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The Teen Review

Reviews written by Marathon County teens about books and graphic novels for young adults! Feel free to add comments and contribute to any of the reviews posted below.

Teens: Submit your own book review to "The Teen Review"!

AUGUST 27, 2013
Entwined" by Heather Dixon

Rating: Good (4)

Entwined  by  Heather Dixon

Azalea has finally come of age and is ready to host her first Yuletide ball. Everything feels perfect, as if it were a wonderful dream-but that dream suddenly turns into a nightmare. Azalea's mother dies after giving birth to her twelfth child, Azalea's eleventh sister. The palace submerges to mourning, meaning no colors, no outside, and, worst of all, no dancing. Her father, the King, becomes more and more detached, leaving Azalea alone to care for her sisters. In a stage of rebellion, the twelve princesses discover an enchanted passage that leads them to an extraordinary pavilion, and allows them to meet Keeper, a man who had been trapped in the walls of the palace for centuries. Despite mourning, the girls dance there every night, making them happier then they had been for quite some time. But there's a price to pay. Keeper likes to keep things.
A great take on the Twelve Dancing Princesses, and a whole lot darker. Excellent for those who love fantasy!

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"Entwined" by Heather Dixon

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Alex S.

Categories: Fantasy Suspenseful ReadsAward winners

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AUGUST 27, 2013
"Legend" by Marie Lu

Rating: Excellent! (5)

Legend  by  Marie Lu

In the Republic (once known as the western coast of the United States) fifteen-year-old prodigy June Iparis trains daily to become a Republic soldier to help her nation win the war against the Colonies. Known criminal Day does all he can to help his family, even though they think he's dead. Both from different worlds, their lives suddenly cross when June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day is the only suspect. Determined to avenge her brother and desperate to save his family, Day and June uncover sinister truths that were never meant to be told. Five stars!

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"Legend" by Marie Lu

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Alex S.

Categories: Action & AdventureSci-FiSuspenseful Reads

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AUGUST 27, 2013
"The City Of Ember" by Jeanne DuPrau

Rating: Excellent! (5)

The City Of Ember  by  Jeane DuPrau

The city of Ember was built as a last refugee for humans. 200 years later the lights are flickering more and more with the threat to go out so when Lina finds an ancient message she trys toget everyone to leave the city but just her and her friend Doon leave and now they must find a way to get the message to the people of Ember.

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"The City Of Ember" by Jeanne DuPrau

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Katelyn S.

Categories: Books to MoviesSci-Fi

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AUGUST 27, 2013
"Willow" by Julia Hoban

Rating: Excellent! (5)

Willow  by  Julia Hoban

Willow is a kind and sweet girl in the inside, but a terrifying tragedy is what stands in her way of showing it. Once moving in with her older brother and changes schools, she realizes that there is no point in socializing with people who would not understand her pain. As soon as she meets Guy, she finally opens up. How much will she show him though?

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"Willow" by Julia Hoban

 

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Diane L.

Categories: Realistic Fiction Suspenseful Reads

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AUGUST 27, 2013
"The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins

Rating: Excellent! (5)

The Hunger Games  by  Suzanne Collins

As a huge Hunger Games fan, I highly recommend this trilogy as your next school read or even a literary project! Katniss Everdeen, is an unfortunate victim of the annual Reaping for the Hunger Games. The games are enforced through the power of the Capitol, a city where officials and game making authorities reside; these games are a way to keep control over the Capitol's citizens. Katniss must choose between survival and the boy of her childhood as she does everything she can to stay alive. Suzanne Collins is an excellent writer and can reach out and captivate her audience while maintaining a strong sense of mystery.

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"The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Marissa Z.

Categories: Dystopian NovelsAction & AdventureSci-Fi

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AUGUST 14, 2013
"The Beginning Of After" by Jennifer Castle

Rating: Excellent! (5)

The Beginning Of After  by  Jennifer Castle

Laurel went home early that night. She was studying for the SATs when police came to her door and told her that her parents and her younger brother had just died in a car accident. Laurel is now without her family and her grandmother has come to live with her until she finishes high school. Laurel has to deal with going back to a normal life after the tragic night that changed her life forever.
The Beginning of After will bring tears to any reader who sympathizes with Laurel. It is brilliantly written with characters who are extremely relatable. I would recommend The Beginning of After to anyone who reads books in the young adult genre.

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"The Beginning Of After" by Jennifer Castle

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Jenna B.

Category: Realistic Fiction

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AUGUST 14, 2013
"Waiting For You" by Susane Colasanti

Rating: Just Okay (3)

Waiting For You  by  Susane Colasanti

Waiting For You by Susane Colasanti follows Marisa as she starts her sophomore year of high school. Not only is she dealing with her anxiety and crazy best friend, she is hoping for her first real relationship. As Marisa navigates new crushes and old friends, she finds the importance of family and being true to her own self.
Waiting For You is a great read for middle school through early high school readers. The book deals with real issues that teenagers face everyday. Susane Colasanti is a well known young adult author who writes about real issues, and although her voice is a little dated, anyone can relate to her lovable characters.

