30 December 2016

Review: The Boomerang Effect

The Boomerang Effect
by Gordon Jack

Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: November 8, 2016

THE BOOMERANG EFFECT by Gordon Jack is about a troubled teen named Lawrence Barry. He becomes addicted to weed so he can fit in with his friends. But after he does a prank, the school puts him in a mentorship program instead of expelling him. Someone starts vandalizing the school during Homecoming week and everyone thinks it's Lawrence. Lawrence and Spencer (his mentee) have to clear Lawrence's name. While all this is happening, Lawrence has to figure himself out. Overall, I thought this was a great book. It covered some pretty deep topics but stayed a light and funny book. I liked the writing style. The plot was well thought out and it kept me reading. It was a great debut book for Gordon Jack and I hope to read more of his books in the future.

Review: The Amateurs

The Amateurs
by Sara Shepard

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: November 1, 2016

THE AMATEURS by Sara Shepard is about Seneca Frazier, an amateur detective. She’s obsessed with a message board, Case Not Closed, dedicated to investigating unsolved cases. So when a friend from Case Not Closed, Maddox, offers Seneca a chance to stay in his guesthouse and work on a particularly gruesome murder committed in his affluent hometown of Dexby, Seneca jumps at the opportunity. In Dexby, Seneca connects with the murdered girl’s younger sister and two of Maddox’s friends.

The team gets to work interrogating suspects in a case the police deemed unsolvable. They soon find themselves unearthing the town’s darkest secrets. Behind the fa├žade, the well-off residents of Dexby are hiding drug problems, affairs, and a serial killer. To make matters worse, the murderer is alive and well, and he’s watching the sleuths’ every move.

THE AMATEURS is a fast-paced, engrossing novel. It’s full of romance, suspicion, and danger. The characters are believable, and readers will feel intensely invested in them. The plot twist at the end is shocking. Fans of PRETTY LITTLE LIARS will love another fun, fast read from Sara Shepard.

Review: The Sun Is Also A Star

The Sun Is Also A Star
by Nicola Yoon

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: November 1, 2016

THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon is a gorgeously written young adult romance. Even though this isn’t the type of book I usually seek out, Yoon’s writing ability is incredible. The characters are flawed, funny, and completely believable. While the plot was far fetched at times, part of the magic of this book is that the characters themselves recognize the rare circumstances of the story and continually question the legitimacy of “love at first sight”. The novel focuses on the intertwining stories of two teenagers, Natasha and Daniel, in a twelve hour time period. Natasha is preparing to be deported and is fighting to remain in America, while Daniel is facing harsh parental pressure. While this story is first and foremost a romance, it offers many brief but powerful insights into more minor characters, touching on themes such as suicide, depression, and racism. Ultimately, the events that occur over the course of these twelve hours change the lives of almost everyone involved.


Review: The Diabolic

The Diabolic
by S. J. Kincaid

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: November 1, 2016

In the dystopian novel THE DIABOLIC, by S.J. Kincaid, Nemesis, a Diabolic, devoted her entire life to protecting Sidonia Impyrean (Donia) at any cost necessary; it was what she was created to do. As a result of Senator Impyrean, Sidonia’s father, committing a treacherous act against the empire, Sidonia is summoned to the Emperor's palace, the Chrysanthemum. Nemesis, realizing that Donia is in danger, poses as Sidonia and goes to the Chrysanthemum in her place to protect her, convincing everyone that she is Sidonia Impyrean. When the Emperor damages Nemesis in a way she could not predict, Nemesis plots to kill the Emperor with the help of his crazed nephew and heir, Tyrus Dometrean. Throughout the book, Tyrus helps Nemesis realize that she has human aspects in her when she thought she had none, and causes her to realize that it is possible for her to have emotions the way others do.

