Teen Reviews -- Summer 2014

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Article in Young Adult Fiction category.

Book, movie, and CD reviews that have been written by teens participating in the 2014 Teen Summer Reading Program, "Paws to Read." Posted with permission of the reviewers.

Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. Newest reviews appear at the top of the list for each star rating.

Book Reviews

Five Stars

I liked this book because it taught me a very important lesson. It taught me about real love and having boyfriends. My favorite character was Laviana because she cared for Veronica or Very LeFreak very much. I was very glad that I read the book.

Review by Lynn, Grade 12

I loved this story because it was amazingly told how Mina Tagawa had suffered in WWII. Her parents were arrested by FBI because of Pearl Harbor. They were sent to relocation camps and it was a sad story. It teaches us the history of how Japanese Americans lived during WWII. They were innocent people and didn't commit any crime.

Review by Lynn, Grade 12

  • A Devil and Her Love Song by Miyoshi Tomori

I liked it because it made sense to me in the first book. It was a book about a girl named Maria Kawai. She's a girl that doesn't get along with anyone except for three people. Everyone's always being mean to her but she doesn't care. She always keeps a straight face and keeps talking back.

Review by Andra, Grade 7

I think that this is a great book. It is set during World War ||. It is part of a series called The Stonewycke Legacy. These books are about different generations of a family through the years.The main characters in this book are Logan and Allison Macintyre. It had some exciting parts in it when Logan was a double agent in France. I would definitely recommend this book as a great book to read.

Review by Michaela

This book was great. The story showed how things were then. I recommend this book to everyone.

Review by Bethany B., grade 7

If a teenager is looking for a book that contains no romance, but ends with a heart-touching moment, then the book Plain Kate is for you. The book begins in a small town where a little girl, Katerina, who, like her father is a magnificent carver, and bears the town's witch scorn. This worsens when the "witch's fever" comes and the girl's father becomes one of the witch's fever's victims. The story is full of suspense and here are many twists and turns as Katerina journey's with her friend, Taggle the talking cat. My favorite character is the cat, which humorously talks about his need of heaps of food and plays an emotional part in the ending that may bring you to tears. Erin Bow expertly eaves together fantasy, humor, and sadness into this 314 page book.

Review by Emily C.

I loved this book because there is action in it. There isn't that much of people just talking. My favorite character is Legdes (or Pippin). My opinion of this book is that it is good, exciting, and there is much adventure.

Review by Abigail F.

A story of how a mouse, Matthias comes from being an orphan to becoming a warrior of the Redwall. Matthias finds Martin the Warrior's sword and defeats the army that is invading Redwall. Do not judge this story because it has animals in it.

Review by Wendy H.

I loved this book! It's really great! My favorite characters are Firepaw, Bluestar, and Yellowfang. I can't wait to read the rest of the series and the other books by Erin Hunter! Even though I'm allergic to cats, I still love reading great books like this about them and their adventures. This is a great book and I would definitely recommend it, especially if you're searching for a new series to try out.

Review by Alexis

I loved this book because this book had a lot of adventure. My favorite character was Ezylryb and he was a strong commander. There was love, war and hatred. If you like owls fighting then you should read this book.

Review by Lynn C.

  • Let the Song Go On:Fifty years of Gospel Singing with the Speer Family by Paula Becker

I really liked this book a ton! It is a biography of the Speer family. They were a southern gospel music group from about 1921-1998. They were known as the first family of gospel music. This was a great book and it was really accurate. It also has a lot of old pictures of them. My favorite member of the Speer family is Ben Speer. This is a great book for southern gospel music fans and people who like biographies. The only problem is that this book is hard to find since it was written in 1971. If you can find this book it is definitely great to read.

Review by Michaela H.

This book is about the show "The Waltons" which is based on Earl Hamner and his family. It tells about Earl Hamner growing up and when he wrote his books which came before the show. It also tells about the movies before the show. The book also has a section with summaries of all of the episodes and later movies. There are a lot of pictures of the people from the show and of Earl Hamner's family. It also talks about the museum in Schuyler, Virginia(it is really a neat place). This book is really neat.

Review by Michaela H.

I like the Left Behind kids series because it has a lot of action in it. I would suggest these books to kids 9 and up.

Review by Amy H.

I like Anne of Green Gables because it has alot of action in it. I would recommend these movies to kids 10 and up.

Review by Amy H.

Well, I loved the book because I love cats. I loved all the cats in the book.

Review by April

I like this book of the series because, all the characters meet. It is the most exciting book so far. They are always risks and making sacrifices. I like how they are about the gods. This book was awesome.

Review by Isabella

Very good and exciting book.

Review by Zach

I loved the book because it had a connection toward a fan and her favorite star. Once you start reading it, you won’t be able to put it down.

