Categories

Les Miserables 

by Victor Hugo
06/29/2017 Categories: classic epic poetry france movie

This story is filled with passion, the strength of love, and sadness on a low scale. The story begins with a lady named Fantine. Her husband abandoned her while she was still pregnant with their future daughter, Cosette. Fantine had to work at a factory, so she decided to put her daughter in the greedy hands of the Thenardiers. They own an inn. Little did Fantine know of the dangers that her daughter had to go through while living with the selfish family. . .

I found the story itself enjoyable with lots of interesting characters to explore and get-to-know-of. Other than the sadness, and some miserable people in this book, some characters, like Jean Valjean, change in a good way throughout the book. Jean was changed by a man by the name of M. Myriel who is a humble bishop of Digne.

Other than being a world-famous book, this story really highlights the hardship of the past. Filled with odd and cool characters, such as Cosette, Marius, or even Javert, people who admire bravery, flames of love, and a book filled with real historic events would love this book.

Priscilla, 12

Rating: 

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Scarlet 

by Marissa Meyer
06/29/2017 Categories: dystopia fairy tale retelling fantasy sci fi

Scarlet Benoit is a young, spit-fire farm girl living in Rieux, France on a farm with her grandmother. . . . Until she goes missing. As Scarlet madly scrambles to find her grandmother, she meets a shy street fighter named Wolf, who might be able to help her in her search. But Wolf seems to have a dark, secret past . . . a past that could put both Scarlet and Wolf in terrible danger.

I really enjoyed this book because it was filled with mystery, danger, a twist of romance, and a hint of horror in some parts. It was really interesting to see two different people--a shy street fighter and a fiery farm girl--slowly fall in love while at the same time trying to battle illusions and the past. I also enjoyed how it didn't have too much romance (some romance in other books is really sappy and bleh).

For those who enjoy a clean, exciting, fast-paced read with spit-fire girls and compelling mysteries, this is a really good book to look in to. If you like a lot of romance, this book isn't for you, but if you like a twist of it, then I suggest you try out Scarlet. The mysteries are really good ones in this book, too. You can tell it is really important as you get more hints and suspicions, but you don't get all the answers until the end.

Keila, 14

Rating: 

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The Lost World 

by Michael Crichton
06/29/2017 Categories: action adventure historical

Jurassic Park is gone, never to be seen or heard from again. But as time goes on, people start to find strange, warped carcasses . . . the bodies of dinosaurs? Richard Levine--friend of Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park survivor--thinks so. But when his expedition goes wrong, Malcolm and his friends take the trek across the sea and into dinosaur territory to save their friend . . . before the jaws of a T-Rex close around them.

The Lost World is almost completely fast-paced, but it does have certain parts where scientific debates start, which I actually find interesting. It's a great thriller if you don't mind a little blood, and there are a few funny parts. The only thing I didn't like was the bad language, like 'hell' and 'shit' and the F-word (which I won't even dare to type).

This is a good book for people who don't mind blood and bad language (or who can at least skip over them), who enjoy good chase scenes, and who like being so anxious and scared by the image you see in your head you can't breathe.

Keila, 14

Rating: 

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The Light of Paris 

by Eleanor Brown
06/29/2017 Categories: emotions & feelings france true stories

The Light of Paris is a novel that switches perspectives between Margie, a young American woman in Paris in 1924, and her granddaughter named Madeleine. Madeleine discovers her grandmother's diary, and reads of her time in Paris. She learns that she and Margie have a lot in common, including their strained home life. Her grandmother's experiences help Madeleine forage the right path for her own life.

I like this book because of the time period that it takes place in- the 1920's. It was a nice story, however, it was quite predictable.

I would recommend the book to others because it is a heartwarming story. I suggest this book for people that enjoy uplifting and encouraging stories.

Bethany, 15

Rating: 

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Journey to Munich 

by Jacqeline Winspear
06/29/2017 Categories: detective stories mystery spies

This novel is about the mission of Maisie Dobbs, a British spy, to Munich on the eve of World War II. Maisie is assigned by the British Secret Service to travel to Munich in order to retrieve Leon Donat, a man crucial to the British war plans. Throughout the mission, Maisie must play the role of Donat's daughter, Edwina, as she was too sick to go herself. While in Munich, Maisie finds herself in more trouble than anticipated.

I really like this book because it kept me on the edge of my seat. I also enjoy historic books, especially the World War II genre. This book was extremely well-written. It was action-packed and mysterious.

I definitely recommend this book to others because it is so exciting. This story is ideal for those that enjoy action, adventure and history.

