Monday, August 10, 2015

Gorgeous, by Rachel Vail

Gorgeous, by Rachel Vailwas about a girl named Allison Avery. She has a bit of an interesting side to her because she recently sold her cell phone to the devil in exchange for 7 people to think she was beautiful. Then, the deal became true the next day because this girl named Roxanne (Roxie) Green told Allison that they should ditch 2nd period to go into the city. When they arrived, Roxie told Allison that they should go to get Roxie her photo taken for Zip Magazine. But then Allison ended up going into the building and getting her picture taking too. Will she be the beat that she can be with the devil, Roxie, her friend Jade and Serena, her mom, and her dad on her side with everything that blocks her way?  

I personally really enjoyed this book. My favorite part was at the end. But I don't want to be a spoiler. I really think that when you finish reading the book, you might/will get the moral which is, '' You don't have to show people that you are pretty and special, be YOURSELF!!!" So if I were you, I would really read this book. I hope that my tips on this book really made you want to read it.

By the way, you will see something interesting about Tyler Moss in the story....

Reviewed by Nicole G., Grade 6
Montrose Library

Monday, August 3, 2015

Next, by Michael Crichton

Henry Kendall and his tam of scientists need to stop agencies in destroying their creation. A one of a kind talking monkey. Biotechnology seems to advance the unpaved future for the world. However, there were great consequences following later. With amazing action, jaw dropping secrets, and unforgettable suspense, Next is a book that you can't wait to be reading.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Next, by Michael Crichton,  because it involves the particular fields that I am genuinely interested in. I felt that Michael Crichton did an amazing job with it and I believe that many young adult readers should take interest in it.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 10
Glendale Central Library

Monday, July 27, 2015

Milkweed, by Jerry Spinelli

Milkweed, by Jerry Spinelli, is about a boy, Misha Pilsudski, with many nicknames such as Gypsy,Jew,and Stop thief. A boy out of many trying to survive the destructive life as a Jew in the Holocaust, a time when the Jews were treated very poorly. He goes through the decision if he wants to be a Nazi when he grows up. He becomes friends with Janina Milgrom as he tries to steal bread and joins her family who are brought to live in the Warsaw ghetto, where it is very dangerous. Misha meets and make relationships with different people as he lives in the Warsaw ghetto. In this world where Misha has to choose between life and death, many adventures come his way.

I thought that Milkweed,by Jerry Spinelli, was very touching because you got to know what the life of a Jewish boy living in the Holocaust was actually like. You got to know how hard to was to live and survive in such a place. There were some parts I did not quite enjoy such as the parts where the Jews in the ghetto were being treated so bad,it was heartbreaking. What I did love was how the book was based on how it actually was back then and how Jerry Spinelli did not change the fact that the Jews were treated poorly. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a book based on the history of our world.

Reviewed by Tina, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library 

Monday, July 20, 2015

All the Bright Places, by Jennifer Niven

Theodore Finch (A.K.A Theodore Freak,) has always been considered the "Weird Kid" at Barlett High. On the other hand, Violet Markey is a shy, delicate girl after a tragic accident in which her sister passed away. Such a strange pair, but one that fits...
Embark on a thrilling adventure as these two souls venture into the world, on a roller coaster of exciting journeys. “Sorry wastes time. You have to live your life like you'll never be sorry. It's easier just to do the right thing from the start so there's nothing to apologize for.”
― Jennifer Niven, All the Bright Places

All the Bright Places, by Jennifer Niven, is one of my absolute favorite stories of all time, with thrillers that make you not want to stop reading. There are many life lessons to learn from this book, and can apply to anyone. I especially enjoy the characters and how they change throughout the story. This is just a spectacular read through and through. I would definitely recommend this to teen readers of all ages, and wouldn't mind reading it again.

Reviewed by Grace B., Grade 6
Montrose Library 

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Second Summer of the Sisterhood, by Ann Brashares

Starring the four girls who were in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants; Tibby, Bee, Lena, and Carmen, "The Second Summer of the Sisterhood" begins with the foursome tied up in another summer full of awaiting surprises. Shortly after Bee discovers five years' worth of letters from her grandmother of which have been kept a secret, she flees to Alabama on a quest to piece together her past. On the other hand, Tibby takes up a filmmaking workshop in Virginia, while Carmen is at home making her mom's dating life very difficult. Meanwhile, Lena is busy getting over her ex-boyfriend Kostos, right as he shows up for an unannounced visit. Aside from whatever happens to this group of friends, the pants end up in the hands of each of them just in time.

