Review Crew - book reviews by teens, for teens

Book Cover
Strauss, Ethan Sherwood
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

If you are even mildly interested in sports then The Victory Machine is a must read for you. The Victory Machine is a humorous, firsthand account about the cut throat and ruthless business of professional basketball. This book in particular covers the rise and fall of the Golden State Warriors dynasty. It features some unforgettable and colorful conversations between management and the players. The Victory Machine covers the ins and outs of the complexity of running and managing a pro basketball team.

This book makes the readers feel as if they were also present when big decisions were being made in the war room. I disliked that the author focused too much on Kevin Durant and not as much on the overall team. Overall The Victory Machine is an easy and straightforward read and I highly recommend it.

Reviewer's Name: Ananth S.
Genres:
Book Cover
Rowling, J. K.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

For people who want to enjoy an intriguing, fast paced novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the perfect book to read. It keeps you involved throughout the book as most chapters have cliffhangers at the end. This novel is the first of the seven famous Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling.

The book is about 11 year old Harry Potter, who receives a letter saying that he is invited to attend Hogwarts, school of witchcraft and wizardry. He then learns that a powerful wizard and his minions are after the sorcerer’s stone that will make this evil wizard immortal and undefeatable. Harry decides to go after the sorcerer’s stone before the wizard reaches it, but his loyal friends, Hermione and Ron don’t let Harry face this danger alone.

This book is full of fantasies and imagination like at one point, Harry Potter is asked to catch a flying golden ball while flying on his broomstick. Eventually Harry Potter stands on his broomstick and tries to reach for the ball, but he falls off the broomstick in a very tense moment. He unexpectedly throws up the golden ball winning the game for his team.

Harry Potter and a sorcerer stone is a good book to spark joy and imagination for anyone, regardless of age. But I would say it is most enjoyable for elementary school students, who can very well relate to the fantasy world. So I would say that it is a must read for younger audiences, but it’s a good read in general.

Reviewer's Name: Gurman G.
Book Cover
Jackson, Holly
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson follows a high school senior, Pip, who decides to analyze a murder/suicide in her own town for her senior capstone project. In Fairview, it’s common knowledge that Sal Singh murdered his girlfriend, the popular Andie Bell, and then proceeded to kill himself. Pip, however, is not so sure and what she discovers quickly unravels this commonly told story into something much more mysterious. I really enjoyed this book. It was a well written mystery novel with plenty of turns I was not expecting. I haven’t read very mystery novels, but this is by far the best one I’ve read. With many suspicious characters and motives, it’s hard to tell just who committed the murder of Andie Bell until the end. It's definitely a page-turner and an incredible debut novel. I highly recommend this book for fans of YA mystery novels.

Reviewer's Name: Cora G.
Book Cover
Gläser, Mechthild
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

The Book Jumper is the story of Amy Lennox who moves from Germany to Stormsay in Scotland to go to her mother's childhood home: the Lennox House. Upon arrival Amy realizes her mother's family has a strange ability to jump into stories and interact with the characters and protect the stories from anything that tries to alter the writing. They are called Book Jumpers. When Amy realizes that she is one too she explores the book world with Will who she met on the island. Together they find that there is a book thief in the stories who is altering them and stealing the book's ideas and possibly could be after their lives.

The Book Jumper is a pretty good book overall. In parts it can be predictable but others have more suspense. I would recommend this book to any fantasy reader.

Reviewer's Name: Emily S.
Genres:
Book Cover
Grabenstein, Chris
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Twelve year old Kyle Keeley loves games, and his favorites are created by Mr. Lemoncello, owner of the famous Imagination Factory. When Kyle finds out there will be a lock in at the brand new library, and Mr. Lemoncello is involved, he is determined to be there. The only thing standing in his way is an essay contest. All he has to do is write a prizewinning essay. No problem - or is it? Because the essay is due this very morning, and he hasn't got one.

I loved this book because it was full of puzzles that the reader can solve along with the characters. The characters themselves were all likeable, and my favorite was Sierra. I love how she is always reading a book! I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who loves libraries, puzzles, or games. It was fantastic!

Reviewer's Name: Madeline A.
The People of Sparks
DuPrau, Jeanne
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This is the second book of Ember. The book is about the people of Ember emerging to the surface. The people of Ember find the city of Sparks. The Ember people and the Sparks people have quite a bit of conflict. In the end the book resolves itself.

