Teen Book Reviews

Book Review: Love and Other Four-Letter Words
Mackler, Carolyn
3 stars = Pretty Good

The thing about teen books, especially 'chick-lit' style books, is they all seem to run together. As I was reading this book, I realized that somewhere in my hazy pre-baby past, I'd already read this book. I could just barely remember it. It was like having deja vu while reading. But still it was good, even for the second time around.

vfranklyn
Book Review: Shatter Me
Mafi, Tahereh
2 stars = Meh

"Shatter Me" is a wonderful example of the most cliché teen romance "novel" that anyone has ever read up. The summaries promised it to be an epic dystopian fiction, but as the story progressed Juliette, the main character became more interested in the idea of choosing between two men. Aaron, who captures her to conduct experiments with her power, or Adam, the boy she met when she was ten. Her options are not exactly out of the ordinary for a supposedly "Dystopian" fiction. The only real difference I see between this and the other books I've read in this past year is the gut wrenching number of similes and metaphors, some of which have absolutely no context to this story whatsoever. Though it was well written, this book could be mightily improved.

Maia
Book Review: Hero
Kontis, Alethea
4 stars = Really Good

Personally loved this book, I adored the main character and the setting was wonderfully done. I think that Saturday Woodcutter was a great character. When she decided that she was done trying to act like someone else, she went on an adventure. This book kept me thoroughly interested for a little over a week. The conclusion was mostly thrilling and made sense with the context of the book.

Maia
Book Review: Red Riding Hood
Blakley-Cartwright, Sarah
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

I liked the fact that this was not a traditional retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. Valerie is an intelligent individual who's goal is to capture the wolf. In this version the wolf lives inside a villager. This novel also touches on the corrupt church of the medieval time period and the cruelness that can be mankind. This story was a stunning mix of honesty and a fairy tale.

Maia
Book Review: Trafficked
Purcell, Kim
4 stars = Really Good

This was a really good book. Although it is considered teen fiction, it didn't really read that way. I was very impressed by the narrative. The protagonist is from Moldova and her voice is very authentic. The author obviously did her homework, particularly involving the different customs and dialects of the former Soviet Union and Moldova in particular. Crazy that stuff like this still happens in real life.

vfranklyn
Book Review: Hollow City
Riggs, Ransom
4 stars = Really Good

I liked this book better than book 1 (Mrs. Peregrine's School for Peculiar Children). It felt to me like book 1 was a prequel to this one. I'm glad there was some resolution with the main character's parents. I'll probably read the next installment. Definitely a cool idea to make a story out of found strange photos.

vfranklyn
Book Review: The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict
Stewart, Trenton Lee
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Yes, some might think this is only a children's book, but I am a teen and I loved it! This book is the predecessor to The Mysterious Benedict Society series, but you could read it by itself and still understand what is going on. Maybe that is why I loved it so much.

Basically, the story is about the life of the creator of the Mysterious Benedict Society, Nicholas Benedict, but when he was nine (which makes him all the cuter) and his troubles in an orphanage from bullies to friendships.
In between all of this, he also tries to figure out the mystery behind the orphanage he lives in. The downside: he had a chronic sleeping disorder that makes him fall asleep anytime, anyplace. The upside: he's a downright genius.

I think this is a lovely, well written book that will charm people of all ages. Don't give a second thought about reading it!

Margaret
Book Review: All-American Girl
Cabot, Meg
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

I loved this book. I love how meg cabot was able to get the teen feeling in to this book. I also love how she was able to get the president and everything like that in to this book. I recommend this book to people who like teen books.

Sam
Book Review: Wonder
Palacio, R. J.
4 stars = Really Good

This was a sweet book. I loved Auggie's voice and how different parts of the book were narrated by different characters. I also loved the message, which was to always be kinder than necessary. A feel-good, quick read.

vfranklyn
Book Review: I Am Malala
Yousafzai, Malala
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

A powerful look at a young girl's fight for education in Pakistan. Malala starts by filling us in on her country's history, from before colonization by the British through the Taliban takeover. All the while she and her father fight for girls' education. It's hard not to despair for her as she is fighting against such great odds, but her positive attitude reminds us that good can overcome evil. She wants every person in the world to be educated. Amen to that!

vfranklyn
Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars
Green, John
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

I could say so many things about this book, but what I most want to say is that you should read it. Even when you're crying and want to put it down, you're laughing through your tears a few paragraphs later. Beautiful and memorable.

Evan
Book Review: Bomb: The Race to Build- And Steal- The World's Most Dangerous Weap
Sheinkin, Steve
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Everything they probably taught you in middle school, but WAY more entertaining and fascinating! Steve Sheinkin wrote textbooks and then vowed to make it up to us with engaging narratives of history. The espionage, the intrigue, the science, and the implications of it all kept me returning to this Newbery Honor book. The many facts with which Sheinkin presents the reader are accessible as well as interesting, and the use of original photographs puts faces to names and gives perspective to the devastation caused by the weapons. Excellently cited, Sheinkin paves the way for researchers and history buffs young and old to continue their reading on this fascinating time in our nation's past.

