The Storyteller

It’s been a while since I read The Storyteller, by Antonia Michaelis, but one look at the cover brought the story flooding back.  It was such a good book!  The way Michaelis writes the story, you’re drawn into both Anna’s world and the world Abel creates for his sister.  The relationships between Anna and Abel, Abel and Micha, and the Tannateks and the world around them also make you want to keep reading.  Overall, I would recommend this book for anyone who likes mystery and suspense, and for anyone who’s tired of shallow romances.

Student Review: Life as We Knew It

I read Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer, and it was an exhilarating and heart-warming novel. It is the story of a family in Pennsylvania who has to struggle to survive wild elements after a meteor hits Earth’s moon and knocks it out of orbit. This incident did not only cause damage to Pennsylvania or the United States but to the whole world. Volcanoes, earthquakes, and other disturbances to Earth occurred as a result of this catastrophe. I would recommend Life as We Knew It to anyone who enjoys suspenseful but emotional novels. Also, I think that this book would be better for teenaged girls because of the recurring boy/girl relationships and internal issues with the main character, Miranda. Life as We Knew It would also be good for teenaged girls because the whole novel is in the format of a diary written by Miranda who tells about the daily experiences of herself and her family. Lastly, I would recommend the novel because I think that it would show whoever reads it the value and importance of family and give them a greater appreciation of the simple things in life. I enjoyed Life as We Knew It very much and look forward to reading more of Susan Pfeffer’s works! – Morgan Thomas, 9th Grade

Student Review: Spanking Shakespeare

The novel Spanking Shakespeare is about a teenage boy named (Shakespeare Shapiro) entering his senior year at high school. The book is about all the adventures and funny events that he has had to deal with throughout his life. I recommend this book to a more mature audience around fourteen and up because of some of the more explicit jokes that young people should not be reading. In the beginning of the book Shakespeare says, “I should warn you. Some of the material you’ re about to read is disturbing. Some of it will make you shake your head in disbelief. Some of it will make you cringe in disgust.”  But if your entering high school and you want to read something funny I recommend because of its length. It is not to long, and it has a great story line that will make you want to keep reading, and you might even laugh out loud. If you choose to read this book I hope you enjoy is as much as I did.- Andrew Jones, 9th Grade

Student Review: Girl of Fire and Thorns

This book would be good for anyone from middle school to high school. However it is more of a feminine book, due to the romance and the fact that the main character is a princess. Throughout the book the main character – Elisa – had a difficult life. From the very beginning, she was compared to her sister and judged about her appearance. Elisa was overweight and not exceptionally beautiful, as a princess should be. To add to Elisa’s unhappiness, Elisa was to be married to the king of a neighboring country on her 16th birthday – to a king she hasn’t even met! And to make matters worse, Elisa’s marriage was to be a kept secret.  Soon she figures out that her marriage to the king was not to form an alliance between the two kingdoms, but to protect her from deadly enemies determined to take her life. After Elisa is kidnapped, it is up to her to stop a war that no one was aware was going on. Rae Carson’s writing is easy to follow and flows well making it hard to put the book down. The Girl of Fire and Thorns is now one of my favorite books because of the: rebellions, betrayals, kidnappings, and forbidden romance. I really like this book because the heroin was someone I could easily understand and like. When I read this book, I felt as if I actually knew her. This book was really different compared to the other books I have read, and I’m glad I decided to read outside of my comfort zone. – Kaila Harding, 9th Grade

Student Book Review: Some Girls Are

I read the book Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers and I recommend it for female readers in high school; the book has some mature themes about sex and alcohol so I don’t think the book would be appropriate for anyone younger than high school. In this story, her best friend’s boyfriend rapes a senior in high school, Regina. Readers of this book need to be mature and okay with heavy themes and the gross but realistic things that happen to teenage girls every day.

This book is about Regina’s life after she is raped. However, her best friend, Anna Morrison, does not believe that her boyfriend raped Regina. Anna begins to try and ruin Regina’s life in school by spray painting her locker with insults and using her powers as the most popular girl in school to turn everyone against Regina. Most teenage girls have had days or even weeks like Regina has, where no one in school looks at them with the friendly smile they’re used to, or reaches out for a hug in the hall. Instead of what Regina is used to, she walks into school on what she thinks is a regular Monday, to find out she is ostracized from her click and not one person in school will speak to her.