Reviewer's Name: Jaime
 The Catcher in the Rye
Salinger, J.D.
2 stars = Meh
Review:

This book is about a boy named Holden's life. Holden has decided to run away from school after he was suspended. He had to figure out life because he didn’t want his parents knowing. I didn’t like this book because I found it wasn’t very interesting. The reason being is it’s not very adventurous and keeps repeating negativity throughout the book.
(Reviewer Grade. 9)

Reviewer's Name: Theanna
A Very Large Expanse of Sea
Mafe, Tahereh
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi is an amazing book. The novel isma coming of age/romance story, based around a 16 year old, muslim girl named Shirin. Shirin experiences horrible acts of Islamaphobia at her new high school and in public because of her hijab. Things get even worse when Ocean, a popular white boy at the school befriends her. The interracial aspect of their relationship makes not only Shirin vulnerable towards acts of hate, but Ocean as well.

Once I started reading this book, I could not stop! I am very thankful my teacher recommended it to me. The story was engaging and fast paced! I loved how beautifully the story was written, and the powerful message behind the words. It is important that teens learn about serious topics like racism and religious discrimination to help prevent hate in the future. There are a few parts in the book with mature language and topics, but I still recommend that teens and adults read this novel!

Reviewer's Name: Aztin
Four: The Traitor
Roth, Veronica
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

“Four the traitor,” is one of four stories told by the perspective of Tobias Eaton aka Four. This book take place two years after “The Son.” Within that time he’s been keeping busy with spying and keeping in touch with his mother. While spying on Mac and Jeanine he learns of their devious plan to take over Abnegation. All though the book isn’t as detailed and goes though his feelings and adventures like Beatrice is a pretty good book.

Reviewer's Name: Miguel
To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Han, Jenny
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

It’s a really good book about a shy girl who has a hard time expressing her feelings. Lara Jean, main character, writes love letters to boys that she’s had a crush on but keeps them afraid of their reaction. Eventually the letters got out and one of the recipients of one of the letters goes to her school. At first there relationship started of fake but the more they fake it the more their feeling become real. It’s a really good book highly recommend!

Reviewer's Name: Miguel
The Couple Next Door
Lapeña, Shari
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is so good full of suspense and mystery every chapter having me on my toes. The book starts off with a small get together at the neighbors house with two couples one with a baby. But then a crime was committed at Anne and Marco house but have been blamed for the crime. The book has so many twist and turns containing so many secrets. Just such a really good book.

Reviewer's Name: Miguel
Breaking Dawn
Meyer, Stephenie
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

“Breaking Dawn” is one of my favorite books out of the twilight saga. The book is separated into three parts Edwards and Bella’s wedding and honeymoon, Jacob Blacks Perspective and Bella’s new life as a vampire. Also let me just say this book is the most brimming with details and so many events. This book always just find a way to keep me interested, never dries out. I would say that the book is way better than the movie 10 out of 10 recommended.

Reviewer's Name: Miguel
Awards:
City of Bones
Clare, Cassandra
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The summer of going from eighth grade to freshman year I was required to do a book report of my choice as a summer project. I chose “City of Bones” by Cassandra Clare. It’s pretty good and in my opinion it somewhat has to do something with religion. The book talks about demons and angels especially when it mention Ángel Gabriel and Micheal some of the most mentioned angels in the Bible. “City of Bones” is a fiction book about two separate worlds, one with ordinary humans (mundane) and shadow hunters
(nephilim). Anyways, the book is very detail as to talking about the battles and descriptions of demons and certain settings. Its just a really good book, always keeping it interesting.

Reviewer's Name: Miguel
Awards:
The Unteachables
Korman, Gordon
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Unteachables is about seven students who instead of going to regular eighth grade classes, stay in one classroom and learn all the subjects from one teacher. This is called SCS-8 (Self-Contained Special Eighth grade Class) also known as the Unteachables. Kiana is a new girl from California who isn't supposed to be in the SCS-8 class, but due to a crazy first day, she is never properly registered in the school. Mr. Kermit is a fifty-five year old teacher who just needs to teach for one more year to qualify for early retirement. The Superintendent of the school does not like Mr. Kermit because of an incident that happened in the nineties. He is trying to fire Mr. Kermit before he can qualify for early retirement, so he gives him the SCS-8 class thinking that Mr. Kermit will give up and just quit during the year. The book follows the SCS-8 students, Mr. Kermit, and newfound allies as they try to keep Mr. Kermit's job and his chance for early retirement. What drew me to the book was the author because I love Gordon Korman's books. This book was really funny and it kept me wanting to read more. Korman puts a lot of thought into his characters and he fills them with fun twists and surprises that get discovered the farther you go into the book. At some points I was surprised at what happened in the book because it was something that I least expected. This book reminded me of the Gordon Korman's other book Ungifted. This is a great read for a funny, lighthearted book.
Reviewer grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: Emma
Genres:
Everything Everything
Yoon, Nicola
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Everything Everything is about a girl named Madeline Whittier. Madeline is sick, she has been sick for a long time. Her brother and dad died when she was very young and it was only her and her mother. She was so sick that she couldn't leave her house and was practically allergic to the world. Then all of a sudden a new neighbor moved in and that changed her life. The neighbor, a boy named Ollie, moved in and they became fast friends through emailing. After awhile, Carla, Madeline's nurse, let her see Ollie as
long as he got decontaminated beforehand. Madeline was so happy till she went outside and her mom found out and she got grounded and she couldn't see or email Ollie anymore to the point where she made some decisions that questioned her health. Throughout the year she was eighteen, she found out that she was lied to and became a new person.