I enjoyed reading THE DIABOLIC, and I would give it a rating of seven out of ten stars. There was good character development for most of the main characters, and some of the main characters, such as Tyrus, have their background briefly explained later in the book where it has a greater effect. When Nemesis is collaborating with Tyrus, she forms a small bond with him. This connection evolves throughout their partnership and Nemesis realizes that she is forming a connection to someone other than Sidonia, which mortifies her. Still under the grip of the Emperor, she realizes that she may never see Sidonia again, failing her one purpose in life. This eventually makes her less reluctant to bond with Tyrus, and forms somewhat of a love triangle between her, Sidonia, and Tyrus. Nemesis’s love for Tyrus seems a little bit unnatural to me because Tyrus is the first person Nemesis allowed herself to attach to, not because he was the first person she was attracted to, but because he was the first person to attach to after Nemesis’s realization about Sidonia. When Nemesis first arrived in the Chrysanthemum, the Emperor commands her to tell one of her Servitors (human-like creatures unable to think) to skin herself alive, which has some vivid imagery of the gruesome flay. There is one character who seemingly dies, but then is revealed to be alive, but then dies for real in the presence of Nemesis shortly after they reunite. I did not like this story arc because while it does cause emotional trauma for Nemesis needed for the story, it does not do much for the reader. I have already experienced this character's death, and it has less of an impact the second time, even though Nemesis’s presence makes it much more sad. I think it would have been better to either have that character seemingly die, or only die the second time. There is also a point in the story where the Emperor destroys numerous entire planets. There is a sense of loss and grief in the following chapters, but in my opinion, there was an extreme disregard to the actuality of the loss. These people are sad and scared that they lost their homes and families, but very few people show it. To me, this book resembles a mixture of SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD and PATHFINDER. If there was a sequel to this book, I would want to read it. I would also want to read other books by S.J. Kincaid after reading this, but this book does not make me want to put her other books at the top of my list.

Review: The Romantics

The Romantics
by Leah Konen

Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: November 1, 2016

THE ROMANTICS by Leah Konen is a romantic comedy about high-school romance with a unique twist: Love itself is the narrator. Love tells the story of Gael Brennen, a high-school senior, as he struggles with heartbreak and relationships while his family is crumbling around him. Although I thought this book was cliche and very cheesy, I found myself not being able to put it down because of the striking characters and interesting plot twists. It was very clever to have the story be told from the perspective of Love as I have never heard of a book written that way. I enjoyed the references to famous movies and books throughout it and thought it was a very witty story overall.

Review: Ryan Quinn and the Rebel's Escape

Ryan Quinn and the Rebel's Escape
by Ron McGee

Publisher: HarperCollins

Publication Date: October 25, 2016

RYAN QUINN AND THE REBEL'S ESCAPE, by Ron McGee, is an action-packed thriller with tons of plot twists. The main character is a boy named Ryan Quinn who finds out his parents are part of an organization called the Emergency Rescue Committee. The ERC is an organization dating back to World War II; their charge, to save righteous people in danger. When, on a mission, his dad vanishes and his mother gets taken, Ryan has to figure out what's going on and save his parents from imminent death. I highly recommend reading this book if you are into constant action and a fast paced page turner. This is Ron Mcgee's novel writing debut and I think he started with a bang. I finished this book in one day; I couldn't bring myself to put it down!!


Review: Pushing Perfect

Pushing Perfect
by Michelle Falkoff

Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: October 25, 2016

In PUSHING PERFECT by Michelle Falkoff, Kara has strived to be perfect her entire life. She’s gotten straight A’s, been a star student, and met her parents’ absurdly high expectations time and time again. Her ultimate goal is to be accepted to Harvard University where she can finally be free of her parents’ suffocating pressure. The only roadblock in her way is the SATs. It’s the one thing that terrifies her the most. So when a new friend mentions an illicit drug, Novalert, Kara thinks it might be the perfect thing to calm her mind on test day.

Her decision to buy and take Novalert sets in motion a chain of events that will threaten her future and expose her darkest secrets. A Blocked Sender gets their hands on a picture of Kara handing over money for the drugs and Kara soon realizes that she can’t trust anyone, not even the people she thinks are her friends. She must unravel a complicated web of lies, secrets, and blackmail.

This fast-paced, unpredictable novel will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Michelle Falkoff’s characters are realistic and likable, and you will find yourself invested in Kara’s story. Full of suspense and mystery, Pushing Perfect is a page-turner. Readers will be shocked by the plot-twist at the end!  

