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

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 Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis

Title details for The Magician's Nephew by C. S. Lewis - Wait list

The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis

As the children finds out about Narnia and witnesses the creation of it, they continue on their valiant quest to save a life. While trying to outrun an evil sorceress who tries to suppress them. I noticed many parts of this book is connected to Christianity. This is another series that my mom is making me read… as it is for my novel study. At first I was reluctant but after finishing the first one I am already quickly devouring the next. I found the old English confusing at times but I definitely recommend it. I would rate this 9/10 as I just loved how Lewis described the creation of Narnia, it just felt so magical and realistic.

Teen SRC 2020 – The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

The Bad Beginning - Snicket, Lemony

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

Up until now, the three hard working Baudelaire children have lived a fairly regal life; until a devastating fire burns through their home with their parents inside. The deaths are suspicious and no one really knows how the fire began in the first place. Now they have nothing left and Mr. Poe, their banker, has to find a relative that’s willing to take the responsibility of caring and raising them.

“Mr. Poe opened his mouth to say something, but erupted into a brief fit of coughing. “I have made arrangements,” he said finally, “for you to be raised by a distant relative of yours who lives on the other side of town. His name is Count Olaf.” ~ Chapter 2

When the children are arrives at their new caretaker’s home, they desperately hope their life will turn right side up. However, Count Olaf’s only goal is stealing their family fortune and the Baudelaire children must find a way to shield themselves from his nasty schemes and escape from his clutches.

I rate this book 7/10, it was easy to read and has tons of dark humor. It really shows how crazy things can get when unbalanced people take control of other people’s lives especially children’s. I definitively recommend this book and I regret not reading this years ago when I first saw it.

Teen SRC 2020 – Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins

Title details for Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins - Wait list

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins

When Gregor fell through a laundry shoot while following his little sister he discovered a whole world called the Underland. There humans live anxiously beside beside giant spiders, bats, cockroaches, and rats. But their peace is about to fall apart and Gregor will have to decide where to place his loyalties, how to survive, and is given the opportunity to find his lost father. He wants no part in their war, instead he just wants to go home with his little sister. But he falls upon a prophecy that forces a role onto him that he has to play. However, if he goes on this quest, it will change the Underland forever and the decision is in his hands.

I used to have this series at home and it was only after I joined a book club at the library did I find interest in this book. Now I can finally read the rest of the series and find out what I have been missing out on. I rate this book 9/10, as it has really deep descriptions of everything that makes you feel like you can actual see everything. It’s easy to read and it contains tons of emotions.

Teen SRC 2020 – The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

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The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

A science fiction novel with a hint of romance? Sign me up! Throughout this novel, you will be lead through a roller coaster of wild emotions; it can range from excitement to absolute terror. There won’t be a single feeling of disappointment with this book, because every page will have you reeling on the edge of your seat.

On the day of Ruby’s tenth birthday, she sent to a rehabilitation camp called Thurmond. Why? She had obtained a peculiar disease that killed the majority of the children in America. Locking children up in a camp because of a “disease”?! That sounds crazy, doesn’t it? It almost seems as if the government is… scared of them. Now at the age of sixteen, the truth about Ruby’s abilities are revealed… and she barely makes it out alive. On the run, she meets three other kids who also escaped. They then start their journey to a safe haven called the East River- where supposedly, there are kids just like them. But as they continue their journey, Ruby will be faced with a decision that will determine her future.

“Just one more page!!” I cannot stress this enough, but that sentence is almost never true (unless you somehow have amazing control over yourself.) I thought that this book was absolutely phenomenal. I’ve read many sci-fi novels, but this one was so unprecedented that I ended up reading until the sun came up. The relationships built between the characters were so wholesome and there were times where I needed a moment to collect myself before I could continue reading. This book has single-handedly made me cry and laugh so much- sometimes, even at the same time. Ruby is such a sweet girl and reading from her POV was astounding because it showed how selfless she was. I would, without hesitation, give this book a 10/10. 

Thanks for taking time to read my review!:)

Till next time,

Max

Teen SRC 2020 – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Rowling, J. K.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter is starting his second year at Hogwarts. Harry expects it to be a normal year after his struggle the year before but going against his wishes a secret chamber opens, muggle-born students are being attacked and Harry must put his life on the line once more.

Harry Potter finds out he can speak Parselmouth and is mistaken for the heir of Slytherin. And on top of that he has to tolerate the new Defence against the Dark Arts teacher ,Gilderoy Lockhart, who is a self-centered, fake, lunatic teacher.

I enjoyed this book because it is packed with fantasy, action, and imagination. I would rate it 8/10 as it was dark and mysterious at parts and I really adore this story.

