Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Becky Albertalli

Simon is penpals with Blue, but he does not know their real identity. Blue and Simon talk about life and all their little mishaps in life, without any personal details, so they can’t figure out who the other is. He starts to suspect who his pen-pal/secret admirer is and when they get to know each other better all he wants to do is know who Blue really is, even though Blue is strongly opposed to it.

When a fellow student at their high school finds an email between them, he begins blackmailing Simon to help him get a date with his friend Abby or else he will spill the emails. Simon feels there is no choice but to obey. Every major event will make you rethink how you thought the story would play out. A heartfelt story of blackmail, pen pals, friendship, and the struggles of life.

You won’t want to put this book down and the characters have been written as relatable and realistic. Becky Albertalli’s beautifully written plot is comparable to those of many teen’s struggles and therefore makes the overall story take you through every page in a way that makes it seem as if you are in the story too. An emotional rollercoaster and by the end, you will be wishing for more.

I would recommend this book to most people, this plot will have you hanging off every word not wanting to take a break. Warning: you may have the urge to eat Oreos and Reese’s pieces while you read! Also even after reading, I still do not completely understand the connection to the Homo Sapiens Agenda even though it is mentioned somewhat throughout the book. A very quick read but a moderately sized book for teens and up, as the information sometimes needs an understanding of the subject matter. – Zoe P.

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The Knowing

Sharon Cameron

Samara is one of the Knowing, and the Knowing do not forget. Hidden deep in the comfort and splendor of her underground city, a refuge from the menace of a coming Earth, Samara learns what she should have never known and creates a memory so terrible she cannot live with it. She flees to Canaan, the lost city of her ancestors, to forget.

Beckett has flown through the stars to find a dream: Canaan, the most infamous social experiment of Earth’s antiquity. They find each other in the ruins of the lost city, and uncover so much more than he has ever bargained for — a challenge to all he has ever believed in or sworn to. When planets collide and memories clash, can Samara and Beckett save two worlds, and remember love in a place that has forgotten it?

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Geekerella

Ashley Poston

Geekerella is a well-done modern retelling loosely based off of Cinderella in a more rebellious teen kind of way. This book has everything from pudgy dogs, to vegan food trucks, fandoms and everything “geeky”. A superstar heartthrob actor is cast as one character that matters to Elle in Starfield, a TV show that being rebooted, which is the only thing she has left to remember her parents by. Left with an awful stepmother and rude, trickster stepsisters, she is left alone with no one who cares about her. Along the way, Elle meets friends, people who rebel against her, and fans that care about her and the blog she writes about Starfield. When she starts falling for a guy she’s never met, can she hide it from her stepsisters as the texts become more frequent?

I loved Geekerella, a perfect mix of nerdy, geeky and love story. I didn’t want to put this book down; although you sometimes knew what was going to happen, it didn’t take away from the story, but rather made you anticipate and yearn for what was to come next. A flowing story even with the switching perspectives, sometimes they continued where the other character left off!! An amazing love story between geeks, and some relationships will form that will surprise you but in a good way. A must-read for fans of sci-fi and romance, and for nerds and geeks. The author includes other well-known shows and movies along with their characters, this keeping the basis of Cinderella while going out of the box, giving it a fun super awesome plot that will keep you guessing. Bravo to Ashley Poston for an amazing teen romance story – a story of finding your way and following your dreams, not doing what others expect of you. So as they say in Starfield, “Look at the stars, aim, ignite!” – Zoe P.

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The Infinite Moment of Us

Lauren Myracle

A true love story of being broken and finding yourself. Even when you try to run away from your life, you are always brought back to reality. The Infinite Moment of Us tells the story from alternating perspectives of Wren, who has never made decisions for herself, and Charlie, who has lived a tough past. They find each other when they are both lost, and though they may lose each other along the way, they will but always know where home is.

The story is about love, and home, with wonderful writing. It is a coming of age novel of innocence and taking a leap of faith to find yourself even if everything might not go as once planned. The two grew up in different ways with different types of parents — some overprotective and others not caring at all. The characters have morals and things they do on instinct; romance laced with jealousy and the fact of feeling broken. Also, when Wren starts to make decisions for herself and rebels against any rules, her parents are distraught.

One part I disliked was that a bunch of the book was graphical in the its descriptions, so it is for older mature teen audiences. I would recommend for those who like the genre. If you overlook that, the story plot was better than most romance novels, which focus mostly on the drama factor. The setting and places this book tells about are unknown to the reader as the author never describes it and when she does it is very vague. A fast read, however, it is an intense love story and not a book for everyone. Overall a good book, and I wish it had a sequel or something to continue the story. – Zoe P.

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Blood of Wonderland (Queen of Hearts, #2)

Colleen Oakes

Dinah is now in hiding, exiled from Wonderland. Her own father has framed her for the brutal murder of her brother and turned the kingdom against her. With only her war steed at her side, Dinah must choose—leave Wonderland forever, or stay and fight her father for the throne.

When a chance encounter with one of her father’s long-lost enemies brings Dinah more allies than she ever could have imagined, war starts to feel inevitable. Before Dinah can lead her people into combat, she must confront certain truths about her heart and her destiny—no matter how dark those truths may be.

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Six Impossible Things

Fiona Wood

Six Impossible Things was a hilarious book that made you laugh at the situations Dan experiences — like a company bankruptcy and a divorce lead to a move into a deceased family members’ home. These life-altering changes lead to the discovery of an attic connecting his house to the house of the girl next door, but not just any girl — a girl he’s been watching and admiring. Although they have never met, he knows more about her than he should. She’s even number 1 on his list of six impossible things list! Nothing can go right for Dan; no matter how much he worries and plans, there always seems to be a little blip, something changes, or he gets caught.

