Over all, this book was okay. It definately wasn’t one of my favorite books and there were a couple things that I would change. First of all, I didn’t like how there was some violence in the book. Secondly, I personally didn’t like that there was a lot of talk about gangs and a few references to swear words. Some things that I liked about the book were the characters Jade and Mercedes. Jade is a really strong and tough character, but yet she is still girly. Mercedes is always trying to help her sibling and never worries about herself. This book is a really quick read because it is only 97 pages.
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Friday, August 26, 2016
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Absolutely loved it! The author drew me into the story from page 1. It was like going on a roller coaster ride. The time jumps were clear--stated clearly and with dates provided. Total page turner--I have never read a book so fast in my life! The twists and turns make you say: "Wow. I should have seen that coming... because it makes total sense." It is as if everything we do, every choice we make has a direct effect on the paths that our lives and our reality takes! Many sci-fi books are so unrealistic, but not this one. Bridge Through Time seems totally plausible, totally realistic, and totally a time in our future. This book is a page turner! A book that, like a roller coaster, buckles you in for the ride--and as the reader, you are happy to enjoy the thrills!
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
“…on my next birthday, I will be fifteen! At this stage in my life, I am meant to be experimenting with drugs and having my first fumbling sexual experiences. But hanging out with Starling is so much better.” That quote from page 9 basically sums up the entire book. Briony hates her life, and decides to escape that life by reading the book series she adores. She obsesses over little things that happen in her life, such as her still being a virgin and never having tried drugs. She longs to be with the “in-crowd,” but knows that that will never happen. In her own words, she considers still being a virgin at fifteen years old something “freaky,” and certainly does not want to get drunk or do so many drugs that she goes crazy. Briony hates her body, particularly her hair – she thinks curly hair is a curse, and wishes she didn’t have her lovely locks, as she only longs for wavy black hair. Briony also calls herself “fat and ugly” several times throughout the novel. Her closest “friend” Julia just wants to do drugs and have sex and get Briony to join in, but Briony just wants to stay at home and read her books. Julia also insults Briony on a regular basis, and doesn’t seem to care how her “friend” feels. For some odd reason, Briony still chooses to hang out with her so-called “friend.” Briony is also dishonest, throwing out a letter the principal told her to give to her parents. The letter was about how she wasn’t paying attention in History class in school, and was fairly accurate in its content, but Briony didn’t care and just trashed it on the way home from school. After Briony gets sick, she decides to dye her hair black and start wearing gothic clothing. She legitimately thinks she is an exorcist, and starts acting and dressing the part.
All-in-all, the main character was very difficult to even like or find commonality with. I had difficulty connecting with Briony for all the reasons just listed – I disagreed with her about everything she thought was normal. Briony was disrespectful towards her parents, and not only called them obscene things, but also just acted like a brat. After she got sick, Briony sort of went off the deep end, so to speak – she became an entirely different person, and didn’t really change for the better. Briony didn’t have very good judgement, either, as she was willing to hang out with people who didn’t honor her as a person and who never would respect her.
I also had difficulty finding anything in common between myself and Briony’s parents. Her mother just slammed her father every chance she got, and seemed very emotionally unstable. While she sometimes seemed to have her child’s best interests at hand, she never handled situations properly. Briony’s mother had such an order to her rants that at fifteen, Briony had nailed precisely where they started and ended without much trouble. Her mother first threatened to do unspeakable things to Briony if the girl didn’t clean her room, and then tried to get Briony to see the reason behind her argument, and then she used a blaming tactic to put guilt on Briony so as to blame the child for her problems, and then she ended with slamming Briony’s father. Speaking of Briony’s father, in the book, Briony’s parents are getting a divorce. They’ve been putting it off for several years, and every time some little event happens, the parents just get pushed closer and closer to actually finalizing the deed. It was not very clear why Briony’s mother hated her father and why the father hated her mother. The father stated it was because he had to pay for Briony and her mother’s lavish lifestyle, while the mother stated it was because the father had a new girlfriend whom he wasted his money trying to please. Clearly, their troubles did circle around financial problems, but a solution was never found.
