Reviews by Category: Fiction

Staff Review Mar 21, 2016

Ana is the perfect daughter, student and big sister. Over the course of her high school career she has built the perfect resume through test scores, an exemplary GPA and a host of extracurricular activities and volunteer opportunities including being the captain of her school’s quiz bowl team.

Staff Review Mar 9, 2016

Good, but not great. Published thirteen years ago, it doesn't quite hold up today. Ginny is unbelievably pathetic throughout most of the story, and only toward the Hollywood-like ending does she-surprise-develop some confidence. Normally I love pathetic people because I can relate to their insecurity, but Ginny's character is a tad too two-dimensional, not a fully fleshed out character worthy of my concern.

Staff Review

If I Was Your Girl

By Meredith Russo
4
Rated by Dawna O.
Feb 19, 2016

This is the story of Amanda and how she overcomes her past and embraces her new life, learning to live with her father, and making new friends. Amanda has a complicated past that she struggles with and does not want people to know about. There are flashbacks, sprinkled throughout the book, which feature Andrew and his battle with everyday life. Andrew and Amanda are connected in ways that most would not understand, as they are the same person only in different versions.

Staff Review

This Is Where It Ends

By Marieke Nijkamp
4
Rated by Dawna O.
Feb 11, 2016

Four different people, four separate stories, and four unique perspectives are all tied together by fear. As the school-wide assembly ends, the entire school discovers that all the doors are locked as a student starts shooting.  In this fast paced read, which only spans the course of fifty minutes, the reader gets the perspective of four students, who all have reasons to fear the boy holding the gun. Each character reflects on how they are tied to the shooter, decisions they have made, and how they got to this point all while testing their strength in this nerve-wracking, suspenseful book.

Staff Review

All American Boys

By Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
5
Rated by Becky C.
Feb 1, 2016

All American Boys is a big-issue book that also makes an excellent character study. Rashad, a sixteen-year-old African-American boy, is the victim of police brutality. Quinn, a sixteen-year-old white boy, is a witness to Rashad's beating. These two guys live in the same city and go to the same school. Quinn plays on the same basketball team as some of Rashad's friends. And yet they barely know each other.

Staff Review

The Bean Trees

By Barbara Kingsolver
5
Rated by Becky C.
Jan 5, 2016

Taylor Greer has just graduated from high school in rural Kentucky. Born to a poor, single mother and without many of life’s advantages, Taylor manages to talk her way into a lab technician’s job at the hospital, save enough money to buy a beat up Volkswagen Bug, and get out of town before she winds up pregnant or as some tobacco farmer’s wife. Most of Taylor’s pluckiness can be attributed to the roots her mother has provided her—encouragement and faith in her daughter’s abilities that are worth far more than the money she doesn’t have to offer.

Staff Review

I Crawl Through It

By A.S. King
5
Rated by Chris K.
Dec 17, 2015

"Challenging" was the first word I heard used to describe this book. I think "surreal" was the next. Following that was "impossible to describe." Even the author herself, when asked to describe the book, talked about the themes and ideas that led to its creation without attempting to describe the plot or characters.

Staff Review

Challenger Deep

By Neal Shusterman
5
Rated by Chris K.
Dec 21, 2015

There are two things you know. One: You were there. Two: You couldn't have been there.

Wondering how that can be? So is Caden. Sometimes. When he stops to think about it. Often he just goes along and doesn't question things, just accepts that's the way they are. But other times he feels out of sync with his family, friends, and others around him. He feels confused.