Wednesday, July 01, 2015

A new student review of The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B

jessica.kalee posted a new student review of The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B . See the full review.

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B, is not one of my favorite books. Nonetheless, Teresa Toten is a very skilled writer. She is able to show every emotion there is to finding love and losing it.

I think that teenagers who are religious and believe religion helps solve problems would prefer this book over teenagers who are not religious.

Most of the characters were very well developed. Toten pointed out many behaviors that those dealing with OCD might have when they feel different emotions. For example, when Adam was nervous or scared he would tap or count in his head.

A new student review of X: A Novel by Kekla Magoon Ilyasah Shabazz

MezokaCapturer65 posted a new student review of X: A Novel by Kekla Magoon Ilyasah Shabazz. See the full review.

I found this book to be entertaining, but repetitive in a lot of places. I felt that Malcolm's perspective was well-written and helped me to understand his mindset when important events were going on in his life.

While I did find this book to be enjoyable, I also found aspects of it irritating. Malcolm's numerous poor decisions made me angry, but the book was interesting enough to keep me from putting it down. I felt it was the intent of the author for the book to be somewhat aggravating so that the reader would feel a sense of satisfaction when the book reaches its final pages.  

The fact that this book is based on actual events presented a problem for me. I found myself constantly questioning which aspects of this story were real and which were fabricated, and it distracted me. I would recommend this book to students 15 and up if they're interested in aspects of black history, but not if they want an accurate representation of Malcolm X's life. 

A new student review of Taking Sides by Patrick Jones

sisto8 posted a new student review of Taking Sides by Patrick Jones. See the full review.

This book was pretty good.  The characters were realistic.  They had depth and meaning behind each of their actions.  I occasionally don't see this very clearly in books, but the author had their actions pretty clear.  I think the author did a great job on making the book creative. The setting was different from other books I read. It seemed like a mystery novel, with all the different clues, twists, and turns, but it also was like just another fiction book because it didn't have the person acknowledge that they had a mystery.  I thoroughly enjoyed and I hope other readers do, too.  I recommend it for people 12+.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A new student review of Denton Little's Deathdate

tlang posted a new student review of Denton Little's Deathdate . See the full review.

Words cannot describe how funny and entertaining this book is. I was mesmerized in the storyline in the very beginning of Chapter One and still loved it all the way through Chapter 37. The book is funny. Denton's personality is that, even when death is right around the corner, he is still a funny guy who loves life and loves to make people laugh. All the characters are fully developed and each has a grand personality. The entertainment in this book...well, how can a gun shootoff not be entertaining?

A new student review of Akarnae by Lynette Noni

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

I really liked this book. Akarnae was an adventure from cover to cover, a book I'd read again and again. The characters are fun-loving and felt very real to me, they didn't have unrealistic traits (besides the fact that practically all of the guys Alex meets are described as hot) or anything like that. Also, Alex, Jordan and Bear's friendship never turns into a weird love triangle, which was nice because it kept the focus on the plot.

A new student review of Mind Over Bullies - A MOB Forms by D.K. Smith

Star360 posted a new student review of Mind Over Bullies - A MOB Forms by D.K. Smith. See the full review.

Bullying is a topic that every school seems to talk about, but few people actually do something about. Mind Over Bullies: A MOB Forms tackled this difficult topic by spinning it into an intriguing mystery.

 

There were two major plots. The first was the anti-bullying campaign, which was very creative. The MOB members had an impressive mastery of technology that is outside of the ordinary teen’s skill set, adding an amusing touch reminiscent of James Bond. I find it interesting to read about teens who are trying to really make a difference, not just deciding who to go out with. The second plot was the counterfeiting ring. It added an extra dimension of suspense and helped tie in different characters to the bullying theme. The quick access that Margo had to the police was highly unusual, but was necessary to keep the two plots connected.

 

Margo’s transition from queen bee to social outcast was vividly portrayed. I liked how it provided readers with insight into both the “cool kids” zone and the average high schooler’s arena. She was clearly the main character, but the other students and characters were also important. Her fellow MOB members each had a unique personality, and readers are sure to find a kindred spirit in one of the high schoolers. I felt that Kat may have been a tad overdramatized, but felt the character development was realistic overall.

 

A downside of the book for me was its length. Now, I don’t shy away from long books. My favorite novel is Gone With the Wind, which is over a thousand pages long. However, I feel that Mind Over Bullies could have been cut down a bit. The counterfeiting plot was heavy on details and new people popping in for a few devious scenes, which could distract readers from the main theme of bullying. Of course, the money-making scheme served its purpose and did not spoil the book at all.

 

On a final note: the cover of the book is really cool! It fits the exact description of the MOB logo in the book. Judging by the title and the dramatic ending, Smith will probably write another MOB book. I’ll be keeping my eye out for it!

A new student review of Mind Over Bullies - A MOB Forms by D.K. Smith

Anjel posted a new student review of Mind Over Bullies - A MOB Forms by D.K. Smith. See the full review.

