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Teen Book Reviews

The library invites Chatham teens and tweens to write honest book reviews in exchange for credit for volunteer hours! Find the guidelines below:

  • All reviews must be of books selected from the library’s YA section. Books must be read in their entirety.
  • Books must be age and reading-level appropriate for the teen/tween submitting the review.
  • Plagiarism is strictly prohibited and will result in loss of review privileges.
  • Reviews that are inappropriate or incomplete will not be accepted.
  • By submitting a review, you understand that your review may be posted along with your name and age on the website and/or social media pages of Library of the Chathams.
  • Each reviewer is limited to two book reviews per month.
  • Reviewers will receive 1 volunteer hour per 100 pages read (e.g., a 350-page book will receive 3.5 hours of credit).
  • Reviews should be between 200 and 400 words and include a rating using the following 5-star system:

One Star ⭐ – I hated it.
Two Stars ⭐⭐ – It was just okay.
Three Stars ⭐⭐⭐ – I liked it.
Four Stars   ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – It was really good.
Five Stars  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – It was amazing!

Please use the form below to submit your review. We appreciate your contribution!

Recent Reviews

book cover for The Q   

The Q by Amy Tintera

4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – It was really good.

The Q is a classic example of a modern YA book. The Q is a science fiction book based in the 2030s. It is about a zone based in Texas that had to be cut off from the rest of the world due to a dangerous virus spreading. Lennon Pierce, the son of a presidential candidate, was kidnapped and dropped into the Q from a helicopter with a parachute. He has to escape before he gets infected with the disease with the help of some people from inside the Q. It is written from two points of view, switching between the main characters. One of the characters is Lennon Pierce himself. Throughout the story you really have the chance to get to know him and watch how he handles the predicament he’s been dropped into (literally). The other main protagonist is Maisie Rojas, the daughter of one of the gang’s old leaders in the Q. She starts off as a stereotypical edgy YA protagonist, but becomes her own likable character as the book goes on. She is the main person helping Lennon throughout the story. These two seem like an odd pair, but through their adventures and experiences with other characters in the book they develop a great relationship. It was a good book, you won’t regret reading it!

-Alex, 16 — February 2023

book cover for The 9:09 project

The 9:09 Project by Mark H. Parsons

4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – It was really good.

This book has an intriguing take on something that every person struggles with at some time in their life, grief. The story follows a high school boy who recently lost his mother and how he tries to navigate his new phase of life. What is beneficial about this book, to me, is that it heavily emphasizes turning your grief into something that can help others. While there is a tinge of high school life and romance, the heart of this book is in that the boy takes his grief and one of his favorite hobbies to turn it into something that inspires his peers and the reader. Though, I hold back from giving it a full 5 stars as I found it a bit repetitive at times. Overall, this book is an amazing perspective on how each person handles grief a bit differently and how we can make the situation a little bit better.

-Ava, 17 — February 2023

book cover for I kissed Shara Wheeler : a novel

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – It was amazing!

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston is the author’s YA debut, and it did not disappoint. This is a book filled to the brim with messy characters and classic rom-com hijinks from quarterback/prom queen pairings and Breakfast Club-esque dynamics. This novel is as though everyone’s favorite 2000s and 90s tropes came together and wrote a book. Aside from having McQuiston’s wit and hilarity, as present in all of their books, I Kissed Shara Wheeler is a tale about simultaneously losing and finding yourself and figuring out what comes next.

I Kissed Shara Wheeler is written from the perspective of Chloe Green, a high-achieving, NYU-bound, student who after moving to Alabama from California, is stuck at Willowgrove Christian Academy for her four years of high school. However, when the principal’s daughter and generally adored “girl next door”, Shara, goes missing on prom night, Chloe must team up with the quarterback, Smith Parker, and the bad boy, Rory Heron, to find her. Through puzzles, secrets, and notes from Shara, the group has to spend their last month of high school searching for their very own runaway prom queen. As the three of them piece the clues together they bond over Sonic slushies, AP Exams, and Shara Wheeler.

After years of academic rivalry, Shara and Chloe are forced to face what they were too smart and stubborn to ever realize: each other. Nothing in this book ends perfectly and seamlessly, but that is also the nature of high school students that still have the rest of their life in front of them. Every character in I Kissed Shara Wheeler is messy and beautiful in their own right and that is what I adore so much about Casey McQuiston’s writing. Despite each character being a little bit of a nightmare, they are still incredibly likable, and I think that is due in part to how overtly flawed they are. They show teenagers and a YA audience that being messy at seventeen is okay because as it says in the novel “high school is over, and everything is ridiculous” (McQuiston 332). Therefore, I give I Kissed Shara Wheeler a five out of five stars.

