Sunday, August 29, 2010

Goal: Glory Days by Robert Rigby

He is back in England. Who you may ask? Santiago Munez is back in England and has been selected for the 2010 World Cup. This is it, his life long dream, so close he can taste it. But, there are problems in his personal life, such as his troublesome brother, his wife Roz and her new job, and taking care of 3 kids. Can he do both? Will he have to pick? To make matters worst Santiago Munez gets injured, badly. It starts to look like his dream is over. Will he be ready in time to play in greatest competition of them all, or will it be too late?

This book is a great book for young sportative teens, such as myself. As I did like the book, I do whish the author made the book setting more visial. At times I could not picture the setting. I would recommend the book to my friends, and I have done so allready. My most favortive part of the book is how the author wrote the book. I love the writing style of the book. I learned something from reading the book. No matter if your rich or poor, if you fellow your dreams you will be big.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Germantown, Tennessee USA

The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

The Red Umbrella is a first rate novel that will hold the interests of nearly all pre-teen readers. Full of twists and turns, The Red Umbrella tells the story of a 14-year-old girl named Lucia who lives in Cuba. Life was usually peaceful in Cuba, but that was before the revolution started. Now soldiers are everywhere and parents are sending their children away so as to escape the revolution. As this happens, Lucia's father runs into problems with the government and is almost sent to jail! The government forces Lucia s parents to send Lucia and her brother, Frankie, away to America to stay with a family there. Lucia's parents are devastated but they have no choice except to let Lucia and Frankie go.

Will Lucia's and Frankie's new family, even if only temporary, be a good one? And will she and her brother ever see their parents again? Gonzalez's realistic characters come to life in this intriguing story and show how amazingly brave two people can be through the hardest of times.

The Red Umbrella is well written and full of twists and turns. However, if I were to read it again, which I am sure that I will, I would hope for a more exciting and gratifying ending. The vocabulary is very age appropriate and while reading this book, I learned quite a few Spanish words. Throughout The Red Umbrella, there are short phrases and words that are listed in the glossary in the back of the book. In this moving and entertaining story, I feel the realistic characters are easy to relate to. It is also easy to imagine them as real people which is why this is such an amazing story. I highly recommend this book to all pre-teen readers interested in dramatic novels.

Reviewer Age:11
Reviewer City, State and Country: Akron, Ohio United States of America

A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend by Emily Horner

A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend by Emily Horner is a story of unconventional love and the pain of death. Cass is a high school student whose best friend, Julia, is a theater star. Cass always felt she didn't belong and when Julia dies she feels more isolated then ever before. So she plans a trip. Something Julia had proposed months before, bike from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California. The story continues with the personal journey that ensues when she returns home. In alternating chapters of "now" and "then" readers travel with Cass as she across the country, falls in love, and putts on a play written by none other than her dead best friend.

I found it very difficult to become "hooked" on the book. Although I loved the story I found it difficult to come back to it. Losing a friend is difficult, and I enjoyed how the author portrayed a group of teens coping with it. Hanging on to their friend in any way they could. What I disliked was the love story aspect. It did not seem to fit with the other parts of the plot. It was awkward and it didn't seem right to have such a basic plot with such an original one. Until the end, I did not like reading about the developing love, because it seemed so misplaced. In all honesty though the author did an amazing job of portraying human nature. Particularly human nature of teenagers. Few adult authors are capable of this. She also wrote about the reactions people have to death with great accuracy. I just wish some of the plot had not been as basic.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City, State and Country: Minnetonka, Minnesota United States

Kid vs. Squid by Greg Van Eekhout

Kid Vs. Squid is a book about a kid named Thatcher Hill who was spending the summer at his Uncle Griswald's museum house close to the beach in Los Huesos. At the museum, Thatcher has to dust, polish, and clean things for a job. Everyday Thatcher gets a new to-do list of what to clean and polish. When an object called the What-is-it??? is stolen, Thatcher and his new friends Trudy and Shoal need to retrieve it. Then all three of them have to go on a dangerous quest to recover the What-is-it??? and learn what the What-is-it??? is. Their journey becomes a whole adventure all over Los Huesos where Thatcher and Trudy discover the Atlanteans, figure out about their curse and have to save them. The three friends have to to fight monsters, solve mysteries, meet the King of Atlantis, defeat the witch Skalla, and finally fight a squid.

