Thursday, August 29, 2013

A new student review of Alfred C. Bogeyman

sschu5 posted a new student review of Alfred C. Bogeyman . See the full review.

This was a great book! It was about a kid who stands up for his brother. I like that Adrian does that for Sam. It is very kind to do that for anyone especially someone related to you. It had a lot of suspense; I like that in a book. I hope you find this book is as good as I did!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A new student review of Through the Zombie Glass

R. Mae posted a new student review of Through the Zombie Glass . See the full review.

The Plot:

I’m a big fan of fast paced plots and this one really was. The action was heavy and the characters moved smoothly through it.There was this moment when Alice lights herself with the fire that kills zombies. The fire completely covers her body. Gena Showalter describes Alice moving from one zombie to another, floating over the ground and brushing her fingers along them.  It was flawless, and absolutely perfect. Her writing style totally inspires me. Thankfully, the romance didn't totally overpower the story. It just added to it.


The Characters:

You know, even though Alice Bell was going through a completely depressing situation, she refused to cave into the darkness. She continued to fight with that kick-butt, stubborn attitude. Through all her troubles she didn’t let anything bring her down. She was desperate to protect the people she loved. The character arch Alice went through practically drove the book. She had to fight her inner self, Zombie Alice, to become fully alive. It was a physical and mental thing. Alice’s boyfriend Cole seemed weird to me. It’s just a personal opinion. I like him, I like how protective he is. I like the sense of power that the author describes emanating off him. That's all cool. It’s just that the guy is a little messed up. He doesn't really appeal to me. He is over protective and super serious all the time. He gets on my nerves. I liked Gavin. He seemed more realistic. His attitude always made me smile, and I really liked the friendship he and Alice developed. That brings me to Kat. Kat is pushy, she makes her friends do things that scare them. She likes to talk, laugh, and pretty much have fun. She reminds me of myself. Except the fact that she is sick. It surprises me Alice isn’t more desperate to find an antidote or something for her best friend's sickness. Alice knows Kat is going to die soon, yet she does nothing about that. I can’t understand it.


The Setting:

Unlike the first book, barely any time is spent at school or in homes. Most of the time it’s training in Cole’s barn, fighting in the woods, or another place just as interesting. The scenes seemed awfully depressing sometimes, but not to the point of annoying. It was more on the side of realistic and understandable. Not all of life is happy-go-lucky. I mean, they are fighting zombies!


The Standout:

In most books, the romance is overpowering. A lot of people say that is how love works. For some reason though, over powering love exists for the main characters. How do you think all the side-kicks feel about that? Author Gena Showalter wrote this story differently. Almost every character had another half of themselves. Kat has Frosty, Reeve (Alice’s Friend) has Bronx, etc... It goes on and on. Each of them have a unique relationship. It was very realistic and gave the depressing setting a little light.


The Moral:

I am a Christian. I don’t like to hide my faith. In the first book the author wrote that she wanted to show the fight between good and evil, that she herself was a Christian. Now, that promise did not withstand. Yeah, in the first book she mentioned church a few times, but it didn’t even fit with the story. the characters' morals seemed askew in this book.  Not only were there very few Christian morals, God wasn’t even mentioned. There wasn’t actually sex, but the characters got pretty close. I’m not sure where the line is, but I think they crossed it. I do like that there wasn't swearing. That made me happy. The fight between the light and the darkness is cool, but as I said, this book didn’t really represent Christianity or how I view it.

A new student review of Horatio's One Wish by Joshua Kriesberg

princessLA posted a new student review of Horatio's One Wish by Joshua Kriesberg. See the full review.

I like this book because I admire the main character, Horatio. He was brave because he wanted to find his best friend Rollic. Horatio was a good friend. I would recommend this book.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A new student review of Of Beast and Beauty

JesusFreak posted a new student review of Of Beast and Beauty . See the full review.

