Tag Archives: suspense

A Good Idea by Cristina Moracho

A Good IdeaA Good Idea by Cristina Moracho
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Finley and Betty were friends for years before Finley’s parents split up and she moved to NYC with her mom. They remained close because Finley returned to their small town in Maine every summer to live with her dad. But the fall of their senior year, when they were both supposed to be applying to NYU, Betty died under mysterious circumstances. Finley is convinced that Betty was killed by her boyfriend and sets out to prove it when she returns for the summer following graduation. This is a gritty mystery with lots of twists and turns. ~ Ms. Steiger

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Student Review: Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher (reviewed by Tiffany W.)

Thirteen Reasons WhyThirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY by Jay Asher is a tragic story about Hannah Baker, a girl who commits suicide and leaves behind 7 cassette tapes for thirteen people to listen to. Hannah threatens that if these tapes aren’t sent to each person in chronological order, she’ll have someone release a second set of tapes to the public. Within these tapes, she explains how these thirteen people are the thirteen reasons why she took her own life. She explains how she was used and tormented by horrible people. The story follows Clay Jensen, one of Hannah’s reasons, and his reaction to hearing her story from her perspective. When Clay first gets the tapes, he’s shocked that he’s listening to Hannah’s last words on tape. Through the night, Clay listens to the tapes on his friend’s walkman. He strolls around the city to the various places marked on the map that was given to him with the tapes. There are very serious topics discussed in this book, such as rape, suicide, and depression. People should definitely read this novel just for the experience. Depression and suicide aren’t really topics that are openly talked about, especially if one experiences it firsthand. The book also talks about signs of suicide that one could apply to everyday life. Reading this would give someone that doesn’t suffer from suicidal thoughts insight on the real hardships some people go through. On the other hand, this book probably isn’t suited for people that are easily triggered by these topics. ~ Student: Tiffany W.

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Student Review: My Sister’s Stalker, by Nancy Springer (reviewed by Gavrielle A.)

My Sister's StalkerMy Sister’s Stalker by Nancy Springer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In My Sister’s Stalker by Nancy Springer, 16 year-old Rig finds out his sister is being stalked. Karma is in college and Rig lives with his artsy mom who lives in her own world and rarely understands reality. In his free time, Rig looked his sister up on Google and came across a rather creepy shrine-like website dedicated to his sister. His spacey mother didn’t find pictures of Karma out and about, and in her room creepy at all. As a last resort, Rig secretly contacts his strong-headed, rude, overpowering father who he basically hates. Together they go all out to track down Karma’s stalker and keep her safe from whoever is getting creepier by the day. Rig grows up by taking more risks to attempt to save his sister from the angry and creepy stalker. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a fast but good read. The reader should enjoy action, mystery, and can handle a little gruesome details. It is definitely not horror. I would recommend it to anyone over age 12 and either gender. As a 15 year-old girl, I liked it but found it too easy. Nobody under 12 who gets scared extremely easily should read it.~ Student: Gavrielle A.

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Student Review: Looking for Alaska, by John Green (reviewed by Carly S.)

Looking for AlaskaLooking for Alaska by John Green

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Looking for Alaska is a novel by John Green. Miles, who everyone calls “Pudge,” moves to a new school in Alabama. This is the school that his dad went to so it is a tradition in his family for Pudge to go, as well, by a certain age. Pudge’s roommate, Chip, who is a small quirky guy, instantly clicks with Pudge and they become good friends. Early in the semester, Pudge meets a girl named Alaska (who becomes a main character) and instantly he falls for her. He loves Alaska’s presence and her views of the world. She makes Pudge do rebellious things that he might have not have done otherwise. Pudge begins to realize Alaska isn’t as happy as she makes herself out to be. One day Alaska goes missing and Pudge, along with their other friends, go looking for her. Will they find her? Is she alive? Where did she go? This book covers topics on being a good friend and learning how to solve problems. I think other people should read this book because it’s very unpredictable and has a lot of twists and turns. A reader who likes fiction and mysteries would really enjoy this book. A reader that likes predictable books should definitely avoid this book because you won’t be able to figure out what is going to happen so easily. ~ Student: Carly S.

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Student Review: Divergent, by Veronica Roth (reviewed by Framelcy C.)

