Reviews by Category: Fiction

Teen Review
This Is Where It Ends

This Is Where It Ends

By Marieke Nijkamp
Star Rating
★★★★★

Rated by
Bella Paul
May 17, 2024

Marieke Nijkamp’s This is Where it Ends is a young adult fiction novel that depicts the tragic events of a school shooting at Opportunity high school. The novel’s main characters Claire, Tomas, Autumn, and Sylv serve to represent the intricacy of each individual life affected by school shootings; they represent that each life affected is more than a name or a number—that they are human, too.

Teen Review

Looking for Alaska

By John Green
Star Rating
★★★★★

Rated by
Bella Paul
May 17, 2024

John Green’s Looking For Alaska is a Young Adult novel that tells the complex story of the relationship between main character Miles Turner—also known as Pudge—and Alaska Young. Pudge’s fascination with searching for deeper meaning in life leaves him fascinated with Alaska Young when he transfers to her high school. Miles struggles with attempting to understand both Alaska and the world around him as he encounters the complexities of relationships, friendships, and simply being human.

Teen Review
The Mysterious Benedict Society

The Mysterious Benedict Society

By Trenton Lee Stewart
Star Rating
★★★★★

Rated by
Anonymous
May 13, 2024

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart follows four unique children, Reynie, Sticky, Kate, and Constance, each who have their own specific talent that they excel in. After a series of difficult exams, in which giving the correct answer isn’t always necessary to pass, the four are escorted to a mansion owned by the odd, yet kind, Mr. Benedict. He gives them a mission, to infiltrate the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened and find out exactly what is going on behind the scenes. 

Teen Review
A Mango Shaped Space

A Mango Shaped Space

By Wendy Mass
Star Rating
★★★★★

Rated by
Bella Paul
May 13, 2024

Wendy Mass’ A Mango Shaped Space is a Young Adult novel that tells Mia Winchell’s story, a young girl with synesthesia—a phenomenon that causes her to see colors and shapes when she hears sounds. Mia struggles with not being able to relate to her peers at school, as her synesthesia affects her relationships and ability to succeed in school.

Teen Review
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

The Bean Trees

By Barbara Kingsolver
Star Rating
★★★★

Rated by
Bella Paul
May 13, 2024

Barbara Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees is a dramatic fiction novel set that illustrates the novel’s main character, Taylor Greer, on her journey to escape her hometown and become a strong, independent woman—one who is not limited by her upbringing. Taylor’s life significantly changes at her discovery of a child in her car—she later discovers the child’s name is Turtle, an abandoned young girl.

Teen Review
Interior Chinatown

Interior Chinatown

By Charles Yu
Star Rating
★★★★★

Rated by
Bella Paul
May 13, 2024

Charles Yu’s Interior Chinatown is a domestic fiction novel that exhibits Willis Wu’s quest to break free from the entertainment industry’s expectation for him to play stereotypical roles such as “Generic Asian Man.” His hope is to acquire the role of “Kung Fu Guy,” a highly regarded character on the TV show “Black and White.” On his journey, Wu faces the deeply rooted stereotypes and prejudices held by the entertainment industry and the deficient representation of Asian actors in the media.

Teen Review
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights

By Emily Bronte
Star Rating
★★

Rated by
Bella Paul
May 13, 2024

Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights is a gothic novel set in northern England. The novel illustrates the complex relationship between Heathcliff—an orphan taken in by the Earnshaw family—and Catherine Earnshaw. Heathcliff’s desire to be with Catherine is made more complicated due their differing desires—Heathcliff’s desire for revenge, and Catherine’s desire to uphold her social status. Their differing desires, individual flaws, and family difficulties additionally stand in the way of their relationship.

Teen Review
The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas
Star Rating
★★★★

Rated by
Anonymous
May 13, 2024

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is a powerful novel following a black teenage girl named Starr Carter who is forced to see two of her childhood best friends brutally murdered at a young age. Starr struggles to fight against the discrimination and police brutality her entire community has faced--she is put in a situation where she must stand up for what is right. She has the choice to either stay quiet to protect herself, or speak up for those she has lost.

Teen Review
A Separate Peace book cover

A Separate Peace

By John Knowles
Star Rating
★★★★★

Rated by
Anonymous
May 3, 2024

“It seemed clear that wars were not made by generations and their special stupidities, but that wars were made instead by something ignorant in the human heart.” 

Teen Review
A Certain Hunger book cover

A Certain Hunger

By Chelsea G. Summers
Star Rating
★★★★★

Rated by
Anonymous
May 3, 2024

“Female psychopaths, researchers eventually realized, don't present like the males. To which I respond: No shit. We women have an emotional wiliness that shellacs us in glossy patina of caring. We have been raised to take interest in promoting healthy interior lives of other humans; preparation, I suppose, for taking on the emotional labor of motherhood - or marriage; either way, really. Few women come into maturity unscathed by the suffocating pink press of girlhood, and even psychopaths are touched by the long, frilly arm of feminine expectations.

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