I have to admit, The Second Summer of the Sisterhood, by Ann Brashares,  wasn't nearly as exciting as the first one, mainly because in the first one the concept of the pants was just being introduced. Its always more exciting the first time you are reading about such a situation.  Despite that, this book has a really good plot and the adventures these girls face are ones we dream on facing. I really felt in tune with this book because I think the stage I am at as far as my mindset and actions go, I was able to really understand what was going on with the characters. Between love, lust, and sisterhood, I love that they share the pants because they get to bring a little bit of each others vacations with them to their own.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Monday, July 6, 2015

Girl In Pants, by Ann Brashares

This addition to the series  "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" begins with an eventful summer before they head off to college. After unfolding the pants for a new summer, you learn about the complicated lives each of the girls are living. Carmen is now taking care of Lena's grandmother and also dealing with her own issues at home. Lena's plans for her college might not go as planned as a result of her father. Bridget comes across a big surprise while at soccer camp, and Tibby discovering more and more about her inner strength as the aspects of her life unravel.

Girl In Pants, by Ann Brashares, is an heartfelt story of friendship and adventures get me every time! I love Ann's writing; the way she can make you both laugh and cry all in one chapter is remarkable! This book was very inspiring. Being able to go through the adventures and emotions with the characters really allowed me to feel closer the the characters in the book. I I truthfully live my life vicariously through the adventures of these four girls and I recommend everyone to give this series a good read. I don't recommend these books to anyone below teenage level. But I can conclude that this series is an adequate read for young adults as well as teens.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Monday, June 29, 2015

Z.Rex, by Steve Cole

In the book, Z.Rex, by Steve Cole, is about Adam Adlar a teenage boy that had a father who created a Ultra-Reality video game. The game was pretty cool, and he loved it. Then his father disappears and was never to be found again. Adam starts to encounter weird things. CIA agents, native people, and the most terrifying thing, A T.Rex! He doesn't know which is reality or isn't and goes on a crazy hunt to find his father. The cities are empty and barely anyone is there. Adam experiences, danger,action, and survival. Will he make it and find his father, or will he lose the "game?"

I loved the book Z.Rex by Steven Cole. It was terrifying and action-packed. This story teaches you some ways to survive if an animal outbreak like that happened. This story at some moments fell like a jump scare and surprised readers like me. This book had the combination of video gaming and reality combined into one new subject which I would like reality gaming. I would recommend this book to people who have a taste of action or fighting. This book is a little bit like the Hunger Games.

Reviewed by Alexander D., Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Monday, June 22, 2015

Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume

In the book Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume, is about a girl named Davey and her younger brother named Jason. There father died in a shooting. There father was shot in seven eleven shop. Daley is about to start school but passes out several times because she would not eat. Daveys mother realizes how bad she's getting so they take an offer to take a break from what had happened and move to Los Alamos in New Mexico.

My opinion on this book is that we all go through the same thing once in a while. Not everyone lives forever. My mom want through a lot of depression when her dad died. She didn't eat much either. She's okay now. I think many people can relate to this book. We all loose our loved ones sadly but we have to lift ourselves back up and continue living. We've all probably felt the pain and sorrow Davey went through as well.

Reviewed by Jacqueline, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Monday, June 15, 2015

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, by Matthew Quick

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock, by Matthew Quick, was a very moving and unique book. It is told in the voice of Leonard Peacock who decides to kill his former best friend, and then commit suicide, on his 18th birthday. But before his day is over, he goes along giving a present to the four people that had mattered to him, his neighbor Walt, Lauren the girl he had a crush on, his classmate Baback, and his Holocaust teacher, Herr Silverman. Leonard wants to let them know that he had cared about them, and show that he was sorry for being the way that he was. All the while, narrating the reasons of why he was going to do this, and how those four people changed his life, and discussing why he was driven to the point of committing suicide.

This was a very touching book, and it shows the raw, gritty perspective of suicide, loneliness, and depression. It was sad at times but it was beautifully written and is the kind of book that will linger with you even after you have read the very last word on the last page. Leonard was a very interesting and complex character and by the end of the book you understand and feel sympathy for what he was going through. Overall this was a great book, that demonstrates that even though life isn't easy sometimes it will work itself out, and there is a light hidden somewhere inside of us that will never burn out.

