Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Allegiant, by Veronica Roth

Allegiant, by Veronica Roth,  is the third and final installment in the Divergent series. The book immediately picks up from the last one, when Tris, the main character, reveals a video that changes lives forever. The factions are all destroyed and everyone is now factionless. Tobias's mother, Evelyn, is in charge of the factionless now. People labeled as threats to her leadership are placed in prison, including Tris. After undergoing an interrogation under the influence of truth serum, she is released into the chaos that is now her beloved hometown. Action and suspense ensue in these exciting novel. 

This book was a page turner, I read it in one sitting! It is full of action and suspense and, of course, romance between Tris and Tobias, my favorite couple ever. I really enjoyed the book, except for the ending that completely ruined the whole series. Be prepared to be shocked. I definitely recommend this book to fans of the Divergent series. I'm really sad that this series is over, it's amazing. 

Reviewed by Rebecca S., grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Monday, August 18, 2014

Insurgent, by Veronica Roth

Tris, Tobias, Marcus, Caleb and Peter go to amity headquarters in search for safty. They are welcomed to stay as long as they keep the piece. Tris is overwhelmed with greef and guilt after the incident with will in the previous book and she has no one to talk it out with. Evelyn’s army of factionless are working hard to convert everyone into becoming factionless. Tris is against this. Instead she wants to go out and see what the real world, that she learned about in the previous book, is like.

The action packed adventure of the characters in Insurgent, by Veronica Roth, kept it interesting from beginning to end. The characters, even though it may be extremely difficult, must put what happened to them behind and begin to work together for the good of their people and themselves. After the deaths betrayal and lying its hard to tell whose truly good and who can’t be trusted. This book can be entertaining for anyone who reads it. I think everyone can relate to at least one character. Personally my favorite character is peter but to each their own.
Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Draw the Dark, by Ilsa J. Bick

In Winter, Wisconsin, Christian Cage is the least liked. No one wishes for him to be around. His father and mother left unexpectedly leaving no information. While growing up he draws people's worst nightmares and they tend to... He starts to see flashbacks, not of his own, but of another's. Dr. Rainier helps him understand, to help solve a mystery that occurred not too long ago in Winter, Wisconsin.

Draw the Dark, by Ilsa J. Bick was interesting. It kept me on my toes, thinking what's going to happen next? I would try to piece together the mysteries and questions left unanswered. My heart would beat fast in certain scenes and I would want to yell out and warn Christian about what he was doing or what was about to happen or yell at him to move his butt before something bad happened. I don't know if there will be a second book, but I would love it if it happened, but who knows? It'd give great insight about his parents and what really happened to them!

Reviewed by Anahit T., grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hunter X Hunter, by Yoshihiro Togashi

Hunters are a special breed, dedicated to tracking down treasures, magical beasts, and even other men. But such pursuits require a license, and less than one in a hundred thousand can pass the grueling qualification exam. Those who do pass gain access to restricted areas, amazing stores of information, and the right to call themselves Hunters. As, Gon discovers that his father was a famous hunter he embarks on a journey to find his father, meeting reliable friends and going on dangerous missions as well.

As the creator of Yu Yu Hakusho, I really enjoyed reading Hunter x Hunter, by Yoshihiro Togashi . The plot's intriguing and so are the characters. The one weakness of it currently is the fact that the author likes to go on hiatus a lot and I felt that the recent arc with the Chimera was too drawn out.

Reviewed by Jacqueline L., grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Pretty guardian : Sailor Moon, by Naoko Takeuchi

In Pretty guardian : Sailor Moon, by Naoko Takeuchi, you get to know Usagi, Luna, Mano, and Ami. Usagi is sort of a flake, but she is a very good friend. Usagi is the one chosen to be Sailor Moon “the Guardian of love and justice", as she always says. She is faced with her first enemy when he friend Molly’s mother’s jewelry is infiltrated by the Nega force. She is very scared and complains about it until Luna helps her to calm down. When she finally gets her act together, she finishes off the monster by using her moon tiara. Usagi makes a friend named Ami who goes to Usagi’s school and a night school. Little did Ami or Usagi, know it was a Nega force trap. When the Nega monster over powered Sailor Moon and the Nega monster attacked Ami, Luna gave her the transformation pen so she could become Sailor Mercury.

This book is set in Tokyo where the sailor scouts lie dormant. The basic plot is Sailor Moon and Luna looking for sailor scouts and fighting Nega monsters to protect the planet. Usagi is a character some girls can relate to because some girls are lazy and flaky when it comes to school work and studying. Usagi is also a good friend who is devoted to helping them, if she devoted half of that to her studies then for sure she would be a good student. Usagi might not turn out as good as Ami but she might at least get a “C” average instead of her bad grades.

