From Mary Teen Book Reviewer
Author: Mandy Hubbard
You Wish by Mandy Hubbard is about Kayla, who was soon to be turning 16. Her best friend is Nicole, who is dating dreamy Ben. For Kayla’s 16th birthday wish, all she wants is for her birthday wishes to come true. Of course, she doesn’t believe it will happen because it never did before. One morning she wakes up to see a pink pony in front of her house. Was this real? One by one, all of her wishes come true, except there’s a twist: she doesn’t know when each wish will happen and she’ll have to kiss Ben! I really like the ending and it was very good. I kept wanting to know what was going to happen next. It seemed like Nicole and Kayla wouldn’t be friends ever again. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did! The ending will surprise you and Kayla will never be the same.
From Donna Barnes
author: Weeks, Sarah
As Simple As It Seems
This book tells the story of a twelve year old girl named Verbena who is struggling with many changes the summer after fifth grade. Her first change occurs when her best friend since kindergarten has abandoned Verbena for a more popular girl. This is more or less standard tween fare, but to deepen the drama , Verbena also discovers that she is adopted. Once she finds out who her biological parents are, (her paternal uncle , who is in jail and his alcoholic wife)she worries that she will turn into a “mean” person just like her biological father. She is clearly confused and has no friend to confide in, until Pooch moves in next door. This is Verbena’s chance to re-invent herself and that she does. What initially starts out as a friendship based on deception, evolves into a meaningful friendship that helps to pull Verbena out of her sadness. This is an emotional story that is both heartwarming and humorous . There is a bit of mystery, deception and danger to add to the excitement and turning of the pages as well.
From Rita Gross
author: Moore, Wes
The Other Wes Moore: One Name Two Fates
The author was born in Baltimore, just blocks away from another young man with the same name. They share many of the same experiences and life situations, growing up without fathers in a time of rampant drug violence. The author became a Rhodes Scholar, served in the United States Armed Forces, was White House Fellow and today is a prominent businessman. The other Wes Moore is serving a life sentence for armed robbery and murder.
These men’s stories are told in parallel narratives, showing us step by step the paths their lives followed. What were the defining moments that led to the divergence? What were the choices that led to their ultimate fates? Who in their lives influenced their behavior? What role does one’s environment play? This book describes the lives of a generation of young, urban Black teenagers and raises many questions about the choices we make early in life and their ultimate outcomes.
From Kaitlyn, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Han, Jenny
The Summer I Turned Pretty
For about-to-turn-sweet-16-years-old, Belly (short for Isabel), summers at the beach is where her real life happens. The rest of the year is just a period of time that she has to endure until the months when she gets to go back to the large beach house, populated by two best-friend mothers and their two children (each) for the three months of summer. Belly is the youngest, and the only girl, and that’s the way she likes it. This summer, however, everything changes. Belly lost her glasses, gained a few curves, and is suddenly not the just the little sister figure everyone can just ignore. Since she’s older, that means the boys she has known all her life are changing too. Her brother Steven is off to college in the fall, Jeremiah and Conrad (the lifelong family friends), are different this summer too. She hears tension and even arguments between her mother and her best friend Susannah. Plus, Susannah’s husband, who normally shows up on the weekends, never makes a single appearance. Most importantly, Belly finally finds that she sees the world a little differently through the eyes of a changing teenage girl: Belly’s forever-crush on
Conrad just might finally be fading away, especially when she meets Cam…
The Summer I Turned Pretty is Korean American, Jenny Han’s second novel. This book is very relatable, very well written and extremely captivating. Jenny Han captures Belly’s teenage emotions and attitude perfectly. She gives this novel both a
lightness and an aching depth that almost makes it feel as if you were watching a drama on TV. I really enjoyed reading this book and almost finished it all in one sitting! I would recommend this book to teenage girls and young adults or all ages.
From Erik Schmid
author: Stewart, Paul
The Edge Chronicles Volume One: Beyond The Deep Woods
This first volume of the ten-part “Edge Chronicles” introduces the reader
to the main character Twig’s world and gives us the background needed to
enjoy the rest of the series. This very original world is made up of
trolls, goblins, man-eating trees, floating cities and deep forests where
strange creatures look for food and stalk each other. Twig is a troll
himself, and yearns to get out of his drab existence and live a life of
adventure, preferably as one of the sky pirates. These pirates captain
huge flying sailing ships. Twig is very different from his elders, who
can’t understand why someone would crave adventure. One day on his way to one of his relatives, Twig decides to “step off the path” and journey into
the Deep woods, the forest surrounding his home, which begins a sequence
of events in which we meet the strange inhabitants of the Woods.
The Edge Chronicles is full of imagination and has slightly off kilter
storytelling, making it one of the most original fantasy series to come
along in some time. Paul Stewart recently wrote the final installment of
the series,”The Immortals” so there is no need to wait for upcoming books
with this one. So “step off the path” and read “Beyond the Deep woods”.