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Teen SRC 2020 – The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson is a captivating narrative regarding the moral ambiguities of science and the duplicity of human nature. Dr Jekyll is a benevolent, well-respected and brilliant scientist who meddles with the malevolent aspects of science, as he aims to discover and breed his depraved alter ego. He does this through transforming himself into Mr Hyde, a monstrous being who is unable to repent or accept responsibility for any of his heinous actions.

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Teen SRC 2020 – The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give eBook: Thomas, Angie: Amazon.ca: Kindle Store

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas features Starr Carter, an African American teenager who sees her childhood best friend, Khalil Harris, being shot and killed by a police officer after a routine traffic stop escalates into Khalil’s untimely demise. Starr is then forced to decide whether she will adhere to the unspoken laws of her local neighborhood and stay silent about the injustice she had witnessed, or testify in front of a grand jury and join an ongoing movement to end racist/xenophobic violence and police misconduct in communities across her area.

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Teen SRC 2020 – 1984 by George Orwell

Nineteen Eighty Four: Amazon.ca: Orwell, George: Books

1984 by George Orwell illustrates a dystopian society and political prophecy in which Big Brother is always listening in, and high-tech devices eavesdrop in people’s homes.  1984 takes place in a world of endless war, where fear and hate are used as weapons against foreigners. It is a world that has the government insisting that reality is not “something objective, external, existing in its own right” — but rather, “whatever the Party holds to be truth is truth.”

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Teen SRC 2020 – The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

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The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells is an innovative and imaginative book written at the end of the nineteenth century, in which humanity is left scarred by a devastating attack from the Martians. Wells uses diverse language and intriguing metaphors to engage with his audience not only with the themes of his books, but to the world as a whole. In his popular novel, War of the Worlds, Wells uses an extraterrestrial invasion to exhibit and provoke the concepts of life, free will, fate and dominant forces that we cannot control.

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Teen SRC 2020 – The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

 

Book Thief by Markus Zusak – Off the Shelf

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is about a young girl known as Liesel Meminger who grows up in Germany amidst World War II who lives with her new foster parents, Hans and Rosa Hubermann. Throughout the story, Liesel steals various pieces of literature, even though she is oblivious to what the words and paragraphs within them mean and how to read them. At first, she doesn’t even know how to comprehend the words and letters within the books, but she knows that the books themselves hold significant values and ideas. Hans notices and teaches her how to make sense of the letters, in which Liesel slowly progresses in her journey to become a more literate person. Eventually, Liesel realizes that Hans and Rosa are secretly in defiance with the Nazi regime by hiding a Jewish boy known as Max in their basement. 

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Teen Book Review – Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Hey y’all!! I hope you’re all doing well and staying safe in quarantine 🙂

A while ago I read Little Women after a friend told me to read it before watching the new film adaption. I obliged, but it took a whiiiiiile … this book was SO long! I finally got through though, and here are my thoughts.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott is about the four March sisters: Meg (16), Jo (15), Beth (13) and Amy (12). It’s set during the American Civil War, and their father is in the army, so they live with their mother, Mrs. March, and a kindhearted maid, Hannah.

The story begins in their teen years, and ends with them growing up and becoming wives and mothers. Although the girls aren’t perfect, they try their hardest, striving to be the best daughters, sisters, friends and women that they can be. 

I highly enjoyed the majority of the book. I could connect with the sisters, seeing many of their own faults in myself. My only complaint would be that at times, it was quite uneventful, although that is to be expected from most classics (someone had to say it :)). As well, I was not very impressed with the ending, but that has to do with personal opinion, and it was not due to the writing at all. Anyway, all shortcomings aside, I found it a good read overall, very amusing yet touching as well. I especially liked the differences between the sisters’ personalities, because it made for an interesting dynamic between them. They were all extreme opposites of each other, yet they fit together perfectly. 

In conclusion, it was a heartwarming read with many twists and turns. It was great to see the sisters grow up and mature into beautiful young women, and I rate it a 7.5/10. If you want to get into reading classics, I would definitely recommend this, because the language is very easy to understand and you will definitely relate a lot more as a fellow teen… Happy reading!

Teen Book Review – The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner - Hosseini, Khaled

I have returned from the dead to bring forth a review of The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. This book was recommended to me by a friend in passing conversation. I came upon it by chance at my school library, and decided to check it out. I devoured the book in a day, and do not regret the sleep I missed because of it. But, that’s enough about me. Let’s talk about one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.

