Tag Archives: book review

Jinx, Book Review

8 Aug

Jinx by Meg Cabot

Plot: This was a really good book that I enjoyed very much. It is about a girl named Jean whose nickname is Jinx, due to her bad luck that started the minute she was born. When Jinx moves away to live with her New York cousins (to get away from a stalker), she meets her witchcraft-obsessed cousin Tory, and a new adventure begins.

Would you recommend this book? Yes, I highly recommend this book.

5 stars


The Curse of the King, Review

21 Jul

The Curse of the King by Peter Lerangis & Torstein Norstrand (Seven Wonders, Book 4)

Plot: This fantasy series is about four friends; Jack, Aly, Cass and Marco. They have to find the Seven Wonders of the World before they turn fourteen or they will die. The bad guys, called the Massa, want to find the Seven Loculi (Wonders of the World) before the good guys (from the Karai Institute) because the Massa want to raise the continent of Atlantis.

Would you recommend this book? Yes.

5 stars


What We Saw, Review

8 Jul

What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

*WARNING: Explicit content in this book, for mature audiences only

Plot: This story begins the day after a wild party at John Doone’s house where alcohol and bad judgment were widespread, and Kate is trying to piece together what happened. She is able to figure out that her good friend Ben whom she’s had a crush on for years drove her home in her car since she was unable to do so. At school the next day, the party is all anybody could talk about. After a couple of days, John Doone and three other star basketball players are apprehended by the police based on an accusation by a student who claims she was sexually assaulted by the guys at the party.

Since Stacey is known for being fairly promiscuous, students and teachers alike are finding it hard to believe that their beloved basketball stars could have done anything wrong, and that Stacey must have just been feeling regret from bad decisions at the party. There is talk of a video having circulated among some students, but the police are unable to locate it.

Kate and Ben begin dating and their relationship is tested since Kate feels Ben may know more about what happened at the party after she left than he is letting on. It begins to feel like only a handful of people are asking themselves “What if Stacey is telling the truth?” instead of just assuming that she’s not. Kate decides to do some digging to see if she can uncover the truth about what happened at John Doone’s party.

Would you recommend this book? Yes. I was often angry at the reactions of people in the town, but I suppose that is unfortunately an honest portrayal of many similar situations.

4 stars



Finding Audrey, Review

13 Jun

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

Plot: Audrey is a teenage girl who wears dark glasses all the time and hides in the house due to her anxiety and fear of conversing with other people. All we know in the beginning is that something happened not too long ago in the school year involving former friends and enemies that was so traumatic that Audrey now has terrible anxiety over the situation.

Then Audrey meets her brother’s friend Linus at home and through notes and texts and a gradual buildup of conversation and contact, she begins to make a friend and possibly even more than a friend. He seems to understand her feelings and encourages her to push herself outside of her comfort zone.

Though this may seem like the makings for a really depressing book, we have the comic relief from Audrey’s older brother to break the ice with his sarcasm and shenanigans. The book is also interspersed with pages that are written like a screenplay of Audrey’s life which add some humor as well.

Would you recommend this book? Yes. It was interesting to read about how debilitating fear and anxiety can be, and how if you’re not experiencing it yourself, you take even the simplest interactions for granted–such as eye contact with a cashier or saying hello to your neighbor when you pass by. While it means nothing to me or you, it could cause a panic attack in somebody else.

The only thing that bothered me was that I feel a few key details were left out overall that would explain how Audrey got to be in her situation in the first place. I suppose the point is that the past is the past and it doesn’t matter toward Audrey’s future, but I was still left with questions.

4 stars



Stand-Off, Review

24 May

Stand-Off by Andrew Smith

Plot: This is the sequel to Winger. Ryan Dean is now a fifteen year old senior at Pine Mountain Boarding School. He is seeing how his relationship progresses with Annie Altman, as well as dealing with some leftover issues with Seanie and JP from the last year. A major hurdle Ryan Dean runs into is his new roommate Sam Abernathy. Sam is a twelve year old freshman with extreme claustrophobia, an addiction to microwave popcorn and the cooking channel, and seemingly no sense of how he is viewed by those around him.

There are also some serious changes on the rugby team after Joey’s absence that are hard for Ryan Dean to handle. Enter a chance meeting between him and Joey’s family that leaves Ryan Dean trying to connect with Joey’s younger brother Nico, short for Dominic. Ryan Dean also wonders what Joey may have wanted to tell him shortly before his passing, and whether or not he had told Nico.

