The Silent Patient
Author: Alex Michaelides

Plot Summary:

This novel follows the life of Alicia Berenson, a women accused of killing her husband. After she was discovered next to him, she was silent and refused to talk for the next 6 years--until she meets Theo Faber, a psychotherapist who is immensely interested in her case. What we don't know until the end of the book is that Theo is a major part in this murder, and was the reason Alicia killed her husband, Gabriel. 6 years prior, Theo discovered that his wife Kathy was cheating on him, and began to follow Kathy around on her outings. She then started following the man Kathy was cheating with, and discovered that he too had a wife--Alicia Berenson. Theo tied up Alicia and waited for Gabriel to come home, and when he did he shot up at the ceiling and revealed that Gabriel was cheating on Alicia, and promptly left. From there, Alicia took the gun and shot Gabriel due to her distress.
In the present, Alicia is starting to catch on to Theo's intentions as a psychotherapist and realizes that he was the man that broke in her house. When Theo realizes that Alicia knows, he decides to inject her with morphine, leaving her in a coma, and staging it as a suicide, and then framing one of his coworkers, Christian. He thinks he is in the clear of suspicion, but he forgot one important detail--her diary. She had written her entire story there, and incriminated Theo. She hid it in the back of her painting, and Jean-Felix, her gallerist, found it. The book ends with Theo making a statement about snowflakes and happiness while talking to a police officer.

What did you think about the book?:

I found this book to be very interesting and the plot twist that Theo was Alicia's stalker really surprised me. However, there was a lot of red herrings and I felt like a lot of stories in the book were left unfinished. For example, I would like to know more about Max Berenson, Alicia's brother in law. He seemed very one-dimensional and I would like to see more about his character other than the fact he is in love with Alicia. I feel similarly about Paul, Lydia, Diomedes, and Yuri--I really want to learn more about them.
I also felt like Theo's narration oftentimes felt random or unnecessary, especially in the beginning of the book. Alicia's journal was fleshed out, emotional, and interesting, while Theo's story was slower paced and a little agitating. Of course, I recognize that this narration was important because of Theo's role in the story, but it just felt sluggish and irrelevant for most of the story.
My favorite part of the book had to be when it clicked in my mind that Theo was the killer. As he started talking about following Kathy's lover's wife around, I realized that Theo must be the man that Alicia kept seeing look at her. This was shocking and made me rethink everything that had previously happened in the novel. It made me want to reread the entire book and analyze every clue and every word Theo said, which for me warrants a great book. However, due to some shortcomings, I rated it 3/4 stars.
Confessions
Author: Kanae Minato

Plot Summary:

Confessions by Kanae Minato is a vengeance story that examines morality, justice, and child crime while taking place at a middle school in a tiny town in Japan. It's an exciting tale of adolescence gone awry, full of shocking turns and terrible consequences. The central idea is about a distraught teacher named Yuko Moriguchi, who addresses her class on the last day of her teaching career. She has decided to retire as a result of the sudden death of her cherished daughter, a four-year-old who was discovered drowned in the school pool. A comparatively cheerful farewell speech quickly turns sour as she accuses two of her students of killing her daughter. She doesn't mention them by name, but her words make it quite clear who they are. Because the accused are just 13 years old and the legal age of criminal culpability in Japan is 14, Moriguchi intends to impose her own brand of justice. It turns out to be an unusually harsh penalty; in fact, it's horrifyingly horrible. Things start out as one act of vengeance, but they quickly spiral out of hand. Ultimately, the book ends with at least one additional person murdered and another person imprisoned in an asylum, which begs the question: Would the outcomes have been any better within the conventional channels of justice?

What did you think about the book?:

My favorite part of the book is near the end when Moriguchi exacts her revenge on the two students that killed her daughter, because ultimately they got the punishment they deserved, and although the story didn't end happily, there was a sense of closure apparent. My least favorite part of the book is in the beginning when the two students kill the daughter, because it set up a dark setting throughout the story, and it was very gloomy throughout the text, as you could feel the weight of her death as you read the book.
Percy Jackson - The Lightning Thief
Author: Rick Riordan

Plot Summary:

A 12 year old teen called Percy Jackson realizes that he is a demigod, the son of Poseidon and is later accused of stealing Zeus's lightning bolt. If Percy Jackson doesn't find a way to show that he's innocent it could start a war between Gods.

What did you think about the book?:

My favorite part of the book is when Percy finally meets his father, who happens to be the god Poseidon. It's something that we all know is impactful to Percy and Poseidon. My least favorite part of the book is the couple of pages where Gabe is in it, he is an abusive stepdad who Percy despises.
Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Last Olympian
Author: Rick Riordan

Plot Summary:

We start with Percy Jackson, our main character who is a demigod, and his friend Rachel in a car driving on a beach. All of a sudden, a Black Pegasus named Blackjack landed on the roof of the car with a boy named Charles Beckendorf. Percy and Charles infiltrate Kronos’s ship. On this ship are monsters and demigods that serve Kronos, the titan of time, and they are trying to overthrow the Olympians. Kronos has overtaken the body of a demigod named Luke Castellan, who was invulnerable due to taking a dip in the River Styx. Percy and Charles succeed in blowing up the ship, but the cost is Charles’ life as he is not able to escape before the ship explodes. He jumps into the water to save himself and he falls unconscious.

