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

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Contender, by Robert Lipsyte

The Contender, written by Robert Lipsyte is about a seventeen year old boy named Alfred Brooks. He has emotional and physical changes throughout his life and really doesn't know what he wants, to do. He lives with his Aunt Pearl after seeing his father die when he went on vacation, and his mother died when he was just 10. Alfred has one good friend named James. Even though they are not similar in any shape or form. They've been there for each other since they were little. James always kept pushing Alfred hard to reach his goal. Throughout the book you'll see that that course changes. James starts to be a criminal and Alfred tries to stay away as far as he can. Alfred is a high-school dropout so he wants to make money and support his family. So he decides to do something he loves. Not dancing or being a manager, but a professional boxer. He starts training at a place called Donatelli's gym where he gets better and better. Alfred tries really hard and his friends said he deserves a break. Some other boys named Major and Hollis decide to rob a store with Alfred. The same store Alfred used to work as an office clerk. He doesn't tell his best friend about the new alarm systems installed and his best friend is thrown in jail. Alfred soon gets upset and wants to get James out. However something bad happens to Alfred as well. While trying to get out James. He receives comments of racism and skin color. Alfred is African-American and we learn over the course of the story racism is a major issue. Over time Alfred get's better and better in boxing and beats an opponent. He learns to become a real Contender and as for James he begins a new life. There is more but this is just the beginning.

This book is great for any teenager. It talks about things all of us go through. Including fear, bullying, harassment, and racism. I learned that don't ever, ever judge a person by his or her's skin color but from the inside. Always believe in yourself and don't take everything seriously. Like if a friend calls you stupid. Just be cool and ignore. Something Iv'e learned a long time ago. Another thing is to appreciate what you have. Alfred didn't and he suffered. Don't be upset for every little thing because that will make you live an angry life. One most last important point. Go to school and educate yourselves and become successful in life. You'll always win and need nobody in life. Because no one can take away anything from your head. So appreciate and educate yourselves and don't think about anything else. This book has taught me this so you know it's a great book. Again the book is called "The Contender", by Robert Lipsyte.

Reviewed by Nathan J., Grade 9
Pacific Park Library 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

City of Glass, by Cassandra Clare

City of Glass is the third book in the Mortal Instruments series. Clary now knows the key to saving her mother, and the answer lies in Idris, the majestic city of Shadowhunters. The Lightwoods, Jace, and Simon all leave to Idris without her, so Clary tries to figure out a way to create a Portal and go to Idris. Luke, her guardian and father figure, comes with her, though unhappily. Soon the Shadowhunters must face Valentine as he tries to retrieve the last Mortal Instrument and destroy Shadowhunters who do not believe in his message.

City of Glass, by Cassandra Clare, is a very good read. It is a whole new plot with the same lovable characters. There is a lot of suspense and mystery, and there are many shocks that will change everything. I think this novel was the best one out of the series that I read so far. I would recommend this book to fans of the Mortal Instruments series and I would rate it an 8 out of 10.

Reviewed by Rebecca S, Grade 10
Glendale Central Library 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Now and Forever, by Susane Colasanti

Now and Forever, by Susane Colasanti,  is about eighteen year-old Sterling who is currently dating Ethan Cross, a rising star. In the beginning of their relationship, Ethan is just a boy in a band, but after an agent signs him after he sees their band playing, things just elevate from there. Soon Ethan is the star of his band, plastered on magazines, and traveling on tours around the country. How does Sterling fit into Ethan's new, glamorous life?

Overall, this book was uninteresting and dull. I read many books by this author and they were really cute, but Now and Forever disappointed. There was nothing new about the characters, just your typical teenagers who think they're in love. I would recommend this book to teenage girls looking for a quick, easy read and a cute love story, and I would give this book a 6 out of 10.

Reviewed by Rebecca S., Grade 10
Glendale Central Library

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynntells the story of Nick and Amy Dunne, a couple married for five years. On the morning of their fifth anniversary, Amy mysteriously disappears. Soon the police send out a notice of her disappearance and the whole town is getting attention on the media. Of course, if something happens to a wife, everyone's suspicion is aimed toward the husband. The discovery of incriminating clues along with Nick's emotionless facade soon turn the town against him and leads everyone to believe he murdered his wife.

