Teen Reading Reviews

Teen Reading Reviews


Anne Frank the Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Anne Frank is a Jewish girl who was left with no choice but to leave her home due to the Nazi invasions in Germany. Her family moved into a Secret Annex, where another family and another man joined them later on. This diary is suspenseful, thrilling, and most importantly, profound.

I liked this book because Anne Frank not only explained what was going on in the Secret Annex, but she also gave the readers insight into what was happening in the political world. However, there were some parts that I disliked. One of the main parts that I disliked was when Anne was mad. When she was mad, she would write down insulting statements in her dairy, which made the contents of it seem questionable.



To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

"To Kill A Mockingbird" has a few main characters, it's not just based on two or one characters. First there's Boo Radly who is rumored to be a bad person who harms children. There is also Scout who is the stubborn but  smart daughter of Atticus. Atticus is a lawyer who defended Tom Robinson, an innocent black man. Then there's Jem, the older brother of Scout. This story takes place in a quiet neighborhood. Boo is characterized as a mockingbird.

I liked this book because it had a nice plot and metaphorically gives many points of the wrong and the right way to treat people.


The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien

Bilbo Baggins is your typical Hobbit - he loves to read, relax, and cook. He wakes up one morning to a knock on his door and wonders who it could be. He opens the door to find a dwarf. This process happens for quite some time until he meets Gandalf, a wizard that has come to ask Bilbo for a favor. Gandalf explains that they are going on a quest to retrieve gold from a very dangerous dragon named Smaug. After hearing about this, Bilbo immediately refuses as he wishes to stay in the comforts of his home. However, Gandalf and the dwarves are able to convince him to go on the quest. Right from the beginning of the journey, they come across one of many problems. Throughout the story, the group works together to overcome the hardships and obstacles that stand in their way of the gold.

I really liked the characters and the relationship that they develop throughout the story. My favorite character is definitely the main one, Bilbo Baggins. I really liked his own self-development in the story. In the beginning, he was very reluctant to go on the adventure and just wanted to stay in the comfort of his home. However, he went on the adventure and I think that adventure really brought out the "true" side of him. Bilbo, however, couldn't have gone on the adventure without the help of the brave dwarves and the wise wizard, Gandalf. Throughout the story, the whole group is faced with issues and problems from different types of enemies. From goblins and wargs, low self-esteem and low food supply, and the mighty Smaug, the Hobbit contains lots of problems for the protagonists to fight through to get to the prize they desire most - lots and lots of gold.


Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

This is a dystopian book that resembles a whole new world. In this world, books are forbidden, since they are described as useless, forgotten, and meaningless. If a book is found in someone's home, firefighters would be called down to burn the inside of the house down. Firefighters are doing this because all houses became fireproof, thus leading to no jobs for the firefighters. However, a firefighter named Guy Montag discovers the importance of books after he brought one home after he burned a lady's house down with her inside (because she didn't want to leave her books). He then went on a mission to undo the bad in his country and restore it back to normal. 

I liked this book because every single paragraph had some sort of hidden meanings and so many allusions. It also had a very interesting plot, and since I find dystopian books interesting, I really enjoyed this book.



The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Santiago = main character/ the old man Manolin = the little boy Santiago also known as the old man sets his journey to go on another fishing trip yet this trip takes an unexpected turn when he stays up for a few days straight with little food and hasn't caught a fish in a while.

I liked this book because it was short and contained many literary elements which expanded my English skills.


Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

This book takes place during the Great Depression and it's about two migrant workers, Lennie and George, who try to find a job in order to reach their dream of getting their own place one day and not have to work for anyone but themselves. Lennie is a huge guy who seems to be intimidating at first but is really a huge baby if you talk to him. George on the other hand is a small guy who is smart and the leader of the two.

I liked the book because it really emphasized on the importance of dreams and how not dreaming could leave you to be bitter and heartless.


Divergent by Veronica Roth

The book "Divergent" is a dystopian novel and it is the first book in the "Divergent" trilogy series. People are separated into five factions. Once they are of age, they take an aptitude test to determine which faction they will best thrive in. They can choose to join the faction that they will most likely succeed in or they can stay in their original faction with their families. The five factions are: Amity, the peaceful ones; Abnegation, the selfless ones; Dauntless, the brave ones; Candor, the honest ones; and Erudite, the intelligent ones. The main character, Tris from the Abnegation faction, happens to score three different factions on her aptitude test. Out of the three, she chooses to join Dauntless. The thing is, no one is supposed to score for more than one faction on their aptitude test. 

