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Teen SRC 2019 – Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Ever since I saw this beautiful minimalistic cover at Costco, I knew I had to read it and I’m so glad I finally got the chance to.

Dumplin’ is about a girl named Willow who’s fat, obese, overweight, whatever you want to call it. And she knows, and she’s come to terms with it. She’s never had a problem with it… until she meets Bo, the star football player. Desperate to get her “spunk” back, Willow joins a beauty pageant, shocking just about everyone around…

I loved this book so so much and found myself laughing throughout because Willow’s charisma and humour just really made it relatable. A toxic body image is something that’s enforced upon us every time we go on social media, read a magazine or see a poster up in the mall. It’s a very prominent problem in our world that needs to be talked about. This book was an amazing and inspirational story that made my heart sing (ok maybe that’s an exaggeration but you get the point) and gave me a lot of hope and confidence.

My final rating is an 8.5/10 because I feel like the “wanting to change for a guy” is quite downgrading in my book but the fact that Willow overcomes that is an amazing feat to me. Would definitely recommend!

Teen SRC 2019 – Look Into My Eyes by Lauren Child

Look Into My Eyes by Lauren Child is technically a children’s book BUT the writing and plot are absolutely too amazing to not share. The rules for the SRC are that we may write reviews for Children’s Books as long as we believe they are not “childish” or “juvenile” and would appeal to teens which is exactly what I think of this series.

This book is about a girl named Ruby, the only child to popular socialite parents. However, she’s definitely not a simple party girl. She’s an honest-to-goodness genius who created a code at 8 years old which troubled Harvard professors. This level of intelligence is hard to go unseen which is why she is quickly invited into a spy agency called Spectrum where she’s to work as a code-cracker, nothing more. However, Ruby’s just a little too smart for her own good…

Thoughts: This is my all-time favourite series. ALL. TIME. And if you’ve read my reviews, you’d know how high my standards are so… GO READ THIS RIGHT NOW! It’s the most underrated series I know and deserves SO MUCH MORE love. This is perfect for mystery lovers and the plot twists are inSANE. I have literally never been able to correctly predict a plot twist in this series but now as I re-read I pick up on SO MANY HINTS that were written so well they completely escaped my mind. Another thing, I love romance in my books and this is the first book completely without a love story that has captured my complete and absolute attention (but if you survive on that chemistry this might not be for you…) so it may just do the same for you too! Final rating is a 10/10 baby, no flaws whatsoever.

Teen SRC 2019 – Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

If this review were being read to you like an audiobook, you wouldn’t even be able to hear it over the sound of my tears. Thankfully, I’m just joking (although that’s not the case for Heartless), surprisingly I didn’t cry for this although it definitely hit me straight in the feels quite a few times.

Crooked Kingdom is the sequel to Six of Crows which I absolutely loved. This is a huge book, hence why it took me so long to finish but I have finally concluded and gathered my opinions.

Spoilers for Six of Crows but not Crooked Kingdom: Following their raid on the Ice Court to rescue Kuwei Yul-Bo, Kaz and the Dregs are working to free Inej from Van Eck’s grasp. OK I’m done, you can open your eyes now LOL.

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Teen SRC 2019 – City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Hey guys, I’m finally back from vacation and ready to do some serious catching up on my reading 🙂

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare is the first book of the Mortal Instruments, an iconic series about the world of Shadowhunters. In a nutshell, the story takes place in a universe where Downworlders such as werewolves, vampires and warlocks roam freely amongst mortals. There’s a group of enhanced humans called the Shadowhunters who are tasked with managing them and battling any supernatural forces that pose a threat to humanity. I described the world in more detail in my review of Lady Midnight so go check that out if you want to get a better feel for their setting.

Let’s start off with, this series is pretty darn amazing. it has an amazing plot that keeps on developing and some of the best character relationships I’ve ever seen. It’s an extraordinarily popular series and it’s not difficult to see why. City of Bones is the perfect debut, starring strong, classic, female protagonist Clary Fray who finds out that she’s actually a shadowhunter. From there on, she makes life-long friends within the community with whom she gets into many adventures. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good supernatural story 🙂 Final rating is a 9/10 because the plot has just started developing but later sequels get even better!

Teen SRC 2019 – Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Intense and quick-paced, Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins is the perfect finale to a stunning series.

Disclaimer: There will be spoilers for the previous books here but none for Mockingjay itself.

Through perseverance, determination and sheer luck, Katniss has managed to escape the grasps of the Capitol once more. Peeta, however, was not so lucky, having been taken captive by the Capitol and suffering both mental and physical abuse.

