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Cascade's Reviews


The Thing About Jellyfish*
by Ali Benjamin

This National Book Award Finalist, a novel written for middle graders, was highlighted at Night January 2016.  Twelve year old Suzy is still reeling from her friend’s sudden death. In response, she has chosen to become mute. Suzy cannot accept that her friend drowned since she was such a good swimmer; instead Suzy convinces herself that Franny died via a sting from a rare jellyfish. She proceeds to extensively research jellyfish for a school project in order to prove her theory.


*Night In recommendation



The List
by Siobhan Vivian

This book revolves around the lives of 8 girls who are chosen to be on the list. This is a list of the prettiest and ugliest girl in each high school grade, freshman through senior. Each girl reacts differently when she learns her name is on the list—prominent themes include identity, self-esteem, and judgment.




by Sophie Jordan

Davy (a girl) tests positive for homicidal tendency syndrome (HTS).  Carriers of this gene are more likely to commit violent crimes than the average person.  Testing positive means that she is uninvited from her prep school, i.e. expelled; her friends desert her and her boyfriend dumps her.  Davy is a music prodigy; she plays numerous instruments and sings.  She is forced to go to a school where others with this gene are caged in a basement classroom isolated from the unafflicted students.  She must learn to cope with having this gene in a world that hates her.




by Michael Buckley

The Alpha are a race of creatures, similar to humans, that one day leave the ocean and set up camp on the beach.  The arrival of the Alphas causes a great uprising between the people who want to kill them and the people who want to integrate them into our society.  Lyric, the main character, learns that she will attend school with some teenage Alphas and is forced to mentor one of them on human etiquette and social norms.  Lyric develops feelings for Fathom, her mentee; she also deals with the mobs and rioters who are hell-bent on waging war with the Alphas.



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