From Eric, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Lynch, Chris
Hothouse is an emotional and unique story about the sharp and oftentimes unexpected change from being admired to being despised. The story is about seventeen-year-old Russell and his best friend D.J., who have shared similar childhoods. Both boys have grown up around the firehouse, because both of their fathers were firemen. Russell shared a special bond with his father, and knew his entire life that he wanted to grow up to be a firefighter just like his father.
Unfortunately, both of their fathers died in a tragic accident while fighting a fire in town. Naturally, both the boys were devastated by the loss, but the story focuses more on how Russell copes. Initially, everyone in their town rallies around their families, because the boys’ fathers were regarded as heroes to the community. Everyone’s constant support helped the boys get through the tough situation.
However, the story takes a dark turn as the boys’ fathers get turned from heroes to zeros. Some secrets into his father’s actions concerning the accident shed some light on the fact that Russell’s father may not have been such a hero after all. Now, he must deal with the fact that the man he idolized his whole life had a darker side he knew nothing about, and the whole community that once embraced him wants no part of him anymore. The story is an emotional journey and examines the way teenagers handle death and adversity in general. I would recommend this to mature teen readers looking for a powerful, but not too long of a read.
From Janin, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Calonita, Jen
In the book I read, Sleepaway Girls, by Jen Calonita, the main character, Sam Montgomery decides to take a break from her best friend, Mal, who gets a boyfriend. She does not want to hear them being all “lovey” the whole summer. Sam goes for a CIT (counselor-in-training) position in a camp called Whispering Pines, but still promises Mal and a bunch of other friends video-postcards while she is away. What Sam doesn’t know, is that her summer will be too jam-packed to do anything else besides the things that are keeping her occupied at camp! From the heartthrobs to the popular girls, how could she have time for anything? Sam is falling for the super-cute, surfer-blond Hunter, and has a rivalry with the camp’s queen, Ashley, who just happens to be one of the daughters of the camp director. But at least she has Cole, her best guy-friend, who sides with her on almost everything. All of the drama that happens at the Pines builds up to the fantastic ending.
I loved reading this book. It was a real page-turner, and I got so caught up in the book I couldn’t put it down. I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves reading about summer camp and all the drama that comes in the same package.
From Alex, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Scott, Kieran
She’s So Dead to Us
The Book She’s So Dead To Us by Kieran Scott is an enjoyable book. In this book, Ally has moved back to her home town after having moved away since her dad had some money problems. So now, she has to leave her low-key, happy life and go back into the snake pit with Shannon Moore and Hammond Roos, or so she thinks. Right after Ally left, perfect and handsome Jake Graydon moved into Orchard Hill. So when Ally moves back and sees Jake, she develops a major crush on him. Its a really interesting book told from two perspectives and I really hope you guys like it.
From Kyle, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Sonnenblick, Jordan
Zen and the art of faking it
Zen and the Art of Faking It by Jordan Sonneblick is about a boy named San Lee who moves into a new town and is attending a new school. Instead of trying to make new friends, or trying to be cool, San decides to try his best to be different from others. He tries to be different by pretending to be a Zen Master. He decides to pretend to be a Zen Master because he answers many questions correctly in History class that nobody else knows, and everybody thinks he is a Zen Master.
Besides pretending to be a Zen Master, San has to deal with many family problems at home throughout the story. San also meets a girl who he thinks is cute and her name is Woody. Woody loves listening to the same type of music as San and they often talk about lyrics from the songs they like. San is determined to impress Woody without letting her know that he is really not a Zen master. I enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a book about a character who pretends to be who she or he is really not.
From Carson, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Lynch, Chris
In Hothouse seventeen-year-old Russell had a father who was a fireman. Russell’s best friend, DJ, had a father who was a firefighter too, and Russell and DJ’s family became very close. Since Russell was little, Russell has always recognized himself as a firefighter too, because of some training and experience he received from the firefighter headquarters.
Russell’s and DJ’s fathers both die while fighting a fire. The whole community considers the two fathers as heroes, and the community pays their respects to both families often. Russell doesn’t like bragging, but does enjoy the respect he gets from many people after his father’s death. Then the respect Russell receives changes from positive respect to negative respect. Russell must face the fact that his father has maybe not been such a hero while fighting a fire. Even worse, the community that respected his father and his family now have shame towards them. Who would know what seemed to be so good could become so bad.
I would recommend this book to people who like to read realistic fiction books. Although this novel can be sad, at the same time it’s a well-written descriptive book of about a real life situation that can happen.
From Alex, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Cantor, Jillian
For the Teen Review Blog, I read the book September Sisters written by Jillian Cantor. In this wonderful book, Abigail and her younger sister Becky are always fighting and bickering. Their mother always pretends they’re friends but they aren’t. Then one day Becky disappears at night. Abigail and her family are upset and are calling everyone including police. Abigail feels it’s all her fault but it really isn’t.
I would recommend this book to all girls because its about a girl going through life feeling lost because her sister isn’t there. I doubt boys would want to read this book but you never know. September Sisters is an amazing book. The details are vivid and very descriptive. You can really use your imagination in this book. I could barely put it down, that’s how good it was for me. September Sisters is a very enjoyable book and I hope you all enjoy it too.
From Chelsea, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Gleeson, Libby
Mahtab’s Story, by Libby Gleeson, is inspired by a true story. Mahtab’s life in Herat, Afghanistan is perfect. She is well educated, has a nice home, and is surrounded by friends and family. However, her life gets turned upside down when she gets forced to secretly but quickly move to, in her perspective, the faraway land of Australia. With her father missing and her journey to a faraway land this book will show you the real life story of being a refugee, living in constant fear and grief.
This book is truly amazing and will make you take a second look at life.