Teen Book Reviews

Are you a tween or teen looking for your next favorite book? Find out what other teens think by reading these Juvenile and YA book selections chosen by and reviewed by teens.

Teen Book Reviews are provided with the help of teen volunteers in the community who earn up to three service hours by submitting book reviews. Interested in writing a Teen Book Review? Submission application and guidelines are here.

by J.A. White
Reviewed by Shiloh, 12

When Alex sneaks out at night, a witch traps him in a magical apartment. A mysterious fellow prisoner advises Alex to tell the witch a scary story, so he does, and the witch keeps him alive that night. But he's running out of stories. One day, he finds a faded escape plan in a book. With two friends, some magic, and a determination to choose his own fate, Alex puts the plan to the test.

When I first saw Nightbooks, I didn't plan to read it. I skimmed the first few pages and returned it to the library shelf. I was back a week later, however, to borrow the book. Its story intrigued me. The action began immediately, but I had questions about the main character that hadn't been answered. The antagonist had a dark and witty personality, yet her motives weren't outlandish. She had human emotions and human vices. I recommend Nightbooks because the storyline isn't too predictable, and the plot twists were unexpected. J.A. White's thrilling fantasy stayed in my mind long after I had finished the book.

The Hate U Give
by Angie Thomas
Reviewed by Joleé, 16

Starr Carter lives in an urban neighborhood with her family; however, she goes to a private school in the surrounding city outskirts. Her world changes when Starr’s childhood friend is shot by a police officer during a traffic stop. Now, Starr must battle to get justice for her best friend despite being threatened by a gang, and facing many stereotypes at her school and throughout the media.

I would recommend this book to others. It’s such a great depiction of the daily lives of many African-Americans, including issues that occur in the community. The Hate U Give speaks on more than just violence and injustice, it shows unity, kindness, and acceptance. There is also a movie in this book, however, the side characters in the novel add so much more to the story; it’s worth the read!

Poison for Breakfast
by Lemony Snicket
Reviewed by Ella, 18

In Poison for Breakfast, author Lemony Snicket finds himself in an unfortunate circumstance upon the discovery of a note that says “you have had poison for breakfast” after his meal. He works to track each ingredient to its source in the hopes of discovering which food or drink has poisoned him. Throughout his journey, he is forced to process the idea of his seemingly imminent death, taking both himself and the reader on a most mysterious and philosophical journey.

Poison for Breakfast is my go-to book recommendation, as it combines the thrill and humor of Snicket’s typical writing with a more dark and thought-provoking twist. As Snicket processes the idea of his death, the reader is taken on a philosophical journey through the idea of life and mortality and is captivated by excellent storytelling and mystery. With a glimpse into his mind, Snicket is careful to reveal enough information about the mystery to keep the reader invested while making sure not to reveal the entire plot. This philosophical approach to mystery combined with a perspective-altering plot twist at the end makes this book a must-read for more mature Snicket fans.

The Unteachables
by Gordon Korman
Reviewed by Kayla, 12

Zachary Kermit, a teacher at Greenwich Middle School, plans to retire soon. However, the superintendent doesn’t want to pay for Kermit’s early retirement, so Kermit is assigned to teach the infamous class of troublemakers known as the “Unteachables”. Though ignoring each other at first, Kermit and his class slowly began to get to know each better. Their relationship grows throughout the book. Then, a sudden problem pops up—and it’s up to the Unteachables to save their teacher.

I recommend this book because it’s very interesting and has a lot of humor in it. I also like that it doesn’t have any scary or dark scenes. However, the part that I find most interesting is that the story is told from different characters’ views, so it shines more light on the tale and, as a result, helps you understand the story better.

The Inheritance Games
by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Reviewed by Emma, 18

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes follows the story of teenager Avery Grambs as overnight Avery finds herself transformed from a normal high school student to the world’s richest teenager at the hands of one Tobias Hawthorne. In an exciting series of puzzles, riddles, and plot twists Avery Grambs seeks to answer the question “why me?” Along the way she faces danger, disinherited daughters, and the most dangerous of all: the Hawthorne Grandsons.

I highly recommend The Inheritance Games. The novel is thrilling for all of the right reasons. Barnes excellently combines family secrets, high school politics, too much money, and blossoming romance into a story that is impossible to put down. Barnes’ puzzles and riddles captivate the reader into wanting to solve the mystery as badly as the main character. There is never a dull moment in the Hawthorne House. Between mysterious siblings, loyal staff, devoted housekeepers, and a girl that completely disrupted the entire system there is always a reason to keep reading. Perhaps the best thing about the novel though is that it brings the reader along to solve the mystery. If not paying close attention, there is always a clue to miss. Everything is connected and just like Tobias Hawthorne, Jennifer Lynn Barnes does nothing unintentionally. The Inheritance Games is sure to captivate from start to finish.

Sign up for monthly emails
for the latest Library news and events.