Express Yourself

2014 Teen Summer Reading Reviews

The Caves of Steel, by Isaac Asimov

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
The Caves of Steel, by Isaac Asimov takes place several hundred years into the future, after two major scientific advancements have taken place: the invention of the positronic brain (which is used to make thinking robots) and the hyperspace drive, which humanity has used to colonize the galaxy. The story focuses on Plainclothesman Elijah Baley who is one of the people stuck on an overcrowded Earth. Now he must solve the baffling murder of a Spacer (a person from one of the colonized planets). Relations between Spacers and Earthmen were strained from the start, but this pushes the limit. Elijah must work together with a robot partner to solve the crime before the murderer strikes again. This is yet another case of Isaac Asimov's prowess as an author. His vision of the future is so well planned you find yourself believing that it will come true. At the same time, he does a great job of developing the characters and giving each a unique personality. The solution to the mystery was also quite clever and must have taken some planning. In short, this is a very enjoyable book that I would rate a 9.5 out of 10



Quantum Coin, by E.C. Myers

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
Ephraim thought his parallel universe days were over. But then he is thrown back in in Quantum Coin, the sequel to Fair Coin by E. C. Myers. When his girlfriend Jena's double from another universe crashes their senior prom, he knows something is seriously wrong. This time, the entire multiverse is in danger, possibly due to the events of Fair Coin. Now Ephraim must journey between universes once again. But this time, the stakes are higher and if he fails, everything he knows could be erased. You don't often see a sequel that is better than the first book. But here's a perfectly good case of this. This book is better in many ways. For one, the ending isn't anticlimactic as in the first book. Instead, it is quite interesting and clever. Also, a lot of science behind the coin is explained, which I find very interesting. All of said science is true and is the subject of an active debate between scientists. The book also expands on many other science fiction concepts, which sci-fi fans will enjoy. This book was much better than its prequel and I would rate it a 9.5 out of 10.



Fair Coin, by E.C. Myers

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
Ephraim would never have predicted that he would have found a magic coin. But that's exactly what happens in Fair Coin by E. C. Myers. When teenaged Ephraim comes home from school one day, he is shocked to find his mother unconscious after a suicide attempt. Even stranger was the reason: she had seen Ephraim's body at the hospital that day. When Ephraim inspects his double's belongings, he finds a strange coin that seems to grant wishes when he flips it. Soon he has used it to change his life for the better. But then he finds out that the coin can ruin lives as well as improve them. Now he must make a journey across parallel universes to set things right. This book was pretty interesting. The author did a good job of modernizing a basic premise that has been around for centuries. The science explained in it is also believed to be true by many scientists, which is a bonus. However, it was a little anticlimactic in the end. And Ephraim is a little too noble for my liking. But otherwise, the book is a good summer read. I would rate it an 8 out of 10.



Silence , by Natasha Preston

from the Author's website

from the Author's website
Silence is book about a girl, who does nothing but keep silent. She stopped talking for 11 years and nobody knew why. Except for Cole. Her best friend since they were born. He doesn't let anybody get in her way. Or let people bully her. The first few chapters are about her life and how she's silent but throughout the middle of the book, I loved how the author created a bigger relationship between cole and oakley. Surprisingly they have skinny love. This book is a romance/love story.



You'll always be mine (the cellar sequel) , by Natasha Preston

from wattpad.com

from wattpad.com
'You'll Always Be Mine' by Natasha Preston is the sequel of 'The Cellar' by Natasha Preston. It is such a great book. The kidnapper gets arrested until he escapes. Not only for his life back but for the 4 girls he kept in the cellar. It's such a great/action packed book I can really see it turning into a movie. Read this book once you've read ' The Cellar' or it won't make much sense.



The Cellar , by Natasha Preston

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
The cellar is a book that should be read by teenagers 13+. There is a lot of violence and sad/emotional scenes in the book. This book is about a normal teenage girl named Summer and how she lived a normal regular life. Until the day she was kidnapped. She was named a different name, Lilly. And not only her but 6 other young girls like her were kidnapped. What did the kidnapper want with them? read this book if you like a book with mystery.



