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FEATURED LISTS: Book Reviews By Local Teens

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A Gown of Spanish Lace

Janette Oke

eBOOK OVERDRI

4 stars.

Describe the book: Ariana is settled as a schoolteacher until two gangsters come kidnap her! Her faith is tested as she faces fear and uncertainty while she is held hostage in the bandit's camp. Will Ariana have the faith and courage to see this horrible nightmare come to an end? What role does her mother's wedding gown play in this intrigue?

What did you think: This is one of my favorite Janette Oke books! It's exciting, mysterious, and intriguing all in one! I especially enjoyed the lessons of trust that Ariana experiences and shares with the reader. My favorite part was seeing how Ariana's mother and the mother of Laramie, the bandit's son, asked God for safety and protection for their children--He did!

Who would you recommend it to: Readers who enjoy good wholesome intriguing books

- E.E. (Grade 10) from Mill Creek Library


All the Bright Places

Jennifer Niven

TEEN NIVEN

3 stars.

Describe the book: When Violet and Finch meet at the top of the school bell tower, it's because they've both reached their end. What neither of them know is that this is only the beginning. When she's with Finch, Violet finds herself actually living the days rather than counting them off, and Finch begins to realize that maybe he hasn't seen everything.

What did you think: I feel as if I have just finished two different books. The first was a beautiful love story, absolutely brilliant. The second was an ending and a desperate cry for help. A shout into the void, a book meant to raise awareness for mental illness. It is a great way to raise awareness, and it was very personal from the author.

Who would you recommend it to: Someone who needs a good and different story.

- E.C. (Grade 10) from Sultan Library


Where Trust Lies

Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan

eBOOK 3M

3 stars.

Describe the book: After returning home from a year of teaching in the west, Beth is ready to be home and enjoy time with her family. -Her family has other plans though to go on a cruise and she is expected to come. So Beth finds herself on an interesting trip which includes her sister getting kidnapped-amongst the turmoil with her feelings towards a certain Mountie.

What did you think: I felt that Beth was very cooperative with her family and developed a better relationship with them on the trip. I am also glad that it turned out that Her special Mountie came to her when she was in distress!

Who would you recommend it to: Teens who like Canadian/West adventures!

- T.E. (Grade 9) from Mill Creek Library


11 birthdays

Wendy Mass

J MASS

4 stars.

Describe the book: In the book 11 birthdays a girl and a boy named Amanda and Leo share the same birthday. They stop talking to each other on there b-day because Leo said something about Amanda on there 10th b-day. Then on their 11 b-day they see that it is replay everyday. At first they think it's a joke. Then they have to work together to uncast the "spell"

What did you think: I thought the book was amazing and it was really good. It had some parts that had you thinking whats gonna happen next. My favorite part was when there birthday wasn't replaying and they became friend's again.

Who would you recommend it to: I think anyone who likes a little adventure.

- B.B. (Grade 6) from Lynnwood Library


Speechless

Hannah Harrington

TEEN HARRING

4 stars.

Describe the book: When something she said turns her life upside down, Chelsea takes a vow of silence. She won't say a word, even when she starts making new friends. But not speaking makes her see things in a completely different way, including the importance of friends (and words). Chelsea soon realizes how much she has mistreated them her whole life.

What did you think: I adored this book the whole way through. I loved how it made me think way more about what I say, and even left me literally speechless! My favorite part was when she spoke her first words after over a month of not saying a thing (I could tell how much she must have thought about it beforehand! (Ha Ha!))

Who would you recommend it to: books-that-make-you-see-life-in-a-new-way lovers

- C.W. (Grade 8) from Snohomish Library


Absolutely Maybe

Lisa Yee

TEEN YEE

4 stars.

Describe the book: When Maybe decides to take road trip with her two friends to California to look for her father, she has no plan for where to stay, no way no make money, and no sense of what she is in for. Both of her friends get into their own routine, and she is left to fend for herself. But when she starts stay at her stepdad's house, things start to change.

What did you think: Truthfully, at first I didn't think I would like this book, but when I got into it (and used to the way of writing) I started enjoying it. My favorite part to read is when Maybe meets Jess and starts connecting with a girl for the first time ever.

Who would you recommend it to: adventure book lovers

- C.W. (Grade 8) from Snohomish Library


After

Kristin Harmel

TEEN HARMEL

4 stars.

