Nesmith Library

Windham, New Hampshire

Teen Book Reviews

Our TAG members and teens in the Nesmith Library community can submit book reviews to be featured on this page. Teens can submit Book Reviews through our Teen Book Review form!

We encourage teens to join our Teen Advisory Group to help plan programs, improvements to our space, and get involved in the community, but it is not required to submit book reviews, or attend our programs for teens and young adults! Contact Teen Services Librarian Molly at to get started!

Our reviews are also featured on our Nesmith Library Goodreads account.

View our Nesmith Teen Book Reviews on:  Chelsea - Nesmith Library's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (nesmithteenbookreviews shelf)

Borrow these books to read for yourself: Search our catalog for the titles that interest you, so you can place them on hold or visit us to pick them up. If you are looking for more recommendations, try NoveList: you can search by titles, authors, genres, and more to find the perfect read for right now!


Reviewer: Yoobin (Annika) Song, 11th Grade

Book: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Genre: Contemporary Rating: 4/5 ✪✪✪

ames Lee’s character in Everything I Never Told You is affected by the stereotype of being a Chinese American living in the 70s. James was born and raised in the United States, yet he is always seen as an outsider due to his looks and race. This stereotype that he must break makes him the father, professor, and person he is in the book.

On their wedding day, James overhears Marilyn’s mother’s questioning makes his insecurity about the marriage even stronger. Especially in the 70s, when cross-racial marriage was not common, this affected James more than ever. Specifically when Marilyn’s mother brings up the fact and asks Marilyn if “you’re sure, she said, that he doesn’t just want a green card?” exemplifies the struggle of one living and loving as an Asian American in the United States in the 70s (Ng 53).

James starts to get more insecure because he knows he looks different, and his looks affect his love with the woman he is in love with. One’s love being questioned and accused of loving for a purpose shows how James is affected by being a Chinese American living in the United States in the 70s. Even when he thinks that Marilyn is his safe person and place, deep down, because of his insecurities he is never able to trust her and make a sincere connection with her. Specifically, James overhearing and knowing that Marilyn’s mother never would approve or accept the marriage makes him more prone to arguments about things even when he does not mention the insecurity, he feels about himself.

James, growing up as an outsider, having to break the stereotypes set for him, leads to his insecurities and impact on personal connections showing the hardness James has to face due to being a Chinese American living in the 70s trying to prove himself.

Reviewer: Caroline A., 8th Grade

Book: Everything Sad Is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri

Genre: Contemporary Rating: 4/5 ✪✪✪

The book “Everything Sad Is Untrue” is about a teenage boy named Daniel who lives in Oklahoma. He lives an average teenage life in Oklahoma with his sister, mother, and step-dad. Daniel tells stories and myths to his classmates, who all find him weird. All the myths he tells are from his dad, who still lives in Iran. The stories he tells are about personal experiences that he has gone through. Throughout the book Daniel’s myths start to connect to his own life, which he had back in Iran.

Overall, this book was very well written and formatted. The book has a poem format which makes is easier to read, but it doesn’t contain chapters which makes it hard to find a good stopping point. The story contained a bunch of emotions all pac(ked) [sic] into one page, and then on the next page the story felt the complete opposite. I definitely recommend this book for more mature readers, but it’s still an amazing book anybody can read.

Reviewer: Marin H., 7th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: Truly Devious  by Maureen Johnson

Genre: Mystery Rating: 5/5 ✪✪✪✪

"Set in the mysterious mountains of Vermont, Truly Devious is an intriguing and page turning book. Stevie Bell is accepted into a private school with a treacherous past and a murder mystery she is determined to crack. But, the death of a student throws her off course. She now needs to solve the mystery behind the death of her friend and dive deeper into the mystery behind her school. This story was totally amazing for the mystery fan. The characters were in depth and fun and the plot was so well though(t) [sic] out. I would 100% recommend Truly Devious."

Reviewer: Emerson C., 9th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Genre: Contemporary Rating: 4/5 ✪✪✪✪ 

"Fangirl is a book about a girl who is obsessed with the Simon Snow fantasy series.  She spends all of her time writing Simon Snow fan fiction.  She neglects to make friends or engage in activities and when she goes to college even her twin sister abandons her for cooler, college friends.  Cath, the fangirl, must adapt and exit her fandom bubble or risk losing out on the real world college experience.  Can she do it? This book features a complicated and realistic main character who is not as confident as many YA novel protagonists.  It was a well developed story with believable situations.  It was entertaining and funny."


