Eleanor & Park

Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and Park is a story about two people — a girl named Eleanor who is a little chubbier than the rest of the girls at her school and dresses funny as if she’s searching for attention. Park is a normal kid who has normal classes and a normal family, so the last thing he wants is Eleanor, the chubby girl who stares at him, to ruin this. Park and Eleanor go to school on the same bus, and start to bond over comics and music. Eleanor and Park learn things about each other that they never knew and tackle things like abuse and self recognition together. A story about how even two of the most separate and opposites of people can become close if they keep an open mind.

I personally thought this book was enjoyable but it had an awkward elevation by the middle. It started as if they hated each other and all of a sudden they unrealistically became crazy about each other. I didn’t enjoy that because it wasn’t very relatable; it was a good way to show how people sometimes can just click, but to me, it felt like it was forced and not a normal transition. There were some parts I really loved and some I just couldn’t handle. I have mixed feelings about this book but at the end of the day it was not bad. I had a good time reading it and I loved reading about Eleanor’s life because it made me realize that you don’t always know what’s happening in peoples lives and why they act they way that they do or dress in the way they do. It taught me to never be judgmental because nothing good comes from judgment. – Fatima S.

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Becky Albertalli

Simon is penpals with Blue, but he does not know their real identity. Blue and Simon talk about life and all their little mishaps in life, without any personal details, so they can’t figure out who the other is. He starts to suspect who his pen-pal/secret admirer is and when they get to know each other better all he wants to do is know who Blue really is, even though Blue is strongly opposed to it.

When a fellow student at their high school finds an email between them, he begins blackmailing Simon to help him get a date with his friend Abby or else he will spill the emails. Simon feels there is no choice but to obey. Every major event will make you rethink how you thought the story would play out. A heartfelt story of blackmail, pen pals, friendship, and the struggles of life.

You won’t want to put this book down and the characters have been written as relatable and realistic. Becky Albertalli’s beautifully written plot is comparable to those of many teen’s struggles and therefore makes the overall story take you through every page in a way that makes it seem as if you are in the story too. An emotional rollercoaster and by the end, you will be wishing for more.

I would recommend this book to most people, this plot will have you hanging off every word not wanting to take a break. Warning: you may have the urge to eat Oreos and Reese’s pieces while you read! Also even after reading, I still do not completely understand the connection to the Homo Sapiens Agenda even though it is mentioned somewhat throughout the book. A very quick read but a moderately sized book for teens and up, as the information sometimes needs an understanding of the subject matter. – Zoe P.

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Geekerella

Ashley Poston

Geekerella is a well-done modern retelling loosely based off of Cinderella in a more rebellious teen kind of way. This book has everything from pudgy dogs, to vegan food trucks, fandoms and everything “geeky”. A superstar heartthrob actor is cast as one character that matters to Elle in Starfield, a TV show that being rebooted, which is the only thing she has left to remember her parents by. Left with an awful stepmother and rude, trickster stepsisters, she is left alone with no one who cares about her. Along the way, Elle meets friends, people who rebel against her, and fans that care about her and the blog she writes about Starfield. When she starts falling for a guy she’s never met, can she hide it from her stepsisters as the texts become more frequent?

I loved Geekerella, a perfect mix of nerdy, geeky and love story. I didn’t want to put this book down; although you sometimes knew what was going to happen, it didn’t take away from the story, but rather made you anticipate and yearn for what was to come next. A flowing story even with the switching perspectives, sometimes they continued where the other character left off!! An amazing love story between geeks, and some relationships will form that will surprise you but in a good way. A must-read for fans of sci-fi and romance, and for nerds and geeks. The author includes other well-known shows and movies along with their characters, this keeping the basis of Cinderella while going out of the box, giving it a fun super awesome plot that will keep you guessing. Bravo to Ashley Poston for an amazing teen romance story – a story of finding your way and following your dreams, not doing what others expect of you. So as they say in Starfield, “Look at the stars, aim, ignite!” – Zoe P.

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The Infinite Moment of Us

Lauren Myracle

A true love story of being broken and finding yourself. Even when you try to run away from your life, you are always brought back to reality. The Infinite Moment of Us tells the story from alternating perspectives of Wren, who has never made decisions for herself, and Charlie, who has lived a tough past. They find each other when they are both lost, and though they may lose each other along the way, they will but always know where home is.

