Bistro Book Club

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Michael Vey The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Evans

anthony, 16 
Richard Evans
Michael Vey The Prisoner of Cell 25
mercury ink 2011

Michael Vey has always been able to emit electricity from his body at will and has had to move many times due to complications from his power. in his most recent town he discovers that the girl of his dreams taylor ridley also has electrical powers a bigger conspiracy is revealed and things start getting complicated. it was a really good book with likeable characters. really well written and entertaining i reccomend it.

Rating 5: Hard to imagine a better book

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Legend by Marie Lu

Darby, 15
Marie Lu
Legend
G.P. Putnam's Sons 2011

Legend is another book set post-America like The Hunger Games and the Eleventh Plague.  It's world includes an oppressive government, labor camps, and twist a bit familiar but worth reading all the same. A sequel will be needed and I found that it's explaination of the situation is confusing.  Marie Lu relied too much on the reader's infering skills. To get through the book requiered me looking back multiple times and stopped every once in a while to prevent a brain overload. Still the book wrapped up well and held my attention.

Rating: 4 Better than most

Monday, December 12, 2011

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma (2 reviews)

Ashley, 17
Nova Ren Suma
Imaginary Girls
Penguin Group 2011

I really liked this book. It kept me going and I didn't want to stop reading it. If I could explain this book in one word it would be surreal.

Rating: 4 Q. Better than most.



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Anqi, 12
Nova Ren Suma
Imaginary Girls
Dutton 2011

In this subtle little horrifying nightmare of a book, Nova Ren Suma explores the relationship between sisters while gradually entering the world of horror and paranormal. This novel starts as our narrator, Chloe, is asked by her older sister, Ruby, to swim across a resevoir to prove her unique water abilities. Ruby and Chloe share the tightest bond-through all their lives, they have lived and survived together, never counting on their always drunk mother to depend on. Not only that, but they admire each other, and Chloe to Ruby especially. Everybody admires Ruby-they will do whatever she asks them to do, and boys and girls flock to do her every bidding. So it doesn't come as a surprise when Chloe accepts, and starts swimming across the Resevoir, even though her sister tells tales of a town called Olive that resides deep in its watery depths, wanting revenge because of their people's watery death... And then (spoiler deleted) everything changes... Chloe is sent to live with her father, while Ruby remains in their little town. After two years of complete isolation, however, Chloe runs away back to her sister, and it is there she discovers that all might not be right with their 'little town' after all-and Chloe suspects it has to do with (spoiler deleted) the memory still haunting both of their consciences. Though eerie and grim, Imaginary Girls is a one of a kind book that you will never forget. It lays in your heart, no matter when you put it down, and it stays, much like the people of Olive stayed in the Resevoir of Chloe and Ruby's little town. And you will always remember the story of their sisterhood, their undenying love to each ther-you will always remember the beauty of family.

Rating 5 : Hard to imagine a better book
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Locket by Stacey Jay

Danielle, 15
Stacey Jay
The Locket
Penguin Books 2011

The Locket is a very exciting book. The ending almost gave me a heart attack. I relly liked reading theis book and it had me guessing until the end. Katie is a normal girl who finds a magical locket one day. She turns back the clock to the day she ruined her life. However as the new version of reality starts to unfold she has to wonder if her old life wasn't better. This was a thrilling book and very suspenseful with quite a bit of romance in it.

Rating: 5 Hard to imagine a better book

iBoy by Kevin Brooks (4 reviews)

Drake, 14
Kevin Brooks
iBoy
Chicken House 2012

This book is truly one of a kind. It turns a science fiction book into a seemingly realistic fiction. I cannot believe the twists and turns Tommy goes though. A truly fantastic read

Rating: 5 Hard to imagine a better book
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Danny, 18
Kevin Brooks
iBoy 
Scholastic     2011

This is a really good book if you like the computer sciences and it is a thrilling adventure that being a vigilantee is not always a good thing. I would recommend this book to any of my friends or family members who enjoy the si-fi of computer sciences.

