The Right and the Real by Joelle Anthony is a classic teen love story, but placed in the broader context of a religious cult and the protagonist’s – Jamie – homelessness. The book is reminiscent of Leaving Fishers by Margaret Peterson Haddix, but updated for the new millennium.
Six Word Summary: A Cinderella Story joins a cult.
I started reading The Right and The Real because: it reminded me of a book I read in middle school, and stayed because it related to homeless youth.
Rating: This book is a strong 3 stars if you don’t mind a twist on a cliché.
I loved: the way the author didn’t use the female protagonist’s love interests as the plot engine and they were definitely secondary characters.
If Jamie was in the high school yearbook, she would probably be voted: most creative.
On a deserted island, the main character would probably: be ingenious and do better because she’s alone.
Check out the Author’s Website!
–Theresa, 16, Teen Center Adviser
Title: The Running Man
Author: Stephen King
3 Sentence Summary: Set in a dystopian America in 2025, the recently unemployed protagonist Ben Richards decides to apply for a reality show so that he can earn money to pay for medicine for his daughter. He ends up getting selected for the ultimate show, called “The Running Man,” with the prize of one billion dollars if he is able to evade being captured or killed by professional hunters for thirty days. Through his adventures, Richards discovers the secrets the government is hiding from society and in the end he has to make one final horrific decision.
Six Word Review: Man on the run for money.
I started reading this book because it has a dystopian setting and I kept reading because the plot is gripping and needed to find out if Ben Richards made it out alive.
Star rating: 8/10 When I read books, plot is the most important factor and The Running Man had me hooked from beginning to end with a very shocking ending. The main character had some depth and was unique in that way, but I thought some of his actions were a little unrealistic which is why I took away two stars. Overall, a very entertaining read!
I loved the exciting plot which had a pace similar to that of The Hunger Games.
If the lead character was in a high school yearbook, he would be voted: Best kept secret.
Fun Fact: There is a game show called Capture on the CW that is a combination of The Running Man game show and the Hunger Games arena. On Capture, there is a team of hunters and a team being hunted that has limited supplies and must stay on the run within a wilderness compound. The grand prize is $250,000.
– Rebecca, 17, Teen Center Advisor
Title: The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand
Author: Gregory Galloway
3-Sentence Summary: Adam Strand finds himself attempting to kill himself to cure him of his boredom but seems to fail at it all 39 times. This book is filled with the very harsh topic of teen suicide in an interesting manner that has to do with much more than just depression. It’s a book filled with believable and well developed characters and such deep ideas that will really captivate you.
Six-word review: Teen attempts suicide; finds life meaning.
I started reading this because: of its title. I knew that it was going to be about suicide, and while it’s not an easy topic to read about or understand, I enjoy books that handle hard topics. I kept on reading after I saw a distinct way the main character thinks that was unlike what the usual suicide-esque story is.
Rating: I would give this 9/10. While not a real page-turner, the use of language did capture my attention a lot and kept me reading.
What I really loved was: the language and imagery in the book to really put an image in the person’s head. Quite beautiful.
If the lead character was in high school yearbook he would be voted: most likely to find meaning in his life after dying 39 times.
On a deserted island, the main character would: think of a way to kill himself (I’m sorry if that offends anybody, it’s just along the theme of the book and content of the book), then not die.
I would like to mention that despite how you interpret this review and what you would think this book is about, know that the topic of suicide is very serious and this book shows another way of looking at the subject.
–Aldo, Teen Center Adviser
Title & Author: Mike and Psmith by P.G. Wodehouse
Summary: Mike and Psmith tells the story of two boys, who, resentful of being kicked out of their beloved old boarding schools meet one another at their new school and form an unlikely alliance as hijinks and antics ensue.
Interesting Fact: Cricket can be very funny. 😉
I started reading it b/c… my mom recommended it.
I kept reading b/c… it was incredibly humorous. Many of the short stories had me in stiches, and continue to stay funny every time I read it.
The main character would be voted Most Likely To Be: An English Lord.
Six Word Review: Boys become friends rebelling at school.
This book reminded me of… nothing besides other P.G. Wodehouse books. Wodehouse is in a class of his own (as shown by his knighthood by the queen) and I highly recommend his books.
Roxanne, Northeast Teen Adviser
Title: The Fault in our Stars
Author: John Green
Summary: The Fault in Our Stars tells the story of two cancer patients, Hazel and Augustus, who meet one another and fall in love while exploring how cancer has affected their lives.
I started reading it because… I have read other John Green books and loved them.
I kept reading because… I got incredibly invested in the characters. I love Hazel and Augustus, and I couldn’t put it down until I found out what happened to them.
Main character(s): If they were in a yearbook, they would be voted Most Likely To Be: An Author chronicling her own experiences with cancer.
Six Word Recap: Couple meet, love, pursue favorite author.
This book reminded me of Going Nowhere Faster by Sean Beaudoin — they both share the darkly funny humor, though this book is much more emotionally taxing.
Watch out for the plot twist!
Roxanne, Northeast Teen Adviser
Title: Masque of the Red Death
Author: Bethany Griffin
Summary: In this twist on Edgar Allen Poe’s gothic short story, a wealthy teenaged girl who can afford a special mask to protect her from the plague that decimated humanity in the mid-1800s, falls in love, becomes caught up in a conspiracy to overthrow an oppressive government, and faces the threat of a new plague.
I started reading it because… the title reminded me of Mask of the Red Death written by Edgar Allan Poe (one of my all-time favorite authors.)
I kept reading because… I wanted to know how Bethany’s version of Red Masque of Death was different than Edgar’s.
Main character(s): If they were in a yearbook, they would be voted Most Likely To: Araby will fall in love with the most atrocious man if he is handsome.
Will will destroy the whole world for the sake of his family.
Six Word Recap: Plague has claimed many human lives.
This book reminded me of Mask of the Red Death by Edgar Allen Poe because both books have the same antagonist and the plague is the cause for the death of half of the entire world’s population in both books.
Websites of interest: Bethany’s Blog
Endrias, Lake City Teen Blogger
Summary: Ship Breaker
is set in the society of Bright Sands. Nailer, a young ship breaker, works every day, stripping metal of copper wiring, metal staples, and other materials that can be scavenged for money. Nailer finds a ship that is any breaker’s dream after a massive storm. On the ship is a beautiful girl who promised to give him a fortune if he saves her and helps her. But the ship is filled with gold and $$, and Nailer has a serious decision: either break it for money or save the girl. What to do?
I started reading it because…
one of my teachers recommended it and after hearing the summary, I was interested.
I kept reading because…
I was curious on what he would do? I was debating with myself on what I would do if I was in that situation.
Main character(s): If they were in a yearbook, they would be voted most likely to:
The hardest working teen ever.
Six Word Recap: Nailer’s decision on saving or breaking.
This book reminded me of how in life many people have a lot of decisions to make. Some of them can be easy but some of them can be hard and tough to decide. So I think this book is really decisive.