I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
I, Robot is a collection of fiction short stories by Isaac Asimov. All of them pertain to various aspects of robotics. It takes place in the not-too-distant future where robots that can think have been invented. However, the robots aren't satisfied with this fact. The stories deal with separate cases of humans having to deal with robots gone mad, telepathic robots, robot politicians and other cases such as this. All of these stories are simply brilliant. A great deal of thought must have gone into predicting what would happen in the future. These stories were written in the '50s, but show extraordinary forethought for their time. While reading these stories, you find yourself realizing all of it could actually happen in the near future. All of the stories are fascinating without being boring. I have no complaints about it and would rate it a full 10 out of 10.



The Other Normals, by Ned Vizzini

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
The Other Normals is a fantasy book by Ned Vizzini. Peregrine "Perry" Eckert would spend most of his time playing the role-playing game Creatures and Caverns (the same thing as Dungeons and Dragons) if given the chance. But his parents, who feel that their son is lacking in social skills, send him to a summer camp so he can become a man. There he finds his way into the World of the Other Normals, which is a lot like his game. Perry must use both his game skills and learn how to interact with people to save the other world from mass violence. This book seemed like a great beginning to a series. The author did a good job of setting up the fantasy world for development later. The characters also seemed interesting. However, the author died before he could write a sequel, leaving the book a little empty. This would have been a great start, though. I would rate this an 8 out of 10.



Sekret, by Lindsay Smith

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
Sekret is a science fiction book by Lindsay Smith. Set in 1963 Soviet Russia, it centers on seventeen-year-old Yulia, who has the ability to read people's thoughts or memories when she touches them. Then she is captured by the KGB and forced to work as a counterspy against the American CIA. In a world of constantly changing truths, Yulia must decide who or what she can trust. This book was very good. It was clear that the author had done a lot of research in Russian history to write this book. She skillfully weaves facts into the tense and fast-paced fiction story. However, she also adds a little romance to balance the action out. My sole complaint is that the villain was a little one-dimensional, but that was it. I would rate this a 9 out of 10.



Noggin, by John Corey Whaley

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
Noggin is a realistic fiction book by author John Corey Whaley. It follows eighteen-year-old Travis who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Using an experimental procedure, doctors are able to surgically detach his head, cryogenically freeze it and reattach it to a donor body five years later. Now Travis must somehow adjust to the fact that everyone he knows has moved on after his "death" including his parents and his girlfriend, who may or may not still be his girlfriend. Will Travis be able to keep up with the changes? I thought this book was quite good. It definitely had a novel premise, one that I've never seen before. The author managed to make it not seem weird, and I commend him on that. However, my one complaint is that it did seem a little pointless in the end. I would rate this an 8 out of 10.



As simple as it seems , by Sarah Weeks

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
erbie is having a very bad summer. As she wraps up her fifth grade year, she is feeling pretty bleak. She has all kinds of mean rolling around inside her, her best friend has found a new friend, and Verbie can barely tolerate the sight of her mother. Of course, Verbie knows where some of the mean comes from. She's discovered that she is adopted. Through a twist of fate, the parents she has known her whole life turn out to be her aunt and uncle. It seems they went to New York to look for her adopted father's brother eleven years ago, only to discover Verbie's birth mother in labor and scared out of her mind. Verbie enters the world with fetal alcohol syndrome, thanks to her mother's love of booze, so she is small, can't see too well, and has trouble learning to read. To top it off, her birth father was in prison for murdering a man! Well, with all that against her, Verbie decides she is just plain bad and acts the part, waging war against her mom, saying hurtful things, and just deciding she is hopeless. Then Verbie meets Pooch, a boy allergic to just about everything, and maybe just a little dumb...especially since he believes Verbie is the ghost of a girl who used to live in his rental house! Pooch and Verbie have a few adventures, talk a lot about death, and slowly become friends. When Pooch's life is endangered, Verbie finds she isn't so hopeless after all and soon develops a better outlook on life in spite of all the ugly and mean.



The Giver, by Lois Lowry

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
This book was very good. It was amazing. In the book the community controls everything you do. Where you work, who your family is, who you love and when you have to die. When you turn 12, you get assigned a job and you do it for the rest of your life. Jonas has just turned 12 and it was time for him to receive a job assignment. Something very strange happened, he wasn't assigned anything, he was selected to be the next receiver of memories. This is the most important job in the community. When Jonas trains for his job, he learns all the beautiful things that the community is limiting the people to experience. This is an amazing book and is written very well.



