Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Enthusiam, by Polly Shulman

Do you have a friend who seems to have a different craze every week? Meet Julie. In Enthusiam, by Polly Shulman, Julie's friend Ashleigh gets them into lots of trouble...and excitement. Over time, Julie finds hereself in sticky love situations, including a mysterious poet who leaves love poems outside her window. Will Julie ever find her true love? I don't really recommend this book to anyone wanting a fascinating read. The book was very predicatable, and I found it hard to read each chapter without skipping a few pages now and then. Having said that, Enthusiam presents love dilemas in a cute, playful manner, and is probably best suited for the younger crowd.

Reviewed by BR, grade 9.

Beautiful Stranger, by Zoey Dean

Beautiful Stranger, by Zoey Dean, is an A-List book. The characters in this book are full of drama, wealth, and beauty. This book is full of romance, adventure, excitement, and gossip! In the story, Anna packs up her Louis Vuitton luggage and takes her best friend Samantha away from the drama world of Los Angeles to college life at Yale. There she goes to her hometown in the Upper East Side. During her time in the upper east side, she runs into a fellow classmate and falls in love. She realizes thatt he was the one for her for all time! This is a great book. I suggest this book to people who like drama, excitement, and especially romance. This book is one of New York's best selling books, so that tells you that is a wonderful book. Once you read it, you can't let go, it's that fun to read!

Reviewed by M, grade 9.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Naruto, by Masashi Kishimoto

Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto. In a village hidden in the leaves, was a meddlesome kid named Naruto Uzamaki, hence the name Naruto. He was born with the demon, The Nine Tailed Fox, in him, sealed. He spends his day either pranking the village or eating his favorite meal, ramen. He has no parents, they were killed by the nine-tailed fox. He is pranking and graffittis the statues of the 4 great hokages's( the leaders of the villages) but was caught by his sensai, Iruka sensai, he was escorted back to class and to do a transfiguration jutsu. Sasuke, his mortal enemy does aperfect clone, then it was Sakura, Naruto's crush, she also did a perfect replication. It was Naruto's turn, he made a measly one clone. Iruka sensai was not pleased, he yelled at Naruto to do it right, Naruto couldn't do it, so he failed the exams and couldn't become a ninja. He was depressed until his other sensai, sensai Mizuki told him he could pass and become a ninja only if he stole the forbidden scroll and meet him in the forest. So, Naruto did, the 4th Hokage saw what Naruto did and sent all the sensais to find him, Iruka sensai finds him studying the replication jutsu, he was practicing all night, Mizuki finds him too. Iruka and Mizuki battle it out, Mizuki was about to kill Iruka, but Naruto comes out makes about 100 clones and kicks Mizuki's butt, Iruka sensai gave Naruto his head band since Naruto passed and became a ninja. Naruto is one of the most fun anime in the list of the greatest anime. Its also a manga and people prefer to read it instead of watch it. I prefer to watch it since you can visualize it in your head, hear the voices, and watch it. I would recommend this to mostly anybody.

-Reviewed by Patrick, grade 9.

Vibes, by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Vibes, by Amy Kathleen Ryan, is about a girl named Kristi who struggles in everyday life as she has to deal with being able to read minds with thoughts. She'd rather not hear. As Kristi hangs out with her newly found friend, Gusty, she learns things about her past, her family, and herself. In my opinion, Vibes is great at teaching teens that uniqueness is something to be valued. It also teaches that being positive about the self is the key to happiness. This book is very intriguing and witty. I recommend this book to anyone looking for an interested read.


Reviewed by BR, grade 9.


L.A. Candy, by Lauren Conrad

L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad is about nineteen-year-old Jane Roberts and her best friend Scarlett who decide to move to L.A. after living in Santa Barbara for many years. Jane has come to L.A. for an internship to work as a writer for a high fashion magazine and Scarlett came to go to school at U.S.C. They both knew nothing about L.A. except for a few clubs. Jane gets her internship and Scarlett starts her year at U.S.C. After living there for a few weeks, one day they were sitting at a club and having some drinks and a producer came to them and offered them both a chance to be on a reality TV show. Do they except the offer or decline? Read the book to find out. I think this a great book for teens, mostly for girls because it's more of a girly story. There is fashion, love, romance, and everything that goes on in a girl's life. I recommend this book to all teens. It tell a very cute story, as the author describes her life and how she deals with things.

