The Way We Fall

Megan Crewe

16 year old Kaelyn lives on a small island along with her mom, dad and brother. Being the quieter type, she vows to speak out and interact with more people this year. Kaelyn writes a journal directed to her former long best friend Leo, who has left the island to attend school. She hopes to speak with him when he next visits.

However, a fatal epidemic no one has seen before begins to sweep the island. What starts off as a severe itch with coughing and sneezing, develops into the victim spilling their secrets and being terrified at something only they can see. With her father as a microbiologist on this small-scale island, Kaelyn hopes he will discover a cure for everyone who has been entangled in this severely contagious disease. But what started off looking bad now looks even worse.
The connection is soon broken off to the mainland, and power starts running out. The amount of people being admitted to the hospital overwhelms the nurses and doctors. Doctors start dying, as well as nurses, teachers, parents, and kids. The island is placed under quarantine and resources start running out. Homes become abandoned and the uninfected break in to scavenge what supplies are left in order to survive. The people Kaelyn has known her whole life and the ones she loves are slowly being taken away from her. Kaelyn becomes a fighter using her new found inner strength along with new bonds she has made.

This book is exciting, terrifying, and thrilling, as you know that everyone is terrified, but they keep pushing forward. The book had a bit of a slow beginning, but once involved in the plot and characters it is hard to put down! Many people can closely relate to the characters and/or the plot which makes this book appealing and unique. – Juliana M.

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Everything, Everything

Nicole Yoon

Madeline is sick, so sick she can’t leave her house. Madeline has a rare disease which makes her allergic to anything and therefore everything. Madeline is content with the life she lives and is happy with her mother and nurse, Carla. They play games together, she reads and does classes from skype and sometimes even meets her teachers in person for the special occasion. Madeline sometimes she wonders about the outside life and wishes for freedom, but she puts on a smile on her face for her mother who takes care of her. Madeline’s outlook is that she should only hope for things that she can have, until her new neighbours move in. Madeline is suddenly drawn to the new boy next door, Olly. Soon they start emailing and IMing. Finally Madeline’s nurse allows her to meet the new boy secretly without Madeline’s mother knowing and Madeline starts feeling new feelings she hasn’t before. Her heart starts beating faster, her stomach starts to flip. Her and Olly soon grow from new made friends to romantic interests, but something about Olly is different and makes Madeline realize that she isn’t living and she wants more. She realizes she wants to explore, even if it’s only for a day.

This book is one of the best books I have ever read in my entire life. Even the end made me hug the book for a good five minutes. Madeline is a girl who knows what she wants but she can die trying to get to her goals. The bravery that Madeline shows is important for everyone to acknowledge. She was such a strong character and she is a very good role model for all. The author of this book crafted it amazingly and I really really enjoyed it. – Fatima S.

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Pushing Perfect

Michelle Falkoff

Kara is the perfect girl. She wakes up with her perfect face, eats her perfect food, goes to her perfect school and gets prefect grades! Just one problem. She isn’t perfect, and that’s one of her biggest fears, not living up to people’s expectations. Kara always works hard and tries, but when she starts freaking out about her SATs and college prep, she decides to take a step out of the perfect pathway. She discovers an amazing pill which helps her with her panic attacks and makes her feel invincible. She swears to only take it once for her SATs and never again, but when someone catches her buying prescription drugs without a prescription from a fellow high school student, she fears the chances of making Harvard or any other school for that matter are very low. With that one picture, she is controlled by a trickster and becomes one of their minions. She soon discovers that she is not alone and that many have been blackmailed just like her to do things in this evil plot. With the help of her new friends and even some old ones, she tries to unravel the mystery which is bigger than anyone could have expected.

Pushing Perfect is definitely an enjoyable book, boring at times but always able to keep me reaching for the next page. The suspense was amazing, and watching Kara grow out of her comfort zone and go from a brainiac who lost her only friends to a socialite who is always on top of her grades and in control of her life is incredible. Kara has a very relatable personality and I think many teenagers will be able to relate to the pressures that she goes through as a student with high expectations set on her shoulders and not having the reassurance that she is able to live up to them perfectly like everyone thinks.

A lively book with the feelings of pressure into trying new things, sadness and loss of friends that everyone goes through sometimes, regret, love and betrayal form the people you trusted the most. – Fatima S.

