Wednesday, April 01, 2015

A new student review of Charis: Journey to Pandora's Jar by Nicole Y. Walters

Pie posted a new student review of Charis: Journey to Pandora's Jar by Nicole Y. Walters. See the full review.

My opinion on this is amazing it's amazing because it's just like the book Pandora's Jar, but in a diffrent way because a 12 year old girl is looking for Pandora's Jar and tring to set hope free, and turn the wrong that Pandora did into right. I really hope this author will right a series about this because it's one of the books I could read over and over again. Another reason is that the other Pandora's Jar series ended at 7 it's pretty cool to have a back up series of a 12 year old girl trying to set the wrong that Pandora did to right with the help of other godds like Mr.P. It really is a really interesting book to read and I highly recomend people to read this book. It's so amazing that even my mom is reading itr and she likes it already. Another reason why it's amazing is because there is sections like Monday and so on so it tells you what she did on Monday about  the Jar thing. It also has alot of Charis's feelings in it. One exempla is that a lot of the time she thought about her mission and the Gods and everything and she thought that it's all so stupid. Why am I doing this?

A new student review of Key to Kashdune by Claudia White

Jordan posted a new student review of Key to Kashdune by Claudia White. See the full review.

If you like reading fantasy and adventure like I do, you will enjoy Key to Kashdune. I liked Key to Kashdune because the people on Kashdune change into animals. There is a wide variety of interesting and exciting characters that you will meet along the way. Claudia White made the community of Kashdune come to life. She did a great a great job of describing the details for the island of Kashdune.

A new student review of Winter Falls (Twin Willows Trilogy) by Nicole Maggi

josiscra19955 posted a new student review of Winter Falls (Twin Willows Trilogy) by Nicole Maggi. See the full review.

I liked Alessia because she is strong. Alessia is also very likable. Another thing I liked was the shape shifting and romance. It has strong and likable characters. It is a pretty much good story overall.

A new student review of Fabrick by Andrew Post

emma365 posted a new student review of Fabrick by Andrew Post. See the full review.

Fabrick's author chose to create a completely new world.  However, instead of using the new atmosphere to consistently recreate interest, the author vaguely described some of the planet's culture.  I found that he could have explained things better rather than simply having Flam (who is half-hazard and flippant) explain things.

Also, the chapters often changed perspective without an explanation as to the new character and setting.  I often found myself confused.

Altogether, the story was fairly interesting and humorous, but it could be made a lot better if it were to be given more content or events as is typical for adventure based novels.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A new student review of The Author or The Characters' Short Living Story by Facundo Raganato

Gwendolyn posted a new student review of The Author or The Characters' Short Living Story by Facundo Raganato. See the full review.

The Author or The Characters' Short Living Story by Facundo Raganato is unlike any book I have ever read. In the case of this story, the characters can think, feel, and fight back with the author, who is their creator. Although it is a difficult work of spiritual and psychological fiction to summarize, Raganato creates a visually frazzled world that translates into written word in an oddly coherent way. It opens with a plot line that is not clearly defined to the reader, but keeps the read compelling with its wonderfully dynamic and three-dimensional characters. It is a book that reaches out to its reader. 


This story shows an author's relationship with his characters in a very literal sense. Although this novel remains quite vague and mysterious, I felt that I was inside the story with the characters as I was reading. The Author or The Characters' Short Living Story has a way of sharing just enough information to keep the reader interested, while leaving the right amount of mystery to make the reader never want to look up from the page. 


Although the pace of this story felt a bit slow at its start, it picked up quickly as I adjusted to its concept and structure. A few sections throughout the book had brief lulls. This was particularly felt in scenes in which I really wanted to find out what happened to the characters. However, the majority of the book kept me thoroughly engrossed. 


Seeing as I read from an uncorrected proof, there were a few grammatical errors and missing words and letters I came across while reading. I expect these will be edited before the book is published. However, there was a small selection of sentences in this novel that seemed oddly phrased but not grammatically incorrect, and their structure didn't flow with the rest of the writing. Some passages of writing felt estranged from the main writing style; others fit the tone of the book perfectly. 


In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed Facundo Raganato's The Author or The Characters' Short Living Story, and would recommend it to any imaginative and contemplative soul in search for something new to read. It is a completely fresh written work, incomparable to anything I have ever read. 


A new student review of Contract City by Mark Falkin

jotaf posted a new student review of Contract City by Mark Falkin. See the full review.

Personally, I didn't really like Contract City. Some of the things that I didn't like about it were that the storyline was really hard to follow and it got really slow during most of the book. Also, I really thought that it ended terribly; there was a huge jump in time right when there was a lot of action going on. Maybe if there had been one more chapter between the second to last chapter and the last chapter it would have been better. Also, something happened in the end that I didn't really think should have happened. Most of the people in this book were drinkers and smokers, which was another thing I didn't like about this book. Lastly, I didn't like that I couldn't really understand most of the personalities of the characters, including Sara, which was disappointing because she was the main character.  The book started to get better about two thirds of the way through the book because it started to speed up and added more action; unfortunately, it bombed with me before and after that.  I would give this book a two and a half star rating if possible, but since it is not, I will give it three stars.