Reviewed by Lusine M., Grade 8
Glendale Central Library

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Raven, by Edgar Allen Poe

The Poem, “The Raven”, by Edgar Allen Poe, is about a wealthy man who loses his wife and becomes depressed. 
The poem starts off by the narrator is reading a book at night until he hears a tapping at his chamber door. He believes that it’s only a visitor. The reader knows that it’s not just a visitor- and Poe builds up tension here. The man opens the door and no one is outside. A tapping occurs at the man’s window and a raven flies in and sits on the Bust of Pallas. The Bust of Pallas represents wisdom and knowledge, therefore, it can be concluded that Poe is trying to convey that the bird is knowledgeable. It can also be concluded that the man is rich because no ordinary person has a bust of a god at their door.

After the bird rests on the Bust of Pallas, the man asks for its name, to which the bird replies, “Nevermore”. This repetition occurs throughout the end of every stanza and seems to illustrate the man’s insanity over the loss of his wife, Lenore. It also adds on to the “Aw” tone of the poem. The bird represents the man’s sorrow and Poe conveys that the bird, A.K.A. his sorrow, won’t go away when it refuses the man,

The man tries to figure out why the bird won’t stop saying “Nevermore” and asks why the angels in Heaven sent it to him. Bird replies “Nevermore”, which builds up curiosity. Then, he asks if there is peace and happiness in Heaven (“Is there balm in Gilead?”). Bird replies “Nevermore”. By saying this, the man is driven crazy because he’s never seen anything otherworldly and supernatural like this. The man calls it a prophet and asks if Lenore is in Heaven waiting for him (“Tell this soul with sorrow laden, if within the distant Aidenn, it shall clasp a sainted maiden, whom the angels name Lenore?”) The bird replies “Nevermore” further driving the man insane because he wants to be reunited with her. 

The man orders it to go back to hell “Get thee back into the tempest…” and leave him alone because he’s sad. Bird replies “Nevermore”. By saying this, it can be concluded that the bird is the man’s everlasting sadness of his loss over Lenore that can NEVER be overcome. The bird demonstrates that his sadness can’t be overcome and it hurts the man’s feelings and breaks his heart. The Raven does not move at all in the last stanza and the narrator concludes that his sadness will be everlasting (“shall be lifted nevermore!”). 

Poe does not try to make this story scary, he tries to make it creepy and ominous to the readers. No one has read a story about a bird terrorizing a man. It’s symbolism when the bird sits on the bust of Pallas. Poe tries to express the man’s sorrow to the readers and how he’s going to be depressed for the rest of his life. Thus, making the readers feel sorrow at the end, and a little bit creeped out for such a weird story. The main theme of the poem is that when tragedy strikes you, money won’t be able to buy you back your happiness.

I will be honest, I didn't like this story much. It was quite confusing and without a reference or a teacher to guide me, I would've been completely lost. So I thought of including the symbolism and meaning in the summary, just incase people don't understand it. Before I write a review, understand that this story is almost 150 years old.

People may like it because no one has ever read a book about a Raven terrorizing a man before. It's a sophisticated poem meant for people back in the day.

I would recommend this story for more mature readers and people who actually take the time to go indepth with the story, unlike me.

The story contains a lot of symbolism and rhythmic pattern that are hard to see, which is why I didn't like the story much in the first place! If you are more of an easy and relaxed reader who likes to receive info orderly, then I wouldn't recommend this book to you.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Monday, June 1, 2015

A Season for Goodbye (One Last Wish), by Lurlene McDaniel

In the book A Season for Goodbye, by Lurlene McDaniel, there are three girls named Chelsea, Katie, and Lacey who are spending a summer at Jenny house. Jenny house is a retreat for youth, in other words for young teens with life-threatening illnesses. Each of the girls had a life threatening illness. All three girls are much more healthier than before.They spend a summer at Jenny house because they know what it's like to be fighting an illness that can possibly lead to death. They go to Jenny house to help other young teens cope with cancer or any other illness. All three girls have to come face to face on making decisions that will separate them. It is up to them to keep their friendship strong.

My opinion on this book is that it is very good. It made me feel sad at the same time. It had a lot of sad parts to it. I really liked how the author put in a lot of details about the characters and how the author talked about each of the girls. I liked everything about this book. Not one part I did not like. I really enjoyed reading this book. I think that if I introduce this book to my friends, they will all enjoy it as much as I did. It made me think of many people who are going through what some of these girls went through. Overall, this was one of my favorite books.

