January 6, 2015
Cath grew up reading Simon Snow, living in the world of mages and magic, with her twin sister Wren. But as freshmen year of college rolls around, Wren doesn’t want to spend her time obsessing over a fictional world, or have to share a room with Cath, still living in her childhood fantasy. Cath must learn to cope with the challenges she faces, including the cutie from her Fictional Writing Class, a professor who doesn’t understand the concept of fanfiction, and a scary roommate with an obsessive boyfriend. Can Cath continue to hide away in her world of Simon, or will she have to let him go?
Rainbow Rowell is truly a gifted writer. Bringing both her story and her characters to life, it’s extremely easy to get whisked away into the world of Fangirl. The witty humor and relatable experiences of the characters are sure to capture any reader’s attention. I especially enjoyed how she wrote her characters and portrayed their thoughts to the reader. Rainbow Rowell also added excerpts of the famous “Simon Snow” books at the beginning of each chapter which would somehow tie into the following chapter. It was an overall enjoyable read and is currently one of my favorites.
One of the most memorable things about the book was both the plot and dialog between the characters. It was sure to either bring me to a puddle of tears, heaps of laughter, or a bundle of smiles, experiencing every emotion possible while reading the book.
Reviewed by Erica, grade 10, Glen Allen Branch Library
December 3, 2014
If you’re looking for a quick, easy read, look no further. If You’re Reading This by Trent Reedy is about a 15 year old boy named Michael. Michael lost his father in the war in Afghanistan when he was seven, but something strange is happening. About two weeks before his 16th birthday, Michael begins receiving letters from his father that he would only get if his father died in the war. The letters explain things his dad didn’t have time to talk about before he left, and the letters give Michael specific goals to complete.
If You’re Reading This is a great book to read when you are sitting around the house on a rainy day, looking for something to do. I think that many middle and high school students can relate to what goes on in the book. Reedy used a writing style that was very easy to read, and I would read it over and over. The one thing that I disliked about this book is that there was an occasional foggy spot that didn’t make sense until you read further, which hooked you in and didn’t let go! Make sure you read this book on a weekend, because I’m sure you will be up late at night reading.
One of the memorable things in this book is when things finally start working out for Michael, which just goes to show that there is always a light at the end of a tunnel.
Reviewed by John, grade 7, Dumbarton Area Library
November 4, 2014
This book was the delightful conclusion to a trio of books written by Stephanie Perkins. It follows Isla, a senior at the School of America in Paris. She has had a crush on a boy named Josh since she was a freshman in high school, and only recently had Josh become available again after he and his girlfriend called it quits. As the school year progresses, Isla and Josh finally start to come together and there are cameos from favorite characters in the previous two books. It is set in the romantic cities of New York, Paris, and Barcelona.
I really enjoyed this book! As a hopeless romantic myself, I found myself rooting for Isla throughout the book and hoping that everyone thing would work out for her. Also, I appreciated that the author tied up all the lose ends that remained from the previous two books. However, it is important to note that although it would be better to read the books in order, they do not have to be. All in all, this is a quick, wonderful read that will melt your heart. Look no further for a witty and memorable present-day love story.
One memorable thing about this book is how the reader got to see Isla mature over the course of the school year. At the beginning, she starts out as just another girl crushing on a guy, but by the end, she has found who she really is, as well as discovered that she has voice in who she becomes.
Reviewed by Rachel, grade 9, Twin Hickory Area Library
October 31, 2014
Being adopted brought Avery and Nora together, but they aren’t best friends anymore. Now they are both in their senior year of high school, and senior project is right around the corner. Avery’s senior project is on education reform, and even to her, it’s lame. Nora is adopted, and her project is finding her birth mom. Avery has a great life, a great boyfriend; on the other hand, Nora is on the other end of the food chain. But Avery’s life turns upside down when Nora accidentally overdoses a couple days after she tells Avery about her project. Avery is left without a partner and Nora’s partner, Brody, is left without a partner. Avery feels like she owes it to Nora to find her [Avery’s] birth mom, and Brody agrees, after instituting some rules. Join Avery and Brody for the ride of their lives.
I think the main characters (Avery, Nora, and Brody) are very deep, and I like the dynamics between the three of them. The writing style wasn’t confusing, which I appreciated. However, I didn’t like many of the situations, and it’s not a humorous book. Overall, I’m feeling very ‘eh’ about this book, but it’s a good book to read if you have nothing to read.
The most memorable thing is that it’s okay to not know what you’re going to do at seventeen. It’s a message sent to society, which is obsessed in knowing what you will do with your life.
Reviewed by Allie, grade 9, Twin Hickory Area Library
October 27, 2014
Nobody is perfect. It’s been one year since Sohane’s sister Djelila has been burned alive. Sohane had been noticing that Djelila was breaking away from their Muslim religion by wearing short/tight clothes and drinking alcohol. Sohane tries to explore her religious and feminist beliefs.
This book related to my faith as I am a Muslim, too. Its situations related to me a lot because this book was based on real events. I loved how the author decided to add some action with Djelila being burned alive, and Sohane getting expelled for wearing a head scarf. It leads her towards the exploration of her life.
A memorable thing about this book was that it involved a religion which a lot of people judge upon.
Reviewed by Fiza, grade 8, Twin Hickory Area Library
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