Escondido Public Library

 

Emma

by Jane Austen

This book takes place in early 1800's England in a small village named Highbury and follows the story of Emma, a cunning and well-mannered girl. Emma is very clever, and uses this skill to her advantage in order to pair couples together. Ultimately, Emma's mischievous hijinks result in many awkward situations between her and her friend Harriet, whom she tries to match with men of noble birth.

Emma is a fantastic book. However, the beginning is a bit slow and it took me a while to get into it. Near the middle of the story, I couldn't put the book down because it was so interesting. I really enjoyed this book because it takes dozens of unexpected turns and is quite comical at times.

I would definitely recommend this book to others. Although the story starts off slow, I encourage you to keep reading it because it grows increasingly more interesting and fun. For those that like classic literature and other Jane Austen novels, this book is perfect!

Bethany, 15

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Daughter of Fortune

by Isabel Allende

This novel describes the journey of the Chilean-born Eliza Sommers, to California during the gold rush in search of her lover. With the help of her friend, Tao Chi'en, a Chinese doctor, Eliza establishes herself in California and begins to look for her former flame. Her adventure, however, brings her a newfound sense of freedom and her search for her lover evolves into a different kind of journey.

I really liked Daughter of Fortune because it is very descriptive and gives a lot of insight to what life what really like during the California Gold Rush. It also describes the story of Eliza's self-discovery, which I thoroughly enjoyed. This novel, overall, was a very good book due to its thorough description of the characters and the message that it teaches the readers.

I would highly recommend this book to others because of its passionate, yet adventurous plotline and the important lesson that it preaches. This books is perfect for those that enjoy historical fiction.

Bethany, 15

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The Apothecary

by Maile Meloy

It's 1952 and Janie Scott moved to London from Los Angeles, California. At school, Jane meets Benjamin, the mysterious son of an apothecary. When the apothecary goes missing, Benjamin and Janie must uncover the secrets of the apothecary's Pharmacopoeia, all the while keeping the ancient book out of the hands of his enemies. With the help of the book, Janie and Benjamin discover new potions and spells and embark on a race against time in order to save the world from their enemies, the Russians.

The Apothecary was a good novel. I liked it because it put a magical spin on the seriousness of the Cold War. The adventurous storyline also kept me on the edge of my seat.

I would recommend this book to others because of its adventurous, yet has a serious plot. This book is perfect for those that enjoy fantasy, magic, and history.

Maile, 15

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Diary of Anne Frank

by Anne Frank

One word. Wow. This book caused me to read it like, five times before understanding it, and taking it in. The timeline that Anne Frank wrote it in could still strike terror in people's hearts

I would explain it as a truly inspiring book. This book will make you get a new perspective on our history, and our future.

EVERYONE should read this fantastic diary-written book written by a young girl. If you haven't heard about it, you should definitely read it.!

Priscilla, 12

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The Miniaturist

by Jessie Butron

The Miniaturist takes place in 1600's Amsterdam and describes the story of Nella Oortman. Nella, at eighteen years old, marries a distant, yet wealthy merchant trader named Johannes. Johannes gifts Nella a miniature replica of their home. To fully complete the small house, Nella enlists the help of a local miniaturist. However, the miniaturist continues to send Nella packages of figurines that mimic the family and their secrets in sinister ways. The miniaturist, it seems, is the only person to see the oncoming hazards and the perilous fate of the family.

This book was very enjoyable and I liked it very much. It perfectly reflected the sorrow and mystery that life can bring. The author perfectly captured the sullen mood of the story.

I would definitely recommend The Miniaturist to others, especially those that enjoy historical fiction. I encourage others to read it because of its raw emotion and tumultuous plot line.

Bethany, 15

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Code Name Verity

by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity is about two British best friends that crash in Nazi-occupied France in World War II. One of the girls is imprisoned by the Gestapo, where she is tortured into releasing British secrets and information-only it is not what one would expect. The story follows both of the girls' backgrounds and struggles for survival during the tumultuous and dangerous war.

I like this book because it gives insight to what the Prisoners of War of the time endured and the inner-workings of the war effort. It touches on many different topics, such as the behind-the-scenes of the British Royal Air Force and the adversity that women faced in the work force. The plot line is also very emotional and takes many unexpected, yet thrilling turns.

I would recommend this book to others because it will always keep you on your toes. People that enjoy history or action would love Code Name Verity.

Bethany, 15

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Althea and Oliver

by Cristina Moracho

Althea and Oliver is a story about two best friends, one with a serious illness that causes him to sleep for weeks or months at a time, and the other that can't help falling in love with the other. Due to his illness, Oliver leaves for New York from their sleepy little town for a clinical study. Althea and Oliver go months without seeing each other, until Althea runs away from home and drives to New York to see him.

I didn't like this book because the plot was unrealistic and weird. I also couldn't relate to any of the characters, which made it harder to enjoy the book.

I wouldn't recommend this book to others because the story line is so impractical. I would only encourage you to read this book if you had absolutely nothing else to read.

Bethany, 15

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Wintersong

by S. Jae-Jones

Image result for S. Jae-Jones wintersong

Wintersong is about this girl named Liesl. But the Goblin King only knows her by her other name which is Elisabeth. This story is a bit of a coming-of-age story. It has the heat of passion burning in this story.

It was average. She sacrifices herself to save her sisters life, and is trapped in the Underground until she passes away. She is kept with the Goblin King unless he decides to free her into the human world.

I would recommend this book to those who like the feeling of the flames of passion and music, and those who enjoy a simple 'once upon a time' story written for teens.

Priscilla, 12

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And Then There Were None

by Agatha Christie

Image result for and then there were none

This suspenseful book is mainly about ten different people who each gets a letter from the mysterious Rogers, a couple who bought a house on Solider Island. When they arrive, they can't escape. . .

It was a fairly pleasant book. The author, Agatha Christie, is known as the Queen of Mystery. And Then There Were None is a murder and mystery story that grips your fingers on the edge of your seat. And in the end, the murderer reveals himself, explaining why he did what he did.

I would highly recommend this book to people who have a passion for mystery, and those who like the feeling of being freaked. With an old nursery rhyme counting down one by one. . . One by one, the guests begin to die.

Priscilla, 12

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Les Miserables

by Victor Hugo

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

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Scarlet

by Marissa Meyer

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

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The Lost World

by Michael Crichton

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

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The Light of Paris

by Eleanor Brown

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

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Journey to Munich

by Jacqeline Winspear

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

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The Great Gatsby

by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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

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