Fiction

Jan 22, 2021

Kiera Cass’s second installment of ​The Selection ​series, ​The Elite​, was good, but it wasn't as good as its predecessor. In this book, America struggles to decide between Maxon and Aspen as the Selection is narrowed down to six girls. Overall, this book was super frustrating. First of all, I don't understand Aspen's character's value at this point; he seems to have little to no impact, and the chemistry between him and America is basically nonexistent. Second off, America slowly became more and more irritating. Her rash actions and inability to have any understanding for Maxon made her

Cover photo of the book The One

The One

4
Rated by
Jan 22, 2021

In ​The One​, the third book of ​The Selection ​series and the final installment of the original trilogy, Kiera Cass has managed to write a book that I loved and also frustrates me to my core. While The Elite​ frustrated me because of things that seemed meaningless, this book frustrated me because there was almost too much happening. The ending felt like Cass was looking for an easy way to get rid of characters, and it seemed very choppy overall; however, I really enjoyed the epilogue.


Another thing that frustrated me was the main characters' actions. Maxon and America were so rash with

Jan 21, 2021

The Selection​ by Kiera Cass is a dystopian fantasy novel that follows America Singer as she is put into the Selection, a contest of 35 girls competing for the prince’s heart. I have been putting off reading this book for a long time because of its heavily mixed reviews, but I’m happy to say that I was not disappointed.


This is definitely a guilty pleasure book; it’s so lovable because it’s like reading a reality TV show mixed with royalty. I like the idea of society presented in this book; I found the castes to be very interesting and reflective of class in modern society.


As for the

Cover photo of the book Monster

Monster

5
Rated by
Jan 19, 2021

This coming-of-age novel is about Steve Harmon, a sixteen-year-old teenager, who is on trial for allegedly murdering a drugstore owner during a failed robbery. He challenges the assumption that he must be a ​Monster​ because he is an African-American male on trial for murder. In order to cope and redefine his identity, he distances himself from others and journals his experiences in the form of a screenplay.


The captivating and uniquely written plotline makes this book a must-read. Not only is the story engaging, it also holds a strong message about our criminal justice system and how it

Jan 18, 2021

The Gilded Wolves​ by Roshani Chokshi is the story of a unique and talented group of teenagers and the eclectic leader who holds them together. The characters are already a seasoned group of treasure hunters by the time the story begins, but the mission that the book sends them on is an important one. The acquisition of this ancient artifact has the power to alter each of their individual lives for the better. The story is set in 1889 Paris and Chokshi takes full advantage of the lush setting, with prose that paints a picture of a world as beautiful as it is harsh. The characters and their

Jan 17, 2021

The book follows the life of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in poverty in a dystopian country called Panem, governed by the rich and cruel Capitol. She, along with a boy Peeta whom she kind of knows, is selected to compete in the Hunger Games, a life-or-death battle between twenty-three other teenagers where only one can survive. Katniss must balance surviving the Games and determining the seemingly endless limits of the Capitol’s cruelty, all while maintaining a relationship with Peeta that may or may not even exist.


There are many things I loved about the book. It offers

Jan 16, 2021

Always and Forever, Lara Jean​, Jenny Han’s final novel in her ​To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy, provided the perfect ending to the series; however, it still lacked compared to the first book. In this book, Lara Jean and Peter deal with the prospect of college and all that comes with it, especially being in a long-distance relationship and having different schedules.


