Teen Book Reviews

Book Review: Everything Everything
Yoon, Nicola
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon was full of emotion, adventure, and romance! Maddy is a girl who is allergic to practically everything. She has never left her house in the length of seventeen years, and her books get delivered to her in airtight bags. It all changes when Olly, her new neighbor, catches her attention, and she falls in love with a person she can't even breathe the same air as. I absolutely fell in love with this book! Though there was not thrilling adventure, I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat! I mainly chose this book because Maddy's medical condition was intriguing to me, but the cover is also stunning! Everything Everything caught me off guard many times with its unpredictable turns and its heartwarming ending. Overall, this was one of my favorite books this year, with a rating of 5/5 stars! (Grade: 7 Age: 13)

Rachel
Book Review: Illuminae
Kaufman, Amie and Kristoff, Jay
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

I loved this book so much! Its written in a series of IM's, secret documents, emails, the mind of the AI and more! Its the most unique book ever. It is full of twist and turns and it made me cry and laugh and feel frustrated and more! I could not put it down!

Kathleen
Wells, Robison E.
3 stars = Pretty Good

Blackout changes perspectives throughout the story. It does get kind of annoying because it leaves you at a cliffhanger but other then that is a great book. I really hated how it didn't make sense before but then you see the entire story for what it is. I chose this because it's a Battle of the Books book and the cover looks really interesting. I wish that I had more details.

Isabella
Shaw, Susan
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

The Boy from the Basement is a story of a boy who escaped child abuse and neglect. This is one of the books that we are required to read for Battle of the Books. I went online to find a summary about this and I decided it would be a great book. I sure wasn't disappointed. It was so beautifully written that I could easily picture everything that was going on with the main character through all of this. This is one of the books I recommend to anyone who wants be moved and be captivated.

Isabella
Sepetys, Ruta
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

This book really made me want to cry. I loved how this entire story revolves around a 12 year old girl who is forced to move from place to place. I could relate to the protagonist because she has to make tough choices and she had to make sacrifices for the greater good. This story will cause sadness and also create a spark of hope. This is a beautifully written story and is perfect for any age.

Isabella
Green, John
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

I love how this book really moved me and how it's written. This girl truly wants to be normal but having cancer makes it impossible. She hates everything and is forced go to a support group. Her life is seemingly unbearable until she meets a boy named Augustus Waters. This is a story that will make people enjoy the little things in life. I love how it was written and how it is a modern book.

Isabella
Book Review: 7 Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness
Metaxas, Eric
4 stars = Really Good

A great book with mini biographies of 7 men who made choices that changed their society and left legacies for us. The writing style is informal. I learned things about these famous men that I hadn't known before.

A great inspirational book for teens and adults.

Julie
https://transit.coloradosprings.gov/sites/default/files/transit/files/rt25_acade
Condie, Ally
4 stars = Really Good

Most amazing book! an intruiging dystopian novel that exites and entrances! its also a series READ IT!!!

Alethea
Foster, Thomas C.
3 stars = Pretty Good

The book is a very practical book and an amusing guide to literature. It is about a chatty Professor from University of Michigan who talks about different elements of literature such as mythology, geography, faith, Bible, seasons, Shakespeare, etc... There are ample of examples and the language is friendly. The author is quite controversial about some topics but overall, the book is entertaining and fun to read!

Shivani
Hillenbrand, Laura
4 stars = Really Good

I found this book extremely depressing for the most part. Not because it was a bad book, but because it was so sad. I was surprised and stunned at the intensity of the book. Normally I don't care for fictional books. This was a true story about a man who went through hard times.
Louis Zamperini was a mischievous kid, an Olympian, a bombardier on a B-24 Liberator and a World War II prisoner of War (POW). As a POW Louis was treated as trash. The Japanese forced them work for them. Turning the POW's into slaves. Many of the POW's died of sicknesses or to much work. Louis was beaten and tormented. They tried to take everything from the POW's. They took those men and stripped them of their dignity, leaving them feeling worthless.
Everyday Louis watches as men unable to hold on anymore give up and die. To keep himself going he thinks about home. As the war gets closer to ending his hopes fly up higher. When the war was finally over Louis comes home. He is not the strong Olympian he was. He is a frail man of 29. He can't leave the horrors of the camp behind. His dreams are tormented by thoughts of the prison. His life might have taken a turn for the bad had he not met Jesus. I highly recommend this book to most teens. This is a heart worming and heart breaking story. I loved it!!!