I liked the book but it wasn't the best. The writing style could be improved, but the plot was intriguing. I liked how it showed that people could belong in more than one faction because in situations where people are judged by their group it would be nice to know that there's more than one group they could be in.


The Selection by Kiera Cass

Thirty-five girls from Illéa are chosen to compete in The Selection to win the heart of Prince Maxon and to be crowned the next princess. America Singer has lived her whole life as a Five and the thought of becoming a One and having everything she could have dreamed of scares her. She questions everything and whether or not this was worth leaving her secret love, Aspen, who was a caste below her, behind. When America is swept into the palace, she finds herself face-to-face with so many questions and the chance of a lifetime. 

I loved this book because it kept me on the edge of my seat. I wanted America Singer to win so badly because she didn't even know or understand what a good princess and queen she would be and I find that so important. The Selection made me understand that even when I feet like something wouldn't work out, it will as long as I keep on pushing and going. Not only is The Selection an amazing book, it teaches an important message to the readers. I have never read any kind of book that is like The Selection and I believe it should get more recognition. 

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

This book is centered around our 2 main protagonists, Rowan Dasmich and Citra Terranova, who are both chosen as apprentices to the same scythe. They live in a futuristic world, in which all natural forms of death are non-existent (old age, disease, etc.). Scythes are a group of people who the world has assigned as designated killers who serve as an artificial mode of death in order to keep the population under control. However, corruption is starting to take hold within the scythes, and that shakes up our protagonists' world in the worst way possible.

I liked the book because of its unique science fiction plot and many twists and turns. I also loved the characters and the way they were developed as the plot unraveled.


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games is a book that takes place in a futuristic world, in which the society is split into 12 different districts. Every year, 2 people from each district were chosen and brought together to fight to the death in the Hunger Games. The story follows Katniss Everdeen as she journeys through the Games with the other representative from her district, Peeta Mellark.

I enjoyed the book because of its unique plot and thought provoking ideas presented through the story. The book balances many elements of action, emotion, and gravity in a way few books are able to.



The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver is about a young man named Jonas who lives in a colorless, emotionless, perfect society that outlaws feelings and choice. During the Ceremony of Twelve, however, when he is supposed to be given a job in the society, he becomes the apprentice of the Giver, a mysterious old man who holds the memories of the human era, full of color, happiness, pain, loss, love; everything this society lacks. Over time, Jonas learns about generations past and rises up against the leaders of the oppressive world.

I liked the book because of its heavy underlying themes and messages. It packed a massive emotional punch!

The Ones We're Meant to Find by Joan He

Two very different sisters, Cee and Kasey are separated by an ocean and were anxiously attempting to locate each other. Cee has been stuck on an abandoned island for three years, with no memory of how she got there or of her previous life. The setting of floating cities, abandoned islands, and a glimpse into an apocalyptic future that doesn't seem too far-fetched and are really pretty to imagine. Kasey is looking for a way out of the science and the home she once trusted. The eco-city is supposed to be a haven for those dedicated to environmental conservation, but it's populated by people willing to do everything for a place to call home, even lying. Now she must decide whether or not she is willing to utilize science to benefit humanity, despite the fact that it failed the ones who mattered most.

I really liked this book and would recommend it to my friends since it depicts the connection between sisters as well as compassion for a humanity that doesn't always deserve it. The characters surprised me with their acts and very well representation; this survival story mixed with mystery had realistic characters who did not let us down as readers and made good decisions throughout the book.


Heartless by Marissa Meyer

The book "Heartless" is a retelling of "Alice in Wonderland". The main character, Catherine, adores baking and wants to open a bakery with her maid, Mary Ann. However, that isn't what her parents want for her. When the naive King of Hearts courts her, her parents are ecstatic. Catherine, on the other hand, is not. She wants to marry for love and she does not love the King. Yet what is she going to do with her parents pressuring her? And what happens when she meets the mysterious Court Jester? It seems that everyone wants something from her that she doesn't have.

I adored this book. It had references to Edgar Allan Poe and I understood them. I loved how it fit the fairytale of Alice in Wonderland. It also showed that you can't name someone as a villain. All we are, are hurting people. Besides, hurting people, hurt people. I loved the last sentence of the book and how Catherine was passionate about what she wanted to do.


Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal

Celia Sand and her best friend Anya have been misleading the followers of the widely spread religion of Profeta for a long time. The two believed that tattooing the devotees of Profeta guided everyone to a better fortune, but Celia soon discovers that she is spreading lies through their revered ink.

In order to escape the brutal prison-like temple that Celia and Anya have been serving in for years, the friends join the Rabble Mob, a traveling troupe of magic. At first, it seems that all is solved, but the two soon discover that they haven't left everything behind. 

This book is full of wonder, magic, and whimsy, which I love. "Ink in the Blood" was a fascinating read, but only in the second half. Unfortunately, this story didn't spark my interest in the beginning. In addition, while the content felt like it was for a YA audience, the writing at times seemed like it was written for middle grade readers. However, that was just my take on some parts of the story. Overall, this was an enjoyable read. I'm glad I stayed for the end.



Wondrous Journeys In Strange Lands by Sonia Nimr

This book is a very interesting novel with lots of suspense. It is about a girl named Qamar who wanted to fulfill her parent's dream of travelling the world. For background, her fathers' village was cursed to never have daughters again. Nobody in the village was allowed to marry anyone outside the village and they were always constrained under many rules. Women weren't allowed to read because of the fear that they may take over the village. This book was good in it's many settings and mysterious vibe. I recommend this book.

I liked this book because of the multitude of detail and the multiple amount of places that the character goes to.


House of Dragons by Jessica Cluess

There are five children from five houses. After the emperor died, they all have been selected to compete in a series of challenges to try and take the throne.

I LOVED this book because it has all the good characteristics of a book that I am looking for. Mystery, fantasy, character development, different setting, plot, and different characters.

An Ember in the Ashes by Saaba Tahir

“An Ember in the Ashes” by Saaba Tahir is a perfect example of what can happen when power falls into the hands of the wrong people. This book is a dystopia that follows the adventures of a Scholar girl named Laia after her brother is captured and taken away. The Scholars are a group of people who are enslaved by the ruling military class called the Martials. She now has to fnd her brother by embarking on a journey into the home of her enemy.

I liked this book because it captures many themes, such as how family is important and that a person should do what they feel is morally right and when that choice is being hindered. They should choose to defy and act instead of allowing themselves to simply accept what is happening. Overall, the plot was made out very well and conveyed many string emotions and personalities from each individual main character.


Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone is about a girl named Zélie Adebola who lives in the kingdom of Orïsha, whose king brutally oppresses magic users, Zélie's people. Some other characters are Tzain, an athlete, Amari, the adventurous daughter of the king, with whom Tzain falls in love and Inan, the king's son who follows in his footsteps to eradicate those who use magic, with whom Zélie forms an unlikely bond with. The story follows Zélie as she goes on a quest to restore magic in Orïsha.

I liked the book because of its feisty characters, fast-paced plot and bombastic ending.

Six Crimson Canes by Elizabeth Lim

In the land of Kiata, the princess, Shiori’anma, lives with her six brothers, father and step-mother. Princess Shiori, the only princess of Kiata, has magic that is forbidden in Kiata. The only thing Shiori has enchanted is a paper crane named Kiki who is a secret to the rest of the world until on her betrothal ceremony, Kiki flies out of her sleeve and outside the palace on to the Sacred Lake. Shiori follows Kiki and almost drowns when a dragon appears and saves her. When Shiori wakes, her brothers ask what happened and she says a dragon had saved her. No one in the room believes her, but her stepmother’s questions about the dragon made Shiori feel uneasy. Once Shiori finds out her stepmother’s true form, she runs to tell her brothers but her stepmother curses Shiori’s brothers to turn into cranes and Shiori that every time she speaks one of her brothers will die. Spiraled by magic to a remote island, Shiori embarks on a journey to find her brothers and break her stepmother’s curse.

I liked this book because Shiori never gives up because giving up doesn’t solve anything.

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

The book takes place after Cinderella becomes the queen of France. The Marquis Chance stole Isabelle’s (Cinderella’s stepsister) map of her path in life from the fates because he wanted to change Isabelle’s path because it had a bad ending. So, the crone of the fates wanted to make Isabelle refuse the chance Chance was going to offer her. Isabelle called the fairy queen with her heart and she asked the fairy queen to make her pretty. The fairy queen said to do this, Isabelle had to find the missing pieces of her own heart. As a result, Isabelle tries to find the missing pieces of her heart while Fate and Chance try to take Isabelle’s map from each other to try to direct Isabelle’s path the way they want it to go.