The thing that I enjoyed most about this book was its realistic representation of what happens to relationships once high school ends. Both Lara Jean and Peter doubt each other, they pretend they can visit each other

Jan 15, 2021

Elizabeth Berg’s The Story of Arthur Truluv (2017) is a realistic fiction novel telling the interweaving stories of Maddy Harris, Arthur “Truluv” Moses, and Lucille Howard. One day, while Maddy is visiting the cemetery to escape her school lunchroom, she runs into Arthur, who is visiting his wife’s grave; they become fast friends and join forces to combat their loneliness –Maddy’s from the estrangement of her father and boyfriend and Arthur’s from the death of his wife. Lucille, Arthur’s next-door neighbor, soon meets Maddy, and the three come together and form a chosen family while they all

Jan 12, 2021

P.S. I Still Love You ​is the second book in Jenny Han’s ​To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series. Lara Jean and Peter are officially together, for real this time, but things get complicated when one of Lara Jean’s past loves shows up, and Peter can’t stay away from his ex-girlfriend, Genevieve. John Ambrose, Peter’s childhood best friend and one of Lara Jean’s past loves, finally got her letter. John and Lara Jean start to talk and begin to become close. At the same time, Peter seems to be spending more and more time with his ex, Genevieve. One night, after seeing Peter with Genevieve, Lara

Jan 11, 2021

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before​ is a contemporary YA romance written by Jenny Han. The story follows Lara Jean, a girl who hasn’t had much experience with romance but suddenly winds up in a fake relationship. Lara Jean wrote letters for every boy she had ever loved; they were meant just for her, but one day, they were mailed out. When her neighbor, Josh, with whom Lara Jean is still in love, gets his letter, she starts up a fake relationship with the most popular guy in school, Peter Kavinsky, to hide her feelings for Josh. This story follows Lara Jean and Peter’s fake relationship as it

Jan 8, 2021

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is a wonderful futuristic sci-fi story about a fascist world full of censorship and where happiness is valued over thinking and free will. The book offers an insight on what our world might become, and even though the book was published in 1953, the problems that it presents are even more present today.


The story follows Guy Montag, a firefighter, in the year 1999. However, he is less of a firefighter and more of a fire starter. Guy’s job is to set houses on fire that are believed to contain books, which are now banned. Books began to change as people began to

Airplane over open water

After Elias

By Eddy Boudel Tan
5
Rated by Heather C
Jan 7, 2021

Truly one of the best books I've read this year. Very few books can balance heart wrenching grief as well as a mystery; a suspenseful thriller if you will.


Coen Caraway and Elias Santos are engaged to be married in a beautiful resort in Mexico. Just days before the wedding, with guests already en route, the plane Elias is co-piloting crashes into the ocean.  The last words heard on the 'black box' leave more questions than answers and Coen must now plan a memorial instead of a wedding.  


He tells friends and family that if they don’t believe in Elias’s innocence to not bother coming to

Jan 7, 2021

Marvel Fairy Tales​ is a graphic novel compilation of several different stories written and illustrated by C.B. Cebulski, Claire Wendling, and many others. I loved the idea of this book and was excited to see my favorite Marvel characters transported into some of my favorite fantasy worlds, but I was disappointed by the execution. There is no character or plot development; the stories all have a great beginning, but there’s no build-up to their climaxes; all of the stories suddenly end and feel almost incomplete. Despite the lack of story development, the illustrations were phenomenal, and I

Jan 6, 2021

Anne of Avonlea​ is the second installment of L.M. Montgomery’s ​Anne of Green Gables​ series. In this book, we see Anne grow into her late teens while managing two young twins, taking on more responsibility at Green Gables, and experiencing her first year as a teacher. Though Anne maintains her childhood wonder, throughout this book we get to see her mature.


I was just as captivated by this book as I was by the first book of the series, but I am a bit sad that time moved so quickly; from ​Anne of Green Gables​ to ​Anne of Avonlea,​ Anne’s childhood sped by. Even with her newfound maturity

Dec 30, 2020

Jacky Ha-Ha is a realistic fiction book by James Patterson. This is a book about a girl who stutters and her name is Jacky Ha-Ha. Jacky is a prankster; she pranks teachers and friends and is very naughty. When she gets 20 detentions in four days, she chooses to use her detentions in the school musical. There, she meets her true love and she learns her best friend has the voice of an angel. She also gets in trouble and she makes everyone laugh to cover her stutter. Ms.Turner also makes her do the school debate challenge, which she hates. Do you think Jacky will do the debate? Read Jacky Ha-Ha t

