Leilah Hodges is a 15-year-old student at Miramonte who is going into the tenth grade. Outside of reading she enjoys traveling, doing art, and doing sports. Her favorite types of books are Science Fiction, Realistic Fiction, and Mysteries.
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken is the first book in a five-part sci-fl series. In a time where America is in chaos, children who have survived the mysterious disease that had swept the nation have been sent to "rehabilitation camps" in hopes of being "cured." On Ruby Daly's tenth birthday she discovers her supernatural abilities and is sent to Thurmond, one of the most brutal "rehabilitation camps." However after hiding her abilities for a couple years the truth comes out, and Ruby finds herself on the run. On the way, she joins a group of kids who are on the search for a safe haven called "East River." The group's leader, Liam, finds himself falling for the mysterious girl. Will Ruby be able to conquer her fears of herself or will they swallow her while leaving no one to save her? I gave this book a five out of five stars. I finished the book within two days. The book features a powerful woman of color who becomes unapologetic about who she is and what she can do, which I absolutely loved. Although this book was written in 2013, I think YA readers could relate this book to what is going on in the world right now. It illustrates how teens have the power to stand up against our government's wrongdoings despite our age. And my favorite character, Chubs (aka Charles), adds the perfect amount of humor. In addition, it was really satisfying reading a young black character who was sophisticated and intelligent with a gentle leadership role. I'd recommend this book to readers who have enjoyed the X-Men movie series, the Divergent Series by Veronica Roth, or The Maze Runner by James Dashner.
Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor is based off a podcast that goes by the same name. In this thrilling mystery novel characters Jackie Fierro and Diane Crayton find themselves looking for answers about a mysterious man in a tan jacket after they receive tickets that are marked with "King City." Within the city of Night Vale citizens aren't unaccustomed to strange creatures who lurk the streets. However, something about the man in the tan jacket causes Jackie to become unsettled. As for Diane Crayton she is looking to understand how certain pieces involving a disappearing coworker that no one remembers, the vanishing of her sons father, and the piece of paper she quite literally can not get rid of all come into play. As their two stories intertwine they find themselves on a dangerous journey to uncover the mysteries that are embedded within Night Vale and King City. I gave this book a four out of five stars. Before I purchased the book I listened to part of the podcast series on Spotify and found it interesting. The setting, characters, and dialogue are beautifully written in a way that makes you laugh but also uncomfortable in the best way possible. The only thing I found disappointing was the ending because it felt a little rushed and some questions I had weren't fully answered. I'd recommend this book to readers who have previously enjoyed When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle, or Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.
Mascot by Antony John is a realistic fiction story that deals with topics such as bullying, disabilities, dealing with grief, and many others. Noah Savino was once the starting catcher for his little league baseball team until he got in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down and his father dead. As he struggles to come to terms with his new life he makes new friends as well as tackles his school bully, Logan. I gave this book a five out five stars. The book incorporates the perfect amount of humor, emotion, and relatability. The author found a way to discuss serious topics while still engaging its reader. This is a perfect book to read in the fall. I'd recommend this book to readers who have enjoyed Wonder by R.J Palacio or Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper.
Wildcard by Marie Lu is the second book in the Warcross series. In this action packed futuristic novel we follow Emika Chen once again as she desperately tries to bring an end to the NeuroLink before it becomes out of controlled. After Hideo's plans for the virtual reality website are revealed she puts together a team to stop further damage from pursuing. I gave this book a five out of five stars. One of the best parts of the whole series is the fact that it features a strong female lead who is involved in STEM. I absolutely loved the first book and couldn't put down both of the books. I could go on and on about this author and the many talents she pours into her books. The book is the perfect combination of suspenseful, thrilling, romantic, and funny. Throughout the entire story there is never a dull or slow moment. I'd recommend this book to readers who have previously enjoyed the movie Blade Runner 2049 or Ready Player One.
Neverworld Wake by Mariana Pessel is a thrilling story that follows the events of Beatrice Hartley and her six friends. However, after Beatrice's boyfriend shockingly dies she sets out to uncover the truth of what happened to him. When all hope seems lost a man named, Blithely appears at her door and tells her something that seems impossible. Time is stuck and they need her help to fix it. I gave this book a three out five stars. This book shares many aspects that are similar to A Wrinkle In Time, which is one of my favorites. However to me it felt like there were some gaps in the story. I found pretty much all of the book very interesting and thrilling, however the ending was a bit of a letdown. I'd recommend this book to readers who have previously enjoyed A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle or The Magicians by Lev Grossman.
