Reviews written by Jazmen Greene, Newsletter Manager

70 results - showing 1 - 15
1 2 3 4 5
Ordering
March 10, 2021
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Kids Fiction
No Candy? Not Under Nelle's Watch

The cover for Candy Mafia perfectly captures what is a thrill ride of a mystery for both kids and adults alike. However, despite the perfectly depicted cover, the content does lean a bit heavy towards the end as the mystery unravels. The background of the mystery...

July 21, 2020
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Young Adult Fiction
Layered Romance, Difficult Characters

'You Say It First' is easily one of those books you will either love or hate. My feelings fell somewhere in the middle, in the grey area of dislike and love. Meg was hard to like. Mostly because she came off as the type of character...

July 20, 2020
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
A charming ode to literature and romance.

'By the Book' is a charming ode to both romance and literature. Mary Porter-Malcolm sees life as points of literary reference. She cites classics as though they’re guidebooks to life. In some sense, most readers view the world this way. Books have a way of...

July 01, 2020 (Updated: July 01, 2020)
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Heavy, yet Riveting.

Cracked up to be is an unsettling tale of a girl on the cusp of a mental breakdown for over 200 pages; for a reason, the reader won’t discover fully until the very last few chapters. From the onset, Parker is an unreliable narrator; in that, you never know what...

February 21, 2020
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
Kids Fiction
Brilliant and Witty--Long Way Down is What Happens After The School Bell Rings

I often hear it said that writers are bred, and sure you can breed some decent writers with whatever amount of work it requires, but I think the most gifted writers are born. Jason Reynolds is the latter. He’s naturally good at writing tales that leave out...

February 04, 2020
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Kids Fiction
Ghost Boys

I always struggle to review these types of novels--these black lives matter, civil rights-esque novels. I often go into them expecting to be angry. I'm pre-angry before I even start them. Why? Because this is happening, still--today, and though the books are based on fictional characters--the story themselves are all...

February 04, 2020
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
"You Coming?"

I feel like I've been asleep for the last 31 years and I just woke up. I am woke. Long Way Down, is a knife that cut to the deepest, blackest part of me, and yelled at me to see it. Just see me, and I did....

February 04, 2020
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
The Opposite of Always

Opposite of Always is a heartfelt and stunning debut; that is worthy of all praise. I am in love with this book; its story, and the way it made me feel. Jack is a boy in love with a girl, that keeps dying—over and...

February 04, 2020
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Young Adult Fiction
Tyler Johnson Was Here, But Did You Notice?

Tyler Johnson Was Here--did not come to be politically correct, or racially ambiguous. Tyler Johnson came to tell an ugly truth, and made no qualms about sharing its blackness, in it's raw and true form. Tyler Johnson Was Here is an experience I found both...

October 15, 2019
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Unputdonable, Important--Should be Required Reading!

I never wanted to be a superhero as a child, but I wanted to do heroic things. Tristan Strong epitomizes the dreams of young black children who want to do and be both; be heroes/heroines and do heroic things. Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky is the Harry...

September 30, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
Espionage, Action and Ferret-Proof Death Rays Made for an Exciting Middle Grade Novel

Nikki Tesla is an espionage novel for pre-teens. It’s exciting, engaging, and utterly unique. Nikki Tesla is a genius; except she doesn’t feel very smart when she burns a hole through the floor of her house with a death ray she invented. ...

September 30, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Resistance is not Futile

This is the type of book I’d like to see included in school curriculums. The stories are like wide open arms: welcoming, understanding, and accepting. Each story was poignant some more than others, but they did what they set out to do. The stories covered a wide range of...

August 05, 2019
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Kids Fiction
How To Read A Book

Wildly original and highly interactive; ‘How To Read A Book,’ guides readers in a poetic, lyrical journey, to do simply that, read. Pages fall loose, and open to vibrant commanding pages of prose that are simple and easy to follow, but are also engaging and deep....

August 05, 2019 (Updated: August 05, 2019)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Kids Fiction
The Book Case by Dave Shelton

The Book case is a perfectly suitable mystery, with a cast of characters that will amuse readers both young and old. It’s an all-around good time. Daphne is new to St. Rita’s, a private all-girls school. She’s called on unexpectedly and asked to be...

July 08, 2019
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
3.0
Sarai and The Around the World Fair

Though rich and vibrant in illustrations and culture, Sarai and the Around the World Fair is a slow-mover. The illustrations and the rambunctious liveliness of the story really carry well throughout—hyping up the reader for whatever comes next. However, for a children’s novel, it’s not all...

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