by James Dashner

5 Stars

The Maze Runner - Wikipedia

The Maze Runner, by James Dashner, tells a story about a young boy named Thomas, who awakens in a strange elevator with all his past memories forgotten. As he emerges from the earth, he finds himself in a grassland, surrounded by dangerous stone walls that form a maze. In that maze, he also finds himself living in a community with a bunch of other boys who call themselves “The Gladers”. As Thomas slowly starts to gain back his memory, such as his name and age, he also discovers more sinister clues about the boys and the location he landed in. After learning about how the maze surrounds them all, Thomas is determined to help find a way out of this unknown maze with the help of his friends. The journey won’t be easy, as anyone who dares to find their way out of the maze will be haunted and attacked by the Grievers.  

I personally enjoyed reading this action-packed book. Dashner adds the right amount of clarity, detail, and mystery to help engage the reader. The way the plot moves and the different types of events that are happening forces the reader to keep thinking and imagining what will happen next. This is a key feature in Dashner’s writing style. It is a dystopian science fiction book about boys, who have been trying to find their way out of this maze for three years. However, everything changes when the protagonist (Thomas) arrives. I strongly urge you to, if you haven’t, give this book a read, especially if you love reading dystopian science fiction books. 

Ahmed Q.

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by J.K Rowling

5 Stars

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Book by JR Company

Harry kicks off his second year at Hogwarts after a terrible summer vacation with his relatives. Just as he starts packing up his bags, he receives a letter from a mysterious creature claiming, if he returns to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, disaster will strike immediately. Confused and worried, Harry sets out on his journey, back to his wizarding school to see what was wrong. The beginning of Harry’s second year at Hogwarts starts with fresh torments and horrors begin to arise, including a spirit who haunts the girl’s bathroom and other unusual events. But the real danger begins, as he discovers that a mastermind is turning the students of Hogwarts into stone. Harry and his friends have been assigned a difficult task, and it’s up to them to find out who this mastermind really is. Could it be Hagrid? Could it be Hermoine? Or possibly Harry himself? Find out by reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  

Overall, this book was an absolute gem. It’s filled with adventure, imagination, and fantasy that helps the reader engage more in the story. This exciting sequel makes me never want to put the book down. The words written in the story bring the wizarding world to life, making me and other readers wish this all would exist. It was well-crafted and included a surprising plot twist during the end. This book is a must-read, and I recommend this to all ages who love fantasy, action, and humour. I would give this book a 10/10. 

Ahmed Q.

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by J.K Rowling

5 Stars

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: Rowling J.K.: 9781408855652:  Amazon.com: Books

Harry’s life is gloomy and filled with despair. With his parents dead and his uncaring relatives who he’s stuck with, he’s forced to live in a dark, tiny closet located under the stairs. Every day seems the same to Harry, being mistreated by his relatives and being bullied at school. But one day, his downhearted life soon changes as he receives a letter claiming that he’s no ordinary boy, but a wizard. A mysterious visitor soon saves Harry from his relatives and brings him to a mysterious school called Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry’s first year at Hogwarts academy was phenomenal, but there was still one problem. A secret object was hidden in the castle walls of Hogwarts. Harry realized that it was his duty to protect it from evil hands that could cause destruction to the whole world. By doing so, Harry will go through the toughest of forces that he could’ve never imagined. 

To conclude, this book was absolutely amazing, and one of my favourite Harry Potter books from the series. There was never a dull moment, and J.K Rowling kept me engaged from the beginning to the very end of the novel. I would definitely recommend this book because it keeps you engaged without ever putting the book down. The book makes you love the characters and their personalities. Remember to not only read this but the whole series as well. The rating that I would personally give this book would be a 10/10.

Ahmed Q.

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by S.E Hinton

5 Stars

Book Review For Teens: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Set in the ’60s, in the divided state of Oklahoma, this novel tells the story of two rival gangs separated by poverty and social status. The Greasers, known as the working class, are seen as very low in the eyes of the Socs, a high-class gang, the complete opposite of the Greasers. The Outsiders is told from the perspective of 14-year-old Greaser, Ponyboy Curtis. He details two of the most intense weeks of his short life, struggling in a community where he is viewed as an outsider with difficult decisions of right and wrong.

His life certainly hasn’t been an easy one. Having his parents taken away from him due to a recent car accident has taken a toll on him. Ponyboy and his 16-year-old brother Sodapop are allowed to live with their eldest brother 20-year-old Darry, as long as they stay out of trouble.

While out with his friends, Ponyboy attends a drive-thru movie where he meets a Soc girl named Sherri, the first of the Socs he had ever gotten along with. As the gang walks home with Sherri, they are stopped and threatened by her boyfriend, a Soc by the name of Bob. Ponyboy gets home at 2 am, angering his guardian Darry, prompting him to slap Ponyboy. Due to this, Ponyboy runs out of the door, meeting his friend Johnny in a park expressing his anger.