Now known as the Mockingjay, Katniss is a symbol of the rising rebellion against President Snow’s dictatorship and is working with the rebels to support their cause. Throughout the book, the effects and consequences of war are explored, making this a very realistic story (which is a good thing!).

I thought this met and exceeded the hype put around it as the conclusion to such an exciting story. The ending wasn’t perfect, making it so much more believable because wars have casualties, that’s just plain fact. I really loved this book and the entire series to be completely honest. Would DEFINITELY recommend it to anyone! The messages from this book were received loud and clear, a full 10/10 stars from me.

Teen SRC 2019 – Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

“No Mourners, No Funerals” is the motto of the Dregs, a gang of ragtag misfits from the slums lead by the infamous Dirtyhands, the devil himself: Kaz Brekker. This story is one of adventure, heists, romance and plotting. It’s filled with cunning, thievery, some plain, pure luck and anything else needed to capture your heart.

I actually first read Six of Crows two years ago but I don’t remember it having much of a lasting effect on me. Even back then, it was a very popular read so I was a little confused as to why I didn’t enjoy it as much as the majority of readers. That’s why I re-read it these past few days and let me tell you, do I love it now! The book follows Kaz and his crew along on an adventure that, if successfully completed (or should I say, survived), would end up with them all becoming absolutely, undeniably, filthy rich. However, it comes with a cost, as money often does. This mission is impossible, borderline suicidal and requires just about all the miracles you could possibly wring from your luck bank.

I loved this book SO, SO much the second time around which makes me wonder what kind of a person I even was back in 7th grade to not have enjoyed it. I loved the characters with their odd, dynamic relationships and tortured backstories. So, so dramatic but I soaked it all in anyway 🙂

This book gets a 9/10 from me, the last point being that the ending was way to open for my liking but that’s why there’s a sequel (which I’ll definitely be reading :)) !!

Teen SRC 2019 – Popular (a memoir) by Maya Van Wagenen

Popular (a memoir) by Maya Van Wagenen was probably one of the most inspirational reads I’ve tried in a long time. A huge plus, it’s also a quick one! I finished this in roughly 4 hours so “not having time” isn’t an excuse for not reading this. Also, since it’s a memoir, it’s a true story! Which made me relate to it even more.

Popular is written by 15-year-old sophomore, Maya, who recently moved from Brownsville, Texas to rural Georgia. The memoir begins with her cleaning out her house and finding an old book her dad picked up from the thrift store a while ago. The book, “Betty Cornell’s Teenage Popularity Guide”, was written by teen model Betty Cornell in the 1950s!

Since Maya was a “social outcast” at her school, her mom suggested she follow the advice of a 50s teen during her 8th-grade year and see what happens. During the year, Maya documents her classmates’ reactions as well as how she feels after trying Betty’s tips. To give you a feel for things, Betty Cornell’s wardrobe staples were girdles, pantyhoses, several long skirts and a simple string of pearls. As Maya moves throughout the book’s chapters and progresses through the school year, she slowly transforms from an awkward geek to a confidant, happy, young woman. Of course, she figures out the real definition of popular along the way and to her shock, it was not at all what she expected it to be.

I honestly loved this book and related a lot to it. I know popularity is a major cause of self-esteem issues in a lot of teens so this book is super relevant. The fact that it was written by a 15-year-old, who uses words like “er” and “ew” also makes it so much more lighthearted and sweet. Maya’s commentary is very amusing and will never, ever bore you. I give this book 9.5/10 stars because I wish she could’ve gone into a bit more detail about Betty’s book’s content but other than that, I give it my highest recommendation to my fellow girlies who are going through that awkward phase. This book will make you laugh, groan, smile, cry, you name it. Have fun reading!!

Teen SRC 2019 – Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter

This review is for Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter.

The reason this review took so long to get to you guys was that I couldn’t find it on the library catalogue so I thought the library didn’t own it? But I just re-searched today and it’s on… that was a little odd but I’m not mad about it 🙂 Anyways, I read it on Hoopla so if you’re more of an e-book person, this one’s for you sis.

No synopsis for you guys, sorry but if you want to know what the books about just read the summaries from my reviews of the previous two books!

Thoughts: I LOVED this finale. It was a lot deeper than the first and second books which made it more emotion-filled (I cried. Just a little though!). The ending was very satisfying (especially in terms of romance) so if you’re one to get mad about unsatisfying conclusions (like me), you won’t be disappointed here. I really loved the romance that was in this book as well because it wasn’t super intense, not everything was about it; but it was always there, very sweet and very, very adorable. I HIGHLY recommend this book, you really will not regret it. My final rating is 5/5 stars.

P.S. From now on, I’m going to rate books out of 10 instead of 5 because I feel like there are amazing books and then there are completely life-changing ones and I really need to differentiate them.