Skip to main content

Teen Book Review – Far From the Tree by Robin Benway

Far From the Tree - Benway, Robin

Far from the Tree by Robin Benway. tells the story of three siblings that were put up for adoption by their biological mother.

Grace, the middle child, knew she was adopted, but was never interested in finding out anything about her biological family, not until she had to give up her own daughter for adoption. Now, she aches for the hole Peach (her daughter) has left behind and wonders if her bio mom felt the same way after giving her up all those years ago.

Maya, the youngest sister, had always felt a bit like an outsider; the only brunette in a prominently red-headed family. Her parents adopted her three months before they found out they were pregnant with Lauren, her younger sister. She used to be close to Lauren, but now everyone feels like they’re drifting apart. Of course, the fact that she has an alcoholic mother, and parents that can’t be in the same room for five minutes without yelling doesn’t help matters.

Joaquin, the older brother never got adopted. Being a boy, and half-Mexican might have something to do with it. His latest set of foster parents are perfect, though, maybe too perfect. So is Birdie, Joaquin’s now ex-girlfriend. Joaquin knows he will ruin everything, he knows that he will manage to hurt them. He doesn’t deserve them, and trying to explain that to them will hurt too much. So Joaquin does what the years in foster care has taught him to do; keep his secrets and fears close to himself, and not get too attached.

This book was wonderful to read. It touched important topics, such as foster care systems, teen pregnancies, racism, and the need to belong. Parts in this book made me want to cry, while some made me laugh. It was written in three different perspectives, which is my favourite style of writing, because it feels like reading three different books at the same time. The only thing about this book I didn’t like was the predictability of the plot and the characters. Other than that, AMAZING. I give it a 9/10.

Teen Book Review – Sadia by Colleen Nelson

Fifteen-year-old Sadia Ahmadi is a proud muslim who is passionate about basketball. Her best friend, Mariam however wants to be noticed, and not be shunned for wearing her hijab, and starts de-jabbing (removing her hijab), at school every morning. Conflicted, Sadia tries to convince Mariam not to, but watches fro the sidelines her best friend being transformed into a completely different person.

When tryouts for an elect basketball team is announced, Sadia jumps at the opportunity. When tournament day comes, Sadia is faced with a difficult question; Should she wear her hijab and not play, or remove the hijab.

This was an amazing book, that really opened my eyes and broadened my perspective. I could not put this book down. I felt connected to the characters and could almost feel what they were feeling. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a fast read. I would rate this book a 5/5 stars Rebecca

Teen Book Review – Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

First off, Happy New Year everyone! May 2019 treat you well :))

Image result for fangirl book cover

This week I read Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and I found it really quirky and cute but not as relatable as I thought it would be. That aside, I must say I enjoyed it far more than Eleanor and Park, also by Rainbow Rowell, which was the second hyped-up book that didn’t meet my standards (after The Hate You Give). Fangirl is about a young woman named Cather just getting used to college life. Her twin sister, Wren, has always been the risk-taker and the extrovert while Cath stayed in the background and lived in the fictional universe of popular series: Simon Snow, and now, in college, she’s feeling isolated more than ever. At the beginning of the book, Cath is super shy and goes out of her way to blend in and disappear. When she’s in her room, she avoids her roommate as well and instead focuses on the Simon Snow fan-fic she’s been working on her whole life. As the story progresses, however, she meets new people…whether she wanted to or not and starts to open up more and more.

Like any Rainbow Rowell or John Green book, there isn’t really a plot and the main component is just continued character development and relationships, which sadly, bores me quite a bit. However, I did like this book, just not as much as I probably would’ve had it had a more intense storyline. Overall rate: 4/5 stars, nice light read.

Teen SRC 2018 – The Fault in our Stars by John Green

The Fault in our Stars is written by John Green.

Narrated by Hazel Grace, 16-year old girl who has Cancer, The Fault in our Stars is a novel about love, friendships, and the struggles and restrictions of living with cancer. Finished high school early, and now pursuing college, Hazel is someone who people call antisocial. Hazel’s mom decides that she is depressed, and sends her to a Support Group, along with a bunch of kids who also lives with cancer. Soon she meets and befriends, Augustus Waters, a cancer survivor, who lost his right leg to osteosarcoma. Gradually, they both share a bond, with the both, sharing each other’s favorite book. As Hazel’s favorite book finished without a conclusion, Augustus is determined to find the author and find out about the ending of the book. Hazel is at first, reluctant, but then discovers it is possible, they both take a trip to Amsterdam, to meet the author in real life. At Amsterdam, Augustus confesses his love for Hazel. At Amsterdam, the both of them discover and the journey of their lives and learn to step outside of their comfort zone.

I would rate this book a 5/5 as it has a great plot and it is one of those books that will make you want to laugh and cry.

Teen SRC 2018 – Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Image result for words in deep blueThis book is about Howling Books, a bookstore where readers write letters and leave notes to strangers, lovers, and poets. A bookstore where new love is discovered, and strangers find friendship between the pages of a book. A bookstore on the verge of being shut down due to the conflict in the family that owns it.

This story is about Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie. They were childhood friends before Rachel moved away to the sea.

Now, Rachel has moved back, one year after the death of her brother, Cal. She’s working at the book store, grieving for her brother’s death, while looking for the future in the books people had loved, and the words they leave behind.

I found this book randomly on my school library’s shelves, and when I finally decided to try reading it, I was really surprised to find that I actually enjoyed reading it, as I think most romantic books are too cliche, sappy, and just plain boring.

 

Teen SRC 2018 – Cracked by K. M. Walton

Image result for cracked bookCracked by K. M. Walton

Cracked indeed. This book has so many cracks, yet no cracks at all. It is a flawless portrait of two kids, and yet a book with cracks all over, with holes to big to cover up. This book made me cry, laugh, smile, punch the wall. It is about two kids, Bull and Victor. These two kids go way back, with memories not so great to be remembered. When they end up in the same psychiatric ward, they both know that this is a formula for disaster. However, through the wall, they find cracks that lead to one another, and find the many connections between themselves, and find so much more than they thought they could! When they receive therapy together, they find out that they have so much more in common than just a bad life! I recommend that you read this somewhere quiet, and filled with walls to punch, as there will be times where you feel the two kids’ depression, and you will in fact feel like screaming. 🙁 😉

Teen SRC 2018 – This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

This Is Where It EndsThis Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Setting: Opportunity High School. It all started off as a bright and beautiful morning, and all the students in the auditorium, listening to the principal drone on and on about a successful year. But in the course of 5 minutes, a shooter appears, and many kids and staff members lay sprawled dead on the auditorium floors. Nobody can escape, because the doors of the auditorium were shut firmly. The shooter, is not just any shooter. It is a former Opportunity High student, seeking revenge.

– SPOILER ALERT! –

 

However, I feel that at the end of the book when the killer committed suicide,  it gave a negative lesson for anyone who reads it. But overall, I give it a 4 out of 5.

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–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…

!SPOILER ALERT!Read More