Gone Girl is honestly one of the best books I have ever read. The author creates a brilliant, twisted plot that will leave you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole book. Each character is multi-dimensional, with so many layers to unravel. Everything about the book keeps you guessing. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy the mystery and suspense genres. Gone Girl is not a read you will forget anytime soon.

Reviewed by Rebecca S., Grade 10
Glendale Central Library

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Best of Me, by Nicholas Sparks

The Best of Me, by Nicholas Sparks, centers on Dawson Cole and Amanda Collier's amazing love story. They fall in love at seventeen years old and we watch not only them grow up, but how as their relationship grow so do the obstacles. Twenty years after they went separate ways fate brings them back together. We get to see them fight for real love, and how Dawson gives up everything for the love of his life, Amanda.

We all know Nicholas Sparks' novels are amazing, so it is obvious The Best of Me is not an exception. It is a beautiful love story and is not like any other love stories it is not predictable. The ending of the novel does have mixed reviews, but whether or not you like the ending the book is brilliant. You also have to keep in mind that his books are not fairy tales, they're reality. The Best of Me shows us a second chance in love and it is a novel you will remember forever.

Reviewed by AJ, Grade 10
Grandview Lirbary 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Heaven is for Real, by Todd Burpo

Heaven is for Real, by Todd Burpo, is about a boy named Colton Burpo who at the age of three when to heaven after he died during his surgery. In heaven he saw his great grandfather, who had passed away even before he was born, his sister, and Jesus. When he came back to Earth, Colton told his parents about everything he had seen while in heaven, how in heaven he sat on Jesus's lap, and saw his father yelling at God. His parents had found out that Colton was sick when one day he kept constantly throwing up.

This book in my opinion can answer many questions to which you want to know. However, the book is very controversial, since many Christians, pastors, and scientists have found many concerns regarding the book. I do encourage people to read the book, because everyone can learn something different from it.

Reviewed by AJ, Grade 10
Grandview Library 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell,  is the story of two young teenagers and the epic story of their first love. Park is a typical teenager, surrounded by stupid friends and well-liked. Eleanor is the new girl in town, and the fact that she wears crazy clothes and has huge red hair does not make it easy for her to fit in. Slowly, through their bus rides next to each other, Eleanor and Park begin talking and sharing music and comic books, and soon, they can't imagine their lives without each other.

Overall, the book was a good read and really cute. I liked the characters and how different they are from each other. I guess it's true, opposites do attract. I heard a lot about this book, so I was expecting an amazing book that I would never forget; my expectations were a little too high. The book is well-written and interesting, and it reminded me of the author John Green. I would recommend this book to teenagers who enjoy the romance genre.

Reviewed by Rebecca S., Grade 10
Glendale Central Library 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hunt for Atlantis, by Andy McDermott

Ten years after her parents were killed while they were searching for the lost city of Atlantis, archaeologist Nina Wilde decides to continue the search where her parents left off. She believes that she has a good idea where the city is located and wants to prove it. The university where she teaches refuses to fund the expedition however. Billionaire Kristian Frost offers to fund everything however, even giving her two of his own bodyguards, one of them being Eddie Chase, ex SAS officer. The billionaire’s own daughter is also sent to help her. As they travel around the world hunting from clue to clue, they encounter threats and unexpected obstacles. It’s obvious that someone, or something, is trying to kill them. Luckily Eddie is there to save her every time.

This is the first book in the Nine Wilde and Eddie Chase series. Hunt for Atlantis, by Andy McDermott, is a fast paced adventure with some unexpected twists along the way. The book is well written and keep me engrossed in the story from start to finish. I loved the mix of action, adventure and history. I would definitely recommend to anyone who likes a good action mystery. If you like this book you will love the rest of the series.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 12
Glendale Central Library 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Stoneheart, by Charlie Fletcher

While he is on a trip to the museum, twelve year old George breaks off by accident the head of a stone dragon that is on the wall. Suddenly he is being chased by a prehistoric pterodactyl that has come to life. He learns that he has been sent into another world where statues come to life. He is told by a talking statue called Gunner that by being in their world he has started a war between good statues and evil carvings. With help from another girl called Edie, he looks for answers on what happened.