Reviewed by Jacqueline, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Monday, May 25, 2015

Search for Safety, by Paul Langan

Search for Safety, by Paul Langan, is a sad story about a teenage boy named Ben. Ben’s life was going well until he gets the bad news that his mom is going to marry a man named Larry, that she has been going out with for only a couple of months. Ben ends up moving to a new house, and also a different high school. One day when Ben gets on Larry’s nerves, Larry begins violently attacking Ben, punching and kicking him. Ben’s abuse goes on for a while until people at school start noticing his bruises, until eventually the principal finds out and gets Ben help.

I enjoyed reading this book a lot because of the story line, which sometimes made me feel sad for the character. Because of the way the character acted and how he was treated. I liked it also because this is another book that you feel what the character is feeling. I recommenced this book to other people because i like this book and it is a very good book. it is also part of the blue ford series.

Reviewed by RB, Grade 8
Library Connection @ Adams Square 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Blood is Thicker, by Paul Langan

Blood is Thicker, by Paul Langan, is about a boy named Hakeem who has to move to a different house with his family because his dad has cancer therefor he isn't working and cant pay the bills. Hakeem gets pulled away from his girlfriend when he moves away to Detroit. When Hakeem arrives in his new house he meets his cousin who he used to have a connection with. His cousin used to be chubby and a nice person until he started going to the gym. In his new house Hakeem thinks his cousin is doing bad things because Hakeem sees hims sneaking out at night. Hakeem finds out his cousin is only going out to rap. Hakeem's cousin's dad finds out and Hakeem's cousin gets threatened to stop or get kicked out.

In my opinion I think this is a very good book because the ending is great. I also like how Hakeem's character acted in the story. I also liked that closed to the end Hakeem's cousin becomes friend's with Hakeem close to the end and Hakeem sticks up for his cousin that is in trouble. This book is part of the blue ford series that I like. I recommend this book to a lot of people you should read it.

Reviewed by RB, Grade 8
Library Connection @ Adam's Square 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Separate Peace, by John Knowles

Gene and Finny are two great friends who went to the same school around the time of World War 2. Gene is quiet and smart while Finny is outgoing and athletic. During a period of time, Gene suspects Finny of trying to outdo him in academics and starts a private rivalry with him which ends when they are on a tree and Gene shakes the branch causing him to fall off and breaking their leg. Gene then starts the process of apology and mending their relationship.

Separate Peace, by John Knowles, was a very interesting book. The characters were both opposites in personality but the book found a way to show that they can still be together. The plot itself follows an interesting story which kept me occupied from the beginning to the end. The ending was great, and it really finished off the novel in a nice way. This book slowly but steadily became my favorite book, and I would recommend it for anyone. It was a great read.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 9
Grandview Library 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Nocturne, by Syrie James

Nocturne, by Syrie James, is a riveting novel set in the frozen city of Colorado. In the novel, the female protagonist, Nicole Whitcomb, had traveled to Steamboat Springs for her best friend’s ski wedding, and on the way back her car skids on black ice and sends her spiraling. Trapped in her shattered car with a bleeding wound on her head and a bruise on her cheek, Nicole thinks it’s the end. That is, until a handsome and mysterious man named Michael Tyler rescues her. Michael was shoveling snow by his home when he saw the car crash. Michael takes her back to his cabin in the middle of nowhere and looks over his guest until she regains consciousness. With the impending snow storm, Nicole is stuck in this giant cabin with this alluring stranger who tries to keep her as far away from him and his secrets as possible. Both her host and the house hold a mystery at every turn. Why does he barely have any food in his kitchen? Why does he live twenty miles away from civilization all alone? Why does Nicole never see him eat or sleep? The more she spends time in his home, the more she finds out about his dark past and who he is. But Michael isn’t the only one with secrets. What happens when Nicole starts falling for Michael even though he poses as a threat to her life? Now Nicole must choose between a secluded life with this man she’s only known for four days and all his dark baggage or to go back home and make things right.

If you like forbidden romance novels with a twist, this is the novel for you. This is the type of book you’d read when it’s raining and you want to curl up with a blanket and immerse yourself into a tragic love story. The first time I read this, I fell in love instantly and I could not put the book down. Although Syrie James makes Michael’s predicament obvious from the start, I was on the edge of my seat to read more about Michael’s dark past. The characters are clever and so sophisticated and as cliche as it sounds, they were perfect for each other. The romance in the novel is beyond heartwarming and it’s enough to curl anyone’s toes and make them feel warm and fuzzy inside. This novel would be perfect for all romantics and for people who like to shut the world out and lose themselves in a perfectly written story.

