Express Yourself

2015 Teen Summer Reading Reviews

Maniac Magee, by Jerry Spinelli

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli is a very interesting but good book. It takes place in New York and the main character, Jeffery Magee wan't always Maniac. But, when Magee's parents left him, things turned pretty weird. I would definitely recommend this book.



Paper Towns, by John Green

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
I loved this book!!!! Definitely 5 stars.



Picture Perfect, by D. Anne Love

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
Picture Perfect by D. Anne Love is an amazing book about a perfect family breaking apart. I rate this book a 4.6 out of 5. It's realistic fiction and great literature. I truly loved this book and recommend it to everyone.



Far North, by Will Hobbs

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
Far North is a survival book by Will Hobbs. Gabe never expected to be stranded in the Canadian wilderness when he went to live with his father in the remote Northwest Territories. But this is exactly what happens when a routine sightseeing trip goes wrong. Accompanied by his roommate and his roommate's great uncle, he must figure out how to survive the incoming winter by pooling their knowledge together. If they do not cooperate, then survival is impossible. This book was quite similar to Gary Paulsen's Hatchet, with the only major difference being that the main character is not alone. Despite this, Hobbs manages to keep the book original throughout and never let the reader down. I would rate this a 4 out of 5.



I Am Number Four , by Pittacus Lore

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I Am Number four, I am next. They aren't people, but aliens. The good aliens I must say. The bad aliens, called the mogadorians are out to kill each one. They already killed 1,2,and 3. And now they're looking for four. But what happens when #4 falls in love and has to choose between letting himself get into danger for the chance to stay with his love or leave the only part of him thats made him feel human?



A Monster Calls , by Patrick Ness

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A Monster Calls seems like a children's book at first because of the pictures, but you will learn that this is no children's book. It deals with real life problems and the monsters inside you. Connor's mom is extremely sick, and he grew up with no father, so he is living with his grandma who he hates very much. He is bullied constantly at school and there is so much bottled up inside of him that he hasn't told anyone. Every night a monster comes to Connor in his dreams. It's not the typical monster looking to scare you. Well, this monster should scare you actually, because he wants the scariest thing-the truth. He talks to Connor each night about how to deal with his problems and emotions but Connor is too stubborn to listen. He thinks his life and happiness is a lost cause. But letting go of everything inside him might be the only way for him to find peace again. I loved this book because of how realistic it was and the lesson it taught. I would recommend it to anyone!



Ten, by Gretchen McNeil

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
Ten is a new version of "And Then There Were None" by Agatha Christie. I read the original book for school so it was interesting to read this one. It is about ten people who go to an island for a party, but the host doesn't come and it turns into a murder game. There is no internet, phone service, or connection to the outside world. There is no escape. One by one people are dying and friends turn against each other. The original book was scary, but Ten is even scarier because of how realistc it is. It is, however, a great book, full of action, mystery, and suspense.



Wonder, by R.J. Palacios

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
Wonder is about a boy named Auggie who has a facial deformity. He struggles to fit in everywhere, and especially at school. His parents homeschooled him but decided to let him go back to school again. People treat him differently because of his face and don't want to go near him. However once people find out behind his face he has a great personality, they learn that a persons face shouldn't define them. This book was very good and had many themes present in school and everywhere around you.



Life As We Knew It, by Susan Beth Pfeiffer

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Life as we knew it was a very realistic book. The moon came to close to the earth, therefore messing up the tides, and destroying "life as they knew it." This book was extremely suspenseful and realistic. It is a very easy read and good for summer reading.



The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
The Catcher in the Rye is about a teenage boy's (Holden) journey from childhood to adulthood. Holden has teenage depression and is isolated from the world. There are so many ways you can connect to the book if you're a teenager, and it's a great coming of age story. I love all of the symbolism in the book because you have to figure out what all of it means. J.D. Salinger is a really good writer and I recommend this book to anyone.



Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo

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Although I am not finished with the book, I have 700 pages left and I am definitely not finishing by the end of the summer. Les Miserables is an enormous book about the revolution of 1830 in France. I'm sure everyone's seen the movie. It was one of my favorite movies and Broadway plays so I decided to take on the book. The book has so much more that the movie/play doesn't. It's 1200 pages are completely filled with emotion, suspense, and history. Victor Hugo is such a great writer. Don't be afraid of the size of the book, if you take the time to read it, you will love it!



