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Teen SRC 2020 – Legend by Marie Lu

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“Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.” – Marie Lu, Legend

Legend by Marie Lu is possibly one of my favourite books of all time. Honestly, I’m quite a sucker for dystopian novels because the rush I get when I’m reading is so wild. The pace that Marie Lu sets for this book is exhilarating, and there are no dull moments in this book.

This story is told through two POVs between Day (Daniel Altan) Wing and June Iparis. Day is an infamous criminal who’s on the run from Republic officials with the help of his friend, Tess. At the same time, June is a prodigy, recently graduated from a Republic academy (although she’s had a good share of rulebreaking herself). When June is set on a mission to hunt down Day, they end up colliding, and everything starts to unfold as they find out their real enemies and underlying secrets.

I enjoyed this novel because the action and the plot twists were invigorating. Every time I thought I had something figured out, something just had to go wrong. I had my breath held the entire way through because of how fast-paced it was (which I love), and I couldn’t put the book down until I reached the end.

However, I felt like there were still pieces missing. I would’ve liked some more details about the world revolving around them. I had so many questions about their surroundings that were left unanswered. I also would’ve liked more time spent on Day and June’s chemistry. It felt rushed, and I wanted to see more development between them.

Lastly, I just want to put it out there that Tess and Day have the most intriguing friendship ever. Their friendship is so well developed to the point where it felt like they were siblings. The way that they cared for each other is a dream most people have, and they were always there for each other. Their backstory was so heartwarming, and it helped me realize how much time it takes to develop sincere trust. I feel like side characters don’t usually get the same amount of admiration as main characters do, which is quite a bummer- but I don’t see how anyone could not adore Tess!

All in all, this novel was an astonishing read, and I would definitely recommend it. My rating for this novel is an 8.5/10 because there were some missing pieces to the story that I would’ve enjoyed seeing.

Till next time,

Max.

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 – 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 SRC 2020 – Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Stargirl Book Spoilers | POPSUGAR Entertainment

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli is a renowned and critically acclaimed young adult novel which was published in August 2000. Like many of Spinelli’s other young adult novels, Stargirl deals with issues of conformity versus individuality, leaving the novel to resonate with various demographics from young adults to adult educators alike.

    Leo Borlock is an eleventh grader who would like nothing more than to conform within his stereotypical high school environment. However, Leo and the rest of Mica high school become torn away from their conventional existence by the arrival of Stargirl Caraway, a defiant and eccentric student who has been homeschooled her entire life and is now attending high school for the first time.  In the first half of the school year, Leo observes Stargirl’s abnormal actions and how his classmates react to her strange lifestyle.  At first, the students are suspicious of Stargirl’s eccentric nature and are hesitant to socialize with her. As the story progresses, some of the students are influenced by Stargirl’s individuality and become more open-minded themselves.

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Teen SRC 2020- Most Likely by Sarah Watson

Most Likely

Most Likely by Sarah Watson can be described as a most interestingly structured coming-of-age story about four girls and their friendship. So, you ask, what’s so interesting about the book’s structure?

Well, the story begins with a scene, as follows: A newly-elected (female!) American president is about to be sworn in to office. Her husband (who’s last name is Diffendefer or something like that) is there by her side. It is also revealed that her husband and her are deeply in love and have been for a long time. The catch? We don’t know her name. Since there are four protagonists in the story, she could be any one of them. Throughout the book, we are given clues to help us guess which of our female leads becomes the future president of America (and ends up marrying Diffendefer).

And of course, while the reader plays with the idea of guessing/choosing a president, the four girls -Ava, CJ, Jordan, and Martha- are each going through their own battle in the war more commonly known as senior year in high school.

So. What did I think of the book?

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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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TeenTober 2019- Overturned by L.R. Giles

Overturned

Riveting, suspenseful, brilliant. From the moment I opened Overturned by L.R. Giles, I could tell this story wasn’t one I would be forgetting soon. Strong, beautiful writing combined with a captivating plot makes Overturned the gem that it is.

It isn’t easy being the daughter of a convicted killer, but Nikki Tate’s poker face never cracks. By operating illegal poker games in the basement of her family’s casino, Nikki knows she’ll be able to save enough money to get herself out of Vegas and into a good college with her friends. After all, what more could life possibly throw at her?

