Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: Hawkeye: Private Eye by Kelly Thompson


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This book is about a girl named Kate Bishop, also known as Hawkeye, the girl superhero. Hawkeye hasn’t seen her dad since she was a little girl, thus she sets out on a mission to find out where he is. Meanwhile, she takes requests from people who need a superhero while looking for her dad. If trouble comes her way, Hawkeye is very sassy but at the same time likes to think things through before getting into a fight. Hawkeye is an expertly skilled archer and has years of experience in crime solving.

This book was a really fun read. If you’re familiar with Hawkeye you’ll definitely want to read Hawkeye Private Eye! The plot of this book occurs when a girl named Mikka comes to Hawkeye seeking help. Of course Hawkeye is up to the challenge. This book is full of action and surprises which leaves you wanting more. I was not a Hawkeye fan before but after reading this book, I’ll definitely be looking for more in the series. The main characters consist of Hawkeye, Ramone, Mikka, Jess, Brad, Johnny, and Quinn. The setting occurs in sunny California.

The graphics in this book were amazing! The book itself kept me interested and wanting more, and I found that I just couldn’t put the book down. Hawkeye comes up against formidable super villains but she holds her own every time in the thrilling Marvel comic. The one thing I found peculiar about this book was that one segment seemed to repeat itself. I’ve definitely become a fan and will be looking for more Hawkeye books in the future. I consider this a must read if you’re into the Marvel Comics and especially are familiar with Hawkeye.


Reviewed by Semira, Fairfield Area Library

Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: Girl of the Southern Sea by Michelle Kadarusman



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Nia yearns for the wonders of education, pursuing the career of literature and language. Unfortunately, the slums of Jakarta, Indonesia, offer naught except endless scorching heat and a scarce amount of money. Hardly sustaining her family’s food, Nia toils daily at the market, frying banana fritters and earning a mere handful of coins for dinner. As she struggles to save money for her dream, Nia rapidly notices the day’s earnings vanishing night after night and her father departing the home for hours to return dizzy and disoriented. Inquiring further, Nia discovers that her father consumes drugs nightly, exhausting their money in the process. Disheartened, Nia ponders a solution to halt her father’s constant drug intake and achieve her writing career. Luckily, an unexpected event reaps her instant rewards, although her benefit begins to seem far too pleasant to be true. Mysteries thicken and lies blur with the truth as Nia gradually unearths her family’s past, unraveling secrets that transform Nia’s entire lifestyle.

This novel contained a multitude of suspicious events, begging the reader’s attention and never ceasing to evoke a sense of thrill within the reader. Although I didn’t quite enjoy the author’s style of writing, the events and the thrill did not disappoint. Furthermore, pleasant stories and folktales were woven into Nia’s dreams and thoughts quite artfully, which was quite a contrast to Nia’s mundane lifestyle. Additionally, the novel contained quite an amount of subtle violence, which certainly aided in the constant action. Once more, mysteries lurked within the main conflict, clues seldom revealed, contributing to a truly captivating novel.

One memorable event within the novel lies within the beginning of the novel. Nia quickly opens her stand and begins to create the banana fritter batter, attempting to ignore the relentless heat. The ingredients dance through her mind, forming a chant as she follows the recipe. Eagerly, she awaits customers, whose rupiah may earn her an education.



Reviewed by Soumya, Twin Hickory Area Library

Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: Broken Throne by Victoria Aveyard


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This Red Queen Collection book is a compilation of various short stories set before and after the events of the series. The first of these stories is ‘Queen Song’, following the life and death of Cal’s mother, Queen Coraine. It is no secret to the court that House Jacos is barely even considered part of the Nortan nobility anymore, so when Coraine Jacos catches the eye of crown prince and heir apparent, Prince Tiberias the VI, her family sees her as a ticket back to the King’s good graces. Pressured by her father and the rest of Norta, Coraine foregoes the tournament of Queenstrial and marries Tiberias. The presence of a bitter rival, Elara Merandus, locks Coraine in a battle of wills to either ensure that her thoughts stay her own, or risk them being used against her.