Reviewed by Nichole Z., grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Pretty Guardian: Sailor Moon Book 6, by Naoko Takeuchi

In Pretty Guardian: Sailor Moon Book 6, by Naoko Takeuchithe fight for Mano-chan’s attention continues. Since Usagi was late again she was beat to Mano’s morning hug by Chibi-Usa and Diana. Chibi-Usa is sort of Usagi’s enemy when it comes to Mano’s attention. After school Usagi goes to the arcade as usual and she meets a boy. His uniform shows that he is attending a new academy that is supposed to be for all the big teenage stars, such as athletes, musicians, and actors. These students also are known to excel in all the subjects taught which is how the academy was named the Genius School. The group, soon after he leaves, decides to leave as well. What they find though is very unsettling; they leave only to find that a strange creature is outside. 

This is a very dramatic book in the series. This is when a new enemy arises with a leader named Pharaoh 90. He uses, what are called incomplete diaman to infiltrate human bodies so their civilization can thrive on Earth. The story plot is very fun to think about. There was a question that arose in my mind ‘Is the new guy they met a boy or a girl?’ Since the person wears both boys and girls clothing. The reason for my question is we see the new guy in a Tuxedo Mask outfit and a Sailor Uranus. The answer should be in the next book.

Reviewed by Nichole Z., grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Pretty Guardian: Sailor Moon Book 5, by Naoko Takeuchi

In Pretty Guardian: Sailor Moon Book 5, by Naoko Takeuchithey find another sailor scout. This sailor’s name is Sailor Venus. She comes to help when Sailors Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, and Tuxedo Mask are over welled by the Nega force. She helps them to scare off the Nega force scum. She also brings a new cat friend named Atriums who Luna recognizes right away. The bad news is the Nega force finding out the true identity of Tuxedo Mask. They also find out a bit about Sailor Venus’s past as the action character, Sailor V. Coincidently, Sailor V is Usagi’s idol example for her when she is Sailor Moon.

This book is very fun and sort of dramatic. This is actually one of my least favorite in the series. The part I do like about it is they get a new scout, Sailor Venus, and a new talking feline friend, Airtimes. The finding of Artemisia brings up a great opportunity to give Luna a love interest, I thought and sure enough when Chibi-Usa comes to the past she brings a little kitty named Diana. I believe this is a very sure sign that Luna and Artemisia become very fond of each other in the future. I hope Chibi-Usa becomes a great sailor scout.

Reviewed by Nichole Z., grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Pretty Gaurdian: Sailor Moon Book 7, by Naoko Takeuchi

In Pretty Gaurdian: Sailor Moon Book 7, by Naoko Takeuchi, the identity of Sailors Pluto, Uranus, Saturn and Neptune are revealed. Sailor Pluto is a Theoretical Physicist apprentice at the Genius academy, Sailors Neptune, Uranus, and Saturn are regular students at the genius academy. The three sailors Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus come with disturbing news about sailor Saturn’s potential awakening. Back in the silver millennia Sailor Saturn, guardian of ruin and silence, silently pointed her staff at the Moon and as soon as that happened the Moon fell into ruin. This is why Sailor Saturn should not be awakened on Earth; otherwise the Earth will fall into ruin.

This book is full of twist and turns and a thought of murder. But the book is not all bad since Sailor Moon finds the power of Super Sailor Moon. This is a power that may come in handy when all the Sailor scouts are together but when they are separated it is no use relining on the power. The power of Super Sailor Moon has its limits just like any other power; all the Sailor Scout’s hearts must be connected. In my opinion, since this condition was in play, the scouts should not have split up, even if the academy was big. 

Reviewed by Nichole Z., grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Gintama, by Hideaki Sorachi

The samurai didn't stand a chance. First, the aliens invaded Japan. Next, they took all the jobs. And then they confiscated everyone's swords. So what does a hotheaded former samurai like Sakata "Gin" Gintoki do to make ends meet? Take any odd job that comes his way, even if it means losing his dignity.

Although there isn't an intriguing plot behind Gintama, by Hideaki Sorachi, what really drew me in was the hilarious situations Gintama would go through in order to make ends meet.

Reviewed by Jacqueline L, grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Monday, August 4, 2014

Toriko, by Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro

In the world of Toriko, by Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro, taste and texture of food are very important. Toriko is a hunter of precious foods regularly hired by restaurants and the rich. He is a man with inhuman skills to capture the ferocious, evasive and rare animals to complete his ultimate dinner course. His current accomplice, a weak, timid person, but who was inspired by Toriko's greatness, accompanies him on all his journeys on his quest for the course of his life.

Not only is Toriko funny, it's plot is simple enough that you could start off at any point in the story. Although the comedy might be lost because of the lost background on some characters, the central idea of Toriko as a cook hunting precious food ingredients is not lost.

Reviewed by Jacqueline L., grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Friday, August 1, 2014

Middlesex, by Jeffery Eugenides

 Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides, is a fictional novel that is told from the point of view of Calliope Stephanides, who is a hermaphrodite and until the age of 14 was raised as a girl. She runs away from home at this age just as she is about to receive an operation, and from then on identifies herself as a male (looking much like one as well). To describe her condition, Callie- later called Cal- has to bring forth her origins, starting with that of her grandparents in Greece. Through the lives of the family members that came before her/him, Callie gives a comprehensive story- one that leads to her present condition. 