I felt bored and disgusted reading this graphic novel. The art was subpar, and the style of writing was dreadful, as it was more child-like than adult-like in terms of the choice of words, but included such obscenities that it would never be an appropriate thing for a child to read. By the end of chapter one, I actually had the thought, “When will this awful thing end?” By the end of chapter two, I gave up even trying to enjoy the book. While it was a short read, I really didn’t enjoy it – I nearly gave up reading it until I got to chapter five, where the storyline picked up a little and at least kept my interest until the end. I have loved comics, manga, and graphic novels for awhile now, and don’t mind dealing with adult material when it’s presented in a professional manner. I’ve read “BONE” by Jeff Smith and “Black Butler” by Yana Toboso – both of these graphic novels I enjoyed greatly. In this book, however, the author’s intent seemed to revolve around shock-value – something I’ve never enjoyed reading. The sex scenes early on in the book were extremely graphic and showed large amounts of nudity and sexual acts – they honestly weren’t needed to make the point the graphic novel was trying to make. Often, scenes in the book seemed forced. Properly done transitions were very difficult to find, and the writing style seemed choppy at times. The book gave off this weird vibe to me, as if it were meant for a younger crowd, but that it was trying to appeal to an older audience as well. If that really was the intent for this book, it failed on both accounts. I would never let my younger siblings read this book filled with such mature and graphic themes, and I would never choose to read this book myself, even though I am twenty-one and enjoy a well-written graphic novel. The term "graphic novel" does not have to mean that the content within the novel be graphic (in terms of sex, drugs, or other gratuitous things), but in the case of this book, that definition fits the bill. This graphic novel was such a let-down that I would never recommend it, nor will I ever read it again.
Monday, August 22, 2016
This book was very well written and interesting. There are surprising twists and turns throughout the story which keeps you eager to keep flipping the pages. It also covers a range of emotions that are wrapped in suspense. The characters are developed very well in this story. As you get deeper and deeper into the novel, you feel a strong connection with all of the characters. I give this book 5 stars, because there is nothing that I would change. Everything about it was utterly amazing. I definitely recommend this great read.
Friday, August 19, 2016
I like the way the book was written. I felt like I was part of the story watching the action happen
My favorite part of the story was when Damien reconsidered his decision of wanting to be a super villain, because this made me think that he was finally going to be a super hero! I liked when Damien put robotic scorpions in the backpacks of the bullies that bothered his friends. I thought it was funny when they got scared and after I read that I thought: "So, what happened to acting all tough and not being afraid of anything?"
I would recommend this book to any kid that's a fan of super heroes.
Pirates are a fun, familiar trope that appeals to readers of many ages. I was hopeful that Claire Merchant’s tale about a female buccaneer would have a daring, Anne Bonny kind of edge. Alas, I was met with a drawn-out, sappy version of Pirates of the Caribbean. Certain aspects of the novel were enjoyable, but I wouldn’t recommend this book to my fellow bibliophiles.
The novel starts off with potential. Corey was born to a wealthy family, but ended up being raised by pirates for reasons unknown until the end. She’s no weakling, either; she can do her work just as well as the men can. Her downfall comes when she meets Sebastian. Yes, love can make people do foolish things, like buy overpriced teddy bears and cherry cordials, but I really expected more from the supposedly strong, independent Corey. Her loyalty to her crew was shockingly low when being wooed by a handsome stranger.
Another disappointment was the severe lack of action. Besides the sudden capture of Corey and a brief battle, there was very little in the way of excitement. A mysterious mermaid did add a hint of intrigue, though since she was the only magical aspect in the novel, it felt forced. I did enjoy the many different accents of the characters who appeared on the two pirate ships. They added richness to the dialogue and make it easy to identify the many characters.
Those searching for a satisfying pirate adventure are better off searching for another novel or perhaps watching Johnny Depp’s humorous turns as Jack Sparrow.
