The Night Circus

Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede, no pamphlets distributed, no sight of a train filled with equipment. It is simply there when yesterday it was not, but instead of one tent, there are many. Black and white striped tents of all shapes and sizes create a maze of draped unknown wonders. Not far away from a very peculiar clock stand the gates with a sign on the top reading Le Cirque des Rêves. The Circus of Dreams. Gates open after sunset and close after sunrise.

However, there is more going on behind the scenes. The circus has become a venue for a bet. Two unwilling magicians have been trained their entire life for a duel in which only one magician will walk out. The circus has become an inspiration for a dreamer who lives in a too small town with his too-large imagination. The circus has become a home for fortune telling tarot reader who ran away from an arranged marriage. The circus has become a responsibility for the twins born in the circus. The circus has become a distraction for a contortionist with a mysterious past. The circus has become an obsession, a myth, a masterpiece.

The Night Circus is a very interesting and sophisticated read. The sense of mystery that comes with the writing really compliments the theme of the novel, and though sometimes the book may seem confusing because of the time jumps it is all comes together in the end. This novel will leave readers entrapped in the magical 19th century anticipating and on edge. – Janki V.

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The Cruel Prince

Holly Black

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. However, many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. As civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

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Top Ten

Katie Cotugno

This novel was written in the form of a single top ten list, the top ten moments of high school for Ryan and Gabby. They tell their side of the story for all ten moments and slowly piece together their friendship as a whole. Gabby is a socially awkward, shy, and a slight outcast. She has anxiety and hates parties no matter how many she goes to. Ryan is a hockey player and jock who likes to party with the many friends in his popular circle. Nothing can break these two best friends apart. No matter how much they resent each other and no matter how different they are, they are friends forever.

This book was written very nicely with sweet lovable characters. However, it was hard to follow with the timelines of the chapters because one moment of the ten takes place in their senior year and the next in freshman year 3 years earlier so you have to pay attention and remember what has happened already before that year and what comes later. Also, you are only told about ten moments of their friendship, but then you don’t get a full backstory nor a full view of how their day to day friendship was. I would definitely recommend Top Ten but beware of the timeline jumping back and forth. Also, because of them only discussing ten moments of four years of friendship, it’s hard to connect Gabby and Ryan’s stories together. You don’t even hear about how they first met in detail until quite far into the book but it ends up coming out like ten short stories of these characters of these two friends that are polar-opposites. A bit different than other books I’ve read, but good for fans of cute love stories. – Zoe P.

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A Walk to Remember

A Walk to Remember is a movie adaption from the 2004 book of the same name by author Nicholas Sparks. It is a romance film consisting of two high school teenagers, Jamie and Landon, who unintentionally fall in love with each other. The two teenagers get thrown together due to a mishap that happened with Landon and his friends, as a result of having to do community service hours. The two get close by having shared interests and then begin to fall in love. The love continues to grow until it’s unconditional and forever. Though there is a truth that will need to be told from Jamie, a Christian girl who always carries a Bible, for that truth may be connected to why she has never truly loved someone yet, before Landon came into her life.

I think this movie is great and so amazing due to many reasons. First of all, it’s because of the incredible love Landon and Jamie have shown in the movie and how that kind of love is almost every girl’s fantasy, including mine. Second, the movie relates to world issues that happen in high school and the world, which was well portrayed in the movie. Also, the movie includes how people can change, be a better version of themselves, and be capable of pure love. Moreover, if you’ve read and loved the book by Nicholas Sparks, you will love this movie adaptation.

In conclusion, I believe A Walk to Remember is a great movie for romantics and people who love a great love story. You will certainly love this movie and may have tears at the end. – Ally M.

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The Girl in the Tower

Katherine Arden

Katherine Arden’s enchanting first novel introduced readers to an irresistible heroine. Vasilisa has grown up at the edge of a Russian wilderness, where snowdrifts reach the eaves of her family’s wooden house and there is truth in the fairy tales told around the fire. Vasilisa’s gift for seeing what others do not won her the attention of Morozko—Frost, the winter demon from the stories—and together they saved her people from destruction. However, Frost’s aid comes at a cost, and her people have condemned her as a witch.

Now Vasilisa faces an impossible choice. Driven from her home by frightened villagers, the only options left for her are marriage or the convent. She cannot bring herself to accept either fate and instead chooses adventure, dressing herself as a boy and setting off astride her magnificent stallion Solovey.

After Vasilisa prevails in a skirmish with bandits, everything changes. The Grand Prince of Moscow anoints her a hero for her exploits, and she is reunited with her beloved sister and brother, who are now part of the Grand Prince’s inner circle. She dares not reveal to the court that she is a girl, for if her deception were discovered it would have terrible consequences for herself and her family. Before she can untangle herself from Moscow’s intrigues—and as Frost provides counsel that may or may not be trustworthy—she will also confront an even graver threat lying in wait for all of Moscow itself. 