29 December 2016

Review: Saving Red

Saving Red 
by Sonya Sones 

Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: October 18, 2016

SAVING RED tells the story of fourteen-year-old Molly Rosenberg’s relationship with Red, a homeless teenager Molly meets in Santa Monica, California. Though their friendship begins with Molly desperately trying to complete her school’s community service requirement, the two girls quickly grow to find comfort and support in one another. Molly and Red balanced each other out very well, with Red’s outgoing spirit and Molly’s more reserved nature. One of the most exciting things about this novel was that it was written in verse, which gave it a nice flow and created a feeling of clarity and honesty in Molly’s voice as a main character. I would recommend Saving Red to anybody who is interested in reading a novel in verse, but might be afraid to try – this book would be the perfect place to start.

28 December 2016

Review: Iron Cast

Iron Cast
by Destiny Soria

Publisher: Abrams/ Amulet
Publication Date: October 11, 2016

Nightclubs. Jazz. Flappers. And magic? IRON CAST artfully combines all of the above, following two best friends employed by Boston’s most notorious gangster, Johnny Dervish. On the surface, Ada and Corrinne could not be more different: multiracial Ada is the first in her family to be born in America, while Corrine is an heiress with nothing to lose. However, both are “hemopaths”, born with the ability to create magical illusions: Ada through music and Corinne through her voice. They perform in the Cast Iron nightclub by night and con rich folks by day for mob boss Dervish, but their entire existence is threatened when Ada is trapped by those who would use her powers for far more sinister means. Sora’s world of magic, mobsters, and the glamorous forbidden nightclubs of the 1920’s combines the forbidden decadence of the Prohibition Era that has captivated audience for decades with fresh, complex characters and an exciting plot. Her writing itself is enthrallingly descriptive and tempered with just the right amount of darkness to keep readers on the edge of their seats. The action-packed plot also incorporates social issues of the time, such as racial equality and women’s rights, in a way that is informative without disrupting the flow of the novel. I highly recommend this book to fans of all genres.

Review: Every Hidden Thing

Every Hidden Thing
by Kenneth Oppel

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: October 11, 2016

EVERY HIDDEN THING by Kenneth Oppel is a compelling story that is quite similar to Romeo and Juliet. There are two rival families, the Bolts and the Cartlands, who are attempting to be the first to discover a massive set of dinosaur bones, and the two teenagers of the respective families, Samuel and Rachel, are brought together. Although this is very different than books that I usually read, as I am into mainly action and adventure books, the romance does not take up the entire story, and there is still plenty of suspense to keep me interested. I enjoyed the book largely due to this mix of action and romance, and I feel as if other people would enjoy it too. Overall, I had a great experience reading this book and would definitely recommend it to others.

26 November 2016

Review: Lost Stars

Lost Stars
by Lisa Selin Davis

Publisher: HMH Books
Publication Date: October 4, 2016

LOST STARS by Lisa Selin Davis is a coming of age novel that demonstrates the close bond between siblings and the profound influence that death has upon adolescents. Davis thoughtfully incorporates a multitude of references to 80's music and pop culture into the plot, using song lyrics to highlight protagonist Carrie’s development throughout the novel. While this novel may seem cliched at first (the ever-present love interest, tyrannical father, absent mother, and teenage angst tropes are all featured in this novel), the story ultimately centers around Carrie’s attempts to cope with her elder sister’s death. I found this novel to be engaging and thoughtfully written, and thought that the well-placed astronomy metaphors were distinct without being the focus of the story.

Review: Level Grind

Level Grind
by Annie Bellet

Publisher: Saga Press
Publication Date: October 4, 2016

In the fantasy book, Level Grind, by Annie Bellet, Jade Crow, a 50 year old sorceress, is running from her ex boyfriend, Samir, who is trying to eat her heart to gain her power. Jade runs a comic book shop with her friend Harper, a shifter who can turn into an animal. She and two other shifters help out Jade throughout the book, and they also have the assistance of Alek, another shifter who works for what shifters consider to be gods. This book is comprised of four novellas (Justice Calling, Murder of Crows, Pack of Lies, and Hunting Season), which form a chronological story. In each of the four stories, there is a main antagonist who is trying to accomplish something evil, while the threat of Samir lurks in the background. Even in the last story, Samir is not the bad guy that Jade and her friends are trying to stop.