CONGRATULATIONS! This weeks winners are:

Best Review of the week: AlinaNameless Queen by Rebecca McLaughlin

The Most Thoughtful Comment on our Book Club goes to Rosie. Find it here!

Keep those reviews coming! Although only one book review counts towards an entry for the weekly prize draw, multiple entries count towards the end of summer grand prize. And don’t forget to participate by commenting on the monthly Book Club to win prizes too!

Teen SRC 2020 – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Rowling, J. K.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling is about a young eleven year old boy, Harry Potter who lives with his cold aunt, uncle, and cousin. The conditions he lives in are miserable until he receives a letter that informs him of who he really is, a wizard. After keeping his magical powers sealed away for so long, he finally felt like he fit in. But even in the Wizard world he was special, as he was the only one that has ever survived the killing curse from Lord Voldemort. Soon he discovers that mysteries and secrets while finding friends, allies, and foes along the way

I always had the collection of the Harry Potter Series at home but I never bothered to read it. It took a LOT of convincing from my mom until she got me to read the first three books…..picture version. But after I read them I realized what I had been missing out for so long on and I immediately had to read the whole series. So far I really like it and I would rate it 9/10 as it has many loopholes in the book. I definitively recommend it and I regret not reading this years ago when my mom first informed me about it.

Teen SRC 2020 – The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells demonstrates the power to transform the human body using advances in scientific achievement. The novel itself is an enthralling and entertaining tale of terror and suspense, and it is a significant Faustian allegory of the dangerous capabilities of unregulated and unbridled scientific endeavours many decide to embark on. The Invisible Man is able to endure as one of the most notable stories in science fiction, in which Griffin, a brilliant and progidouous scientist uncovers the secret to achieving invisibility, but his grandiose ambitions and the power he unleashes causes him to spiral into intrigue, madness, and murder.

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Teen SRC 2020 – Dead Inside by Cyndy Etler

Dead Inside - Etler, Cyndy

Dead Inside by Cyndy Etler (Ebook linked)

This story follows Cyndy Etler as she recounts her childhood and her time in a “tough love” style rehabilitation camp. Cyndy had problems that weren’t uncommon in her town. She started smoking weed and drinking alcohol to try and fit in with her so called friends. Finally she runs away from her home as she couldn’t take what she was experiencing; a alcoholic, abusive step dad and a mom who never supported her or cared. She finally decides to enter into foster care where she lived in peace for a couple months before being thrown out. At the young age of fourteen, Cyndy is manipulated into a “boarding school” by her mother, or so she thinks. Cyndy quickly realizes that her new “home” is called Straight Inc., and it is actually a drug rehabilitation center for youths, at least that’s what it is on the outside. She was first evaluated by a women who cruelly tricked Cyndy to say she is a drugaholic. From her first few moments after stepping inside Straight, Cyndy begins to realize that the methods used in the facility are far from normal. From being dragged down hallways by her pant, their hair being cut off, constantly hit, forced to wear the same kind of clothes, and have their identity stripped from them. Cyndy has to figure out a way to stay alive in this program.

Cyndy explains the more than frightening and psychologically damaging experiences and things that went on at Straight. Kids are forced to believe they have drug problems even if they don’t, screamed at and put down by their peers, and encouraged to report each other in order to get ahead in the program. The rules that the program enforces is even more absurd. If you lean on the back of your chair in group, a peer will roughly drag their fist down your spine to remind you to keep your back straight. As a newcomer, Cyndy wasn’t allowed to look or speak to any boys, and she was monitored at all times…even in the bathroom. The “Motivation” was just a way the program pressured the children to believe they were drug addicts. Cyndy describes this process as a way to motivate each other to have each other share their experiences, but admits that many of the kids “motivate” hard so that they won’t be called on. If they were called on, the kids are expected to stand up and admit a story from their past; but in reality they are forced to make something up in order to impress the staff which will in turn allow them to move on. If you mess up or act differently from what the staff wants, you are “confronted”. This is where a peer runs up to you and start shrieking in your face and even psychically harming you. From the outside it looks like the program is using “hard love” and peer “encouragement” in order to get the kids off of drugs. But in the harsh reality, they are locked down and not allowed to have an interconnection with the outside world for a long time. Straight Inc. blamed Cyndy’s problems on drugs but in reality it was the abusive environment at home, the situation at school, and her loveless mother. Cyndy explained it took years of therapy after she left Straight in order to return to an ok state of mind.

This book was quite intense and I had to take tons of breaks in between before I finished it. The scenes and the experiences inside this non fiction story were horrifying and made me sick to the stomach. I rate this book 9/10 and recommend it to everyone.