Kid Vs. Squid is a well written book that is easy to follow with no bad language, a bit of suspense, and a lot of funny parts. It also has a hint of mythology. It's a great action adventure book that is appropriate for ages 9-13. Greg Van Eekhout also did such a good job of the details that I could clearly see everything in my mind. The author's voice seemed real, like Thatcher could be my friend, in sort of the same style that Percy Jackson was written. If someone were to ask me if I were to recommend the book I would say yes because the book was really a great book that I greatly enjoyed.

Reviewer Age:11
Reviewer City, State and Country: Dickinson, Texas U.S.A.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Thomas and the Dragon Queen by Shutta Crum

Thomas and the Dragon Queen is an adventure-fantasy story. Thomas is an extraordinary boy in two ways: he is much shorter than most boys his age, and has a higher rank. You see, Thomas is a knight, though he is only twelve, and most boys are not even made squires until they are fourteen. After the king knights him, Sir Thomas sets off to rescue Princess Eleanor from the Queen Bridgoltha of the dragons with no more than a donkey, his sword, Starfast, and a padded vest. Halfway to his destination Sir Thomas runs into the monster of the lake. When he shoves his sword into the monster's mouth, the sword breaks and the monster dies, but not before it kills a legion of the king's knights and the king's stallion, Heartwind. Thomas lends his donkey so the king may be taken to safety and continues on his journey. He finally reaches the Barren Isle, finds Princess Eleanor, and learns she is not a captive, but a nursemaid for Bridgoltha's dragonlets. Once when Thomas is in the cavern alone, Bridgoltha wakes up in a bad mood. How will he keep her from burning him to a crisp? And even if he does, how will he and Eleanor get back home?

Thomas and the Dragon Queen was an amazing story. The setting was quite warm and cheerful throughout the book, and it was easy to imagine fighting the lake monster, playing with the dragonlets, and even cowering before Bridgoltha. I especially loved the way the dragons ended their storys As was the way, it was done. I enjoyed how behind her fierceness Bridgoltha was really very kind. I thought it amazing how a fierce dragon queen and a knight set out to kill her could become friends in such a short time. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes dragons, knights, princesses, adventure, and swords with hilts made out of the teeth of ancient monsters!

Reviewer Age:11
Reviewer City, State and Country: Lake City, IA USA

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Deception by Lee Nichols

Deception, by Lee Nichols, follows the far-from-ordinary life of Emma Vaile, the daughter of two artifact-collectors prone to leaving her by herself while away on important business trips. On one such visit, Emma plans to have a massive amount of fun, especially after her newfound friends volunteer her to have a party. Unfortunately, someone calls the police. It’s found out that Emma’s been living alone for a while and she ends up in the care of Bennett Stern. Emma is enrolled in an elite boarding school, Thatcher Academy, and begins to experience odd visions. She learns that she can see ghosts and that she’s the second Emma Vaile... the first died decades ago. There are of course secrets that she uncovers and it turns out that she’s incredibly powerful, at least in terms of controlling ghosts.

Deception was an unusually decent book. It was written well enough to keep me reading and I was overjoyed by the fact that there were absolutely no vampires. While fairly predictable, the plot was still pretty original, a welcome change from other paranormal books. Though not a masterpiece, Deception was a nice light read and had enough suspense to keep the reader occupied. Emma and her feelings of confusion concerning her ghostly capabilities were well-described and plausible. I’d recommend this book to readers looking for a quick read with substance.

Reviewer Age:17

Reviewer City, State and Country: Charleston, SC USA

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Halloween Night Fever: End of the Long Walk by Dan Graffeo

Willy Hynes has a strange dream one night, in which he is given a patch of caribou skin. The following day, he meets a strange group who call themselves the Pniese, who are in charge of keeping the supernatural in control on Halloween. All have pulled a caribou skin out of the dream, and Willy finds he has one too. He trains until the big night, when his skills are put to the test. Can he find a missing gorgon child and a leprechaun’s gold? All in a night’s work; but an uninvited guest make their troubles multiply.

