Teen Book Review

Review by Anna, Sonoma Branch

The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder

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     Amy Holder creates a nightmarish high school experience in The Lipstick Laws. April Bowers, despite being at the same high school for two years, has no friends. She doesn’t stay friendless for long when she becomes gym partners with Britney Taylor, the most popular girl in school. But April discovers not everything is as ideal as it seems when Britney reveals the totalitarian rules that everyone who is Britney’s friend must abide to. Soon April falls from grace, and retaliates by creating the Lipstick Law Breakers. She is then thrust into an all-out clique war she started herself.

            I strongly dislike this book. It is predictable down to the characters’ names. The so-called resolution was superficial, close-minded, and a temporary fix at best. Even the Lipstick Law Breakers, the “good” guys in this plot, take actions that are only propelled by hatred and the urge to point out the flaws of other people. The only reason I would recommend this book is if you wish to feel better about yourself by the time you finish it.

Teen Book Review

Review by Lexi

City of Bones: The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare on March 27, 2007
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                 Clary Fray is a fifteen year old girl that lives in New York with her mother.  One night out with her best friend, Simon Lewis, she witnesses a murder. The strange thing is, no one saw it but her! She soon comes to realize who the murderers are. They call themselves Shadowhunters. They dedicate themselves to protecting the "mundanes" from the demon world. She soon learns about her role in all of this, including how she was the only one able to see them when they murdered the demon. Her mother is soon taken, and she has to fight to save her and the famous Mortal Cup, one of the three Mortal Instruments.
                       What did I like and not like about the book? I really enjoyed the witty and sarcastic dialogue between all of the characters. Cassandra Clare did an amazing job with all of her characters. I was even catching myself laughing out loud, many times, with their hilarious conversations. It was also so different from all of the other books I have read, which I really enjoyed. Cassandra Clare always kept you on your toes through out the book. She had a really nice storyline, and a really shocking twist to the end that I was begging for more! To be quite honest, there wasn't much that I didn't really like in this book. I was able to find some things though. Of course, in almost every book you read there is always that awkward love triangle. I was kind of hoping from an escape from that because it's in almost every series there is. Also part of the ending was so obvious that I was able to see it a mile away. Maybe I just have really good intuition or something? I enjoyed this book a lot, even with the tiny flaws.
                I would recommend this book to any gender. There is both love and action involved so it entertains both sexes. I would most likely set the age limit to like 14-15+. There is a little vulgar language, but nothing major.
 
If you enjoyed this book, check out the whole Mortal Instruments series!

Teen Book Review

Review by Anna, Sonoma Branch

From Bad To Cursed by Katie Alender

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From Bad to Cursed by Katie Alender is the second book in the Bad Girls Don’t Die series. Alexis Warren loves her life. She has the perfect best friend, an adorable boyfriend, and a little sister that is no longer possessed by an evil spirit. In fact, Alexis has no intention of ever dabbling in spirits again. But a sinister plan is brewing, and the Sunshine Club is the target and the brains behind it. Alexis finds herself in a terrible situation that she doesn’t think she could get out of; if she wanted to leave, that is.

For the most part, I liked this book. There is a creative plot line, good characters, and unpredictable moments. The only flaw with this book is that it didn’t captivate me. Sure, I was mildly interested in how Alexis fared in tough situations, but I wasn’t really invested in her. Some books create characters that come to life before your eyes. This one didn’t. I would recommend this novel to girls that are attracted to paranormal ideas, or anyone that fancies a relatively easy read.

The Bad Girls Don't Die Series by Katie Alender

#1 Bad Girls Don't Die

#2 From Bad To Cursed: A bad girls don't die novel

#3 As Dead As It Gets: A bad girls don't die novel

Teen Book Review

Review by Anna, Sonoma Branch

Cryer's Cross by Lisa Mcmann

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     Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann is a creepy novel that makes you want to sleep with a night-light once you finish it. Seventeen-year-old Kendall Fletcher lives in a tiny Montana town, Cryer’s Cross, population 212. Kendall’s life finally seems to be picking up. Her best friend became her boyfriend, Julliard is within her reach, and her OCD is no longer dominating her life. Then a tragedy shakes the small town to its core. Kendall starts to fall apart. The only way she managed to stay whole was with the help of mysterious Jacián. But Kendall’s OCD allows her to see the mystery differently than anyone else, and soon she’s hot on the trail of someone devious and ominous.

            I liked this book, which is impressive considering I don’t like horror stories. The novel was slow to start, but by the end of it I was enthralled. The big reveal at the end was something I did not expect and then cursed myself for not predicting it. If you like horror stories, mysteries, or want to spend an evening being creeped out, I recommend this book for you to read.