Would you recommend this book? Yes, for older teens due to language and mature themes. The tone of the book was a little different than the first one. Ryan Dean had lost some of his young, innocent humor and was a bit more jaded and downright mean at times. However, there were still parts that made me laugh out loud, and it was nice to see some loose ends tied up.

4 stars


Winger, Review

17 May

Winger by Andrew Smith

Plot: Ryan Dean West (Ryan Dean is his full first name, though he is known by the nickname Winger) is a 14-year-old junior at a rich boarding school called Pine Mountain. Placed into Opportunity Hall, a dorm for troublemakers, Ryan Dean is forced to room with Chas Becker, a popular but difficult person to get along with. Winger tries to maintain his friendships with fellow Rugby players Seanie and JP, but that does not always prove to be an easy task due to their age differences and female trouble.

Ryan Dean is trying to take things to the next level with his good friend Annie, while also dealing with not altogether unwelcome advances from Megan, who is dating Chas. He also forms an unlikely bond with another rugby player who takes a lot of heat from the other guys.

Would you recommend this book? Yes, for more mature audiences. There is a lot of bad language and adult themes. I like the fact that Ryan Dean is so honest as a narrator so you know exactly what he is thinking and feeling, and you’ll find yourself laughing out loud about some of what he encounters, and just his thoughts in general.  There is a surprise ending that I was most definitely not expecting. I look forward to reading the sequel to see what senior year has in store for Ryan Dean.

5 stars


Lola and the Boy Next Door, Review

6 May

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Plot: This book touches upon many different topics–we have Lola who lives with her two dads, since her birth mother had to give her up when she was young due to some poor choices with alcohol and drugs. Lola is a free-spirited high school girl who never has the same look twice–always experimenting with different colors/styles of wigs, and different combinations of outfits. She is dating an older guy named Max, a rocker in a band, that her dads disapprove of despite him trying his best to show them he is a good guy each week at Sunday brunch.

Then there is the return of the neighbors who had lived there a while ago and then moved away and have now returned–Cricket and Calliope Bell. Lola struggles with her feelings for Cricket whom she had liked when they were younger, and her dislike of Calliope who was never Lola’s biggest fan.

Lola must see if she can handle becoming friends again with Cricket while still dating Max, maintain her friendship with her best friend, and also find who she truly is beyond all the costumes.

Would you recommend this book? Yes. You find yourself rooting for Lola to make the right choice.

4 stars


99 Days, Review

29 Apr

99 Days by Katie Cotugno

Plot: This is the story of a girl named Molly who is back home for the summer after running off to boarding school for her senior year of college. She was best friends with Julia and dating her brother Patrick–when she and Patrick briefly broke up junior year, Molly had a secret fling with his brother Gabe. Molly’s author mother used the details of Molly’s dramatic situation to write a best-selling novel, unbeknownst to Molly. When the book came out, it wasn’t hard for everybody to figure out the truth, which caused Patrick to break up with Molly for the second time. Unable to deal with the onslaught of hatred and hurtful words and actions from her former friends and classmates, that is when Molly left for boarding school.

Now back for the 99 days of summer before going off to college, Molly must deal with her resentment toward her mother for exploiting her pain for her own gain, her confused feelings toward both Gabe and Patrick, mean girls, and a budding friendship with Patrick’s new girlfriend.

Would you recommend this book? Yes, for older teens. Although I was not happy with the fact that there was such a double standard–everybody was shunning Molly for the events that took place, but nobody was acting like the brothers had done anything wrong.

4 stars



Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics, Review

30 Mar

Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein

Plot: In this sequel, Kyle and his teammates are back again to compete in Mr. Lemoncello’s first-ever Library Olympics! This time teams from all across America have been invited to compete–but throughout the course of the games it is discovered that some books are missing. Is somebody trying to censor what books are allowed in the library? All the teams must band together to solve mysteries, riddles and puzzles and get to the bottom of this issue. Can they do it in time before Mr. Lemoncello decides to give up on the library?

Would you recommend this book? Yes.

4 stars


The William C. Morris Award Finalists

9 Feb

Check out all the finalists for the William C. Morris Award, an award given each year to a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens.

Morris 1

Morris 2

Morris 3

Morris 4