Halloween Night Fever: End of the Long Walk was a good book, although it did not live up to my expectations. The first half is not very exciting and slightly repetitive; Willy is just training and he learns a bunch of necessary skills. The rest of the book has more action and overall has an interesting plot. Except for the last three chapters, which seemed like a drawn-out epilogue, the book leads up to a good ending. If you choose to read this book, don’t stop mid-way; read it all the way through.

Content: 1
Rating: 6
Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: Santa Fe, TX USA

Friday, August 20, 2010

Poser by Sue Wyshynski

Poser by Sue Wyshynski is a realistic fiction book about a teenage girl named Talluah. Talluah is used to moving, but she is still anxious to make friends. She wants friends so badly that she could even lie to become popular. Throughout the book her tendency to say just the wrong thing at the wrong time, especially around certain people, can make her life miserable. Somehow, Talluah always ends up making it through the trouble and learning lessons about friendship on the way. She may even make a few friends in the process!

Overall, I thought Poser was well-written. There was just the right amount of description; enough to visualize the setting but not become bored reading it. The author creates a loveable personality for Talluah that everyone can sympathize with. Although there was a small lull in the action toward the beginning of the book, I could hardly put the book down. Some situations seemed unrealistic, but the majority of the book was believable. I especially liked how Talluah always would learn important rules of friendship, even if she had to learn them the hard way.

Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State and Country: Milwaukee, WI USA

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Behind Green Glass by Amanda Von Hoffman

When Isolde moves to a new town, she’s hoping for a new start, or just to be invisible. What she doesn’t know, until a run-in with some of the townspeople, is that the house she moved into is haunted. One day while cleaning, she finds a secret compartment with a green glass inside. Looking through her new find, she meets Lyric and his family, and mistakes them for ghosts. Along the way she finds love in her magical friend and a nobody from town, Matt. Can she solve the mystery enveloping her newfound friends? Will she be able to choose whom she belongs with before it’s too late?

Behind Green Glass is a book that will forever keep you on your toes; there was never a moment when I wanted to put it down. Even though other YA books have used faeries in their stories, Von Hoffman has added a twist to the basics of fay lore, the Forgotten Ones. This book has definitely made it to the top of my list for fantasy novels. The story was wonderful, but it lacked an appropriate ending for a novel. It kept me hanging, wanting more, something I personally loathe in a novel. Other than that, I can’t wait to read it again.

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Fresno, California USA

Friday, August 13, 2010

Blood Prophecy by Stefan Petrucha

Blood Prophecy by Stefan Petrucha tells the story of Jeremiah Fall, a Puritan living in early America. His world is turned upside down when his father is attacked by a monster while farming. When his father returns to Fall's house after being presumed dead, he only looks like his former self and has actually been transformed into a terrifying creature. He transforms Jeremiah into a beast like himself and kills Jeremiah's mother before being murdered by his own father. From this point, Jeremiah is plagued by a blood thirst that is nearly impossible to fight and must battle against his nature while he searches for a mythical stone that possesses the power to restore his humanity. After more than a century of his immortal life, he finds the Rosetta stone: the key to translating historical documents written in ancient languages and the only known way for Jeremiah to become human once more. From here, the war to obtain the stone begins against armies of great empires and followers of a buried and dangerous religion.

Blood Prophecy is a unique take on the traditional fantasy story that involves exciting glimpses of history and is told from a monster's perspective. Petrucha manages to make the reader feel like he is part of the story and really witnessing history along with Jeremiah. The novel is clearly well researched and is fast-paced to read. I felt very engaged in the story the whole time, although the beginning of the novel was slower and did not lead the reader to expect the fantastic story that followed the introduction. I thought Jeremiah was a realistic seeming character and the reader could relate to him, even if he is a monster. Also, that the protagonist was a monster gave the novel an interesting twist. I did not really dislike any aspect of this novel although the romance plotline did feel weak at times. I thought the Petrucha's descriptions were always well incorporated into the story and created vivid images for the reader without dragging on or taking away from the story. I would highly recommend it to others as a distinctive read that stands out from many other fantasy novels I have read.

