Sunday, October 29, 2017

ARC Review: The Beautiful Lost

Short Summary: The Beautiful Lost is about two teenagers, Maia a girl who’s gone through depression and almost committed suicide, and Billy, a boy who’s had a hard time going through foster care. Maia sets off to visit her mother in Canada. At the last minute Billy, her crush, goes with her. The two go on a road trip and both learn secrets about each other they never thought they would tell. Over time, the two realize that they might be more than friends.

Additional Information: I have a favorite character, and I really like this one! She has problems just like rest of us, and she’s human. The author didn’t make someone who has everything going her way. My favorite character’s name is Maia. She’s not perfect, which is what makes her relatable. She’s gone through a lot: her mom left, she attempted suicide, and is coping with depression. I know others who read this book will be able say that’s how they felt if they can connect with any characters. Maia wants to see her mom again, and she doesn’t like her stepmother. Maia’s struggles with life and is by far my favorite character and helped me enjoy the book even more.

Author’s Website:

Recommendation: I would recommend this book to seventh grade and up. I really enjoyed the book because I enjoy seeing the two people become more than friends throughout time. I also like that Luanne Rice created two flawed main characters. Both of them, not just one. She also made them go through real life experiences, such as foster care, divorce, a parent leaving and not communicating a lot, and depression. I give the book 5/5 stars because it is such an amazing book for all these reasons. You’ll want to keep reading and reading, and will be sad when it’s over.   

Disclaimer: *Our class received an ARC of this book to read and review from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.

Title: The Beautiful Lost
Author: Luanne Rice
Published By: Scholastic
Released On: June 27, 2017
Review by Mariela C.

The Hundred Lies of LIzzie Lovett

by Chelsea Sedoti

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett is one of those books that are impossible to put down! Hawthorn Creely is probably one of the most unpopular kids in her high school. However, once Lizzie Lovett, the most popular alumni of Hawthorn's school goes missing everyone freaks out. Everyone is frantic, but after a month everyone doesn't care anymore, except Hawthorn. Hawthorn throws herself into Lizzie's life, taking herself on a mission to get the bottom of Lizzie's disappearance.

Almost everyone in Hawthorn's life has said or done something to doubt her. Hawthorn feels like nobody understands her and she is the only one who is still searching for the things less ordinary. My favorite quote from Sedoti's book is after Hawthorn is doubted, "I felt very alone. I lived in a world practical people, like Emily and Rush and my parents, people who had stopped believing in the impossible a long time ago. Where were the other people like me? Locked up probably. Getting called crazy and delusional." Hawthorn is never praised, liked, or honored. She can accept she isn't popular, but she never quits. 

My favorite character would have to be Connor. Connor is always by Hawthorn's side and never stabs her in the back. He is there when Hawthorn is down, and he is there to comfort her. Connor is the kind of person that is rare to find in a world of people that just want to be popular. While Sedoti provides the reader with an incredible story, she also teaches us to never quit, just as Hawthorn never did. I highly recommend The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett to anyone who loves a good mystery and likes a little laugh.

*Our class received an ARC of this book to read/review from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review

Title: The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett
Author: Chelsea Sedoti
Published by: Sourcebooks
Released on: January 2017
Review by: Kristina K.

New To Our Shelves: Scythe


by Neal Shusterman

Not even the future of the human race is safe in the new novel Scythe. The book Scythe by Neal Shusterman is a futuristic fiction novel. It takes place in the future of “MidMerica” when humans have finally conquered death and disease. The “Scythes” are the artificial grim reapers created to control the population. The main characters Citra and Rowan get the chance to become one of these bringers of death, and never have to worry about death or their families again. 

One of my favorite quotes from the book is “Human nature is both predictable and mysterious; prone to great sudden advances, yet still mired in despicable self-interest.” A quote like this  intrigues me because it makes me truly think about the way humans act. It’s as if humans will always be prone to care about themselves first being predictable, but every once in a while someone will do something great and bring everyone closer together. 

Of course, a book couldn’t be good with good characters. My favorite character in the story is Citra. She is a bold and clever character, always wanting to do the right thing. She cares very much about her family which is an admirable trait to me. I find her very believable and could fit in modern time as well as the future. 

