Monday, December 16, 2013

The Looking Glass, by Richard Paul Evans

The story speaks about an ex-preacher named Hunter Bell who left the church after losing faith in God and living life gambling when his wife died from giving birth and about a woman named Quaye McGandley who was sold by her parents during the Potato Famine in Irish to America. These two go through harsh conditions in life as they meet together and fix their broken hearts and fall in love.

 The Looking Glass, by Richard Paul Evans, was one of the most captivating book I have ever read. Once you start reading, you can't put it down. There was not a single thing I didn't like about this book. I think many people would like this book if they were investing in a really good book to read. The book made me think that people can beat the odds, like Quaye, who was sold from her homeland to America and abused by her husband and like Hunter who lost faith in everything after his wife's death, but they beat the odds as they fall in love together to fix their broken hearts. Overall this book is possibly my favorite book of all time. I would keep this book in my shelf forever. That's just how good this book was.

Reviewed by A.H., grade 9
Montrose Library 

Unbelievable, by Sara Shepard

Unbelievable is the fourth book in the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard. This book picks up right where the last one left off. Each of the four girls (Spencer Hastings, Aria Montgomery, Hanna Marin, and Emily Fields) are dealing with their own personal nightmare. Will their troubles ever end? Well in this book, they just might. Will the girls get closer and closer to not only revealing A's true identity, but finding out who really killed Alison DiLaurentis? But how will the girls narrow down it down when everyone seems to be a suspect? Who can they trust?

Oh my, where do I start with this book. This one was by far the best of the series. Every single possible problem that could happen occurs but I like how the author shows the characters persevering and how they manage to pull through with everything. It's not a peaceful ending and that's what makes the book even better. It has so much action and drama, you can't put the book down. When things finally seem to make sense, you're once more thrown off and that's my favorite things in books. The ending is just perfect and it's not typical.

Reviewed by Nayri T., grade 10
Casa Verdugo Library

Beautiful Darkness, by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Darkness, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl is the second amazing installment in the Caster Chronicles. After the death of her uncle Macon, Lena's mourning has driven her to depression. For obvious reasons she blocks out everyone in her family, and most shockingly, Ethan. The events of her sixteenth birthday had lasting effects on everyone, the most negative of them on Lena. She starts to hang out with the wrong crowd, Dark Castors. Ethan is being ignored by Lena, and on top of that, he's getting weird visions with unbelievable details. With Lena's worrisome behavior and the odd visions, Ethan just doesn't know what to do. Will he need to enlist the help of a lifetime friend?

After reading "Beautiful Creatures" I was extremely pleased and was delighted to find out there was a sequel. I had high hopes and was even happier when they met! Kami Garcia ended Beautiful Creatures with a hint to what Beautiful Darkness would be about, but I never expected the bombshells that were revealed! I love the unique details Garcia incorporates into the novel and her writing style. One of my favorite aspects of the book is Ethan's and Lena ability to Knelt, communicate with their minds. I think that the third book will be even more amazing than the rest and can't wait to read it! I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys a dangerous forbidden romance.

Reviewed by Kristine K, grade 10 
Casa Verdugo Library

The Call of the Wild, by Jack London

In The Call of the Wild, by Jack London, a abnormally large and powerful dog named Buck lives happily with his owners in Santa Clara Valley in California. His whole life changes when he gets taken away to get sold at Canada. He gets trained as a sled dog, but the other dogs there aren't exactly friendly. He has learned that he has to fight for everything against other dogs. He has never even laid a single paw against any type of animal. But he soon finds out its fight or be killed. Will Buck answer to the Call of the Wild?

The book was FANTASTIC! It makes any book look like its been written by a amateur. The book explains the dogs mind so well. It can also be sad at some times and in a way, kind of dark. Well it is survival of the fittest after all. Its fun to watch something like Buck, a kind dog that would never hurt, into a fierce sled dog that must fight to survive. It was heavily detailed, and great in explaining the plot. I would recommend this to teens, because a child well won't understand what is going on in the plot, because of the way it was written. Read it. It is marvelous.

