Skip to main content

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 💕

PS. Eat a cupcake when you finish this book ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

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, Ninaโ€™s absolute truths and convictions are turned upside down, and she hurtles toward a plan to exact her own justice for her son โ€” 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!

TeenTober 2019 – With the Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo

With the Fire on High

With the Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo is a heartfelt book about Emoni, a girl who’s gone through a lot and still holds her head held up high.

Emoni Santiago is that girl everyone warns you about not becoming; the girl that become pregnant when she was a freshman and now has a daughter. But, like her best friend and Abuela (grandmother) know, if you get to know her past her rough exterior, you will get to know a loving girl passionate about cooking the most delicious dishes she can.

When Emoni, who’s struggling through her last year of high school sees culinary classes being offered as an elective, she knows that it’s where she belongs. But from the trip to Spain she can’t afford, the strict teacher that makes her want to drop her only passion, and her very own Babygirl, Emoni doesn’t know how she’ll be able to face the challenges.

Read More

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?

Read More

TeenTober 2019 – Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler, illustrated by Maira Kalman

Why We Broke Up, written by Daniel Handler and illustrated by Maira Kalman

From author Daniel Handler (AKA Lemony Snicket) comes the story of Min Green and Ed Slaterton. Predictably, these two have broken up.

I found Why We Broke Up to be an enjoyable, if not particularly thought-provoking read. It relied heavily on archetypes (eg. “that one artsy girl”, “the playboy jock”, “loyal friend-zoned best friend”, etc.), which was a little disappointing, but effort was made to make sure that each character had their own quirks and motivations. It’s a book with lots of “we’re young and stupid and completely in love” vibes, if you like that sort of thing. (I do.)

One thing that I found the story did really well was the lack of “perfect” characters– the main character, Min, has a ton of shortcomings, along with the other characters, and they’re all addressed and handled fairly well. This is one of the areas in which Why We Broke Up really shines– the characters are pretentious, yes, but they feel real. Relatable, even. I mean, who isn’t a little pretentious over here? We’re a bunch of teenagers on a blog about reading books. C’mon. Personally, I enjoyed it most of the time.

Read More

Teen Book Review – Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Hey all! How is school life? Hope you’re not being overload

Anyways, I’ve been reading up a storm lately and one of my favourites so far is Caraval by Stephanie Garber.

Caraval is the story of two sisters, Scarlett and Donatella, who have been trapped on their island with their abusive father for their whole lives. Growing up, Scarlett had always dreamt of attending Caraval, an incredible performance given once a year in which the audience participates in the games; however, given that their last attempt at escape had resulted in their father murdering the nice boy who’d been stupid enough to help them, Scarlett had long since dismissed that dream as an impossible wish. Yet, dreams have a knack for coming true, especially if you wish for them enough.

Thoughts: Caraval has been on my To-Be-Read List for so long that it was a such a relief to finally get around to it! It was the perfect blend of mystery and magic, romance and danger. I was hooked through and through. The plot twists were very, very good and the story was told in a way that made me just as confused as the characters (this may sound like a bad thing but it’s actually very good in this case, just let me explain). The audience members that participate in Caraval are thrust into a mystery they need to solve, with performers and a set that makes everything seem super realistic. Therefore, saying I was as confused as the characters means the story was so well written it was hard for me to differentiate between acting and reality. To describe Caraval in one word: Spellbinding; which is which my rating is a 9/10.

Teen SRC 2019 – Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Noggin

Hilarious, real, compelling. Noggin by John Corey Whaley is a fresh new take on the clichรฉ woke-up-in-the-hospital-with-amnesia trope spun into a breathtaking new tale.  

Travis Coates was dying at sixteen when he decided to cyrogenically freeze his head in the hope that some time in the future, doctors and scientists could bring him back to life. Five years later, Travis wakes up in the hospital with his head attached to someone else’s body. And having some athletic guy’s biceps is the least of his problems; the best friend that came out as gay to him before he died now has a girlfriend, Travis’s own girlfriend is engaged and Travis is almost certain his dad is cheating on his mom.

As I’ve mentioned before, this plot line closely resembles the common amnesia plot line with a whole new side to it as Travis had to get used to having an entire body that didn’t belong to him. There were many parts of this book that I loved: Travis’s relationship with his mom is the sweetest parent-child relationship I’ve read in a YA novel, Travis and Kyle’s friendship, (small spoiler here) Travis finally meeting the family of his body’s donor (spoiler over). There was one major aspect of the story, though, that got on my nerves. Travis’s girlfriend is engaged, and many, many times Travis makes advances on her despite her having clearly said she doesn’t want him.

Read More

Teen SRC 2019 – They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

They Both Die at the End

When I first picked up They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera, I thought it would be one of those depressing books where the general suckiness of the world is discussed at length before everyone dies. (slight exaggeration, but you get the idea) I was pleasantly surprised when this book ended up being anything but.

Death-Cast is a company that calls you on the last day of your life to inform you about your impending doom, to make sure you live the last hours of your life to the fullest.

Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio get the call on the same day. Mateo’s dad is in hospital, in a coma, and he doesn’t want to tell his best (and only) friend, Lidia, that he is going to die because he’s scared of how she is going to react. Mateo knows that he needs to go outside, he needs to live his last day to the fullest, but maybe he’s destined to stay inside his apartment forever, just like he’s been doing his entire life.

Read More

Teen SRC 2019 – A Taste for Monsters by Matthew J. Kirby

A Taste for Monsters - Kirby, Matthew J.

A heartfelt thriller. Two words I never would’ve put together, but they describes A Taste for Monsters by Mathew J. Kirby accurately.

Evelyn is a young girl in 1888 London, trying to find a job in order to stay off the streets. But because of a disfigurement caused by her dangerous work in a matchstick factory, no one wants to hire her. In desperation, she goes to the hospital. If they can’t fix her face, then maybe they can give her job. At the hospital, the matron tells her that she would scare the patients away, but that she might have another job that would fit her needs. Evelyn is to be the maid of a permanent resident at the London Hospital: the Elephant Man. Evelyn has heard stories about him, and is terrified, but knowing that this job is the only thing that would keep her off the streets, she agrees.

Read More