As yet another school year draws to a close, here is our next batch of recommendations to tide you over until the fall!
Peanut by Ayun Halliday & Paul Hoppe [A book so popular that we've got TWO reviews!]
Sadie moves to a new town, starting her sophomore year in a new school. Fearing that she'll be boring, she fakes a peanut allergy, which is a bigger responsibility than it seems to be … even I didn't know it was THAT big of a deal! This book teaches responsibility , trust, confidence, and the consequence of ignorance. I also love how an artist of such talent can get to illustrate a graphic novel :) —Monica P.
It's the beginning of the 10th grade and Sadie has just moved from her old school to Plainfield Community High School in her new neighborhood. She sees it as an opportunity to get a new start—a clean plate—so she decides to make a name for herself. However, it's a bit different from what most people would do. See, the thing is, she pretends to have a peanut allergy! For the time being, everyone's buying into it. After all, Sadie is making sure that everyone knows except her mom. Just as the sophomore is at the top of her game, though, everything falls apart at a bake sale. I'm recommending this graphic novel simply because I think we all go through that stage when we move to a different place, no one knows you so it's a perfect chance to re-invent yourself. Fix out all your flaws and whatnot. Though, the lesson learned is that it's important not to lie about who you are and just improve yourself. For example, if you're usually rude you might want to try to be nicer to people instead of saying "I'm super rich" or whatever. Rebuild yourself to be a better you! —Caitlin G.
Purity by Jackson Pearce
This book is about a girl named Shelby whose mother is dead. Shelby has been living with her father since her mother died. Will Shelby listen to her father, or will she have sex before making a chastity vow at the Princess Ball at her school? I am recommending Purity because it can teach teens to listen to their family members and to have sex with a condom. —Leslie A.
Starstruck by Rachel Shukert
Margaret Frobisher lives her upper-class life in Pasadena, spending her days in prep school with her best friend or playing hooky at Schwab's Pharmacy. Thanks to that, she is found by a studio film producer whose star, Diana Chesterfield, has "disappeared." Everyone compares the new "star" (or replacement?) to Ms. Chesterfield … curiouser & curiouser … Starstruck gives a taste of life in the life in the 1930s / life as a star, and Shukert has an excellent writing technique! —Monica P.
Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg
This book is about a group of kids who are finding out where they are in their artistic talents. However, Carter, a guy who has been famous all his life, decides during his senior year that he doesn't want to act anymore. I would recommend this book because it would be good for teens who want to explore what they'd like to do in a performing arts high school. —Leslie A.
99 Days by Matteo Casali
A LAPD officer with a dark past named Antoine Davis is running out of time. A machete-wielding killer is on the loose and his demons are coming with him. Will Antoine catch the murderer? Read and find out! This book is an interesting read, as it mixes the protagonist's past and his future. I love it! —Genevieve S.
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
A soldier during World War I lives through a horrific accident and finds love. But nothing is certain in war. Will Frederic Henry make it? Read to find out! This book will make you think about the meaning of life and love. —Genevieve S.
Destiny [Book 4 of the Immortal series] by Gillian Shields
This book is about a girl named Helen. She's known by her friends to be kind of "crazy" most of the time. She is upset that her mother left her at an orphanage as a baby with a necklace, but she decides to find her destiny by believing in herself and her friends. I recommend this book because it can help teens find out what they are meant to be in life. —Leslie A.
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Katniss Everdeen has won two of the Hunger Games. She has gone through love, loss, and pain. She has moved to District 13. Will she make it alive another year, especially when they're about to go to war? This is a great book because you'll feel like you're watching a movie. You would never want to put it down! —Nicole P.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
This book explores a relationship between a slave and an abused caucasian boy, Huckleberry Finn. They have many ups and downs, but are true friends to the end. This is a really good read, once you get past the language (diction). I enjoyed the growth of Huck as the book progressed. —Genevieve S.