I felt that more should have been added to some of the stories. Something bad happens, they find out why, they try to stop it and end eventually succeed, all while Jade is trying to strengthen her magic . The stories are fairly straightforward, and I think it would have been better if there was more of a plot twist per story.  At the end of each story, many of its key points are concluded, leaving not very much room for an effective cliffhanger. I think that the romance in this book does not contribute much to the story, or the development of the characters. I like that this book is fast paced at each climax and that there are small bits of detective work done to figure out what is going on for both the characters and the reader. The reader can try to figure out what is happening before the story reveals it. There are also many references to TV shows, games, comics, movies, and video games that you will only understand if you know about the specific content.

While I enjoyed reading this book, I am not sure if I would read the sequels. Nothing happens in the book that makes me want to instantly have and read the next book. I did not love nor hate this book, but I think it would have been more enjoyable if it was targeted to a more specific age.

Review: Spare and Found Parts

Spare and Found Parts
by Sarah Maria Griffin

Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: October 4, 2016

Spare and Found Parts is about a girl named Nell Crane with a ticking heart who lives in a city devastated by an epidemic, and who decides to create a robot companion. The author's writing style is one that might be a little confusing at first, but then adds to the total effect of the book. I enjoyed the plot and how people are afraid of computers ever since some mysterious epidemic devastated the people on this island. I wish that the author would elaborate a bit more on what exactly happened, because I feel like it would add a lot to the total story. I also liked how she introduced different cool aspects, like secret societies, throughout the book, but I feel as if she sometimes used them as plot devices and could have used them more to improve the total story. If there were a second book, I probably would read it to see where the characters go and hopefully find out more about this novel's mysterious past. I think people who are fans of futuristic post-disaster books will enjoy this book because there are lots of cautionary notes about the dangers of technology.  

Review: Replica

by Lauren Oliver

Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: October 4, 2016

Replica by Lauren Oliver tells the story of two different girls, intertwined by one word: clones (or shall I say replicas?). Half of the book follows Lyra, a girl who grew up in Haven Institutes, who escapes with another clone, 72, and sees the real world for the first time in her life. The other half follows Gemma, a regular girl whose life soon becomes entwined with Lyra's as she hopes to find out the truth behind what exactly goes on at Haven.

While I read this book, I really enjoyed how you can see the two different sides of the story, and how different characters experienced different versions of the same events. One thing that kind of bothered me though, was how practically entire conversations were repeated, just with slightly different commentary, which could have been avoided in order to make the book shorter and the plot more in-depth. I liked how the two sides complemented each other, and how there were equal parts of, science and romance. In the end, there was also a twist which was very well thought out, with the seeds of it even reaching back in both girls’ stories, which really helped bring the two stories together.

I would read the next book of this duology, to see exactly where Gemma and Lyra end up next in this not-so-far future tale! I would recommend this for science fiction lovers who hope to have a little romance in their next read!

27 October 2016

Review: Kids of Appetite

Kids of Appetite
by David Arnold

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: September 20, 2016

David Arnold’s KIDS OF APPETITE is a novel about affection, disappointment, and opening up to the ones you love. When Victor Benuchii III finds a letter inside his dad's urn detailing where to spread his ashes, he feels it's his duty to carry out his father's last wishes. Vic ends up joining a group of kids genuinely eager to help him. The group seeks out each site, retracing Vic’s father’s past. As each of them open up to him, he uncovers tragedy and sacrifice. Soon he finds himself infatuated with Mad, a tough girl with a tragic upbringing living with an abusive uncle. When Baz, the leader of the group, is accused of murdering Mad’s uncle, Vic and his new friends formulate a plan to free him from custody and clear his name.

David Arnold draws vivid characters that come to life on the page. You will enjoy watching their relationships with each other deepen as you read. Vic's devotion to Mad is sweet and passionate; their relationship is the highlight of the book. Throughout the fluctuating plot, this simple love ties the book together and will leave you wanting more. The plot of this book is complicated yet easy to understand, and covers a wide variety of topics, including first love, murder, and acceptance. Once you pick up KIDS OF APPETITE you won't be able to put it down.

