All Book Reviews by Genre: Realistic

A Void the Size of the World
Alpine, Rachele
1 star = Yuck!
Review:

If there was one word to describe this book it would definitely be "yuck". It's like when Squiduard took over Spongebob's shift for a day and instead of a krabby patty he fried a boot. It has absolutely no plot. there is paranormal activity that we never figure out and we don't know what happened to Abby. If i could rate this a -10/10 I would.

Reviewer's Name: Vincent D
Wild Bird
Van Drannen, Wendelin
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Wild Bird, by Wendelin Van Draanen, is an amazing, unforgettable book that you won't be able to put down. The theme of Wild Bird is that anyone can transform their lifestyles and become better people. This book's main character is a willful, fourteen year old girl named Wren whose biggest fault is being unable to say no. This has lead her to be involved with the wrong crowd and make very bad decisions, including smoking weed, shoplifting, and even being a drug runner for her "friend" Nico. One day, Wren ends up in the hospital, being both wasted and having drugs in her system. Her parents used to believe she was "sick" but this day in the hospital they realize she's been lying to them. Before she knows it, Wren is sent off to an eight week camp in Utah that supposedly helps change the lives of people her age with similar issues and addictions. Wren is extremely angry at her parents and the doctors and everyone who she thinks may be to blame for sending her here. But there in the desert of Utah, Wren learns to survive and she begins to realize over time that maybe it isn't their fault after all, and that maybe, just maybe, she needs to change her life around. In the desert, Wren has to face her feelings and realizes that there is no escaping her mistakes.

This book is amazing. I love the way the author created the character of Wren. She's willful, which at first was a weakness, but she later uses it as a strength. She's courageous and as the book goes on you just fall in love with her. I recommend this to anyone who may be struggling with an addiction, anyone who knows deep down in their heart that their life needs change, and, of course, to any readers who love books with adventure and drama.

Reviewer Grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: Elizabeth P
All Rise For The Honorable Perry T. Cook
Connor, Leslie
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Have you ever felt like you were ever in a situation others thought was terrible, but you felt was normal and were happy with? If so, you should consider reading the book "All Rise For The Honorable Perry T. Cook". Perry is a young boy who grew up in jail, but never committed any crime. Once his mother was placed in prison, she gave birth to Perry while held behind bars.

Perry has grown a family at that facility, and loves his mom and all the workers at the jail. However, Nebraska gets a new district attorney who realizes what is happening to Perry. He believes the situation is terrible, and sends him out to a foster family.

Perry must find a way to get back to his mother, while learning about the new home he has been placed in. Can he ever find a way back to where his life lies? This is an amazing book for anybody who's ever felt their life was stolen from them. I highly recommend you read this book if you have any interest in doing so.

- Reviewer Grade 8

Reviewer's Name: Anna C
P.S. I Still Love You
Han, Jenny
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

In the follow up to To All The Boys I've Loved Before, Lara Jean continues to charm and delight us in another unique story of love. Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky are together-- for real this time. Lara Jean is trying to figure out how to make a real relationship work when another boy who she sent a love letter to-- John Ambrose McClaren, suddenly re-enters her life. At the same time, Lara Jean begins volunteering at a nursing home, and makes memorable friends who help her navigate her high school life. Lara Jean is just as charming and relatable as in the first book of the series and I immensely enjoy her voice and personality. Readers should know that this book focuses a lot on Lara Jean's middle school years, and explores her friendship with Genevieve more than in the first book. By the time the novel is over, readers will feel as if they have known Lara Jean all of her life. Lara Jean's family is still as much an important part of the plot as her relationships are, and fans will be delighted to know that Kitty is just as sprunky and unique as in the first novel. The reason why I only rated it 4 stars is that the book takes a confusing turn with Lara Jean's feelings for John Ambrose. I personally did not enjoy their connection because it felt like she was forcing Peter out of her life for someone who she thought was better. I also felt that she was overly nostalgic and pained about why her and Gen's friendship ended in the first place. All in all, I enjoyed this installment to the series, but not as much as the first one.

Reviewer's Name: Allie S
Thirteen Reasons Why
Asher, Jay
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Hannah Baker, a seventeen year old girl at Liberty High... dead. Clay Jensen
doesn't know what to think when he finds out his crush killed herself. Two
weeks after the night Hannah dies, Clay finds a box on his front porch for
him. Inside the box, he finds tapes. There is no return address so he doesn't
know who it is from, but he listens to the tapes anyway. While listening, he
finds out these tapes are from Hannah Baker, and anyone who got the box of
tapes, were responsible for her death. Clay spends all night listening to
Hannah's story but he wonders if he did anything that might have made Hannah
kill herself. He is unsure if he wants to continue listening to them, but his
friend Tony, who somehow knows about the tapes, helps him listen to them. By
the end of the book, Clay knows what Hannah has been through, and pays
attention to others, to see if they might be going through a tough time like
Hannah did.