Evan
Book Review: Winger
Smith, Andrew
3 stars = Pretty Good

It was o.k. I felt like there was just not much of a plot until the very end, and then it just... ended. If the end (those of you who have read it know the "end" I'm talking about) would have been more toward the middle of the story, I think the book would have been more interesting.

Otherwise, it was a book about a teenager who is overly cocky to hide his insecurity. Nothing really new. Funny in parts, and not unreadable, just o.k.

Krista
Book Review: The Book Thief
Zusak, Markus
2 stars = Meh

This book was too long and the author tried too hard to make it deep and poetic. But I read the whole thing, so it wasn't bad. I liked hearing about Hitler's reign from a German non-Jew perspective. Death as a narrator was okay, I guess. I don't know, it just didn't really work for me. Also, although it's technically a teen book, I think it's more suited for adults.

vfranklyn
Book Review: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Riggs, Ransom
4 stars = Really Good

This was a really neat book. I really enjoyed the photos and the way they were woven together to make a fascinating story. I can imagine the author collecting odd photos and then constructing a story to link them all together. I wonder if there will be a sequel?

vfranklyn
Book Review: Divergent
Roth, Veronica
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Oh my gosh! This book was absolutely AWESOME! The storyboard was amazing! There is always something happening in this book whether it's action, adventure, romance, or sacrifice. I LOVED this book. I think I read it in one day! This is the book dystopian fiction lovers!

Caroline
Book Review: Circles of Seven
Davis, Bryan
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Wow! This is one of my favorite books ever! It is engaging, interesting, and super WOW! I love that the dragons come to life off of the page, and they seam to make you feel like you could see one flying around if you looked closely! :) It also has values that promote good thoughts, and birth wonderful new ideas! This is one of my ultimate all time favorite book!
:)

Emma
Book Review: Storm Front
Castle, Richard
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Only one word could possibly describe this book....awesome. It was full of action and had a great balance of seriousness and humor. It had many twists and that were sometimes unexpected. I also thought it had a great, happy ending.

Caitlyn
Book Review: The Lightening Thief
Riordan, Rick
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Percy Jackson and the Lighting Thief is maybe the most strange novel I have ever read. I started reading by the recommendation of a friend. She told me it was about the Greek gods in the modern world, and I was skeptical, yet it turned out to be one of the best books I've read. This story is fascinating and strung with believable characters, voice, intriguing plot and even villains that you care for. This story is a must-read!

Hannah
Book Review: Raising Dragons
Davis, Bryan
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Do you like fantasy? If you like fantasy weaved into every day life, you will love Raising Dragons and the rest of the Dragons in our Midst series. The book starts out with Billy Bannister who figures out he is the son of a dragon. Now, if you think this sounds strange and unrealistic, you will be surprised. Bryan Davis writes in such a convincing way that makes you almost wonder if there might be dragons in our midst.

Hannah
Book Review: The Hunger Games
Collins, Suzanne
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

This was one of the best books i have ever read. The passion and romance was perfectly portrade. The Capital could not have been shamed in a more perfect way. I love you Pita. Go Team Pita.

Jorie
Book Review: Three Rivers Rising: A Novel of the Johnstown Flood
Richards, Jame
3 stars = Pretty Good

Written in short verses, Three Rivers Rising is a fictional account of the disastrous Johnstown Flood that occurred in 1889. Several different characters are introduced, each on a different rung of the complex social hierarchy of the time, and each affected by the flooding in various ways.

The verse format seems to be catching on more in young adult literature, and though I do like how fast the book reads a result, I always feel like certain details don't get fleshed out well enough.

This story spends so much time examining people and their lives before the flood, but doesn't spend enough time describing the aftermath and how the survivors dealt with the incredible loss of life and property.

ekendrick
Book Review: Enclave
Aguirre, Ann
4 stars = Really Good

This dark, fast-paced thriller captures you on page one and doesn't let go until the end. The book is well-written, and one of the best dystopia novels I've ever read. The main character is a strong female lead, and the love interest actually seems real and interesting unlike other books. The book is about a girl who chooses to become a Huntress. This job entails hunting food, and slaying these zombie things called freaks. The setting is underground, and Deuce finds out secrets that are dangerous to the population. I recommend for 13 years and up, due to very graphic and dark scenes. I wouldn't call it scary though. This is a must-read for Fans of Divergent and Hunger Games It's the first in a trilogy, and the other two books are just as amazing as this one!

Libby
Book Review: Son
Son
Lowry, Lois
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

What a truly AWESOME book. Filled with love, loss, adventure, and
creativity. I simply couldn't put it down!

Caroline
Book Review: The Book Thief
Zusak, Markus
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

This book is AMAZING. On my first read-through, I'll admit I did not have high expectations for it, and it started off a bit slow and confusing. The story quickly picks up though, and it's even more impressive (and makes more
sense) on rereads. It's about a girl growing up in Germany during World War II, and the story is brilliantly told. It's narrated by Death; a completely original idea. If you enjoy reading and writing, you should read this book: It describes the power of words and shows how a book can save your life - literally.

Annie