Bob, Sherri’s boyfriend, suddenly reappears along with his crew. Ponyboy and Johnny are outnumbered, a gruesome fight breaks out, ending up with Ponyboy being held underwater to drown by Bob. Johnny freaks out and kills him. After the fight ends, they realize they can’t go back, they now have blood on their hands.

This novel is extremely interesting, constantly keeping the reader engaged and interested. Definitely a 5-star book.

Vlada E.

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by Tom McGrath

4.5 Stars

The Boss Baby - Wikipedia

Imaginative Tim Templeton is a happy seven-year-old boy who has been receiving all the love and attention from his loving parents, Ted and Janice, for years. Tim is surprised one day when an infant wearing a black business suit and tie, carrying a briefcase arrives at his home in a taxi. Tim’s parents inform Tim that the infant is his new baby brother. With the new baby around, Tim realizes that he is no longer the center of attention anymore and is envious. One day, Tim discovers that the baby can talk and refers to himself as “The Boss”. The Boss Baby reveals that he has been sent out as a spy on a top-secret mission to destroy and end an organization working to launch forever puppies that will replace babies, Puppy Co. Though Tim is not too fond of the Boss Baby, he agrees to help him on his mission, solely to get rid of him faster. The two boys team up to create an epic battle between puppies and babies. 

I personally enjoyed this film as it was action-packed and included hilarious bits of comedy. The storyline was quite interesting and was entertaining to watch. The movie reminded me of my own childhood with the original take on sibling rivalries and bonding. I thought the animations were very colourful and vibrant, which were very pleasing to look at. In conclusion, Boss Baby is a cute and charming film that is great for the whole family to enjoy. 

Emily K.

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by R.J Palacio

5 Stars

Wonder. R.J. Palacio: Palacio, R. J.: 0780537302395: Books - Amazon.ca

This is a very emotional and heart touching story. The novel Wonder by R.J Palacio takes place in Beecher Prep, located in New York City. It tells a story about a 10-year-old boy named Auggie Pullman who was born with a facial disorder. This causes August to not fit in everywhere he goes. To figure the problem, Auggie’s parents make him start going to school in 5th grade, so he can have a chance to make new friends, and adapt to different life problems. August faces many challenges in school that effected his physical and mental appearance, but with the help and support of his friends and family, he was able to overcome it.

Overall, this is a well-written novel that definitely caught my interest. This book contains a roller coaster of emotions that have definitely changed my life. Wonder teaches us the brutality of society, of how people like August are being treated in an unwanting manner, which could affect them long term. It teaches us people around the world should accept one another, instead of judging on their outer looks which in the end, makes everyone happy. The main theme that Palacio uses is kindness. It makes readers think and realize, how kindness is a tool that brings each other together and can make a huge difference in one’s friendship. Wonder is a heartwarming book, that portrays a powerful message to the outside world. This book is a must-read, and I would definitely recommend it for all ages.

Ahmed Q.

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By Anna Todd

4 Stars

Image result for after by anna todd movie poster

Tessa Young has always been a good girl, sweet and ambitious with a loving boyfriend back home and a mother who is keen on keeping Tessa on the right path. But before she’s even fully settled in her freshman dorm, trouble comes knocking at her door. Hardin Scott, with his messy brown hair and British accent, his body littered in tattoos and piercings, something Tessa isn’t used to. But he’s also rude, extremely rude. His attitude should be enough for Tessa to hate him, and she does. But when they’re alone- something else rises to the surface, and she has no idea what to do. Hardin is reckless, constantly disappearing and reappearing at the most random times, insisting he is no good for her but never fully leaving her life. He pushes her away, but she pushes back, wanting to learn more about who Hardin really is. She already has the perfect boyfriend, so why is she unable to stay away from Hardin and all his mystery?  

Honestly, I loved this book. It’s realistically emotional, meaning it has realistic characters, ones who get overly jealous because that’s just who they are and ones who want to make the other person happy even if it means destroying themselves in the process. The characters aren’t perfect, and neither are their lives, and that’s something a lot of stories lack. However, it does glorify a borderline-toxic relationship, depending on how you personally view it. I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who’s willing to read it. 

Jordan M.

