Student Book Reviews

This page is devoted to recommendations by students.  They are written by students and hopefully read by students.  To add a book recommendation, use the reply box.  Remember to include the book title and author, and if possible, publication date and genre.  Definitely include your name and grade or age.

Remember to reread and edit your review carefully before hitting the submit comment option.  Once you hit submit, you cannot edit your review.

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195 comments

  1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

    The Kite Runner involves two young boys named Amir and Hassan who live in the troubled Kabul, Afghanistan. Amir and his father Baba live in a mansion in one of the nicest neighborhoods in the town. Hassan and his father Ali are the Hazaras, or servants, to Amir and Baba. They live in a small hut outside of the mansion. Although Hassan is Amir’s Hazara, the two boys have a tightly bonded friendship. Khaled Hosseini takes us on a journey through the life of Amir and all the struggles he had to overcome with the Taliban in his home country and more importantly, his personal issues.

    Starting this book, it was a bit difficult for me to get into it. Basically the first 100 pages of the book were tiny details that didn’t seem to have any importance at all. But as I started reading on, I realized that the author continuously relates back to what I thought were the insignificant details. I liked how he did this because it made the story a bit easier to follow.

    The time ranges from when he is a grown, married man to when he is just twelve years old living back in Kabul. I enjoyed how Hosseini had this large time span because it really brought the story together. One thing that I didn’t particularly like was that he spent a bit too much time on some scenes in the book. I felt as if it was unnecessary and made the book longer than it needed to be.

    Overall, I feel like this book gave me much more background knowledge on what it was like to live in Afghanistan during the Taliban. Every new page you turned to had a surprise. I enjoyed how Khaled Hossein didn’t make his novel like any other predictable story out there. The Kite Runner is definitely an inspiring read.

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  2. Drowning Anna by Sue Mayfield

    Drowning Anna is about Anna Goldsmith, an intelligent, talented high schooler that has everything mastered from being likable to academics to playing violin. When Anna moves to a new school in England, she is befriended by Hayley Parkin, the school’s most popular girl. After months of Anna’s new life rolling smoothly, Hayley turns on her and makes every aspect of her life miserable for no apparent reason.
    To be honest, Drowning Anna was not the number one choice on my book list for this reading project; in fact, it wasn’t even in the top five. Regardless, I started reading the book the day that I checked it out from the library. As the book progressed, I began reading more and more each night—sometimes even setting aside other homework because I was so engrossed in the novel. Typically, I do not enjoy reading journal-type texts, but Mayfield’s way of sprinkling a few journalistic chapters here and there throughout the book I believe helps the reader to see what is going through Anna’s mind and how her emotions transform—going from a bright, confident young lady to completely shutting everyone and everything out.
    This book also has contributed to the morphing way I see people and their everyday actions. Until recently, I was convinced there was no bullying at my high school. My eyes have been opened. In Drowning Anna, the two-faced facade of Hayley Parkin made me realize how sly and discrete bullies can be. I am now noticing the little things that so many people are doing, specifically high school students, but adults as well. The jokes to get attention. The sarcastic conversations. The staring and laughing (all of which were included in Hayley Parkin’s games). Mayfield sheds some light on the impact of bullying while still keeping the plot interesting for young adults. This is an excellent read that really opens the reader’s eyes to the world around them.

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  3. Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause

    There is an intense love-hate relationship between this book and I. To briefly summarize the plot, this book is about a girl named Vivian, who is a werewolf-like creature that can change back and forth from human form. She is currently living in a city with her pack (family and family friends that are also “werewolves”). Vivian falls for a human boy named Aiden, even though such a thing is frowned upon by the rest of her pack. She ends up revealing her power to him, and he becomes afraid of her. Bodies that have been mutilated with claw marks turn up around town. Vivian tries to win Aiden back while dealing with her doubts about the pack and the murder victims.

    This is a hardcore romance/action novel through and through, and the story gets a little bit PG in the first half of the book (if you catch my meaning). Overall the plot was carried out through excellent writing, on several occasions I was kept up well past midnight reading. Captivated by intricate imagery that described the nighttime forests so beautifully, windswept grasslands along a riverbank refracting light the of the moon, and intense combat scenes of sharpened claws and raised hackles that started my heart pounding, I was insanely hooked on this story. There can be no doubt that Annette Curtis Klause is an exceptionally talented writer.

