Student Book Reviews Updated September 2012 title / Author / Rating


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This book has many different threads that all tie together making a brilliant tale about affection, self-discipline and cooking. Tita, the daughter who cannot marry, mixes her emotions with her brilliant food, causing many changes throughout the book.

This novel is a Mexican story of romance and food. It makes you hungry reading it. Sometimes it is overly sexual in language, but is still good. In some ways it is written like a fable. Read it, and you’ll enjoy it!****


LITTLE BROTHER Cory Doctorow *****

I recommend this book because Doctorow is able to use items like cell phones and video games combined with terrorist attacks to write a fast-paced, action-packed story that takes place right here in the Bay Area. Also, because the story takes place from the point of view of teenagers, it is extremely appealing to young readers.

*****It is a really well written book. It’s plot is steadfast and easy to understand. It is a book that can be read lightly, or can be gone in depth. The story is kind of brutal in some parts. It is definitely be a young adult book even though it is in the children’s section of the bookstore. The book was wonderful for writing a reading log, with plenty of quotes and many different ideas. All in all, a really good book!
*****I loved this book! It was wonderful and I couldn’t put it down. For people with a thirst for empowering, meaningful stories, they will enjoy this as much as I did. It has the perfect balance of intellect, romance, and rebellion. I would recommend this to anyone mature enough to handle romance.
*****It was good because it related to the young adult audience. It was easy to understand and easy to get through. I like it a lot.

****Little Brother was a pretty good book. I enjoyed it and I liked the plotline. The technology explained in the book and how the main character knows so much is pretty cool. I liked how he found a way to gather people and help him regain San Francisco from the Department of Homeland Security. I would recommend it to others.



This book may not be one the most complex or lengthy books out there, but it is one the most touching, thought provoking books I’ve ever read. It is written by John Green, in a style you may have never seen before, but you will recognize it instantly. This book is also highly relatable to the life of someone in High School. The book is about the boy who hates his school and goes to boarding school. He is the most innocent kid you would ever meet. He makes a few friends in high school and these friends dramatically alter his life. These friends are just partying, drinking, go-getters, but they also highly value intelligence and wit. It is a group I’ve never seen or experienced. They value this boy’s “talent” which you will find out when you read the book. The whole book is the course of this guy’s life through his junior year with a great deal of philosophy…and then something happens. The climax of this book is so unimaginable and unfathomable, it will rock your mind and you will just not be able to be put the book down. If you want a cry, be ready to be tear-jerked. I have read a lot of books and this is definitely one of the most intriguing and touching books I’ve ever read.


LORD OF THE FLIES William Golding ****

Stranded on an island while an atomic war destroys the rest of the world, a group of young boys revert to savagery as they struggle to survive. This book will always keep you on the edge of your seat; a real page turner ______________________________________________________________________________________

LORD OF THE RINGS J.R.R. Tolkein *****

Best book series, best in-depth story structures. A trilogy of adventure books about fictional characters and a ring with magical powers. Frodo Baggins knew they were seeking him and the Ring of Power he bore that would enable evil Sauron to destroy all that was good in middle-Earth. Now it was up to Frodo, his faithful servant Sam, and a small band of companions to carry the ring to the one place it could be destroyed, Mount Doom.


LOVELY BONES Alice Sebold ****

In this book the spirit of 14-year-old Susie Salmon describes her murder, her witness to her family’s grief and efforts to find the killer, and their attempts to come to terms with what has happened. The reader can get caught up easily in this story and its many twists and turns.

**** I enjoyed this book very much. It describes the story’s setting in a very clear way that made me feel I was there. The story flows very well with clear, thoughtful writing. It is not an incredibly hard book, but the vocabulary used is difficult. The book touched my heart because it tells the life of a young girl who gets raped and taken from her family. She tells the story from heaven as she watches her family continue without her. It teaches teenagers they should be very alert to whom they talk to and not to engage with strangers. It is a book I will never forget. It makes you realize that if you were murdered, your family would probably investigate until the very end.


