Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, by Jennifer E. Smith

Due to a solely four minute delay, it truly seems to Hadley Sullivan as if it is one of the worst day in her seventeen years of life. These four minutes render her stuck at the JFK airport, because she has missed her flight,and utterly late to her father's second wedding in London to another woman, who she has never met. Hadley has not seen her father in two years, and still has not forgiven him for falling in love while being a temporary professor at Oxford, leaving her mom stranded with a daughter and drastically changing their lives. This consumes her mind, that is, until she meets a young gentleman who offers to be of help during her annoying time at the cramped waiting area. His British accent catches her off guard, let alone his handsome looks, as they eat at an airport restaurant and acquaint themselves to each other. It is then that they find out they are sitting in the same row. Yet, it takes her a while to find out his name is, in fact, Oliver. He is charming in a way that almost completely diverts Hadley's attention from her dread about the upcoming marriage and those involved in it. Not to mention, he distracts her from her sudden claustrophobia that many a time overtakes her when she is in a closed space. Oliver takes his seat adjacent to her on the flight across the Atlantic Ocean and showers her with his accent and witty quips. It is no wonder Hadley finds herself wishing the plane ride would never end. After they land, the two separate at customs in a whirlwind. Hadley is then forced back to reality once again when she must think about what the day's celebrations mean for her relationship with her father. However, a part of her mind is still stuck on the Oliver that eased her apprehension as he talked and the undoubtable romantic tension that ensued on the plane ride. Yet, the hope that they would see each other again is diminished by the fact that they had not even exchanged any contact information. Meeting her new stepmother, seeing her father for the first time in over a year, and trying to take in all the new people in her father's life that are about to be a part of her life as well, her thoughts drift over to Oliver. She asks the question: was the plane ride an isolated even or could it possibly be the start of something great?

This time-oriented, romantic novel can best be explained as cinematic. Throughout the book  The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, by Jennifer E. Smith, ones thoughts transcend to a motion picture in their head. It's a good thing this book is actually in the development for a screen play. Set over a time period of twenty-four hours, this quirky tale has is filled with first love, apologies, and family. Hadley and Oliver's story will persuade you that love at first sight exists in the most unlikely of places when you expect it the least. This novel displays two incredibly likable and relatable characters. Young girls could definitely connect to Hadley's character and undoubtedly fall in love with Oliver alongside her. This book does a wonderful job of portraying the feelings of a teen who is not sure how to deal with the deluge of sudden changes in her family. We get flashbacks explain to us about her former life. They are like a cup of hot chocolate by the fireside compared to cold, present life of Hadley the author does a good job of describing. Although a simple plot, the storyline progresses with pleasantly skillful descriptions. I think it would serve the book justice for it to have a different title. For a volume filled with such clever banter, a quirkier title would have been more appropriate. Additionally, it would not repel all the love-at-first-sight haters. The two characters take a while to open up. Don't think that this story is cheesy in the least. It is a feel-good, heart-warming tale of love at first twenty-four hours. It might seem a little unrealistic for Hadley to find her way around London by herself without getting lost when she is determined to encounter Oliver once again. It is, nevertheless, fiction. Although we can go into criticizing what is and is not possible when we put ourselves in that situation, the realistic factors of realistic fiction can only be taken into consideration to some extent. The author is entitled to using their creative license.

In essence, this is the ultimate story of fate, reunion, and forgiveness. It is a family geared story. It is the superb, slim novel to pick up if you're looking for a quick yet enveloping read. I'd recommend taking this book on an airplane ride of your own. It is too bad this probably will not happen to us in real life. I'd rate this book four and a half stars.

Reviewed by Alexis K., Grade 11

Montrose Library

Monday, August 14, 2017

Your Lie in April, by Naoshi Narakawa

Your Lie in April, by Naoshi Narakawa, is a book about a young boy named Arima Kousei, a piano prodigy who can't play the piano anymore. In this volume of the series, Arima meets Kaori Miyazono, a happy-go-lucky girl who turned his world upside down. Kaori tries to persuade Kousei into playing the piano again and this time, as her accompaniment in competitions. It was not only Kaori that tried to persuade Kousei, but his two other friends, Watari and Tsubaki, forced Kousei into playing the piano again, not to make him famous again, but to give him a closure with his painful past.

This book has a plot that I have not seen before. The author did a really good job capturing the feeling of being alone and seeing the world in a monochrome tone. I think that people who like music and romance would like this book. This book made me connect to my life of how I see the world in a monochrome manner. This is a story that most introverts can relate to because the main character, Kousei Arima, acts like an introvert himself. Not only is this book about romance and music, it also teaches you a lot about life and how to live it without regrets. It teaches you things like, if you are trying to run away from something, you will always find a reason not to see it, or do it and another thing that this book teaches you is to face your problems head on, because if you do not, you might end up regretting it. Overall, if you are a fan of anime and manga, this is definitely a series that you must read.

