Teen Book Reviews

Book Review: The Diviners
Bray, Libba
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

The Diviners is the amazing first part of a new series by Libba Bray (Going Bovine, Gemma Doyle trilogy, etc.) about Evie, a young flapper who is sent to NYC to live with her uncle after getting in trouble back home in Ohio. It turns out that Evie has special powers...and she's not the only one. A serial killer has been terrorizing the citizens of New York, committing ritualized murders, and Evie, along with her uncle and a couple of pals, must catch the killer before he can commit the final murder that will bring about the end of the world. Recommended for older teens...this book is scary! (And scary
good!)

Jenna
Book Review: The Hobbit, or, There and Back Again
Tolkien, J. R. R.
4 stars = Really Good

I quite enjoyed this book. I listened to it on audio, BBC version. The music was very cheesy, but I ended up laughing at it instead of being annoyed. The acting was very good, except Gandalf didn't sound nearly as good in this portrayal as he does in the movies. Still, thumbs up!

vfranklyn
Book Review: The Lucky Ones: My Passionate Fight for Farm Animals
Brown, Jenny
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

This book is amazing. If you're an animal lover of any sort, you will love this book. The author tells beautiful stories of the animals that have come to her animal sanctuary that were rescued from terrible situations. The stories dive deep in to the emotional world of farm animals that most people are unable to experience or associate with. Animals truly are a gift to this world and they have so many lessons to teach us, if we would all just slow down and listen :)

Laura K.
Book Review: Texas Gothic
Clement-Moore, Rosemary
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Amy Goodnight's family is far from normal. She comes from a line of witches, but tries her best to stay far outside the family business. Her summer gig? Ranch-sitting for her aunt with her wacky but beautiful sister. Only the Goodnight Ranch is even less normal than it normally is. Bodies are being discovered, a ghost is on the prowl, and everywhere she turns, the hot neighbor cowboy is in her face.

I've read this book twice, which is really saying something. This book has everything I like- a little mystery, romance, fantasy, and a lot of humor. I actually laughed out loud in public, especially at the part when Amy, our heroine, chases a 'delinquent cow' through a field wearing only her underwear and a pair of over sized galoshes. She's very snarky and I love it. I highly recommend this for fun read!

Cara
Book Review: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Alexie, Sherman
4 stars = Really Good

The main character of this book is Arnold "Junior" Spririt. Junior lives on the Spokane Indian Reservation where getting a good education isn't as important as Junior thinks it should be. During his Freshman year of high school, Junior decides to to transfer from the rez school, Wellpinit, to Reardan, where the only other Indian is the school mascot! As you can imagine those first days and weeks are tough for Arnold at Reardan. But, eventually he does start to develop some important relationships. Junior's overcomes so many obstacles throughout this book and Alexie tells a wonderful story through compassion and humor.

Russ
Book Review: Hello World!: Computer Programming For Kids and Other Beginners
Sande, Warren
4 stars = Really Good

This book was great for kids who want to learn the programming basics. I was cool to make something and very rewarding! If you are interested in computer books, this is for you!

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

Great book! I wasn't interested in the subject matter at first, but had to read for a book club. After I started it, I was hooked! I love that the book is written from the perspective of death. Zusak has a magical way with words.
Highly recommend!

Sandy
Book Review: Ready Player One
Cline, Ernest
4 stars = Really Good

Fantastic book! Lots of fun, with great 80s references, as seen from a dystopian future in which most of reality has been supplanted by the far more pleasant world of OASIS (a VR interface). This book will appeal to gamers and fans of 80s pop culture.

There were a few moments where I felt like some elements of the story were being brushed over (without giving away too much, there were some deaths that I felt were not acknowledged much in the text, though this is completely in character with the POV character's detachment from reality). But these were powerful elements that might have been more character-defining and perhaps might have demonstrated more about his motivation. This is why I could not, in good conscience, give the book the 5 stars. It could be just my own personal preferences coming through. Some people might be totally fine with that.

I listened to the audiobook version, narrated by Wil Wheaton, who does a great job with the characterizations and is completely believable as the first-person narrator. Not only that, but it really sounded like he was enjoying himself while narrating the book. And of course, that always makes it more fun as a listener.

Shannon
Book Review: Reincarnation
Weyn, Suzanne
4 stars = Really Good

It's very hard to explain the plot of this book but I will try.

So, basically, we have (roughly) four characters. Since in the book their names keep changing, in this review, I'll call them: the Girl, the Boy, the Douche, and the Redhead.

Spoilers ahead.

So, we start out in prehistory and the Girl is going to be mated to the Douche. Except, she doesn't want to because hes--well, he's a douche. so she's in a cave looking at a statue she's seen a billion times before and finds and emerald in the middle, and thinks "if I can get that emerald, I won't have to be mated to the Douche!"
Meanwhile, the Boy (who is a neanderthal) is having problems of his own. he was on a hunt and apparently was disgraced and can't go back to his tribe. He stumbles upon the cave where the Girl is singing and then HE sees the Emerald and thinks, "if I get that, I can go back to my tribe without disgrace!" so they fight for it and end up tumbling over a cliff. and dying.

