Kids of Appetite

By: David Arnold

I would recommend this book for ages 14 and up.

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Summary

Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco have a story to tell.
It begins with the death of Vic’s father.
It ends with the murder of Mad’s uncle.
The Hackensack Police Department would very much like to hear it.
But in order to tell their story, Vic and Mad must focus on all the chapters in between.

This is a story about:

1. A coded mission to scatter ashes across New Jersey.
2. The momentous nature of the Palisades in winter.
3. One dormant submarine.
4. Two songs about flowers.
5. Being cool in the traditional sense.
6. Sunsets & ice cream & orchards & graveyards.
7. Simultaneous extreme opposites.
8. A narrow escape from a war-torn country.
9. A story collector.
10. How to listen to someone who does not talk.
11. Falling in love with a painting.
12. Falling in love with a song.
13. Falling in love. (Goodreads)

My Review

I don’t have too much to say about this book because I didn’t love it or hate it. I was excited to read this book because I heard that it was about a gang of orphans. While that was some what true it wasn’t at all what I was expecting and unfortunately I didn’t end up liking it. The story itself felt a bit choppy and random. The writing was also very different which probably added to how the story fit together. I started out really enjoying it but I slowly lost interest. The characters were definitely unique which was enjoyable for a little while until they started to feel a little over the top.

The plot itself was a very new idea and I don’t feel like I will ever find another book that is similar to this one. I also really enjoyed the ending. I appreciated that it tied a lot of loose ends together and ended in a pretty realistic way.

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Romance: 2/5                 Stars: 2.5/5

Language: 3/5                Pages: 352

Violence: 2/5                   Buy Book Here: Amazon

Vicious

V.E. Schwab

I would recommend this book for ages 14 and up.

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Summary

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end? (Goodreads)

Review

I can not believe how long it has taken me to read this book! I have had it on my bookshelves for ages and just never picked it up. I finally decided to after all of the buzz surrounding Victoria’s new book coming out. I absolutely LOVED Vicious and have since been on a Victoria Schwab buying spree.

My favorite part of Vicious were the characters. Eli and Victor started out as college roommates and best friends. What I found interesting was that even though they were best friends you could still feel the jealousy and the tension between them. It was believable that they could end up being worst enemies because of their interactions as friends. All that was needed was something tragic that would break them apart. Both Victor and Eli are considered villains or “anti-heroes,” Neither one of them are good. Victor was more likable and relatable but he was no more of a good person than Eli. They were both motivated by two very different things, revenge and religion. On top of the two main characters, there are three side characters, Serena, Mitch, and Sydney. These three characters were so incredibly different, but still written perfectly. I’ve read a lot of books where the secondary characters all have either the same personalities or cliche ones. Victoria manages to flesh out all of her characters and make them feel extremely individual.

The plot and the setting were simplistic yet beautiful at the same time. There was nothing crazy about the setting but there was no need for it to be. It was perfect for the plot taking place. The plot was extremely detailed and intertwined. I knew what the basic premise was going into this book, but there was so much more that took place that I never would have guessed.

Lastly, the writing was amazing. The struggle between the characters and their inner dialogue about trying to figure out if what they were doing was right or wrong was so interesting to read. Watching the friendship between Victor and Eli fall apart was very cool. The “anti-hero” version of the two main characters were simply expanded versions of their original personalities. Victoria continually dropped hints about the two similarities. This book takes place and jumps around in different times all through out Victor and Eli’s lives. This could have possibly been extremely confusing, but it wasn’t. Victoria interweaved their past and current lives together perfectly.

Also, Victor/Victoria and Eli/Elizabeth??

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This book had medium romance, medium violence, and heavy swearing

5 Out of 5 Stars

Pages: 364

Buy Book Here: Amazon

172 Hours On The Moon

Johan Harstad

I would recommend this book for ages 14 and up.

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Summary

Three teenagers are going on the trip of a lifetime. Only one is coming back. It’s been more than forty years since NASA sent the first men to the moon, and to grab some much-needed funding and attention, they decide to launch an historic international lottery in which three lucky teenagers can win a week-long trip to moon base DARLAH 2.

Review

Right from the start, this books is extremely unrealistic. NASA sending three randomly selected teens to put on the moon for a set amount of days, is something that isn’t going to be happening. Luckily, I could easily ignore this while I was reading because it was labeled as a “Young adult science fiction horror.” That is not a genre that is going to be necessarily “realistic.” I have never read anything close to a horror book and was actually kind of disappointed in the horror aspect of this book. This book was never really scary to me, except for one part that was  more grotesque than frightening.