Reviewed by Ray B., grade 9
Montrose Library 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen

The book Hatchet, by Gary Paulsenis about a 13-year old boy named Brian who was on a plane to visit his mother, but during the ride the pilot of the plane had a heart attack, and crashed in the Canadian wilderness. 
Hatchet is one of my favorite books. The plot is very good and captures the reader's attention immediately. I would recommend this book to everyone. Hatchet made me think of what would happen if I was in Brian's shoes and was trapped in the wilderness with no help. 
Reviewed by Harry H., grade 9
Montrose Library 

The Mark of Athena, by Rick Riordan

The Mark of Athenaby Rick Riordanwas a book about 7 demigods that were trying to save the world. Annabeth, the daughter of Athena, tries to find the statue of her mother.
I enjoyed this book because it was centered around Greek and Roman gods, goddesses, and demigods. The ending was a great cliff that left the reader looking forward to the next book.
Reviewed by Jason, grade 9
Montrose Library 

Chasing Lincoln's Killer , by James L. Swanson

Chasing Lincoln's Killerby James L. Swanson, was a true story about how John Wilkes Booth assassinated Lincoln. It showed how Booth planned all the assassinations  and carried them out.
This was a great book because it was educational, but also fun to read. After i read this book, it helped me to understand the reason Booth assassinated Lincoln.  
Reviewed by Jason, grade 9
Montrose Library

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Twice a Spy, by Keith Thompson

Keith Thomson's Twice a Spy was about two ex-operatives, Charlie and Drummond Clark, who had to hide-out in Switzerland because of criminal charges that were made against them in the America's, and are trying to find a cure for Drummond's Alzheimer's disease. However, once their friend and Charlie's lover, Alice Rutherford, is kidnapped by a terrorist group, and they must get Drummond's memory back so that they can get the terrorist group what they want, a nuclear bomb. However, it is not easy task because the CIA are still hunting them down, and they have to find a way to either trick the terrorists to get Alice back, or get the nuclear bomb back once they make the trade off.

I personally liked Keith Thomson's Twice a Spy because it was suspenseful, action-packed, and had comedy at some parts. I enjoyed it most because it had two Ex-Spy's, Charlie and Drummond Clark who were being hunted by the CIA, and they pull off incredible feats. However, it is still realistic, like at one part they only get away because they happened to have scuba gear in the boat they were in. This book has a few funny jokes, such as how Drummond Alzheimer's causes him to 'be in the fog' for most the book, but at crucial moments he gets his stuff together and saves him and his son ("danger tended to jolt him into clarity"). Overall, I enjoyed this book, and would recommend it to anyone how has the time.

Reviewed by John, Grade 9.
Montrose Library

Sword of Shannara, by Terry Brooks

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks, takes place a long time ago, when an ancient Evil had ruined the world and forced man to compete with the other races - Gnomes, Trolls, Dwarfs, and Elves. But the little Shea Ohmsford, a half-elfin boy living in Shady Vale, knew very little of this conflict. But one day came Allanon, the giant and powerful Druid, to tell the last true heir of Shannara that the supposedly dead warlock lord was plotting to destroy the world, and that the only thing that could destroy him was the legendary Sword of Shannara. The fate of the whole world hung on the shoulders of this heir, this heir, was Shea.

 I loved this book and every second of it kept me on the edge of my seat, wanting to know what would happen next. The book was so suspenseful, that I couldn't put the book down at the end of RFE, I had to finish that chapter. So I hope that each and every one of you that is reading this review will go to the library and check out a copy of this book to read and enjoy!

Reviewed by Kevin S., grade 9
Montrose Library

Savvy, by Ingrid Law

Savvy, by Ingrid Law, is a book that is centered around a family with myserious powers. They have the ability to control electricity, or water, or wind, and practically anything. Each family member has a different skill. However, the main character Mibs, has a unique ability. As long as there is a drawing of any living thing on a person, she can hear the person’s thoughts. On her mission to find her dad, she has many adventures.