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She Said / She Saw

Nora McClintock

This novel is told from two points of views: sisters Tegan and Kelly Tyrell, who have completely different interests. Tegan (the older sister) sees her life in a novel, but Kelly (the younger sister) views her life as if it is a movie. You can know which sister is narrating by the style and the name of the sister after the chapter’s number. The novel focuses on the shooting of Tegan’s best friends, Martin Genovese and Clark Carson, when they are driving home from a party in Clark’s car. Tegan, who was not shot and is the only witness, says that she did not see who did it. Unfortunately, nobody believes her; not the police, not the victims’ families, not her best friend, not even her sister Kelly. Everybody thinks that Tegan is hiding something and each person uses their own way to find it, which drives Tegan crazy because she claims that she has nothing to hide. The novel also shows the struggle Tegan experiences after seeing a murder and how her relationships with other people have changed after the incident. Tegan must decide whether to stand up and do the right thing or to stay out of the way.

The novel contains mystery, twists in plots, and gives a sense of suspense. In my opinion, I enjoyed reading it and I recommend it because I found it a little different. Most of teen books focus on romance and drama, but this novel focuses on mystery and crime. It was a good move for me to try another style of teen books. Overall, this is a good book enjoyed by teens for all genders, not recommended for people under the age of 14 years. – Suzan N.

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Will

Maria Boyd

This novel focuses on a guy named Will Armstrong and is told from his point of view. He is a jock, and a guitar playing 11th grader that goes to an all boy school named St. Andrews in Australia. He was once a good student, but when a major incident happened six months ago, he began trouble-making and breaking the rules, which got the school staff and his mother worried about him. When his trouble-making goes too far, he is put in the school musical as a punishment. Since Will thinks the school musical is lame, he does not like the punishment and thinks of it as torture. When he joins the musical, he becomes friends with people he never thought he would, crushes on a female lead, and can control his sadness and emotions from that major incident. The novel shows how Will’s character developed over the time he is placed in the musical.

In my opinion, Will is one of the best novels I have ever read. It contains suspense, irony, drama, romance, adventure, and comedy; it has it all. It also got me to think about trouble-makers differently. Maybe the trouble-makers at your school act like that because of an event that happened in their lives, just like Will. What I learned is two things: 1. you don’t have to end your life if something really bad happens to you or your loved one. Just live your life and 2. Don’t judge people by their actions. If you just try to talk to them or befriend them, you realize that there is more to them than it meets the eye. Overall, it is a great book, and I strongly recommended for teens of all genders. Not recommended for people under the age of 12. – Suzan N.

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Dark Eyes

William Richter

Wallis Stoneman is adopted. She was born in Russia and lived there for about five years until she was adopted by a wealthy couple from America, Claire and Jason Stoneman. Wallis adapted to the wealthy lifestyle very quickly and started to enjoy it until she realized she was adopted. Angrily, she fled home and accepted the life on the streets with her runaway friends, Tevin, Ella, and Jake. It wasn’t until she encounters a package revealing her history back in Russia and her biological family that Wally goes frantically looking for the answers to her questions that could result in putting herself and the people around her in so much danger that some people may not come back alive.

Dark Eyes is a novel with a vast amount of unexpected turns that would keep readers at the edge of their seats. There wasn’t really a moment to breathe with all the action and Wally’s constant search that would keep her up at night. The book could have done better by explaining a little more about how Wally is feeling throughout all the events and how stressful it really was. Wally’s relationships were also unexpected and kind of forced upon to keep readers reading, which I personally find was unnecessary. The book did come together near the end, tying up all loose ends. This book is the kind that you would like after a long boring day, wanting some excitement. Overall, Dark Eyes was a very entertaining novel that I would recommend to anyone wanting a book to relax with after a busy dreadful week, to simply dive into a mystery with unexpected turns that no one other than William Richter could think of. – Celine J.

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Idols

Margaret Stohl

This is the sequel to Icons.

