Book Review: Outlaw by Stephen Davies

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Jake Knight is the privileged 15-year-old son of the British Ambassador to Burkina Faso. When he is suspended from his oppressive boarding school, he is excited for what he anticipates to be a vacation in the dry heat of Africa. Instead, he finds himself kidnapped by the most wanted outlaw/terrorist in Africa. He must tap into his wits and sense of adventure to save himself, his sister and his friends.

I loved the twists that defined this novel – it turned an obvious plot into a labyrinth that I thoroughly enjoyed losing myself in. I’d rate it four stars — I liked it a lot. Jake’s wall-walking talent certainly caught my attention, but the lessons he and his sisters learned about assumptions, loyalty and right and wrong held me until the very last page. The characters were all strong and unique and extremely easy to fall in love with. While I think anybody 10 and up would be perfectly able to read this, an older reader would be able to fully appreciate the complex questions it poses about loyalty, government and wealth distribution. All in all, Outlaw is a thrilling read.

Reviewed by Marissa, grade 9

Book Review: Pure Red by Danielle Joseph

 

 

 

 

 

This book is about a girl named Cassia Bernard and her journey to find her passion. She has to deal with old memories and crazy changes taking place in herself and others. Why is she going through all this trouble? Well, because a school counselor told her she wasn’t important and Cassia wants to prove her wrong. I liked everything about this book because it reminds me of me and gets me thinking about my life. I wish it was longer! I’d recommend this book to a friend and I’d rate it five stars — I loved it!

Reviewed by Koryssa, grade 8

Book Review: A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton

When Ari learned she was the next in line to receive the ages-old curse of Medusa, she wanted to deny and ignore her tremendous powers. But with Violet held captive by Athena and the twisted games Athena is playing with all those Ari holds dear, including kind-of boyfriend Sebastian, Ari has no choice but to accept and implement her powers, even if it means losing herself.

Ari’s story went from gripping to binding. I couldn’t put it down until I had read every last page, and then I checked for more. With chilling descriptions and grotesque games, this is a novel for older readers. Ari faces a timeless dilemma of fear versus love that is made fresh by the Greek lore and the darkness of New 2. It’s a creative masterpiece with just the right combination of mystery, action, romance and heartbreak. With its relatable characters, this pair of books, Darkness Becomes Her and A Beautiful Evil, will always be in my Top Ten.

Reviewed by Marissa, grade 9

Book Review: iBoy by Kevin Brooks

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Tom Harvey was just trying to get by, avoiding the gangs that run his neighborhood and trying to get childhood friend Lucy to notice him. But then Lucy is gang-raped and Tom is impaled by a falling iPhone. Everything in their world is shattered. Tom finds that he can now access anything on the web, as well as make calls, take pictures, and hack various sites, simply by thinking about it. Meanwhile, Lucy is terrified of leaving her apartment and is the victim of continued harassment. Tom appoints himself as Lucy’s protector, but soon gets into more trouble than his new ipowers can handle.

In a world of technology, this is the next step. Though I’ve read about mental technology before, it’s never been by accident and never as intense as what iBoy has. This was an interesting as well as an emotionally tense read and I enjoyed the facts that headed each chapter.

This novel had many parts to it, from action to romance. Tom’s vigilante actions are admirable, and the way he struggles with his powers is somehow realistic. I would recommend this to older readers because of the gang rape content, but all in all, this is a wonderful story.

Reviewed by Marissa, grade 9

Book Review: Love? Maybe by Heather Hepler

 

 

 

 

 

Piper doesn’t really believe in love. She’s seen the ugly side of it, watching her friends and mom go through it. She suddenly finds herself in a relationship, but is she happy? I liked how this novel talked about swimming to which I can connect. I also really liked the chocolate shop — it made the book original. However, I kind of saw the ending coming. Still, I’d rate it 5 stars. I loved it!

– Reviewed by Lauren, 7th grade