    When I started this book, I found it very boring.  I read ten chapters and it still didn’t pick up.  Around chapter nineteen was where it started to get exciting for me.  I could see Isra and the monstrous, Gem, begin to fall in love.  There were multiple twists that were revealed as well.  Perhaps if the author hadn’t dragged on the sentences as much it would have been entertaining throughout the entire book.
    One of the things I liked about this book was that the idea was intriguing.  I’d heard the story of Beauty and the Beast before, but this book twisted the story into something almost completely different, but with the same concept.
    Another thing I liked about this book was the cover art.  It was beautifully made, and I loved how they didn’t show the girl’s face on the cover so that you could use your imagination to see what she looked like.
    I recommend this book for those who like love stories and mystery.

Monday, August 26, 2013

A new student review of The Osiris Curse

read_write_eat posted a new student review of The Osiris Curse . See the full review.

This was my first Steampunk book, and it was a truly enjoyable experience. Despite not having read the first book in the series, The Lazarus Machine, I caught on quickly and to my knowledge, the sequel was not so much a continuation of the first installment as it was a new adventure for Tweed and Nightingale. The book alternated in points of view- which I have often seen as either hit or miss- and this was definitely a hit! The change in viewpoint helped to build suspense in the story. My one gripe regarding the book is that the romance seemed to distract from the mystery and friendship between Tweed and Nightingale. But overall, The Osiris Curse was an action-packed, suspenseful book that kept me up for much of the night and got me hooked onto Steampunk fiction.

A new student review of Affinity

sabol posted a new student review of Affinity . See the full review.

Amanda Murphy grips you in the inception of her novel, drawing you in within the first couple sentences. She embellishes her story with vivid descriptions and in-depth character development. Although the enigmatic Phoenix, Avi’s love interest, adds mystery to the plot, I found it to be predictable at times with typical high school drama.  Overall it was enjoyable to read and I would recommend it to anyone interested in a fun adventure. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A new student review of Heart Beat

swimmer1430 posted a new student review of Heart Beat . See the full review.

Elizabeth Scott is one of my favorite authors and she writes great YA contemporary novels. However, her latest book, Heart Beat, was not the one for me. I think Elizabeth Scott writes better "light" novels, as opposed to the heavy and dramatic ones. Heart Beat was a tough read because it's so sad - Emma's mother is brain dead and would not be alive except for the life support keeping her heart beating. Meanwhile, Emma is in a downward spiral and doesn't care about school, her grades or her relationships. What I disliked about the book was that there was no plot. The entire novel was Emma being angry at her stepfather for keeping her mother on life-support. They literally have the same argument four or five times which was redundant. The only part of the plot that progressed was her relationship with Caleb and I still thought it could have been developed more. Overall, I'm disappointed in the lack of both character and plot development - both would have made this novel much better.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A new student review of People Who Said No: Courage Against Oppression by Laura Scandiffio

MIZZIQ posted a new student review of People Who Said No: Courage Against Oppression by Laura Scandiffio. See the full review.

This book made me aware of people and situations I had not heard of and brought to life others of which I had only a little knowledge. It presented facts in simple meaningful ways, but it also caught my interest as it took true stories and added specific fictional situations. The stories enabled me to put myself in that same situation and ask the questions "would I have done that? Would I have been brave enough to stand up for what I believe in?"

Friday, August 23, 2013

A new student review of Hanging In The Stars by Pat Gallagher Sassone

cassidyyyrayneee posted a new student review of Hanging In The Stars by Pat Gallagher Sassone. See the full review.

A new student review of Hanging In The Stars by Pat Gallagher Sassone

sharon posted a new student review of Hanging In The Stars by Pat Gallagher Sassone. See the full review.

