Candy by Kevin Brooks

I read this book cover to cover in a day, I happened to find it at the library without even knowing it existed. From the start I was hooked.

The intensity and suspense throughout the entire book kept me on my toes. The book follows teenage musician, Joe who meets a mysterious girl named Candy. He soon discovers Candy is a drug addict and a prostitute.

I one hundred percent recommend this book. It was so intriguing and I was surprised by how fast I read it. This book was one of those books where after I read it, I just had to sit back and reflect. Even after finishing I couldn’t stop thinking about it. This book was definitely one to re read, so if you haven’t already read this book, I can almost promise you you’ll love it!!

-Kyndle W.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

Craig is depressed. What could be funny about that? He cannot handle his work at Executive Pre-Professional High School. He throws up when he tries to eat, because, as he says, there is a little man pulling a rope that makes him regurgitate his food. He smokes pot with his best friend and has a huge case of jealousy over his best friend’s girlfriend. He meets regularly with two psychologists, or shrinks.

He knows basically all there is to know about his depression. He knows when the Cycling is starting up, how he hopes the Shift will come, but sometimes he experiences a Fake Shift. He just doesn’t know when the real Shift will come.

And then he experiences the lowest of lows and admits himself into the hospital.

Vizzini, having suffered from depression himself, presents depression in a way that is understandable to the lay person, and in a sense, relatable to teens who have the same issue as Craig: being over stressed and over worked at school. I enjoyed the simple way in which Craig looked at the world, but it was tough to read about the people he met in 6 North.

This novel is appropriate for most teens. It has been made into a movie, which may be interesting to watch, but I would definitely recommend reading it first.

– Leila S., 11th grade

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It is also available to download from Overdrive and Hoopla

The Martian by Andy Weir

Image result for the martian book

If you’re one of the ten people who didn’t see the movie, The Martian is a book about an astronaut who gets accidentally abandoned on Mars and his efforts to make his way home. In this perfect blend of Cast Away and Interstellar, Mark Watney (portrayed in the movie by Matt Damon) must survive adversity after an explosion strands him on the red planet. The story of his survival on Mars is told to the audience through daily logs. It feels as if Watney is talking directly to the reader. The Martian truly illustrates how anything is possible, no matter how terrible the odds, and that humanity’s greatest virtues is its ability to overcome.

The Martian is the first interesting science textbook I’ve ever read. I know that it’s technically not a textbook, but it pretty much is, just written in the first person and with a story. Andy Weir literally explained every single piece of the science in the book in detail. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with that, it just probably goes over the head of anyone not extremely interested in Science. I think I learned more Science from reading this book than I have in school for the past three years.

The book The Martian doesn’t get as much credit as it deserves. In fact, it was almost cheated by the movie. Not that the movie was bad, actually it was really good and followed the book really well. The issue is that, because the movie was so popular and so good, a much larger group of people just watched the movie and forgot it was even based on a book. Even I saw the movie first, so the book felt more like a movie novelization. That said, it is still 100% worth reading, and I highly recommend.

-Evan G, 8th Grade

The Martian is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It is also available for download from Overdrive.

Burn for Burn Trilogy by Jenny Han

burnforburn_jennyhanBurn for Burn, Fire with Fire, and Ashes to Ashes, is a trilogy by Jenny Han. This series is about a fascinating turn of events that leave the readers feeling haunted inside.

In Burn for Burn there are three main characters: Kat, Lillia, and Mary. Kat and Lillia had a history of friendship with Rennie until one fine day, Rennie backstabbed (not literally!) Kat, causing their friendship to fall apart. Lillia is the “it” girl, best friends with Rennie, on the cheerleading team, and right in the middle of the popular group at their high school. Mary is traumatized from an event that occurred years ago in her childhood, for the very reason she has come back to Jar Island is for revenge. All three of the girls meet each other at the right place at the right time, and cook up a pot full for homecoming night, an event that shakes all and changes the lives of few.

In Fire with Fire, the girls serve time for their actions, causing them to regret the decisions they made months ago. Homecoming night hurt a lot of people, but it also critically damaged one of them–coincidentally it was Reeve, who tragically haunted Mary years ago. The girls just wanted to show the rest of the school Reeve’s bad side, but things happened that night that weren’t planned. They’ve gotten away with it for now… but Mary needs to control her anger and it seems like she just can’t.

In the last novel of this trilogy, Ashes to Ashes, Lillia, Kat, and Mary lit a fire without even thinking. Their goal was to get even, but now the fire is spreading. In this last book, a huge plot twist comes our way, and I am talking amazingly enormous. Out of all of the books I have read throughout my life, the plot twist that the readers come to find out in the last book of this trilogy is the best most surprising twist I have ever read.

I would definitely recommend this series to any girl because it starts out as a normal high school novel, but really turns into something you never expected, and its just really interesting to see how the characters progress throughout the couple of years. Absolutely on the top of my list for my best reads.

-Nirmeet B.

Jenny Han’s trilogy and her other works are available for check out from the Mission Viejo Public Library, Overdrive, and Axis360

Nothing But The Truth by Avi

nothingbuttruth_aviIn the realistic-fiction novel, Nothing But the Truth by Avi, ninth-grader Philip Malloy aspires to run for the school’s track team. Unfortunately, his satirical answers on his final exam earned him a failing grade in his English class, taught by Miss Narwin. Without a passing grade, Philip could not run on the track team.

After finding out his inability to join the track team, the next morning, instead off standing respectfully, he hummed along to the National Anthem in Miss Narwin’s homeroom. Dismissing his childish behavior with a reprimand, the teacher sends him to the principal’s office when he defied her and hummed again the following morning. Refusing to apologize to his teacher, Philip was suspended from school for two days by the principal.

Claiming that he was suspended for singing the National Anthem, his father told their neighbor who was running for the school board. As his story gains national headlines, the truth gets twisted and turned. Will Philip come clean and promise to tell nothing but the truth?

I had mixed feelings about this book. This book could have been much improved. The beginning seems to have promise of being a good and simple book. In the novel, Philip, the main character, is unnecessarily rude with his English teacher, who seems like a nice lady. Treating and blaming Miss Narwin, Philip fails to take ownership for his poor grades, which were his own fault. An interesting aspect of the book was how it was written in “script.” With such an abrupt ending, I did not enjoy it the novel as much as I expected. Overall the novel was below expectations, but it was a quick and easy read for anyone in middle school.

-Anmol K.

Nothing but the Truth is available for check out from the Mission Viejo Public Library