Student Book Reviews Updated September 2012 title / Author / Rating

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PRETTY LITTLE LIARS Sara Shepard *****

This book is very exciting and draws you into it very well. It has a very good outline of the story. It is a mystery type book. I would also recommend the other books by Sara Shepard. The book does switch between characters so it did get a little confusing, but otherwise it was an outstanding book.

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PRIDE and PREJUDICE Jane Austen*****

Most people have heard of Pride and Prejudice, as it is a very well known classic by Jane Austen. This is one of my favorite books because of the beautiful way Austen writes her intriguing story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. It is not a very difficult book to read and is perfect for relaxing on a rainy day. Jane Austen’s writing will take you into another world where you can read about the complex characters. It is a classic story, and if you love to read, you’ll appreciate it.

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THE PROMISE Chaim Potok ****

This book is much better if one has read The Chosen by Chaim Potok first. This is a very touching story about two boys and their differing lives. It is appropriate for all ages and deals with love, friendship, and mental retardation as well as backstabbing.

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PURPLE EMPEROR ****

If you like fiction then you will enjoy this book. It is about a fairy named Holy Blue and her interaction with a human boy. The boy, Arthur, ends up saving the faerie world again. He has to fight demons and the Faeries of the Night. He has to make sure that they do not take over the throne. They threaten to kidnap Princess Holy Blue and holds her hostage until one of the Faeries of the night is put on the throne. It is an interesting novel if you like books about unreal fantasy worlds. It is an easy read, but also requires you to follow along as you read. It is the sequel to “Faerie Wars” which I would also suggest you read before this book.


*** Not currently available in LGHS library

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RAVEN’S GATE Anthony Horowitz *****

This is a very suspenseful, exciting and scary fictional novel. This story not only makes the reader want to read more, it makes the reader excited and hungry for more. It is about a troubled boy who goes to live with a temporary “family” in an odd town where many strange, scary and creepy things happen. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good thriller. Lastly, if you read and enjoy this book, Horowitz has also written two more books in this series that are also quite satisfying.

***Not currently available in LGHS library

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THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY David Levithan *****

This book is an incredible tale of love, friendship, enlightenment, self-realization, change and all of the dreams of high school. Told through the voices of twenty different students, high school life is displayed just how it is to many different kinds of students. The stories of these kids are touching, eye-opening and ultimately life changing.

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RED RABBIT Tom Clancy ****

It is a good thriller suspense novel. In the early part of his career, Jack Ryan accepts a first assignment as a freelance analyst under James Greer of the CIA and faces a mission involving a high-level Soviet defector who has reported a plot to kill Pope John Paul II. If you like other Clancy books you will like this one, it has everything that you would expect in a Clancy novel.

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REMAINS OF THE DAY Kazoul Shiguro *****

I absolutely loved the book. It is my favorite book ever.

______________________________________________________________________________________ THE RESCUE Nicholas Sparks *****

I thought that The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks was very interesting to read. It is a romance novel about a single woman with a child with learning disabilities and a fireman who saves her son. The book is filled with suspense on what will happen to these two love-birds.

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The Return of the King J.RR.Tolken *****

The novel was excellent. I really enjoyed reading it and I recommend it to anyone who has read the first two in the series.

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REVELATION SPACE Alastair Reynolds *****

Reynolds uses extreme detail in describing both the physical limitations of technology in the given time period and the back story for each of the characters. Being an astrophysicist, Reynolds keeps a realistic view on human technology and he completely avoids the issue of pulling out a magical piece of technology as the solution to every problem. Instead, Reynolds carefully uses back story and plot twists to solve problems. The alternating perspective allows the reader to piece together certain information better than any character can.

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ROOM FULL OF MIRRORS: A BIOGRAPHY OF JIMI HENDRIXS Charles R. Cross *****

Room Full of Mirrors is an incredibly in-depth biography about the life of one of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s most legendary guitarists, Jimi Hendrix. You learn a lot about who Jimi Hendrix really is. I thought I knew everything there is to know about Hendrix, until I read this book. I don’t want to give too much away, but think about the title. What does a room full of mirrors force you to look at?