Reviewed by Nairi S., Grade 11
Montrose Library

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Demon King, by Cinda Wiliams Chima

The ideal match, a young, adventurous boy ridden with poverty, seeking to make a name for himself. A young, beautiful princess, looking to step out of her mother's shadow. In this fictional, magical world of wizards, princesses, and more, it seems only fitting that young Princess Raisa would grow up and hopefully be as ignorant and beautiful as her mother, Queen Marina. Then there's young Hans Alistar, who lives with his mother and younger sister while his dad had passed fighting another nation's battle. If that wasn't bad enough, he's a dirt poor, ex criminal with many enemies and mouths to feed. He also has these damn silver cuffs on his wrists that he can't seem to get rid of no after how hard he tries. But, one day Princess Raisa decides to help the poor, and in doing so gets kidnapped and involved with Alistar. This twisting drama only gets darker as Alistar now has to deal with his emotions and high end wizards also in pursuit of the princess.

The Demon King, by Cinda Williams Chimais a great book for teens of all ages! Honestly, it has everything that a teen would be interested in. Action, comedy, romance, adventure, you name it! This book has it all.The flow of the action is impeccable as it's mixed with just the right amount of comedy, romance, and adventure. This plot is amazing as unlike a typical romance where the poor boy and rich girl fall in love instantly, this book has so mush other little relationships forming within a relationship. And for all you action crazed lovers out there, the mixture of wizardry, sword fighting, and smack talk is as plentiful as any other book. Also, you don't have to be disappointed when you finish the books, there's three more books after this! A definite ten out of ten on my scale!

Reviewed by Timothy C., Grade 9
Montrose Library 

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Princess and the Pauper, by Kate Brian

The Princess and the Pauper, by Kate Brian,  was a lovely story to read and enjoy. This story tells about 2 separate lives of 2 teenage girls. The 1st girl's name is Julia. Julia is like a normal teenager. she goes to high school at Rosewood Academy. She is the person who wants to just be cool with herself. She has a cat named Desperate. She then finds out that a princess will be coming to Julia's school. That princess is none other than Princess Carina of Vineland. now Princess Carina has her best friend Ingrid always by her side in ant sort of way. Ingrid is a person who knows what is best for Carina. But Carina feels that she can make some decisions on her own. But that doesn't bother Carina. Now back to the story! So as I have already said, Princess Carina will be visiting Rosewood Academy to give a speech about how her grandmother enjoyed her time at Rosewood Academy. When Julia finds that out, she notices that all of the popular and normal girls are all squealing and so excited! But as for Julia, she doesn't even care. But she realizes she has to go listen anyway. Carina (she is the princess) is so excited to be going to America for the 1st time. Only 2 people will be by her side. Of course, her beat friend Ingrid; and another girl who is just so bossy and rude to Carina and Ingrid; that is none other than Froken Killroy. (but Carina and Ingrid think to her as Froken Killjoy):) when the girls have all arrived in America, they are so amazed by everything that they have already seen. After the speech that Carina gives at Rosewood Academy, she realizes that Ingrid and herself should go to the bathroom and talk. (Isn't that what all high school people do??) :) Carina then realizes that Julia is also in the bathroom. Julia was not happy to see the princess herself. After about a month or so, Julia and her mom are having some issues about the rent payment.The price is higher and higher, faster and faster. But then, Princess Carina, Ingrid, and Julia see each other AGAIN! Julia can not stand it! But then, Ingrid brings up a proposition. She wants Julia and Carina to switch lives for 1 day. If Julia dies that, Carina will give Julia $10,000!! (American money) So Julia takes the deal. Ingrid and Carina are squealing; but Julia, not so happy. When the day of the switching begins, it goes off to a pretty good start. No one has noticed that Princess and Carina is not Princess Carina; and Julia is not Julia. But then, Julia realizes that she have to dance at a ball which Carina's so-called boyfriend Markus. Now the whole reason that Carina wanted Julia and her to switch lives was because Carina has been invited to go to a VIP band party for this boy that Carina has been emailing. After about a few hours, it then becomes days! I do not want to say anymore because I do not want to ruin the story for you! Hope that you guys can pick up this book soon! (Sorry if this was a bit too long)...

I truly enjoyed this book! I thought that this book can really be a book that embodies the way that you act in life. This book had a lovely story. I really enjoyed and liked seeing how the little paragraphs and the whole plot really come together. That is all I have to say because I do not what to waste your time when you are trying to get and read this book called The Princess and the Pauper By: Kate Brian!
So don't delay; come and down and get this book today!
Bye everyone and have a lovely rest of your day! 

