Parachutes is a book about opposite worlds. Clarie and Dani, two girls who are so alike but couldn’t have been raised more differently, struggling with trying to figure out who they are while battling wealth, power, friendship, and trauma. They are asked how much they are willing to pay for freedom and how far they will really go for the life that they want. This story is told from the POV of Clarie “parachute” from Shanghai and Dani, the host sister in California. Based on the cover, I was expecting a story about high school drama. While this story is about high school students, it actually addresses themes as they traversed the toxic environments the girls are in: classism, sexism, racism, and xenophobia. This was a really powerful and important YA story.
The book focuses on many issues that are really relevant to high school and college-aged students today. There are warnings at the beginning of the book because two of the topics are sexual harassment and sexual assault. I wouldn’t recommend this book for a young teen. But this book is not graphic, and I think that this book tells two important stories. There is some romance in this book. But it is woven in between the more important issues that the author focuses on. I was invested in both girls’ stories. I was fascinated by Dani and her debating team, and I was really interested in Claires and the fact she was sent to the US on her own to study. It was very interesting to read the author’s note and see how her own experiences mirrored some of what was in the story. This was such a moving and emotional story. I really enjoyed it.
follows the story of America Singer, a 16-year old girl who lives in Illéa. The
story is set in a dystopian world, and the people of her country are divided
into castes that have strict rules about what they can and cannot do. America
belongs to the Fifth caste, which is made up of artists who perform in order to
earn money. Every year, the Selection ceremony is held where 35 randomly chosen
girls compete to marry the Prince and become the Princess. America, among many
others, receives an invitation from the palace to run for a position in The
Selection. America’s secret boyfriend, Aspen Leger, who is a caste below her,
pressures her to enter. For many girls, this is an opportunity of a lifetime.
But for America, being Selected is a nightmare. America is determined not to
like Maxon, but soon they develop a special bond. Gradually, America starts to
question the life she planned for herself as she compares it with a future she
I read this book a while ago, and I absolutely adored it. The writing style of the book is a little juvenile since it is targeted towards young adults. I would recommend this book to anyone who is 12+ and is looking for a cute and light romance. This book has all your classic tropes: the “she’s not like other girls”, the “mean, popular, rich girl who wears lots of makeup”, the “love triangle”. The book does get a little slow at times, but overall it is well-paced. If you are looking for a cute romance and a beautiful series, then this is the book for you.
Sabina Khan, the
author of The
Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali, has written about the struggles of
being a part of the LGBTQ2S+ in the Indian community through 17-year-old
Rukhsana Ali. Readers get to look through the eyes of Rukhsana, who is lesbian
and lives in a strict home with her conservative, Bengali parents who favour
her younger brother Aamir over her. (Aamir is still a great little brother and
tries his best to make things better.) Their parents believe that women are
supposed to be great wives and mothers but also support the idea of getting an
education and getting a degree.
one day meet her friend Ariana who is actually her girlfriend. Her parents love
Ariana, but when they find out who Ariana really is to Rukhsana, they are
appalled and ban the two girls from seeing each other. What will break most
hearts is that the parents do not care about the fact that Rukhsana is lesbian
they are afraid of what the Indian community will think of them for having a
daughter that is a part of the LGBTQ2S+. To fix Rukhsana, her parents trick her
into a trip to Bangladesh and try to force her into an arranged marriage.
Readers will be torn apart by the tragedy but come to love Rukhsana and her
family. Rukhsana teaches everyone that we have a choice to make, and it will
affect our futures. The words of her Nani “We must be the masters of
our own destinies. I did not learn that until it was too late. You have to
fight to take back control of your life. Sometimes you will hurt the ones you
love the most. But in the end, it will always have to be your choice.” (
I would recommend the book to readers who can take sad stories but look forward to a better ending. This book does talk about sensitive topics such as rape and murder, so this is directed to an older audience (15+). I am not a part of the LGBTQ2S+, but it is heartwarming to see strict, conservative parents accept and want to learn about their child’s community.
The novel The Eye of Minds by James Dashner is a
story about a young teenage boy named Micheal. Since he doesn’t have the chance
of seeing his parents much, he spends most of his time gaming. This book takes
place in the future, where gaming and technology are more advanced and
ultra-modern than this current era. The main gaming system displayed in the
book is called VirtNet. This stunning gaming system provides a great experience
for gamers whose minds are connected to the system, making them present in a
virtual world. This world also unlocks the gamer’s ability to use their five
senses. Everything starts well until a sudden event occurs. Kaine, a
cyber-terrorist, has the ability to claim different gamer profiles, forcing
them to follow whatever he says. The owners of VirtNet are shocked but are
willing to find a way to stop the dangerous cyber-terrorist before he hurts
their company and its profits.
