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Why Would I Lie by Adi Rule

Click here to learn more about this book and to place a hold!

A student’s aspiration in becoming a school’s valedictorian is not a force to be reckoned with, especially when that student is Viveca North. For as long as she can remember, Viveca, a senior in high school, has been buried in her notes, books, and papers, hoping to become the ultimate student and gain admission at the esteemed Everett College. Even at Elton Prep, a high school known for its rigor, Viveca had little trouble climbing her way to the top, and it seemed like it would stay that way until Jamison Sharpe showed up at the beginning of the year. Jamison was perfect, not only in his academics, but he was talented, charming, kind, and most importantly, sociable. It was almost as if Jamison was identical to Viveca, but had somehow found a way to be better. Jamison was not a threat to Viveca at first; all she had to do was to keep acing her classes, just like she had always done. However, when Jamison made his way ahead of Viveca, claiming that sweet valedictorian spot in what seemed like no time, she knew something was wrong. How could a random kid, that no one had ever heard of before, find his way to the illustrious Elton Prep and almost immediately make it to the top? Determined to uncover the truth before her place at Everett College is taken, Why Would I Lie? illustrates the ambition of Viveca North, a student that somehow has to balance perfection, being a good person, and revealing the answer to a mystery that could change her life.

If I could describe this book in one word, it would be “wow.” It has been quite a long time since I have read a book that keeps me wanting to turn the pages before I finish reading, which made me wish that I could speed-read and absorb words with just one glance. There was never a dull moment in Why Would I Lie?, because Adi Rule perfectly captured what it is like to be an over-achieving student in an incredibly competitive, frustrating environment. Viveca was a beautifully written character that resembles what it means to be human. She was selfish, ambitious, and imperfect, despite she herself thinking she was flawless. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Viveca’s path to understanding herself, her peers, but also, seeing her dreams and desires come true. Viveca never gave up, even when the whole world seemed to be against her.

One memorable thing about the book was how immersive the story was. Throughout the book, I frequently found myself conversing with the book, trying to guide characters to their next decision. The dialogues seem to include the reader into the conversation, and it was almost as if the thoughts of the characters were spoken directly to the reader. Further, the book had a lot of imagery, sensory, and figurative language that transported me to the world of Elton Prep in the blink of an eye. Why Would I Lie? pulled me into its universe, making me want more and more of it as I read.

Five stars

Reviewed by Melody, Twin Hickory Area Library

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Tough as Lace by Lexi Bruce

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Lace Stewart has at all, or so it seems. She’s star of the lacrosse team, straight A student, and uber-confident, but behind her carefully crafted façade, she’s crumbling. It starts with her slipping grades, and from there it only gets worse. The life she’s work so hard to create is being pulled from under her feet as she’s forced to watch. Worst of all, the brave face that she’s practiced her whole life may be what causes her anxiety to spiral and lose it all.

This was the first book I read in verse and I think it was written quite well. The book was beautifully written and it talked about struggles that so many people face. It perfectly captures the way that anxiety is often stuffed into a corner and ignored. The shortness of the book better emphasized the importance of the topic it was addressing, and it did a good job dealing with a heavy issue. Lace is developed as a complex character, as most real people are. This made the book seem more realistic and quickly allowed the reader to see that Lace has flaws like anyone else. This is an important part of creating a character and Lace proved to be a strong and determined protagonist. Overall, this book tackled a tough topic through a complex and compelling story.

Something memorable about this book is that it doesn’t just deal with anxiety. It talks about almost everything teens experience from sports to work, and it makes the book very relatable.

Reviewed by Nainika, Twin Hickory Library

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At The End Of Everything by Marieke Nijkamp

Click here to learn more about the book and to place a hold.

When the world doesn’t want you, you’re shoved into a corner with no one to turn to. That’s how the teens at Hope Juvenile Treatment Center feel, as if no one wants them, and really they don’t. But when the normally cruel guards begin acting strangely, they know this is their chance. They band together and make a break for it until they realize: the world outside is plagued by a mysterious disease, one that’s spreading rapidly. The place that was once their literal prison is now their only safe haven. There’s nowhere to go, and they only have each other.