-Annabelle, 16 — March 2023

book cover for I'll give you the sun

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – It was amazing!

This book was incredible, to say the least. The synopsis alone is enough to pull a reader in, but what stands out most about this book is Jandy Nelson’s use of a unique writing style for the different perspectives of the main characters Noah and Jude, which the novel revolves around. This choice really helped bring the characters to life, and as a reader, you feel what they’re feeling. Nelson uses a distinct style to distinguish Noah and Jude’s differences. Young Noah sees the world as an artist with immense creativity. Nelson uses exaggerations and colors to bring Noah’s young mind to life. He never just feels anything as black and white, even when upset he finds the world as a myriad of grays. Older Jude senses ghosts and has a more difficult relationship with her art. Her world, one without that connection she had with Noah, seems much grayer. Nelson somehow brings this gloomy world into being as well. The intentional organization of each perspective also works to show the changes in each character, changes that get you heartbroken to read and leave you dying to know what had happened. I loved to read about the change and growth of these twins, whether the changes had been for better or for worse. To top it all off, Jandy Nelson closes the novel with a beautiful and emotional conclusion. Seeing these characters’ stories conclude after being with them as they change and learn to come to terms with loss leaves us with a satisfying end.

-Sophia, 17 — March 2023

book cover for The wild lands

The Wild Lands by Paul Greci

5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – It was amazing!

The Wild Lands by Paul Greci is a book about a brother and sister that live in an Alaska very different from ours. After using up all of Alaska’s resources the United States realizes that they no longer can support Alaska and they no longer need it. After failing to sell it to other countries they abandon it and try to burn it all. There are people that try to stay and people that leave. Travis and his family were one of the ones that tried to stay. After successfully staying for a year, another round of fires torch the only Alaskan wildlife that was left. This forces them to leave their home to find new areas, with food and safety from raiders. Their adventure leads them through challenges they could have never imagined. I loved this book for many reasons, the main one being how it changed the concept of a stereotypical postapocalyptic book. When I started I felt like this was going to be like every other apocalypse book, where the main character just fends for his life. The more I got into the story, the more I realized that the challenges he faced were really tricky ones, and he had to think about not only his own safety but the safety of his sister. He even falls in love, but he struggles with how to handle it. Another reason why I love the book is because of the main character Travis. Travis was just a regular teen who had nothing special in his life. He had a girlfriend, did homework, and watched TV. I felt that his actions in this post-apocalyptic world were extremely well thought out. I felt myself making decisions with him as he went through his journey. I just wish the book was longer. This book is perfect for readers who love action and suspense. The combination of fighting off robbers, and never knowing what’s behind a hill. There is also even a little romance sprinkled in as the main character finds a girl he likes. Overall it’s an amazing book that kept me up for hours reading it.

-Oliver, 17 — March 2023

book cover for Booked

Booked by Kwame Alexander

4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – It was really good.

Booked by Kwame Alexander is a quick read for an avid sports fan. Kwame Alexander has a unique style to his writing, referred to as a verse novel, because he writes in the style of a very long poem in verses. If you have read any of his other books such as The Crossover or Rebound, you will enjoy this one as well.

Alexander is a unique and talented story teller. The story of Booked follows the main character, Nick Hall, as he navigates middle school and soccer. Nick’s father is a linguistics expert and is constantly forcing Nick to read his personal dictionary, which Nick despises and hates every second of it. On the other hand, Nick’s mother is dreaming of returning to the stableman life among the horses. Nick has to constantly deal with his inconsistent home life.

Throughout this story, Alexander vividly describes Nick’s personality as his voice shines through the words. You can really relate to the obstacles he faces in his personal life at home, on the field, and at school throughout his middle school journey. Nick is an eighth grader who would rather play video games or soccer instead of doing his homework (or reading his dad’s book). Which I can very much relate to, and I think you might too.

-Tyler, 16 — March 2023

book cover for All the best liars

All the Best Liars by Amelia Kahaney

4 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ – It was really good.

The book All The Best Liars by Amelia Kahaney is an intriguing book that I highly recommend for others to read. Thriller books are some of my favorites to read; there is always some sort of drama going on, and constantly something new to discover – and that is exactly what this book was like. In the book, we follow Syd, Rain, and Bries’ friendship, how it was tested, and how they handled their struggles. Within the first chapter, the book is immediately able to grasp you in with an event that sets off the tone for the rest of the book. One thing that I enjoyed about the book was that it did a good job of showing the girls’ relationship with each other. It was able to capture that friendships in real life can get messy and complicated. Another thing that I enjoyed about the book was, the way the book was written. The book jumps around in the timeline, making character development more evident throughout the book, which was nice to see. The jumps in the timeline also constantly kept me engaged and made the book interesting.

-Khushi, 17 — March 2023

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