Reviewed by CH, grade 9.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bleach, by Tite Kubo

Bleach by Tite Kubo. It all starts with the main character, Ichigo Kurasaki, kicking some skater's butts for knocking over some flowers for a little girl who died there. Ever since he was little, Ichigo has been able to see the dearly beloved. He promises the little girl for some new flowers. At home, he misses his curfew and his dad punishes him. There was another ghost waiting for him, but he had ebough so he goes to his room. The next morning, he sees on the news that there was an inicident on a building nearby. He just walks past it on his way to school, then people start running in the opposite direction, inbluding the little ghost girl, there was a huge creature witha skull face, looming out og an alley, he chases after the ghost girl, thenall of a sudden, this young looking woman wearing black robes jumps in and kills the creature. Then she leaves, Ichigo thought that was strange, at night in his room, he was thinking about her when she came into his room, she thought he couldn't see her, when he kicks her in the back and yells at her and why shes here, he kind of ticks her off, so she uses a paralyses on him. She explains what she is, a soul reaper, and what the creature is, a hollow, they feed off of normal spirits. There was a ghost nearby and she puts the hilt of her sword on the ghost's head and sends him to paradise, she xplains that is what soul reapers do. They hear an explosion nearby, and Ichigo's sister comes through the door, injured, The soul reaper goes after the hollow, Ichigo tells her to release him, but she tells him to stay out of it. He then gets out of the paralysis, which is impossible to humans, she realizes he is no ordinary human, the hollow is holding his other sister and he goes after it, but the hollow punches him to the ground. The hollow senses a powerful spirit inside of Ichigo and tries to consume him, he dodges just in time and the soul reaper cuts him on the arm, the hollow left after that. The soul reaper realized that he had a powerful spirit and was hidden up until now to save his sister. The hollow came back, the hollows came because of Ichigo, he offers himself, the hollow lunges after Ichigo, and the soul reaper steps in to get injured herself, she falls to the ground, the hollow is suffering a few yards away, she gets up, bleeding from a wound. She is too injured to fight, so she gives himm her power by stabbing himself in his center and absorbing her power, becoming a soul reaper himself. She tells him her name, Rukia Kuchiki. He stabs himself just in time to slice off the hollow's arm. Instead of taking half, Ichigo takes almost all of Rukia's power. That was causing all the blockage in Rukia's senses. Ichigo slices the hollow in half, becoming a soul reaper and disposing of the hollow scum. This is another cool, action packed anime with good graphics and plot that makes sense. The characters can relate to the people either watching or reading Bleach. My only question is why the anime is called Bleach, why not reaper or something else cooler. I would recommend this to every one reading Darren Shan or watching anime who haven't watched anime before.

- Reviewed by Patrick, grade 9.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Just Listen, by Sarah Dessen

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen is a stunning story of boy meets girl. Annabel Greene seems to have it all; beauty, brains, friends. That's at least what it looks like in her modeling shoots. Annabel is a sixteen year old girl whose life is far from glamorous. Over the summer, she lost her best friend, Sophie, because Sophie thought Annabel hooked up with her boyfriend. Annabel hates modeling now, but stays in it to please her mother. To top it off, her sister, Whitney has an eating disorder that's tearing her whole family apart. With no friends and no hope for herself, Annabel stays to herself at school and home. Then, she meets Owen. Unpredictable, music obsessed, and always willing to tell the truth. With Owen's help, Annabel learns to face her fears and learn to speak up for herself. I really enjoyed this book. Its message really shined through; always speak your mind, stand up for yourself, and just listen. I recommend this book to all girls fourteen and up. It is easy to follow and really enjoyable once you get into it. I give the book four and half stars out of five. Do you think Annabel will overcome her fears and speak her mind? Read Sarah Dessen's Just Listen to find out. You won't regret reading this.

Reviewed by CH, grade 9


Maximum Ride, by James Patterson

They had escaped four years ago. Jeb, who helped them escape, treated them as their father for two years, but disappeared. Maximum Ride and her family, Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman, and Angel have been alone for two years. They seem like normal kids but are actually only 98 percent human and 2 percent bird. The six kids were genetically engineered in a lab, living like caged rats always being experimented on. Now their main predator, Erasers - half human, half wolf has found them and the lab wants them back. The mission for them is the following; rescue six year old Angel from the lab, find a secret address to track down the flock's missing parents, get revenage on an evil traitor, and save the world. The series Maximum Ride, by James Patterson is about six extraordinary kids saving the world from evil white coats and more. These books are for people who likes lots of adventure, drama, science fiction and face paced stories.

