March 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Teens Review Kody Keplinger’s “Run,” Suspense, and More

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Property-of-the-State-cover-FinalCAMERON, Bill. Property of the State. Poisoned Pencil. Jun. 2016. Tr $10.95. ISBN 9781929345229.
Gr 9 Up–
I felt that the cover was great for the book. It shows one person standing alone which represents Joey Getchie. Throughout, Joey is faced with many challenges that he is forced to face alone. He is an outcast. I feel that the cover represents this very well. The plot was very interesting. This book definitely kept me on my toes every time I continued to read. The setting was well explained. I always knew where the character was. I was disappointed that Joey ran into so many problems alone. Also, at the end of the book I was disappointed that Joey and Kristina didn’t have a future together.       This book has a great plot, setting, and well-thought out characters. This book has a plot of events that many readers can relate to.—Vincente C., 18

mirageCLARK, Tracy. Mirage. HMH. Jul. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780544517905.
Gr 10 Up–
Ryan is a 17-year-old adrenaline junky addicted to skydiving. She has never been afraid of a challenge, but when she sees a ghost of herself in the mirror, everything changes. She finds herself questioning her sanity. Is the old Ryan lost forever? Or will she find herself again? I liked the picture on the cover because it reflected content in the book. Especially with the fragmented mirror. I didn’t love the font chosen for the title. It didn’t fit with the background picture.

I had never read a book with this kind of plot. It was scary with the mental problems depicted, but also fun to read about this girl with unlimited adrenaline addiction. I was disappointed in the writing. The plot idea was great but I didn’t think the author executed it well. Especially with the relationship between Ryan and Dom, which was kind of sprung on the reader.—Grace D., 13


I enjoyed the main character—Ryan’s—attitude towards life in the end. It made me think twice on my use of drugs. It also opened my mind to things that may not always be real.—Alexx M., 17

with maliceCOOK, Eileen. With Malice. HMH. Jun. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780544805095.
Gr 9 Up–
The plot was that this girl woke up from a coma with six weeks of her life stripped from her memory. When she wakes up, her life is turned upside down. Her best friend is dead and she’s the one to blame from her peers and society. She believes she is innocent but how will she prove it? The cover gave a small reflection on how the book would end up being like. The book took place in Italy so it showed what a favela looked like. It starts off really good and gets you really hooked. But it seems to slow down towards the end. Not enough action and it needs more twist and bumps.

The book will have you anxious to find out the truth about the whole mess. The book could have 50 different outcomes.

I think the author has a good chance of getting some pretty amazing books out there. This was my first book that like others I thought would be boring, but it turned out pretty good.—Guillermo J., 16

RunKEPLINGER, Kody. Run. Scholastic. Jun. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780545831130.
Gr 9 Up—
Two girls from totally different backgrounds become friends. Their journey on how they became friends and the story of their “run” together told by each perspective.

I liked the cover. It showed two girls at a motel. If you look closer into detail it shows that one of the girls is partly blind, and has a walking stick. Instead of the motel sign saying “Motel” it says “Run” which is also the book’s title. It really gets you thinking what the book could possibly be about.

A dirty hotel, a school, on the road, her cousin’s house (Bo’s), Bo, Agnes, Colt, Agnes’s sister, mom and dad, Bo’s parents, Dog. I loved that the book was told from different perspectives and each chapter switched from each character’s perspective.

I loved everything. It doesn’t feel like I’m reading, it feels like someone is speaking to me. I love the diversity of the main characters and all of the details behind each character. I also love how each chapter is told from a new perspective.

I think teens would like this book because some of the lessons are helpful and each of their stories are relatable by someone. I recommend this book. I just really like it.—Kellyna M., 16

before we go extinctRIVERS, Karen. Before We Go Extinct. Farrar. Jun. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780374302405.
Gr 7 Up–
It starts with this kid who’s got all this crazy stuff happening in his life and all he wants is some kind of change. After his best friend dies he ditches his life to live with his distant father. He did so because he almost feels guilty. His lover was also the person his best friend who killed himself loved, but she chose him. He runs from her and decides he might as well help save the sharks because they’re not killing themselves off, the sharks want to live.

This was not only about sharks and I felt that a little more could have been incorporated. But it was still creative.  I loved the writing style. The way Sharkboy expressed himself about the girl he loves/loved and talks about his dead best friend and how he needs a change is so relatable. Most books are cheesy and predictable, but this one is something else.

It could have been more clear about who Sharkboy’s dead friend is that he was texting the whole time, but that’s it really. Almost everyone can relate to the love story Sharkboy had in one way or another.—Isabella S., 17

Skye_Crown's GameSKYE, Evelyn. Crown’s Game. HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray. Jun. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062422583.
Gr 8 Up–
This is a book where you want to throw it across the room one minute then pick it up and start reading it the next.  I enjoyed how detailed the cover was down to the black strip in Vika’s hair. The palace of Russia being transformed into a crown was a wonderful idea as it summed up in a way what the game was about without giving anything away.

I have always been fascinated by other cultures and the Crown’s Game has installed in me a love for Russia and the country’s history. The story pulled me in so deep that even when you know something is going to happen it still shocks you when it does. The fantasy blended beautifully with the history.

Something brought up in the book that didn’t have a proper conclusion was Nicholas’s mother. She simply disappeared without a thought or word on how she felt about her son’s reaction to meeting her.

The book was brilliant and better than most teen books I’ve read. I have a hunch the story doesn’t end there and hope for more as while the ending was good it leaves me unsatisfied and wanting to know what happens next.—Odessa F., 17

frayedTERZIS, Kara. Frayed. Sourcebooks. Jun. 2016. Tr $10.99. ISBN 9781492631736.
Gr 8 Up–
Foster child Ava’s sister was murdered. Nobody knows who did it, but Ava has her suspicions and sets out to set things straight. It’s only after she’s so deep into the mess that Ava realizes she shouldn’t have become involved.

I love the cover, it’s honestly why I picked it up in the first place. I think the title name was a good pick and I also loved the couple sentences about the book towards the bottom. I think just the girl standing against the wind is a powerful image. I think the image’s connection to the contents is a more symbolic one.    The mystery plot was the most compelling aspect. You don’t learn until the very end who the murderer was. I love how the book ties together a lot of different elements: teenage drama, mystery, foster kids, psychological issues. There were definitely some very surprising plot twists.

Honestly, though it was well written, the book was just way too dark and sad for me. When I finished the novel I had no happy or satisfied feeling, I was just sad. I really hated how the author SPOILER made the main character Ava be the murderer. I don’t like it when the main character turns out to be the bad guy.

Oh, by the way, I did like the romance tossed in their between Rafe and Ava and I also like the alternating between regular writing and journal entries.—Marianne M., 15

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