Percy dreams of the palace of titans at the top of Mount Othrys where he saw Atlas, a titan, holding up the sky. He also saw two other Titans talking. The scene of his dream shifts to show a demigod named Nico di Angelo that tells Percy to hurry up with a plan to take down Kronos. Percy then wakes up with Tyson, a cyclops, beside him in Posiden’s palace. The palace is very damaged due to war with Oceanus the sea titan against Poseidon the sea god.

Percy then returns to Camp Half-Blood with the success of the mission but the loss of Charles. He encounters his mentor Chiron, a centaur, and his friend Annabeth Chase, a demigod. The Oracle of Delphi, in the form of a mummified doll, reveals the Great Prophecy—the hero will choose to ensure the ultimate success or destruction of Olympus, a choice that will ensure the hero's demise. Although it appears as though Percy is the hero mentioned in the prophecy, the author later reveals that it is Luke.

Once deciding to accept the Prophecy, Percy goes on a journey with Nico to learn more about Luke’s background to better be able to defeat him. They visit May Castellan, Luke’s mother, who has lost touch with reality. She is a mortal but has the gift of prophecy and tried to take on the role of the new Oracle of Delphi but was cursed and cannot control the power.

Percy and Nico's next journey to Central Park, which offers a passage to the Underworld. While there, they meet up with Grover Underwood, a satyr and Percy’s best friend. Grover becomes instrumental in helping lead the war efforts. Percy and Nico descend into the Underworld, and Percy bathes in the River Styx which makes him invulnerable except for a vulnerable spot on his lower back. Next, Percy meets his fellow demigods at the Empire State Building. Their main objective is to keep the Titans away from Mount Olympus. They devise a plan to block off all of the entrances to Manhattan, and the various teams disperse. Percy and Annabeth stick together.

The demigods fight several battles against various monsters, such as the Clazmonian Sow, the Lydian pig, and the drakon. They force Kronos’s army back, but the fight rages on. During the battle, Rachel Dare, who has the gift of sight but is mortal, arrives to tell Percy that he is not the hero in the Prophecy.

Percy, Annabeth, Grover, and Thalia finally go to Mount Olympus in the last effort to defend it. Olympus is crumbling around them, and Kronos is in the throne room. Percy fights him, and Annabeth speaks to Luke, whose spirit is still present in Kronos. Annabeth and Luke have a history together, and she is able to get him to turn against Kronos and defeat him. Luke uses his own sword to kill Kronos, effectively killing himself. In this way, Luke fulfills the Prophecy.

Everyone returns to Camp Half-Blood to tend to the wounded and give burials to the dead. Rachel becomes the new Oracle of Delphi, freeing the old one. Percy confesses his feelings to Annabeth, and they two become a couple. The book ends as summer draws to a close, and the various demigods leave to go back to school in the normal world.

What did you think about the book?:

My favorite part of the book was when Percy Jackson becomes invulnerable and was able to intimidate Hades. This was my favorite part because of how the main character is shown to be very powerful. My least favorite part of the book was when the demigods find out that the spy was in fact, Silena Beauregard, the girlfriend of Charles Beckendorf who died before on the ship with many of Kronos' soldiers. This was my least favorite part because it is very sad and it is sad when Silena makes this confession as she dies.
We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart

Plot Summary:

The book follows the Sinclairs. The main characters are Cadence, Gat, Johnny, and Mirren. They are all cousins except Gat. He is Johnny's friend. The characters call themselves "Liars." The grandpa is wealthy and owns an island. The Sinclair family goes there every summer. However, things take a turn when Cadence suffers from a head injury and cannot remember what happens. The book takes the reader on a journey to figure out what happened the night Cadence hit her head.

What did you think about the book?:

My least favorite part of the book was the middle of it. The book itself is pretty small, but the book is extremely slow-paced. The author took forever to start developing the story. However, I did thoroughly enjoy the mini-stories Cadence wrote. I found them more entertaining than the actual book at times. I also enjoyed the plot twist in the story. Even though I liked the plot twist, I gave the book two stars because of the slow pacing. It made it hard to enjoy the book. The author could have made the middle of the book way more exciting.
The Young Elites
Author: Marie Lu

Plot Summary:

A blood fever that almost killed all of Kenettran people. This flashback is what sets the story for Adelina Amouteru, the protagonist of the book. The blood fever that killed the adults and some children also affected Adelina, leaving her with silver hair and a scar. She is now categorized as Malfetto throughout the kingdom. The story is a struggle between the Inquisition Axis, led by Teren, and the Young Elites/Dagger Society, led by Enzo. The story itself is very interesting. It is a book that encompasses both weakness and essential confidence/strength. Despite being an outcast in the society, Adelina persists and finds effective ways to her survival. By accepting Enzo's invite into the Dagger Society, she promises to learn to control her unusual power and use it for good. There is an obvious character development we see with Adelina but there are flaws that the main character still has throughout the book. Adelina is someone who wants to take revenge for all that she has faced up until she joined the Dagger Society. However, Adelina commits a mistake that will kick her out of Dagger Society.