Rachel
Hough, Jason M.
4 stars = Really Good

Any fan of adventure, aliens, sci-fi, Australia, daring innovations, zombie-like creatures, characters some could easily relate to, flying ships, and an interesting plot is sure to love this book. I randomly checked out this book for the summer and was surprised to enjoy it; unlike other books where it takes a few chapters to get to the point and books with boring dialogue, this book can take any reader to another world which, in a couple of decades and some imagination, a reader can understand happening for real.

Caitlyn
Lawhead, Stephen
4 stars = Really Good

I mostly read this book for the enjoyment of finding a new take on Robin Hood. It's an excellent story with developed characters and rich plot. A must read for Robin Hood fans, historical fiction readers, and anyone who is just looking for a unique story.

Caitlyn
Bradley, C. Alan
3 stars = Pretty Good

Not my favorite of the series. SO many characters, I had a hard time remembering them all! I understand it must have been nice to have Flavia visiting his home country (the author is Canadian), but I preferred the books set in Bishop's Lacey, England.

Krista
Seraphina
Hartman, Rachel
4 stars = Really Good

Seraphina is the music mistress living at court, but she has a secret. Beneath the layers of her carefully tied sleeves and around her waist are the scales of a dragon. Dragons and humans barely tolerate each other--despite their treaty--except when they fall in love. Seraphina's shape-shifting-dragon mother died in childbirth and Seraphina's human father tried to keep his daughter out of the public eye. As Seraphina becomes a teenager her intelligence, musical talent, and curiosity plunge her into the intrigues of the royal court and into the arms of a prince. How long will she be able to hide her true nature from the prince?

Renee
Book Review: Your Brain: The Missing Manual
MacDonald, Matthew
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Your Brain: The Missing Manual is the book for "the rest of us" who don't want to or can't take in all the medical jargon that usually infests books about how the "little grey cells" work.

Matthew MacDonald takes the information about how the brain functions and breaks it down into usable chunks. He gives a brief but thorough explanation of several functions the brain performs in simple English, then explains how the brain's owner can make the best use of how the brain works. An analogy would be that instead of someone trying to explain what's under the hood of that great car, he shows you the control panel and HOW TO USE the car. Chances are, you don't need to know how many cylinders there are, what kind of oil it uses etc. because all you plan to do is USE the car and maybe do a bit of maintenance. Matthew MacDonald's approach is that of someone explaining just enough of how the brain functions so that it can be used more efficiently and to the owner's benefit. I heartily recommend the book, especially to staff and teens who could use the problem solving techniques the author includes in the book for learning, school problem solving, etc.

Pauline
Book Review: Nation
Pratchett, Terry
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Just when Mau has completed the ritual of surviving on an island apart that should mark his transition to manhood, the tidal wave hits. Before he can reach the festival on the shores of home, his entire village is destroyed. As the sole survivor, Mau must learn how to rebuild the Nation. At first this is just a physical rebuilding, but as castaways begin to wash up on shore, Mau is compelled to reconstruct the community and spiritual aspects of his heritage as well. Pratchett weaves an engaging story that is sometimes somber, frequently humorous, and as smart as his resourceful characters.