Rating: 5 Hard to imagine a better book
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Hope P.,    16
Kevin Brooks
iBoy 
Scholastic     2011

        Tom Harvey was a normal sixteen year old before the accident. He had hopes and dreams, and a best friend named Lucy. Granted, he lived in the worst part of town, he had to avoid being caught in a gang war every day, and he had money problems. But his life wasn’t really anything special. Until one day, Lucy is attacked by one of the gangs in his housing project, and everything changes. Tom gets his head split open by an iPhone during the attack, leaving bits of the electronic buried in his brain. He finds he has all the powers of the phone; able to surf the web, read any text message, hack any account. However, he finds he can also use his powers for other purposes, like electrocuting people. He begins to take the law into his own hands, going after the gang members to avenge Lucy. At least, that is what he tells himself. But are his intentions really that honorable? And what is right and wrong in a place where fear and violence is the only law? In this gritty, emotional, masterfully written novel, Kevin Brooks takes teens on a wild ride that will stick with them until the last page.     Be warned, this is certainly a novel for older teens. I would not recommend it for anyone under sixteen.

Rating: 5 Hard to imagine a better book
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Anthony,    16
Kevin Brooks
iBoy
Chicken House    2011

        The following review may sound comedic but it is not! Tom Harvey was an average teenage guy until someone throws an iPhone out of a 30th story window. The phone lands in his skull giving him superpowers. He uses these powers to battle a local gang. This book was one of the best I have ever read the writing was amazing and the story was really original. I chose to read it because it sounded comedic and I needed a laugh but it was not but it was amazing in so many different ways.   

Rating: 5 Hard to imagine a better book
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Plagiarism

The Bistro Book Club requires that all reviews submitted by our teen reviewers be original work. At book club meetings we have talked about what plagiarism means. All suspicions of plagiarism are reviewed. If a review is found to contain plagiarized material it will be removed.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (3 reviews)


rebecca,    13
ruta septys
between shades of gray
philomel books    2011

          Lina and her family are taken by the NKVD and sent to a camp in Russia. they are separated from their father. Lina her little brother Jonas and her mother must survive living in this barren waste land of a camp. Andrius a 17 year old boy is with them too. Can she survive Russia and its version of the holocaust?

  5 Hard to imagine a better book
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Anqi,     12
Ruta E. Sepetys     
Between Shades of Gray
Philomel Books    2011       

Between Shades of Gray is a heart-wrenching yet beautiful historical novel set in the country of Lithuania, where Stalin, the ruthless man who controls The Soviet Union, has captured The Baltics, also known as the countries of Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. Our heroine, a fifteen year old girl named Lina on the cusp of adult life, is terrified to learn that her mother, brother, and father have been arrested and are going to be deported far from Lithuania. Forced to ride a cattle train where multiple deportees ride and ache over problems of lice, food, and torturous care, Lina contemplates the possible reasons her family could have been deported by. Enraged by this sudden cruelty, Lina devises a plan to draw and write out her troubles so that hopefully someone will save these melancholy people. Using her unique artistic talent, she sketches every moment that is important to her, and hides them in the depths of her suitcase. Cold and hungry, the deportees finally reach Siberia, where they are set to work in the freezing conditions and not allowed anything besides basic necessities. Set on the brink of World War II, this is a story seldom told because of the fear circulated through survivor's minds that if they do not harbor this cruel secret, they would have been surely punished by the Soviet's secret police. Through beautiful/gruesome passages, Ruta E. Sepetys describe the hardships endured by these people, people with seeds of hope planted deep in their hearts, and love sowed into their souls. She also creates endless characters, some disgusting and cruel, like "the bald man" who always is wanting to die, and Lina's mother, Elena, who is a beautiful and loving mother to her dearest children. All the characters, even minor ones, stay fresh in my memory, each stamped with their own personality and beam of hope. Ruta E. Sepetys is an exceptional author, and one is not to underestimate her just because this is a debut novel. It is, in fact, a beautiful, gritty, wonderful, morbid collection of words that should always deserve special attention and a place in your memory. Thank you, Ruta Sepetys, for a wonderful piece in which I will always savor and remember.