Dec 29, 2020

Donovan Curtis is not what you call “gifted.” However, his genius friend, Noah Youkilis, is Supergifted, with one of the highest IQs. After spending many years at the Academy for Scholastic Distinction, Noah looks for the chance to fail and to become normal. He lands at Donovan’s school and finds himself in trouble with cheerleading captain Megan Mercury and jock Hash “Hashtag” Taggart. Donovan sticks up for Noah but gets caught in his own feud and has to stay away from Hashtag. Noah believes that Donovan was mistreated and goes to Hashtag’s house to give Hashtag a piece of his mind. Donovan

Dec 22, 2020

Anne of Green Gables​ by L.M. Montgomery is a beautifully told coming of age story. Anne Shirley is an orphan mistakenly brought home by the Cuthberts living in Avonlea on Prince Edward Island. This story narrates Anne’s life as she grows up and learns to navigate her feelings, relationships, and life. Anne is a nearly perfect character because of her imperfections; she’s always making mistakes or getting into trouble, which makes her relatable to the reader.


For generations, Anne has delighted readers with her big personality and even bigger imagination, and as this was my second read of

Dec 21, 2020

It gave me chills. The setting/tone of this book was eerie and spooky and I kind of felt like a character in the story myself. The ending was unexpected. It's a definite read for those who like thrillers or mysteries.  

Dec 16, 2020

After sixteen-year-old Alice Prewitt’s French grandmother passes away, she finds out that she has inherited an abandoned apartment in Paris. Alice travels to Paris in order to see the apartment for herself, but she makes a shocking discovery — her grandmother had a sister: Adalyn, a resistance worker during WWII. However, Alice has no idea about her great-aunt’s work, and what’s more, Adalyn’s old photos and diary suggest that she was a Nazi sympathizer. With the help of Paul, a handsome French teenager, Alice starts to uncover the truth that Adalyn took to her early grave.


This novel was

Dec 15, 2020

The Alchemist​ by Paulo Coelho is a fiction novel that deals with a boy around eighteen years old named Santiago who wants to complete his Personal Legend/dreams. He starts off by telling readers a dream that he often gets and goes to a Gypsy lady to interpret it. She tells him to go to the pyramids in Egypt where he will find treasure. He wants to travel, and after meeting a stranger, who knows too much about him, he decides to go on this adventure. Along the way, he learns how to live life and lessons that teach him the importance of your soul.


I think this book was amazing and really

Dec 14, 2020

After her mother dies in a car accident, 16-year-old Bree Matthews enters an Early College program at UNC-Chapel Hill. During her first night on campus, she witnesses a demon attack — one that she shouldn’t be able to see. When a mage’s attempt to erase her memory backfires, her own magical powers are awakened and she uncovers an erased memory from the night of her mother’s death. With the help of her peer mentor, Nick, Bree infiltrates the Order of the Round Table, a secret organization consisting of descendants of King Arthur and his knights, as she believes they may have something to do

Dec 11, 2020

The Tower of Nero ​is the fifth and final book in Rick Riordan’s Trials of Apollo series. It follows the Greek god Apollo turned mortal Lester Papadopoulos, as he continues his quest to restore the power of the prophecy, take down the power-hungry Roman emperors, and regain his seat on Mount Olympus. I haven't loved the Trials of Apollo series as much as other Rick Riordan series, but this book was truly excellent. With plenty of cameos and appearances from other beloved characters, this book left me feeling incredibly nostalgic. However, Rick Riordan’s classic humor also shined throughout the

Blacktop Wasteland book cover

Blacktop Wasteland

By S.A. Cosby
5
Rated by Kristen Re.
Dec 10, 2020

“There was no honor among thieves. Boys in the game only respected you in direct proportion to how much they needed you divided by how much they feared you.”