Renee
Book Review: Cinder
Meyer, Marissa
4 stars = Really Good

As a cyborg--part human, part technology-- sixteen-year-old Cinder is the lowest of the low and an embarrassment to her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interface gives her the ability to tell when people are lying to her, and to access to a netlink with news, and manuals that help her be the best mechanic in New Beijing. Being the best mechanic comes in handy when the Prince needs his android repaired and this is how Cinder and Prince Kai meet. This story's contains elements familiar to the fairy tale: evil stepmother, prince, a small foot, and a ball; but the resemblance ends there and takes the story a million miles beyond the original tale. The story has one small flaw, but it is barely noticeable in this can't-wait-to-see-what-happens-next retelling.

Renee
Book Review: Matched
Condie, Ally
3 stars = Pretty Good

This is a teen melodrama romance so there's a bit of navel gazing going on. It seemed to me that the main character tried too hard to be poetic, which was somewhat annoying. But it picks up towards the middle and becomes a more interesting. I plan to read the second in the series. If I were a teenage girl, I would probably give this book a higher rating, so apologies to the author.

vfranklyn
Book Review: The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone
Griffin, Adele
4 stars = Really Good

This was an intriguing book about an imaginative artist who passed away at a young age. The author interviews her friends and family in order to discover more about her. Each person has a different outlook of Addison Stone. I really enjoyed this story which seemed to be about a real person since it includes photos and artwork of this promising young artist (but it is actually a novel).

Lisa
Book Review: Crime and Punishment
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

I think what made this book so amazing to me was my originally misconceptions about it. All I knew about it was that it was "creepy and disturbing", and looking down at the plain orange and black cover with a not-very-interesting name, I thought, "Oh well, I have little to expect out of this book." I then realized that the characters had more personality than expected and that the storyline was, yes, disturbing in many aspects, but very compelling. It is a very philosophical book that is thought-provoking in every chapter. I will not spoil any of this wonderful book as I hope that you will read it yourself! It changed my life and is my favorite book! Audiences recommended are older teen to adult. The themes in this book are not suitable for those younger than high school, and it would be confusing and not as meaningful for those who are younger. Despite this, it is a moving and powerful story about the struggle of identity in man, and I highly recommend it to all in the range of the intended audience.

Frostbite Alchemist
Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood
Blake, Kendare
4 stars = Really Good

Anna was sixteen and on her way to a school dance when she was killed. Someone cut her throat...someone nearly cut her head clean off! They say she was wearing a white party dress, and when they found her the whole thing was stained red. Anna Dressed in Blood is Scary, but you won't have to sleep with the lights on. Ghost hunter, Cas Lowood provides a witty perspective on ghosts, but the story keeps you wondering what happened to the end.

Renee
Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood
Blake, Kendare
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Such a great book to read around Halloween! It sucked me in from the very beginning, and I almost read it all in one sitting! (Adult responsibilities were the only thing keeping me from it!). Suspenseful, spooky, and fast-paced, this book has a great story, likable characters, and a mystery that will keep you guessing.

Highly recommend for those that love ghost stories! (may be a little too much for those that are easily frightened).

Becca
Book Review: The Silence Of Bonaventure Arrow
Leganski, Rita
4 stars = Really Good

A lovely interwoven tapestry of human grief and reconciliation, this novel has a mystical lining and wonderful characters that capture the heart and the imagination. It is finely written, with well defined voices threaded together across time and circumstance.

Dee
Book Review: I Hunt Killers
Lyga, Barry
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Wow. This book is crazy. Crazy good, crazy scary, and crazy demented. I recommend tenth grade and up. Part of a trilogy. I Hunt Killers is about a boy of a serial killer who must fight off the urge to be like Dear Old Dad or die trying. The psychology is the book was astounding, you are able to see how a killer's mind works. Amazing, and I cannot wait to start the sequel.

Elizabeth
Book Review: Elizabeth is Missing
Healey, Emma
3 stars = Pretty Good

Loved the concept of the book, it showed the confusion, frustration, and fear that comes with diminishing memory. I liked the switching back and forth between the past and present and how they started getting blurred. It's just the ending I had a problem with - I don't think it lived up to the rest of the book.

Krista