Books, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

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In a galaxy that is powered by the current, some are fate-favored, and everyone develops a currentgift. These unique powers are meant to shape the future and can be beneficial to most. Cyra is the sister of a merciless tyrant who is the ruler of Shotet. Her gift gives pain to herself and anyone she touches, which her brother uses to his advantage to torture the people who do not obey his law. Akos is the son of a farmer and an oracle from the nation-planet of Thuvhe. When a Shotet invasion results in him and his brother being kidnapped, he is thrust into Cyra’s world. They must figure out a way to help each other survive, or destroy one another.

I thought this book was fascinating. I admired the imagination and creativity the author used when creating the unique characteristics of each nation-planet and their contribution to the galaxy in which Cyra and Akos live in. The extensive thought and detail that was put into developing each character’s personality was also gratifying to explore when they were put through different situations. Despite that, I feel like the author put more effort into the scene setting and less on the emotional part of the story, making it hard to cheer the characters on.

A certain memorable thing about this book is the ending. It was not abrupt, while also not being complete and gradual. Since all of the conflicts in the story had not yet been resolved by the time of the conclusion, it leaves the reader wanting more.

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Reviewed by Ilakkiya, Grade 7, Twin Hickory Area Library

Books, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: The Width of the World by David Baldacci

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Vega Jane and her companions, against all odds, have made it through the labyrinth of puzzles and tests that is the Quag. However, what they have entered is worse than the web of lies that was Wormwood. As they continue on their journey they learn that the people of this new world are enslaved and don’t even know it. They’re controlled by a foe that Vega’s powerful ancestors lost to. This leaves Vega, Delph, Harry Two, and Petra to combat this ancient foe. Life and death are not the only things at stake, so is the freedom of the rest of the world.

David Baldacci is back again with another installment of the Vega Jane series. Each page keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. The book keeps enough of a mysterious backstory to make readers turn the page and also lets out many secrets to keep the reader satisfied. The main protagonist of the book goes through much hardship and conflict throughout the book. David Baldacci creates characters which don’t follow the typical stereotypes and are worth rooting for. The humor is well-placed and sprinkled in creative ways throughout the book.

One thing that stays in my memory even after reading the book is the colorful terminology Vega Jane and her friend Delph from Wormwood use. Such as, bowler-hats for the elite fighting force of her foe. Every time they used it I laughed because it was said in such a nonchalant way.

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Reviewed by Abhishek, Grade 7, Twin Hickory Area Library

Books, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

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The book Scythe was an interesting book packed with adventure and mystery. The book is about a world in the future where death is controlled by a group called Scythes.The book revolves around two characters, Citra and Rowan who are apprenticed to a Scythe. Both of them never had the thought of being a scythe nor being apprenticed to one.

I thought the book was very well written. As it was packed with much action and drama. The setting was very well thought of with human beings controlling death in the future. The futuristic aspects in the book are also very detailed and make the reader feel like they were in a future setting.

Something memorable about the book would be when we first learned about the mass gleanings(Killings) by Scythes.That was very unexpected and had surprised me.

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Reviewed by Rochan, Grade 6, Twin Hickory Area Library

Books, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: Just Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy

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When fifteen year old Lucy learns about her father’s affair and his eight year old son, her entire world turns upside down. Soon after, she meets Simon, her friend’s brother, who supported Lucy when she felt emotionally unstable. Eventually, Lucy is able to track down Thomas, her father’s secret child, and decides to take off for her grandfather’s house. After a long journey, Lucy makes it to her grandfather’s house and starts to work out the truth about her father’s affair and the betrayal he committed to her family. After a few days with her grandfather, Lucy is able to learn more about her father’s past and her family’s secrets. As more problems rise up in Lucy’s life, she has more solutions to find. Will she be able to find the solutions to fix all her problems?

This book always kept me wanting to know what happened next and was very intriguing. The author did an excellent job making the characters come to life. That helped me relate to the characters’ feelings and made the book much more enjoyable. Another part I liked was the change of character that was implemented. As the book continued, Lucy developed in character and became mentally stronger due to the situation. I also liked how Lucy reacted to situations that popped up in the book.

In my opinion, the most memorable part in the book was how her grandfather was so relaxed when Lucy arrived, and how well liked he was. I also thought that the mini life lessons he gave to Lucy were quite interesting. In general, I thought Lucy’s grandfather was an interesting person and liked how he contributed to Lucy.

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Reviewed by Anmol, Grade 7, Twin Hickory Area Library

Books, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maureen Goo

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Senior Desi Lee’s got it all: sports star, class president, and in the running for Stanford. Desi’s worked hard to be perfect at everything in her life, but has repeatedly failed many times at a single aspect in her life: boys. So when artsy Luca Drakos walks into her life, Desi is clueless with what to do. That is, until she discovers K Dramas. Using guidance from the impeccable love stories that fill up her TV screen, and a little outside help, Desi is determined to get her goal.

While reading the book, it was almost as if I was experiencing what Desi was going through: her embarrassment, her sadness, and most of all, her weird yet funny quirks. I liked how Luka wasn’t your average hero, who always saved the heroine, and how Desi was a strong and independent female character. The author truly explores a teenage girl’s life while incorporating elements of romantic K Dramas that everyone loves. While sometime Desi may seem too perfect of a character, there’s always her quirks that show everyone has flaws.

What I liked most was watching Desi develop as a character, watching her learn new things about her life and at the same time staying the exact same as she was before. Desi is independent and capable by herself, but at the same time she’s totally different when she’s around a guy she likes. She’s also strong, despite everything that’s happened in her life. It’s truly memorable aspect of a teenage girl’s life that is captured, and really shows how someone can keep their head held high after tough times, and for that, Desi is admirable.

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Reviewed by Grace, Grade 9, Twin Hickory Area Library