Reviewer Age:18

Reviewer City, State and Country: San Diego, CA USA

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Fairy Godmother Academy by Jan Bozarth

Kerka’s little sister, seven year old Biba has never spoken and her older sister Rona has used dance as a hideout since their mother died. When Kerka lands in the dream world of Adventurine once again, she is sent on a quest to find Biba’s voice. Braving glass fish, a wolf, slick ice, and a trio of cranky elves (If any elves read this I’m very sorry) Kerka sets out on her journey. Along the way Kerka finds the missing pieces to herself and Rona. Kerka learns Biba’s voice may be a little closer than she thought.

This book is action-packed and exciting. As Kerka is a Fairy-Godmother-In-The-Making everything is explained well for someone who hasn’t read the first book (I would know). The author did a great job describing this book. I can feel the ice slide beneath my feet and see the ribbon of wind that carried Kerka. I would recommend this to any fantasy lover looking for an original book.

Reviewer Age:10
Reviewer City, State and Country: Rockwell City, IA USA

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Blank Confession

Blank Confession by Pete Hautman is a cross between a mystery and an adventure about a mysterious boy named Shayne Blank who walks into a police department and confesses he committed a crime. His story is that he is new in town and attends a new high school. The first friend he meets apparently owes 500 dollars that he doesn't have and doesn't, in fact, owe to a high school drug lord. Shayne and Mikey must try to mend the situation and bring down the drug lord's drug operation in the process. They do this by using the crazy fighting skills that Shayne has. What crime does Shayne commit?

This book is an insightful, witty, gripping look into a drug riddled high school and two boy's fight to stop the drugs from flowing through the high school. Hautman uses authentic voices to tell his story, and the narration is clear and focused. Mikey's voice is witty, and Shayne's voice is dark and serious. I could always picture the setting, and I was always right there with the characters. This book is very moving, with a great twist at the end, and I always wanted to read just one more chapter. I learned about integrity from this book, and so will you. I would only recommend it to mature readers because there is some violence and drug usage. I give this book a complete A+.

This book includes drug use.

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Evansville, Indiana USA

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Perfect Family

The Perfect Family is a book of modern discrimination
against homosexuals. Jamie, a sophomore in high school,
has been struggling with the idea that he might not be
attracted to women. He is very timid at first, but soon
finds he is not the only one. Luke, a classic sophomore
jock, has also been struggling with this problem, and they
find relief in each other. When they come out to public
with this idea things aren't as great as what they would
like them to be. Luke's parents blame it on Jamie, and
hate everything about Luke's homosexual feelings. Jamie is
having a lot of the same problems with his family. His
brother Brian is struggling immensely at school because of
it. Jamie's father struggles with questions about
religion. And his mother struggles to keep it all together.

I really enjoyed this book. I don't really enjoy the
topic, but this book was a page turner. I couldn't put it
down. And I would recommend it to anyone interested in the
topic. It pointed out many pros and cons.

The Perfect Family is a book of modern discrimination
against homosexuals. Jamie, a sophomore in high school,
has been struggling with the idea that he might not be
attracted to women. He is very timid at first, but soon
finds he is not the only one. Luke, a classic sophomore
jock, has also been struggling with this problem, and they
find relief in each other. When they come out to public
with this idea things aren't as great as what they would
like them to be. Luke's parents blame it on Jamie, and
hate everything about Luke's homosexual feelings. Jamie is
having a lot of the same problems with his family. His
brother Brian is struggling immensely at school because of
it. Jamie's father struggles with questions about
religion. And his mother struggles to keep it all together.

I really enjoyed this book. I don't really enjoy the
topic, but this book was a page turner. I couldn't put it
down. And I would recommend it to anyone interested in the
topic. It pointed out many pros and cons.