Reviewer: Stephanie W., 10th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: The Way You Make Me Feel by Maureen Goo

Genre: Contemporary Rating: 4/5 ✪✪✪✪ 

"I really loved reading this book. When starting the book, I wasn't really sure if I was going to like the book because the main character, Clara, was not really a character that I could really relate to. She was the trouble maker and in the beginning of the book that really defined her as a character. However, after continuing to read the book, I realize that she has a lot more layers to her. With that, I love a good teen romance book that is just light hearted and fun, which was exactly what this book was. If you are looking for a fun and easy book to read on break, this would be a really good option for you."


Reviewer: Emerson C., 9th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton

Genre: Historical/Fantasy

Rating: 5/5 ✪✪✪✪ 

"My Plain Jane is a modern retelling of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. The titular Jane Eyre leaves the dreary Lowood school to become a governess at Thornfield Hall. It is there that she meets Mr. Rochester, her employer who is hiding many secrets. Jane has the rare talent of seeing ghosts, which makes an agent for the Society of the Relocation of Wayward Spirits, Alexander Blackwood, want to recruit her to the society. Charlotte, Jane's friend, is looking for a story to tell and tries to get a job with the society. I loved this book because it was outside of the box, and it was not like anything I had ever read before. I really liked how the story was told in three points of view, so I could see how different characters reacted to the events of the plot. The plot itself was funny, with lots of pop culture and literary references throughout, and was thoroughly entertaining. Once you start reading My Plain Jane, you will not want to put it down. This book is perfect for those who loved Jane Eyre, but you do not have to have read Jane Eyre to understand the plot."


Reviewer: Isabelle D., 9th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Genre: Fantasy Rating: 4/5 ✪✪✪✪ 

"This book is quit well written, Gaiman retells many famous norse mythos from the creation myths to Ragnarok and everything in between. The stories are easy to understand they are also very engaging to the reader. I would defiantly[sic] recommend this book to any people who are interested in mythology or are looking quick read."

Reviewer: Isabelle D., 9th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: Let's Call It a Doomsday by Katie Henry

Genre: Contemporary Rating: 5/5 ✪✪✪✪

"This book is very well written and very engaging. It brings you through the life of the main character as she tries to discover the truth of the world ending and how her thought on it ending goes against what her family and friends think of it. It's a one-off book that I would defiantly[sic] recommend to anyone that enjoys 'a slice of life' books or anyone looking for just a quick engaging book."

Reviewer: Katharine G., 11th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Genre: Historical Rating: 4/5 ✪✪✪✪

"The Underground Railroad is a fictional novel about a slave girl, Cora, who runs away from her plantation and heads north on the 'Underground Railroad', depicted in this book very literally as cart paths through underground tunnels. She experiences the culture in many different states and experiences the common hardships and terrors of runaway slaves such as hiding in attics for months and the constant fear of being recaptured. I enjoyed reading this book and learned a lot of history through the more fun, easy to read novel format. Whitehead uses a detached and blunt tone, so it is not as exciting to read as other stories. I would recommend it to anyone interested in slave life and the underground railroad."

Reviewer: Emerson C., 9th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston

Genre: Romance Rating: 4/5 ✪✪✪✪

"10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston is a heartwarming tale about the importance of friends and family. When Sophie's boyfriend breaks up with her just before Christmas, she is blindsided. She flees to her grandparents' house where her enormous family each selects a guy for her to go on a blind date with over the next ten days. While some dates are fun and some are not, Sophie learns more about herself and her family than she ever could have imagined. I enjoyed this teen romance novel because it was a light and easy read, and I love Holiday novels. The book is lighthearted and funny, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for something good to read over their holiday break."

 Reviewer: Emerson C., 9th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: We Speak in Storms by Natalie Lund

Genre: Magical Realism Rating: 4/5 ✪✪✪✪

"This Profound story is about living and letting go, and how the living and the dead each have their own stories, though they often intertwine. I really enjoyed this book because it had many complex and philosophical themes. The characters were very well developed, and clearly evolved throughout the story. I would recommend this to anyone who would love a good ghost story!"

