Read + Review: The Curse of the Mummy: Uncovering Tutankhamun’s tomb by Candace Fleming

The Curse of the Mummy: Uncovering Tutankhamun’s tomb is mainly centered in a British – occupied Egypt from around 1907-1932. It is about the pharaoh Tutankhamun, who ruled Egypt and passed at an unfortunately young age. On the way to his demise, his tomb was filled with any treasure he would need in the afterlife. The story comes back a few centuries late when two Brits, a wealthy earl named Lord Carnarvon teamed up with Howard Carter, a knowledgeable but stubborn archeologist to uncover and rediscover the long lost tomb of Tutankhamun, the boy pharaoh. Once uncovered though, it seems as though the pharaoh’s ancient powers were punishing all those who dared to disturb his peace. People panicked and the press ate the breaking news stories up. The pharaoh’s curse was endless, and no one knew who was next.

I think that overall this was a pretty good book, but I think there are still some improvements needed. I think that Candace Fleming took a little too long to get to the point of the book. I was almost at the verge of putting down the book until the climax came. I also think she added extra details that weren’t worth knowing and it just dragged the book longer. Otherwise, I think she did a great job and described everything vividly. She also stated all the facts and marked all of her sources. Overall, I think this was a marvelous book, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good read.

I think the most memorable part of about the book was when the tomb of Tutankhamun was discovered. This was because Candace Fleming had so much imagery in the way she described it and I felt like I was really there. This was also a crucial part in the story.

Reviewed by Eesha B. at Twin Hickory Library

Read + Review: It Ends in Fire by Andrew Shvarts

The book It Ends in Fire is about an orphan who is on a mission for revenge. She is taking vengeance on the person who took away her loved ones. In the middle of her mission, she faces a predicament of whether to kill her allies who find out secret information about her mission. She faces many obstacles, including losing her loved ones, and making many hard choices. While completing her treacherous mission for revenge, she makes many allies and enemies.

I loved this book as the author, Andrew Shvarts, explains every moment very carefully, and I can feel what the characters are feeling. Whenever there is a war, something painful, or when the character is feeling very excited, I seem to feel and enjoy their happiness with them. I love the plot of this book, where there are many ups and downs, pros and cons. Whenever events in the book did not go as they planned, when they lost their loved ones and friends, and times when they were in pain, I became very emotional, feeling everything that the character and Andrew Shvarts were feeling.

One memorable thing about this book is the plot. I am an avid reader, and I remember books that I love. Most of the books I read end with a happy ending, where the main character gets what they want with a few minor struggles. But there are some books like It Ends in Fire, where the main character gets what they want, but she faces many casualties. In this book the main character ends up getting what she wants, but she has to face it without the help of her best friends to stand beside her. She comes across as a lone struggler, the warrior, the fighter. It inspires you to be strong and stand up for justice. On the front cover, there is a phrase that I really enjoy: They came to learn. She came to burn. I like the ominous feeling that the phrase gives me. Another memorable thing about this book is that even after the main character loses almost everything and everyone she loves, she picks herself up, and continues on her mission for revenge. I also really like the twist ending of this book, and all of the cultures the author includes.

I wish that the author, Andrew Shvarts, wrote more books and sequels to this book. I really like the plot and the thinking that went into this book, and I would love more books like this one. I wish the library had other books by the same author. I really like this book, and I would like others to read it, and share their feedback with the library. I would also appreciate it if the library had a place both on their site and in person where people can read a book and put their review. This way, people can read books and share what they think about the book with others, giving them recommendations on what to read, and what grade level they should read it. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book!

Review by Amishi C. at Twin Hickory

Read + Review: Renegade Flight by Andrea Tang

Click here to access this title to borrow

Renegade Flight by Andrea Tang is about a passionate girl named Viola. She lives with her aunts because of her parents death in a mech war. Mechs are metal, armored, battle machines with a mind of their own. Viola’s family are rich, famous politicians, and soldiers that have a large reputation. Because of their legacy of being a peacekeeper (people that bond with mechs), Viola aspires to become one by attempting to attend an academy for cadets. Things turn wrong when she gets rejected for cheating. However, because of her family’s reputation, the academy allows her in as a probation student, where she meets many fierce students with the same desire as her.