Rating: 5 Hard to imagine a better book
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Hope,   15
Ruta Sepetys
Between Shades of Gray 
Philomel Books    2011   

      Lina was only fifteen when her world was torn apart. One night Soviet Secret police violently break in into her home and deport her, her younger brother and her mother, on Stalin’s orders. Separated from her father, cut off from the outside world and losing hope fast, Lina must learn to survive in the harsh labor camps of barren Siberia. She has no idea why this happened to her family; why were they on Stalin’s list? Laced with potent flash-backs to a happier time, this novel follows Lina as she uncovers the truth about love, hope, survival, and the value of human life. This novel will have you reaching for the tissues more than once.

4 Better than most

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Drake, 13
Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Midnight Palace
Little Brown and Company 2011

I loved it. I almost cried at the end. i couldn't imagine my life without my brother.

Rating: 5 Hard to imagine a better book

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

This Girl Is Different by JJ Johnson (2 Reviews)

Jessica, 15
J. J. Johnson
This Girl Is Different
Peachtree Publishers 2011

Evie is sensational! She doesn't accept the status quo, she goes against The Man, and she does it all with such a unique sense of individuality. There's really only one way to describe her: This Girl Is Different. Just . . . awesome.

Rating: 4 Better than most


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Anqi ,    12
J.J. Johnson
This Girl is Different
Peachtree Publishers    2011

       Evensong Sparkling Morningdew (she prefers to be called Evie, if you know what I mean,) has been homeschooled her whole life, and with senior year coming around the corner, she decides to spend her last year at high school, where she'll do a little bit of pop culture research (and maybe experience some "normal girl" tendencies, like attendance and mean girls and falling in love.) The thing is, when Evie gets there, things aren't as great as they're cracked up to be, but who,if not an eccentric homeschooler, can turn its system around and bring justice if not Evie? All goes well until the revolution starts to kick back, and Evie has to confront her worst fear-is this girl really different? I LOVED this book! Evie is the most sassy and loveable character I have ever seen come to life in a book's pages, and her spunk and butt-kicking abilities, as well as her love for literature and philosophical quotes, makes you want to cheer for her through the good and the bad. She may make mistakes, but boy, does she figure out good ways to battle them! The romance was subtle, but very cute and very funny-who knew that Evie had a match out there? It all came down to the page-turning plot; it was hours before I realized I had been sitting in the same place as when I had started, but Johnson's action driven plot wanted me to read more! I can't wait to see other work by the author of This Girl is Different, and let me say this: everyone will delight in J.J. Johnson's debut novel, and I guarrentee that Evie's journey is a fun, but different one.   

Rating: 5 Hard to imagine a better book

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Monday, December 5, 2011

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

AnQi, 13
Rick Riordan
The Lost Hero
Hyperion Books for Children 2010

After getting lost in a whole paranormal faze of reading, I needed something light, humorous, but still serious/adventure kind of book. It so happens that just a few days ago, The Lost Hero came out, adding another series to the Camp Half Blood stories, including the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Some might complain that some books need to end- for this particular book, I thought that too, until I actually read it. Now I'm thinking that Rick Riordan was right to continue this on-with his great creative plot skills, I now know I was in for a treat! The Lost Hero has certain elements that Percy Jackson does not have. I can see more character development with our main characters- Piper, Leo, and Jason- that does not happen with Percy, Annabeth, or Grover in PJ. This book was also written in third person, which lets you see different personalities at one time. I think that certainly added to the book. There are also more realistic events that actually happen in real life- abuse, loss, and difficulties. It definitely has a more sullen and realistic feel than PJ does. And added to that, there is a better developed, twisty and turning plot, that adds so much more elements than the Percy Jackson series ever did. All in all, this was a fantastic read, and I can't wait 'till Mr. Riordan has more for us.

