Briarcliff Manor Public Library, One Library Road, Briarcliff Manor, New York, 914-941-7072
TEEN BOOK REVIEWS
Note the numbers after each author are a rating of the book. 10 is the highest rating.


Halfway Normal by 10 by Barbara Dee
All Norah Levy wants is to be a normal, regular, average 7th grade girl. But she can't seem to be that since she came back to school from having leukemia cancer this year. Instead of all the normal stuff it was before the cancer, everyone is acting so weirdly. One of her best friends, Silas, is completely ignoring her and instead spends all his time following around Kylie, a girl who Norah is not a big fan of. Everyone is acting like she is so fragile in school with everyone staying away from her and her teachers always telling her how she can go to the nurse whenever she wants, giving her so much unwanted attention. Her parents seem to be fighting over her, and testing which "side" she is on since their divorce, and it seems like they are so overreacting and sensitive- No afterschool programs, no riding on the bus, no weekend socializing, no going over to people's houses, and so many other rules that don't make Norah feel "normal". To add on top of that, she is worried about her appearance. She thinks her hair is too short, she thinks she looks like a malnourished 8 year old, and on more than one occasion, people have called her a boy! She has her best friend Harper, but Harper doesn't seem to understand, and Norah really doesn't want to explain or talk about her cancer. And something else begins as well when she starts out in an 8th grade math class because she is ahead- she meets a new boy, who she begins to like. But she doesn't want to tell him about her cancer, because then she thinks he'll treat her like a "cancer girl" and not like a normal one. Norah just wants to have freedom and have a regular life again, but wherever she looks she can't find it. Halfway Normal is a wonderful book and a twist on the average story of a life with cancer, not the afterwards, and shows how a 7th grade girl navigates her new, strange life. Definitely a 10/10!


Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (good, but not super hooking)
Little Women was a wonderful book about the lives of four young women, all very different but all loving sisters. The oldest, Meg, is a respectable 16 year old and dreams of having a life of riches and everything fancy, unlike her life now. The second oldest, 15 year old Jo could be described as wild and "rude and unladylike" as Amy would call her, but is very intelligent and kind on the inside. At 13, Beth is a very shy, timid, but incredibly sweet girl who always makes everyone feel better. Lastly, 12 year old Amy is an artistic and respectful girl, and loves beauty, especially in herself. These four girls start out one way, and end with completely different characteristics, lives, and dreams. Throughout the story, they grow in amazing ways and encounter both happy and sad events. The girls encounter boys, jobs, illness, school, friends, music, writing, travels, celebration, sorrow, joy, and more, but in the end they end up completely different, but wonderful women.


We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly- 8
We Dream of Space is shared by 3 stories- siblings including 13 year old Cash, and 12 year old twins Bird and Fitch. They are all experiencing a tough time in their lives and don't know what to do because their family isn't a very close family. Their parents are always arguing, the family never sits together at the dinner table, and it seems like they aren't really close with each other. Cash is in danger of failing 7th grade a second time, which means he would be in a grade lower than his younger siblings. He also doesn't know what he's good at- he got taken off the basketball team, when he tried to jump he broke his wrist, he wasn't good at school, and he wasn't good at love either. When he asked the girl he liked to sign his cast, she wrote, "Penny loves Charlie" on it. Fitch has his own problems too. He has trouble controlling his anger, and often is mean to others because he can't control it. Lastly, Bird is really smart, but everyone says that that's her "thing". The most popular girl in her grade says that being pretty isn't her "thing", being smart is. Bird loves engineering, but she especially loves anything to do with space. She dreams of being the first female shuttle pilot, and she's very excited about the Challenger launch that will come soon. This book takes place in 1983 when the Challenger launch took place, but it shows the lives that present day people might experience.


The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks E. Lockhart 6
Frankie (who is a girl) pranks the school by going undercover and leading the secret all boys society.


American Sphinx: The character of Thomas Jefferson Joseph J.Ellis 9
I was very fond of this book. I was taught all of Thomas Jefferson, his life, his successes, companions, family, what he did with his political powers, etc. I feel as if I learned so much more about Thomas Jefferson through this very descriptive novel. My favorite portions of the book was towards the end. Learning about his final stages and his last wishes. I lastly liked the Notes part in the back that gave a better explanation through certain parts in the novel. Overall loved this book!


The Living Matt De La Peña 8
This book was amazing! The book was based through Sky a teenager who works during the summer to make some extra money for his mother. He takes up a job working a luxury cruise. Were everything goes bad. A massive earthquake strikes and he’s caught in the middle with another person. A rich girl named Addison. And they are stuck and have to find their way back home. With both of their intense personalities and differences made the story work. I thought the whole plot of the book was fantastic and creative. I loved the book and would recommend it to anybody who craves a good adventure book.


Emma Jane Austen 7
This book was pretty amazing. The book was circled around Emma her friend and Ms. Harriet and Mr. Knightley. To be honest I didn’t love the start of Emma’s character development as she was so nosy and put her self and others situations and business. But later on in the novel we get a better understanding of Emma’s a actions and choices; which cause her to become a better character. And she devolved into a great character. The book was overall great and I would recommend, the plot was also great, different, and fantastic.


Crooked Kingdom Leigh Bardugo 8
Crooked Kingdom, the sequel to Six of Crows, was another great book. The payback heist/long-con format of the book made it incredibly interesting and very entertaining. Overall, these two books were very good.


Six of Crows Leigh Bardugo 9
Six of Crows, the first book in a duology set in the Grishaverse, was very entertaining. It is set in the form of a heist but deviated from the common tropes of the genre which made for a face-paced and action-packed book.


Star Crossed by Barbara Dee- 10
8th grader Matilda "Mattie" Monaghan has always liked the boy Elijah, but she doesn't know why. When asked, she says, "I guess I like Elijah's eyebrows. And the way he laughs." But then that all changes at a party. When she goes to a Halloween party and meets Gemma, a pretty girl from England, she feels a strong desire to know her. Even when she signs up to be in the play, Romeo and Juliet, she still is feeling attached to Gemma. Her life is filled with play practice, school, and people, but also her feelings. She wonders if it's ok to like both boys and girls, and how to express her feelings instead of spending lots of her time being "spacey" and in her own separate world. She has also started becoming secretive from her best friends Lucy and Tessa, and her friendships with them aren't the same. Throughout this book Mattie learns about many things, but mostly she learns about herself and how to be true to yourself.


Everything I Know About You by Barbara Dee- 10
Tally has always had her own, perfectly fine, life. She has a good family, close friends Sonnet and Spider, and is great in school, especially math. But when her 7th grade goes on a 3 day/4 night field trip to Washington DC, her entire life changes. She gets roomed with "clonegirl" enemy Ava Seeley, Sonnet gets roomed with another "clonegirl" Haley, who teased and made fun of her last year, and Spider gets roomed with Marco, a boy who bullied him. Ms. Jordan's idea of the roommates was to unify the grade, but Tally does not at all think that will work. However, this begins to change when Sonnet begins hanging out with Haley and her friends and Spider becomes friends with Marco. But no matter what happens, Tally always ends up seeming like the enemy. When Tally notices that Ava hasn't been eating, keeps a mysterious notebook filled with random numbers, and exercises in all her free time, she starts to worry about Ava. Ava is very unhealthy and is extremely underweight, and Tally feels like something should be done with it, but Ava bans her from telling anyone or else she will send out an embarrassing picture of Tally. Tally learns a lot in this book, but one of the most important lessons she learned was how to be a friend.