A Tale Of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
A Tale Of Two Cities was one of the best books I read. It seemed like a boring history book but it was action packed and suspenseful. It showed the true essence of the French Revolution, with all of the bloodshed and hate towards the Aristocracy, along with telling a compelling love story between Lucie and Charles Darnay. Charles Dickens is a great writer and is super descriptive. This book is hard but worth reading.



The Summer Of Chasing Mermaids, by Sarah Ockler

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The Summer Of Chasing Mermaids is an amazing book. It's a fantasy book and I rate it a 4.3 out of 5. It had me at the edge of my seat throughout the book. Everyone would enjoy reading this book.



Skandal, by Lindsay Smith

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Skandal is a fantasy/historical fiction book by Lindsay Smith. It takes place in the mid-1960s, during the height of the Cold War. It continues the story of Yulia, a seventeen-year-old girl with the ability to read others’ thoughts through touch. This book was almost as good as the first one, but takes a while longer to get interesting. It was very emotional, and at some points seemed almost overdone. However, this was balanced out by the romance and action throughout the book. I would rate this a 4 out of 5.



Fantastic Voyage, by Isaac Asimov

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Fantastic Voyage is a science-fiction novel by Isaac Asimov. It takes place in the near future, during a Cold-War-esque time. Four men and one woman are miniaturized to the size of a small bacterium and are injected into a man’s body to save his life. The man holds vital knowledge which could save the world - or end it. They must travel through his blood vessels to reach a clot in his brain, and destroy it with a laser. However, they have only sixty minutes before they return to normal size. Things are complicated even more when it is discovered that one of the five could be a saboteur. This book really kept up the suspense throughout, and was a very fast read. The book is also filled with information about the human body, which is revealed as the people move through the body. I would rate this a 4.5 out of 5.



The Martian, by Andy Weir

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The Martian is a science-fiction novel by Andy Weir. Mark Watney, one of the first astronauts to land on Mars, never expected to be stranded there. But that’s exactly what happens when a freak accident forces his fellow crewmates to leave without him, thinking him dead. Now Watney is stuck on Mars with dwindling supplies and no way to contact NASA, let alone find a way to get home. He must rely on his ingenuity and dark sense of humor to survive in the hostile environment that surrounds him. I found this to be a fascinating book. It’s filled with true facts about chemistry, botany, physics, engineering and so much more. If you enjoy science, you’ll definitely enjoy this book. Throughout the book are laugh-out-loud moments, which help balance out some of the more depressing moments. I really enjoyed this book and would rate it a 5 out of 5.



The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, by Mark Haddon

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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time is a mystery novel by Mark Haddon. Fifteen-year-old Christopher lives with his father in a suburb of London after his mother died of a heart attack. He is autistic, and cannot fathom the concept of human feelings. Instead, he applies his mind to other things, such as reading Sherlock Holmes and studying for his AP exams. Then his neighbor’s beloved dog is found dead, stabbed with a pitchfork on the front lawn. Finally, Christopher has a chance to solve a real-life mystery. But what he finds will change everything he thought he knew about his family. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book, so I went in with high expectations. I would say that it was an alright book. The point of view was interesting, but I expected a more complicated plot. It’s almost too simple in the end. Otherwise, it was an engaging quick read. I would rate it a 3.5 out of 5.



The Bronze Bow, by Elizabeth George Speare

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The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare is a very boring book. I rate it a 2.9 out of 5. It's about what happened to this boy named Daniel during the time of Jesus. I found that it had no action even as I dived into this book. I don't recommend it to anyone unless you truly love hearing about what his life was like. If you don't like this book within the first 109 pages, trust me, it doesn't get any better.



Going Rogue, by Robin Benway

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Going Rogue by Robin Benway is the sequel to Also Known As. I rate this book a 4.8 out of 5. This book is an amazing sequel. Going on adventures and fighting crime in another thrilling book.



An Abundance Of Katherines , by John Green

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
Absolutely loved this book. This book is filled with John Greens absolute amazing writing of romance.



Tears Of a Tiger, by Sharon Draper

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
It was good and I especially enjoyed the way it was written.



Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher

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Thirteen Reasons Why is an amazing book. It handles a hard topic, suicide, but yet is so intriguing and suspenseful. I rate it a 5 out of 5 because of the excellent descriptions and word choice. It's a Realistic Fiction book and I'd recommend it for ages 12 and up.



The Fault In Our Stars, by John Green

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The Fault In Our Stars by John Green is a fantastic book. It's very sad, but also quite funny which is a thing you would never expect it to be. The Fault In Our Stars is about the life of a girl who has cancer and a boy who had cancer. I would recommend this book for middle schoolers even though the book is about high schoolers.



Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children: Hollow City, by Ransom Riggs

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
This book continues the adventures of Jacob from where it left off in the previous book. As they continue to run from the monsters that chase them, Jacob and his group must find someone who can reverse their beloved Miss Peregrine out of her bird state. This book had a lot of action, just like the first. Though the middle started to lag a little, the shocking ending made up for that. I would rate this a 4 out of 5.



Perfect, by Natasha Friend

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Perfect by Natasha Friend is a great book. It is a relatively short book, but goes through the life of an average middle school kid. This novel is great for middle schoolers since Perfect is about middle school and home problems. I would highly recommend this book



The Unwanteds, by Lisa McMann

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The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann is an awesome book. Starting with the first chapter, you're totally caught by surprise, and it only gets better from there. This book will keep you reading until you've finished it!



Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs was a gripping read. Sixteen-year-old Jacob used to believe the tales of monsters and of a magical children’s home in Wales that his grandfather told him. But he’s grown up now, and thinks he knows what those stories were: simply tall tales. Then his grandfather is killed by a horrific monster, leaving Jacob scrambling for answers. He travels to Wales, in search of the children’s home his grandfather spoke of, and what he discovers there will change him forever. This book was exhilarating to read. Some may find it a little slow in the beginning, but once it picks up it never loses its pace. The author also strikes a perfect balance between action, mystery, supernatural elements and romance. I would rate this book a 5 out of 5.



Shouldn't You Be In School?, by Lemony Snicket

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Shouldn’t You Be In School by Lemony Snicket is the sequel to When Did You See Her Last? It continues the story of amateur detective Snicket as he tries to solve the growing mystery unfolding in Stain’d-By-The-Sea. This time, an arsonist is setting fires all over the town. With the attacks ramping up, many questions still remain: Who and where is the mysterious villain Hangfire? What is his nefarious plan? What can Snicket do about all this? Why isn’t Snicket in school? This book continues to be just as gripping as those that came before it, and though more answers are provided to the burning questions above, many problems remain unsolved. I would rate this a 4.5 out of 5.



When Did You See Her Last?, by Lemony Snicket

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When Did You See Her Last? is a mystery novel by Lemony Snicket, and is the sequel to Who Could That Be at This Hour?. Snicket must continue to solve the ongoing mystery of Stain’d-By-The-Sea. This time, he and his chaperone must find out what happened to a missing girl. At the same time, they have to figure out how this fits into the rest of the puzzle taking shape. This book continued to build on the thrills and suspense as well as providing some much needed answers. Snicket’s interesting writing style also remains refreshing. I would rate this a 4 out of 5.



Everyday I Fight, by Stuart Scott

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This book is about a former ESPN anchor Stuart Scott who passed away in January of 2015. This book will inform you about his life and battle against cancer for 8 long years. You will learn about his family and friends and his life experiences anchoring in North Carolina to back to Bristol, Connecticut, at the ESPN head quarters. I would definitely recommend this book.



Who Could That Be at This Hour?, by Lemony Snicket

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Who Could That Be at This Hour? is a mystery novel by Lemony Snicket. It follows the author on a mysterious apprenticeship to a mysterious woman in a mysterious town called Stain’d-by-the-Sea. In this strange town, nothing is as it seems, and Snicket must solve a mystery before time runs out for the town’s inhabitants. The way this book was written makes it an absolute thrill to read. Snicket tells you absolutely nothing about the character and why he does what he does, leaving you guessing throughout the book. His narrative style is also a joy to read, topping off a fascinating read. I would rate this a 4.5 out of 5.



If I Stay, by Gayle Forman

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
If I Stay is an amazing book. I rated it a 4.4 out of 5. Everyone should read If I Stay. It takes you through an emotional journey with Mia and her flashbacks.



Freak The Mighty, by Rodman Philbrick

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
This book is action packed. It is about two boys who have never had friends before who make friends.



The Gospel of Loki, by Joanne M. Harris

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The Gospel of Loki, by Joanne M. Harris, was a very good book. It is a retelling of Norse mythology, except all told through Loki’s point of view. (For those who don’t know who that is, Loki is the trickster god, which is proven throughout the book.) The tale starts at the beginning of everything and eventually reaches Ragnarók, the end of everything. It focuses a lot on Loki’s interactions with the other gods of Asgard, which never ceased to be interesting. What I liked most about this book was the fact that the reader doesn’t need to have any background in Norse mythology to fully understand the characters and the events taking place. In fact, watching the Thor movies is a very good primer before you read this book. Loki’s wisecracks (yes, there are many) lightened up the book when things became a little depressing, and there were even a few laugh-out-loud moments for me. The characters were all flawed in their own ways, making for a fascinating read. I would give this book a 4.5 out of 5.



Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens

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Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, is a classic that definitely lives up to its title. It follows the life of a humble country boy in England named Pip. Pip, whose father is a blacksmith, considers himself destined to follow in those footsteps, but secretly yearns to become a gentleman. One day, he finds out that he “has come into great expectations” thanks to a mysterious benefactor, and is sent to London to follow his dream. What he does there, and the people he meets change his life forever. In my opinion, this book rightly earned its reputation. The characters are fascinating to read about, and each has a distinct personality. Dickens’s writing also never ceases to impress. The one flaw that I found is that the book is a little slow, and takes its time getting to the main plot. Otherwise, this was a very good book. I would rate it a 4 out of 5.



Go Set A Watchman, by Harper Lee

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This was a very good book, even better than the first.



Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel, by Diana López

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
This is a good book. I would recommend it to girls in fifth grade and above.



Escape From Saigon, by Andrea Warren

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
this book is action paced and educational. it is a shortbook but it is worth the reading.



All Fall Down, by Ally Carter

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
Ally Carter, New York Times bestselling author strikes again with her amazing new book All Fall Down. All Fall Down has all the elements to make a perfect book. All Fall Down is as great as the Gallagher Girl Series also written by Ally Carter. I would highly recommend this book.



Timmy Failure: Now Look What You've Done, by Stephan Pastis

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
Timmy Failure: Now Look What You’ve Done is a laugh-out-loud funny sequel. Timmy is back with even more “greatness” as he calls it, what I would call it is something close to “stupidity”. For example: throwing a topiary version of his head through the principal’s window. All in all it's a funny book I recommend it to all ages.



Even When You Lie To Me, by Jessica Alcott

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Even When You Lie To Me by Jessica Alcott is an extraordinary book. I was always on the edge of my seat while reading this book. Jessica Alcott is a great writer, she made me feel exactly what the characters would feel at that time in the book. This book is a 4.7 out of 5, and it is realistic fiction. I hope that whoever reads this book enjoys it.



Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, by Stephan Pastis

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
Timmy Failure is a funny book for anyone looking for a laugh. Timmy Failure is the kid detective on the edge of greatness, or not. Along with his polar bear Total, Timmy is in for the ride of a lifetime, or not.



Doomed, by Tracy Deebs

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Doomed by Tracy Deebs, is a really good thriller at the least. The catch phrase is "Beat the game. Save the world". I rate this book a 5 out of 5 and truly enjoyed reading this book. I laughed, I cried, but most of all I wondered. I wondered how the book ended, what would happen to the characters, and even if the next day would be their last one. This is the best kind of book. I hope everyone gets a chance to read Doomed.



The Dark Wild, by Peirs Torday

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
This book is action packed and a little sad. It is my favorite book now.



The Raft, by S. A. Bodeen

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
This book was a very quick read. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a good survival story.



The Gollywopper Games, by Jody Feldman

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This book drew me in the second I started reading it. It is funny and has a ton of action.



The Templeton Twins Make A Scene, by Ellis Weiner

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
You have to read this book. It is action packed and awesome.



The Island Of Dr. Libris, by Chris Grabenstein

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
This book is the best. You have to read it. It is action packed, funny and suspenseful.



The Templeton Twins Have A Idea, by Ellis Weiner

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
This book is the best ever. It is so action packed.



What I Thought Was True, by Huntley Fitzpatrick

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What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick was a very fun and pleasant read. I wanted to read this book because I loved My Life Next Door also by the same author. Even though that book is better, this was a close second. Gwen has a very interesting life. She has made not so wise choices in the past, but in this book she tries to fix them. This book is very romantic. The beginning is a little bit slow, but once you get towards the middle of the book, I could not stop reading!



Nancy Drew: The Hidden Staircase, by Carolyn Keene

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
In loved this book! I recommend it to anyone that loves a good thriller!



Shattered, by Mari Mancusi

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Shattered by Mari Mancusi is the second and last book to the Scorched series. I loved reading both of these books. I rated shattered a 4.3 out of 5. It has a whole new plot line and a few brand new characters.It had adventure and romance and it was a very adventurous and exciting book.



