Escondido Public Library

 

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Insurgent 

by Veronica Roth
07/23/2013 Categories: dystopia identity

InsurgentAs war between the factions threatens Tris's new Dauntless life, she is haunted by grief, and guilt. Tris Prior is faced with the decision of risking her own life for the lives of others. Tris must now embrace her Divergence in order to save those she loves.

Insurgent was an exceptional sequel to Divergent. I loved how the relationship between Tobias and Tris developed drastically in this book.

I would recommend Insurgent to anyone. I believe teens especially will love it if they enjoy futuristic societies, action and romance.

Maria, 15

Rating: 

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Maximum Ride: the Angel Experiment 

by James Patterson

Angel ExperimentMaximum Ride is the leader of her "flock"- 5 other kids who, like her, have wings and can soar above the clouds. They were experiments created by crazy scientists and have hard lives, from battling wolf/human hybrids to rescuing Angel from the School where they were tested and created.

I loved this book, from the action to the love, this book was truly amazing. I really liked how much Max cared for her family and would do anything to help them.

I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who likes an exhilarating, fast-paced story with a well thought out story plan. It has the perfect amount of surprise and suspense.

Chanel, 14

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Uglies 

by Scott Westerfeld
07/23/2013 Categories: body image dystopia sci fi

UgliesTally Youngblound lives in a futuristic society where all citizens are considered "ugly" until they undergo a surgery making them "pretty" at age 16. She declines this transformation after meeting a gal named Shay, who before leaving, tells her of a different, more interesting and rebelling life. Tally is then blackmailed by the leaders of the society, Special Circumstances, to find Shay or else never become pretty. This launches her into an adventure as a spy, whilst learning the deep secrets of her world that definitely aren't pretty. 

Uglies was a very good novel in many ways, but what stood out to me was the world it took place in. It really made me contemplate about an attractive future and how easily it could be manipulated. Aside from that, this book was very well detailed in its technology, and it moved at a quick pace despite its length.

Overall, this is an excellent novel for anyone who needs their dystopian fix. Anyone who enjoys sci-fi fiction would get a knack out of it, too.

Jakob, 15

Rating: 

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The Chocolate War 

by Robert Cormier

Chocolate warAn all boys high school is doing its annual chocolate fundraiser. It is required for the boys this year to sell a large number of boxes to support the school. Jerry Renault refuses to sell these chocolates. This act of standing up for his beliefs angers the organization running the school, and caused him to be a target for pain and anger. 

he Chocolate War is far from a bad book, but it wasn't one of my favorites. Most of its characters are well detailed, but don't seem to add much to the story. The message is strong, yet I feel it could be channeled in a different way than it was. The plot seems to take its time and focus on seemingly unrelated moments (like not focusing on the main character for multiple chapters), yet the book is obviously carefully written.

Personally, I wouldn't give it a recommendation. It just was not interesting or fun for me to read. The title was what caught my eye, and it wasn't the fight to the death using chocolate bars I hoped for. Despite that, anyone in need of a well written short novel, they might find some light in The Chocolate War.

Jakob, 15

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Tiger Lily 

by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Tiger LilyTiger Lily is a retelling of the Peter Pan story, but this time focusing on the native girl Tiger Lily. The novel describes her strength and her uniqueness, a uniqueness that often keeps her distanced from her tribe, and longing for adventure. Soon she finds herself involved with the tribes most feared enemies Peter Pan and his lost boys. Tiger Lily immediately falls for their fearless leader Peter and is faced with the decision to run away with him to live a life of adventure, or to remain with her tribe and follow what is expected of her as the shaman's daughter.

I loved this book, in every single way, the story was absolutely captivating, and the characters where absolutely endearing and lovable. The story line was absolutely brilliant because it provided a fresh new version of a story that most of us are familiar with. Overall the novel was just amazing and i found myself at the edge of my seat waiting to know what would happened to Peter's and Tiger Lily's love.

Yes, I would very much recommend this book to everyone, the story is not to love-dovey and filled with adventure so both girls and boys would enjoy reading this book. I would probably recommend it to someone whose read or watched the original Peter Pan because this novel provides a whole new different side of him that is not explored in those other previous works.

