A Thousand Splendid Suns

Khaled Hosseini

In Khaled Hosseini’s, A Thousand Splendid Suns, the novel focuses on the relationship between mothers and daughters, and friendships between women. The novel attempts to show the difficult lifestyle women experience in war-torn Afghanistan. Mariam and Laila both come from different walks of life, where they each have different experiences of living in Afghanistan. Mariam lives her entire life as an illegitimate child and is consistently ridiculed for her status in society. In comparison to Laila, who grows up with a loving family and is well-educated. These two individuals navigate their way through Afghanistan and must make difficult choices in hopes of surviving in a barren country.

Khaled Hosseini amazingly portrays the struggles women face in Afghanistan, as the emotions are raw. His utilitarian prose enables him to create characters who have the primary-coloured and simplicity emotions of people in a fairy-tale. A Thousand Splendid Suns is definitely a recommended read if you are interested in women becoming independent and developing relationships with one another. This empowering book provides great insight into the struggles of women living in third-world countries. Mariam and Laila both convey strong messages that women can easily relate to, so the reader will be intrigued. This novel may contain some mature scenes or content, so reader discretion is advised. -Iffat A.

View in Library Catalogue: PrinteBook

The Caged Queen

Kristen Ciccarelli

Once there were two sisters born with a bond so strong that it forged them together forever. When they were angry, mirrors shattered, and when they were happy, flowers bloomed. It was a magic they cherished—until the day a terrible accident took Essie’s life and trapped her soul in this world.

Dax—the heir to Firgaard’s throne—was responsible for the accident. Roa swore to hate him forever. But eight years later he returned, begging for her help. He was determined to dethrone his cruel father, under whose oppressive reign Roa’s people had suffered. Roa made him a deal: she’d give him the army he needed if he made her queen.

Together with Dax and his sister, Asha, Roa and her people waged war and deposed a tyrant. But now Asha is on the run, hiding from the price on her head. And Roa is an outlander queen, far from home and married to her enemy. Worst of all: Dax’s promises go unfulfilled. Roa’s people continue to suffer.

Then a chance to right every wrong arises—an opportunity for Roa to rid herself of this enemy king and rescue her beloved sister. During the Reliquishing, when the spirits of the dead are said to return, Roa can reclaim her sister for good.

All she has to do is kill the king.

View in Library Catalogue: PrinteBook

Warcross

Marie Lu

Emika Chen lives in a futuristic world where almost everyone, young or old, is obsessed with one game, Warcoss. To most people, Warcoss is more than just a game, it’s a way to escape their problems and be submerged into a virtual world to forget about everything. Some even spend more time playing Warcoss than doing other things. However, Emika does not play Warcoss; instead, as a bounty hunter, she uses Warcoss to track players who bet on the game illegally in exchange for money.

When the international Warcoss games begin Emika accidentally glitches herself inside while trying to earn a bit of extra money. This catches the attention of Warcoss creator Hideo Tanka and he flies her in to Tokyo for a job proposal. He wants to hire her to participate in the games as an undercover bounty hunter, in order to catch a mysterious figure that has been causing trouble in Warcoss. Along the way, Emika meets people who try to help her and befriend her and others that work to slow her down.

I really enjoyed this book because despite being science fiction the writing style and characters were really realistic in the way they were described and their personalities. The book is filled with many surprises and unexpected twists and turns, just when you think things will go a certain way something unanticipated happens. After reading this book, I would definitely recommend it to other people, not only teens because I believe it would appeal to others too. -Yara M.

View in Library Catalogue: Print l eBook

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

Mackenzi Lee

A year after an accidentally whirlwind grand tour with her brother Monty, Felicity Montague has returned to England with two goals in mind—avoid the marriage proposal of a lovestruck suitor from Edinburgh and enroll in medical school. However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrators, who see men as the sole guardians of science.

But then a window of opportunity opens—a doctor she idolizes is marrying an old friend of hers in Germany. Felicity believes if she could meet this man he could change her future, but she has no money of her own to make the trip. Luckily, a mysterious young woman is willing to pay Felicity’s way, so long as she’s allowed to travel with Felicity disguised as her maid.

In spite of her suspicions, Felicity agrees, but once the girl’s true motives are revealed, Felicity becomes part of a perilous quest that leads them from the German countryside to the promenades of Zurich to secrets lurking beneath the Atlantic.

View in Library Catalogue:  Print l eBook

Wonder

R.J. Palacio

August or ‘Auggie’ Pullman has been homeschooled up until fifth grade, because of complicated health issues and his facial deformity. When Auggie turns ten, his parents think it’s best if he goes to middle school for the first time, since his mother is not able to teach him enough and they think he’s ready to learn more about the world and face life. As Auggie enters the daunting school ‘Beecher Prep’ for the first time, he faces the ups and downs of the first day of school, Halloween, bullying, interesting friends, struggles within his family, a three day school trip, and one graduation ceremony. Auggie has high hopes of blending in, but he realizes that it’s not so easy to blend in when you’re a wonder!