Review: Lucy and Linh

Lucy and Linh
by Alice Pung

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 6, 2016

Alice Pung’s novel, LUCY AND LINH, tells the story of Lucy Lam, who gets plucked out of her Catholic school and thrown into Laurinda Girls’ College: a fancy elite prep school for girls. At Laurinda, though Lucy feels out of place, she attracts the attention of the ruling clique, The Cabinet. The more time she spends with The Cabinet, however, the less true to herself Lucy feels. The story is told through Lucy’s letters to her best friend, Linh, and Pung does an excellent job of capturing Lucy’s honest voice and developing her character as Lucy discovers what is truly important. Lucy is a grounded and strong character, and I think she will appeal to most audiences. Overall, LUCY AND LINH is both surprisingly funny and meaningful at once, and I would recommend it for ages 12 and up.

Review: A Shadow Bright and Burning

A Shadow Bright and Burning
by Jessica Cluess

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: September 20, 2016

Henrietta Howel has the power to burst into flames. She has to hide this power, but when she is forced to reveal it to save her friends, she is not executed, but taken in to train as a sorcerer. She is taken to London and declared the chosen one, but is she really? As she plays her game of deception, she must also train with a group of male sorcerers, fight terrifying monsters, and save the city and the one she loves from destruction. I really enjoyed this book. I loved how the author took the basic “chosen one” book trope and put a spin on it. I also liked how there were some characters that you started off with one feeling towards them, and then ended with a completely different feeling about them. I really enjoyed the main character—Henrietta—because she wasn’t really your typical protagonist. She did a lot of sneaking around and at times seemed like she was playing the system, which only made her more of a badass character. I can’t wait for the next book in this series! I would recommend this book for fantasy lovers because it combines awesome magic with strange yet terrifying demon-monsters.

19 October 2016

Review: Black River Falls

Black River Falls
by Jeff Hirsch

Publisher: Clarion Books
Publication Date: July 5, 2016

The book BLACK RIVER FALLS by Jeff Hirsch is, at its core, about the value of friends and family. It's about a boy named Cardinal, who lives in a town that was taken over by a virus, and quarantined. The virus leaves its victims alive, but takes away all their memories. Cardinal has not been caught by the virus, but chooses to stay to care for a group of orphaned kids. The book was interesting to me because it made me speculate on what could happen if everyone lost their memories, and the effect that it could have on a society. I also liked the books action-packed and fast paced mystery. The depth of the book was enjoyable, with multiple side plots to keep the reader interested. I would recommend the book to anyone who really likes being able to critically analyze a fiction book, as there wasn't anything gory or gruesome, just action.

26 September 2016

Review: Riverkeep

by Martin Stewart 

Publisher: Viking
Publication Date: July 26, 2016
RIVERKEEP by Martin Stewart is an adventurous and thrilling book about a boy named Wulliam, who is attempting to cure his father after he was possessed by a dark spirit. Wull is almost 16, and is set to become Riverkeep, where he tends to a magical and treacherous river. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and its adventurous nature. Furthermore, I really liked the character development and the diversity amongst the characters as a whole. I liked the book largely due to its action and the way the book is written: keeping accents for each and every character really helped me to keep a good idea of the characters’ traits in my head. I would recommend the book to people who enjoy action and adventure. However, the book had some gore in it, so people who don't enjoy that kind of description may not like it as much.

06 July 2016

Review: Mirror In The Sky

Mirror In The Sky 
by Aditi Khorana 

Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: June 21, 2016

Beautifully written by Aditi Khorana, MIRROR IN THE SKY allows both the characters and readers to think about all the “what-ifs” life has to offer. Just as Tara Krishnan is settling into her junior year of high school, NASA releases news of Terra Nova, Earth’s mirror planet. Tara, along with the rest of the world, starts to consider the weight of her life choices, wondering what life is like for the alternate version of herself on Terra Nova. Soon, she begins to notice slight changes in her everyday life – her mother seems distant and Tara finds a new group of friends within the school’s resident popular clique. With everything up in the air, all Tara knows is that her life on Earth will never be the same. Tara and her family members had a genuine and authentic voice that readers will easily be able to relate to. Without being too laden with scientific details, the plot was believable and mainly revolved around the main character’s social circle. 