I don’t think 172 hours was a book that was written to be memorable. The characters were flat and forgettable and the story itself dragged at times. This book was written to be suspenseful and exciting in the moment of reading it, and it succeeded in doing that. The first half of the book was pretty boring, but I was excited to keep reading because I knew that the ending was going to be great. Unfortunately, the end of the book was spoiled for me, but even with being spoiled I began to second guess the spoiler that I saw, because the book didn’t seem to be heading in that direction. I was extremely impressed that I could still be mildly shocked about how the book ended even after being spoiled for it.

Overall, this book was okay. It reminded me of the Doctor Who episode The Waters of Mars, which was cool. I would recommend this if you are looking for something easy to read that is enjoyable in the moment.

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This book had very mild romance, and mild violence (except for one gruesome scene near the end.) I honestly can’t remember exactly how much swearing was in it, but it definitely didn’t have anymore than a medium amount.

3 out of 5 stars

Pages: 351

Buy Book Here: Amazon

Illuminae

Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I would recommend this book for ages 14 and up.

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Summary 

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again. (Goodreads)

Review

Illuminae has been largely talked about ever since the ARCs were released at last year’s BEA. The thing that everyone is curious about is the format that the book is told in. The entire story is written in files, interviews, text messages, computer programs, and more. I absolutely loved this book and read it in a day. The first 50 pages were hard to get through because of how it was set up. The story started out a bit confusing, but the more you read the more the setting and everything going on makes sense.

Not only were the plot and format of this story unique, but so were the characters. Before the start of the book, our two main characters, Kady and Ezra break up. This is the first time I’ve read a book where rather than two people falling in love, the story follows two people who just broke up. To make it even more interesting, they both end up in different situations and the only way they can get out of it is to work together. The two main characters were both extremely likable and relatable, which rarely happens. I was worried that since the book has such a strange format, on top of the fact that two people wrote this book, that maybe the writing wouldn’t be the greatest. That was not true at all, the writing was just as great, if not better, than any other YA book. Both Amie and Jay have written other books neither of which I have read, but after reading this, I plan to. Another thing I was concerned about before reading this book was if the book was told in files, how were the characters, and their development throughout the story going to be shown to the readers. Once again, the authors came up with the perfect way to make sure readers would stay connected to the characters the whole way through.

Lastly, this book is extremely sci-fi, probably the most space related book that I have read. The main characters live in space ships and different planets and they have super tech computers. The science and technology aspect of this book was never confusing, and was presented in a way that was both understandable and interesting. This book would be great for someone who has never read science fiction and just wants throw themselves into it and try it out. The sequel to this book is called Gemina and it is easily one of my most anticipated books of this upcoming year.

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Five Out of Five Stars

This book had medium violence, and medium romance that was discussed, not seen. Technically, this book had no swearing, because whenever a curse word would come up it was censored. Even though, it was censored, it was still pretty easy to figure out what they were saying.

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Pages: 599

Buy Book Here: Amazon

I’m The King of The Castle

By Susan Hill

I would recommend this book for ages 14 and up.

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Summary

‘I didn’t want you to come here.’ So says the note that the boy Edmund Hooper passes to Charles Kingshaw upon his arrival at Warings. But, young Kingshaw and his mother have come to live with Hooper and his father in the ugly, isolated Victorian house for good. (Goodreads)

Review

I read and annotated this book last year in my AP English class, and unlike many of my classmates, I enjoyed this book. I’m The King of The Castle is in no way a happy book, but it is the first book about bullying and suicide that I have read that is completely realistic. This book covers themes like bullying, suicide, the effect divorce has on young children, child insanity, and bipolar disorder. The problems in this book start when a man named Mr. Hooper becomes so lonely after the death of his wife that he decides to take out a personal ad in the newspaper looking for a woman with a boy around, his son’s age to come live with them. Mr. Hooper is simply looking to remarry, and in the process, find a friend for his son, Hooper. Unfortunately, Hooper sees it as his dad trying to replace him and Hooper decides to do anything in his power to get the new family out. Kingshaw is the son of the woman who agrees to try out living with Mr. Hooper, and this is where the bullying begins. Having to watch Kingshaw go from decently happy to a depressed, terrified, and suicidal ten year old boy is devastating. Even more upsetting is how Hooper doesn’t believe he is doing anything wrong as he continues to torture Kingshaw. Hooper just wants his dad back to himself.

