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Book Review

Nameless Queen by Rebecca McLaughlin

An inspiring story. Three groups in society, and the lowest don’t even receive names. It’s a roller coaster of a story and it all starts when the
King dies. The next heir has a crown tattoo…but who has it? Turns out it’s a nameless girl who calls herself Coin and no one knows why or how she was chosen. Your name has to be spoken by the King in order to be crowned, which makes this all the more strange. This suspense will keep you interested in this book and have you keep coming back for more.
All throughout the book there is mischief, adventure, and suspense and McLaughlin will have you hanging on every last word. Don’t be afraid to read this amazing story of how you can prove yourself and are stronger than you seem. Nameless Queen has lessons that teach the value of friendship, family, and even trust. With plot twists around every corner, you’ll never want this book to end. The detail that McLaughlin goes into has you feeling as if you are in the world itself, standing right next to the characters. I would highly recommend this book for anyone who is looking for an adventure.

5 Stars Review by Megan Unger

Book Review

the night circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern has easily become one of my favorite books. Two magicians who love games train two young children to compete in a sort of duel. The venue, of course, is a circus. The task of the children is to use their magic to manipulate the circus to their liking. While this is all happening, you get to experience the magic of The Circus of Dreams. The
circus will appear out of nowhere and only is open from dusk till dawn. The weirdest aspect of the circus is that everything is in black, white, and grays. Everything down to the clothes of the performers.
The only confusing part was that the perspectives and time period kept changing. One minute we were in the perspective of the boy and the next, the girl. Then we fast forward 10 years in the next chapter only to back up 5 years the very next. Overall though, the book held my interest and kept me wanting more. I was enjoying the book so much that I was even
disappointed when it ended. The magic of Morgenstern is amazing and this circus isn’t like any circus I’ve ever read about. Morgenstern found ways to describe every detail of the circus until it felt like I was there walking the circus myself. I would definitely want this circus to be real so that
everyone could see the magic, but unfortunately it is not. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a bit of magic, mystery, and competition.

Review by Megan Unger

Book Review

reconstructing amelia

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

Reconstruction Amelia was a rollercoaster of a story. If you are looking for an intense, emotional story, this is definitely the book for you. It starts out a little confusing as it switches between the mother and daughter. The best part is that you think you know what is going to happen, but then you find out something entirely new. The plot and story just keep changing
throughout the entire book and it keeps you interested. You start to question whether this actually happens at schools in real life and just what does happen inside a teenager’s head. The life lessons that this book teaches is unlike any other book I’ve ever read. It hits you hard because this type of stuff happens(not necessarily any of the club stuff). Bullying is awful in high school and it can lead to worse things in the future. I hope that everyone gets the same message that I did when reading this book because people need to understand these types of things. People need to know that they can prevent these things and teenagers need to know that they can share their feelings with their parents. I would highly recommend this book if you are looking for a deep, revealing story about what actually is happening in society today.

5 Stars Review by Megan Unger

Book Review

the queens assassin

The Queen’s Assassin by Melissa De La Cruz
2 our of 5 stars

This is one of my least favorite books that I have read this year. It is not all bad, the novel just suffered in a few different places. The idea behind the book is an intriguing one. It starts out with a guy, named Caledon Holt, and he is the queen’s assassin. His father agreed to help the queen in any way that he can until he finds these magic scrolls. He makes a blood oath with the queen assuring her that he will be bound to the crown until his mission is finished. He fails because he unfortunately passes, pushing the blood oath to his only heir, his son Caledon. This, in itself, is an interesting premise. The queen’s assassin plot has been overplayed with The Throne of Glass series sending the topic skyrocketing. However, the idea that he is bound by his father’s oath is a variation that I have not read or seen, and I wanted to know how it changed his life and opinions on the crown and his duty. Unfortunately, this was never delved into as I am not entirely sure the author understood what his opinions on the crown was. His personality did not seem to be entirely developed. His values seemed to switch based on whatever was most helpful to the author, at times he loved his country and he wanted to save it, others he hated the oath and wanted to be free from his work with the crown. The other part of the book follows around Shadow, a young girl that grew up in the honey glades, who wants to join the Guild, the organization that Caledon and her aunts are a part of. She then finds that she is called to court to join her mother, and escapes to rescue Caledon from the prison that the queen sent him to. This was a part of the queen’s plan, but Shadow was concerned about his safety and thought that she should rescue him pretending to be the one that the queen sent. She continues to travel with him throughout the rest of the novel. Her personality is mainly stable, she is rather sarcastic and thinks that she is right always, however, her skills are all over the place. While they are escaping, the reader finds out she can do things that we and her had no clue about previous to this one instance. Overall it is mainly just frustrating that the characters were not solidified. They did not seem to be one continuous whole person, but rather plot devices. Because of this, the plot in itself is also a little too convenient. Caledon was supposed to go to this court to find a spy that was plotting to assassinate the crown and a lot of things fell into place for the two, despite even the books attempts to acknowledge the improbability of the events occurring. At the end, there was a big reveal that I truly thought was going to change the whole tone of the book. It could explain somethings that the author left out and give depth to the relationship that they held with different characters. She did this to an extent, again but only after changing the characters’ values and what they believed in some more. Throughout the novel she is also going into the B plot, explaining history that has occurred before this book was written. I think that this is something that was very well done in the novel, and it did allow me to understand some of the more complicated things that were happening. In the end, I think that the idea behind the novel was good, but she was just trying to stuff too much into one novel. She simply did not have enough time or space to build a character more effectively or to come up with more realistic situations.