Next, we're in Egypt. the Girl has a job as a singer (this is major symbolism). the Boy comes in as a Nubian slave. ((He can't talk becuz of an injury to the throat. note that in his past life he didn't know how to speak at all)) the Douche is there, buy the Boy and the Girl fall in love anyway. I don't think the Redhead is redheaded in this life, but she's there and tries to convince the boy to steal something from the girl so he can escape slavery, end comes to end, the Douche kills the Boy.

next life is in Greece. The girl still sings and has a bad foot (because in her past life she broke her foot). the Boy is an orphan of Egyptian descent and generally not accepted by everyone. The Douche is there and wants to win the Girl's hand in marriage. The Girl would much rather be a priestess of Athena, but that is not an option. so she asks the Boy to fight in the competition and win so she doesn't half to marry the Douche. Stuff happens, and ends with the Girl dying.

After this, the lives get increasingly more amusing and confusing. The Boy and the Girl switch genders, and then there's one situation in which the Boy and the Girl met and the Boy died and was reincarnated before the Girl died so we had a 17-year-old and a (I actually don't know if this is an accurate
number) 40-year-old.

Then, finally, in present day, the Girl and the Boy are in high school on a field trip to a museum where they see and exhibit of a neanderthal skeleton entangled with the skeleton of a Cro-Magnon female and scientist believe they died fighting over an emerald.
(That, of course, is the Boy and the Girl from about a bazillion lives ago)

Monica
Book Review: Divergent
Roth, Veronica
4 stars = Really Good

I liked it. It started off a bit slow for my taste and it took awhile for me to immerse myself in its reality, but once I did I quite enjoyed it. It gets good about two thirds of the way through and has a very good ending, although I'm left with a spoiler question I won't address here, except to say, why the heck didn't she...?

vfranklyn
The Hunger Games cover
Collins, Suzanne
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

i love this book i will read it again
i read the whole series it is amazing

Erica R.
Book Review: Anne of Avonlea
Montgomery, L. M. (Lucy Maud)
3 stars = Pretty Good

I loved Anne of Green Gables but for some reason I just didn't get into the sequel. I'm not sure why, it just moved slowly and wasn't as adventurous, I think. I liked the portrait of a young teacher at the turn of the century. It's amazing how much has changed in that regard, and I did enjoy the ending.

vfranklyn
 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Rowling, J. K.
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

In my opinion this is the best out of the whole series!!!!!!!

Ailana
Book Review: The Raven Boys
Stiefvater, Maggie
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Amazing. This book was one of the best I've read, and boy have i read a lot.
The exquisite language combined with the beutiful imagery makes this book amazing.

Basically, this book takes place in a small mondern-day virginia town. There are two main characters, but at least 5 other characters that opinions feature in the book.

"Blue Sargent, the daughter of the town psychic in Henrietta, Virginia, has been told for as long as she can remember that if she ever kisses her true love, he will die. But she is too practical to believe in things like true love. Her policy is to stay away from the rich boys at the prestigious Aglionby Academy. The boys there — known as Raven Boys — can only mean trouble."

Now, i know what your thinking. ROMANCE BLEH. But really, there's really not that much romance in the book. Blue doesn't even have a legit boyfriend, she's just dating a guy, and they don't even kiss =). So that's good.

The book is more of a mystery suspence thing. but it's awesome. SERIOUSLY, stop reading this, and go pick up that book. Trust me.

You won't regret it.

Libby
Book Review: Cardcaptor Sakura - Book 1
CLAMP
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Probably the first manga I actually got in to (other than Pokemon!).
Very good first book. I immediately was drawn into the storyline and eagerly read the next book. I was surprised how big it was...I guess I didn't know I was getting the omnibus edition! (all it said was Cardcaptor Sakura Book 1...<^.^').

The basic storyline is that a 4th grader named Sakura Kinomoto walks into her father's library and finds a mysterious book titled "The Clow". Upon opening it, a strange but cute creature comes out who says his name is Cerberus.

Sakura decides to call him, cutely, Kero-chan. Kero is surprised to find that all the cards residing in the Clow book have disappeared. Kero immediatly makes Sakura a Cardcaptor-kind of like a magical girl, but this girl (or boy in Syaoran's case) collects Clow Cards.

I have never seen the anime (mostly because I don't like the anime plot as much) but I enjoyed the manga a lot. The characters are very loveable.Sakura's rival, Syaoran Li, is probably my all-time favorite character now. I admit, I did not like him when I had only read the first book. Believe me, if you feel the same way after reading this book, you will definitely fall in love with him by the end of the series (by the end of the series I mean reading the first series AND the second series [Cardcaptor Sakura: Master of the Clow]). The second series is much more romantically revolved, so I found it much more adorable.