The story is about love, and home, with wonderful writing. It is a coming of age novel of innocence and taking a leap of faith to find yourself even if everything might not go as once planned. The two grew up in different ways with different types of parents — some overprotective and others not caring at all. The characters have morals and things they do on instinct; romance laced with jealousy and the fact of feeling broken. Also, when Wren starts to make decisions for herself and rebels against any rules, her parents are distraught.

One part I disliked was that a bunch of the book was graphical in the its descriptions, so it is for older mature teen audiences. I would recommend for those who like the genre. If you overlook that, the story plot was better than most romance novels, which focus mostly on the drama factor. The setting and places this book tells about are unknown to the reader as the author never describes it and when she does it is very vague. A fast read, however, it is an intense love story and not a book for everyone. Overall a good book, and I wish it had a sequel or something to continue the story. – Zoe P.

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Six Impossible Things

Fiona Wood

Six Impossible Things was a hilarious book that made you laugh at the situations Dan experiences — like a company bankruptcy and a divorce lead to a move into a deceased family members’ home. These life-altering changes lead to the discovery of an attic connecting his house to the house of the girl next door, but not just any girl — a girl he’s been watching and admiring. Although they have never met, he knows more about her than he should. She’s even number 1 on his list of six impossible things list! Nothing can go right for Dan; no matter how much he worries and plans, there always seems to be a little blip, something changes, or he gets caught.

Not at all overly dramatized like many other teen novels, which make for a better plot. I would recommend this book for people who have enjoyed My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I wish Six Impossible Things would have had a more detailed and emotional ending compared to the abrupt ending that it had, but it was still a great book and overall enjoyable. No matter how many times the others at school tried to put him down, he would get back up only slightly fazed and continue to try. Dan doesn’t give up, and although the list is of Impossible things he refuses to stop trying to obtain his goals and complete the list, Dan doesn’t give up trying to achieve his six impossible things. This book teaches a very good lesson that sometimes we forget, that what you want may seem impossible but if you persevere and don’t stop even when odds are against you, you may just surprise yourself and achieve the so-called impossible, if not how would the world have advanced? – Zoe P.

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Give Up The Ghost

Megan Crewe

Cass McKenna can talk to and see people who are dead. Ghosts, you may call them. Ones who have for some reason have not moved on from earth. In fact, she highly prefers communicating with them than ‘breathers’, people who are living. They are so much more uncomplicated and always tell Cass any dirt or secrets they can dig up on people. Ones that ‘breathers’ think are told in private places, however, little do they know that the dead are listening in. Cass uses this to her advantage to expose the poseurs in her school which is why most of her peers highly dislike her and keep their distance. And to be honest? She is totally fine with this.

When Tim, the extremely popular president of the student council, approaches her asking for her help, Cass’s guard automatically goes up. However, when Tim keeps persisting, she finally relents a little bit and only will help him if he gives back secrets and information on a few select students. Nonetheless, as she becomes more involved in his life and helping him out, their relationship becomes much more than just trading each other for things they want. Although they are an unlikely couple, Megan Crewe keeps her readers guessing at every turn of the page!

This book was sometimes slow at certain parts, but other than that it was an interesting story to read. Despite the fact that I usually am not into these kinds of genres, I still enjoyed this novel and the characters within. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys romance books with a classic ghost fantasy twist. – Juliana M.

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The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1)

Kelley Armstrong

Maya is in grade 11 and lives a pretty ordinary life. Since she was adopted, she doesn’t know much about her biological family or how her life would be if she lived with them. The only clue she has is a paw shaped birth mark that sits on her hip. However, Maya had never really thought about her biological parents as she is happy with living with her adoptive family in a very small community on Vancouver Island until strange events start to happen in the small town. Events that for some reason make her think of her best friend Serena’s strange and ‘freak accident’ drowning. For instances, mountain lions always seem to be near wherever Maya is. And a mysterious new boy starts to slowly draw her in.