    The part that adds the “hate” to my feelings towards this novel is that the author completely dropped the ball towards the last twenty pages or so. Vivian’s actions in the last stretch of plot completely broke the flow of the book. Her actions did not make any sense in contrast to the thoroughly detailed storyline leading up to the end–it seemed that the story’s close was put together a little too quickly. Either way, I was very enthralled and moved by this story, and am looking forward to reading the sequel book sometime in the near future.

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  4. Annie’s Ghost by Steve Luxenberg

    During the 2013 non-fiction project’s, Annie’s Ghost was an unusually popular reading choice. When the Independent Reading project was announced, its many positive reviews seemed incentive enough to read it myself. The plot is really a memoir compilation documenting Mr. Steve Luxenberg journey to discover the truth about his family. Shortly after the death of his mother, the author discovers that she was not, in fact, an only child as she claimed to be throughout his life, but had a sister, a physically and mentally handicapped sister. Annie Cohen never went to school, had a job, a spouse or any real friends, and almost never left the house, except to visit a doctor. Then, at the age of twenty-one, she was admitted to the mental institution, Eloise Hospital of Detroit…permanently. She disappeared from records, from the memory of her family, and was not discovered until after her death. She left almost nothing behind to prove she had ever existed. For the author, it was an inevitably long and difficult journey, not only to discover Annie’s life story, but the shameful motives of his mother for which she hid her sibling away. Though it starts off a bit…tedious, for lack of a better word, it blooms towards the middle, and leaves the reader relatively stimulated by the end, while offering an informational aspect on asylums and general regard for the handicapped in the mid-1900’s. The overall mystery makes a fine story, and a quick and engaging read. Many of the topics covered will appeal to the audience-from losing family members, to living with disabled ones, shame and social acceptance, discovering your own history. Luxenberg carefully and delicately weaves these and several other themes into his writing, while continuing to tell Annie’s journey and continuing his own. Overall, this book was just a nice, good, solid book, with enough stylistic witting and unusual topic to pull readers through the spots where the timing drags.

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  5. What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones

    I never truly expected to like this book. It was one of the last books on my list to check out. Surprisingly, I thought the book was absolutely amazing, and I couldn’t put it down. I almost read the entire book in one sitting, and I don’t like to read – so that’s saying a lot. Honestly it was one of my favorite books I’ve read, because it was so relatable and I loved how it was written in a poem format.
    This book was extremely relatable. It’s written in the point of view of a girl named Sophie. She’s going through high school and goes through just about everything I do. That’s why I liked this book so much. You can relate to almost every poem throughout the book, like the poems about having a crush on the new cute guy, or your parents fighting about the silliest things, and even talking to your best friends about the most random things.
    Another reason I really liked this book was because of the way it was written, it wasn’t written in the context that Sophie didn’t always make the right decisions and she wasn’t a goody two shoes. She was just a normal girl in high school with problems with her boyfriend like everyone else. She’s just the same as any other girl, which is why the book was so relatable.
    The biggest reason I enjoyed this book was because of the story behind it, it wasn’t some big, huge, romantic love story, it was simple, not overdone, and it was just plain cute. Sophie’s boyfriend, Dylan, and Sophie are simply in love and can’t stop thinking about each other, which I think is absolutely adorable. That is, they’re in love until people like Murphy come along and change Sophie’s mind. But honestly, what high school relationship doesn’t have that?
    Overall this book is very high on my favorites list, I love the way it was written, I love the story behind it, and I love how you could relate to the book on a personal level. I think I will be reading more books like this, and by Sonya Sones in the near future.

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  6. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
    You won’t find many books as enthralling and addicting as The Hunger Games, which touches base with love, friendship, fortitude, and survival–all blended into one great read. Katniss Everdeen made the choice to fight in place of her sister,so along with the boy tribute, they enter the games unsure of the future, doubting if the can make it out alive. As the bloody battle wages on, the learn that life is not cheap, but something to be treasured and lived to the fullest. Both Katniss and Peeta grow a deep “friendship” through the pain and anguish, because they always say, “You bond through suffering.” Nobody wanted to die, but then again, they didn’t really have a choice, faced with a situation of a gruesome version of natural selection. You get so attached to some of the characters, that you almost cry when they die, because the emotion conveyed through this book is amazing, drawing you in with every word. If I imagined myself in this situation, it would be almost impossible to cope with the stress and trauma of having to kill your own kind so ruthlessly. Katniss did a fantastic job of keeping her emotions under control and showing fortitude. There is a will to survive i every single player and it brings out the wild side of human nature, which is fun to read about, but not very pleasant to experience. This book was a firm reminder that death can happen in an instant, so you must live life with passion for what you do and love for those you like and dislike because in the end, nobody wants to kill each other.