To Kill a MockingbirdReviewer: Rebecca S., 9th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Genre: Classic/Historical Rating: 4/5 ✪✪✪✪

"The novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, is an outstanding book that tells the story of racism, sexism, and teaches about the danger of making assumptions in 1930s Alabama through the perspective of an adult named Scout who is reflecting on her childhood. I found the storyline entertaining and I thought that the detailed words Lee chose to use allowed me to picture the story. I felt as though I was Scout and was experiencing everything she was. Additionally, the personality of each character is well developed through much dialogue, which helps create a deeper understanding of the conflict. Although Lee's word choice and character development were impeccable, the exposition was too long and could possibly turn off readers before they get to the main themes of the book. Overall, this is a clever novel which teaches many lessons still relevant to today."

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse AndersonReviewer: Olivia C., 8th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Genre: Contemporary Rating: 5/5 ✪✪✪✪

"Wintergirls is an emotionally moving novel centered on a girl's struggle towards recovery. It first introduces us to Lia Overbrook and Cassandra Parrish who spent their middle and high school years leaning on each other while suffering from anorexia. They had an unspoken oath to clean up the other’s messes and to fall down together. But in the senior year of high school, after Cassie abruptly broke off their relationship, Lia received thirty-three phone calls from her. Lia chose to ignore them, not realizing the cost and the guilt she would be left with. From that night on, Lia was alone in her fight. So, she continued to cut herself deeper, pushed herself harder to lose weight, and struggled to break free of her anorexia. I would definitely recommend this book for eighth-graders to high schoolers since it's about starving oneself, which is a sensitive subject. I love the book's deliberate format because it truly adds to the flow of the book and impacted my thoughts. In my opinion, Wintergirls is one of Laurie Halse Anderson's finest works, and it's definitely on my top ten books' list."

Who Killed Christopher Goodman? by Allan WolfReviewer: Olivia C., 8th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: Who Killed Christopher Goodman? by Allan Wolf

Genre: Mystery Rating: 5/5 ✪✪✪✪

"Who Killed Christopher Goodman?, by Allan Wolf, tells of the events preceding a seventeen-year-old’s death and its rippling effects on the people around him. The numerous coincidental events that lead up to his death take place during Deadwood Days, the quiet town’s summer festival held every year. I especially liked how each of the six main characters has their own voice since it allowed me to witness the night and the guilt shared between them from different views. I think anyone can connect with the characters' sense of remorse in one way or another. Although it was a quick read with a simple format, it made me reflect on my past choices and how I could have unintentionally affected someone. So, I would definitely recommend it for anyone who wants an amazing story with a deep and meaningful message."

Reviewer: Stephanie W., 10th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: American Panda by Gloria Chao

Genre: Contemporary Rating: 5/5 ✪✪✪✪

"I really liked reading this book. It might be because I have an asian heritage, but I loved all the asian culture that this book exposes. This book was just really fun to read. American Panda follows a girl who struggles through self-identification as she navigates her first year at MIT. I went through so many emotions while reading this book. You can really feel the confused and hurt emotions that the main character feels while she tries to make sense of who she is and how she identifies with her culture and simultaneously can't help but laugh some of what her family says to her."

Reviewer: Emerson C., 9th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: I Know You Remember by Jennifer Donaldson

Genre: Mystery Rating: 5/5 ✪✪✪✪

"After her Mother's sudden death, Ruth moves back to her hometown of Anchorage Alaska, to live with her father and stepmother. When she arrives, she learns that her best friend has gone missing. She does everything in her power to find her, and it gets her into some serious trouble. This book deals with the theme of when you think you know someone, in reality you don't know them at all. I would consider this to be one of the best mystery/thrillers I have read in a long time. I loved how the author used the Alaskan setting to create an ominous mood for the story. The characters are well developed, and their relationship dynamics make the story much more interesting. I went into this book thinking I knew what would happen, but I was totally surprised. This book is perfect for fans of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart."