I enjoyed reading this novel from Jay Asher for many reasons. One of them was
that this novel helps us understand that there may be more to other people's
lives than we know. It also tells us that anything can have an impact on
someone. Even the smallest things. I have learned to be cautious of what I
say or do in front of others from this book. Thirteen Reasons Why also shows
us the harsh reality of the world. Some schools have bullies, and it is up to
us to stand up to them. This novel from Jay Asher has taught me to stand up
for what is right, and to not listen to rumors. Rumors are rumors. You don't
know if they're true or not.

Reviewer's Name: Prarthana M.
Genres:
Monster
Myers, Walter Dean
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is an interesting and suspenseful novel. It is filled to the brim with moments that will have readers on the edge of their seat. Monster also is written in a unique format, in the form of a movie script written my the protagonist Steve Harmon, who is awaiting trial for a crime he didn’t commit. This story is written with intense figurative language that paints a terrifying image depicting the horrors of prison. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great suspenseful read. Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Kyle Y
The Fault in Our Stars
Green, John
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Hazel Lancaster is battling cancer and has been sense she was 13. Now she is 16 and has had more than one near death experience. This book is an amazing book that could make you smile and cry at the same time. I would definitely recommended this book to people who have read 100 days by Nichole McInnes. It is a romantic tale of Hazel Lancaster and Augustus Waters trying to find answers to there favorite book while battling cancer. I would recommend the book for tweens, teens, and adults.

Reviewer's Name: Natalie M.
Paper Towns
Green, John
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Have you ever had someone in your life just leave or disappear? Quentin was best friends with Margo Roth Speilleman. One day when they we around seven years old they found a dead body laying against a tree. Years later they are seniors in high school and are not as good as friends anymore. Graduation is nearing and people are turning out reckless. One night Margo convinces Quentin to go help prank her cheating boyfriend and her backstabbing best friend who her boyfriend was cheating on her with. After that night Margo suddenly goes missing and Quentin ends up falling in love with her. Soon he finds that Margo left clues for him to crack and hopefully find her! This book will have you wrapped up in romance, mystery, comedey, and adventure.

Reviewer's Name: Lilyana B.
Wonder
Palacio, R. J.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Have you ever felt out of place? Like all you want is to fit in with the crowd, but it seems impossible? If so, you'd get along well with August Pullman. Ten-year-old August (Auggie) Pulllman is about to go into fifth grade at Beecher Prep, ready to face the world with his Padawan braid and astronaut helmet. But there are two things that get in the way: 1. He's been home-schooled all his life. 2. Auggie has Treacher Collins Syndrome, (TCS) a rare condition that occurs in one in fifty-thousand births. Because of his TCS, Auggie has downward-slanting eyes, a small jaw and chin, and the development of his facial bones and tissues are altered, causing him to have had twenty-seven surgeries -- and also causing some kids in his school to be scarred with night terrors. Everyday, Auggie is constantly challenged with overcoming whispers, side-glances, and even public humiliation from his peers that could get him killed one day. Auggie's world isn't all that bad though: he has two loving parents, a dog named Daisy, his older sister Olivia (Via), Via's friends Miranda and Justin, and his two new best friends, Summer and Jack, all of which are willing to do anything for Auggie, embarking on every incredible adventure he has so he doesn't have to face life alone.
Wonder is a magnificent book, filled with the challenges that every child and adult alike have to go through, whether or not they have a facial deformity. It is incredibly touching, and finds ways to connect with the reader and captivate its audience so much so that you won't be able to put the book down once you pick it up! Although many people would be disturbed by the imagery used to describe characters like Auggie Pullman, R.J. Palacio is able to create such a lovable and relate-able character that you just can't help but throw appearances aside and route for Auggie throughout the novel. You'll really wish that you could give him a hug the more you read the book, especially with the multiple POVs R.J. Palacio writes with, allowing you to observe Auggie's wonder of a story from every possible angle.

Reviewer's Name: Aimee W.
Kensuke's Kingdom
Morpurgo, Michael
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

In the book Kensuke’s Kingdom which was written by Michael Morpurgo,a family of 3 and a dog named Stella Artois decided to go on an 18 month journey around the world after Michael's parents lost their jobs. As they take a vast journey across England to Africa and then from South America to South Africa in a yacht named Peggy Sue. Everything was going great for everyone, they traveled to so many countries around the world, until one night when Stella Artois and Michael went off board the Peggy Sue one night. What happened to them is what you’ll have to find out. This book has many cliffhangers after every chapter, for me I just couldn't put the book down. Plus the book does a great job of describing the setting and giving you a great description of what's happening. If you are into animals and geography then this is the perfect book for you. This in my opinion is a great book and everyone should read it.