    I had never seen or read the series before, unlike the rest of my peers, so I decided to give it a try. Little did I know that it would be one of the most exciting and addicting books i have ever picked up, and stay up as late as 4 am to finish it. Books like this are had to find, because these kids of books do a great job of combining action and gore with human emotion and a sense of enthrallment that makes you feel as if your competing in the Hunger Games yourself. You realize that you can compare yourself with the characters and find many similarities, which makes it even more exciting. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants a thrill, and I give it a perfect 10.

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  7. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

    Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a Spokane Indian. Geeky with an oversized head and feet, Junior is also extremely intelligent. Growing up on the reservation he is very familiar to hardships: poverty, a drunken dad, and constant black eyes. Alexie depicts these things in ways that will break your heart and have you laughing in the same page.
    The saddest, for me, being when Junior’s best friend and dog, Oscar, becomes sick. “He was the only living thing I could depend on,” says Junior, “He taught me more than any teacher ever did.” Because his family does not have the money to take Oscar to the vet, Junior’s father takes Oscar outside and shoots him in the back of the head, to put him out of his misery. The chapter ends with “A bullet only costs about two cents, and anybody can afford that.”
    One page has you realizing all the things that you take for granted, and the next has you laughing at the hilarious depictions of Junior’s family and best friend Rowdy through his cartoons. He tells about his life on the reservation and jokes about the poverty and most everything else in his life. Junior says, “Adam and Eve covered their privates with fig leaves; the first Indians covered their privates with their tiny hands.” As you read, poverty becomes only one of his problems. Junior soon decides to leave the reservation school and attend the nearby school consisting of all white children, in search of a higher education. Throughout his journey he proves to be extremely brave, facing racist whites and his whole reservation, besides his family. The Indians on the reservation see his transfer of schools as offensive; Junior is seen as a traitor. Rowdy, his closest and only friend banishes him. We see how fearless Junior is as he does not let the hatred affect him. While at the new school, Junior’s eyes are opened to the outside world and we see how wise he really is.

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  8. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

    A few years ago my mom was reading The Kite Runner and couldn’t put it down; which led me to thinking that maybe The Kite Runner would be a good book for me. However, I had no idea what to expect. Would it be sad, happy, or tragic? I wasn’t sure. It turned out being all of those. Starting off slow it took me a good 100 pages to get into it which meant lots of nights reading five pages before getting bored and putting it down. Once I got into it though I was captivated and couldn’t believe the cruelty the Taliban’s showed people once they took over Afghanistan- killing innocent people for the fun of it. Sickening. But it sure made for a jaw dropping story line. Twists and turns never expected were throughout the book leaving you thinking about the events constantly. The Kite Runner tells the story of the main character and narrator, Amir and all the tragedies and hardships he went through during his daily life. The one tragedy which haunts him forever being that he witnessed his friend Hassan being raped and didn’t do anything about it – just ran away. The guilt he feels for running away is on his mind for the rest of his life. So when he graduates high school, gets out of Afghanistan, and comes to America where he finally gets married it seemed too good to be true. This surprised me; being that I always imagined Amir living out his life in Afghanistan following in his father’s footsteps. Once he was in America there was a breaking point in the action and everything seemed to calm down and give the reader a breather. Yet this part seemed boring and I wanted more of the action that took place in Afghanistan to happen when Amir was in America too. Of course just as Amir settled down in America Rahim Khan called Amir and said that he would have a chance to redeem himself- but that included going back to Afghanistan where his past that he tried so desperately to bury will arise again. The mood was overall very dark and eerie. Personally, I enjoy books that bring a smile to my face and not ones that make me cringe at characters actions. Even though I was yearning for more parts to uplift my spirits it opened my eyes to the cruelty one could show another and how lucky we are to live in America.

