The Outsiders

The Outsiders, written by S.E. Hinton, is a coming-of-age story featuring 1960’s greasers, Socs, cars, switchblades, gangs, books, and family. Read about Ponyboy, his brothers, and their friends as they fight against injustice and prejudice both against them and that they have against others; and not everyone may make it out of the fight alive.

I would recommend this novel for ages 14+. It would fall under the historical fiction and young adult genres and is very well written with an excellent ending. The Outsiders is not one of my favorite books, it was predictable and not one of the most memorable stories I’ve read in my lifetime; there was also some content to watch out for younger readers. 3 out of 5 stars.

And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None is a thrilling, sinister mystery written by Agatha Christie and published as Ten Little Indians in 1939. This chilling story reveals the depravity of the human mind as it unfolds its bloodstained pages; ten strangers, invited to a lonely island by an anonymous host, share their darkest secrets…then one by one, the guests begin to die.

No one is safe from the hand of vengeance.

I would recommend this book for ages 16+. It’s dark and menacing, with a mature theme and twisted morals. The writing is excellent and gripping, the characters sympathetic yet unlikable. Agatha Christie outdid herself in the writing and plotting of this tale, but there are little to no redeeming qualities about the story; it’s a twisted tale of sin catching up with the sinner. 3.5 out of 5 stars. 

Dust and Shadow

The year is 1887, and Mr. Sherlock Holmes, the world’s most famous detective, is hot on the trail of a notorious killer who has taken the bloody epithet Jack the Ripper. Mr. Holmes is determined to run down this fiend and take him to justice, but when the great detective is laid low from a dreadful injury, he must entrust this case to the hands of his faithful friend Dr. John Watson and their new associate Miss Mary Ann Monk. To make matters worse, the press begins an investigation of their own, with Sherlock Holmes as the main suspect and the object of their suspicions. Beset on every side with distrust, scorn, and outright malice; the three friends must hasten to stop the killer known as “the Knife” before he strikes again, at all costs, for the good of all London.
I recommend Dust and Shadow, written by Lyndsay Faye and published in 2009 by Simon & Schuster, for ages 17+. This book falls under the mystery and thriller genres, and is an engaging and suspenseful read, true to the voice of the original Holmes stories. There is some mild language and mature elements to watch out for, as well as gruesome details that could disturb younger readers. All in all, a well-written story with a thrilling plot, Victorian drama, and a dash of menace. 4 out of 5 stars.

The Maze Runner

He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, musty air.
My name is Thomas, he thought.
That…that was the only thing he could remember about his life. *

Thomas wakes up to find himself devoid of memories, surrounded by strangers-all boys like himself-and trapped inside a huge maze with no apparent way out.

If you ain’t scared…you ain’t human. *

No one remembers anything about themselves, or why they were put there inside the Maze. All they know is that they have to get out. And they’ve been trying for years.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the glade. *

Thomas is convinced that he can help them escape. But the stakes are raised when the first girl is delivered to the Maze. The message she is sent with will change the boys’ lives forever.

She’s the last one. Ever.
Everything is going to change. *

The Gladers must trust each other as they fight to stay alive. Someone put them in the Maze. And they’re going to find out why. But first they have to make it out. The Maze must be cracked. There are traitors in their midst, and time is against them. Will they be able to succeed before it’s too late? When they do, will their memories be returned to them? And what do the words on the walls of the Maze mean-World In Catastrophe Killzone Experiment Department? What is going on in the world outside the Maze?

It’ll end soon.
It has to.
Thomas. *

The Maze Runner, written by James Dashner and published in 2009 by Delacorte Press, is a fascinating story of survival, friendship, and intrigue. Fast-paced and gritty, this book falls under the post-apocalyptic\futuristic genre.
I would recommend this book for ages 15+. There is some mild inappropriate usages of words and some off-color jokes, as well as intense violence and gory action. An enthralling story with amazing characters and an imaginative story world. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

WICKED is good. *

*All excerpts are taken from The Maze Runner, written by James Dashner and published in 2009 by Delacorte Press.

The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

One of Robert Louis Stevenson’s best-known works, The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is an eerie tale of mystery and intrigue. It was published in 1886 and would be considered a psychological mystery thriller.

Henry Jekyll is a well-known man of science. To all outward appearances, he appears to have a comfortable, happy life; money, intellect, and many friends-one among them being Mr. Utterson, a lawyer. One day, however; things begin to turn sour for Dr. Jekyll after the sudden appearance of one Mr. Hyde. An unexplainable will, strange messages, and the sudden reclusiveness of his old friend make Mr. Utterson wonder if perhaps this Mr. Hyde is blackmailing his friend…or perhaps there is some darker corruption at work. Together with Poole, Dr. Jekyll’s butler, and Dr. Lanyon, an old friend; Mr. Utterson is determined to get to the bottom of the sinister business of the Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Robert Louis Stevenson is an amazing author. He combines just the right amount of detail and dialogue to make his stories flow smoothly with no dull spots in them at all. The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is at a medium to hard reading level.

I would highly recommend this book for ages 16+. There is a little bit of mild language, and some mature dark themes. All in all, a well written book with excellent food for thought. 4 out of 5 stars.