The Elite

Kiera Cass

The Elite is the sequel to Kiera Cass’s daring novel, The Selection. The Elite has been chosen, and the selection is now down to only six girls, with Lady America Singer being Prince Maxon’s obvious favourite. But it doesn’t seem that way with everyone else. The King and Queen have different opinions, and they don’t approve of such strong-willed behaviour. What’s even more difficult for America is now that she’s started to fall for Maxon, she has to see Aspen on guard every day. Does she still have feelings for Aspen? America is faced with new challenges, each that are preparing her and the elite to become stronger and better queens. But America doesn’t feel she has what it take and is worthy enough to be fit for the position. As distance grows between America and Maxon, she gets closer to Aspen, and the question arises, does she really want to be here, is this how she wants to spend her life?! America’s connect with her family is now stronger, even with her mom. With attacks, by both north and south, rebels becoming more and more frequent around the castle, the safety of everyone is put into question. Find out what disturbing secrets the walls of the kingdom is hiding.

The Elite is a fabulous book by Kiera Cass, this story is not your classic fairytale. Shocking surprises that aren’t always pleasant fill every chapter. Suspense, love, friendship, action, family, and drama this book has it all. Join America on her quest of love and find out mysterious truths along the way. -Ananya M.

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The Selection

Kiera Cass

Every girl in the kingdom would give anything to marry the charming Prince Maxon, except for America Singer. The kingdom is ruled by a caste system, and her family is only three from the bottom, she’s a five. They know they don’t have it the worst, but they have seen some pretty bad days, terrible pay, seasonal work, and periods of time where they have to go hungry, but she is still happy. When the selection roles around America is reluctant to enter, even if there is there is barely any chance that she would be drawn as one of the 35 girls that would live in the palace and fight for the hand of Prince Maxon in marriage. The reason she can’t go is because of her loving boyfriend, Aspen, a six. After constant pressure from her family and boyfriend she enters the selection, and miraculously she is drawn as one of the selected. Now it’s up to America to prevent her being chosen as the princess so she can come back and marry her boyfriend. That’s not all that easy when the Prince at hand is as charming as Prince Maxon.

Fall in love with the selection series and America Singer as you follow her story from a shabby little treehouse to the steps of the palace itself. Kiera Cass does an amazing job portraying the story and helps you form a real connection with most of the characters. I had some trouble forming a connection with the character of Aspen as he seemed a little distant, however it was not enough for me to give it any fewer stars or to change my opinion about the book. Overall a thoroughly enjoyed the book at definitely recommend it to others. -Ananya M.

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Allegiant

Veronica Roth

Allegiant is the final instalment in Veronica Roth’s captivating Divergent Trilogy. After the fall of vicious Jeanine Matthews and the release of the Edith Prior video, a new sense of panic has reined over the city. Evelyn and her band of Factionless are taking over and destroying the faction system. Through all these events the video of her ancestor is haunting Tris, and to uncover the truth she will have to venture far beyond the walls of their city. As Tris, Tobias, and their friends escape outside the walls of their city, they are faced with uncharted dangers. The new world outside isn’t any better and what they find out once they got there was better left unfound. Tris’s connection to her mother is stronger than ever while her search for answers leads her to find some shocking truths. Tobias’s world shits as he meets others in the new world. They all struggle to find out the truths the outside world is hiding in order to save a future that might already have no hope. Tris must define sacrifice in her own terms and figure out what love truly means to her.

This novel is the perfect finale for this dystopian series. It will shock you with a new twist around every corner and exciting action in every chapter. You will instantly be submerged in this exhilarating trilogy and make Tris’s journey your own. With true to life emotions filling this book, you will feel for the characters and support them all the way through until the end. Veronica Roth captivates the readers as she invites them to enter the world of the Divergent. -Anaya M.

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The Echo Room

Parker Peevyhouse

Rett and Bryn, both sixteen, wake in a locked facility, unaware of how they got there, whether they can trust each other, and who or what is with them. As they explore the seemingly abandoned outpost, they find scarce stores of food, water, and equipment, as well as cryptic signs left behind by others. They also discover the outer door has been intentionally jammed from the inside. During their investigation, they black out and wake up memoryless again, which happens over and over until they discover the trigger. This is an irresistible premise Is this a psychological experiment? A test? A punishment? and Peevyhouse primes it for maximum suspense, keeping tight to Rett’s disoriented, frightened point of view.

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Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots

Abby McDonald

Jenna is the leader of her high school Green Teen group which promotes recycling and environmentalism. Her summer plans of protests and Green Teen work are no longer is the plan. They get traded in for the Rocky Mountains of adventure in Stillwater, British Columbia. She faces a tightly knit group of friends to fit into the new environment. She assists in the renovation of her Godmothers home. They turn it into the one, and only Bed and Breakfast in town. The town’s economy is dwindling. Jenna gets accused of trying to ruin their town further. Environmentalists cancelled the logging and sent away all the activity in town. Renovations of building a Bed and Breakfast are hoping to bring back tourists. Jenna’s summer is a roller coaster of emotions, whitewater rapids, climbing sheer rock faces and drama. Flirting and secrets get shared through the summer, but will everything stay as calm and as easy as it seems. People change, personalities grow and alter. Sometimes what people believe is the right thing to do may not be easy. Jenna learns to view other opinions of environmentalism among other facts of life. She also faces the hard truth, sometimes people aren’t who you thought they were. She escapes her stifling home life but the grass is not always greener on the other side!

Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots was a cute and adventurous summer novel. It’s a fast-paced book that I would read again. This novel gives you a quick overview of her summer and the changes she goes through. When original plans become altered, will she still have a great summer? Out of her element and whisked off into the life of a small town, she meets new friends and tries new ways. Her plans may not only be of summer fun, but avoidance what she fears is waiting when she returns. Abby McDonald was able to convey the excitement of Jenna’s summer. This is a fun, flirty and adventurous novel. -Zoe P.

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Shadow of the Fox

Julie Kagawa 

One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.

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A Thousand Splendid Suns

Khaled Hosseini

In Khaled Hosseini’s, A Thousand Splendid Suns, the novel focuses on the relationship between mothers and daughters, and friendships between women. The novel attempts to show the difficult lifestyle women experience in war-torn Afghanistan. Mariam and Laila both come from different walks of life, where they each have different experiences of living in Afghanistan. Mariam lives her entire life as an illegitimate child and is consistently ridiculed for her status in society. In comparison to Laila, who grows up with a loving family and is well-educated. These two individuals navigate their way through Afghanistan and must make difficult choices in hopes of surviving in a barren country.

Khaled Hosseini amazingly portrays the struggles women face in Afghanistan, as the emotions are raw. His utilitarian prose enables him to create characters who have the primary-coloured and simplicity emotions of people in a fairy-tale. A Thousand Splendid Suns is definitely a recommended read if you are interested in women becoming independent and developing relationships with one another. This empowering book provides great insight into the struggles of women living in third-world countries. Mariam and Laila both convey strong messages that women can easily relate to, so the reader will be intrigued. This novel may contain some mature scenes or content, so reader discretion is advised. -Iffat A.

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The Caged Queen

Kristen Ciccarelli

Once there were two sisters born with a bond so strong that it forged them together forever. When they were angry, mirrors shattered, and when they were happy, flowers bloomed. It was a magic they cherished—until the day a terrible accident took Essie’s life and trapped her soul in this world.

Dax—the heir to Firgaard’s throne—was responsible for the accident. Roa swore to hate him forever. But eight years later he returned, begging for her help. He was determined to dethrone his cruel father, under whose oppressive reign Roa’s people had suffered. Roa made him a deal: she’d give him the army he needed if he made her queen.

Together with Dax and his sister, Asha, Roa and her people waged war and deposed a tyrant. But now Asha is on the run, hiding from the price on her head. And Roa is an outlander queen, far from home and married to her enemy. Worst of all: Dax’s promises go unfulfilled. Roa’s people continue to suffer.

Then a chance to right every wrong arises—an opportunity for Roa to rid herself of this enemy king and rescue her beloved sister. During the Reliquishing, when the spirits of the dead are said to return, Roa can reclaim her sister for good.

All she has to do is kill the king.

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Warcross

Marie Lu

Emika Chen lives in a futuristic world where almost everyone, young or old, is obsessed with one game, Warcoss. To most people, Warcoss is more than just a game, it’s a way to escape their problems and be submerged into a virtual world to forget about everything. Some even spend more time playing Warcoss than doing other things. However, Emika does not play Warcoss; instead, as a bounty hunter, she uses Warcoss to track players who bet on the game illegally in exchange for money.

When the international Warcoss games begin Emika accidentally glitches herself inside while trying to earn a bit of extra money. This catches the attention of Warcoss creator Hideo Tanka and he flies her in to Tokyo for a job proposal. He wants to hire her to participate in the games as an undercover bounty hunter, in order to catch a mysterious figure that has been causing trouble in Warcoss. Along the way, Emika meets people who try to help her and befriend her and others that work to slow her down.

I really enjoyed this book because despite being science fiction the writing style and characters were really realistic in the way they were described and their personalities. The book is filled with many surprises and unexpected twists and turns, just when you think things will go a certain way something unanticipated happens. After reading this book, I would definitely recommend it to other people, not only teens because I believe it would appeal to others too. -Yara M.

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The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

Mackenzi Lee

A year after an accidentally whirlwind grand tour with her brother Monty, Felicity Montague has returned to England with two goals in mind—avoid the marriage proposal of a lovestruck suitor from Edinburgh and enroll in medical school. However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrators, who see men as the sole guardians of science.

But then a window of opportunity opens—a doctor she idolizes is marrying an old friend of hers in Germany. Felicity believes if she could meet this man he could change her future, but she has no money of her own to make the trip. Luckily, a mysterious young woman is willing to pay Felicity’s way, so long as she’s allowed to travel with Felicity disguised as her maid.

In spite of her suspicions, Felicity agrees, but once the girl’s true motives are revealed, Felicity becomes part of a perilous quest that leads them from the German countryside to the promenades of Zurich to secrets lurking beneath the Atlantic.

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