Reviewed by AP, grade 9.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

An Acquaintance with Darkness, by Ann Rinaldi

This book, An Acquaintance with Darkness by Ann Rinaldi, talks about a 14-year old girl, Emily Pigbush, who became an orphan after the Civil War ended. Against her dead mother's wishes, she moved in with her Uncle Valentine, a prominent Washington, D.C doctor. Emily soons learns that her guardian is a grave robber. Appalled at this discovery she runs away. What will Emily do next? Emily's story plays out against Lincoln's assassination and its impact on her best friend, Annie Surratt, whose mother ran the boardinghouse where the conspirators met. This book was good. I liked it because the settings are after the Civil War and Lincoln's assassination. I like that it looks at grave robbers and how that furthers the cause of medicine. I recommend this book to all young adults of both genders.

Reviewed by AD, grade 9


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Peeps, by Scott Westerfeld

Peeps, by Scott Westerfeld, is about someone who hunts vampires so they don't create more. There is no magic when it comes to vampires, it's actually a disease. Cal Thompson is infected with the parasite but luckily he is only a carrier -- still in control without the worst of the symptoms. But he has infected all of his recents girlfriends who have all turned into Peeps (parasite positives). Now Cal's job is to hunt them down before they create more Peeps. This novel is for readers who like action and fiction stories.

Reviewed by AP, grade 9.


Monday, October 26, 2009

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You, by Ally Carter

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Alley Carter is about Cammie Morgan who attends the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women. To the general public, this is just another private school for upper class girls in Roseville, Virginia. What they don't know is that it's actually a school for girls who have qualifications of becoming a spy. They learn martial arts and almost every single language imaginable. Breaking CIA codes counts as extra credit. As a sophmore, Cammie is required to take a class called Covert Operations taught by the new teacher, Joe Solomon. Cammie and her friends are put in charge a practice mission. While on the mission, Cammie meets Josh Abrams, a student from a local high school who know nothing about Gallagher girls. To cover her identity, she creates an alter ego. Soon enough, Cammie and Jose start to fall for each other. Will Cammie and Josh be able to be together or will being a Gallagher girl be too much for this romance? Personally I liked this book. It was fast paced and I enjoyed reading it from Cammie's perspective. I would recommend this to girls looking for a romance novel. It also has a lot of action. It will keep you wanting more.


-Reviewed by RK, grade 9

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Adoration of Jenna Fox, by Mary Pearson

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson is about a teenage girl who just recovers from a serious accident. It is in the future where technology has advanced to where a person can use synthetic materials to replace lost or damaged parts of your body. For example, if you were in a fire, and were severely burned, the doctors could grow new skin for you, or bones, or even your brain. The main character, Jenna, doesn't know about her accident. As the story unfolds, you and Jenna start to realize that her recovery wasn't normal. When she sleeps, it is like she is in limbo -- in between dreaming and just vast emptiness. Jenna discovers that parts of her body are fake, and starts to wonder how much of her is real. She finds that only ten percent of her brain is real. Is she still Jenna? Or is she someone new? My opinion of this book is that it was REALLY good. I don't normally like the whole science fiction thing, into the future stuff, but this was good. The time (future) didn't make that big of a difference. Mary Pearson's writing made it seem lik ethe plat was actually happening today. The plot slowly unfolded, with a lot of suspense . There were also parts of the book, where the author wrote, like, a poem how Jenna feels, like, in her head . It was something that I've never read before, and it was interesting. She also wrote like a teenager, and she got the feelings of any teen pressured to be their parent's North Star perfectly. I think the main message of this book was to move on, and let things go. I also think it brings up a good topic for discussion. Would you want someone to live if only ten percent of their real self was left? Or would you rather go naturally? It questions humanity and your ethics. It really made me stop and think.

-Reviewed by AP, grade 9

Venomous, by Christopher Krovatin

Venomous, by Christopher Krovatin, is about Locke Vinetti is no normal kid. Ever since he was eight years old, he had a small problem. Okay, a huge problem. He calls it the Venom. Tommy Ferreo was the first to provoke it. He ended up with the top of his nose bitten off. But when Locke meets Renee, a goth with a troubled past, he falls in love with her. But he can lose if/when she gets hurt.

My opinion of the book was that it was very good. Even though it was a teen book, I think it should have been a mature teen book. It has lots of swear words. And a few sex scenes but nothing THAT bad. Overall, it was well-written, and it was enjoyable.