In my opinion, I would give this whole series...10 stars!! (if only...)

Cardcaptor Asu-nyan
Book Review: Anne of Green Gables
Montgomery, L. M. (Lucy Maud)
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

I love Anne. She is such a terrific role model for girls young and old. This book is very well written. The story unfolds in a leisurely way with lush descriptions of nature and imagination. I enjoyed how the relationship between Marilla and Anne grew into one of deepest love. Each time I read this book I get something new out of it. This time it was the understanding that achievement means hard work and sacrifice. Simple enough, but not something one necessarily thinks of when stating a lofty ambition. I can't wait to read Anne of Avonlea!

vfranklyn
Book Review: Inkheart
Funke, Cornelia
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

His book is extremly awesome a girls dad is reading to her and whatever he reads comes out the book alive, the girl can read it but the things do not come alive just the dad can read it to make it come alive. I cant tell you anymore you have to check it out... Good luck reading it... Enjoy and thank you

Jillian
City Of Ashes
Clare, Cassandra
4 stars = Really Good

A truly unique book with unexpected twists and turns. The main
character--Clay--is very relatable and has strong core values in bravery, acting out of love, value for life, and determination. All in all, this book is a fun, relatable, action-filled, romantic, piece of art!

Haley
Book Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Chbosky, Stephen
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

A fantastic read for teens and adults. It's written as letters to an anonymous reader, by a boy who is learning all about life. The boy, Charlie, is shy and emotional and just entering high school, when he meets two people that change his life. It's a great perspective and a very touching story. I recommend reading it before watching the movie!

Cassie
Book Review: Twilight: A Novel
Meyer, Stephenie
4 stars = Really Good

In this terribly suspenseful novel our heroine moves to Forks, Washington to live with her father. She is in a new high school, and finds herself the center of attention. She only has eyes for the beautiful and mysterious Edward, however. What is his secret? Can he return her love despite his family's history, and the torment of Bella's scent? Also available in Audio Format and as an eBook. Read it and find out!

Kristen
book cover for The Fault in Our Stars
Green, John
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Great book! The story is about a girl named Hazel who has cancer and she meets a guy named Augustus in a support group. It's a sad story in a way, but it's also story about love and hope. I really liked this book! Keep a box of tissues handy!

Sandy
Book Review: Ring of Five Trilogy
McNamee, Eoin
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

In this trilogy, the boy Danny leaves his parents to be trained at Wilsons School of Spies--but that wasn't the school his parents thought they were sending him to! As the trilogy progresses, Danny is caught in webs of truth vs. treachery when he is discovered to be the fifth member of the Ring of Five, an evil group of people trying to take over the Upper and Lower Worlds.

Emma S.
Cover of the book The Outsiders
Hinton, S. E.
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

The rift between social classes in thirteen-year-old Ponyboy Curtis's world grows stronger each year. He's a greaser, which essentially means that he's a hood, even though he gets excellent grades and his idea of acting out is going to the movie theater without one of his brothers or a buddy. The social elite, known as the socs, hate the greasers and vice-versa. But for Ponyboy he can't quite make the connection for the reason to hate. Not when he meets the pretty and friendly Cherry at a drive-in-theater. Not when he knows his oldest brother Darry would be a soc and have gone on to college if it weren't for the fact that their parents are dead and he's taken on the responsibility to keep the Curtis family together. The difference between the two worlds explodes in Ponyboy's face when he and his best friend are confronted in the park one night by a gang of socs out for blood. Not even Ponyboy can imagine away this horrific turn of events that puts him and Johnny on the run. "The Outsiders" is the very first book ever that I would recommend to every reader, as soon as they hit their teens. It doesn't matter if it's a thirteen-year-old or a sixty-five year old reading it, just so long as they do. S. E. Hinton was published when she was 16 years old and I cannot praise her highly enough. Realistic fiction is difficult enough to master at the best of times let alone when you're only sixteen. Ponyboy's world is tough and gritty and terrifying but it's a place that people need to realize exists.

Carissa
World War Z: An Oral History Of The Zombie War
Brooks, Max
4 stars = Really Good

Just so we're clear on this, zombies totally freak me out. I do read a considerable amount of horror and suspense fiction, but there is something about zombies that just push me into panic (I cannot handle "The Walking Dead"). That being said, this book kept the gross-out factor (the one that gives me the willies whenever I see TWD featured on Sci-Fi magazine) to a minimum, and focused on the world impact, and the human element. This book was about the survivors, how humanity managed to make it through. I really enjoyed it.

Shannon
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows
Rowling, J.K.
5 stars = Curiosity Mars Rover Awesome!

Wow. All I can say is wow. This book exceeded my wildest expectations. It kept me up till 4 in the morning because I HAD to finish it!

Katie