Reviewed by R.P., Grade 9
Casa Verdugo Library

Fear Street: The New Girl, by R.L. Stine

R.L. Stine's Fear Street:The New Girl is about Cory Brooks a teenage boy in Shadyside High School. One day he was in the cafeteria standing on his head with a tray of spaghetti balanced upright in his right hand. He was dared to do this by his best friend David. Then his eyes focused on a blonde girl in an old fashioned Blue dress on the other side of the cafeteria. Her name is Anna Corwin. From the first moment he saw her he immediately fell in love. He was obsessed with her. He couldn't sleep for a few nights in a row. He managed to get her phone number and then he called her one night. Her brother picked up the phone, Brad. Cory said if it was the Corwins house and he said yes. Then Cory asked if Anna was there and then suddenly Brad was screaming and saying "Anna is DEAD!", then he hung up. Cory tried again a few nights later, still he said the same thing. Then the same night he decides to go there just to see if Anna is alright. She lives on Fear Street and on Fear Street there is said to be many unsolved cases of murder and strange creatures that lurk during the night. Cory is afraid of the street, but still he came. She jumped in his car, and out of nowhere kissed him very hard and for a long time. Then when Cory asked if she was alright, Anna looked out all the windows then ran out of the car. Days passed by and he told David all about it. One day Cory’s close friend Lisa found a dead cat in her Locker. She thinks that it was Anna but Cory can’t see Anna doing something so wrong. Lisa thinks that Anna did it because she is jealous that they are friends (Cory and Lisa). Homecoming dance was near and Cory went with Lisa. She has been friends with him ever since. During the dance Lisa went to go use the restroom then fell down the stairs and known saw who pushed her down. Cory found out that it was Brad. The next day he found Anna at school and held her tight and said that they need to talk. Anna told Cory about how Brad is crazy and killed their sister, Willa. A few nights later Cory goes down to Anna’s house to free Anna and confront Brad…

I would definitely recommend this to some of my friends. This is one of R.L. Stine's books that I actually enjoyed reading. Some of my friends are avid readers, so I would recommend this book to them. In the book I liked the way Stine announced the characters to the scene. I didn't really like it when in almost every other page one of the characters were ether laughing or annoyed at someone else, but I think that it helped the story flow better. I guess that it was a really good book because when I read the book it was over the weekend and I didn't even stop to play video games. I liked the book so much that I was reading over one hundred pages a day. By the time I knew it I was done with the book and then wondering what else to do. When I came to the part where Anna was explaining about how brad is "Crazy", I wanted Cory to ask some questions to Anna about who she really was. I also would have changed Cory’s personality in general because he just completely ignores Lisa’s ideas and opinions. Whenever she talks he just complete ignores her questions, and changes the subject and talks about someone else. Whenever Cory talked about Anna around Lisa, Lisa always got jealous. So in return when he talked about her, she pushed Cory away. If I wrote the book I would change those parts so she would just change the subject back instead of pushing her friend. R.L. Stine just made it so obvious that Lisa was ignored by Cory. Also when Cory and Lisa found the dead cat in her locker I would have liked it if Cory went to go talk to her and say if it was her or not. Even if he likes her or not still it would have been better if he did that. Just before they found the cat Anna, Cory and Lisa were all talking together in the middle of Lisa’s locker. I liked that parts when Cory sneaked out and went to Fear Street, because of the streets nature. Apparently the street is supposed to be haunted. Every time he went in his car to go to Fear Street and ultimately see Anna, he had the since to turn back and try to call again, but there was something telling him to go and talk to her, that’s what I personally liked from the book.

Reviewed by Aren, Grade 9

Pacific Park Library

Echo, by Kate Morgenroth

The book ECHO, by Kate Morgenroth, follows the story of a young boy named Justin who has to deal with a voice in his head after his brother Mark's death. Before his brother’s death, Justin was a popular guy among his classmates and dated Megan, one of the prettiest girls in school. After the accident involving his younger brother’s passing, everyone began to look at Justin as a monster. The voice in his head makes Justin relive the day that he got in a fight with his former best friend, which lead to a horrible accident.

I personally enjoyed reading this book because of the mystery behind it. It was interesting to find out what the voice in Justin’s head was. I would recommend this book for anyone who likes mysterious and suspisious stories. The characters in the story have very interesting personalities, which helps keep the story going. This book made me think about the consequences and aftermath of a tragedy that follows people in their daily lives.

Reviewed by G.Z.
Grade 10, Glendale Central Library

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Clary wants to go to Idris to find a cure for her mother. When Jace and the others leave without Clary, she creates a Portal. After Jace tells her to leave, she befriends Sebastion. When she finds out Simon is imprisoned, she must rescue him.
I loved this book so much! There were so many plot twists, the end being the biggest of them all. I was so not expecting what happened in this book to happen. It was all just so amazing.

