Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Fifteen-year old Lina Vilkas is taken from her homeland, Lithuania, and hauled to one of the Stalin labor camps with her mother and brother. There they work long hours each day and receive barely any food. At night they’re kept awake by the NKVD who insist that they sign to agree that they are criminals and that their sentence shall be twenty-five years’ hard labor. This deeply moving historical fiction illuminates and magnifies a period in history that is often overlooked. Some people only heard of Nazi concentration camps and are completely ignorant of Stalin labor camps. Perseverance, love, and hope are what support the survivors of the labor camps.
I give this book a 10/10 because it is so intricately written and I really like the topic.
If I Stay by Gayle Foreman
Mia loves to play the cello and to spend time with her family. After a devastating car crash involving her mother, father, younger brother and her, leaves her in a coma. But, she now sees herself as a third person. She’s almost a ghost, but not quite. As she lives her life watching herself in a hospital bed, she tells stories about how her experiences made her who she is. A nice nurse keeps telling her that she is the only one who gets to decide if she stays. How does she do that, and after the traumatizing experience will she want to?
This book was quite sad and it made me so grateful to live in a warm house with all of family together. I loved this book so much and I would definitely recommend it to teens.
5/5 stars. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Stark, honest, and beautiful. I devoured A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi in one day. The main character is a Muslim girl- a hijabi Muslim girl who also break-dances on her free time. I had high hopes when I started reading, but this book did end up disappointing me a little. Instead of taking Shirin (pronounced Shee-reen), who is a very well-written character and letting her break the stereotypes, learn to not be afraid of showing her true self to others, and generally be awesome, more than two-thirds of this book was spent on her romance; the cliché falling in love with a nice, yet ignorant white boy, a socially untouchable boy that she knows she cannot have.
Without the love story, this book would have received a solid 9.5/10. I give it an 8.5/10. Even with my complaints about the excessive romance, this book showed what life was and still is unfortunately, for Muslims after the horrific tragedy of 9/11. Shirin is abused on an almost daily basis, both verbally and physically, she has learned not to trust anyone other than her family, and she has put up walls around her in order to protect herself. Her personality is developed throughout the story as she gets the chance to examine the way she feels about others, and herself. The way the story is written, the characters and the setting came together for a beautiful result. All in all, it is a book I would recommend.
Last Seen Leaving is a mystery novel written by Caleb Roehrig. The mystery part of the novel is not as satisfying to read as I expected. Flynn, the main character, tries to figure out what happened to his ex-girlfriend who went missing. The storyline is a bit too simple. What I liked about the book is the self-discovery part: Flynn stops hiding his secret from everyone and accepts himself for himself.
That was Then, This is Now by S.E Hinton
In the 1960’s, a small town in Oklahoma has had a lot of turmoil, with gang wars and teenage drama coated all over the streets. In the midst of all this chaos, Mark Douglas and Bryon Douglas, two close siblings, are starting to drift apart from each other. As Bryon matures, Mark becomes more hateful and violent, with Bryon trying to keep their relationship intact before it shatters away forever. Meanwhile, Bryon starts to develop a more complex understanding of the world, and where he fits among the beautiful hellfire of adolescent life.
The style in which “That Was Then, This is Now” was written gives a rather eloquent yet intriguing air of poise to this novel, using sophisticated language to transform the plight of the character’s conflicts and experiences into inquisitive expression through language. Even though the point of view in the novel belongs to Bryon Douglas, Mark’s older stepbrother, it brings a level of complexity and thoughtfulness that gives the story a heartfelt tone into this novel’s world.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green
The New York Times bestselling novel from John Green, the author of multi-million bestseller The Fault in Our Stars, and David Levithan.
One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, Will Grayson crosses paths with . . . Will Grayson. Two guys with the same name, running in two very different circles, suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, and culminating in epic turns-of-heart and the most fabulous musical ever to grace the high-school stage.
Told in alternating voices from two award-winning authors – John Green (author of The Fault in Our Stars) and David Levithan (author of Boy Meets Boy) – this unique collaborative novel features a double helping of the heart and humour that has won both authors legions of fans.
This book was given a refreshing voice and tone, compared to the other teen drama books I often binge read. I actually paid attention to how each character was given depth and differences. The whole story line amazed me, but I should have guessed that John Green and David Levithan would never let me down. I recommend this book for anyone who likes to read something simple yet interesting (two guys having the same name is the premise of this book.)
I’m going to start this review off by saying that this is the final book in the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard and you should really read the first few books if you want to understand what I’m talking about 🙂 So recently I finally got a chance to read this book, I had it on hold for like an eternity… but War Storm was definitely worth the wait. The world this story takes place in is a place where there is a LOT of discrimination and your place in society is determined by the colour of your blood. There used to be just two types of people: Silvers (with inhuman abilities and high places on the hierarchy) and Reds (Poor, usually slaves or left with manual labour, no abilities) but then Mare, the main character, a simple red-blooded girl discovers that she possesses the ability to summon and control lightning. With this discovery she draws the strength to battle for equal rights for both Silvers and Reds. I loved this entire series and the books gets 5/5 stars! It was unbelievably amazing. Left me with no words to say.
!SPOILERS AHEAD, DO NOT READ MORE IF YOU HAVE NOT READ WARSTORM!
So along Mare’s journey, she somehow becomes good friends with both the crown prince, Cal (Short for Tiberias Calore) and his younger brother, Maven Calore. Obviously, they are silver-blooded and they can also control fire, it’s the ability of every single Calore king EVER. What Mare didn’t know was that Maven’s mother had completely warped Maven’s mind with her own ability, he was only faking his sanity to deceive her, he developed real feelings for Mare but in the end he was just not able to bounce back from whatever his mother had changed and done in his mind. Cal, on the other hand, was trained to be a warrior, following in his dad’s footsteps, silver royalty of the highest tier. But… needless to say, he fell for Mare as well and he followed her throughout almost all of her adventures, never giving up on the brother he thought he had, he believed Maven could change and Mare didn’t want to drown his hopes. They go through a lot together while Maven, the mad boy king struggles to keep the kingdom his destroyed together. The plot is really hard to explain but I promise if you read the books, you will love it, it doesn’t matter what genre you usually enjoy or what age you are, you will be surprised by how good the writing and plotline is. A lot of the chapter ending left me astonished by how symbolic everything was. Mare loses a lot in this series, and you will be hurt too but in the end it’s all worth it and you’ll be crying, from happiness or sadness, both are possible. 5/5 if not 6/5 it was honestly so GREAT.