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Book Reviews for Teens by Teens

Book reviews submitted by teens are featured here! Books are organized by author and title.

The views expressed in the book reviews are not necessarily those expressed by the library.

Book ratings: 1 = Why did I read this? to 5 = YAY! This book is made of WIN!

Albin, Gennifer. Crewel. 2012.

Adelice is called to be a spinster, even though her parents have trained her her whole life to fail at the testing. When she gets to the Coventry, a forbidden relationship begins to form between her and the head valet Jost, though she later rejects him when she discovers that by being with her, Jost is threatened by remapping or even ripping. Ad concocts a plan to escape, in light of her mentor’s suicide, … and discovering the truth about the Earth below her.

Rating: 4. Because while I loved the book, it was well written and engaging – I’ve read other books that I’ve loved even more. – Brianna, grade 8 (spring 2013)

Armentrout, Jennifer L. Obsidian. 2012.

Katy moves to a small town in Virginia and finds more excitement than she expected. She unknowingly becomes friends with an alien and becomes deeply involved with them. Now, she isn’t safe anywhere, when she finds out the truth. And there’s also Daemon, her alien best friend’s brother who is there to protect her.

Rating: 4. I really enjoyed the plot and subject of the book. I couldn’t put it down until I was done. It keep [sic] my interest and wasn’t very predictable. – Paige, grade 12 (spring 2013)

Bushnell, Candace. The Carrie Diaries. 2010.

This book describes the life of Carrie Bradshaw before she entered the city and became THE Carrie Bradshaw. She is a small town girl who wants more. Throughout high school Carrie & her friends have been extremely close, but then Sebastien Kydd enters their life and a rift is caused between them.

Rating: 4. It was a good story, but its been told many times. – Nicole, grade 10 (spring 2013)

Rating: 5. Teenage girls can relate to Carrie in many ways. The tale of her life makes you wonder if you are setting the bar too low. – Samantha, grade 11 (spring 2014)

Collins, Suzanne. Catching Fire. 2009.

Catching Fire is about Katniss Everdeen and her family and colleagues, Peeta Mallark, Haymitch, Eva, Cinna, and her best friend Gale. They all suddenly become targets when Katniss’s big act in the 74th Hunger Games becomes hope for all the other districts. Suddenly an uprising starts to emerge.

Rating: 5. B/c this is the 2nd book it shows more how Katniss is strong and powerful! She doesn’t give up. – Lily, grade 8 (spring 2015)

Collins, Suzanne. The Hunger Games. 2008.

Rating: 5. I would rate this book a five because you always want to read more and I fell in love with the characters. – Sarah, grade 9 (spring 2013)

Rating: 5. It was very interesting and had so many cliffhangers. It made me want to keep reading. – Chris, grade 9 (spring 2013)

Rating: 5. The book made you become attached to the characters, was suspenseful and emotional, and had an organized plot. – Jack (spring 2014)

Rating: 5. The book was thrilling and I couldn’t stop reading because I had to see who was killed and who survived. – Jaime, grade 12 (fall 2014)

Rating: 5. I loved every last character. Katniss was brave and had a great heart. Peeta was extremely sweet and quite the baker. Rue was the cutest and the most resourceful girl in all the Games. And Effie? Don’t even get me started! – Bree, grade 7 (spring 2015)

Rating: 5. If you are into fast paced action novels The Hunger Games is for you. – Witt, grade 8 (spring 2015)

Rating: 5. b/c Katniss is a strong, brave girl and every girl wants to be like her. She is everyone’s role model. – Lily, grade 8 (spring 2015)

Collins, Suzanne. Mockingjay. 2010.

Rating: 5. The intensity from the first book has returned. I loved all the rebellion scenes because the Capital is so unfair to all their people. – Chris, grade 9 (spring 2013)

Condie, Ally. Matched. 2010.

In the book, Cassia Reyes can’t wait for her Match Banquet where she will meet her future match. After being told her match is her best friend Xander, Cassia is relieved yet disappointed that she cannot share the same experiences as her friends.