Just Another Day In My Insanely Real Life by Barbara Dee- 6
Cassie's life used to be normal- Living in a house, having a dog, not worrying about money, having friends, and having 2 parents. But since her dad has been "out of the picture" as her mom calls it, her life has changed. She now lives in a small, ratty "unit", has to do half the cooking, shop for groceries, take care of her first grader brother Jackson, find out where to sit at lunch when you have no friends, not do any of the things they did when they had enough money, and she still has to keep up with her schoolwork, particularly Mr. Mullany's English class. Her life is insane, but she needs to find a way to work it all out. I gave this book a 6 because it definitely wasn't as good as the rest of Barbara Dee's books, but it still was pretty good.


Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park- 7
Since her mother has died, Hanna has been moving all around. But when her father and her find a place to live, Hanna insists on going to school. It might seem normal that Hanna would go to school, but in her day of 1880 in the west, she would be the only Chinese girl, which many people don't like. Everyone wants it all to be white people, but everyone should have a fair opportunity at everything. She thinks of herself as "half-half" because of her white father and Chinese mother, but on the inside she can be whatever she wants to be. Throughout the book she finds out what she can really be, even her dream job of a dressmaker, if she believes in herself.


What Happened To Goodbye by Sarah Dessen- 10
Mclean Sweet has had many names in the past 2 years, but she has never felt like herself. She's been Eliza, Lizbet, Beth, and Liz, each with their own identity, but when she becomes Mclean again, she doesn't know who she is. She's been moving all over with her dad (who fixes up restaurants) because her mom married Peter Hamilton, a famous basketball coach. When she meets new friends including Dave, Deb, Heather, Riley, Ellis, and everyone who works in the restaurant, she starts to learn who she really is. Her mom is constantly calling her asking to spend time with her and have time together, but Mclean is too mad with her mom still. With all the pressure of the restaurant, a model they are working on, friends, her mom, and just her life, Mclean needs to figure out who she is on the inside.


Ruin and Rising Leigh Bardugo 7
Ruin and Rising the third and final book in the Grisha Trilogy brought a satisfying conclusion to the series. It was very entertaining and overall a great book.


The Living Matt De La Peña 8
This book was amazing! The book was based through Sky a teenager who works during the summer to make some extra money for his mother. He takes up a job working a luxury cruise. Were everything goes bad. A massive earthquake strikes and he’s caught in the middle with another person. A rich girl named Addison. And they are stuck and have to find their way back home. With both of their intense personalities and differences made the story work. I thought the whole plot of the book was fantastic and creative. I loved the book and would recommend it to anybody who craves a good adventure book.


Real Friends Shannon Hale 9
Real Friends by Shannon Hale is about a girl named Shannon who had trouble finding friends in elementary school. Her sister Wendy was always very mean and rude to Shannon. Shannon later learned that Wendy had a very hard time finding friends just like her sister did. By fifth grade Shannon had finally found real friends. By the end of the story her old “friends” were just begging to be apart of her friend group. I enjoyed this book a lot and would recommend this book to everyone.


Lord of the Flies William Golding 6
This isn't really a review, but I just wanna say that I'm very sad that Piggy and Simon died, and I really really dislike Jack.


The Language of Thorns Leigh Bardugo 8
The Language of Thorns was a collection and myths and various stories set in the Grishaverse. Many of these legends were renditions of our own stories such as Hansel and Gretel and Beauty and the Beast. Overall, it was very intriguing and fun to read.


Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte 9
Because this book was required for my English class this summer, I was immediatly put off. However, reading this classic novel, I berated myself for ever dreading it. Bronte weaves a story that is truly unforgettable. Two absolutely unlikable and seemingly unredeemable characters, end up being two characters that I couldn't stop thinking about. And two characters that I ended up feeling were redeemed. Told in flashbacks and from the eyes of a maidservent watching Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff's story play out, Wuthering Heights showed me that love is the absolute redeemer.


Midnight Sun Stephanie Meyer 10
I've been in funk since seventh grade when I found out that this book was cancelled. But then... Stephanie Meyer lifted all our hearts and souls when she FINALLY put out a release date for this book. Twilight has always been that series that jumpstarted my love of reading, so when Midnight Sun came out, I was overjoyed. And it did not disappoint. Told in Edward's POV, Midnight Sun explored the hidden relations between Edward and his family, long internal soliloquies, and most importantly, his feelings as he fell in love with Bella. I probably loved this book more than the original Twilight. It was that good.


Siege and Storm Leigh Bardugo 7
Siege and Storm is the second book in the Grisha Trilogy. It was far less confusing than the first and very fast-paced. It was not often boring and captured my attention the entire time.


Shadow and Bone Leigh Bardugo 6
Shadow and Bone, the first book in the Grisha trilogy, was a very confusing in the beginning and a little bit difficult to follow. However, it improved in the second half of the book and was very intriguing and entertaining. Overall, I liked this book even though I was difficult to get into at the start.


Call Down the Hawk Maggie Stiefvater 10
This book completely messed me up. Brief summary: CDTH is the first book of the second series of the Raven Cycle (which you must read if you haven’t already oh my gosh). It features Ronan, aka a “dreamer/graywaren/Zed” (someone who can pull objects/people/things with dream physics out of their dreams). Basically, things are getting dangerous because suddenly another dreamer’s dreams are being filled with evil things, psychics are saying the world is gonna burn by a dreamer manifesting fire, and Gansey is stuck in a tree for basically the entire book. (Is he?? It’s very unclear) Also, Adam is saved as “Management” on Ronan’s phone and it there is a 100% chance that I will never get over it. Maggie Stiefvater has an incredible gift: writing literally the most intense scenes that are so magical they make your brain hurt, but somehow keeping her writing light enough that you manage to laugh every once in a while. It’s amazing. Also, her writing is amazing and has a dream-like quality (haha). Best scene: Ronan towing a floating live-cow-but-as-a-balloon-in-a-blanket while calling his brother, letting go of the balloon, and bribing Chainsaw with crackers to rescue the cow so it doesn’t float up into space. It is a slightly uncomfortable experience to be caught laughing at a book in public.


A Taste of Monsters Matthew J. Kirby 7
I liked this book very much! I felt as if it was still missing something so I didn’t give it the full 10/10. The book was set in 1888, London. Where a young girl is being haunted by Jack the Rippers ghost and death. Reliving his killings. The plot was fantastic, with her trying to escape and get this out of her life and learning about a famous and awful serial killer. The only thing I wish was included was example of what she saw in details because I felt as if I couldn’t picture anything that was happening in this book. But overall it was a great book, I’d recommend this book to someone who likes scary novels.


To Kill A Kingdom Alexandra Christo 8
To Kill A Kingdom was a very intriguing book. It was very eventful and never slow, definitely capturing my attention within the first chapter. Overall, it was a great standalone book.