Divergent (Divergent, #1)Divergent by Veronica Roth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In Divergent by Veroinca Roth, Tris, the main character, has to choose between staying with her family or branching off alone. Tris lives in a futuristic society that is broken into five factions: Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Candor (the honest), Amity (the peaceful), Erudite (the intelligent). On a special day all 16-year-olds must select the faction to which they devote themselves for their rest of their lives. Tris makes a decision that surprises everyone, and along the struggle she finds a romance. Divergent is an amazing book, because It is suspenseful, adventurous, and romantic. Since it has so much going on, it is hard to keep up with what’s going on in the book, but since I was so into the book it wasn’t much of a problem. You need to put the pieces together to understand. It’s not your typical “I know what’s going to happen next” books, it’s one of those books where it is hard to predict the next scene, because anything can happen. When Tris is getting tested something goes wrong and her instructor starts to freak out and states:

“’No.’” Tori kneels next to the chair now and places her arms on the armrest. Our faces our inches apart.
”This is different. I don’t mean you shouldn’t share them now; I mean you should never share them with anyone, ever, no matter what happens. Divergence is extremely dangerous. You understand”(22).

When you read this sentence you want to know what shes talking about. What’s going on? Why is it dangerous? So many questions pop up in your head and you can’t find the answer right away, because anything can happen. I recommand this book to anyone who likes suspense, adventure and romance all in one. Tris makes the biggest choice that determines how she’s going to live for the rest of her life, and you wouldn’t imagine what she chooses. Read it and you’ll find out. ~ Student: Framelcy C.

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Student Review: Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer (Reviewed by Nishant V.)

Into the WildInto the Wild by Jon Krakauer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jon Krakauer did a fantastic job in portraying the riveting story of Chris McCandless through good diction, and a unique style of writing. Overall, I found the book to be a good read, apart from some repetitiveness and the different style of presenting the story.

To provide a brief summary, Chris McCandless was a perfect student in high school, who was intellectually gifted, and extremely athletic. The summer before he went to college, he learned that his father secretly had a second family since Chris was a kid; that drastically impacted him, and resulted in him leading a very secluded lifestyle. He still had good grades, but would not interact with many other people and did not have a social life. Then once he graduated from Emerson, he donated all his savings, $25,000, to charity and just drives away, leaving everything behind. From there, he hitchhikes, works odd jobs, and almost leads the life of a hobo.

One of the aspects I did not like, was the repetitiveness of his life on the road. Initially it was really interesting to understand how his life was on a daily basis, but eventually it was the same thing again and again, which kind of made me lose interest. Krakauer combatted this problem by narrating the story out of chronological order, which did intrigue me as a reader. I was left confused on a couple of occasions, but I liked this kind of approach because it is rare and was refreshing for me. I presume that Krakauer must have realized that if he presented the story in a conventional way, the reader might get bored, which is why he must have decided to switch it up. After all, since this was a non-fiction book, Krakauer could not have altered the story to make it more exciting or spice it up.

To conclude, this was one of the best non-fiction books I have read and I would recommend to anyone who likes non-fiction books. On a final note, I would have really liked it if this book had some sort of a moral, or some way to give the reader closure, its ending just seemed to be a little abrupt.~Student: Nishant V.

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Student Review: Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer (reviewed by Maria H.)

Into the WildInto the Wild by Jon Krakauer

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer is a crazy journey to read about. This book is about getting rid of everything in your life. Christopher McCandless is the guy who chooses to take this path for his new life. McCandless had it all, he was a very smart kid during his adolescence. He graduated at Emory University with high grades and a Bachelor’s degree and with a double major. He had a loving family who supported him but with some father issues on the side. Christopher had the brains but what makes the readers itch is why throw all this away to go live out in the wilderness? He had the determination to hitchhike to Alaska. McCandless hiked everywhere, did some labor work, and met new people. He refused anything that people offered him. McCandless was just a drifter. But the real questions which engage the readers are why did McCandless abandoned everything? Why does he die for such an intelligent person? and why Hike all the way to Alaska?

