Escondido Public Library

 

Brisingr

by Christopher Paolini

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

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Of Mice and Men

by John Steinbeck

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

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

by E.L. Konigsburg

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

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Twilight

by Stephenie Meyer

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

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Hunger Games

by Suzanne Collins

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

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Anna and the French Kiss

by Stephanie Perkins

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

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City of Bones

by Cassandra Clare

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

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Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy

by Ally Carter

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

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Infinity

by Sherrilyn Kenyon

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

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The Night Circus

by Erin Morgenstern

Night Circus coverThe Night Circus is always a sight to behold, a legend weaving through the darkness, a surprise that awaits when one opens their eyes in the morning. As its name suggests, it only opens at night, and enthralls its visitors into a land of fantasy, wonder, and excitement. Then, the next day, it's gone, a legend once more. However, there's trouble brewing within the mysterious circus...here is another unconventional tale of boy meets girl.

The Night Circus was a really interesting book, for the reason that I've never read anything like it before. However, this also has some negative aspects to it: I didn't understand much of what was going on a lot of the time. Not only that, but the ending just struck me as unnatural and forced.

Despite its flaws, The Night Circus is a good book to read. Anyone, boy or girl, will enjoy this book. I would suggest this to 6th graders and up.

Erica, 16

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Cinder

by Marissa Meyer

Cinder coverIn New Beijing, cyborgs and humans live together, not peacefully, but still together. Cinder, a cyborg, is one of New Beijing's finest mechanics. However when her life becomes intertwined with Prince Kai, her world turns upside-down. She must let Prince Kai think of her as a human or she will be punished. She is also the only person immune to the deadly disease that is spreading fast. Soon, New Beijing will count on her to save them from all dying out.

Cinder is similar to Cinderella, but with a new age twist. I like the similarity between both stories, but I also like the huge difference in them. I would recommend Cinder to anyone who needs a refreshing new story of one of the oldest tales in history.

Aleck, 14

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Queen of Hearts

by Martha Brooks

Queen of Hearts coverSet during World War II, Marie-Claire is horrified to discover that she--and her two siblings--have caught the worst disease of them all: tuberculosis. As she struggles through her ups and downs, she meets a boy who shows her that there is hope.

Here starts your atypical tale of boy meets girl. It was interesting to see a love story enfold in, of all places, a sanatorium between two patients--for this originality, I gave the book three stars but was unable to wholly enjoy it because the main character (Marie-Claire) was, put simply, annoying. Although this just makes her more "normal", many of her actions throughout the book irritated me to no end.

If you like some history or unconventional (and subtle) romance, this book is for you. Anyone above 8th grade should find this an enjoyable read.

Erica, 16

Rating: 

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New Moon

by Stephenie Meyer

New Moon coverBella Swan is living the dream with her boyfriend Edward Cullen and his whole family, when suddenly he leaves saying that he cannot be with her. Months later, awaking from her trance, Bella starts to come alive again with her best friend, Jacob Black. He starts to help her by piecing together her broken heart. She soon learns of his heritage and finds that there is more than one mystical creature in the universe.

New Moon is very heart breaking, however, I liked it. I liked how Bella's best friend was always there for her. You can always count on your best friend to be there for you.

If you can handle sad beginnings and happy endings, you would love New Moon. However, be warned that this book is an emotional rollercoaster.

Aleck, 14

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Night

by Elie Wiesel

Night coverFollow Eliezer as he takes you on his frighteningly vivid journey as a victim of the Holocaust, through the thick and thin of one of the most notorious concentration camps, Auschwitz.

As it documents Elie's story (though some parts are inaccurate to his personal experience for several reasons), Night is obviously a sad book with a bittersweet ending. However, the story itself was portrayed so vividly and wonderfully that I can't help but give it full marks.

Anyone who has a taste for history and doesn't mind a sorrowful book will enjoy this, though high schoolers will get the most out of this text. Be warned that some of the horrible things that happened during the Holocaust will be described to a degree.

Erica, 16

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Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

A band of boys get stranded on an island, away from society and everything they've ever believed in. As they stray further and further away from humanity's notion of "justice" and "law", what will save the boys in the end? If they ever get rescued, that is.

Lord of the Flies is a classic book that's pretty unconventional. It is chock-full of meaning and depth and because of that, I give it four stars. It lacks one star because I was pretty upset with the ending, but I believe that the ending makes the book THE BOOK.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who would like to challenge themselves. Most kids read this as a required book in high school, which is where I suggest you start, but if you're younger and like to really read in between the lines, go for it! Be careful though, some aspects of the book are gory and the entire story is dark as a whole.

Erica, 16

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