Silent Alarm by Jennifer Banash

October 14, 2015

Book Cover

17 year old Alys Arson’s life used to be normal. Her life was about normal things- violin practice, her school, her boyfriend. But none of that matters anymore. Not after what happened in the library that day. When her brother, Luke, walked through those doors and shot 15 people before turning the gun on himself. She was there, too, but he spared her. Now she is caught up in the aftermath, with the media coming down on her tiny town, her family being torn apart, and everyone asking her one question: why?

This book was beautiful. The writing was so amazing, you could tell how much time and effort the author put into it. Right after the shooting, Alys talked about how the red blood wouldn’t go away, wouldn’t come off, and how it would stay there, haunting her, always reminding her. This book is very dark, very mature because it talked about a school shooting. How her brother seemed normal, but he did it, he killed 15 innocent people. This book is one of those books that makes you think. Alys keeps missing her brother, but she feels guilty for missing him because of what he did. She keeps seeing Luke in random places, but he talks to her. She also starts seeing Miranda, a girl that was shot in the library, in her room. Miranda keeps telling Alys everything she wanted to do and about her future. The media invades her town, constantly badgering everyone, swarming Alys’ house. Alys keeps going to school, but everyone avoids her. Her parents barely even talk to her- or each other. Her whole life is falling apart, tumbling into an abyss and all she can do is watch.

I recommend this book to people who read Give a Boy a Gun and liked it. Just keep in mind that this book is dark. I really hope this book doesn’t get challenged like Give a Boy a Gun did because as a teen, they don’t talk to us at all or tell us anything about stuff like this, and we need to talk about it. I really liked this book because it felt like someone was finally talking to me about school shootings. I enjoyed it, and I recommend this book to you.



Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol

July 22, 2015

Anya’s Ghost is a graphic novel about a Russian girl that goes by Anya Brozakovskaya. One day while wallowing in self pity, she falls down an abandoned well and falls upon a ghost named Sarah. Later, after getting out of the well, Anya is constantly being stalked by this ghost who is seemingly innocent, but looks can be deceiving.

I really enjoyed this book. I really liked the art work. The storyline was also really fun (but not scary, even though it’s a ghost story). It was interesting to watch Anya change during the book because of all the things Sarah does. Overall, I found this book really fun and a good summer read. I’d recommend Anya’s Ghost to a teen audience. It does have some mature things in it, but nothing too bad.


Book Review : Panic by Lauren Oliver

July 6, 2015

Reviewed by Tiernan, grade 9


Review by Tiernan, grade 9

Panic is a teen novel set in a small town stuck in its ways. Everything in the town happens like clockwork, day in and day out. One such thing is a competition called the Panic undertaken by the local graduating seniors each summer. The winner undergoes many tests and tasks and is given a cash prize that will change their life.

In the book, protagonists Heather and Dodge both compete in the Panic to earn money to support their families. Like many others in the book, they seek the purse at the end and go in believing they will do anything and everything necessary to achieve this goal. Read the rest of this entry »

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

July 1, 2015

Book Cover

It’s been one year since it happened- when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in a swimming accident. After shutting out everyone but her family and three best friends, Paige has decided to rejoin the world, and she’s armed with a plan. 1) Date a boy: her old crush Ryan Chase is a perfect choice; 2) Attend parties: with friends like hers, this should be easy; 3) Join a club: It’s high school, so this is easy; 4) Travel: hey, a girl can dream; and 5) Swim: terrifying, but possible, right? She has her plan mapped out, but Ryan’s nerdy cousin max moves to town and recruits her for Quiz Bowl. This throws her plans for a loop, and she has very little time to get back on track.

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HellHole by Gina Damico

June 10, 2015

Book Cover

Max Kilgore’s name sounds like something out of the latest action blockbuster, but his personality is the total opposite. His passion for dinosaurs and crossword puzzles, along with a really bad haircut, put him at the bottom of the food chain, and with a squeaky clean record Max is the epitome of a “good kid”. So imagine his surprise when one day, after digging for fossils on his local hill, he opens up a hole straight into hell. Now he has to deal with Satan (who has a passion for Doritos and Call of Duty) while taking care of his terminally ill mother.

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Book Review: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

June 8, 2015

wrathandReview by Krista, grade 9:

With its romance, action, mystery, and magic, The Wrath and The Dawn is a book sure to capture the attention of many readers.

In the book, sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to become the wife of the Caliph (king) of Khorasan. This is a rather dangerous position to fill, seeing that the Caliph had his eighty or so previous wives killed after a single night at the palace. Shahrzad’s best friend was one of those wives killed. As the Caliph’s wife, Shahrzad hopes to survive long enough to find the Caliph’s weaknesses and vows to murder him when given an opportunity. For a while, her plan succeeds, but the closer Shahrzad comes to figuring out a way to kill the Caliph, the closer she comes to falling in love with him—the very monster who murdered her best friend. Revenge is complicated it seems, especially when involving love and secrets twisted with magic and curses that change everything Shahrzad thinks she knows about the Caliph. Read the rest of this entry »

Love in the Time of Global Warming

November 7, 2014

Book Cover

Love in the Time of Global Warming follows the journey of a teenage girl in the apocalypse as she searches for her parents and little brother. On the way she embarks on an adventure similar to The Odyssey and falls in love.

I had so many issues with the book. My disappointment started when a teenage boy named Hex meets our hero, Pen, and says, “I love you. What’s your name?” Believe it or not, this is not the most ridiculous part.

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