Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Party by Tom Leveen

In Party by Tom Leveen,eleven different characters give their take of the biggest party of the year. It's just another Saturday night in Santa Barbara and everyone has plans to make an arrival to the end of the year party where most expect to let loose and have fun. Little did they know that it's going to be more complicated than that. For these teens their reason for being there differs and varies. As the story continues, their entire perspective and stories tie together to give you one crazy night that you and the characters will never forget.

I honestly loved this book. It had me laughing and turning pages so quickly as secrets were revealed and the drama continued. All the characters are unique and relatable. No two characters were alike and the whole story felt real. It's going to have you feeling as if you were at this party along with them. It's now one of my favorite books. Trust me , as the story progresses; you won't want to stop until you finish the book!

D.R., grade 9

Brothers in Arms, by Paul Langan

In Brothers in Arms  by Paul Langan , Martin Luna is a high school student who got in trouble. His little brother got shot by a bullet which wasn't planned for him. Martin was full of revenge. His mom did everything to her son in the right path, but the choice was Martin's. He can either be a good son and brother or pull the trigger and take his revenge.

So far this is the most interesting book I have ever read. This kept my interest from the beginning to the very end. I felt I was a witness in the story, like I was inside it. This book didn't bore me or make me feel like I was wasting my time. Eventually, I am very confident to recommend this book to everyone.

Alis B, grade 10

Monday, January 30, 2012

Crossed, by Ally Condie

In Crossed by Ally Condie which is a sequel to the greatly reviewed novel Matched, Crossed begins with Cassie starting her journey to find Ky in the Outer Provinces. The novel is told through both Cassie and Ky's perspective. Cassie's perspective provides a viewpoint of her journey to find Ky, while Ky's perspective provides a viewpoint on his life away from Society and more importantly away from Cassia. Once they find each other, they meet new people who help them to find a new world that they both thought were make believe. When all seems well, we find out Ky has a secret he is keeping from Cassie, and they are separated yet again.

A more action packed novel then the first, Crossed answered all the questions I had regarding the first book. I enjoyed the omniscient perspective and I'm sure other readers will too. Cassie and Ky's journey will keep you on your feet. This novel is filled with mystery and secrets as well as love and action. I look forward to the last novel in this trilogy.

Justine, grade 9

Matched, by Ally Condie

In Matched by Ally Condie, Cassie lives in the "Society," a society where everything is decided for you, everything from who you love to when you die. When Cassie sees her best friend Xander is her match she is thrilled, but everything quickly goes wrong when she see another face on her match screen, a face that is not Xander's. Cassie begins to question the Society. She begins to question everthing she believes in and realizes that maybe the Society doesn't know what is best for you and that you do have a choice.

An empowering novel, Cassie is a lone voice in a conformist society. I immensely enjoyed the theme of making a choice in this novel because choices are what we must make everyday in our lives. Along witht that, the novel also makes you think about the choices you should make. The novel creates a scene of hope when all things seem dire. This dystopian novel is a must read for all book lovers.

Justine, grade 12

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is the second to last book in the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. In this book, a few loose ends are tied up and bigger secrets and mysteries are revealed. Voldemort is now back and everybody knows it, so there is fear in a majority of the magic community. Harry is told by Professor Dumbledore that they will have regular meetings in which Harry will be learning more about Voldemort. Together, both of them learn about Voldemorts past, present, and possible future. Also there are several incidents where students get hurt at the school.

This book is one of the better ones of the series. As the characters get older and more mature, you are able to learn more about what is happening and get the more complete story. I like the way that the author incorporates the feelings of confusion and chaos in this book. I love the way you get to learn more about Voldemort and discover secrets, and how everything gets connected in this book. The way J. K. Rowling manages to be so creative and descriptive is amazing. Also, if you're into love, jealousy, and mystery than you'd really like this book.