There is a little bit of sensuality, and homosexual
thoughts, and some adult language


Reviewer City, State and Country: Dorr, Michigan

Thursday, August 05, 2010

black Dust Mambo by Adrian Phoenix

Kallie Riviere is a hoodoo apprentice visiting the Hecaten Alliance's annual carnival. However, Kallie finds herself as a suspected murderer when her lover is found dead in her bed. Now she has to find a way to clear her name and protect all the people she loves. Kallie's search leads her to Gabrielle, Kallie's aunt, who has helped her through her difficult past. The more Kallie searches, the more likely that it seems that Gabrielle is the person who wants her dead.

This book was not one of my favorites. The characters were well developed and realistic, but the story just kind of dragged on. It was kind of confusing at parts because I don't know a lot about hoodoo magic and that is mainly what this book was about. There were a couple sex scenes that were kind of unnecessary and I wish had not been included. This is a book for mature readers.

Reviewer Age:15
Reviewer City,
State and Country: Brownsburg, Indiana, United States of

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines by Beverly S. McClure

Lizzie Stamford is a fourteen-year-old girl living in the South during the American Civil War. Everyday she has to struggle against broken moral prejudices against girls, and the separation of her family; she has to struggle to survive this war.

This book is mediocre at best. The one thing I really did like about this book is the protagonist, Elizabeth. She would be a very good, rounded, and dynamic character if the author was more skilled at writing. However, her spunk and defiance against the sexist practices during this time period gives the book a very feminist outlook.

The plot was a little like a badly written soap drama; there was no real development in the events, and all of them were pretty predictable. Also, the plot was not very compelling; I was counting down the chapters until I finished the book.

Some of the moments in this book were truly touching and well written, but most of the time the writing was laden with cliché phrases like, “I had found a beautiful friendship to treasure” (McClure, 101). The historical accuracy isn’t bad, but the voice of the novel sometimes slips and sounds modern. If you’re looking for a good historical fiction read, don’t bother with this one.
There are plenty of other well-written books about the American Civil War.

Reviewer Age:16

Reviewer City, State and Country: Hinsdale, IL USA

Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley

Charlotte's world is turned upside down by a simple gummy bear in the first book of this series, Ghostgirl. She dies and enters the afterlife, where she is forced to work at a hotline for troubled teens. Charlotte's old friend, Scarlet, desperately needs her help because her big sister, Petula, is gravely ill. Charlotte's friend, Maddy, in the neighboring cubical
intercepts the call from Scarlet. Forced to find another way to get to Charlotte, Scarlett enters the afterlife world herself to find Charlotte. When she finds her, they go on a search for Petula's holding room . Along the way, Maddy tries to lead them astray (because she is trying to
steal Petula’s life for herself). In the end, Petula is saved
and crowned Homecoming Queen.

I enjoyed this book because the author made me feel like I was there. The characters were great and worked together well, like best friends or sisters. The author’s voice also changed throughout out the book to what every mood they were in at the moment (funny, serious.). She gave great detail and I was never left wondering what was happening. I found this book to be entertaining and interesting. I think the ending was great because I like happy endings. I would recommend this book to others.

Content: 1
Rating: 9
Reviewer Age:14
Reviewer City, State
and Country: Mineola , Texas USA

"Noah's Castle" by John Rowe Townsend

Noah's Castle is a great fiction thriller filled with the suspense that something is about to happen. A few decades after the Great Depression in England, Barry Mortimer and his family find that the cost of living is skyrocketing out of control. This dilemma not only affects Barry's family, but the entire country of England as well. Barry's family is faced with the fear of a second great depression and Barry realizes that his father is spending hours down in the cellar without anyone knowing what he is doing.

In this well-woven story, Barry is faced with choices that could change his life forever. Townsend's characters seem to come alive in this breathtaking story and reveal how truly terrifying life can sometimes be. While reading Noah's Castle, I found myself on the edge of my seat and turning each page quickly.I think this story will intrigue many pre-teen readers interested in historical fiction with a suspenseful twist. There was a good balance of detailed information in Noah's Castle. When I closed my eyes, I could easily imagine the setting and characters. The characters act and speak so realistically that they seem alive, and the setting, time, and place appear very accurate. However, this book is characterized by an unrealistic chain of events. At times, it seems like too many things are happening, one after the other. Also, I hoped for a more captivating ending.