One of the most intriguing aspects of Eugenides’ novel is that it oscillates between the present Cal and his/her past. The story begins far back with her grandparents who fled Greece when the Turks invaded the town and massacred Greek and Armenian Christians in the village of Smyrna. Cal tells of her grandparents new home in Michigan and later of her parents as their children and finally Cal describes her own life from the time of her birth. I enjoyed the detailed background Eugenides gave for each character in the story because I could clearly identify them and their feelings. It was much easier to connect with the characters, to understand them and to understand Cal because of how comprehensive the narrative was. I loved this book very much and would recommend it to high school level students and older.

Reviewed by Nelli, grade 11
Pacific Park Library

Thursday, July 31, 2014

On the Come Up, by Hannah Weyer

AnnMarie Walker is a 14 year old girl who gets pregnant in the book On the Come Up, by Hannah Weyer . She's in love with Darius, the baby's father. She listens to him even when he's in his worst moods. Towards the end of her pregnancy, she auditions for a role in a movie. She lands the spot and begins her little career of stardom. Soon after the movie's release, she goes back to being a mother and taking care of hers, along with questioning her sexuality, meeting new people, and falling in love with the right person.

This book is wow. The writing style is totally different from any other book I've read and it feels good, quite refreshing as well. It's also based on a true story, but it's also fictional, so all I could imagine were the characters being real and half of it actually happening. It's quite inspiring as well, even though AnnMarie faced some troubles in her life, she was still able to take care of herself and the one's she loved, and stepping up to not care about what others thought of her. It made me want to get up and do something good with my life. I loved it and hope a lot of people give it a go.

Reviewed by Anahit T., grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Hex Hall, by Rachel Hawkins

In Hex Hall, by Rachel Hawkins, Sophie Mercer has just discovered that she is a witch. After a spell goes wrong she gets sent to Hex Hall, a reform school, where she meets her own set of problems. She falls in love with a handsome warlock, makes three enemies, and has a ghost "friend". Will Sophie be able to survive when students start getting killed?

This fast read is a great book that has a romance and other worldly feel. Sophie is down to Earth and fails which makes her all that much more relatable. People who enjoy a romantic comedy mixed with mystery will fall head over heels for this book. As a book one of a series it makes a great introduction to the world of Hex Hall.

Reviewed by Jackie, grade 9
Montrose Crescenta Library

11/22/63, by Stephen King

In Stephen King's book 11/22/63, Jake Epping travels back in time. When his friend, Al Templeton, suggests he use his ability to travel back in time to save President John Kennedy, Jake decides to do it. But, sadly for Jake, time does not want to be changed and it creates obstacles that Jake must solve ad learn from after each visit to the past. Even with his knowledge of how the future will play out Jake can never be certain that he is making the right decision because life turns on a dime. He never knows the consequences of his actions.

This is one of the best books I have ever read. This novel plays by its own rules, which can change at any point. The reader learns along with Jake and discovers his flaws and misinformation about the past and present and the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to people who enjoy a fascinating thriller that makes up its own definition of time travel.

Reviewed by Jackie, grade 9
Montrose Crescenta Branch

Inferno, by Dan Brown

In Inferno, by Dan Brown, Robert Langdon is back and this time in Italy in the 4th installment of the Robert Langdon series. He awakes in a hospital with no recollection of the past 36 hours, and is in possession of a series of codes. He is on the run from dangerous people as he dives head first into the world of Dante's Inferno on a quest to save himself and the world.

With adventure at every turn, mixed with history and codes, Inferno is the perfect novel to get caught up in! The reader is kept guessing until the very end and everything is revealed. Although it may seem like a long book. it is a fast read because of its fast paced nature. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a fast paced thriller.

Reviewed by Jackie, grade 9
Montrose Crescenta Library

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Name is Mary Sutter, by Robin Oliveira

In My Name is Mary Sutter, by Robin Oliveira, Marry Sutter dreams of becoming a surgeon even if she has to overcome the prejudices against women. When the Civil War breaks out Mary leaves home against her mother's wishes to go to Washington D.C. to fulfill her dream. Her mother desperately needs her at home to take care of her sister, but Mary doesn't want to give up. As her mother's pleas become more desperate Mary has a life changing decision to make.

This book was a riveting historical novel that truly explored the hardships of the Civil War. The issues that Mary faces come to life and were relatable to people in the 21st century. I highly recommend this book to all. The pacing of the book allowed for the reader to decide what he/she would have done in that particular situation. This makes My Name is Mary Sutter a fascinating read that is hard to put down.