-Reviewed by AM, grade 9

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, is about an Earthling and aliens traveling the universe. One day, Arthur Dent, the Earthling, hears that his house is going to be cleared away in order to create a bypass on the Earth. Coincidently, Vogons, aliens from far away, are planning to demolish Earth to create a bypass in the universe. Few seconds before the Earth is destroyed, Arthur is saved by his alien friend, Ford Prefect, who is a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy. By Ford’s hitchhiking skills, Arthur and Ford are picked up by a Vogon spaceship. Vogons hated hitchhikers, so they throw them out in the universe. When Arthur and Ford are about to die, Heart of Gold, another spaceship, picks them up fortunately. In the Heart of Gold, Arthur and Ford meet Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed president of the galaxy, Trillion, Zaphod’s girlfriend, and Marvin, a depressed robot. All together, they take a journey to find out the answer of life, the universe, and everything. Also, they find out why Earth was made. To find out the answers read the book! It is time worth reading, especially for those who love science fiction and humor. You won’t be able to let go of the book when you start reading.

-Reviewed by SC, grade 9


Dreamland, Sarah Dessen

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen is about a girl named Caitlin. Her older, perfect sister just ran away from home, leaving a huge gaping hole in her family. Caitlin is now forced to try and fill that hole. She becomes a cheerleader, and her mother jumps on the opportunity to get involved with Caitlin's life. She starts to realize that maybe her older sister didn't have it as easy as she thought. Caitlin feels pressured to do things she wouldn't normally do. She meets Rogerson Biscoe, and he's just what the doctor ordered. At first things are perfect. Then one incident lead to another and he hits her. Will Caitlin be strong enough to break away? I think that Dreamland is a book every girl should read. It shows that when you are in an abusive relationship, no matter what you think, there will be someone there to help you out. You are not alone. It is also written really well. Sarah dessen can really write like a teenage girl. I also thing that this book represents a large portion of relationships. It shows that the world is not all perfect and happy go lucky. Many argue that this book isn't one of Sarah Dessen's best works. However, I think that its because people want to read about how the girl gets with the gorgeous boy in the end and they all live happily ever after. But in real life, that's not the case. This book shows reality, and it's like a wakeup call for Caitlin and for the readers too.

-Reviewed by AP, grade 9


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Invincible, by Troy Denning

In the book Invisible, by Troy Denning, Luke Skywalker and the rebels came up with a goal...eliminate Darth Caedus, formerly known as Jacen Solo. Newly trained Jaina Solo, daughter of Han and Leia Solo, has been given this important mission of assassinating her now disgraced twin brother. The Jedi try numerous plots to set Jaina up to destroy him, but many fail. Will Jaina succeed? Will the Moffs succeed in destroying the Hapan Alliance and their Queen? To be continued ……….

I would give the book an outstanding recommendation for its action, adventure, and epic battles. Though I would also recommend you read the ones before this book before divulging into it. Out of ten, I would give it a nine. Good reading!

-Reviewed by AL, grade 9


Anna of Byzantium, by Tracy Barrett

Jealousy, misfortune and friendship are the story of Anna Comnenus. Anna of Byzantium by Tracy Barrett, taking place in the 11th century, is about a young princess losing her promised throne to none other than her bratty little brother. After her attempted assassination of him, she was banished by her brother, John, to live with the nuns on a cold, deserted mountain. Slivers of her memory grabbed her and pulled her into a daydream of her past life. She remembers all those her mattered to her; Simon (her real father to her), her mother (the only one who understood), Constantine Ducas (her beloved fiance) and Sophia (her best friend). Her past and the people in it are haunting her. Anna of Byzantium is a great historical book that teaches you being spoiled will get your nowhere. Many people can relate to this story because most of us fight with our siblings and take life for granted. Anna, however, takes it to the extremes when she tries to murder him to gain power over the throne. This book also shows you that you never know what you have until you lose it. I recommend this book to 7th graders because it's the beginning of the part of your life where every little fight matters.

-Reviewed by YS, grade 9


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Briana's Gift, by Lurlene McDaniel

Briana's Gift, by Lurlene McDaniel, was a story about a girl named Susanna. Her father died in December and now her mother has a debilitating arthritis. On top of that her older sister, Briana, ran away with her boyfriend. December is not a good month for Susanna. A couple of months later Briana comes back home pregnant without her boyfriend. Briana and Susanna were becoming closer and things were starting to look better until Brianna became deathly ill. She and her mother have to make impossible decisions. The family finds themselves coming together as their lives falls apart. I really enjoyed reading Briana's Gift. It was especially personal and touching to me because I have a sister and it made me appreciate my family. It also helps you appreciate what you do have and not to take life for granted. I recommend this book to all teens. It's an amazing book that you'll never want to put down.