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  9. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

    I was going to read The Perks of Being a Wallflower last summer, but I never got around to it. So when I saw it on the list of books we could read, I decided to sign up for it.
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower is about Charlie’s first year of high school with Sam and Patrick, two seniors he meets and becomes friends with at his first high school football game. I was not hooked on this book when I first started reading the first couple pages. What threw me off in the beginning was the writing. For a freshman who reads so much, his writing seemed like it wasn’t mature enough for someone his age. It was more like reading a middle school student’s letters, but I started to get used to it further into the novel. And, since it’s about a boy starting his first year of high school, I was sure that it would be full of the unbelievable clichés and stereotypes commonly found in young adult books. The popular jocks that pick on the nerds, insta-love, the nerd that falls in love with the popular girl—that sort of stuff. But it isn’t.
    The temptation to put this book down and go read another one went away when Sam and Patrick enter the picture. That is when the plot starts to pick up, with the parties and the drugs and alcohol. What irked me about the book was Charlie’s passiveness. Yes, I know that is part of his personality and him wanting to be a good friend, but it bugged me. He stays in a relationship that he isn’t happy in because he doesn’t want to break it off and he lets another guy kiss him multiple times even though he isn’t gay.
    I feel like The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a book that is relatable—maybe not to me, but to a lot of people. Just because Charlie isn’t popular doesn’t mean he gets tripped walking down the hallway or get his lunch tray knocked from his hands, which is what happens to so many unpopular characters in YA books. That’s what I liked about this book: it doesn’t sugarcoat high school, but it doesn’t over exaggerate it either.
    Overall, I did enjoy reading this book. It’s not one of my favorites, but I would still recommend to someone looking for a good book to read.

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  10. Drowning Anna by Sue Mayfield
    In the book Drowning Anna, you follow the story of Anna Goldsmith, a relatable high school teenager who moves to a brand new school one year. Everything goes great at first. She makes friends with a girl named Haley, and she’s nice to Anna, until one day, she turns on her. When we think of bullying, self-harm, suicide, and isolation, we always tend to think that something significant happened to that person to make them want to harm themselves. Sometimes, that is true, but no one really ever thinks that smaller, more subtle things can be just as painful. I like the fact that this book emphasizes that. It really makes you think about your relationships with people and how you act towards them. I’m sure no one at their school ever thought that Anna Goldsmith would do something like that. Even after they tormented her, teased her, slowly chipped away at her, they thought that the impact was so small each day, that it didn’t hurt Anna, and that just wasn’t true. In Drowning Anna, the point of view is changed many times throughout the book, and parts of it is Anna’s diary being read by her mother or father. Normally, I don’t really like reading this style of writing because a lot of times when point of view is changed, so is the order of events, but the author did a really good job keeping the story straight and easily understood. I liked hearing from all of the different characters: Anna’s mother, father, and best friend Melanie, and even from Anna herself through the diaries. It made the story more interesting and you really felt a connection to them. It makes you understand what their thinking and what they’re going through. By reading the story, which was in first person, you can almost feel the character’s pain as if it’s your own. You really get the message that the book puts out. No insult, no nasty words or name calling is too small to hurt someone. It’s like Anna was slowly picked at, tortured each day, and she just didn’t see an end to it. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a book that will really make you think.

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  11. Drowning Anna by Sue Mayfield

    Drowning Anna is a story about an intelligent but shy girl named Anna Goldsmith who moves to a new school. In the beginning she’s taunted endlessly for being a teacher’s pet and for having a strange accent, but eventually she befriends the most popular girl in school, Hayley Parkin. Not long after they become best friends, though, Hayley brings her nasty side out and the bullying begins. What I liked about it was that it was a little different than your typical bullying story. It seemed more real, like this kind of thing does happen even to the people some think it would never happen to.

    Two things I really liked:

    That the story was told not by Anna, but by Melanie, who was the girl caught in the middle. It was a little different because most stories are narrated by the main character. It also linked in to flashback as her mom is reading Anna’s diary, so we still get her point of view.

    Which leads me to number 2, that while Anna was in the hospital, we could see the story of why she’s there unfold while we learn what happens to her. At the beginning it seemed like two stories, but we learn how they’re connected pretty early on. It made it much more interesting instead of having the story in chronological order, which stories usually are.

    The other thing I related to was Anna’s mom because she seemed similar to someone I know. Her mom expected excellence and had a hard time understanding when Anna wasn’t excellent. I think Anna’s mom cared about things in the long run—like how winning a violin competition would help her in future—and was always planning ahead for Anna. She didn’t think issues like bullying or boy problems would ever affect her in that strong of a way.