 The book was moderately good. I liked the detail and imagery that occurred when describing things. It also had a lot of well written action scenes that seemed very difficult to write. Some things that I didn’t like were the lack of events. When I was almost done with the book, I realized that events like the climax were very short and went by fast. In the book, there were many, many, conflicts and they all finished at different times, which made it seem like the climax was over when it wasn’t.

One memorable thing about the book was the setting, specifically the time. Since it was in the future, I expected a lot of sci-fi weapons or other objects. Even though some of it was like that, a lot of it was original ideas I never had seen before. One of these is the mechs that have their own mind and can bond with humans.

Reviewed by Andy L. at Twin Hickory

Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé


Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé centers two Black students, Chiamaka Adebayo and Devon Richards, as they are the only Black students at their school, Niveus Private Academy. They both have done exceptional jobs so far in their years of high school and both are in the running for valedictorian at the end of senior year. However, as their senior year begins the whole school starts to receive messages from an anonymous texter by the pen name of Aces. Aces sends out the deep dark secrets of both Devon and Chiamaka seemingly targeting just the two of them. It starts as what seems like a joke or a prank, but turns into something very dangerous that not only threatens their academic futures but their lives, safety, and the safety of their loved ones.

Ace of Spades was a book that was so sickening to the point where I felt nauseous from what these students went through. While I understand that reading something that may make readers uncomfortable is not ideal; I believe that if Black people have to live similar experiences portrayed in this book it’s only fair we [allies] read something that makes us feel uncomfortable as well in order to try and understand the struggles they face almost every day. Regardless, this book brought me a new perspective from the eyes of those in the Black community. Ace of Spades is definitely something I think everyone should read but it does contain content that may be too much for some people; so before reading, be sure to be aware of the trigger warnings on this book. Personally I love betrayal and books where my jaw might as well be on the floor and this book provided that for me perfectly. Every so often I was met with a plot twist that I would not have seen in a million years especially in “Part Three: Ballot or Bullet.” I loved Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé’s portrayal of the lgbtqia+ community in Devon and Chiamaka. As a member myself I relate to Chiamaka when she didn’t feel like she had to make it a big deal and have a “self-hate” moment when figuring out her sexuality but just knew who she was.

This book made me emotional in so many ways. I was angry, sad and on the verge of tears, and scared all when Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé wanted me to be. The descriptions in Ace of Spades are phenomenal as I felt everything Devon and Chiamaka went through. The betrayal of their peers, the fear of being watched, and the frustration behind the question “Why?…Why us?”

Reviewed by M. at Twin Hickory Library

Read + Review

Read + Review: The Cost of Knowing by Brittney Morris


Alex Rufus is everything you’d expect a 16-year-old to be, he has a job at an ice cream shop, in his safe, suburban town. He has a girlfriend, and he and his brother are on good terms. However, this seemingly normal boy has a secret: after touching anything, he can see the future of that object. He knows one thing about his “power,” that it came after the car crash of his parents. When he learns that his brother, Isaiah, will die from unforeseeable reasons, and that he and his girlfriend, Talia, will break up, Alex becomes desperate to save him, as well as his relationship. Alex knows he can’t make the same mistake again. Alex knows he must save them. Along his journey, Alex learns the important of truth, identity, and what it means to be family.

I thought the book was paced slowly, and even with the amount of pages, some things weren’t explained as thoroughly as I would have liked. Despite being important people to the main character, Alex, the parents weren’t spoken of in the amount of depth I would have expected them to be. There were too many characters that were introduced, with little explanation of their significance. However, I enjoyed the development between Alex, his brother, and his girlfriend. It was realistic, the feelings, the words, and how the characters come to understand each other and their differences.

One memorable thing about the book would be Morris’s mastery of the human nature. The expression and feelings of each character were real; the interactions in the book happen incredibly often in real life. The Cost of Knowing brings true events to light, giving readers a chance to read about topics they might have not known about, or have been sheltered from.

Reviewed by Melody Y., Twin Hickory