29 June 2016

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Thank you to all of our 2015-2016 TRC members! We have open spots for the fall! Do you want to join the Teen Readers Council? Download and fill out an application and email it back to us! HERE

24 June 2016

Review: Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies

Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies
by Lindsay Ribar

Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Publication Date: June 7, 2016

In ROCKS FALL, EVERYONE DIES, Aspen Quick is the (admittedly) self-centered protagonist who has the ability to steal people’s innermost thoughts. In fact, he uses his talents primarily for personal gain. The Quicks have been tasked with using their powers to keep a cliff from falling on top of their small town and it’s Aspen’s turn to partake in the triad ceremony that his family has participated in for centuries. Filled with suspense, humor, and a whole-lot-of teenage angst, this novel provides a protagonist that you’ll love to hate, but will still want to succeed.ROCKS FALL, EVERYONE DIES is the perfect summer reading book, and is destined to destroy whatever reading slump you may find yourself in. 

Review: What Happens Now

What Happens Now
by Jennifer Castle

Publisher: Harper Teen 
Publication Date: June 7, 2016 

WHAT HAPPENS NOW, is about Ari Logan, a girl who sees a boy from afar (Camden Armstrong) and immediately falls in love with him. The summer that she first sees him, Ari never gathers the courage to talk to Camden, but the next summer is different. Ari is living with depression and finds herself forgetting her own demons as she figures out Camden's real self. I am a blossoming fan of romance novels and I really loved this book! It was very well written and the plot was compelling. I highly recommend this to romance and drama lovers.

15 June 2016

Review: True Letters From A Fictional Life

True Letters From A Fictional Life 
by Kenneth Logan 

Publisher: Harper Teen
Publications Date: June 7th, 2016

Kenneth Logan's first novel, TRUE LETTERS FROM A FICTIONAL LIFE, is an astoundingly genuine story about a teenage boy coming to terms with his own sexuality and its impact on his world. James, a moderately popular jock with a charismatic girlfriend and a seemingly perfect life, struggles with his affections for one of his closest male friends. With no one to turn to James writes letters to him and all the other people in his life to help him process his feelings. Guilt from lying to his girlfriend, friends, and family, and for an injury that happened to one of his peers, James finds a connection with a boy from another school and slowly learns to accept himself, doing his best to ignore what other people think of him.
This story is easily one of the most realistic and honest LGBTQ+ coming of age tales in a while, and I felt as though I was a part of James' life. The unbarred descriptions of the conflicting emotions he felt were natural and seemed as though the author had true insight into what James was experiencing. While the story was masterfully told, there was also a rawness and a truthfulness that made it an emotionally captivating account from a shockingly life-like narrator. From the moment I picked it up, I was unable to stop reading until I had finished and by the last page I was crying, not only because of the story, but because it was over. I recommend this book to anyone even remotely interested by this genre and promise that it will be one of your best reads of 2016. I'm thrilled not only by this book, but by the potential this author has and I'm extremely excited to see what he does next.

Review: Savage

by Thomas Sniegoski

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: May 31, 2016

SAVAGE by Thomas Sniegoski, is a book full of action and mystery.  It takes place on the island of Benediction, where we follow the life of a teen girl named Sydney, two of her friends, and her dog. SAVAGE is a book worth reading, as once the excitement rolls in, it continues through till the end. I loved this book, and any fans of mystery (or maybe even romance) will probably enjoy it just the same. 

Review: Meet Me Here

Meet Me Here 
by Bryan Bliss 

Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: May 31, 2016

MEET ME HERE, is a captivating story that takes place over the course of one night, and yet as a reader I felt I had known Thomas his whole life. Thomas is faced with choosing between the decision his brother made, to join the army and fight like everyone around him believes he should, or run away from that life, letting everyone down. Over the course of his graduation night, while faced with his decision, Thomas starts to realize that despite having been in the back of his mind all his life, there might be more ways to look at the situation than he always thought. All the characters in this book, from Thomas, to his brother, to his hometown friends, to the neighbor he hasn't talked to in years up until this night, come alive so vividly. By the end of this book you might just feel that you've spent your graduation night alongside Thomas, and the town he grew up in might start to feel like it was your hometown too.