To catch a hacker, you need a hacker. VirtNet has been
examining Micheal and his hacking skills. They decide to use him to save
VirtNet and find Kaine. This risk is enormous, and Micheal realizes that he
might have a chance of dying in the process. It’s a dangerous journey, but
Micheal and his friends are ready to take the challenge.
This novel was truly a masterpiece. The book contained great detail and was fast-paced, which drew me right from the beginning. This book also kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through, and I can’t wait to see what will happen next. Overall, I would recommend this book to all ages.
The Historical Fiction/Young Adult Fiction, We Are
Not Free, written by Traci Chee, was an addictive and intriguing book. It
was also quite unusual. The author featured 14 Japanese American teens during
the perspectives of 14 Japanese American characters. Usually, in books that
have 3-5 characters, each character has had his/her chapter. I never personally
liked that. But the way Traci Chee had Frankie, Tommy, Ike, Twitchy, Mas, Shig,
Minnow, Stan, Bette, Yum-yum and Yosh have their own chapters and perspectives.
It was a different book. I never read anything like it, but once I started
reading it, more and more, I literally couldn’t put it down! All the 14 teens
had different characteristics like bravery, artistic, leadership, talent, loveable,
athletic, funny, considerate, friendly, humble, intelligent, sensitive,
outgoing and optimistic. The story is about all the 14 teens’ lives turning
upside down after over 100,000 people of Japanese descent have been removed
from their homes in San Francisco and forced into hard labour camps. These 14
Nisei (a person born in the US or Canada whose parents are from Japan) teens
gather to compare their perceptions as they are all facing racism and
prosecution to pull them all apart. This book is historical fiction directed at
young adults, but in some parts, there is crude language. This story is based
on all the lives we’ve lost, especially during WWII. I would recommend this
book to ages 12 and up. This is historical fiction and young adult. The book
deals with the creoles and discrimination and other races at that time when
they were treated badly during WWII. Characters do go through some of the hard
times in life for the Japanese and other races at the time that were treated
really poorly during WWII. It may have situations and events that are hard for
some children under 12 to understand. Nevertheless, I rate this book a 4.5/5
star. It’s an amazing read and an emotional read!
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!
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.
Ross is a
very closed-off individual with many issues. Struggling with
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), anger management and family issues, he has
a very hard time fitting in with his peers, that is until he meets Robyn
Plummer in an OCD support group.
moment he sees her, Adam instantly falls for Robyn, vouching to do everything
in his power to protect her, to be the Batman to her Robin. She provides Adam
with an escape from reality, but as soon as he leaves the support group, things
get worse. Adam finds out his mother had been receiving threatening letters
telling her to end her life; this sends Adam into a downwards spiral. Will Adam
end up with Robyn? Will he find out who has been sending his mother those
letters, or will he continue to suffer on his own, refusing the help of others?
Unlikely Hero of Room 13B, Toten highlights what people suffering from
mental illness fear the most, knowing what the problem is but not knowing how
to fix it. This novel shows us that it’s okay to ask for help; it is not a sign
of weakness but one of bravery and strength. It is truly a rollercoaster of
emotions that always has the reader on the edge of their seat, just waiting for
what will happen next.
I very much recommend this novel. It can get quite dark sometimes, but that is the grim reality of life, and this story is very realistic. You truly feel a connection with the main characters, especially Adam; it is an excellent read and does not disappoint.
Here and Now is
a teen science-fiction novel written by Ann Brashares, that blends the
catastrophic effects of climate change with time travel (from the 2090s to
2010), adventure, and teen romance. This story is about a seventeen-year-old
girl named Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was
twelve-years-old along with her mother and a few hundred others. However, they
did not come from a different country, but from a different time. A future
where a mosquito-borne illness has evolved into a pandemic, killing millions
and leaving the world in wrecks.
and the others who escaped from the future must follow a strict set of rules
which are, never reveal where they are from, never interfere with history, and
never, ever be intimate with anyone outside of their community. “Follow the
rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.” Prenna does as she is told,
believing she can help prevent the plague that will someday ravage the earth.
changes when she falls in love with Ethan Jarves. Ethan is not a member of
their community, and his relationship with Prenna is forbidden. In essence, a
catalyst for her to question the strictures under which she lives. Quickly
after she is confronted by a homeless man who proposes she may be able to
prevent the disastrous future by changing the present. But why? If a disastrous
future can be avoided, isn’t it rational to try? Rather, as the community
believes, is it more important to “respect time’s integrity and her natural
This exhilarating, unforgettable, and heartbreaking story is a must-read. I really enjoyed reading this book. Reading this book had me really excited to know what was going to happing, but it also made me disappointed. Overall it was a good teen fiction book. I loved everything in the story except for the ending. I am not satisfied with the ending. I think there should be a sequel. Other than that, this book is amazing and must be read by anyone who loves a romantic thriller.
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
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!