BPL Teens Recommend

Row of colorful book spines with BPL Teens Recommend blog header

Book, movie & music reviews by teens for teens! Because who would know better what Berkeley teenagers might want than other Berkeley teenagers? 

Some of the most recent reviews are featured here. 

See all the reviews at BPLTeensRecommend.wordpress.com

Then check them out from the library

Do you have opinions about books, movies and music? Submit your own review!

Cover of the book Overlord - Volume 1 by MaruyamaI’m reviewing Overlord because Overlord’s good. It’s this light novel which then got turned into a manga which then got turned into anime which is just getting a second season. (A light novel is basically a YA novel that’s been written in Japan that sometimes gets turned into manga or anime.) The plot is about a person who’s an average business worker – a salary man - who’s playing an online virtual reality game. And then suddenly, as the game is closing down forever, and the last second ticks – in his world it keeps ticking and he gets stuck in the game. So he’s playing the game except he’s in an alternate dimension. And in the game he’s a skeleton mage who is the ruler of this giant villainous organization and he has to basically figure out what happened. As he is trying to find other players from the game, he decides that he should rule the world so he get together with all his armies and minions to take over the world. It’s great! There are 7 volumes so far and even though the series is complete in japan it is still being translated here. I recommend it to teenagers age 13+ because it gets kind of gory and violent. If you’re not a fan of gore, don’t read this! But if you like fantasy, anime like Sword Art Online, you should read Overlord. It’s in the library!

Reviewed by Oscar – 10th grade

Find Overlord at the library.

Cover of the audiobook Unbroken by Laura HillenbrandThis book is about a very energetic child who loves to run. But as he grows up he runs around stealing stuff and breaking into places and he is just all over the place. At one point he gets chased by the police and his brother realizes that he can really run. But he also realizes he doesn’t have to run for those things or from those things, he can just run! When he gets in trouble with the Principal he is told he can’t be on any sports teams, but his brothers asks if he could be put on a running team. The Principal finally gives in and puts him on a running team and he loves it. He loves it and he’s good at it and he eventually goes into the Olympics in Berlin. But World War II breaks out and he has to join the Air Force and fight against Japan. And this is where the book starts getting really sad. Lots of people die and his plane crashes. But he survives and ends up on a raft for 47 days without any food. And then finally he gets captured by the Japanese and has to figure it all out. And that’s where I will stop because I don’t want to do spoilers. But I loved this book. I recommend it to high schoolers and older teens and grown-ups because it is more sophisticated. And it’s not all serious, there are some jokes in there and things so it’s also funny, kind of. It was a good book and a true story. It was really good as an audiobook because the narrator has such a unique voice. I’m really scared to see the movie because it’s really depressing and scary and think the dark parts might be too dark as a movie. But you should read the book!

Reviewed by Anna – 9th grade

Find Unbroken at the library.

Cover of Wonder Woman DVDI would suggest this movie for all people. It was really good and it definitely teaches people about a lot of things. It is funny in some parts and it has a lot of action parts and it’s based in World War I so you see WWI planes and the mustard gas that was used in WWI and other historical things. That was really interesting. It is an entertainment movie but if you know your history or you’re in school and learning about WWI that just makes it more interesting to see how what you learned is in the movie. Also, I heard that they restricted this movie in some countries which is messed up. I think everybody should have the right to see it – not just for its power but the meaning behind it and her being a superhero. People who like superheroes should definitely see it. And even people who don’t like superheroes should still go see it because you see how women really don’t need men all the time the way she portrays herself. The women’s empowerment part of the movie was what I think was the most interesting part of the movie. She wants to be her own woman but her mom wants to keep her on their island. But she wants to be free and show the world who she can be as a woman and how even the guy that’s with her doesn’t stop her from doing anything. She’s her own person. I definitely recommend it for women and men because that’s a lesson everyone needs to learn!

Reviewed by HM – 11th grade

Find Wonder Woman at the library