The perks of being a wallflower , by Stephen Chbosky

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
Wow, I mean just wow. I am blown away by this novel. Chbosky captured all of these moments, through the eyes of Charlie, that everyone can relate to as a teenager. Yes, there are a lot of issues in this book like rape, drugs, suicide, domestic violence, etc. The list goes on and on, but these things do happen in life. He touches every issue, but doesn't dive into the deepness. I like that he doesn't go too much into these topics because it speaks very true to Charlie's character. Yes, the story is not difficult to read and it does come off as being a little "too easy" in the writing style, but what people should consider is that it's supposed to be written by a 15-year-old, and they are letters. I don't know about everyone else, but when I'm writing letters to a friend, I really don't use huge words or make sure I'm using beautiful language to get my point across. I felt like these letters were written for me in particular (or even any reader directly). I am amazed at the character development and how realistic Chbosky made these characters. Everyone has a Patrick, Sam, Mary Elizabeth, Peter, Craig, or Charlie in their life (or characteristics that they portray). Even the relationship between Charlie and his family members were done so well, that I saw my family staring right back at me through the pages. They are so real to me that I couldn't stop crying towards the end of the novel. Plus, the literary references from various novels are just superb. And let me just say that the ending...was just perfect. There wasn't a better way to end Charlie's remarkable journey.



Perfect , by Natasha Friend

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
This book captivated me from beginning to end and I couldn't put it down at all.It's such a realistic read that touches upon many subjects that affect the lives of young people today.Although this book is supposed to capture 12-18 year olds,I think this should be handed to everyone from 12 to whatever because it can honestly change your views on these touchy subjects. This book is about a 13 year old girl named Isabelle.She and her family are still dealing with the sudden death of her father,and because her family-mostly her mother,who becomes very depressed over the situation-doesn't talk about it,Isabelle's emotions are stuck inside her.To cope with everything,she developed Bulimia. This book covers subjects about illness,loss,friendship,and family in a brilliant bundle of humbly written literature and I think it is amazing how such a heart warming story can be put into only 172 pages.



Fish Finelli Book 1; Seagulls Don't Eat Pickles, by E.S. Farber

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
Norman Finelli (nickname fish) has a bet with this mean rich kid named Bruce. He has 2 weeks to find the lost treasure of Captain Kidd. Will he find it or not? Read the book to find out. I rate this book a 5.



The Boy in the Striped Pajamas , by John Boyne

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
Brunos family move to another city. A city that looked okay at first until Bruno looked out of his window from his room. Due to his young age he believed it was a playground filled with kids playing. Yet they were really slaves. His parents told him he wasn't allowed there but Bruno didn't listen. Read this book to find out what Bruno finds, and what happens.



The Leap , by Jonathon Stroud

Relevant information: This book is a fiction/fantasy book.

from the Author's website

from the Author's website
Max has an accident and drowns, leaving behind his best friend Charlie (Charlotte), who seems unable to let him go. At least, this is what the adults believe. Charlie knows better though. She saw the creatures that pulled Max down and away, and she has been touched by them as well. She knows that Max is still alive, and she embarks on a search both in her waking hours and in her dreams to find him...



The Big Field, by Mike Lupica

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
The Big Field is a sporty book and a really good book. The author made me feel like I was there, with lots of small detail. I rate this book a 5



The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
This book is one of my favorites. The protagonist is a depressed girl names Hazel who is battling cancer. When Hazel meets a boy named Augustus a beautiful love story begins.



I am Number Four, by Pittacus Lore

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
I am Number Four was a very boring book. I only read it for summer homework. I would not suggest this book to anyone.



the 13 1/2 lives of captain blue bear , by Walter Moers

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
I loved this book so much! It was so sweet. I read it to my little sister and she adored it. It wasn't the most exciting book but it was cute.



Deadly, by Sara Shepard

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
Deadly was a very action packed book and revealed many secrets you were waiting to here. You finally find out who A is, where Ali is, and many other things. I recommend this book only to people who are reading the Pretty Little Liars series because this book is very far into the series. However, if you haven't started reading the series, I recommend you to because it is one of my favorite ones ever.



The Fault in our Stars, by John Green

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
In this teenage romance about strange twists of fate, Hazel, a girl living with cancer, meets a boy in almost the same situation. They fall in love, start dating, and undergo many strange twists of fate before the final twist which puts a cruel end to the relationship. In the words of John Green," A fault in their stars."



