Student Book Reviews Updated September 2012 title / Author / Rating



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The 13 ½ LIVES OF CAPTAIN BLUEBEAR Walter Moers *****

It is a hilarious book. Very funny and extremely random. Not a children’s book, don’t worry. Also recommend any Terry Pratchet Books!



This book is enchanting. I fell in love with the story about these Afghan women because you learn to love their characters. It is important for many people to read this book because it is educational while displaying a beautiful and enriching story. It is good for anyone because it can open some reader’s eyes or just entertain someone reading for fun. Another important aspect of this book is its cultural value; many kids do not understand this culture very well so maybe they will learn something or take something important from this book.

***** Really engaging, and the storyline never slows down. The characters are really endearing. So good.
***** I really enjoyed this book because it showed the perspective of two young women who experience the brutality of Afghanistan and the Taliban. He incorporates the truth of our history through a heartrending novel. I recommend this book with no doubt.
***** This book was amazing because of the point of view and the way it was written. The plot follows a very strong story in which women are forced to endure and prevail through many hardships. It’s a very uplifting story that shows how women are powerful. Amazing story and novel.


THREE Ted Dekker *****

This is an excellent book with a great plot and underlying themes. Though written by a Christian author, it is a book everyone can enjoy. It is a classic fast-paced and hard-to-put-down book that takes readers through the mind of a person who grew up knowing things as real and unreal rather than as good and evil. This is a great book for intellectuals and thrill seekers alike.


TIME AND AGAIN Jack Finney ****

This book really took me by surprise. Being written about the 1970’s and 1880’s, I thought it would have been about the main character’s recollections of travelling between times. In fact there was a mystery and great plot line. I very much enjoyed it.


A TIME FOR DANCING David Hurwin ****

Samantha and Juliana have been best friends their whole lives. Yet when Juliana is suddenly diagnosed with a deadly cancer, their friendship and love are put to the greatest test.


THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE Audrey Niffenegger*****

This is a great book because it has both romance and a little bit of action which will keep readers from wanting to put it down. This book was just made into a movie (which is also great) so after you finish it, you can go see the movie and compare the two.


TO THE LIGHTHOUSE Virginia Woolf *****

I enjoyed this book very much. Virginia Woolf is awesome. It’s a great book for leisure.


TREASURE ISLAND Robert Louis Stevenson *****

Treasure Island is a fun, fantastic and exciting book, filled with adventure, deceit, betrayal and death. This book is about a boy who goes up against all odds to save and acquire new friends and treasure. If you are looking for an adventurous book, Treasure Island is the book for you.



This is a book set in the 1920s around the Great Depression. It is a coming of age story about a girl named Francie.

*****This was a great book about the struggles of a girl growing up in poverty and how she deals with the challenges she faces.
**** This book is a great story about poverty and growing up. The main character shows how a poor child can grow up while having fun.


Cool book about a girl who has an insane summer while working at a job while her boyfriend is away at geek camp.



This book makes you really think about the importance in life. For such a small book, it taught me so much that I’ve read it over three times.

***** The book was easy to read and a great story. You can learn a lot from this book.


Amazing series. Easy to understand, yet complex writing. Amazing fantasy/historical fiction/science fiction series.


TWILIGHT Stephanie Meyer *****

Great fantasy/fiction story. When Isabella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious Edward Cullen, she falls under the spell of this man with the porcelain skin, mesmerizing voice and supernatural gifts.

***** I never really liked to read until I found the series Twilight. These are the most amazing books ever. Every girl who gets her hands on these books will be addicted. The only time I wouldn’t recommend this book would be to someone with a heavy homework load, because it is so hard to stop reading. Also, the movie version of Twilight is coming out on November 21, 2008! Hopefully, more people can read the book before the movie comes out. The characters in the book seem so real it is hard not to want to be like them and want to know people like them.
*****This book is the best book I have ever read. If you like romance, mystery, and fiction this book is for you. Luckily there are three more books in this series because the first one is so good and it only gets better. I would recommend also getting the next three books to get the entire story. I am almost done with the second one and I’m ready to start the third.
*****I would say that Twilight should be read by anyone who loves a little mystery, a little action, and a little love all rolled into one novel. Stephanie Meyer does an amazing job of drawing the reader in and making him feel like he is actually in the book. As I read my life actually started to be influenced by what was happening in the book. The growing experience that Bella progresses through relates to our own life and helps us learn through her decisions. I personally am a really slow reader, but when I read this book I did not even realize the time was passing. I found myself yelling at the book like I was really into a TV or movie drama. I think that even guys wold like to read about the struggles that Bella and Edward go through. In conclusion, I love this book.

*****This book was amazing because Meyer was able to create a plot that really kept the reader attached. It does not involve sex or drug, but two character’s love that is so deep with temptations that are so strong. By temptation I mean that Bella and Edward can only kiss with their mouths shut. It’s not a regular teen novel where either drugs or sex is involved. Meyer portrays love in a different way. I was always interested in the chapters. For example, the Cullen’s background (Edward and his family are all vampires). This book was very entertaining and I even read past 3 AM so I cannot wait to finish it.