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  12. What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones

    When I checked out this book, I didn’t expect to like it at all. It wasn’t even on my list for book I would like to read, so naturally I judged it in the beginning—little did I know the book would soon end up making it in my top 5 favorites! Anyway let’s get on to the book.

    This book is a cute, romantic, lesson-learning kind of book. It’s written in perspective of Sophie, the main character and it’s kind of like diary entries. Sophie instantly falls in love with a boy named Dylan, and Dylan instantly falls in love with her. Classic love story right? Throughout the book they slowly grow apart and you can tell from Sophie’s diary entries that she is getting tired of him. But for some odd reason she can’t get this boy named Murphy out of her mind. Murphy is like the school punching bag, people make fun of him every day and he always has a sad look in his eyes; that is until he met Sophie. The rest of the book is mainly about her falling for Murphy and how she could ever fall for a weirdo like him. At the end she finally decides what to do and I hate to admit it but I may or may not have cried on the last few pages. The moral of the story is to not be afraid of what others think and to stand up for what you think is right.

    Overall this book gets an A+ from me, but I like sappy, romantic stories so if that’s not your thing, this isn’t your book. I think this book is directed towards teens because it talks about relationships and bullying—two things that basically describe high school. For me, this book was a great page turner; I had it finished in a day! Needless to say I will be looking into some more Sonya Sones books in the very near future.

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  13. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

    I almost dreaded reading this book at first. I had heard of the movie before and knew it would be sad. I was wrong, it was incredibly sad. But as much as I didn’t want to get sucked into yet another depressing novel, I couldn’t help doing so.

    The book is based on a friendship between two young boys, Amir and Hassan, growing up in Afghanistan. The rising tensions between Pashtuns and Hazaras at that time causes the boys’ friendship to dwindle. Amir is quick to betray his friend in a way that he will never be able to forgive himself for. The rest tells of how Amir desperately tries to reconnect and be forgiven by Hassan. It expresses just how strong a friendship of two people who have grown up together can be. I was suprised at the time span that the book covers. Not just their childhood but also a big amount of their adult years is also involved. Hosseini does a great job of explaining surroundings so you can create your own picture. At times though, it was almost too much detail and seemed to drag on a bit. One thing I did apprecieate a lot of was how much he put into explaining characters feelings. Every once in a while he puts experts of Amir’s childhood that would make you feel a certain way to understand exactly how that moment felt to the character in the story. It helped with the characterization tremendously. There were so many times when I got that I just want to give them a hug feeling.

    Though every bit of the book made it that much more heartwarming, I think some parts were unneeded and felt a little humdrum at times. Despite that, it was one of those books that will stay with me and make it hard for me to get into another.

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  14. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

    This was probably the best futuristic book I’ve ever read. Being that I’ve only read a handful of futuristic books, there’s not much competition. Even though I’ve only read a few books set in the future, I have seen quite a few TV shows and movies that are set in the future and this story still takes the prize. Set decades from now, The Hunger Games is a book about a girl’s journey through a competition, named The Hunger Games, which takes place annually after twenty-four tributes, from ages 12-18, are chosen from their home districts to fight in an arena to the death. The cruelest part of all is that these awful “games” are televised and are a form of entertainment for the wealthiest people—the residents of the Capitol.
    The main characters, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are very relatable and it is amazing to see them transform from average, but strong young people, whose biggest fight is to feed their families, to basically vicious warriors whose biggest fight is to kill others, in order to save their own lives. The story is described very well and makes you feel like you are right there struggling and succeeding with the characters. In the beginning you can feel the pain the poorer districts go through in their day-to-day lives struggling for the smallest things. After Katniss and Peeta are selected to compete in the games, you can feel how they deal with the major lifestyle adjustment while they are treated like royalty before they start the fight for their lives. Their journey narrated impeccably. The one and only complaint I have about this book is that on an occasion I felt that the Suzanne Collins didn’t add all of the futuristic elements that will most likely be present in 100 years or so. Collins writes what Katniss is hearing: “You can hear their cars, an occasional shout, and a strange metallic tinkling” (81). From the things I’ve heard and read, you will not be able to hear cars on the street from over twelve stories in the air in ten decades. Another thing that seemed a little bit too much like life today and not 100 years from now was the way the characters speak throughout the book. They talk the way we talk today. 100 years ago people didn’t talk to same way we do now and they won’t talk to same way we do now in 100 years.
    In the end, this book is fantastic. Besides a few nit-picky things about believability, The Hunger Games captured what life would be like in the future if there actually ended up being some kind of “hunger games” and did a phenomenal job of carrying out a great storyline with intriguing characters.