Review by Alli

This book is about a family that lives in Denmark, and is helping a family that is Jewish to get to Sweden to have freedom. This is in the time when Hitler was ruling Denmark and there were German soldiers everywhere.

Review by Xavier

In this book, it was about 4 people who were picked on a test that had to go on a journey to stop someone named Mr. Curtain, who was trying to rule the world. They were supposed to spy on Mr. Curtain’s executives, recruiters, and Mr. Curtain.

Review by Xavier

The Battle for Wondla is a science fiction fantasy adventure book. It will draw you in from the first sentence until the last sentence. If you are a fan of the Harry Potter book you will like this series.

Review by Mackenzie

Les Miserables towers above other book in a way unique to its plot of compassion. Every character an unforgettable impression on every reader. Victor Hugo elaborates with such talent, and such description on that it leaves the reader in utter admiration. Les Miserables will remain one of the best works of all times.

Review by Lauren

Jane Eyre was a WONDERFUL book! The plot was interesting and so were the characters. I liked Mr. Rochester (Jane's boss and lover) the best because he was funny and adored Jane. I think people who like classical romances would greatly enjoy this book.

Review by Perri

I loved this book! It was thrilling, and the excitement never died. As soon as Nancy had found a clue, there was lots of adventure. I especially liked it because the whole book Nancy was searching for a friend of hers who had been kidnapped. My favorite character is George, who is one of Nancy's close friends. She and her cousin Bess often help Nancy solve mysteries. I really enjoyed this books and I can't wait to read another!

Review by Rachel

Shatter Me is the living description of "not judging a book by its cover". The original cover of this book is awful but the pages are the exact opposite. This book holds a love triangle, to great for this time. Every page has you turning for more. Each character has a personality that's been plotted to perfection. Just use Kenji as an example, trust me, he's going to become your favorite. :)

Review by Kate

Four Stars

I loved this book because of all the constant action in it. The author also really hooked me on to the story with the great flow, creativity and the awesome characters. All the protagonists in the story are amazing, but if I had to pick a favorite character it would be Thalia. Since this is based off mythology she's the daughter of Zeus. She wears punk clothes, has a harsh attitude, is really brave and never gives up. I would recommend this to all ages who love fantasy and mythology.

Review by Karen, Grade 7

I loved this book because it kept my heart racing about what was going to happen next. MY favorite character was Janie because she is really funny. It's a book you won't want to put down.

Review by Sirisha, Grade 6

I loved this book because it has interesting tales about different people lived in interesting places (desert, New York City, tales are not set in Tortall). Tamora Pierce had wrote these stories that had not been published. My favorite character in this book was Adria. Adria had struggled to become an engineer. She was smart at mathematics and her father disliked her education.

Review by Lynn, Grade 12

If you were offered a chance at immortality would you accept it? Turnabout takes a realistic, kind of scientific approach to the prospect of immortality. It is really interesting and it kind of gets you thinking about life and death. You start thinking-would you accept the offer of endless life and if you did, what would you do with the extra time? Is an endless life really better? This book takes an interesting idea nd keeps it interesting with plenty of twists and turns in the plot. I would recommend it to anyone who's looking for something new and unpredictable (in a good way).

Review by Emily, Grade 10

In Death Note vol 1 Light finds a "Death Note" so basically now he can kill whoever he knows the name and face of. He wants to use this notebook to make the world a "better place." IN the first volume the entire plot is a decoration of war between Light and an investigator called L. The volume ends on a semi-cliff hanger where the fiance of one of the victims of the death note begins her revenge.

Review by Diana, Grade 10

I really liked this book because it took a realistic approach to a story about post-nuclear war in America. It kept me at the edge of my seat with the unexpected character reactions. I do think they should add a sequel if there isn't one. The only part of this book that was not as good, was the ending. Towards the end I just wanted to get it over with and it was hard to shovel through the descriptive writing that concludes it.

Review by Diana, Grade 10

"Rush, rush, rushing to/from history," is a quote frequently spoken in the book. This book is mainly based in the 21st century at a middle school and in the 17th century at Plymouth Plantation. My favorite character is William Bradford, since he's a brave man that strongly clings on to what he believes in, no matter how horrible the consequences. As a result, I like this book since it tells the REAL story of the Plymouth Colony and the story's theme is, "if you work hard, you will accomplish your goal." I strongly recommend this to history fans, history teachers, and people who are searching for a much more fun way to learn history.

Review by Emily C.

Needless to say, this book was extraordinarily sad. Compare to the move, the book is always better, but I think they did a decent job with the film. They left out a few characters that I thought were important, one being Hazel's best friend Katlyn. Most of the book was shown very well in the movie; however, and it turned out to be excellent.

Review by Emily P.