Bethany, 15

Rating: 

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The Great Gatsby 

by F. Scott Fitzgerald
06/29/2017 Categories: classic materialism romance

The Great Gatsby takes place during the 1920's, or the Jazz Age. It is about the downfall of a man named Jay Gatsby that throws lavish parties in his Long Island Mansion every Saturday night, all through the perspective of Nick, his neighbor. Jay Gatsby throws parties every week in hopes of reuniting with his former lover, Daisy, who doubles as Nick's cousin. Through Nick, Daisy and Gatsby rekindle their love, which ultimately leads to a wild turn of events.

I really enjoyed this book. It is an amazing story due to its sad, yet beautiful plot. It is also very realistic and a true epitome of life in the roaring 20's.

I would recommend this book to others because it has a great message behind it. If you like realistic fiction, historical fiction or other authors of the time such as Hemingway, The Great Gatsby is the perfect book for you.

Bethany, 15

Rating: 

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America's First Daughter 

by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
06/28/2017 Categories: historical older teens

America's First Daughter is about the life of Thomas Jefferson's daughter, Martha (Patsy) Jefferson Randolph, and her influential role in her father's political views, presidency, and private life. The book begins when Martha was a child, and ends with her as an elderly woman. The storyline navigates Martha's travels, love interests, marriage, children, and her close relationship with her father.

This novel was very well-written and thoroughly researched. The authors did an amazing job of recounting the story of an influential, yet not well-known historical figure. I like the story a lot because I can relate to Martha during her teenage years.

I would recommend the book to others because it is very interesting and informative. It was very raw and realistic, which I think other people will appreciate. If you like history, this book would be great for you!

Bethany, 15

Rating: 

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Sky of Red Poppies 

by Zohreh Ghahremani
06/28/2017 Categories: family secrets friendship social classes

Sky of Red Poppies is about two girls named, Roya and Shireen, who both live opposite lives financially, politically, and religiously in 1960's Iran. However, even through their differences they become best friends. Roya is jealous of Shireen's independent lifestyle and begins to question of how she was raised and stands for controversial political stances which gets her in trouble at times even with the government at one point. With Iran being closed to opinions, it makes it difficult for both girls to achieve their goals as people morally.

I liked how the novel incorporated poetry which the girls would recite and memorize for themselves. As well how they explored political views in a nation at the moment who usually oppresses or objectifies different opinions that opposes their government.

If you like learning of different cultures and political views of a different nation then Sky of Red Poppies by Zohreh Ghahremani is the right novel for you. As well as if you like the everlasting bonds of friendships and getting through obstacles.

Anahi, 17

Rating: 

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A Child Called It 

by Dave Pelzer

A Child Called It is the autobiography of Dave Pelzer, where he recounts of his childhood and endeavors child abuse by his mother through starvation, beatings, and mental abuse. Through out the whole novel he wonders why he is treated so badly by his mother, even though his oldest and youngest brothers don't receive this abuse. He as well seeks out the help of his father, however with no avail. Although, he goes through all this trauma, he manages to maintain his faith and survive through the abuse of his mother.

A Child Called It is an interesting yet unfortunate autobiography. It brings to a wider attention towards child abuse and how any little sign of abuse should be brought to attention not just pushed beside; because a parent made an excuse. I liked how specific each detail was written down and how the author uses pathos to invoke the emotion of sadness and depression. The autobiography makes it as if you were there and hearing the abuse and seeing it.

I would recommend this novel to those who like hearing true stories with explicit images in your head of what is going on. It may even leave you in tears just like me, however, it is worth reading even through the sadness. You won't even want to put the novel down and wish to want to know more.

Anahi, 17

Rating: 

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Throne of Glass 

by Sara J. Maas
06/28/2017 Categories: action dystopia fantasy romance royalty

In a world where magic is forbidden, a young assassin named Celaena Sardothien is working a mine as her prison sentence. But, being chosen by the Crown Prince, Celaena will be able to fight to serve as the King's Champion, if she can defeat twenty three other convicts. But as the competitors start dying one by one, it stops being a fight for freedom but a fight for survival. And she's the only person who can stop this evil.

This book is a mystery within itself. The writing style was intricate. The way how the past is explained throughout the book instead of in the beginning was beautiful, and everything came together in the end. It's extremely unpredictable, but in a good way. For me, I found it boring at first but kept reading because I knew something big would happen. But before I knew it, I was hooked. The characters really drew me into it.