Stoneheart, by Charlie Fletcher, is a great fantasy book full of gargoyles and live statues. The story is fast paced and filled with action. There were some unexpected parts along the way which I liked. It was a bit difficult to follow and may not be the best for a younger reader.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What I Thought Was True, by Huntley Fitzpatrick

What I Thought Was True, by Huntley Fitzpatrick,  is about seventeen year-old Gwen Castle who lives on Seashell Island in New England. In the summer, she gets a job as a caretaker of an old woman, and her ex, Cassidy Somers, is the new yard boy on the island. Cassidy is from across the bridge, where the rich, spoiled kids live, and Gwen's family are the housekeepers that maintain the island for the summer guests. With Cass in town, added pressure with her father and her special needs brother Emory, and secrets flying about her friends, Gwen is sure to have one unforgettable summer.

Overall, this book was pretty good. It was very well-written, although it became boring at times. It seemed like a typical teenage novel, with romance and a lot of drama with friends, boys, and in the family. It reminded me of the author Sarah Dessen because of the predictable plot and familiar characters. I would rate it a 7 out of 10 and I would recommend it to teenage girls who enjoy cute, romantic stories and dramas.

Reviewed by Rebecca S., Grade 10
Glendale Central Library

Monday, January 19, 2015

Tiger's Curse, by Colleen Houck

17 year old Kelsey Hayes finds herself drawn to a mysterious white tiger. Ren and his brother Kishan had been cursed to become a tiger over 300 years ago. Until Kelsey came along they weren't able to change back into human form. Kelsey finds herself in India with two princes trying to break an ancient curse that will give back the princes' humanity.

I really enjoyed the Tiger's Curse, by  Colleen Houck, novel because it included a little bit of every genre, romance, action, fantasy, and humor. I recommend this book for people of all ages. One of my favorite quotes was
“He then put both hands on the door on either side of my head and leaned in close, pinning me against it. I trembled like a downy rabbit caught in the clutches of a wolf. The wolf came closer. He bent his head and began nuzzling my cheek. The problem was…I wanted the wolf to devour me.” I liked this quote because it was one of the scenes that got me squealing and cheering. The author did a really great job on organizing each character's traits and personalities. "Tiger's Curse" is one of those books that will keep you up all night reading, as it did to me.

Reviewed by Anet P., Grade 10
Glendale Central Library 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Still Life with Rice, by Helie Lee

Still Life With Rice is a book by Helie Lee, a Korean American teenager. The book takes place in Southeast Asia, during the Cold War, a time of great tension between the democratic allies and the communist USSR. The book is told from Lee’s grandmother’s, Hongyong’s perspective. The author is very meticulous-- she describes many events in great detail, so the reader can really understand the hindrances and impediments the family had to overcome. The story takes place during the a very hard time for the people of Korea, China, and Japan. History is not the only thing Lee incorporates into her book. She tells interesting stories from her grandmother’s childhood, stories of her aunts and other family members. The book is a great source from which the reader will be able to learn the Korean and Chinese customs and traditions, which are meticulously described. Even though the first chapter of the book is weak and boring, the rest of the book captures the reader.

When reading the book, I thought about the hard times during the Cold War, and felt sorry for some of the innocent people who died. I also learned about the life in Southeast Asia, some of the people's beliefs and customs.

Overall, Still Life With Rice is a great book; I recommend it to anyone who would like to learn some history, traditions, and the daily life routine in Southeast Asia. The only people I do not recommend the book to are the ones who feel uncomfortable reading sexual scenes (the book has quite a few of them).

Reviewed by Henry G., Grade 11
Pacific Park Library

Monday, January 12, 2015

Three Cups Of Tea : One Mans Mission To Promote Peace … One School at a Time, by Greg Mortenson

When you read books about changes in the world, there never as close to inspiring to this one. In this book we follow the journey of Greg Mortenson who happens to be a homeless mountaineer was inspired to build schools after an adventure that changed the way he looked at life. The day he decided to climb Pamstan treachous k2 he had an encounter with villagers from there and the conversation led him to make a promise to build them a school. Through out the decade he ended up building fifty – five schools trying to specialize in including girls.

