October 20, 2014
Hazel Grace Lancaster is a girl who is not ordinary. She has cancer, and it has taken a huge toll on her life. Hazel stays at home a lot and watches TV. She dreads going to her support group. Hazel finds life very dull and boring, until one guy shows up at the meeting. His name is Augustus Waters and he lost a leg to cancer. After support group is over, they meet each other and start a conversation. Immediately, Augustus claims that Hazel is beautiful and extraordinary. They start to hang out together, and they hold a long lasting bond that will never be destroyed.
I thought that this book was magnificent in all ways that are possible! The characters are portrayed very well. Hazel and Augustus have very different personalities, but they still get along very well. I love how the book is in the point of view of Hazel because she is one of the main characters and you can see everything from her perspective. Throughout the book, there are many twists and turns that make the book very unique. Every aspect of the book is wonderful. Throughout the book, you can feel the emotions taking a toll on you. You can definitely feel love and pain through your own emotions because this book is so realistic. The book gives a great message to readers, and tells them you don’t have to be perfect to have a wonderful life. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves romance, adventure, and a wonderful story line that will leave you in tears at the end.
My favorite thing about this book is that you can feel the emotions inside of you. This book is very descriptive and explains the love, tragedies, pain, and happiness many people go through. The book is so amazing and gives you a different perspective of life, and what it means to be alive.
Reviewed by Mitali, grade 7, Twin Hickory Area Library
October 17, 2014
This book is about a boy who records a tape that a girl listens to a couple of decades later. Ryan is a kid whose mother died in a car crash. Ryan’s dad gets remarried to a lady named Sophie. Sophie isn’t that bad of a mother. The problem, however, is that Sophie brought along her son, Nathan with her, whom Ryan hates. Ryan records his thoughts and feelings during that time into a tape recorder. Years later, a girl named Ameliah, who has also lost her mother, finds the tape in the house she’s moved into. She hears Ryan talk about his thoughts and feelings throughout the book.
I think that this book is interesting, because of the way the author narrates it. First, it would show a chapter of Ryan’s life, then a chapter of Ameliah’s life. It would sway between the two separate stories, until the story became one, whole, wonderful story to read. You might not understand it at first, but if you read the chapter over and over again, you will understand it. Altogether, this book is a nice book to read sometime.
One memorable thing about the book is how it entwines the two separate stories into the book itself. The book goes over all sorts of emotions: Happiness, Sadness, Anger and Hate, and turns it into one memorable story.
Reviewed by Adithya, grade 6, Twin Hickory Area Library
October 8, 2014
Last month some of the HCPL Librarians went to the RVA MakerFest at The Science Museum of Virginia and among the many amazing things we saw was a new spot just for teens to hang out and play with their brains and it’s FREE for all high school students, ages 14-18! It’s called The MiX and has tons of fabu tech toys, a great lounge space and a fully tricked out green screen room for your biggest movie fantasies — want to be like Neil deGrasse Tyson strolling among the stars, you can do it at The MiX. And did we mention it’s all FREE? All you need to do, is fill out the SMV MiX form and get your MiX card which will get you onto the SMV without having to pay an entrance fee or full museum membership (that whole FREE thing again). We are a little jealous, but we have our own cool tech space that we’ll tell you about soon (and it’s also FREE)!
Hours at The MiX
Friday: 3 – 6 pm
Saturday: 9:30 am – 5 pm
Sunday: 11:30 am – 5 pm
September 16, 2014
Cadence is very privileged and during the summer she vacations on a private island with her family and a group of four friends called “The Liars.” Three of them are her cousins except for Gat, who Cadence not-so-secretly finds attractive. For several years everything is great, until one year when everyone starts to compete for the biggest house on the island. With this, tension rises and a tragedy occurs leaving Cadence with a head trauma and no clue about what happened. Two years later, she is back on the island and eager to learn what has happened; but with everyone sworn to secrecy it is going to be hard to find out.
This book is my idea of a near flawless YA mystery novel. Although the writing style could sometimes be annoying, the numerous good qualities make this barely an issue. The storyline was full of suspense and the characters are unique and captivating. I enjoyed how real the book felt and I thought the author did a fantastic job with the character growth and descriptions. Honestly, I could not put this book down! This book is definitely worth reading if you love a good mystery.
The most memorable moment is the conclusion because it is so unexpected and emotional.
