Author: Marissa Meyer
This is the first book in the Lunar Chronicles series and tells the story of Cinder, a talented mechanic and cyborg who lives and works in New Beijing with her stepmom, who never wanted her. When Prince Kai enters her life asking for help repairing an android, her life is turned upside down. Soon after his visit, her sister becomes sick and Cinder is “volunteered” to help find a cure, a quest that leads to the discovery of Cinder’s true identity. For her own safety, though, she cannot tell anyone, including Kai.
The story is a unique take on the classic Cinderella fairytale and is full of romance and humor as Cinder tries to save her sister and her home while coming to terms with who she really is.
-Marisa, grade 12
Title: The Sun Is Also a Star
Author: Nicola Yoon
The Sun Is Also a Star is a novel that follows Natasha, a Jamaican immigrant who is faced with her fear of being deported, and Daniel, a son of two Korean immigrants who is faced with his fear of college. In an act of fate, the two meet in New York City. The novel follows their friendship and their love as it grows over the course of one day.
What is exceptionally amazing about this book is the author’s use of in-between chapters connected to the universe. She describes seemingly random moments in life that bring us to a single moment. Yoon’s rich character development and descriptions of unexpectedly important everyday moments make this book a must-read.
-Kassidy, grade 12
Title: Can You Keep a Secret?
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella is both uplifting and hilarious. Kinsella is an author who is able to create light-hearted stories without making them predictable and cliche. While she has written many fabulous books, including Twenties Girl and Remember Me?, Can You keep a Secret stands out as having very relatable situations and characters, which makes them even more laugh-worthy. The story is about a girl named Emma, a terrified flyer on a bumpy plane ride. She is a flawed bundle of nerves, but that is exactly what makes her understandable and realistic to the reader. On her trip, she gets so nervous that she just starts talking…and talking…and talking…to the random stranger sitting next to her. She tells him literally everything, such as the fact that she waters her irritating co-worker’s plant with orange juice just to annoy her. Once the flight lands, Emma is terribly embarrassed, but at least knows that she will never have to see this man again. Think again! It turns out that the man is the CEO of Emma’s company! This man now knows EVERYTHING about Emma. and will see her every day. Just reading it makes me cringe!
I don’t laugh with books very often, but Sophie Kinsella is so funny, and all of her books are just as laughable and irresistible. Can You Keep a Secret? is a hilarious and embarrassing story that brings tears to your eyes. It is realistic, but not at all boring. It is the kind of story for a cozy day in bed because of its fast-paced, cause-and-effect-style plot. The best thing about Kinsella’s books is that you know exactly what you are getting: witty, sarcastic humor and lovable main characters. After reading this book, you can only hope that something like this never happens to you!
-Emily, grade 12
Title: You Know Me Well
Author: Nina LaCour & David Levithan
Mark and Kate have sat next to each other for the entire year, yet they have never spoken to each other outside of school. One night the two happen to meet up in the city for a wild night at a gay club. Through their sexuality, the two become fast friends, the two become fast friends and get to know each other better than any of the people who are supposed to know them more. They encourage each other to be bold in their other relationships and grow from one another.
This is a great book. I read it fast, and I think it’s one of those awesome books where anyone would like it when they read it.
-Kassidy, grade 12
Author: Lucy Keating
Dreamology is a lovely novel about a girl named Alice who moves to a new town only to meet the boy of her dreams – literally. Ever since she was young, Alice has dreamt of her dream boy, Max, to escape the pain after her mother left her and her father. Through her dreams they fell in love and had awesome adventures together. Max soon recognizes Alice, and the book follows their journey as they try to figure out why they dream of each other.
Dreamology is a must-read for any romance lover as it shows that sometimes it’s better to have more than just dreams.
-Kassidy, grade 12
Title: Carry On
Author: Rainbow Rowell
In 2013, Rainbow Rowell published Fangirl, a book about Cath, a young woman who is deeply immersed in the Simon Snow book series she’s grown up with. In fact, Cath is famous for the vast quantities of fan fiction she has written about her 2 favorite characters, Simon and Baz. Simon, by the way, shares many similarities with Harry Potter, and Baz might remind many people of Draco Malfoy.
Anyhow, Fangirl was about a girl writing about a book series that didn’t really exist, but Rowell kept thinking about that fictional world within her fictional world, and about all the Chosen One stories – from Lord of the Rings to Star Wars and Harry Potter – and she decided to write her own. Carry On is the result, and it’s about Simon Snow, the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.
Title: Finding Audrey
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Finding Audrey is Sophie Kinsella’s first YA novel.
Something happened to Audrey. We’re never sure exactly what, but it was bullying, it was bad, and it led to a breakdown and a stay in a mental hospital. All that happens before the book opens. We join the story several months later. Audrey is homeschooled, she sees a therapist for her anxiety and panic attacks, and she’s surrounded by her loving, confused family. There’s little Felix, who finds joy in everything from ketchup to Star Wars; older brother Frank, who is obsessed with computer games; and Audrey’s mum and dad, who lurch from one parenting fad to the next. And then there’s Linus, Frank’s friend and gaming partner, whose arrival gently upsets Audrey’s daily routine.
It’s a serious situation, but it’s handled deftly, with Sophie Kinsella’s signature wit and warmth.