Blacktop Wasteland is full of action and suspense.  Just when you think it may let up, S.A. Cosby shifts the action into another gear.  It is a nonstop adrenaline rush (You know it’s going to be good when the book starts out with a drag race). 


We ride along with Beauregard “Bug” Montage, who is a complex character with many titles: father, husband, son, car mechanic, and getaway driver. He struggles providing an honest living for

Dec 10, 2020

Ever wondered what happens after the “and they all lived happily ever after?” Emma Theriault is here to tell you in her 352 page novel that continues Beauty and her Beast’s story against the backdrop of the French Revolution. Belle, who has chosen to not take the title of princess after marrying her prince, is torn between the world of her past as a commoner and her future as the wife of a royal. Her inner turmoil is only amplified by the stirrings of revolution threatening to overtake Europe. Belle must use her unique upbringing to heal her country and root out betrayal within her own circles

Dec 10, 2020

Olivia is D O N E with blending into the background and she is done letting insecurities hold her back. In light of this, she makes a F*ck it list. What started as a list of things she's wanted to do, turned into so much more. This captivating novel written by Francina Simone gives light to what it means to be confident, and what it means to make mistakes.    


To me, the most compelling aspect of this book was two specific things. The first being how relatable it was. I know what it is like to feel extremely insecure. I also know what it is like to make so many mistakes and feel like there

Dec 9, 2020

Miles Morales Spider-Man by Jason Reynolds is a fiction novel with a boy named Miles who is Spider-Man. He mourns over the recent death of his uncle, but when he goes to school, he feels his spidey senses go off. He doesn’t know why, but something is off in his very normal school. He has a crush on a girl named Alicia, but he is always distracted or can’t talk to her because he is awkward. As he deals with his love quarrel, he needs to figure out why he is feeling so off in school and who blamed him for stealing out of a store he worked in.


I really enjoyed the book, but I feel like it

Dec 9, 2020

As a servant, silence and obedience is the only way Seol can safely and peacefully spend her days. Assigned to a young inspector, she pledges loyalty to him who seems to welcome her curiosity. However, her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect of the murder case.     


Personally, the most compelling aspect of this book is the first person inner dialogue or conflict the main character has. The descriptions and thoughts of the character are written realistically, with just enough detail to paint the story. The way she analyzes clues and how she manages to be involved despite

Dec 8, 2020

Oryx and Crake ​is a dystopian novel written by Margaret Atwood, the writer of ​The Handmaid’s Tale. ​Set in the post-apocalyptic future, this book follows Snowman, the last remaining human, as he navigates surviving in a world with few supplies and genetically mutated animals trying to kill him. The only ones to keep him company are a new breed of people called the Crakers, who are the creation of Snowman’s old friend Crake. The story constantly flips perspective between Snowman surviving in the wild and his former self, once known as Jimmy, as he grows up alongside Crake and meets a mutual

Traitor by Amanda McCrina "Betrayal is a matter of life and death"

Traitor

5
Rated by
Dec 7, 2020

Traitor highlights the societal division and question of morality that was prominent during World War II. In this novel, the lives of two teenagers, a Ukrainian orphan named Aleksey who fights to protect his brother and stay alive, and Tolya, a half-Polish, half-Ukrainian seventeen year old who is unsure of where his loyalties lies. As the lives of these two teenagers intertwine, they encounter both old and new, good and bad, all the while trying to stay alive in the midst of not only an international war, but an internal war.     


The most compelling aspect of this book was how the lives

Dec 7, 2020

Fahrenheit 451 is a science fiction novel written by Ray Bradbury in 1953.  The genre of this book is adventure and science fiction.  The novel is set in a futuristic dystopian society that burns  books in order to control dangerous ideas and concepts.  The novel tells the story of Guy Montag.  Guy Montag is a fireman, whose job is not to protect people but to protect them from books by burning them. Montag meets Clarisse, a smart and curious girl.  Clarisse questions everything about life, happiness, and love. Over the next few days, Montag experiences some disturbing events.  His wife