Zen and the art of faking 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.

Gorgeous

From Divya, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Vail, Rachel
Gorgeous
 “Gorgeous” by Rachel Vail is a great read for any girl above the age of 10. This book is about Allison Avery, the 14-year-old middle sister in between two beautiful, perfect girls. Being always be called “interesting-looking” compared to her brainy older sister Quinn and her popular younger sister Pheobe, she always feels as if that there is nothing that sets her apart from everyone else. So when the devil comes to her one night and offers to turn her gorgeous in the eyes of seven people, she jumps at the chance. But instead of her soul. the devil wants something else: her cell phone. Soon after, Allison suddenly becomes popular with a new best friend and the boy that she has a crush suddenly is chasing after her. And like any other family, there are many issues with money challenging the Averys. All the while, Allison runs off with her new friend Roxie, a model, to New York City for an audition for a teen magazine. With all this  going on, Allison doesn’t know what to do or who is actually her friend or is just doing it because she is suddenly
gorgeous. I would give this book 8 out of 10 stars because it shows that sometimes family and friends are more important than looking amazing. I look forward to reading “Lucky,” another book set in the same family.

Runaway

From Cindy, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Cabot, Meg
Runaway
Runaway by Meg Cabot is by far one of the best works I’ve read by Meg Cabot. It’s an intense novel about a girl named Emerson (Em) who is turned into supermodel Nikki Howards and vice versa after a horrible accident that left her life in danger. Em was crushed after trying to save her sister Frida. Nikki, on the other hand tried to blackmail her boss, Robert Stark(one of the richest men in the world) . To prevent the “secret” that he does not want to be revealed, he attempts to murder her. The attempt fails and a man called Dr. Fong transfers Nikki and Em’s brains to keep them alive. Robert’s son, Brandon then takes both of them hostage to find out the secret that Nikki tried to blackmail his father with so he himself can use it to his advantage and take down his evil father. Both of the girls are saved by Christopher, Nikki (who is actually Em) and Nikkie (Em) tries to take down the man who had gotten her into this whole mess. This intense  novel will keep you on the edge of your seat and surprise you with every page. I highly recommend it to anyone who’s ever read any of Meg Cabot’s books.

Leaving Unknown

From Maryann Daquila
author: Reichs, Kerry
Leaving Unknown
A cute and entertaining tale of a young woman’s search for her identity and purpose in life.  Highlights the freedom and adventurouse spirit common in the young women of today who know there purpose and opportuny in life can lie far beyond the constrains of their home town and what they already know.

The Skin I’m In

From Rhea, Teen Book Reviewer
author:  Flake, Sharon G.
The Skin I’m In
As the title and cover suggest the book is about an African American girl struggling with her racial identity, and more. Maleeka Madison attends an inner city school and is relentlessly teased by her classmates for her homemade clothes, her very dark skin and even her good grades. She is especially bullied by a girl named Charlese who makes her do all her homework and copies from her during tests. Despite all the work Maleeka does for Charlese she is often insulted and abused by her. Although, she knows she should not put up with any of the teasing and bullying, Maleeka does not have the courage to stand up for herself.

All of this changes when a new English teacher Miss Saunders arrives at McClenton Middle School. Miss Saunders takes an interest in Maleeka realizing her talent in writing. She tries to distance Maleeka and Charlese as she is very bad company for Maleeka. It is, however, hard for Maleeka to completely break free of Charlese. In the end, Charlese forces Maleeka to vandalize school property and deserts her when Maleeka is caught in the act. Finally, Maleeka gets the courage to stand up for herself and clear her name. She acquires a feeling of self worth and understands that it is important to like yourself for who you are and not what others may tell you.

In my opinion, the novel is very realistic and describes well how life is for kids in inner city schools. In the beginning, it was weird to read the kind of language and the way the characters spoke but as you go along the story it seems real and you don’t mind. Even though, we don’t live in those circumstances, one can empathize and you do feel good that Maleeka and Ms. Saunders win in the end. I would definitely recommend this book to my friends