I like the themes of the story, beautiful doesn’t just mean pretty as in looks and give a person/others a chance.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

When Kaz Brekker is offered the deal of a lifetime to break into the seemingly impenetrable Ice Court of the North, he recruits a team to bring back a scientist with a secret that can destroy nations. Together, a spy, an ex-convict, a runaway, a gambler, a Heartrender, and a con have to put aside their desires to murder each other and try not to get killed.  
To obtain more background knowledge of the Grishaverse, I suggest reading the "Shadow and Bone" trilogy.

This was a fantastic and imaginative read. Bardugo has managed to create a world with layers and nuances that many other authors can't achieve. The world building was amazing for me. "Six of Crows" is a very character driven story, and I loved everyone that was introduced. Their stories will stay with me for a long time. This story may be a bit slow in the beginning, but it becomes amazing as you read on. I read this book in one sitting, and I just couldn't put it down. 

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Kaz Brekker is a criminal prodigy who, lives in Ketterdam, the hub of international trade. He aims to pull off the biggest heist of his life, but he cannot pull it off alone. So, he gathers a team of drastically different people to accomplish it. The team consists of himself, Inej Ghafa, Nina Zenik, Jesper Fahey, Matthias Helvar, and Wylan Van Eck. They work together to pull off the heist and grow as people as the story unravels.

I loved the book! It had really interesting themes, intriguing, engaging and mysterious characters, as well as a fun and really cool premise and plot.

Historical Fiction

Refugee by Alan Gratz

I really like this book because it kept my interest throughout the entire book. It had a mystery fiction genre, which keeps the story interesting. This book was exactly what I was looking for! I'm so glad I found this book! I think a good age group for this book would be 12-14.

I really like this book because it kept my interest throughout the entire book.

The Darkest Hour by Caroline Tung Richmond

This book is about three refugees, each of them in different locations in different generations. There is a Jewish boy named Joseph running away from the Nazis during World War 2, a Cuban girl sailing on a raft to escape her country in 1994, and a Syrian boy escaping war in his hometown in 2015. They all have different refugee stories, but face similar hardships. 

I liked this book because every single chapter was interesting and I felt as if I were the characters seeking refugee.

Storm and Silence by Robert Thier

This book is amazing! I loved how the book took place in London in the 19th century and how the main character, Lillian Linton tries to fight for her independence. The first time Lillian meets Rikkard Ambrose is one of the funniest parts of the books. She is dressed up as a man and is hired by Mr. Ambrose who thinks that she is a man. He finds out when he sees her getting arrested by the police for trying to vote as man and the story begins. I loved how funny she and Mr. Ambrose were despite his frugal ways. My favorite quote from him is "knowledge is power is time is money." This quote is hilarious because he combined the quotes "knowledge is power" and "time is money" in order to save time since time is money. I absolutely love historical fiction books so this is one of my favorite books and I definitely recommend this book to those who also love historical fiction books.

I loved this book because of how funny it was and their unique and amazing personalities. Mr. Ambrose was a very frugal man even though he was the richest man in London at the time. Lilly however, she was just trying to fight for her independence and found very unique ways to do so.


Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna by Alda P. Dobbs

Petra is the main character in the story. The setting takes place in the Mexican desert. Petra made a promise to her father who was taken away by the revolutionaries that she would take care of her abuelita, her sister Amelia and her baby brother Luisito. When the revolutionaries come to burn down her town, she and her family flee north into the desert. Petra faces hardships but never gives up and always puts her family first. She wants to go to America one day and learn how to read and write, but abuelita says that those are barefoot dreams. She says that barefoot dreams don’t come true, but Petra doesn’t listen and refuses to give up on her dreams.

I liked that Petra refused to give up when she faces hardships, and tries to protect her family. She puts her family first and has hope. I also liked that Petra has dreams and goals and refuses to believe that her dreams have no hope of coming true.

A Tyranny of Petticoats by Jessica Spotswood

Fifteen stories written by fifteen authors all edited by one, A Tyranny Of Petticoats is made up of girls in America who make their own choices to survive, and have a better life. The fifteen stories are “Mother Carey’s Table”, “The Journey”, “Madeleine’s choice”, “El Destinos”, “High Stakes”, “The Red Raven Ball”, “Pearls“, “Gold in the Roots Of the Grass”, "The Legendary Garrett Girls”, “The Color Of the Sky”, "Bonnie and Clyde”, “Hard Times”, “City Of Angels”, “Pulse of Panthers”, and “The Whole World is Watching”.