I didn’t really enjoy this book too much because it was extremely unrealistic, and there was a bit of romance mixed in as a sort of side story that the reader could keep up with as the main story progressed. However, for those who enjoy fantastical stories, this book will be an interesting read. 

Reviewed by Jason P., grade 9
Montrose Library 

Incantation, by Alice Hoffman

Incantation, by  Alice Hoffman, is about a girl named Estrella who lived during the Spanish Inquisiton. She had been hidden from her true identity because her family believed she was not ready for the truth! Estrella was a Jew. Her whole family was Jewish! Not long after she had found out, the massacre started. Luckily, her grandfather was part of the high court of that particular city and was pardoned for some time. However, the government found out and both him and his family were condemned to death! Estrella escaped the death sentence with her grandmother, but saw everyone in her family die.

This book, left me angry, frustrated, and heartbroken throughout the story. It let me notice reality and how our world's past was so brutal! I just felt horrible when Estrella's family died because they were Jewish! This book filled me with so many different emotions which made it even more interesting! I recommend everyone to read Incantation! The book will leave you crying for both sadness and joy! It's a great read for the summer!

Reviewed by Jilly C., grade 9
Montrose Library

The Pearl, by John Steinbeck

What would you do if you had a large pearl worth millions? In The Pearl by John Steinbeck, a pearl divers child is bitten by a snake and the only doctor refuses to help as how poor he is. This suddenly changes when he starts looking for pearls. He finds the biggest pearl the world has ever seen, but turns selfish and keeps it for himself. However, many people want it, so badly, that they would kill for it. Watch as he struggles to keep his family safe from trackers, and from the pearls evil influence.

My opinion on this book is that it offers you the hardships that Mexican people faced back then when the Spanish people took over. If your looking for a novella that is classic, this book is just that. In the end, it was really sad and can make you think the endings really unfair. I won't tell you, but the only way you will find it is by reading it. 

Reviewed by Ray B., grade 9
Montrose Library


Click, by ten outstanding authors, David Almond, Eoin Colfer, Roddy Doyle, Debora Ellis, Nick Hornby, Margo Lanagan, Gregory Maguire, Ruth Ozeki, Linda Sue Park, and Tim Wynne-Jones, came together to write one book. This is the story of nine people, Maggie, Annie, Jason, Lev, Vincent, Min, Jiro, Afela, and Margaret, that are all connected to the famous photojournalist George "Gee" Keane. He traveled the world taking pictures of people at work, at war, in sports, and at play. His two Grandchildren, Jason and Maggie, inherited from him an old camera, some pictures, seven shells, and many mysteries to solve.

I loved this book and the idea of ten authors writing the same book, each with their own chapter, and the stories of nine different people all somehow connected to Gee. I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages because of the cool idea of it and the hooking factor of the different people all connected with Gee. So I loved this book and I hope that you would take the time to read and enjoy this wonderful book the way I did.

Reviewed by Kevin S., Grade 9.
Montrose Library

Defending Jacob, by William Landay

There is a murder in a quiet town. the prime suspect is Andy's son, Jacob. Andy believes his son when he says he didn't kill the victim. Andy has to prove that his son is innocent.

I really like the book Defending Jacob, by William Landay, because you can never guess whats going to happen next. its fun to read at night because it always gives you a chilling feeling.

Reviewed by Eric Y., grade 9
Montrose Library 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Eragon, by Christopher Paolini

Eragon is just a poor farmboy when a mysterious blue rock appears at his foot while hunting. He soon learns it is a dragon egg and he is a Dragon Rider, one of the old legends he's heard about as a child. He and his dragon Saphira must stop the evil King Galbatorix and his dragon Shruikan and save Alageasia.

This book, by Christopher Paolini,  was enchanting and very hard to put down. I liked the world in which the author put his story, where Dragon Riders ruled and magic was at the hands of everyone. I think young boys will like this book very much. It made me feel like i was actually in the world of Eragon.

