The Limit by: Kristen Landon

Matt and his family live in a world, almost like ours. In it, there is something called the limit, or the amount of debt a family has. There is a limit on how much debt a family can have, and if they go over the limit, the government comes to take their oldest kid away.

Matt has complete faith that his family won’t go over the limit, but after a turn of events, Matt finds himself taken away to a facility by Honey Lady, or Miss Smoot. He’s taken to the top floor where all the smart kids live, but little do they know, the building and the people in it, are hiding secrets.

After Neela gets headaches and is told she has left for her family, Matt goes down to the third floor to see Lauren, and sees Neela. He gets suspicious and little by little, his friends Paige, Jeffrey, and Coop, gather evidence to show everyone that this facility is intended to hurt. But will they be able to escape and show the world that maybe taking kids away isn’t the best solution after all?

This book is a fairly short book, but it does have action and suspense. I think it was beautifully written, but this book wasn’t the best book I have ever read. For anyone who wants a short but exciting book, this book will not disappoint. Enjoy!

Watch Us Rise by: Renee Watson and Ellen Hagan

“Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?” – Frida Kahlo

Jasmine and Chelsea are feminists at heart, and they both love the creative arts. Jasmine does short stories, and Chelsea is a lover for poetry. They sign up for their clubs, but in the classes, the unthinkable happens. Catcalling, racist and sexist comments, are what happens in those classrooms. Devastated, the girls quit their clubs and start a new club, Write Like A Girl. Along with their friends Issac and Nadine (and James), they know the fight isn’t over yet.

Write Like A Girl is a club that posts poetry and short stories about feminism. They highlight that girls should love who they are. They even make posts that spotlight important women in history and in the present! The club spread from school to school, but the principal was not happy. He suspends the club saying that it was inappropriate and whatnot. However, Chelsea, Jasmine, Issac, and Nadine all risk everything to make their voices heard.

When Write Like A Girl becomes a sensation with people loving it and hating it, what happens next? What’s the next step?

Masterfully written, it’s a spellbinding book that I couldn’t put down.

Farewell to Manzanar by: Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston

Jeanne was hardly 10 years old when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. When the president ordered for all the families who were Japanese to be moved to internment camps, Jeanne didn’t understand! She couldn’t believe they were moving her entire family to Manzanar. Upset, she gathered a small bit of her possessions.

Manzanar was… hard to get used to at first. The small barracks had to be shared with other families, and there were many cracks that had to be filled. Privacy was hard to get and the government, during the first years, kept the residents inside. The food was better than you’d expect. The government, as time went on, did let people go outside of camp and hike and play. The children could go to school, classes were taught, and recreations were learned. Jeanne took up baton twirling. There was church that she could attend as well.

Unlike the concentration camps over in Germany, Manzanar was more civilized and had much more freedom. However, that doesn’t mean people died. Women who gave birth had a high risk of dying, as they could bleed to death while giving birth. People also probably died from the cold that swept through the camp.

I loved this biography! Usually, I would detest reading biographies, but this book is an exception. Jeanne wrote her book cleverly and I was able to read it through without being bored. I absolutely loved it. It highlights the racism that happens after the Japanese were freed from camps, the disagreements with her father because of cultural differences, and many other problems. I would rate this book a 4/5 just simply because I would be confused at times. Overall, this biography was splendid, and if anyone needs to read a good history book, this book will suit you just fine. Happy reading!

Girl Against the Universe by: Paula Stokes

Kelly Maguire thinks she’s cursed. She thinks she is bad luck. Maguire has experienced many traumatic events that make her feel like the Universe hates her. But what happens when her grandmother Siobhan invites Maguire and her mother to a memorial service in Ireland? She hates being with other people or riding transportation if she’s not sure what to expect. But Ireland is a plane ride and a lot of work away…

Why, on that fateful day, did her Uncle Kieran, her dad, and her older brother Connor die in that car crash while she walked out untouched? Or that time when the roller coaster derailed and many people got injured, and Maguire was alright. Was that really her? And what about when Maguire forgot to blow out a candle and she went for a run, and in that time frame, her neighbor’s house had gone up in flames? Is that even possible?

Even all the good luck rituals and crystals do her no good. She’s always afraid to go where others are, so she likes to stay home all the time. She goes to therapy to learn to let go. And that’s when she meets Dolphin Lover. Or, more specifically, Jordy.

Jordy faces his own problems. He’s a great tennis player and he’s thinking about going to the professional level. (Yes, he’s that good.) But there’s a slight problem. He’s got overprotected parents and two different personalities (or persons) battling inside of him. He calls them Real Jordy and Tennis Jordy. He meets Maguire when she walks outside of therapy lessons. Soon, the two of them become friends who help each other with their goals.

Soon the two of them start getting really close, but Maguire is sure she has to stay away to protect him, but Jordy just wants to be her best friend and maybe more than that. Will Maguire be able to face her fear of being cursed, figure things out with Jordy, and go to Ireland for the memorial service?

