Love & Luck

Jenna Evans Welch

Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind.

So when Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and Ian’s criticism.

And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds herself on a whirlwind tour of the Emerald Isle, trapped in the world’s smallest vehicle with Ian and his admittedly cute, Irish-accented friend Rowan. As the trio journeys over breathtaking green hills, past countless castles, and through a number of fairy-tale forests, Addie hopes her guidebook will heal not only her broken heart, but also her shattered relationship with her brother.

That is if they don’t get completely lost along the way.

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Dead Girls Society

Michelle Krys

‘Dead Girls Society’ is a book that will appeal to any reader at any age, due to it being a variety of genres rolled into one and its very interesting storyline. This riveting ‘Hunger Games’ meets ‘Everything, Everything’ debut novel by Michelle Krys will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

Hope Callahan will do anything to be a normal teenager, but she knows very well that this cannot happen because of her cystic fibrosis. Because of her illness, she misses months of schools, and cannot always go outside and do regular things a teenager can. However, one day, she mysteriously gets sent an email invitation, inviting her to come to a sketchy, abandoned area and complete dares along with a few other girls, and the winner gets $100,000.

But, there are rules.

If you “[f]ail the dare, you will be eliminated. Tell anyone about the game, you will be punished. Cheat in the game, you will be punished” (Krys, 2016).

Hope couldn’t care less about the money – this is finally her time to be normal! When she goes to the place, she sees a few other girls from her school – all very different from each other. There is the smart one, the rich one, the sporty one, the goth one, and the sick one, Hope. As they play the game, the girls instantly realize that this is more than just a game. Some of the girls disappear, and they are all frightened, but they know too well that they cannot give up. The creator of the game knows a secret about each one of these girls that they threaten to expose. Also, as soon as Hope joined the game, the popular guy in school started hanging out with her, she starts getting packages in the mail for her, and she gets more popular in school. But, is it worth it? Who is behind the game? Who is threatening the girls? Because now this is more than just a game, and not doing well in it is the difference between life and death.

I really enjoyed this book, and I believe that others will too. The only thing I don’t like is that the adventure part of the book happens instantly, without really describing the characters and who they are. Other than that, this book is great and a must-read. -Khadeeja F.

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Anger Is A Gift

Mark Oshiro

A story of resilience and loss, love and family, Mark Oshiro’s Anger is a Gift testifies to the vulnerability and strength of a community living within a system of oppression.

Six years ago, Moss Jefferies’ father was murdered by an Oakland police officer. Along with losing a parent, the media’s vilification of his father and lack of accountability has left Moss with near crippling panic attacks.

Now, in his sophomore year of high school, Moss and his fellow classmates find themselves increasingly treated like criminals by their own school. New rules. Random locker searches. Constant intimidation and Oakland Police Department stationed in their halls. Despite their youth, the students decide to organize and push back against the administration.

When tensions hit a fever pitch and tragedy strikes, Moss must face a difficult choice: give in to fear and hate or realize that anger can actually be a gift.

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The Girl With a Clock for a Heart

Peter Swanson

The Girl with a Clock for a Heart was not one of my favourite reads; it was alright, mostly due to the speed the novel moves along and the unmarked time switches from past to present. You learn more about George Foss and his connection to Aubrey and Liana Decter as events in both past and present move forward. The mystery unfolds about his still-burning love for Aubrey and willingness to do anything to see her again. Fear, mystery and a heist join together to create the story of the girl with a clock for a heart.

The title does not quite reflect the book. However, it is understood through slight connections to conversations had with George and his friend. There are corrupt businesses and private investigators, fraud and lots of murder. George Foss has awaited the return of Liana Decter since his first year of college. Now in his late forties, she unexpectedly shows up at the bar he frequents, but he cannot accept that it truly is her. Out with his on-again-off-again girlfriend having drinks, he ignores the look-alike woman. When they finally once again speak, Liana asks his for a favour. She is in danger. He is the only one she trusts to help him. But after all these years, can George trust Liana?

This book is a one that leaves you questioning at the end. Not everything is as it seems! Death is not always as it seems. Question everything you believe to be true about the book. An intense book with unidentified time flips and that starts out quick but as the story progresses slows down and makes it harder to define what’s in the present and what is in the past. -Zoe P.

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Bring Me Their Hearts

Sara Wolf

Zera is a Heartless–the immortal, unaging soldier of a witch. Bound to the witch Nightsinger, Zera longs for freedom from the woods they hide in. With her heart in a jar under Nightsinger’s control, she serves the witch unquestioningly.

Until Nightsinger asks Zera for a prince’s heart in exchange for her own, with one addendum: if she’s discovered infiltrating the court, Nightsinger will destroy Zera’s heart rather than see her tortured by the witch-hating nobles.

Crown Prince Lucien d’Malvane hates the royal court as much as it loves him–every tutor too afraid to correct him and every girl jockeying for a place at his darkly handsome side. No one can challenge him–until the arrival of Lady Zera. She’s inelegant, smart-mouthed, carefree, and out for his blood. The prince’s honor has him quickly aiming for her throat.

So begins a game of cat and mouse between a girl with nothing to lose and a boy who has it all.

Winner takes the loser’s heart.

Literally.

