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Teen SRC 2020 – China Rich Girlfriends by Kevin Kwan

China Rich Girlfriend - Kwan, Kevin

On the eve of Rachel’s Wedding, she should be overjoyed by her beautiful ring, wedding dress, and a an who is willing to give up all his inheritance  just to marry her. But yet, she grieves of the thought that her birth father won’t be able to walk her down the aisle. That was the case until an announcement made a huge turn in events. In this second book, Carlton a Ferrari crashing bad-boy, Colette a celebrity who is constantly chased by paparazzi, and Rachel’s unknown father who she has been dying to meet. While Astrid is learning that having a newly tech, billionaire husband has a downside. Drama, gossip, rumors, and secrets unfold as they travel through auctions, clubs, estates, and VVIP after after parties.

I love this series. Its sassy, funny, bold, and so much drama! Reading this book was so enjoyable and relaxing. Even though I prefer the first book as it focused more on Rachel and Nickolas, but I think the second one was more pointed towards Carlton and Colette. I am still really fond about the story but I just wished Rachel and Nickolas had more depth in the plot. I would rate this book 7/10 and I definitely plan on watching the movie when it comes out.

China Rich Girlfriend and Kevin Kwan’s other works can be found here.

Teen SRC 2020 – Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Title details for Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan - Available

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan stars Rachel Chu, an economic professor in NY dating Nicholas Young, her boyfriend of two years. She agrees to visit her boyfriend’s family in Singapore for the summer. She expects a humble experience and just spending quality time with the one she hopes to marry. However, she is faced with massive parties, homes that looks like palaces, and with the man every girl in Asia wants to marry right by her side, she is basically a prey with a huge mark on her. Not only does she have to deal with all the constant rumors and two sided people, but her significant’s mother definitely hates her guts. Nicholas Young’s mom, Eleanor Young, is very strict about who her son should, or shouldn’t marry. And conveniently, Rachel is probably the highest on the “shouldn’t marry” list. As she tries to survive in this new environment, she will have to decide who is her allies and who is her foe.

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Teen SRC 2020- Slay by Brittney Morris

Slay

Kiera Johnson leads a double life. Being one of the few Black girls at her school, she behaves the way she needs to: smart, helpful, and unproblematic. Even Kiera’s family and her boyfriend, Malcolm, expect her to act a certain way. The only time Kiera is truly herself is when she’s Emerald, the queen in a virtual reality game called Slay. Keira made Slay to celebrate Black excellence, and her multitude of players come from across the globe. Of course, no one in Kiera’s real life knows she made the game, or even that she plays it.

But when a Black boy is murdered for game money, for SLAY money, Kiera’s two very separate lives come crashing together. Kiera is filled with guilt for having created a game that took a boy’s life, but she doesn’t have time to grieve. Media outlets, and the internet has pounced on the game, on HER game, calling it racist and exclusionary. Everyone now has an opinion on SLAY, but Kiera doesn’t know what to do. Not saying anything, she might become complacent to the injustice, but speaking up could risk exposing her identity. Worst of all, Kiera now risks losing SLAY to Dred Scott, a racist troll. Emerald would fight for justice, Kiera knows. Emerald wouldn’t bow down to anyone. But will Kiera?

Slay is an absolute masterpiece. I have to admit to having an aversion to video-game related books, but Slay has dispelled that notion. The world-building in this book is amazing, the details exquisite, and I wished I could see a game like SLAY in real life. Kiera is a well-developed character, but some of the side characters are more likable, at least to me. We are also told how SLAY has impacted people’s lives by having a few chapters told in another perspective, a technique I will always love.

Slay by Brittney Morris gets 9/10. The ending was a bit too unrealistic for my taste, and there were some unnecessary scenes. (and i’m sorry, but the cover!! A portrait cover, *sigh*, and far too much pink, which doesn’t match with the story’s vibe.)