Reviewed by A.J.L., grade 9
Montrose Library

Monday, November 4, 2013

We'll Always Have Summer, by Jenny Han

We'll Always Have Summer, by Jenny Han, is the third and last one of the trilogy! This book i enjoyed because it basically skimmed through time and now Belly is in college and when she finds out that Jeremiah (Conrad's brother and Belly's boyfriend) had cheated on her she get furious and leaves him but he comes back with an unexpected surprise! Out of the blue he proposed to her! Since she's still in college and still a teen everyone begins confronting her and doubting her choice... On the day of the wedding she backs out because she had thought to herself,"What would Susannah say?" and after she had made her choice she had waited for years until her beloved came and swooped her off her feet at the rightest time! Can you guess who it might be?

 This book really opened my eyes to the true yet harsh reality that you can't really truly trust someone and that you always have to think before you make a difficult decision. I'm glad I read this because it truly taught me to not let distractions get the best of me and my education. I really recommend this to all teens who struggle through life that involves love! 

Reviewed by Alina O., grade 9
Montrose Library

Brothers, by Da Chen

Brothers, by Da Chen,  is about two half brothers who have the same father, a powerful general. Tan Long was born into a life of luxury and comfort while Shento was the son of the general's mistress. One is driven to glorify his father, while the other to seek revenge against him. Ironically, both fall in love with the same woman which makes their meeting inevitable.
This book was very entertaining, as it tells the story from both of the brothers' perspectives. I think teens will really like the book. It made me feel mind blown at all the scheming and plotting from the book.
Reviewed by, A,L., grade 9
Montrose Library 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Girl, Stolen, by April Henry

Girl, Stolen by April Henry is about this girl named Cheyenne Wilder, and what happens when she gets kidnapped by accident. Cheyenne Wilder is sleeping in the back of her stepmom's car while her mom gets medicine for her. Suddenly Cheyenne realizes that their car is being stolen. The kidnapper, Griffin, hadn't meant to kidnap Cheyenne, he really just want to steal the car. Once Griffin's dad figured out that Cheyenne's father is the president of a powerful corporation, everything changes. They now have a reason to keep her. Cheyenne has to survive this nightmare. Not only is she sick with pneumonia, she's also blind.

Girl, Stolen is a very suspenseful novel. This book is constantly interesting and never bored me. My favorite aspect of this book was how brave and resourceful Cheyenne was and how thoroughly her blindness was integrated into the story. Her blindness was presented in a believable and enlightening way, and I liked that she was so smart and capable. This was such a fascinating read. It was thrilling and fast-paced, I literally gasped a few times! The story was told from alternating view points and sometimes this can be distracting, but here it really worked well. Both main characters were really well written

Reviewed By: Emily R., Grade 9
Montrose Library

Between the Lines, by Samantha Van Leer

In Between the Lines, by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer, Oliver has lived in a fairytale book for as long as he can remember. All his life he has said the same lines, fighting the same battles, walking the same paths. But when the book is closed, the characters are permitted to do as they please. Unlike his companions, he has tried almost everything to escape the prison. Like Oliver, Delilah McPhee is an outcast in the high school bustle. One day, Delilah opens the book and Oliver attempts to talk to her. Surprisingly, they are able to communicate and fall into a deep love. The only obstacle in their way is the paper prison Oliver is held in.

I really did enjoy this book because it tied fiction and reality together well. The book looks really long, but it's mostly the pictures. During the story of Delilah and Oliver, the author goes back to the tale Oliver is supposed to play. It was strange reading the book because it jumped from one story to another. But overall it was a very enjoyable to read. There were some unpredicted twists in the story that I didn't see coming. I definitely suggest this book to those who like the fairytales or the sweet love stories. This is also a good read for those who have an artistic eye.

Reviewed by Alyssa, grade 9

American Sniper, by Chris Kyle

American Sniper, by Chris Kyle, is an autobiography of the most lethal sniper of all history, Chris Kyle. He shows us how life was as a Navy Seal and how exhilarating and dangerous the battlegrounds were, where he had over 160 confirmed kills. He also tells how he handled family at the same time.
This book was suspenseful. I liked all the action and details of his firefights. I believe young guys would enjoy this book. It made me think about how brave our soldiers really were and how much they sacrifice for our country's safety.