*** Not currently available in LGHS library

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A ROOM WITH A VIEW ****

Old classic, but relevant and interesting.

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ROTTEN John Lydon *****

A good book for anyone who listens to the Sex Pistols.

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A RUMOR OF WAR Philip Caputo ****

A Rumor of War was a good book that provides an interesting point of view on the war in Vietnam. It was well written with a straightforward plot that is easy to follow and understand. This book was good if you liked “The Things They Carried” and was a good follow up for that book and gave a different perspective and was an interesting contrast to that of O’Brien.


RUNNING WITH SCISSORS Augusten Burroughs ****

A true memoir of a boy given away by his mother to be raised by an unorthodox psychiatrist as the boy struggles to find direction in his life.

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SABRIEL SERIES Garth Nix ****

The series is a very unique fantasy type. I recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy and has a unique imagination. The story involves a young girl, Sabriel, who must travel deep into the Old Kingdom to find her father, and combat the forces of life and death.

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SAM’S LETTERS TO JENNIFER James Patterson *****

Jennifer and her Grandma, Sam, are inseparable. But soon a coma threatens their relationship. Jennifer finds herself learning more about Sam’s past and herself.

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SAPPHIQUE Catherine Fisher *****

Sapphique by Catherine Fisher is a fantasy novel with a dark tone. The fantasy is combined with a partly realistic setting. There are two worlds; the real world and a giant prison that fits into a very tiny space, called Incarceron. There is a portal between these two worlds. This book has a very interesting and unusual topic that explores the connection between two worlds. The prison seems like it could be a part of the real world and it is where much of the story takes place. A dark tone in the writing works well with the prison setting. The characters are very realistic and each have unique personalities and flaws. The plot has, again, a combination of realistic and fantastical details. I would recommend this book for anyone who loves fantasy with a dark twist. It is perfect for 13-15, but not so good for younger children as it is slightly creepy.

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SARA’S FACE Melvin Burgess *****

The Book is well written, the author is from England so it is fun to see the difference in the ways that they write and talk. The author explains everything in depth so the reader is able to really get connected with the characters. At some point parts in the book are a little graphic because it is about a girl who wants to be famous and will so almost anything to achieve that. Sara, the main character meets Jonathon Heat a famous actor who has had a face transplant. He falls in love with Sara’s beauty and wishes to have her skin to make his more beautiful. Throughout the book, Sara moves in with Heat and the story is about the trickery and deceit that Heat uses to have Sara get the face transplant. She wants it so that she will be beautiful, he wants it so that he can steal her beauty. The book is an amazing example of the classic game of cat and mouse.


*** Not currently available in LGHS library

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SCORPIA Anthony Horowitz ****

I really liked this book because there was a lot of action throughout the book. There was also a lot of mystery that kept me reading to find out the answers.

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THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES Sue Monk Kidd ****

It’s definitely a girl’s book. After her “stand- in mother” insults the 3 biggest racists in town, Lily Owens joins Rosalee on a journey to South Carolina where they are taken in by three black sisters who tend bee hives. I would recommend it for girls more than boys.


***I believe the novel, The Secret Life of Bees, was overall an intriguing novel, but lacked interesting ideas for a person of my age. It was set in a place and time that I’m not too excited about. It also seemed too mushy and did not sit well with me. It’s pretty much a mother-daughter book, and I definitely would not recommend it for boys.

*****I would recommend it to everyone. It is a heartfelt story about a girl trying to find her mother. Every step of the way is a story in itself. It is one of the best books I’ve read, and everybody my age should have a chance to read it.



A SEPARATE PEACE John Knowles ****

A Separate Peace is a compelling story about friendship, inner conflict and betrayal, set in a New England boarding school during World War II. The author is able to capture the innocence of the boys at the school and their gradual loss of it as the war rages on.

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THE SHELTERS OF STONE Jean M. Auel*****

Very long, very satisfying book that ends in a cliffhanger.

