The Testing

Book One in the Testing series

By Joelle Charbonneau

8/`10 Stars

Ages 12+

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After the Seven Stages of War that ripped the world apart, the United Commonwealth government invites the most promising students to the University to become leaders in their society. However, to make it to the University, the students must go through a process called the Testing. No one knows what happens in it, but Malencia’s dad, a University graduate, warns her that it’s not pretty. The process isn’t optional, and Malencia is selected for it. As Malencia journeys through the Testing process, her enthusiasm and excitement to be chosen dims as she realizes that the Testing will punish wrong answers, and she can’t trust a soul.

Malencia Vale is an intelligent, relatable character. Parts of this book are very predictable, in the corrupt-dystopian-government theme of the book, but the book has many layers that aren’t advertised immediately. This book had been on my reading list for a while, and I wasn’t disappointed. I highly recommend this thrilling start to a series

8.06.14. Science Fiction Books,Fantasy Books,Action/ Adventure Books,Adventure/ Action Books,Popular Teen Books,Dystopian,

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All Our Yesterdays

By Cristin Terrill

9/10 Stars

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The world is falling apart and it’s up to Em to go back in time and change the fate of the future. The problem is, she’s tried before, and now she only has one option left. You have to kill him. Marina has been trying to get James to confess his feelings with her for ages, and she finally feels like he likes her. Suddenly, a tragedy strikes and she’s not sure what’s happening, or if James is really so trustworthy. Em & Marina race against time for a result only one will can win.

I bought this book after reading half of it at the library, and then setting it down. It’s so thought provoking and suspenseful that I couldn’t start another book without comparing it to this one. The characters are so believable, they seemed to jump off the page. Em & Marina are flawed and question themselves constantly, which is a trait I always appreciate in characters (so it’s realistic). The time aspect of the book was understandable, unlike most time-related books I’ve read, and fascinating. This is time travel done right. I highly recommend this book. 

7.08.14. Science Fiction Books,Romance Books,Fantasy Books,

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Divergent

Book 1 in Divergent series

By Veronica Roth

9/10 Stars

Movie in March 2014

In a futuristic Chicago, to keep the peace, you must decide your life at sixteen. Will you be honest in Candor, peaceful in Amity, intelligent in Erudite, selfless in Abnegation, or brave in Dauntless? Beatrice Prior has always pushed herself down to be the daughter of an Abnegation leader, but even then, she isn’t perfect. So when it comes time for her to decide, and she finds out she is Divergent, which means she has the ability for three- Erudite, Abnegation, or..Dauntless. Going against every instinct, Beatrice picks Dauntless. In Dauntless, she becomes Tris, and learns how to jump trains, fly off cliffs, fight and kill people, and shoot a gun. And there’s a boy, of course. She learns the meaning of Divergent, and learns that she must keep it a secret at all costs. That people would kill her if they found out. And that her peaceful society has a breed of plotters, about to start a war.

Oh, my. I have heard about this book for a very long time, and though I searched for it in the libraries, I never found it. Until the other day when I saw it peeking out of the shelves. I picked it up, opened the pages, and I was hooked. This book is impossible to stop reading. It had me on the edge of my seat. The author writes with an unmistakeable voice, and characters so developed they will blow your mind. The one part I didn’t like about this book was the tinge of violence to everything. Knives, blood, guns, easy death, suicide, sure that’s all fine in small doses. But over and over it can prove to be too much. Overall though, I loved this book, and am dying to find the next one. I highly recommend it.

11.12.13. Popular Teen Books,Fantasy Books,Romance Books,Science Fiction Books,Movie,

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Unremembered

By Jessica Brody

8/10 Stars

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When she wakes up in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by dead bodies, she doesn’t remember anything. She doesn’t remember her name, or her age, or even the simplest things, like a cell phone or a supermarket. A mysterious boy keeps appearing, claiming she knew him before, and strange clues to her true life keep popping up in the weirdest places. Can she find out who she is? And does she really want to?

This was a great book that I really enjoyed. The skills of Jessica Brody’s descriptions, and eerie feelings really felt real. I was sitting on the edge of my seat the whole book.

7.18.13. Science Fiction Books,Boys Books,Girls Books,Romance Books,

5

When You Reach Me

By Rebecca Stead

4 Stars

"Book, bag, pocket, shoe."