LOVE RULES Marilyn Reynolds *****

This is a story of acceptance. Lynn and Kit have been best friends for years, but after a summer away, Kit has news for Lynn. She is a lesbian. Now Lynn, with the help of a handsome African-American “friend,” must learn the value of acceptance.


LULLABY Chuck Palahniuk *****

Culling songs in Africa were used to the give the old and infirm a painless death. But when reporter, Carl Sreator, discovers that unsuspecting readers are reading a culling poem and accidentally killing their children, he begins a desperate cross-country quest to put the song to rest. The story is rather strange and somewhat confusing, but his language is awesome. I like the way the author satirizes our society.


THE LUXE SERIES Anna Godberson *****

This is a great series that is set amongst the upper classes in the 1800’s. The books are full of modern drama and scandals with wealthy ladies in ball gowns. Full of forbidden love and biting rumors, the Luxe books are wonderful examples of Anna Godberson’s new ideas and style.

***Not currently available in LGHS library


THE MARCH E.L. Doctorow ****

This book is about the Civil War and how Union General Sherman and his army of 60,000 men marched through Georgia to the sea, then up into the Carolinas. I would recommend it to anyone who likes that time period.


MARLFOX Brian Jacques *****

This is an adventurous story of a perilous group of youngsters going on a journey to save a precious tapestry. Along the way, they learn many lessons and fight many battles before they return to their home, Redwall Abbey, and restore the tapestry of the Abbey hero, Martin the Warrior.



This is the third book in the Maximum Ride series. Our young heroine, Max, is out to stop a powerful agency that is trying to let the world be ruled by scientists. She and her flock are genetically altered and have been given wings and other bird characteristics. This book is full of action, some comedy and hilarious catch phrases. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in Sci-Fi or Adventure.

***Currently not available in LGHS library


MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA Arthur Golden *****

This is an amazing book. It takes you back to China around World War II where young women are trying to make a living as Geishas performing tea ceremonies and fan dances, and are trained to beguile powerful men. In the geisha’s world, a young girl’s virginity is auctioned off to the highest bidder and true love is scoffed. Great book! I strongly recommend this book to any girl.

It was amazing! The lessons and ideas discussed can be related to real life. I could not put the book down. It was captivating and easy to follow. I could sympathize with the characters and could hate others. I thought it was amazing and I would recommend it to girls/women. However, readers should at least be in High school so they can comprehend some of the topics discussed.*****

*****A good plot with interesting scenes and it teaches a lot of Japanese culture. A good story about love.



The book was really amazing. The story was interesting and kept my attention throughout the entire story. At age 23 drug addict James Frey wakes up on a plane to find his front teeth knocked out, his nose broken and a hole through his cheek. He has no recollection of injuries, or, for that matter, the last two weeks. It is a mostly true story of his rehabilitation.

****A very simple vocabulary book. Tons of great detail about his life. An autobiography about drug use and rehabilitation from drugs.
**** This book talks about the struggle a man goes through while in rehab for drugs and alcohol. It is a huge eye-opener, and I even had to pause because I cried at some parts.

***This book is no longer considered an autobiography. It is now considered a work of fiction.***


MISTS OF AVALON Marion Zimmer Bradley ****

Absolutely fascinating and so engaging. Don’t be daunted by the length. It’s definitely worth reading. Diverse characters and amazing plots (yes, plural), which intermeshed and were easy to follow. Interesting from beginning to end. Should engage History buffs, literature lovers and both genders equally, with its various fight scenes, magical creatures and court gossip.

**** It was a great book. Had a lot of meaning in it. However it got a bit boring at times and was sometimes hard to follow. I hated Gwen Myfar, she was so annoying.

****It was really long and there were parts that were very boring. However, there were also some exciting parts, and it was really cool to relate what we were learning in class to what was happening in the book. The author is really good about making you feel for the main characters, whether you like them or hate them. I would recommend this book for fun but not for a reading log because it is too hard to finish in the amount of time given.