But then her father (who’s always claimed to be innocent) gets released from jail just before his death sentence. He comes back into the family and Nikki’s world flips upside down once again. With her father’s sudden overturned conviction and the cute new boy at school, is Nikki’s life on the turn for the better? Or will the secrets that almost cost her father his life end up taking hers instead?

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Teen SRC 2019- The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks

The Nameless City - Hicks, Faith Erin

Beautiful, compelling, sweet. The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks is a graphic novel about a young native girl, a sheltered outsider, and their determination to save the home they love.

When aloof and immune Dao (the most recent nation to have conquered the Nameless City) soldier, Kaidu arrives to the Nameless City to train, he instantly falls in love with this city rich in history and diversity. Trouble is brewing, though, and his father, General Andren is in the middle of it.

Rat, a native orphan living with the monks hates the Dao and everything they stand for. They stole her parents away from her, and now they’re taking her city, too. When she makes an unlikely friendship with Kaidu, she knows that she will do anything to keep the city, and her friend, safe.

This book almost made me cry. With gorgeous pictures and well written dialogue, it has what every good book does: a heart. It’s well-paced, and enough details are given without doing any info-dumping so that readers won’t feel lost, or bored.

I give the Nameless City a 9/10. It’s not my usual genre, but a friend recommended it to me, and I’m glad they did. It was odd, finishing the book so fast and I decided to read it a second time, taking care to appreciate the artwork and facial expressions instead of only the writing along the way. Would definitely recommend to readers of all ages.

Teen SRC 2019- The Fall Of Butterflies by Andrea Portes

The Fall of Butterflies

Whenever I read an incredible book, I like to search up the author and see if they have published other works because chances are, if I enjoyed one of their books I will also enjoy the others. Once such example is Andrea Portes. After reading Liberty (see my review here), I decided to read some more of her work, hence my review on The Fall of Butterflies. I am disappointed to say that I enjoyed The Fall of Butterflies less than I did Liberty, but found it a good read nonetheless.

The story starts with our protagonist, Willa Parker leaving her small town of What Cheer, Iowa to attend a fancy prep school her mother has chosen for her. Willa doesn’t see how a new life in the East will help her, and having hardly been able to fit in Iowa, she knows she will never fit in with the wealthy students of Pembroke Prep. Determined to lay low until she can find a way to escape, even if it means taking her own life, Willa goes by unnoticed by the students of Pembroke Prep on her first day at school. She is a little surprised, but mostly relieved. Her plan to lay low is demolished the next day, though, when a glittering, elusive, and rich girl takes the empty seat beside her in class.

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Teen SRC 2019 – The Truth Commission by Susan Juby

The Truth Commission

Hilarious, powerful, and deep. The Truth Commission by Susan Juby is one of those rare books that makes you want to forget what you read, just so that you can read it again and again.

Normandy Pale goes to an art school in Nanaimo. She knows that she was only accepted there because of her sister; the infamous Keira Pale, author of the graphic novel series, the Diana Chronicles, in the hope that she also has some of those talented genes. Despite that, Normandy has made a life for herself, everything is going relatively fine for her until her sister suddenly comes back from college with no explanation. It wouldn’t be much of a problem for other families, but ever since the first Diana Chronicle was published, Normandy has had a complicated relationship with her sister, that is if she has had any relationship with her at all.

Why? The Diana Chronicle’s supporting characters are Normandy and her parents. The graphic novel series are inspired by incidents that happened in her family, none of which are flattering, and all of which are exaggerated. Normandy hates the distorted version of herself and her family in the Diana Chronicles, but can do nothing about it, not when her parents are happy to pretend that it doesn’t matter. Needless to say, when Keira moves back in, the entire family is on tiptoes, trying not to do anything embarrassing enough to be featured in the Chronicles, while at the same time trying to provide the very picky environment Keira needs to finish working on her latest book.

On top of all this, Normandy and her two best friends Dusk and Neil, after having confronted a classmate about her plastic surgery, decide to form a Truth Commission. “The truth will set you free,” they claim, and with that begins their mission to discover and confront their classmates’ and teachers’ secrets, not for the purpose of juicy gossip, but simply because living a lie isn’t something anyone should have to do. After their first few successes, the Truth Commissioners are on a roll. But when a truth hits too close to home, even the Truth Commissioners know that some lines just aren’t meant to be crossed…

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