This was an amazing book! It hit a soft spot in my heart. The author really captured what happens when someone is being bullied. Adding the counterfeiting plot was an ingenious idea. 
 
My favorite part was when the girls were all still friends at the start of the book. My least favorite part was when one of the girls died, even though I didn't like her character very much. She had a pretty hard life, and I felt for her. 
 
I hope there will be a second book. recommend this book to pre-teens, teens, and adults. Anyone would enjoy it because it is an awesome book. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

A new student review of Feral Pride

MezokaCapturer65 posted a new student review of Feral Pride . See the full review.

A lot of this book hinges on things being accepted as soon as they are stated, as in many things are suddenly introduced and then suddenly removed from the story.  It gets hard to keep track of who everyone is and where everyone is throughout the action, or even when things are calmer.  This book has about an equal amount of romance as the previous books in the series; not much to say about that.  While I did find this book mildly entertaining, I don't think it's anything I'd pick up to read for a second time.  If you don't like elements that were in the previous books, then this book will probably do nothing to redeem the series in your eyes, so I'd only recommend this to people who like teen romance and supernatural creatures. 

A new student review of Enter the Realm of Flesh by A.N. Sinner

JesusFreak posted a new student review of Enter the Realm of Flesh by A.N. Sinner. See the full review.

When I began reading this book, I was pleasantly surprised by how fast it started off. It grabbed me from the very beginning of the book.

The main character, Michael, was a very interesting character. In the beginning of the book I didn’t like him that much. However, as the story progressed, I found that I liked his character more and more. Nya, one of the side characters, seemed likable to me from the very beginning. I loved her attitude and overall personality.

The only complaint I have is that it seemed to lag at some points in the book, causing me to lose interest. However, the writing always picked up shortly after and I was able to get re-engaged.

Overall, this is a great dark paranormal novel for older teens and young adults.

Friday, June 26, 2015

A new student review of The Prize: Tales from a Revolution by Lars D. H. Hedbor

Zane3 posted a new student review of The Prize: Tales from a Revolution by Lars D. H. Hedbor. See the full review.

The Prize: Tales from a Revolution is just the kind of book I would want for historical fiction. It is very exciting and suspenseful, but also has plenty of character and plot development. It is a well balanced book, except that there was quite a lot of romance for historical fiction. There were a couple things that I did not like: It was definitely wordy, which was annoying, and at times the romance became too much of a focus. There were also several things that I did like: There was a good amount of action (but not so much that it overwhelmed the story), and the story ended very nicely. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, but who also likes romance.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A new student review of Dime by E. R. Frank

Katiedid.Break posted a new student review of Dime by E. R. Frank. See the full review.

First, I'd like to say that when I read the description of this book I thought it said "Danny," not "Daddy." So I didn't realize what it was about, and I thought it was a kidnapping/runaway mystery. I would not usually pick this type of book; I am a fantasy nut.

Even so, it was actually pretty good, though it’s not a favorite at all. However, the characters are incredibly described and well thought out. The author truly made them come to life, and not many other authors can do so.

I liked how the author repeated the first chapter later in the book and used it as a sort of second prologue to the book. I also like how the ending was left open. What happens to Dime? Will the baby be okay? What about Lollipop, Brandy, and L.A.?

I wouldn't recommend this book to my friends because of its subject matter. To people who like this book I would recommend "The Death of Bees" by Lisa O'Donnell. It has a similar plot, but prostitution isn't included. Instead, there’s murder and drugs. It's not quite as harsh and shocking a situation as the one Dime finds herself in.

A new student review of Enter the Realm of Flesh by A.N. Sinner

snehayamsani posted a new student review of Enter the Realm of Flesh by A.N. Sinner. See the full review.

“For a split second, a certain word sprang to Michael’s mind: Destiny.”

A.N. Sinner creates an intriguing world for the minds of young readers, using monsters, the mafia, and ancient mythology in Enter the Realm of Flesh.

Sinner does an excellent job with Michael's character development. At the beginning of this novel, readers see Michael as a typical teenager going through the motions of high school. But after his parents' death, he matures drastically from a boy to a strong man. The writing techniques Sinner uses to convey the development allows readers to witness Michael’s growth, creating a classic coming of age novel.

The plot was interesting as it explored the theory of there being more than one realm and the existence of monsters. In fact, I felt Michael Phoenix, in this novel, was the equivalent of Thor.

Although the plot was interesting, at times certain details were lost because there are so many things happening at once. There were moments I felt the writing could have been better developed, but it was generally quite enjoyable and easily understood. This story also serves to be a quick read for those who do not enjoy long reading material. I finished it in two days!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A new student review of Challenger Deep

Star360 posted a new student review of Challenger Deep . See the full review.

Books about sick children tend to make me nervous. The Fault in Our Stars seems to be unceasingly loved by everyone except me, who failed to be impressed by the plot’s stale ingredients of illness, questionable romance, and overwrought metaphors. That being said, Challenger Deep is not TFIOS. But even if you adored John Green’s magnum opus, hold on. Challenger Deep has a lot to offer.

