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Book Reviews by Teens

Scythe by Neil Shusterman
A brief review by Brianna Mastro

Scythe tells the story of the haunting duties befalling a group of individuals known as Scythes, tasked with periodically cleansing the world, one gleaning (death) at a time. Scythes, both feared and awed, live in a post-modern society where technology has solved all problems and conquered death, but population control, the scythes’ obligation, is necessary to maintain the society. The intricacies of the scythes’ everyday lives are revealed to the reader through two young characters selected to become scythes and train by the sides of admirable though controversial scythes.

The intriguing story takes a turn when a group of scythes use their power and influence to satisfy their corrupt interests and it’s up to the rest of the scythes, the two new scythes in particular, to decide what the fate of the organization of scythes will become. This gripping book is a fantastic tale that makes for a quick and adventurous read but deals with the relevant underlying themes of power and corruption in our own society.

 

 

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
A brief review by Gabriella Shetreet

Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson is a novel following Tiger Lily, the adopted daughter of a shaman in Neverland.  Tinker Bell narrates the novel, and she cannot speak, but follows Tiger Lily everywhere.  Tiger Lily has been told her whole life to beware of Peter Pan, who has horns and eats men.  The Lost Boys are supposedly no picnic either.  When Tiger Lily is faced with marriage to a horrible man in her tribe, she comes across Peter and he invites her to his home with the Lost Boys. Tiger Lily befriends them, and meets them in secret, at the dead of night.  She and Peter fall in love, but the abrupt arrival of Englishmen and women, including Wendy Darling, causes Peter to be drawn towards Wendy instead of Tiger Lily. Tiger Lily is a touching novel about first love, first impressions, and change.  I highly recommend this book to middle schoolers.

 

 

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
A brief review by Gabriella Shetreet

When Breath Becomes Air is an astonishingly true novel about and by late neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi. Dr. Kalanithi revisits his life, starting with moving to a remote desert, going to college, and becoming a neurosurgeon. After he becomes diagnosed with metastatic stage 4 lung cancer, he starts writing a memoir about his life and its meaning. This is a must read for all science fans, and I promise you that you will smile, laugh, and cry- possibly at the same time.