Reviewed by A.J.L., grade 9
Montrose Library 

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Arctic Incident, by Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl is back and he has finally found a lead to his missing father. Meanwhile Captain Holly Short is dealing with the goblins somehow the dumb goblins got softnose laser guns(a weapon that actually kills and since fairies don't kill they were banned) and started a smuggling buisness.The LEP thinks that it is artemis fowl but is surprised that it isn't him. Then they make a deal help find out who supplied the goblins with the weapons and pod then they'll help him find his father. While searching the Arctic they get contact from Foaly( the LEP's technician) that the goblins that they have started a rebellion and that the LEP weapons that have been upgraded by Kobi(Foaly's archrival) are all down. So they must go down and stop it and search for Artemis's father later. While the enemy ahs managed to blame the cause for the weapon malfunction and supply of soft noses to the goblin the real enemy is someone else entirely. Someone who hates Holly Short and Julius Root(Holly's commander)

This book by Eoin Colfer brought back the team of Captain Short and Artemis Fowl in the best situation possible. The People and the Mud people( the term the fairies call the human) actually helping each other with their problems. With a huge plot twist in the middle this will keep their eyes glued on the pages. It seems that being a smart aleck is a sure way to make enemies especially with a certain pixie and revenge is best when everything goes according to plan if not then you're screwed.

Reviewed by Daniel P., Grade 9.

Tenth Grade Bleeds, by Heather Brewer

Vladimir Tod is now entering the tenth grade. On the first day, Vlad saves a little Goth boy, Sprat, from two bullies. Vlad is thanked by the Goth kids for his courageous act. Vlad later has dreams in which he is stabbed in the stomach by a huge blade, in the shadows of the dream, he recognizes Otis, who has been captured by the Vampire hunter, D'Ablo. Vlad knows this because of vampire abilities to communicate through thoughts and dreams. Also, Vlad is now in a relationship with Meredith, the girl he always liked. Vlad's friendship with Henry gets weaker. And he starts to face a serious problem, he has a craving for human blood, he saves a girl named Snow from her abusive father only to later bite her neck and drink her blood. As Henry and Vlad reunite, they go after D'Ablo, together, but out of nowhere Vlad hears a scream, to see Henry being held with a sword at his throat by Ignatius, a dangerous Vampire slayer. Vlad finds out Ignatius is Vlad's grandfather, and is attempting to kill him in order to bring peace back to the family and its name...

I like this book a lot. It is filled with a lot of suspense and action. I enjoy all the fighting and the kidnapping. It's very sad as well to see what Vlad starts to go through with all the cravings for blood and his relationship with his best friend Henry. This book is definitely the darkest of the series. It is also very tragic. You must read this!
Reviewed by Haik N., Grade 10.
Montrose Library

Eleventh Grade Burns, by Heather Brewer

In Eleventh Grade Burns by Heather Brewer, Vlad is now entering the eleventh grade. An old friend, or shall I say enemy, is returning to Bathory. That friend being Joss, Henry's "cousin," who is a vampire slayer and tried killing Vlad in ninth grade. Vlad talks to Otis and they decide not to kill Joss. On the last day of that summer many vampires come to Vlad's house to celebrate the life of Otis, it's a weird celebration Vampires have. Vlad meets many new vampires and makes new friends. The school journalist, Eddie Poe, pays the bullies to bring Vlad to him and tie him up to tree, he tries to check if he is really a vampire, but Joss saves Vlad and Vlad almost kills Eddie. Vlad than attends multiple parties with his new friend snow, who he fed off of a long time ago. He than goes to the dance with her. Vlad and Otis are in trouble for removing D'Ablo's hand. While this is happening, Eddie has posted a article about Vlad being a vampire for the whole school to see. Vlad stops going to school for a while because of that. Vlad gets in a fight with D'Ablo with an extreme ending, I will definitely not tell you it though.

This book was crazy! I loved it! From start to finish it kept me inside the city of Bathory. The ending of the book was absolutely crazy! I had no idea that what happened was going to happen. This may have been one of the best books I had ever read. Everyone should read this book if they get the opportunity to. What happened in the end was just crazy, I'm still in shock even though I read it so long ago.