Rating: 5. I finished [the book] in less than a week and could not put it down. The author describes every situation so well that I feel like I am Cassia. – Cynthia, grade 8 (spring 2014)

Rating: 4. The dystopian society catches you in its web and the plot leaves you aching for more. The characters, however, fell flat of what should be expected for an otherwise-thrilling novel. – Bree, grade 7 (spring 2015)

Dashner, James. The Maze Runner. 2009.

In this book about a strange dystopian village surrounded by a sprawling maze, Thomas wakes up to find himself surrounded by a group of teenage boys about his age. Just like everyone else, the only thing Thomas can remember is his first name. With questions piling up as high as the walls of the maze, the only thing anyone knows for sure is their mission: to get out of the maze alive. As soon as Thomas shows up in the Glad things start to tumble out of control.

Rating: 5. The fast paced plot and constant action really keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the book. With so many unexplained aspects of the story, you want to just keep turning pages to find out more. – Stefan, grade 8 (spring 2014)

Rating: 5. I was intrigued by the concept of the book and I was always kept on my toes while reading this awesome story. – Nicholas, grade 8 (fall 2014)

Donnelly, Jennifer. Revolution. 2010.

Andi is depressed after watching the horrific death of her brother, and living with a mother unable to cope. Andi’s father brings her to Paris with him so that she can get out. Though she resists, she soon finds solace in a diary written by a young girl during the Revolution.

Rating: 5. It was a great book and I learned a lot which helped me in school. My favorite part was when Andi became Alex, even if it was just a dream. – Nicole, grade 10 (spring 2013)

Forman, Gayle. If I Stay. 2009.

Mia, unlike the vast majority of teenagers, is very much in love with classical music. She is quite the talented cellist, as she will constantly remind you throughout the novel, and so is her boyfriend who she will constantly remind you about throughout the novel. One morning, her whole family of equally talented musicians pile into a car only to get in a car crash that kill the majority of them. Mia gets to decide whether she wants to hold on or not and for some reason can’t decide if she’d like to die or not.

Rating: 4. I very much enjoyed the theme of family that took up a large part of the book. Mia’s family was terribly cool. I did not, however like Adam at all. He was even duller than Mia, which is really very remarkable. – Bree, grade 7 (spring 2015)

Green, John. The Fault in Our Stars. 2012.

The Fault in Our Stars is about a cancer patient, Hazel, who is forced to join a support group by her parents. She meets and falls in love with Augustus, another cancer patient.

Rating: 5. I would rate this book a 5 because I really loved the deep bond between Hazel and Augustus and how special their friendship becomes. – Emily, grade 10 (spring 2014)

Rating: 4. The ending is too sad and the story line was leading up to a tragic ending. – Samantha, grade 11 (spring 2014)

Rating: 5. I loved this book the end makes me cry so much, such a great love story! – Morgan, grade 9 (fall 2014)

Rating: 5. I would rate this book a 5 because although the teens face some extreme problems, they also face ‘normal’ problems that everyone can relate to, which makes the book very enjoyable! My favorite part in The Fault in Our Stars is when Hazel and Augustus go out to dinner in Amsterdam. – Sophie, grade 8 (fall 2014)

Rating: 5 because of the way John Green wrote the novel: he did not sugar coat the romance between Gus and Hazel, he kept the reality there (the inevitable death of a character). The author takes the reader through a journey consisting of happiness and laughter, and sadness and tears. – Maya, grade 11 (spring 2015)

Rating: 5. My favorite part was when they went to Amsterdam. – Lily, grade 8 (spring 2015)

Green, John. Looking for Alaska. 2006.

Miles Halter is tired of his ‘safe’ life at home and is begging for change. He leaves for Culver Creek Boarding School and is greeted by beautiful Alaska, his hallmate. The great romance is enough to make you fly through the pages.

Rating: 5. This thrilling romance is good enough to reread multiple times. Teens everywhere can relate. [My favorite part was when] Miles Halter first meets Alaska in boarding school. – Samantha, grade 11 (spring 2014)

Rating: 4.5. I would rate this book a 4.5 because it portrays what teenagers do (their actions, thoughts and troubles). It doesn’t hide anything – it’s honest brutally is what makes this book special. I got very attached to this book by the way John Green wrote it – he kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time guessing. – Maya, grade 11 (spring 2015)

Green, John. Paper Towns. 2008.