Reviewed by Jackie, grade 9
Montrose Crescenta Library

Monday, July 21, 2014

Marked, by P.C Cast + Kristen Cast

In a world where vampires have always existed, 16 year old Zoey Redbird has just been Marked as a fledgling vampire and joins the House of Night, a school where fledglings learn how to blossom and become successful once they fully Change. But all who go through the Change make it. Zoey is no average fledgling though. She has been chosen by the vampire goddess Nyx to do the things she can't. Zoey now has these weird powers on the leader of the Dark Daughters-- the elite group of fledglings-- in order to save her friends and her school.

Marked, by P.C Cast + Kristen Cast books are like drugs. You need to keep reading to satisfy your cravings to know what happens next. I have this addiction to this book, i don't know if its good addiction for reading, or its bad because i spent over $50 trying to read them all (i should have gone to the library) but this has so many good plot twists and so much drama! Along with lots of supernatural things.They are great for short reads, i could read one in a day. So be careful. Overall i think they keep dragging this series on, but the story is sooooo good

Reviewed by Emily, grade 9
Montrose Crescenta Branch

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Beautiful Music For Ugly Children, by Kirstin Cronn-Mills

Beautiful Music For Ugly Children, by Kirstin Cronn-Mills revolves around a girl named Liz or shall I say a boy named Gabe. He is in his senior year and close to graduation. He has his own DJ radio show where he can actually be Gabe and be proud of who he is. He begins to embrace Gabe, as he calls it, "his B side", right after high school, and goes through hardships along with his best friend Page, his neighbor John, and his family, who have yet to come to terms with who he is. 

The title alone got me interested. It's that type of book that I have never encountered before and I loved it. It showed me the bonds of friendship, the acceptance of family, and how much hatred there is in the world along with how much love that equals it. It made me think that no matter what, people will still love you for who you are. I believe this book may or may not be an eye opener for some people who have very strong opinions against transsexuals, lesbians, gays, and bi-sexuals. It may even change their views to be accepting of others. Overall, I recommend this book to anyone and everyone, it's amazing.

Reviewed by Anahit T., grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Monday, July 14, 2014

Season of Secrets, by Sally Nicholls

Season of Secrets, by Sally Nicholls, is about a girl named Molly who moved to the country to live with her grandparents and sister Hannah. One night her sister Hannah wakes up and comes to her and asks to leave because the place is they live is old and boring. Molly tries to convince her not to leave but they both run off into the night and Hannah leaves her and runs home to grandparents. Molly finds a man that is being chase that says run away and be safe. She runs back to her grandparents house and the next day she sets out to find the man. When she finds him she gives him food and become friends. She finds out he has magical powers because he is able to grow a plant in his hand and transfer it to the ground. Molly also discovers that he is hiding from the Holy King who was chasing at the night she was running away. What would the future hold for Molly, her family, and the magical man?

In my opinion, this story is very dramatic. The main character Molly must find a way to move on with the way her life is going and must overcome the obstacles. The seasons in this story reflect a new beginning. In the beginning life is hard for her since she is forced to move away from her original life. I enjoyed this book because it teaches us that life has its ups and downs and we must learn to overcome the difficult times. As her life progresses she meets a magical man that gives her life hope and meaning. I really enjoyed this book because Molly's gives the life lesson to the reader to learn and accept life as it is.

Reviewed by Tiffany, grade 8
Grandview Library

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Choke, by Diana Lopez

Windy is a normal eighth grade girl that becomes friends with a girl named Nina. Nina is in the popular group, so it is a huge change for Windy to be friends with a girl in the popular group. They soon become closer friends, but then realize that they would like to become even closer friends. They want to be breath sisters. To be a breath sister, the other friend has to choke you until you slightly pass out. Then she or he has to wake you up, and you do the same to him or her. Will Windy risk her life to be in the popular group and to become a part of the "in" crowd? Or will she make the right choice and just stay nothing but friends with Nina? Read this fantastic book to see what choice Windy makes.

There were some things that I liked and some things that I didn't like about Choke, by Diana Lopez. I loved the fact that it took place in middle school, because when I was reading it I was i middle school. As I read through the book, I realized how relatable the book was to real life. The way some of the people acted in class or even walking through the halls. I didn't like the fact that there was a "popular group" that acted all snobby, because that isn't how it was in middle school. There was always a "popular goup" but not one that was as powerful as the one in the book. I feel like middle school kids, or ninth graders would love to read this book, because I feel like they could all relate to some of the situations that happened in the book. I really liked this book, and hope that someone will like it too!
Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Pretty Guardian: Sailor Moon Book 4, by Naoko Takeuchi

In  Pretty Guardian: Sailor Moon Book 4, by Naoko TakeuchiAmi and Usagi are in the same school and Sailor Mars goes to a private school so they do not see each other. Ami and Usagi find out there is a new girl on campus who everyone is intimidated by her because of her height and the rumor about why she switched schools, the rumor is she was kicked for fighting. But not Usagi, she does not care what the rumor says she is determined to become friends with her, and she becomes friends with her. When the Sailor Moon, Mars, Mercury, and the new girl are out they come faced with another Nega monster and they are over powered. When the new girl is caught by the monster she becomes Sailor Jupiter.

