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Teen Book Review – Warcross by Marie Lu

Warcross

Hey all, long time no see! I hope everyone is safe and healthy 🙂

Recently, I re-read Warcross, the first book of a duology by one of my favourite authors, Marie Lu.

The story takes place in a futuristic world, when real life is drab and grey and run-down, so people all over the world put on a pair of high-tech glasses daily to enter the colourful and vivid virtual reality of Warcross. 18-year-old Emika Chen, our protagonist, is a bounty hunter, and tech genius. She catches criminals the police don’t have time for by hacking through the dark web, and it’s her only source of income. However, when a hack goes wrong, and she accidentally reveals herself to the creator of Warcross, her life takes a DRASTIC turn.

I honestly really liked this book! It was jam-packed with action, which is one of my favourite things about Marie Lu books, so I was super glad this was no exception! As well, the world is very realistic, because it’s not hard to believe that in the future, we could have something similar to Warcross. That made the reading experience a lot more immersive, as what Emika was going through seemed super probable, it wasn’t hard to connect to the story and its characters. I also very much enjoyed the plot twists although I was able to guess a few of them. They made sense, and weren’t a complete shock, which can actually detract from the actual writing. All in all, I give this book an 8.5/10. It was a great read!

Teen SRC 2020 – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Rowling, J.K.: 8601404281891:  Books - Amazon.ca

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

You’re probably wondering why I’m reviewing Harry Potter all of a sudden… and I can explain.

It took me almost 5 years to become a calm, hidden Harry Potter fan, and in about a month, TikTok has reversed all of that hard work. My entire FYP is Harry Potter edits and thus, I have been re-reading the books, and re-crying about how I’ll never get to go to Hogwarts. But, enough about that, let’s get on with the review.

Summary (Spoiler-Free): After another uneventful summer, Harry Potter has finally returned to Hogwarts for his third year. He has a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher: Professor Lupin, and Hagrid, his friend, has begun teaching Care of Magical Creatures. Oh, and did I mention a vicious Death Eater has escaped from Azkaban? Well, he has, and he goes by the name of Sirius Black.

Every single review I write for the Harry Potter series is going to be biased because I am in love with their world. In. Love. No other words for it. The plot lines are always amazing, full of mystery, suspense, and action. The characters are very well built as well, with Harry being an extremely likeable protagonist, and Ron and Hermione exceptional characters each on their own.

I believe though, that the true magic lies in the emotional aspect of this read. First, J.K. Rowling created a universe so real, so layered and magical and mysterious, that it’s impossible not to get lost in it. And, secondly, the characters are written so realistically that one feels they could very well pop out of the book, flesh and blood. These combine to create a story that leaves the line between fantasy and reality blurred, a feeling that I absolutely love experiencing. In addition to this, reading the series reminds me of my childhood, and I can relate to growing up, right along with the Golden Trio, which adds to the overall nostalgia, and hiraeth.

Hogwarts is my home, and I will laugh, cry, and grieve with Harry Potter, until the end of time.

I think it’s obvious what my rating is, and I’ll leave you with a quote from Dumbledore because although I talk about missing Hogwarts, you must remember that “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” So, go make the most of your life, and live it like you would as the main character of a story.

As well, here are a few songs that I recommend listening to, if you’re missing that magical feeling.

  1. Leaving Hogwarts – John Williams
  2. Welcome Home, Son – Radical Face
  3. Harry’s Wondrous World – John Williams
  4. Dragon Flight – Alexandre Desplat

Teen SRC 2020 – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Rowling, J.K.: 8601418346777 ...

Wow, a double post?! I haven’t done that in a looong time. Anyways, I have been devouring the Harry Potter books for literally the 7th time recently, and I have just finished this one. The ending made me feel a lot of ~emotions~ so I am going to rant about it on here, because it makes me keep my thoughts in order!

To be honest, I expect all of you guys to have read this book already, so I am going to… *gasp*… include spoilers for the first time ever! So, if you have not read up to this book yet, what are you even waiting for????? I would give my soul to live at Hogwarts, you’re missing OUT! Go on, this review isn’t going anywhere… come back when you’re ready!

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Teen SRC 2020 – One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us Is Lying - McManus, Karen M.