Patron Saints of Nothing Randy Ribay 10
This book is absolutely amazing! It is from the point of view of a 17-year-old Filipino-American boy named Jay Reguero. Jay is almost done with his senior year in High School and then plans on attending the University of Michigan in order to pursue a passion that he has not yet discovered. However, things change when Jay is informed that his cousin (Jun) was murdered as part of President Duterte's drug wars in the Philippines. Jay recalls close memories that he shared with his cousin while on a trip to the Philippines many years prior. He describes that Jun was kind-hearted, compassionate, caring, and comforting and remembers having an extremely close friendship with him. Jay kept in touch with Jun for a few years after his trip to the Philippines (by writing & receiving physical letters), however Jay eventually lost connection and contact with his cousin. After inquiring about specifics on Jun's death, Jay receives incomplete answers - no one in his family is open about talking about the matter & after asking, Jay discovers that his family wasn't planning on holding a funeral. Jay longs for answers and finds that in order to obtain more information he would need to take a trip to the Philippines. As family secrets are slowly revealed, Jay learns more about himself and his origins, his family, and a side of Jun he never knew. Personally, I found this book to be very relatable, especially when the author includes descriptions of Jay visiting his place of origin (which he actually knows little about) and learning new things about himself from the trip. I highly recommend reading this meaningful and well-written book!


P.S. I Still Love You Jenny Han 9
So, I let this book take over my life for two days!!! I became unhealthily obsessed and invested (I may have even shed a few tears). I'm generally not into romance novels but the To All The Boys I've Loved Before (aka tatbilb) series has really gripped me. This is a review for the second book so I really encourage you to read the whole series if you haven't read the first book yet. Basically Lara Jean and Peter are in a real relationship now. However, it seems like the world (or mostly Gen, Peter's ex) is trying to break them apart. From a video that surfaces online to a former love interest of Lara Jean showing up, the readers are left wondering if Peter and Lara Jean will survive as a couple. No spoilers here but I was really, REALLY mad about the ending (the only reason I rated the book a 9). Yes, I know, this book has consumed my life.


Always And Forever, Lara Jean Jenny Han 9
PLEASE READ THIS SERIES! I just finished reading this book (it took me half a day because I was just that invested I think something is wrong with me). Romance isn't really my thing, but the To All The Boys I've Loved Before series has taken over my life (to clarify this is a review for the third book). Kudos to Jenny Han for writing such a great series encouraging readers to try out genres they usually don't like. Okay so Peter and Lara Jean have been together for quite a while and college is creeping up quickly on them. They're stressed to find out their college decisions (honestly relatable!) and Lara Jean hopes she gets into her dream school: UVA. Yet, pretty quickly her world turns upside down when she gets rejected. Now Lara Jean is thrown into uncharted waters and must figure out a way to make a long distance relationship with Peter work, as well as stay in her family's life. Along with all of this, Lara Jean' younger sister Kitty is trying to set up the sisters' dad with their neighbor, and Lara Jean's older sister Margot comes home from Scotland feeling left out of her family. I honestly thought the second book was better than this one(shhh I just liked John Ambrose an unhealthy amount) but I still loved this book so much. Lara Jean's emotions going through a point in life I'm at were so real that I felt as though I had become her character while reading. Even if you really don't like romance, I really urge you to at least give this series a try (or watch the movies but the movies are never better than the book, just sayin!).


The Wicked King Holly Black 9
Book 2 of the Folk of Air trilogy, the Wicked King, was a great book, developing the world of Elfhame, as well as the characters. It was action packed and definitely an entertaining book.


Avalon High Meg Cabot 7
Avalon High was okay. At first it was a kind of bland realistic fiction book about the life of a girl who moved to a new high school, but towards to middle of the book things started to get weird. Apparently at Avalon High (the new school) a kid named A. William Wagner was the reincarnation of King Arthur and was supposed to grow up and lead everyone out of another dark era. Most of the main characters were also reincarnations of people in the past who were in King Arthurs tight circle. The “dark side” was trying to stop Will from growing up and becoming powerful enough to guide the world. It was kind of bland , but some how captivating at the same time. Read this book if you want to be amused by a terribly cliche love triangle, and a very, very weird idea that kind of spirals out of control. It’s a good light read, but don’t take this book too seriously.


Maybe he likes you Barbra Dee 8
This book is about the harassment and bullying kids in schools. I read it because someone recomended it to me and after reading it I feels so bad fro the girl in this book but what she did in the reply to these actions was also a brave act. I finished this book in three days because it was very interesting. I would recommend all of the kids of my age to read this book. Thanks.


The Queen of Nothing Holly Black 8
The third and last installment of the Folk of Air series, the Queen of Nothing, was a great entire to the series. It was exciting and managed to surprise me more than a few times. Overall, this book and the series as a whole was a wonderfully entertaining read.


Orphan Monster Spy Matt Killeen 5
I gave this book a 5/10. I thought this book was just okay: the plot was great, the main character, Sarah was very fierce and powerful. I just felt as if the plot seemed unbelievable at points. There were certain points in this book the author brushed past. Such as the life indangouring situations. Rushing over it or just putting something their that’s just unbelievable. I did however like how the main character was very strong, I’ve read books with a similar plot and the main character was very different; with being quiet, shy, etc. But Sarah is very strong, outspoken, and confident. Which is a good female figure to look up to, in literature. Overall this book was alright.


The Invisible Man H.G. Wells 7
I thought this book was excellent. It was a story of a psycho killer, Griffin a science experiment gone terribly wrong. He is an invisible man doing ungodly things killing and hurting people. We learn in this book it came from truma from even before the experiment. Causing him to be like this. Griffin is the invisible man who sadly didn’t change at the end of the book. Overall this book was amazing. This isn’t my type of genre I’d read. But I was very impressed about it, I liked it a lot!


Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte 5
Wuthering Heights is about the history between two estates in England, and the children's ""love"" story that spans two generations. Is it a love story? Honestly, I'm not quite sure. We start with two of the most disagreeable characters of all time: Catherine and Heathcliff. They are angry all the time, seek to make each other jealous, hate each other...and then suddenly they are in love. There, we continue into the drama between their kind of forbidden romance (is it though? Or are they just stubborn?) and how Heathcliff can hold a grudge for so long that he masterminds his childrens'/their cousins lives into another romance because reasons. Yay.


Orbiting Jupiter Gary D. Schmidt 10
This was a quick read but so powerful. I loved every word, sentence and page of this book. It showed the true meaning of love and what people will go through to see their loved ones again. Jack and Joseph become close when Jack’s parents take Joseph in to be his foster parents. Joseph came from a hard life, an abusive father, a dead mother, many rehab schools, a daughter and a dead daughter’s mother. His life begins to pick up when he gets used to living with Jack and his family. Although things are still hard there is hope. Until more complications arise that make readers question if Joseph will ever be allowed to have a peaceful, normal life. This is a must read for people who love sad books that are really meaningful and powerful.


The Cruel Prince Holly Black 9
The first book of the Folk of Air trilogy is a great introduction into the world of Elfhame as well as the various characters and culture. It was very entertaining and fast-paced and captured my attention from the start.


The Lost Sisters Holly Black 8
Book 1.5 of the Folk of Air trilogy is a short novella that tells the story from the perspective of another character in the form of a letter. It contains interesting themes of aspects of Elfhame that are glossed over in the first book.


Elsewhere Gabrielle Zevin 6
Elsewhere is a novel by Gabrielle Zevin, the main character Lizzie is fourteen. One day she had been killed in a hit and run accident. When she wakes up on a boat, she thinks that she is dreaming yet she then realizes that she has died when she is forced to watch her own funeral. She tries everything to try and get back to her family. In Elsewhere she finds out that when you are there you go backwards in age. Lizzie was so excited to turn sixteen and she realizes that she never will be able to. When Lizzie gathers her courage she tries everything to get back to Earth. I didn't quite like this book as much as I hoped to. I thought the idea oif the book was very good, but the story was very dragged out. Overall, I thought this book was okay.