-Reviewed by SR, grade 9


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer, has to be one of the best books written in its time. It centers around three major characters: Artemis Fowl, Butler and Officer Holly Short. Artemis is a scrawny, spoiled son of a prominent and legendary criminal, who wants to restore his family’s fortune and their billionaire status. However, he is no ordinary boy. No, Artemis Fowl is a child prodigy, and his genius will play a big role as the plot takes it’s many twists and turns. Along with his butler, full-time bodyguard, and only friend, Artemis steals precious moments with "The Book," a living code of living for the world of the fairy race. This act begins a war between technologically advanced fairy race versus the intellectually advanced Artemis Fowl and weapons specialist, Butler. Who will win? Eoin Colfer did an amazing job writing this book, which is packed with action, humor, and unexpected twists in the plot. Also, it shows how someone who seems to be cold and hard-hearted, is still capable of compassion. Some of the action can get gory. Teens will eat up this novel, and beg for more. Good thing it’s a series, because there are five more books to enjoy.

-Reviewed by CM, grade 9


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Trigger, by Susan Vaught

Trigger, by Susan Vaught, is about a boy who pulled the trigger on himself and happened to survive. Jersey Hatch leaves the hospital with one blind eye, a limp, a bad arm, and a very highly damaged brain. Jersey also doesn't remember anything from his sophomore year. With the help of his ex-best-friend's grandma, he tries to figure out why he tried to kill himself. During his adventure Jersey faces bullying, love, and trust from the people around him. This book is an outstanding book for teenagers and will somewhat teach them not to judge people by the way they act. Also it's not quite as easy to get sucked into as one might hope, but once readers are sufficiently pulled into the story, they won't be able to put this book down. Susan Vaught does an incredible job with Jersey and his damaged brain. It really helps and puts you in his position. Trigger is a great book, and I think everyone should give it a try.

- Reviewed by Amir, grade 9.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Impulse, by Ellen Hopkins

Impulse, by Ellen Hopkins, is about three teenagers that are going through difficult times. Tony's painful childhood memories can only be dealt with through drugs and pills, Vanessa has a problem with cutting herself, and Connor is suicidal because of his problems with parents, peers, and himself. If not for the intervention by loved ones, their lives would have been cut short. The three of them are kept in a mental institution so they can be kept safe. They're given a second chance at life. But will they be able to let go of the problems they keep inside for good? I highly recommend this book to anyone because it really gets you thinking and it's touching and shocking how hard some people's lives might be. But it teaches you to appreciate life. I really enjoyed reading this book and I'm sure a lot of people would enjoy it too.

- Reviewed by S., grade 9.


Monday, August 31, 2009

Flipped, by Wendelin Van Draanen

Flipped, by Wendelin Van Draanen, is told by the two different perspectives of Juli and Bryce. Ever since Juli was a young girl, she has chased after Bryce who was supposedly the love of her life. However, Bryce has a different point of view and thinks of Juli as an obsessive, weird girl who has always been there for him. But things all start to change after an accidental occurence and Juli keeps her distance from Bryce. Both of their feelings have changed and they seem to have swapped their views of one another. The romance of these two cute, real characters is relatable to any other normal teenagers. I think this book is a very fun one to read and interesting because it's from the point of two different aspects of the male and female teens. I recommend this for teenagers who have felt the pain of a heartbreak or the joy of being in young teenage love because these two characters know how it feels like when their feelings are FLIPPED.

- Reviewed by A., grade 9.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wicked, by Gregory Maguire

Probably every kid watched the famous Disney movie, The Wizard of Oz, and wondered why the witch was so twisted. Well, this classic novel, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, by Gregory Maguire, describes how the witch actually deserves sympathy instead of contemption. The witch was actually a misunderstood mutant green child, Elphaba, who had love affairs and longed for attention from her parents who refrained from their abnormal green girl. This is a book for those imaginative people who can easily draw vivid pictures in their mind. After you read this interesting book, you won't be able to look at The Wizard of Oz the same.

- Reviewed by RJ, grade 9.


Monday, August 24, 2009

Gathering Blue, by Lois Lowry

Gathering Blue is a part of the series that features The Giver and Messenger. I recommend this book to people who enjoy good mysteries. Lois Lowry is a great author and this is another example of her great work. If you enjoyed either of The Giver or Messenger this is a must-read. I have read all three of these books and Gathering Blue would probably have to be my favorite.