Daisy, 17

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Confessions of a Serial Kisser 

by Wendelin Van Draanen
07/23/2013 Categories: friendship high school drama romance

Confessions of a Serial Kisser follows Evangeline Logan on her quest to find a crimson kiss, or the perfect kiss. Evangeline has recently been through the divorce of her parents and upon finding a romance novel that describes the perfect kiss she becomes obsessed with finding her own crimson kiss. Through her journey she finds herself and learns how to reconnect with her father.

The book was pretty good, the story line was pretty repetitive but it was still really interesting to follow Evangeline on her quest to find the perfect kiss. The characters were pretty endearing, and it contained a nice ending due to the fact that Evangeline learns about herself through her journey to find the crimson kiss.

Yes, i would recommend this book, especially to girls because it follows Evangeline a sixteen year old girl through the difficult times of high school. It's also a good book for girls because it talks about the quest for the perfect kiss, and tho find a boy who actually likes you for who you are.

Daisy, 17

Rating: 

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Flawless 

by Sara Shepard

Flawless

Flawless is the second book in the Pretty Little Liars series and it continues to follow the four girls Hanna, Spencer, Aria and Emily. In this book A continues to send them messages that threaten to reveal their deepest darkest secrets. Things also get more complicated as Toby Cavanaugh, a boy who was tortured by Alison returns and appears to be A. The girls are faced with the decision to turn him into the police and reveal thier secrets or keep them and risk being exposed later on.

This book was alright. I think that the first book in the series, Pretty Little Liars, was much better. I think the storyline moved a little two slow but overall the actual plot was very interesting and keep you at the edge of your seat waiting to know what happens next.

I think that I would recommend this book. The story itself was pretty interesting and filled with drama and secrets. I would recommend it to those who read the first book or to viewers of the ABC Family show that is based on the books.

Daisy, 17

Rating: 

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13 Reasons Why 

by Jay Asher

13 Reasons Why

Clay Jensen comes home to find a package addressed to him. In it, he finds casette tapes. When he plays the first one, he learns that they are recordings of Hannah Baker, a girl he had a crush on and who had recently committed suicide. Hannah states that there are 13 reasons why she decided to end her life and Clay is one of them.

13 Reasons Why is an excellent novel. It's a very disheartening story that conveys how much words and actions can affect people, no matter how seemingly insignificant and meaningless the actions may be. Jay Asher's novel, which is written exceptionally, is very haunting, somber, yet interesting and thought provoking.

I would definitely recommend 13 Reasons Why to teens. A myriad of kids these days suffer and witness bullying. Many would be able to relate with the adversities Hannah Baker faced. This story inspires people to act instead of be bystanders because doing nothing also has grave consequences. Although the story is very tragic, it leaves a positive impact on ones life.

CJ, 17

Rating: 

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The Virgin Suicides 

by Jeffrey Eugenides
06/18/2013 Categories: older teens sex suicide

virgin suicidesThe Virgins Suicides is an eerie yet intriguing tale about 5 beautiful sisters who one night decided to kill themselves. The story is told from the perspective of a group of teenage boys who are infatuated with the girls.

The Virgin Suicides is a fantastic book. It is very unique and intriguing. The reader finds themselves as drawn to the girls' lives as the teenage narrators. Eugenides's technique of telling the haunting story of the girls is very masterful. There isn't a part of the novel that readers will find monotonous at all. From the first page to the last, the reader is captivated.

I would recommend the novel to more mature teens. It deals with a very serious subject and it also has some sex and violence. I believe they would enjoy the book because it is written exceptionally and the story is incredibly mysterious and compelling.

CJ, 17

Rating: 

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Lock and Key 

by Sarah Dressen

Lock and KeyRuby, 17 and abandoned by her mother, is forced to live with her estranged older sister. Ruby is having trouble adjusting to living with her sister, in a mansion, and going to a private school. When she meets Nate, a handsome, popular, sweet, basically her polar opposite, she immediately finds him repulsive. Things change, however, when Ruby learns of Nate's secret.

The book is pretty great. It seems quite realistic therefore many would be able to understand both Ruby and Nate's situations. There are some nifty crossovers from Sarah Dessen's other books that may interest some readers.

I'd recommend this to anyone who wants a solid story. It's enjoyable and hits some heartstrings too. The characters are also very relatable and interesting which will sure draw in some readers.

