Surya’s review of Memory of Water by Emmi Itaranta

18505844In Memory of Water by Emmi Itaranta, seventeen-year-old Noria Kaitio is the daughter and apprentice of her town’s tea master. Set one century in the future, the Scandinavian Union militia has a firm hold over the country’s water usage and consumption, forcing them to stick to a specific water quota each month. One day, Noria’s father brings her to “the fell,” a deep cave in the woods, and shows her a large freshwater spring. A secret like this leaked to the officials could mean their town being under complete control by the government. Compared to the water issued out by the military, this water makes the tea they make taste fresh and aromatic, which arouses the suspicions of the local officials. After the death of her father, and her mother leaving her for a job opportunity in a far city, Noria is torn between guarding the secret that has been passed down for generations, and evidently avoiding total dominance by the militia, or providing water for the entire town, which could save lives. At the same time, she and her good friend, Sanja, make a plan to travel to lost lands, forsaken by the military, that could contain large drinkable water sources. ¬†Will Noria and Sanja succeed? ¬†Read the book to find out!

I would recommend this book to all students in late middle school and high school. The novel is a little difficult to decipher at first, which is what would make it hard for younger people to read it and understand it’s true message. However, if it is properly comprehended and interpreted, it is a very in-depth and enlightening story to read. It is especially so because along with it teaching about the journey of the young woman through her struggles, it also teaches about unfair and violent examples of military control, and about the mark the past leaves for the future to discover. I would give this book a four and a half out of five stars because it is a gripping and interesting novel, but can be a bit difficult to decipher at times.

Renee reviews It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

It’s Kind of a Funny Story details Craig Gilner’s experience with depression. The novel is sad in its truth.

It is a novel everyone should read. It describes mental illness in a clear, natural voice. Craig never whined; he was completely relatable, and his emotions were so real it was as if they reached out of the novel, grabbed me by my heart, and pulled me in. Because his voice was so true, I spent a day or two in a funk because I felt what he was feeling; so I wouldn’t recommend this depressed or mentally ill people unless they’re sure that they’re in a good place. Honestly, this book has me so full of emotions that I can barely express. I don’t even know what to say. Perhaps I was able to relate to Craig so strongly because I’ve experienced the exact same high-pressure environment of school and college, but I think that anyone who has ever experienced stress will be able to relate. I love that this novel was about what Craig feels. Although how he feels is affected by other people and outside events, Vizzini never loses focus on Craig’s mind, and how this is a story of Craig’s journey through illness and recovery. It’s Kind of a Funny Story really moved me, and I highly, highly recommend it.

Renee rates this book 4.5/5 Stars.

Cassandra’s review of A School for Brides by Patrice Kindl

51mfboa2btrl-_sy344_bo1204203200_A School for Brides is a light-hearted, entertaining story that takes place in Lesser Hoo, Yorkshire. The story evolves around the students of Winthrop Hopkins Female Academy and their attempts of finding happiness and suitable marriage partners in an area where there are no available men around. Just as the girls were ready to become spinsters for life, they find an injured gentlemen with a group of his friends. Suddenly, life at Lesser Hoo becomes much more interesting. Told in the perspective of all the eligible students, watch as they all find happiness.

I would recommend A School for Brides to anyone who likes witty, light-hearted stories with a twist of romance. The main characters nicely contrast each other. The story is very funny and it ends with many engagements, but A School for Brides also has plenty of action. A notorious person who impersonates as a lawyer and an evil governess involve Lesser Hoo in the mysterious disappearance of a precious jewel.

Cassandra rates this book 5/5 stars

Jissell’s review of Woman Hollering Creek and other stories by Sandra Cisneros

518j9lqadcl-_sx322_bo1204203200_The book Is a collection of vignettes about the lives of Hispanic women. A lot of the stories focus on women trying to find their identities in relation to their interactions with their surroundings, family, and men The novel starts off with stories about childhood and then progresses into stories about adulthood.

Woman Hollering Creek has been one of the most life-changing novels I have ever read. It was almost as if Cisneros’ gently pulled my soul out bit by bit after every story and by the end I could see it fully with all its marks of joy and scars of pain. The same soul that lives in the bodies of many other women, and then I realized just how similar we all were. While reading this novel, I was going through a difficult time and this book empowered me and made me realize that even through crisis we can rise again and be stronger than ever before. We do not have to let others run our lives and we have the power to follow our dreams and our hearts. I really needed this message and I know that there are so many other women who need it to. This book made me experience such a wide range of emotions. Sometimes I would be laughing like crazy and other times I would be on the verge of tears. Even though this book is quite old and not as popular as some of Cisneros’ other books, I believe that it is one of the best novels I have ever read. I have not seen many other authors using the vignette style of writing which I found very beautiful. The attention to detail brings everything to life and her use of humor helps lighten up a quite serious book. I would recommend this to anyone who is doing some soul searching and wants to read something that really speaks to them. You do not have to be a girl to love this novel, there are life lessons in Woman Hollering Creek that are applicable to all of us and I think that this book is a masterpiece that is not to be missed.

I would recommend this to anyone who is doing some soul searching and wants to read something that really speaks to them. You do not have to be a girl to love this novel; there are life lessons in Woman Hollering Creek that are applicable to all of us and I think that this book is a masterpiece that is not to be missed.

Jissell rates this book 5/5 stars.

Kulsoom’s review of Virals: Seizure by Kathy Reichs

seizureAfter falling prey to a gene-mutating virus, Tory Brennan and her pack of friends develop unnatural powers, and their senses are amplified. After an adventurous summer trying to solve a 30-year old murder, they gang hopes to spend the rest of the break relaxing, but that can’t happen. When the Virals find out they might be separated, they set out on a quest to find the booty of Anne Bonny, a 17th century pirate who may or may not be Tory’s ancestor. This story follows Tory, Ben, Shelton, and Hi as they race unknown competition to get to the treasure first, but not unimpeded.

I would recommend this book to people who like science-fiction, along with mysteries. The book has understandable language, but not too simple, and also is relatable to high-schoolers.

Kulsoom rates this book 5/5 Stars.

Cassandra’s review of Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

14061957Ruin and Rising is the final book in the Grisha Trilogy. The Darkling succeeded in overthrowing the king and now rules Ravka. After the disastrous invasion of the Darkling’s shadow creatures, Alina is sent to the White Chapel where she is worshipped as a Saint and imprisoned by the Apparat, yet Alina is determined to escape and rise once more to save Ravka. Together with Mal and the remnants of the Second Army, Alina must find the third amplifier, the legendary firebird, in order to defeat the Darkling once and for all. Ruin and Rising is a epic finishing to Alina’s story.

Ruin and Rising would be enjoyed by anyone who likes fantasy and action-packed plot. Ruin and Rising was my favorite book in the Grisha Trilogy. Alina develops as a character as she tries to suppress her hunger for power, and the Darkling becomes more human-like and likable. The ending was bittersweet and wonderful. I especially love how Bardugo tries to make the Grisha Trilogy feel like a fairytale adventure. A boy and girl begin the story, and they end it together. Of course there were ups and downs in between, but the Grisha Trilogy was a pleasant and wonderful read.

Cassandra rates this book 5/5 stars