never give up would be this father and his young son.

I would most definitely recommend this book to anyone who is mature enough to withstand some gruesome scenes that although not vividly described, are shocking. This is an easy, fast read so it would not consume much of the reader's time. I would recommend you try reading it in one sitting because it is very fast paced.

Maribel, 16

Rating: 

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Why We Broke Up 

by Daniel Handler
12/10/2011 Categories: dating drama

Image result for why we broke up book coverMinerva, the main character, is writing a series of letters to her now ex-boyfriend. In the letters she explains to him the multiple reasons as to why they broke up. Along with the letters, Min is on her way to drop off a box with souvenirs of there short relationship, each comes with a story of how it was obtained.

Why We Broke Up was okay but I would personally not re-read it. I found the main character to be weak, therefore making the story as a whole weak as well. I did not like all those references Min made to movies, whether they were real or not, if the reader does not know much about older movies, the reader is unable to fully comprehend her message.

I would only recommend this book to mature pre-teens because although the story seems more fit to teenagers because some of its material, Min seems inexperienced and perhaps pre-teens could relate and not make the same mistakes as Min did.

Maribel, 16

Rating: 

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Great Gatsby 

by F. Scott Fitzgerald
12/10/2011 Categories: romance

Great Gatsby coverThis is a story of how a man fell in love with someone who he could not possibly have a relationship with due to his social standing. When he was young he was shipped off to war, upon his return, he found her to be wed. Told in his neighbor's point of view, Gatsby is found to be a man of mystery. 

Yes, I absolutely loved The Great Gatsby because it demonstrates social class issues and a love that can never be. Gatsby is a strong character that fights for what he truly wants, it is hard to talk badly of this book.

I would recommend this book to everyone since it is appropriate for all ages. This is not a hard read and it is a great story. It's a very short novel, too.

Maribel, 16

Rating: 

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Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul III 

by Jack Canfield
12/10/2011 Categories: inspirational non-fiction true stories

Chicken Soup coverThis book really is chicken soup for the teenage soul; it's about real life experiences that real teenagers braved through. This book is comprised of over 50 stories, relating to the typical issues that we all face. It reminds us that we aren't the only teens dealing with these problems. 

I think that this book is great because it's a great turn-to book when you need some good old comfort. It's about stories and lessons that have been shared by fellow teens/adults. 

I would recommend this book for anyone 11 years old or older. It's the perfect book to turn to when you're feeling down. If you love real stories on life lessons, you'll absolutely love Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul III!

Gillyn, 15

Rating: 

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Divergent 

by Veronica Roth
12/07/2011 Categories: dystopia survival stories

Divergent coverSet in a dystopian futuristic society where people are split into five factions that describe their character, Divergent follows the story of meek Beatrice Prior, who becomes caught between following her peers' words and her heart. As she encounters various trials that she'd never imagined before, she becomes stronger-- both physically and mentally. 

I liked Divergent, possibly even more than the Hunger Games, maybe because it was still a dystopian society but with a breath of hope in it, while the Hunger Games had a mainly dark and hopeless feel to it. The characters and plot were awesome, and I look forward to the sequel! 

There are some brutal moments in the book as well as some between Beatrice and a male character that may not be appropriate for younger kids. Therefore I would recommend this to a more mature audience, such as 8th grade and up, of both genders.

Erica, 16

Rating: 

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Daddy Long Legs 

by Jean Webster
12/07/2011 Categories: classic written like a diary

Image result for daddy long legs by jean websterA classic novel documenting the story of orphan Judy Abbott as she receives the chance to become an author, provided by a mysterious benefactor she lovingly nicknames "Daddy Long Legs".

Daddy Long Legs is written in a letter format, from Judy to Daddy Long Legs, and is an unusual yet refreshingly satisfactory book. I loved Daddy Long Legs for its rare and unique writing style. Even though it's a classic and was written long ago, the plot twists were amusing and surprising at the same time.

I would recommend this book to girls of any age, or to anybody who likes reading books with a bit of a old-fashioned flair. If you also enjoy reading things with a diary-like format, this book is for you!

Erica, 16

Rating: 

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