Not at all overly dramatized like many other teen novels, which make for a better plot. I would recommend this book for people who have enjoyed My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I wish Six Impossible Things would have had a more detailed and emotional ending compared to the abrupt ending that it had, but it was still a great book and overall enjoyable. No matter how many times the others at school tried to put him down, he would get back up only slightly fazed and continue to try. Dan doesn’t give up, and although the list is of Impossible things he refuses to stop trying to obtain his goals and complete the list, Dan doesn’t give up trying to achieve his six impossible things. This book teaches a very good lesson that sometimes we forget, that what you want may seem impossible but if you persevere and don’t stop even when odds are against you, you may just surprise yourself and achieve the so-called impossible, if not how would the world have advanced? – Zoe P.

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The Edge of Seventeen

Nadine Franklin is an awkward 17-year-old who believes she has it worse than everyone. Her best friend Krista is the only human Nadine socializes with. The one person she goes to with all her problems is her teacher, Mr. Bruner. Nadine’s all time crush, Nick, hasn’t even spared her a glance, and her perfect brother Darian gets all of their mother’s attention. When Nadine finds out Krista and Darian have been seeing each other behind her back, Nadine feels neglected by her best friend. She replaces her with Erwin, a classmate, the one person who would listen to her rant endlessly. Little does Nadine know, Erwin has a huge crush on her but Nadine being so is oblivious towards his feelings, and doesn’t treat him with importance. One day, Nadine gets in contact with Nick and goes out with him, but comes home disappointed with his arrogant behavior. Nadine must learn what is really important in a friendship to save the ones that matter most.

The Edge of Seventeen is unique, funny and relatable in every way. The main character Nadine goes through numerous relatable situations that you will feel as if you’re playing Nadine’s part yourself. I would recommend this movie to everyone in high school though mostly to people who don’t step out of their comfort zone just like Nadine. There isn’t a moment in this movie that doesn’t seem true, this movie would definitely be my number one choice for a movie marathon. – Abrish Z.

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Give Up The Ghost

Megan Crewe

Cass McKenna can talk to and see people who are dead. Ghosts, you may call them. Ones who have for some reason have not moved on from earth. In fact, she highly prefers communicating with them than ‘breathers’, people who are living. They are so much more uncomplicated and always tell Cass any dirt or secrets they can dig up on people. Ones that ‘breathers’ think are told in private places, however, little do they know that the dead are listening in. Cass uses this to her advantage to expose the poseurs in her school which is why most of her peers highly dislike her and keep their distance. And to be honest? She is totally fine with this.

When Tim, the extremely popular president of the student council, approaches her asking for her help, Cass’s guard automatically goes up. However, when Tim keeps persisting, she finally relents a little bit and only will help him if he gives back secrets and information on a few select students. Nonetheless, as she becomes more involved in his life and helping him out, their relationship becomes much more than just trading each other for things they want. Although they are an unlikely couple, Megan Crewe keeps her readers guessing at every turn of the page!

This book was sometimes slow at certain parts, but other than that it was an interesting story to read. Despite the fact that I usually am not into these kinds of genres, I still enjoyed this novel and the characters within. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys romance books with a classic ghost fantasy twist. – Juliana M.

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The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1)

Kelley Armstrong

Maya is in grade 11 and lives a pretty ordinary life. Since she was adopted, she doesn’t know much about her biological family or how her life would be if she lived with them. The only clue she has is a paw shaped birth mark that sits on her hip. However, Maya had never really thought about her biological parents as she is happy with living with her adoptive family in a very small community on Vancouver Island until strange events start to happen in the small town. Events that for some reason make her think of her best friend Serena’s strange and ‘freak accident’ drowning. For instances, mountain lions always seem to be near wherever Maya is. And a mysterious new boy starts to slowly draw her in.

After a ‘reporter’ starts to come around the island and ask unusual and out of place questions, Maya and her best friend Daniel feel that something is off. As they investigate further, a puzzle starts to form about her biological family, the medical institute in her small community, and the incident of her best friend’s death. As she dives deeper down into this entanglement, relationships start to form, even in a way she would never expect.

‘The Gathering’ was enjoyable for me to read as I connected it to my life and my experiences. This book draws you into a web of secrets, puzzles, and questions that can only be answered by guessing and reading. My recommendation for this book would go out to people who relish in fantasy novels, as well as trying to figure out many mysterious questions and characters. – Juliana M.

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Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)

Leigh Bardugo

“No mourners. No funerals. Among them, it passed for ‘good luck.’”

Kaz Brekker, known as “Dirtyhands” to many, is given an offer he can’t refuse. If he manages to complete the task of infiltrating the Ice Court, the most highly secured prison, he’ll be paid a large sum. Within the Ice Court, Kaz is supposed to kidnap a scientist who is being kept there. He will have to gather six of the deadliest outcasts known throughout Ketterdam if he wants to be able to pull this off. If he can get them to join him, they could manage to finish without a hitch. But they’ll have to learn to trust each other and work as a team, first.

Not only one of my favourite books, but one of my favourite series of all time. This book takes a group of characters from a number of different backgrounds, as well as the reader, on a journey of crime and desperation. Filled with magical realism as well as action and adventure, the characters we meet make us question what really is good versus bad in the world. Can something that we would normally see as a crime be justified for the right reasons?

Six of Crows is filled with so many incredible characters that are strong, intelligent and quick-witted. You’ll end up loving most, if not all of them.

This book is such a fun and enjoyable read, as well as very well written. I became a fan of Leigh Bardugo because of Six of Crows. – Stacie C.

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