Review by Abbey Fields

Book Review

don't get caught

Don’t Get Caught: Let the Prank War Begin by Kurt Dinan
4.5 out of 5 stars

I am not a huge fan of realistic fiction, but this novel is perhaps one of my favorites of the genre. It is clever, thought-provoking, and well planned. The book starts off with our five protagonists getting letters from a ‘Chaos Club’, a club that does pranks for decades, telling them all to meet at the town’s water tower. This turns out to be a trap, and the five decide to get back at the club. The five are made up of a diverse set of characters with different personalities, morals, and interests. There is Max Cobb, a kid who does not do great in school, but is absolutely obsessed with heist genre movies. He is the one the book revolves around and the reader gets to understand his thoughts. However, the supporting kids are no less developed with Ellie Wick: the preachers daughter who turns out to have secrets of her own, Dave Wheeler: certified trouble maker that everyone assumes will be going to prison if not now then soon, Kate Malone: an artist who had something embarrassing happen in her past, and finally Tim Adleta: a large lacrosse player that everyone assumes will go to fame who is yelled at constantly by their vice principal and his father to the point that he hates the game. Throughout the novel, these kids grow up and become something different. Their lives are all impacted in different ways from causing havoc and it shows how even doing something ‘bad’ can be good. Of course these kids have to have someone tangible to go up against, besides the Chaos Club, which is when Stranko, vice principal extraordinaire, appears. He is cruel to many of the members of the group, Tim Adleta and Max Cobb especially, and is thus a victim of many of the gang’s pranks. He is one of the negatives that I personally felt was present in the book. The author did give him a redemption arc, explaining why he was so mean to the children, but he never expanded on him. I was waiting for a moment when he would become more of a kind human, but it was never fleshed out. Everyone else was getting a second chance and I was very much hoping that Stranko would get one too. Alas, it was not the case. The pranks, whether they were performed on Stranko or on others, were well thought out and different. I loved the contrast between some people having all five of them fully involved and others completing the prank on their own. However, this does bring up a question that I believe the book at first confronted and then avoided. Some of these pranks could be considered to be too mean spirited. I thought so when reading a few of them. Thankfully, the author, and in turn Max Cobb, also questioned this. It served as a large point in the middle of the book and it caused him to grow as a person. I think towards the end of the book this point was lost slightly; that being said, I am glad that it was a consideration, and I believe that it made the book that much more impressive. There were several big reveals towards the end that wraps the book up nicely. While some of them were simplistic, I appreciated the fact that you can trace these reveals throughout the book and notice evidence of them throughout it. It makes the novel have a complete feeling, like it was being written to culminate into the ending. In conclusion, I would highly suggest this book. It was well written, had an interesting plot and characters, with being able to raise moral questions that are important.

Review by Abbey Fields

Book Review

the beckoning shadow

The Beckoning Shadow by Katharyn Blair
4 out of 5 stars

This book pairs fighting with powers, and romance with mystery. How could you not love it? In all seriousness, The Beckoning Shadow has a great plotline but the execution is – at times – spotty. The novel creates several different worlds rich enough that the reader can easily imagine it. I loved the detail and it made me feel as if I am a part of the story, but it seemed as if the author ran out of room at the end. It had a great mystery and a twist at the end that went hand in hand with the climax of a large portion of the storyline, but it seemed rushed. The main characters were lovable, albeit slightly clichéd. The book’s male protagonist was a fighter, Sam, who was still in love with his old girlfriend. Then there was the main character, Vesper, who struggles with her unique and dangerous power. Truthfully, it was the side characters that made the novel for me: Aldrick and Sapphira were outstanding and all of Sam’s fighter friends had unique personalities that made their dynamic fascinating. Overall, I would recommend this book; it was well written with a storyline and characters that are able to keep all types of readers invested.

Review by Abbey Fields

children of blood and bone

Watch a brief book talk from Ms. Amy about the YA bestseller, Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi!

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