Today’s Hours: The library is open today from 9:00 am to 8:00 pmView all Hours

Teen Patron Reviews

The views and opinions expressed are those of the reviewer and do not necessarily represent the views of the library.

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

“A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder” by Holly Jackson was published in 2019 and is a mystery novel that follows the story of Pippa Fitz-Amobi, a high school senior, as she embarks on a school project that turns into an actual investigation. Her project centers around the closed case of Andie Bell, a high school student who was allegedly murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, five years earlier. The case was closed after Sal was found dead, presumed to have committed suicide out of guilt. Pippa is not convinced by the official narrative and decides to dig deeper into the case. Pippa uncovers a series of secrets and lies that suggest the true story is far more complex than it appears. She encounters danger several times through her investigation, risking her safety to reveal the truth about what really happened to Andie Bell. I would give this novel a 4.5 out of 5 stars as the plot continuously kept me on my feet, each page turn resulted in another suspenseful plot twist. The book is very well written down to each and every intricate detail. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of mystery novels. –Amrutha D.

Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

“Good Girl, Bad Blood” by Holly Jackson was published in 2020 and is the sequel to “A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder.” In this follow-up, Pippa Fitz-Amobi, who previously solved the mystery of Andie Bell and Sal Singh, has sworn off investigating. She is now focusing on producing a true-crime podcast based on her previous case, which has garnered considerable attention. However, Pippa is drawn back into the world of investigation when Jamie Reynolds, a friend of her brother, goes missing. Jamie’s disappearance is dismissed by the police, who believe he ran away voluntarily, but his brother Connor is convinced otherwise and seeks Pippa’s help. Pippa reluctantly agrees to take on the case. As Pippa and her friends dig deeper, they unravel a web of secrets and lies that suggest Jamie’s disappearance might be connected to something far more sinister. I would give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars. The mystery itself is intricately crafted, with enough plot twists to keep readers guessing. The stakes feel even higher than before with a quick paced plot and an unexpected story spiraling out of control. -Amrutha D.

As Good As Dead by Holly Jackson

“As Good As Dead” by Holly Jackson was published in 2021 and is the thrilling conclusion to the “A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder” trilogy. The story follows Pippa Fitz-Amobi as she faces the aftermath of her previous investigations. Pippa is preparing to leave for college, but her life is far from normal. She is haunted with paranoia, receiving threatening messages from an unknown stalker. Pippa’s new investigation begins when she connects her stalker to a series of disappearances and murders that share a chilling pattern. She uncovers shocking connections that hint at a conspiracy involving people she once trusted. The stakes are higher than ever, and Pippa must confront her darkest fears. As Pippa races against time, she finds herself in greater danger than she ever imagined. The lines between good and evil blur, and Pippa must navigate through deceit and betrayal to survive and protect those she loves. I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars because the plot continues to stay engaging and the ending is one that stays engraved in the reader’s head.Pippa’s resilience and determination are inspiring, and her moral dilemmas add layers of complexity to her character, one of the driving forces, to a chaotic story. -Amrutha D.
Five Survive by Holly Jackson

“Five Survive” by Holly Jackson was published in 2024 and is a tense thriller that revolves around a group of friends on a road trip that turns into a nightmare. The story follows six friends: Red, Simon, Oliver, Maddy, Arthur, and Reyna, who are traveling together in an RV. Their journey takes a dark turn when they find themselves lost in a remote area with no phone signal and a broken-down vehicle. As night falls, the friends realize they are not alone. A mysterious sniper begins targeting them, turning their trip into a deadly game of survival. The group must work together to outsmart the sniper and find a way to escape. Tensions rise as secrets are revealed, and the friends must confront their pasts and each other to survive the night. The story unfolds in real-time, heightening the suspense. With each passing hour, the stakes become higher. I would give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars because it is a thrilling and suspenseful book keeping you on the edge of your seat with unexpected plot twists that will leave you shocked. -Amrutha D.

Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

The novel Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi is the third novel in the Shatter Me series. Published in 2014, this book starts with Juliette back with Warner where they share what happened and their history. They sort out their differences and he tells her about his past as well coming out with the revelation of what had happened to their friends and home. This novel explores more on Juliette’s struggle to become the best version of herself while harnessing her powers and keeping her friends and personal relationships by her side. The fight for freedom has become all the more dire and Juliette finds her way across her dangerous world and makes decisions that question her head and her heart. The character development of Juliette through this third novel explores how she deals with danger, betrayal, and the uncertainty that hangs her life in the balance. With the help of her rebel friends and the new-found companion she has found in Warner, Juliette evolves in ways that she never thought she could. I give this book a 4.7 out of 5 stars because it shows how Juliette grapples with her identity and the extent of her powers introducing her to new sides she didn’t know she had.  – Mahek S.

Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

The novel Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi is the fourth novel in the Shatter Me series. Published in 2018, this book begins with Juliette now in charge of Sector 45 with her newfound victory over the last supreme commander. She has her friends and Warner by her side, what could go wrong? She quickly realizes that she is still the underconfident and inexperienced teen who had lived in an asylum just some time ago, not a person ready to lead an entire country. Her self-doubt and newly discovered truths can destroy her when tragedy finally hits. This novel is told from the point of view of both Juliette and Warner with the aftermath of the revolution now a responsibility in Juliette’s hands. This book involves less action than the previous books have but presents readers with a different take on how Juliette molds herself to fit the role of a commander especially with prying eyes all around. I give this book a 4.2 out of 5 stars because there is less action but the plot takes a winding road with a heart-wrenching cliffhanger at the end.  – Mahek S.

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

The novel Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi is the second novel in the Shatter Me series. Published in 2013, this equally thrilling book continues from the previous with Juliette now at Omega Point with her comrades. Under the guidance of Castle she tries to cultivate her power and control it but keeps facing dejection as her powers are different and don’t have the ability to heal but do quite the opposite. The others inside the bunker fear her because she is deadly. Castle doesn’t give up on her, as he still believes that Juliette can learn to come in control with her abilities and help Omega Point battle the Reestablishment. The only place Juliette feels at peace is with Adam who is dealing with his own half of struggles that he doesn’t tell Juliette. Overcome with emotions Juliette harnesses a power unlike anything people have seen and that’s when she decides to become serious with her training because the weight of the rebellion lies on it. When Juliette comes to know that some of her friends are in danger, she goes on a mission to save them where she learns truths about people she cares about that could change everything. I would give this book a 4 out of 5 stars, as it has a great plot and character development. – Mahek S.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

The novel Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi was published in 2011 and is about a girl named Juliette who’s been trapped in an asylum for most of her years. The unexpected visit from who she realizes is a friend changes her entire life and gives her a chance towards freedom. Once liberated, she comes back to a broken world that has changed due to the Reestablishment who have been using her powers as a weapon and she realizes just how important her powers really are. She is taken to Sector 45 which is not far from what we call Los Angeles and is one of the key bases of the Reestablishment. There, she meets Warner, the young man in charge of the Sector who is extremely intrigued with Juliette. Eventually, she finds a way to escape with the help of an old friend and tries to reach a sanctuary. A place where her powers can take their true form. Juliette faces love, heartbreak, dejection, freedom, but most importantly gains a family who-like her-have a goal. Stop the Reestablishment. Overall I would give this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars. It’s a great Dystopian book that I believe many teens can resonate with in one way or another. – Mahek S.

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

A Farewell to Arms follows Lieutenant Fredric Henry, an ambulance driver and officer at the Italian front of world war 1. While at the front, Henry starts a relationship with a nurse, Catherine Barkley, and forms friendships with the other soldiers and a priest before tragedy strikes. Join Henry and Catherine as they are forced to contend with the tough realities of the war and face the consequences of trying to start a relationship where anyone and everyone can fall.

The book is a great read for students entering high school and gives a good idea of what high school literature will be like. It tackles some mature themes and gives grounded lessons about the reality of bravery, the cost of distractions, and the power of relationships during times of struggle. Hemingway’s writing style makes the scenes of action some of the most tense and interesting I have ever read, with incredibly realistic dialogue between characters like Henry and Catherine. 4.3/5  – Kaarthic A.

Wings of Fire: The Brightest Night by Tui T. Sutherland

Wings of Fire: The Brightest Night acts as the climactic finale of the first arc of Wings of Fire as it follows the last dragon of the Dragonet prophecy: Sunny. The story follows Sunny as she is kidnapped by nightwings and held for ransom for Queen Glory. After escaping the nightwings, Sunny finds her way to the desert and discovers her true family and her true role in saving all of Phyrria.