4 stars

CJ, 17

Rating: 

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Speak 

by Laurie Halse Anderson
06/18/2013 Categories: high school drama rape realistic fiction

SpeakMelinda Sordino's freshmen year stages her as an outcast, friendless girl. Her action of calling the police at an end-of-summer party has left her speechless and unwilling to participate in activities. However, through Merlinda's art class, she gradually reveals that a senior abused her during the party, and that senior is still in school...

Speak is a fantastically strong book for multiple reasons. The author did an amazing job describing the surroundings through Merlinda's narration- it made me feel that I was actually with her. Melinda is a girl that is easy to relate to, and the topic is presented in a very smooth manner- not too dark, not too light.

If anyone wants a relatively short read with a big message, Speak is the one to consider. Personally though, I believe this is a book that all teens should read.

Jakob, 15

Rating: 

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The Body Finder 

by Kimberly Derting
06/18/2013 Categories: murder romance serial killer suspense

Body finderThis book details the life of teenager Violet Ambrose, who has had a gift- an ability to sense the bodies of the dead, ever since she was a child. When a serial killer begins to terrorize the town she lives in, Violet has to put this gift to use, while at the same time falling in love with her best friend Jay, and coping with the challenges high school presents.

I really liked this book. The Body Finder is a novel full of both romance and suspense, but they fit well together and enhanced the book. The novel went by at just the right place, and the characters were generally pretty believable. Interestingly, it tells the perspective of not only Violet, but the serial killer as well. The author wrote in a way that made you feel the emotion in the book.

I highly recommend this book for its outstanding writing. Those wanting a solid suspenseful love story will be pleased with The Body Finder. Once you pick it up, it's hard to put down.

Jakob, 15

Rating: 

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The Fault in Our Stars 

by John Greene

Fault in our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars tells the story of Hazel, a teenager living with Thyroid cancer. She has accepted her illness and is content with everything. However, her life is given a spark when she meets Augustus, a teenager who beat cancer. John Green's novel is a romantic and humorous story that leaves readers laughing and crying.

The book is absolutely amazing. It is funny, romantic, and realistic. It doesn't fall into the Manic Pixie Dream Trope that is unfortunately in a lot of young adult novels. The story isn't a cliche story of someone with an illness and it's also not a cliche romantic story. It's very unique. I would definitely recommend this novel to everyone who's interested. It's a very pleasurable book that you can read in a couple hours. The characters, the story, and the message make it a page turner.

CJ, 17

Rating: 

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Nine Lives of Chloe King 

by Tracy Lynn
06/05/2013 Categories: afterlife animals fantasy paranormal suspense

Nine Lives

The Nine Lives of Chloe King follows teenager Chloe King as she experiences weird changes upon her sixteen birthday. She learns that her biological family belongs to a race of cat-like people called the Mai. The book follows Chloe as she discovers more about her past and has to make hard decisions about her future.

I like the book a lot, it was an easy read and only took about a week to read. The story line was really interesting and I found myself getting attached to these characters as the story progressed.

Yes, I would recommend this book to someone else because the story was really fascinating and the characters were too. Especially to those who watched the TV show because you will find that the book is much better and it also provides a different look at Chloe's life.

Daisy, 17

Rating: 

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Cross My Heart, Hope to Die 

by Sara Shepard
06/05/2013 Categories: detective stories murder mystery siblings

Cross my heartThe book continues to follow Emma Paxton as she tries to find her twin's murderer. But things seem to become more complicated as the twin's birth mother shows up in Tucson, and  recognizes Emma as her self, and not Sutton who she is still pretending to be. Throughout the book Emma tries to clear her mother's name because she appears to be a top suspect of Sutton's murder.

Yes, I really enjoyed reading this book, it was full of mystery and dangerous situations. The same old lovable characters continue to appear, and they are faced with even more dangerous situations than in the previous books. Overall the mysterious element of the book continues and you are always kept at the edge of your seat.

Yes, I would very much recommend this book to others, because it is a thrilling mystery novel that keeps the reader thinking. I would especially recommend it to those who are fans of Sara Shepard's previous novels, and to those who enjoy reading mystery novels. 

Daisy, 17

Rating: 

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