Reviewed by Nicole G., Grade 6
Montrose Library 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Empire Girls, by Suzanne Hayes

Empire Girls, by Suzanne Hayes, is a book about how two sisters Ivy and Rose live in a small town with their father. When their father passed away they find out that they have a brother. The brother lives in New York so in order to find him they go to New York where they are not used to live in. The sisters go through so many things together and through the adventure they experience romance, friendships, relationships, truths, and sacrifices. They try to do everything to find their long lost brother and his history.

My opinion on this book is that I recommended this book to everyone because truly it is a very good book and it is very sweet and cute to read. It is definitely a book that is worth reading. I think it would interest teenage girls the most because romance is a small portion of the book and it shows the bond and relationship between the two sisters. It is a long book, but mostly the book is very interesting, you can get bored for a couple of pages. Mostly it is very interesting to read!

Reviewed by TA, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Monday, April 6, 2015

TTYL, by Lauren Myracle

Wow! TTYL, by Lauren Myracle, was an amazing book! This book was like a roller coaster! The 3 girls in this book were madmaddie (Maddie), zoegirl (Zoe), and lastly SnowAngel (Angela). It was the start of 10th grade for these girls and they made a promise to not let school crazinessto get them down or split them apart. Lots of interesting things happened in this book. Angela was suspicious when Doug was hanging out with other girls besides her. Zoe was feeling a little weird because one of her teachers, Mr. H, was asking Zoe to go to places. One part of this book that really made me sad was when Maddie was hanging out with Jana; who thinks that she is Little Miss Perfect and very popular. Oh PLEASE!!! I for one, really think that this book inspired me to be loyal with my friends so that way we would not get into any major arguments. When you start reading this book, you can understand why the title is called TTYL; which means talk-to-you-later. The girls are exciting about 10th grade, but the main question is.... Will they survive?

I will be saying this again because it is so true! I LOVE THIS BOOK!!!! I liked that this book explains a lot. It had me wanting to keep on going because of what these 3 girls can produce with one another. If you are having a great friendship with someone, (but you guys have had some ups-and -downs) this is the book for you. I believe that in each and everyone of you, is an amazing friend. My favorite part of this book was the end because you can see these girls before and after their little situation. So don't delay, go and get this book today! Bye everyone and also, have a lovely day with your family and friends :) :)

Reviewed by Nicole G., Grade 6
Montrose Library 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Better off Famous, by Jane Mendle

Being famous is awesome, right? Well, I guess that you could say that birthday girl Annie Hoffman is going to New York for her birthday. That was all thanks to an aunt that Annie didn't know about. Her aunt's name was Alexandra. Aunt Alexandra sent Annie a plane ticket for her birthday so that way Annie could meet her. Since Annie played the violin, she decided to go to the Julliard auditions in this fancy place in New York. But then, a producer that was going to be shooting a movie called Country Day was asking Annie if she wanted to play as Berry Calvin; a violin playing, sassy girl. When Annie started to go through the life of being famous, she had realized that the publicity and cameras were watching Annie with every move thatshe did. So with the new clothes, new style, and possibly her new attitude, will Annie really wonder if she is better off famous?

I love the book Better Off Famous, by Jane Mendle! I loved how a normal 16-year-old could do so much! I think that if you do some crazy things in your life; and you try to fix them up, they can make you be who you really are. This book really made me feel happy because if you think that you want to be someone else, you will know, that in the end, you will want to be yourself again. So don't delay, go to the library today! Make sure that you read this book called Better off Famous by Jane Mendle. Bye everyone and have a beautiful and lovely rest of your day!

Reviewed by Nicole G., Grade 6
Montrose Library 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Grasshopper Jungle, by Andrew Smith

Grasshopper Jungle, by Andrew Smith, was about a boy named Austin Szerba, his best friend, Robby Brees, and his girlfriend, Shannon Collins, who all live in the small town of Ealing, Iowa. Throughout the book Austin explains to the reader about his Polish ancestry, how his family eventually got to live in Iowa, all the while struggling with his own identity and feelings toward Robby and Shannon. If that wasn't enough for him, after their confrontation from of group of boys from Hoover, Robby and Austin have to deal with the plague they let loose that turns ordinary people into six-foot tall carnivorous monsters.

Overall I enjoyed the book very much, it was interesting and unlike anything I have ever read before. There humorous parts throughout the book and I enjoyed the characters since they were well developed and changed a great deal. The author's writing was fluid and in my opinion he did a great job of combining the main character's past with what was already going on. It was an amazing well written book, and I'd recommend this book for teens and young adults who are interested in science fiction and apocalyptic books.

