Escondido Public Library

 

A Dance of Sisters

by Tracey Porter

Dance of Sisters coverA Dance of Sisters is about a young aspiring ballerina who has to find her way in order to cope with her sister's wild streak, her ballet instructor's constant remarks that she's not good enough, and the teenage feeling of abandonment.

Tracey Porter's novel really portrays what a teenage girl with a desire to conquer something will do. I liked it for its realism and how the author was very upfront about harsh topics like anorexia.

I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in dance or who enjoys stories with lots of different side plots.

Tabitha, 14

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Mr. Monk is a Mess

by Lee Goldberg

Monk coverThis book is about the further adventures of Mr. Monk after the T.V. series ended. He and his assistant Natalie help Monk's brother Ambrose to find his missing girlfriend. With the help of some old friends and a few new ones, Mr. Monk solves the case.

If you haven't seen the T.V. series, you might not think anything is wrong with this book. But if you have, then you will notice that while it is a good attempt to put Monk on paper, it just can't be done. There was a sense of falseness about the story, and it didn't feel quite right.

If you've read all the books in your house, feel like a crime/mystery story, and have never watched Monk the show, then maybe you can consider this book. But otherwise, go find something better to read.

Brian, 15

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Mathilda Savitch

by Victor Lodato

Mathilda Savitch coverMathilda Savitch is a story about the troubling time Mathilda goes through after her sister's death. Mathilda sees the world in a different light; she vies for attention, especially her mother's, and the only way to get that attention is by becoming bad. And yet, Mathilda is still trying to find her place in the world; she, like any other teen, is trying to discover who she really is. But she's also going on another quest: to find the guy who pushed her sister in front of the train. As she rummages through her sister's things, she uncovers secrets that her sister has always kept hidden, but that's not the only thing she uncovers: she discovers the truth about herself and the world.

This book was amazing despite some issues with language and a bit of content. The ideas and thoughts explored are ones that plague people today and Lodato does a great job bringing them to the forefront. It really gets you wondering about issues that many times we try to ignore.

I would recommend this book to anyone who find him or herself wondering about the mystery of life. Anyone who likes to wonder and who likes to feel and get his or her heartstrings pulled would love this book, although as a warning there is some very foul language and mature content.

Jana, 16

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Instructions for a Broken Heart

by Kim Culbertson

Instructions coverThis book is about how a performing arts high school student named Jessa weaves her way through a trip to Italy with some unsavory people, unexpected interfering from an America-based friend, and a lot on her mind.

Instructions for a Broken Heart is quite the page turner, because it really signifies how high school students sometimes get caught up in everything around them, yet miss what's right in front of them. Also, aside from that; it's very realistic.

If you enjoy stories with twists and the occasional bit of revenge, I'd definitely recommend it. People who like to explore situations and experiences through books would find a great plot here in Instructions for a Broken Heart.

Tabitha, 14

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Insurgent

by Veronica Roth

Insurgent coverIn the continuation of Divergent, Insurgent follows the adventures of Tris and Four as they escape from the Erudite faction and the Dauntless who have betrayed them. They attempt to hide in Amity, but even the peacemakers can't shield them from the power of their enemies--so they turn for help in the most unexpected places and meet familiar faces.

I loved Insurgent! Although it focused more on Tris and Four's relationship than I would have liked, Insurgent was definitely not a letdown from its groundbreaking predecessor.

Anyone who enjoys the dystopian genre, loves Hunger Games (or anything similar), and is in for fast-paced excitement and a bit of romance would love this book.

Erica, 16

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Outlaw

by Stephen Davies

Outlaw coverIn Outlaw, Jake Knight, the son of the British ambassador, is suspended from his boarding school because his adventurous nature has once again gotten him in trouble. Jake ends up joining his parents in Burkina Faso. He's overjoyed because now, in Africa, he can have the adventure he has always wanted. But Jake never wanted to be kidnapped. In the middle of a banquet, Jake and Kas, his younger sister, are kidnapped by a man with a spiderweb tattoo. They are told that this man is Yakuuba Sor, the most wanted outlaw in the Sahara desert. But as Jake and Kas try to escape, as they rush to get home, they learn that not everything is what it seems and that a modern Robin Hood may actually exist in this world.

Outlaw is an amazing book filled with adventure from the start. Every chapter is filled with some surprise, some sudden event that was never expected. More than anything, Outlaw shows that nothing is impossible and that if you put your mind to it, you can do anything and everything. And it clearly shows that bigger is not always better; in fact, cunning is always better than force. It gives you hope and shows you that even you can make a difference in this world.

I would recommend this book to readers who love a good adventure story that keeps them hooked from the start. If you like James Bond, action, and a little bit of humor than Outlaw is the book for you.

Jana, 16

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That Wedding

by Jillian Dodd

Image resultThat Wedding is the sequel to That Boy and was honestly just as fun to read! I absolutely loved reading about JJ plan her dream wedding and have a fun time! She did go through some hard times but just as before her best friend helped her through!

This book was so good about really explaining the wedding planning with precise detail so everyone would know what everything was!

I would most definitely recommend this book to others because, if you read the That Boy, you are going to want to know how her wedding turns out! I hope that Mrs. Dodd will come out with a third book!

Chanel, 13

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That Boy

by Jillian Dodd

Image result for that boyThat Boy follows the life of JJ Reynolds and her relationship (BFFs) with Phillip and Danny. One of them will kiss her, one will  make-out with her, one will ask her to prom, and eventually, one will ask her to marry him! 

I loved this book! It's is a fun and lively story that had me hooked from the first page! I read it in one day, and the sequel had the same affect on me!

I would definitely recommend this book to others who love romance as much as I do! It was a very fun book, and I hope everyone loves it as much as I do!

Chanel, 13

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Clueless Girl's Guide to Being a Genius

by Janice Repka

Clueless coverA Clueless Girl's Guide to Being a Genius is about two different girls and how they teach other lessons that the other did not know about. One is a genius, while the other is a fashionista. It is all about their lives when they meet each other and became friends. 

This is a cute, easy-to-read book that wasn't at all hard to understand so reading it was fun and enjoyable.

I would recommend this book to those who want to just sit back and read a fun and short book!

Chanel, 13

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The Fox Inheritance

by Mary Pearson

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

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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

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The Demon's Lexicon

by Sarah Rees Brennan

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

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Ashes

by Ilsa Bick

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

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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

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If I Grow Up

by Todd Strasser

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

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