Teens Review Books!

The library is proud to present book reviews written by local teens. If you would like to review a book, email youthservices@northriversidelibrary.org.

Latest Reviews

Court-of-FivesCourt of Fives by Kate Elliot

Review by Haley F.

When a scheming lord tears Jess’s family apart, she must rely on her unlikely friendship with Kal, a high-ranking Patron boy, and her skill at Fives, an intricate, multi-level athletic competition that offers a chance for glory, to protect her Commoner mother and mixed-race sisters and save her father’s reputation.  I’m listening to the audiobook version right now, and it’s super awesome.  The narrator has a smooth English accent that makes you feel fancy just listening to it.  The overall atmosphere of the book is Game of Thrones meets a Ninja Warrior competition, with all the political intrigue & athletic prowess entailed.  If you’re fans of a villain with absolutely no redeeming qualities, Lord Gar is one to hate.  It’s like Lord Voldemort & Joffrey had a baby, and he’s eviiilll.  It also deals with a variety of serious themes like racism, classism, and sexism.  It is set in the fantastical equivalent of the imperialistic era of the British Empire, with all the terrible things that implies.  So not only does Jess have to deal with being biracial in an era that is vehemently not okay with the mixing of races, she has to be a daughter in a time when men want only sons & classism is still a VERY big deal.  It is an excellent read, and good for fans of the Game of Thrones & the Throne of Glass series.

Gone girlGone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Review by Zirui G.

After losing their jobs, Nick and Amy Dunne relocate from New York City to Nick’s small hometown, North Carthage in Missouri. With the last of Amy’s savings, Nick opens up a bar with his twin sister, Margo, to support a decent life for the three of them. Things seemed to have been going well until Nick and Amy’s fifth wedding anniversary. Amy disappears and all evidence point to Nick as the prime suspect. As the book shifts between perspectives, you will find yourself overwhelmed with plot twists. How did Gillian Flynn come up with this wickedly awesome novel? –No clue. But if you like mysteries and you’re looking for a book that will leave you speechless, this one’s absolutely perfect!
Gone Girl captures a lot of unspoken issues such as the power of bankruptcy, rough marriages, conviction backed up by social media, and, a personal favorite of mine, nontraditional female characters…read it and you’ll see. Amy is quite the character. Go on this adventure with the Dunne family! It’s filled with so many unexpected outcomes, but wraps it up really neatly at the end. Gone Girl is definitely one of those books you’ll keep reading, page after page, until you hit the back cover. Just don’t get too frustrated—then you’ll be trapped in Amy’s tricks!

Graduation DayGraduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau

Review by Courtney K.

Set in the dystopian future years after a nuclear war, The Testing is a program that uses harsh methods in choosing its leaders – yet it brings about results. Seventeen-year-old Malencia (Cia) Vale has survived the Testing and is now at the University, but she is not safe. Cia has to figure out which of her friends she can trust and confide in about a dangerous mission given to her by the President of the United Commonwealth. In a series of life threatening events, Cia must find the courage to kill or be killed. She must trust some for the safety of all, and struggle to discover if she can really handle having the deaths of people on her hands. In the epic conclusion to The Testing Trilogy by Joelle Charbonneau, there will be love, loss, and trust.

The Distance Between UsThe Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Review by Courtney K.

Caymen Meyers has never liked the rich. After her rich father left her and her mother before her birth, she hasn’t had the best experiences with wealthy people. She works at the porcelain-doll shop owned by her mother, and doesn’t pay any attention to the rich until she meets Xander Spence. Xander is different than the other rich people that Caymen has met, and she starts to fall for him. She believes he is just using her as a distraction, because she’s poor and he doesn’t know people that don’t have a lot of money. After a shocking discovery, Caymen questions Xander’s loyalty and his intentions. This easy read is enjoyable, romantic, and you will fall in love with Caymen’s dry humor!

Alice In ZombielandAlice In Zombieland by Gena Showalter.

Review by Marina G.

Alice Bell, the daughter of a supposed mad man, is the protagonist. Her father sees creatures that no one else can and teaches his daughter to fight them. Her whole life changes in one moment. Ali’s story revolves around avenging her family and surviving. In order to do that, she must trust her school’s bad boy, Cole Holland, who’s harboring his own secrets. Alice must learn who to trust and how to survive before it’s too late.

This book is a modern retelling of Alice in Wonderland, featuring zombies. Showalter creates a world of magic and mischief, while building a complex group of fighters full of catchy and memorable characters. Ali, the relatable hero, is witty, charming, and full of determination and bravery. The sequel Through the Zombie Glass was released September 2013, while the third and final book, The Queen of Zombie Hearts, is being released September 2014.