Hiii again! Alright, this week, I’m reviewing One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus, a realistic fiction/murder mystery.

Summary (Spoiler-Free): Five students are in detention together: Bronwyn, the Yale-bound brainiac, Addy, the popular and pretty homecoming queen, Nate, the druggie, who is on probation, Cooper, the star athlete, and Simon, an outcast, who runs Bayview High’s most notorious gossip app. Only, Simon never makes it to the end of detention… he is dead by allergic reaction, but the authorities say it was no accident. Simon died on Monday, when on Tuesday, he was set to expose some dirty secrets about the students he was in detention with, which makes them all suspects in his case.

This story is told through alternating perspectives, and in first-person, which, initially, I found very risky of McManus to use, because this is a mystery, after all, and that could lead to the readers figuring out the culprit very early on. However, I later found out there was reasoning behind this, and it actually tied in very well with the ending. Overall, this book was pretty well written, and it’s hard to figure anything out, because red herrings are ALL over the place, which is good in a mystery. However, I did manage to guess the killer before the ending, even though it was supposed to be a plot twist, so it’s definitely not an Agatha Christie.

I wouldn’t say that there’s anything special about this book?? It was good, and interesting to read, but it didn’t shock me, or make much of a lasting impression. Therefore, it gets a 7.5/10. The extra .5 is for the cover, because it’s a very crisp, yet representative design, which I always appreciate 🙂

Teen SRC 2020 – Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Thunderhead - Shusterman, Neal

Hey guys! This week I will be reviewing Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman, which was actually my book prize from the SRC, and also the sequel to Scythe, which I very much enjoyed. I have a lot to say about this book, so I have included a TL;DR at the end!

Before the summary, I’ll just say that I’m pretty sure I have read this book before… but I completely forgot! I only figured it out when, at key points of the story, it kept jogging up a memory in my head, it all felt very deja vu. Anyway, that actually made the experience of (re)reading this book cooler than usual because I started to wonder whether it was the Thunderhead who had tampered with my memories.

SUMMARY (Contains spoilers from Scythe… so you may want to read that first!): Citra Terranova and Rowan Damisch are no more. After their apprenticeship, Citra has been replaced by Scythe Anastasia, who gleans with honour and compassion. Rowan, on the other hand, has transformed into Scythe Lucifer, whose goal is to rid the planet of scythes who are neither honourable nor compassionate. Meanwhile, the “New Order” scythes continue to recruit, leaving the “Old Order” scrambling. The Thunderhead is not happy, but it cannot do anything that interferes with the scythedom. He can only watch, and grieve, in silence. Once again, we see the flaws of a seemingly perfect society.

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Teen SRC 2020 – The Young Elites by Marie Lu

The Young Elites - Lu, Marie

Hey y’all! Summer school is finally over, thank god, and I am getting back into reading with a book from Ms. Marie Lu, because I don’t think they have the ability to be bad 🙂

Alright, so I think I’ve actually read this series before but I completely forgot what it was about, I just have a faint recollection of crying after the second book… so we’ll see how that goes.

Summary of The Young Elites by Marie Lu: A decade ago, a deadly blood fever swept through Adelina Amouteru’s country. All the adults who were infected died, but the children survived with strange markings: highlights in their hair, impossibly pale eyes, and scars. With these markings came strange powers that were out of this world, such as the ability to conjure fire, teleport, or control the wind. This led to fear and scorn from the villagers, of these mutations, these mistakes, these malfettos. However, a group of these powerful youth have banded together to make The Young Elites, and they are focused on taking back the Crown Prince’s birthright, which is to rule the kingdom, and stop the discrimination against these powerful children.

So… I have conflicting feelings about this book. But, it’s mainly because I did not like Adelina, and she’s the main character… In fact, I quite liked the plot, and the twists in here are pretty darn good. Another thought though, is that the characters are sort of flat. There’s no real development, and I don’t think there’s a single character whose backstory is intricate or deep. However, this is just the first book, so I’m holding out hope!! Other than that though, the plot was awesome, and the world and concept are very interesting; the action is nicely written as well!

Now, y’all are going to laugh at me but I wasn’t for the romance in this story… I SWEAR I DON’T HATE LOVE. It’s also not that Marie can’t write romance, because the Legend series absolutely shredded my heart, it’s just that there was ZERO build-up for this relationship, and that made me really sad.

