Goodreads Choice Award/Nominee

Book Review: Crenshaw

Crenshaw
Author: 
Applegate, Katherine
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Crenshaw is a fictional story about a boy whose family is very poor,
and the importance of imagination. In his opinion, Jackson is way too old for
imaginary friends, and is confused and upset when Crenshaw, his walking,
talking, imaginary cat shows up again. Jackson knows his parents are only
trying to help him, but sometimes, he just doesn’t understand. He wants to
know what’s going on. Don’t they know he can tell that the world isn’t
always ice cream and sunshine? This book might make you cry, and it is an
excellent read.

Reviewer's Name: 
Kelsey

Book Review: Circe

Circe
Author: 
Miller, Madeline
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This is a book everyone should read once in their life no matter their age.
It is about an immortal witch named Circe banished to an island to be forever
alone. This is because the greek gods fear her powers. The book follows her
life as she grows as a woman and learns what it means to live. It was very
empowering to see her grow so much in the span of 300 pages. At first, I was
not excited to read this book, but it very quickly surprised me. Quickly I
was led into Circe's world and couldn't pull away. It has everything I love
growth, love, loss, change, and a well-written story. I was angry when Circe
was suffering and happy when she found joy. One should read this book
especially if into greek mythology, but never fear for those who know nothing
about it can follow along. It was amazing to see Circe meet characters from
her point of view including the well-known Odysseus and her time spent with
him. It was well written and showed what it truly means to live.
- 10th grade

Reviewer's Name: 
Alyson

Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars
Author: 
Green, John
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

This book is utterly amazing. The Fault in our Stars is about two teenage cancer survivors who fall in love. Its in Hazel’s perspective as she experiences everyday life. Hazel and Augustus Waters meet at a cancer survivor support group, in a place they call “the literal heart of Jesus ”. Hazel and Augustus start being around each other more and Hazel gets Augustus to read a book she loves. “An Imperial Affliction.” He falls in love with the book as well. It brings their relationship to so many different places. Green’s vocabulary is extraordinary, and the way he displays her thoughts is beautiful. This book really made me feel something, its a tragedy, but so romantic. Reading it, you get to experience not just their relationship, but also Hazel’s life with cancer, her relationship with her parents, and other relationships important to her. The Fault in our Stars is such a wonderful book. It feels real, even though it is fiction.

Reviewer's Name: 
Macey

Book Review: The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give
Author: 
Thomas, Angie
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is about Starr Carter who is constantly switching between her Garden Heights self and Williamson Prep self. She switches her speech, personality, and behavior to match where she is at. After a shooting with her childhood friend, Starr finds it increasingly difficult for both Starrs’ to remain separated. Angie Thomas does a wonderful job at making you love some characters, hate others, and at times make you feel genuinely uncomfortable along with an ending that will make you feel satisfied. All in all, I loved this book and at times could not set it down and would recommend this book with a 5 out of 5 stars.

Reviewer's Name: 
Lucia

Book Review: The Midnight Library

The Midnight Library
Author: 
Haig, Matt
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

I expected this book to be decently interesting but I found that I couldn't put it down and ended up finishing it in a day. It tells the story of Nora Seed, who, after taking her own life, finds herself in the "Midnight Library," in which every book is a different life that could have been hers had she made a different decision in any given moment. She explores several of these lives, trying them out, in an attempt to find the right one that she really wants.
Nora is a relatable, three-dimensional character with an arc of development that was touching and well-done. The development of the book's themes, too, was immaculate, and they were crafted and portrayed in a way that hits the reader hard. If you're looking for a heartfelt book about self-discovery, regret, potential, and the joy of life, I would highly recommend.
Content-wise, there's the occasional swear word, and two mentions of the main character having sex, but it wasn't described and there wasn't anything graphic. I'd probably give it a 14+ age rating.
Reviewer grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: 
Elanor

Book Review: This Tender Land

This Tender Land
Author: 
Krueger, William Kent
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Orphaned and alone, Odie and his brother, Albert are sent to Lincoln Indian Training School where they spend the next four years of their lives. However, the superintendent is cruel and abusive, and after committing a grave crime, Odie is forced to run away. Together with his brother, Mose his friend, and Emmy, an orphaned girl, Odie and his newfound family take a canoe down the Minnesota River with plans to go to Saint Louis and settle down with their family. During their odyssey, the friends change in different ways as each of them grapples with their heart's truest desires.

This book is an allusion to a different popular story, and I loved the different references and allusions. The main characters are all children, but each of them brought me so much insight into the world and what it means to "find what's in your heart". The novel is also full of great surprises that kept me wanting to read even more! It's mostly an adventure novel, but there is some romance and elements of fantasy and magic, so there's a bit of everything for everyone. The ending was also beautiful, and although it was a bit sad, it was fitting.

Reviewer's Name: 
Nneoma

Book Review: Beyond the Break

Beyond the Break
Author: 
Buchta, Heather
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

The main theme of this book is questioning can you still be a good Christian while still navigating romance. After a 17-year-old girl, Lovette's brother almost dies in a freak surfing accident she is banned from surfing and the ocean. Since her brother's accident, she has given her life to God and is a committed Christian. That is until Jake comes into her life. She now questions can I be a good Christian and am I placing Jake over God. She realizes that she wants nothing more than to surf again, that surfing is a part of who she is. That Jake is a part of who she is. I love this book because of the sweet romance and the drama between the characters. You won't be able to set the book down once you have started it. I highly recommend this book to any teenage girl.

Reviewer's Name: 
Maria H.

Book Review: The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give
Author: 
Thomas, Angie
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Starr is a sixteen-year-old Black teen living in Garden Heights. Although she lives in a poor neighborhood, Starr attends a private school in a predominately white affluent neighborhood. While Starr is at a party in her neighborhood, a shooting forces her to leave with her friend, Khalil. On their way back, they're pulled over by police, and when Khalil is asked to step out of the car, he's shot and killed. Following his death, Starr finds it increasingly more difficult to balance her two lives, and gains attention when she takes getting justice for Khalil into her own hands.

I loved this book! Besdies the fact that it addresses a real world issue, it was also full of the everyday and the mundane, which was a good balance to the overall conflict in the story. I also liked how the ending was realistic, even if it was sad. Starr is my favorite character because her story is an important example of how each of us has a voice that is valuable, and she also shows that advocacy doesn't always have to be through demonstrations or riots.

Reviewer's Name: 
Nneoma

Book Review: If I Stay

If I Stay
Author: 
Forman, Gayle
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

I've watched the movie of this book, so I decided to read the book too. Mia was a 17 year old girl who went through a treacherous car crash and lost everything. She was deciding whether she wanted to go to Julliard or spend the years with her boyfriend before this happened but because of this accident, all her dreams shattered. It's a really emotional story, as she loses her entire family because of the accident, and has to restart her dreams from square one. I think that teenagers would love reading this book because it's a bit of every genre and it has a mix of happy and sad emotions.

Reviewer's Name: 
Trisha

Book Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before

To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Author: 
Han, Jenny
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This book is absolutely amazing compared to the hit film on Netlfix; TonAll The Boys I've Loved Before. The movie covers the basic climax diagram andnonly runs through shallow waters. In the meantime, the book adventures moreninto Lara Jean's life and world. The places described and the moments thatnoccur make the reader feel as if they are a friendly neighbor walking by.nEven though this book has been made into a film, I was shocked about how thenbook set the scene in various ways and made each moment special.

Reviewer's Name: 
Savanah

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