Reviewer: Stephanie W., 10th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: Death Prefers Blondes by Caleb Roehrig

Genre: Mystery Rating: 4/5 ✪✪✪✪

"This book really surprised me. I wasn't really sure what I was getting myself into when I picked up this book, but as the book went on, I realized what an action packed, page turner this book is. There are so many twists and turns in this book that kept wanting to know what happens next. It is a story about thieving drag queens, so it is maybe not for everyone, especially those looking for a light realistic fiction sort of read. However, if you really need a book to get your brain going and guessing, this book would be a really good choice."

Reviewer: Meghan L., 9th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: The Toll by Neal Shusterman

Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopia Rating: 5/5 ✪✪✪✪

"The Toll by Neal Shusterman is the third installment of the Arc of a Scythe series. Fast-paced and beautifully written, this book is truly a treat for fans of the series. The Toll brings readers back into the familiar world of the Scythedom and offers a thrilling and yet satisfying finale to the series."

Reviewer: Marin H., 7th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzi Lee

Genre: Fantasy Rating: 4/5 ✪✪✪✪

"This was an amazing book. Loki: Where Mischief Lies is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe before the movie Thor. After trouble with a childhood friend and a diplomatic mission with his brother, Loki is expelled to nineteenth century London to work with the SHARP Society. These people changed his life. They taught him many important lessons. These characters developed well and the plot was amazing. At some points, you can feel the characters' emotions. I guarantee this book will blow away any mystery, Marvel, or Norse Mythology fan."

Sia Martinez on GoodreadsReviewer: Stephanie W., 10th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything by Raquel Vasques Gilliland **ARC from Simon & Schuster**

Genre: Science Fiction Rating: 5/5 ✪✪✪✪

"As the book's title might imply, this book is a piece of art and filled with all you could think imaginable. It was beautifully written to give everyone a piece to love. Gilliland does an amazing job putting together teen romance, immigration, culture, spirits, and of course aliens. From the outside, the book might seem to be taking on way to much, but after reading, I can tell you all the layers make the story that much richer and better that it rarely feels forced. The book centers around Sia Martinez, a teenage girl who is still battling the lost of her mother to deportation and a disastrous attempt to return. Of course, Sia meets another teen who she finds herself falling for and helps her through all the crazy events that happen in this book(but I'll let you read about that on your own). Another thing to note, is Sia's incredible relationship with her grandmother who has passed. The spirits, like Sia's grandmother, haunt the story in the best possible way. I really think that it might be best not knowing what to expect when going into reading this novel. It will take you by surprise, but I promise it will warm you right up and make you feel like you are this much closer to understanding the world. "

Reviewer: Rebecca S., 9th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: Again, but Better by Christine Riccio

Genre: Contemporary Rating: 5/5 ✪✪✪✪

"Again, but Better is a story about Shane, a college student who feels the need for change and adventure. To find this, she signs up for a semester abroad in London where she attempts to make friends, visit other countries, find romance, and pursue her passion: writing. This book is packed with exciting opportunities and experiences. Because of the relatable writing style and detailed accounts of Shane’s life, you are submerged into the story as if you were one of the characters yourself. While the book takes a long time to expose all of the plot in the beginning, this is made up for very well in the gripping second half. Overall, Christine Riccio’s Again, but Better is an amazing story of self-confidence and self-discovery that is well worth the read!"

Reviewer: Rebecca S., 9th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Genre: Contemporary Rating: 4/5 ✪✪✪✪

"The Sun Is Also a Star is a romantic tale about Natasha, a Jamaican teenager who is about to have her life as she knows it turned upside down, and Daniel, a Korean teenager who doesn’t know what he wants to be, but definitely not a doctor like his parents want him to be. Their lives intertwine after a coincidental meeting on the streets of New York. Daniel would call it fate, but Natasha is scientific and fate is not scientific. Nicola Yoon writes from the perspective of both Natasha and Daniel, as well as including the backstory and future of other characters, which keeps you engaged in both the lovers’ feelings and allows you to become attached to those who would normally be of secondary importance or only in the background. While her description of events, places, and people is a tremendous strength of the book, I found the ending disappointing with a severe lack of explanation. There was a lot left to the imagination, which, personally, was upsetting. As a whole, I liked the descriptiveness and perspective used, but was let down by the ending."

