Sunday, July 27, 2014

A new student review of 31 Ways to Change the World by We Are What We Do

Queen_Ri posted a new student review of 31 Ways to Change the World by We Are What We Do. See the full review.

"31 ways to change the world" taught me so many new things. I always thought that to make a change you need to be big or have a group. "31 way to change the world" showed me it doesn't matter how small the action is, little things make a big difference. I loved this book. My favorite part was learning some sign language. I also loved action #4 and action #31. I believe that "31 ways to change the world" is a excellent book for any age category. 

A new student review of The Princesses of Iowa by M. Molly Backes

thudson36 posted a new student review of The Princesses of Iowa by M. Molly Backes. See the full review.

The Princesses of Iowa was a fantastic novel. From the very beginning I was hooked, and I found myself so engaged in Paige’s story. The word choice, figurative language and descriptive writing the author uses pulls you into Paige’s setting, feeling loss, pain and happiness when she does. The plot was well spread out, I never found myself getting bored with the content. The sentences seemed to flow together perfectly, causing me to never want to stop reading. The only negative comment I have after reading this novel is some parts could get a bit cliché and describes the stereotypical “popular girl”.  This is definitely a contemporary novel. Overall, I loved this book and would highly recommend it.

A new student review of Feral Nights by Cynthia Leitich Smith

MezokaCapturer65 posted a new student review of Feral Nights by Cynthia Leitich Smith. See the full review.

I really enjoyed this book, even though I don't usually like paranormal stories which involve romance.  I feel that this book did it very well.  I do have two minor complaints. In one case no reason was given for why a certain type of people would need money, and in the other case something was way too convenient for the character's story arch. 

The pacing of the story was good, I love the characters, and the concepts of how the author imagines these creatures are very interesting to me.  It entertained me the whole way through and there was nothing blatantly wrong with the story.  I highly recommend to older fans of supernatural stories.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A new student review of The Rule of Lorques: Lorque Exposure by Benjamin Stones

LegoLover posted a new student review of The Rule of Lorques: Lorque Exposure by Benjamin Stones. See the full review.

The first few pages are back story and not as interesting as the rest of the book.  By the middle of the first chapter, however, the excitement begins.  The author’s writing style is very compelling; once you start reading, it’s hard to put it down.  The plot is adventurous and dangerous at times.  As book 1 of a trilogy, it leaves you eager for the next books in the series.  I would recommend The Rule of Lorques: Lorque Exposure to those who are interested in books about alien invasions and the heroes that fight back against them.

Friday, July 25, 2014

A new student review of Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

chinchilla97 posted a new student review of Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid. See the full review.

Let’s Get Lost was a very confusing read for me. Half the time, I really liked it, and then the other half, I really didn’t! The story involves a couple of teenagers doing the typical stupid things that teenagers do. However, most of them learn from the mistakes that they make, and they also learn what love really means, which is a valuable lesson. Overall, I think the idea is a neat one, but it could have been written in a different way.

A new student review of Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

chinchilla97 posted a new student review of Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid. See the full review.

Let’s Get Lost was a very confusing read for me. Half the time, I really liked it, and then the other half, I really didn’t! The story involves a couple of teenagers doing the typical stupid things that teenagers do. However, most of them learn from the mistakes that they make, and they also learn what love really means, which is a valuable lesson. Overall, I think the idea is a neat one, but it could have been written in a different way.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A new student review of WhipEye by Geoffrey Saign

moseso posted a new student review of WhipEye by Geoffrey Saign. See the full review.

WhipEye is an exciting, awe-inspiring and attention gripping story anyone would enjoy. Geoffrey Saign does a remarkable job of combining magic and adventure. The story seems extremely real. The main characters are Samantha, Jake, and Charlie, the mysterious talking parrot. Based on the vocabulary and general theme of the book, ten through thirteen year olds would enjoy reading the book best. If magic and thrilling adventure stories are what you’re looking for, then this is the book for you!        

A new student review of The Brewster Boys and the Eve of Infamy by Stephen Dittmer

farmerboy posted a new student review of The Brewster Boys and the Eve of Infamy by Stephen Dittmer. See the full review.

     I was surprised to find (after I had finished the book) that this was the author’s first novel: I would have expected that the quality achieved here would require more experience, I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Writing-style

     The writing-style was good, well-balanced, and engaging, so engaging that once I started I could hardly put the book down!  It was well-balanced in that it was simple (in a good way) without being watered-down at all.

Plot-line

     The plot-line was incredible: not just your everyday, run of the mill super sci-fi time-travel adventure novel, this was a spectacular sci-fi time-travel adventure novel!  Not every author can put a half-crazed 21st century granddaughter of a NAZI atomic scientist in charge of a bunch of 1930s New York mobsters, give them a bagful of futuristic mad-science gadgets, and not make a comedy; but Stephen Dittmer makes it so believable that, after reading the book, you will find yourself looking over your shoulder constantly, just in case.

Character Development

     The plot starts off right away, so the characters have to hit the ground running, which gives the initial impression of poor development; however, they soon catch up, and after a few chapters I felt like I knew them really well.  

Dialogue

     Dialogue was well-written.  Comic relief was used fairly heavily, but not overly so.  

