Teen Reviews: January 2010
By Stella Lennon
Invisible I portrays friendship of the deepest kind. When mysterious high schooler Amanda Valentino disappears, her friends who barely know each other are thrown into confusion about what happened. Instead of waiting for her to return, they vow to find her. Once the teens follow clues that might lead to Amanda, they realize that everything they thought they knew about her is a lie. As they begin the journey of discovering who and where their best friend is, they develop friendships with each other.
This book is a must-have for anyone who likes mystery. I found myself staying up late on school nights just so I could finish the story. It is a tale of friendship and self-realization that offers a group of strangers the adventure of a lifetime.
Stella Lennon's writing style is clear and descriptive; it provides me with enough information to form a picture of the story in my mind. I found this book to be an interesting tale of friendship and the trials that must be conquered to preserve it. I like the fact that Lennon is able to create three beautiful friendships between three entirely different people, all held together by one common mission "“finding Amanda.
Reviewed by Tasman Anderson, 16, Australia
Love is the Higher Law
By David Levithan
Alfred A. Knopf, 2009
There's an old proverb that states, "You may never remember a person's name, but you will always remember how they made you feel." This same type of lesson applies to the life-changing events depicted in Love is the Higher Law, a unique look at the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
It starts with Claire, Jasper, and Peter briefly meeting each other at a party. Throughout the book, Jasper and Peter attempt to create a relationship that eventually becomes living proof that love is the higher law. Even through desperation, shock, anxiety, and depression, the three of them conclude that being together is more powerful than any weapon.
I recommend this book to those who wants to relive and remember. Even though the feelings that day can't be captured in words, David Levithan's rendition of the emotions felt before and after has to be the best on the shelf. Don't just read the words on the page, though -- feel the feelings between the lines.
Reviewed by Alexandria Lesak, 16, Ohio
By Rita Murphy
Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2008
Bird by Rita Murphy is a book about Miranda, a girl who is weightless. The slightest wind can sweep her away into the sky, and thus, one day she lands at the haunted Bourne Manor. She does not remember any of her past. At the manor, she lives with Wysteria, an old woman who has gone crazy living within the confined space of the house.
I thought the book was pretty good overall, but at times there are lulls where it seems as though the writer forgot her intended plot. I don't think Miranda is a great role model for girls because she relies on a boy's help a great deal. Miranda is not a fully developed character -- and neither is the story.
Reviewed by Brittany Catcher, 15, New Hampshire
And Then Everything Unraveled
By Jennifer Sturman
And Then Everything Unraveled is a must read for any girl who loves romance and drama! I loved this book. Delia, the main character, is brought to her Aunt Charley after her mom goes missing and is believed to be dead. Delia doesn't want to believe this; she knows that her mom is still alive and is determined to find her. On her first day at her new school, she meets Quinn Riley, one of the most popular kids. You can probably guess where this goes—a blossoming romance. As Delia grows closer to Quinn, her search for her mother deepens. With Quinn's help, can she find the answer to her mother's disappearance?
Every chapter presents a new, suspenseful situation that made me want to keep reading. I could relate to the main character; this girl is determined, which every girl needs to be. This is what makes her so attractive to Quinn.
All I have left to say to author Jennifer Sturman is "Please write another book!"
Reviewed by Amber Lesak, 14, Ohio
The Anatomy of Wings
By Karen Foxlee
Alfred A. Knopf, 2009
Ten-year-old Jennifer Day lives in a small town in Australia in the 1980s. Her sister has recently passed away; a few months before her sister's untimely death, Jennifer lost her singing voice. Now Jennifer and her best friend, Angela, are on the case to find her voice, and their only clues are inside an old shoebox they find. The more they dig into the past, the more Jennifer begins to understand her sister's death. Will she find her singing voice?
Personally, this book wasn't my favorite. It was confusing because the author, Karen Foxlee, often switches viewpoints. Sometimes Jennifer talks in the present tense, and sometimes in the past tense. Sometimes, another narrator talks about people who don't seem relevant to the story. The plot is good, though, and all in all, I found The Anatomy of Wings to be a feel-good book. I'd recommend it if you need something to chew through when you're feeling a bit scatterbrained or harried; it's a good distraction.
Reviewed by Chloe Chidester, 17, Austria
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