Kira, an orphan who suffers from a twisted leg, is a gifted weaver. She enjoys many privileges because of her special talent but she begins to suspect things aren't all perfect as they seem to be. She uncovers dark secrets about her community. She lives in a town that is blocked off from all outside communication. She is determined to find out what lies beyond their walls, but she is beginning to ask dangerous questions. While on her journey to answer these mysterious questions, she becomes friends with a boy named Matt who accompanies her on journeys to discover new thread colors for her weaving and other adventures. I enjoyed this book and am sure others will too.

- Reviewed by Erick, grade 9.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher

As Clay Jensen comes home one day, he finds a package for him containing tapes. As he listens, he recognizes Hannah Baker's voice and the reason he received these tapes. Hannah tells Clay that he was responsible for her horrible death. As Clay listens to the tapes and goes to the spots in town that Hannah tells him to, he finds out secrets that alter his life. Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher, is a powerful book that explains a girl's loss in humanity. I learned a lot from this book like what rumors and drama can do to a person's life. I recommend this book to any teenager who loves a little amount of suspense and drama.

- Reviewed by CL, grade 9.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Frozen Fire, by Tim Bowler

Frozen Fire, by Tim Bowler, is a thrilling and mysterious book. The book begins with a girl named Dusty, who gets a phone call from a strange boy. At first, she felt scared not knowing what to do, but then hearing his voice made her curious and pay attention to his words. It seems that this boy wants to escape the miserable life by killing himself, while Dusty decides to help and convince him to stay alive. Even though, Dusty feels scared not knowing what will happen to her, she believes that this boy knows something about her brother's disappearance. She hopes to find the boy and save his life, while finding new clues that will lead her in finding her brother, Josh. However, she doesn't know that she might be in great danger for saving that boy's life. In my opinion, this book is extremely fascinating and at the same time mysterious. I loved this book, because it provides heartbreaking, action, and adventurous experiences that teach people about life. How you can't have everything in life and that it sometimes can be very unpredictable. You must read the whole book to experience the sadness, the danger, and the bravery the characters go through.

- Reviewed by Anna, grade 9.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Sucks to Be Me, by Kimberly Pauley

Sucks to Be Me, by Kimberly Pauley, is a great book. It's about a girl named Mina who finds out she has to choose between being a vampire or a human. She has to make this decision in only 4 weeks. Her family and friends help her but in the end she is the one with the final choice. This book is great because it strips away a lot of the vampire stereotypes. It's really funny to see the main character struggling with regular teen issues and not-so-regular vampire issues. There are no bad parts to this book because it's a great book for anyone to read. I would recommend this to 9th graders and above.

- Reviewed by Emma, grade 10.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Gone, by Michael Grant

Gone, by Michael Grant, is a great book [and is the first in a series]. I personally loved it. Well the book is about a teenager named Sam who has a superpower and he does not know that he does. The sad thing is that he also has a brother that he does not know. Well when Sam found out that he had a brother he was mad that his mother kept this secret from him. When he went home to tell his mom that he found out he had a brother, she was not there. He looked everywhere for her but she was nowhere to be found. So Sam waited and waited and waited, but she never came home. In fact, none of the parents came home. Sam was now scared so he went to his friend's house, but on the way there he saw a fire. He started to help and when he did he found out that a little girl was trapped and went in. When he went in, the little girl was scared. AND SHE SHOT FIRE OUT OF HER HANDS. He almost got killed, and after that the girl passed out. Sam went to get her and when she .... well I guess you have to read the rest to find out. I think this book is good for the age of 13-19. The thing I like about this book is its action and adventures. The thing I didn't like about the book is when the action turns into beating and violence. It made me feel like I was in the book when I was reading. It was fun, exciting, and sometimes sad. But overall it was a great book for people who like adventure or action. If not, you still might like it because it has some romance. The best book I have read so far.

- Reviewed by Tanya.


Monday, August 3, 2009

Flight, by Sherman Alexie

Flight, by Sherman Alexie, is about a Native American Indian teen who starts out planning a bank robbery but as he's about to he goes back in time and learns about what it was like to be an Indian in different time frames. He learns how it was like to live during the Civil War and about his father who never recognized him as his son. The protagonist begins by not giving a care about his life to a mature teenager who accepts his destiny which are in the hands of himself and a thoughtful police officer who saves him from the other foster homes. This book is both funny and is filled with action. This book is simple to read and the language is comprehensible which makes the pages of the story easier to finish. I recommend this book to anyone who loves reading for the fun of it. :)

- Reviewed by Nassima, grade 11.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Annie's Baby, by Beatrice Sparks

Annie's Baby, by Beatrice Sparks, is about a fourteen-year-old girl that meets a guy named Danny. At first she thinks he's perfect and the best person in the world. Then her life slowly starts to change and she finds out she's pregnant by him. Annie's devastated and doesn't know what she should do. She realizes that Danny isn't really as great as he seems, and she's stressing out because she can't handle the responsibility of being a mother. Will she be able to raise a baby by herself? I really liked this book because it teaches you how dangerous unprotected sex can be. I finished this book in just a few hours because once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. It really teaches you a lot and gets you thinking. Any girl would enjoy reading this book.