Conclusion

     I found the book to be a fine read, with a good writing-style.  The plot-line was original, yet believable.  The character development was good, as was the dialogue.

A new student review of First Visions: Second Sight Book One by Heather Topham Wood

swalia posted a new student review of First Visions: Second Sight Book One by Heather Topham Wood. See the full review.

I rated this book 4 stars, but it was more like 3 1/2. Though First Visions by Heather Topham Wood was an enjoyable book, it was also confusing at times. I didn't like that the point of view was in third person, because it often described the characters personal feelings throughout the book, in a way that is usually used in first person writing. Kate's character was very well developed, but other characters were hard to believe.  The author's descriptions of the setting were in-depth and it was easy to visualize the places Kate went. The book would have been more interesting if it had developed some of the other characters in the story. I also think that this book was more of a romance than any of the other genres it fit into. I would recommend this book to people age 14+.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A new student review of Looking for Jack Kerouac by Barbara Shoup

tbrayton posted a new student review of Looking for Jack Kerouac by Barbara Shoup. See the full review.

This book is one of a rare breed, as it combines a fantastic plot with a focus on a literary hero that has been much admired over the years.  It also gives light to the desire that so many young people have to escape the lives they are living for adventure and passion.  It provides an opportunity for those of us now with this passion to discover what is unknown to us to connect with someone with the same desire fifty years ago.  Extremely entertaining and intelligent, Barbara Shoup’s Looking For Jack Kerouac, has earned a spot on my bookshelf and in my heart.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A new student review of Being Sloane Jacobs

sumrsilentmusic posted a new student review of Being Sloane Jacobs . See the full review.

I picked up this novel tentatively because figure skating novels tend to go badly, but I keep reading them to find a good one. I was hoping this was one of the good ones. It wasn’t.

 

The main problem with figure skating novels is that the author who is writing the novel doesn’t really understand what the figure skating world is like. In Being Sloane Jacobs, the skating world becomes a caricature full of catty girls and judgemental people with a couple of skating phrases thrown in. Lauren Morrill doesn’t even bother getting the vocabulary correct. For example, Morrill says that Sloane Devon uses a camel spin to avoid her opponents while playing hockey. It would be impossible to perform a camel spin while playing hockey, and while it’s true that most people wouldn’t want to come near a skater doing a camel spin, I can find no possible explanation as to how it would help someone keep the puck.

 

I found the concept of this novel to be pretty contrived and unbelievable. First, I find it odd that neither of the Sloane Jacobs has friends in their respective sport who would be in camp with them or would at least recognize that it’s not the right Sloane Jacobs here. Second, it would be pretty impossible to be able to master a sport in a couple weeks the way that Sloane Emily and Sloane Devon did. Even though both sports involve skating on ice, hockey players have different skates than figure skaters do. It would take a while to simply get used to the difference. Additionally, the Sloanes literally met twenty-four hours before they trusted the other enough to switch their luggage. Either they’re extremely naive or unrealistically trusting.  

 

This book also had too much breadth and not enough depth. The author tries to deal with too many issues in one book, and as a result, everything was easily resolved and glossed over. I don’t think both of the Sloanes should have found love interests in this novel; it made it seem too perfectly balanced. It would have given the author more room to focus and develop one of the romances, to make it more multi-faceted. Instead, having two love interests makes it hard for the reader to keep them straight in her mind, and when the conflict comes, it feels as if the conflict exists to exist instead of a natural progression of the relationships. (Seriously, why did those two boys get so angry?)

By the end of the novel, I was told that both Sloane Jacobs changed, and both characters showed change, but I wasn’t exactly sure how they got there. I’m sure this will be a good book for a certain type of reader, especially readers who can look past the technical elements of skating as Morrill is pretty good at getting down the voices of her two main characters and the love interests could be called swoon-worthy, but I was not particularly impressed.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A new student review of The Sword of Danu by Christine Norris

Mattmopp42 posted a new student review of The Sword of Danu by Christine Norris. See the full review.

I thought that this book was an excellent read and very intriguing. The book was so action-packed that I couldn’t put it down! I would recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy or adventure novels.

A new student review of Seasons of Raina by Milissa Nelson

Tenaya posted a new student review of Seasons of Raina by Milissa Nelson. See the full review.

I enjoyed reading this book, despite the fact that there was a weak plot-line. It was mostly about Raina's day to day life which made for an easy but fun read. I would recomend this book to kids around 11 who are looking for a light read.

A new student review of The Books of Barakhai

jotaf posted a new student review of The Books of Barakhai . See the full review.

The Books of Barakhai is a great book.  I really liked that they made it two books in one so you get twice the books and twice the enjoyment.  Two of its weak points, however, are that it takes at least ten pages for it to really get going and it is a little confusing in some areas.  It has lots of good qualities, too, such as great character development, humor, and an interesting plot line.  My favorite character was Ben because he was funny and determined to get back to Earth.  The author, Mickey Zucker Reichert, took a risk that paid off nicely in this book.  I feel this book is for more advanced twelve year olds and up due to the maturity of some of the content.  If you like fantasy and adventure, mixed with a little sci-fi, this book is for you.