****This series--in my opinion--was great. The first and last books are the most perplexing of the four. The middle two drag a little and take about 100 pages to get into, but are also very good. If you’re into good mysteries, lots of drama and unrealistic fantasies, these books are a great match for you.
*****Many people like the books and always talk about the movies. It would be a good idea to have them just in case some people may want to read them at lunch or after school with a friend.


UGLIES Scott Westerfeld ****

AMAZING! My favorite book.

______________________________________________________________________________________ THE VAMPIRE DIARIES L.J. Smith *****

This series is very good and I think students would like it.


WAR AND PEACE Leo Tolstoy ****

War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy is well-written. It is a story about a Russian woman in the 19th century, who is from the Russian aristocracy.. The war during this time was because of Napoleon Bonaparte. This is a good book to read because first, it is well-written, but also because of the philosophic idea that one is shown in this book.


I first read this book freshman year for a reading log about contemporary novels. I instantly loved Gruen’s writing style and the plot w2as extremely interesting. The book follows Jacob Janeowski, a college student in the Great Depression. After his parent die in a car crash, he drops out and becomes a vet for a traveling circus. A circus in the 1930’s may seem extremely overdone and trite but the writing is amazing and you really can identify with the characters. It’s a very dramatic book, not just some boring history of the times. I highly recommend it to anyone.



This series is one of the best I’ve read. It is reading that is entertaining, with plots full of revenge, lust, war, and romance. The series is primarily fantasy but takes place in a medieval setting. A very good book.


THE WESTING GAME Ellen Raskin *****

While some may not believe that a children’s book can be considered amazing, The Westing Game is. This book will draw the reader in by the end of the first chapter. The main plot concerns sixteen people who live in the Sunset Towers and are trying to solve the puzzle that the dead millionaire, Sam Westing, left behind. The mystery is both entertaining and exciting. Every question is answered. If you like mysteries that are smart, then this book is for you. To this day, this is my favorite book.


THE WHEEL OF DARKNESS Douglas Prestor & Lincoln Child *****

This book is about a Sherlock Holmes-like detective who is hired by a monastery of monks to track down the Agozyen, an object sent to “cleanse” the earth of its bad stuff. So far the detective, Pendergast, has tracked it to a cruise ship and is currently investigating. So far no real action has occurred except when he was searching a room and a body guard puts a gun in his face. Pendergast plays cool and beats him up with a sudden punch to the head. Also, a maid goes crazy from something she saw in a person’s room and tears her eyes out. Later she stabs herself in the eye socket and dies. Also a man’s wife has gone missing and a strand of blond hair has been found near a broken railing on the side of the ship


WHITE OLEANDER Janet Fitch ****

This book is about a young child, Astrid, who is “orphaned” when her mother is imprisoned for life for murdering her lover. As a result, Astrid drifts through a series of foster care homes, trying to find a home.

Powerful and easy to read.
***** This book is good because it deals with real life problems . . . no lies!
***** This is a great book. It’s real.
***** When I first started reading the book, I wasn’t impressed because I unfortunately judge books by their cover. But I later learned that this is an amazing book as I kept reading. One is awed by the sadness this book can make one feel.



Amazing. Amazing for people who have watched the play. Well elaborated, Maguire sets up the characters very well. Truly brings a new look on L. Frank Baum’s creation of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Anyone older than 14 should read it to understand it best.


THE WINTER KING Bernard Cornwell****

This book is like a giant slam to Arthurian legends. The protagonist is a Saxon and classic Arthurian symbols are called their Saxon names. Lancelot sucks in this book, and he’s just a fake that has good poems. You shouldn’t use this book for a reading log because it is extremely difficult to write about as too much happens. It’s great to just read for fun. It’s not on Sparknotes.


WIZARD’S FIRST RULE Terry Goodkind****

It’s kind of like Lord of the Rings mixed with Harry Potter. The characters are amazing, and the story is very unpredictable. If you need a long book that’s easy to read, read this!

THE YEAR I TURNED SIXTEEN: Rose, Daisy, Laurel, Lily Diane Schwemm****

This book is very good. I can relate to it throughout the book and it reminds me how important family is. In this story, four sisters talk about each one of their experiences when they turned 16. Each one has a new experience and explains what happens, especially on their birthday. I believe many girls could relate to this book which is one of the reasons I chose it because a friend told me it was very good.


WICKED: The Life & Times of the Wicked Witch of the West Gregory Maguire ****

If I hadn’t seen the play before I read the book, the book would probably be more appealing. So read the book first.

**** It was an engaging novel, and I truly enjoyed it, but it was long and slow at times. Despite its incredible story, it is disappointing if you are a fan of the musical.
**** There were parts of the book that were very strange, like the Philosophy Club, and some of the names are hard to remember. Overall, the book was interesting and reveals a whole new aspect and outlook about the wicked witch of the west from the Wizard of Oz.
**** I saw the play first, and it “blinds” you going into the book. I would recommend reading the book and then definitely seeing the musical if you ever have the chance.


WUTHERING HEIGHTS Emily Bronte *****

A brooding Yorkshire tale of love that is stronger than death.


XENOS Dan Abnett *****

A very good sci-fi book in which the author introduces the dark future of the Warhammer 40,000 universe. One of series in the triology. The background story needs some explaining, though.

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