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Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief

Rick Riordan

Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson realizes that he is not like other kids his age and suspects there is an issue with his body, along with how he sees the world. That’s when he learns he is a half-blood; half-human, half-Greek God. Percy is the son of Poseidon, the Greek God of the Sea, who is the brother to Zeus and Hades. When taken to a Half-Blood camp, an organization for kids like Percy to escape and hide from monsters that attack half-bloods, Percy finds out that someone stole Zeus’s master bolt and that he is blaming Poseidon for the theft. If Poseidon fails to retrieve the master bolt and return it to Zeus on Mount Olympus, Zeus will declare war on his brother which will ultimately result in the downfall of the entire God and Goddess system. In order to save his father, Percy goes on a quest to retrieve Zeus’s master bolt along with other members of the camp where they meet monsters and Gods such as Medusa, notorious for her snake hair and ability to turn anyone to stone, Ares, the God of War, and Hades, the God of the Dead. Percy must fight off many of these beings and begins to learn dark truths regarding his family and the plans for potentially the most significant war of all time between the big three Gods, Hades, Zeus and Poseidon. Unfortunately, a twist occurs where Percy becomes responsible for the theft of Zeus’s master bolt.

This novel, along with the other books in series, is an exciting, mysterious and suspenseful story, especially for those readers that have an interest in Greek Mythology. It can teach readers to be determined in any project and advises them to protect one another like family. This story keeps the reader guessing and allows them to develop an interest in fantasy style novels, and fall in love with a potential hero. I would recommend this book to readers above grade 7. -Eesa K.

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Gunslinger Girl

Lyndsay Ely

James Patterson presents a bold new heroine—a cross between Katniss Everdeen and Annie Oakley: Serendipity Jones, the fastest sharpshooter in tomorrow’s West.

Seventeen-year-old Serendipity “Pity” Jones inherited two things from her mother: a pair of six shooters and perfect aim. She’s been offered a life of fame and fortune in Cessation, a glittering city where lawlessness is a way of life. But the price she pays for her freedom may be too great….

In this extraordinary debut from Lyndsay Ely, the West is once again wild after a Second Civil War fractures the U.S. into a broken, dangerous land. Pity’s struggle against the dark and twisted underbelly of a corrupt city will haunt you long after the final bullet is shot.

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The Bad Beginning

Lemony Snicket

The life of the Baudelaire children goes entirely downhill after their parents were killed in a tragic house fire, leaving behind a vast fortune. The series focuses on the lives of Violet Baudelaire, a fourteen-year-old inventor, Klaus Baudelaire, a 12-year-old literature enthusiast with a photographic memory, and Sunny Baudelaire, 2-year-old with joy for biting things. In the Bad Beginning, these gifted children are sent to live with a distant relative who goes by the name of Count Olaf, a man with distinctive physical characteristics such a slender body, and his notorious eye tattoo on his ankle. Count Olaf, later seen as the antagonist of the series, gives his best attempt to steal their fortune; his efforts include framing others, lying, and even trying to murder the children. As the title states, the unlucky children face a series of moments which can be summed up with despair, pain and agony. The Baudelaire children come together and work as a family to escape from Count Olaf, protecting their parent’s fortune, and learn the truth about trusting others.

This book along with the remaining books of the series allows readers to follow and grow with the characters and potentially relate with certain individuals that shape the plot of the book. Fans of the mystery genre will definitely adore this novel, and will continuously wonder how the story will unfold next. This book teaches and encourages readers to utilize their skills to the fullest, to believe in their abilities, and work as a family to overcome any obstacle, no matter how severe the issue. The story is well-written, suspenseful and I definitely recommend this novel to readers above grade 7. – Eesa K.

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Trial by Fire

Pittacus Lore

In the aftermath of a thwarted alien invasion, teenagers across the globe have begun to develop incredible powers known as Legacies. While most are sent to the Human Garde Academy, countless others slip through the cracks—either by choice or by force.

Desperately wanting to help these lost teens, Six and Sam have joined a covert group tasked with investigating suspicious incidents that might be Legacy-related. The Legacy Chronicles companion series follows them on this mission, and this book collects the first three novellas. Originally published as digital originals, they are now together in one print volume for the first time ever.

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Divergent

Veronica Roth

Written by Veronica Roth, Divergent is a captivating science fiction and dystopian fiction book filled with believable characters and exciting events. The book focuses on Tris (the main character) and the struggles she faces trying to discover her true identity and fight for the truth in the dystopian, futuristic city she lives in, where everything is very structured and aimed to be a certain way, even the people. The story takes place in future Chicago, where society is divided into five factions; each of those factions values a certain trait/quality above anything else. Candor values honesty, Abnegation values selflessness, Amity values kindness, Dauntless values bravery and Erudite values knowledge. In Chicago, until you are 16, you are a part of the faction your parents are in, then when you turn 16 you choose a faction for yourself. Choosing a faction is the choice of your life, it decides your entire future. Beatrice/Tris Prior the main character was born into Abnegation, but she transferred to Dauntless to seek out a new exciting lifestyle and identity. With the help of her new friends, Tris tries to stop the impending war started by the leaders of Erudite and Dauntless for control of the government that is currently being run by Abnegation. Will she succeed or will the city of Chicago face hard times? Just read this enthralling novel to find out.

You will get hooked on “Divergent” once you start, it’s filled with thrilling events and relatable characters. I liked how the book included many different genres because while it was mostly a science-fiction book, it had action, adventure and even a little bit of humour and romance. While I was reading it, it had me wanting to keep reading more, and since finishing it has become one of my favourite books that I’ve read. I would definitely recommend this book to other teens. – Yara M.

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