- Reviewed by A., grade 9.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lord Loss, by Darren Shan

Lord Loss, by Darren Shan, is a particular book filled with action, horror, gore, and a little bit of chess. It's a story that contains demons, blood, guts, werewolves, and enjoyment with each page. Grubbs Grady is a boy that came home one day and found his family slaughtered by demons and a strange looking demon, with human-like qualities, except he has pale red skin, no nose, legs, or heart and he has blood dripping through cracks in his body, yea nothing special. Demons run after Grubbs and he escapes a very close death. But from then on, he gets sent to a mental hospital and is classified as a wreck. [Grubbs must outwit not only the mental health professionals determined to cure his delusion, but also the demonic forces only he can see.]

Honestly, when I first read this I was trembling. From both excitement of the thrill of the book and fear of all the blood and gore. I was amused at the Demonata series and went off in search for the other books. This series is fascinating with all the action and puts you right in the battles. I would recommend this to all teens who crave blood and guts. The author, Darren Shan, is a genius in breathing this series.

- Reviewed by Patrick, grade 9.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson

Have you ever wanted to say something but never had a chance to speak out? The book Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson, is about a teenage girl named Melinda who is a total outcast and is about to enter high school knowing she called the police at a party during the summer. No one really knows what really happened to her that night. As the novel continues, the author gives hints to the reader to what really happened to her. She becomes very isolated with herself, family, and friends. Melinda expresses her feelings and emotions through art and as she progresses to become a better artist, will she decide to speak out about what happened the night of the party?

In my opinion, Speak is an amazing book filled with many obstacles that a typical teenager overcomes as a new high school student. It teaches a lesson to always speak out and get help whenever it is necessary. Speaking out helps one emotionally and physically through what they are going through. One doesn't want to end up being like Melinda - an outcast and isolated with everything. I think everyone should speak their heart out about anything. I recommend this book to anyone who has any problems speaking out and with self esteem. Speak might give perspective to those that relate to the same problems. Speak out!

- Reviewed by Thomas, grade 9.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lucky, by Rachel Vail

Lucky, by Rachel Vail, is a fine read for teens. This book revolves around the life of 8th grader Phoebe Avery, who with her four closest friends plans to throw a graduation party for their entire class. Phoebe's plans, however, get sidetracked when her seemingly perfect, stock market mother gets fired from her job. Phoebe ends up having to choose between her friends or her family, but at the end Phoebe learns with the help of her two older sisters and her best friend the real meaning of friendship. I enjoyed reading this book. I think many girls can relate to Phoebe because of the financial crisis of the country. However, the book did ramble on in the beginning, but it ended well. I believe this book is best geared toward middle school girls because I don't think boys would be interested in this girl's problems and it is a bit too young for high schoolers. Overall, Lucky is a fun, easy read with a good plot.

- Reviewed by Nareh, grade 9.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

A Child Called It, by Dave Pelzer

A Child Called It, by Dave Pelzer, is about a boy's intense courage to survive from one of the most severe child abuse cases in California history. When Dave Pelzer was young, he was beaten and starved physically and mentally by his crazy mother who was alcoholic. One day, his mother "accidentally" stabbed him on his ribs for not finishing dishwashing in time. Not only that, his mother starved him for ten consecutive days and tortured him with cold water, burning stove, and more. His helpless dad and his brothers just watched him suffer alone. Despite his age, he learned to play his mother's games in order to survive because she didn't consider him a son, but a slave. Later, a school teacher and a nurse help him out and free him from his mother.

In my opinion, this book was great and it planted a different idea of serious case of child abusing. Before I read this book, I didn't even know this kind of child abuse case existed. I was inspired by Dave Pelzer because he survived and grew to be a successful man even though he was deeply hurt in his heart by his parents and brothers. Thinking about Dave Pelzer's hard times, I learned that I should be grateful for my parents for not starving and beating me. I would rate this book FIVE STARS for his inspiration for many people to fight against abuse cases. Way to go Mr. Pelzer!

