by P.C & Kristen Cast 

5 Stars

Image result for marked by pc cast and kristin cast

Zoey lived a normal life, went to a normal high school with her best friend and was even dating one of the football players- well, kind of dating him. But that all changed when she saw the dead guy standing by her locker. Instead of worrying about a geometry test, she now had to face a whole new life- as a whole new species. Zoey Redbird, newly turned fledgling, now has to live at the House of Night, The school of vampyres. It’s bad enough her life has already been turned upside down, but she quickly starts learning that she may be more special than she realizes. After a run-in with the Vampyre Goddess Nyx, she learns she has affinities for not one element, but all of them: Fire, Water, Earth, Air, and Spirit. So much for blending in. But she’s not the only one with special powers. The leader of the elite Dark Daughters club is abusing her goddess-given gifts, and Zoey has to find the courage the embrace whatever destiny awaits her- with the help of her new friends, of course.  

At first, I had no desire to read this book. But once I started, I couldn’t stop. This book is not only dominated by strong female characters, but it also includes LGBTQ+ characters that aren’t just there for “diversity.” The story is intriguing, there’s drama and conflict, love and loss, no character is there just because. Everyone plays an important role. Overall, this is a great book and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is willing to dedicate themselves to not just this book, but the series as well, as there are twelve (12) main books in the series. However, it is definitely worth it. 

Jordan M.

View in Library Catalogue: Print

By John Green

5 Stars

Image result for the fault in our stars book cover

Written by John Green, The Fault In Our Stars is a beautiful book that will move anyone to tears. The book follows Hazel Grace Lancaster, a teenager diagnosed with thyroid cancer three years prior, and her life with the illness. Much to introverted Hazel’s interests-who would much rather read all day- her mother decides it’s time for her to attend a support group at church with other cancer survivors/victims- (due to her showing signs of depression)which is where she meets the charming Augustus Waters. Augustus-a cancer survivor – attends the group to support his terminally ill friend Isaac. Augustus and Hazel hit it off instantly and are soon inseparable. Hazel tells Augustus about her favourite book, An Imperial Affliction and they both have many questions about the book-yet cannot contact the author. So, using his Make-A-Wish wish, Augustus takes Hazel to Amsterdam. When they get there, Augustus tells Hazel he´s been hiding all along- his cancer came back, much worse than ever before. Will he survive? Will their relationship stay strong throughout this difficult time? This book brings you through a roller coaster of emotions and was so good that it was turned into a movie in 2014 (earning $307.2 million!). 

The first time I read the book, I thought it was wonderful as it had everything the typical YA adult book had; the smart, strong-willed female with the charming male love interest. Later re-reading it, I realized the character’s personalities were very unrealistic and cliche. She used large words into everyday sentences which would never happen and acted like she was 27, and not 17. The way Hazel and Augustus instantly hit it off was also questionable as that would never happen in real life. Readers over 16 might find some parts cheesy, however, it was still a very good book.  

The book was very hard to put down and I was able to finish it in a day since it was that interesting. It will be a favourite for many if they are into books like Love,Simon, Everything Everything, Five Feet Apart, etc.  

Khadeeja F.

View in Library Catalogue: Print| eBook | Audiobook | Blu-Ray | DVD

By Anna Todd

5 Stars

Image result for after by anna todd movie poster

After by Anna Todd is about a girl named Tessa who has the perfect life, and the rest of her life planned out by her mother. She already knows that her best friend turned boyfriend, Noah, and herself will be happily married together right after she finishes college-but everything changes when she actually gets to college. When Tessa reaches her dream college, she instantly realizes how different everyone is from her. Her roommate has a peculiar friend group with everyone just wanting to get together. One friend, in particular, Hardin Scott, comes to Tessa’s attention for being so ignorant and rude to everyone. Hardin likes to keep to himself and go from girl to girl never really opening up to them. You would think this shouldn’t be a problem for Tessa since she has a boyfriend, but no. This just attracts Tessa to him even more, being disloyal to Noah. Despite their differences, Hardin and Tessa always seem to find a way to each other and eventually are in a relationship which is the most toxic thing ever. Perfect Tessa and troubled Hardin with a horrible past who is a very mean drunk due to his father, and gets drunk constantly could not be more different and are fighting constantly. They fight constantly but are both sure they are made for each other At the end of the book, Tessa learns the biggest secret that Hardin kept from her-which leads to the next book. This book used to be a One Direction fanfiction that was first published on WattPad but characters were changed due to copyright purposes (Harry Styles turned into Hardin Scott, etc.) however, it has nothing to do with the band. It had over 1 billion reads online which is what turned it into a hardcopy book, and now a movie.  

What I really didn’t like about the book was Tessa’s whole character. She always thought he was cheating on her when if anything he should be worried about her since she literally cheated on Noah for him. She also never trusted him and was pretty much entitled. Also, this book promoted toxic relationships as romance. Yet, these things made the book better because I loved to make fun of Tessa’s illogical decisions. 