Unnatural Creatures was a very interesting novel. It was compromised of many different stories about imaginary creatures. I didn't really like the idea of mashing different stories together because you have to remember the different stories, and some stories were hard to comprehend, in my mind. The novel did keep me reading it for all of eternity, though. My favorite story was definitely the one about the Griffin and the Minor Canon. I think the author, Neil Gaiman, intended for an audience of people who love unrealistic characters. I thought that it was going to be about supernatural animals, but in reality it is really about talking animals.

Review by Rebecca

I loved this book because it had a great sense of humor, it was about the right level for me, and I learned tons of cool words from it. The book is about a girl named Vanessa Rothrock, who is 12 3/4, and her mom is running for president. She is in seventh grade, but is always being followed by a six-foot tall security guard. When she starts receiving threatening letters she knows she has to do something about it . . . but what? Read the book and find what happens while having a great time!

Review by Laurel

I loved the book because every book at the end had a little hanging to the next book, so after I finished a book, I got excited about reading the next book. My favorite character would be Kobato-san. She is my favorite character because she's always happy and full of energy. I think people who like manga or graphic novels would enjoy this series.

Review by Caitlyn

Almost everyone has read a murder mystery novel, but almost every one of those books are told from the victim or detectives. But not Dear Killer, this novel is told from the point of view of Kit, London’s most famous killer since Jack the Ripper. Kit doesn’t just kill for fun she kills for a type of justice, but that doesn’t make her murders okay. Follow Kit though her kills as she decides if living this life is the right or wrong thing to do.

Review by Kate

This book was very exciting and very long. It was about three friends who went on a journey to bury a doll who was to the friends, “a Queen”. They learned about her history and went on a long journey to East Liverpool to Ohio.

Review by Xavier

  • The Kane Chronicles Survival Guide by Rick Riordan

This book told you how to survive if you were in the world of the Kane Chronicles. It wasn't the best book, but I still liked it. It told you a bit more about the characters. My favorite character is still Sadie. Over all I liked the book.

Three Stars

This is a very interesting book about a boy whose entire life is changed one day after he falls off a waterfall. Within hours after he wakes up his best friend tries to kill him and he soon finds out that numerous others want him dead. The relationships with everyone he has known, and with people he hasn't known, all change. This book was very good until the ending, which I personally didn't like but I won't spoil. This is a great book for teens.

Review by Emily, grade 10

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters is a very dark book. It discusses the issues in America during a terrible period, World War I. It also puts a teenage girl in common situations in America during this time. The writing in this book is really good, but there was so much going on, that it became a little confusing. But overall, it was a good book.

Review by Stella, grade 8

Two Stars

Have you ever read a terrible fanfiction that's so bad it doesn't even deserve to be online? Let alone be published into a book? If you are at all interested in reading a book that fits this exact description, then fangirl is you book. This book is so far-fetched, it's not even a book to read for laughs, it's just plain stupid. This writing is choppy and the characters change personalities about every chapter. Fangirl is so bad that you don't even want to waste time reading it.

Review by Kate

One Star

Movie, Music and Audiobook Reviews

Five Stars

  • The Fourth Wise Man

This movie is a Christmas movie. It is about this man who was trying to catch up with the other wise men, who were going to see Jesus Christ. This is a great movie. It is great for anybody to watch. My teacher let me bring it to school for Bible class. My family watches it every year around Christmas. It is a wonderful movie.

Review by Michaela H.

  • No Deposit, No Return film starring Don Knotts

This movie is really funny. It has Don Knotts from the Andy Griffith Show. I really liked it a lot. It is a great movie to watch as a family because it is absolutely fine for everyone to watch.I would definitely recommend watching it.

Review by Michaela H.

  • Living Proof Music CD by Awana Clubs

I like (Living Proof) because its the kind of songs I like. I also like the fact that its contemporary Christian music. I would recommend this to anyone who likes contemporary music or Christian music. I hope you like it because I sure did!

Review by Amy H.

  • The Chronicles of Narnia I really like The Chronicles of Narnia because it has a lot of different adventures in it . I would suggest these movies for kids 8 and over. I am sure you will like it.

Review by Amy H.

This was an AWESOME movie! My favorite character was Maleficent (Angelina Jolie). This movie would be scary to young children but I went with my friends and we all loved it.\

Review by Cecilia

Four Stars

I enjoyed this film a lot. There was a lot of action and battle but also journeying. It left off on a cliffhanger ending, which I will not spoil. Also, there are many suspenseful scenes that make you wonder what will happen. I would recommend this movie to everyone who is interested in battle and fantasy.

Review by Simrat

It was a very good movie. The animations were great and I really enjoyed it. It was full of action and adventure. My least favorite character was Lord President Business, because he wanted to destroy the world. I liked how it transferred from the Lego World to reality. I highly recommend this movie.

Review by Simrat

Three Stars

Two Stars

One Star