Overall, Slay opens up many important discussions about safe spaces for minorities, identity, and what Black excellence looks like at an individual level. That might sound preachy or way too serious, but I promise you, it’s not. The story itself is captivating and there is a mystery aspect to it as well (yayyy!!). Coming from a minority background myself, Slay feels like a hug after a tiring day, a hug that says “I see you and I feel you.” 100% recommend, whoever you are and whatever you like reading.

Teen SRC 2020 – Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Hello everybody! Something that is hilarious is that I’m reading the book that I won! This book is about a girl named Audrey, she is suffering from a social anxiety disorder. Audrey’s brother, Frank, is obsessed with video games, but his mom is not a big fan of them. I relate to this book a lot. My brother loves playing video games, but my mom does not understand why he wants to play video games more than, for example reading a book. I used to have this problem as well, I was so immersed in video games and playing them for hours every day not realizing all the time that went by. Last year at my school, I created a PowerPoint on the pros and cons of video games. Turns out, video games can improve hand-eye coordination, split decisions are crucial for playing most video games. Who knew?

It was humorous when Ann (mom) was doing all the disciplining and Chris (dad) was not being a role model to the kids, using his phone and sometimes agreeing with the kids. I am not a big fan of Linus and Audrey. Though, most teen books are somewhat about romance. I enjoyed that Audrey found confidence with Linus to step up. This book is so informal, in a good way. I’ve always been interested in books with a kid’s perspective. Dear Dumb Diary, Diary of the Wimpy Kid and Big Nate! They are all informal and that is why this book review is very informal. I’ve seen so many book reviews in my life, they end up sounding like a Harvard Acceptance Letters. I hope you understand what I’m trying to say. Kudos to all those amazing teens with awesome book reviews, and to all those authors who write books that always make me laugh. Thank you to the makers of this book review contest for giving me a chance to type my totally informal feelings of teen books. Finding Audrey is the first book that I reviewed that wasn’t making me drown in my own tears. I love this book!

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- Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

The Fountains of Silence

The year is 1957, and Spain is under the iron-fist rule of General Francisco Franco. Daniel Matheson, a Texan teen, is visiting Spain with his family. With his passion for photography, he hopes to take the perfect picture for his portfolio, a picture that will also somehow convince his dad to let him pursue his dreams.

But Spain isn’t the perfect tropical paradise it seems for its American tourists and soon, Daniel finds himself falling– for his maid, Ana, and for the secrets some people would do anything to keep buried. Ana herself is enchanted by the American freedom promised by the hotel magazines. She dreams for a life for herself and her family away from Franco’s tyrannical rule.

Daniel and Ana are the main characters, but we are also given glimpses into other people’s lives. For example: Julia, who is Ana’s older sister, and a new mother, is drowning in secrets and fear. Her brother, Rafael, who works both at a slaughterhouse and a cemetery is fighting with the past and his memories. Fuga, Rafael’s friend wants to bullfight more than anything, and Daniel’s mother is struggling to find out where she belongs.

As any Ruta Sepetys book, Fountains of Silence is as rich in history as it is in humanity. This book brought to light an injustice often overlooked in history: Spanish babies were stolen from their families, proclaimed dead, but instead given to other families of a higher creed. I loved the historical accuracy of the book, but sometimes grew bored with the many first-hand documents.

A beautiful romance, a suspenseful historical fiction, and everything I search for in a novel. 9.5/10, only because I didn’t like the large skip in time (it throws me off) and some parts felt dragged on. Otherwise, STRONGLY RECOMMEND!!

Teen SRC 2020 – Rules for Being a Girl by Candace Bushnell & Katie Cotugno

Rules for Being A Girl

Rules for Being a Girl by Candace Bushnell & Katie Cotugno

Marin, who is a top student and the editor of the school newspaper along with her best friend ,Chloe. Marin dreams of going to Brown University and her future seems vivid. Everyone, including her, admired their young, charming English teacher, Mr. Beckett, who is always constantly praising her writing and having tons of conversations about books with her. But that all came crashing down when he crosses the line of their friendship by trying to kiss Marin and terrifying her. Was this incident on her? Did she accidentally lead him on? She had trusted him and thought he valued her for her skill as a student. What angered her even more was that she felt like there was nothing she could do. As no one even questions Mr. Beckett, dismisses the case right away, and even suggested that is was Marin’s fault when she had finally gathered the courage to tell the school board.