Thursday, August 18, 2016
My Life Hereafter kept my interest greatly. The concept of what happens after you die is one that many people debate today, and have many different ideas of. I liked the concept of that idea in this book. Also, I enjoyed the plot twist, it was extremely unexpected but kept my interest in the book until the very end. The characters were fun and believable, and there were many good life lessons. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to wonder about life after death, or anyone who enjoys a good adventure.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
A new student review of Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #30: Ninjas and Samurai by Mary Pope Osborne Natalie Pope Boyce
This book was chocked full of interesting information! I have read a lot on this subject, and I still learned many new facts!
The author's introduction at the beginning was a really nice addition. I enjoyed reading it.
Younger readers might find the layout of the book (the glossary along the side of the pages) and the text level a little hard to follow, especially if they are the age as the children who would read Night of the Ninja.
The non-fiction title is written for 7-10 year olds, but I think 7 and maybe 8 year olds would struggle with it. On the flip side I think the subject matter and the text level is also appropriate for 11-13 year olds.
This book is a brilliant tale of magic, mystery, and friendship. The author artfully yet quickly introduces the characters. My admiration for Pinmei grew as the story unfolded. Her ability to persevere, despite enormous obstacles, was amazing.
The unique plot of stories within stories moves along at a satisfying pace. Following Pinmei’s quest from the quiet granddaughter whose favorite place is home to China’s great adventurer makes this book a ‘coming of age’ story.
Including the stories of China’s mythology, as told by Amah or Pinmei, pulls the reader into this magical world. Beautiful illustrations bring the story to life. Readers who enjoy fantasy and adventure will treasure When the Sea Turned to Silver for years to come!
This historical fiction novel provides a glimpse into a time of environmental distress due to war destruction and a loss of awareness towards the earth. “Wide as the Wind” takes place many years ago, yet it can speak to readers of all ages and backgrounds in a timeless way about the result of neglecting Earth’s natural environment.
This novel is a unique voyage adventure and has an anthropological viewpoint, however, the text meanders in places, so be prepared to muscle through some verbose sections. Stanton introduces readers to the lifestyle of a society and their culture in an accessible approach by incorporating fictional characters and writing in a decidedly fiction-esque style. Unfortunately, the second half of this book felt slow in comparison to the beginning.
Despite moments of tedium, Stanton’s “Wide as the Wind” is vividly tragic and dramatically rich. It’s a historical tale without feeling historical. Featuring themes of adventure, war, and a comparable Romeo and Juliet type romance, this novel is perfect for readers weary of history and anthropology but zealous for adventure and drama. It gives a glimpse into an ancient society through an adolescent perspective, which can be interesting to fellow history and anthropology enthusiasts.
Monday, August 15, 2016
I enjoyed this book from beginning to end. When I began reading it, I was reminded of the Pretties series by Scott Westerfeld. I loved the brave characters! I thought Gabby was a strong protagonist in spite of her flaws. The plot was engaging and well-paced.
I was not familiar with some of the gaming terms such as the term "rebuff." The use of gaming terminology caused me a bit of confusion. Additionally, since the story was based on a team aspect, I would have liked to know more about Mouse and Frags. However, I have a strong feeling I will get that opportunity in the next book.
I appreciated that the concept of this book was highly original. I would recommend this book to fantasy lovers and students ages 12 and up.
This is Not the End is a short and complex read filled with great adventure and the potential for self-contemplation. The main character, James, goes through many changes throughout the storyline. Readers will see his doubts, his confusion, and his growing confidence as he learns to decide his own destiny.
Along the way you might just find more meaning in your own life and the power of family and friendship. The plot is ever-changing, with a different destiny for James just around the bend. It is hard to predict what will happen next, but that's the fun of the story. I recommend this book to readers ages 12 or older who enjoy fantasy interwoven with religious elements.
Sunday, August 14, 2016
I choose this book because the cover caught my eye. It was just a sign on a chunk of ice and it made me think, “Oh, I wonder what this book is about?” I didn’t realize that this is the seventh book of the series therefore I was confused about how the characters tied together and had a hard time figuring out how old they each were. The book did jump around from past to present and it was a little confusing. I liked April’s grandma, Gaga, because she was a brave and strong character. What kind of grandma who knows that she is going to die soon, would be brave enough to go skiing in the mountains? I thought that Gaga was an interesting character. Another thing I liked about the book was how the author described each character. I got to know each character better every chapter. I liked how each character was completely different from one another. I really enjoyed this book and I had fun going through the ups and downs in April’s life with her and I think that you will too.