The Heir, by Kiera Cass

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The Heir by Kiera Cass is a magnificent book. It's the 4th book in the Selection series and was just as thrilling as the other books in the series. This book is from Eadlyn's point of view, also known as the Selector. She will be the person deciding who she marries in a brand new Selection with more boys and lots more fun! I truly recommend that everyone at least tries to read this book series.It truly was a great read.



Backlash , by Sarah Darer Littman

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
Personally, I did enjoy this book very much; it was a book that I could not manage to put down, no matter how hard that I tried. It had relevance in this age group and this culture that made it like the author was talking specifically to me. It also had a moral that was so understandable, and was one that I could apply to my daily lifestyle. Finally, it had a plot that made this book one that I could not put down. I would recommend this book to students who are educated in the issues of today’s society, as this is a key component in understanding this book. The first and foremost reason that I enjoyed this book is that it had relevance to our age group and our culture. It stressed the importance of a clean digital footprint, as well as an example of what the effect, or backlash if you will, of bullying on the Internet. This book opened my eyes to how cyber bullying is the same, if not worse than a face-to-face ambush. Since this book was so relevant, I realized not only the importance of the meaning, but also how common it is, especially with people my age. The second and probably the most important reason of why I loved this book is the moral. Once again tying to this book’s relevance, the moral was one that I could apply to my everyday lifestyle. After I read this book, I tried to make a conscious effort to have a good digital footprint. It also made me think about how many innocent people were being cyber bullied every day. In addition, after reading this book, I felt inspired to think of a way to prevent cyber bullying. I think that if we as a community in cyberspace could be better citizens of the virtual world that we travel to everyday, the Internet could be a safer place for everyone involved. The final big reason that I took pleasure in reading this book is because it had a plot that I simply could not get enough of. Some other books that I read over the summer had a pace that matched the tempo of the summer days. That pace is slow. But this book was so upbeat, and it had a plot that moved a mile a minute! The author also took a risky but beneficial choice of putting the climactic event at the beginning to hook the reader, then going on to explain the events leading up to the climactic event in the first half of the book, and the in the second half of the book, continuing life from the point of the climactic event. By doing this, the author showed the full effect of the incident. Another way that she showed the full effect is by telling the story from the thoughts and actions of the different characters, through their perspective. Having the perspective of the victim AND the perpetrator helped me get the full scope of the situation, and not just that of the victim, which is the mainstream way to write a book like this.



To All The Boys I've Loved Before , by Jenny Han

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This book, 'to all the boys I've loved before' has to be one of my favorite books I've read this year. The constant character changes that the author made drove me completely insane. I adore all of the characters but sometimes when their are too many characters it gets really confusing. Other then this, this book was amazing. The main character, Lara Jean, has always loved a few boys she mentions throughout the book. An example of one is named Peter. What she'd do is, she'd write love letters to completely let go of all of her emotions and feelings towards that one person. The letter represents her ending of liking that one person, knowing that they don't like her back. These letters were not sent letters until one day all of them were accidentally sent. This book may turn out sounding like a mystery but really it's a teen fiction love story between a girl who has fallen in love with people who already love someone else or don't even know she exists. Well until the letters are sent out, of course.



Scorched, by Mari Mancusi

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Scorched by Mari Mancusi is everything I imagined it would be. It has dragons and brothers fighting against each other, and even an old grandpa. This book is fantasy and is pretty amazing. It's based on a girl's life named Trinity and she is Fire-Kissed which means that the last dragon alive chose her to be the dragon's guardian. I rated this book a 5 out of 5.



Whatever Life Throws At You, by Julie Cross

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Whatever Life Throws At You is an amazing read. I rated it a 5 out of 5. While I was reading Whatever Life Throws At You I stayed up all night reading. This book will keep you reading and asking questions even when it's done. It has many adventures and many heart wrenching moments. If you love baseball this book will be even better and more fun to read.



Three Day Summer, by Sarvenaz Tash

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Three Day Summer by Mari Mancusi is a great book. Throughout the plot I was on the edge of my seat. I would give this book about 4.6 out of 5 stars. I thought that the book was realistic fiction based on the story and characters lives. I would definitely read this book if you enjoy thrilling books that get more exciting as time goes on. Three Day Summer had me hooked right from the start.



The Unwanteds, by Lisa McMann

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find this in Greenwich Library Catalog
This book is a really good book. It is very adventurous and full of magic. If you like adventure, magic, and action, then this will be a really good book for you.



Hollow City, by Ransom Riggs

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I loved this book even more than the first in the series, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Hollow City gets deeper into the affects of wartime on the city of London. I highly recommend this book!