Three Cups Of Tea : One Mans Mission To Promote Peace … One School at a Time, by Greg Mortenson, made me want to get up and do something good for the world, to try to make some change to this world for the better. World peace is something that is talked about more and more often now a day we all forget that it isn’t that hard to make a small difference to the world. We might not find the cure for cancer but we able to have the power to change someone’s life. We don’t need to have a lot of money to change the world. I would recommend this book for the person who loves doing things for other people its a great motivational story.

Reviewed by Marta R., Grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

#Girlboss, by Sophia Amoruso

We follow the journey of Sophia Amorous the C.E.O of the company Nasty Gal. She goes through everything she went through to get to where she is now. She did not start as easy as selling fashion online but she started out by selling a stolen book online. As a teenager she was far from career focused she was hitch hiking, committing petty theft, and also dumpster diving. She finally got a 9-5 job but she did not enjoy it as much as she would think. She was in it mostly for the health insurance but it was not enough for her. Then she decided to start to sell clothing on E-Bay and how did that lead her to a $250 Million Retail Empire.

#Girlboss, by Sophia Amoruso, is great for the person who wants to be motivated it shows it does not matter what background you come from if you put your mind to it you can make a difference. She changed the standard cookie cutter image of what you would think of a C.E.O. She had many jobs some jobs that seem like she wanted to find a bad job. She didn't go to college but that did not stop her she changed the definition of being successful.

Reviewed by Marta R., Grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Monday, January 5, 2015

Shadowlands, by Kate Brian

Rory miller was an average teenager with an average life, until the notorious serial killer, Steven Nell, attacked her. Rory must enter the witness protection program with her sister Darcy and her father. She is forced to leave the house where so many memories were made as a child and leave her friends behind.  Her family moves to an isolated vacation island called Juniper Landing. The sisters haven’t gotten along as well as they had used to but once they find new friends and get used to their new lifestyle, they slowly become the close sisters they once were.  Just as the girls began to feel comfortable with their surroundings, one of their friends goes missing which raises some questions in Rory and her family’s minds. Is Steven Nell back? Are we in danger?  Will Rory be able to pick up the pieces after her normal life was violently ripped away from her or will her nightmare begin all over again.

The book, Shadowlands, by Kate Brian, was in my opinion, a very well written book with many twists and turns as soon as you turned the page. It constantly kept me guessing about what was going to happen next. The author did a tremendous job of keeping the readers guessing until the very last page. I went into this book with expectations of a standard serial killer thriller plot, and came out with, actually, I don't know how to describe what Shadowlands is without spoiling the ending - a bizarre twisty mind-bender? I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who likes mystery,drama, and scandals.

Reviewed by Elise B., grade 9
Montrose Crescenta Branch

Saturday, January 3, 2015

With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa, by E.B. Sledge

U.S. Marine Eugene Sledge is launched into the chaos of World War Two, testing his strength, his wits, and his morals against the Imperial Japanese Army. Along with his fellow warriors, Sledge must comprehend the morality of the gruesome enemy, while often questioning his own. In a novel that tells of the troubles of a common World War Two Marine comes the deepest sentiment that has never before been told. Surpassing the romanticized story of combat, with glory and honor held higher than true, "With the Old Breed" is sure to shoot and hit past expectations.

Beautifully written and extravagantly composed, With the Old Breed at Peleliu and Okinawa, by E.B. Sledge, is the epitome of what war-fighting brings to a man. Author E.B. Sledge brings his experiences from the scorching hot rocks of Peleliu and the miserably damp terrain of Okinawa to put together a true story of camaraderie, courage, and capability. Not the common war story, the novel encompasses all that is hell, heaven, and everything in between. It is the definition of a genuine story of war. The book is recommended for mature readers in high school and above, as Sledge becomes very descriptive of the gore and brutality that surrounded him in the Pacific theater of war. Vocabulary is of collegiate level, and the story-telling is of beyond.