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Girl Online: Going Solo

Zoe Sugg

This is the third installment in the Girl Online trilogy by Zoe Sugg, continuing the story of Penny. Penny is introverted and shy but she slowly brings herself out of her comfort zone to build up her confidence and find herself in the messy world of being a teen. Still heartbroken, Penny and her rekindled friendship with Megan leads her to meet new friends, new boys and causes some commotion as always. Through photography, a private school musical of West Side Story, and a meet up with her friend Leah she brings together everyone and everything she cares about. This book represents finding yourself and building up the confidence to survive on your own.

A much slower storyline than the previous two books in the Girl Online series but after a large portion of the book it begins to get better. The main difference in this book is Noah, one of the previous main characters, has basically disappeared from the face of the earth and becomes more of a ghost character. In Girl Online: Going Solo, Penny must find her way on her own while struggling to help out everyone around her with their own issues. She is faced with a huge wedding in Ireland and it may not be the getaway she hoped it would be, and her escape route may have just turned into a hidden trap. No matter what happens to Penny she always finds a way to make the best of the situation in the hopes that everything will come together in the end. But happily ever after isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be.

Well written but a definite change from Girl Online and Girl Online On Tour. Zoe Sugg as always does an amazing job of showing that life is far from perfect but that those quirks in life build you and create who you are. – Zoe P.

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Girl Online: On Tour

Zoe Sugg

This is the second novel in the Girl Online series about Penny, the anxious teen who loves photography, and her continued adventures with her “rock god” boyfriend. Penny continues to survive in her long distance relationship with Noah, her boyfriend from Brooklyn, New York while she lives in Brighton, England. They are meeting up for the first time in months to go on his European tour — he’s a famous musician, which she hadn’t even known when they first met. They live through the struggle of finding time for each other while on tour. Also, they have an internet stalker who has stolen private information from Penny, however they don’t have any idea who is attempting to blackmail them. In Girl Online: On Tour you go through their journey of hotel rooms, monuments, stadiums, shopping and partying. Making friends and mending relationships along the tour, Penny confronts her anxiety head-on being stuck in crowds and losing a little of herself along the way. Can she find her way back to who she really is? Is tour life where she really wants to be or is she just fooling herself?

I would definitely recommend this book, a coming of age novel written by Zoe Sugg (otherwise known as Zoella, a YouTuber). A romance novel with drama, travel, and adventure, it is even better than the first book. You won’t get enough of this love story between Penny and Noah, nor with Elliot and his awesome and unusual facts told wherever they are. This series should be read in order otherwise you may be missing some information they talk about. A well-written book beautifully told that allows the story to flow making it an enjoyable read. – Zoe P.

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Turtles All The Way Down

John Green

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there is a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. Together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

In his long-awaited return, John Green, the acclaimed, award-winning author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity in this brilliant novel of love, resilience, and the power of lifelong friendship.

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Things We Know By Heart

Jessi Kirby

Quinn and Colton both have their pasts that they try to hide, but do they already know each other’s histories? Quinn lost her boyfriend in a tragic accident. She loved him dearly and won’t ever forget him, but all she wants is to know who got the most important organ, his heart.  Colton got a second chance at life outside of a hospital, but everything comes with consequences even when it seems like everything is for the better. You will cry through this whimsical and lovely story of these two unlikely companions who are brought together by an unusual, fluke meeting that never was supposed to occur. Like most romance novels, once they met for the first time they continued to see each other, leading to a stronger pull toward one another.

This book is described in detail, including all the little things that happen, which gives the book a more realistic kind of feel. Things We Know by Heart helps make you understand what happens with a heart transplant and how the systems work. They also discuss how donors can contact recipients, along with the struggle it can cause for the recipient and the survivors of the donor. A very lovely book that is a great read for those interested in romance novels. – Zoe P.

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Joyride

Anna Banks

Joyride is a great story that keeps you on the edge of your seat, with a huge plot twist that you would never expect. Carly’s parents have been deported, so she and her brother are trying to bring them back home. But when she suddenly meets a boy in an unexpected and unusual situation, Carly begins to fall for him. The story is told through the alternating perspectives of Arden, Carly’s crush, and Carly who is trying to balance the responsibilities of her demanding life while dealing with her new feelings about Arden. Lies between them build and when they are revealed their relationship begins to shatter.

An action-packed book, Joyride is exactly like the title states: a joyride among the most unlikely friends, with silly pranks that will make you laugh heartily with Carly and Arden learning how to enjoy life. Carly is torn between the life she is told to live and the chance the cute boy is giving her to live and have fun. She is trying to find a balance between the two worlds but sometimes there isn’t a middle ground to be found. There is also a strange mysterious man who is helping to bring back her parents and family from Mexico. There are unexpected twists as you figure out who is really the bad guy and who Carly’s real friends are.

I would recommend this book because of the unpredictable plot twist and enjoyable pranks throughout. Joyride shows teens trying to rebel through mostly harmless crimes and gags, but is also about a harder more rugged way of life that shows some people’s reality. – Zoe P.

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