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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 Book Review – Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane is a great novel about Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule’s search for Rachel Solando who went missing from Ashecliffe island’s hospital for the criminally insane . It seems that Solando managed to escape from a locked cell completely undetected by some orderlies playing cards and slipped past two guarded checkpoints. Swimming back to land would be out of the question for anyone other than the best swimmers, which makes her disappearance even more intriguing. While Daniels jumps at the chance to solve this case it seems like there might be an ulterior motive behind his enthusiasm. The island is a very interesting setting, as it contains 3 wards in separate buildings and the ever mysterious lighthouse that is quarantined off by heavily armored guards and an electric fence. Daniel begins to doubt the reality of his choice to come to the island as events occur that suggest his life is in danger. Shutter Island is a great novel that will surely take you on a roller coaster of emotions. With great mystery, and an intense horror movie vibe it is sure to get your adrenaline pumping. I would recommend the novel and rate it 10/10

Teen Book Review – An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield

Depending on your view, this book will have one of two effects. Either make you feel like a failure who’s been living an underwhelming and lazy lifestyle, or it will inspire you to achieve greater and greater things in life. The book is really a story about Chris Hadfield’s career and how we became the household name and Icon in Canadian and Aeronautics we know him to be today. When he was young he never had the goal to be an astronaut, but he took every opportunity that came his way and made the most out of all of them. Chris writes more about the journey rather than the goal and even if he became a commercial airline pilot the story would still be the same. It would still follow his choices and how they impacted his career path. Overall this novel is really about life rather than the life of an astronaut.I think this book is a must read book that emphasises the importance of striving to achieve. I would rate this book a 10/10

Teen Book Review – The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

The Unwanteds

In Lisa McMann‘s fascinating fantasy series, The Unwanteds, twins Aaron and Alexander Stowe are forced to be separated, in a land of unfair and unjust rules. In the land of Quill, children are separated into Wanteds, Unwanteds or Necessaries. While being an artistic is a death sentence, Aaron is treated like royalty as a Wanted and sent to university. I absolutely love Lisa’s stories because the detail and creativeness that goes into her stories is incredible. A fantasy series filled with magic, art, and wonder is just my cup of tea. With magic and creativity, Alex and his friends bring the stories to life with their special talents and unique ideas. If you love magic and fantasy, I definitely recommend this spectacular series.

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.

Teen Book Review – Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Can we just appreciate this gorgeous cover for a sec?

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Quick Spoiler-FREE Summary: Frank Li is a senior in high school. Like many Korean-Americans, his parents have rather traditional beliefs. So, when he discovers that he really likes a girl, he’s forced to date her in secret all because she’s white. His close family friend also has the same problem so together, they decide to “fake-date” each other for their parents’ sake. Don’t worry, this story is a lot more than fake dating schemes so read on for my thoughts!

Where do I even start? I loved this coming-of-age novel so much I don’t think I can even describe how much I related to it. Being of Asian descent as well, I felt Frank’s pressure from his parents’ expectations, I felt his need to do well, his helplessness as he tried to sway his parents from their false beliefs and his wanting to freely say the words “I love you” to his parents without getting weird looks. My parents aren’t racist, but they do have many beliefs that are old-fashioned and it’s very difficult to say I love you to them not because I don’t, just because it’s not something we say often at all. This book is far from a light romance. It was very touching and there were so many parts that really hit my heart. It shocked me how much I found bits of myself in this book. Towards the end, I was sobbing so hard, I could barely read past my tears. My little brother literally told my mom about me crying, that’s how bad it was. I would recommend this book to absolutely everyone and anyone, it doesn’t matter your age, gender or race, this is the book for you. Full 10/10 stars because frankly, I’m in love with Frank Li.