Summer is finally here! We are looking forward to reading your reviews and awarding you for it! Prizes will be awarded all summer starting in July. Each week, we will be giving away a random prize plus a prize for our favourite review. This could be a post or comment that is well written, thought provoking or shows a lot of insight and no, a review does not have to be long to be considered. Like someone else’s review? Let them know, commenting on the blog counts as a post entry too!
Tune in on July 5th to participate in the Heist! Criminal mastermind Cody Vandango has hired you – Ainsley Jones. Your mission – to travel around the world to each of the seven continents and steal something of value without getting caught. Mission #1 begins NOW! Click here to complete the mission.
Mission #1 is the beginning of everything. Try your luck here
Mission #2 begins July 12th! Click here to complete the mission
Mission #3 is here! Click here to complete this week’s mission!
Mission #4 is even better! Click here to complete Week 4’s mission!
Mission #5 may be the most challenging yet! Click here to complete week 5’s mission!
Mission #6 is a doozy! Give it a try! Click here to complete Week 6’s mission!
The final mission is HERE!!!!! Can you complete everything for Cody Vandango? Click here to complete Week 7’s mission!
Olivia! Not only did Olivia submit the most reviews with 23, but each and every review was well-written and thought provoking. Congratulations!
The Teen Summer Reading Club is not quite over. We are reviewing all of the wonderful submissions to this year’s 2022 Teen SRC Design challenge. We are narrowing it down to our top 3 choices which we allow you to vote for your favourite starting on Tuesday.
Agatha Christie, as you’ve probably heard me say many times, is a wonderful mystery writer and I was very eager to pick up The A.B.C. Murders, which is one of her most critically acclaimed novels. It has even been made into a show! (I am still debating whether to watch it because I get scared easily…)
A quick synopsis: Hercule Poirot is retired, but, like a Prima Donna, always comes back for a “final” performance. This time, his “cream of the crop” crime starts with an anonymous letter, taunting the fact that a murder is to happen on a particular date in Andover (a small British town). The letter is signed as “A.B.C.” Hastings, the narrator and Poirot’s trusty Watson-like friend, doesn’t give much thought to the letter until the day arrives and a Mrs. A. Ascher is murdered in her store. Then the next letter arrives for Bexhill-on-the Sea, and Poirot knows he needs to find A.B.C. before the murderer makes his/her way further down the alphabet.
I will keep my review brief at the risk of spoiling things, but this book was plotted marvellously. The A.B.C. Murders had a great amount of suspense, shocking twists, a lot of humour, some grisly descriptions, and even vague shadows of romance. There is a psychological element to the novel as well, which involves the historical time period and the first World War, which I absolutely adored. Also, this isn’t common to most Christie novels, but The A.B.C. Murders even had an underlying moral theme. It wasn’t too in-your-face, but if I picked up on it, then others might too. (I can’t explain anything, though…the struggle of writing spoiler-less reviews!) Also, I should mention that I’m very biased towards Hercule Poirot. I will read anything with him in it because where else am I going to get delightful lines like “I send the vegetable marrows to promenade themselves to the devil”? Also the friendship between Poirot and Hastings is so adorable and their banter makes everything in this book so much better.
The only bad thing about this book is that it ended and that there aren’t a hundred more like it. 10/10, I thoroughly enjoyed!
As summer is coming to a close, thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Teen Summer Reading Club! We have really enjoyed reading your thoughts about the books you have read this summer.
The 8th and final weekly prize winners are Angela and Casey. Congratulations to you both.
We still have one final prize to give away and that is the grand prize! This will be awarded to the teen who has written the most book reviews this summer. The winner will be announced on Friday. Stayed tuned.
The book Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu is told in the POV of Ethan, a boy who was kidnapped and found four years later, and Caroline, a girl whose autistic younger brother was kidnapped for a few days. The story moves forward as Caroline tries to find out what happened to her brother by talking to Ethan, and Ethan deals with triggering flashbacks and memories.
This book talks about trauma and how to move on for it. I thought the plots were amazing, and some of the quotes were deep and insightful.
The ending though…I wouldn’t really call it an ending. It just abruptly cuts off. I was disappointed because the book was really good.
I would call myself a casual Harry Potter fan. I have memories of the books and movies from when I was younger. So when I saw This is How We Fly by Anna Meriano, a book about Quidditch in real life, I was curious.