I like that all the Main characters of the stories were brave even in the situations they were in.


The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

David Piper is sort of gay. He likes girly things. His two best friends know the truth he wishes for: David wants to be a girl. Leo Denton has a huge secret. When Leo stands up for David in a fight, an unlikely bond forms.

I liked watching David and Leo grow in the book.


Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales

The book “Perfect on Paper'' by Sophie Gonzales was a book that I found to be very likable. The story follows a bisexual girl, who gives anonymous advice to her school friends, is hired and blackmailed by another student named Brougham to help him win his girlfriend back.

I liked this book because it touches on the topic of LGBTQ and tries to make readers realize that sexual orientation is not something that one should be ashamed of and is not a reason to bully someone else. Although I am not LGBTQ, I was often bullied for reasons that were just because I was different as well. This book may allow others to see this idea as well.


Naruto Vol 58 by Masashi Kishimoto

This book is about Naruto, the shinobi that saved Konoha Village during Pain's assault, fighting against Itachi who is under the Edo Tensei jutsu from Kabuto. Itachi and Nagato were fighting against Naruto without their consent because Kabuto is controlling them. There is a lot of action in this volume of the Naruto book series and it shows Naruto's true growth as a shinobi.

I liked this book because it has a complex plot and suspense as to what will happen next.


Naruto Vol 72 by Masashi Kishimoto

This book is the final volume in the Naruto manga series. It is about the last fight with Naruto and Sasuke in the Final Valley mountains, where they fought back years ago. This event took place right after Naruto and Sasuke were brought back to the real world from them sealing Kaguya. Read to find out whether Sasuke or Naruto wins this final fight!

I liked this book because of the amount of onomatopoeia and the complex plot. It had a plot twist too.


Naruto Vol 70 by Masashi Kishimoto

This story takes place on the battlefield where Madara is the main enemy. Madara is from the Uchiha clan(a clan that posses a special eye called the Sharingan). He wants to fulfill his goal of casting the Infinite Tsukuyomi and ending the war era. Sasuke and Naruto were rivals and best friends, where Sasuke was engulfed by the craze for power. At the end of the previous volume, Might Guy was opening up the death gate, the last gate that releases one's full potential but they ultimately die in the end, to beat Madara. Also, Naruto and Sasuke were about to die in the previous novel too where Naruto was torn apart from Kurama and Sasuke was punctured with rods. Read the book to find out what happens!

I liked this book because it contained a lot of action and suspense. There were many new characters introduced in this book that had a different personality, adding flavor to the book.



Naruto Vol 1 by Masashi Kishimoto

This is the first volume of the Boruto series. The main characters are Uzumaki Boruto and his father Naruto, Uchiha Sasuke and his daughter Sarada, and the Otsutsuki demons. This series is a direct follow up to the Naruto series and started with Naruto as the 7th Hokage. Boruto is mischievous like Naruto, but unlike Naruto, he is a genius and didn't need to study. He just wanted to play games and hangout. Soon after, he started looking up to Sasuke, who was his role model and wanted to be like him. Read the book to find out more!

I liked this book because it has a lot of pictures and facial expressions to show how to characters were feeling.


A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

In "A Good Girl's Guide to Murder", Pip Fitz Amobi has to create her senior year capstone project. She decided to try to resolve the murder of Andie Bell who was presumed to have been murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh who had then killed himself five years earlier. However, Pip knew Sal and she didn't believe he could have done something like that. So she uses her chance to work on her project to finally be able to uncover the truth of Andie Bell and bring justice back to the Singh family.

This book is one of my favorites because the author used so much detail that enabled you to know everything the character knew. This helped me to be able to solve the murder along with the characters which made reading it much more fun. I also love murder mysteries, which made it no surprise that I loved this book so much.


And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
In "And Then There Were None" 10 people are invited to a mysterious island known as Soldier Island. Each of them had received a letter from the mysterious "U.N Owen" inviting them to the island. However, one by one each of the guests turns up dead. Soon, the remaining guests discover that these deaths are not by accident and that if they don't do something they will all have the same fate. 

I liked this book because it is not like any other horror book. It doesn't include zombies, clowns, or anything supernatural. I also liked this book because it was written by one of my favorite authors, Agatha Christie!


