Tag Archives: School

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (review by Anushka D. ’15)

SpeakSpeak by Laurie Halse Anderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Melinda Sordino begins her freshman year dreading to see the people she once called her best friends. She ruined any chances of being popular or even having friends when she called the cops during a summer party. But what no one knows is that Melinda is hiding something about what happened at the party, something that devastated her. Anderson uses heartbreakingly beautiful prose to deliver a story about a reality many teens have to face. By concealing the horrible truth even from the readers, she leaves them no choice but to read as Melinda falls apart. While Melinda is distant from everyone, she manages to create a strong impression on the readers, capturing their hearts with her loneliness and despair. Anderson keeps the plot focused, never straying to include petty romance or overcomplicated plotlines. Speak is wonderfully delivered and hard to put down. – Anushka D. ‘15

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Frostbite by Richelle Mead (review by Tiffany Z. ’17)

Frostbite (Vampire Academy, #2)Frostbite by Richelle Mead
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The second book in the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead, Frostbite continues Rose Hathaway’s adventures with her best friend, the Moroi princess Lissa Dragomir. Mead introduces many fresh new characters and revisits old ones in a different light. The constant threat of a mass encounter with the evil Strigoi heightens suspense, and in fact, the novel culminates in a dramatic, definitive battle that leaves readers curious for what will come next in the series. Although there is less action than in the first book, Mead tells the story with the usual wit and precision. What lacks in physical conflict is wholly made up with intriguing complications in relationships, especially a romantic one between Rose and her mentor Dimitri Belikov. The significance of the relationship between Rose and her mother, however, is less clear. Also, many less significant events receive unwarranted attention. Overall, Frostbite assumes the role of a bridge to further titles and simultaneously delivers the excitement and vivid storytelling of a centerpiece of the series. – Tiffany Z. ‘17

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (review by Daphne Y. ’16)

The Perks of Being a WallflowerThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Although I assumed it to be another one of those fictions popularized by the movie, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a very good read. The epistolary format allows the reader to connect with Charlie, the protagonist, and relate to the problems he encounters over the course of his freshman year. Charlie is a wallflower due to complications in the past, so he initially has a hard time making friends and socializing with anyone except his English teacher. I found myself mentally giving him advice on every letter. Referencing almost all aspects of life a teenager, the book is very thorough, though sometimes going a bit overboard, such as with the excessive drug abuse. The book is aimed towards all adolescents and maturing teens, but it can be appealing to adults as well, as they can experience or learn about a few things that their kids might be going through. It’s really suited for everyone; a great novel to read and discuss with the family! – Daphne Y. ’16

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Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (review by Tiffany Z. ’17)

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead is the first book in a series that explores the life of Rose Hathaway, the guardian and loyal friend of royal vampire princess Lissa Dragomir. Rose and Lissa are just returning from an escape from their school for vampires, St. Vladimir’s Academy. Upon arriving, however, they face not only trouble with the school clique but also potential boyfriend problems. The conflicts heighten when Rose falls in love with her mentor Dimitri Belikov and discovers dangerous secrets about Lissa’s powers. Finally, the friends are suddenly faced with imminent danger from the evil Strigoi. The plotline is intriguing; circumstances and events flow together seamlessly, and characters are depicted fairly realistically, though near the end loose plot ends are tied up very hastily. Some elements of the book are bland or predictable. However Vampire Academy is a thrilling friendship drama and romance combined with plenty of action, and this first installment promises an exciting series. – Tiffany Z. ‘17

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