For any teenage girl who has ever felt alone in a school full of people, this book would be a good thing to read. What Regina goes through can show teenage female readers that they are never alone. This book also has an interesting boy girl relationship with Regina and a boy she never noticed until he was the only one who understood her and didn’t judge her. Regina falls in love with someone she never even noticed in school before, someone she thought was never good enough for her, someone “not on her level.” Until she realizes being popular doesn’t make her the best, it just makes her the most noticed. There are a countless number of lessons in this book that a girl in the right age group would gain from this story and keep with her throughout life. – Maddie Graw, 9th Grade

Student Book Review: Dark Life

I would recommend Dark Life for a teenage boy or girl who is looking for an apocalyptic adventure book. The reason for recommending it is because there are two main characters named Ty and Gemma, so a girl or boy could enjoy this book. When their world is destroyed by rising oceans, Ty and his family moved underwater and started a home there. Most people moved underwater because chaos broke out above, but some stayed above the water and were called topsiders. Gemma came from above looking for her lost brother. I would recommend this book because of the fast paced adventure that makes the reader never want to put the book down. Also because the book makes the reader create a vision in his/her mind. This can be a little difficult at first but as the book goes on it gets easier. Last is the mystery in this novel is very exciting The mystery leads one to believe one thing is happening and then something will happen that makes you think totally different which I like.  In all, this book was a very action packed exciting novel that is a quick easy read. – Kyle Nicholas, 9th Grade

Student Review: Carter Finally Gets It

The novel Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford is about a fourteen year old boy named Will Carter and his freshman year of high school. Throughout the novel, Will (aka Carter) gets into loads of problems. He gets in a fight, gets involved in a tricky love triangle, goes to his first high school party, and much, much more. I believe that every boy in high school would enjoy this book. I know that every high school boy can relate to the heart break that Carter gets into. For example, Carter goes with the prettiest girl in the school to homecoming and is very excited, but soon finds out that the girl didn’t want to go with him at all. I recommend this book for a variety of reasons. First of all, it is absolutely hilarious! There is one scene when Carter takes a girl named Abby to the movies. During the movie, the girl throws up all over the place. This scene had me cracking up. Another part of the book that I like is the Friendship between Carter and his best friend EJ. EJ is always by Carter’s side, especially when he stands up for Carter and tries to fight the craziest kid in the school. Lastly, the trouble that Carter gets into is very exciting and how he deals with it is amusing. At one point in the novel, Carter gets suspended and manages to use his days out of school as a break and not punishment by not telling his parents. All around, this novel is humorous, exciting, and a good read that I recommend for all high school boys. – Gavin Cauley, 9th Grade

Student Review: Wither

Lauren Destefano’s Wither is a book that I just cannot put down. The main character, Rhine Ellery, is kidnapped and forced into the life of being the bride of a rich bachelor. The story takes place in a future dystopian world, after a huge world war, where only America survives. When scientists try to perfect the human race, they are successful, but there is a price. Males only live to age 25, and females only live to age 20. Since each life has an expiration date, young women, ages 13-18, are kidnapped from their homes and forced to marry people just so that they can produce children. This book initially appeals to me because I was told it was similar to The Hunger Games, another dystopian-world book I really enjoyed. While reading it, I find ways I can relate to Rhine since she was just about my age. Though our lives are completely different, I still saw the teenage-girl qualities in her. When I read it, I never want to put it down. Thankfully, it is part of a trilogy, so the excitement doesn’t just stop there. I feel that any girl my age who enjoys dystopian fiction books would really like Wither. I think that the book really proves that having everything one can imagine is not always fulfilling. In conclusion, I hope other girls will read Wither, and enjoy it as much as I did. – Lizzie Purnell, 9th Grade

Michael Grant’s FAYZ Series

I started reading the FAYZ books three years ago because it seemed like every middle schooler in our library wanted Gone, and you know that’s a good sign.  I loved Gone and Hunger, but got a little bogged down by the third title in the series, Lies.  So when Plague arrived in the library last year, I didn’t pick it up… until last week.  At which point, I spent my entire evening (and part of my afternoon at work–it counts! I’m a librarian!), tearing through the story.  Luckily for me, I didn’t have to wait for the next book to come out; Fear had just been released, so I immediately purchased it on the Kindle, and finished it the next day.

For those of you who haven’t started the series, the premise is that one afternoon a dome suddenly appears over a town in California, leaving only those under the age 15 inside.  For the first four books, the reader has no idea what happened to the people above that age, as the story focuses on life inside the dome.  The series reads like a mash-up of Lord of the FliesLost (as in the TV show), and X-Men. In other words, pure awesomeness. Stephen King’s Under the Dome (which I enjoyed) has got nothing on this.

Highly recommended.