The Good Girls by Clara Eliza Bartlett
I really like this book because it had many different perspectives and the mystery part of it kept me hooked. I like reading mystery books so this was a good pick for me as it would be for a person who likes reading mystery. A good age group for this book would be 14-16.

I really like this book because it had many different perspectives and the mystery part of it kept me hooked.


The Cousins by Karen M. McManus
The “Court of Thorns and Roses” series was a very good series that I read recently . The story follows Feyre Archeron, who is a human that is one day whisked away by a High Lord of a Court, which are a group of faeries that are known as the ruling nobility in the Fae world, which is separated from the human world. She then begins to change as a person for better and worse both mentally and in terms of responsibility when she is thrown into this new world.

I liked these books because it teaches that selflessness and helpfulness even when you don’t benefit from it is something worth doing. It also contains many fighting scenes that can be very enjoyable and intense for readers, which almost draws you in through its detailed descriptions of almost lifelike action.


Daughter of Sparta by Claire Andrews

"Daughter of Sparta" is an exciting retelling of classic Greek myths. The book centers around Daphne, a 17-year old adopted Spartan. She's based on the nymph in mythology. But in this story, she's recreated as a warrior who encounters gods and goddesses. After gaining a mission from Artemis, with her brother's life at stake, Daphne works with Apollo to recover nine mysterious items that can save Olympus and recover the gods' powers. Other characters from mythology will interact and work together to help Daphne in her mission. Readers will recognize classic stories and watch as Daphne, Apollo, and others travel throughout ancient Greece.

I really enjoyed how this book incorporated many different Greek myths to create a completely unique story! I especially loved the elements of suspense and mystery that surrounded Daphne's mission. I'm curious to see how Daphne's story continues in the next book in the series.


Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul Letters by Jack Canfield

This is a book filled with letters from teenagers who went through many hardships, such as depression, suicidal thoughts, loss of loved ones, and many more. Before, I was very self-centered, and I always thought that I was the saddest person in the world, but as I read through this, I felt very ashamed of my behavior and felt very lucky that I did not experience any of the things the other teens have felt in the book. These letters are not stories, but real difficulties the people our age faced. I hope you feel the same sympathy as I do when reading this book. 

I really encourage other people to read this book because It made me realize that there are other people at my age who are facing much more difficult things than I am, and it made me realize how lucky I am compared to the other teens that have written the letters.


Educated by Tara Westover

In "Educated," Tara Westover writes about her life as a Mormon girl growing up in Idaho... that doesn't do/go to school. Throughout the story, we see multiple conflicts in Tara's life, and they all seem to be related to her family and the lack of education that they have. In the story, Tara talks about her relationship with her parents and siblings, mainly focusing on her older brother Shawn. The relationship that they have is quite an odd one and many of the conflicts that she has usually have Shawn involved in them. Whether these conflicts be physical, emotional, or mental, they definitely have a big effect on her when she goes to college. Tara has to balance between two worlds, the one that she grew up in and the one that she wants to live. She often has many conflicts with herself and these conflicts stem from the things that her father and brother, Shawn, say. Even with all this going on, she still finds ways to do well with school. She learns of many things, from the History of the Holocaust to bipolar disorder. However, the biggest thing that she learns is that education can play a big role in one's life, and with the lack of education in her family's life, she has to endure the troubles and conflicts that come as a result. 

I definitely enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it to everyone to read because I feel that everyone can relate to it in some sort of way - education or not. I can see a lot of kids dealing with the same conflicts that Tara had and I think this book does a great job of addressing how to deal with those conflicts.


Educated by Tara Westover

Tara Westover's broad innocence captivated the audience as she described her home, the surrounding mountains, and her odd but kind family. The difficulties and struggles of being a Mormon in a place like Idaho, where her family does not believe in governments, doctors, or schools. She discusses these topics, which are very real, and the fact that this is non-fiction is upsetting because she discusses them so openly since she was held back from doing many things and tried to pursue her dreams. Surround yourself with individuals who support you, is a lesson I gained from this book. Westover was physically, mentally, and emotionally abused by one of her brothers when she was a child. Another important message is that our voices matter and are powerful. These main points shaped Tara's character and helped her get to where she is now.

I liked this book because I personally felt that Westover's story, about her journey from being homeschooled as a child in a rural Idaho survivalist household to receiving a PhD in history from Cambridge, had the makings of a classic. It’s overall a very inspirational book discussion the importance of education around the world.


Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

This book is mainly about an overweight black teenage boy from Jackson Missippi, who struggles with family, financial, and school issues. As a young boy, Kiese was extremely overweight due to the lack of money for healthy food, and the number of secrets his mother has kept from him about his father. Growing up, he has been more aware of how black people are being discriminated against, and he decided to act upon it. I would recommend this book to older high schoolers, however, since there are plenty of parts that younger people should definitely not read. There are countless important messages/quotes in this book, but the most important one would be: It's not about making other people feel what you feel. It's about not feeling what they want you to feel. 

I really loved this book because it was intense, meaningful, and touching. This book really stood out from the other books I have read since I was able to feel the pain that the author felt as he was growing up. 


The Iliad by Homer

This book is about the great Trojan war between the Greeks and the Trojans. This all started when Paris gave the golden apple to Aphrodite and kidnapped Helen from Menelaus (the king of the Greeks and husband of Helen). The Trojans refused to give back Helen and it started the great war. Achilles is a great fighter and is part of the Greek army. Read to find out what which army won, the Greeks or the Trojans! 

I liked this book because it has a lot of adventure in it and is very mysterious as to what is going to happen next.


Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Before reading "Outliers", I just thought that to be successful, you just needed to work hard, be super smart, and be lucky. After reading "Outliers" I learned that where you come from, the attitude that you have, and the opportunities that you get can really contribute to how successful you can be. The book has lots of studies that are interesting and they clearly support Malcolm Gladwell's factors to success. I believe that anyone who reads this book will find a way to connect with it.

I didn't really know what to expect when I borrowed "Outliers", but I am really happy that I chose to read it because I really liked how Malcolm Gladwell was able to analyze the factors that one needs to become successful. The book contains short stories that are very informative and interesting, which makes it really fun to read.


Parkland by Dave Cullen

"Parkland" follows the aftermath of the Florida school shooting in 2018 and the teenagers affected by the shooting. Dave Cullen crafts a comprehensive narrative of the fight for more gun control laws in America through the eyes of a group of Parkland survivors. In this book, Cullen examines one of the most important movements in this country's history, one that is still going on today. 

"Parkland" was very informative about the inside of the gun control movement. I can see readers in the future starting in depth conversations about the effects of mass school shootings and what they mean for our future.


The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell

From fashion trends to the rapid spread of diseases, "The Tipping Point" explains that if you make small changes to three things - The Law of the Few, The Stickiness Factor, and The Power of Context - the result can be completely different. 

I recently read Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers" and I really liked all the stories and examples that showed how people became successful. Shortly after reading "Outliers", I heard about another book that he wrote called "The Tipping Point". The story talks about how little things can make a big difference. Just like "Outliers", the book is filled with examples of this concept. I liked learning about the concept that small changes can make a big difference and I really enjoyed reading "The Tipping Point"!



Survivor's Club: The True Story of a Very Young Prisoner of Auschwitz by Michael Bornstein

This book is a true story of the author's experience of being in the Nazi camp of Auschwitz at a very young age of four. This book mostly took place in the Nazi camp of Auschwitz where they torture and kill Jews. It shows the horrors and struggles of Michael's family(the author) and other people. Michael had to be separated from his mom when he was in the death camp and had little to no food rations. He was tattooed with a numbers and letters and was tortured by the guards for screaming. These are just the many frightful events that the author had to go through.

I liked this book because it had suspense in what was going to happen to Michael and his family. For example, when Michael's mom was transported to the different camp, the readers didn't know if he was dead or alive because there was nothing mentioned about his mom for sometime after the incident.


Diet for a Changing Climate by Christy Mihaly and Sue Heavenrich

Diet For A Changing Climate tells the readers about the imported species of organisms that have invaded and damaged the ecosystem and the problem is tied to Earth’s warming climate. One of the solutions people have come up with to cool global warming is changing the way you eat. Changing the way you eat can help solve the world’s biggest problems. Eating locally, eating healthy, eating invasive plants and animals, and eating bugs can all help lower the invasive species populations and greenhouse gas.

I liked this book because from it I can see the impact of climate change and all the problems that are connected. I also like this book because the book has websites I can visit to get more information.



Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

This story takes place in a town called Mica in Arizona. It is about an eleventh-grade girl named Stargirl who is different from others, but the book was written from the point of view of a boy named Leo Borlock. Stargirl was homeschooled until eleventh grade, and started coming to the public school in Mica. During the entire school year, the students' perspectives on Stargirl changes. There are many events that change the way they feel about Stargirl, and how Stargirl thinks of herself.