Reviewer Age:11
Reviewer City, State and Country: Akron, Ohio United States of America

Little Blog on the Prairie by Cathleen Davitt Bell

Genevieve Welsh is excited, summer has finally come, so that means that she'll get an awesome summer vacation...right? Not necessarily...her mom is a super history geek. Loves the outdoors, loves the adventures, blah, blah, blah. Gen likes cruises, beaches, cute boys, and swimming with her best friends, Kristin & Ashley. Anyways, instead of going to the normal place, Club Med, her mother signs them up for Camp Frontier. Camp Frontier, run by Betsy, Ron, and their daughter, Nora, is a place where you ditch everything. Well, everything that matters to Gen: her iPod, sneakers, t-shirt, and make-up. Betsy puts her into a bib, a petticoat, pantaloons, wool stockings, a wool floor-length dress, and boots. Basically what you would wear if it were 1890. It is what you wear in Camp Frontier, where you spend a summer living in the 1890's. There are some highlights to this trip, like the other families who, for some reason, decided to do this "vacation", like Caleb's family, or more specifically, Caleb, and Kate (Ka). But it seems anytime Gen wants to have fun, one person is there to ruin it-Nora. Soon Gen realizes how terrible this can be, how hard it is to grow your own food, chop your own wood, wash clothes in a creek, and milk a cow, and on top of that, they get graded! Graded for a vacation! Will Gen ever be able to survive this "Little Hell on the Prairie"?

Little Blog on the Prairie was a funny, and somewhat of an entertaining book. I will be honest-it was not my favorite, but it was still a good read. I would think that girls would enjoy this book. If you guys like a little drama, farms, and a big twist, you might also enjoy it.

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Winslow, AR USA

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Invisible City, by M.G. Harris

When Joshua Garcia's father dies in a plane crash in Mexico, Josh decides to find out the mystery behind his father's death. He starts a blog about his journey, and finds a friend in one of his faithful readers, Ollie. After discovering some evidence of the reason behind his father's disappearance, Josh teams up with Ollie and Tyler, a boy from his Capoeira class to decipher some hieroglyphics on the ancient document. They discover that it is half of a letter telling where the IX Codex is. The IX Codex was said to contain information about the end the world that the Mayans had predicted centuries previously. Their findings lead to a trip to Mexico. But they are not alone in trying to find out why Mr. Garcia ventured to Mexico in the first place. An international hit man is on his tail and the CIA agents are close behind the trio. The agents delay Ollie and Tyler at a hotel to question them about their findings regarding the document. Josh escapes and continues the journey to find the lost city of Ek Naab with the hit man hot on his heels. When he uncovers the secret of Ek Naab, his life changes forever. And he is now the keeper of the best kept secret in the history of all mankind.

I loved this book! It was very intense at times, such as during the car chases and when the main characters were getting shot at and being driven into a lake, and heartbreaking when you experience the internal debate in Josh when he has to decide to save himself and leave his sister behind to drown in the rapidly sinking car. Times like those I wanted to cry as if I were Josh. The author made me feel as if Joshua's struggles and my own were one, just as I could find myself running through beautiful Central American jungles and journeying through the forgotten city Ek Naab. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves action-packed books with great storylines. This book has a bit of everything in it; action, deceit, heartbreak, betrayal, and a tiny spark of romance.

Rating: 9
Content: 1

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and Country: Garden Ridge, Texas USA

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Awakening on Orbis 4 by PJ Haarsma

Johnny Turnbull imagined life on the rings of Orbis as a perfect utopia, where he could live life to its utmost. His previous excursions on the rings hadn't been terrible, even though he was a kudnik. Being a kudnik rendered JT meaningless to the citizens of Orbis, but life went on, mainly because of his sister and friends. But things begin to change upon the discovery of his sister's unique and unprecedented powers, and JT is pushed into a land of unfamiliarity. In "Awakening on Orbis 4", JT discovers many things about life, and becomes more in-tune with his inner self. However, his personal gains come at the sacrifice of a great many things, things he thought he would cherish forever.

