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TeenTober 2019 – Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

There is a world where people with silver blood rule over the people with red blood. All red blooded people without a job when they turn 20 years old will be conscripted into the army. Mare is a 19 year old girl without a job and resorts to pick-pocketing. One day, she meets somebody named Cal who is a silver prince and he hired her to work at the palace. There, Mare found out she had powers, like the silver, but stronger than them.

TeenTober 2019 – Legendary by Stephanie Garber

Legendary by Stephanie Garber is the second book in the Caraval trilogy. There will be Caraval spoilers in here so beware but none for Legendary.

While Caraval was written in Scarlett’s perspective and didn’t give us much insight into Tella’s personality, Legendary is entirely narrated by Donatella. For this reason, it took me a while to warm up to the book because obviously, I’d developed a connection to Scarlett in the last one and switching it up so drastically did not endear to me. I came around eventually though I still wasn’t as taken with it as I was Caraval.

In Legendary, Caraval is to perform at Empress Elantine’s 75th birthday and Tella plans to use this chance to find out Legend’s true name and fulfill her part of the promise she made with a “friend”. When Caraval starts though, Tella realizes that this performance is quite a bit different than the previous and that the dangers may no longer be a part of the game but as real as you and me.

I would give Legendary an 8.5/10 because I wasn’t very impressed with the ending… I was expecting a few mindblowing plot twists like Stephanie delivered in Caraval but I was VERY disappointed with the actual results. That said, I did enjoy the story and plotline overall and I’m definitely going to give the final book a read!

TeenTober 2019 – Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler, illustrated by Maira Kalman

Why We Broke Up, written by Daniel Handler and illustrated by Maira Kalman

From author Daniel Handler (AKA Lemony Snicket) comes the story of Min Green and Ed Slaterton. Predictably, these two have broken up.

I found Why We Broke Up to be an enjoyable, if not particularly thought-provoking read. It relied heavily on archetypes (eg. “that one artsy girl”, “the playboy jock”, “loyal friend-zoned best friend”, etc.), which was a little disappointing, but effort was made to make sure that each character had their own quirks and motivations. It’s a book with lots of “we’re young and stupid and completely in love” vibes, if you like that sort of thing. (I do.)

One thing that I found the story did really well was the lack of “perfect” characters– the main character, Min, has a ton of shortcomings, along with the other characters, and they’re all addressed and handled fairly well. This is one of the areas in which Why We Broke Up really shines– the characters are pretentious, yes, but they feel real. Relatable, even. I mean, who isn’t a little pretentious over here? We’re a bunch of teenagers on a blog about reading books. C’mon. Personally, I enjoyed it most of the time.

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Teen Book Review – Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Hey all! How is school life? Hope you’re not being overload

Anyways, I’ve been reading up a storm lately and one of my favourites so far is Caraval by Stephanie Garber.

Caraval is the story of two sisters, Scarlett and Donatella, who have been trapped on their island with their abusive father for their whole lives. Growing up, Scarlett had always dreamt of attending Caraval, an incredible performance given once a year in which the audience participates in the games; however, given that their last attempt at escape had resulted in their father murdering the nice boy who’d been stupid enough to help them, Scarlett had long since dismissed that dream as an impossible wish. Yet, dreams have a knack for coming true, especially if you wish for them enough.

Thoughts: Caraval has been on my To-Be-Read List for so long that it was a such a relief to finally get around to it! It was the perfect blend of mystery and magic, romance and danger. I was hooked through and through. The plot twists were very, very good and the story was told in a way that made me just as confused as the characters (this may sound like a bad thing but it’s actually very good in this case, just let me explain). The audience members that participate in Caraval are thrust into a mystery they need to solve, with performers and a set that makes everything seem super realistic. Therefore, saying I was as confused as the characters means the story was so well written it was hard for me to differentiate between acting and reality. To describe Caraval in one word: Spellbinding; which is which my rating is a 9/10.

Teen Book Review – The Good Earth

The Good EarthThe Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck is a phenomenal classic set inancient China. It is the first book in the House of Earth Trilogy and is arguably the best. This story tells of a common farmer by the name of Wang Lung and the hardships he and his family must endure. The story begins as Wang Lung meets his arranged bride: O-Lan, a servant from the noble house of Hwang. He and his new bride prosper for many years on the humble land of his father. However, when famine comes, the Wang family must move out or starve as the end becomes inevitable.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the plot and characters were flawless and each character had a very gritty and believable personality. Unlike many books, there is no real hero or a typical dramatic climax, but when you reach the end of the book, you are itching for the next book to read. The realism in this story can be unsuitable for younger children with no hesitation to bring up oppression of women, and the horrors of famine and poverty. The author also clearly shows the effect of wealth on a man and how the greed inside him will grow.

Teen Book Review – Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas

Tower of DawnIn my opinion, Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas was equally bad and good at the same time. Let’s begin on a good note, all things awesome about this book; Sarah J Maas is honestly a phenomenal author and she has never ceased to amaze me, if you have read the rest of the books in this series, you would know exactly why ;). This book was no exception, the plot is truly incredible and well-planned, nothing happens for no reason.

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Teen Book Review–The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

The Unexpected EverythingSo…Real Life isn’t usually a genre I read but this book made it onto my exceptions list. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson is just so hilarious and relatable that even readers who hate anything non-magical (aka me) won’t be able to put it down! I can’t say much here without spoiling but trust me, this book is a super fun and happy read so you won’t have to worry about the traumatizing stress experienced in fantasy or paranormal stories when your favourite characters are subject to dying at any given time…

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Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant

Image result for zenn diagram bookOkay, I’ve got your next great read!

Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brant is such a fun book to read. It’s about senior Eva Walker who is a math genius. She isn’t popular, but she’s fine with that because she has a super power. Whenever she touches people (or if she even touches their belongings), she sees a vision of their emotions and childhoods. She has spent her whole life trying to avoid touching people because her super power is a lot to deal with and it makes it hard for her to connect with others.

This all changes when she meet the new boy in school, Zenn. He needs her help in math and goes to her for tutoring, but the more they get to know about each other, the more they are drawn to each other.

Eva is funny and self-deprecating, and such a fun character. If you’re looking for a good romance with a bit of a twist, try this one out. You won’t regret it!