Describe the book: When Lacey's dad is killed in a car accident, she feels that it is all her fault. Back at school, a new kid shows up which she immediately connects with, who happens to also have lost his dad, too. She soon starts a club for kids who have lost parents to get together, which seems to help a lot. Meanwhile, things with Sam are getting tight.

What did you think: This book made me feel connected with the characters, even though we have just about nothing in common. I loved the part when Lacey first realized that Sam's dad was actually alive, and she felt like he had betrayed her, along with when she finally gathered up enough courage to visit her dad's grave.

Who would you recommend it to: teens who like to feel like part of the book

- C.W. (Grade 8) from Snohomish Library


Sellout

Ebony Wllkins

TEEN WILKINS

4 stars.

Describe the book: When NaTasha moves in with her grandma, Tilly, she realizes how fake her life is back home. Almost everything she does is just to fit in. But at Tilly's girl's reform school, she starts getting bullied, and then assigned to plan the graduation with them. But things start getting better, and she leaves feeling accomplishment for the first time ever.

What did you think: I loved how you could sense the change in NaTasha throughout the whole book. My favorite part was when her best friend comes to her graduation at the school with her worst enemy as her new best friends, and NaTasha doesn't even care, which is the complete opposite of what she would have felt even a week ago.

Who would you recommend it to: middle school girls

- C.W. (Grade 8) from Snohomish Library


Gathering Blue

Lois Lowry

TEEN LOWRY

4 stars.

Describe the book: Kira is a girl with a crippled leg. Pretty innocent, right? Well, disabled people like her get sent to the fields where they are eaten by beasts. However, her weaving talents keep her alive. As she works on a special project assigned to her by the council, she begins to see that something beyond her world exists and she plans to uncover the truth.

What did you think: I thought it was such an amazing book! Towards the end, Lois Lowry taught me about different human civilizations and why how we act affects how we live and our society. She really made me think about our world today. My favorite part was when Lois Lowry connected a small part of "The Giver" into "Gathering Blue" near the end!

Who would you recommend it to: Loves Lois Lowry, Classic-book lovers

- H.S. (Grade 10) from Edmonds Library


Watcher in the Piney Woods

Elizabeth McDavid Jones

J SERIES HISTORY

4 stars.

Describe the book: On a small farm in Virginia you might think that The Civil War would not affect Cassie's family. Unfortunately it did. Cassie finds out that her brother Jacob has died in the war. Heartbroken Cassie runs to the woods and comes upon a deserter. Things start disappearing from their home and it is obvious someone is spying on them. is it the deserter?

What did you think: I liked that Cassie was brave enough to stand up against the deserter. Although she never did see him again after that day in the woods, I was happy to find out that Jacob was the spy and he didn't die after all! I am also glad that Cassie forgave both of her brothers and continued a good relationship with them both!

Who would you recommend it to: History mystery lovers!

- T.E. (Grade 9) from Mill Creek Library


To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee

FIC LEE

4 stars.

Describe the book: In the sleepy town of Maycomb, Jem and Scout Finch have no trouble finding new adventures each year. Although they do get in a mess at times, the siblings turn to their loving father Atticus for help. But when a racial issue appears, Atticus may be the only one to make a change. Will he ever find peace for the African-Americans and for himself?

What did you think: This book made me change my ideas about the 1930's, proving to me that some people still showed love toward African-Americans, even if everyone else wasn't. Its story of friendship and family made me feel glad for the right decisions the community made, frustrated at the problems they faced, and touched by the loyalty toward one another.

Who would you recommend it to: Children and adults who enjoy classics.

- S.C. (Grade 7) from Lynnwood Library


Shadow and Bone

Leigh Bardugo

TEEN BARDUGO

4 stars.

Describe the book: In a world of magic and mystery, things are just the way they've always been for Alina Starkov. She's a member of the first army, a mapmaker, and hopelessly in love with her best friend. She's perfectly ordinary. She doesn't have a destiny. Then, her world changes. Though she born worthless, the fate of the world is suddenly on her shoulders.

What did you think: I loved this book. Think fantasy, but with a refreshing Russian feel to it. Leigh's writing is brilliant, introducing unique characters at every turn. The plot twists are absolutely masterful. Unlike a lot of teen fiction nowadays, I found myself actually relating to the main character. Definitely not your usual fantasy. A work of art. 

Who would you recommend it to: People who enjoy fantasy and mainstream fiction.

- E.C. (Grade 10) from Sultan Library


The Unlikely Hero Of Room 13B

Teresa Toten

TEEN TOTEN

3 stars.