It all started when Sal got punched in the face for seemingly no reason. Then Sal starts ignoring Miranda and she doesn’t know why. And she finally has to walk by the crazy, laughing man under the mailbox all alone. Suddenly, the hidden spare key to her apartment is stolen, and she starts receiving strange notes. They are urgent, telling her that a life is in mortal danger. But who’s life? And can Miranda really save a life before it’s too late?

Wow. Yes, I’m starting this review again with wow. This is another fabulous book, with a detailed plot and woven thread of mystery. This author is incredible. The time traveling concepts and world concepts are amazing. I loved this book, and highly recommend it to every reader out there, boy or girl, kid or adult.

12.30.12. Popular Books,Popular Kid Books,Fantasy Books,Science Fiction Books,

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Origin

By Jessica Khoury

4 1/2 Stars

Pia has grown up in a laboratory deep in the Amazon forest, but she has never been out of the fence. Except for a careless thirteen steps when she was young and didn’t know why she could never leave. You see, she has been created for one purpose, creating a super race. She is immortal and will never, ever die. Probably. She is surrounded by mysterious characters that she called Aunt and Uncle, and doesn’t see anything strange about her life. That is, until Harriet comes into Little Cambridge and a hole opens in her fence. Suddenly, her world is flipped when she discovers that the world outside her cage is friendly and nice, nothing like the horrible tales she has heard. She meets a boy, a special boy, and her emotions are thrown out of balance. Could there be a terrible secret behind Little Cambridge? And could Pia, sensible, practical Pia, disobey reason and fall for the only real thing that makes her happy?

Wow. This book is fantastic! As you may have noticed, it’s on my favorite books list, because it is so amazing. I admit I was doubtful at the beginning of the book, but it truly is a great book! It is written brilliantly, and I never expected anything to happen! I thought I could predict what would happen, but this book is not predictable at all. I highly recommend it to everyone who appreciates an awesome book!

12.26.12. My Favorite Books,Science Fiction Books,Romance Books,Action/ Adventure Books,Adventure/ Action Books,Fantasy Books,

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Whisper

By Phoebe Kitanidis

4 Stars

If only I could have a cup of coffee. I wish I knew how many calories were in a bite of muffin. I hope she realizes he hates her. I wish I could kick him out of my life. Joy is used to hearing Whispers. She can walk down the street and hear dozens of desires. Her mother and her agree they can make the world a better place with making people happy. Unfortunately, everything unravels on her birthday, when her rebellious, gloomy, friend-less sister Jessica messes her life up. And then disappears. Soon, Joy is finding out that her Whisper senses are picking up darker desires and that her perfect life is built on lies. Will Joy find her older sister in time, or will everything fall to pieces?

This is an amazing book with usual teen drama mixed with unnatural romance and family relationships. I absolutely recommend it to girls and guys ages 12 and up.

5.09.12. Fantasy Books,Science Fiction Books,Mystery,Thrillers,Romance Books,Popular Teen Books,

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Matched

Book 1 of the Matched series

3 3/4 Stars

By Ally Condie

Cassia lives in a futuristic world where everything is controlled by the Society, their food, their clothing, the time of death, and even their free time. When she turns seventeen, she gets to learn of her Match. She goes to a special celebration, and her best friend turns out to be her Match. She is surprised, but thrilled. Then when she puts her “card” in to the player, a different boy’s face pops up. Another boy she knows. A boy who shouldn’t have been Matched. Who is this boy? Who does the Society want Cassia’s Match to be? And was a double Match a glitch..or on purpose?

This was a pretty good book, but there were slight pauses and more dull parts in the reading. The Society was an amazing thought, and their way of doing everything was quite incredible. The characters were crafted well, and I like the book overall.

4.19.12. New York Times Bestsellers,Popular Teen Books,Science Fiction Books,Romance Books,

1

Sabotaged

Book 3 of the Missing series

By Margaret Peterson Haddix 

4 stars

After saving Chip and Alex, Jonah and Katherine thought their job was done. But soon JB tells them that they will be helping Andrea as well. When they are sent back to the past, the Eluminator is lost and Jonah feeks mysteriously drawn to Andrea. They also aren’t sure whether they are in the right time period. When messages appear from “Second” telling them they are doing well, he confuses them even more. Who is Second, and is it too late to save time..and themselves?

This was a thrilling book I whipped through. I recommend it to people who enjoy adventure and mystery.

