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Book Review: If I Should Die by Amy Plum

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In this conclusion to the Die For Me series, Vincent’s body has been kidnapped by Violette, and she is planning on destroying to to take Vincent’s strength. That power would allow her to win the war between the Revenants and the Numa, giving the Numa control of the earth, which would result in widespread death, pain, and suffering. But Kate isn’t the kind of girl to stand by while the love of her life is killed (for real) and a crazy traitor attempts to take over the world, even if her newly informed grandparents are totally against their granddaughter dating–and possibly dying–for an undead boy. 

Tense and action-packed, with twists of the unexpected and an overlay of everlasting love, this final book is sure to delight and answer any questions remaining for readers. Amy Plum does a wonderful job tying loose ends and keeping the history of the Reverents consistent, as well as mixing things up and balancing happiness with reality, making the ending seem plausible, or as plausible as a final battle between two different kinds of undead can be.

Reviewed by Marissa, grade 11

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Book Review: The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

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The follow up book to The Immoral Rules, this book is a labyrinth. With changes and unexpected events springing out of every corner, you will not be bored when reading. Allie is chasing after the evil, insane, cruel vampire Sarren, who has kidnapped her Sire, Kanin and is torturing him for his sins. Determined to rescue him, Allie has tracked him across the country after delivering a band of humans to the safety of the city Eden. After meeting up with her ‘brother’, the unsavory and heartless Jackal, and her human love, Zeke, they prepare for a final battle, while trying to cure the disease that is wiping out the humans. 

An incredible addition to a phenomenal series. This book has gore and action as well as romance and friendship, which balance out perfectly. With a fast-moving plot that never remains in a straight line, I wait anxiously for the next installment. Once you read the ending, you’ll see why. 12  & up.

Reviewed by Marissa, grade 11

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Book Review: The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

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In this sequel to The Name of the Star, Rory is still recovering from a near-fatal stabbing, but she wants to help her friends Boo, Stephen, and Callum destroy ghosts. When they land a case, Rory throws herself into it–maybe a little too much. One thing leads to another, and then she’s in over her head. Again. This time, though, she doesn’t need saving–she needs to save her friends.

With a monumental ending that will leave you screaming in frustration and anger, this was a great second book that left me wanting and waiting for the next one. The mystery, sic-fi, and touches of romance and history makes the Shades of London series spellbinding. Recommended for 11 & up.

Reviewed by Marissa, grade 11

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Book Review: Every Day by David Levithan

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“A” inhabits a new body every morning. When he wakes up, he could be in the body of a dancer, a wrestler, or a druggie. Gender doesn’t matter, though A is male. Age, however, always stays near his own, around 16. He tries to coast through lives affecting them as little as possible, but when he wakes up in the body of Justin and meets his girlfriend, Rhiannon, he becomes determined to stay near her, no matter what it takes. Can a love that changes form every day survive? 

This story bored me for the most part. The plot remained the same for much of the story. New body, new location, same need to see Rhiannon. She is uncomfortable because of the body switching; he aches to be with her. They fight, they make up. They are uncertain. This is an original thought, but a timeless and stagnant plot. 9 & up

Reviewed by Marissa, grade 11

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Book Review: The Girl with the Iron Touch by Kady Cross

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The Steampunk Chronicles are back. This time, Finley, Griffen, Sam, Jack and Jasper must rescue Emily from the Machinist, who is determined to rise again using her mechanical talents. But Emily is no damsel in distress. She fights to free herself while her friends fight to find her. But will they be able to defeat the insane and dangerous Machinist a second time? And will he stay dead?

This novel explores and deepens all of the relationships in the previous books. Decisions are made and feelings announced, but can anything survive the crisis at hand? Another story of romance, friendship, and strength. 11&up.

Reviewed by Marissa, grade 11

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Book Review: Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards

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The second book in the Black City series (the first being Black City), this is another action- and romance-packed installment in the story of Natalie and Ash. They thought that the preliminary success of their rebellion would carry through without a hitch, but Puritan Rose is determined to shut down the threat to his ‘perfect’ society. With torture, murder, and heartbreak at every turn, Ash and Natalie need to make the right decisions–even if those choices pull them apart. The handsome and flirty leopard-boy Elijah, who is infatuated with Natalie, isn’t helping with the tension between Nat and Ash as they travel across the dangerous, barren Wastelands in search of a secret weapon. 

This story has a twist that you’ll never see coming that will cause you to root for Ash and Nat. Their story isn’t over yet, and I can’t wait to find out the fates of Nat, Ash, Elijah, and the rest of the rebels. 12 & up.

Reviewed by Marissa, grade 11

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Book Review: Moonset by Scott Tracey

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A group of wizards were born to the rogue band Moonset during a war. Now they are in the hands of the government. I liked the way it tied in the present and the past very well with anecdotes about Moonset and for instance, with Justin finding the scrapbook. Though I didn’t like that some things were not tied in during character development, I would still recommend this book to those who like fantasy books and like dark settings. I rate it 5 stars – I love it!

Reviewed by Spencer, grade 7

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Book Review: Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting

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In this fourth Body Finder novel, Violet is still dealing with carrying the imprint of the serial killer she was forced to kill. The haunting music follows her without cease, but bodies continue to call out to her. When she discovers a grisly murder on the way to the beach to meet her friends, they become involved, much to Violet’s dismay. Now, she has to chase a lunatic with a small cult of crackhead killers as well as protect her friends–and herself.

Her world, already different and dangerous, is now not what it seems either. Is there a darker agenda for the group she’s been forced into? What did Violet’s grandmother know that she didn’t share? If those questions and stresses weren’t enough, there’s always the confusing, charismatic, handsome Rafe to cause stress between Violet and her boyfriend Jay.

A twisting plot with action, romance, and suspense, this is a series that I would recommend to any fans of the slightly supernatural. Derting moves the story forward without sacrificing any of the past. Her talent for making the otherworldly seem completely reasonable and realistic is incredible. Age is 11 and up for gore.

Reviewed by Marissa, Grade 10

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Book Review: Solstice by PJ Hoover

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Piper lives in a world of intense heat, limited water, and dying earth. Global warming spiked 18 years ago, and all Piper remembers is cracked earth, heat bubbles, and the constant moving. New cities, new greenhouses to sustain her mother’s — and her — green thumb that is nearly magic, and always chased by the threat of her ‘terrorist father’. Finally 18, Piper is eager to escape her mother’s incredibly overprotective embrace. Never allowed to date, Piper takes a risk — or two — when two guys start to compete for her. But as always, nothing is what it seems, and Piper’s life may have been nothing but an extended lie. 

A brilliant and compelling creation that melds sci-fi, Greek mythology, and romance, I could not put down this book. Filled with more twists than the labyrinth of the Minotaur, P.J. Hoover creates a somehow realistic tale that is blatantly mythical. Highly recommended to any fans of mythology, provided that they’re 10 & up.

Reviewed by Marissa, Grade 10

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Book Review: Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

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Enchanted is a book that has mixed all kinds of childhood fairy tales together. The main story line is a change-up of The Princess and the Frog. I liked this mix a lot — the only thing I didn’t like about it is that I don’t believe there is going to be a sequel. I also wish the girl on the cover was wearing a different dress, but I still rate the book 5 stars — I loved it! I’d recommend it for ages 11 and up.

Reviewed by Vanessa, grade 9