After a ‘reporter’ starts to come around the island and ask unusual and out of place questions, Maya and her best friend Daniel feel that something is off. As they investigate further, a puzzle starts to form about her biological family, the medical institute in her small community, and the incident of her best friend’s death. As she dives deeper down into this entanglement, relationships start to form, even in a way she would never expect.

‘The Gathering’ was enjoyable for me to read as I connected it to my life and my experiences. This book draws you into a web of secrets, puzzles, and questions that can only be answered by guessing and reading. My recommendation for this book would go out to people who relish in fantasy novels, as well as trying to figure out many mysterious questions and characters. – Juliana M.

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Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

Leigh Bardugo

“No mourners. No funerals. Among them, it passed for ‘good luck.’”

Kaz Brekker, known as “Dirtyhands” to many, is given an offer he can’t refuse. If he manages to complete the task of infiltrating the Ice Court, the most highly secured prison, he’ll be paid a large sum. Within the Ice Court, Kaz is supposed to kidnap a scientist who is being kept there. He will have to gather six of the deadliest outcasts known throughout Ketterdam if he wants to be able to pull this off. If he can get them to join him, they could manage to finish without a hitch. But they’ll have to learn to trust each other and work as a team, first.

Not only one of my favourite books, but one of my favourite series of all time. This book takes a group of characters from a number of different backgrounds, as well as the reader, on a journey of crime and desperation. Filled with magical realism as well as action and adventure, the characters we meet make us question what really is good versus bad in the world. Can something that we would normally see as a crime be justified for the right reasons?

Six of Crows is filled with so many incredible characters that are strong, intelligent and quick-witted. You’ll end up loving most, if not all of them.

This book is such a fun and enjoyable read, as well as very well written. I became a fan of Leigh Bardugo because of Six of Crows. – Stacie C.

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The Masked Truth

Kelley Armstrong

Teenage Riley has experienced and witnessed something no adult or person could even fathom: a double murder. Worse, the people murdered were the parents of the child she was babysitting. Shocked, confused, and feeling guilty for living while the child’s parents both died right in front of her, Riley allows her mom to bring her to an overnight therapy ‘sleepover’ with other kids who are also suffering mentally. However, unexpectedly three masked men barge into the renovated warehouse they are staying in and hold both the therapists and the group of teens hostage. The kidnappers claim they want ransom money and no one will get hurt if they follow orders.

Things go horribly wrong when the group tries to escape and many of the teens are shot and killed right on the spot. Only some make it away and are hiding in the warehouse running from the masked men who are on a prowl hunting for them. Riley meets Max who is also a patient, and they escape together running through the warehouse trying to find a way out. Although, later in the book, they find out that this kidnapping is linked to many more people than originally thought as well as the plot is much more sinister than anyone would have expected.

Personally, I really enjoyed reading this book and all of the action, and craziness throughout it. The book, however, has some vicious and fierce parts, so I wouldn’t recommend this book to you if you do not like books with some very intense scenes. Overall, I would definitely suggest this book to anyone seeking action packed novels that provide a great thrill.

– Juliana M.

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Be More Chill

Ned Vizzini

Be More Chill takes you through the life of Jeremy Heere; a loser and a nobody with a desperate crush on a girl and a wish for popularity. All of this changes when one day his bully, Rich, tells Jeremy that he needs to become cool. Rich gives Jeremy his secret to popularity; a Squip. The Squip is a new piece of technology yet to be released, a supercomputer in the form of a small grey pill that communicates with you through your brain. It tells you how to fit in, make friends, make everyone love you, and so much more. Jeremy knows he needs a Squip, and everything will change when he gets it.

A funny yet at times depressing book has a large theme of social structure within high school, and how popularity and coolness affects teenagers. The novel shows a rather ugly side where the way the boys treat girls as if they were objects, and is insulting and misogynistic. It has gotten mixed reviews from many people as it also features homophobic slurs, and some see it not at all like high school.

In my own opinion, I found it an enjoyable read. While it was not too exciting, and Jeremy is not the most memorable of characters, the way he goes through his problems and everyday life is certainly entertaining.

There has also been a musical adaption. The musical, while much different from the book, is very good. It is important to note that the way they are characterized differs from musical to book. Even if you are a not a fan of the book, you may still enjoy the musical, and vice versa. All in all, I recommend both musical adaption and book. – Danielle A.

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