Good Omens Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman 7
The world must end, and it's in the hands of a child named Adam, an angel named Aziraphale, and a fallen angel named Crowley to make sure things go smoothly. The book is absolutely hilarious. Each character is well crafted and every little aspect of the story is satirized. I do wish the story wasn't so dragged out and that there weren't as many characters (since it was a bit confusing to follow at times), but all in all, I recommend the book!


Patron Saints of Nothing Randy Ribay 10
WOW I loved this book. A boy named Jay finds out about the death of his cousin Jun in the Philippines. Even though the boys had lost contact for years, Jun's death hit Jay hard and he made it a mission to find out what (and possibly who) killed him. Jay goes to the Philippines to reconvene with his family after eight years, uncover the truth of his cousins death, learn about the poverty and drug war in the country, and most importantly, reconnect with the Filipino side of himself. The portrayal of the struggle of feeling like a foreigner in one's own mother country is very well written and resonates with me. Jay's character felt real in a way teenagers in novels seldom do; his courage was truly inspiring. Even though the book is fairly short, it left me feeling touched and looking at the world differently.


Blood, Water, Paint Joy McCulloch 9
This was one of the best books from the 12th grade reading lists and I definitely recommend it. This novel follows Artemesia as she navigates her life fixing and painting her father's comissions in order to provide for their family. Although Artemesia is the true talent, her father recieves the credit, since women are not taken seriously in this time. Artemesia finds confort in the strong women she paints and their stories which are told throughout this novel to inspire and confort this girl who struggles to get through a life filled with opression and a trial to which she is the victim. What I liked most about this book is that the layout is incredibly unique and allows the story to flow as one smooth poem.


The Way of Kings Brandon Sanderson 10
This book is almost 1,300 pages, so there is absolutely no way I’ll be able to summarize the plot in a concise and coherent manner. It feels like reading 4 books in one, because it basically is (a story for each Shallan, Szeth, Kaladin, Dalinar, and some guest appearances, which then all kinda come together in the end). Instead, here’s a list of characters and hopefully (hopefully) I’ll be able to sort of explain this incredible masterpiece.
Shallan: To be honest, I didn’t like her at first. But wow did she prove me wrong. A woman who was sheltered her whole life, but wants to go out and explore the world, so she apprentices herself to literally the greatest scholar out there. Except she isn’t there to learn... but to steal. Very dramatic story, great philosophy discussions and Jasnah is fantastic in every way.
Kaladin: I am a sucker for misunderstood people with dramatic backstories that don’t understand their powers. He was an apprentice surgeon with his father, until the war came and he was forced to fight in order to protect his younger brother (so innocent and cute I cried). Becomes a slave almost by accident, brutally beaten down, then becomes part of the “bridge crews” in the army, where literally everyone dies after 3 days. The redemption arc here is fabulous, and Syl the philosopher spirit has my entire heart.
Szeth: I’m so so so sorry. Poor guy. An assassin who just really doesn’t want to be here but he's bound by a slaveoath or something. :(
Dalinar: Literally the only honorable Lighteye Lord left. A great person and a very realistic portrayal of the whole "what are practical good morals" situation.
It’s just a great book, and if you love fantasy and elaborate (and do I mean ELABORATE) world building, this is absolutely for you. Just don’t lose hope in the first 200 pages when you’re still trying to figure out who the heck everyone is.


Lord of the Flies William Golding 8
I thought this book was pretty epic. It had a fascinating plot of 12 year old boys having to mature young and figure how to create a form of government to survive on the island. Find resources, assign jobs, deal with the dead, and find their escape. I though the characters were nicely developed even though we had no insight on what they were thinking. The book was written in third person narration which was great, I wished at certain point we got an insight on what Piggy, Ralph or even Jack was thinking. Overall I thought the book was great!


Lovely War Julie Berry 9
I absolutely loved this book! The whole concept of Greek mythology mixed in with WWII was genius. I loved the idea of bringing Aphrodite to trial for her affair on her husband and her explaining herself by telling the story of Hazel and James. Connecting what feels like two separate stories in to one. Allowing the story of Hazel and James to what she was trying say. Overall and amazing book!


It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime Trevor Noah 9
I personally thought this book was incredible. It was incredibly written as if Trevor Noah was talking to me about his life story, his beliefs, his mother, and his entire life story. I felt as if it was written amazingly and I understood everything, it was clear, he gave us (the readers) the history of all of this, and talked about how it relates to him; and how it shaped his life. I didn’t give it a 10/10 because I feel as if I didn’t agree with everything he was saying, which for me didn’t take away from the book, it was just my opinion, I did however agree with lots he was saying, except for a few peices. Overall I loved this book and thought it was amazing.


A Night Divided Jennifer A. Nielsen 9
A Night Divided was an intense book that captured the fear that the Berlin Wall created. The main character, Gerta, and her family were divided the night that the wall went up. Her father and one brother went to the West side of Berlin to look for jobs. That night was the last time they saw each other for many years. Around 5 years later, Gerta, her other brother and mom are still struggling to blend into this society where freedom is frowned upon. It is said that too much freedom is unhealthy and other phrases and songs like that to promote their trapped environment. Gerta has finally had enough and with help from a picture, and a funny dance that her father preformed across the wall, Gerta starts planning her and her families escape to freedom. There are many hiccups along the way and face to face encounters with death itself. You begin to question if Gerta and her family will ever make it. This book was amazing, yet at some points I felt it getting slightly repetitive. The amount of problems they faced, although most likely normal for the stunt they were attempting to pull off, seemed to get repetitive. I'm not sure if it was just me, but I would recommend taking breaks while reading this book so it doesn't get frustrating. I read this all in one sitting, which proved to be the wrong approach. I would recommend this book for historical fiction lovers, or people who have researched or visited the Berlin wall before.


I am Number 4 Pittacus Lore 7
I am number 4 was a great book at the beginning. It sort of spiraled downwards from there. Four’s life story and his acquiring of his legacies were all very interesting, yet some scenes were too wordy and on dragged ridiculously too much. One section of the book in particular, the battle, was challenging to get through. Once I thought it was over another problem occurred again and again and again. This one night in Four’s life probably took up a large chunk of the whole book. I was over it by the end and didn’t enjoy much of the rest of the book. The only thing that is keeping this book at a 7 rating is the fact that the parts of the book before that scene were captivating. I don’t like fantasy books that include other worlds, galaxies, aliens, or wars, but if that sounds interesting to you I would recommend this book. If that doesn’t sound interesting this is definitely NOT the book for you.


I Am Number Four Pittacus Lore 7
Quick summary: aliens come to Earth to escape being brutally murdered after a war. They are numbered, and must be killed in order by the bad guys otherwise they are immune, etc. they have super cool powers. I’ll admit, I had good memories of this book. But it always sucks to reread something and realize... it’s so cliche. The main character is DUMB. There’s a bad case of instalove :( I know the other books get better from past experience though. Sigh. I feel like this would make a better movie than book, with the way it’s written.


