Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: Strange Exit by Parker Peevyhouse

Strange Exit
You can place a hold a print copy of this book.

Everyone is stuck in a post-apocalyptic simulation, but Lake is the only one who realizes it. When someone leaves the simulation, they come aboard a ship along with everyone else aware of the sim. The rule is that no one, even if they are awake, should go into the simulation and that the people stuck in the sim must come out on their own. However, no one can leave the ship until every last person is out of the simulation, and Lake wants to help speed that up. She often goes into the simulation and tries to wake up people that are stuck there. One of the people she wakes up is named Taren. He quickly figures out what Lake is doing and offers to help. Together, they take on the post-apocalyptic virtual reality and try to get everyone out before the ship breaks down and they are stuck there forever.

I found this book to be very enjoyable and I really liked that everything about the simulation was well explained and made sense. The concept was really cool and wasn’t like anything I had read before. It was very fast-paced, and the description made it easy to picture the landscape. One thing that I disliked about this book was the fact that there wasn’t much character development. Lake and Taren themselves aren’t often talked about, and what is going on in the sim is the main focus. I like that the story is told from different point of view because it shows how different the characters are, and a better sense of the world they live in. The plot twist at the end was very surprising but it felt a little rushed.

The most memorable part of this book is that it is very high stakes, and that if everyone doesn’t get out of the sim, they are stuck. It made the book much more suspenseful and kept me on the edge of my seat.

Reviewed by Nainika, Twin Hickory Library

Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: We Are Not Free by Traci Chee

You can place a hold on a print copy or an eBook copy or an eAudiobook copy of this book!

War can be a powerful motivator for bringing its inhabitants closer together or dividing them farther apart. In this breathtaking novel, the latter occurs, and Japanese residents within a certain area of Pearl Harbor are forced to leave their homes behind in a flurry of crushed hopes and dreams. However, they all reunite again in the camps and remain steadfast in the face of uncertainty. From naive to suspicious and timid to brave, children all around the various different factions band together while simultaneously being asked to make tough decisions a child isn’t capable of answering. The gang is forced to embark on a life-changing journey that enlightens them about the cruel truth of the world and how sometimes, their right is your wrong and vice versa.

This book was so engaging for many reasons, and it was a shock for me that a book detailing the events of a different time period altogether could be so captivating. One interesting aspect of the novel was how each character was mentioned only once, in a chapter dedicated just for them; it made the novel feel original and unforgettable. I also enjoyed the modern words that the writer used, although the events in the novel occurred during World War 2. However, one chapter in the book that had just poems was a little confusing and hard to take in. I especially enjoyed the humor and relatable moments throughout the rage periods of certain characters.

One memorable thing would definitely be the interaction between Japanese characters and American characters. I felt as though I was literally there, feeling the tension and animosity in the air while reading those sections of the novel. It made the novel seem authentic and lively.

Reviewed by Arnav, Glen Allen Branch Library

Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: Every Other Weekend by Abigail Johnson

Every Other Weekend
You can place a hold on a print copy or an eBook copy of this book.

After his parents separate, Adam and his brother spend every other weekend at his father’s apartment. He hates going there, and he and his dad don’t get along which doesn’t make his visits any easier. One weekend, he meets Jolene, who lives next door and has an equal hatred for these visits. They start off just taking pictures together to make Adam’s mom happy, but it soon turns to friendship. The visits they dreaded most now become the part of their lives they love the most. When everything else is falling apart, they can still comfort each other. Their friendship doesn’t last for long before Adam may be leaving and might never see Jolene again.

I thought that the plot development in this book was amazing and that every little thing had its own value. I also loved both Adam and Jolene’s personalities, and the way the author described them really brought them to life. I really enjoyed the fact that the whole book wasn’t just about Adam and Jolene. I was able to see the way Adam’s relationship with his family changed as well and certain parts focused on Jolene and Adam’s family. Another thing I loved was that the chapters alternated between Adam and Jolene’s point of view. It allowed me to see their lives in depth separately as well as watch the transformation after they become friends. Seeing the way their personalities and the way they acted with their families changed after meeting each other was my favorite part. The author also divulged little surprises at the perfect times to make it even more interesting.

The most memorable thing about this book to me was how at first, Adam didn’t like Jolene at all and was basically offended by the first thing she said. Jolene didn’t like Adam that much either and neither of them thought they were going to spend much time together. I liked how just taking a few pictures together changed their mind and started the friendship.

Reviewed by Nainika, Twin Hickory Library

Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: Creep by Eireann Corrigan

You can place a hold on a print copy of this book.

It’s summer in Glennon Heights when the Donahues move into 16 Olcott Place, a home with a mysterious history. After the Donahues move in, Olivia Danvers becomes friends with the youngest, Janie, and the Donahues start receiving weird threats from the “Sentry.” The threats spur Olivia and Janie to investigate them – who is the “Sentry” and why are they sending threats – and uncover the history of 16 Olcott Place. They find out who the Sentry is and his motive, with help from the rest of the Donahue family.

The book was okay. I somewhat liked Olivia Danvers, yet she’s like a background character, whereas Janie feels like the main character in a way. Janie’s siblings are complete opposites – Liv is uptight, and Ben is more easygoing. The parents have tons of trust issues and history that come to light. The Sentry was easily identifiable from the beginning, and I wish that it was a bit harder because it takes away the surprise factor of who it is. Overall, I thought it was okay, but it could have been better – a harder-to-identify stalker and more compelling characters/scenes because there were times where I was not interested in the storyline and wanted it to end.

One memorable thing about the book was Olivia and Janie’s friendship. They were there for one another and backed and defended each other.

Reviewed by Roopa, Tuckahoe Library

Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: Most Likely by Sarah Watson

Most Likely (Most Likely #1)
You can place a hold on a print copy, an eBook copy, or an eAudiobook copy of this book.

Ava, CJ, Jordan, and Martha have been best friends for seven years, and one of them is the future president, but who is it? As senior year unfolds, a park that is near and dear to their hearts is about it close, and they are the only ones willing to do something to keep it open. As they work through their own individual problems and issues with park, they also help and support each other through tragedy and triumph. They’re different as can be, but their friendship is one thing that will stay constant as they figure out who they are and who they want to be.

I really enjoyed reading this book because it showed how strong friendship can really be. The author was very good about making the friendship and the problems they faced seem realistic and it made the book more relatable. All of the characters had their own story line, but I loved how it all came together in the end. It was fast-paced, and I could not put the book down. The plot twist about who is president is also amazing and is very unexpected. It has a powerful message that grades and SAT scores aren’t everything, and that ambition and perseverance can go a long way too. The characters all had significant development by the end of the book, and it was really cool to see where they started compared to where they ended up.

Something I found memorable about this book is how different all the characters are. They have completely different backgrounds and personalities, but it only makes their friendship that much stronger. They support each other through thick and thin to form a beautiful friendship.

Reviewed by Nainika, Twin Hickory Library