Reviewer's Name: Shireen D.
Five Feet Apart
Lippincott, Rachael
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

-----Possible Spoiler Alert!---------
Stella Grant is a cystic fibrosis patient who actively uses
social media to cope with her illness and tries to live a normal life. Stella
absolutely loves babies and spends most of her days at the NICU or where they
keep the babies. She meets another CF patient, Will Newman, who is at the
hospital for a medication trial, in an attempt to get rid of the bacterial
infection in his lungs B. Cepacia. He follows her to the NICU while his
friends use his room for stuff. CF patients are strictly kept six feet apart
to reduce the risk of bacterial infections from other CF patients can be
life-threatening. Stella is determined to keep the and dislikes Will
initially, who likes to break the rules and take dangerous risks. Stella
notices that Will isn't taking his treatment regimen and gets him to agree on
one condition he can draw Stella. Will and Stella begin to fall for each
other and go on their first to the hospital pool, they reveal scars from
their past surgeries. The day after that Stella made a scavenger hunt for his
birthday, which catches him by surprise. It ends with Will meeting up with
Stella, who leads him to a room for a surprise dinner party, put on by
Stella and Poe, Stella's best friend and a fellow CF patient. After that,
Poe dies and Stella is sad because she never got to hug him. Stella decides
that she is living her life too strictly. Stella and Will decide to leave the
hospital with her in order to view the lights from the city. Stella suddenly
grabs Will's hand, scarring Will. However Stella argues that she has gloves
on. They come across a pond and decide to slide around on the pond. During
this, the hospital is notified that they had a pair of lungs for Stella to
get a transplant. She ignores it so she can spend more time out with Will .
When Will finds out that Stella can get a transplant, he pleads with Stella
to take the transplant. Stella refuses, before falling through the ice. Will
is able to pull her out of the water, but Stella is unresponsive. Despite the
risk of infection, Will performs CPR and Stella wakes up. They are then
brought back to the hospital by ambulance. At first Stella is hesitant but
Stella agrees to do the transplant after Will convinces her to do it for him.
The transplant is successful. Will finds out that Stella did not contract
his infection.When Stella wakes up from her surgery, she sees Will through
the glass window of her room. He has set up a display of lights outside of
her room, saying that his only regret was that she did not get to see the
lights so he brought them to her. He tells her that his drug trial isn't
working, and he doesn't want her to have to deal with his eventual death.
Confessing his love for her, Will makes her close her eyes, because he says
he won't be able to leave if she is looking at him. Stella closes her eyes
and Will walks away.
I would recommend this book to others because the book tells you
that just because you might be different you can still find love. This book
is a good romance novel that takes two people that think that they don't have
anything in common to them falling in love.

Reviewer's Name: Hannah L.
The Thing About Jellyfish
Benjamin, Ali
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Thing About Jellyfish is a mysterious book that you will never want to put down. It starts out with a twelve year old girl named Suzy watching jellyfish at a aquarium. A few days ago her best friend had died swimming in the ocean while on a vacation. When Suzy is told this she realizes it can not be true, her best friend had been a great swimmer, so she sets out to find what happened to her best friend. She believes it could have only been one thing, a jellyfish. She does as much as she can to prove what happened to her best friend, but no one believes her. If you love mysteries and like not knowing what is going to happen, this book is for you. It is a great read for teens and children and I totally recommend reading it.

Reviewer's Name: Aspen
Wonder
Palacio, R. J.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

In the beginning of the book August has a facial deformity called Treacher Collins syndrome where his ear is lower than the ears are supposed to be. He has not gone to a regular school ever so in fifth grade his mom has decided that she does not want to

Reviewer's Name: Hannah
Genres:
Tangerine
Bloor, Edward
2 stars = Meh
Review:

Tangerine is about Paul who moved to an affluent neighborhood in Lake Winsor Downs, Florida, and went to a lower income school in the next district over. His brother Erick is a good football player, and gets all his parents attention. His dad has the Erick Fisher Football Dream. Paul is into soccer, and his parents don't take his soccer dreams seriously. Paul, and his soccer friends at his new school get into some trouble. I liked that many kids can relate to the book. But I didn't like how most of the content felt like filler content, and it just kind of felt like a diary.

Reviewer's Name: Ryan
Genres:
If I Fix You
Johnson, Abigail
2 stars = Meh
Review:

Fixing things is Jill Whitaker's favorite hobby. From helping fix cars in her dad's shop to fixing people. When she walks into her house one night she sees her best friend and crush, Sean Addison, close to kissing her mom. The next day her mom leaves with only a sticky note to tell Jill why. Suddenly, the girl who likes to fix things needs fixing herself. When a new mysterious neighbor moves in Jill finds herself growing closer to him, but little does she know he has his own things he needs fixing. Jill learns she can't fix anything or anyone until she fixes herself, which is not an easy task. Along the journey she discovers secrets she has been kept from her whole life, tests her relationships with everyone she loves, and finds out the truth about the night her mom walked out.

