by Jennifer Lynn Barnes 

“Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future. The Inheritance Games follows Avery, whose plan is to go through high school, secure a scholarship, and leave. But when millionaire Tobias Hawthorne passes away and leaves Avery nearly his entire fortune, her circumstances quickly shift. The problem? Avery doesn’t even know who Tobias Hawthorne is, let alone why. Avery must relocate to the enormous, secret passageway-filled Hawthorne House in order to claim her fortune. The old man, who also enjoyed puzzles, riddles, and codes, has left his mark in every corner of this place. I found the characters to be nicely written, which was one thing I noticed when reading this novel.

The primary character, Avery, was intriguing, but I thought there was more to her that we should know. She was a character who was undoubtedly intelligent and skilled at solving problems, but I think there’s more to her. Once I remembered everyone’s names, it was simple to tell each brother apart who get introduced as Avery makes her way through her journey because they all had distinctive personalities. It became a little more challenging for me to keep track of the other side characters once they were introduced but weren’t given any tasks to complete. I’m hoping that further books will feature these characters. Although I wouldn’t describe these developments as fantastic, I was entertained enough to be surprised nonetheless. To entertain and divert the reader is, in my opinion, a delicate balance. I thoroughly enjoyed this book overall. It was a cozy mystery with some entertaining puzzles and drama thrown in, and I’m eager to read more works by these authors and others in this genre.” 


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by Stephenie Meyer

“ Twilight follows seventeen-year-old Bella Swan as she leaves Arizona and moves in with her father in the gloomy Pacific North-West town of Forks. She is not expecting to like it there. She has given enough reasons over the past few years not to go there. Not only that, but she will have to find new friends and adjust to a new school. Bella rapidly establishes some new acquaintances at school, but she is immediately attracted when she notices a boy named Edward Cullen seated with his siblings in the cafeteria. Even though Edward is nearly unfathomably gorgeous and beautiful, he is also an outcast. Despite living in Forks for two years, Edward and his family have never completely been acknowledged by the locals. When they initially meet, Edward is distant; at moments, it almost seems as though he can’t bear to be in the same room with her. However, over time, they develop an unexpected bond. Bella still isn’t able to figure out exactly what makes Edward so unique from everyone else, despite the fact that she falls madly and completely in love with him. Bella learns about the ‘cold ones,’ which is an Indigenous legend about vampires. She knows that although Edward is a vampire, it has no bearing as to how much she still absolutely adores him. Everyone in Edward’s family are vampires. Even though it occurred at the close of World War I, Edward too was turned into a vampire at the age of seventeen. Edward’s adoration for Bella is mostly a joy and a source of pain to him. She is the very first woman he has adored since transforming into a vampire, which makes loving her a pleasure. A pain because, notwithstanding the swearing off human blood and exclusively hunting wildlife, his thirst for human blood never really decreases, and the slightest smell of her gratifies it further.  

Although the book is targeted at young adults, it may be appreciated by audiences of all ages and will appeal to both teenagers and adults. Bella and Edward’s bond is endearing and captivating. Their inconceivable love has a melancholy air to it, yet they both refuse to give up the belief that their union would survive. The tension in the novel rises to a ridiculous level as Bella and Edward’s relationship transforms into a desperate struggle for survival. I personally was immediately drawn to Edward from the get-go, and never thought otherwise. If you’re looking for a book series to get emotionally and physically attached to, I would deeply recommend giving this a try.” 

Sara D.

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Cinda Williams Chima 

“In Trinity, a town in Ohio, teenager Jack Swift lives an ordinary life after surviving a deadly heart condition when he was a baby. However, one day he forgets to take his medicine and discovers he is more powerful than ever before until which leads to disastrous consequences. Soon his mysterious aunt shows up under the guise of genealogy and searching for a family heirloom. One thing leads to another, and he discovers the Weir, a secret, magical society of enchanters who can convince others into anything, sorcerers who craft magical amulets called Sefas, warriors who are physically strong and skilled at combat, seers who can see things others can’t, and wizards, who rule them all. The wizards are divided into the Red Rose and White Rose, and in an endless fight for power, they invent the Game, where each Rose hunts down a warrior and forces them into battle against another, nearly bringing them to extinction. When Jack’s world turns upside down, will he be able to survive the wizards that now hunt him down? 