Reviewed by Rylan, grade 7, Tuckahoe Area Library
September 16, 2014
When we got to my room, I didn’t know what to do or say to Kevon, this foster kid who was older than me. Who was going to be sleeping in my room even though I didn’t even know his last name. So I said the first thing that came to my mind. “Why did they take you away and put you here?”
Kinda Like Brothers, by Coe Booth
(Click on the cover to find a copy in our catalog.)
September 13, 2014
Alex is still grieving her father’s death. But when she finds out that her best friend, Becca, has been diagnosed with cancer, she realizes that she needs to be strong. Especially so because Becca has a special favor to ask of Alex. Since she was nine, Becca, had kept a running “bucket list” of things she wanted to do before she died. Now that she actually may be dying, Becca hands over the list to Alex and asks her to complete the items on the list for her. Although hesitant at first, Alex soon realizes that Becca’s bucket list may lead her to really start living… and maybe even loving again.
I didn’t really like this book all that much. It had a few good parts here and there: I really liked seeing Becca and Alex’s friendship grow and Alex herself realizing that there was so much more she could do with her life. I also liked watching Alex’s relationship with the mysterious Leo Dietz bloom into something more than just “friends.” But the majority of the book was filled with meaningless arguments, half-hearted sadness, and often boring situations.
Watching Alex live through Becca’s dreams was enjoyable. It was nice to see how close the two of them were and how best friends can really change your life for the better.
Reviewed by Asha, grade 10, Twin Hickory Area Library
September 12, 2014
This book introduces the reader to the lives of four different teenagers living across the United States.There’s Hudson, a mechanic from a small town who is confused about what he really wants from his life; Elliot, who will do anything to convince his best friend to fall in love with him; Bree, a runaway who is still trying to cope with the loss of her parents and quite possibly her sister; and Sonia, who is scared to admit what she really wants. All four of these teenagers meet one very special girl: Leila. When each of them is feeling their lowest, Leila swoops into their lives to help them, and then leaves just as quickly. But maybe Leila needs some help figuring out her life too…
I honestly loved this book. It was different because it technically told 5 different stories (including Leila’s personal story), but they all somehow were brought together. I liked how even though Hudson, Elliot, Bree, and Sonia had never met or even heard of each other, they were still somehow connected by Leila, who left a lasting impression on each of their lives. It was always surprising and left me wanting more. I really enjoyed picking out the different themes of the book: love, loss, hope, disease, faith, and so many more. This book was very complex but still so relatable.
For me, I really loved seeing how even though each of the characters thought their life was over at some point, they always ended up realizing that there was always hope and there was always a chance to start again.
- Reviewed by Ahsa, grade 10, Twin Hickory Area Library
September 10, 2014
High school senior Sohane, was struggling to understand her identity as a Muslim feminist when her sister was tragically murdered. After her younger sister’s, Djelila, death, Sohane is guilt-ridden, believing she did not accept her sister and instead judged her negatively. Sohane’s younger sister, Djelila, had fundamentally different beliefs on religion and modesty which caused them to grow apart in high school. Sohane is a devout Muslim, who dresses modestly, avoids risky behavior, and is studious. Djelila, on the other hand, appeared to doubt the existence of God, dressed in a more risqué manner, and was a popular basketball player. The story shows how Sohane learns to accept the differences between herself and her late sister, eventually finding closure.
I enjoyed reading this book because of the strength of the characters, Djelila and Sohane. Both demonstrated bravery and free thinking, despite a lack of support from their certain members in their community. I found myself cheering inwardly when Djelila daringly rebuked the arrogant, sexist perspective of Uncle Ahmed, who believed a girl’s sole purpose should be to become a respectful wife. I also felt admiration for Sohane who continued to stand by her beliefs by wearing a head scarf, despite the backlash from her school’s administration.
The event in the I Love I Hate I Miss My Sister that stood out the most to me is when Sohane decides she no longer wants to have a separate personality for each aspect of her life. Instead, she decides to blend her home and school personality to be true to herself all the time. She chooses to display her identity to everyone by wearing a head scarf to school. She explains herself, saying, “I wish the whole world could know what I am. Who I am.”
Reviewed by Maya, grade 9, Twin Hickory Area Library
June 10, 2014
“Here, she told me to give you this.” She passes me a folded note and walks away. What are we, in third grade? Still, the anticipation owns me.
He Said, She Said, by Kwame Alexander