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Teen Book Reviews
These a-MAZ-ing reviews were written by the teens on our Teen Book Review Board. New reviews are posted monthly.
Reviewed by Cara
Coming together for one final battle against the relentless and narcissistic pixie Opal Koboi, Artemis, Holly, Butler and Foaly, the main characters of Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian, must pool all of their intellect and skill if the world has any hope of foiling her plot. Unless they manage to defeat her, Koboi will bring about the complete destruction of humanity, supposedly liberating the fairies from their underground prison. Tying up every loose end and using a deus ex machina in the best way possible, Eion Colfer brings this wonderful collection of stories to its riveting and satisfying conclusion. As someone who has been reading the Artemis Fowl series since I was five years old, I was a little sad that this set of books was coming to a close. But, as he has with every other book, this author did not disappoint in the slightest. If you have never picked up a copy of an Artemis Fowl book or of anything written by Eoin Colfer, you are missing out.
Reviewed by Serafina
19 year old Lisbeth doesn't live a very glamorous life. She lives in New Jersey with a delinquent brother, horrid sister, and an alcoholic mother. She manages to survive her insane life by losing herself in the movies of Audrey Hepburn. A night full of mistakes, and one iconic Givenchy dress, propel Lisbeth into the world she's always dreamed. Enlisting the aid of her best friend, and Audrey's undeniable charm, Lisbeth climbs the social ladder of New York's elite. Along the way she learns that things that shine aren't always beautiful. I really enjoyed this book; however, I was slightly disappointed. Being a lover of anything Audrey, I couldn't wait to sit down with a cup of tea and start reading—and don't get me wrong, there was no shortage of Audrey Hepburn references—but it wasn't as exciting as I expected and there were a lot of curse words and slightly inappropriate suggestions. I'm never one to discourage anyone from reading a book but if your under 17, wait a while to read this novel. I do want to mention though, that this book sends two really good messages; the first is that it's better to be who you are and be happy than it is to pretend to be someone else and live your life in a constant lie. And the second message is that while the world of glitz and glamour may look like somewhere you want to be, looks can be deceiving.
A. G. Howard
Reviewed by Caden
Have you ever wondered if there was more to the magical story of Alice in Wonderland? Well, here it is with Ensnared, the third and final novel in the Splintered series written by A. G. Howard. In this epic novel, we follow Alyssa and her father as she struggles to overcome the impossible: To find a way into AnyElsewhere to save Jeb, Morpheous and her mother from the evil, monstrous Queen Red. I really loved the writing in this book! It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time, waiting to find out what happens next. Now, in this novel, there is a love triangle. Yes, the dreaded love triangle! But I felt that A. G. Howard did a very good job of making us love both Morpheous and Jeb at the same time. Each of the boys are very different people. Morpheous brings the mischievous, adventurous, and slightly darker side out of Alyssa, whereas Jeb is Alyssa’s safe haven. She feels like he will always be there to listen to what she has to say. Honestly, I am so Team Morpheous; but that is just because I love the bad boys in books. The ending to the story was fantastic. In my mind, it couldn’t have ended any better! I think that this was my favorite book in the series, or at least tied for first with Splintered. It was such a great book, and I recommend it to everyone!
Natalie D. Richards
Reviewed by Olivia
Gone Too Far, a riveting, fast-paced novel, by Natalie D. Richards is a suspenseful, thriller with a touch of romance that will keep you flipping pages and wondering what will happen next. This novel focuses on aspiring photographer Piper Woods who picks up a notebook on her way to homeroom. Piper flips through the notebook to find a disturbing journal of student sins such as bullying, stealing, and lying. Piper receives an anonymous text inviting her to choose someone who has done wrong and to bring them to justice. With one text, Piper can make whoever she chooses pay. From the very beginning, Richards sets up the novel to be very frantic. (It starts with Piper running to homeroom.) The first paragraph had me pulled into Piper’s world unlike other novels I have read. I liked Richards’ writing voice and style because she makes Piper human and gives her interesting qualities and hobbies, such as photography, although I would have liked if Richards explored more of Piper’s art interests. Then there is the love interest, Nick, a football player with a kind heart. I liked how Richards didn’t make Piper fall head-over-heels for Nick like most novels do. The way the romance with Nick intertwines with the intensity and suspense of the anonymous texts leaves the reader guessing till the very last page. This intense novel is one that should not be missed. I highly recommend this novel to all YA readers!
Genre: Suspense, Contemporary
Reviewed by Raj
If you have read In the After, by Demitria Lunetta, then you are in for a treat! I picked up the amazing sequel, In the End, and was blown away by a book just as, if not more, enthralling as its predecessor. In this book, the story of Amy continues. Amy, along with the remainder of humanity, is trapped on a desolate earth where green, humanoid monsters, Floraes, prey on humans. They are incredibly fast and lethal, and the worst part—they used to be human. As Amy struggles to survive in the After, she must journey to Fort Black, a danger filled settlement full of ragged survivors, in order to save her sister “Baby”. Just like the original story, this was an emotional thrill-ride with everything, from explosions to romance. The suspense was nerve-wracking, and the characters seemed very realistic. One of the most enjoyable qualities of the story was the way it revealed the plot a little at a time, building up until the climax. The first person narration put me in the shoes of Amy and heightened the experience greatly. One thing that made this book unique was how the main conflict revolved more around humans than monsters, demonstrating how humans are their own greatest enemy. I enjoyed the alternative plot, exceptional storytelling, and a well-written ending that tied up all the loose ends.