 

Schizophrenia is a difficult topic to write about with wit, realism, and sympathy, but Shusterman accomplished all three of those checkpoints. He explains in the author’s note that his son Brendan, who had a mental illness, was a great inspiration. In fact, Brendan’s artwork from when he was “in the depths” is featured in the novel. I appreciated how the simple illustrations added valuable insight into the struggle of schizophrenia. 

 

The novel is told in short chapters that rotate between Caden’s real-world experiences and his dives into the imaginary world of the ship Challenger Deep. If that sounds weird, don’t worry. It took me a little while to get used to the switches, but as you get into the story it becomes easier to keep up with the parallel storylines. I found the glimpses into Caden’s chaotic mind to be fascinating and creative. The parts in real life were just as important, since they let the reader understand what was really going on.

 

The cast of characters is relatively small, and some of the most important ones exist only in Caden’s head. The ship’s crew allows Shusterman to show off his unique talent for whimsy and wonder that made me think of Alice in Wonderland (the book, not the watered-down Disney movie!). Caden himself is neither directly likable or dislikable. Since he is struggling with schizophrenia, it was difficult to see who the real Caden was like. But by the end, I was cheering him on and wanted him to have a happy ending.

 

What really pleased me about this book was what was not there – romance. Sometimes, YA authors throw in a random love interest in an attempt to appeal to audiences, only to have the couple flounder in a poorly written relationship. Shusterman keeps readers focused on the real dilemma of mental illness. Caden only has a sort of crush on one girl, but it definitely does not interfere with the main plot. Phew!

 

Whether you usually go for tales of teen illnesses or not, please try Challenger Deep. It’s a poignant, well-written novel that will change your perspective on mental illness. I know that Caden will stay in my thoughts for a long time.

A new student review of Wild Boy and the Black Terror

Pikachu posted a new student review of Wild Boy and the Black Terror . See the full review.

Wild Boy and the Black Terror has become one of my favorite books. I liked the characters Wild Boy and Clarissa because of Wild Boy's detective skills and Clarissa's acrobatic skills. I liked the setting, because it made me feel like I was there.   I was able to read the book without getting lost, but I think it would have been better if I had started with the first book. It was an exciting book but it seemed to drag on in some spots. I recommend this book to people who like mysteries.
 

A new student review of Supernova (The Star-Crossed Saga Book 2) by Braxton A. Cosby

JesusFreak posted a new student review of Supernova (The Star-Crossed Saga Book 2) by Braxton A. Cosby. See the full review.

When I began reading Supernova, I found that I was slightly disappointed. This sequel to Protostar did not live up to my expectations. It started off slowly and took a while to get into the action, and Sydney became even more unlikable in this book than in the first one. Her constant mood swings annoyed me and her romanticism was nonexistent. In various points of the book, I felt that William did everything he could to please Sydney, and in return she treated him horribly.

Something that I didn’t find enjoyable while reading this book was the author’s writing style. There were various times where it felt as if the characters dialogue was verbose or did not flow naturally.

Although the beginning started off slow, when the plot began to get interesting it was easier to read. About halfway through is when the storyline truly became engaging.

Unfortunately, this sequel just didn’t live up to the first book.

Monday, June 22, 2015

A new student review of Protostar by Braxton A. Cosby

jotaf posted a new student review of Protostar by Braxton A. Cosby. See the full review.

Romance books aren’t typically my thing. However, if I am basing my opinion just on the story and not on its romance aspects, this book was a good read. I especially liked all the cool gadgets that were added. For example, the hydrogen blasters were very creative. I liked that the author, Braxton A. Cosby, gave the characters a fairly solid background. The action sequences in this book were enjoyable and thrilling. Something about this book that I didn’t enjoy as much was that it lost my attention in certain spots.

If you like sci-fi and romance, this book is for you.

A new student review of Molly McDougal Montgomery McGrath and Other Stories by George Cooper

moseso posted a new student review of Molly McDougal Montgomery McGrath and Other Stories by George Cooper. See the full review.

This book is well written and seems to be geared toward 5-8 year olds. However, even as a 12-year-old reader, it still made me laugh. There are four stories total, and each one rhymes impeccably. With the exception of the first story, the main characters are hard to distinguish; I felt the author could have said their names or stated their genders. Beautiful artwork helps the reader vividly imagine every detail of the book. Molly McDougal Montgomery McGrath and Other Stories to Make You Laugh certainly lives up to its title. If you’re looking for a funny, quick and easy read, this book is the one for you!   

A new student review of The Nightsiders: The Orphan Army

nictaf posted a new student review of The Nightsiders: The Orphan Army . See the full review.

The Nightsiders: The Orphan Army was an extremely well-described book, filled with action and adventure.  An example is when “Milo adjusted his grip on the next one and pitched it with a split-fingered fastball. The rock burned past the flailing pincer and hit the Stinger in the mouth.”  Jonathan Maberry wrote a wonderful book and I can’t wait for book two.  I would recommend this book to ages 10 and up.