Rating: 5 Hard to imagine a better book

Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler

AnQi, 13
Sarah Ockler
Fixing Delilah
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 2010

It was evident as I started Fixing Delilah that the plot was going to be similar to Sarah Dessen's The Truth About Forever, a beautiful novel about a teenager named Macy, who embarks on a self discovering journey and learns what it means to truly change. Although Fixing Delilah was definitely much shorter than The Truth About Forever, I had a feeling that it had something that The Truth...lacked. There were the heart breaking scenes of learning how to grieve about her grandmother's death, and the romantic and handsome childhood friend from her past, but there was also a feeling of breath taking scenes of adventure as Delilah learns about her deceased Aunt Stephanie and the secrets she held-the truth of her mother's argument with her grandmother eight years ago that separated the Hannaford family-and the desire to learn more about her late father, Thomas Devlin, who died when traveling Afghanistan as a journalist. The book flows with an almost poetic feel as we travel through Delilah's life in Red Falls, the place of her mother's birth, and the romantic feelings between Delilah and her old friend 'Little Ricky' now known as Patrick Reed. It feels beautiful through every thrilling and sad moment, and Delilah's human character livens it all when she displays the real core of her human nature. I will be most excited when I read Twenty Boy Summer, and I'm eager to call Sharon Ockler one of my most favorite authors now, with her excellent writing and beautiful characters and scenery. Thank you for such an inspirational novel.

Rating: 5 Hard to imagine a better book

Bistro Members Please Submit Your Reviews

Hi All,

The following lists titles nominated for BFYA for which I have not received reviews. I know many of these titles have been discussed at Bistro meetings. Please submit your reviews as soon as possible. Thanks.