Crossing Ebenezer Creek Tonya Bolden 10
Crossing Ebenezer Creek is a slower read. It was the kind of book that you picked up and read for 30 minutes, and then picked up another day and read for another short time. It wasn’t a page turner, but that suited the book perfectly. It had a heavy message that couldn’t be taken in all at once, so reading it slowly and peacefully was the way to go. This book highlighted the pain and suffering that black individuals suffered through either in slavery or even when they were free. It really opened my eyes to the real, full truth that showed that their lives were in constant uncertainty. The characters in this book joined the march with the Yankees in the civil war. They were treated well, by kind people, yet not all soldiers were ready for black people’s freedom. Just as things were looking up for the characters, another tragic event happened. This book doesn’t have a happy ending, nor is it a satisfying ending. It is a sad, sad book that has a heavy truth behind it yet is a must read to open our eyes to the mistreatment of these individuals that has been going on for years now. Crossing Ebenezer Creek is a must read that is very relevant during these current times. Be prepared for tears, but also the deep understanding.


Maybe He Just Likes You Barbara Dee 10
Mila Brennan is a normal, average seventh grader, but her year in seventh grade has definitely not started out "normal". It all began with a small birthday surprise for her friend Omi by her and her friends Max and Zara. They were all hugging Omi, when along came the "basketball boys" and they joined in on the hug. Not once had they interacted with the boys, but here they came and hugged Mila, invading her personal space. This hug easily could have been forgotten, but when it starts happening again, Mila knows that it has to stop. Sitting too close on the bus, surprising her by grabbing her in the halls, and touching her in the band are just a few times when this has happened. Band is the only place where Mila can escape, but even that has been taken over by the boys. The boys are everywhere, always surprising her and touching her, and despite her protests, they simply won't quit. When Mila expresses her feelings with Zara, Zara simply tells her that she's being way too sensitive and overreacting, and doesn't she know what flirting is? Her friend Max encourages her to talk to the vice principal, but Mila isn't ready to talk about all that is going on with a male. Omi is always kind to Mila and encourages her, but Mila doesn't feel as strong as Omi tells her she is. When Zara starts playing basketball with the boys during lunch and Max starts pretty much ignoring Mila and only hangs out with Jared, Mila feels like her Circle of Friendship is falling apart. However, an unexpected interest in karate allows Mila to feel braver, stronger, and tougher. To add on top of all the friend issues and boys, Mila's mom has been having a really hard time finding money since her dad left her. Her mom's boss is horrible to her, but she can't just stop working, their family is already on a tight budget. Her mom has to support Mila, her annoying little sister, Hadley, and their dog Delilah, but is having trouble with that. Still, the uncomfortable words, touching, and hugging continue. Finally, Mila is pushed too far, but where can she turn for help? Her friends don't understand, the guidance counselor won't listen, when talking to the vice principal (also the boy's basketball coach), she ended up in 3 days of detention and a boy ended up with 1, and her mom doesn't need anything else to worry about. Mila is lost in her own world not knowing who to turn to for help, and learns to find her voice and speak up, even in the weirdest places.


Ahsoka E.K. Johnston 8
Ahsoka follows the life of the Star Wars character Ahsoka Tano in between the end of the Clone Wars and her decision to join the Rebellion. After surviving the Jedi Purge, Ahsoka finds herself moving around the Outer Rim in order to escape certain death by the clutches of the Empire. All the Jedi she knew during her life as a Padawan in the Jedi Order are presumed to be dead, including her master Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Most of the clone troopers she once fought side by side with turned against her due to the execution of Order 66. Ahsoka has never been more alone. When she finds refuge for a short while on the small farming moon of Raada, Ahsoka feels safe for some time - until the Empire arrives. Instead of escaping at the first sight of the Empire as she often did, Ahsoka decides to help the citizens fight against the Empire. Ahsoka is my favorite Star Wars character and I was curious to about what happened to her after the Siege of Mandalore in The Clone Wars TV show, so I really enjoyed this book. Ahsoka has grown from the annoying teenager we see in the beginning of The Clone Wars to a strong, resilient woman, and this book demonstrates her growth excellently. The events she goes through do a great job of showing that despite leaving the Jedi Order, Ahsoka is a better adherent to the Jedi values of selflessness and compassion than many of the previous Jedi in the Order. I also really appreciated the occasional flashbacks/alternate perspectives throughout the book. Overall, i strongly recommend this book for fans of Ahsoka's character and The Clone Wars.


Freakonomics Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner 6
Freakonomics is supposed to be a way of introducing economics to people that aren't exactly fans in the first place. It does this by connecting a whole bunch of obscure, yet interesting, topics together and hoping that one of them will be cool enough that the reader will say "wow! If that's what economists do, I want in!" (See: real estate agents "stealing your money", sumo wrestlers, baby names, parenting, drug dealers, crime) It’s interesting, for sure. But so, so obscure. And I’m not sure I believe some of their findings? Or at least the way they present them? Overall, I'm just left with so many questions, and I’m not exactly left jumping for joy for Macroeconomics.


Dead Mountain Donnie Eichar 8
I personally really like this book! The story of a true incident told through a first person party, about this dangerous and terrifying night. This book was amazingly written and the way it was written felt like the author was personally talking to me and personally showing me the images and describing the events through the literature, I overall really liked the book! And would defiantly recommend and read again!


Neverseen Shannon Messenger 7
In a couple sentences: the “dream team” joins the Black Swan, they sit around for a bit while Sophie/Fitz become best buds of telepathy, ogres do some terrible things, there’s a disease that attacks gnomes, the council lies, Sophie saves the day with some new additions to the Black Swan treehouse family, Keefe does some terrible things (but I still love him) Every character is so dull except for Keefe. His character development is 10/10. Thank you for saving this book, Keefe.


Fever 1793 Laurie Halse Anderson 8
Fever is story written from the viewpoint of a thirteen year old coloinel girl named Matilda Cook. The story taked place in Philidelphia in 1793. Matilda lives with her mother, Lucielle and Grandfather after her father died, Eliza workes in the coffeehouse as the cook, and is a very good friend to the family. Matilda wanted to provide for herself after her granfather died. She goes back to the family's coffeehouse after she finds an orphan named Nell. She has a problem because she can't find any jobs because everyone is scared they will get sick. She also can't work in the coffeehouse because people either fleed Philidelphia or they are locked inside their houses. They then found Eliza. Eliza then took them into her house. Then, the first frost came over Philidelphia and the fever was gone. After that the coffeehouse opened again, and matilda's mother returned. I did really enjoyed this book. I liked how Laurie Halse Anderson wrote this book and i would definitely recommend this book.


Frankenstein Mary Shelley 9
I've had this book on my TBR for some time and finally decided to read it this summer. And it did not disappoint. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley follows a brilliant scientist who seeks to find the origin of life itself and bring an inanimate object to life. Although he succeeds, Victor Frankenstein, the scientist, finds that he creates a monster. As he scorns his creation, his deeds haunt him for the rest of his life. This book was like reading a horror movie, always at the edge of your seat and itching to turn the page. What I loved about this novel is that it really explored the notion that there is such thing as too much knowledge, and it can be dangerous to cross the line between science and playing God.


The Here and Now Ann Brashares 5
I rated this book a 5/10 because I though the book was good, I gave it a try even though I’m not a fan of these kinds of romance based books. I did like the plot of a immigrant coming to the states with her family making a life here and the struggles; which I found fascinating. Overall it was a pretty good book, it just wasn’t my favorite genre to read.


