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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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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

Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: The Knockout by Sajni Patel

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or to place a hold on it in our online catalog!

The Knockout is about the challenges that Kareena Thakkar faces. She is an Indian girl who practices Muay Thai, a martial art and combat sport. Kareena is very gifted in the sport, but people in the Indian community have made her feel isolated because it isn’t traditional for a girl to fight. Despite judgement, she chooses to continue Muay Thai and just avoid popular Indian events. Kareena’s dedication to the sport earned her a chance to fight in the US Muay Thai Open. This is a great opportunity for Kareena because doing well could potentially land her on the rumored Olympic team. Along with all of this, Kareena battles her growing feelings for Amit Patel, the perfect Indian boy.

I really enjoyed the realism of the book, since it stemmed from the author’s personal experiences. It was upbeat and fun, while also talking about the pressures of Indian culture. It was nice to read about a character that doesn’t fit the usual narrative of most books. Kareena not only develops feelings for Amit, she begins to work on her own self-love journey. At times, she would feel very conscious of her appearance because of her muscles and strength. However, towards the end of the book, she has more confidence to wear traditional Indian outfits that expose her muscles.

One memorable thing about the book was Amit’s character. It was very refreshing to read a story in which the guy is more adamant about his feelings. I also really loved how supportive Amit was with allowing Kareena the space she needed to focus on Muay Thai, while still showing her that he was in her corner. He also was very understanding of how Kareena feels about being judged by the Indian community. Amit goes as far as defending her against his own parents.

Reviewed by Maya, Fairfield Library

Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

Mildred Story’s invitation to her three grandkids to work at the resort she owns on Gull Cove Island for the summer is a risky proposition. Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah have never met, and they have never met their grandma. Mildred is wealthy, and her choice to disinherit her children has splintered and estranged the Story family. The cousins at the center of this mystery are tentatively curious to discover more about their family, and mysteries begin to surface once they arrive on the island.

This book was such a thriller! I loved how every time you solve one mystery, it just leads to another one, and every single page just leads to more questions. The story is narrated in the first person by three separate characters: Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah for the most part. Several chapters are told in the third person by Allison, who is a teenager. Like myself, I think that many others will feel that Milly is their favorite character as she is intellectually smart and has lots of style!

The biggest thing that I will take away from this book is the change in perspective in each chapter. This writing style has been used in many other books (The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan), but I feel that McManus best incorporated this style of writing, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy this book!

Reviewed by Yash at Twin Hickory Library

Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: Violets are Blue by Barbara Dee

Violets Are Blue is about Wren, a sixth grader who lives with her mom. Wren watches Cat FX, an internet celebrity who teaches how to do special effects makeup to escape from reality. During Wren’s spring break, Wren flies to Brooklyn to see her dad who is getting remarried. However, when Wren moves to a new town with her mom, Wren is given the opportunity to do the makeup for her new school’s Wicked play. When Wren makes a new friend, Poppy, she is able to open up and share her thoughts with her. However, Wren starts noticing her mom’s unusual behavior. As she deals with these challenges, Wren finds out that her mom has a serious condition which cannot be cured.

I think that Violets Are Blue was overall a great book. I feel that the author, Barbara Dee, did a great job creating a character that is passionate about special effects makeup. Also, as I was reading this book, I felt that Wren’s challenges felt realistic and understandable. However, I was not a huge fan of the writing style of this book. I think that the book felt disconnected at points because of the writing style. My favorite character was Wren because she cared for her mom a lot. Usually in many young adult books, the main character is always opposed to their parents, but in this book, Barbara Dee did a spectacular job not implying that.

A memorable thing about this book is the part when Wren goes to visit her dad in Brooklyn. I think this is memorable because this was the starting of the plot and it was the beginning of a lot of the realistic events which take place in the book. If Wren hadn’t gone to Brooklyn, she also wouldn’t have realized that she was going through many life challenges.

Reviewed by Radhika, Twin Hickory Library