Reviewer: Emerson C., 9th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen

Genre: Historical Rating: 5/5 ✪✪✪✪

"I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance by Jennieke Cohen. I had to wait a while to check it out, and it lived up to my expectations. The Story follows Lady Victoria Aston, a Jane Austen fangirl in 1817. She looks to her books for guidance in her own life, to varying degrees of success. When her sister is in danger, Victoria must marry to save her family's estate. This story had it all, romance, drama, and action. Even though the story takes place in 1817, it maintains a modern feel. The main character is funny and entertaining and the story from her point of view is fantastic."

Reviewer: Emerson C., 9th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: The Clocks: Hercule Poirot #37  by Agatha Christie

Genre: Mystery Rating: 4/5 ✪✪✪✪

"I recently read The Clocks By Agatha Christie, which is towards the end of the Poirot series. The action begins when a young secretary is sent to a mysterious house on assignment. It is there that she discovers the body of an unknown man in a room full of unfamiliar clocks that the owner knows nothing about. The reason why I gave this book a four out of five is because there are some parts in the middle that are a bit boring, but other than that I enjoyed it. One of my favorite things about this book and the mystery genre in general is that tiny details that may seem insignificant, are actually very valuable to the solution of the mystery."


 Reviewer: Rebecca S., 10th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick

Genre: Nonfiction Rating: 3/5 ✪✪✪

"Nathaniel Philbrick’s Bunker Hill is a nonfiction history book that tells the story of not only the Battle of Bunker Hill, but also the events leading up to and after this important battle. Philbrick’s use of quotes from primary sources within his text enrich the messages he is trying to teach you and allow you to feel part of history. However, he frequently jumps from different timelines and goes on tangents that last multiple pages. This can be confusing and cause you to forget the material discussed just before the tangent began, preventing prolonged engagement. Overall, Bunker Hill reminded me of a fact-heavy textbook covering a small timespan."

Reviewer: Rebecca S., 10th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Genre: Romance/Contemporary Rating: 4/5 ✪✪✪✪

"Jenny Han’s, Always and Forever, Lara Jean, is the third and final book in the to the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before series that tells about young Lara Jean’s quirky love story. In this novel, Lara Jean prepares to finish off her Senior year of High School with many fun activities, including her dad’s wedding to their neighbor, Ms. Rothschild. However, her perfectly planned Senior year goes off the rails when she receives upsetting news that forces her to make a choice between love and logic. To complement this dramatic storyline, Han clearly, and yet creatively, states Lara Jean’s feelings during intense moments in the book. She also allows vivid scenes to be created within the minds of her readers through the continuous use of imagery. Despite Han’s excellent writing style, I didn’t agree with the ending to the novel, but if you enjoy romance, I would definitely recommend Always and Forever, Lara Jean."

 Reviewer: Olivia C., 9th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Genre: Classic/Contemporary Rating: 5/5 ✪✪✪✪

"In this masterpiece, Hinton beautifully shows the story of a fourteen-year-old, Ponyboy, living in the 1960s. Ponyboy is a "greaser" (a person living on the East Side) and lives with his two older brothers, Danny and Sodapop. Ponyboy's life is filled with the Oklahoman town's rivalry between the "greasers" and the "socials", their regular fights, and his diverse friend group. But he remains uninvolved in the drama until something shocking occurs, creating a domino effect of events. It is easy to become emotionally attached to Ponyboy and all of the characters—Hinton paints them in such a way to stir empathy and grief. With every tragedy, I became more invested in the plot. The ending made me want to re-read The Outsiders because it is truly the best novel I have read."

 Reviewer: Olivia C., 9th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Genre: Classic/Dystopia Rating: 4/5 ✪✪✪✪

"Never Let Me Go focuses on a woman, Kathy, and her childhood at an English private school. As she recounts her seemingly-normal experiences, the plot thickens. After her and her friends leave the school, they realize their lives’ true purpose. However, it is revealed subtly and cautiously to the reader, which makes this such a gripping book. Ishiguro’s poignant writing never once lost my attention; there are so many layers to the characters, events, and theme, and readers are left wondering about ethics, mortality, and friendship. I highly recommend every high schooler to read this novel!"