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  15. Drowning Anna by Sue Mayfield

    When I first received this book, I glanced at the back cover and thought that it would be boring. My prediction just turned out to be wrong. I couldn’t put the book down when I started reading it. It made me want to make a change in this high school—bullying. After reading this book, I actually witnessed a fellow classmate get bullied—which made me very angry that I immediately told the teacher what was going on. The classmate sat there in disbelieve, keeping back the tears that would soon come down his face. Bullying shouldn’t be accepted in our society, and I think some Americans should understand that it isn’t cool. Bullies are just insecure people—that want to make others pay for their pain, loneliness, and sadness. Assuming that bullied think that the “weird” students are ones that’s that should be picked on. Bullies, normally reach for the most vulnerable students. Do you think that bulling should be accepted and looked over? Bullies should be punished for their actions, and removed from schools. Students that are bullied are put in the position where they start to question their purpose on earth. This is the first book that I have read that the bullied child goes into intensive care. Anna Goldsmith—a shy and intelligent girl— is bullied by Hayley Parkin, the most popular girl in the school. Hayley Parkin plays cruel games on Anna that no one would have expected. Hayley being popular, everyone would follow after what she does, so Hayley wouldn’t look at them as one of the—“weird” vulnerable students that thinks she needs to treat wrong. Do you know who your true friends are? Most people would say yes, and others wouldn’t be sure. True friends are the ones who hurt you the most.

    Overall, I looked this book due to the fact that I had some similarities to Anna. When I was in the third grade I was bullied. It went on all the way to the fourth grade. I would get comments such as, “why don’t you cut your hair off I think it would look good”. I would always say no, and keep moving. When I looked back over it I realized that my hair was longer than theirs, and they didn’t have a high self-esteem—it was very low. I would recommend this book to all students that are capable. Sue Mayfield explained everything so easily, that you would understand the bully’s point of view. You would be able to understand the feeling, and how being bullied can affect you. I enjoyed the book, but I wish the author would have made the ending longer.

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  16. Annie’s Ghost by Steve Luxenberg
    My friends kept telling me about this book, saying that they had read it before, and found it interesting as well as exciting. I kept wanting to read it, but never had the time or reason to. But when we started our outside reading project, I decided to read it to find out what made it so interesting. The book is called Annie’s Ghost by Steve Luxenberg, and is written from the author’s perspective both in flashbacks from his current age and from his eyes as a young child, which provides a view of all ages for readers to view the story through.
    It begins with the narrator, Steve, finding a name: Annie. He begins wondering who this is, and starts researching. He soon finds out that his mother had been keeping a secret up until her death. She had a sister that no one knew about. Steve goes through a time of ‘detective work’, in which he finds startling details about his unknown aunt, such as her deformed leg from birth that left her a cripple until the age of seventeen, when it was amputated. He also finds Annie was hospitalized at age 21 until her death. A very interesting part of the book is that Steve also describes his siblings’ reactions (his brother’s and sister’s) and all of the people who were connected to the family. He finds old family friends, as well as family members he never knew existed living just around the corner, and discovers how they were all connected to his mother and aunt.
    It is full of mystery and suspense, leaving readers on cliffhangers at times by dropping strange clues that are later explained and pulled together. It is an excellent story about family and understanding for anyone looking for mystery and cliffhangers that leave you guessing.

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  17. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a book about Charlie, who is a freshman in high school. Charlie depicts his life by writing letters, and we get to read on to them. He tells us about how his life has changed in high school by the influence of drugs, sex and alcohol.
    Over the past few years, I have slowly been getting away from reading; I haven’t been doing it as much as I should be. This book, however, got me right back to where I used to be. This book was amazing, and I could hardly put it down. Charlie wastes no time throwing you into the action of his life and it only gets faster from there. With the quick introduction of all the important characters, the book can focus on plot rather than having to introduce unnecessary characters over and over again.
    Chbosky does a great job writing Charlie’s letters where they’re descriptive enough to give readers an image, but not too much to where you have difficulty believing how Charlie is writing all these letters from memory. This book is great for teens in high school to read, because he writes well enough from a high school student’s perspective and writes about the topics and issues that every teen faces in their life.
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a great book because it’s not only a great read; it’s short and easy too. Sitting at 217 pages, this book could be finished very quickly by someone who found it just as interesting as I did. This book is exactly what I needed to get back into the swing of reading. The only problem is, I don’t know how I’m going to find a book just as good as this one to follow up with.