‘Steel Scars’, the second story, provides insight into the various happenings within the early Scarlet Guard. One of the organization’s officers, Captain Diana Farley, is desperate to prove to the Guard and (begrudgingly) her father that she can be trusted with the orders from the illusive Command. As a result, she and her team go rogue to expand the Scarlet Guard from the Lakelands into nearby Norta. Ignoring correspondence from her superiors, Farley races across Norta, gaining intel and recruiting assets to the cause. Despite her success, however, Command sees her actions as insubordination and threatens to strip her of her post. With enemies closing in all around the country, her rank is not the only thing on the line.

The third story is the only one in the book that is set in neither Norta nor the Lakelands. Instead, ‘World Behind’ takes place on the Ohius River, where Ashe, a Riverman who provides transport to those who can pay, is forced to take Lyrisa, a Silver Piedmont Princess, away from her royal troubles. Little does Ashe know, she murdered her entourage to escape her brutish fiance Orrian, who is now in pursuit of their boat. Stranded on a river in the middle of a wilderness, Lyrisa and Ashe must work together to protect the boat’s passengers from a prince who will go to extreme lengths to have his way. Though the boat ventures farther West, it is not safe from the raging wars plaguing Nortan and Lakelander countries of the East.

The fourth story in the book, ‘Iron Heart’ takes place after the Red Queen series. Following the fall of the kingdom of Norta, the former nobles are required to abdicate their thrones and renounce their titles. As Ptolemus Samos, Evangeline’s brother, prepares to do just that, Evangeline struggles to come to terms with the fact that she has to see her old home; the home she already escaped once. As she delivers her own resignation speech, however, she realizes that she is no longer Evangeline Artemia Samos, Queen of the Rift, Lady of House Samos, Daughter of the late King Volo Samos of the Rift and Queen Larentia of House Viper. She is free to be Evangeline, a queen in her own right, even without a crown.

‘Fire Light’, the final story, is the culmination of the–very literal–slow burn in Mare and Cal’s romantic arc. After the deciding battle in the war between the Scarlet Guard and the Nortan nobles, Mare and Cal reached a mutual conclusion to go on a relationship hiatus to heal from their emotional scars and respective traumas. Neither promised they would wait. While Mare retired to the mountains with her family, Cal acted as an ambassador between the republics of the continent and the developing Nortan States. They did not see each other for months, and neither promised to wait. When Premier Davidson of the Republic of Montfort throws a political convention in the form of a gala, Mare and Cal are forced to cross paths again. Their hearts are healed, but there might not be much space for anyone else inside.

Each of the stories provided unique context into character origins and particular events, or described the impact the plot events made on the world. The book brought back beloved characters and extended the story that personally, I never wanted to end. Using the journal entries, maps, timelines, and family trees, I got to imagine what past Norta looked like to better visualize what it looked like during the series. The stories wrapped several subplots up so perfectly, and the epilogue gave enough closure not to speculate relentlessly, but not so much as to make me stop thinking about the futures of the characters.

In the aforementioned epilogue, the characters’ futures were told in conjunction with the results of major plot points in the series. The future of Norta, the Lakelands, and Montfort was discussed in length and through the history-book-like structure of the last pages, characters’ future lives were revealed. I will forever remember how these characters made such drastic changes where little progress had been made for hundreds of years.



Reviewed by Gabby, Fairfield Area Library

Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: Dear Ally, How Do You Write a Book? by Ally Carter


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In this book, acclaimed author Ally Carter is on a mission to write a how-to guide about writing a novel for young adult audiences. From learning how to develop the best characters to physically publishing a book, Ally answers hundreds of frequently asked questions about various aspects of the writing industry. This way, she describes in great detail how young writers can be successful in this field in the future. With the contributions of several more internationally known authors, such as Gordon Korman and Melissa de la Cruz, this book offers numerous perspectives about how to construct the ideal novel.

I enjoy how the author was able to make this book very relatable for aspiring writers. She understands how busy teenagers and young adults can be trying to balance school and other related activities with a writing hobby and tailored her message to those people. Contributions from numerous notable authors that helped verify the information she was trying to communicate were very effective because it allowed the reader to interpret multiple perspectives. She also used a lot of humor to keep readers engaged and better understand what was most important.

There was so much memorable advice that Ally Carter gave throughout the novel. Personally, I have thought about pursuing a career in journalism recently, and I thought that a lot of what she explained about crafting a novel can apply to writing smaller articles as well. I believe that those who desire to work as a writer in the future will react similarly to the way I did and really enjoy this book.


Reviewed by Griffin, Gayton Branch Library