Reviewer's Name: Kaitlyn
Aurora Burning
Kaufman, Amie & Kristoff, Jay
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff is the second book in the Aurora Cycle series. It picks up after the ending of the first book, with the crew of Squad 312 dealing with the loss of one of their own. With prices over their heads and enemies building around them all wanting a bite of the squad, Tyler Jones and his crew quickly have to decide where to turn to next. I thought this book was pretty good, having the same sort of humor and sarcasm as the first book. Some of the decisions or responses were a bit
stereotypical in my opinion (and some of the plot twists weren’t as shocking as you would’ve hoped), but every book has its flaws. Despite this, I still enjoyed it, and it was a fun read. I liked the character development of Finian and Zila throughout the book and, as always, the futuristic galaxy world was very enjoyable to read about. I think this book is worth picking up if you have read the first book.
Reviewer grade: going into 11th

Reviewer's Name: Cora
I Am Number Four
Lore, Pittacus
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

I am Number Four is about the main character John Smith. John and his caretaker Henri try to live in the world without being noticed. At the start of the book, John and Henri go from Florida to Paradise, Ohio, where John try's to stay unnoticed at another new school. John doesn't usually make friends because he moves alot but in Paradise he makes friends with a alien conspirator Sam Goode and and a pretty girl named Sarah Hart. And an enemy named Mark James.

The reason I chose this book is because its about a teenager trying not to be noticed in a world where he doesn't belong. Many events like a scare where Henri seems to be missing makes John become more aware of the world and the people it it. My favorite part about this book is when John actually becomes aware of the world and grows in many ways throughout the book. My least favorite part about the book is when John has to leave Sarah behind and go somewhere with Sam and Someone like him Six.

Reviewer's Name: Kaitlyn
Awards:
Fangirl
Rowell, Rainbow
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is about a fan girls life. The protagonist started college and is very anxious. She spends her 1st semester in her dorm room. In the second semester her life changes she has a few friends. The girl is obsessed with a book series that makes her life worth living. In the end the book ends in the best possible way.

Reviewer's Name: Jaime
Homegoing
Gyasi, Yaa
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi follows two bloodlines, from half sisters in Ghana. Each chapter is about one descendant, switching between families somthat two chapters in a row are one generation. The book is well written and includes details that tie well into real life history or beliefs, and each chapter is in fact written in correlation with a major historical event. Through these tie-ins, the book is able to remain exciting, and each chapter could be read as a standalone short story. Each character has an important story, and is revisited in following chapters from their bloodline, either from memory or real life interactions between their children or grandchildren. In addition to the basic storytelling and history included in the book, there is also an aspect of mysticism, and values/traditions that are native to African culture, making it a solid read for increasing knowledge or understanding of Ghanan culture. For me, there are moments in the book that seem unnecessary to the general plot and sometimes vulgar, but they end up being essential in the consistency of the way the story is told. Readers are able to attach themselves to each character, story arc, anddetail, then follow them throughout the series of stories.

Reviewer's Name: Malachi
Genres:
The Mother-Daughter Book Club
Frederick, Heather Vogel
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Mother-Daughter Book Club is about four girls, whose mothers start a book club with their daughters in the hopes to try and get the girls to become friends. Emma and Jess are already friends, but Cassidy has just moved from California, and Megan is friends with the fab four, the fashionable girls who rule the school and are snarky to their peers. I've read this book and the others in this series many times and I can read them over and over because the series starts when the girls are in sixth grade and they continue all throughout their middle school and high school years, so I feel as if they are the same age as me depending on the book. A fun twist is how the author takes the story-line from the book and uses those events in her book, especially if you have read the book the girls are reading for book club before. This book is good for someone who likes realistic fiction.

Reviewer's Name: Emma

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