Books Reviewed by our Teens

These are reviews written by Auburn Hills Public Library teens!

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Rated ★★★★★

Something, Maybe

Elizabeth Scott

As a lightly cliche but well written romance novel, Something Maybe is a pretty nice read. In my opinion, Scott certainly did a good job writing the characters. I personally liked the unique character concepts of the parents in this book; particularly because of how different they are from the standard tropes. I’d recommend this book to any fans of the teen romance genre.

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Rated ★★★★★

The Goddess Test

Aimée Carter

The Goddess Test has an interesting take on greek mythology, with its modernized pieces and intriguing characters. It follows Kate Winters, a girl returning her terminally sick mother to her childhood home, where Kate meets someone who claims to be Hades, the god of the underworld. Through this meeting, he offers Kate a test of immortality to be his eternal wife and a way to keep her mother alive for more time than she had left. The characters interested me with their unique rendition of greek gods and goddesses, as they created intriguing characters out of well known names like Demeter and Hades. I’d recommend this book to fans of YA romance.

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Rated ★★★★★

The Tail of Emily Windsnap

Liz Kessler

The Tail of Emily Windsnap is a cute fantasy fiction read for younger audiences. When I was in middle school I really enjoyed this book and the series. It’s about a girl who learns the truth about herself and her father, while making a special friend along the way. I’d recommend this book to young fiction readers. I’d also recommend the rest of the series.

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Rated ★★★★★

The Fault in Our Stars

John Green

The Fault in Our Stars is a bittersweet classic romance novel that tells the story of two terminally ill teenagers who fall in love. I call it a classic as the movie for this book seemed to spark a number of other romance movies with illnesses involved since then. I liked The Fault in Our Stars particularly because of how the characters confronted their issues in a somewhat “edgy” yet understandable way. An example of this is how the blind character reacts to getting broken up with. Overall, I’d say this book does an excellent job of expressing the heartbreak of accepting having a terminal illness.

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Rated ★★★★★

Switched

Amanda Hocking

Switched is about a girl discovering her true identity. It’s the first of the Trylle series, and opens the trilogy pretty well. I particularly like the descriptiveness of the scenes that really helped me visualize the story. Overall, this is a good fantasy novel with several creative concepts. I recommend this book and its series to any fans of the Iron Fey books or YA romance fans.

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Rated ★★★★★

Torn

Amanda Hocking

While some sequels can happen to be lackluster, Torn does an excellent job on following where the first book left off. I liked the way the character interactions and developments carried out in this book, especially since it didn’t seem like a filler book where middle books in trilogies often do. Something that stood out to me is how the book also somewhat explores the class system of this world as the main character, a trylle princess, visits the home of another, who is of the working class. Again, I’d recommend this book to any fans of the Iron Fey books or general YA romance fans.

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Rated ★★★★★

Ascend

Amanda Hocking

A great ending to the trilogy; Ascend really wrapped up the story in a satisfying way that left me curious about Hocking’s other writings. This book shows incredible character development with the main character as she shows how she’s grown so much stronger than before. Along with that, the events really tie together in a skillfully creative way with a beautiful ending that really feels good to close the trylle series on. As previously, I’d recommend this book to any fans of the Iron Fey books or general YA romance fans. To those who’ve read this series, I’d next recommend the Kanin series by Hocking as it tells the story from a different tribe in this creative world.

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Rated ★★★★☆

Frostfire

Amanda Hocking

While it can be a little odd on pacing, I enjoyed Frostfire as a follow up to Hocking’s Trylle series. I enjoyed the contrast in society in this tribe as it gave some insight on the troll world. I somewhat wished there was a little more development in character relationships but expected that the first book of a trilogy wouldn’t dive too deep in those details. I’d recommend this to fans of Julie Kagawa’s writing and YA fans.

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Rated ★★★★★

Ice Kissed

Amanda Hocking

Ice Kissed is another well written sequel by Hocking. It continues right where Frostfire left off with quality story depth and excitement. Hocking’s writing proceeds to fascinate me with beautiful descriptive properties. It did happen to contain a rather mature scene so I feel obligated to say that the reader's discretion is advised. I recommend this to fans of YA novels and the twilight series.

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Rated ★★★★★

Crystal Kingdom

Amanda Hocking

A good end to a good trilogy, Crystal Kingdom wraps up the Kanin series pretty well. This series finale seemed to really show lots of shining change in the main character. Along with such, there are many parts and details that truly come full circle. It was also incredibly satisfying to see characters from the Trylle series make an appearance and see how those characters developed as well. I’d recommend it (and the series) to those who enjoy the YA genre and the Iron Fey novels.

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Rated ★★★★★

A Dog’s Life

Ann M Martin

As a child, I found “A Dog’s Life” to be one of my favorites to check out from my elementary school’s library. It’s sad yet beautiful writing really imprinted on me and has stayed with me for many years. The Book is about a stray dog named Squirrel as it goes throughout it’s life. I feel that throughout the emotional events, one can really learn to have more empathy towards stray dogs, where it’s often lacking as stray dogs are viewed poorly. I recommend this book to any children around 7-10 years old.