I was intrigued by the author's ability to create a realistic, but enjoyable, picture of the high school setting and characters. However, I found myself often struggling with the romantic aspect of the book. I found the young lovers naïve and their blind attraction superficial. The way the book parallels the romance in William Shakespeare’s most renowned play, “Romeo and Juliet,” made the book more predictable. I felt the plot could stand alone, without any literary allusions. Regardless, I praise the author for highlighting controversial issues in her first novel, including the perils illegal immigrants face and child abuse. The author did a fantastic job in bringing out raw, attention-grabbing emotion, while shedding the light on issues concerning people with disadvantaged backgrounds. Not many YA books I have encountered have brought sufficient awareness to such a pressing issue as well as Pat Sassone managed to do in this novel. Overall, I found the book suitable for anyone who enjoys a high school romance, paired with real-life tension and action.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A new student review of Turkey Trouble on the National Mall by Ronald Roy

moseso posted a new student review of Turkey Trouble on the National Mall by Ronald Roy. See the full review.

My overall opinion about Turkey Trouble on the National Mall is that it was an engaging page turner!  The main characters, KC and Marshal, seemed to be real to me; I could put myself in their places.  Ron Roy, the author, made me believe the characters in this book to be real, and I could easily imagine this story to be true because of the pictures.  Ron Roy’s voice was adventurous.  I really didn’t learn anything from the book, because it was fictional.  The vocabulary is age appropriate. I would encourage slower readers to get this book and not advanced readers, as a fast reader I went through this book in one night!  This book is so good I want to read it again.

A new student review of A Matter of Days

crabby posted a new student review of A Matter of Days . See the full review.

This is your classic apocalyptic story with a modern edge. Nadia’s narrative is believable, as is her situation. The pace of the story is perfect, mixing suspense and excitement with occasional lulls used to develop the characters even further. I fell in love with Nadia and Rabbit and felt like I knew them both personally by the end of the story. You’ll find yourself rooting for them to find their way home as they struggle to find where, exactly, that is. It’s a quick read, partly because it’s impossible to stop! Overall an excellent book. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A new student review of Finnikin of the Rock

sumrsilentmusic posted a new student review of Finnikin of the Rock . See the full review.

Finnikin of the Rock is marketed as fantasy, but unlike other novels in its genre, it’s not overwhelmed by obnoxious magical details or insane action moments. It’s overflowing with good characters, nuanced world-building, and fantastic relationships.

            This novel doesn’t just have a strong female character—it has a strong, manipulative female character that is neither demonized nor worshipped. Many times when an author creates a strong female character, she’s valiant and noble. While Evanjalin is courageous, she’s also cunning. She’s not afraid to withhold information and sneak around in order to get things done. Like a normal human being, she has her flaws and her redeeming points. Even though Finnikin is the title character, Evanjalin manages to steal the spotlight every time.

            The cast of supporting characters is also just as unique. One thing that’s not very prevalent in young adult literature is the influence of adults. However, that’s not the case in this book. Refreshingly, adults have a significant role in this novel. Additionally, each character feels like a person that could potentially exist in real life because the characters are well-rounded, and each has his or her own flaws and strengths.   

            Furthermore, the plot is intricate and intriguing. While many novels make the mistake plot as a backdrop for world-building and magical powers, the plot of Finnikin was actually compelling. In fact, the plot was very applicable to real-life. Instead of being about defeating dragons, it was about the politics of ruling a country. And although it includes princesses and kings, it doesn’t glorify the job of a ruler. Part of what make Finnikin of the Rock such a remarkable novel is because it explores areas that are often neglected by the other books of the same genre. However, the world-building could be hard to take in all at once. There are several countries with bizarre names to keep track of, but that’s one of the things that make this novel amazing.

            The one downfall of this book is that it’s extremely difficult to get into. It’s one of the books where nothing gets explained in the beginning. All these names, situations, and characters are thrown at you, and you have to drown and grapple for a while until your head’s finally above the water.

            This book is absolutely wonderful, and I wish Melina Marchetta would be able to have more mainstream success with her novels. I recommend it for people who love fantasy, or for those who enjoyed Kristin Cashore’s Graceling or Tamora Pierce’s books or for people who love reading in general.    

