Escondido Public Library

 

Girl with a Pearl Earring

by Tracey Chevalier

Girl with a Pearl Earring coverThe novel ,Girl with a Pearl Earring is actually inspired and was named after a real painting. The novel is based on a servant girl, Griet, who becomes an assistant to a painter, Johannes Vermeer, whom she greatly admires and secretly loves.

Girl with a Pearl Earring is a stellar novel that takes the reader into the world of art and its amazing history. Griet behaves and looks like a shy and modest girl but, when threatened and severely angered, she can become a fierce animal. This novel proves that you should not judge a book by its cover. 

I hghly recommend this book to others because even though you might not be into art history, you will love it after you read this book. The author, Tracey Chevalier, makes art history fun and interesting. So, If you like books that not only contain romance, but are also educational, read this book!

Lauren, 16

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The Iron Thorn

by Caitlin Kittredge

Iron Thorn coverAoife has an unfortunate history: her mother is crazy and locked in an asylum, and her brother, who contracted the deadly Necrovirus that runs in the family, ran away from his asylum and is now a convict. Now, as she nears her 16th birthday, a note from her elusive brother appears with the words "Find the witch's alphabet. Save yourself". Deciding to run away from her life at a steampunk engineering academy, Aoife embarks on a journey that will save her from the Necrovirus that will soon rip her of her sanity.

To me, The Iron Thorn was an average book. It dwelled a lot on the witchcraft factor that kind of took away from the entire "steampunk" genre, which is supposed to be relating to Victorian futuristic machinery and engineering. If I had to say, this book was a mix of "Faerie" fantasy, steampunk, some romance, and a dash of horror too.

If you enjoy steampunk, magic, or darker books, you would like this one. If you're kind of squeamish, stay away! And by all means, do not read at night alone like I did!

Erica, 16

Rating: 

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The Time Traveler's Wife

by Audrey Niffenegger

Time Traveler's Wife coverThis book is about a wife whose beloved is a time traveler, and she must endure every obstacle to maintain and strengthen their love. This book shows how two people, Clare and Henry, that have completely different lives can still love and hold a strong bond.

This novel will reach your heart and reveal hardships of a romantic couple. Time Traveler's Wife will show the reader how through time, all secrets will suddenly be revealed. It is overall an amazing book that will captivate the reader's attention from the first page.  

I recommend this book to teens above fourteen, because the book does contain many intense scenes not suitable for young readers. If you like romantic books with a hint of action and mystery, this book is the one for you!

Lauren, 16

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Night of Many Dreams

by Gail Tsukiyama

Image result for night of many dreamsNight of Many Dreams is centered around the lives of Hong Kong's socially elite Lew family. The novel focuses on the two daughters of the Lew family, Emma and Joan. We follow them as they evacuate Hong Kong in the face of a Japanese invasion. No matter the situation the Lew family always endures together.

I really liked this book because it's different than other novels about socialites. The women of the Lew family weren't just pretty, rich girls that got whatever they wanted. They had emotional depth, and were therefore more realistic.

I would recommend this book to others who enjoy historical fiction, particularly focusing on WWII. I also think that people who enjoy books focused on the bonds of a family would enjoy this, but I do warn that this book isn't sappy or sweet at all. It's more about tragedy and hardship, and the Lew family's endurance in the face of those obstacles. 

Gillyn, 15

Rating: 

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The Lab

by Jack Heath

The Lab coverAgent Six of Hearts is the best and youngest field agent in the vigilante force, The Deck, fighting against the evil government ChaoSonic that has corrupted the continent. The world is filled with an impenetrable fog, creating pollution and sickness--it's a miracle if one can live to 60. As an old enemy that was supposed to be crushed rises up once again, it's up to Six to stop them from creating a weapon of mass destruction that will allow ChaoSonic to gain complete control of not only their continent, but the world.

I loved this book for the action scenes. What's more exciting than a teenage spy in a dystopian world? Heath caught me by surprise in many of the twists and turns in this book, and every character is both memorable and likeable.