The Sailor scouts meet a new scout. She is seen as a mean looking girl but Sailor moon sees her differently and is determined to become friends with her. This gives a great life lesson. the lesson is, do not judge a person for what you hear about them, make a decision for your self. I believe the new Sailor Scout Sailor Jupiter will be a great asset to the team and make the book more interesting and fun in later books.

Reviewed by Nichole Z., grader 9
Glendale Central Library

Monday, June 30, 2014

Shadowland, by Alyson Noel

Ever and Damen are two teenagers who love each other. After many years of searching for his soul mate who keeps mysteriously coming and going out of his life, Damen is finally reunited with Ever. The only resolution he can think of to keep her with him forever, is turning her into an immortal. Just when they are starting to make up for the lost time, a curse has been set upon him and is forcing them to be separated. Ever is doing everything she can to seek the antidote that is hidden by the one who cursed Damen, Roman. Meanwhile, Ever is hired for a job by a 19 years-old boy named Jude who seems strangely familiar. Damen tells her why and gives her space to make a difficult decision that might mean losing him. 

Shadowland, by Alyson Noel is one of the best I have ever read. I like books that are in a series because they don't end and the story keeps going on and on. This book is basically based on true love. There are conflicts and big obstacles that have to be faced. There are a lot of mistakes done that have to be fixed. Responsibility is also a big challenge for all the characters. When I started to read this book, I didn't want to put it back down to take a break. I only took a pause when I started to have a headache. That's how good the book is. This book encourages me to keep reading and see what happens next till I get to the very last page and have to wait until I can get my hands on the next one... at the library! 

Reviewed by Lou, grade 8
Grandview Library

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Known World, by Edward P. Jones

The Known World, by Edward P. Jones, is a series of stories regarding the death of Henry Townsend. Henry Townsend, a black plantation owner, is a freed slave who has started his own plantation with his own slaves. We switch off from his slaves, his childhood, and the lives of surrounding characters to learn about his life and the events his death caused. To start off, Moses, the overseer slave, is the first slave Henry ever bought. He is extremely loyal up until Henry's death. However, when he develops feelings for Henry's widow, Caldonia, trouble arises. It is a time where slaves are as vulnerable as ever, running away, being cruelly punished, and very few laws protecting them. There is a strict division between what is thought, and what should be thought. Regardless of "free papers", a colored person is subject to discrimination, and in some cases is stolen back into slavery. The stories surrounding Henry Townsend's death not only teach the leader of his life, they teach the reader parts of history that were ignored.

My first few days reading The Known World were unpleasant, and continued to be unpleasant. This novel seems senseless, theme less, and requires excessive thought to decipher its true meaning. I found myself confused often, having to reread and constantly looking up unfamiliar words in the dictionary. One factor that contributed to this confusion was the Jones's writing technique: prolepsis. Prolepsis is when the author is the "god" of those in the story therefore he knows every detail of their lives. This is revealed constantly in the text in instances such as the circumstances in which a newly introduced character was born or will die. I found The Known World to be a horrible book, and would not recommend it to anyone except perhaps a historian. 

Reviewed by Kristine K., grade 10
Casa Verdugo Library

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Battle of the Labyrinth, by Rick Riordan

We once again join Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon, at Camp Half-Blood. During training, Percy and Annabeth find an entrance into the Labyrinth and find out that Luke has been there before. They figure that Luke will lead his army in through the Labyrinth and ambush the camp from within. They must find Daedulus before Luke does, so that he won't know where to go in the Labyrinth. Will Camp Half-Blood stay protected or will this be it's final stand? 

Usually, I would love this book because it's part of the Percy Jackson series. But, I honestly didn't like this one. To me it was kind of like a few of the others.The plot line was the same, Percy is in a race against time, making sure that Luke does not succeed. The Battle of the Labyrinth, by Rick Riordan, was kind of bored me, but it did have some twists that I was surprised when I read. This book kind of saddened me too, because you could tell they're preparing for the final book of a great series.Definitely not my favorite for the series standard, but an okay book. 

Reviewed by Julian, grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Fallout, by David Michaels

A spy named Sam Fisher finds himself on another mission, but this time it's for revenge. His brother is found dead due to radiation poisoning. As Fisher follows his brothers traces, he finds out that it's not one man that killed his brother, it is an entire organization of terrorists and religious extremist. It's also not about vengeance anymore, it now concerns the whole world. This organization dreams of no future, so they created an irradiated virus that can destroy all of the world's oil supply. It's up to Fisher to save the world and any hopes of a future. 

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Fallout, by David Michaels, will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire way, it contains action on almost every page. The action isn't wimpy at all, in fact, I would not recommend this for those who are squeamish. However, I would recommend this book for those who love spies or stealth. I thought that it took too long for the plot to escalate and that it took a while even for the main plot to start. The book also has a bit of mystery which was nice to see. I personally liked the book and will be reading more of the series. 

