By Kiera Cass

2 Stars

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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.

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By Kiera Cass

4 Stars

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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.

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House of Salt and Sorrows

By Erin A. Craig

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In a secluded manor, twelve sisters have become eight in this tragic story of loss, family bonds and revenge.

Annaleigh lives with her seven sisters, stepmother and father at Highmoor, a once beautiful home turned to sorrow after the loss of too many. Now, Annaleigh suffers from visions in the night, causing her suspicions to rise. Were her sister’s deaths just accidents or was someone-or something-more sinister involved.

When her sister’s start sneaking out to dance until dawn, Annaleigh worries that whatever is haunting her and possibly killing her sisters may come for them too.

Erin Craig weaves a gothic tale of foreboding, a twisting tale of love, deceit and madness. A page turner til the very end, this thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat til the very last page!

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By Stephen King

4.5 Stars

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Dread is lurking throughout Derry, the parents are too ignorant to realize it, and the kids are too scared to face it. And for every 27 years, this dread resurfaces, only to feed on the small frightened children of Derry. The last thing that these victims will ever feel is the fear of the dreadful, ashy clown, the presence of IT. However, fear turns into anger within a child after IT hurts someone close to him and anger can be a dangerous thing, even to a clown.  

Stephen King’ s  IT  is a horrifying book. Not just from the killer clowns and haunted houses, but from its grim twist on reality. What should be worried parents are just abusive, negligent monsters. The bullies in this book aren’t only just bothersome and annoying, they are borderline murderers that want everyone else to feel more than just pain. However, within this twisted outlook on reality, there are some genuinely enjoyable moments throughout the book. Whether it was biking to beat the devil or a triumph that took 27 years to achieve, these moments will keep your blood pumping even minutes after you’ve finished the chapter. Speaking of getting your blood pumping, the scary elements of the book are near perfection. Ninety percent of scares have a purpose, either to masterfully set the tone, to establish motivation, or even to foreshadow future events. Not to mention that they’ll make you want to check under the bed for monsters. So every time a door creaks or a kid is all alone in a lifeless hallway, you know you’re in for a real thrill.  

One common complaint that I hear about the book though, is that it’s way too long. To be fair, it is a little more than 1000 pages, but you don’t need to finish it in a week. This book is diverse enough to not feel repetitive, even after 1000 pages. 

Adam O.

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By Yusei Matsui 

5 Stars

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When I finished the Anime, I was low-spirited. So, I looked for a way to bring myself up again and reading the manga was my best option. It was quite boring at first, but only because I already knew the introduction. I noticed that it would only take me a minute at most to get lost in the book and that could mean, reading the manga is more preferable because you get to control the pace of the story or maybe I just love reading. I admired the pacing of the story, the story took it slow when it needed it to be, and rush the irrelevant moments.

I disliked the beginning of both the manga and anime because it’s almost like the first fifty pages were missing and you started reading in the middle of the book. Also, if this is your first time reading the manga or watching anime, be prepared for some bizarre concepts and characters because that’s what they’re filled with. A highlight of this book was the break pages. To visualize it for you, a character who played an important role in that chapter or was mysterious would be drawn on the top half of the page, and the bottom half would have point form notes about the character in question. I also liked the teaser paragraph at the end of the book so you could see what the next chapter of the book would be like. I dislike the length of the book though. It only takes me twenty minutes at most to finish one book, but that can’t be helped.  

Christian E.

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By Sarah J. Maas

5 Stars

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Being locked in an iron coffin and tortured for 11 months is not something anyone could ever wish to experience.  For Aelin Ashryver Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen, it is her reality.  With knowing what giving into Maeve would do to her friends and world, Aelin will not yield.  As her mate and friends search for her, she has to withstand the gruesome techniques by Maeve’s second in command and sadist, Carin. When Aelin is finally free, she will stop at nothing to bring Maeve and Erawan, the Valg king, crumbling to the ground like ash.  With her fiery power on a tight leash, she digs up more and more to prepare for battle.  But will Aelin have any left, or will the lock take everything she has, including her life?  

This final book in the series is an emotional roller coaster.  With the story written from the point of view of every character, you get to see how each one is fairing throughout the novel.  I can’t express in words how much I love this book!  It is the best ending to a book series I have ever read in my life!  The amount of times my emotions were all over the place is too many to count, and I am so proud of Sarah J. Maas for creating such beautiful characters to which so many people can relate.  This book was amazing!  More than amazing, it was earth-shattering, and I am so happy she shared this story with us.  For anyone who loved the series as much as I did, prepare yourself because this book is the best one yet!

Julia F.