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"Waiting For You" by Susane Colasanti

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Jenna B.

Categories: Realistic Fiction Romance

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AUGUST 13, 2013
"Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet" by Kashmira Sheth

Rating: Good (4)

Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet  by  Kashmira Sheth

Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet follows Jetta, a sixteen year old living in Mumbai, India. As Jetta's two older sisters go through the process of finding a husband through an arranged marriage, Jetta realizes that she does not want the same thing. When she befriends Sarina, the wealthy and liberal daughter of a judge, Jetta finds the importance of an education and the possibility of being more than she ever thought.
Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet is a great novel which shows off a culture so different from our own. Although there is a romance in this book, I would place it in the genre of romance. The true struggle in Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet is for the characters to see that although breaking tradition is difficult, sometimes it is necessary. I would recommend this book to anyone willing to learn about different cultures around the world.

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"Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet" by Kashmira Sheth

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Jenna B.

Categories: Realistic Fiction InspirationalAward winners

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AUGUST 13, 2013
"My Life Next Door" by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Rating: Excellent! (5)

My Life Next Door  by  Huntley Fitzpatrick

In My Life Next Door, Samantha Reed, her mother and sister are the perfect family. According to her mother anyways. Samantha's mother can't stand the family next door, the Garrets. The Garrets are a loud family of nine who are the complete opposite of the quiet and clean household of the Reeds. When Samantha Reed finally meets Jase Garret, they quickly fall for each other and Samantha is embraced into Jase's family. However Samantha hesitates to introduce Jase into her world and when something horrific happens, Samantha has to deal with the consequences of it.
In My Life Next Door is a great young adult novel. It deals with the common issues of being a teenager. Trouble with friends, family and relationships are all covered in a very realistic way that is relatable to most readers. I would recommend In My Life Next Door to anyone who reads young adult books. It is a great book and you will find yourself rooting for Samantha the whole time.

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"My Life Next Door" by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Jenna B.

Categories: Realistic Fiction Award winners

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AUGUST 12, 2013
"The Schwa Was Here" by Shusterman, Neal

Rating: Good (4)

The Schwa Was Here  by  Shusterman, Neal

"Schwa: The faint vowel sound in many unstressed syllables in the English language. It is signified by the pronunciation "uh"?... For example, the e in overlook, the a in forgettable, and the o in run-of "“the mill"
Calvin Schwa, otherwise known as just "the Schwa", is the human equivalent of this quirk of the English language. He goes almost entirely unnoticed by his peers, his teachers, and even his father. But when Anthony "Antsy" Bonano takes a moment to realize that he's there, a business venture-turned-friendship gets the two of them involved in much more than they bargained for. Antsy just wants his friend to stick around, but curiosity and a touch of guilt drive him to seek out answers the Schwa has been looking for since he was five years old. Why is he "functionally invisible"? Where did his mother go? And is it possible to undo the "Schwa effect" if he tries hard enough?
Shusterman creates a clever world of fantastical realism in this novel. Set in a bustling Brooklyn, his narrator brings a quick-witted dialect to what is already a smart and singular plot.

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"The Schwa Was Here" by Shusterman, Neal

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Sarah C.

Categories: Realistic Fiction Funny Reads

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AUGUST 12, 2013
"Cinder" by Meyer, Marissa

Rating: Excellent! (5)

Cinder  by  Meyer, Marissa

When was the last time you asked yourself "Self, how many intriguing, unique and well-written fairy tale adaptations have I read recently?" If your answer is "not enough", have I got the book for you. 'Cinder' by Marissa Meyer is a singular work of fiction: a sci-fi retelling of Cinderella set in a futuristic Asian empire. The protagonist, Linh Cinder, is a renowned mechanic in the city of New Beijing. She also happens to be a cyborg, a trait which brings quite a bit of stigma and discrimination her way. Cinder has found methods of keeping her mechanical parts more or less hidden, but her stepmother and stepsisters are all to aware of her deficiency in the human flesh department. Regardless, Cinder makes a fair bit of money fixing machines. Her reputation even makes its way as far as the royal palace, and when prince Kai hires her to fix an android that carries delicate information, Cinder is thrown headfirst into a world of secrets, conspiracy, and dangerous politics. She has never wanted to be part of this world, but the fate of an empire just might rest in her hands #one human, one metal#.
'Cinder' is Marissa Meyer's first novel, and is followed by the sequel 'Scarlet'.

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"Cinder" by Meyer, Marissa

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Sarah C.