Amir is the son of a wealthy merchant in Kabul, Afghanistan. His mother died giving birth to him, and he has continued to disappoint his father after the fact. His father wants a son that is into sports and one that can stand up for himself. Amir loves literature and is a self-proclaimed coward. Other than his unsteady father-son relationship, and his dead mother, Amir has everything going for him. Him and Hassan ( servant, best friend, and from the ethnic minority in Afghanistan) spend their days kite fighting.

Everything is perfect. Until the day it isn’t.

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Teen Book Review – Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter

Hey all! It’s been a while since I’ve posted but it’s been a very busy month. Luckily though, I’ve got a review here and 3 more books on the hold shelf waiting to be picked up today!!

Spoiler-Free Summary: Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter is about two teens, Maddie and Logan. Long ago, Maddie’s dad was a secret service agent assigned to the President of the US. Logan’s dad, was the president and so, they became best friends. But then, during an attack on the President’s wife, Maddie’s dad is wounded. Following the injury, he decides to resign and brings Maddie along with him to live a simpler life… in Alaska. Maddie writes to Logan every day, hoping that he would write back, but either he isn’t getting them, or he’s just ignoring her. Fast forward to now. Logan has been sent to Alaska to stay with Maddie after disobeying one too many times and Maddie doesn’t know what to feel. But before she can figure it out, Logan is kidnapped, and she’s the only one who can save him.

My thoughts: Although the story was very fast-paced, which I usually enjoy, I didn’t actually like this book as much as I liked some of Ally’s other series. I felt that there was too much compacted into one book, everything moved too fast and neither the relationships nor the plot developed at a realistic rate. There were simply too many plot twists for one book, and the backstories were very shallow and underdeveloped. The relationship between Logan and Maddie also changed way faster than I would have believed and it just wasn’t realistic to me. If the story were more detailed and had more depth, I would have enjoyed it far more. I think if Ally had spread the plot out into two books or maybe a trilogy, and added character/plot/world development, I would have loved this book. Final rating is a 7/10. It was still a good read, just not super realistic and not as immersive as I would’ve liked.

Teen Book Review – Rebel with a Cupcake by Anna Mainwaring

Firstly, the word ‘fat’ does not exist in my vocabulary. I think the words ‘overweight, or plump’ do the job just fine. 🙂

Rebel With A Cupcake - Mainwaring, Anna

Rebel with a Cupcake pushes you to believe in yourself. Yeah, that may sound cheesy, but you’ll soon (hopefully) change your mind.

Anna Mainwaring has made a masterpiece inside of a bigger masterpiece. I mean, there’s a literal cupcake on the cover! Who can ever resist that?! I certainly couldn’t. So, even though I shouldn’t have judged a book by it’s cover, I did just that, and checked the book out. But, needless to say, I was right. The book was 1,000,000 times better than I would have ever expected.

It’s about a girl named Jesobel Jones, a.k.a Jess. And she’s overweight. Normally she eats what she wants wherever and whenever she wants. But when she has a nasty encounter with a mean girl, Jess’s confidence evaporates. Now Jess isn’t sure if she’s just plump, or full-on FAT. When the boy of her dreams invites her to a party, Jess is even more driven towards the goal of slimming down.

This is certainly not a wonderful fairytale about a girl magically turning into a goddess the very next day, but I truly feel like this book has made me realize just how much I need to love myself. 🙂 💕

PS. Eat a cupcake when you finish this book 😉 You’ll feel much better. 💖

Teen Book Review – Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Hey guys! First off, happy 2020! I wish you all very good luck in this new decade 🙂

Secondly, I was recommended this mystery by Inshal and I finally got around to it this winter break.

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson is about a girl named Stephanie (“Stevie”) who is trying to solve the infamous Ellingham murders, committed in 1936 to Iris and Alice Ellingham, wife and daughter to Robert Ellingham. Robert Ellingham was a very wealthy man who built a school for exceptional students, where they had access to all the resources they needed for their own passions and projects. However, being rich and famous comes with a cost. Everyday, he and his family are bombarded with death threats until one day, someone went through with it, Truly Devious. His wife and daughter were kidnapped and later killed. 70 years later, a new generation of students arrived at the academy and Stevie is one of them. A major crime fan, Stevie makes it her project to solve the murders.

Mystery is one of my favourite genres but in all my years of reading, I’ve only found 3 series that really left an impression on me. If the sequels to this book are as good as this one was, we’ll have a 4th series! This book had just the right amount of suspense, clues and riddles to keep me on my toes throughout. At the beginning I was afraid I wouldn’t emotionally connect with Stevie because she wasn’t really expressive with her feelings but as the story progressed, that feeling was over faster than it had come. I’d rate this book an 8/10. It was really good but I think the sequels are going to be even better as we delve deeper into the case.