Reviewed by Haik N., Grade 10.
Montrose Library

The Golem's Eye, by Jonathan Stroud

Golem's Eye by Jonathan Stroud

Abandoned by his parents as a young boy, the young magician Nathaniel has risen in the ranks of London's magicians. At age 17, Nathaniel has progressed beyond the nervous, inexperienced magician he once was - and his ego has expanded with him. When he is assigned to stop the Resistance movement, a group of young commoners with natural defenses against magic, Nathaniel once again calls on the djinni Bartimaeus to help him. It's not only the Resistance threatening London, however: a gigantic mysterious creature cloaked in darkness and impervious to magic that has been destroying everything in its path. Meanwhile, Kitty, the leader of the Resistance, is planning a theft that, if successful, will finally transform her and her friends from a group of petty arsonists to a force to be reckoned with by the magician upper class.

Although this isn't my favorite book in the trilogy, it's still a worthwhile read. Bartimaeus' sections are even better than before, and I think it's in this book that Stroud was starting to get into his stride with the books. The central relationship between Nathaniel and Bartimaeus seems much more defined, and the world of the other djinni is explored more thoroughly in this book. The state of perpetual servitude of the djinni to their masters is still in effect, but the opulence of the high-class magicians is slowly drawing to a close. The war in America still rages on (this is in 1700s England) and propaganda about the war's cause is still being churned out and fed to an unwilling public. The government spies on people without their consent with vigilance spheres and search orbs, and dissenters are carted off to the Tower of London for indefinite detainment in a way reminiscent of recent times.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 11
Central Library

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Twelfth Grade Kills, by Heather Brewer

In Twelfth Grade Kills by Heather Brewer, Vladimir is entering his final year of high school. Recently, D'Ablo was killed by the shadow of who seemed to be his father, but than disappeared. Vlad thinks he is going crazy. After the death of D'Ablo, Joss is left severely injured. Vlad and Henry go visit Joss at the hospital, but they are confronted by two cops and are asked questions about Joss's injury. Joss's mother does not allow Vlad anywhere near Joss. On his way out, Vlad is attacked by four cops who are revealed to be slayers. He knocks them out cold and escapes. Vlad searches for his father with Henry, Otis, and Vikas. Finally, Vlad finds him in his hiding spot, the belfry. It is than revealed that his father is evil and only had Vlad to take his Pravus powers. Pravus being a legendary vampire. Vlad accidentally kills someone, I wont tell who, and turns Snow into a Vampire for her to survive. And the story of Vladimir Tod ends.

This book was very good. There was not much action which made me unhappy until finding out the truth about Vlad's father. I really hate that guy. It was a good book and was very tragic towards the end. I hope Tomas dies. The things that the reader finds out in this last addition to the series is absolutely crazy. I loved this book as well as the whole series. Hip Hip Hooray!

Reviewed by Haik N., Grade 10.
Montrose Library

The Last Olympian, by Rick Riordan

The story is last and fifth installment of Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan. The story talks of Percy and his friends from Camp Half-Blood who travel to New York to save the world from the Titans. They all have no idea who they will fight in order to save the world.

This book is really capturing, you read it over and over because it's so fun. What I liked about the book was the historical accuracy that came with the Greek Mythology stories. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone that likes fantasy stories with a lot of action.

Reviewed by Anthony H., Grade 9.
Montrose Library

Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut is a novel that tells the story of Billy Pilgrim, a US POW who is being held prisoner in a slaughter-house in Dresden, Germany during the end of WWII. During his time in the POW camp, Billy becomes "unstuck" in time and travels to different moments in his life, (marriage, traumatic events, etc). Billy is also taken by a flying saucer to the planet Tralfamadore, where the Tralfamadorians give him their philosophy on life and death and also time and what we perceive as a fixed moment. Due to Billy's time traveling, the story is told from a non-linear perspective.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book as it was written in a very colorful and descriptive language. Its use of dark humor makes it easier to process all of the horrible things the book describes. I also liked all of its metaphors and allegories, which help emphasize its anti- war point of view. I thought that Slaughterhouse-Five also gives a very interesting take on life and death and our perception of existence and the process of and passage of time. I would recommend Slaughterhouse-Five to anyone looking for an entertaining, insightful, and thought provoking read.

