Tag Archives: young adult literature

Unstoppable by Tim Green

Unstoppable: impossible to stop something or someone. Harrison Johnson is your unstoppableaverage 12-year-old boy who has learned to play football and love it. After people saw what he could do on the field, they started growing jealous. This realistic fiction takes place in a town where people aren’t as accepting as he hoped. Being the new kid, it wasn’t easy making new friends once people found out that the coach was his foster dad. Tim Green does a great job capturing how hard it is to fit in because after people found out about what was happening to him, they started excluding him. Fortunately, Harrison didn’t really care about having friends…all he really wanted was to play football.

My first reason to pick out this book is because the cover stood out to me, mostly because I LOVE fictional football books. My favorite part of this book would have to be when he puts his shoulder pads on backwards. I don’t blame him for not knowing what to do since it was his first time playing football. Some people might dislike Unstoppable because of the whole football part, but if you’re in the mood to feel motivated, this book would definitely cheer you up.

Unstoppable isn’t just about football, it’s about getting up after a hard hit. The theme of this book is to encourage readers to not give up. My favorite thing about Harrison is that he can be a really sarcastic person sometimes. As a reader, I obviously want more details that can lead up to an important conclusion. Unfortunately, there was a time gap that led from him trying to run away from his parents, to him playing football again, and I wanted to know what happened in that time gap.

All in all, I rate Unstoppable an 8/10. A reader who has been through tough times would like this book because Harrison has struggled internally. If Tim Green comes out with a new book, I would be sure to check it out!

 

Review by Nicole M.

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The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

Imagine a city, set deep underground, with a breaking generator, low on supplies, surrounded by darkness. Now imagine that you found an old, broken up letter thaembert seems to be giving instructions to something. Well, that’s the situation 12 year olds Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow got into in Jeanne DuPrau’s science fiction novel, The City of Ember. The letter, torn apart by Lina Mayfleet’s little sister has to have been written in immaculate hand writing and put in a special box for a reason, right? The two are unable to keep their minds off the strange letter and set off to discover its meaning. Join Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow as they piece together the broken words that they hope could save their people from their quickly dying city, The City of Ember.

Jeanne DuPrau has written a truly perfect story. A story about adventure and discovery in a dire situation. A story about friendship. Many similar types of books I’ve read have had similar stories to one another. While some parts of the story are kind of cliché, like finding something that leads to an adventure of sorts, most of the story is new and refreshing to me. The most different aspect of The City Of Ember to other books I’ve read is the setting. Some books of the genre have had the story take place in many large locations. Sometimes entire sections of the book are dedicated to a certain place. While this can be a good thing in many cases if done well, having just a few smaller areas can make each are more memorable as they have more time for you to get used to them and it’s not as clustered.

Another thing I loved was the interactions between the characters. From the friendships like Lina and Doon, to the enemies like Lina and the mayor, they all feel genuine and like they could be interactions between real people. With all this being said, my one major issue with the book is that it doesn’t have a real emotional moment that made me feel for a character. The few that were attempted were quickly forgotten about and didn’t have much impact to the plot. I like a book that can make me cry, but The City Of Ember just couldn’t do that. In summary, I love the story that was told and the character interactions, but didn’t like that there was no good emotional moment.

If you like a book with a great story, likeable and charming characters, and a villain you will root against, I would highly recommend The City Of Ember. Maybe it will get you thinking about what life would be like living in an underground city, a place completely different from where you live now. I know I did. Just don’t expect an emotional moment that could make you cry. I would definitely rate The City Of Ember 9 out of 10 stars. I look forward to reading the sequels and more from Jeanne DuPrau.

 

Review by Jose N.   

Two Summers by Aimee Friedman

15 – almost 16 – year old Summer expects to have the best summer of her life. She is Two-Summers-Aimee-Friedmanwaiting to get her first kiss, to fall in love with a dazzling French boy, and explore the beautiful scenery with her Nikon camera. But, the fate of her summer of dreams rests in the hands of the Accept and Decline buttons. She is standing in front of the airplane gate about to give the gate agent her ticket and boarding pass, when she gets an unknown call. In this story called Two Summers, Aimee Friedman shows us two different stories of which one, she doesn’t answer the call and finds herself in France,  and in the second, she does answer and stays at home in the suburbs. But, she can’t escape the truth of the family secret that has been kept from her for all these years.