The author does a really good job of making Hardin a likable character, despite his rude personality, which is really difficult to do. This book was very addicting and impossible to put down. This book is pretty graphic and resulted in me skipping pages to chapters at times to avoid reading it. For that reason, I’d recommend the book to anyone 15+. 

Khadeeja F.

View in Library Catalogue: DVD | Blu-Ray

by Randa Abdel-Fattah 

5 Stars

Amal is a sixteen-year-old Australian-Muslim-Palestinian living in Australia during the 2000s. She decides to start wearing a hijab, a religious head covering, in order to practice her religion to the fullest. She lives in a very “white” neighbourhood yet she doesn’t let the constant taunting get to her.  

Image result for does my head look big in this

The kids at her school along with many teachers judge her based on prejudice, yet she doesn’t let them get to her because she just could not care any less about anyone’s opinion-almost everyone’s opinion. She does, however, care deeply about Adam, one of the few kinder kids in her class who she is sure she can win over. As the book progresses, she does start to get affected by the words and all the other struggles in her life- such as her friend Laila who does not want to get married at seventeen, much to her parents’ wishes, winning Adam over, and helping her friend Simone get over her body dysmorphia. Her parents, as kind as they are, just do not understand what she’s going through, as much as they like to say they do. Like every great book, the antagonist, Tia and her “army” are always at her neck and belittling Amal for her faith. Her source of strength are her friends, who are outcasts as well, due to being Jewish, nerdy, “fat”, and Japanese. Will anything ever go right for her or will she always live her life in constant misery, especially being Muslim in a post 9/11 era? 

The novel will appeal to anyone who has ever felt like an outsider, ever. The thing that makes it such a great novel is that it is funny, yet still sad, all whilst being entertaining- which is very hard to do. I’ve read the book at least seven times, but it never gets old or repetitive. The many different storylines tied up into one makes the book so interesting because not only are we following Amal’s journey, but her friends, and the world after the 9/11 attack.  

The novel will appeal to anyone who has ever felt like an outsider, ever. Due to language, the book would be suitable for anyone 13+. 

Khadeeja F.

View in Library Catalogue: Print

Starsight

By Brandon Sanderson

Image result for starsight by brandon sanderson

In this sequel to Skyward, Brandon Sanderson takes readers on an unforgettable space adventure.

Spensa has made it. Like her father before, Spensa has become a pilot. Also like her father, Spensa can hear the stars. When she travels beyond the protection of her planet, Spensa discovers that her ability is stronger, and more real then she first realized.

Now, she must find herself amongst a galaxy she has never explored. And learn that the stars do not always have the answers.

Brandon Sanderson has created a flawless sequel to Skyward. A truly gripping and suspenseful novel, readers will not want to put it down. Recommended to readers who like space operas and a plot driven book.

View in Library Catalogue: Print| eBook

By Kiera Cass

2 Stars

This book picks up right where the last one left off—that is, with Eadlyn’s brother having just eloped and her mother having just suffered a heart attack. Caught in the middle of two crises, Eadlyn decides to narrow down her Selection to six suitors, who now comprise the Elite. She also announces that, until his wife has recovered and he is ready to return to work, she will take over for her father as regent. 

Image result for the crown by kiera cass

Try as she does to cope with an onslaught of change and a whirlwind of requests and demands, Eadlyn’s finding it harder and harder to hold her ground. Her advisors chastise her, the public hurls remarks of disapproval, and even the Selected are getting impatient. Will Eadlyn make it to the end of the competition to claim her “happily ever after,” or will she succumb to a pressure she never thought she would face? Find out in ‘The Crown’! 

*** 

I was hoping Kiera Cass would redeem herself with this book the way she did with ‘The One.’ Sadly, that didn’t happen. In fact, I could almost feel her tiredness—her anxiousness just to be done with this book—seeping through the pages. It was as if she didn’t have enough energy to write another sweeping, fairy tale romance, so she settled for an itinerary. I liked that there was some character development, and I liked getting to see Eadlyn take charge of her life, but everything else felt so rushed, so simple. There wasn’t any depth. 

My biggest complaint, however, was that Eadlyn didn’t end up with the person I wanted her to end up with. I won’t give anything away, but I’ll warn you that you might be disappointed. 

Catey F.

View in Library Catalogue: Print| eBook | Downloadable Audiobook | Audiobook CD

By Kiera Cass

2 Stars

Image result for the heir kiera cass

Twenty years have passed since America Singer and Maxon Schreave were married. Now their daughter, a reluctant Princess Eadlyn, must make her own Selection. Eadlyn opens her home to thirty-five suitors, among them a boy she’s known (and hated) her whole life, a boy who doesn’t speak English, and a handful of troublemakers. At first, she wants nothing more than to return to the single life she’s comfortable with, but the more time she spends with her guests, the more difficult it becomes for her to imagine life without them. On every date and after every kiss, she learns something about herself, she learns something about her people, and she questions what she thought she knew about love. 

