Cassandra’s review of The Boomerang Effect by Gordon Jack

25877250Boomerang Effect = “When lending a helping hand comes back to slap you in the face” The Boomerang Effect is a HILARIOUS novel evolving around Lawrence Barry who is forced to participate in a mentorship program after almost getting expelled from high school. His mentee is Spencer Knudsen, a Norwegian exchange student with Spock-like intelligence but minimal social skills. Things start to get more complicated when everyone suspects Lawrence to be the one destroying the Homecoming floats. Add to the mix a demon Goth girl named Zoe, a Renaissance LARPing group, an overzealous yearbook editor, and three vindictive chickens, and Lawrence soon realizes that his situation may be a little out of control. Just as expulsion is drawing even closer, Spencer comes to the rescue with his seemingly endless knowledge of random facts. In fact, Spencer may be the one friend Lawrence never knew he needed.

The Boomerang Effect was SUPER funny! I loved Lawrence. He is the perfect clown character who always gets into trouble. I also really liked how the novel discusses more serious matters, like overcoming drug addiction and piecing together a broken family. Overall, I would recommend The Boomerang Effect to anyone who likes funny realistic fiction.

Cassandra rates this book 5/5

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Cassandra’s review of Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy

23018259Two targets are on their way to California. One is the asteroid BR1019, an asteroid big enough to destroy the West Coast. Another is Yuri Strelnikov, a seventeen year old physics prodigy. There are seventeen days before BR1019 hits home, can Yuri save the world in time? It is already hard enough without the fact that no one listens to his ideas. Just when Yuri starts to get a tad bit suicidal, he meets Dovie, a “normal”-ish teenage girl who is oblivious to the incoming danger. By spending time with her, he not only learns how to swear appropriately but also learns more about what kind of person he is and could be.

I deeply enjoyed Learning to Swear in America. Yuri is a very interesting and unique character. He is an extreme math and physics geek who is actually quite cute at times. He may be a genius, but he doesn’t know a lot of stuff about life, which Dovie slowly teaches him. Dovie is a perfect complement to Yuri. They are complete opposites of each other. The best scene in the novel is when Yuri visits a typical high school. SO FUNNY!!! If you want to read a humorous realistic fiction stand alone, then Learning to Swear in America is damn right for you! (Disclaimer: the swearing is used for emphasis only; no harm is intended.)

Cassandra rates this book 5/5

Review of Boost by Kathy Mackel

41v3dmn22bwl-_sx330_bo1204203200_Savvy has an older sister called Callie and is a freshman cheerleader. They both need to boost their game to earn their position. Callie is too heavy to be flier and Savvy is too skinny to be a basketball player. Therefore, both of them need to work hard to get into action and off the bench. But then, steroids were found in Savvy’s gym bag, which ruins her accountability and respect. People on the team start accusing others and no one knows who is telling the truth. Savvy knows she didn’t put it in her bag and the book tells you who actually puts the steroids in Savvy’s bag. Therefore, in competitive sports, no one should be allowed to boost their game up by cheating.

I would recommend this book to everyone who enjoys basketball and other sports. Basketball players find this book interesting because of the intense games that Savvy has and what happens when players are accused of taking steroids.

Rated 4/5

Sahana’s review of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

51yegliy1ml“I feel like a curtain has dropped away and I’m seeing people for who they really are, different, and sharp, and unknowable.” Before I fall by Lauren Oliver is spell-binding stand alone that holds you captive till its very last words. On the outside, Samantha Kingston has the perfect life– popular friends, hot boyfriend, decent grades, and so forth. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the inside. Swept in popularity, Samantha is an active bystander to her friends’ victimization of the other not-so-popular students of this high school; she doesn’t think her boyfriend reciprocates her feelings and isn’t sure about her feelings for him either; she does not have a standing relationship with any member of her family. Yet horrifyingly, Samantha does not see anything wrong with her life. A tragic car accident after a party gone wrong opens her eyes to the flaws and gives her the chance to mend them by making her relive different variations of her death day over and over again. Will Samantha find a way to put an end to this recurring pattern? Will she mend her broken life ? Right her many wrongs? Find out.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good high school drama with a light supernatural twist. Anyone who enjoys in-depth characters with a good character arc would enjoy this book. If you are looking for a light read, I would not recommend this book. A warning to note: there is mild swearing, drinking and smoking in this book. Overall, I really liked this book and maybe you will,too.

Sahana rates this book 3.7/5

 

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

7766027This book is about a young teenager trying to make a name for himself in a world where many people are wary of him because his father was a serial killer. Jasper, or Jazz, as he is mostly called in the book, was a witness to most of the crimes his father committed and hence knows how to commit a murder. When a serial killer returns to their little town, Jazz is forced to solve the mystery – and prove his innocence to the town and himself.

I would recommend this book to people who enjoy murder mysteries or mysteries in general. It is a very thrilling book – I could not put the book down! If you are a Sherlock fan, this is a wonderful book to read with a healthy dose of emotion. If you are not a fan of violence or blood, this may not be the book for you.

This reviewer rates the book 4/5

Tiffany’s review of We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

51ij6etnyll-_sx331_bo1204203200_In the beaten up streets of Paradise, Zimbabwe in Africa, Darling and her group of friends are playing another game in the streets and stealing guavas from other houses. One day they find a woman who hung herself in the woods because she had gotten the disease –the same disease as Darling’s father, whom she hasn’t seen in years. So life there was not perfect but one thing Darling could count on was her Aunt Fostalina to take her to America. But Darling soon wishes she could go back with her friends and pick guavas again.

Starting and ending in Africa but not in the way you expect, Darling’s journey is one that is hard to swallow. If you’re an immigrant or you know family that are immigrants would feel somewhat relatable to this story. Its bitter tone is destined to make you feel hurt wishing you can do more. Not a cheery one.

Tiffany rates this book 3.9/5

Cassandra’s review of Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina

25982606“The flame balls spun in the air like fiery birds being consumed. They turned to harmless ash before they ever hit anything below.” Burn Baby Burn evolves around Nora, a high school senior in 1977, one of New York’s most infamous years. While New York City is spiraling out of control with various fires and a mysterious serial killer, Nora is struggling with her own problems at home. Her father is too busy with his new family; her mother is dealing with a delicate financial situation; and her brother is becoming more and more insane. All Nora wants to do is turn eighteen and escape from her broken family, but through her final adventures as a high school student, Nora discovers ways to fight the fires that trouble her instead of just running away from them.

I enjoyed reading Burn Baby Burn, because I was able to connect with some of Nora’s dilemmas, since we are in the same grade. (Though Nora is in a much tougher situation than I am.) I also liked all the 1977 historical references. I just wished Nora’s younger brother went through more character development instead of being a portrayed as a jerk for the entire story. However, Nora’s awesomeness makes up for all her brother’s deficiencies. I liked how Nora was able to mature from a girl who wants to run away to a woman with a hopeful future and the courage to BURN. I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes a strong female protagonist and realistic fiction.

Cassandra rates this book 4/5