Reviewed by Alex, Grade 12.
Montrose Library

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitgerald

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is about a young man named Nick Carraway who gets a job as a bond salesmen in New York. While living there, Nick rents a house next to Jay Gatsby, a mysterious millionaire who throws lavish and extravagant parties, though he seems to never be present at them. Nick attends one such party and subsequently meets Gatsby, who takes an interest toward him and the two become friends. It is revealed that Gatsby is deeply in love with Nick's cousin Daisy, who lives across from Gatsby with her husband Tom Buchanan. The rest of the story is about Gatsby's attempt to get Daisy to leave her husband and to be with him instead

I enjoyed The Great Gatsby because of its poetic and emotional language and the way it tells a story of despair and disillusionment against the backdrop of the "Gilded Era"; 1920's America. I liked the way the book portrayed the relationship between Gatsby and Daisy as passionate and endearing, while at the same time being futile and tragic. While the Great Gatsby may seem like a soap opera to some, its themes and ideals, ( a cautionary tale of the American dream, human aspirations and social politics) still hold a truth even in the modern age. I would recommend this book to anyone

Reviewed by Alex, Grade 12
Montrose Library

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Rag and Bone Shop, by Robert Cormier

This story, The Rag and Bone Shop ,by Robert Cormier, is about a 12 year old boy named Jason, who is accused of murdering a little 7 year old girl because he was the last one to see her. He is interrogated by the police and then, the book takes a little turn. Jason constantly claims that he never murdered anyone and the police constantly cling back on him. Finally, Jason is proven innocent when the police find the actual murderer who had admitted he had done such a crime. However, towards the end of the book, Jason becomes a little psychotic, in which he says that he too wants to become a murderer after all that happened.

This book, takes an interesting toll at the end and it is very fascinating because this murder takes place in a very quiet neighborhood. The author gives off a very secretive and creative tone with the way Jason thinks about the situation. Overall, it is a superb book that I recommend everyone reads. The story line is absolutely wonderful!

Reviewed by Jilly C., grade 9
Montrose Library 

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Mother-Daughter Book Club , by Heather Vogel Frederick

The Mother-Daughter Book Club, by  Heather Vogel Frederick, is about a club that was started between four mothers to have their children become closer. However, the mothers did not realize how the 4 girls were very unlikely to become friends. The book shows the lives of all four girls, Meagan, Cassidy, Emma, and Jess. From secret crushes to heartbreaks the lives of these middle school girls are nothing, but heartwarming.

When I first picked up this book, I realized that it looked inappropriate for my age, meaning too easy. However, when I started to read it, the book made me realize that it was similar to middle schoolers today. All these connections made the book more enjoyable. No one is too old or too young to read this fascinating book. The Mother-Daughter Book Club might look odd, but that shouldn't interfere with taking the time to read this wonderful book. At times, I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time! This book was very enjoyable! I encourage everyone to read it!

Reviewed by Jilly C., grade 9
Montrose Library 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ptolemy's Gate, by Jonathan Stroud

In the final book of the Bartimaeus trilogy, tension is increasing in eighteenth-century London. More and more commoners are being born resistant to the spells of the high-ranking magician class, and the underground movement, the Resistance, is growing. Led by a girl named Kitty, it grows despite the magicians' best efforts to curb its strength. Nathaniel, a young magician whose success in the previous books has boosted him in the ranks of magicians, has started to treat his djinni Bartimaeus worse than ever. After spending too much time cooped up in an earthly form, Bartimaeus is becoming weaker than ever. The stories of Nathaniel and Kitty finally converge as djinni decide to voluntarily come into our world - and take their revenge.
Personally, I thought this book was a great ending to the series. It solidifies the mechanics of the djinni and the Other Place and explores the relationship between Nathaniel and Kitty, as well as the bond between the djinni Bartimaeus and his old master, Ptolemy, possibly the only person to not only appreciate the sacrifices made by the djinni, but to make a sacrifice of his own, one so great it affected him until his death, where he dismissed Bartimaeus before he could die as well. It's a good addition to the story because it explains why Bartimaeus acts the way he does to Nathaniel and Kitty.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 11th
Central Library