Reviewed by Julian, grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Monday, June 16, 2014

Timeline, by Michael Crichton

In France, a team of archaeologists are exploring mysterious medieval ruins. One of them, Professor Johnston starts to question why the company that hired them pays so much attention to just that area. So he went to their headquarters and there is no trace of him, except when they find his glasses and a note of help from him that seems as old as the ruins. So three fellow archaeologists, Chris, Kate and Andre go to the company headquarters where Professor Johnston was last seen. The company explains to the three that Professor Johnston in fact did travel back in time with their latest technology. Now it's up to Chris, Kate and Andre to also go back in time and find their missing professor as well as the story to the ruins. 

I thought Timeline, by Michael Crichton, was very visual, everything would be described as if you put a magnifying glass up to it. There are great action scenes in the book, as well as intellectual parts. A bit confusing at times, since the book is about time travel, it switches from past to present very much so. It was even a little boring at times, but the suspense does build and it is definitely worth getting through the rough patches. Overall, a great book, however I would recommend this for older teens and up, mainly because you kind of have to know some extent of history. 

Reviewed by Julian, grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Hoopster, by Alan Lawrence

I chose  The Hoopster, by Alan Lawrencebecause I decided to change my "book reading routine" and read a book about sports. The story I read was completely different than what I expected. Andre, an African-American and the main character, is a superb writer who works at Affairs magazine as the printer is suddenly given the task of writing about racism. His article raised the amount of readers and he was given a raise; but his good fortune was short lived when he got ambushed by a viscous gang of racist and they broke his right hand which wouldn't let him play the sport he loved and beat him up badly which threw him into an all too quiet depression.

My favorite quote is "'Revenge? How can someone really ever get revenge, Andre.....It doesn't exist.'" because what Andre's dad is saying is true. Sure, he can do what someone else did to him, but would it make him happy? I think not. The author really captured the slang that people use and put it in the story, making it a lot more realistic. I would actually recommend this book to anyone who likes drama and a "satisfying ending" ending kind of book because it has those genres in this book. 

Reviewed by Narek A., grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs, is about a sixteen year old Jacob sets out to find about the truth of his grandfather's death.He goes to Wales, a place where his grandfather grew up in, and meets a girl named Emma. She can control fire. Emma takes Jacob to an orphanage where his grandfather lived in. All the children there are peculiar, they all have special abilities. Jacob is the only one who can see the hollowgasts, these creatures are responsible for his grandfather's death. Jacob kills the creatures and returns to the orphanage to discover that Miss Peregrine is kidnapped. When they find her she is in bird form and can't change back into a human. The children leave the the orphanage in Wales and look for a new home

This novel was different from my normal reads. I still liked the story line and the characters. It was fascinating to read about how all these kids had different abilities. I also liked the black and white pictures it had. Definitely a 5 out of 5 stars from me. 

Reviewed by Karla S., grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Lost World, by Michael Crichton

More than half a decade has passed since the Ingen incident. Jurassic Park was destroyed, and the dinosaurs were killed. However people like scientist Richard Levine don't believe so. There are rumors of a second island, known as Isla Sorna, that is believed to contain dinosaurs like the ones at Jurassic Park. To try to find truth to this, Levine confronts a survivor of the Ingen incident, Ian Malcom, asking him if he would be willing to lead an expedition on the island. Ian declined. However, Levine would not give up and went to the island himself. Contact with Levine is soon lost, and his colleagues are thrown into panic. Now, Ian Malcom must lead a search team to find Levne. While on the island, Ian's team face dangers, like the dangerous dinosaurs he faced before, and poachers who are trying to steal dinosaur eggs. It's a race against the clock as Ian's team scramble to find Levine, and survive the deadly dinosaurs.

The Lost World, by Michael Crichton, is a good book, and great continuation of Jurassic Park. The Lost World will stand up to the standard set by it's predecessor. It has frightening excitement at every turn, and is a great scientific adventure. I like this book almost as much as I did the first. However, I highly recommend reading Jurassic Park before The Lost World, because, I feel it'll make reading The Lost World a much more enjoyable experience. 

Reviewed by Gian R., grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ethan Frome, by Edith Warthon

Ethan Frome, by Edith Warthon begins in first person, speaking through the voice of the narrator. Ethan Frome is a man trodden with hardship. The death of his parents leaves him with a farm to care for by himself, and his wife's chronic illness is also in his responsibility. Ethan finds one light in his gloomy life, and that is the house maid Zeena. He and Zeena can not be together, though.

I liked this book. It was a short read, and the characters were believable. It was easy to follow, and very obviously a love story. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a short read and for teens of all ages. 

Reviewed by Anonymous, grade 11
Pacific Park Library

Monday, May 19, 2014

Batman: Arkham City, by Paul Dini

This comic takes place after the events of Batman Arkham Asylum. It centers around Batman's quest to find out the truth behind the mysterious Arkham City. Arkham City is a super prison for super criminals, and normal criminals alike. However, something sets this prison apart from others. it will be placed in the middle of Gotham City. Batman sees this as a problem, and he to tries to discourage Arkham City. Try as he might, the mysterious figurehead behind Arkham City is too powerful for even Batman to overpower. Now, Batman must face brutal gang wars, numerous super criminals, and an army of foes trained specifically to take him down, all placed in the heart of Gotham City. 