- Reviewed by Joseph, grade 9.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Daemon Hall, by Andrew Nance

Daemon Hall, by Andrew Nance, is about a famous author who holds a horror writing contest for aspiring young authors. Whoever wins will have their book published. The contest is held in a supposedly "haunted" house called Daemon Hall. However, while the young authors are participating in the contest, horrible things happen in the house that don't have a logical explanation. This book is a bit on the short side, but the content is good. It usually sticks to the plot except when the kids are telling their own stories. The plus side of this book is that it is pretty scary. The minus is that at times it gets a bit boring and confusing. I would recommend it to horror fans and those who like to read about dark humor.

- Reviewed by Emma K., grade 10.


Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Duma Key, by Stephen King

Edgar Freemantle was a successful, wealthy contractor until a tragic construction accident took his right arm, his career, and almost his life. After the accident, his marriage falls apart, and with the advice of his doctor, he decides to leave Minnesota to regroup. Although he doesn't know exactly why, the location he chooses is Duma Key, Florida. Once there, he discovers an inexplicable interest in and talent for drawing, and is soon churning out several paintings a week. After meeting Elizabeth Eastlake and Wireman, however, he realizes this talent does have an explanation, and that his art may be trying to send him a very sinister message. Despite the almost 700 pages of writing, Duma Key basically goes nowhere. It could have been cut in half, and all of the necessary, interesting details and plot would still have been in the story. In short, the book wasn't terrible, it was just mediocre. True Stephen King fans would be very disappointed.

- Reviewed by MarinaDW, grade 10.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

City of the Beasts, by Isabel Allende

In City of the Beasts, by Isabel Allende, the main character Alexander journeys to the Amazon with his grandmother. On his action-filled adventure he goes from being an immature boy to a well-rounded man. He makes new friends and begins to understand the true importance of nature. Alexander learns how to respect the boundaries of nature, how to be a true friend, how to be a leader, and to put the interests of others above his own.

Alexander travels throughout the Amazon with the National Geographic team in search of a legendary being called "the beast." Along the way he meets up with a tribe of Indians who ask for his help. This book teaches about how many Indian tribes in the Amazon are disappearing because outsiders cut down their trees and cause their land to be destroyed. This book is full of many unique characters, and Alexander finds out that the beast is not merely a legend. I really enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to anybody who likes a thrilling adventure novel.

- Reviewed by Jane, grade 9.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Two-Way Street , by Lauren Barnholdt

Two-Way Street, by Lauren Barnholdt, is about Courtney and her ex, Jordan. At first Jordan and Courtney are mad in love with each other. They were not the typical couple in high school but they seemed to work out perfectly. They're even driving cross-country together for a college orientation. But out of nowhere Jordan breaks up with Courtney. And for what reason? Jordan tells Courtney that he met this girl on the Internet and that he has lost interest in Courtney. Not only is Courtney extremely confused and hurt, but she is also stuck with Jordan on the road trip. It's way too late to change plans so Courtney has no choice but to sit in Jordan's TrailBlazer for hours. But something seems a little fishy. Turns out, Jordan is keeping a secret or two from Courtney. The secrets have everything to do with their breakup and why they cannot get back together. What exactly is the secret? How can one secret destroy this destined couple? This book has got to be one of my favorite books. This book teaches its readers a very good lesson: there are two sides to every breakup. It's about love and breakups. It's funny and mysterious. It's everything in one. And with that said I recommend this book to teenage girls who find romance and mystery in a book interesting. This book contains many twists and turns, so much so it will get you hooked. It is very intriguing book that keeps its readers wanting more.

- Reviewed by Ashley, grade 10.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Private, by Kate Brian

In Private, by Kate Brian, Reed Brennan is a high school sophomore who has won a scholarship to the prestigious Easton Academy in Connecticut. When she arrives at school, she is expecting hoards of glam, flawless girls and cute, preppy boys, but even those notions aren't enough to prepare her for the Billings Girls. The Billings Girls reside in the most exclusive dorm on campus, where all members must be voted in, and are the most affluent, beautiful, and powerful girls on campus. Once she sees them, she is willing to do anything to become a part of the esteemed dorm, including complete fake initiations and tedious tasks, and clean every Billings Girl's room. Once she's in, however, she realizes that the facade of beauty, wealth, and prestige hides something much less glamorous, and very sinister. Although I've read a million fish-out-of-water novels about girls in boarding school, I believe that the Private series is in a class of its own. Although it still has very teen elements, the plot goes far beyond the typical boyfriend-stealing, rumor-spreading nonsense of other books in this genre. I would recommend Private, as well as the rest of the books in the series, to everyone.

- Reviewed by MarinaDW, grade 10.