I would definitely recommend this book to people who like to read about a journey and who could relate because I was still stumped in the end what his purpose truly was. I was not a big fan of this book but its a nice easy read and I do like the suspense that comes up in the book. Jon Krakauer did very well by retracing McCandless’ steps and figuring out this journey mystery. ~Student: Maria H.

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Student Review: The Maze Runner, by James Dashner (reviewed by Tim H.)

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)The Maze Runner by James Dashner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Need a hooking book series to read? Well, if you haven’t already, take a look at The Maze Runner Trilogy, all by James Dashner. I’ve read the first two books, almost finished with the last one and I love the series. The first book is called The Maze Runner and I had heard about it before but I never got around to reading it until this year. The story begins with Thomas, a boy in his teenage years, who doesn’t remember anything except for his name. He is delivered, by a lightless mine-shaft like elevator, to a place called the Glade. Basically, the Glade is a few buildings, old and beat down, surrounded by an open field and a maze around the field. Thomas is greeted by a huge group of boys, some kind, some a lot less welcoming. Thomas learn that every month, a boy is expected to be delivered through the Box, the elevator he came from. Every night, there is a wall that they to keep out what they call “Greivers”. The system the “Gladers” have come up with keeps order and generally things are safe until… well you’ll have to read to find out! The author’s writing style is quite typical of any science fiction book, which in the beginning, may seem a bit “average” or the same as other science fiction books. However, the plot is extremely clever. The book is a little like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins as it includes themes such as survival and bravery. Also, most of the time, the character is easy to relate to, as he is a teenage boy who has the fears and priorities like a regular human, and yet, at the same time, does heroic things, too. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes “edge-of-your-seat” type of action (or sneak-a-chapter-in-during-class action) and a clever plot. ~ Student: Tim H.

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Student Review: Bad Deal, by Susan J. Korman (reviewed by Noah W.)

Bad Deal (Surviving Southside)Bad Deal by Susan J. Korman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Have you ever been in a situation where you risk getting in trouble? This is exactly what happens in the book Bad Deal by Susan Korman. It was a very interesting and exciting story. Coming from a lower class family without a father, Fish, as his friends call him, has ADHD and takes meds to control it. He does not enjoy taking the pill and one morning, he was in a rush a put the pill in his pocket to take later. He then offers it to a girl he likes, Ella, to help her study and remain calm for a next day exam. The word gets around and that’s how his high school career in Ritalin dealing starts. The first few chapters of the book are not easy to understand when the author describes the characters. She crams in everyone at the beginning and it is easy to get confused. That was one of the misunderstandings I had in this book. Otherwise, the plot was terrific! Fish becoming a meds dealer made the book suspenseful and brought out character unlike the start of the book. In general the plot and the whole idea of using his meds he doesn’t take and give it to be who need it; he also makes a little bit of money off it too. I would recommend this book to any gender that is interested in a suspenseful plot because the whole time you’re reading; you are hoping Fish remains out trouble. This is a very short book, so pick it up real quick if you’re in the mood for a good rebellious read. ~ Student: Noah W.

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Student Review: Legend, by Maria Lu (reviewed by Oskar C.)

Legend (Legend, #1)Legend by Marie Lu

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Legend. Not superman, or spider man, or that kind of Legend. Legend is a book by Marie Lu. A fantastic book with never ending thrill, suspense, and romance. The main character, Day, steals and commits crime to finance him and his family. One day, he makes a decision that will change his life. Day breaks into a hospital to steal medicine for the plague breakout for his family, and gets caught. In the midst of this, Day kills the person who catches him and gets away. This person is Metias, the brother of the other main character, June. The book then turns into the adventure of June catching Day, and plot turning moments throughout the book. Marie Lu’s writing style really enhances the book by using foreshadowing throughout the whole book. An example is when Day thinks, “What if it was no accident that Eden (his brother) got the plague? What if it’s no accident when anyone gets it?”(173). Marie Lu is foreshadowing a possible conflict or plot turn later on in the book. This kind of writing makes the reader want to move on through the book, which makes the novel better. The connection that I make to this book would be the novel The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The Hunger Games is a future dystopia, just like Legend. They both have main characters living in the poor “districts.” I would recommend Legend by Marie Lu to both boys and girls because it has an action aspect to it, as well as a romantic aspect. ~ Student: Oskar C.

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