Dol, Ro, Lucas, and Tima have destroyed the first Icon base with the help of Fortis, their merk and leader of the rebellion. Destroying the first base led to their mission of taking out all other icons, the next one being in the middle of a canyon. Where one path ends, another begins as Dol has a reoccurring dream that is driving her crazy with suspicion. Dol also must choose between Ro or Lucas as confirmed from the last book that she is in love with both. The more time the Icons spent with Fortis, the more they realize how much they don’t know much about their merk friend and how many secrets that he hides. Secrets that are about them, about the Lords and how he may not be their friend after all…

I found Idols a very interesting book. It is very like the previous book, having tons of adventure and action, and the pressure we see put upon Dol as she is their leader. We also see the romance she has with Ro from the first book and how it affects her with Lucas in this book. We also see how Dol is very confused with her emotions for the two as the series is based on the emotions of these four teens. I did prefer the first book to this one just because the plot in this book floated off into a sci-fi romance theme. I also was disappointed in a way from the ending of this book was very sudden, leaving a lot of loose ends. I personally enjoyed Idols but was slightly disappointed at the ending; still is a book that I would recommend to anyone else. – Celine J.

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Icons

Margaret Stohl

Doloria has lived in the grasslands for as long as she remembers. Safe from the Icon and their terrifying immense power, she is showered with love from Padre, her pig Ramona Jamona, Bigger and Biggest at La Purisima and her best friend Ro. Dol could never imagine a life without them, but one truth will always remain with her, haunting her: she’s something else, different, as she survived while her biological family died on The Day. Why? Dol’s fate takes her on the path to that answer, to the Embassy — a task force off the coast of Metropolis, a city that was once called the city of angels. As the answer to one question is answered by a billion more questions, Dol seeks to find out what really happened on The Day? Who are the Icons? Why does she have a birthmark of a dot on her wrist? Who are the Lords? Dol soon starts to realize after each question is answered that she is meant for something that is way beyond her, a dangerous task that only a handful of people like her can do that might result in death.

I found this book extremely exciting, packed again with action and adventure even some science fiction and romance that will make you scream for the next book Idols. This book also showed a message that family doesn’t mean your own blood, which was a very nice touch given how suspenseful and action packed the book was. Truly an amazing book. – Celine J.

If you want to know what happens to Dol, check out the sequel, Idols!

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The Last Magician

Lisa Maxwell

 

Stop the Magician. Steal the book. Save the future.

In modern day New York, magic is all but extinct. The remaining few who have an affinity for magic—the Mageus—live in the shadows, hiding who they are. Any Mageus who enters Manhattan becomes trapped by the Brink, a dark energy barrier that confines them to the island. Crossing it means losing their power—and often their lives.

Esta is a talented thief, and she’s been raised to steal magical artifacts from the sinister Order that created the Brink. With her innate ability to manipulate time, Esta can pilfer from the past, collecting these artifacts before the Order even realizes she’s there. And all of Esta’s training has been for one final job: traveling back to 1902 to steal an ancient book containing the secrets of the Order—and the Brink—before the Magician can destroy it and doom the Mageus to a hopeless future.

But Old New York is a dangerous world ruled by ruthless gangs and secret societies, a world where the very air crackles with magic. Nothing is as it seems, including the Magician himself. And for Esta to save her future, she may have to betray everyone in the past.

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams

Although The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, written by Douglas Adams is a fairly old book, published in 1979, it still remains a lively story full of adventure and dark humour. The story begins with a normal English citizen, Arthur Dent, who wakes up to a construction team that wants to destroy his home to make way for a bypass. The next thing he knows, his eccentric best friend Ford Prefect, tells him that the Earth is about to be destroyed and hitchhikes his way onto a Vogon fleet’s spaceship with a dazed Arthur in his wake. But soon, they are rejected by the Vogons, who are unpleasant space creatures, and sent out to suffocate in space — that is, until they’re picked up by yet another ship — a stolen top-of-the-line government project, driven by the president of the universe. The novel follows their wild adventures through space and time and their search for the answer to the ultimate question; the answer to life, the universe and everything.

I think this novel is a great sci-fi comedy with plot twists and turns at every chapter. Douglas Adams’ strange sense of humour is entertaining, although the narrative of the whole story does get a bit confusing near the end. It can become a little difficult to keep track of everything that’s taking place in the novel because a lot of the story flips back and forth in between the past, present, and many different locations around the universe. Despite all this, I still think it’s really fascinating to read, especially when you consider how long ago it was written and the author’s perspective of futuristic beings and technology. So, overall, I’d recommend this book to anybody who’s into adventurous sci-fi, because it’s exactly the sort of thing they’d enjoy.
Mady R.

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