I enjoyed this book because it shows how people can be different and everyone doesn't have to be the same. 


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This book is about an African American boy named Khalil who was shot by a police officer in a poor community called Garden Heights. The thing that made this case special was that the boy wasn't doing anything wrong. The main character, Starr, was a witness that night, and she went through all kinds of things following the incident. 

This book was amazing because the author really put in lots of details and it was a touching story.


My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

The story follows a twelve year old girl named Anna Fitzgerald who wants to sue her parents for medical emancipation. This is basically because she wants to have the right to her own body so that she does not have to donate a kidney to her elder sister Kate, who is gradually dying from acute leukemia. She wants to live her own life even though she loves her sister and hires a lawyer named Campbell to defend her. It is located in a fictional town named Upper Darby, Rhode Island.

I liked this book because from it I can see the impact of climate change and all the problems that are connected. I also like this book because the book has websites I can visit to get more information.


Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi

Jayne Baek, a twenty-year-old Korean American woman living in New York with a lazy boyfriend, an unlawful housing arrangement, and an eating disorder with anxiety and depression symptoms, is the protagonist of Yolk. Jayne's life is further upended when she learns of her older sister June's cancer diagnosis, despite the fact that she is financially and educationally successful. June and Jayne slam against each other and help each other out. Jayne and June, two Korean American sisters, were given such strong and vibrant characters by the author Mary H.K Choi, despite their imperfections. June is nerdy and unafraid to chat to everyone who gets in her way, whereas Jayne is insecure and a little image-obsessed. Both characters, especially Jayne, have unlikeable characteristics that make them human.

Overall, it’s a terrific young-adult/new-adult book that people like me who enjoy realistic fiction should check out. I liked how June's battle with cancer paralleled Jayne's battle with her eating issue, as well as the intricacy of both their individual characterizations and their interaction with one another. Two estranged sisters trade places and attempt insurance fraud to save one of their lives in this humorous and touching comedy. I’ve never experienced reading a story like this before, and I also see myself reading books with an important aspect of cultural identity which was definitely seen in this book Yolk.


Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

The book was very enjoyable and relatable since the main character of the book, Melinda was going to high school as a freshman which was something that I experienced last school year. Although the book took place in the 1990s, it talked about relevant and relatable topics such as losing touch with friends from middle school. The book also talks about a party that happened over the summer which resulted in Melinda calling the police. The reason why she called the police was very shocking and it made me feel terrible for her. She was a victim of such a terrible thing and because she called the police for it, she lost her middle school friends and became ostracized by the school.

I really enjoyed this book because of how easily I was able to relate to it. The book talked about some sensitive topics that were important to know about since it happens in real life but it also talks about entering high school and change which many people could relate to.


The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars is a love story about two kids loving each other despite having cancer. One is named Hazel Grace Lancaster and the other is Augustus Waters. They connect through their love of literature, particularly the book "An Imperial Affliction." On a trip to Amsterdam to meet the author they fall in love and form a strong bond, all the while knowing they are both probably doomed.

I liked it because of its strong emotional plot and the unflinching charisma shared between the characters.


I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn

Kimi Nakamura, a Japanese-American high school senior, has a clear vision for her future: to become a great Asian-American artist. Her mother, on the other hand, aspires to be a painter. Kimi adores creating eye-catching clothes that make her feel like the best version of herself. When Kimi's grandparents invite her to spend spring break with them in Japan, they provide her with a variety of familiar meals, rituals, as well as a whole different culture. Kyoto, with its lovely views, is the ideal setting for her to find herself. It also helps that Akira, a charming young man, volunteers to accompany her. She examines the difficulty of understanding one's familial and cultural background, as well as how it impacts one's identity. This is a worthwhile book thanks to strong characters and a narrative with real depth.

I recommend to read "I love you so Mochi" because not only does it capture an identity crisis it also shows how the people around Kimi were able to bring out the best in herself with a better character. The main character Kimi faces a moral dilemma and how the conflict resolves is very nice to see. which makes a reader more excited. This bookshows how family, culture, passions, and relationships are very important for an individual. The characters and plot in this book can be relatable to teenagers and people who are confused on what they want to do in life. "I love you so mochi" focuses on the idea of living our own life the way we want while not worrying about pleasing others which is a great idea and why I liked this book.