Monday, August 19, 2013

A new student review of The Hunt for the Well Hidden Treasure

Tenaya posted a new student review of The Hunt for the Well Hidden Treasure . See the full review.

The book was very interesting. It's fun to solve the problems with the group of kids. Although the beginning of the book was a bit slow, by the 3rd chapter it was hard to put down! Although the book is about a group of 7th graders, I think that this book would be most enjoyed by 3rd-5th graders.

A new student review of The Lazarus Machine

scifiguy posted a new student review of The Lazarus Machine . See the full review.

This book was very exciting. I really enjoyed it and I would recommend it to nearly everyone.

A new student review of Alice Parker's Metamorphosis - Book 1 of the new adventure series for children

bamelon posted a new student review of Alice Parker's Metamorphosis - Book 1 of the new adventure series for children . See the full review.

            The story is written by a British woman and there are a lot of British slang and terms that I didn’t understand.  There’s also a lot of characters to keep track of and it can get confusing at times.  There’s not much explanation in the story.  In fact, sometimes I wondered if I had skipped pages.

            There were no characters I was particularly fond of.  Alice rarely feels any joy about anything.  She seems somewhat disassociated, but there’s no reason given for her melancholy.  It’s as if the readers are expected to just take it for granted that because she’s a teenager, she’s unhappy.

            This is a short, easy read, an okay story but nothing special or compelling.  I won’t continue reading the series.  However, I think younger kids, maybe 10-13 years old will enjoy the book.  Younger readers might not get bored with it like I did.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A new student review of Firecracker

avance posted a new student review of Firecracker . See the full review.

The problem for me with this book is that the character was not very agreeable. I didn’t really understand her motivations or actions. She has a bitter view on the world and she treats everyone poorly. Even though she does try to become a better person, and she makes strides towards it, I do not feel she changed enough for the story. The plot of the book was interesting, and the minor character were enjoyable though. Sadly this book was just not the page turner I had expected

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A new student review of The Social Code

VBat posted a new student review of The Social Code . See the full review.

This geeky drama is fun and original. The plot is ripe with backstabbing fun, and leaves the reader constantly second-guessing every character. No one's loyalties are clear, and the constant surprises keep the story engaging.  

Amelia is a lovable character, and her passion for coding brings her personality to life. Her sweetness is contrasted by the extreme greed and betrayal that surrounds her, but this only serves to highlight her strong moral compass. 

Adam, while not quite as lovable as Amelia, is relatable and realistic. His aspirations are not inherently greedy, and his romantic relationship with Lisa adds a bit of romance to the thrills of Silicon Valley. It is obvious that he and his sister care about one another, and this dynamic adds depth to the story. 

The Social Code is a modern, techy take on the typical teen novel. Whereas most novels focused on college kids are all drama, this one is drama with a high pressure career environment and thrilling Silicon Valley twists. Hayes leaves just enough loose ends for her readers to anxiously await the second book in "The Start-Up" series. 

*note*  Before reading this novel, I would recommend brushing up on Silicon Valley culture. I was fortunate enough to have read a book involving incubators and investors in San Francisco recently, and my understanding of The Social Code was greatly enhanced by the background knowledge I acquired. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

A new student review of No Other Story by Dr. Cuthbert Soup

avolzer posted a new student review of No Other Story by Dr. Cuthbert Soup. See the full review.

The book is narrated by a character who does not appear in the story until partway through. He addresses the reader throughout the book and makes jokes, but it seems forced. I also had trouble getting into the story. I didn’t really care about the characters for a while, which is probably partly due to me not reading the first book. It is not essential to understanding this book, but it feels like parts of the story are missing. The book does resolve itself, though. There are no loose ends or cliffhangers. Overall, it is an okay book if you want a fun little read, but it is not the kind of book I would remember or reread.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A new student review of Here Dead We Live by Andrew MacQuarrie

dancechicka posted a new student review of Here Dead We Live by Andrew MacQuarrie. See the full review.

