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Replica by Lauren Oliver, 2016.

Reviewed by: Kawsar Y.

Reviewer rating: 4 stars

Young adult fiction, 560 pages.

The book Replica by Lauren Oliver is a page-turning, suspenseful, dystopian read that is the first book in a young-adult duology that follows two narrators, Lyra and Gemma. The whole format of the book is very unique, causing the reader to have a wonderful reading experience. The reader can turn the book one way to read Lyra's story, turn it the other way to read Gemma's, or read the story in alternating chapters.

Lyra is a replica, a human clone created by the Haven Institute, a top-secret research facility in Florida. Lyra has never been to the outside world, but after mysterious circumstances, she escapes with another replica from the institute.

Gemma has been to and from numerous hospitals throughout her life, causing her parents to be very over-protective. Gemma soon finds out that they have also been protecting her from a well-kept secret regarding the Haven Institute. To investigate, Gemma runs away to Florida. As paths converge and secrets are revealed, the reader finds out how Lyra and Gemma's pasts are key to unlocking the other's.

I read Lyra's POV first and then Gemma's, though I recommend reading the book in alternating chapters instead. I read Lyra's POV in one sitting because I thought it was so cool to be reading from a replica's perspective. The first part of Gemma's story dragged quite a bit for me since I was expecting more suspense from the start. After I got through about 60 pages of Gemma's POV, I sped through the rest of her story. I believe that the reader will find out much more secrets with Gemma's story rather than Lyra's. That's not to say that I prefer Gemma's over Lyra's because they both have their ups and downs. Overall, I highly recommend this book, especially to fans of science fiction and mystery novels.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, 2015

Reviewed by: Laurel M.

Reviewer rating: 5 stars

Young adult fiction series, 432 pages

I loved this book. Wait, no, I LOVED this book. Cute, emotional, action-packed, crying, laughing. Everything you could want from a good fantasy. Read this book, then read the series, then read fanfics, then cry and wait for the next book. I cannot emphasize enough how much this book made me have feels. Warning, though, this is not a book for young readers. There is a little R-rated stuff in there, just enough to make this something I would warn about. Still, lots of fluff and lots of amazingness. If you'll excuse me, I need to go make a cosplay and read more fics.


Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy edited by Ameriie, 2017

Reviewed by: Kawsar Y.

Reviewer rating: 4 stars

Young adult fiction, 368 pages

This is a unique YA anthology of 13 acclaimed authors and 13 well-known BookTubers. Each author worked with a BookTuber to recreate a story through the villain's perspective. Famous villains such as Medusa and the giant from "Jack and the Beanstalk" provide a reason for their motives through 13 captivating tales of villainy. Featuring writing from famous YA authors such as Adam Silvera, Victoria Schwab, Marissa Meyer, and Soman Chainani and BookTubers such as Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia), Jesse George (JessetheReader), Christine Riccio (polandbananasBOOKS), and Zoë Herdt (readbyzoe).

Disclaimer: The BookTubers didn't actually write the story, they just came up with a prompt and the author writes a story according to it. But the BookTubers have written a little “review” at the end of the short story to provide a bit more insight and background.

I have immensely enjoyed reading this anthology. I haven't heard of half of these authors that have contributed to this book, but after I read it, I began checking out some of the content they have written. This book was thought-provoking and it really made me question what it means to be the villain of a story. A few of these stories had so much potential, but the way some of the plots were carried out felt a little flat. So I didn't fully enjoy it, but overall, this was a great read.



All We Have Left by Wendy Mills, 2016

Reviewed by: Kawsar Y.

Reviewer rating: 5 stars

Young adult fiction, 362 pages

16 year old Jesse is having to live with her father, grief-stricken after his son's death in the September 11 attacks. Every year fills her father with rage. Which is every year that goes by with Jesse never really knowing what exactly happened to her older brother. When she makes friends of the wrong kind, and making an unbelievable decision, it causes her to life to take a sudden turn. It soon leads her on a coming-of-age journey that may drive her to find out what happened on that fateful day. 2001 16 year old Alia is an American Muslim living in New York after recently moving from California. She is a proud Muslim. The hard part? Being an American teenager. After being grounded for a misunderstanding, she decides to confront her father on the way to school in the North Tower. But when the planes crash into the towers, she has a new goal: to survive. In the tower, she meets an 18 year old boy she has no choice but to trust. Together, they face against impossible odds to make it out alive.

The author does an amazing job weaving the past and the present to create a poignant and provocative novel that will leave a lasting impression on the reader. I read this book in one sitting and it has definitely brought some perspective on the lives affected after this massive event in American history. There are so many things to love about this book. I especially love the alteration between then and now. The characters feel so real and you can't help but get the feeling that you are alongside them throughout the novel. This book is a must-read.


A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro, 2016

Reviewed by: Kawsar Y.