American Royals Katharine McGee 3
This book might be good pick for readers that love romance books, but for me, it was not the best. I liked all the plot twists, but that was probably it. All the romances in this book were basically the same; they were all secret, and they were all "forbidden." None of them really stood out to me. I also really despised some of the characters, like Daphne and Jefferson, because they both cheated on each other, and because of how they acted in the book (Jefferson wasn't as bad as Daphne though). Many romance fans will love this book, but if you aren't really interested in romantic books, then I do not recommend this.


Night Elie Wiesel 10
This book is by far the best book, I’ve ever picked up. It was incredible and so raw. The book was told by POW camp who had survived and told the events. Elie Wiesel didn’t hold back and wrote one of the best books I’ve ever read.There were times reading, I had to put down the book. There were times I even cried, which a book has never done to me. I have never cried while reading. And this book brought out all of those emotions. This book was amazingly written and I would recommend it to anybody.


The Book Thief Markus Zusak 8
I gave this book an 8/10 because it was amazing. The characters were so amazingly developed. I loved the way Liesel was able to teach herself how to read and began to love the way words and literature made her feel. One of the main themes this book talks about is the power of words, and there impactment on the people, especially Liesel. Amazing book!


Six of Crows Leigh Bardugo 10
I REALLY loved this book. Six of Crows is about a gang in the slums of Ketterdam who are assigned the very high risk job of kidnapping a scientist. This is no ordinary scientist, however. He has created a drug called jurda parem, which is highly addictive and dangerous. This gang: Kaz, Inej, Nina, Matthias, Wylie, and Jesper are offered an unheard of reward of thirty million kruge if they capture the scientist. The plot is amazing and kept me on my toes while the characters were all so well developed with their own stories and struggles. I highly recommend this book to everyone.


A House of Earth and Blood Sarah J. Maas 10
Anyone who is a sucker for Sarah J. Maas will love this book. Although its about 800 pages, the world building is so fully fleshed out and the characters are absolute delights. I can definently compare Bryce to Aelin from Throne of Glass which makes the book even better since Throne of Glass fans will love Bryce. This book follows Bryce Quinlain, half human, half Fae, as she navigates life after a devestating tradegy. Set in a futuristic urban landscape with all kinds of creatures angels and werewolves, including a very handsome and mean angel named Hunt Athalar, Bryce figures out how she belongs in a world without her best friend. In addition to trying to solve her best friend Danika's murder with Hunt Athalar (a fallen angel), Bryce gets entangled in a struggle even greater than she originally thought.


The Jane Austen Society Natalie Jenner 10
I'm often wary of books that have anything Jane Austen related (whether she wrote it or its about her), since I am not a big fan of her myself, but the Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner developed a new apreciation for the author. Set in between World War I and World War II, people from all facts of life find themselves draw to Chawton, a tiny town in England where the great Jane Austen wrote her last three books before dying of cancer. A Hollywood movie star, a recluse, a lawyer, a doctor, a housemaid, a schoolteacher and a simple farmer, all come together to memorialize their love for Jane Austen, whose books have gotten them all through pretty horrible times. I loved this book because you don't have to know or even like Jane Austen to see why so many others might. Although Jane Austen got these people through their hardships of life, readers can see that their own favorite author could get them through their own tough times. I 100% recommend The Jane Austen Society for all ages!


Love Like Sky Leslie C. Youngblood 9
Love Like Sky put into words the endless love in families. No matter what happens to the family, they all still love each other. Georgie is Peach's big sister. When Peach gets very sick and lands in the hospital for days Georgie regrets her actions from earlier that day. She feels guilty for the fact that Peach is in the hospital and doesn't know what to do. Before her sister was admitted to the hospital all Georgie was worried about was making her step-sister Tangie liking her. Tangie had been treating her and Peach badly and they both worked hard to get her to like her. Georgie looked up to Tangie as a big sister, but when Peach became sick she didn't care anymore. Staying positive and finding love in hard times were the only things that they could do during Peach's hospital visit. Love Like Sky is an emotional rollercoaster that represents true, strong love for family members. I would recommend this book for anyone who loves realistic fiction, emotional books. I loved this book because of the characters, the lessons, and the values that this book represented.


The Raven King Maggie Stiefvater 10
This was such a satisfying end to the Raven Cycle series. In it, Stiefvater takes all the loose ends and wraps them up perfectly, from Adam’s parents to what-in-the-world-even-is-Cabeswater. Honestly perfect. I’m in love with the writing style, and literally every main character. Also, my ship finally sailed and Pynch is FANTASTIC. I can’t wait to read the second series!! A very basic summary that likely won’t make sense, told in short phrases: Ley lines and psychics and rebirth. Magicians and magical forests. An undead king, and scenes so wild that your brain kind of melts but in the best way possible. Dialogue that’ll make you laugh out loud at the best/worst times (“We zigged,” Blue said tersely. “It zagged”). Also featuring: 1 (one) squash song that may or may not be stuck in your head for all of eternity. You have been warned.


Solo Kramer Alexander & Mary Rand Hess 10
I had ordered the book Solo from the library a while ago and just got around to reading it. When I opened the book I realized that it was entirely in song lyrics. I usually prefer to read traditional books with chapters and paragraphs but decided to give this one a chance. And I’m so glad that I did! It was really a unique book that took the history of rock and roll music and made it into a realistic fiction book written in a unique way. It blended family struggles, finding your true self, and the pain of addiction all in one in such an amazing way! I would definitely recommended this book for anyone who wants a book that they won’t be able to put down. I read Solo from cover to cover not stopping until I read the last word. It was that good! It’s a must read even for people who don’t usually like to read books in verse!


The Poet X Elizabeth Acevedo 6
I enjoyed this book. The format was something very different then what I’ve seen before; I thought it was and easier read because of it. Which made it a bit more enjoyable. I loved the story line and how it effected the main character, I was able to learn about another teenager close to my age; who grew up much different then me. Overall I though it was a pretty good book.


Girl in the Blue Coat Monica Hesse 8
This book is about a girl named Hanneke growing up in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation years of World War II. Hanneke spends her days delivering black market goods to paying customers, hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents. Every waking moment she thinks about and mourns her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the Germans invaded. One day, while at a usual black market delivery, a client asks Hanneke for help to find a Jewish teenager distinctly described to be wearing a "blue coat" who had been hiding in the client's house. Though at first she is hesitant, Hanneke longs to solve the detective story because she desires to rid herself of the guilt she faces when thinking about the past with her dead boyfriend, Bas. The reason I gave this novel an 8/10 instead a 10/10 because I personally found that it got slightly confusing and complicated to follow at one particular point. However, overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and I think the author did an outstanding job highlighting how gruesome, appalling, and atrocious the time period was for many. This book was extremely informative in terms of providing historical context of Nazi occupation and World War II in general. This book is beautifully written and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction (like myself).


Everblaze Shannon Messenger 7
The rating is more for a series as a whole than just this book, because I actually think this is the best one of the 3. It has all the qualities (and tropes) I love in fantasy: the chosen one who has no idea what’s going on, the awesome world building, character development, twists, miscommunication, hilarious dialogue (although nothing can match the raven boys). But... I just can’t connect with Sophie. I adore Keefe (and Dex... although he was questionable in this book) and most of the supporting cast. They’re just not there enough! Most of these 600 pages were spent with Sophie wallowing or pondering or thinking she’s awesome (which she is, but still). Extra points for Keefe (of course), Dex’s character development, Fitz not being a total jerk, and the ending.