Reviewed by Eric, Grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Baby Mouse Puppy Love, by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Baby Mouse Puppy Love is a comic book. It is about a mouse named Baby Mouse. She is a funny and a irresponsible mouse because she can not care for her pets. Baby Mouse is looking for the perfect pet, but her mom does not see her care for each pet she gets. Each day she gets a pet and she loses them in a way that is not possible. One day, while walking home she finds a lost dog. Her mom lets her keep the dog, but she knows Baby Mouse will lose the dog eventually. During the time she struggles taking care of the dog and handling all the responsibility. She finally finds the perfect dog and names him Buddy, but something goes wrong.

Baby Mouse Puppy Love, by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm, is one of my favorite comics. I like how its funny and all her crazy adventures.Who doesn't like comics, at some point everyone reads them. Baby Mouse is wild and outrageous character and it is all about her. During the story the narrator interacts with the mouse. I recommend it to children, teens, and adults. I thought the books were funny and adorable. I love them and I read their other books to today and as I was younger. Read them!

Monday, December 29, 2014

100% Official Justin Bieber : First Step 2 Forever, My Story, by Justin Bieber

There is a 15 year old boy who is very talented named Justin Bieber. His dream is for everyone to see his true talent. He sings and plays instruments;like guitar,piano and drums. He is a Canadian boy who lives a some what normal life. He is just very poor and is living a hard life, only being raised by a single mother. He lives with his grandparents,who he truly admires and loves. To accomplish his dream he would sing everywhere, like at church, special events, home or even in streets hustling (making money). He also worked hard making YouTube videos, he wanted the world to see him and one day his dream came true. The artist became big ,all thanks to YouTube. He posted a video of him and people saw how wonderful he is,so some people wanted to work with him and manage him.he became a YouTube; internet sensation,at a very young age (age 12). Everything he ever wanted came true and his life started becoming better all thanks to his fans and his manager Scooter. Hopefully Justin continues with what he has and doesn't become something bad.

100% Official Justin Bieber : First Step 2 Forever, My Story, by Justin Bieber,
was a really great book. Personally, I was not such a big fan of him.Yes, I did like his music and I thought he was a big deal ,but I was not a fan girl. I just did not really like him and I did not know where he came from and how he used live. So if you do not know anything about Justin Bieber I recommend you read it and get to know him and you can see how you may relate to him. I recommend it to all his fan's and to people who like to read biographies of others. I like how he talked about his personal like and how he shared his strength and weaknesses to us. It made feel a little shock and surprised because I did not know some things about him and I got to see his past.

Reviewed by Andy, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Stunning, by Sara Shepard

As the girls secrets get bigger and better, so does the knew A's. It knows what happened during summer in Jamaica and it knows a little bit of dirt from each of the four girls lives. Hanna also goes through some tough situations trying to get back an old boyfriend of hers, while helping out with her dads campaigning. Emily has a huge secret she has kept from everyone except her four friends, and possibly A? Spencer is having some trouble fitting in to the knew Princeton life, and Aria is having an internal conflict about if whether or not she should spill a secret about the family of her boyfriend. But as the girls think they are outsmarting A, A is actually outsmarting them.

I honestly think that Stunning, by Sara Shepard, was the best book she has written in the Pretty Little Liars series. It is very addicting and it doesn't allow you to put the book down. You do not know what will happen next and you can never figure out who is A. The most outrageous problems occur in these four girls' lives that you never even see it coming.But I love yet hate the fact that the girls manage to get through all their hard situations until A manages to get them back because it was part of his/her plan all along. Even though it seems like the girls outsmart A, its just a part of A's plan. Nothing that the girls do, is something that A doesn't see coming, he/she plans every possible movement the girls can take, and is able to cause he/she thinks outside the box throughout every circumstance.

Reviewed by Mary A., Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Emma, by Jane Austen

Emma, a novel by Jane Austen, is the story of Emma Woodhouse and her meddlesome matchmaking habits. Emma believes she is an amazing matchmaker, and takes credit for the marriage of her governess. Her mother had died at an early age, therefore her governess Miss Taylor was her replacement and much like a sister also. Her marriage meant her moving away and leaving Emma on her own. That is when Emma, desperate for a friend or something to do, takes on the "task" of Harriet Smith. Harriet is of the lower class, yet she is beautiful which appeals to Emma. She makes it her duty to teach Harriet her ways and find her a husband. Love triangles emerge, feelings are wrongly interpreted, and hearts are crushed. We follow Emma through the trials she presents for herself, and eventually discover Emma loves someone who we, or just me personally, were quite fond of from the beginning.