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Rated ★★★★★

The Angel Experiment

James Patterson

As a classic sci-fi novel to me, Maximum Ride is a special middle school favorite of mine. Patterson really does a good job at creating an elaborate plot that’s pretty believable in terms of details. I really enjoyed the way the characters each have a good level of depth to them and how the reader can develop a nice relationship with said characters. I’d suggest this book and the series to any young adult sci-fi lovers since it’s overall very well written. I would not, however, suggest the 2016 movie adaptation as it does a poor job of representing the characters.

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Rated ★★★★☆

The Iron King

Julie Kagawa

The Iron King is a captivating romance fantasy with an intricate world. While a bit cliche here and there, I liked it because of its charming take on fey/fae/faerie and the characters that grow on you. Kagawa’s writing really paints a hauntingly enchanting world with strong descriptive scenes and character interactions. I’d recommend this book to fans of the twilight series based on the character similarities. I also recommend reading the whole Iron Fey series.

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Rated ★★★★★

The Giver

Lois Lowry

The Giver is an insightful piece of writing that I feel tells that there cannot ever truly be a perfect society. It takes place in a world where in a futuristic world after eliminating all conflict of pain and war, everyone has settled for a set system where there are no colors, few emotions and everyone has their lives practically completely planned out for them. Their jobs, their partners, and even their children are all set into a system. As the main character finds that we really do need colors, emotions, and pains, the readers can find that while it can seem pretty ideal at first, people need to experience issues sometimes. If your life has no problems, you’re not really living it.

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Rated ★★★★★

The Tale of Despereaux

Kate DiCamillo

The Tale of Despereaux will always be a book I’ll remember with fondness as it’s one of my childhood all time favorites. It follows a number of characters, the main character being a little mouse with large ears and a large heart on a special quest. I liked this particular book because of the adorable pictures that were paired with such dark concepts. I’d recommend this book to families as it’s a easy read fantasy, but suggest considering the topics within before reading. I’d also recommend the movie to the readers.

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Rated ★★★★☆

The Iron Daughter

Julie Kagawa

Despite being the second book of the Iron Fey series, it was the first book I had read and remains my favorite of them to this day. As a sucker for star-crossed romance, The Iron Daughter really hits the target for cliche novel lovers. To be honest, the last time I read it was in early middle school, and returning to it after all this time really puts it into perspective just how cliche it really is. While the main character can be a little unlikable at moments, the overall world and characters of the book are pretty fascinating. I’d recommend The Iron Daughter to fans of the Twilight series.

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Rated ★★★★★

The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald

A great read, in or out of the classroom. The Great Gatsby is a classic tragedy with several themes within. It follows a young man in named Nick Carraway as he witnesses the story of his eccentric neighbor unfold before him. Along with the interesting character depth, I really enjoyed the symbolism throughout the book, especially with the colors. I'd recommend this to fans of historical fiction as it takes place in the roaring 1920s; the Jazz age. Rated 5/5 Stars!

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Rated ★★★★☆

Speak

Laurie Halse Anderson

"Speak" by Laurie Halse Anderson is an insightful story about a girl who suffers the aftermath of sexual assault. Despite being unlikable at times, the characters are pretty well written. Something that stood out to me is how this book confronts a sensitive topic in a realistic yet empowering way with subtle imagery and characterization. While there is some mature content, I'd suggest this book to the teen age group. I think it gives a good message to others. Rated 4/5 Stars.

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Rated ★★★★★

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Garth Stein

"The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein is a heartwarming story about a dog's recollection of his life. As I dog owner myself, I definitely related to this book in a very fond way. While it somewhat follows the well-known puppy tale story line, the writing really gets you attached to the characters throughout the book. I recommend this book to fans of "A Dog's Purpose" and "Marley & Me". Also, I recommend the movie to those who read it. 5/5 Stars!

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Rated ★★★★☆

Where She Went

Gayle Forman

Picking up a couple years after where "If I Stay" left off, "Where She Went" by Gayle Forman tells a realistic answer to the typical question of "what's next?" when finishing a book. It does so in a way that's realistic, even if it means it wasn't the happy moving on that readers might've anticipated. I particularly enjoyed how the book was told in a different perspective than the first book, as it gave lots of insight on that character's views and their relationship to the main character of the first book. Overall, "Where She Went" does a touching job of depicting the development of the characters after the traumatic events of "If I Stay". I'd suggest this to readers of the first book. 4/5 Stars

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Rated ★★★☆☆

The Hobbit

J. R. R. Tolkien

While I admit it's not really my style, The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien is an overall well written book. To generalize, it's about a recluse going on a quest with several companions and learning the value of friendship and adventure. It has a nice story line and a good theme, but I felt that the pacing was a little inconsistent. The characters were charming, but can take a bit to grow on you since there's so many. Personally, I'd probably recommend this book to Harry Potter fans because of the fantasy genre and adventure style writing. 3/5 Stars

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Rated ★★★★★

If I Stay

Gayle Forman

If I Stay is a lovely book about a car accident survivor struggling through a coma. I enjoyed it because it was pretty insightful on the value of life and how easily things change. Other than that, the characters are well written and very likable. I'd probably recommend this to fans of "The Fault In Our Stars", along with advising them to read the sequel called "Where She Went". This book also contains some mature language, so that's something to keep in mind if needed. 5/5 Stars!

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