Describe the book: Adam Spencer Ross suffers from Obsessive compulsive disorder. But when he meets Robyn Plummer, a girl who attends his OCD Group, he decides that he has to get better. He has to get better for her.

What did you think: It is a story full of heartbreak, happiness, insanity, and wild discoveries.

Who would you recommend it to: People who want to learn more about OCD.

- A.M. (Grade 7) from Edmonds Library


If I Stay

Gayle Foreman

TEEN FORMAN

3 stars.

Describe the book: Mia's life in Oregon is turned upside down when she falls into a coma after a car crash that leaves her orphaned. In the coma, her consciousness falls into a dreamlike state between life and death that allows her to explore the hospital outside of her body. Filled with heart wrenching flashbacks and profound thoughts, you will not be the same.

What did you think: I love how this book was written. I was not prepared to feel this much all at one time. It not only focuses on the importance of romantic love, but on family and friendship love, the beauty that is human connection. There is so much truth in this book.

Who would you recommend it to: Fans of mainstream fiction and music.

- E.C. (Grade 10) from Sultan Library


Return To Harmony

Janette Oke and T. Davis Bunn

eBOOK OVERDRI

3 stars.

Describe the book: Bethan and Jodie are as different as night and day, but they are best friends. As tragedy strikes for Jodie, turning her away from God, will Bethan be able to draw her back to Christ? Then Bethan must make a choice between doing what's right or what will keep Jodie as her friend. When she makes her choice will there ever be a Return To Harmony?

What did you think: I really enjoyed seeing how, when tragedy arises for Jodie, it turned her away from God, and she wasn't satisfied with her life no matter how hard she tried; whereas with Bethan, when she faced difficult times she drew closer to God, and found joy. We all have a choice to reject God and be unfulfilled, or embrace His will and have complete joy.

Who would you recommend it to: fans of Janette Oke books

- E.E. (Grade 10) from Mill Creek Library


Legend

Marie Lu

TEEN LU

4 stars.

Describe the book: June is the republic's most prized prodigy, who would do anything for her war stricken country. Day is the republic's most wanted criminal, who would do anything to protect his plagued family. When June's brother is murdered Day is the prime suspect, and June is sent to find him. Though, when a lost secret is revealed the two become uncanny allies.

What did you think: Legend is one of my favorite books, I constantly leaving you to crave more. Almost impossible to put down. I love the fact that it has two views one from June's side and the other from Day's. I love multiple narrative books. Legend creates a great surround where you feel as if you were really there.

Who would you recommend it to: Sci-fi lovers, action readers, divergent readers

- B.H. (Grade 8) from Marysville Library


Cinder

Marissa Meyer

TEEN MEYER

4 stars.

Describe the book: Cinder is a cyborg mechanic who lives in Beijing. A plague rages throughout the city while the cruel Lunar people watch from the moon. One day, Prince Kai asks Cinder to fix his royal android. Later, Cinder's sister Peony gets the plague. As a result, Cinder's stepmother furiously sends her to the cyborg draft program for plague research.

What did you think: I thought this book was an amazing adaption of Cinderella. I loved how this book was filled with action and adventure as well as romance. My favorite part was when Prince Kai would repeatedly ask Cinder to the dance but Cinder would always say no. I thought this was a nice change from the usual fairy tale format.

Who would you recommend it to: middle school kids

- D.C. (Grade 8) from Mill Creek Library


Gangsters At The Grand Atlantic

Sarah Masters Buckey

J SERIES HISTORY

3 stars.

Describe the book: Emily Scott and her sister Dorothy are invited to spend a week at the Grand Atlantic Hotel at the beach. Soon after they arrive Emily recognizes a bad gangster from the city. While Dorothy and her friends are busy Emily along with her new friend Gwen spy on the gangster and find out dangerous things. They then make a plan to capture the gangsters.

What did you think: My favorite part was when Emily and Dorothy became friends again and they had a good summer at the shore.

Who would you recommend it to: History mystery lovers!

- T.E. (Grade 9) from Mill Creek Library


I Am the Messenger

Marcus Zusak

TEEN ZUSAK

4 stars.

Describe the book: I Am the Messenger is the story of Ed Kennedy, who is the epitome of ordinariness. He's nineteen years old, drives a cab, is hopelessly in love with his best friend, and has come to the conclusion that he's never going to accomplish something that will be remembered. Until the bank robbery happens, and the first card arrives.

What did you think: I loved this book more than I can describe. I relate to Ed in more ways than one, and the ending was so satisfying. There are so many deeply profound truths about ordinariness, humanity, and life itself. A must-read for absolutely anyone who wonders about their future.