Awakening on Orbis 4 was a well-written, emotional, and powerful novel. The futuristic setting developed in the mind of the author is both creative and descriptive, perhaps one of the most intriguing I have ever encountered. The book also contains small, yet effective romance scenes that have a huge effect on the overall feel of the book and the layout of the plot. It is because of these very realistic human emotions such as love, fear, and desperation that the characters seem very real and true to themselves. The voice of this novel isn't very strong, as it uses much dialogue to tell the story. But when there is no dialogue, the narration is rather matter-of-fact. However, this fault does not impede on the quality of the story, as it is not very apparent.

Having read the prequel, I found this book to be everything I expected it to be, and much more. I felt the emotions of the characters, as they experienced pain, love, and confusion. This was perhaps the greatest strength of the book. Another strength was that the vocabulary was age appropriate, and so was the content of the book. A minor weakness was the book slightly confused me at the beginning, because the settings were very intricate and complex. However, the complexity of the book also adds a dimension that was very intriguing. Compared to other books in the Sci-Fi category, it was one of the best, even better than its prequel. I found the book very interesting and moving, and am eager for the next book to be published. The ending was excellent, setting the scene for many more stories to come. I would definitely recommend Awakening on Orbis 4 to anybody who has read the previous books in the series, and wants a phenomenal book to read.

Reviewer Age:14

Reviewer City, State and Country: Baltimore, MD United States

The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

The Eternal ones is about the concept of reincarnation and
ever lasting love. In it, a girl named Haven has both of
these things, she is reincarnated to find her ever lasting
love. This love comes in the form of Iain, a sexy rich bad
boy, who rocks the tabloids and rocks the ladies. But this
is not Haven and Iain's first time meeting each other,
they have been in love for many thousands of years, with
different names and different appearances, always finding
each other and searching for that happy ending. We mainly
focus on their last meeting, as two people named Constance
and Ethan, a couple which tragically perished in a fire in
each others arms. Throughout the book, we question whether
Ethan/Iain really loves Haven, and whether he could have
started the fire that ended his life. We also look into
the existence of the devil, who may or may not be the
reason that Constance and Ethan didn't get there happily
ever after in the first place. Find out what happens in
The Eternal Ones.

As you can see, this is an extremely
complicated book. It has a fantastic plot line that leaves
you frantically flipping pages late into the night. The
wonderful descriptions make you feel like you could call
Haven up and ask about her day. However, sometimes the
plot line doubles back onto its self, making the book not
only complicated but extremely confusing and hard to get
through at some parts. Also, the twist at the end was TO
twisted, making the ending not good enough. It was
unrealistic to the plot (and that's really saying
something in a book all about people coming back to life
tens of hundreds of times) and made it so the ending to
this book didn't settle well in your stomach. So, in
conclusion, if you have any interest at all in
reincarnation, or just these concepts, this book is a
fantastic read, but if you aren't capable of getting so
caught up in a book that you can overlook some bad parts,
then just don't bother.

This book deals with some
difficult subject matter.
This review is being resubmitted because it was wrong the
first time.

Reviewer Age:13

Reviewer City, State and
Country: Exeter, NH 03833

Full Metal Jacket: Certified by Jackie Kajzer

Full Metal Jackie: Certified is intended to be, in the

words of its frontcover, as an exposition on the 50 most
influential heavy metal songs of the 80s, and the true
stories behind their lyrics. The book consists of an
anthology of the songs, with a short section consisting of
a few pages and black and white photographs devoted to
each, along with a section containing color pictures in
the center. The 323 page compendium contains several
sections containing background and relevant information
for every song, and also often contains interviews and
unique tidbits of pertinency. Much of the book is devoted
to analysis of the lyrics of the songs themselves, at
times deriving these analyses from the songwriter
themselves, or from contextual information researched by
the author. It also provides surprisingly profound
commentary on the impact and origins of the songs,
especially to the political and social situations that
stimulated their authors.