Anyway, my final rating is a 7/10, I’m super sorry, Ms. Lu! I have hiiiigh hopes for the sequel though, so I’ll let you guys know how that goes!

Teen SRC 2020 – Animal Farm by George Orwell

Animal Farm: Orwell, George: 8601417743553: Books - Amazon.ca

Hey guys! Summer School is almost over, and as a result, I’ve had more time to read! Animal Farm by George Orwell is a pretty short book though, so that may be why I was able to finish it so quickly.

This story starts at Manor farm, where Old Major, a very old and wise pig, shares a story/chant about the animals rioting against their owner and running the farm themselves. After Major dies, the animals really do riot, and they take over the farm. They start off living peacefully together, all animals are equal and they all help each other. However, things start changing, subtly yet consistently, and one begins to wonder whether all animals are equal after all…

Honestly, I really really enjoyed this book. The entire story is an analogy for the Russian Revolution and I recently just learned about that in Summer School, so it tied together very well. This is probably my favourite of the classics I’ve read so far, probably because it was short, yet very well written. Normally I find classics drone on and on about absolutely nothing important, so Orwell’s style was extremely refreshing. Every little detail contains multitudes of significance, and it just blows my mind how Orwell was able to organize all that in a way that showed, and didn’t just tell. My final rating is a 9/10 because once again, the writing is extremely powerful, and this is definitely a book where you will find new hints no matter how many times you’ve read it. If you’re looking to get into classics, this is the book to start with. The ending was also one that made me just sit down and say “wow,” so please do give it a read! It’ll take around a day or two MAX.

Teen SRC 2020 – The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

The Blood of Olympus - Riordan, Rick

Hey guys! It’s been a while… jeez. I promise I’ll be posting a lot more after Summer School’s over, so around the beginning of August.

Anyways, today I’ll be reviewing yet another nostalgic read: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan.

This is the last book of the Heroes of Olympus, and boy did I cry. I also finished it at like Midnight so I was really in my ~feels~

Summary: Again, I’m assuming you’ve read the first 4 books as I write this summary, so if you haven’t, jump down to My Thoughts! Percy and Annabeth have come back from Tartarus and managed to close the Doors of Death. However, their troubles are far from over; Nico, Reyna, and Coach Hedge are still struggling to bring the Athena Parthenon back to camp, and Leo and the rest of the crew are on the Argonaut II trying desperately to fulfill the prophesy and stop Gaea. Unfortunately, the Earth Mother is growing stronger and more conscious every second…

My Thoughts: Brilliant. When has Rick ever let me down?? This is definitely not yet a teen book, but I can attest to the fact that you would like it. The characters have gone through so, so much, and the entire world and plot is SO well thought-out and executed, which just doesn’t happen much anymore… And, remember how I promised you guys I don’t hate romance? Well this is my proof. Percy and Annabeth: absolute chef’s kiss. And best of all? The story isn’t overly focused on their romance!! It’s subtle, yet super duper deep and always developing! SHOW, not TELL!! Now that’s how you do it ladies and gents :)) When I finished it, it felt like a part of my childhood was leaving and that’s why I was like sobbing at midnight so… warning??

Before I leave, my final rating is a 10/10, wouldn’t say anything less. (oh, and Hazel’s 13… HAhaha I’ll let you ponder over that).

Teen SRC 2020 – Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer - Taylor, Laini

Hey y’all! I’m back again, and this time I’ll be reviewing Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor.

I first opened this book a year ago, but I couldn’t get past the first chapter. This week, I finally gave it a second try, and what do you know? I finished it in 3 days.

The story is told from two alternating perspectives from two very different people: Lazlo Strange and Sarai.

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Teen SRC 2020 – The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

The Mark of Athena

Hey guys! This week I’ll be reviewing The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

This is a bit unusual, as this is a spin-off from the Percy Jackson series and I don’t usually review Children’s books. However, I do believe that this series is quite mature and I have no doubt most of you would still enjoy reading it now.

This is the 3rd book in the series: The Heroes of Olympus, and takes place after the original Percy Jackson books. Percy and Annabeth are still main characters, but we are also introduced to quite a few new friends, including… some Roman demigods!

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