Thursday, August 11, 2016
Lion Island is a story of power, bravery, strength and determination. The book unfolds with elegance and strength, showing the passion that Antonio, Wing, and Fan feel as they go against the law to save their own. Each character has a different personality and skillset. Fan is a character who never sets limits too high, but always fulfills her promises. She is the most loyal character in this book. Wing is a difficult character because of the rage that fills his heart and the revenge that clouds his brain. Wing is a fighter, driven by anger. Wing won’t stop until he fulfills what he sets out to do. Antonio is a free-born boy with dreams to make others free too. He makes many promises to himself, many of which he can’t make happen. Antonio is confused, not knowing in the beginning of the book if he is a warrior of fire or words.
What I love about this book is the power behind every word. Every word has a meaning and inspired passion in me as I read of the horrors going on in that time. It almost brought me to tears when I found out that this story was close to true, and that these outrageous events actually happened in Cuban history. This book made a mark on my soul. Engle writes with such passion and power, pouring her soul into the pages. I felt the confusion and anger rolling off the pages and settling in my heart.
I will never forget this story of hope, peace, love, anger, grief, and victory. Within these very pages is the soul of a young boy, fighting for freedom and life.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
I was really excited for Sea Spell, and I wasn't disappointed! There's a lot of danger coming at our heroines from all sides, but also a lot of hope. I love the complexity of Orfeo: he's not just a villain who kills merely to kill; he also has a purpose. He's always sought to bring his dead wife back from the underworld, not caring about the casualties he inflicts doing so. And instead of being cold and cruel, he comes across to Astrid as charming but powerful – fatherly, even. For her, Orfeo is the greatest enemy not only because of his malicious goals, but also because he has a strong chance of turning her over to his side. Besides the characters, the two big battles were well written, suspenseful, and heart stopping because nothing went as planned. Sea Spell was deliciously unpredictable except for a few scenes that I anticipated – the only thing I didn't like about the book. I highly recommend reading the three prequels before starting Sea Spell.
Tuesday, August 09, 2016
I enjoyed The Chicken Squad. The author uses lots of different animals in the story, even a dog narrator. Doreen Cronin put tons of humor in the book, such as Sweetie’s carrot-dropping reaction to Tail’s story. There are many other funny misunderstandings between the squad and Tail that lead to a surprise ending. Kids from ages 5-9, who like humorous, silly books would like The Chicken Squad.
Sunday, August 07, 2016
This book was so much fun to read! I can't wait to read other titles in the series. The spunky Grace will really appeal to young girls, and who doesn't love a unicorn! Just the 3 rules stated on the back will entice readers:
Rules for being a princess:
1. Your name must be on the Fairy Godmother's list
2. You must always be elegant and graceful (a problem for Grace?)
3. A unicorn must choose you (That's my favorite!)
This humorous tale has an endearing main character, and the supporting characters help make Grace's experience a fun and exciting adventure. There is a positive message about self-confidence and loyalty.
Some vocabulary words, like deportment, pinafore and presume, might be too difficult for younger readers, but readers will still be able to follow along and enjoy the story despite not understanding a word or two.
Friday, August 05, 2016
I must start with the fact that I have not read the first book in the series, therefore my opinion is only based on where the story picks up in book 2--with Vivica becoming part of the Emancipation Warriors. There are points in this story that I enjoyed. The storyline involving the interactions of the characters are my favored parts. So much of the story is like a rat maze; the reader being the rat who keeps hitting dead ends and opening new passageways. There are parts of the story that are really rushed, when more time needs to be spent setting up the story. It is about halfway through the story when there is a paragraph or two that tries to explain the Peacekeeper, and the Global peacekeepers in a rushed and confusing manner. I will read book 1 in order to answer some of my questions, such as: How does a person who is raised in an entitled world suddenly become this super hacker all the while she is a pampered princess who loves to go shopping? I also want to read book 3 to help answer my other questions, which I assume will be addressed at the series end. This book does draw you into the characters life enough to want to find out what finally happens to them.