 Reviewer: Olivia C., 9th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: The Devotion of Suspect X (Detective Galileo series) by Keigo Higashino

Genre: Mystery Rating: 5/5 ✪✪✪✪

"I have yet to read a more suspense-filled and unique mystery novel!The Devotion of Suspect X follows Yasuko Hanaoka, her daughter, and their next-door neighbor (Ishigami). One day, Yasuko’s ex-husband appears at her house and their fight escalates to Yasuko killing him. With evidence piled up on her, Ishigami unexpectedly rushes in to offer help. He promises to throw the police off of their trail by an elaborate plan. Meanwhile, a detective and chemistry professor hunt for the killer. All of these characters’ lives intertwine as each side tries to outsmart the other. Higashino, an acclaimed Japanese author, explores the question—to what great lengths will someone go to show their devotion?"

 Reviewer: Olivia C., 9th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Genre: Contemporary Rating: 3/5 ✪✪✪

"Ng opens with a bang in this novel—the Richardson’s house is burned down, and the prime suspect is the youngest daughter, Izzy. But she has fled the scene along with Mia and Pearl, a mother-daughter duo who traveled through the country before settling into Shaker Heights (just a year before the incident). Readers are taken back in time, much like Ng’s first novel, to find the culprit in this quiet, Ohio town. The complex plot becomes unpredictable and fast, but some parts are confusing. Also, I feel that some scenes were unnecessary. As a whole, though, Little Fires Everywhere raises significant questions about conflict, love, and justice."

 Reviewer: Olivia C., 9th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie

Genre: Mystery Rating: 3/5 ✪✪✪

"Caroline Crale was sentenced for poisoning her artist husband, Amayas. Everyone believed it was an open-and-shut case, but now, sixteen years later, her grown daughter has asked Hercule Poirot to investigate. She believes that her mother was innocent, and Poirot delves into the case. Five people closest to Amayas (who were at the Crale’s residence during the crime) recount their perspective to the detective. Readers can start to see the full picture, and I even formed my own hypothesis about the murderer’s identity. I was slightly disappointed when the pace dwindled in the middle section. But Christie revives the plot in the final scene, where Poirot meticulously pieces apart each narrative and spews forth the truth, leaving readers with a shocking conclusion."

 Reviewer: Olivia C., 9th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Genre: Classic Rating: 4/5 ✪✪✪

"Santiago, a Cuban fisherman, has gone eighty-four days without a single catch. The townspeople are convinced he has bad luck and his young apprentice, Manolin, is forced by his parents to abandon the old man. But on the eighty-fifth day, Santiago sails further than he had ever towards Florida’s coast. He eventually baits a humongous fish, and the struggle between man and nature begins. The plot is fairly straightforward, but powerful lessons are revealed along the way. In just over 170 pages, Hemingway evokes a sense of longing for simpler times. I will definitely be exploring his other works!"

Reviewer: Emerson C., 10th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery Rating: 5/5 ✪✪✪

"This is a historical fiction YA mystery. It takes you on an adventure with an aristocratic girl detective using new methods of forensic science to track down Jack the Ripper. This book has many moments of suspense, entertaining dialogue, and a fast-paced writing style that did not allow the story to drag and become boring. I couldn't put it down, and I can't wait to read the next book in this series!"

 Reviewer: Emerson C., 10th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Genre: Classic Rating: 5/5 ✪✪✪

"Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is a classic for a reason. It certainly lives up to the hype! The characters were very entertaining, and their actions made for some funny scenarios. At its heart though, this is a love story. The banter between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet was engaging, and the lesson learned of not judging someone based on a first impression is a lesson that is still valuable today. The historical setting was descriptive and allowed the reader to really imagine a different time period. Overall, I enjoyed reading this story, and I feel it rightfully earned its place among the best books of all time."

 Reviewer: Emerson C., 10th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Genre: Classic/Horror Rating: 4/5 ✪✪✪

"The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson follows four people with distinct personalities as they spend the summer in a haunted house trying to track paranormal activity.  They soon discover the house is much more sinister than they expected.  Strange occurrences happen at night and turn the housemates against each other.  I enjoyed this book, and I was interested in the author's exploration of human nature underlying the events of the novel.  However, I found there were points in the novel where not much happened, and as a result, it took me a long time to read it."