Warrior Heir is a perfectly refined tale, with readers following Jack as he discovers the truth about his family, friends, and Trinity. It has many shocking points and surprises that, through a second read, you can find phrases foreshadowing future events that you may not have paid much attention to before. This book can be read countless times and is just as good as the last. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys modern fantasy and secret groups. The books only get better from here!” 

Kyle M.

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directed by: James Cameron

5 Stars

The wonderful movie Avatar is a science fiction/action movie that takes place in a world far away from Earth called Pandora in the year of 2154.

Jake Sully, who is a fictional character in the movie Avatar, is a paralyzed Marine veteran. Even though he might be injured, he still has a heart of a warrior. Jake is recruited by the U.S. military to travel light years to Pandora where a rare mineral can be found. That mineral can solve the Earth’s energy crisis. But little did Jake know, the planet Pandora was owned by the Na’vis, who are indigenous species. Jake’s mission was to control and gain access to the Na’vis, who were becoming a big problem in obtaining the ore(mineral). The US military developed an Avatar very identical to the Na’vis. This would help the humans communicate better with them. The United States had a very dangerous plan in mind. They were planning on mining and depleting Pandora’s resources. While Jake was on his entertaining/dangerous journey, he meets a very beautiful Na’vi female, who he eventually falls in love with. Jake Sully faces a hard challenge. He really wants to stay in his avatar form after falling in love but is not sure what to do.

Overall, I would give this movie a 5/5. It has almost everything I wanted. It had action, romantic scenes and it had many themes which I loved. It contained themes such as conflicts between humans and nature etc. I would recommend this movie to ages 12+.

Hasan Q.

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by Leigh Bardugo

3 Stars

The young adult/fantasy/adventure fiction, Shadow And Bone, written by Leigh Bardugo, was a very mystical book. I am not the type of person to usually read any fantasy books, but I was a part of a book club and this was the book we were reading. This story is about Alina Starkov, all her life she felt as if she never belonged, she felt as if she wasn’t good enough, but thanks to her best friend Mal, the guy who she’s secretly in love with but won’t admit it.

But where she lives, the fold, gets attacked and Mal is awfully injured, she reveals a power that saves his life. Alina never knew she had a power like that, or maybe she did, but she kept it a secret and slowly forgot about it because she wanted to stay with Mal. Once her power is released, Darkling realizes she had a power that could save her town, take her to the royal court to be trained as a Grisha. As love sparks between the two, Alina doesn’t know the actual plan the Darkling has for her. Some parts of the book, as I was reading, was truly boring, but other parts of the book makes you feel as if you were right there or even more you’re Alina. Which by the ending of the book, you wouldn’t want to be in the position Alina was in. Either way, I would still recommend this book to people over the age of 12 and up. Overall, I rate this book a 3/5 stars!  

Hoda D.

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by C.L Clark

4 Stars

Do you enjoy reading about enslaved people fighting against their masters, rebellion, sapphic relationships, imperfect, perfect love, and beautiful, adult writing?

Well, if so, I sincerely recommend The Unbroken by C.L Clark. The book follows 2 main protagonists: Tourraine (the black slave/guard) and Luca (the princess of the empire — aka the colonizers).
 Quick 1 sentence summary: Tourraine is accused of killing someone she didn’t and Luca seizes the opportunity to save her from the gallows and enlist Tourraine as a messenger/ambassador to communicate with the rebels as an attempt to create peace.

Review: I loved the writing (in all honesty, I love any adult third-person writing, so I may be partially biased), the queerness (again, I am partially biased) and the BIPOC representation (once more, partially biased). Basically, I loved everything. Except *embarrassed sigh* the plot. So, the plot was under no circumstances BAD (not even close) but it also wasn’t WOW to me (although, to be fair, I had extremely high expectations). It was pretty realistic, which I liked but also, I really, really don’t want to read ‘their bowels mixed with their blood’ over, and over again (I’ve read something like that in the book at least 3 times).