***This novel was long. Read it only if you are willing to spend a long time on the same book. That being said, there were many great moments. The novel was extremely well written. The characters were both good and bad: some were likable and others not so much. Definitely skip this book if you can’t handle mature scenes because there is a lot of sex. It was a great work of literature, yes, but it wasn’t an easy read.
***The Mists of Avalon is a decent book better suited for fantasy faithful than students. The book’s length and lack of action make it difficult to analyze, even though the switching narrations provide lots of internal conflict. There are lots of characters and names, but once you have them straight, the book gets a lot easier. Arthurian legend buffs would enjoy this book much more than the average student.


MURDER OF A PINK ELEPHANT Denise Swanson *****

This book is very interesting. It’s about a band and their troubles when one of them is murdered. So basically it is a murder mystery with some romance. There is always something happening and there is never a dull moment.


*****A fantastic read with a great twist. The story between the two sisters and a girl’s struggle for her rights has stuck with me since I read the book a few years ago.

*****This is an amazing story about a family who is struggling. The daughter of the family is diagnosed with a deadly disease, and the book follows the challenges and consequences of being true to your self and challenging the system. Everyone should read this book! It keeps you wanting to read more and has a shocking surprise ending.

****In My Sister’s Keeper, Kate, the oldest Fitzgerald child is diagnosed with cancer. Her parents desperately want to save her and have another child genetically engineered to have the same genetic material as Kate. Now at the age of thirteen, Anna is tired of always donating blood and bone marrow to her sister. She gets a lawyer to sue her parents for the rights to her own body. In this book chapters are written from different points of view – from Anna, her mother, her father and her lawyer. In this way one can see the different opinions each character has and how the conflict affects each one emotionally. I think this book is very good and it never gets boring. The book also has moral and ethical views which grab the reader’s attention.

****The book was good, but it became long and repetitive towards the end. The ending of the book made it seem like the author was tired of writing. Two unnecessary side stories also took over the novel.


Necromancer/The Nicholas Flamel Series Michael Scott

****This book was really good because it had me on the edge of my chair every page. The author was amazing at giving such rich personalities to each character. The setting also in which the author put amaze their imaginary was full of color features and even smell, The plot of the series is pretty much two twins find out they were like the survivors of the world and an top of that, they have magical power.

NO ONE GETS OUT OF HERE ALIVE Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugerrman

The first biography of Jim Morrison. I would be very interested in reading it. It was recommended by Scott Downs.

______________________________________________________________________________________ ODD THOMAS Dean Koontz *****

A suspenseful book with humor and action.

***** Being my favorite series I have ever read. Dean Koontz’s series is an outstanding set of thrillers. It is suitable for all High School reading levels. Not overrated and truly amazing.


OLIVER TWIST Charles Dickens *****/****/***

This novel portrays a deep message about good and evil through the story of a young boy who must chose between them. Some reviewers found the book very entertaining, although a few found it a bit slow and repetitious. This novel takes place in old London and is about a boy named Oliver Twist who is forced into a gang of thieves where he faces murder and crimes, but ends up turning out a normal boy.


ONE GREAT GAME Don Wallace ****

A great sports book that is a true story of recent history. It tells the story of De La Salle High School football during the time of their amazing streak. The football scores are amazing, with play by play that makes you believe you are there. It is a great sports book and a great story. A must-read if you want to get inspired and amazed. Even if you don’t play football, this book is a good story. A must read if you want to get inspired and amazed. Even if you don’t play football, the book is a great sport story for an athlete to read.


ORDINARY PEOPLE Judith Guest ****

It is a wonderful story about how a family copes with a loss and how they must overcome their guilt. I love learning about the strengthening relationship between the boy and his father.