Neal Shusterman wrote this story to entertain and did a spectacular job at it. If you’re interested in finding out more about the author click this link: . I would definitely recommend this book for any kind of reader. It has the perfect amount of action and calm that fits most readers. It also has an amazing storyline you definitely will not forget. I would give this book five stars.

Title: Scythe
Author: Neal Shusterman
Published by: Simon and Schuster
Released on: November 22, 2016
Genre: Fantasy/ Fiction
Review by: TJ

Summary: Citra and Rowan are selected to become scythes, and learn to glean or kill. Things get a little hairy as the year of training goes on when politics in the Scythedom start changing. Who will become the scythe, and who will die?
I’d have to say that my favorite characters are either Citra or Scythe Faraday. They just seem like very deep, characters. I would like to see Citra develop, but I want to hear Faraday’s backstory. What he did. What his aspirations were and that is what I want to hear in the second book. Scythe shows what is possible if we achieve peace and immortality. It would still be far from perfect, but what would come from it. 

Overall, I’d give this book a 4.9 out of 5, because it was just that good. I highly recommend this book to people who are into fantasy and YA books, but want to read something else. I am a big fan of fantasy, and this book quenched my thirst enough, while bringing different tastes to the table, like being able to relate, and connect with the characters as there journey presses on. I think that is the key to a story, especially one starting a series.

In conclusion, I love Scythe. It was a fun experience that I had while reading it and it left me hanging on for more. I can't wait for the next installment to the series, Thunderhead, expected to come out in January of 2018.

Neal Shusterman links:

Title: Scythe
Author: Neal Shusterman
Published by: Simon and Schuster
Released on: November 22, 2016
Genre: Fantasy/ Fiction
Review by: Patrick C.

New to Our Shelves: One of Us Is Lying

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Five people, one detention room, all for the same reason. A cell phone was planted in their backpacks to help enrage a teacher who doesn't like cellphones in his class. The reason for this prank is a mystery. The teacher leaves the room, meanwhile, the students are asked to stay inside and wait for him to come back. The outcast, Simon, drinks a cup of water thinking nothing is wrong with it. The simple drink quickly turns into a twisted event.
As the book progresses, every other student is interrogated about that fateful day in detention. My favorite character throughout the book is Addy, because she always finds a way to get through the rough parts. She is just always an interesting character and her chapters are always the ones I looked forward to reading. 
Which of Simon's friends is lying throughout the whole book? Read to find out!

Here is the author's website to learn more about this best-selling novel:
I recommend this book for people who love page turners and cliff hangers. Every chapter leaves you with a question the next chapter will answer. With a rating out of five I recommend this book a FIVE.
Title: One of Us is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Published by: Delacorte Press
Released on: May 30th, 2017
Review by: Alaina F.
Genre- mystery, non-fiction

ARC Review: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding
by Alexandra Bracken

Does it ever feel like some people just have way too much luck? Well, In the novel The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding, the main character Prosper Redding finds out that their luck comes at a terrible price. His great great great great grandfather made… and then broke a contract with a demon who exchanges eternal servitude for fame and fortune. Now the demon lives inside of Prosper and it is up to him… can he really survive, or is he doomed? With the help of a few people, Prosper has a chance of saving himself and his family. 

My absolute favorite character is Nell. She is what is known as a learning witch with crazy features. With purple hair and funky outfits, she was a very bright and quirky character throughout the entire book. Nell is also very protective, because she really wants to save Prosper… even at the end (but NO SPOILERS :) ). Nell is just a character looking for a way to help anyone and anything. She is a great addition to the story, because even though the plot features more around the darkness in Prosper’s life, she balances out the story with some quirkiness and a bright personality. 

As an 8th grader, I love this book, but it is definitely also directed towards a younger audience. It was a very easy and fun read and I loved the innocent sense of humor! The story arc flowed page by page and it just made me read more and more. I would recommend this book to all ages! The plot will suck you in and it’s an ultimate page-turner! This will definitely go down as one of my 5 star reading recommendations!
*Our class received an ARC of this book to read/review from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.*
Title: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Released on: September 5, 2017
Review by: Emmi C.

