by John Green

4 Stars

Paper Towns : Green, John: Amazon.ca: Books

Paper Towns begins with a prologue taking place nine years before the events of the novel. Quentin Jacobsen and Margo Roth Spiegelman are only nine years old when they discover the body of a man who committed suicide in their neighbourhood park. Fast-forward nine years later, the main characters are seniors at Winter Park High School. Quentin is an outcast, while his childhood crush Margo is a popular girl. Margo reappears into Quentin’s life, showing up at his window one night and recruiting him to help her play mischievous pranks on her boyfriend and friends who betrayed her. The next day, Margo is surprisingly nowhere to be found. With the help of his friends, as well as a series of clues Margo left behind for him, Quentin embarks on a mission to find and reunite with the girl of his dreams. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and thought that it was quite entertaining to read. However, I did find that the middle of the book was a little long and tedious. Besides that, I loved the way John Green mixed together both romance and comedy. John Green’s writing style is amazing, and this was a great piece. Also, the characters within the book were very relatable, and I felt connected to each of them, especially Quentin. Overall, Paper Towns was a great coming-of-age book and has an amazing storyline that will keep you engaged. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good mystery and adventure novel!

Emily K.

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by Angie Thomas

5 Stars

Hate U Give, The : Thomas, Angie: Amazon.ca: Books

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, tells a story about a 16-year-old African-American girl named Starr Carter. Starr lives in a poor, mostly black neighbourhood of Garden Heights but attends a fancy, wealthy, and predominantly white private school in the city, Williamson Prep. One day when Starr is being driven home from a party by her childhood best friend Khalil, they are pulled over by a white police officer. Khalil, who is black, is instructed by the police officer to exit the vehicle. After leaning into the window to check on Starr, Khalil is shot three times by the officer and killed. Starr becomes entangled in the national news story after witnessing the fatal shooting of Khalil. Tension culminates in a riot after a grand jury decides not to indict the police officer for the shooting. Garden Heights erupts into both peaceful protests and riots. Facing pressure, Starr must find her voice to advocate for what is right. 

I loved this novel and thought it was incredibly powerful. The novel truly speaks the truth about how today’s society is. It shows real-world problems that affect everyone every day. The novel was informative, showing how our society can be around people with different skin tones and cultures. This novel helped educate me on the matters of racism and police brutality. By reading this novel, one is able to understand the injustice the black community has had to face and is continuing to face to this day. I strongly urge all teenagers to read this book at some point, as it will leave you speechless, stick with you forever, and is truly eye-opening.

Emily K.

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by Jenny Han

4 Stars

Book Review: To All the Boys I've Loved Before – Eagle Eye

Written by Jenny Han, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a young adult romance novel. Lara Jean Covey is the main character and a sixteen-year-old girl who lives in Virginia and is very close to her older sister Margot and younger sister Kitty. In a hatbox given to her by her mother, she keeps love letters written to all of the boys that she has loved before – five in total. By writing these love letters, she is able to pour her heart and soul out and release the emotions and true feelings that she would never say in real life. One day at school, Peter Kavinsky, one of the boys she wrote a letter to, approaches her and tells Lara Jean that he does not feel any attraction towards her. Initially, Lara Jean expresses confusion, however, she quickly realizes that Peter has received the love letter she wrote to him years ago. Horrified, she rushes home to make sure the remaining letters have not been sent out, but she cannot find the hatbox. She eventually discovers that her younger sister Kitty had sent out all of the love letters. With all of the letters sent out, Lara Jean must cope with her out of control love life. 

Personally, I found this novel to be quite charming and relatable. The novel is fairly short and will not take long to finish, I was able to finish it within a day. Some may find parts of the story to be cheesy, however, I thought that the book was wholesome and relaxing to read. Anyone who enjoys teenage romance novels will absolutely fall in love with this book! 

Emily K.

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by Nicola Yoon

5 Stars

The Sun is also a Star: NICOLA YOON: 9780552574242: Books - Amazon.ca

Natasha believes in science, facts, and things that can be proven with evidence. She doesn’t care for fate, and she most certainly doesn’t care for love. Not that she has time to worry about either of those things. She and her family are being deported to Jamaica in twelve hours, and she is going to do everything in her power to stop that from happening.

Daniel wants to be a poet. In fact, he is a strong believer in fate and the way of the universe. But that’s not the path his parents have planned for him, and rather than following his dreams he plans on meeting his parent’s high expectations. This changes when he meets Natasha. He knows something greater is at play—it’s destiny, decided by the universe, and he can’t let Natasha go.

The Sun is Also a Star explores themes of fate and destiny, and how they compare and connect to science and reasoning. Both main characters are people of colour, and I really enjoyed the chapters that explain the history behind elements of their cultures as they are mentioned. I also like Yoon’s style of storytelling, which includes the main storyline, the cultural history parts, pieces of the characters’ pasts, and side characters who only appear in a few scenes but are crucial to the story.

This book is perfect for those who are just getting into reading, and people want a quick or fast-paced read that will hold your attention, because the entire story takes place over twelve hours. I think this is a five-star read, and I really enjoyed reading it!

Michelle G.

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by Eric Walters

5 Stars

Camp X (Camp X, #1) by Eric Walters

In the novel Camp X by Eric Walters, 11-year-old George and his older brother, Jack, move to Whitby, Ontario, in the year of 1943. One day, as they were playing around and having a good time, they stumble across a military spy base, known as Camp X. Their curiosity levels grew as they kept exploring the place, but soon enough they were caught and were forced to sign the Offical Secret Act, which states how they are forbidden to tell anyone about the secret military base, if told, the punishment is death. Since then, the boys learn much more about the camp and are assigned to different tasks. One day, the boys were delivering newspapers, when all of a sudden, they were caught by German soldiers. They were tortured and humiliated, but they gain a lot of information about the germans and learn their evil plot against the camp. They risk their own lives of escaping and warning Camp X about the German’s evil plan. In the end, they were proud of their work and success.

Overall, this book was entertaining and interesting. This book relates to WW2 and the events that took place during the war. It gives the reader an important lesson on how preparation is key when facing any type of situation. The book contains a perfect amount of humour, mystery, tragedy and suspense, to help the reader show more interest in it and enjoy the whole story. I would definitely recommend this action-packed novel to all ages.

Ahmed Q.

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Felix Ever After

by Kacen Callender

Felix Love wants love. He’s never been in love and has always wondered why it seems so easy for everyone else to find that perfect someone.

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

After an anonymous student starts sending him transphobic messages and posting his deadname along with a picture of him before he transitioned, Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. Little does he know that his revenge plan will land him in a love triangle.

Not only will navigating these feelings be a journey, but Felix will begin to discover that the most important journey is figuring out how he feels about himself.

Felix Ever After is a feel good inspiring novel about relationships, finding love and redefining the love you deserve.

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We Are Okay

by Nina LaCour

Marin believes that you need a lot in life, until she just picks up and leaves for New York City without speaking to anyone. Marin is convinced that running is the only answer to a tragedy she is unwilling to face and unwilling to talk about.

We Are Okay: Amazon.ca: LaCour, Nina: Books

Now, alone in New York City, Marin realizes that she has not spoken to anyone from her hometown since she left. And although she has tried her best to forget, sometimes ignoring a situation only makes it worse.

In the cold, Marin sits alone in her dorm room, waiting for her best friend Mabel to visit her. She will finally have to confront her past and the loneliness that has made room in her heart.

We Are Okay is an emotionally intense and moving novel, and is an own voices read. With complex and introspective characters, We Are Okay will question how someone should face their own past.

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