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SHE’S COME UNDONE Wally Lamb ****

She’s come undone is a book about self discovery in a woman who lives a troubled life. It basically chronicles Dolores Price’s life from age 4 to 40 and the crazy life she leads. Abandoned by her father, she grows up without a father figure who impacts her even more when she is raped by her neighbor whom she deeply admired and loved. Feeling guilty from letting Dolores be exposed to such a man, her mother gives her anything she desires, which ends up being food. She becomes a hefty 237 pounds and the story continues with even more of her crazy life. This was a good book because so much happens in her life. Just when parts seem boring, Lamb brings more surprises.

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SHIBUMI Trevanian ****

Shibumi was a very good book. The plot was complex, yet understandable and flows well. It provides action and is hard to put down. The characters are very well done and depth to the story.

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THE SHIPPING NEWS Annie Proulx ****

This book has a fascinating aesthetic writing style that allowed the reader to picture the scene in their mind. It was confusing at first and Quoyle(the protagonist) was miserable and pathetic and it made me want to punch him in the face and say, “Get over yourself”. Overall, it was a fairly good book.

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SHOGUN James Clavell*****

This book has a lot of facts about Japan without making the plot or story too dull. There are a lot of scenes that make the book enjoyable to teenagers. It’s a quick read for 1200 pages.

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SIRENS OF TITAN Kurt Vonnegut*****

It is one of the best books ever written. It is very strange and I think that kids will enjoy that aspect of it. For me it’s strangeness set it apart from other books, giving it quality.

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THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS Ann Brashares ****

This book is about a loyal group of girlfriends and the dream-come-true perfect pair of blue jeans. I really thought it was a good book about friendship, acceptance and support. It had many morals to it.


**** This is a very good book. I recommend this book for mainly girls because it deals with four girls and their summers and problems, but I don’t discourage guys from reading it.
*****I especially liked the book because I could relate to most of the characters. The main characters, (Lena, Bridget, Carmen and Tibby) were teenagers in high school. They encountered the same difficulties and obstacles that LGHS students do. And then there was the magical part – the same pair of jeans fit all four girls despite their different body types.

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SIZE 12 IS NOT FAT Meg Cabot ****

This is an excellent book. It’s a story about a woman, Heather Wells who used to be a famous singer. After her company, her mother and her boyfriend ditch her she is left with nothing. She finally gets a job at Fischer Hall, which is a dormitory at a college in New York City. She enjoys her job, friends and what family she has left. Many people around New York think Heather looks like Heather Wells, however, a fatter version. Many people go up to Heather and say, “Wow, you look like Heather Wells, but a bigger version!” Ever since Heather got fired from her company she’s put on some weight. However, that’s not a big deal! A couple of days later a student gets murdered, then another, and another, and another. It is Heather Wells’ job to catch this killer. I loved this book , it’s a mystery and well written. You should read it!


SLAUGHTERHOUSE 5 Kurt Vonnegut Jr. *****

This is a very good book based upon the life of a man who is traveling in time to different parts of his life. It includes a well constructed plot that makes you put the story of his life together as you learn of his extraterrestrial encounters and experiences in WWII.

**** This book is very bizarre, but this makes it a very deep book.
****This is a book for WW II fans. It shows violence in a high level and has a compelling story. It is also the type of book that starts with the end and then works its way back to the beginning. Very interesting, emotional and compelling. There is one thing I didn’t like. It is when the protagonist character Billy Pilgrim has dreams (or is it really happening?) that he is on another planet being held in a zoo married to a strange woman

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SLOPPY FIRSTS Megan McCafferty ****

Good for girls. Funny and a quick read. It chronicles the life of 16-year-old Jessica Darling.

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SMOKE AND MIRRORS Neil Gaiman *****

A wonderful fantasy book full of short, fascinating stories.



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THE SOUND AND THE FURY William Faulkner *****

Although this book is a little confusing, it is definitely worth the time needed to read it. It is an amazing, moving sotry with lovable characters and everyone should read it.