Monday, September 9, 2013

Spoiled, by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

Spoiled by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan is about your average girl named Molly Dix. Molly discovers that her biological father is Brick Berlin, who is a world famous movie star. Molly moves to Los Angeles and begins the rich and famous world of celebrity life. While in Los Angeles, Molly meets her spoiled half sister Brooke Berlin. However Los Angeles isn't what it seems for Molly. Celebrity life for Molly takes a while getting used to. Brooke isn't much help either, in face she just makes everything worse for her. Brooke is jealous that Molly is getting all the attention from the paparazzi and her dad, so she plans revenge on Molly.

This book was, entertaining, witty at times, laugh-out-loud funny, and easy to read. I loved how the author mixed in real Hollywood with each of the characters' own stories. It made me keep reading and kept me interested because I wanted to see how the two sisters, Molly and Brook, with two totally different personalities, would figure out a way to get along with each other. Spoiled is a funny and cute story. It was so much fun reading about Molly's and Brooke's relationship and how the kept doing these "stuff" to each other.  I really enjoyed reading about the sisters. The way Brooke always thought and tried all the stuff that would annoy Molly, while Molly herself tried to be nice to Brooke. The book started pretty good, but in the middle it was kind of slow. Spoiled got better and better towards the ending. The most interesting and funny character in this story would be Brick Berlin, the girls dad. Brick was so funny! I laughed at almost everything he said. Molly's friends were also very nice and tried to take care of her.  If you haven't read this book you should.

Reviewed by Emily R., Grade 9 Montrose Branch Library

Animal Farm, by George Orwell

In George Orwell's dystopic, political satire, animals on a fictional farm in England stage a coup d'état against the men who oppressed them, and they vow never to affliate with mankind. They create their own government where animals are all created equal. However, problems occur and tensions arise during power struggles between the pigs and the rest of the animals. The pigs abuse their power and torment the animals like their previous oppressors. As the story progresses, the animals discover that the idealistic view they strove for disappears as the chaos around them enfolds. This innovative novel explores the negative aspects of communism.

This symbolic story, written during the dawning of the Communist Revolution in Russia, is an interesting and unique book. It is a quick read, and I was very engaged by the storyline and the characters. Although it was rather slow to start, it gained momentum as it became evident that corruption and greed go hand-in-hand with power. It provoked awareness of the complexities of leadership and government, and how important it is to participate in the government. I was slightly disappointed by the conclusion because it didn't end on an up-note. Overall, I would recommend Animal Farm to anyone who's interested in politics and history.

Reviewed by Eamon P., Grade 9
Montrose Library

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hunger Pains, by The Harvard Lampoon

The Hunger Pains by The Harvard Lampoon is a parody of The Hunger Games. It focuses on the character Kantkiss Neverclean, who replaces her sister as a contestant on the reality show called The Hunger Games. Since Kantkiss lived in the worst telemarketing district's worst neighborhood, she was unprepared. Despite being unprepared, Kantkiss loved being on camera and loved all of the attention. Kantkiss develops a problem that builds in her heart while on the battlefield. She can't decide between the dreamy stud from home, Carol Handsomestein, or the doughy klutz, Pita Malarkey. Kantkiss Neverclean will have to fight on the battlefield to survive and to fight for love.

The title doesn’t lie; this book is a hilarious parody of the first book of the popular The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. If you plan on reading this book, I suggest you read The Hunger Games first so you can pick up on the subtleties of the humor. I enjoyed this book very much because it was a nice break from my usual, serious reading material. I was often afraid to read it in public due to the fact that I would probably end up embarrassing myself by bursting out laughing as I did when I read alone. Overall, it was an incredibly funny book that anyone would enjoy.

Reviewed by Emily R., Grade 9
Montrose Library