In all honesty, Emma sounds like an interesting and gossip filled romance novel, which it is, except for the interesting part. It is rather boring, I found myself wanting to read the newspaper instead of the this terribly uninteresting novel. There are some interesting aspects but not enough to make you want to constantly read it. It is slightly difficult to understand, simply because it has an older style of writing and talking. I was also a bit confused with several of the words Austen used because they were words we do not use today. I give this book a five out of ten and do not recommend it as an interesting read.
Reviewed by Kristine K., Grade 11
Casa Verdugo Library

Monday, December 22, 2014

Pandora Hearts, by Jun Mochizuki

Pandora Hearts, by  Jun Mochizuki, is a Japanese manga about a young heir to a rich nobles family who gets sent to an alternate dimension known as the Abyss over which monsters called chains rule over. There, the heir, named Oz meets a chain named Alice in the form of a girl. She had lost her memories of her before life and wishes to get them back, so to escape the Abyss the two form a contract to escape to help Alice return her memories and help Oz return to his original world, while authorities and underground associations chase after them to hide a secret conspiracy that happened 100 years ago.

The overall part of Pandora Hearts is just a very twisted story with new plot changes and surprises every volume that comes out. Also the author with his fascinating imagination of his drawings would pull the reader in due to its scary yet cute illustrations designed to make the chains resemble old toys of a young child. Those who like action, mystery, and twists would very much like Pandora Hearts for its deep plot line that makes the reader fall deeper and deeper into its fantasy. Although Pandora Hearts is an underground manga, is well written/drawn and is a good choice for first time readers of manga.

Reviewed by Teagan H., grade 9
Montrose Crescenta Branch

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Evil Star, by Anthony Horowitz

Evil Star is the sequel to the book called Raven's Gate. This story is about the same teen Matt who needs to solve another problem of another gate that's about to open. He knows that he has to go to Peru because that's where it is, but other than that they don't know where else to go. He then finds a boy named Pedro who helps him solve this mystery.

Evil Star by, Anthony Horowitz, was even better than the first one! I like how in this book compared to the first one, Matt isn't always alone and he has friends who help. Its still an amazing thriller though. I would recommend this book to all teens.

Reviewed by Brendan A., grade 9
Montrose Crescenta Branch

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Raven's Gate, by Anthony Horowitz

The book, Raven's Gate, by Anthony Horowitz, is about a teenager named Matt who gets arrested for braking into a warehouse. He then gets sent to a foster home which turns out to be a witches house. He tries to find out what's going on that the witch is doing, and he finds out that she's trying to open a gate which would let these evil creatures out. He then has to try to stop them.

This was a great story. I love the mystery that Matt has to solve to figure out what's going on. I would recommend this to anyone who likes thrillers and partly horror stories.

Reviewed by Brendan A., grade 9
Montrose Crescenta Branch

Monday, December 15, 2014

Breathe, by Sarah Crossan

The world has no air. If you want to survive, you pay to breathe. But what if you can't? And what if you think everything could be different? Three teens will leave everything they know behind in Sarah Crossan's gripping and original teen novel of danger, longing, and glimmering hope. Ever since the Switch, when the oxygen levels plummeted and most of humanity died, the survivors have been protected in glass domes full of manufactured air. Protected . . . or trapped? Or controlled? Alina's a revolutionary who believes we can save the environment. Quinn's a Premium who's never had to worry about having enough air. His best friend, Bea, is an Auxiliary who's never worried about anything but having enough air. When the three cross paths, they will change everything. Sarah Crossan's thrilling and provocative novel is about passion, about yearning for something better, and about breaking free for the very first time.