Lovely, Dark, and Deep by Justina Chen tells the story of a girl who is allergic to sunlight. Viola Li, a high school senior, is just looking to enjoy her last year of high school with her friends before she goes off to college. However, two days before the new school year begins, her world is flipped upside down when she learns of her illness. I gave this book a three out of five stars. The concept of the book is a very interesting topic, but it felt too much like Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. The plot is very similar and even the description of the setting in the text are too much alike. Readers who have enjoyed this book would most likely enjoy Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon or A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass (both of these books are some of my favorites.
Broken Circle by J.L. and M.A. Powers is the story of a boy named Adam who has recently had to deal with the death of his mother. All Adam wants is a normal life but his father is an assassin, voodoo god, and the reincarnation of Buddha. However, Adam stars to become paranoid with his random nightmares and a strange sensation he can not explain. As this experience gets stronger his father decides to send him to his "True Destiny." Once he arrives it finally becomes clear what his destiny in life is. I gave this book a 4 out of five stars.This book is perfect summer read. It does a good job of keeping the reader interested as you read further into the story. The author did the perfect job of incorporating elements of fun, scary, and friendship. I'd recommend this to readers who have enjoyed, The Dark Tower by Stephen King.
A Lite Too Bright by Samuel Miller is adventure mystery story about Arthur Louis Pullman the Third. After losing his college scholarship and being shipped away to live with his aunt and uncle, he finds grandfather's forgotten journal. Within the journal he finds a single train route and a destination and decides to embark on a new journey. However, his journey becomes complicated with the passages written by his grandfather who was dealing with both Alzheimer's and Dementia. The closer Arthur gets to the truth behind the murder that occurred miles away from his home the more his life is put at risk. I gave this book a four out of five stars. It was a perfect summer read, however there were big chunks of the book that seemed to go by really slow . The book is filled with many plot twists as well as beautiful writing. The book becomes is very involving and causes you to think about it even when you're not reading it. I'd recommend this book to readers who have previously enjoyed, The Perks of Being a Wallflower Stephen Chbosky or Looking for Alaska by John Green.
Warcross by Marie Lu is a realistic fiction/sci-fi book that follows the main character Emika, one of the world's best hackers. When the biggest game of the century, Warcross, is threatened by an unknown gamer, the founder hires Emika right on the spot to find them. The story is thrilling with many plot twists. I'd give this book a five out of five stars. The entire time I was reading it I never wanted to put it down. The ending is spectactular, even though it ends with a cliffhanger. I'm very excited for the second book to come out. I'd recommend this for readers 13-years old or older who have enjoyed Brain Jack by Brian Faulkner or Erebos by Ursula Poznanski.
The Call by Peadar O'Guilin is a horror fantasy book. In this book the main character Nessa struggles to survive the day that she will be Called. The Call is when these creatures from the Gray Land come and take you and see if you can survive. They only choose people from the ages of 0 to 20. These creatures, the Sidhe, are make-believe aliens that look and talk like humans. I give this book a three out of five stars. The book was very interesting in itself with lots of plot twists. However, they don't exactly explain how you can get in and out of the Gray Land or explain the creatures that well. I recommend this book to people who enjoy horror books or movies. This book is perfect for Halloween.
Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz is a novel published by Seventeen magazine. The main character Jasmine de los Santos is an honor roll student, top cheerleader, and above all that, an immigrant. Throughout the story Jasmine must find a way into college while dealing with the issue of an expired visa. I give this book a five out of five stars. The writer was able to tackle the topic perfectly, not holding anything back. This was one of my favorite books to read this summer. This book is perfect for readers that enjoyed Farewell to Manzanar by James D. Houston and Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston. This book is perfect for summer or fall reading.
The Last Star by Rick Yancey is the third and final book in The 5th Wave series. In this thrilling story, characters Evan, Cassie, Ben, and the rest of the group work together to defeat The Others (aliens) as they fight for human justice. I give this book four out of five stars. I absolutely loved the series and couldn't wait to read the final book, and this book was worth the wait. It has many plot twists and plenty of action. However, the intro is somewhat slow. But if you stick with it, you'll be glad you did. It is the kind of book I didn't want to put down or end. The Last Star is perfect for people who enjoy science fiction, or if you enjoyed Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.
The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas is a murder mystery where the main characters Callie and Tessa search to find the real murderer behind the Ohio River Killings. I give this book a five out of five stars. It was a little different from what I usually read but I absolutely loved it. It was action-packed and suspenseful throughout the entire book. It also had the right amount of scariness to where you don't get too freaked out. However, the best part was the ending chapters because it had a plot twist that no one could guess. This book is perfect for readers who enjoyed the Pretty Little Liars series.
Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith tells the story of three best friends. Teddy is the popular guy that somehow seems to know everyone and always seems to be happy despite the fact that his father left from gambling addiction. Next would be Alice. She is a smart, somewhat shy girl whose parents passed away when she was 13. Last comes Leo. He is Alice's cousin who fits somewhere in-between Alice and Teddy. On Teddy's 18th birthday, Alice decides to buy him a lottery ticket as a joke, but who knew he would be inheriting a fortune sooner than he thought? I gave this book a five out of five stars. The message within the book was bold and very informational. During the story they really put the moral into play. The moral of the story was two things: One, don't be afraid of change. And two, remember your past and where you came from. I would recommend this book to people who liked Jennifer's other story, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight.
Splinter by Sasha Dawn is a murder mystery in which the main character Sami, with her step-sister Cassie, tries to figure what really happened the night her mother went missing. I give this book a four out of five stars. The beginning was somewhat confusing because the plot jumped around a lot. However once you get into the investigation of the murder, it's very interesting. The ending was amazing, with a plot twist that came as a shocker to me. This book is perfect for readers who enjoyed The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas.
See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng is a realistic fiction book. Alex, an 11-year-old rocket scientist in the making, goes on an adventure through America. On the way he meets not only family, but friends too. Throughout the story Alex uses his inspiration, Carl Sagan, as he pushes through difficulties in his life to come. I gave this book a five out of five stars. The writer does a great job of incorporating childlike humor throughtout a story that deals with serious topics. While reading this book I did not want to put it down. This book deals with family-oriented issues along wih the moral, "If you pursue your dreams nothing is impossible." I'd recommend this book to readers who have previously enjoyed Wonder by Raquel J. Palacio or Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper.
EXO by Fonda Lee is a Sci-Fi book that takes place in the future. The main character is Donovan, who goes on an adventure where he finds out about himself, family, and the planet he calls home. On his adventure he is caught between terrorists and the government. I gave this book a three out of five stars. I like the book because it reminded me of Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card, which is my favorite book. However, there are certain parts where the author doesn't explain things very well, so it's confusing. Although the end was amazing so hopefully there is a sequel. I'd recommend this book to people who enjoyed The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey or Ender's Game.
City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson tells the thrilling story of Anju as she embarks on a journey with friends and enemies to find the truth behind her mother's murder. This book is a young adult murder mystery. The book takes place in the heart of Kenya, featuring a girl who has become an orphan. To survive she decides to join the Goondas, a gang that acts like her family However on her adventure towards the truth of her mother's killer, she is found pairing up with her so-called "enemies." I gave this book 4.5 stars out of 5. The book was extremely enjoyable and I never once wanted to put it down (especially towards the end). The author does an amazing job of keeping the reader enthralled. This is the ideal book for a reader who enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson or those who enjoy The Bourne Legacy movies.
A List of Cages by Robin Roe is a realistic novel. In the story it follows the family relationship of two boys: Julian, a foster child, and Adam, a boy that creates a friendship with him. I give this book a five out of five stars. The book is emotionally draining, but in a good way. One moment you are happy and excited for the boys, and the next your are somewhat sad. This book is perfect for the wintertime and a book that helps you realize what you should be thankful for. I would definitely put this in the young adult or teen section because of how strong the topic is. This book is perfect for people who enjoyed books like Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.
Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos is a realistic fiction story about a girl named Jackie whose father is dying. In hopes of rescuing his family, Jackie's father Jared decides to sell his life to a reality TV company. Throughout the story Jackie and the rest of her family must fight for their freedom from the TV industry. I gave this book a three out of five stars. I liked the character Jackie because I found her funny, brave, and loving. She (along with a little help) was able to take a stand against a cruel community of people and speak out against it. However, some parts of the book were a little questionable to me. One was the fact that the youngest daughter decided to turn on her mother. Another part was at the end. During this scene you read abou the death of the father through suffocation. This book is good for readers that enjoyed Reality Boy by A. S. King.
Firstlife by Gena Showalter is the first book in the Everlife series. In this romantic and suspensful novel, characters Archer and Killian run, fight, and hide to help out their beloved friend Tenley (a.k.a., Ten). I give this book a three out of five stars. The book had an amazing first few chapters filled with action, humor, and mystery. Unfortunately, as I continued in the book I found it to be very repetitive and slow to the point. However I loved the ending. It had a shocking plot twist that I didn't see coming. Firstlife is perfect for readers that enjoy books like The Selection series by Kiera Cass.