What did you think about the book?:

My favorite part of the book is when Adelina remained strong even if it felt like she was losing everything. There was a point in the book where Adelina states, "I am not broken easily. I will never break." Although it is a short quote, it overall emphasized the strong characteristic of Adelina. She is someone who will keep on fighting because she has gone through many struggles already.
Personally, I like Adelina. She is a strong girl with powers that can possibly help the Young Elites. However, there are times when it seems like Adelina misuses her powers. Having the ability to manipulate people, Adelina would often use it to advantage just to get revenge. It wasn't for the purpose of saving the malfettos in general so at these times, I found myself wondering whether Adelina deserves to be a "protagonist."
Literally
Author: Lucy Keating

Plot Summary:

This book follows the story of a teenager named Annabelle, whose life has seemed perfect until now. Living with her family in Venice Beach, California, it seems like everything is all of a sudden going against her due to relationship problems and family issues. One day, when her favorite author Lucy Keating visits her school to talk about her new novel, the new book seems to describe Annabelle's life. The new book being about a girl whose parents are splitting and a love interest, it seems Annabelle's life was never hers to begin with. As the story goes on, Annabelle realizes she doesn't want to live a life written out for her. She goes through a bunch of ups and downs as she decides to change the story to completely and literally rewrite her story to the way she wants to live it.

What did you think about the book?:

I love how in the story, Annabelle is just a character of Lucy Keating and her life is completely written for her. Annabelle realizes she doesn't want this and wants to write her own story and her own life. This is relatable to many people because they may feel they have to live up to certain expectations or live life someone else, but they should "rewrite" their own story and live their life how they want.
Zeroes
Author: Scott Westerfeld

Plot Summary:

Ethan Cooper, also known as "Scam", has a voice that can get him anything he desires. Although this superpower of him seems useful, it can bring a lot of trouble. One day, when Ethan gets himself into trouble with a drug dealer named Craig, he has no choice but turn to his old group of friends who he split up. Nate (Bellwether) is the leader of the Zeroes and tries to help out Ethan as best as they can. Little did they know, there was one more Zero out there that was waiting to be found.

What did you think about the book?:

My favorite part of this book was the entire conflict. The humor that can be first be seen with Ethan's interaction with the drug dealer really makes the book far more enjoyable than you would expect. My least favorite part may have been keeping up with the multiple perspective changes as it does get a little confusing.
A Pho Love Story
Author: Loan Le

Plot Summary:

Bao Nguyen and Linh Mai have always managed to avoid each other for most of their lives, but when fate brings them together, it leaves them more at odds with their families. Both the Nguyen and Mai family feud dates back to before Bao and Linh were born and being neighboring pho restaurants fuels the fire . But, in the midst of developing a relationship with each other, one without hatred Bao and Linh try to navigate through their life as Vietnamese American teens.

What did you think about the book?:

My favorite part of the book was when Bao and Lihn were able helping a local restaurant despite their family feud. They didn't know much about why their families hated each other and put aside their differences to help the local restaurant. In doing so, they realized there was more to the surface being the family feud but they were eventually able to clear up the misunderstandings between the two families. I love how this book is mainly about how a small misunderstanding can lead to much larger one can affect many other lives of different people even if you didn't mean for it to happen that way.
The inheritance games
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Plot Summary:

The main character Avery Gambs is poor and lives with her half-sister Libby. The only thing motivating her is her high grades to get her a scholarship so she can get a job and go traveling. Suddenly, she is summoned to go to a gathering because a billionaire named Tobias Hawthorne, has written her into his will. She doesn't know who he is and why she is in his will. But, the story unfolds as she solves puzzles and riddles to figure out all the unanswered questions.

What did you think about the book?:

The best part of the book was the beginning because it showed Avery's spunk and life story, it kept me invested. The book's writing was not an issue, it keeps you wanting to know what happens. I only liked Avery's sister Libby. I wanted to see her character arc. My least favorite part of the book was the ending, because that is when I realized I spent my whole day reading a book for a boring plot twist, "cliff hanger", and ending. I also feel Avery lost her personality and backbone as the book progressed. The book could have been improved by speeding up the pace, having a stronger plot twist, and give the main character more personality.