Ok, where to begin…..this novel was solid.  Not a classic, not stupendous, not a Mark-Twain-and Jane-Austen-have-nothing-on-me kind of book.  But it was solid, nonetheless.  The good and the bad seemed to kind of balance each other out.  In some parts, in was exciting, invigorating, and refreshing.  At other parts, it was just plain dull.  Sometimes the sentences were awkward and distorted, but sometimes they flowed as a much more experienced writer had written them.  Some parts, especially the end, were powerful and raw.  Some were tired and emotionless. I liked how MacQuarrie tried a wide range of characters that could be easily connected with and understood—it seemed to make the novel move along at a better pace.  It was also very realistic and in-your-face current.  Considering that this is MacQuarrie’s debut novel, I believe it is a good solid read for anyone who is interested in military fiction or just looking for a bit of action in their novels.

“So maybe this war was a waste.  Maybe it was nothing more than a contest between a bunch of rich old men.  Maybe Stephen’s life didn’t mean anything to them.  Maybe none of their lives meant anything to them.”

I would recommend this book was ages twelve and up, for some mild swearing, some sexual references, alcohol consumption, and a plot thread about drugs that runs throughout this book.  There is also a situation where the subject of sexual orientation is debated, so if that bothers you or your child, I warn you now.  To be clear, this book does talk about faith in God and Jesus Christ, so if you are sensitive to that issue, too, you may want to refrain from reading this novel.

So, will Stephen and Ryan each find what their looking for—spiritually, emotionally, and mentally?  Or will they even get out of the war alive?  Read Here Dead We Live by A.M.H. MacQuarrie to find out!

Monday, August 12, 2013

A new student review of Pie in the Sky by Jane Smiley

moseso posted a new student review of Pie in the Sky by Jane Smiley. See the full review.

Pie in the Sky is a slower book so, if you like slower books or love horses, this is the book for you!  If not however, I would advise you to avoid reading this book.  My overall opinion about ‘Pie in the Sky’ is that frankly, it was boring.  I found myself thinking about other books I’ve previously read and I daydreamed some as well.   Jane Smiley made the characters seem almost real, but not real enough that I could imagine them walking through my front door, when some other books do. It takes a long time for the plot to develop. By the time you’re into the exciting stuff the reader is already three fourths through the book!  Jane Smiley’s voice is hard to explain, it doesn’t really fit into a category.  The author might have reached her goal if I knew what it was; the purpose of Pie in the Sky was never made clear.  My overall rating is 2 and a half, but I had to do a 3 star rating.  I really did not learn anything from the book.  I would recommend a 12 and higher reading age since the main character deals with going into high school. 

A new student review of Ruby by Amanda Burke

LaRayne posted a new student review of Ruby by Amanda Burke. See the full review.

Ruby is a great book that i read in one sitting. I loved the setting it just seemed so real. I would recommend this book to all my friends. If you love magic you will love this book. It is a great book for 10-12 year olds.

A new student review of The Vampire Gene (The Iron Trilogy) [Kindle Edition]

Don'tBlink posted a new student review of The Vampire Gene (The Iron Trilogy) [Kindle Edition] . See the full review.

I found this book amazing.  At first it starts off slow, but it captures your attention. I found myself unwilling to put the book down from how much the storyline and action along with the plot expanded and played out. This book left me guessing the whole time, I never knew what was going to happen next. This is a must read!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A new student review of The Sound of Your Voice...Only Really Far Away

Gwendolyn posted a new student review of The Sound of Your Voice...Only Really Far Away . See the full review.