My review of the book must be
considered in light of the fact that I chose it
accidentally. It was my hope to encounter classic rock
songs from Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, and
AC/DC. However, most of these were necessarily ruled out
when I noticed the caption after recieving it, which
limited the time frame to the 1980s. Thus, as I admit that
I am no expert in (recent) Heavy Metal music, my review of
this book will be be through the scope of a novice,
uncolored by the filter of appreciation for the songs this
book was chosen about. Resultingly, I will review this
book on the merits of its writing and content alone, and
not on the songs or bands selected or any of the
characteristics that will appeal to the Heavy Metal fans,
familiar with the subject matter, who it is clearly
directed at.

The book is quite long; as mentioned before, it is over
300 pages. Although this pales in light of recent and
historical novels, for an anthological analysis it is
quite large, and thus requires a generous time commitment.
However, while not exactly absorbing, it does prove quite
interesting. The prose demonstrates maturity and
thoughtfulness in its analyses, revealing an intimate
knowledge of the topic and presenting a firsthand account.
There exist several dimensions of analysis, ranging from
subjective to contextual, much of which is supplemented by
statements from bandmembers and interesting sidenotes
about the relationships of the members. At the same time,
the content eventually approaches redundant and
repetitive, relying too often on political and
rebellious sentiments to account for lyrics. Although
this might be out of sheer necessity, additional topics
would be appreciated. Presentation wise, Full Metal Jacket
proves mostly utilitarian, the grayscale color scheme
rubbing thin at times later on. Whether this is
intentional, to reflect the moodyness of the topic matter,
or merely a fiduciary measure, it does not significantly
impact the overall appeal of the book. A section devoted
to color photographs halfway through is a nice touch, as
are the accompanying captions.

Overall a fine book and excellent coffee-table material,
Full Metal Jacket: Certified's contradictory facets
detract somewhat from its overall score.

Adult Language/Profanity at times

Reviewer Age:16
City, State and Country: Shrewsbury, MA USA

The Girl Next Door by Selene Castrovilla

The Girl Next Door shows a true friendship, when a friend is in need. Jess and Sam have been neighbors for most of their lives. When Jess's world starts breaking down when he develops cancer Sam tries to help him through all his pain and grieve. But because of this she misses out on school;she came from a straight A student to F's.Their world is spinning and Sam just doesn't know what to do.

This book really makes you appreciate where you are in life based on Sam and Jess's situation. The author makes Sam's character seem as if she can't do anything for Jess but she can. Sam doesn't believe in herself during school. She doesn't think she can do anything, which isn't true. Jess himself is a really strong person. This book's mood/tone is mostly sad, there are some funny jokes though. The author also didn't tell you if Jess died from his cancer. The author's writing is very powerful because you really see the characters from the descriptions the author provides for you, the book itself is very emotional too.The weaknesses of the book were I thought there seemed to be gaps in the book where she forgot to include some minor details. I wouldn't recommend this book because it is very sad and wasn't "a page turner."
Reviewer Age:12
Reviewer City, State and Country: braintree, MA America

Seaglass Summer by Anjali Banerjee

Anjali Banerjee writes a great story about a girl named Poppy Ray who is 11 years old and loves animals. She wants to be a veteranarian when she gets older but her mother is allergic to anything with fur. When Poppy's parents go to India for buisness, Poppy stays with her Uncle Sanjay and helps him in his pet clinic. But Poppy has a hard time fitting in with her Uncle and everything turns out wrong. Will Poppy be able to help all the animals and pull herself together?

Anjali Banerjee writes a great story, and I really enjoyed it. This story was a page turner and I recommend it to anyone. I could picture the setting if I closed my eyes. Banerjee gave the right amount of details and this book was told in first person. Banerjee also did a good job of wrapping up subplots.

Reviewer Age:10
Reviewer City, State and Country: Elkton, Maryland USA