Reviewed by Jeffrey
In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I decided to review the romantic mystery novel, "Little White Lies" by Katie Dale. The protagonists, Lou and Christian are both college students; however that's not the only thing they have in common. They both have their own share of secrets yearning to be revealed for all to hear. Lou meets Christian who, at the time, is reluctant to speak of his past or even his family. Lou starts to fall in love with this mysterious guy, but attempts to find out about his mysterious past life. She discovers that Christian constantly dyes his blond hair to black, which only gives Lou even more of a desire to dig deep for his secret. Soon after this discovery, Christian's secret is uncovered for everyone to witness. Following this scene, the plot takes you through a series of events that will leave you wanting to more. Overall, the story is an emotional roller coaster with nothing but twist and turns along the ride. I chose to review this book because after all the lies, guilt, suspense, there's still a romantic component in the novel. I strongly recommend this novel for all to read.
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Josin L. McQuein
Reviewed by Gabrielle
Angry. Confused. Lost. These are the emotions trapped inside Dinah's head. How could someone hurt her poor sweet Caire? Hurt her enough that she resorted to cutting herself. Claire is Dinah's cousin and best friend, but because of Dinah's mother's jealousy over Claire's family's newly acquired wealth, the two are parted. Forced to move across the country to Oregon, Dinah keeps in touch with her cousin via the internet. During that time Claire never showed any signs of distress, but she did tell Dinah of a new boy she had met and about how wonderful he was. The next thing she knows, Dinah receives a call from her Uncle of the news that Claire had been cutting herself and is now in a coma from hitting her head after fainting from blood loss. Right away Dinah rushes back to be by Claire's side, only to find the empty shell of her beloved cousin. Dinah searches Claire's room for any sign of what could have happened, and is horrified to find the entire story of what happened recorded within Claire's diary. Now, Dinah is on a mission to find the person who did this to her cousin and to make them pay no matter the cost. This book was really enjoyable, I found myself inexplicably drawn in by Dinah's character. She was very relatable and down to earth, and I'm sure you will love it as well. Enjoy!
Genre: Contemporary, Thriller,
Reviewed by Sarah
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes allows the reader to become more aware of the problems others may have and how to understand them. Outcasts Eric Calhoune and Sarah Byrnes have been friends for a while. Eric is fat and Sarah's face is covered in burns she says are from an accident with boiling spaghetti. As outcasts, there is not a very large group to sit next to at lunch. The novel is full of flashbacks which illustrate the kind of friends Eric and Sarah are to each other. There are very few things Eric would not do in order to preserve their friendship. After all, he stayed fat just for her. Unfortunately, everything changes when Sarah stops talking. After many visits to her in a mental institution, Eric finally gets her to open up. With another one of her friends, Eric realizes there is more to Sarah Byrnes than meets the eye.
Reviewed by Michell
The neighborhood is shaken by the disappearance of the three Metford children, who went to buy ice cream and were never seen again. This adds to the list of things nine year-old Adrian doesn't understand and fears in his suburban neighborhood. Despite being a reserved, lonely child, he befriends the sly, ill-tempered Nicole, the girl across the street whose mother is also “missing” from her life. After a psychic reports that the Metfords are “near water”, Nicole and Adrian take it upon themselves to find the missing children. They return to the park where they first met over the burial of a dead bird, but never return home. Sonya Hartnett has crafted a chilling tale, told in an omniscient perspective that focuses mainly on the thoughts and feelings of Adrian. What the Birds See has successfully captured the negative impact of Adrian and Nicole’s broken families to their childhoods and troubled lives. Reading the first pages of the book sparked a curiosity and tensity in me and left me wanting more. To me, the rest of the book really lived up to my expectations and first impression and the whole idea of how everyday, overlooked creatures, like birds, really do see everything was clever. I would recommend this novel to anyone who is looking for a heartfelt yet haunting read.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Reviewed by Kelli
Will Holly Mullen ever be able to move on from lost love and learn to love again? Holly is a seventeen year old girl whose boyfriend, Roberto, was killed in a car accident six months ago. As if that is not enough for her, she also has a younger sister and grandfather with Alzheimer’s to care for in her free time. What Holly does not know is that the ghost of Rob is watching over her. He is jealous when his best friend, Jason, helps Holly take care of her grandfather, but as a ghost, there is nothing he can do about that. While Holly is wondering whether or not to open her heart to Jason, Rob reaches out to her grandfather, who can see him. When Aldo, the grandfather, tells his granddaughter that he is communicating with Rob, Holly is unsure about whether he is real or not. Can Rob’s soul find peace before moving on, and will Holly fall in love with Jason? This novel was a very touching tale about grief from losing someone and possibly finding new love, and I enjoyed it very much. However, I would recommend this book to kids at least fourteen years old for a few reasons. There is one graphic description that younger readers may find disturbing. Also, it does contain romance and emotional effects from it. Overall, it was a strong tale with a compelling protagonist and tear jerking plot that I would recommend to any reader who loves romance.