Review by Anisa A. Grade 8
Casa Verdugo Library

Monday, October 17, 2016

GIrl Online, by Zoe Sugg

Girl Online, by Zoe Sugg, is a novel based on romance, drama and fame. This book was written by British Youtube blogger named Zoe aka Zoella. The book starts of with a girl named Penny Parker and she lives in England with her best friend Elliot who is also her neighbor. Penny is the type of person who is fun, quirky, clumsy; she is basically that type of girl who makes a fool of herself because she is never herself. The only thing she can keep truthful and real is her passion for photography. With her amazing skills she is assigned to take photos of the actors and actress' in her school play. During her time there drama is created between an old friend Megan and a boy she has been crushing on since forever aka Ollie. Through out the story so much drama and embarrassment is created so her parents decide to take her to New York, along with Elliot (since Penny's mom is a wedding planner and she has a wedding to plan there). Towards the end she fall for a boy named Noah aka Brooklyn Boy. Did I forget to mention Penny has an anonymous blog where she calls her self "Girl Online"! Well things begin to go down hill thanks to secrets and drama. 

I loved Girl Online. I thought it would be a memoir as many youtubers do but Zoella ended up writing a novel as she included her actual life. I noticed how she talked about her anxiety and certain things such as her writing a secret blog. I feel like I can see Zoella doing that at some point. I recommend this book who love a romance and drama but as well to people who adore Zoella. I also recommend her second book "GirlOnline:Tour ". I will soon be starting that book because I absolutely loved her first novel. At the end of the day I feel like Zoella wrote the book to her style so that was great.

Reviewed by Andrea V., Grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Monday, September 5, 2016

Someone Like You, by Sarah Dessen

Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen describes the normal life of a teenager that has suddenly become not so normal anymore. Halley Cooke is your average fifteen year old with a controlling therapist mother, quiet father who avoids confrontations, and one and only best friend, whom she can always count on, Scarlett. Everything is normal until Scarlett’s boyfriend, Michael Sherwood, dies, Scarlett learns she’s pregnant with his baby, and Halley gets involved with bad boy Macon Faulkner, and this is when the new definition of normal has to be made.

First and foremost, Dessen has written a book that captures the real and raw emotions of teenagers. She does not overdo it, making her characters have a tantrum on every other page, nor does she leave them bland, showing no significant emotions. She is able to bring out that rawness and energy that is experienced with the emotions. The author is very good in her pacing of the story, and keeps reminding the reader of the time going by with the mention of holidays and months. Her exposition is not slow and she jumps right into it, and it does not slow down during the book. She also weaves a very sweet and enviable friendship between Halley and Scarlett, but I would have appreciated a little bit more history of their friendship rather than only the start of it. Macon’s and Halley’s relationship throughout the story is also admirable in its actuality. The author didn’t create a relationship that sprung out of nowhere and leave the reader to question if the characters were together or not. The reader is also pulled in by the conflict between Halley and her mother, which is experienced by many teenagers everywhere, and so is very relatable. Her characters, especially Halley, are realistic and totally relatable with their thoughts and actions and win the sympathy of the readers (at least for me). Dessen creates a small town setting with comfy little characters that have to make big, uncomfortable, and life-changing decisions that make the book all too real.

Lilit, Grade 12
Central Library

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Fallout, by S.A. Bodeen

After being held in a compound by his mentally insane father for six years, Eli is finally reunited with his twin brother, Eddy and his grandmother. As they reemerge and try to lead normal lives, Eli feels as if they are being watched everywhere they go. This anxiety worsens as new information arises from his father's company and Eddy's new suspicious friend. Unsure of who to trust, nothing seems normal to Eli anymore, which makes trying to fit in even more complicated than it already was.
Fallout by S.A. Bodeen was a good end to The Compound and it was written and executed nicely. I liked how the problems that Eli and hi family had had were figured out and they had a shot at leading normal lives after being deprived of six years of it. They all change for the better and learn more things about themselves and each other that they hadn't known before. I really liked the book and would recommend both books to anyone into young-adult, almost dystopian types of books.
Lusine M., Grade 9
Central Library

Monday, August 29, 2016

For One More Day, by Mitch Albom

For One More Day, by Mitch Albom, that forces you to realize that the concept of family is never simply black and white and you only know what you had until you lose it. Charley “Chick” Benetto’s life has gone down the drain: he has lost all his money, developed a drinking problem, and has been shut out of his only daughter’s life by not being invited to her wedding. One night he decides to drive out to his hometown and take his life, but instead is given the privilege to visit his dead mother who had raised him and his sister as a single mother in the 1960s. He is given the chance to spend one more day with his beloved mother and learn her sacrifices and realize the strength of parental love.