Now, that part’s up to you. I’ll tell you, though, this book is one of my favorites. I loved the characters and their goals, hardships, and decisions. The author, Paula Stokes, was very good at making me read the book until the very end. I was never able to put the book down! I give this book a 5/5. If anyone wants a new book to read, this book is perfect for any reader. Enjoy!

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by: Louise Gornall

Norah is different. But she is strong. Stronger than she thinks, and when a new neighbor moves in, Norah will try to see herself through his eyes.

Norah suffers from mental health issues and many phobias. She can’t go outside because there are many germs, earthquakes are possible, and many other things. She’s afraid of irrational numbers. She stays home, not going to school, but instead attending an online school, and she goes to therapy.

When Luke moves in, he sees Norah, a smart, funny, and extremely brave girl. He doesn’t think of all her health problems and phobias. Instead, he respects them. The two of them become friends. They both like Transformers, Norah helps Luke with his French, and they watch horror movies together. Soon, Norah and Luke develop feelings for each other, which Norah likes, but she is also afraid. Because of all her “problems,” will they ever be compatible?

This book was very thought-intriguing. I loved the characters and loved seeing them develop throughout the story. Norah was an unforgettable character and I learned and felt the fears and pain she went through. It was heartbreaking at times, but in the end, reading this book made me feel different. I have grown much more respect for mental health issues and I loved that the author could spin me in with such an intriguing plot.

9/10 rating for this book because I sometimes had to re-read a few passages to make sure I was reading it the right way. I highly recommend this book for all ages. There isn’t much swearing, 2 or 3 places, and there are no highly inappropriate scenes. If you need a next good book you can’t put down, read this book!

Neanderthal Opens The Door To The Universe by: Preston Norton

Cliff “Neanderthal” Hubbard is not your typical high schooler. Neither is Happy Valley High School. Or his family. Standing tall at 6’6″ and weighing 250 pounds, Cliff finds it hard to be appreciated. Or loved. Lots of people tease him at school. He doesn’t have any friends, his family is broken, and he has enemies. Like Aaron Zimmerman.

Aaron Zimmerman is everything Cliff is not. He’s cool and the star quarterback. All the girls are out for him and he has a lot of friends. He’s got a decent family and he used to have a girlfriend. Cliff and Aaron are nothing alike; they’re on opposite sides of the fence, so it’s kind of impossible to be friends. Especially if Aaron’s friends flip Cliff off and be rude. But then the unthinkable happens.

Aaron has a near-death experience. (But I can’t tell you how.) And when he comes back, he’s changed. He claims that God appeared to him and told him Happy Valley sucks. Then Aaron says that God gave him a list to make Happy Valley suck less. And only Cliff can help him. Only Cliff. The opposite of Aaron. Thus begins the ups and downs of the adventure of completing the list. But of course, there are many downfalls and problems concerning and not concerning the list like Esther and the JT’s. And Shane. And Cliff’s abusive dad. But Cliff does get something he likes. Which I think was sweet.

This book was really nice and I laughed a lot. There are also sad parts in the book. So if you want to laugh and cry for a long period of time, this book is just for you! I loved this book so much that when I finished it, there was a 1 minute pause before I said, “This is my new favorite book for many reasons.” It gave me so much to think about and it made me feel better for some odd but awesome reason. I definitely recommend this book to everyone who is okay with a lot of cursing and a few kissing scenes. Other than that, the book is awesome! I rate this book a 12/10 because it’s just that good.

The Tale of Despereaux by: Kate DiCamillo

“The Tale of Despereaux” is a heartwarming book, masterfully written with tales of hope, love, and regrets. Now our tale will be centered on our brave, little mouse, who, of course, has made a friend with none other than the distinguished Princess Pea. Afterwards, trials await the young mouse, lots of them, that lead one little mouse to learning forgiveness.

Every since he was born, Despereaux knew he would never be the mouse his family wanted. He had abnormally big ears, his eyes were open from the start, and he always got sick. No matter what. Therefore, that made him a topic of great disgust to his family. Instead of being cared for, his family and others around him despised him. Especially after Despereaux broke the rule: Do not interact with humans. And he did. With Princess Pea. He gets disgraced and thrown into the deep, dark basement. Nobody expects him to live. And thus begin the trials of our little but big mouse. He can do anything he puts his mind to. But will it be enough? Probably, seeming that he has many allies.

This book is an automatic 10/10 rating for me. Each sentence was masterfully written and the story just flowed fast and quick. But the flow is slow enough for everyone to catch a ride and see just how amazing this story gets. It has a deeper meaning than I originally thought, and maybe you’ll feel that too. If anyone needs a new favorite book that you can’t put down, this book is just for you. It is fairly short, so it won’t take long, though you’ll be thinking about this story long after the last word is read.