 Reviewer: Emerson C., 10th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Genre: Horror/Historical Rating: 5/5 ✪✪✪

"This book was unlike anything that I have ever read before.  I really enjoyed this unique storyline about a woman who receives a cryptic letter from her cousin and must rescue her from seemingly supernatural forces.  I really related to the personality of the main character, a young, confident socialite in 1950's Mexico.  Her desire to find out more about the mystery of her surroundings mirrored that of me, the reader.  The suspense was impeccable.  I was on the edge of my seat, eager to see what would happen next.  I could never guess where this story was going.  The vivid descriptions and tone really enriched this story.  I would highly recommend this book."

 Reviewer: Emerson C., 10th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Genre: Mystery Rating: 5/5 ✪✪✪

"This story set in a manor house in a remote area of Scotland about a nanny who is charged with the death of a child in her care was suspenseful and fast paced. The mystery was unique in that the focus of the story is more on why the murder happened and it concentrates on the events leading up to the murder as opposed to the murder actually being solved. I didn't want to stop reading this book. I enjoyed trying to piece together a theory of what had taken place. I would definitely recommend this book to readers who enjoy psychological thrillers as this book was a fun, mystery puzzle to solve."

 Reviewer: Emerson C., 10th Grade ✪TAG Member

Book: American Royals by Katherine McGee

Genre: Romance Rating: 5/5 ✪✪✪

"American Royals imagines a world where George Washington has agreed to become king and his descendants become America's royal family. This story follows, Beatrice, the royal princess who is overwhelmed with all her duties preparing to be queen.  There are many romantic entanglements and stories told from the viewpoints of several characters in this book. This made for an interesting read as was it was intriguing to delve into the characters' differing views of the same events of the story.  The differing plots filled with romance and humor did not disappoint. I enjoyed this book, and I am excited to read the next book in the series."

  Reviewer: Sylvia S., 9th Grade

Book: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Fantasy Rating: 5/5 ✪✪✪

"Set in Leigh Bardugo's Grishaverse, Six of Crows starts in the lively streets of Ketterdam, 'where anything can be had for the right price.' Kaz Brekker, a criminal prodigy, is offered a chance of a lifetime to become wealthy beyond his wildest dreams at the cost of pulling off a deadly heist. However, in order to accomplish this feat, he can't do it alone. He enrolls the help of six others, who are wiling to bite the dust in return of making a fortune: a Heartrender whose used her magic to endure the slums, a spy known as the Wraith, a crook with knack for implausible escapes, a marksman who can't part from a gamble, a thief longing for revenge, and a kid running away from a privileged past. If they don't rip each other apart first, Kaz and his crew may be the only thing that hinders world destruction."

 Reviewer: Sylvia S., 9th Grade

Book: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Fantasy Rating: 4/5 ✪✪✪

"Set in Leigh Bardugo's hit fantasy world, the Grishaverse, the Shadow Fold has split the once-mighty nation of Ravka into two, leaving it defenseless and weak against surrounding enemy territories. The ever-so frightening Shadow Fold is a strip of land that is engulfed in nearly untraversable darkness, swarmed with monsters that seek human flesh. But when Alina Starkov's regiment is attacked during their trip on the Fold and her best friend is severely injured, Alina unleashes an idle power that saves his life and holds the key to setting her war-torn country free. Upon this discovery, she is torn from everything she knows of and taken to the royal court to be educated as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite of Ravka led by the mysterious Darkling. Shadow and Bone is truly the book for anyone who is a die-hard fantasy geek; it's impossible to put down. The plot is somewhat generic as you read about a weak heroine and her journey through the dark and undiscovered secrets. However, I most definitely recommend Shadow and Bone to anyone who is willing to finish the first book for intense character development and sharp corners in the next two books in the trilogy."

Reviewer: Isabelle D., 11th Grade

Book: Not Our Summer by Casie Bazay

Genre: Contemporary Rating: 4/5 ✪✪✪

"This book is a really fun read. With an enemies to family plot and many twists this book is honestly a great summer read. The two main characters are lovable and the author does an amazing job at showing two sides of the story of a families messy history. If you enjoy enemies to family books or you simply want to pick up an amazing summer read, this book is definitely for you."

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