Quentin Jacobsen has always loved his long time friend Margo, without her knowing. As children, they discover something that creates a bond that seemed impossible to break. However, as they grow up, the two grow apart. Quentin is the typical nerd and Margo is the most popular girl in school. The adventure continues when they reconnect and Margo goes missing. Just as Quentin is ready to give up forever, Margo sparks more interest in Quentin.

Rating: 4. John Green is known for his emotional books and this, although having a great story, didn’t compare with his other books. My favorite part of the book is when Margo asks Quentin to help her in her plan for revenge because it rekindles an old flame. – Samantha, grade 12 (spring 2015)

Green, Tim. Unstoppable. 2013.

In this book, a boy name[d] Harrison moves from an awful foster home to a new house with 2 parents. He plays football in his new high school and discovers how good & talented he is. Then he discovers he has bone cancer in his knee; he needs to learn how [to] live a totally different life, and overcome this serious challenge.

Rating: 3/4 because at times it was very depressing, but still motivational. (and well written) – Nicholas, grade 8 (spring 2015)

Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Claim to Fame. 2009.

The main character Lindsay had been a former child star. Then after the show she had been on was cancelled she dropped out of the media. Lindsay has a talent that she can hear what people are saying about her anywhere and hides from it in her secret house alone after her dad dies. Throughout the story she is trying to figure out her talent and finds there are others like her.

Rating: 3. I give it a 3 because it was a good book but not the best because in the end yes she has peace within herself knowing there were others but that’s all the book was about. – Hailey, grade 8 (spring 2013)

Hiaasen, Carl. Flush. 2005.

The book Flush by Carl Hiaasen is about a young boy named Noah and his mission to prove that a Casino called the Coral Queen is illegally dumping their sewage into the ocean. Throughout the novel Noah and his sister, Abbey, make huge personal risks trying to find evidence to prove the Coral Queen’s guilt. Their mission started when their dad got put in jail for unsuccessfully attempting to stop the Boat’s evil doings by sinking it and now everyone thinks Noah’s dad is a nut so now it is his children’s job to pin the Coral Queen for its crimes. This is a classic Carl Hiaasen mystery that keeps you guessing the entire novel. Rating: 5. – Witt, grade 8 (spring 2015)

Karr, Julia. XVI. 2011.

In the book, it is set in the future. When girls turn 16, they get an XVI tattoo on their wrist that shows that one is mature. The main characters go against the government and go through many adventures to stay safe.

Rating: 5. Because it was thrilling and I didn’t want to put it down. – Jaime, grade 12 (fall 2014)

Landon, Kristen. The Limit. 2010.

A boy named Matt is sent to a workhouse because his family goes over their spending limit. At the workhouse, Matt is put on the top floor where he then discovers that there are experiments being performed on the children. Matt tries to find a way to go public with this information without getting caught. A good scene is when Matt destroys a helicopter with basketballs and prevents an escape. Matt does eventually go public with the experiments and they are stopped.

Rating: 4. I liked it! – Spencer, grade 9 (spring 2013)

Langston, Laura. Hannah’s Touch. 2009.

Hannah is a sixteen year old girl whose boyfriend was killed in a drunk driving accident. She struggles with the loss everyday until she is stung by a bee and her life changes forever. She now has the power to heal people by touching them. Her dead boyfriend speaks to her about having the strength to use the gift to heal his friend’s leg. Hannah heals him and comes to accept the gift and, also, how she can use it to better life for others and herself.

Rating: 3. Eh, it was okay. – Spencer, grade 9 (spring 2013)

Levine, Kristin. The Lions of Little Rock. 2012.

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine is a heart touching novel about a young white girl named Marlee growing up in Little Rock, Arkansas in the 1950’s. Marlee is faced with a problem when she becomes friends with an African American girl named Liz in an Arkansas town that frowns upon the two races mixing. Throughout the novel we experience the troubles two friends from opposite races faced in this time period. If you are looking for a good read, pick up this book.