This book is a definite page turner, you will want to chant Auggie’s name and be by his side at all times. You will easily learn to love Auggie Pullman as he discovers more about life and who people truly are not just for the outer person but the person on the inside. This book teaches that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover rather see what’s inside. It shows that there is always light at the end of a dark tunnel, to never change yourself for anybody and it even questions you to think how you would treat the beloved Auggie Pullman. The book is written nicely and includes humour and makes you want to choose kindness. I would recommend this book to readers grade 5 and up. -Sakura T.

View in Library Catalogue: PrinteBook

Stars

Eric Walters

Joseph had never known that the sky could be so big, but somehow out in the wilderness everything was clearer. Maybe he had just been too busy stealing and running and hiding from the cops to look up. Or maybe being stuck with a stupid bunch of losers and social workers was beginning to get to him. Whatever it was, the sky was huge, and filled with stars. And the stars were what Joseph liked best.

View in Library Catalogue: Print

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Robert Louis Stevenson

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a gothic novella filled with mysteries and constant action. In this novella, there are two main characters that have completely different morals and personalities, that causes society to question their relationship. Mr. Hyde is characterized as an individual that society fears due to his appearance and his wicked crimes. Whereas, Dr. Jekyll is portrayed as a kind-hearted man, who is well respected within society. The relationship between these two individuals becomes a mystery to those living in Soho, London, as they are nothing alike and share no common character traits. Mr. Utterson who is a lawyer and a good friend of Dr. Jekyll becomes intrigued by the relationship between these two individuals when going through Jekyll’s will. Mr. Utterson begins to question why Dr. Jekyll would give everything he has to Mr. Hyde if he were to die or to go missing, which causes him to decide to play the role of a detective. Mr. Utterson’s goal is to figure out who exactly is Mr. Hyde and why is he so closely related to Dr. Jekyll. Throughout Mr. Utterson’s journey, he learns a lot of mysterious information about Mr. Hyde and experiences situations that cause him to believe that he found out the truth about Mr. Hyde. Personally, I really enjoyed reading this novella, as it was very mysterious and caused me to become very intrigued with the story. Overall, it was a great book with a good amount of interesting details and contained a great storyline. As a result, I would recommend this novella to anyone who enjoys a good mystery story.  -Jeffery K.

View in Library Catalogue: Print l eBook

Christmas at Saddle Creek

Shelley Peterson

Bird is dumped at Saddle Creek Farm with her Aunt Hannah while her mother Eva parties for Christmas. At midnight on Christmas Eve, in the midst of an ice storm, Cody (the loyal coyote) alerts Bird that elderly Laura Pierson is in danger down the road. Sundancer, Cody, and Bird head out to save her. The family’s plans change due to the storm, but everyone finally gathers for Christmas dinner. While the after-dinner bonfire burns, Bird learns the meaning of Christmas.

View in Library Catalogue: Print

How to Disappear

Sharon Huss Roat

Vicky Decker has been struggling with social anxiety for almost all her life. The only person she dares to speak to at school is her best friend, Jenna. Until one day, Jenna moves way.

Because of Jenna moving away, Vicky has no one to talk to, and her anxiety only gets worse. When Vicky realizes that Jenna has easily adjusted to her new lifestyle and made many new friends, Vicky instantly becomes very jealous and a much lonelier.

In hopes of trying to impress Jenna, and showing her that she doesn’t need her, Vicky photoshops pictures of herself at concerts and parties and, sends them to Jenna. Realising how fun this is, Vicky makes an account on Instagram under the name of “Vicurious” (because of how she lives vicariously). Using hashtags like #alone, #broken, #invisible, Vicky gains a massive following.

Now Vicky is more at ease in communicating but is also getting carried away with her new life. Since no one knows she is “Vicurious”, she cannot speak to anyone about it, which makes her feel lonelier and lonelier.

However, on her account, she tells everyone that is depressed or has anxiety that they can talk to her. She is very kind to all her fans and everyone who has a doubt that they aren’t good enough. This makes her instantly viral. Everyone, including big celebrities, is very impressed by Vicky’s kindness and how socially involved she is, and how she is using her platform for a good cause.

Instead of this making her feel good, she feels like a liar. On her account, she gives advice on how to feel good about yourself and how to be less introverted, but how can she give tips on something she is very bad at? Will Vicky stay a lie, and keep being more and more alone, or will she step up and try to change herself?

This touching, funny, and relatable novel will surely be heartwarming to a lot of teenagers everywhere. -Khadeeja F.

View in Library Catalogue: Print l eBook

The Afterlife of Holly Chase

Cynthia Hand

On Christmas Eve five years ago, Holly was visited by three ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she’d become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways.

She didn’t.

And then she died.

Now she’s stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge–as the latest Ghost of Christmas Past.

Every year, they save another miserly grouch. Every year, Holly stays frozen at seventeen while her family and friends go on living without her. So far, Holly’s afterlife has been miserable.

But this year, everything is about to change. . . .

View in Library Catalogue: Print l eBook