Having enjoyed quite a few of Francis O’Roark Dowell’s works in the past, it was an honor to have the choice to pick her newest book to review. A few years back I read the first two books in “The Secret Language Of Girls” trilogy, highly enjoying them! Since then I have moved on to other books by this author that fit my interest. Therefore, I started this read with high expectations and was somewhat disappointed. I find the first half of the book dull and unable to capture my attention. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was a slow read, on the contrary it went by considerably fast, but I was rather bored by it. Not thoroughly entertaining. On the other hand, I don’t believe these points should stop anyone from giving it a try. The lack of interest was my fault on some level. This is one of those books that you have to be in the mood for and ready to delve into, and I was not ready in the slightest. I don’t find this to be a bad thing, but just a fair warning. On a positive note, I became aware of myself warming up to the story and the characters later on in the book, after realizing that I can easily relate to both main characters and their insecurities, frustrations, and general teen angst. This realization changed my opinion of the story line. If I had been entertained at the beginning, I may have regarded this book differently. On the whole, I liked “The Sound Of Your Voice, Only Really Far Away” a little. It was a satisfactory, but not exceptionally spectacular read. 


A new student review of Beholding Bee by Kimberly Newton Fusco

Anjel posted a new student review of Beholding Bee by Kimberly Newton Fusco. See the full review.

I think this is a great book! It really tells Bee’s story well, and I could feel what she felt in the story. It made me sad in some parts but encouraged me in others. I would give this book four and a half stars. I recommend this book to readers who enjoy loving and caring books.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

A new student review of Pawn by Aimee Carter by Aimée Carter

JesusFreak posted a new student review of Pawn by Aimee Carter by Aimée Carter. See the full review.

This is now one of my favorite books. When I first met the main character, Kitty, I thought her to be the weak III she was portrayed as. But when she turned into a VII, everything changed. She was brave and willing to risk her life for her loved ones. I was also never bored while reading this book; it was fast-paced and I finished it within two days. I applaud Ms. Carter’s way of portraying Kitty’s character pretending to be Lila. Kitty was being called Lila so many times that I even began calling her Lila instead of Kitty! I can’t wait to read more of Ms. Carter’s writing and will be eagerly awaiting the sequel to PAWN.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

A new student review of The Thing About Luck

sisto8 posted a new student review of The Thing About Luck . See the full review.

I like this book because of the set up. The plot was fascinating. It had a lot of twists and turns, but during the story, the excitement in the book stayed in a believable form. The author made the book seem like the reader is experiencing the things the main character was going through. The main character, Summer, was very lovable. She was trying to please her elders, but she remained sweet and kind the whole time. I recommend this book for anyone 9+.

A new student review of Girl Z: My life as a teenage zombie

EmilyFredricks posted a new student review of Girl Z: My life as a teenage zombie . See the full review.

I found this book to be very interesting and well written. It kept my interest until the very last page. There were many nights that I fell asleep reading this book because I didn't want to put it down. I enjoyed how it showed what Becca was feeling and thinking. You could really tell how she was feeling about being a zombie and how it was changing her on the inside and outside. 

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

A new student review of Maid for Me, Too

detectiveginger posted a new student review of Maid for Me, Too . See the full review.

There are lots of imagery used through mataphors and similes. Some of the similes are strange such as  when describing the relationship between Mina and Danni, they were described as "bonded like two oppositely charged ions ready to take on the world together." Do ionic compounds take on the world? However I liked the idea of two people who are complete opposites in appearance and personality, "attracted" to each other and who become close friends, that is conveyed in this simile. I thought that all the figurative language used was quite unique, interesting, contemporary and humorous.

The writing has gotten more mature since the last book, because the main characters, Mina and Jaden, have graduated from high school, and it shows in the character development of Mina and Jaden. So there is also slightly mature content in this book, such as references to alcohol.

'Maid For Me, Too' is a great book, and I recommend everyone to read it.

Monday, August 05, 2013

A new student review of The Twelve-Fingered Boy (The Twelve-Fingered Boy Trilogy) [

featherwhisker posted a new student review of The Twelve-Fingered Boy (The Twelve-Fingered Boy Trilogy) [ . See the full review.

I think this was a good book. There is a lot of adventure, but Jacobs writes a lot of character development into the story. It's well written and easy to follow and there is a conclusion that makes you feel like the book is finished, but it also makes you want to read more.

A new student review of Deep Betrayal

sthom506 posted a new student review of Deep Betrayal . See the full review.