Eleanor & Park Rainbow Rowell 3
I was actually really disappointing with this book. The beginning was great which made me, want to keep reading. But as I made it about 1/4 way in, I think it went downhill; for me. I personally am not Intresting in books likes this, but I wanted to give it a chance. I though the characters were great and very well explained. To the point where we could get inside the characters mind. But I wish we could understand the other characters better too. Overall I wasn’t a big fan of the plot either. So I was overall really disappointed with this book.


Riot House Callie Hart 8
This book was very weird. Elodie's father, a strict and corrupt military man, looks for a place to dump his seventeen year old daughter once again so that she never knows any comfort. Once Wren Jacobi, another teenager who is probably so rich he could buy an island three times over, catches sight of Elodie, he decides to pass the time of the Wolf House Academy by ruining her. Yeah, I know. Not so nice. But it made for a pretty thrilling story once you factor in a murder mystery and Wren's two other friends who are hysterical jerks.


Mythos Stephen Fry 8
Mythos by Stephen Fry was a informative yet really funny take on the greek gods and myths that we have all known since we were children. By adopting their stereotyped personas and adding dialogue that readers could relate to and find appealing, Mythos wasn't a dry account of famous myths. Instead, the four hundred pages of retelling were new and exciting, taking old myths and revamping them. I rated this book 8/10 since it did only include pretty well-known myths, however I hear he is coming out with a part two which should include some less well-known ones!


City of Saints and Thieves Natalie Anderson 10
City of Saints and Thieves is such a unique book. I have never read a book with a plot like this one. It combined realistic fiction and mystery that brought the reader into the world of the characters. I would definitely recommend this book to people who love to feel as if they are in the character's world, and love mystery. City of Saints and Thieves is about a 16 year old girl with no mother or father. She cannot go to school or get a job so she relies on being a thief in Africa to support herself. Christina (better known as Tina or Tiny Girl) managed to get her sister into a boarding school so she would be safe. Tina couldn't get into this school, so she joined a gang called the Goondas. This gang has secrets that lead to the discovery of why her mother died. The life that Christina tried so hard to push away comes rushing back to her as she discovers her mother's past life. This is such a wonderful book that you won't be able to stop reading.


Between the World and Me Ta-Nehisi Coates 8
In this 100 and something page novella, comes an eye-opening account into something very prevalent today. The Black Lives Matter Movement is taking over the daily news as black people fight for equality that should have already been bestowed. Ta-Nehisi Coates writes a letter to his son, describing the trials that he faced as a young black child in Baltimore, and how even today, as a black man, he has trouble not looking for the other shoe to drop. This letter was incredible inspiring and eye-opening into something that many people could not understand and Coates is not condescending or rude about it. He merely shares his experiences and his truth.


The Young Elites Marie Lu 8
The Young Elites, the first book in the Young Elites series, is very well written and sets up the world and characters in an intriguing way.


The Rose Society Marie Lu 9
The second book in the Young Elites series develops the characters, more specifically the main character, Adelina, in a manner that causes the reader to ponder right from wrong.


The Midnight Star Marie Lu 8
The final book in the Young Elites series, helps to end the story in a satisfying though sad way and overall is a brilliant end to the series.


A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Suzanne Collins 7
This prequel to the Hunger Games series follows President Coriolanus Snow in his youth. While there were a few confusing moments throughout the book, overall, it developed a very interesting main character and contained many references to the original series which were fun to notice and compare.


The Song of Achilles Madeline Miller 10
An extraordinary novel about Achilles and his lover Patroclus, it details the Trojan War as well as their life before.


Circe Madeline Miller 6
This novel, telling the tale of Circe, the witch of Aeaea. While it was often a slow read it was still intriguing and rewarding to finish.


Keeper of the Lost Cities - Nightfall (#6)
Shannon Messenger 10 I had not read the series in a long time, but I remembered enjoying it quite a bit. So I decided to try it again and continue the series where I left off (the author is still writing the books). And this 6th book in the series BLEW ME AWAY!!! I fell in love with the characters and the plot kept me gasping all the way through. From the moment I woke up to the second I went back to sleep I had the book in my hand. You can ask my family - those couple days had a lot of random laughing, crying, and yelling at the book, and were spent almost completely lost to reality. It also ends with a very intense cliffhanger, leading me to learn the hard way to never read a book in a series without having the sequel right next to you!!! Although I loved this book, I understand how it may not be everyone's style. It is very heavy on fantasy, and has an extensive amount of characters. Sometimes the characters can seem difficult to keep track of, but it's worth it, and I ended up adoring them all! This book has officially made the Keeper of the Lost Cities books to my list of top three favorite book series!!!


Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda Becky Albertalli 7
This book, although I didn't really like the plot or the characters, definitely had amazing writing. I could not feel any connections with any of the characters, but that may be only because of my personality, and because I am not the biggest fan of completely romance novels. However, there were some moments that left me open-mouthed at the raw talent of the author. It sounded as if she had really lived through every scene in the book, and captured it perfectly with those words. I especially loved the way the author flawlessly described the experience of being part of a theater performance. It was the first time I, being a theater kid myself, had seen those exhilarating feelings of backstage perfect chaos put on paper! I do think many people would find this book quite interesting, even if I didn't find it to be extraordinary.


I am Number 4 Pittacus Lore 4
As it wasn't the worst book in the world it had a few issues. 1. The have ""Elements"". Every time they put ""Elements"" in a book I cringe. Maybe because I read too many non-fiction books so when elements means any thing other then the periodic table I facepalm. Also, When I read that somebody can control the ""elements"" I realize that they didn't have another word for every force of nature. 2. I don't know if its just me but the author writes the book in a way that you can't stop thinking the planet that the Aliens are from is named after the author him/herself, I mean how hard could it be to name a planet, Star Wars does it. 3. To me 6 seems like Deus ex machina because she comes out of nowhere and has like every power you could think of.


It’s Kind of a Funny Story Ned Vizzini 9
"This is the story of a teenager who got into a school for gifted students (after INTENSE studying), then realized that he wasn’t as gifted as everyone said he was, and that there was so much pressure on the students to get into Ivy leagues. Students were taking college courses for compsci, were two years ahead in math, doing lots of extracurriculars, and getting 100’s on material that he had to work hard to get 80’s for. It didn’t help that his friend was a very bad influence, and he had no one else to turn to. As a result, he becomes depressed, and tries to commit suicide. I am amazed by how relatable and clear the inner voice of this character is. This entire book is so heart-wrenching. Perfect ending, great character development, and thank goodness we said goodbye to Aaron. Yikes. Just 1 point off because talking about how beautiful girls are and how much he wanted to have a girlfriend got a little bit annoying, and I’m not sure it’s fair that teenage boys are portrayed that way all the time. But then again, imperfect character. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ "


Walk Two Moons Sharon Creech 9

This book is meant for younger audiences, and I remember it being my favorite book when I was 10. Rereading it now felt extremely nostalgic, and I still LOVED the book. Walk Two Moons follows a girl named Salamanca Tree Hiddle (Sal) and her grandparents as they go on a road trip from Ohio to Idaho to see Sal’s mother. Throughout the trip, Sal tells her grandparents stories of Phoebe (Sal’s friend) and her family situation. Sal alludes to her own wonderful upbringing in a farm and how that turned upside down when her mother left. The plot has an array of twists and turns and both Phoebe’s and Sal’s stories meet at the end. If you are up for a mildly sad but adventurous book where you get absorbed into the plot and attached to the characters, I could not recommend this book enough.