Ellen Lopez-Rourke just graduated high school, and she has one summer left until she’s off for college. Her plans are thrown out the window, however, when her step-mom grounds her for the whole summer. Her only out is begging to join the local Quidditch team with her friend, Melissa. Ellen expects a bunch of Harry Potter nerds, but what she finds are committed, loyal team members playing a super athletic game. Quidditch is just the distraction Ellen needs from her drama with family and friends, but she’ll find she can’t outrun them for long.
I enjoyed this story about finding yourself and finding community. This book captures the feelings of a teenager moving on to adulthood, and of someone finding a supportive place where they feel they belong. There are plenty of aspects of Ellen’s life, such as her struggles with identity and social activism, that succeed in rounding her character. There was growth from each character presented, I just wish the book had better handled Ellen’s relationship with her step-mom. Overall, an interesting read.
While I can’t say I loved absolutely everything about Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter, there are a few things that left me completely astonished. First, the characters. Namely, Maddie and Logan. How – and I repeat – how did the author manage to make me grow so attached to the characters in just a mere 304 pages? It’s like I really know both of them in real life; let me just say the characters are so incredibly lovable and the plot development between them is not only enticing but heartwarming.
One thing I wasn’t super interested in for this novel was the plot. Well, okay, not the actual plot, but rather the fact that the book was marketed as a mystery novel, and yet I didn’t really pick up on any suspense-building, plot twists, or anything like that. It was certainly a very adventurous read, but I’m not sure I would leap as far as “mysterious.”
Overall, I thought it was a sweet book despite the misleading genre; honestly I think there’s more romance than anything, but it’s very well-written and no cliche personality traits in any of the characters. 7/10!
I cannot even begin to explain how much Our Wayward Fate, a teen romance book written by Gloria Chao, blew my mind. See, this was another one of those books I decided to read just from glancing at the cover and barely skimming through the blurb. I was expecting an amusing anecdote, maybe a relatable story at most. What I wasn’t prepared for was the most heartfelt, lovable romance novel with amazing characters.
I’m not going to go through the plot synopsis here, but the general idea of the book was about an asian boy called Chase Yu who moved to a new school in Indiana, with no other asian kids whatsoever. …Well, with the exception of Ali Chu. The two begin to bond throughout the book, but when Ali’s mother forces her to stop seeing Chase, Ali has to find out more about this mysterious classmate.
HANDS DOWN the best plot twist ever. Unexpected, mind-blowing, heartbreaking and the good kind of dramatic. I enjoyed reading this book, 9/10!
At first I wasn’t particularly drawn to the entire The Selection series, because I had read some of the summaries online, and I just didn’t feel all that inclined to read about a bunch of princesses trying to win over a prince’s heart. I decided to give the general plot of The One by Kiera Cass the benefit of the doubt, though, and tried to convince myself that there would be other aspects of the books that I would like. Glad to say I was right about that!
First of all, even though I admit the plot does sound kind of ridiculous, Kiera does have a way of illustrating it and making it feel more real. I actually did enjoy the fantasy, some of the plot twists, and most definitely the romance. I like how you can slip into their world and kind of escape from reality when you are reading.
What did I hate? The characters. For the love of God, could you please give us some actual, decent characters who don’t have the classic “nobody-likes-me” mindset. It gets so annoying, and honestly just gets in the way of most of the other amazing stuff that is worth reading in the book. America’s attitude was just completely off, in my opinion, and the other characters had no personality.
I still feel rather disappointed by this book, but I am glad that there were at least a few things that I found enjoyable. I probably will get around to reading the other books, although I wouldn’t exactly say I’m excited for them; I’d say maybe a five out of 10 for this novel.
I’m going to be honest, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is a book that I had been highly anticipating for the longest time. It had been on my TBR for months and I was really excited when I finally got to read it. What I didn’t know was that the book would turn out to be quite a big disappointment.
At first I thought the book was pretty interesting, but I think this book introduces a bit too many characters right at the beginning. I thought the introduction/1st sentences were good, but by the time I got to the second chapter, I really didn’t want to read the book anymore. That’s literally all I have to say, the rest of the book was just a repetitive pattern of flipping back, being bored, and pushing through every word.
I have to say though, I did like most of the fantasy aspects of the novel, and honestly after reading They Both Die at the End, nothing can really have a lower rating than that one. I just didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would, but it still gets maybe six out of 10.