ARC Review: All The Crooked Saints

All The Crooked Saints 

by Maggie Stiefvater

Miracles, the random occurrence of good luck that we hope for in desperate situations, are not always gained by a lucky break. The Soria family have been given the great ability to perform miracles and expel the darkness of other people. In Maggie Stiefvater’s All The Crooked Saints, the Sorias must take care of the pilgrims that stay to finish miracles, which they can't talk to, and they must also take care of themselves in the crazy world.

My favorite quote came from the point when as one of the Saints left because he was corrupted by darkness, his crush came after him, and she stated,  “I had to start somewhere. I can’t imagine him out here alone. And his family can’t help him. I can do something and so I will.”

The best character in the story has to be Joaquin because he is a risk taking rebel, and he has an illegal radio station in which he performs the miracle of good radio for everyone listening. He is a believable character because there are people who do bad things, like illegal radio, for the right reasons all the time. I think the author wrote this book to entertain. The very intriguing story and great character development pulled me right in, and I was quickly interested.. The plot can leave you on edge at any time with its depth and drama. The small hint of humor put the final touch on this great story. More info about the author can be found under

I would recommend this book to people who love a deeper reads with slight bits of fantasy, from the shadowed plot and miracles. There is also a small romantic element between a couple of characters. I give it 4.3 out of 5 stars because of the deep plot and exciting, but short, spouts of adventure. This book is definitely worth a look.

*Our class received an ARC of this book to read/review from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review.

Title: All The Crooked Saints
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Published by: Scholastic 
Released on: October 10, 2017
Review by: Charlie W.

Genre: Fantasy Fiction

Inspiration On Our Shelves: Philanthroparties!

Philanthroparties! By Lulu Cerone

Do you find yourself seeing problems in your community, but aren’t sure how to make a difference and help others around you? Well, this might be the book you are looking for! It is very inspirational and touching, and has definitely motivated me to give back but in a fun way.

During the 2010 Haiti earthquake, when Lulu was ten, she was deeply affected by news footage and the horrendous conditions and suffering of the Haitian people. Desperate to help in some way she decides to organize a competitive “boys v.s. girls” lemonade stand for her 5th grade class to raise money for Haitian relief. It was a huge success! They ended up raising a total of $4,000 dollars! Lulu and her classmates learned that even they, at such a young age, could make a difference in people’s lives. Lulu was hooked, so she created her own,non profit, LemonAID Warriors,where she spreads her message of giving back and showing others how to have fun while positively impacting the world and local communities.

I found this book quite enjoyable and I liked the way the author goes about telling her story and how she made me feel inspired and positive. The book is not only bright and colorful but it is fun and interesting to read, there are so many crafts and fundraisers I would like to try now thanks to her amazing book! I feel more powerful after reading Lulu’s book and encourage you to read it too!

Written by: Lulu Cerone
Published by: Aladdin/Beyond Words Books
Released on: May 9, 2017
Review by: Lilian B.

Inspiration on Our Shelf: Life in Motion

Life in Motion by Misty Copeland

Misty Copeland’s, Life in Motion is a novel about Misty Copeland’s life, struggle, and career. Copeland discusses her struggle through life and her rise to the top of the ballet world, despite the odds stacked against her. Misty Copeland shares about her hectic childhood, from moving from home to home and from father to father, without any success in settling down. Until one day when she goes to her local Boys and Girls club and her life is changed forever, after she discovers classical ballet. This book also talks about her struggle, as an African American dancer, which is out of the norm for the world of ballet, she also shares about her injuries and how she overcame them.