Not even her best friend who has been recently acting cold and distant believed her. She felt alone and betrayed by everyone around her, the one person who has been with her though thick and thin didn’t believe she has been hurt. But she doesn’t stay quiet, instead she uses the power of the school press to push back by writing an article called “Rules for being a Girl”. She also starts a feminist book club where she finds allies, romance, and betrayals from the least expected people. She gradually learns the way the world discriminates against girls. Her eyes slowly opened up to the cold, casual sexism all around her. In their extremely sexist school where the principal spends everyday obsessed with girl dress codes she has to learn to change the rules that has already been set in stone.

This book was short and easy to read which is better suited for the young adult audience. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy a provoking story. I really enjoyed reading this breathtaking book. Even though it is fiction there are many sections of it that are quite realistic. It really brings the discrimination the society has against women into the spotlight. This story was a perfect representation of a he say she say case. I liked how the author mentioned how supportive her family and fellow feminist book club members were which was where she got her strength to hold her place. Her best friend, Chloe, and her peers show how people can sometimes be pushed away by those closest to them. There was so many red flags in the relationship between Mr. Beckett and Marin and I could painfully see how he had gradually manipulated her. In conclusion, I rate this book 8/10, because the straightforward style did a great job at getting the message through, it felt a bit too simplistic at times. However, overall this book was fantastic and definitively recommend.

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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TeenTober 2019 – Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult

Perfect Match

Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult

In the course of her everyday work, career-driven assistant district attorney Nina Frost prosecutes child molesters and works determinedly to ensure that a legal system with too many loopholes keeps these criminals behind bars. But when her own five-year-old son, Nathaniel, is traumatized by a sexual assault, Nina and her husband, Caleb, a quiet and methodical stone mason, are shattered, ripped apart by an enraging sense of helplessness in the face of a futile justice system that Nina knows all too well. In a heartbeat, Nina’s absolute truths and convictions are turned upside down, and she hurtles toward a plan to exact her own justice for her son — no matter the consequence, whatever the sacrifice.

The paragraph above was the summary at the back of the book. Jodi Picoult, in my opinion, is a fantastic author. She has written so many books, and I have read only a small portion of them (I would suggest My Sister’s Keeper, Leaving Time, Keeping Faith, and I’m now reading the Tenth Circle). Each of her books deal with a different moral issue that is so moving in so many ways, and in this case, it is sexual abuse toward young children. While this may be a heavy topic for many of us (definitely for me), she crafts the story so well, with so many twists and turns, it is impossible to stop reading. Nina and her family, the main characters of the story, goes through hardships and challenges no family should go through… Do they make it? Or does their family break apart? Read on!

Teen SRC 2019 – Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Ever since I saw this beautiful minimalistic cover at Costco, I knew I had to read it and I’m so glad I finally got the chance to.

Dumplin’ is about a girl named Willow who’s fat, obese, overweight, whatever you want to call it. And she knows, and she’s come to terms with it. She’s never had a problem with it… until she meets Bo, the star football player. Desperate to get her “spunk” back, Willow joins a beauty pageant, shocking just about everyone around…

I loved this book so so much and found myself laughing throughout because Willow’s charisma and humour just really made it relatable. A toxic body image is something that’s enforced upon us every time we go on social media, read a magazine or see a poster up in the mall. It’s a very prominent problem in our world that needs to be talked about. This book was an amazing and inspirational story that made my heart sing (ok maybe that’s an exaggeration but you get the point) and gave me a lot of hope and confidence.

My final rating is an 8.5/10 because I feel like the “wanting to change for a guy” is quite downgrading in my book but the fact that Willow overcomes that is an amazing feat to me. Would definitely recommend!