Thursday, January 3, 2013

Never Have I Ever, by Sara Shepard

In her new life impersonating Sutton, Emma is scared to death. Her confidence in Ethan about her true identity proves to be a plus and their romance is definitely growing. Against the murderer's orders, Emma digs deeper into the mystery of Sutton's death. She ignores the threatening messages sent from her sister's murderer and investigates her current lead: Lily and Gabby. The Twitter Twins, a nickname given for their obsession with social media, have several reasons to hate Sutton, one involving a Lying Game prank that resulted in Gabby having a seizure. Another topic that keeps coming up is Thayer. What did Sutton have to do with his disappearance?

Being the second book in the series, I think Never Have I Ever, by Sara Shepard, was an okay read. I wasn't as connected to the characters as I was in the first book, but there was a connection. One thing that did annoy me, and Sutton too, was Emma's lack of courage with Ethan! It was too repetitive yet cute at the same time. Sara Shepard continues to deliver her spectacular writing however. The cruelness of the Lying Game and its members is truly frightening. Why would such pampered, happy girls enjoy the misery of others? What kept me on the edge of my seat definitely was the determination the Twitter Twins displayed, especially at the end...I would recommend this book to fans of the television series or previous Sara Shepard fans.

-Reviewed by Kristine K., grade 9.
Casa Verdugo Library

Stolen: A Letter to My Captor, by Lucy Christopher

What if you were taken from everything you knew? Your family, your home, your safety? In Stolen: A Letter to My Captor, by Lucy Christopher, sixteen year old British city dweller Gemma is taken from the life she knew in an airport while on vacation with her family. Her kidnapper, Ty, takes her to the outbacks of Australia which looks like a wasteland to the eye of one who has lived in the city their whole life. But Ty sees an opportunity for a new life, more connected with the earth and free from the vicious cycle of city life. But Ty is not a stereotype kidnapper, and soon, Gemma starts to sympathize with him when she sees his true colors. Is she beggining to realize what Ty's dream is or is this a classic case of Stockholm Syndrome?

What I like most about this book is that it is not a very common theme that you see in a lot of kidnapping-type novels. This one sort of steps outside the box when it comes to establishing the antagonist because Gemmas captor isn't exactly evil, nor is he good. It is absolutely an intersting read and it really stuck with me after finishing it. I would rate it a 8.5/10 for its unorthodox type of plot and deep character developement. You really see who each character is and the author gives us a lot of insight on their thoughts and reasoning.

Reviewed by Cody W., grade 12.
Montrose Library

The Lies of Locke Lamor, by Scott Lynch

The Lies of Locke Lamora is a fiction/fantasy novel by Scott Lynch which follows the escapades of a group of bandit thieves called the Gentlemen Ba******. They are dedicated to stealing from the rich nobles of the city of Camorr. The book is separated into two different parts with one chapter following the main character Locke and his gang of fellow thieves and the following chapter giving insight into the history of Camorr and the Gentlemen Ba******. The Gentlemen Ba****** run into a problem when a mysterious and shady man named the Grey King approaches Locke with a task; to impersonate him in a meeting with lord of the criminal underworld.

This book is a perfect twist on Robin Hood and a grade A spy book. I loved reading this novel about lies, secrets, deception and betrayal. But the non-stop twists in the plot will have anyone wondering what will come next. If you like fantasy books, this will be one that you can not pass up! The cleverly woven story is a pleasure to read and I also like that it explains to the reader the history of Camorr so that we have a deeper understanding of the people who live in this city of corruption and greed, as well as thieves and mercenaries.

- Reviewed by Cody W., grade 12.
Montrose Library

When Zachary Beaver Came to Town, by Kimberly Willis Holt

The book When Zachary Beaver Came to Town, by Kimberly Willis Holt, takes place in a small town where nothing exciting ever happens, until now, when the fattest boy in the world, Zachary Beaver, arrives. He sits in his trailer all day while people pay to look at him. Toby, the main character, somewhat becomes Zachary's friend. Both Zachary and Toby have some life changing experiences that summer, and when Zachary's visit is over and he has to leave, the whole town, especially Toby, has forever been changed. He helped them see everything in a different way, from a different perspective.

I did not really like this book that much. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone really, it was kind of boring. I was really disappointed because when I found out what it was about, I was expecting it to be funny and interesting. It didn't have any suspenseful moments and I didn't really get into it. I didn't really want to keep reading, but I finished it in hopes of it becoming more interesting or having a twist at the end; but sadly there wasn't. I really did not enjoy this book at all and I just wish there was more to it.

Reviewed by Melody N., grade 9.
Central Library