Reviewed by Lusine M., Grade 8
Glendale Central Library 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Evolution of Mara Dyer, by Michelle Hodkin

The tragedy in Mara Dyer's life continues once more, as Mara wakes up once again in a hospital bed with no recollection of how she got there. It turns out she is a psychiatric ward, as her family worries for her mental health now more than ever. But Mara knows the truth now, and there is more to her hallucinations than previously thought. Her ex boyfriend, Jude, did indeed survive the accident, and wants revenge for the night that took his sister's life. Taken to out patient care, Mara must play the part of patient trying to get well, but her doctor seems to have an agenda of her own. In order to help Mara, Noah Shaw finds a way to put himself in the same program, as he is the only one that actually believes her. Together they try to further unravel the mayhem around them, as Mara and the people she cares for's lives are all put into danger.

The sequel to Michelle Hodkin's debut novel, The Evolution of Mara Dyer, by Michelle Hodkin, succeeds as a suspenseful tale sure to keep reader's attention. Romance and suspense, this book is also a mystery as you find the answers the all the questions Mara has. Keeping the reader's eyes glued to the page, the reader never knows what it is we'll discover next. The second installment in the three part trilogy fairs well, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good book to read.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 12
Glendale Central Library 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Umbecoming of Mara Dyer, by Michelle Hodkin

In the book Umbecoming of Mara Dyer, by Michelle HodkinMara Dyer was in a tragic accident that only she survived, leaving her with no memory of the night it occurred. Guilt ridden and traumatized, she is plagued with nightmares and hallucinations that make her family worry for her mental health. In order to giver her a fresh start, they move to Florida hoping that things will get better. Unfortunately this is not the case, as the hallucinations and nightmares continue to haunt her wherever she goes. However some good comes of it, as Mara meets Noah Shaw among the mayhem, and finds unexpected solace in the odd boy that seems to relate to Mara in ways nobody else can. However, he cannot stop the chaos unfolding around her, as tragedy always follows in her wake. Together they try to piece together what happened that tragic night in order to full understand what it is that is happening to her. They seek answers to questions that seem to frightening to ask, as Mara deals with the sinking feeling that she may have had more to do with that night than everyone thinks.

Michelle Hodkin's debut novel follows many familiar tropes in fiction, that has begun to make it feel like we are all reading the same book with different names. There is the typical teenage boy heart throb, that is too perfect to be remotely realistic, the mean popular girl who torments the main protagonist, mental illness that is actually paranormal abilities, and so forth.The plot, however, does allow for the reader to keep interested as Mara struggles to discover what happened the night of the accident. However, under further inspection Mara Dyer has many problematic aspects that make it an unworthy read. Noah falls in love with Mara because she's "different than the other girls". Following the overused myth that all the "other girls" are people you do not want to be. There is nothing wrong in being like the "other girls" because to imply as such would be to imply that there is something wrong with being a girl and is yet another form of ridiculing them. Despite having a female lead, most characters are in fact male, and when women are put into the picture they seem to only cause trouble. This under representation is seen often in media and fiction, and it is woeful to see it once more. Overall, I would not recommend this book for anyone to read.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 12
Glendale Central Library 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

City of Fallen Angels, by Cassandra Clare

In the book City of Fallen Angels, by Cassandra ClareThings are going well for Clary Fray, as downworlders and shadowhunters get along, her mother alive and getting married, and her boyfriend Jace with her at last. But nothing comes without a price, as nightmares plague Jace in which he kills Clary, and he desperately tries to distance himself from her to keep her safe. Simon himself is in a precarious situation, struggling between dating two girls, and someone trying to kill him. The Mark of Cain, however, protects him from their efforts, and he tries to lead as much a normal life as he can. But it appears that nothing can go right for him, as even his new room mate Kyle seems to be hiding something.

Having decided to add three more books to the series, Cassandra Clare gives her characters whole new conflicts to deal with. Nice to see the after effects of the war and how the characters are faring themselves, we follow them through whole new journeys. As always, packed with suspense, romance, and wit, readers will enjoy whats in store for them. For anyone wanting more about the world of shadowhunters, this is the book for you.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 12
Glendale Central Library 

Monday, March 16, 2015

City of Glass, by Cassandra Clare

Clary Fray is desperate to save her mother, and when the only way to do so is to travel to Idris illegally, she does so.The ancestral home of shadowhunters, she discovers more things about herself than ever in this thrilling tale. Her brother, Jace, is there already desperately trying to distance himself from her. But can he really get over the love he has for her? But this must wait as Idris is at risk, Valentine plots against them, and their only hope is for downworlders to work with shadowhunters to save their home. Can the two enemies get along long enough to save billions of lives?