Representation: a lesbian main character, a bisexual — or pansexual — main character, LOTS of BIPOC representation (hello? It’s set in North Africa and it’s about slavery), interracial couples and more.
 Trigger warnings: Death, attempted rape (multiple times), mentions of rape, mentions of torture, slavery, gore, and much more — please look up in more depth if you’re sensitive to certain topics!
 Age rating: 16+ (I’m 14 but this is an Adult book so proceed with caution)
 Star rating: 4 / 5 stars (amazing book but could’ve been better)

Jazleen H.

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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 Kristin Cashore 

5 Stars

Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1) by Kristin Cashore

Graceling is the first book of the Seven Kingdoms Series written by Kristin Cashore and was published on October 1, 2008. This story follows a young woman named Katsa and her adventures with Po, a young Lienid man, as they attempt to figure out the mysteries and reasons behind the kidnapping of Po’s grandfather. In this world, there are abilities called “Grace”, which allowed one to have an excellent talent for a certain task. For Katsa, it is the Grace to kill. Throughout her entire life, she was trained to kill or torture those who King Randa, the king of Middlun and Katsa’s uncle, wanted, which were mostly morally evil. Though Katsa had an idea to do what is morally better than to be her uncle’s “pet”. After her escape under King Randa’s grasp, she finally had the chance to do what she thought best, as she helps her Lienid companion solve the mystery. 

The writing of the characters in this book is amazing, as each character and their behaviour are expressed in a clear way. For example, Giddon, an underlord of King Randa who had worked with Katsa countless times. Though as the chapters progress, his negative personality shows. His jealousy getting the best of him, his snarky replies towards others, and special treatment towards Katsa- until a certain point of the story. Another example would be Po, who was introduced as a mysterious person, one with a confident and cautious atmosphere. Though as the story progresses, he is seen as a caring person and a well-suited companion to Katsa, as they go wander through the lands of this world.

As for the setting, the world seems to be one of a fantasy and medieval sort. With the descriptions of the lands, cities, transportation, and powers. Just like the characters, the setting is clear, as the language gives off the impression that the era is medieval or somewhat something similar to it. With plenty of descriptive writing, it brings the atmosphere of the story to life. For example, somewhere a third beyond the book, Katsa looks out from an inn as she sees the rainy weather. Another example of well-written descriptive writing can be found on page 95, chapter 13, “Katsa watched the grass moving around them. The wind pushed it, attacked it, struck it in one place and then another. It rose and fell and rose again. It flowed, like water.” Clearly, this book is fantastic when it comes to the plot, characters, and setting, as it brings the reader into the world of Graceling

Nyjel C.

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by Andrzej Sapkowski

5 Stars

The Last Wish

Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Witcher: The Last Wish is the first entry in Sapkowski’s The Witcher series. The novel is a collection of stories about Geralt of Rivia’s adventures as a Witcher. Throughout the novel he encounters a variety of interesting characters and creatures, such as a striga, a giant bear who is half-man, a wizard, a queen, and a devil among others. Throughout the novel, Geralt meets people who hire him to deal with monsters. However, the tasks he is given are often more complicated than they first seem.  

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Witcher: The Last Wish. Sapkowski’s writing style is interesting and engaging, creating an exceptional novel that is hard to put down. The book consists of several short stories of Geralt’s adventures that combine to form a larger story filled with messages and morals. Geralt is a fascinating character who truly elevates the novel into a masterpiece. He is witty, intelligent, strong, and courageous. He is also very cautious and always expects the unexpected to occur. I found it interesting to read about his friend Dandelion, who is the complete opposite of Geralt. Dandelion is cheerful, energetic, optimistic, and always assumes the best of people. This creates an interesting dynamic between the two and leads to some amusing scenes where both are taken out of their element and act a bit like each other. Overall The Witcher: The Last Wish is an excellent novel and is truly one of the books where if you haven’t read it, you’re missing out. I would give this book 5 stars out of 5.

Ethan M.

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