Young-Adult Book Reviews

Picture from http://sarahbessey.com

Picture from http://www.goodreads.com

Picture from http://www.goodreads.com

Picture from http://www.laurenoliverbooks.com

Fiction

Free to Fall

Author: Lauren Miller

        This futuristic novel is very interesting because it could very well be what our future will look like. Technology has taken over the human world and no one makes decisions without it...especially Rory. As she grows into herself and changes her opinions on everything she thought before, you will become connected to the characters and won't be able to stop reading. I really liked this book:)


Overview:

          Lexicon
Rory Vaughn: a brainy, introverted sixteen-year-old who has always felt like an outsider, although she can't put her finger on a reason why. When she is accepted into her dream school, Theden, she is shocked to find out that her mother, who died when she was born, also went there and dropped out just before graduation. This is a secret her father has kept for sixteen years.
Theden Academy: the only high school of its kind, Theden is an intense two-year liberal arts program for the strong willed and highly gifted. Students are designated by seven Greek numerical prefixes (the Hepta being the best). Rory is a Hepta.
North Pascal: a handsome, tattooed, coffee barista townie who can quote Milton and knows as much about philosophy as Rory's classmates. He was banned from Theden's campus for breaking and entering. This isn't North's only secret.Lux: the decision-making app that everyone uses. No longer caught up in the details of their everyday lives—all those endless decisions!—people are free to just enjoy themselves.
Akratic Personality Disorder (APD): a mental illness whose name comes from the Greek word akrasia, the term Plato used for those who act against their better judgment. See also the Doubt. 
The Doubt: the colloquial name for the "whisper within" that children hear but adults are taught to ignore.

Overview from Barnes &Noble, Inc.

Untwine

Author: Edwidge Danticat

         Although I enjoyed the story line of the book, to me, it seemed sort of repetitive and bland. The characters are sweet and the plot is intriguing, but the story just kind of drags on. I liked how the author added some mystery to the tragedy of Isabelle's death with the introduction of the idea that it might not have been an "accident" that killed her. I also liked the plot twist when the doctors think that Giselle is actually Isabelle, and it is cool the way the author jumps from past to present to add context when Giselle is in the hospital and cannot speak. I liked this book, but it was a bit boring.


Overview:

        Giselle Boyer and her identical twin, Isabelle, are as close as sisters can be, even as their family seems to be unraveling. Then the Boyers have a tragic encounter that will shatter everyone's world forever.
        Giselle wakes up in the hospital, injured and unable to speak or move. Trapped in the prison of her own body, Giselle must revisit her past in order to understand how the people closest to her -- her friends, her parents, and above all, Isabelle, her twin -- have shaped and defined her. Will she allow her love for her family and friends to lead her to recovery? Or will she remain lost in a spiral of longing and regret?

Overview from Barnes & Noble, Inc.

Before I Fall

Author: Lauren Oliver

        This book is like a weird twist on "Mean Girls". Samantha is the perfect queen-B and has the perfect life. But then the proverbial poo hit the fan. She's reliving the same day. I like this book because it shows how she changes from a ditzy mean girl to a nice-ish person who cares about other people. In the end, she is a brave, self-sacrificing girl who comes to a heartbreaking end to save someone else.


Overview:

        What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.
Instead, it turns out to be her last.
Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

​Overview from Barnes &Noble, Inc.

Picture from http://www.elizabethdoylemusic.com

The Book Theif

Author: Markus Zusak

        When I started reading this book, I didn't think I would like it that much but I was surprised. The narrator being death put a spin on the story and made it more interesting than if it was narrated by an actual person. The way Zusak wrote the story makes you think and shows a different person's perspective on the events of the Holocaust. Waiting Liesel grow makes you think about how life was then and how life is now. This was an interesting read and I highly recommend it for someone looking for a different version of a story that everyone has heard before.


Overview:

          It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.
Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

​Overview from Barnes &Noble, Inc.

All the Light We Cannot See

Author: Anthony Doerr

Wow. This book was very intense and it pulled at my heart strings. I really liked how the author connects the different stories really intrecatly, 


Overview:

         ​Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

​Overview from Barnes &Noble, Inc.

Picture from http://www.goodreads.com

Picture from http://books.simonandschuster.com

Go Set a Watchman

Author: Harper Lee

Review Coming Soon


Overview:

         Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.
Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.

​Overview from Barnes &Noble, Inc.

The Help

Author: Kathryn Stockett

  I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK.  The plot line draws you in from the first page, connecting with the way Aibileen cares for Mae Mobley and makes you feel hateful toward Miss.Leefolt and Mis Hilly. Once you start reading, you sort of "give up" on humanity in this time period. But, when you meet Miss Skeeter Phelan, hope grows in you and the "all hope in the world is gone" feeling dissipates. The relationships that grow between Skeeter, Aibileen, and Minny is bitter sweet in the way that they seem to understand each other. I really liked the way this book progressed. You will never get bored!!


Overview:

         ​Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who's always taken orders quietly, but lately she's unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She's full of ambition, but without a husband, she's considered a failure. Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town...

​Overview from Barnes &Noble, Inc.