Deep Betrayal is no bright Disney mermaid tale of love and devotion. Anne Greenwood Brown spins a sinuous tale of romance and the bonds of family. Her sequel, Deep Betrayal, is more tame than Lies Beneath, but without losing the important connections between Calder, Lily  and her Father. The change of perspective from Lily to Calder also helps to continue the story, but gives Deep Betrayal new twists and turns to further the reader's interest. 

A new student review of The Scorpions of Zahir by Christine Brodien-Jones

alison_S posted a new student review of The Scorpions of Zahir by Christine Brodien-Jones. See the full review.

The Sahara blazed across my mind's eye with Brodein-Jones's breathtaking imagery. The Scorpions of Zahir's pacing, like Zagora's desert expedition, starts out leisurely before plunging the reader into chaos; though a bit plodding at the outset, before I knew it I was whirling along on a hair-raising adventure. Brodien-Jones's Morroco has a richness of detail in which the reader can luxuriate, and the plot enthralled me with its complexity. Though chilling, the chief antagonist pursued her goal with such passion that at times I found myself cheering her on. I have a few small quibbles with the wording (you don't need to specify Nar Azrak had an unearthly glow, that's implied by it's being a planet other than earth),but thankfully these didn't make The Scorpions of Zahir any less of a vividly imagined thrillride. 

A new student review of The Grimalkin's Secret

sschu5 posted a new student review of The Grimalkin's Secret . See the full review.

This was a great book!  I kept wanting more and more magic and adventure as I read. I also like how there is a lot of connection & understanding. This book also gives a lot of suspense. Kya, Eliza and Sebastian used their individual powers to help people and save them. The plot is great, so is the mystery; this book comes together very well.

Saturday, August 03, 2013

A new student review of Shadow of Darkness: Volume I of the Creature Kid Series

scifiguy posted a new student review of Shadow of Darkness: Volume I of the Creature Kid Series . See the full review.

This book was very action-packed and exciting. I couldn't put the book down. It was very easy to follow. The book has you on the edge of your seat waiting for the next action scene. I really enjoyed this book.

Friday, August 02, 2013

A new student review of Stained (YA Paranormal Romance) (Stained Series) by Ella James

LISH0985 posted a new student review of Stained (YA Paranormal Romance) (Stained Series) by Ella James. See the full review.

The book moved too fast. With so few pages, you have to make the scenes count and I don't believe that the author did that. I was so excited for this book, but it disappointed me. The transitions in it need work. 

A new student review of Butter by Erin Jade Lange

ravenclaw posted a new student review of Butter by Erin Jade Lange. See the full review.

When I had first read the description, I knew it was going to be about a boy eating himself to death, but I thought that Erin Jade Lange may sugarcoat it a bit! Boy was I wrong. This book was absolutely NOTHING like I expected.

I can't emphasize enough how dark the book is. Of course, one of the main themes in Butter is bullying, so Butter's tormentors are discussed in great detail. Also, a menu for New Year's Eve-when he will go live on is planned out and altered throughout the book. I found it incredibly morbid that he was planning every food with which he would commit suicide and that his peers were encouraging this (many suggested foods for him to eat!).

I did however find this book incredibly insightful on the life of an obese person. Being constantly stared at, reverting back to comfort foods, teasing, and fighting to lose weight. Butter in particular gets mixed emotions from his parents and peers. His mother continuously cooks and feeds Butter high calorie snacks, while his father simply looks at him with disgust. Anna, the most beautiful girl in school will not give Butter a second glance. Really, his only comforts in life are his saxophone and being online as his alter-ego JP, a tall, good-looking, athletic boy, who chats with Anna for long periods of time. 

Overall, I found that Butter was a good book, but I was shocked by just how morbid it was!

Thursday, August 01, 2013

A new student review of reGUARDing GRACE

kanati posted a new student review of reGUARDing GRACE . See the full review.

