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Teen SRC 2018- Alan Turing: The Enigma: The Book That Inspired the Film The Imitation Game by Andrew Hodges

The official book behind the film, The Imitation Game, this is a dramatic portrayal of the life and work of Alan Turing, one of Britain’s most extraordinary unsung heroes, and one of the world’s greatest innovators.
This is the official story that has inspired the British film, The Imitation Game, a nail-biting race against time following Alan Turing, the pioneer of modern-day computing and credited with cracking the German Enigma code, and his brilliant team at Britain’s top-secret code-breaking centre, Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II. Turing, whose contributions and genius significantly shortened the war, saving thousands of lives, was the eventual victim of an unenlightened British establishment, but his work and legacy live on.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown released a statement of apology in 2009 on behalf of the British government for the “appalling” treatment of Turing for being part of the LGBTQ+ community.

This book may seem boring to many teenagers (there is a lot of pages), and I know it is not the usual fictional love/fantasy stories most girls/guys seem to gravitate towards during summer, but I promise you that this is the most hard-hitting, and beautiful book I have ever picked up. Alan Turing is a historical icon, and this book just made me know the man behind the machine.  This book is completely non-fiction but written in a way a character would be. I actually grew really close to Alan’s personality and felt his pain. This book is totally underrated, and I hope more people get the honour of reading his biography and see him in a different light.

Teen SRC 2018 – The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

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The first book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot.

Mia Thermopolis is pretty sure there’s nothing worse than being a five-foot-nine, flat-chested freshman, who also happens to be flunking Algebra. Is she ever in for a surprise.

First Mom announces that she’s dating Mia’s Algebra teacher. Then Dad has to go and reveal that he is the crown prince of Genovia. And guess who still doesn’t have a date for the Cultural Diversity Dance?

The Princess Diaries is the first book in the beloved, bestselling series that inspired the feature film starring Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews.

I absolutely adore this book. The humour is exactly my style, short and sarcastic, and the characters are real (like you believe they are in your living room and are having an agruement.) The movie, as a child I loved, and I watched it several hundred times in a row, but what you might not know is that this book is slightly different. The movie only focuses on the first half of the book, and is more “child-friendly”. This book is more mature in language but has more immature characters.

Overall, I recommend this book to anyone who wants to walk through memory lane this summer.

Teen SRC 2018- Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan, John Green, and Rodrigo Corral

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Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green

The New York Times bestselling novel from John Green, the author of multi-million bestseller The Fault in Our Stars, and David Levithan.

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, Will Grayson crosses paths with . . . Will Grayson. Two guys with the same name, running in two very different circles, suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, and culminating in epic turns-of-heart and the most fabulous musical ever to grace the high-school stage.

Told in alternating voices from two award-winning authors – John Green (author of The Fault in Our Stars) and David Levithan (author of Boy Meets Boy) – this unique collaborative novel features a double helping of the heart and humour that has won both authors legions of fans.

This book was given a refreshing voice and tone, compared to the other teen drama books I often binge read. I actually paid attention to how each character was given depth and differences. The whole story line amazed me, but I should have guessed that John Green and David Levithan would never let me down. I recommend this book for anyone who likes to read something simple yet interesting (two guys having the same name is the premise of this book.)

Teen SRC 2018- The Host by Stephanie Meyer

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The Host by Stephanie Meyer

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, didn’t expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

As Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she’s never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.

I originally did not expect much coming from the author of the Twilight book series, because I did not really like the style of her writing in those books. Then when I found this at the library, I decided to read it (at the time I did not know who the author was) and I fell in love with this story. The characters were a bit basic, but the two male leads in this book leapt to life. I don’t know why, but they were both complex and written in a way where you could imagine them in reality. The protagonist, Melanie, was a bit of a bore to read about, but Wanderer was very interesting because she gave the world a new set of eyes, and shared her kindness with everyone.

(I watched the movie, and although it was almost completely faithful, so you guys can check that out also if you like the book.)