Monday, March 30, 2015

A new student review of Fat & Bones by Larissa Theule

crabby posted a new student review of Fat & Bones by Larissa Theule. See the full review.

If I was expecting anything resembling a normal set of stories when I began this journey, let me tell you: I was very, very wrong. I was expecting, as one might, a conventionally cute collection of stories about animals on a farm, and I wasn’t especially excited about it.


As soon as the meat cleaver came out, however, I was in love.


This may sound a bit harsh for a kids’ book, and true, it may have been vaguely terrifying at times, but that’s what made this story so incredibly splendid: it’s tremendously imaginative but never sugarcoated, managing to be playful and clever as well as grim. The characters are diverse, intriguing, and often unexpected, like a clumsy spider or the brutish old fairy who takes him prisoner. Terrific plot twists run rampant throughout. The writing is lovely, not to mention the illustrations, which are quite marvelous and do well to reflect the peculiar spirit of the book.


If I haven’t already made this apparent, I adore this strangely enchanting book. I know it will delight those who enjoy stories that possess a bit of grit alongside a wealth of creativity, deviating from the Disney-esque norm of modern fables. The world of Fat & Bones is sure to entrap many a fascinated (and slightly petrified) reader to come.

A new student review of Akarnae by Lynette Noni

I_Am_Luna posted a new student review of Akarnae by Lynette Noni. See the full review.

I really liked Arkanea by Lynette Noni. I liked the creativeness she put into creating the setting, characters, and food. It was very descriptive, but not to the point where it bored me with details. The characters were developed nicely. I enjoyed finding out more about Medora and its history. I did not like how she didn't explain Medora. It may have made more sense if more details were included.

The setting was so well described, I could imagine myself there. There were times that I thought I could see exactly what was happening extremely clearly. The characters felt like they could be real people, that is if they didn't have their special gifts. I could imagine this book becoming very famous. It is a great piece of literature and I hope it is widely read.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

A new student review of The First Principle by Marissa Shrock

thudson36 posted a new student review of The First Principle by Marissa Shrock. See the full review.

I thought The First Principle by Marissa Shrock was an overall good book. I liked how the main character, Vivica, was a strong female protagonist, but I found her hard to relate to. I enjoyed reading about the futuristic world she lives in, because it was very well developed and makes you think about issues we face today in society. The writing wasn’t very descriptive but I found this moved the story along at a nice pace, and I never found myself getting bored. I felt some parts of the novel were unrealistic, and things moved at an impractical speed. I wouldn’t recommend this book to anybody who has strong opinions about Christianity, due to the highly religious themes expressed in this novel. I also wouldn’t recommend it to anybody against pro-choice because it contains strong pro-life opinions. Overall, I enjoyed the world and action in this novel, although it did contain strong themes and opinions.

A new student review of Bumbling Bea by Deborah Baldwin

Anjel posted a new student review of Bumbling Bea by Deborah Baldwin. See the full review.

I liked the plot of this story. I believe it made a good point: nobody is perfect. I could relate to the characters and what they were going through. I was confused by some parts of the book, and it had a few clerical errors. Overall, I enjoyed this book. My favorite part was when Beatrice and Michiko had their conversations in the bathroom. My least favorite part was when Peter got poison ivy. I personally don’t like poison ivy, and the description made me feel itchy. Even though I didn't like that part, I felt the author did a great job describing it realistically. I would recommend this to 8-12 year olds, anyone dealing with problems with their friends, and to readers who loved Beholding Bee by Kimberly Newton Fusco.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A new student review of Tommy Black and the Staff of Light by Jake Kerr

LegoLover posted a new student review of Tommy Black and the Staff of Light by Jake Kerr. See the full review.

Tommy Black and the Staff of Light started off a bit slower than I expected. However, it quickly became exciting within the first few pages as I continued to read. The action almost never stopped, which made this book very hard to put down.  A simple trip to a restaurant turned into a battle for survival when Tommy gained a great power, and his grandfather lost it. Through the course of the story, some secrets were discovered, while others were hidden. Overall, this book could not be better. Jake Kerr is an author I will follow.  I look forward to reading the sequel, Tommy Black and the Coat of Invincibility.

Friday, March 27, 2015

A new student review of My Wizard Buddy (Book One) by Scott Spotson

sschu5 posted a new student review of My Wizard Buddy (Book One) by Scott Spotson. See the full review.

There were many elements to this book that made it enjoyable. The plot set up made the story flow nicely. Also, the details allowed me to imagine what was happening very easily. At a few points I felt confused by the book's events. I thought perhaps a few details could have been added to the story to clear up my confusion. This was a very good read and I would recommend it to anyone aged eight and above.

A new student review of Teresa of the New World by Sharman Apt Russell

Lucy posted a new student review of Teresa of the New World by Sharman Apt Russell. See the full review.

Teresa of the New World

A new student review of Devin Rhodes Is Dead by Jennifer Wolf Kam

snehayamsani posted a new student review of Devin Rhodes Is Dead by Jennifer Wolf Kam. See the full review.