The Brightest Night acted as a perfect conclusion to this arc of wings of fire, leaving area open for the second arc while giving a satisfying conclusion to the current one. Getting to see Sunny’s point of view was great and the interactions between her and the characters, new and old, was wonderful. The wings of fire series as a whole is perfect for young teens, with fun characters, an interesting central plot, and great world-building throughout the entire series up to this point. Going through the series for the frist time was one of my fondest memories, and I would highly recommend giving it a chance. 4.8/5  – Kaarthic A.

Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon is a teen romance that stars Rowan Roth and Neil McNair. They are academic rivals who have hated each other since freshman year of high school. Whether it be academic or club-related, the two would constantly try to one-up each other. The two go to a high school in Seattle that has a yearly tradition of holding a game, called Howl, for their seniors. Rowan feels more vengeful than ever as she enters the game with the intent to beat Neil for the final time. However, the two find themselves an unlikely team as they plan to destroy everyone else, until it is just them left. After pairing up, they start learning more about each other, delving into their personal issues and insecurities. This enemies to lovers romance is an interesting book with many unexpected twists and turns. The issues and problems the main characters face are relatable and recognizable to any high school out there. I would give this novel 4 out of 5 stars. The plot is engaging and unique as Rowan and Neil learn more about each other while also healing along the way. Published in 2021, the fast paced romance is completed in just 24 hours as the two find their way. – Olivia P.

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton is a realistic fiction that is told from the perspective of a fourteen-year-old Greaser: Ponyboy Curtis. In just 180 pages, the story depicts the frustration and bitterness of many teenage social settings through a gang rivalry. The Greasers are known as the poor, hood kids while the Socs, their rivals, are known as the rich, smart kids. Ponyboy’s family consists of his two brothers, Darrel and Sodapop, and he is faithful and loyal to his gang, as are his brothers. As tensions rise between the gangs and unexpected events occur, Ponyboy is forced to confront his own issues, such as his morals, goals, and family struggles. Although the audience may not experience his exact situation, his thoughts and actions resonate with many teenagers as his confusion and fear are familiar to most.
Reading The Outsiders, I felt sympathetic to the characters, especially Ponyboy. Hinton wrote in his perspective perfectly so that I could see and relate to his struggles, challenges, and emotions, even though I have never been in any similar events. Despite being published in 1967, the topics covered in the novel are still relevant today. The adversity the two gangs feel against each other are reminiscent of adversity in current high schools or groups in general. I would give The Outsiders a 5 out of 5 stars. The plot and characters develop in such a unique and personal way so that the audience feels a true connection with them at the end. I would highly recommend everyone, especially teenagers, to read this book.

Ground Zero by Alan Gratz
Ground Zero by Alan Gratz is a realistic fiction that explores the tragedies of 9/11. The story, published in 2021, has a unique structure that uses alternating points of view to show the different effects of 9/11. Ground Zero explores two different worlds, one in 2001 in New York and the other in 2019 in Afghanistan’s mountains. Gratz depicts these perspectives through two main characters: Brandon, a nine year old in New York, and Reshmina, an eleven year old in Afghanistan. Brandon goes to the North Tower on a whim after getting suspended from school. Through Brandon’s point of view, readers see the trauma of not only being in 9/11, but also the lasting impacts of it. The imagery places the audience in Brandon’s shoes as he experiences challenges that no one should ever face. Reshmina lives in a village near the mountainside, where the Taliban reside. Although she dreams of peace and a world of freedom, she struggles with her twin brother’s desire to join the Taliban and the constant warfare surrounding her. Uniquely, Ground Zero goes into the more recent conflicts that 9/11 has caused in Afghanistan, emphasizing the bombing and conflict between the U.S. and the Taliban. Through Reshmina’s point of view, the audience can understand the everlasting effect 9/11 has had internationally. The novel interlaces the two events, eighteen years apart, to show the severity of 9/11 and educate others on what happened both then and now. Overall, I would give Ground Zero a 4.5 out of 5 stars. The two perspectives highlight the different conflicts and enlighten the audience on 9/11’s influence. – Olivia P.

Accessibility Toolbar