Thursday, August 04, 2016
Once Upon a Time University has a fairytale basis with a sneak peek at real life on a university campus. The characters in this book fit together very well. Placing tragedies here and there only tests Albany's endurance and shows the readers how far she is willing to go to help, save, or defeat someone else. All good books must have a plot that draws you in and this book has and did exactly that. I hope you enjoy this fairytale campus like I did. Happy Reading!
I thought Dawn's End was very well written. I adored the story line and the twisted plot. Nicole was cheated on previously so she doesn't want to love again, but Morrel is her dream man.
One thing I didn't enjoy was the ending; I thought the last two pages seemed rushed. Maybe the story could have followed them a little bit farther, until they settle in or return to the villiage.
Overall, I thought it was a great read and I would highly recommend it.
Wednesday, August 03, 2016
This book is almost impossible to put down, the story makes you worry that the evil Mr. Angel will actually win. It has lots of action and suspense along the way. Overall A Most Magical Girl is a great book. I like how every chapter starts with a saying from Annabel’s old life. One thing I didn’t like was that whenever you hear Mr. Angel talking it’s in italics. I think that it should be separated with a different chapter. Fans of Harry Potter and dark wizards will enjoy this novel.
Overall, I enjoyed reading Corrupt Practices. The characters were very unique and intriguing to get to know, but that made them more difficult to relate to. The plot was very well thought through, leaving no plot holes, but at the same time explaining all the events in the book very thoroughly. The book was written in present tense, which made it a little awkward every once in a while, but I stillI didn’t want to put the book down. There were many surprises and twists in the story that I wanted to keep on reading and find out how it ended, which made me largely forget about the sometimes distracting tense. The main problem I found with the book was the frequency of overly sexual descriptions. While I could get past some of the language found in the book, I did not think these pictures were necessary, but rather that they detracted from the overall quality of the book. In conclusion, for a mature reader, this book is a suspenseful legal thriller unlike anything I have ever read, and I would definitely recommend it. Unfortunately, for a younger or less mature reader, the language and inappropriate scenes make it a no-go.
I think this was a wonderful book to read, and I could never put it down! Abbott does a wonderful job of creating the setting, and developing the characters. You can tell she probably had fun writing this, considering all the laughable moments she's included in the book. This was certaintly a different genre than I would usually choose to read, but I'm glad I read it! People who like to read young adult books, and reading about the obstacles teenagers face should read this book. The character interactions in the book are awesome! Abbott really makes the characters come to life, and makes the mean girls Casey encounters feel real not just stereotypical mean girls in a story. She also makes Casey relatable to readers that have a hard time getting over change. Casey is such a well developed character that the story just comes alive.
Tuesday, August 02, 2016
Shades of Blue is honestly one of the best books I have ever read. I felt like I was Jojo, the narrator, while I read this book. I felt like I was actually a part of this story and I was there to witness everything. Joyce Scarbrough, the author, did an amazing job at writing this book to pull the reader into the story and make the reader feel everything as if it were happening to their own life. I loved both Jojo and Sam’s characters and I loved the relationship they had with each other. This book was definitely a heartfelt tearjerker. Out of all the books I have read, I think this is the only one that really brought tears to my eyes. This story gives hope, not only to abusive families, but anyone that is going through a rough point in their life, that everything will be okay, and there is always a way out, regardless of the situation. I could not thank the author enough for creating this wonderful story. I definitely recommend this book to anyone, especially readers that are searching for hope, faith, and maybe even love.
I liked this book because there were a lot of funny characters. Each character had their own unique personality. I also liked that there was always a lot of action, but never too much violence.This was a fast book to read. I didn't really like that there were illustrations, because then you couldn't imagine how the characters looked yourself. If you like stories with animals as the main characters, you will love this book. Overall, it was a really good read.