*** 

I wasn’t sure how to rate this book. I hovered between two and three stars, but I decided to go with two for a couple of reasons. First, the writing felt a little dull. Second, while I did admire how open-ended this book was—I think it’s one of the first love stories I’ve read where it wasn’t clear right from the beginning who the main character was going to end up with—, I realized I wasn’t all that crazy about any of the candidates. There’s one I hold slightly above the others, but even he got on my nerves a few times. 

Then there was the main character herself. I saw parts of myself in Eadlyn, but I also saw a whole lot of spoiled brat. She spends half of her time asking for pity and the other half flaunting her superior status. What kind of a princess says things like, “Didn’t they know who I was, what they’d trained me for? I was Eadlyn Schreave. No one was more powerful than me”?

Catey F.

View in Library Catalogue: Print| eBook | Downloadable Audiobook | Audiobook CD

By Kiera Cass

3 Stars

Image result for the one by kiera cass

After a series of mishaps, culminating in her call for an end to the caste system on national television, King Clarkson was eager to send America Singer home. Now that she’s convinced him to let her stay, to rejoin the Selection and compete for Prince Maxon’s heart, she will have to be on her best behaviour. It won’t be easy—the Northern rebels will force her to take risks, the Southern rebels will enrage her, the king will test her to the limit, and the web of secrets and lies she’s been spinning will threaten to collapse. 

At the same time, America has trouble admitting her feelings to Maxon. It’s not that she doesn’t love him, or that she thinks he doesn’t love her, she’s just afraid of losing him. To Celeste, who fears a life outside the spotlight. To Elise, who is desperate to please her family. Or to Kriss, who wants Maxon almost as much as she does. Find out who will take the crown in The One, the enchanting conclusion to America’s story. 

*** 

I don’t know why, but I had a feeling Kiera Cass would redeem herself with this book. I was right! It was so much better than ‘The Elite’! There were a couple of things I didn’t like, a few situations I thought could have been handled better, but I was satisfied with how everything turned out. 

I must admit that, while I was disappointed that America’s romantic affairs overshadowed the rebel storyline and any of this author’s attempts at world-building, Kiera Cass knows how to write about love (for teen audiences, at least). The last few chapters of this book were absolutely beautiful… Poetic, but not flowery. Doting, but not gushing. 

Catey F.

View in Library Catalogue: Print| eBook | Downloadable Audiobook | Audiobook

By Kiera Cass

2 Stars

Image result for the elite by kiera cass

The stakes are high for America Singer in this sequel to ‘The Selection.’ With the competition narrowed down to six girls and rebel attacks on the rise, she’s running out of time to decide what she wants—and, more importantly, who she wants. Prince Maxon might have swept her off her feet, a motion as unexpected as it was romantic, but can she handle the responsibilities of being his wife? Aspen was her first love, as familiar to her as her childhood home, but do her feelings for him run as deep as they used to? America will have to make up her mind before someone else does it for her. 

*** 

I was grateful for dialogue while reading this book. When I was left alone with America’s thoughts, I had to prepare myself to be confused. These thoughts, many of them incomplete and most of them incoherent, came and went so fast I barely had time to process them. She’s always getting mad at people, then forgiving them, then getting mad at them again… I realize she herself is confused, torn between two guys she really cares about, but I felt like the whole book was one long, mushy internal debate. 

Another thing that frustrated me was how selfish America became. She holds Maxon at arm’s length, demanding he give her time to sort out her feelings, and yet she doesn’t think it’s fair when he starts getting closer to the other girls. Can she not understand that he’s tired of waiting for someone who won’t return his feelings? Someone who doesn’t appreciate all that he’s done for her? Someone who’s been sneaking off with one of his guards? 

Catey F.

View in Library Catalogue: Print| eBook | Downloadable Audiobook | Audiobook

By Kiera Cass

4 Stars

Image result for the selection by kiera cass

America Singer’s life used to be simple. She worked, she took care of her family, and she snuck out at night to spend time with Aspen, her secret boyfriend. Everything changes when she is chosen for the Selection, a competition between thirty-five girls and the chance for one of them to become the next princess of Illéa. America leaves behind her life as a Five—one of the poorer castes, but not the worst off—and enters a world of equal parts luxury and rivalry. She has no intention of marrying Prince Maxon, but the more time she spends at the palace, the more complicated her feelings become for him, Aspen, and the other girls. 

*** 

I wish I had read this book when I was just a little bit younger—I know I would have gone crazy over it! While I may not be gushing over Aspen and Prince Maxon the way I would have been in seventh grade, I didn’t find myself rolling my eyes at the cheesy parts, either. This book may have all the tropes (The Average Girl Who Everyone Falls in Love With? Check. The Mean Girl Who Always Gets Her Way? Check. The Love Triangle? Check.), but there’s a certain “feel good” quality to it that makes it easy to ignore these things. 

In fact, I think part of what makes ‘The Selection’ series so appealing is the lack of doom and gloom. I feel like some YA protagonists spend their entire books shifting between varying states of fear, anger, and despair. America, on the other hand, remains optimistic throughout. She knows how to make the most of a bad situation. 

Catey F.

View in Library Catalogue: Print| eBook | Downloadable Audiobook | Audiobook