Anyone who likes the Alex Rider series (spies) or even the Hunger Games (dystopia) would enjoy this book.

Erica, 16

Rating: 

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Beauty Queens

by Libba Bray

Beauty Queens coverThe contestants for Miss Teen Dream, from Miss California to Miss Maine, are on a plane, heading to their destination when something unthinkable happens: their plane crash-lands on an unidentified island, out in the middle of nowhere. With the airplane crew, camera crew, and many of the pageant queens dead, the remaining must figure out a way to get rescued, and most importantly, survive.

This book touched on a lot of controversial aspects that I didn't support, but it did really make me realize how superficial and materialistic our society is. The way the characters reacted to things was also quite unrealistic, but there were some good aspects of the book as well. (I felt like it was an interesting portrayal of a modern "Lord of the Flies".) 

Only high schoolers should read this, definitely no one younger than 15. There are some topics discussed in this book that a lot of teenagers face that are more appropriate for older teens' eyes.

Erica, 16

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Vesper

by Jeff Sampson

Vesper coverEmily Webb doesn't fit in anywhere. She doesn't talk much, is best friends with the most sarcastic girl in school, wears sweatshirts every day, and watches movies as her daily diet. Suddenly, strange things begin to happen to her: starting with the night her classmate, Emily Cooke, is murdered. That same night, she is hit by a spur-of-the-moment urge to sneak out her window, only to look down and realize just a few moments before, her personality turned into someone (or something) completely different. Confused and scared, Emily realizes that there's something different about her that separates her from possibly humanity itself, and that someone is out to get her. 

I would give this a 3.5 if I could, mainly because although the plot was confusing, I couldn't put this book down and immediately scoured through the sequel afterwards. Firstly, the thing that bugged me the most was how exactly Emily came to the conclusion that she was (SPOILER ALERT) a werewolf. Maybe I missed something, but I genuinely thought she had some sort of Jekyll and Hyde syndrome until she, well, sprouted fur. Despite my confusion, however, there is something about this book that wouldn't let me put it down. Maybe it was the plot action, or the interesting book setup. 

This 'drive' to gallop through the book is what I think has made a lot of books (such as Twilight and The Hunger Games) famous. I think that this itself warrants at least a peek at the first couple of chapters, so werewolf-lovers, make sure to pick up a copy the next time you stop by at the library!

Erica, 16

Rating: 

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Havoc

by Jeff Sampson

Havoc coverEmily Webb, human-werewolf hybrid, is back in action: this time along with Spencer and some new cohorts--and enemies. As she uncovers more of her mysterious past, and how she and the others became werewolves in the first place, Emily realizes how dangerous the path the teens tread can be.

The best part of the book was, in my opinion, the addition of more Deviants. Dalton, who recently recovered from his head injury, is back in the game and excited to test out his new abilities. However, what pained me the most was the escapades the group shared, such as breaking into a secret lab and whatnot without much difficulty. I felt like the events portrayed in the book were unrealistic as a whole, yet somehow the naivety of the Deviants were fitting--after all, they're only teenagers.

Again, with the massive cliffhanger at the end of the sequel, I am eagerly anticipating the third installment of Vesper. If you like werewolves (or simply teens who can kick butt), check out this book the next time you drop by at the library!

Erica, 16

Rating: 

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Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

Lord of the Flies coverLord of the Flies is about a plane of boys that crash onto an island and try to survive. They first start out by having a leader, but slowly they start to go insane.

I liked the book, but it was a little hard to read because of the advanced vocabulary. It was definitely psychological and dealt with a lot of hidden meanings in sentences that made you have to go back and read it again. 

I would recommend this book if you like adventurous settings. Also keep in mind this book is a challenge, and I would say that children twelve and older could read this.

Audrey, 14

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Witch and Wizard

by James Patterson

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

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Mockingjay

by Suzanne Collins

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

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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

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Angel Burn

by L.A. Weatherly

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

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

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Heist Society

by Ally Carter

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

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