-Reviewed by Nayri T., grade 9.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the fifth book in the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. The book starts off with an unexpected Dementor attack on Privet Drive in which Harry protects himself and his cousin Dudley by using magic, which is against the law. Harry is then rescued by members of the Order of the Phoenix (a group dedicated to stopping Voldemort) and they take him to headquarters of the Order. Harry has to attend a disciplinary hearing at the Ministry of Magic, where they will determine if Harry gets expelled from Hogwarts or not. Besides that, there is much more "adventures" that await for Harry.

This book is my second favorite book in the whole series because this is the one where everything starts happening. This is the one where the corruption is discovered, allegiances are placed, and the movement occurs. The authors writing in this is amazing. J. K. Rowlings creativity never ceases to amaze me. The way everything is placed, written, and thought of is absolutely perfect. I would recommend this book to anyone who believes in rebellions and standing up for what you believe in. There is also a refreshing sense of romance in this book. So if you like romance and adventure, you'd like this book.

-Reviewed by Nayri T., grade 9.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the fourth book in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Harry, the Weasley's, and Hermione get to go to the Quidditch World Cup. While they are at the World Cup, Death Eaters (supporters of Voldemort) come and cast the Dark Mark in the sky. When they are at Hogwarts, they are told that the surprise is the Triwizard Tournament, which hasn't occurred in years. Once again, Harry has trouble awaiting for him because his name gets pulled out of the cup, meaning he has to compete in the Tournament even though he's underage. When he tells people that he didn't put his name in the cup, they don't believe him, and he is left alone to face the dangers of the Tournament.

I liked and disliked this book for several reasons. I didn't like it because there are parts where it is very stretched out. And when Harry and Ron get into an argument, it is very annoying because they are both being stubborn and don't talk for a very long time, and the book feels very empty without Ron by Harry's side. I liked it because you see how Harry decides to handle situations and you see his weaker side a bit because of the stress of the Tournament. I would recommend this book to people who like action, tension, and mystery.

- Reviewed by Nayri T., grade 9.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is the third book in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. While living at the Dursleys, Uncle Vernon's, Aunt Marge, comes to visit. When Aunt Marge and Harry get into a fight, he accidentally makes her inflate and leaves the house. He spends the rest of his summer in Diagon Alley where he learns about the mass-murderer Sirius Black and how he has escaped Azkaban, which is known to be an impossible task. What Harry finds out is that Sirius Black has escaped to find Harry and kill him. In this book, Harry matures a bit more and you see how he faces with the problems that come.

The Prisoner of Azkaban is probably one of my top favorite books in the whole Harry Potter series. I love how this is the book where they start to mature a bit more. Harry learns how to deal with problems that come along and you see his talent in school. I love the descriptions that take place in the book, especially during the scenes where they are in class. And of course, my favorite thing about the whole series, is the insane plot twists that come along in every book. I would recommend this book to people who like suspense and magic.

- Reviewed by Nayri T., grade 9.


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J.K. Rowling

The book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second book of the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. In this book, it is Harry's second year at Hogwarts. While at the Dursleys, he gets a surprise visit from a house elf named Dobby. Harry is told by Dobby that dangerous things are happening at Hogwarts and that he shouldn't go back. Harry, of course, ignores the warning and goes to school. While there, strange things do begin to occur. Harry starts hearing voices and students get attacked by an unknown creature. Harry, Ron, and Hermione take it upon themselves to find out what is going on.

In comparison to the other Harry Potter books in the series, I did not like this one too much. There were points where it was too long and stretched out, so it became boring for me. The climax came too late in the story, so it was very slow. But overall, when everything did start happening and things started to get going, I liked the book very much. Just like the Sorcerer's Stone, it had unimaginable twists in the plot, which is my favorite part of any book. Also, the descriptions again were very good. I would recommend this book to people who like action, but I wouldn't recommend the book to people who are impatient.

-Reviewed by Nayri T., grade 9.