Despite school keeping them busy, our teen reviewers still have time to read for pleasure and critique what they've read. Ninth grader Kate recently turned in reviews for five books, all of which she loved.
My Life Next Door, by Huntley Fitzpatrick, spotlights the friendship and, finally, the romance that grows between Sam and Jase, two teens who come from opposite ways of life. "Overall, I loved this book! It was so much fun to see Sam and Jase meet for the first time and become friends. The romance their friendship grows into is so beautiful. This book also had a lot of in-depth side characters, like Sam's friend Tom, who is struggling to find what he wants to do with his life, and Tom's sister, Nan, who always seems to outshine him. I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and happy read." Kate recommends My Life Next Door for teens 16 and up.
Sometimes the final book in a trilogy can feel rushed or anticlimactic. Not so with Ignite Me, by Tahereh Mafi, the final book in the Shatter Me trilogy: "The book blew me away! It was such an epic conclusion to an already amazing trilogy. In this final installment, the main character, Juliette, is faced with so many different choices: Will it be Warner or Adam? War or Peace? In this book, Juliette really fought for what she believed in." Kate won't give away spoilers in the review (in case you haven't read the book yet), but will say this: "The ending really took me by surprise...but it was really the ending that was needed for this trilogy." Ignite Me is recommended for ages 13 and Up.
Burn for Burn, the first installment in Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian's revenge-themed trilogy, instantly grabbed Kate's attention: "This book had me hooked from the start!" she raved. "Mary, Kat, and Lillia don't even know each other, but when the concept of payback is brought up, they all band together to take out their most hated enemies. The different perspective viewpoint really played well in the telling of this story. The writing choices made by the authors was amazing and their words and characters are beautifully described. I loved this book and can't wait to get my hands on the sequel." Burn for Burn is recommended for teens 13 and older. The sequel, Fire with Fire was released in August 2013. The trilogy's concluding book, Ashes to Ashes, is due out in September 2014.
Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children and the sequel Hollow City use strange old photographs to tell the story of Jacob, who travels back in time and discovers the secrets his late grandfather had worked so hard to protect. Accompanied by a group of children, each with truly unusual powers, Jacob gets pulled into some dangerous and exciting adventures. Possibly even finds romance. These two books had Kate on the edge of her seat. "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children was an absolute work of art! The concept was so different, yet so well done! Hollow City was a great second book, and I really enjoyed the creepy and beautiful photos that came with it." Kate recommends both books for teens 13 and older.
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