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Welcome to the book blog, featuring reviews for teens from InfoSoup librarians and users!

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Author: Varian Johnson

Recommended by the CCBC, I found this book fast paced, clever, and suspenseful. Jackson Greene comes from a line of heisters (is that a word?!) and he decides to pull a heist for the benefit of his friend Gaby who he really likes. Gaby is running for class president in the middle school but her competition, bad guy Keith, seems to have it already all wrapped with the help of unsavory Dr. Kelsey who is the principal. Jackson gathers a group of talent around him to assure Gaby's win. Just when you think you know what is actually happening things get switched up. As the reader you feel double and maybe even triple crossed yourself! Generally, you might not want to support lies and tricks and subterfuge. But for this Robin Hood like figure? Oh, yeah, you want him to win, win, win with that brilliant mind of his. Another book is set to follow. I look forward to it.

*Also, I must note that "The Greene Code of Conduct", although particularly worded for this heisting family, includes some philosophies that work for general living!

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Author: Marie Lu

The book is great. The focus is on the villain, instead of the hero. It’s one of the few books that has no clear side of “good guys” or “bad guys.” (At least, in the beginning.) Since the setting is medieval, I would assume that readers of fantasy, and science fiction genres would like it. Again, I think the book is great, and I definitely recommend it.

Reviewed by storymaker

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Author: Jennifer E. Smith

I give it five stars. The movement of the two protagonists and their turmoil are very lifelike. I also appreciate how Lucy got books from each of the places she traveled and how it didn’t work out perfectly right away but how they rolled with the punches.

reviewed by Stacy_Morgan

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Author: Jenny Han

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is not your average love story. There are plot twists, heart breaks, and  many surprises. The ending leaves you wanting more. It’s about a girl who has loved 5 boys in her life. Each time she’s loved a boy, she’s written him a letter professing her love. What you could probably guess is she never sent them, never had plans to send them, and the boys will never read them.  That is, until someone else decided to send them. Now she goes from having a love life that was almost non-existent, to one that is spiralling out of control.

reviewed by annakristina34

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Author: Kendare Blake

The plot and everything is good, but the beginning is confusing, and the ending is horrible and sad. If there was a sequel, I would give it a 4, because series books end in cliffhangers. Other than the ending, I loved the book.

reviewed by naturelover 64

Another great series

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Author: Anthony Horowitz

This book was about a boy named Alex Rider. He lived with his uncle, Ian. The book starts with Alex finding out that his uncle has been killed. He was told he was killed in a car accident and that he wasn't wearing his seat belt. Alex didn't believe it because his uncle always wore his seat belt. He did a little investigating and found the car. It had bullet holes all over it. Alex knew that his uncle was murdered.

He was taken away by the people that his uncle worked with. Alex thought his uncle worked at a bank. It turns out Ian was actually a spy. Those people wanted Alex to try to finish the job that his uncle started. He was trained already in martial arts, but they trained him in other areas, too. They modified a gameboy into an x-ray machine, some zit cream that dissolved metal, and a special cell phone that scanned photos. All these gadgets were supposed to help Alex find out what this computer guy, Mr. Sayle was up to. He was going to give a computer to each kid in school. They were all going to go "live" at the exact same time.

After some more investigating, Alex found out that the computers were set up to release the small pox virus. Will Alex be able to stop this in time? The story continues in the next book. I thought this book was very good. It kept moving quickly and there was a lot of suspense. I would recommend the book to anyone who likes mystery and action.

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Title: Found
Author: Harlan Coben

This is the third book of this series which started with “Shelter”. The second book was “Seconds Away”. The main character of this series is Mickey Bolitar. He is a high school sophomore dealing with regular teenage problems at school and in sports. Ema and Spoon help him with solving mysteries. At the end of “Seconds Away” we are still left with questions about Mickey’s father. Is he dead or alive?

Besides this mystery, Ema asks Mickey for help finding her online boyfriend after he disappears. Mickey didn’t even know she had a boyfriend. Spoon is still in the hospital. He was shot saving all of their lives in “Seconds Away”. Mickey felt a lot of guilt for Spoon being in the hospital. They don’t know if Spoon will ever walk again. While all of this is going on, there is a drug scandal at school when the school’s basketball star, Troy, tests positive for steroids. He asks Mickey for his help to prove he is innocent. As that story unfolds, we find out that Troy actually did use steroids, but he tried to frame Mickey to make him look guilty. Luckily, it didn’t work.

The “Bat Lady” makes a reappearance in this book. She was the first one to tell Mickey that his father was still alive. He thought she was just a crazy, old lady. But, it turns out she knew what she was saying. In fact, Mickey and his uncle go to her house. She is not there, but after a search they find a sealed, secret room. After a lot of effort, Mickey was able to get the door open with an axe. He found his father inside this room. Brad Bolitar was locked in the room for eight months since his accident. Mickey’s mother was in rehab. She fell apart after she lost Mickey’s dad. The very last part of the book brings the family all back together. There are still questions to answer, such as who put Brad in that sealed room and why? It was pretty obvious it couldn’t have been the “Bat Lady”. Hopefully there will be a fourth book to reveal more of the story.

This was a great book. I think the mystery about Mickey's father is very interesting and kept me reading.  I really liked this whole series.

It is another one I ready with my son, Eric. 

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Title: Driven
Author: Donald Driver

Donald Driver was picked in the seventh round of 1999 NFL draft. He was frustrated he didn't get picked higher, but he soon realized how fortunate he was to get drafted. He didn't even know where Green Bay was. Many thought he didn't have much of a chance to make it with the Packers. He started as the 13th wide receiver on the roster, but he slowly rose up and became the starter. He ended up getting over 10,000 yards in his career. He caught 61 touchdowns. He became a Super Bowl champion.

He had many obstacles in his way but he became a great player in the NFL. In his childhood, he didn't always make the right choices. He moved a lot in his childhood. He stole cars and sold drugs with his brother. He never had a father figure that stayed in his life so he followed his brother. He and Moses got a lot of money out of dealing and whenever their mom couldn't pay the bills they would help out. He met his future wife at Alcorn State. Tina said that if he wanted to keep selling drugs he could just say goodbye. He did the right thing and stopped selling drugs and stealing cars.

He didn't receive much respect with the Packers at first. He credits General Manager Ron Wolf for helping him make the team. Donald earned respect because he was fast and had the skill to succeed. He also became known for his big, broad smile. He became a trusted target for quarterbacks Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. Donald tells stories about Reggie White, Favre, Greg Jennings, and Aaron Rodgers. He kept missing out on the Super Bowl with Brett, but he got his Super Bowl ring with Aaron when the Packers beat the Steelers in 2010. Late in his career with the Packers, he had a tough choice to make. He had to choose whether he would retire a Packer or try to go elsewhere. He chose to retire as a Packer because of what the organization and the fans did for him. He played for fourteen years in the league and retired in 2013.

He competed on the show "Dancing With the Stars" and won the mirror ball trophy with Peta Murgatroyd in 2012. He now enjoys his free time by playing with his wife and kids. He continues to do his charity work. This was one of my favorite books I ever read. It had a lot of information about football players and football.

I liked Donald Driver before I read this book. Now I have even more respect for what he had to overcome to become the great player and man he is today. My son, Eric (18 years old), read this book along with me.  We both really enjoyed it.