Batman: Arkham City, by Paul Dini has an interesting story line, and spectacular art. It has a chance to see what Batman is thinking about as he works as the detective he is. It makes you want to know who the mysterious mastermind behind the just as mysterious Arkham City is. It'll especially cater to fans of the comics or video games. If you are a comic fan, it's worth a read. If you are a batman fan, you should definitely give it a read. This one adventure of the Caped Crusader that you won't want to miss.

Reviewed by Gian R., grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Jurassic Park, by Michael Crichton

A mysterious company called, "Ingen" had been working on a top secret project for five years. As this mysterious project nears completion, the project must be checked by dinosaur experts Alan Grant, and Ellie Sattler, along with mathematician Ian Malcom. The top secret project turns out to be a geological zoo called, "Jurassic Park," filled with genetically created dinosaurs. This prehistoric zoo would no doubt dazzle people of all ages, until disaster strikes. A rogue worker shut down the park, allowing the dinosaurs to run free. Now with danger at every turn, the human inhabitants of Jurassic Park must fight for their very survival.

Take it from someone who's read this book a few times, Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton is a epic adventure of prehistoric proportions. Even if you've seen the film, the book Jurassic Park is worth at least one read-through. Jurassic Park is filled with suspense, and terror, action and adventure, while still catering to the scientific thinker. It probes the question,"Could dinosaurs be cloned?" Jurassic Park is one of my favorite books of all time, I very much enjoy its tense mood, and I think you should give this adventure story a try. 

Reviewed by Gian R., grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Monday, May 12, 2014

The New Dead, by Christopher Golden

The New Dead by Christopher Golden is a zombie anthology book. In the book, there are stories about military might in the beginning of an outbreak, survival in a deserted wasteland, the passion of falling in love with a zombie, and a family outing at a circus. With stories from John Connolly, Kelley Armstrong, David Liss, Jonathan Maberry, and many others, this is an insanely diverse and amusing collection.

In my opinion, The New Dead is a fantastic book to read. There are many types of writing styles included in this book. If you like books that express many writing styles, I highly recommend this book. When I read this book for the first time, I was very skeptical about the book. After reading it for a while, I was able to enjoy it more because there was a new story every time.

Reviewed by Bernard M., grade 9
Pacific Park Library

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Son of Neptune, by Rick Riordan

The book, The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan, is a fantasy story about how Percy Jackson is found by a pack of wolves and trained to be a warrior. He doesn't know how he got there, but after getting chased by the sisters of Medusa, he stumbles upon a camp made for half-bloods. He then goes on to find out he is a half-blood, and meets two other half-bloods, Hazel and Frank. Now it's Frank, Hazel, and Percy's mission to go and rescue the eagle standard which belonged to Camp Jupiter though was lost in a battle against the titans. To bring back hope to the camp, Percy has to use all his power to get the eagle standard back. 

In my opinion this was a great continuation of The Lost Hero of The Heroes of Olympus. I like how we know who Percy is, yet he doesn't, so it brings a feeling of dramatic irony into the story to the point you want to go into the story and tell Percy yourself! The characters are also very well written in terms of their back-story, so that each one of them has their own secret in which they are keeping from each other. They all have such different personalities yet they blend so great so that they can get each task done with as little consequences as possible. Overall, it has a great feel to it with a great blend of action and drama.

Reviewed by Arvin O., grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy, by Ally Carter

http://catalog.gpl.internal/ipac20/ipac.jsp?session=139E9B4U03572.21068&profile=gcent&uri=link=3100007~!932292~!3100001~!3100002&aspect=browse_search_page&menu=search&ri=1&source=~!horizon&term=Cross+my+heart+and+hope+to+spy+%2F&index=PALLTI#focusCammie Morgan, a young spy, just wants one normal semester for a change. At the Gallagher Academy, a top spy school, danger seems to follow Cammie everywhere. She learns that her private school will be the home for mysterious guests, only known by the name Blackthorne. Cammie Morgan is blamed for a school security problem putting all their identities at risk. Her and her closest friends have to go to many extremes to learn the truth about Blackthorne and to clear Cammie's name. Even though, Cammie and her friends have confidence, this mission will be more treacherous and challenging than any other they have faced.

In my opinion, Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter was amusing and thrilling to read. The humor lightened the serious situations they were put in. It is a very positive book with multiple suspenseful scenes. While tip toeing silently through forbidden corridors, the girls took the risk of getting in trouble to prove the truth. I think that young girls and teens would love reading this book over and over again. They can connect and relate to the boy drama, strong friendships, and adventures and hardships in school. While our lives may not be as exciting as Cammie's, it's still entertaining to hear about her dangerous spy adventures.