Things reach their conclusion, as Clary tries for the last time to save her mother. A new setting, Idris is a nice change to the usual gritty backdrop of New York. Conflicts reach their final climax, leaving you at the edge of your seat to find out what is going to happen to these characters you have grown to love over the course of the series. Well thought out, Clare gives her characters each their own individual voice that people are sure to enjoy. You will not be disappointed by how things end, and I recommend this to anyone to read.  
City of Glass, by Cassandra Clare

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Old Yeller, by Fred Gipson

Old Yeller, by Fred Gipson, takes place in the 1860's in the state of Texas. Travis and his family live in the country in a log cabin. "Yeller" the dog shows up one day and becomes part of the family when he saves Travis' little brother from a bear. Travis and Yeller becomes insepererable. The dog helps him hunt and mark hogs. He saves the lives of the family and is a hero.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It is something that not many people have to go through and it's really sad when it does happen. Though as times goes by, you can feel good again. We can easily empathize with Travis. Family is important and we never want to lose them. It's very good to appreciate your loved ones, even if they are an animal, too. If you really love animals, you will enjoy reading this American classic.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster

The main character of this book is Milo, who is a 10 year old that is very bored all of the time. One day, he comes home and there is a large tollbooth in his room. He brings along a dog named Tock. together, they go on many journeys, meeting many strange characters along the way. they eventually visit a kingdom, where they get to rescue two princesses. Milo is certainly cured of his boredom by the end of the book.

The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster, was average. It had a pleasant, whimsical feeling about it. The wordplay was very clever and amusing. However, the plot was simple and the vocabulary was simple as well. Each of the characters lasted a short time. If they were developed further, the story might be a lot greater. There were a lot of themes associated with the book, which can either be good or bad depending on who you are. The book had good points, but they were equalized by its bad points.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 8
Grandview Library

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, by Anonymous

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is an old English novel that tells the tale of King Arthur's court. A knight garbed all in green on a green horse bursts into King Arthur's court at Christmas time and proposes a game to the knights of the Round Table: a knight can have a swing at his head, and in a year, the green knight could reciprocate the blow. The purpose of the game is to challenge the court's famous code of chivalry. Sir Gawain volunteers to play the game, and we see how his values are compromised throughout the novel to prove he is not the knight he thought he was.

Overall, I found this book to be very dull. I had to read it for school, and if I was not assigned this book, I would never have even touched it. The alliteration in every single line made it not only hard to understand, but it also made it harder to read out loud, or even to myself. The plot was just plain uninteresting. I would recommend Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to people who enjoy reading classics, and I would give it a 5 out of 10.

Reviewed by Rebecca S., Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Monday, March 2, 2015

City of Fallen Angels, by Cassandra Clare

City of Fallen Angels, by Cassandra Clare, is the fourth book in the Mortal Instruments series. Jace and Clary are finally together, and Valentine, their mortal enemy, is gone. Her mother and Luke are engaged, and everything seems perfect. Clary notices Jace becoming distant and not like himself, and Jace admits he is plagued with nightmares about killing her. Simon struggles with living a normal life as a vampire, and slowly they find that everything they thought was true is the opposite.

I really enjoyed this book! The characters were funny and lovable as usual, and the writing is great as well. The only thing I didn't like was that the author didn't give Jace and Clary a chance to be happy together- something was already in the way of their relationship. But overall, the book is a really good read and I would recommend it to fans of the series and books geared for teens. I would give it an 8 out of 10.

Reviewed by Rebecca S., Grade 10
Glendale Central Library

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Dealer, by Robert Muchamore

James and a couple of his friends are asked to investigate a drug dealing organization and shut it down with agents from M15. They need to get close to the leader of the organization and the only way to do that is by getting close to his kids. James has to keep his head straight and avoid the drugs, but will he fall for them?

The Dealer, by Robert Muchamore, is an excellent squeal to the first book, fast paced and daring as ever. There are somethings about the book I wouldn't recommend anybody to read as it's about drugs. Anyone who has drug problems or has a family member with drug problems shouldn't read this as I believe it can be somewhat offensive to people that fit that category.

Reviewed by N.H., Grade 9
Glendale Central Library