12 Things To Do Before You Crash and Burn by Proimos, James
Absolute Value of Mike, The  by Erskine, Kathryn
Addie on the Inside by Howe, James
Akata Witch by Okorafor, Nnedi
Apothecary, The  by Meloy, Maile
Ashfall by Mullin, Mike
Auslander, The  by Dowswell, Paul
Beautiful Friendship, A by Weber, David
Between by Warman, Jessica
Between Here and Forever by Scott, Elizabeth
Big Crunch, The  by Hautman, Pete
Blank Confession by Hautman, Pete
Blink and Caution by Wynne-Jones
Breaking Stalin's Nose by Yelchin, Eugene
Bronxwood by Booth, Coe
Brooklyn, Burning by Brezenoff, Steve
Bumped by McCafferty, Megan
Caleb's Wars by Dudley, David
Camo Girl by Magoon, Kekla
Chronicles of Harris Burdick by Van Allsberg, et al
Clean by Reed, Amy
Compulsion by Ayarbe, Heidi
Darkest Mercy by Marr, Melissa
Daughter of Xanadu by Yang, Dori Jones
Day Before, The  by Schroeder, Lisa
Dead End in Norvelt by Gantos, Jack
Death Cloud by Lane, Andrew
Desert Angel by Price,  Charlie
Dreamland Social Club by Altebrando, Tara
Dreams of Significant Girls by Garcia, Christina
Elephant in the Garden, An  by Morpurgo, Michael
Eliza's Freedom Road by Nolen, Jerdine
Everything I Was by Demas, Corinne
Fall for Anything by Summers, Courtney
First Day on Earth by Castellucci, Cecil
Fixing Delilah by Ockler, Sarah
Flip by Bedford, Martyn
Floating Islands, The  by Neumeier, Rachel
Flyaway by Christopher, Lucy
Future of Us, The  by Asher, Jay and Mackler, Carolyn
Girl of Fire and Thorns, The  by Carson, Rae
Girl Who Became a Beatle, The  by Taylor, Greg
Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her Own Making, The  by Valente, Catherynne M.
Glass Swallow, The  by Golding, Julia
Glow by Ryan, Amy Kathleen
Guantanamo Boy by Perera, Anna
How I Stole Johnny Depp's Alien Girlfriend by Ghislain, Gary
Huntress by Lo, Malinda
Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck by Engle, Margarita
Hush by Chayil, Eishes
I am J by Beam, Chris
I Will Save You by de la Pena, Matt
Island's End by Venkatraman, Padma
Jersey Tomatoes Are the Best by Padian, Maria
Lark by  Porter, Tracey
Last Little Blue Envelope, The  by Johnson, Maureen
Latte Rebellion, The  by Stevenson, Sarah Jamila
Life: An Exploded Diagram by Peet, Mal
Lola and the Boy next Door by Perkins, Stephanie
Long Walk to Water, A by Park, Linda Sue
Lost & Found by Tan, Shaun
Lost Crown, The  by Miller, Sarah
Lost Hero, The  by Riordan, Rick
Luck of the Buttons, The  by Ylvisaker, Anne
Mermaid's Mirror by Madigan, LK
Miles from Ordinary by Williams, Carol Lynch
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom, Riggs
Moonglass by Kirby, Jesse
Mostly True Story of Jack, The  by Barnhill, Kelly
My Life Undecided by Brody, Jessica
My Name is Mina by Almond, David
My Name Is Not Easy by Edwardson, Debby Dahl
Name of the Star, The  by Johnson, Maureen
Nightspell by Cypess, Leah
Now Playing Stoner and Spaz II  by Koertge, Ron  
Okay for Now by Schmidt, Gary
Orchards by Thompson, Holly  
Out of Shadows by Wallace, Jason
Paper Covers Rock by Hubbard, Jenny
Past Perfect by Sales, Leila
Pathfinder  by Card, Orson Scott
Pearl by Knowles, Jo
Pick-Up Game: A Full Day of Full Court  by Aronson and Smith, Jr.
Piper's Son, The  by Marchetta, Melina
Pregnant Pause by Nolan, Han
Prisoners in the Palace by MacColl, Michaela
Queen of Hearts by Brooks, Martha
Queen of the Dead by Kade, Stacey
Rotters by Kraus,  Daniel
Running Dream, The  by Van Draanen, Wendelin
Sean Griswold's Head by Leavitt, Lindsey
See What I See by Whelan, Gloria
Seriously Norman by Raschka, Chris
Sharks & Boys by Tracy, Kristen
Small as an Elephant by Jacobson, Jennifer
Space Between, The  by Yovanoff, Breena
Sparrow Road by O'Connor, Sheila
Stay With Me by Griffin, Paul
Stick by Smith, Andrew
Strings Attached by Blundell, Judy
Stupid Fast by Herbach, Geoff
Summer I Learned to Fly, The  by Reinhardt, Dana
Survival Kit, The  by Freitas, Donna
Sweetness of Salt, The  by Galante, Cecilia
Take Me To the River by Hobbs, Will
Tankborn by Sandler, Karen
Ten Things We Did (and probably shouldn't have) by Mlynowski, Sarah
Texas Gothic by Clement-Moore, Rosemary
There Is No Long Distance Now by Nye, Naomi Shihab
This Thing Called the Future by Powers, J.L.
Threads and Flames by Friesner, Esther
Time of Miracles, A by Bondoux, Anne-Laure
Uncommon Criminals by Carter, Ally
Under the Mesquite by McCall, Guadalupe Garcia
Unidentified, The  by Mariz, Rae
Virtuosity by Martinez, Jessica
Watch that Ends the Night, The  by Wolf, Allan
What Can(t) Wait by PĂ©rez, Ashley Hope
What Comes After by Watkins, Steve
What Happened to Goodbye by Dessen, Sarah
Where I Belong by Cross, Gillian
Where the Streets had a Name  by Abdel-Fattah, Randa
Where Things Come Back by Whaley, John Corey
Why We Broke Up by Handler, Daniel
Winter Town by Emond, Stephen
Wolf Mark by Bruchac, Joseph
You Don't Know About Me by Meehl, Brian