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  18. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

    Ever since I saw this book on the PowerPoint presentation, my mind was set. I had to read this book no matter what. I had been planning to watch the movie for a long time, and this gave even more of a motivation. The book started out really interesting, and had my complete and undivided attention. I could not bring myself to put this book down. The idea of the book was fascinating, and brilliant. The process of telling a story through series of letters was very intriguing, and somewhat more personal. This made it seem more like first person, instead of third person. By doing so, Stephen Chbosky gives a unique twist to storytelling.

    Another reason I found this book fascinating, is because of how down to earth it is. There is no superficial, or unlikely events in this. Also, there are no “kids these days” tone, which makes it so no one is ragging on Charlie. Because Charlie is the one telling the story, the voice of the book seems natural and realistic.
    In The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Charlie is a freshman who recently lost his friend. It revolves around how he tries to get a new start. He plans to make new friends, and participate more than he did the year before. This continues, as he makes interesting life decisions that he later regrets, or treasures. Charlie also gets some great experiences that help him carve out who he really he is, and who he wants to be.

    All in all, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a book that is not sci-fi and action. Even though it does has its low points, this book never disappoints and picks up quickly. This is a good book for someone who likes books that are slow, and don’t have constant explosions, and 007 and Rambo duking it out. It is a good read, and a great captivator.

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  19. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

    Although this book has been recommended to me a few times, I never actually got to read it before it was on the list of required books that we had to read. Hearing that it was a heart-breaking love story I thought, oh no, here we go again with the useless teenage drama and the typical Mary Sue character. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find it well written with well-developed characters that I found easy to relate to. The story is about a girl named Hazel Grace Lancaster who has stage four thyroid cancer. The cancer caused her to have metastasis in her lungs so she needed to carry around an oxygen tank wherever she went. She meets a boy while she was at the cancer support group named Augustus Waters who lost his right leg to osteosarcoma. Throughout the book, it goes into detail about the two of them falling in love, their struggles with cancer, and their love of the book An Imperial Affliction. I know it may sound boring from how I wrote it, but it was one of those books that I wound up staying up all night to read and begging my mom to just let me read a few more pages before the lights went out. One thing that I really enjoyed about this book is that it also wasn’t your typical story about cancer patients. You know, the ones where the patient is going through extensive care and they talk about how strong the character is for surviving. The stories that when they die they make some sort of huge deal about their death by making some sort of charity in their memory. In this story, the characters are portrayed as just regular human beings who feel that they shouldn’t be looked at for their disease. This really changed my perspective on cancer patients, they’re not people to be pitied, they’re just like normal people, they should not be looked at as weaker just because they were cursed with cancer. I’ll admit I did shed a few tears at the end of the book, this is a book that I’ll keep on my bookshelf of permanent reads.

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  20. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

    Charlie, once an unsocial teen, finds himself surrounded by the most interesting group of people. He deals with many problems, and uncovers more as the story continues. Adolescence proves itself to be a time to not only see where you belong–but who you are. Charlie is a wallflower; he absorbs and understands what is going on around him, but chooses not to say much. I think it captures many different aspects of growing up, and puts each challenge in a person. Written in letters to an “anonymous friend” I think it makes it more personal to Charlie. Except during the book, I had to wonder about less than obvious factors. Since it’s completely in his view, who’s to say that’s what his friends were really like, or if they were real at all. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t have cared either way.

    While reading it was effortless to put my own friends into the slots of the very diverse characters. This book showed itself to be more than a book–a masterpiece. I watched the movie previously and loved it, although it didn’t fully capture Charlie’s full personality. In the beginning sentences were choppy, but as the story continued you could feel a change with him. Only a beautiful author like Chbosky could almost force you to be one with so many complex characters. I was expecting to read this book with no problem and whip up a review in no time; yet I’ve discovered myself dreaming about everyone in this book as if these people were my own friends. Endless thoughts of how I would’ve handled a situation that he faced were consuming my nights. I realized most of his decisions were very similar to how I would have approached the event–whether it be the correct way or not, I’m not sure.

    This book has been kind of stereotyped as a “teenage girl book”, and I’m usually not a fan, but this was utterly amazing. I can only thank the writer for creating something so powerful, definitely a new favorite.

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