Rating: 5. [My favorite part was] when Marlee met Liz. – Witt, grade 8 (spring 2015)

Maas, Sarah J. Throne of Glass. 2012.

In the no-longer-magic (therefore no-longer-cool) land of Eritea, the king of Adarlan needs an assassin to enter a competition he literally made uphimself. He couldn’t of just hired an assassin, no. Well, Celaena is that assassin (arguably). The contestants of this fun no – death – no – game style competition are brutally being murdered one by one, the mysterious assassin caught in the middle of it all. The question is – will she ever stop being so dull?

Rating: 3. The story was surprisingly well-developed but the characters and romance were just plain bad. You’d expect an assassin to murder, not go shopping for dresses and talk about reading books constantly! – Bree, grade 7 (spring 2015)

McCormick, Patricia. Sold. 2006.

Lakshmi lives on a farm in Nepal with her mother and stepfather. When a flood destroys their crops Lakshmi is forced into what she thinks is a maid service in the big city. What she doesn’t know until it’s too late she has been sold into prostitution. In order for her to leave she must make enough money to buy herself. When an American comes to her and tells her he will save her she doesn’t believe until it actually happens.

Rating: 4. It gave me a new perspective of life. – Morgan, grade 9 (fall 2014)

Meyer, Marissa. Cinder. 2012.

Cinder is a mechanic, one of many selling out on the streets of New Beijing. Unlike most others, she’s a cyborg, who (unfortunately) are looked down upon by all others of society. A deadly plague is going around, … and Cinder’s evil stepmother practically sells her for a cure…

Rating: 5. Every single star possible. 5, at the least. From the first page, I needed to know more about the cyborg who puts Disney’s Cinderella to shame. Abundant with plot twists and scenes that will stomp on your heart, Cinder must be read by all, and soon. – Bree, grade 7 (spring 2015)

Meyer, Marissa. Fairest: Levana’s Story. 2015.

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles are, and there is no doubt, curious to know just how cruel Levana can be. This is one of those in-between-books books that I refuse to read but it was full-length and a chance to know more about Levana? Yes, please! The book tells all you’d want to know about Cinder’s arch-nemesis and more, taking place before she met any of our other beloved characters. Let me tell you, she is one messed-up lady.

Rating: 5! Marissa Meyer, I don’t know how she does it, but she weaves a magical tale once more in Fairest. I mean, we all know that Levana is awful but gosh! she’s just so unimaginably cruel! – Bree, grade 7 (spring 2015)

Palacio, R.J. Wonder. 2012.

Wonder is a heart-touching novel by R.J. Palacio. Wonder is about an immensely deformed child named Augie and his extremely difficult childhood. We get to experience what it was like for him to go through school with such deformities. This is a must read for anyone looking for a touching novel. – Witt, grade 8 (spring 2015)

Price, Lissa. Starters. 2012.

Callie lives in a world where Enders (the old, rich class) can “rent” teenage bodies. But when Callie gives herself as a donor to save her brother, she finds that her renter is no innocent old lady, but actually intends on using Callie’s body to murder someone. Callie finds out that Blake, her supposed boyfriend, was actually an unwilling donor for a man who planned on having donors’ bodies rented permanently.

Rating: 4. I was so excited; every chapter made me want to read more! I loved the characters and the plot kept me on my toes! [My favorite part of the book was] when Callie impressed everyone with her exceptional riflery (sic) skills. – Emily, grade 10 (spring 2013)

Raasch, Sara. Snow Like Ashes. 2014.

Ever since the eventful day sixteen years ago when the Kingdom of Winter was brought to its knees, those who weren’t enslaved have been on the run. Now, there are only eight Winterian refugees left, one of which is the future king himself. The only hope for bringing back Winter is to find its magical conduit, a locket broken years ago by King Angra of Spring. Meira has been training her whole life to find the locket for her king but gets quite a bit more than she bargained for when she begins searching.