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By John Green

5 Stars

Image result for the fault in our stars book cover

Written by John Green, The Fault In Our Stars is a beautiful book that will move anyone to tears. The book follows Hazel Grace Lancaster, a teenager diagnosed with thyroid cancer three years prior, and her life with the illness. Much to introverted Hazel’s interests-who would much rather read all day- her mother decides it’s time for her to attend a support group at church with other cancer survivors/victims- (due to her showing signs of depression)which is where she meets the charming Augustus Waters. Augustus-a cancer survivor – attends the group to support his terminally ill friend Isaac. Augustus and Hazel hit it off instantly and are soon inseparable. Hazel tells Augustus about her favourite book, An Imperial Affliction and they both have many questions about the book-yet cannot contact the author. So, using his Make-A-Wish wish, Augustus takes Hazel to Amsterdam. When they get there, Augustus tells Hazel he´s been hiding all along- his cancer came back, much worse than ever before. Will he survive? Will their relationship stay strong throughout this difficult time? This book brings you through a roller coaster of emotions and was so good that it was turned into a movie in 2014 (earning $307.2 million!). 

The first time I read the book, I thought it was wonderful as it had everything the typical YA adult book had; the smart, strong-willed female with the charming male love interest. Later re-reading it, I realized the character’s personalities were very unrealistic and cliche. She used large words into everyday sentences which would never happen and acted like she was 27, and not 17. The way Hazel and Augustus instantly hit it off was also questionable as that would never happen in real life. Readers over 16 might find some parts cheesy, however, it was still a very good book.  

The book was very hard to put down and I was able to finish it in a day since it was that interesting. It will be a favourite for many if they are into books like Love,Simon, Everything Everything, Five Feet Apart, etc.  

Khadeeja F.

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By Anna Todd

5 Stars

Image result for after by anna todd movie poster

After by Anna Todd is about a girl named Tessa who has the perfect life, and the rest of her life planned out by her mother. She already knows that her best friend turned boyfriend, Noah, and herself will be happily married together right after she finishes college-but everything changes when she actually gets to college. When Tessa reaches her dream college, she instantly realizes how different everyone is from her. Her roommate has a peculiar friend group with everyone just wanting to get together. One friend, in particular, Hardin Scott, comes to Tessa’s attention for being so ignorant and rude to everyone. Hardin likes to keep to himself and go from girl to girl never really opening up to them. You would think this shouldn’t be a problem for Tessa since she has a boyfriend, but no. This just attracts Tessa to him even more, being disloyal to Noah. Despite their differences, Hardin and Tessa always seem to find a way to each other and eventually are in a relationship which is the most toxic thing ever. Perfect Tessa and troubled Hardin with a horrible past who is a very mean drunk due to his father, and gets drunk constantly could not be more different and are fighting constantly. They fight constantly but are both sure they are made for each other At the end of the book, Tessa learns the biggest secret that Hardin kept from her-which leads to the next book. This book used to be a One Direction fanfiction that was first published on WattPad but characters were changed due to copyright purposes (Harry Styles turned into Hardin Scott, etc.) however, it has nothing to do with the band. It had over 1 billion reads online which is what turned it into a hardcopy book, and now a movie.  

What I really didn’t like about the book was Tessa’s whole character. She always thought he was cheating on her when if anything he should be worried about her since she literally cheated on Noah for him. She also never trusted him and was pretty much entitled. Also, this book promoted toxic relationships as romance. Yet, these things made the book better because I loved to make fun of Tessa’s illogical decisions. 

The author does a really good job of making Hardin a likable character, despite his rude personality, which is really difficult to do. This book was very addicting and impossible to put down. This book is pretty graphic and resulted in me skipping pages to chapters at times to avoid reading it. For that reason, I’d recommend the book to anyone 15+. 

Khadeeja F.

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Directed by Jon M. Chu

5 Stars

Image result for crazy rich asians movie

Crazy Rich Asians is a film directed by Jon M. Chu, based on the 2013 novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan. It is a romantic comedy film following Rachel Chu’s journey as she accompanies her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. Rachel, an economics professor from New York, is excited to visit Asia for the very first time and meet Nick’s family. However, she has no clue what is in store for her. When they arrive in Singapore, Rachel is surprised to discover that Nick is considered one of the country’s most eligible bachelors and his family are among the richest in Singapore. Rachel is forced to contend with jealous socialites, and something far worse, Nick’s disapproving mother. 

I enjoyed this film very much as the storyline was very interesting and quite intriguing. I enjoyed all of the scenes between Rachel and Nick’s mother as it displays a lot of emotion. Additionally, the film consists of a range of stunning scenery and cinematography, which are very appealing to the eye. I feel that the music choices were excellent and went very well with the scenes that they were used in and the actors and actresses were incredible. Overall, I enjoyed the film very much, and I hope that there will be a sequel in the future. To conclude, I would highly recommend Crazy Rich Asians to others, as it is a spectacular and heartwarming romantic comedy that is sure to be loved by many. 

Emily K.

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