I think the strength of this story was the storyline. I love how Aimee Friedman came up with the idea to split the story in half with two different sides of Summer. At first, I thought that two different stories would be confusing, but it really wasn’t. It made the story more interesting. I think the weakness of the story was that I found the big family secret a little predictable. I could definitely tell what it is at the end of part 3. I chose to read this book every time I had free time. I finished this book in only a couple of days, which isn’t that long. I read at least 1 part every day.

I think that the author did a great job of making me feel like I was Summer. When Summer found out the major family secret that has been hidden all these years, Aimee Friedman used great language to make me feel as much sorrow and pain as she did. For example, “The ground seems to tilt beneath me, and shake, like there’s an earthquake.”

There were a couple of topics explored in this book. For one, it was forgiveness. Summer learns to forgive her family and copes with the change in her life. Another topic is expectations. She thought she would have all these huge expectations but when she doesn’t, she realizes that it’s okay not to.

I would definitely read another book from this author because I think she is a very creative person with unique story lines and I really like those in books. Readers who enjoy Jennifer Niven and Sarah Dessen will enjoy this book. This book has a lot of heart break and romance.

I think this book was absolutely 5 out of 5 stars and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading in general.

– Leigha

The City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare is one of the most amazing fantasy books I have ever read. Untitled1City of bones takes place in present day New York. The main character Clary Fray is just your average 15 year old that is an aspiring artist, which is until her mother gets kidnapped. Clary meets Jace Wayland, and her whole world turns upside down. She learns about the biggest secret her mother has ever kept from her. Her only focus becomes spending time with Jace, and finding the Mortal Cup, but most importantly her mother. My friends started telling me about the show and how there was a book but they didn’t remember the name of the book. Then the next day I went into class and my language arts teacher started recommending books to us and told us about City of bones and I recognized the story behind the book from the things my friends told me and went and checked it out instantly.

This story is by far the best I have ever read and it has changed my life completely. Between the romance, action, “magic,” and fantasy it’s everything I need to keep me reading the books and the series. The book did an amazing job of keeping my attention. In between classes, in free periods, on my way home, and at night before I fall asleep, every chance I had to read I would. I loved the book so much that I watched the movie, the show, and now I’m reading book number two of the series. I like they way the author had all the characters act with each other and towards each other. I may or may not be slightly OBSESSED with this book and the characters inside it.

It was so touching how Clary only cared about her mother and sacrificed all of the other things going on in her life just to get her mother back. As I was reading I was constantly picturing battles, “Distracted, Clary had hardly noticed the Forsaken that broke through the protective circle, until it loomed up in front of her, as if it had sprung up from the grass at her feet.” The only thing I didn’t like about the book was as soon as something good started to happen she would leave us at a cliffhanger and then start a new section. This is probably the reason why I kept reading the book, to find out what happens, but I still think it would be better if the sections about the same topic were together. I was always on my toes to find out what was going to happen next.

I think the theme of the book is to never give up and keep going after your priorities. Another book that had a similar theme was Papertowns by John Green. The main character went looking all over the east coast just for a girl he was in love with after she disappeared. They are both one of my favorites. The author likes to write fantasy and normally I don’t read fantasy, but this book has forever changed me.

The book was so good at the end, but they left at a cliffhanger so I definitely will be reading more of her books to finish the series, and all the missing pieces from the first book. Readers who enjoy a good book to keep you entertained, a struggling relationship, betrayal, action and battled will love this book. My over all rating of the book is an A.

-Jess

The Rule of Three by Eric Walters

“The writing pulls me in and holds me captive and I can’t do anything to get free but read until I finish the entire work.” ev.owa

The Rule of Three by Eric Walters is a thriller about Adam Daley, a 16-year-old whose world was turned upside-down when a global catastrophe disables all electronics and sends society spiraling out of control. He must work with his neighborhood, Eden Mills, to survive. It takes place in spring 2014. His dad is thousands of miles away from his family, a commercial airplane pilot working for Delta Airlines. He must discover the fate of his dad and what caused all the electronics to shut down before it is too late to save anyone.