ReGAURDing GRACE is an original and unique story with twists and turns that keep you from putting it down. The characters are surprisingly relatable which helps prove them to be lovable and enduring on many different levels. The setting also helps relate it to teens, High School, gossip, drama, friends, and dating with Grace and Jack caught in the middle. Karen A. Leppert has created a fantastic story that  keeps you engaged until the very last sentence. I would recommend this book to any teenager looking for a great read that is hard to put down.

A new student review of Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich Stories

alphatauri posted a new student review of Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich Stories . See the full review.

We open the collection with Cassandra Clare's "Some Fortunate Future Day". Exploring the theme of time in a lonely world, this story is about a girl named Rose who meets an alluring stranger. It's a great choice as the opener with its solid writing and classic steampunk robots and clockwork. It's short, simple and leaves its ending up to the reader.   

The second story is Libba Bray's "The Last Ride of the Glory Girls". This explores the theme of time as well, but delves in much further. There's a distinctive Wild West feel to it, and I enjoyed the writing but disliked the ending. 

Next is "Clockwork Fagin" by Cory Doctorow. Though its setting isn't especially imaginative,  this is still easily one of the best stories in the collection, as its plot is simply stellar. It has a great ending and the two main characters are fantastic. 

After that we get the first comic strip, "Seven Days Beset by Demons" by Shawn Cheng. His comic explores the Seven Deadly Sins through a simple and clever love story that carries traces of steampunk. 

Ysabeau S. Wilce's "Hand in Glove" follows that. This was another standout in the collection, with its unique writing style. There's a foreign flair to the setting that you can't exactly place, and the characters are believable--especially the main character, who you can't help but cheer for. 

"The Ghost of Cwmlech Manor" by Delia Sherman was a pretty typical ghost story with a romance, and some hints of steampunk. The writing style was typical, and though it's an okay story, since it followed "Hand in Glove", I found myself disappointed.

I didn't enjoy "Gethsemane" by Elizabeth Knox very much either. Though its first line is intriguing and introduces us to a unique setting, things quickly get downhill from there. The story is paced awkwardly, and there doesn't seem to be much steampunk in it. 

"The Summer People" by Kelly Link was easily my least favourite entry in the collection. It is utterly forgettable--in fact, while writing this review, I had to look back to my book just to remind myself of the point of that story. The writing style, characters, and setting are all boring. Quite honestly, this story almost caused me to stop reading the collection.

Thankfully, Garth Nix's "Peace in Our Time" stopped me from doing that. This story explores the theme of just how much power should be given to one person--all in one scene. It's one of the shortest stories in the collection, but incredibly imaginative and thought-provoking.

"Nowhere Fast" by Christopher Rowe was a fairly decent story. Nothing special, just a simple steampunk setting with romance and an ending that seems like a beginning. 

After that is "Finishing School" by Kathleen Jennings, the second comic strip in the anthology. I found the art refreshing and the story fun to read, even though I'm not a big fans of comics and was a bit confused as to the plot.

"Steam Girl" by Dylan Horrocks is the longest story in the collection, clocking in at 45 pages, and I would argue that it's too long, even though the chemistry between the two main characters is irresistible. The length of the story makes the ending slightly disappointing, but the story seems to carry a meaning that is quite thought-provoking.

The penultimate story of the collection, "Everything Amiable and Obliging", is by Holly Black, and it explores love in a world of steampunk--specifically, loves that should not be. The characters and setting aren't special, but the plot is.

And, finally, the last story in the collection. I have only one word for you: WOW. "The Oracle Engine" by M.T. Anderon was easily, easily the best story of the collection and one of the best stories I have ever read. It's so outrageously unique, and the writing style make your jaw drop, thinking: "How does he do that?!" I won't even describe the plot here--you have to read it and experience it for yourself.

Steampunk!: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories is easily worth your time, and there is quite literally a story for everyone in here. Whether you've never heard of the word steampunk, or you spend your days arguing whether Jules Verne invented the genre, this anthology comes highly recommended.