Categories: Sci-FiAction & AdventureRomance

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AUGUST 12, 2013
"45 Pounds (more Or Less)" by Karen Barson

Rating: Excellent! (5)

45 Pounds (more Or Less)  by  Karen Barson

Ann Galardi has many problems. Her weight, odd family life, and her Aunt Jackie's upcoming wedding basically round out the top three problems of her life. Trying to help matters, she decides to go on a very expensive diet plan, which means she'll need to get a job. When she does find a job (not the one she had hoped for at the trendy store Snapz! but one at the pretzel joint) she doesn't get the kinds of co-workers she was hoping for, except for Raynee. With Raynee's help will Ann get thin, thin out things with her family, and be skinny for her aunt's wedding? Read it to find out!;)

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"45 Pounds (more Or Less)" by Karen Barson

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Kara K.

Category: Realistic Fiction

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AUGUST 8, 2013
"The Unidentified" by Rae Mariz

Rating: Good (4)

The Unidentified  by  Rae Mariz

The Unidentified follows Katey, an average high school girl who goes by the name of Kid. But the school Kid goes to is not average at all. When the United States of America ran out of money, corporations bought out the school system and use it for market research. Now school is in a mall, and everyday is focused more on dressing right and being in the "it crowd" than getting an actual education. When Kid witnesses a stunt pulled in the cafeteria, she is one of the few to take an interest and proceeds to uncover the anonymous group who call themselves the Unidentified.
I would recommend this book to lovers of the dystopian genre. Although sometimes some characters can come off as a bit annoying with their obsession for being noticed, it shows what living in this type of world can do to someone. The Unidentified is a great book that makes the reader think about how their own world operates.

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"The Unidentified" by Rae Mariz

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Jenna B.

Categories: Suspenseful ReadsDystopian NovelsSci-Fi

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AUGUST 8, 2013
"Little Brother" by Cory Doctorow

Rating: Excellent! (5)

Little Brother  by  Cory Doctorow

Little Brother takes place in San Francisco and follows Marcus, known as w1n5t0n on the internet. Marcus is a hacker, he knows how to manipulate computers and how to get them to do what he wants. When he and three of his friends are taken by the Department of Homeland Security and placed in a secret prison after a terrorist attack, Marcus sees what is wrong with his city and decides to take action against it.
I would recommend Little Brother to anyone. Not only is the story thrilling and hard to put down, the book is littered with interesting outside information such as public and private keys, Bayesian statics, and the paradox of the false positive. Even if you have little to no interest in the world of technology and computers, Little Brother is a must read for anyone who lives under a government which could someday abuse it's power.

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"Little Brother" by Cory Doctorow

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Jenna B.

Categories: Suspenseful ReadsSci-FiDystopian Novels

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AUGUST 8, 2013
"Fake Me A Match" by Lauren Barnholdt

Rating: Excellent! (5)

Fake M E A Match  by  Lauren Barnholdt

Ever kissed your soon-to-be-stepsister's crush, cared for and trained 2 dogs (which you don't want), and ruined the bridesmaids dress for your mother's upcoming wedding all within a few days of each other? Most likely not but, Avery (a not-so-average 7th grader) has. Will she be able to fix things with her soon-to-be-stepsister, Blake, finally get her dogs under control, and fix or find somebody to fix the bridesmaids dress she ruined? Read it to find out!:)

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"Fake Me A Match" by Lauren Barnholdt

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Kara K.

Category: Realistic Fiction

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AUGUST 2, 2013
"Life As We Knew It" by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Rating: Excellent! (5)

Life As We Knew It  by  Susan Beth Pfeffer

Life As We Knew It, was a great read that everyone should read at least once in their lifetime. This book teaches you the very despicable things you do throughout survival, and how hard it is to get through it without having the right medication. It explains what the moon is actually there for. You learn how much the moon can impact so many lives, in so many places. It proves why the moon is so important to us. From anyone on the coast of California, to anyone of the coast of China.

Six-teen year old Miranda, has a life of any regular kid you could pick out from the world. A teenager with no boyfriend, divorced parents, a passion for sports, and having the best friends in the world. But in her sophomore year, everything that school year changes. The astronauts announce that a huge meteor was going to collide with the moon, that would make the moon shift it's position, and come closer to Earth. Everyone is excited for this new experience, with lawn chairs being pulled out, and late night barbecues out. "For a moment I thought about all of the people through history who saw Halley's Comet and didn't know what it was, just that it was there and frightening and awe inspiring. For the briefest flick of a second, I could have been a 16-year-old in the Middle Ages looking up at the sky, marveling at its mysteries, or an Aztec or an Apache. For that tiny instant, I was every 16-year-old in history, not knowing what the skies foretold about my future. And then it hit. Even though we knew it was going to, we were still shocked when the asteroid actually made contact with the moon. With our moon. At that second, I think we all realized that is was Our Moon and if it was attacked, then we were attacked."

Once from there, everything hit

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"Life As We Knew It" by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Add a comment  (0 comments) posted by Kaomi Y.

Categories: Sci-FiSuspenseful Reads

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