Teen Book Review

Review by Caroline, Northwest Branch

3neverwar

The Never War by D.J. MacHale

         Bobby Pendragon has traveled to different worlds. He has been in their past, their present, their future. But he has never explored his own planet, Earth. In order to save the future of Earth, Bobby must stop the evil Saint Dane (not the dog) from destroying the past of our world.
        The Never War shares a description of the 1930s from a modern day teenager's point of view.  Not only does it adventure into the past, it explores into our future.
         It is an easy, light read, and told from a relatable point of view. Anyone would like it, but it was tailor-made for sci fi lovers.
 

If you think this is exciting, be sure to read the whole Pendragon series!

1merchantofdeath    2lostcityoffaar    3neverwar    4realitybug    5blackwater 6riversofzadaa    7quillangames    8pilgrimsofrayne    9ravenrise    10soldiersofhalla

1. The Merchant of Death

2. The Lost City of Faar

3. The Never War

4. Reality Bug

5. Black Water

6. The Rivers of Zadaa

7. The Quillan Games

8. The Pilgrims of Rayne

9. Raven Rise

10. The Soldiers of Halla

 

 

Teen Book Review

hitchhikers    Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

placesetting   The Restaurant At the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams

Review by Caroline, Northwest Branch

        The sequel to Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is random, funny, and makes you wonder about whether it was a good idea to invent the universe. It is a quirky science fiction with a surplus of British humor. You will journey through the destruction of the universe, how humans really evolved, and the reason why the universe is so messed up.
        I love the author's twisted view on the universe, and his creativeness. Adams created an entire universe from imagination- that, is truly amazing. Restaurant at the End of the Universe explains the universe, what's in it, and everything you couldn't imagine in a matter-of-fact, if not confusing, way.
        This novel is a bit mature, and at times hard to understand. Therefore, I recommend it to advanced readers, 13+. This is a young adult book,so adults will be addicted, too. But read Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, first!
 

 

Book Spotlight: I Hunt Killers

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

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     Jasper (Jazz) is the son of the worst serial killer that has ever been recorded, Billy Dent.  Unfortunately for him, his father raised him with all the knowledge that a serial killer needs – how to use any kind of weapon, how to select and lure a victim away, how to pick locks and insure privacy for committing torture and murder.  Jazz tries to prove to himself and society that he is just another normal teenager but he can’t get his father’s crimes out of his head and his worst fear is that he might turn out just like his dad.  Billy has been in jail for years, but when the killings start up again in his hometown, Jazz tries to help the police catch the culprit, even when it requires him to confront his father in prison.

     The book is exciting and fast-paced although the content is quite disturbing in parts.  The discussion of torture and murder, while not terribly graphic, is certainly enough to give the reader the creeps.  Jazz is a very likeable character and readers will find themselves rooting for him to succeed!  I get the feeling that this book might turn into a series and I will be looking for future installments to find out what happens to Jazz and how many more killers he will catch.

     This book was nominated for the Teen Top Ten of 2013!

Teen Book Review

Review by Caroline, Northwest Branch

Count Karlstein by Phillip Pullman

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     Two girls find they are at the danger of being devoured by the horrifying demon Zamiel. It's up to their friends and whoever will believe them to make sure that Zamiel doesn't touch the girls. But the evil Count Karlstein's plot may be too much for this ragtag team.
     I admire the author for being able to tell a story from different perspectives, without being confusing. Not to mention it still being a marvelous, creative novel.
     I recommend Count Karlstein to people who like books about people. Because most of all this book is about how the people develop both the mental and physical strength to save lives. Fantasy lovers will fall in love with this novel, too.
 

Teen Book Review

Review by Fallon, Northwest Branch

The Fellowship Of The Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

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     Although his uncle had been labeled as disrespectful by some, Frodo has led a quiet and uneventful life as a good hobbit should, in the Shire. When his uncle leaves and gives all of his belongings to Frodo, the great wizard Gandalf tells Frodo the story of a simple object that Frodo now has: the ring. Endangered, Frodo travels to Rivendell to discuss what should be done with the ring. There, the fellowship, consisting of men, elves, dwarves, and hobbits; forms.
     Although this book was slow and took awhile to read, I ended up loving it. The depth the story is told with, the social commentary, the fantasy aspect was absolutely amazing. In my opinion, this book is much more enjoyable read slowly to fully understand and think about the story and the concepts. One of the few books where I saw the movie first, I was not disappointed. While they are different in many ways, I prefered the book, but still believe Peter Jackson did it justice.

 

Teen Book Review

Review by Nayo, Rohnert Park Branch

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

wonder

     August Pullman has never gone to school due to his "deformed" face.  Now he decides to enter a school.  It wasn't easy, but it was worth it.

     I picked it up because it was a recommendation.

     I finished it because the author changed point of views, changed emotion, and wrapped the ending up beautifully.

     I'd recommend it to people with low self-esteem.

Rated: 5 stars