Everyone in this book was developed well, even though there were quite a few characters. The book was truly written in a way that allowed the reader to see all of the characters’ complexities and true desires. This allowed me to feel a connection to the characters and get sucked into the story. Also, it was very unpredictable and it constantly kept me on the edge of my seat. There were many twists that I wasn’t expecting which is something I really liked. The execution of this book definitely lives up to the premise and it is everything I expected it to be. At The End Of Everything is a breathtaking story about those who are forgotten, and I loved every minute of it.

Something that I found memorable about this book is how all the characters are so different personality wise, yet the similarities between them are undeniable. The circumstances in this book are ones that bring forward so many of the same emotions in them, and it really highlights how at the end of the day, we’re all human.

Reviewed by Nainika, Twin Hickory Library

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Read + Review: Eyes of the Forest by April Henry

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The Eyes of the Forest is about a normal high school student, Bridget Shepherd, who loves reading and listening to the Swords and Shadows series by author R.M Haldon. After continuing to postpone the release of the last book of his series, R.M Haldon, also known as Bob, is threatened by a high school boy and brought to a cabin in the woods where he is trapped with only food, water, a treadmill, a typewriter, and a note threatening him to write the “Eyes of the Forest.” Noticing the disappearance of the author, Bridget believes that he has been kidnapped. She reports the case to the police, but they choose to not believe her, including her best friend, Ajay, who she had opened up to about the world of Swords and Shadows. Without any help, Bridget acts alone to solve the kidnapping of R.M Haldon.

I thought the book was very unique. It alternates the perspectives between each character, which really gives the reader an understanding as to what each character’s thoughts and motivations are. I also loved how the book introduced itself. The first chapter was like a bomb ticking, setting up the suspense that ultimately led to the major conflicts in the plot. I also really loved the evolution of Bridget and how she was able to take on such a responsibility despite being the outcast in school.

One memorable thing about this book is that it is very relatable. Many of the characters made decisions that most people would have made in real life, and the plot unwinds itself like it’s attached to real time. Also, a lot of the products and places used in this book exist in real life.

Reviewed by Jasmine, Libbie Mill Library

Books, Teen Reviews, Uncategorized

Read + Review: Majesty by Katharine McGee

In this sequel to American Royals, McGee defies all expectations. Reading the American Royals series, you are immersed in a monarchical America where George Washington’s ancestors rule. Majesty follows the Washington children and others within the royal circle while they navigate their lives with the scrutiny of the press ever-present. As Beatrice takes the throne of America in the aftermath of her father’s death, she must grapple with her future as the first female monarch as she reluctantly commits to her relationship with Teddy, her fiance. Sam is devastated that Beatrice, her sister, will be marrying her crush and decides to enact revenge. Daphne, an ambitious young woman who will do anything for the power that royals hold, pulls Sam’s twin Jeff into her villainous hold, while her dark secret threatens to end it all. Nina, a commoner, finds unexpected love post-Jeff while strengthening her friendship with Sam. As Beatrice’s fate looms above her, she must come to terms with her true feelings. Her siblings, on the other hand, must learn to choose what they value the most. This book will keep you on your toes with all of its unexpected twists and turns. Alongside its romantic exterior, Majesty delves into heavy topics, such as grief and misogyny, adding depth to the characters.

Though I enjoyed the book, it was disappointing when compared to its predecessor. Many relationships seemed rushed or forced, not natural when looking at the characters themselves. The story abandoned many plotlines or smoothed them over too easily. The characters, though nuanced, seemed a bit superficial at times. Most decisions were not made to strengthen the characters but rather to enhance a storyline that was rushed. Full of cliche tropes, this book had some sweet romantic moments but was full of predictable endings.

McGee highlights women in this book, writing solely from their point of view. She shows their strength and vulnerability, giving them a multifaceted intensity that many authors fail to enact. In Nina, a LatinX character who grew up with two moms, she includes a diverse viewpoint to exhibit the unique challenges minorities face. Majesty also explores the challenges Beatrice faces as the first female monarch. It highlights the systematic misogyny of America while supporting the strength of a female ruler.

Reviewed by Adhya, Twin Hickory Library