Albom creates a unique voice for the protagonist: he’s bitterly funny and heartbreakingly broken. He deftly alternates between his past childhood memories and his present situation with his mother. Each memory tugs at the heartstrings for the young boy who grew up way too fast. It also keeps readers intrigued with the secrets that unravel one after the other, continuously shocking and gasp-worthy. The way that Charley is presented and described is also painfully heartbreaking and can be related to in so many ways. The author does a very good job with tone and playing with readers’ emotions. I found myself crying from start to finish, and just when I thought I ran out of tears, fresh ones would pop up. This is not a read for the emotionally weak person because it will make your heart ache and eyes flood with every turn of the page.

Reviewed by Lilit, Grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Code Geass: Knight, by Various

Code Geass: Knight, by Various, is a collection of light-hearted stories based Code Geass. Fifteen authors all share their take on Lelouch's rebellion, often using gags to question elements in the original.

There is no indecation on the outside of the book showing that this is a spin-off, so the reader has no way of knowing to read the Code Geass first. Originally thinking that Knight was a story on its own, I was very frustrated when reading this. And as one may expect, I first thought that the book was just terribly written. But, I have since changed my opinion.

After some digging, I found out the real nature of Knight and I read Code Geass. Once I was clued-in on the backstory for Knight's mini-stories, I found that the book wasn't too bad. The jokes are funny enough, and it is very interesting seeing 15 different takes on Code Geass' art style. But, besides that, there isn't much for me to say about this book. 

If you are a big fan of the Code Geass series, you may want to read this for a few laughs about a notoriously dark series. But I wouldn't recommend this for the general public. It's only funny if you know the original, and the lack of a cover summary leads to frustrating confusion. 

Reviewed by Matty, Grade 12
Montrose Library

Monday, August 22, 2016

Hexed, by Michelle Krys

Hexed, by Michelle Krys, is about a girl named Indigo blackwood who is just as any regular teenager even though her quirky mom owns an occult shop and a nerd wont stop trying to be her friend but she's still high in the social status for example: popular cheerleader, football- star boyfriend and a social circle to make everyone's lives at her school a living hell, then mysteriously a guy dies right in front of her and a dusty old family bible her mom is freakishly possessive of is stolen. but that's when a sexy stranger named Bishop enters Indie's world, it's when that moment she learns that her destiny involves a lot more than pom-pom's and parties. if she doesn't get that bible back, every witch on the planet will die (yup you heard me "witch's"), and that's major bad news for indie because according to bishop, she's a witch too. so forced into centuries old war between witches and sorcerers, Indie is about to uncover the dark truths about her life and a future unlike any other she's ever imagined on top of the cheer pyramid

If you're into magic witches and sorcerers then this is the book for you, I would defiantly recommend this to teen's of all ages, the plot isn't just some supernatural story where the girl is learning how to fight with supernatural powers and falls for her trainer, no it is completely the opposite there is action comedy and very little bit of romance. if this isn't the book for you then your crazy not to give it a chance, if you ever finish the book don't worry the author will be writing the sequel soon and you can get on e-books, to me if this book was on a scale from 1-10 I would rate it a defiant 10.

Reviewed by Nina G., Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Invisible, by James Patterson

Emmy Dockery thinks that there is a link between hundreds of unsolved cases, she takes a leave of her job as an FBI researcher to take these cases on by herself. Everyone thinks shes crazy and not even her ex-boyfriend believes her. Although no one believes her, Emmy is determined to prove them all wrong and find out who was in charge of her sister's death. But not even Emmy is totally prepared for what is yet to come on her journey to get justice for her sister and and all the other hundreds of unsolved cases.

Invisible, by James Patterson, was very exciting and pretty fast paced. The author created twists and turns that you wouldn't expect and that made it harder to put down. It was mysterious and interesting, making it an enjoyable read. I would recommend this to anyone who likes mystery, thriller, and action based books, and I would definitely read this book a few more times. The book was very well-written and there is just enough of suspense and action to keep you satisfied.

Reviewed by Lusine M., Grade 8
Glendale Central Library

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Distance Between Us, by Kasie West

Caymen Meyers and her mother have learned the tactics of the rich and that they are not people who should be trusted. She is struck head over heels when she meets Xander Spence, a rich boy who meets all the opposite characteristics she has set on the rich. Through their journey Caymen realizes that he may be different and decides to give him a chance. They are met with many difficulties and new discoveries that not only affect their relationship, but also families.

I thought The Distance Between Us, by Kasie West, was fantastic and a great easy, summer reading. I loved the plot and the surprising events that occur throughout the book. I mainly enjoyed getting to know the main character Caymen as she has many different layers to her personality. I would recommend this book for readers who are looking for a romance book without a heavy plot.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library