I would recommend this book to anyone wanting a storytelling experience. It does take a bit of time to get into, but after that I think that the writing style just pulls you in. This book would also be good for people who like to come up with theories. It does have a love triangle, which I found a bit awkward, but for fans of dystopias such as The Hunger Games, I think that you'll like it. It's also the first book in the series.

Alexis, 14

Rating: 

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The School for Good and Evil 

by Soman Chainani
06/24/2017 Categories: boarding school fantasy friendship

The School for Good and Evil takes place in the world where fairy tales come from. It's called The Woods. There is a small village in The Woods, where the protagonists come from, Sophie and Agatha. Every year, two children are taken from the village to attend the School. While Agatha is the dark, depressing, reject of the village, Sophie is the bright, popular girl. Agatha's best friend. Yet when the both get taken to the school, Sophie is taken to the School for Evil while Agatha is taken to the School for Good. With princes, rivalry, and a Schoolmaster that no one knows his true intentions, these village opposites need to work together with the children of famous characters to discover how The School for Good and Evil is truly run.

I absolutely love this book, and the entire trilogy. The characters are so easy to fall in love with. Especially how Sophie believes that she should be in the Good school, how she's the nice one. And Agatha just wants her best friend Sophie back. The love triangle is written beautiful and not awkward at all. The way the book concludes leaves enough mystery to make you want to read the rest of the books, yet anwsers enough questions to make you feel like you understand everything.

I would honestly recommend to everyone. It's an epic fantasy and fairy tale story. It talks about the balance between good and evil, friendship, and love. It has action and has a plethora of fairy tale references and children. If you like fantasy trust me, you will love The School for Good and Evil.

Alexis, 14

Rating: 

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas  

by John Boyne
06/21/2017 Categories: friendship realistic fiction wwII

During World War ll, 8-year-old Bruno (Asa Brunofield) and his family leave Berlin to take up residence near the concentration camp where his father (David Thewlis), has just become commandant. He finds a Jewish boy of his age, though the barbed-wire fence of the camp that separates them.

This is a lovely book that made me feel so many emotions at once. I loved this book because it explained everything exactly how a 8 year old would see it.

This book was amazing! I would recommend this book to a person who likes to hear people's survival stories. I would say you want to be a little older 13 to understand this book.

Yessica, 15

Rating: 

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Nickel and Dimed 

by Barbara Ehrenreich
06/21/2017 Categories: non-fiction older teens

Nickel and Dimed is about the author who decides to work minimum wage jobs and live like someone would with that kind of job. She goes through different jobs and tells about her experiences.

I thought the book was okay, because it was interesting but I felt like the author should have tried living more like a person working with a minimum wage job. Also, I thought she should have included a more difficult situation.

I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to learn more about how hard life is working a minimum wage life. If you want to learn more about the life of an average American I suggest this book.

Sandra, 16

Rating: 

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Seven Daughters and Seven Sons 

by Barbara Cohen and Bahija Lovejoy
06/21/2017 Categories: friendship realistic fiction romance

Image result for seven daughters and seven sons

This incredible book takes place in an ancient Arab nation. The main character, Buran, longs to leave the house, and not wait for her father to chose a husband for her. Buran then decides to try for something she has always wanted.

I completely adored this book. This covers the femininity of a woman, the author really dives deep into being a woman and what that means. The story itself is a mix between romance and friendship.

Anyone who likes the Disney movie, Mulan, would love this book. Think of an Arab version of Mulan. Except the character herself wants a full life. And so she disguises as a boy, and travels to a city far away from her house where she meets the dishy Mahmud. She tries to keep their friendship from going too far. Because if she reveals to the prince, Mahmud that she is a woman, then she will lose everything she has worked for.

Priscilla, 12

Rating: 

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Kristy's Great Idea: The Baby-Sitters Club 

by Raina Telgemeier based on the novel by Ann M. Martin
06/10/2017 Categories: comics friendship manga realistic fiction

This book is about five girls: Claudia, Stacey, Marry Anne, Kristy, and Dawn. In the first book, Kristy decides to create a club in which they all could babysit. She invites Claudia, and Marry Anne to join. Claudia eventually invites Stacey into the club. This wonderful book reflects the ups-and-downs in relationships with friends and family.

I think this book is a very great book. It is great because there is no bad language, the pictures(this book series I'm talking about is a comic) are appropriate, and the characters are interesting.

I would hands-down recommend this series to others! The books tell the basics of friendships, morals, and this book series may give you a smile every so often. Anyone of any gender can read this magnificent book, but I think the story will most likely appeal to girls. Have fun reading it!

Priscilla, 12

Rating: 

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