Reviewed by Jennifer G., grade 9
Montrose Branch Library

Monday, May 5, 2014

Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen is a great historical novel revolving around a 23 year old American man named Jacob. Jacob literally "runs away with the circus" after finding out that his parents had died in a car accident. He falls in love with one of the girls in the show, Marlena, who handles the elephant. Marlena is with August, a rough and abusive man who mistreats everyone-humans and animals alike- he meets. Jacob narrates his life in the time he was in the circus and after it's collapse. 

I enjoyed this book. It had a great setting and provided fine visual detail of the scenes. I could see all the characters in my mind from the descriptions by the author. I would recommend it to older audiences, probably high school level and above. Great book, overall.

Reviewed by Anonymous, grade 11
Pacific Park Library

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro  might be a science fiction novel or a love story, or it may be both. It revolves around the life of Kath, who spent her childhood until she was 16 in an exclusive "boarding school" in England with her friends Ruth and Tommy. The three grow up together and as they grow older discover more things about the place they live in and why they live in it. Though the novel is disturbing and very sad, it conveys a larger message.

I absolutely loved this book. I enjoyed every page thoroughly and thought the ending was rather magnificent. The author's style was so intricate and complicated, yet in actuality very simple and understandable. I can't begin to think of how much he must have understood his subject before he wrote about it. Great novel, great ending, great read. I would recommend it to readers in high school and older.

Reviewed by Anonymous, grade 11
Pacific Park Library

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger

In this novel, The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger,  Henry Detamble is introduced as a man with an extraordinary ability to time travel. His travels are spontaneous and most often cause him a lot of trouble. The story revolves around the romance between Henry and Clare, a girl Henry has known for very long and under strange pretense. The novel follows their troubles and their joys, imparting a powerful message at the end about the fleetingness of time.

I loved this book very, very much. It was rich with detail, and he way the chapters were laid out in such a disorderly fashion was confusing at first but I found it to be great choice by the author. I was intrigued and always left wanting more. I don't remember putting this book down. I would recommend this to teens and older audiences.

Reviewed by Anonymous, grade 11
Pacific Park Library

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Paper Towns, by John Green

In Paper Towns, by John Green, the main character Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. One night, she climbs through Quentin's bedroom window and asks him to join her on an adventure. After a night full of action, Quentin does not see Margo for weeks. Driven by his love and the promise of adventure, he sets out to find her- and so begins a journey that changes him forever.

This book is great for teens. I liked it, though at times it was a bit cheesy for me. The book did speak a lot of truth, though. People are not always who you make them out to be in your mind, and it is disappointing to realize this. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a light read. 

Reviewed by Anonymous, grade 11
Pacific Park Library

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Lost Hero, by Rick Riordan

This book starts off the Heroes of Olympus series, which caught my interest. It starts off as Jason wakes up in a bus not knowing how he got there or who he is. He is sitting next to a girl, whose name he finds out is Piper, who claims they are a couple. To make things worse, a boy who is sitting on the bus as well, whose name is Leo, claims that he is Jason's best friend! Jason realizes that they are taking a trip to the Grand Canyon, and that this is a summer camp. Though things turn upside-down when they are attacked at the canyon and are taken to camp half-blood and told they are demigods. Now they must go on a journey to save the queen of the gods, Hera.

In my opinion, The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan, starts off very well by introducing the characters and getting to the plot in a fast and simple style. Jason not only has to remember who he is and where he is but also has to go on a journey with two people who he barely knows and save the queen of the gods. This book caught my attention because I have a great interest in roman and Greek mythology, and that I had already read the Percy Jackson series. It starts the Heroes of Olympus series very nicely with the bonding of the characters and quest to find out who Jason really is, which keeps you wondering the whole story.

Reviewed by Arvin O., grade 9

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Secrets of Boys, by Hailey Abbott

http://catalog.gpl.internal/ipac20/ipac.jsp?session=13R1559E10E50.61418&profile=gcent&source=~!horizon&view=subscriptionsummary&uri=full=3100001~!676803~!6&ri=7&aspect=browse_search_page&menu=search&ipp=20&spp=20&staffonly=&term=Abbott,+Hailey&index=PAUTHOR&uindex=&aspect=browse_search_page&menu=search&ri=7#focusIn the book, The Secrets of Boys, by Hailey Abbott, Cassidy Jones has her summer all planned out; she and her BFF, Larissa, have jobs lined up at a super-trendy clothing boutique and her gorgeous, surfer boyfriend, Eric, wants her to spend time in the sand with him. Sadly, her ultra-organized and goal-oriented parents have decided she should spend her summer in an intensive language program at a university.

Can I just say how cute and romantic this book is? This book definitely will interest teenage girls. It has a plot that we can relate to and it never gets boring. It's also super easy to read. It's not one of those books that keeps you thinking for hours after you read it, but it still has a meaning. SPOILER ALERT There is this HOT TA that all girls will fall in love with while reading a description about him. Just Saying.

Reviewed by Iren H., grade 10
Glendale Central Library