Life in Motion was beyond an inspiring novel, to me it showed just how much you can achieve if you are dedicated and hardworking enough. It truly changed my outlook on how I have been living my life, because Misty Copeland had such a crazy childhood, and almost had everything taken away from her that she loved, because of another’s selfish actions, and I feel like sometimes people that are sort of privileged especially of my generation tend to take that from granted. I also loved that you don’t need to be a dancer to appreciate this novel, because although it does talk a lot about dance it’s not just about that, it’s about the endless ups and downs of life, and how you just need to keep moving forwards and overcome life’s challenges. Obviously my all time favorite character was Misty Copeland herself, however if I were to choose someone else it would have to be her teacher, Cynthia Bradley. She was truly the one that introduced Misty to dance, and had it not been for her and her training we may not have the amazing dancer Misty Copeland in our world today. Copeland’s novel brings an awareness to accepting people’s differences and to embracing them for their talents and skills in life, not degrade them because of them. really enjoyed this novel as it was an easy read, and had an amazing purpose and message.
Find out more about Misty Copeland on

Written by: Misty Copeland
Published by: Touchstone Books
Released on: December 16, 2014
Review by: Emma K.

New Release! Patina

Patina by Jason Reynolds

Patina by the amazing author, Jason Reynolds, shows the life of a teenage girl struggling with girl drama, supporting her family, helping her mother -who can’t walk- and her self-confidence. Patina, the main character, has experienced so many hardships in her life; something no child should have to go through. Her perseverance and plenty of supporters, keep her going throughout the story. A main point in the story, is her being on an elite track team, something she always thinks to herself when she just wants to quit, is to run for her mom, who can’t run.  

Jason Reynolds, what can I say? Thank you for creating the books that other authors don’t create. A peek inside someone else’s life, showing young readers that the world isn’t just sunshine and daisies, letting them know that you’ll have to face some challenges in life to be successful. Many people just think every day, you wake up and everything goes the way you want it to go; but in real life -and Patina’s life- you have to fight for everything all day, every day, and twice on Sunday. If you like this book, you should check out Jason Reynolds’ other books on his website

As the companion book to Ghost, this novel lived up to all the expectations (and more) that I expected after the cliffhanger in the end. My favorite character in Patina has to be, Patina herself. I admire her as a character in the book and as a person in my own life. Unlike other people shown in the story, she has to go home and act like a mother to her younger sister, she has to be more responsible, as a kid, than most middle-aged adults are in there entire life. She is the definition of a self-sufficient person, and that is why she is my favorite character. Not because she runs fast, or because she is good in school, because she is so mature, caring, and a great person all around.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves to travel in someone else’s shoes and see the world in a whole new light. This fairly new, realistic fiction novel deserves all 5 out of 5 stars I am giving it. If you haven’t done so already, read the fantastic novel Patina by Jason Reynolds (just not before Ghost). Also look for Sunny due to be released April 2018!

Written by: Jason Reynolds
Published by: Atheneum Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
Released on: August 29, 2017

Review by: Chloe C.

New to Our Shelves! Alex & Eliza: A Love Story


Alex & Eliza: A Love Story by Melissa de la Cruz

Love is defined as a feeling of deep affection for someone.  Alex & Eliza shows the true meaning of love and the importance of sacrifices for family.  

It's 1777.  The American Revolution battles are taking place and families are struggling to find food and make money.  Even the Schuyler family, one of the wealthiest in New York, is battling the food shortage.  They need their three eldest daughters, Eliza, Angelica and Peggy, to get married and quickly! The family decides to throw a ball and all of the eligible men in the town are invited.  On the same night as the ball they get an unexpected visitor, Colonel Hamilton.  Over two years later, Alexander comes to Eliza’s rescue when her carriage broke down.  Eliza gets a ride from Alexander on his horse all the way back to Albany, NY.  Their love story begins and history is made!  

Opening quote of Alex and Eliza that pulls the reader in immediately!
“Beloved by you I can be happy in any situation, and can struggle with every embarrassment of fortune with patience and firmness.  I cannot however forbear entre treating you to realize our union on the dark side and satisfy, without deceiving yourself, how far your affection for me can make you happy in a privation of those elegancies to which you have been accustomed.  If fortune should smile upon us, it will do us no harm to have been prepared for adversity; if she frowns upon us, by being prepared, we encounter it without the chagrin of disappointment.  Your future rank in life is a perfect lottery; you may move in an excited you may move in a very humble sphere; the last is most probable; examine well your heart.”
-Letter from Alexander Hamilton to Elizabeth Schuyler, August 1780

    If you love Hamilton the musical then you will love this book!  It tells the true details about Alexander Hamilton's relationship with Eliza Schuyler.  For example, a fact that differs from the musical is that they were not married two weeks after meeting at the ball, it was really closer to three years.  Hamilton fans will see that this book takes place in between the songs “Winter’s Ball” and “Satisfied”.  Melissa De La Cruz wrote about their relationship in so many details.  Reading this book makes me want to learn more if other facts in the Hamilton musical are untrue.  I would give this book a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. All in all, I believe that people interested in history and the Hamilton musical would love this book.