Rating: 5. Oh, Snow Like Ashes, how I love thee. Not often do you find a fantasy novel with great world building and phenomenal characters and an actual plot! And Meira doesn’t fight with a sword or bow and arrow – no! She fights with a chakram! – Bree, grade 7 (spring 2015)

Riggs, Ransom. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. 2011.

In order for Jacob to come to terms with his grandfather’s death he convinces his father to take him to the famous house his grandfather spent so much time. At first Jacob finds only remains of the house. After following a mysterious girl into a cave he finds himself back in time.

Rating: 4. I enjoyed reading it, but it wasn’t my favorite. – Morgan, grade 9 (fall 2014)

Rating: 2. I actually enjoyed staring at the antique photos. They were definitely worth looking at. Every other aspect of the book was just . . . terrible. – Bree, grade 7 (spring 2015)

Riordan, Rick. The Lightning Thief: Percy Jackson and the Olympians. 2005, 2010.

Rating: 5. I would rate this book a 5 because it was written very well and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. – Greg, grade 10 (spring 2014)

Roth, Veronica. Divergent. 2011.

Rating: 5. Because the plot is very immersive, except while a science fiction novel, Roth incorporates problems that modern teenagers must deal with in their everyday lives. – Chase, grade 11 (spring 2014)

Roth, Veronica. Insurgent. 2012.

Rating: 5. Because there are many cliffhangers which keep you on the edge of your seat. Also, while there is still an immersive plot, Insurgent focuses on the grwoth and development of the main character, Beatrice. – Chase, grade 11 (spring 2014)

Shepard, Sara. Flawless. 2007.

Rating: 5. I would rate this as a 5 because it held my attention and explained more of the back story without being boring. – Madison, grade 8 (spring 2014)

Shepard, Sara. The Lying Game. 2010.

The Lying Game is about a girl named Sutton who is killed. Her Long Lost sister, Emma, not knowing she is dead, comes to meet her. To find out what happened to Sutton, Emma must pretend to be her, slipping into Sutton’s life. But Sutton’s killer is watching Emma’s every move. Meanwhile, Sutton, as a spirit, follows Emma around watching Emma pretend to be her.

Rating: 5. This book was amazing! I couldn’t put it down, I had to read it to figure out the mystery involved in it. – Georgia, grade 7 (spring 2015)

Shepard, Sara. Perfect. 2007.

Rating: 4. This book would be a 4 because it was still an amazing book, but it had less action than the others in the series. – Madison, grade 8 (spring 2014)

Shepard, Sara. Pretty Little Liars. 2007.

Rating: 5. This thrilling mystery is almost impossible to put down and makes you eager to complete the entire series. – Samantha, grade 12 (spring 2015)

Shepard, Sara. Unbelievable. 2008.

Rating: 5. This book would be a 5 because the action begins to build up with tons of details and suspense. My favorite part of the book was the ending because all the real action happens. – Madison, grade 8 (spring 2014)

Shepard, Sara. Wicked. 2009.

In the fifth book of the series, the only real lead of ‘A’ is found to have suddenly died. However, the body was also missing. Towards the end, Spencer also believes that she is adopted, while Kate begins to ruin Hanna’s life.

Rating: 5. I would rate this book a 5 because it was fast paced, with many details and leads coming at once. – Madison, grade 8 (spring 2014)

Stroud, Jonathan. The Ring of Solomon. 2010.

The Djinni, Bartimaeus, is a spirit in the workforce at Jerusalem, ruled by King Solomon. He is the cause of much anguish to the king and his court; playing jokes and insulting his masters, and simply not doing his job. In a period of punishment in the desert hunting bandits, Bartimaeus meets Asmira, a guard to the Queen of Sheba, and becomes part of her task to assassinate King Solomon due to his demands on Sheba.

Rating: 5. It was very well written. Nothing was given away and you had to keep reading to find out more. – Peter, grade 10 (spring 2015)

Viswanathan, Kaavya. How Opal Mehta got kissed, got wild, and got a life. 2006.