Reviewer rating: 4 stars

Young adult fiction, 321 pages

Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes, the teen descendants of the original mystery-solving, crime-stopping duo Sherlock Holmes and James Watson!
When Jamie Watson first enters Sherringford, a fancy boarding school, he hears multiple talk of Charlotte Holmes, the highly intelligent modern Sherlock. At first, Charlotte wants nothing to do with Jamie, but a recent murder forces them to continue after their ancestors' footsteps and solve the crime together, but they are being framed by an unexpected villain who is bringing up cases that the original Watson and Holmes have solved in the past. Who is this villain? Will Charlotte and Jamie convince the public that they are innocent?
This book is a funny, page-turning, and witty first book in a new young adult trilogy. I was up reading very late at night piecing together parts of the mystery. I love how the author incorporates cases and stories of the original Holmes and Watson throughout the story. I love how fast-paced it is and it is a great book to pick up if you are a big fan of the classic Watson-Holmes stories, as well as a fan of the mystery genre. I did have a few complaints about this book though. I wished that it showed more of a growth between the relationship of Jamie and his father. I would have enjoyed that a lot. But overall, this book was a great read.


Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Toucholke, 2016

Reviewed by: Marley J.

Reviewer rating: 5 stars

Young Adult Fiction, 247 pages

Wink Poppy Midnight is a wonderful book to get lost in. The way the plot twist and turns makes you want to keep reading. I enjoyed how it refers to other books to show what the characters might be feeling or thinking. This book is well written and takes your breath away at times. I recommend this book for teens who would like a good story.


Salt to Sea by Ruta Sepetys, 2016

Reviewed by: Kawsar Y.

Reviewer rating: 5 stars

Young Adult Fiction, 400 pages

This book is set at the end of World War II as Nazi Germany is beginning to fall. It follows the points of view of four young people, each from different walks of life having one goal, to survive and board the Wilhelm Gustloff towards freedom.
A Lithuanian young woman A Prussian young man A Polish teen A German young man
This story was based on true events and it was so powerfully written. It kept me turning pages until there was none left! It definitely brought a lot of perspective on this rarely heard event in WWII history. I'd say that a recurring theme is friendship and persistence. All the characters pushed through impossible odds to get to freedom, and they did it together. Unbreakable friendships were formed and the characters have a lasting impression on the reader. This is a very poignant novel and I've been fighting back tears as I got near the end. It is a perfect blend of history and adventure. I say that this is a book that is meant to be known and shared. I highly recommend it. Salt to the Sea is a novel that will be remembered by its readers long after the final page.


Tentacle and Wing by Sarah Porter, 2017

Reviewed by Laurel M.

Juvenile Fiction, 272 pages

This book was so good! A thought-provoking tale about humanity and evolution. If someone was a fan of mutation stories like X-men or Miss Peregrine, I would definitely recommend it to them :)


All the Feels by Danika Stone, 2016

Reviewed by Laurel M.

Reviewer rating: 5 stars

Young Adult Fiction, 336 pages

OK, this book was really good. A book by, about, and for fangirls. Its relatable characters and interesting plot kept me reading to the last page. You're a fangirls/fanboy? Read this. You're friends seem obsessed with this one fictional character? Read this. You enjoy reading? Read this. I would recommend this book to most people.


Internet Famous by Danika Stone, 2017

Reviewed by Laurel M.

Reviewer rating: 5 stars

Young Adult Fiction, 312 pages

I loved this book. As in, I started reading at about 10 in the morning and finished it in 3 hours. I could not put it down! We hear about trolls on the internet a lot, but this book really gives you a look into the life of a girl, Maxi, who is seriously affected by this bullying. The whole time you're reading you are pulled in by the story. Will she be able to handle her family drama? Will she figure out who the troll is? Will she have a stable relationship with her hot French boyfriend?! Read this book to find out! If I had stars to give, this would get all five.


Love and Other Alien Experiences by Kerry Winfrey, 2017

Reviewed by Laurel M.

Reviewer rating: 5 stars

Young Adult Fiction, 258 pages

This book was great. It's a look inside the mind of a girl with serious social anxiety. She can't even leave her house. Until someone nominates her for homecoming queen. She plans on brushing it off, obviously nominated as a joke, until she realizes the prize for winning the queenship is money she really, really needs. With the help of her best friend and her brother, she has to overcome her anxiety and WIN. I would definitely recommend this to any teen who wants to learn more about what it's like for someone with anxiety and enjoys a good, adorable romance


The Big F by Maggie Ann Martin, 2017

Reviewed by Laurel M.

Reviewer rating: 5 stars

Young Adult Fiction, 274 pages

I loved this. This is the story of Danielle, a girl who is all prepped to go to her dream school and get an awesome life. Until she flunks English. Suddenly everything has changed. Disappointed parents, a new job, and the reappearance of an old crush are only the beginning of her problems. If you want a funny read with lots of fluff, this is a great book for you.


Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, 2013

Reviewed by Jasmine S.

reviewer rating:  5 stars

Young Adult Fiction, 328 pages

Eleanor and Park is a heartwarming masterpiece that I would recommend to any young adult that enjoys a gratifying story of a love between two young high-school students that may seem unconventional but compatible in their attempt to live in a place where abuse, racism, bullying and body image are all challenges that they face in their daily lives. With a riveting twist and story-line, I would suggest this book to anyone. Along with a unanticipated ending, this book left an impact on me and showed me more than just a plain simple love story, but more of a unique and exceptional point of view.