Deadman Wonderland Vol. 1 by Jinsei Kataoka
Ganta Igarashi was just an average middle-school child who survived an unnatural earthquake a few years ago that destroyed all of Tokyo. One unfortunate day his class had been massacred by a gruesome figure (later known as the Wretched Egg), and it implanted an odd stone in his chest. To make matters worse, his friends are dead but he's blamed for the whole killing. Now sent to Deadman Wonderland (the prison built on top of the earthquake), Ganta must prove his innocence while trying to keep himself from getting killed by the other inmates. I feel that if you enjoy horror stories like Elfen Lied and Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni, you would enjoy reading this manga just like those. Just like those other mangas, Deadman Wonderland is an amazing story of hurt and comfort and forgiveness despite shocking revelations. —Caitlin G.
Vampire Knight by Matsuri Hino
Vampire Knight is about a school for humans and vampires. These two kids have to protect the vampires, but the vampires are in love with one of them and are trying to bite her. I recommend this to people who love manga, and it's great because it has vampires! —Shania M.
The Letter Q: Queer Writers' Notes to Their Younger Selves edited by Sarah Moon
This book is about different writers writing letters to themselves about how they became gay, lesbian, or transgender. I would recommend this book because teens can read letters from people who are now gay, lesbian, or transgender. That way they won't feel alone in this world. —Leslie A.
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
A young man by the name of Ishmael goes out to sea with a revenge-filled captain who is obsessed with finding a whale by the name of Moby Dick who had eaten his leg. The book is told from Ishmael's point of view. The interesting thing about this is that it shows how corrupted and angered the captain is, and Ishmael describes the breakdown he witnesses. Many teens don't read overall, much less the classics. However, I can promise you that if you read Moby Dick it will transport you to the world the story takes place in. Besides, vampires and zombies are so overused; it's all about pirates now! —Caitlin G.
There is No Dog by Meg Rosoff
Giving us another provocative and infinite thought of who God really is (an old sage with a flowing white beard, a teenager, a businessman, what?), we see a day in the life of the moody lovestruck God. God is Bob, a sulky moody teenager who falls in love with a human, Lucy. This creates natural disasters, depending on God's mood. Unlike most books, this book has a half-happy, half-sad ending. Unless some religious nut goes against this book, it's provocative in a GOOD way. It really makes you think. The storyline and writing style are fascinating. Pure greatness! —Monica P.
Amber House by Kelly Moore
This book is about a girl whose grandmother has died. When she thought that her grandmother's house was haunted, she was scared to go there. But then when she explored through the house, she found her grandmother's antiques and started collecting them. —Leslie A.
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
This is a sad book. Kate's mother is dying of cancer, and now they have to move. She makes a friend who gets hurt and only Kate can save her, but the price will be Kate's life. What will she choose to do? This book mixes Greek mythology with modern life, and I enjoy the mix! —Genevieve S.
Doctor Who Series Seven, Part One
Join the Doctor in his 11th reincarnation with his new companion Amy Pond as they go around in the TARDIS into the past, future, and another dimension! Even now, he still faces his old enemies such as the Daleks (the machines that destroyed his home planet) and Cybermen, as well as new enemies who think violence is the answer to everything. Keep watching 'til the very end and you'll be surprised at every turn. Even though there were more doctors before this, it's never too late to join the Doctor Who fandom. It's probably every sci-fi dream possible put together with more emotional, tear-jerking, kick-ass moments than you could ever imagine. It's so great because people can relate to the companions, because they are truly ordinary people with ordinary jobs chosen by an alien man in a flying police box. —Caitlin G.
This movie is about an adventure that two fishies go on to try to reunite a father and son. What makes this movie great is that it's fun for children, teens, and the whole family. —Stephanie B.
The Dark Knight Rises
This is a PG-13 movie from DC Comics. It's great if you like comics with superheroes, and if you've already seen the first Dark Knight movie. I recommend this movie because Batman is awesome and it has a lot of conflict. —Trevon C.