This book is about a girl named Opal. Her whole life she was raised to go to Harvard. Finally, when her interview arrives, she is stunned when they ask her what she does for fun. The dean tells her to go have fun and then come back in a couple months. For the next couple of months, Opals does anything to become popular!

Rating: 5. I rate this book a five because it is relate-able for teens and contains romance, comedy, and drama! My favorite part is when Opal’s parents make up a plan for her to become popular. – Sarah, grade 9 (spring 2013)

Westerfeld, Scott. Leviathan. 2009.

It’s steampunk World War I. Leviathan begins with Franz Ferdinand getting assassinated and goes straight to his son, the (ever-fictional) heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Prince Aleksander. He mostly fences while Deryn (and if you don’t love Deryn, you’re wrong) is aboard the Leviathan, a giant whale-ship kicking several butts while dressed up as a boy. While the Clankers (Austro-Hungary and Germany) battle it out against the Darwinists (France, England, Russia), Deryn and Alek find themselves in the middle of it all, both hiding impossible secrets.

Rating: 5. Deryn! Alek! Mostly Deryn! You two are so awesome (that means you, Deryn). Even if you are a sheltered, naïve, wimpy prince Alek, you can bring supplies when needed! But Deryn – read the book for Deryn Sharp. – Bree, grade 7 (spring 2015)

Westerfeld, Scott. Uglies. 2005.

When your sixteenth birthday arrives, you get the operation of your dreams to become oh so beautiful and you move to a new city where all you need to do is have a great time – all the time. Tally Youngblood is almost to turn sixteen and she can’t wait. Her friend Shay, however, doesn’t want to turn pretty. She runs away without a trace and Tally has to track her down.

Rating: 5. I liked how messed-up Westerfeld made Tally’s society. The process of being made ‘pretty’ consists of having your bones ground into the right shape, your nose cartilage replaced with plastic, your skin sanded off and worse. And everybody looks forward to it! They rip out your teeth and put in ceramic ones! – Bree, grade 7 (spring 2015)

Yancey, Rick. The 5th Wave. 2013.

As the title suggests, the 5th Wave is upon us after the lovely waves of wiping out technology, natural disasters, a plague, and sharp shooting aliens. We begin with our main character Cassie shooting a guy and reminiscing, which is all she will do the whole book. After parading around leaving dead bodies in her wake while searching for her baby brother, she gets shot. A dreamy farm boy comes to rescue her and half the book may or may not be Cassie gawking at his hunkiness.

Rating: 3. I could find little to no fault in the world building and I loved how the alien invasion was sliced off into lethal waves. Then along comes a freaky farm boy willing to nurse complete strangers back to health and fall completely in love with them while doing so. The alternating point of views were captivating and extremely well-done. It put a nice little glaze between the reader and the dullest apocalypse one could imagine. – Bree, grade 7 (spring 2015)

Zevin, Gabrielle. Elsewhere. 2005.

Elsewhere is about a girl, Elizabeth Hall, killed in a ‘hit-and-run’. She wakes up on a ship where she meets other people in death situations. She soon realizes that she is dead and Elsewhere is an afterworld where people are reborn (aged backward).

Rating: 5. I thought it was a really unique book and also very interesting. My favorite part of the book is when she first looks into the binoculars on the observation deck to view her family members. – Emily, grade 10 (spring 2014)

Zusak, Markus. The Book Thief. 2005.

This book takes place in Nazi Germany. On a train ride, Liesel’s brother dies (you think THAT’s sad? Just wait!) and by his grave lies a book, The Gravedigger’s Handbook. She takes it with her on her journey to her foster family down on the street named after heaven. As Hans Hubermann teaches Liesel to read, she must learn to cope with Nazis all around, the adventurous lad next door, her lovely foster mother, and the Jew hiding in their basement.

Rating: 5*****. Not every star in the universe could begin to express my adoration for this exquisite novel. For himmel’s sake, it’s narrated by Death! Characters? Beyond compare. Plot? Gorgeous. Writing? Superb. Overall? Absolutely breathtaking. – Bree, grade 7 (spring 2015)

 

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