THE PACT Jodi Picoult ****

Within the first chapter, I was already hooked. This novel gives a twist to your typical love story and mystery. However, at the beginning it was a little confusing, because the conflict is given on the first page. There is no background before, and right after the conflict is stated the story goes back in time. The chapters alternate from then and now, between the background and the present story. Eventually they meet and it becomes the climax of the story. The ending was a little predictable, but it was still good. I am a picky reader when it comes to mysteries and love stories, and I really recommend this one. Even though it is fictional, this book really made me feel like this could happen in real life.


PANDORA’S STAR Peter F. Hamilton*****

Has more than one plot line. It’s about ethics, conflict, and a conflict of ethics.


PEACE LIKE A RIVER Leif Enger *****

It is a very good book and has a unique style of writing. Rueben Land, an asthmatic boy, has reason to believe in miracles. Along with his sister and father, Reuben finds himself on a cross-country journey to find his outlaw older brother who has been charged with murder. Their journey shows how love, family and faith can stand up to the most terrifying enemies.


PEACHES Jodi Lynn Anderson****

A really well-written book that teaches about friendship and the many obstacles of growing up. It is about three best friends: one rich, one who lives on a farm, and one troublemaker who works at a farm in Georgia in the summer, where most of the story unravels.

*** Not currently available in LGHS library


THE PEARL John Steinbeck ****

The Pearl is a quick read, but it is a powerful book. The symbolism and theme of this novel are obvious which makes it an easy book to analyze. The book does become very dark and has a sad ending but this makes the book’s message more effective. I would recommend this book for people who want a good book about fate and morality.


PERFUME Patrick Suskind*****

It is a bit creepy, but the writing is amazing.



It’s about a freshman in high school, trying to get through his high school years. The book reveals a series of letters to an unknown correspondent which reveals the coming-of-age trials of a high-schooler named Charlie.



I love this book because it is very creative and gives outrageous explanations for things we take for granted. Very funny! It involves a journey through a land where the main character, Milo, learns the importance of words and numbers, and finds a cure for his boredom.


THE PLAGUE Albert Camus ****

It was a very well written and thought through book that forced the reader to think enormously. I would not recommend this book to a person who is looking for a light read, as at times it is both depressing and very deep. In terms of writing a reading log, some parts are very easy to write about, while some essays are very difficult to write because of lack of dialogue and a basic but deep plot. Overall though, it is a very good book.


POISON STUDY Maria V. Snyder

A fantasy book written in first person, it follows a young woman scarred by her past. She grows up in a strange environment wholly unreal to her. As her position within the community continues to change, she sees new opportunities to work toward self importance. In a world with magic all around, the area where she lives takes measures to ball all magician. However, even though she is part of the government, she discovers that she may possess magic. She meets characters that either help or hinder her, and is torn apart by conflicting loyalty. The book tells tales of transformation, action, love, hope and trust. There are two more books in the series: Magic Study and Fire Study.

THE POISIONWOOD BIBLE Barbara Kingsolver *****

This is one of my favorite books I have ever read. It was very good and pulled me in from the start and it was quite interesting. It opened my eyes to many things about our society, and was hugely influential in my way of thinking. Everybody should read this book.


POSSESSION A.S. Byatt*****

The poetry incorporated into the story line is beautiful, but you have to love to read to love reading this book.



I really liked A Prayer for Owen Meany because it had interesting characters and plot. The book was rarely boring because it’s storyline was so suspenseful. I always wanted to know what was coming next. John Irving writes in a way that is understandable yet unique. This book is unlike anything I have ever read before and I enjoyed it a lot.

***** This book was amazing, even though it was pretty long (600 or so pages). It tells the story of a little boy, who becomes s Christ figure and his friend as they grow up in New Hampshire. It had a strong plot, obvious themes, great characters, was set in the time of the Vietnam War and was suspenseful and engaging.


PRE ****

PRE is about an inspirational figure for all young runners. Reading this gives you the full life story about America’s greatest running legend. The book tells about his personal life, struggle sand most of all his triumphs. After reading the book, you are left with an inquiring mind.

*** Not currently available in LGHS library


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