Originally, I choose to read this book because it sounded very interesting. While the book starts out extremely slow it finally picks up pace towards the end. However, I enjoy books that constantly keep the reader on the edge of their seats the entire time. "If I Fix You" is a great coming of age story but it is not necessarily the most interesting. Constantly I found myself struggling to pick up the book again after I put it down. While readers who do enjoy a slow paced coming of age novel will absolutely love this book but if your the type of reader who enjoys always being on the edge of your seat this might not be the best book for you.

Reviewer's Name: Lyndsey
Out of My Mind
Draper, Sharon
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is a really good book that I have read many times. It’s about a girl who lives with Cerebral Palsey and finds a new machine to “talk”. This story is about her frustrations and triumphs that only you can see.

Reviewer's Name: Maya
Walk Two Moons
Creech, Sharon
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The book, Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech is a rich and wonderful novel. The seemingly simple, yet complex read explores the self-discovery of thirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle. While exploring her cultural heritage and past, the main protagonist relays over several dark and tragic events. While these events can make the book depressing at times, they hold valuable lessons and the book doesn't linger on them for too long. Every single character in the book is incredibly developed through the many stories told, and they fit the plot well. Overall, I would recommend this book to older readers and maybe younger ones, as the book is a decent length and pretty intricate.

Reviewer's Name: Steven L
Genres:
Ruby Holler
Creech, Sharon
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

If you like fast-paced adventures and witty characters... this book is for you. With Dallas, the brother, and his sister, Florida, they have been known as the "trouble twins." Raised as orphans and never suitable for any home, they have just been sent to live with an old couple. Having doubts and questions, Florida and Dallas are scared and nervous about their new home.
Their past homes have put them in dark basements, creepy holes, and not so comfortable beds. Will Florida and Dallas soon come around or will they have to head back to their dreaded orphanage? This fast paced adventure will leave you wanting more and suitable for all ages.
Reviewer Grade: 9th

Reviewer's Name: Aiden F
Genres:
Immoral Code
Clark, Lillian
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

"Immoral Code" tells the tale of five seniors in high school planning something even bigger than Homecoming. When Bellamy's billionaire father refuses to pay her college tuition at MIT, the gang gathers together to right the wrong, her friend Nari in particular. Under the code name d0l0s, Nari and the rest of Bellamy's friends search for the much needed money- and revenge.

The story's plot circles around a small hiccup in their plan: to get the money, they'll have to sneak into the Foster Inc. building! This story is full of suspense, humor, and 3-dimensional characters each struggling through their own adolescence problems simultaneously. Lillian Clark does a fantastic job of weaving multiple view-points together to tell this memorable tale. I would recommend t it to anyone my age!

*Note: This story does contain a good amount of profanity. Definitely for older readers.* Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Adia R.
Cover
Menon, Sandhya
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Sweetie Nair is fat. She doesn’t care, but her mom cares. Like, a lot. A lot a lot. Definitely too much. So much that so when Ashish, a hot local boy from a good (and crazy rich!) Indian family tries to date Sweetie, Sweetie’s mom shuts it down. But Sweetie won’t give up without a fight, and so she, Ashish and Ashish’s parents hatch a plan in which the kids will go on four dates. If it works out, they’ll tell Sweetie’s parents. If not, no harm done. Plus, what can happen in four dates? Turns out, a lot.

If you’ve read any of Menon’s other books, this one is completely on brand. I’ve read her other two books, and this one might be my favorite? It’s up there with Dimple, for sure. It’s a funny romantic comedy with endearing, mostly believable characters from a culture that’s different from mine. In addition to reading an adorable book, I get to learn a little bit about Indian Americans. This one has an added element of pointing out our society’s horrible ways of treating fat people. The way a folks react to Sweetie will have you seeing red – but you know it’s unfortunately totally realistic. Luckily, Sweetie is a self-confident young lady, and it was a joy to see her grow throughout the book. Ashish isn’t too bad himself! He has a very believable journey through the course of the book, and was a male lead you could root for even as he made a few terrible decisions.

TLDR: If you’re looking for a light, funny and very swoony read, this one will do it for you. I know it put a smile on my face.

Sandhya Menon is coming to PPLD to be the keynote speaker for Mountain of Authors! Meet her, listen to her give a talk and get a book signed on 27 April at 21c. More information about the event can be found here: https://research.ppld.org/mountainofauthors

Thanks to Netgalley and Simon Pulse for the advance copy, which I received in exchange for an unbiased review. There’s Something About Sweetie will be available for purchase on 14 May – don’t forget to put your copy on hold!

Reviewer's Name: Britt

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