What made this book one of my favorites was the author’s choice of words and the topic itself. The topic of global catastrophic loss of power and/or electronics alone hasn’t been used very much in entertainment recently, thus making it quite unique. The last time I saw or remember this topic being used was the T.V. show “Revolution” that ran from 2012 to 2014. It’s really interesting and I would like more with the same subject. As for the author’s writing, it’s descriptive and intense. He uses some similes and a few pretty elaborate metaphors. For example, on page 295, Herb, a retired government spy, is explaining to Howie, a guard and former PD member, why they have to turn away everyone who wants to stay their safe, defended & protected neighborhood. He says, “This neighborhood is a lifeboat in a storm we can’t stop. Only so many people can be in our boat, no matter how many swimmers you see bobbing in the ocean. If you try to pull in too many, you sink. You save nobody, including those who were on the boat. Our priority has to be those who are in the boat, because we can’t save all of those who need to be in the boat. Our only exception has been when those on the outside can make our lifeboat stronger and more self-sustaining.”

I would definitely read another book by this author. The writing pulls me in and holds me captive and I can’t do anything to get free but read until I finish the entire work. Somebody that would enjoy this book is someone who likes action, battle, books about catastrophic/apocalyptic situations/events, and a little romance mixed in. Such books are like Life as we Knew It, Ashes, Ashes, and ZOM-B. I rate The Rule of Three 9.5 ultralights out of 10.

-Jonathan

The Compound by S. A. Bodeen

The Compound is a book full of mystery. Eli takes on challenging events in the bunker. S. A. Bodeen is the author’s name. In the beginning we find out what the setting is right away and it takes place in a nuclear compound. The genre is a suspense/ thriller and Bodeen did a good job showing that. Eli starts to feel something is wrong and now really wants to know what happened outside. 51j0X2DAnlL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

This story is one of the best I have read. I think it is the best because it is so suspenseful and I want to always read. A lot of the events in the book gets progressively better. I think that because everything leads to another problem or solution. I could not put this book down. The characters were very different than I expected. Eli the main character was very curious, about everything. He was the one who effected the whole family’s lives. He wanted to know what the outside was like anyways. Lexie, Eli’s sister, was very depressed and sad. Eli is worried about that and doesn’t know what to do. The weirdest one of the family is the father, and I am sure. He is acting very strange and protective of his office. He is always doing something in that office. He knew the nuclear attack was going to happen and all of this was set up apparently and that is what Eli can’t understand.

The author made me feel like I was actually there with the characters and had to survive the 6 years in a compound. This book was unique because there is not a lot of books about nuclear shelters. I think this the author skipped some of the years of their survival. I think we could have had more of an idea of how they lived every single year. Overall this book is a well written book by S.A Bodeen and I hope to see a lot more in the future.

I would definitely read a book by the same author. I am actually reading the sequel to this book right now. Also I definitely recommend this book to people who like fiction, suspense, or even nuclear war. I think you should read this book if you are interested in one of those things. I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars for sure.

-Daniel

 

What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know By: Sonya Sones

I read the book What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones. In this realistic fiction book, Robin tells the story of what happens when after 15 years of him being a loser and alone, the girl of his dreams, Sophie, finally falls for him. But then things turn out a lot 51tUpcrjywL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_more complicated. The one thing Robin really wanted was Sophie and he has been waiting for her for a long time. He finally gets her but do think they will get along and make it work out? This book took place mostly in school Robin’s and Sophie’s house. I don’t want to spoil too much of the book because then if I do there is no point in reading the book!

I really enjoyed What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know because there were many things happening throughout the book and the characters were different. For example, Sophie was Jewish but Robin still likes her even if they don’t have the same religion. Sophie also fit in more than Robin, and this shows that they are different. I think if you are a teenager this book might relate to your life at school. If you read any other books by Sonya Sones you will enjoy this one as much. But if you read What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know you should read the book, What My Mother Doesn’t Know first, so you can understand the story about Robin and Sophie better. I think Sonya Sones choose good personalities and feelings for the characters. I wish the author would make a third book because there can be so much more interesting things in Sophie and Robin’s relationship.

I would definitely read more books by Sonya Sones, and I think I did. I’m not sure if she wrote any more books, but this has to be my favorite one. Readers who enjoy romance, adventure, and a little mystery would love to read this book. I wouldn’t recommend this book to children under 13, because there are some mature things throughout the book, so you must be mature when you read this. My rating of the book What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know in stars would have to be 9.5 out of 10 stars. Like I mentioned there should be a book that continues, and that’s why I’m a little disappointed. If there was another book that continued I bet it would be as good as What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know. I read this book fast which means that I really loved it, and I couldn’t stop reading. If anyone reads this book, I would like to know if you liked this book, and if you agree with me that there should be a third book.

-Angelina