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon is a realistic fiction book following the adventures of two immigrant teens. Daniel is an optimistic Korean poet who is about to enroll at Yale. Natasha is a realist who has recently (tiny bit of a spoiler) been deported back to Jamaica where she's from. However the two meet in the strangest way and are destined to become soulmates even though the time they have together will quickly run out. I give this book a five out of five stars. I absolutely loved this book and I'm not one who tends to like romance books. The author perfectly fits political topics into the book so that any teen can understand the struggle of being an immigrant in America. This book is perfect for readers who enjoyed Something In Between by Melissa de la Cruz or Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon.
Bionic by Suzanne Weyn is a realistic fiction story about a girl named Mira who gets involved in a a life-changing accident. As she heads to her last gig with her band, her van crashes, which then lands her in the hospital for several weeks. The topic was very similar to the book Faceless by Alyssa Sheinmel. They both involve the main character getting over some sort of disability. In this story she has to get used to wearing and using a new prosthesis. I gave this book a four out of five stars. This is because I just read Faceless and I feel that they executed a topic like this better. However, the idea of the book was still intriguing and informational. This book is perfect for readers that enjoyed books like Wonder by R. J. Palacio or Faceless.
Iron Cast by Destiny Soria is a fantasy book that takes place in 1919 Boston. The characters Corinne and Ada have the ability to alter people's emotions through music and visions. But the government is after them and their power. Fleeing from their only home, the two will have to fight and find their way in their country. I give this book a four out of five stars because it had a very long start. However once you get in the book, it's amazing. There are so many plot twists you don't see coming, and throughout the book it has you feeling so many emotions. This book is great for readers that enjoy books with things like witchcraft. It's a good Halloween read.
Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung is a realistic fiction book that takes place in a preppy private school. The main character Linh or, as she later goes by, Lucy, is given a scholarship to one of the most prestigious college prep schools. However she's not sure if she's ready to commit to this new lifestyle. I give this book a five out of five stars. I really enjoyed the message behind it. Stay true to who you are no matter what. Also, there are some parts that are funny. In the end, I found the book to be a good fall read. I recommend this book to readers who enjoyed the movie Mean Girls, because it's like a mellower version of the movie.
Cloud and Wallfish by Anne Nesbet is a realistic/historical fiction book. In the book the main characters Cloud (a.k.a., Claudia) and Wallfish (a.k.a., Noah) struggle through a secretive friendship as they search to find the truth behind their parents. I give this book a three out of five stars. It has an extremely slow start that doesn't really explain the characters' backgrounds. However halfway through the book it starts to pick up and includes some action. Also, the author finally explains each character towards the end of the book. I'd recommmend this book to people who enjoyed The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
The Darkest Hour by Caroline Tung Richmond is the sequel to the book The Only Thing to Fear. In this thriller, characters Lucie, Sabine, and Tilly travel throughout Europe to stop the Nazi's brainwashing and their attempts to take over the world. Along the way they figure out who their true allies are. I give the book a five out of five stars. From the first page to the last it is filled with suspense, humor, and action. And I loved how the author incorporated real history into the book as well. I recommmend this book to people who really enjoyed the James Bond series. I wouldn't be surprised if this was turned into a movie.
On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis is a science fiction book that takes place in the future of 2035. The world is quickly reaching its end as a comet hurtles toward earth, accompanied by terrifying natural disasters that will sweep the land. The main character Denise, who is autistic, fights for the right to stay on the Nassau, a generation ship, along with her mother and sister. I gave the book a five out of five stars. I absolutely loved all the themes and messages that went along with the story. The book relays many messages, but some of the biggest ones are listed. Our differences are what make our world work as a whole, and you can persevere beyond any disability if you put in the work. This book is perfect for readers who enjoyed The 5th Wave series by Rick Yancey.
Faceless by Alyssa Sheinmel is a novel that follows the main character Maisie's journey through recovery. After she is caught in the middle of a lightning fire her world is completeley flipped around, not just for herself but for those surrounding her. I give this book a five out of five stars. The topic was very original and the way it was written made you feel as though you were going through her emotions with her. The ending was perfect without seeming too unrealistic, in terms that she lives a perfect life. I love that the story also included development of the character's love for herself and accepting herself as she is. This book is perfect for readers that enjoyed books like Wonder by R. J. Palacio or The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.