Elsewhere, by Gabrielle Zevin

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
Elsewhere is about a place where you go after you die. Right after you die on Earth, you are sent to Elsewhere. There you age backwards until zero and then return to Earth as a new baby. Liz Hall died from a hit and run and was sent to Elsewhere. At first she hates it but she starts to like it as soon as she meets Owen. They fall in love but then Owen's girlfriend from Earth comes and Liz decides to try and return to Earth. Owen and Betty (Liz's grandma) go and find Liz in the river returning to Earth and bring her home. Read Elsewhere to find out what happens next! I really liked this book and wished there was a sequel or movie.



Cheat, by Kristin Butcher

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
This is a book about a girl who writes an article for the school newspaper and turns into the school reporter. She was in class one day when she was trying to think about what to write. She sees two boys cheating on a test so she wrote about the way they are cheating. Everyone gets mad at her including her brother. He tells her to stop. She receives a note telling her another place where students are cheating and she follows it. She finds out it is the person she least expected. She learns that there is always another side to the story after talking to the person. I would recommend this to people who like mysteries and who are looking for a quick book to read.



Extra Credit, by Andrew Clements

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
A girl who realizes not to dwell in her past makes her debut in this touching page turner. As you read, be aware of the fact that you're developing a connection with her. I would recommend this to anyone who likes to reread books.



Kira-Kira, by Cynthia Kadohata

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
Kira-Kira is a book about a family who is Chinese and owns an Oriental grocery store. When the store runs out of business, they leave everything they have ever known to start a new life. Meanwhile, they encounter loss and sacrifice. Cynthia Kadohata does a good job making everything fit together.



Wonder, by R. J. Palacio

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
Wonder is about a boy with a facial deformity, who, because of his many medical procedures, hasn't been able to go to public school until 5th grade. He goes through a lot of trouble with his classmates, because at first, they can't accept his condition. This is an amazing book about prejudice and wrong first impressions set in a middle school setting.



Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince, by J.K Rowling

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
This book is magical and adventurous it is really good book and fun to read. I rate this a 5 star.



The Unfariest of them All, by Shannon Hale

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
This book is a hilarious twist of a combination of childhood fairy tales, with a deeper meaning hidden underneath. It demonstrates that it's good to try to solve your problems on your own, but to ask for help when you need it.



Woods Runner, by Gary Paulsen

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
This book is a really good book. I read it for hours. Its about a boy who goes on a journey to find his parents. I rate this book a 5.



The City of Heavenly Fire, by Cassandra Clare

Relevant information: This is the last book in the series (book 6).

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
The City of Heavenly Fire is definitely one of my favorite books. It is a mature book so I recommend it for 12 year olds and older. Its the perfect combination of action, adventure and romance. There is even a little comedy. But, keep a tissue-box close when you finish this book you will need it. Be sure to read the series in full, starting with City of Bones. Trust me, you'll love it ;) xx Cecilia



Small Steps, by Louis Sachar

from the Greenwich Library Catalog

from the Greenwich Library Catalog
Last seen in the book Holes, Theodore(aka Armpit),is back home from Camp Green Lake and trying to turn his life around. Along the way, he meets up with teen star Kaira DeLeon. Louis Sachar does a good job keeping the suspence and concealing a hidden murder plot. I would give this book 5 stars because it was really meaningful to me and almost made me cry at the end, and I never cry over books!



Best Enemies, by Jessica Burkhart

Relevant information: Canterwood #5

from the Library Catalog

from the Library Catalog
Canterwood Crest: Best Enemies is the fifth book in the Canterwood Crest Series. It combines horses, drama, and lip gloss together in a way that catches the reader and draws them in instantly. Jessica Burkhart's unique and captivating voice brings the CC characters to life. The CC girls are relatable and fascinating with real-life problems, thoughts, actions, and situations. Each girl has a unique talent or personality making the reader want to see when they are going to use it to their advantage next. Sasha and her team are about to compete for a spot on the YENT team. They're desperately trying to practice as much as possible, but also attempting to balance school (including finals), friends, and boys. After two girls on the advanced team were accused of cheating, Mr. Colton adds Jasmine and Eric to the team. At first, Sasha's trying hard not to freak out too much about the competition and keep a level head when it comes to school work and Jasmine but just as Sasha thought, Jasmine spends her time trash talking the rest of the team and playing mind games which starts to make some of the girls lose focus on what's really important: The YENT. This is one of my favorite CC books yet. It's just too perfect in the beginning, that you can tell something bad is going to happen later on. I am positive you will love this book as much as me! I would recommend this book to girls, ages 9-15. Even if you aren't horse crazy, I bet you will love this book!