Who would you recommend it to: Everyone. Everyone needs to read this book.

- E.C. (Grade 10) from Sultan Library


And Then There Were None

Agatha Christie

FIC CHRISTI

4 stars.

Describe the book: Ten people are invited to a desert island by a host who never arrives. Gathered together, they hear a voice condemning each one of them for a crime committed long ago. When they begin dying in strange ways, one by one, they realize that the killer must be hidden among them. Will they find the murderer...and will anyone survive?

What did you think: This book was both baffling and fascinating. Right up until the last page, the solution to this mystery seems impossible, and yet the payoff, written in the epilogue, is completely satisfying. Complex and intricate, the plot of this book is enough to confound the most experienced reader of mysteries. This is the best Agatha Christie I have read.

Who would you recommend it to: Anyone who loves a good mystery.

- S.K. (Grade 11) from Arlington Library


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Mark Haddon

FIC HADDON

3 stars.

Describe the book: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time tells the story of Christopher. It is definitely not your usual story. When Christopher finds out that his neighbor's dog is dead, he takes it upon himself to find out who did it. Through a turn of events, he finds himself in London, where he discovers that there is more to him than meets the eye.

What did you think: This book is absolutely brilliant. It is told from the first person perspective of a person with autism, yet the author himself does not have autism. The representation is close to accurate, because the writer has so much experience in working with people who have autism. I was doing research on the topic and found this book, which is beautiful.

Who would you recommend it to: Mystery lovers and curious minds.

- E.C. (Grade 10) from Sultan Library


A Court of Thorns and Roses

Sarah J. Maas

TEEN MAAS

4 stars.

Describe the book: Living in a world where faeries are both real and dangerous, Feyre knows to stay on the human side of the boundary that separates the races. But when Feyre kills a wolf, she's abducted by one of the faeries she's been taught to avoid her whole life. Soon, Feyre finds herself living in a castle in the faerie realm, where nothing is as it seems.

What did you think: This book was absolutely fabulous. I'm a huge fan of Maas's THRONE OF GLASS series, and was thrilled to hear that she was writing a new series. The writing is vivid and imaginative, and the characters are unforgettable. My favorite part was at the end, when Feyre had to complete three challenges to lift a curse that had been placed on the faeries.

Who would you recommend it to: People who enjoy high fantasy and romance.

- H.M. (Grade 12) from Arlington Library


Where Trust Lies

Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan

eBOOK OVERDRI

4 stars.

Describe the book: After teaching in the West for a year, Beth is eager to relax with her family. Agreeing to accompany her mother and sisters on a cruise, Beth struggles to reconnect with her family and discover her life's future. Does it include Jarrick, the Mountie who has stolen her heart? When the unexpected happens will she find peace even where truth lies?

What did you think: I loved reading how Beth brought her struggles to God, and how she and Jarrick openly did this in their relationship. I admire how they wanted God's will done in their life and not what their own feelings wanted. Though fiction, this book is a great example of how we can bring even our smallest (and our biggest) problems to God--AND BE HEARD!

Who would you recommend it to: fans of Janette Oke's "When Calls The Heart" books

- E.E. (Grade 10) from Mill Creek Library


Secrets on 26th Street

Elizabeth McDavid Jones

J SERIES HISTORY

3 stars.

Describe the book: Susan's father has recently died and her family is struggling to pay the rent. So her mother decides to take on a boarder to get by. Mysterious things start to happen but their boarder seems so friendly. A suffrage movement is going on and when her mother disappears, Susan is nearly frantic. Little does Susan know what secrets are about to unfold.

What did you think: My favorite part was probably when Susan finds her mother and reunites her friendship with Bea, their boarder.

Who would you recommend it to: History Mystery lovers!

- T.E. (Grade 9) from Snohomish Library


Basketball (or something like it)

Nora Raleigh Baskin

J BASKIN

3 stars.

Describe the book: this story is about Jeremy which moves from the city to the suburbs to live with his grandma. He does not really feel welcome unless he is o the basketball court. Through out the season he makes lots of good friend and help the to gain knowledge about the game.

What did you think: It was a very great book I liked the book overall I didn't really have a favorite part. I am big into basketball so it was easy for me to understand but for those who do not know a lot about basketball I think it would be hard for them to understand.

Who would you recommend it to: People who enjoy basketball

- S.S. (Grade 7) from Lynnwood Library


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