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Book Review: Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

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This epic adventure about breaking a terrible curse and finding true love will leave you hungry for more. I l especially liked that the 12 princesses all had difference personalities and they were not your average girls. I also love the cover! I recommend this for ages 11 and up.

Reviewed by Vanessa, grade 9

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Book Review: Crewel by Gennifer Albin

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Adelice has been able to manipulate time and matter since she was young, but has been desperately hiding her abilities to avoid being called by the government to work as a Spinster. One slip later, she’s at the Conventry, manipulating the Weave that runs the world of Arras. But things are not what they seem and Adelice knows she must escape. With her every move monitored and her loved ones held captive, how will she manage?

This novel was creative and unique, with many plot twists. The emotional struggle Adelice faced was realistic and easy to relate to. The only thing I dislike about this book is that I have to wait for book 2! I’d recommend that every person 12 and up who enjoys reading sci-fi/fantasy/romances read this book.

Reviewed by Marissa, grade 10

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Book Review: Black City by Elizabeth Richards

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Natalie should hate Ash. He is a Darkling and she is Sentry. Her father’s brutal murder by Darklings scarred her deeply, yet she doesn’t hate him. She loves him, though society and her own instinct doesn’t approve. When harsh new laws loom that could separate them, will their unorthodox love survive? Will they?

This book has a clever and imaginative plot that twists the usual star-crossed lovers angle. However, the romance seemed too fast-paced. It’s unreasonable that a girl would change her mindset about Darklings after one day and that detracted from the story.

That being said, I would still recommend it to an audience 12 and up. The ending hints at another book and I eagerly await it!

Reviewed by Marissa, grade 10

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Book Review: Along the Watchtower by Constance Squires

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Army Brat Lucinda Collins is the daughter of Major Jack Collins. This novel tells of Lucinda’s travels, both physical and emotional and how rock and roll shapes her life. Engrossing and heartfelt, this is a revealing look into the army family’s life, mixed with a deluge of great music. I couldn’t put this book down. Lucinda’s story was touching, humorous and poignant, all wrapped with a rock and roll ribbon. I would recommend this to readers 14 and older.

Reviewed by Marissa, grade 10

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Book Review: Prodigy by Marie Lu

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I loved EVERYTHING about this book! Especially the ending! There’s action, suspense, tension between Day and June. This book is AMAZING! Marie Lu is truly an amazing author I really hope she writes more. I adore her and all her books. Legend and Prodigy are a MUST read. (Note: This review refers to a pre-publication galley. Prodigy due out January 2013.)

Reviewed by Maggie B., grade 6

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Book Review: Spirited-13 Haunted Tales

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From hauntings to the land of the dead, this collection is full of ghostly occurrences. A wonderful and varied mix of tales ensure that you never find yourself bored.

This collection explored many ideas and concepts, some classic and some entirely new to me. Each story was fascinating, with distinct characters. I loved that there were three sections – past, present and future. That is unique and creative, much like the stories themselves. Read this book during the day – or at a campfire!

Reviewed by Marissa, grade 10

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Book Review: Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta

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Froi has been toiling to master both weaponry skills and his temper. When the former street thief is given the chance to prove himself with the assassination of neighboring Charyn’s king, he leaps at the opportunity. However, the finds that Charyn is much stranger — and darker — than it appears. Faced with his past, his future and heart-wrenching decisions, Froi must find himself.

With many different views to keep a reader engrossed, all of the characters get a chance to show of their complete and realistic selves. I will definitely be reading the first book (Finnikin of the Rock, 2010), not because it is needed to understand this one, but because I cannot get enough of this dark and compelling land. Though I was upset by the vagueness of the ending, I can only hope that it means there will be another book to come.

Reviewed by Marissa, grade 10

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Book Review: Until I Die by Amy Plum

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Reviewed by Marissa, grade 10

Things should be wonderful for Kate and her undead revenant boyfriend Vincent now that they have slain the evil numa leader, but disaster and misery seem to lie in wait. As both search for a solution to their lopsided relationship — Vincent’s revenant nature makes him need to die saving others, yet he comes back to life after a few days, for he is immortal — the numa are planning something big, and it’s centered on Vincent.

Yet another love story about a girl with a powerful immortal boyfriend, except in this one, Kate doesn’t just rely on Vincent to protect her, she trains herself! While the beginning and middle were a little slow, the ending was action-packed. Full of strong characters and interesting plot twists, this is a great read for anybody 12 or older. Kate is opinionated and unafraid to follow her heart, and I love her for it. She’s no damsel in distress — she’s a force to be reckoned with.

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Book Review: Ripper by Amy Carol Reeves

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Abbie is accustomed to her rough and tumble life, moving from place to place with her mother. So, when her mother dies and Abbie moves in with her strict and socially conscious grandmother, she feels trapped. Though it is strange for a girl to pursue a dream in 1880, Abbie decides to volunteer at a hospital. But when strange and gruesome murders start, along with strange visions, Abbie must decide how much she is willing to risk.

This was an original and interesting take on the Jack the Ripper murders. Reeves took the purpose and focus down an entirely new path, one I would never have imagined. With strong, loveable characters and just enough gory description, this is a book I couldn’t put down. Some older content leads me to recommend this novel to readers around 13 and up.

Rating: 5 Stars — I loved it!

Reviewed by Marissa, grade 10

 

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Book Review: Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

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Bitterblue has grown from a terrified young girl, hiding from her evil and twisted king father, to a queen with many aspirations to restore her kingdom. But King Leck’s magical lies still cloud the minds of some and his sadistic deeds have shattered the minds of others. With more strange things occurring daily, Bitterblue starts to wonder who she can trust, for it is up to her to right the wrongs of her father, even when it means risking her own life.

This was a wonderful addition to Fire and Graceling. It tied up formerly loose ends and answered the pressing question of what happened to Bitterblue. Kristin Cashore has once again created a masterpiece. She deftly combines old and new characters, and melds her two previous books seemlessly. Full of intrigue and action, this page-turner kept me wondering until the very end. I loved it and would rate it 5 of 5 stars.

– Reviewed by Marissa, grade 10