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TeenTober 2019- Overturned by L.R. Giles

Overturned

Riveting, suspenseful, brilliant. From the moment I opened Overturned by L.R. Giles, I could tell this story wasn’t one I would be forgetting soon. Strong, beautiful writing combined with a captivating plot makes Overturned the gem that it is.

It isn’t easy being the daughter of a convicted killer, but Nikki Tate’s poker face never cracks. By operating illegal poker games in the basement of her family’s casino, Nikki knows she’ll be able to save enough money to get herself out of Vegas and into a good college with her friends. After all, what more could life possibly throw at her?

But then her father (who’s always claimed to be innocent) gets released from jail just before his death sentence. He comes back into the family and Nikki’s world flips upside down once again. With her father’s sudden overturned conviction and the cute new boy at school, is Nikki’s life on the turn for the better? Or will the secrets that almost cost her father his life end up taking hers instead?

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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 SRC 2019 – The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

The Princess Diaries - Cabot, Meg

I’ve seen the movie, we’ve all seen the movie, except (obviously, I think) the book is so much better (no offense intended to Anne Hathaway, Julie Andrews, LOL, the movie was great.)

Amelia Thermopolis isn’t the popular girl, the nerdy girl, she isn’t even the artsy girl. Mia is just a regular kid with regular kid problems when her dad tells her that he is the prince of a small European country which makes her, Mia, the princess of Genovia. Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo can choose to stay in Manhattan and continue pretending to be a normal girl (not a princess) on the condition that she will take princess lessons from Grandmère (grandmother in french) in preparation of when she will ascend to the throne. Her father will also donate a hundred dollars a day to Greenpeace in her name if she agrees to the princess lessons. Mia, being the steadfast vegetarian she is, accepts because of that last part.

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Teen SRC 2019 – My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

My Lady Jane

My Lady Jane is a historical fiction book with a fantasy twist, and it’s one of my favourite book (of course I don’t have just ONE favourite book.)

Edward is dying. He is the king. He shouldn’t be dying. But he is, and he will die, never even having gotten his first kiss. Life’s no fair.

Lady Jane Grey would rather spend her days curled up with a book than have to go to any of the social gatherings her mother is so keen on making her go to. But when she is told that her beloved cousin is dying and she must marry in order to save the throne, she decides she must do her duty and agrees to the marriage. But there’s something off about her intended, and she’s determined to find out what.

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Teen SRC 2019 – Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter

Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter

The thrilling conclusion to the Embassy Row trilogy, this book did not disappoint. Having enjoyed the first book more than the second, I was a bit nervous for this finale. Thankfully, it was very fast-paced and took quite a bit of will-power and some much-needed reasoning from my mom to make me put it down last night. I finished it today morning and I think that’s the fastest I’ve ever read a book of that length.

Synopsis (may include spoilers from previous books but not this one): Grace Blakely has just found out that she is, in fact, royalty. A direct descendant of Amelia, the little princess who survived the royal massacre 200 years ago, her brother is the rightful king of Adria and she is the lost princess. However, she isn’t the only one who knows it and there are forces at work to find and kill her and her brother like they did her mom 3 years ago. This is the story of Grace’s journey in trying to discover what her mom found that lead to this constant game of cat-and-mouse and trying to find out who she can truly trust in this world built from stunning lies.

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Teen SRC 2019 – Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Noggin

Hilarious, real, compelling. Noggin by John Corey Whaley is a fresh new take on the cliché woke-up-in-the-hospital-with-amnesia trope spun into a breathtaking new tale.  

Travis Coates was dying at sixteen when he decided to cyrogenically freeze his head in the hope that some time in the future, doctors and scientists could bring him back to life. Five years later, Travis wakes up in the hospital with his head attached to someone else’s body. And having some athletic guy’s biceps is the least of his problems; the best friend that came out as gay to him before he died now has a girlfriend, Travis’s own girlfriend is engaged and Travis is almost certain his dad is cheating on his mom.

As I’ve mentioned before, this plot line closely resembles the common amnesia plot line with a whole new side to it as Travis had to get used to having an entire body that didn’t belong to him. There were many parts of this book that I loved: Travis’s relationship with his mom is the sweetest parent-child relationship I’ve read in a YA novel, Travis and Kyle’s friendship, (small spoiler here) Travis finally meeting the family of his body’s donor (spoiler over). There was one major aspect of the story, though, that got on my nerves. Travis’s girlfriend is engaged, and many, many times Travis makes advances on her despite her having clearly said she doesn’t want him.

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Teen SRC 2019 – Royals by Rachel Hawkins

Royals by Rachel Hawkins is a fun, lighthearted romance/drama story that made me laugh so hard and wish I were living in the book.

It’s about a girl named Daisy who’s older sister Eleanor is engaged to the Scottish Prince. However, having a soon-to-be-princess as her sister means Daisy has landed quite a few tabloid articles too, and not all of them are positive. Over the summer, Daisy and her family are invited to Scotland to properly meet the royal family and their relatives + friends (dukes and duchesses, bishops etc.) where she meets the prince’s younger brother Sebastien and his best friend Miles. Throughout the story, Daisy gets into many adventures with them and goes through the process of learning how to behave royally, making maaany mistakes throughout…

I give this book a solid 9/10 but I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to everyone. It’s a 9/10 for me because I happen to like cheesy, cliche and fun romances but it’s definitely not for everybody 🙂 If you do decide to give it a try though, I daresay you’ll at least crack a smile because that’s the effect Daisy had on me!

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 – Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg

Okay. So, because I trust you guys (mostly), I have decided that you guys should know what’s been up with me. Here goes nothing: I got an AVM.

Image result for take a bow book

And, FYI, I’m not gonna spend my precious time explaining what that is. You have Google. Use it.

Now. Enough about me. Let’s talk books. Take a Bow is truly a book I’ll read again and again, and never get tired of it. This book has 4 main characters: Emme, Sophie, Carter, and Ethan. All 4 of them are students at this fancy performing arts school, where being famous is the overall goal. But for Emme, Carter, and Ethan, that’s not who they aspire to be. Ethan starts falling for Emme, while Carter seems to have vicious difficulties of his own, including his controlling girlfriend Sophie. While Ethan, Carter, and Emme prefer to stay in the shadows, Sophie would stop at nothing to become a star. Even if it means betraying her best friend, Emme.

Honestly, when I finished the book, I wanted to crawl inside and hug all the characters a trillion times! This book was so adorably funny, I definitely recommend you read it!