12.04.11. Popular Teen Books,Science Fiction Books,Action/ Adventure Books,

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Unwind

The second civil war, called the Heartland War, was fought over abortion. The conclusion was no abortion but children could be “storked,” dropped off at doorsteps, and children between 13-18 could be unwound. Unwinding means that 100% of the children’s body parts (hearts, brains, eyes, anything) could be used in other’s surgeries and replacements under the condition that technically they were alive. Risa isn’t talented enough to be kept alive. Connor has become a “problem” for his parents. Lev is a tithe, a person raised to be unwound. Together, they might stand a chance of escaping, and surviving, and maybe finding a way to stop the terrible crime of unwinding.

This was a well written book I liked, but it was kind-of creepy. I would not re-read it, but it was a good, 1-time read. I’m recommending this to science fiction readers.

11.26.11. Science Fiction Books,

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The Maze Runner

Thomas wakes up in an elevator, remembering only his first name. When the elevator stops, he gets out into a different world, The Glade. The Glade is made up of only teenage boys and is a very mysterious place, surrounded by the Maze, a maze full of Grievers (monsters) and that changes it’s passageways every night. But just one night after he arrives, another person comes out of the elevator, seemingly dead! That’s not the scariest thing though. The person is a girl, the first girl to arrive-ever! And in her fist she clutches a message from the Creators of the Maze. She’s the last one. Ever. Soon after that, Thomas, the girl Teresa, and three other boys figure out that the end of the Glade is coming. But will they die? Or will they make it back to Earth before disaster strikes?

This was a thrilling book that I definitely liked reading. I highly recommend it!

10.20.11. Action/ Adventure Books,Fantasy Books,Science Fiction Books,Adventure/ Action Books,

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Airhead

Em Watts has dark brown hair, and enjoys hanging around in sweats, playing JourneyQuest with her best friend, Christopher. Her younger sister, Frida, is the opposite. Mascara and lipgloss applied, Frida is a cheerleader and has a crush on songwriter Gabriel Luna. Gabriel comes to Stark MegaStore to sell his new album and sign autographs. Frida must go and Em’s mother makes Em go with her. When waiting in line for an autograph, Frida spots her ultimate role-model, airhead Nikki Howard. She is tall, blonde, and beautiful, and pretty much Em’s worst nightmare. But a TV plasma screen toters when Frida is talking to Nikki, and Em saves her by shoving her away. But the plasma screen crushes Em. She wakes up feeling different, and when she happens to glance in the mirror, there is no more dark haired Em. The model, Nikki Howard is staring back at her. How is this possible? And how is Em ever going to be able to hide that her brain is in the wrong body?

This is a great book, and an amazing trilogy. “Airhead” is followed by “Being Nikki,” and “Runaway.” I don’t like models, airbrushes, etc, but I loved this book. It was written very well. I highly recommend it!

10.16.11. Romance Books,Humor,Science Fiction Books,Fantasy Books,

5

Found

Jonah has always known he was adopted, and knows that it is not a big deal. When his new friend, Chip, finds out that he is adopted and his parents aren’t his birth parents, Chip, Jonah, and Jonah’s sister Katherine, try to investigate Chip’s past. Jonah and Chip suddenly receive a mysterious letter. “YOU ARE ONE OF THE MISSING.” Later, they receive, “BEWARE! THEY ARE COMING BACK TO GET YOU!” They are freaked out and look for answers. Unfortunately, Jonah, Katherine, and Chip get sucked into a crazy series of events nobody can predict.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes mysterious books, or exciting events. It was a well written, fun, thrilling book.

10.15.11. Science Fiction Books,Adventure/ Action Books,

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Leviathan

Written by Scott Westerfield, the author of the Uglies series, this book is thrilling, exciting, and very fun to read. Prince Aleksander (or Alek) is a would be heir to the Austro- Hungarian throne, is on the run from his own people. He escapes to Switzerland, barely surviving the beginning war on the way, and mourns the death of his beloved parents. Deryn is a commoner, disguised as Dylan, the boy. She is an amazing airman, but her secret is in danger of being discovered. Thrown together in the icy cold of Switzerland, they are natural enemies. Though they need to help each other to get out of the ice and survive the cold, they expect to leave each other at the first opportunity. As their paths cross in unexpected ways, they form a bond.

This is a exciting, and a fun read, full of adventures and plots. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t particularly like Alek’s character. He seemed too pompous and a bit wimpy to me. I loved Deryn (aka Dylan) and she was my favorite part of the book. The book is continued with Behemoth and Goliath.

10.09.11. Adventure/ Action Books,Fantasy Books,Science Fiction Books,New York Times Bestsellers,

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