by J.R.R. Tolkien

5 Stars

The Fellowship of the Ring: Tolkien, J. R. R.: 9780007488308: Books -

J.R.R Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring is the first entry into The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The novel focuses on Frodo Baggins’s adventure through Middle Earth as he attempts to destroy the One Ring, a powerful relic of the past. Frodo and his friends must overcome great difficulties as they travel across Middle Earth to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom. Throughout the journey, Frodo and his companions are hunted by orcs, goblins, dragons, and trolls as they fight for peace. Frodo and his friends must unite the races of dwarves, elves, and men if they wish to achieve their goal. 

The Fellowship of the Ring is an excellent introduction to The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. While reading this novel, I felt immersed in the world of Middle Earth and connected to the characters. Tolkien meticulously describes locations, characters, and events, painting a vivid image of the setting in my mind. Each character was complex and had their own strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, and personality. This made the story much more engaging than other fantasy novels I have read. Action sequences are also abundant to keep readers engaged, and they are extremely well-written, so that readers can truly understand the peril the characters face. The novel also ends on an excellent cliffhanger that caused me to immediately begin reading the second book in the trilogy once I had finished The Fellowship of the Ring. J.R.R Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring is truly a masterpiece of a novel and one of the best fantasy novels I have read. I highly recommend the book to anyone looking for an exciting, surprise-filled adventure. I would give this novel 5 out of 5 stars.

Ethan M.

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by Emily Skrutskie

3.3 Stars

The Abyss Surrounds Us: Skrutskie, Emily: 9780738746913: Books -

“Come back alive and victorious or don’t come back at all.”
Cassandra Leung, Cas, was born into a family of reckoner trainers. Training giant, genetically engineered beasts that protected ships was all that she knew, all that she longed for. Life was simple and straightforward: pirates are bad, so train reckoners to destroy pirate ships- easy peasy, right? Well, it would have been if she weren’t captured by the very pirates she was raised to despise on her very first solo mission. The pirates, led by Captain Santa Elena, revealed that they had managed to acquire their very own reckoner (despite the fact it was near impossible to steal one) and were in need of a reckoner trainer. Cas, being a reckoner trainer-in-training, had no choice but to oblige.

Disclaimers before I begin my review:
Sci-fiction is not one of my favorite genres. I prefer NA and Adult books to YA. I read an incredible – INCREDIBLE book before I started The Abyss Surrounds Us.

Now, with that out of the way, I rated this book a solid 3.3 out of 5 stars.
Stuff I liked: Loved the world building and, obviously, the pirate aspect. The main character was realistic. Easy to follow plot and writing. Queer (sapphic: woman loving woman) and forbidden relationship.
Stuff I disliked: Plot was weak. Slow paced until the very last third of the book.
So, in conclusion this book would be perfect for younger me but older me is a bit too picky for books now. Happy reading! 


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by Shari Lapena

5 Stars

Someone We Know: A Novel: Lapena, Shari: 9780385690829: Books -

The story of Someone We Know by Shari Lapena takes place in a small, quiet town in New York, where a young teenager named Raleigh Sharpe has been mysteriously breaking into his neighbour’s homes. After her mother, Olivia, finds out about her son doing this sort of unpleasant act, she contacts her lawyer for some advice on how to deal with the situation. However, she also sends anonymous notes for the neighbours that her son had targeted, which read a brief apology of his actions. She feels happy about herself and thought writing apology letters was the right action to do. However, the action of her son’s break-ins has been known throughout the neighbourhood. Why would Raliegh Sharpe want to break into his beloved neighbour’s home, and why so hack their computers as well? Olivia tries to dismiss her son’s action from her mind and mention it as a memory from the past, that is until one of her son’s victims is confirmed to be dead. As the heartbreaking news of the victim named Amanda Pierce starts to spread, Olivia starts worrying about her son’s innocence, knowing her son wouldn’t do any sort of action to harm anyone. Who really killed her? Who knows more about what they’re telling? Will the actions of Olivia’s son travel into a deeper, more frightening story? Find out by reading Shari Lapena’s novel, Someone We Know.  

I found this well-crafted novel to be very enjoyable. The writing and story of the author were so well that they kept me on the edge of my seat with excitement and curiosity. The main suspense started with the first page of the novel, all the way towards the end. The novel overall was a fascinating, fast-paced novel, and would recommend this book for ages 12 and above.

Ahmed Q.

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by Angie Thomas

4.5 Stars

On the Come Up : Thomas, Angie: Books

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas follows the story of sixteen-year-old Bri, who wishes to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Coincidentally, Bri is the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who sadly passed away before achieving stardom. To catch the big break her father never could, Bri tries to win her first rap battle. However, it’s hard to get one’s “come up” when you are labelled a hoodlum at school and your mom loses her job. With these frustrations pilling up in her head, Bri focuses her anger into her first song, which ends up going viral for all the wrong reasons…

This is the author’s second novel, and I thought it was absolutely phenomenal. I highly recommend it, especially to anyone who likes to or have ever dreamt about writing songs. Angie Thomas was a rapper before she became a world-famous author, and I think it shows in the tone and writing style she chose for this novel. It’s completely different from anything else I have ever read!

This book is not a sequel to The Hate U Give (THUG), so no pre-requisite reading is required! However, if you have read THUG, you will also appreciate the linkages between the novels as the characters in either book live in the “same world”. In THUG, we get introduced to the King Lords and Garden Disciples rival gangs, but the focus of the story is on the King Lords. In On the come up, we get a totally different perspective, and we fall in love with characters from the Garden Disciples!

Emma O.

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by Angie Thomas

5 Stars

Hate U Give, The : Thomas, Angie: Books

The Hate U Give (also referred to as THUG) is Angie Thomas’ first novel. It was also the first book I read from this author, but it wasn’t the last as I since devoured everything else she wrote! 

THUG follows the story of sixteen-year-old Starr Carter, a young teenager who lives in “two worlds”. The first being her poor neighbourhood, where she lives with her mother, her father and her two brothers. The other world is the fancy suburban prep school she attends. These two worlds are completely shattered when Starr’s childhood best friend, Khalil, is shot to death right in front of her by a police officer. 

Khalil’s death soon becomes a national headline. Due to the cause of his death, multiple protests take place to avenge Khalil. Because Starr was there when Khalil was killed, she is getting asked questions left, right and center by anyone and everyone. She doesn’t feel as though anyone can truly understand what she is going through. In a situation like this one, what Starr does or doesn’t say could ruin her community as well as endanger her life. 

Angie Thomas is definitely one of my favourite authors. She writes her novels in such beautiful and unique ways. Specifically in THUG, she makes us acutely aware of what life can be for a Black teenager and makes us feel a wide range of emotions from anger and frustration to amusement. I think that any teen or young adult reader will really enjoy this book. You might or might not know this, but THUG was made into a movie. Though the movie is good, I think the book is better. I definitely recommend reading the book before watching the movie.

Emma O.

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