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SO YOU WANT TO BE A WIZARD? Diane Duane *****

While written for pre-teens and teens, the plotline is based on the fantasy of the childhood of so many people with its magic, surreal worlds and vibrant personalities. While it is supposed to be about “wizardry,” science comes into play and blends, making the two difficult to differentiate. It’s the story of two wizards’ quest to prove their strength and begin a war against god. It is chillingly exciting and mysterious and will leave the reader hungry for the next book in the series, Deep Wizardry.

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SPEAK Laurie Hulse Anderson ****

This was a very good book and I enjoyed reading it. It’s not one of the hardest books ever, but it is still somewhat challenging. It’s about a girl who is starting her freshman year in high school with no friends, because of something she had done over the summer. Everything in her life starts to get worse and worse, and she starts to fail her classes, ditch school and get in trouble all the time. I can relate to it, since I am a freshman. (I still have friends though.) This book is very suspenseful, and it makes you really want to know why she has no friends, what is wrong with her parents and will things turn around in her life so that she can start to stay out of trouble.

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SPEAK Laurie Hulse Anderson ****

I think this is a very good book because it relates to high school students. In this book a young freshman girl named Melinda has lost all of her friends and is having many struggles with high school. It is a book that makes you want to keep reading. It also talks about something bad that happens to her at a party but it does not tell you what happened until the very end of the book. Overall, it is a great book to read and I don’t really like to read for fun and I loved it.

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STARGIRL Jerry Spinelli *****

If you want a book with humor, suspense, romance (there is a little of this) and a challenge, then pick up Stargirl. From the moment she arrived at quiet Mica High, the students were enchanted by Stargirl. Then, suddenly then turned and shunned everything that made Stargirl different. Why?

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STATE OF FEAR Michael Crichton ****

It is very long and full of dense science and statistics. Despite this, it was a very good book and lent itself to analysis. I liked the changes that the main character went through. It provides a good contradiction to the commonly held views of global warming and makes the reader doubt the validity of the theory. It was a good book. Not for young peoples, as it has adult topics, sex and violence.

SUZANNE’S DIARY FOR NICHOLAS James Patterson *****

A very, very good book. It tells the story of Suzanne, a wonderful woman with a wonderful life until one horrible event. Hint: Suzanne’s family is known for their weak hearts (prone to heart attacks). The tragic event is revealed in a diary, as Katie reads about the man she loves in a former life. ______________________________________________________________________________________ TAKEN Edward Bloor ***

This book is set in the future – the year 2036. This was a little weird to me because the way the future was presented was nothing like I think it will be. It was very much like 2008. It was also weird that they considered kidnapping to be an industry. “Kidnapping has become a major growth industry. Like every industry, though, it is subject to the rules of the marketplace.” (p. 2) Since it was farther into the future I would have imagined that there would have been less problems because of better security. The only really major difference between now and then was the words used. “My derma was three shades darker than it had been.” (p.225) Everything else in this book made it seem like nothing in technology had advanced at all and that the only thing that had changed was that many people were kidnapped.

______________________________________________________________________________________ TALES FROM WATERSHIP DOWN Richard Adams ****

I loved this book. The sequel was quite good also, but is not in the school library

______________________________________________________________________________________ THE TENTH CIRCLE Jodi Picoult *****

When I first opened this book I found it so interesting. It was about things I could relate to, and the descriptions of emotions were well done. I felt that what I was reading was picture perfect. I can always tell that a book is good when it affects my emotions. If something devastating happened I would feel my face tense up and my heart start pounding. Ms. Picoult does an amazing job drawing the reader in. The story was so realistic and she would add lessons about life throughout the book. It really opened the reader’s mind about everyday situations and the realization that often people are going through very difficult things without outsiders being aware. It shows the indepth love and companionship of a father and daughter. This book has so many hidden messages and really makes the reader think.

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THESE ARE MY WORDS Nancy E. Turner****

This book was very interesting because it describes the adventurous live of Sarah Price. It is a wonderful mix of an adventure and a love story. This novel shows strengths in women and how determination and hard work will allow you to accomplish your goals. I enjoyed this book because it was full of exciting actions, yet it was a beautiful love story between two main characters.

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13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES Maureen Johnson *****

A young girl’s trip through Europe financed by her deceased aunt brings closure and lessons about terminal illness and relationships.

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