Blue Lily, Lily Blue Maggie Stiefvater 10
This is hands-down the best book of the series. How can I even describe this in a couple sentences? Let’s see: a super rich guy who died and came back to life by the power of a dead Welsh king and a ley line is searching for that dead Welsh king with the help of his friend who’s really sarcastic and angry because (reasons), his proud yet very poor friend who is also magical, a daughter of psychics, and a ghost. Also they know that one of them is going to die in a year, because we need that extra time pressure! AND if the psychic’s daughter kisses her true love, they’ll die. (However, I appreciate how this is almost a side note of the plot instead of the basis of a whole love triangle or “oh no I’m so sad I can’t kiss anyone”. I’m sure it’ll come up later though) It’s all very dramatic, and the magic and psychic stuff just gets cooler and cooler every book (even though almost none of it is explained, but nobody knows what’s going on anyway). Also, 10/10 for the dialogue alone. Most of it is so ridiculous and hilarious, and I wish I could quote it all. The author does a great job of portraying teenagers who have no idea what they’re dabbling in, are scared out of their mind that people are trying to kill them, and also have to deal with literally the most haphazard magic system ever. It’s wonderful.


Dorothy Must Die Danielle Paige 7
I really liked this book! There was so much adventure and action. And it felt like I couldn’t put the book down, at certain points. But then it go boring at certain points, were I’d force myself to read it. I didn’t like that because we’d have lots of action and bit events at points and then it would be very slow. I think a 7/10 is a fair rating because it was really great and I loved the idea of it.


Everblaze Shannon Messenger 8
Being the third book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, this book follows the pattern of a gripping and wonderfully detailed novel. I could not put this book down as Sophie Foster, the most powerful telepath, created by the Black Swan is ordered to heal Fintan’s mind. Fintan had his mind broken previously when he hid a very important secret from the Council. This healing leads to a series of unwarranted events that make the reader feel for Sophie and grow attached to her friends. I always love how Shannon Messenger has created an intricate society through the novel. I highly recommend this book!


Exile Shannon Messenger 8
The plot thickens... In this book, Sophie has found the first female alicorn in a very long time! Add that to “crazy things that happen because Sophie is super cool” list. It was really good, fast paced, and with some pretty unexpected twists. But I think the author put too much this time: too high stakes, too many tasks, too many secrets, to the point where I was just exhausted every time something else was added. I love Keefe so much though.


The Children of Blood and Bone Tomi Adeyemi 8
This book was about a girl named Zelie who has a magical ability’s and trains with her people. Who have been keeping their powers a secret since the king killed many of the others. This book began from the main characters mothers death. Which causes her to work harder to do what she can to defeat and get revenge on the people who killed her mother.


Everything Everything Nicola Yoon 8
I gave this book an 8/10 because I loved the plot, setting, the characters, an everything this book taught me. It had an amazing and inspiring message to just take the risk. Because not doing anything is also a risk. You live once and you might as well take the adventure and see what you want to see. Each chapter left you in an amazing cliffhanger so you wanted and felt like you needed to keep reading, which shows such good writing. I never wanted to put the book down. So I gave it a high rating because I liked it a lot!


Keeper of the Lost Cities Shannon Messenger 9
"This was really good!! I honestly didn't think I would like it very much near the beginning, because it seemed full of a whole bunch of tropes that generally don't go over very well. But, the world building, Sophie, Keefe, and the mystery definitely won me over.

Quick character review: Fitz was... weird? Like the token hot guy that's super talented that Sophie is pretty much guaranteed to have a crush on. I'm very much rooting for Keefe. I love him so much!! Also, I hope his relationship with his father is further explored later, because that brief interaction was intriguing to say the least.


Tell Me How You Really Feel Aminah Mae Safi 2
"I finished this during my shift at work because I was bored, stubborn, and it was the only book I had downloaded. I was feeling like a cute summer romance book! It was not a cute summer romance book. Well, it is, technically, but it was just not good.

Sana and Rachel both go to a fancy private high school, with Sana as a cheerleader and Rachel as a film student. Very fancy. They hate each other, because apparently Sana asked Rachel out, Rachel thought it was joke, and therefore despises Sana for “pitying her”. Sana is confused. It was, to me, one of the worst “enemies to lovers” tropes I’ve ever seen.

Not to mention Rachel is an absolute entitled jerk. I hated her, and I would’ve dropped this book by page 20 if I had something else to read. But, I get to write this angry review now.

Still only 1 good female/female romance story I’ve ever read. I’m not sure I should keep trying to find another at this point (who am I kidding, of course I’ll keep looking). "


The First Part Last Angela Johnson 8
The First Part last was a good book, but took a bit of time for me to get into. It was written in a different, unordinary way that took some time to get used to. The chapters bounced from the past to the present and didn’t always start again where the last chapter left off. The First Part Last was also a very small book, so towards the end I was starting to realize I wouldn’t get the full story that I had been waiting for. This book was about a teenage boy who has a baby girl, Feather, and the struggles of raising her alone. HIs parents are trying to leave him to raise his small family so that he fully understands the implications of being a father, and the mother of Feather is no where to be found in the story. The majority of the flashbacks are about the mother, Nia, yet the readers don’t know until the very end where she is and why she wasn’t present. The suspense towards the end leading up to the answer was my favorite part of the book, yet the beginning and different writing style didn’t make it my favorite.


This is our Story Ashely Elston 8
I actually really liked this book. The book was about a group of five really close friends going on a hunting trip, and only four of them coming back with their lives. The fifth was murdered with own gun. Throughout this book we see a group member falsely blamed and almost convicted before being helped by a character named Kate. Proving his innocence . Overall the book was great, the ending was a huge cliffhanger, though.


The 57 Bus Dashka Slater 7
When I began the 57 Bus by Dashka Slater, I didn't remember reading the synopsis, so when I did begin reading, I was totally shocked to find a whole different story waiting for me than I originally thought. The 57 Bus follows middle class Luke, turned Sasha who is genderqueer and juvenile delinquent Richard. This book was incredibly eyeopening into the LGBTQ community which many people simply assume it just means straight or gay. Reading this book, and following Sasha's experiences as a genderqueer individual, as well as her friends, including a transgender male, and a gay friend, Slater explored what it was like to live in a world where people thought of them as "different." Without really giving a lot of of the plot away, Slater's book also shines a lot on the US' prison system including how we treat juveniles. Following Richard's trial, I thought that Slater perfectly described how broken the system is, and how Richard suffered as a result.


The Prisoner's Wife Maggie Brookes 5
I feel really bad about rating this book so low, but unfortunately it had to be done. This book had an extremely interesting and captivating premise: A Czech farm girl and London soldier marry and are captured as POWs. To keep Izzy safe, Bill hides her as a man and enlists the help of fellow POWs to keep her from prying eyes. However, the execution of this premise was very poorly done. The story was incredibly long and dragged on for about an extra 200 pages. In addition, the end was very poorly resolved. I understand that it was an impossible situation for these characters and happy endings were not very likely, however the author abruptly ended the book with no sad or happy ending at all. It was very unclear which made for a very unsatisfying ending.



























































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This website was created by Amy B.G. Kaplan (abgkaplan@westchesterlibraries.org)

Last revised April 29, 2020