I recommend this book to those who like Twilight, or dystopian novels.

Teen SRC 2018- The City Of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

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The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

Many hundreds of years ago, the city of Ember was created by the Builders to contain everything needed for human survival. It worked…but now the storerooms are almost out of food, crops are blighted, corruption is spreading through the city and worst of all—the lights are failing. Soon Ember could be engulfed by darkness…

But when two children, Lina and Doon, discover fragments of an ancient parchment, they begin to wonder if there could be a way out of Ember. Can they decipher the words from long ago and find a new future for everyone? Will the people of Ember listen to them?

I originally watched the movie first in 2008 on a plane, because typically I like to see films out of comfort zone (and also because I can’t sleep on planes.) I loved the actors, and I loved the premise, so, later on, I searched in the library to see if they had this book.

The book is as amazing, but a bit too short. It is written in a way a group of sixth graders would understand. (It reminds me of the book, Holes by Louis Sachar, in its content of children with a greater purpose against the adults with power.) The reason why this book resonates with me is the fact that it is completely plausible,  fictional.

I recommend this book to anyone who has read Holes, and likes dystopian novels.

Teen SRC 2018 – The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

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The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones is the story of a family devastated by a gruesome murder — a murder recounted by the teenage victim. Upsetting, you say? Remarkably, first-time novelist Alice Sebold takes this difficult material and delivers a compelling and accomplished exploration of a fractured family’s need for peace and closure.

The details of the crime are laid out in the first few pages: from her vantage point in heaven, Susie Salmon describes how she was confronted by the murderer one December afternoon on her way home from school. Lured into an underground hiding place, she was violated and killed. But what the reader knows, her family does not. Anxiously, we keep vigil with Susie, aching for her grieving family, desperate for the killer to be found and punished.

Sebold creates a heaven that’s calm and comforting, a place whose residents can have whatever they enjoyed when they were alive — and then some. But Susie isn’t ready to release her hold on life just yet, and she intensely watches her family and friends as they struggle to cope with a reality in which she is no longer a part. To her great credit, Sebold has shaped one of the most loving and sympathetic fathers in contemporary literature.

This book is one of my most favourite ones ever, and I think it deserves to be a classic. It holds some power over me because I cry every single time I read it. I watched the movie a few years ago, and although the actors were well casted, it did not do much damage as the book. It covers realistic and hard topics and is not suited for everyone (needs a mature reader), but it is a beautiful book mostly focusing on Susie’s point of view (even after death), which I think is very artistic and filled with symbolism.

I recommend this book to those who like reading crime, philosophical, and coming of age novels.

Teen SRC 2017 – I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

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I’ll Give You The Sun is one the most interesting books I have ever read in my life. I wanted to read it over and over again just in case I missed anything. Long story short, I got extremely obsessed with this book after awhile.

‘At first Noah and her twin brother are NoahandJude: inseparable. Noah draws constantly and is falling with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and does all the talking for both of them.

Years later, they are barely speaking. Something has happened to change the twins in different yet equally devastating ways… but then Jude meets an intriguing, irresistible boy and a mysterious mentor.

The early years were Noah’s to tell; the later years are Jude’s. But they each have only have half the story, and if they can find their way back to one another, they’ll have a chance to remake their world.’

I cherish this book so much. So many deep and complex characters are involved. It almost seems like they were real. If you are interested in teen angst books and/or just a good novel, this is the one for you. I rate this book 9/10.

Teen SRC 2017 – Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Image result for eleanor and parkEleanor & Park is definitely a book all teens need to read. Scratch that -all people need to read this.

‘It’s set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits- smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love- and how hard it pulled you under.’

It’s a better love story than Romeo and Juliet to be honest. Realistic and gritty, but suitable to the target ages. Some books need that to be truthful and genuine. This book got it perfectly right. Their two different worlds collided and a light in the darkness was found. This is an emotional tale of true love and what you would do for it. I rate this book 8/10.