I liked Breathe, by Sarah Crossan, because it's not only entertaining in several ways, but because this is a teenager book, most teens can also enjoy it and get what the characters in the story think about most of the time. The people who would like this book would most likely be interested teenagers, just in general. This dystopian novel gives readers a sense of how it would be to live in a dome with manufactured oxygen. Readers understand being in the lives of three amazing teens with outrageous adventures along with their journey. Bea, Quinn, and Alina all have to face it. My opinion of this book overall, was that it's one of the novels where a reader has to continue it, even just from reading the first page for the first time. I, myself, couldn't put the novel down. When you really get into the context of the story, it keeps nudging you to read, read, read. This book has action, adventure, and even a bit of romance, if you ask me. I recommend any teenager who doesn't have much to read at their age (you're not alone if you do) can at least try out Breathe by Sarah Crossan. This is a great book, so remember to keep reading!
Reviewed by Connor, Grade 9
Montrose Library

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Death Cure, by James Dashner

The Death Cure, by James Dashner, takes place right after the events of "The Scorch Trials", where Thomas is locked in solitary confinement for three weeks. After Thomas is released, Assistant Director Janson of WICKED, an organization dedicated to curing the Flare, admits to the Gladers that there is no cure for the Flare. However, some people are naturally immune to it. He then offers the Gladers to restore their memories. Everyone but Thomas, Minho, and Newt agree. However, they are forced into being restored also. Luckily, Brenda helps them escape in a Berg, a massive airship, before this can be done. They then fly to Denver to try to find the others and remove the implants in their brains. During this process, they meet with the Right Arm, an organization dedicated to destroying WICKED, and agree to help them.

While "The Death Cure" was very similar to the other two books, it was a disappointing finale. This book still had an interesting plot with lackluster characters like the previous books. However, the lack of answers makes this installment worse in comparison. The final book of a series should always try to explain the mysteries that are brought up as the story progresses. After reading "The Death Cure", the final book of "The Maze Runner" series, I was left more confused than before. Many questions that should have been answered in this book were still left unresolved. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the "The Maze Runner" franchise as a whole and I would recommend "The Death Cure" to those that are curious to what will happen to Thomas and Teresa in the end. However, do not expect to understand the back-story after reading this book.
Reviewed by William J., Grade 9
Montrose Library

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

House of Hades, by Rick Riordan

Percy and Annabeth falls into tartarus and the other demigods are trying their best to reach the other side of the door so they can rescue Percy and Annabeth. Percy and Annabeth faces a lot of challenges, but they work it out together, no matter how much pain they are having. They even made friends in tartarus and have supporters. They struggle and try their best to reach their destination in time to save all the people and they get help from Reyna, the roman leader.

I liked House of Hades, by Rick Riordan, but honestly, it was below my expectations. Because I was so fascinated about the other series of the books, I was overly excited and I was disappointed that the novel ended so quickly, but I enjoyed the book through out. I will recommend this to my friends because this is really fun and includes a lot of actions. Also, they learn how friendships matter to each other. Most importantly, the book is enjoyable for most of the people. I'm looking forward to read the next sequel of this book.
Reviewed by Eura, Grade 9
Montrose Library

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater

In The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater the main character, Blue, comes from a large family of clairvoyant women. She's been told since she was a child that she would kill her true love by kissing him. Blue doesn't want to believe this, but she knows that what the women see is real. On St. Mark's Eve Blue and her aunt Neeve go to the cemetery to get the name of all the people who will die in the next 12 months, whose spirits will pass through there that night, although Blue won't be able see them because she isn't clairvoyant. But then she does see one. The only reason a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark's Eve, either you're their true love or you killed them. His name is Gansey.

Maggie Stiefvater is amazing and one of my favorite authors. I definitely have to say that the Raven Boys is my favorite book by her. I really enjoyed the unique perspectives given to the story by all of her wonderful but very different characters. Blue is so amazing and strong and eccentric, I think that she's an great character. I also loved Adam, who is so honest and works so hard at everything. My favorite character, by far, is Gansey. Gansey is in a way the perfect, cliche rich boy, but when you really understand him and his heart you realize that he's also the opposite. Gansey is an absolutely extraordinary character, as are all the other characters. I really loved The Raven Boy by Maggie Stiefvater.

Reviewed by Lucy H., Grade 9
Montrose Library