The setting and characters in this book were extremely interesting, The mansion that the book took place in was extremely secluded from the rest of the world. This caused the book to have only around six characters and because of this, the book felt more dark and the feeling while reading it felt more dismal and hopeless. As I read this story, I began to feel more like Kingshaw did in the sense that there would never be anyone around to help him and that this was only going to end badly.

It is very difficult to rate a book that focuses on topics that tend to be slightly taboo. Saying that this book was enjoyable to read is not true, but the author did an amazing job being honest about everything she wrote. This is the first book like this that I have read that was not in some way romanticized. I’m The King of The Castle is definitely a book that I have thought about regularly since I read it last year and I think that it is a book everyone should read.

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Four Out of Five Stars

This book had heavy cursing, heavy violence, and mild romance.

Other Notables with spoilers: A ten year old boy commits suicide while the book is in his perspective. There is one fairly short chapter in Mr. Hooper’s perspective which shows the readers that he has become obsessed with romance and sex. 

Legacy Of Kings

Disclaimer: I read an ARC of this book, and there may be some small changes in the final edition. This book will be released on August 18th  

I would recommend this book for ages fourteen and up.

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Summary

Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancée, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters. (Goodreads) 

This book was absolutely one of the most complex and beautiful young adult books I have read in a long time. I have been told by other reviewers and the author herself that this book is so different than any other young adult book. I didn’t fully comprehend what that meant until I read it. To start with, the atmosphere of this book was so incredibly realistic. I could picture every single thing that Eleanor Herman was describing. With this book being historical fantasy, it was very important to me for it to have great world building, and it did not disappoint.

One of the most talked about things of this book is the fact that it has six different narrators. Normally that would be overwhelming, and you wouldn’t feel connected to anyone. That was not the case with this book. Every single character had amazingly detailed and fleshed out backstories, that somehow intertwined with the rest of the characters. My favorite character through out the entire book was Cyn, with Heph coming in second. Even though I had two definite favorite characters, I didn’t dislike anyone. Another thing I loved were the friendships in this book. Most specifically between Heph and Alex. During some of Heph’s POVs, he said things about Alex that I say about my best friend, and I loved how realistic and relatable they were.

Legacy of Kings was incredibly historically accurate. I’m pretty sure that Eleanor Herman is a historian which would make perfect sense. Most of the time in books, especially YA, it feels like authors make up history as they go in hopes that their audience won’t notice.   in this book, it never feels like info dumping, but instead blends into the story perfectly. Eleanor Herman never caters to the young adult age group, but instead writes an amazing book that she knows her audience will understand just fine.

Lastly, there is a magical element in this book that was so cool. Since there are so many point of views, not every character is aware of the magic in the palace. It never felt like the magic was overpowering because of that. The way the magic was built blended in perfectly with the rest of the story, but I can’t explain why without spoiling it.

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This book had medium language, minor violence, and medium romance. This book covered pretty much every romantic or sexual thing that it could, but with nearly no description involved in it. It also stayed very true to the time period.

Other Notables: One of the characters was involved with a cult when she was much younger and she remembers pieces of it. The same character is obsessed with snakes and the snakes bite her a couple times, and that is described in detail. There is a lot of description of people’s bodies. One character is naked a couple of times, but not in a sexual way and it is not described.

Four and a Half out of Five Stars

Pages: 432 ARC edition

Author: Eleanor Herman

Buy Book Here: Amazon

The Final Empire

I would recommend this book for ages fourteen and up.

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This book takes place in a squalid and destitute world called the Final Empire.  The Final Empire is dictated by a villainous man named the Lord Ruler.  For the most part, every one in this world are split up into three groups, the Nobility, the Magic Wielders, (Mistborn, Tineyes, Soothers, etc…) and the Skaa.  The nobility are the royals and politicians, the Magic Wielders are those who have types of magic (Mistborn being the most powerful and are able to control all types of magic.) and the Skaa are the slaves.  Vin is a gaunt but unyielding sixteen year old girl who is a Skaa, but yet she holds the powers of  a Mistborn.  Vin is recruited by a man named Kelsier who needs the help of a Mistborn to complete a confidential task.  Vin follows Kelsier and meets all the other Magic Wielding  men who have joined his group.  The men take turns teaching Vin their individual abilities, and she learns that Magic Wielders get there abilities through metal.  Kelsier then tells Vin his secret; he plans to overthrow the Lord Ruler.  Vin’s  job is to play the part of the nobility, to get information.  Vin begins to feel comfortable with her alliance and agrees to help in their plan.  As her and Kelsier become closer, she realizes that he is keeping something from them, something that could get them all killed.