Look for the sequel Love & War: An Alex & Eliza Story due to be released April 2018!

Written by: Melissa de la Cruz
Published by: Penguin Young Readers Group
Released on: April 11, 2017
Review by: Abby H.

ARC Review: Satellite

 Satellite by Nick Lake

Have you ever thought about going to space to experience 0 gravity? At least once, right? Although, have you thought about being born in 0 gravity? Probably not, right? Well, in Nick Lake’s, Satellite, he explains what happens when Leo and the twins, Libra and Orion, are born on Moon 2, a space station to where they have been living for the past 16 years. Well, not 16 years for Leo, he’s only 15, waiting and wanting to be 16 though. Once Leo turns 16, he and the twins will be able to go to Earth for the first time. Imagine if you’ve stayed in only confined spaces for a decade and a half; you would want to leave, right? None of them could wait to leave Moon 2, but a for different reasons. For Leo, he wants to finally meet his grandfather and hug him in real life. On the way to Earth, things don’t go quite as planned. Read the book to find out what happens when they make it to Earth.

This book is written in a format that I’ve never read before, but I love the setup. All of the words are lowercased, even in the beginning of a new sentence. I honestly do not know why, but this type of format somehow attracted me to the book. Now let’s focus on the characters of the story. The characters personalities are very obvious and are very organized. Nick Lake keeps the character traits that he gave to the certain character in the back of his mind and uses them later even if they’re shown in the beginning of the story. Personally, my favorite character is Orion because he loves music and classics, which I can relate to. Lake uses scientific vocabulary on the way to Earth, but at the same time give the reader something to enjoy. This book is easy to dive into and get sucked into their world. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy reading sci-fi fiction stories and like to expand their literacy abilities. This story has new vocabulary words for you to learn, unless you already know a lot about science. I would rate this book a 9.5/10 because some parts are kind of slow, but I love the format and characters.

*Our class received an ARC of this book to read/review from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Written by: Nick Lake
Published by: Random House Books
Released on: October 3, 2017
Review by: Phoebe H.

ARC Review: Mistress of Evil

Mistress of Evil by Serena Valentino

Think you know everything about the story behind Sleeping Beauty? The novel Mistress of all Evil by Serena Valentino takes you behind the scenes of the original Disney story of “Sleeping Beauty” from the antagonist Maleficent’s point of view. The story includes tales from Maleficent’s childhood revolving around the good fairies: Merryweather, Flora, and Fauna. This novel introduces new characters and backgrounds to the original story already established. The overall story introduces a theme that not everything is as it seems, and that the people you think you know might have more to you than you'd think.

Some  of the newest characters from the novel include the odd sisters, Circe, and Nanny. Circe is known in the novel as the sorceress that cursed prince Adam or better known as the beast from beauty and the beast. Nanny is Maleficent's guardian and took care of her most of Maleficent's life. And though the story is about Maleficent and why she cursed Aurora, characters such as the Blue Fairy from Pinocchio and Snow White are featured. Personally, my favorite character was Circe. Circe is very different than her sisters, The Odd Sisters, and makes it clear she does not want to be like them. Circe is strong, independent and so defiant towards the label her sisters have given her about being a bad ‘witch’.  I also like how she was new to the story so it is not like people can have an opinion about her. She's not a princess but she's not anything stereotypical like her being a good fairy or being a bad witch. It really gives her room as a character to grow.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone of any age, who loves fairy tales and enjoys backstories of characters they've known and love. It was a really great book with a complex but easy to follow storyline.

Written by: Serena Valentino
Published by: Disney Press
Released on: October 3, 2017
Review by: Allison P.

**Disclaimer** the book I received was an Advance Reading Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.