“The connection between us shattered, like tiny invisible shards of glass falling softly onto the asphalt.”


I really liked this book, to be honest. The book explores the ups and downs of friendships—something I am sure we have all experienced—and artfully crafts the relationship into a mystery, resulting in the death of Devin Rhodes. This is further illustrated as Kam writes the novel in short before-and-after chapters describing the events that led up to and from Devin’s death, building the suspense in each chapter till the very end. Kam’s writing in this novel was well thought out as she explored friendships, pulling the reader in immediately.


And Cass. Cass was probably the best thing in the book because I could feel her guilt and confusion toward her relationship with Devin. For me, it struck a chord because my best friend moved a few years ago. After the move, she changed and we grew apart. I felt particularly close to Cass as she wishes for the old Devin to come back repeatedly through the novel. It is something we all feel, no doubt.


This book deserves a 5 out of 5.


A new student review of The Geneva Project - Truth by Christina M. Benjamin

joythean posted a new student review of The Geneva Project - Truth by Christina M. Benjamin. See the full review.

Honestly, I didn't enjoy reading this book that much.  Although the idea for this novel was very interesting, the approch that Christina M. Benjamin just didn't speak to me.  The relationships seemed a bit forced, and the magic aspect of the novel didn't work well with the plot.  It was as if this element was shoved into the story at the last minute.  It just didn't flow smoothly with the rest of the novel.  The characters were pleasant, but they didn't catch my eye as much as I hoped they would.  In my opinion, many events that happen in the novel were very abrupt and didn't flow together with the other events that occurred before and after it.  It was just  a bit choppy.  On the other hand, the writing style was very nice and easy to read.  It made this entire experience much nicer than I expected it to be.  I had really high hopes for this novel, but it fell a little flat.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A new student review of Black Ice

sumrsilentmusic posted a new student review of Black Ice . See the full review.

I have to admit, I didn’t really go into this book with an open mind. I didn't have high expectations for the book, especially since I knew Becca Fitzpatrick had written the Hush, Hush saga. Yet this book surprised me. It was better than I expected it to be.


First, and probably most surprisingly, there wasn’t an instant love connection between the characters. There was instant attraction between Britt and Mason, but Fitzpatrick managed not to write their romance into something unbelievably contrived, which is a compliment considering the premise seemed unnatural to me. Their interactions were enjoyable and Mason was definitely swoon-worthy, if the reader could get past the fact that he was a criminal and he thought he could save the world by himself.


Just because their romance wasn’t contrived doesn’t mean that other aspects of the book were the same. Specifically, the way Britt and Korbie found themselves in the clutches of Mason and Shaun seemed far-fetched. Mason basically freezed Britt and Korbie out and told them that they aren’t invited into the cabin, and they still invited themselves in. I felt the girls were incredibly unaware and selfish to enter the cabin at this point. I understand that they were in dire circumstances; yet If someone blatantly tells you not to come into a house, I would think there must be a valid reason for them to do so.


The most disappointing aspect of this novel is the writing of the characters. Fitzpatrick has set her book up with characters that have the potential to be dynamic and intriguing, but I did not feel she fully delivered on that potential. Instead, I felt led as a reader to believe things about her characters. For example, it seemed she was trying to say that Britt was dependent on men when she didn’t need to be. Britt asked her dad for gas money before she left for her trip. Then, later in the novel, she said something along the lines of “I depended on the men in my life to rescue me.” I wish Fitzpatrick would give her readers more credit. As a reader, I don’t need to be told these things if the characters are described well enough through their actions. I don't like when an author explicitly explains characterizations. Additionally, Britt’s characterization doesn’t make sense to me. Why does she depend so much upon the men in her life? In order to be realistic, all character traits have to stem from something. It seems to me that Britt is given this character trait solely to illustrate her development as a character. Her character development doesn’t read organically to me.


The character interactions also felt lacking. The relationship between Calvin and his dad had so much potential to be interesting, but at the end it just felt contrived. Something so completely interesting as a dad pushing his son to a breaking point was reduced to a plot twist. The relationship between Britt and Mason, although it has the clichéd Stockholm syndrome label, could be given a more interesting layer. Instead, it just turned out that Britt simply perceived Mason’s motivations wrongly, and she forgave him for all his misdeeds once she found out the true reasoning for his actions. The only character relationship I found interesting was Britt and Korbie’s friendship cycle, but I still felt it was used as a plot development.


Additionally, I think this book needs more editing. Korbie and Britt listen to mixtapes, but they also aspired to having Katy Perry makeovers when they were ten. Some of her sentences are extremely awkward. For example, she once described Mason to “wag his head at the snow” (228). Not to mention, Fitzpatrick is repetitive at times. She explained how well Britt read the travel guidebooks in preparation for her backpacking trip three different times.

All in all, Fitzpatrick’s novel didn’t read as poorly as I was expecting it to, given the subject matter. However, it didn’t bring anything new to the genre either. She could have given much more depth to the characters and to their relationships, but instead I felt many aspects of the book served as plot developments. I guess that could be entertaining if you don’t think too hard about it.