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My favorite character was Kelsier,  because he was care-free and always put everyone in a good mood.

I loved this book, there were no dull moments, and it was planned out very well.  The world was slightly confusing at first, but once you get into it, it is easy to understand.

This book had minor language, there was talk of romance, but hardly any occurred.  The violence was a medium for me, but most of it was a “Medieval” violence.  There are executions, and we hear about the after math of  a couple of  characters being tortured.

Five out of Five Stars

Pages: 643

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Buy Book Here: Amazon

Insurgent

I would recommend this book to teens ages fourteen and up.

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This book left off where Divergent ended.  Four and Tris go to the amity headquarters trying find a safe  place to go after the war.  They soon realize that they do not fit in there, and decide to go to the Candor headquarters, where they are kidnapped and questioned.  That is where Tris discovered that the divergents are being controlled, and if the people do not turn in a divergent everyday, she kills three people.  Tris decides to go and visit her brother Caleb in Erudite, but he turns on her, and turns her in.  How is Tris supposed to escape now?

This book was very good, but I liked divergent better.

My favorite character is Christina, Tris’ best friend.

The bad language was minor, and the violence was medium/heavy.  The romance was heavy, and that is why I will not be reading the third book.

Four out of five Stars

author: Veronica Roth
Hardcover: 544 pages
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The Raven Boys

I would recommend this book for ages fourteen and up.

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This book is about a girl named Blue.  Everyone in Blue’s family are psychics, except for Blue.  Instead, Blue is like a “battery” to her family. Whenever Blue is around, they can see further into the future.  Then Blue meets a boy named Gansey, who comes in wanting to know his future.  She goes and visits him after he leaves, and finds out that he is looking for a lost king.  Gansey tells Blue that there is a king that was buried alive, but that he did not die. This king was buried on an energy line, and whoever finds this king gets one wish.  Gansey and all of his friends, (Noah, Adam, and Ronan) are determined to find this king, and with the psychics daughter to help them, they think that they have a pretty good chance. Then they find out that they are not the only ones looking for the lost king.  There is someone else out there who is just as determined as they are.

I absolutely loved this book.  It was so good, and I would recommend it for sure.

I have a lot of favorite characters in this book, they were all so funny, but my favorite was probably Adam.

This book had minor violence, and minor romance.  Even though Adam and Blue are dating, there is  nothing inappropriate, (They don’t even kiss.)  The only real problem with this book was the cursing. There was a major amount of curse words.  Also parents should know that this book does include things involving psychics and ghosts. There are things like palm readings and tarot cards.

READQUEEN
Four out of five stars 

 

Author: Maggie Stiefvater

The Count of Monte Cristo

I would recommend this book for ages fourteen+.  This book is very good, and even though it is a classic, it is not at all boring.

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This book is about a man named Edmond Dantes.  Edmond works on a ship, and is going to sail to town to meet his fiancé; but as he is about to get married, some jail guards come and arrest him.  Edmond knows that he did not do anything wrong, but the guards do not believe him.  Edmond is thrown in prison, and stays there for about eleven years.  Until he meets a man who is in the cell next to him.  They dig a tunnel connecting their cells.  Edmond and the man plan an escape, and are just about to carry through with it, until the man in the cell suddenly get sick and dies. Now Edmond is on his own.  He does manage to carry through with an escape plan, and get out.  Edmond goes back to where his fiancé lives, and finds that she has married someone else.  Edmond later finds out that the man she married is the same man that falsely accused him, and put him in prison. Edmond is furious, and plans an elaborate plan to get back at everyone who wronged him.  Edmond renames himself the Count of Monte Criso, and begins to unravel his plan.

I loved this book, it is a book that I would recommend for sure.

My favorite character is Edmond Dantes, because he is so smart and he always figures a way out of things.

There is no bad language in this book, and hardly any romance.  The violence is probably in the medium amount.

READQUEEN

four out of five stars

by: Alexandre Dumas père 
pages: unabridged: 1488 
pages: abridged: 531
Buy the abridged version here
Buy the unabridged version here