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By Sarah J Maas

5 Stars

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When a magical wall separates humans and fae, a young girl does not expect her life to take such a drastic turn.  When 18-year-old Feyre accidentally kills a fae in wolf form, her whole world is turned upside down.  Since the hatred between humans and fae has been ongoing for many years, Feyre does not expect a fae to show up on her doorstep demanding retribution for his companion’s death. Nor does Feyre expect the fae to be Tamlin, the High Lord of the Spring Court himself.  Instead of demanding blood for blood, Tamlin decides to take Feyre back to his land where she will live out her days.  Soon her hatred toward the High Lord turns into friendship and maybe something more…  But something evil is lurking in the fae lands, and Feyre is determined to find out what it is and stop it before it destroys Tamlin’s world and her own.  

Honestly, this book is phenomenal.  I loved everything about it.  I couldn’t find a flaw in this magnificent piece of literature.  The characters were well thought out, and the book deals with anxiety and depression, and teaches readers to stand up for the ones they love even if it is hard to do at the time.  The mystery, action, romance and sarcastic remarks made me laugh, cry, and wonder what would happen next.  I suggest reading this book not only because it is a great story, but because it deals with some of the problems with society that need to be addressed. 

Julia F.

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By Victoria Aveyard

5 Stars

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When society is divided by the colour of your blood, red bloods are servants, and silver bloods rule them all. Mare Barrow is a red blood who wishes to stay out of the spotlight and help her family. But when she is called to the palace to work, Mare is found out to have magic even she did not know she possessed. In a world where only silver bloods should have such abilities, Mare becomes the center of attention to the royal family, especially to Cal, firstborn and next in line for the throne.  To keep the news of her newfound powers a secret, Mare is forced to act like a long lost silver blooded princess and becomes betrothed to the youngest prince, Maven.  But hiding the colour of your blood is harder then it seems.  As time goes by, will she be able to keep her identity a secret, or will it come crashing down on her and everyone she loves dearly?  

This is one of my favourite books.  I love it so much that I have read it more than once.  This book is incredibility well written and catches the reader’s attention within the first chapter.  It is full of action and magic and is set in a time when kings and queens rule but they possess modern-day technology.  The author did an amazing job showing that no matter who you are, what you look like, or what the colour of your blood/skin is, you can do anything you want.  Don’t let the decisions of closed-minded people refusing change stop you from doing what is right for the world.  I recommend this book to anyone who loves a strong female lead and who is looking for an adventure of a lifetime. 

Julia F.

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By Sarah J Maas

5 Stars

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In a world where magic has been taken away, Celaena Sardothien is taken from the salt mines of Endovier and brought to a castle.  Why?  She is Adarlan’s assassin, or, was.  Celaena has been a slave in the mines for a year.  She never thought she would leave that place, but something unexpected happens.  She is brought to the castle to fight in a competition that, if she wins, will not only crown her the Kings Champion, but will also earn her the freedom she deserves.  Throughout the novel, Celaena befriends the stunningly handsome Crown Prince of Adarlan, the Captain of the Guard, and a devoted princess from a faraway land.  But with evil works at play, the fight for her freedom becomes not only that but also a fight for her survival.  As her competitors start dying one by one, Celaena finds herself thrown into a path made by the gods just for her.  Now she must eliminate the evil at work before it destroys her world and everyone she cares about.  

This book is really one of a kind.  It is filled with action, magic and mystery that has you sitting on the edge of your seat, wondering what will happen next.  If you like surprises, then this book is something you would enjoy reading.  Just when you think you know what is going to happen, a plot twist pops out of nowhere and has you wondering why you didn’t see it coming.  I would rate this book as 14+ due to the use of provocative language once or twice. If you don’t mind that, then I highly recommend reading this novel. 

Julia F.

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by Cassandra Clare

5 Stars

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The book takes place in 2008 when fifteen-year-old Clary Fray has her whole world turned inside out after an interesting night at the Pandemonium Club.  Clary sees three shockingly attractive teens covered in black markings sneak into a back room and decides to follow them. There she witnesses those teens kill a young man, or so she thought. The next day, when her mother disappears, Clary is tossed into a world she never thought existed. A world filled with vampires, werewolves, fairies, demons and shadowhunters.  She learns that shadowhunters are half-human half-angel beings that keep her world safe and their world in check.  On her quest to find her mother, she receives help from the three shadowhunters she saw in the club who are wondering how a mundane person like Clary can see them.  With her newly found companions, Clary finds herself uncovering the truth of her mother’s not so bright past, and the life she would have led as a shadowhunter.  

If you are someone who likes to read novels filled with magic, action and romance, then you will definitely want to read this.  If you usually don’t read books and want to try it out, this book will definitely get you into reading.  It is not just words on a page. It’s a whole other world that you’ll want to be a part of.  I would rate this book as 14+ due to the mature language that was used a couple of times.  Overall, this book was phenomenal, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good read. 

Julia F.

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