Thursday, February 28, 2013

Forget Me Not, by Coleen Murtagh Paratore

"Forget Me Not" by Coleen Murtagh Paratore is the fourth in the series "The Wedding Planner's Daughter." Teenaged Willa Havisham's summer is going to be filled with lots of beach, best friends, books, and her boyfriend, Joey Kennelly. Her mother Stella is even letting Willa plan a wedding all by herself! However, the summer takes a turn for the worst when part of the beach gets closed off and causes upset in town, Willa's best friend starts hanging out with someone else, she gets into a fight with Joey, and the bride of Willa's wedding turns out to be a bridezilla!

I read this book as summer reading because it was relatively short and fun. Afterwards, however, I thought this book was only okay. It didn't really have a developed plot, or any conflicts. There were a bunch of little skirmishes that the main character, Willa, had to get over, but really, there wasn't a main conflict. It was more of a diary of an average teen, which I guess was the point; but I think there should've been a main conflict. There wasn't much suspense either. I was a fan of the other books, but this one let me down. The summary on the back of the book was misleading. It made the book sound a lot better than it really was.
Overall, the book had no conflict and little plot, but the way the author told the rest of the story was really detailed. The story was told in first-person, so the way Willa saw the world was the way that I saw it when I read it. The entire story seemed anticlimatic, and I would only suggest this book if one is looking for light reading.

Reviewed by Gabby Y., grade 10
Montrose Library

The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney

The book The Face on theMilk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney, is about a girl named Janie Johnson, who notices the pictures of missing children on her milk carton. She never gave much thought to these faces, but one day she saw a face that she recognized to be her own. She recognized her face, hair, and the dress that the girl in the picture wore. She can't believe that her amazing, loving parents could have possibly kidnapped her. How could that be true? She does not want to believe it, and she has to find out exactly what really happened.

I think the Face on the Milk Carton was a very unique story and it was very interesting at times. But sometimes it got kind of boring and I wasn't motivated to read it. But I think that overall, it was a great book. I would recommend this book to everyone. This book sometimes had my eyes glued to the pages, but there were moments where I questioned if I should continue to read this book. But I am very glad I did. It was all worth reading, in the end. I definitely enjoyed reading this book and I hope to read more books by this author.

Reviewed by Melody N., grade 9.
Central Library

I Am Number Four, by Pittacus Lore

The book I Am Number Four, by Pittacus Lore, is about a boy from a planet called Lorien. He never stays in one place for long and he is always hiding. He lives on Earth, he looks like and blends easily in with humans, and is constantly escaping the Mogadorians, who are set out to kill him and others of his kind in numbered order from one to nine. He is the fourth on their list, and the third one was just killed. He is in more danger than he ever was before. He has to do everything in his power to save himself.

I really enjoyed reading the book I Am Number Four because I don't usually read books with a lot of action or anything at all that is similar to this. It was a nice change, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that this book was exciting and very interesting. I could not take my eyes off of it. I kept on wanting to know what will happen next. There were surprises around every corner! I would definitely recommend this book to all readers, I guarantee that anyone who reads this book will enjoy it as much as I did! I can't wait to read the sequel!

Melody N, grade 9
Central Library

The Wedding, by Nicholas Sparks

The book The Wedding, by Nicholas Sparks, is surprisingly about a married couple falling OUT of love. It all starts when the husband forgets their anniversary, and it all goes downhill from there. They have grown apart over time and the romance is absolutely gone. He asks himself if his wife even loves him anymore? But planning their daughter's wedding together is making them become closer again, and it is the perfect chance for the husband to make his wife fall in love with him all over again. He works hard to earn his wife's love throughout the whole story.

I loved The Wedding so much! It was such a great book! I was very surprised and thrilled with the shocking twist at the end. I would recommend this book to those readers who have previously read Nicholas Sparks's book, The Notebook, because it includes a few characters from that book. This book made my jaw drop. I could not put it down, especially towards the end of it. I was in love with this book; my eyes were practically glued to the pages. It has become one of my favorite books and I can't wait to read it again

Reviewed by Melody N., grade 9.
Central Library

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl Jr. is a 12 year old boy, son of an Irish crime lord Artemis Fowl Sr. But Artemis is not your average 12 year old; he has an unusually high intellect and follows in his father's footsteps as a crime lord. Through intense research and non-stop searching Artemis believes he has confirmed the existence of fairies and wishes to exploit them and their power for glory and profit. So he sets his plan into action, tracking down LEP officer Captain Holly Short and capturing her in hopes to hold her ransom against the people of the Lower Elements. But the Lower Elements Police are not to be under-estimated and Artemis Fowl will soon find out how far they are willing to go to get back their comrade; and preserve the secrecy of their people.

Artemis Fowl, by Eoin Colfer, is a mind-bending science-fiction novel that will keep you entertained throughout the whole story. It has action,drama and a sort of spy-film like style which draws the reader in and keeps you hooked. I like how the author made the antagonist of the series a young boy genius so that you do not expect such a young child to be capable of pulling off the schemes that he does. The novel is the first in the series but I guarantee after finishing the first one you will want to go out and buy the next because this series is one that you absolutely must read.

Reviewed by Cody W., grade 12.
Montrose Library

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, by Avi

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi is about a 13 year old girls voyage from Liverpool, England to her family's new home in Providence, Rhode Island. Not only is she left alone as the only passenger on the ship, but she is the only female as well. As if that's not bad enough, on this innocent trip, Charlotte is hated by the crew, is accused of a murder, brought to trial, and found guilty. See how poor Charlotte lives on the ship, deals with the crew, the captain, and manages to get mixed up in this terrible situation!

This is one of my ultimate favorite books I have ever read. I love the authors descriptions and how he foreshadows everything so well. He sets the scene and the mood very well too. In addition, he also puts nearly everything very understandably, so it keeps the story easy to follow. I also love the thrill and suspense that he creates and how scared this book can make you. You connect with the main characters and while reading it, you feel like part of the crew. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes suspense, thrill, mystery, and surprises.

Reviewed by Nayri T., grade 9.
Central Library

The Lost Boy, by Dave Pelzer

The Lost Boy, by David Pelzer, is about a boy named David who has been in foster care for about six years already. The fear of returning home to his alcoholic mother always haunted him. David was never accepted by his peers at foster homes, so he did everything to fit in. He began to not act like himself, he was rude and cruel to others. Including taking violent actions such as stealing. Sooner or later David ended up in Juvenile Detention Center. Once he turned 18 he was released, it was time for him to go on the world himself. Even after everything David was put through, he was determined to find the positive aspects of life.

My opinion of this book would be that it has a deeper meaning than just a child that has been abused. At a young age, David was put through more than most kids his age could handle. He had trouble after trouble coming his way. He remained strong, even if it meant facing the world all by himself. He had no one to lean on, he no idea what the world had planned for him but he was determined to make the best out of it. This story is a perfect example of no matter how many times you’ve been knocked down, what matters is that you still get back on your feet.

Reviewed by William, grade 12

The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck takes place in China during the early 20th century. It is about a poor farmer whose belief in the land never changes. He believed that only the land can be trusted and only the land can be generous enough to provide for his children. He believed that until he owns the land, his family will the able to continue the living; land was his life and he believed as long as the land exists his family was safe to overcome the hunger, poverty and other disasters. The main character is the farmer Wang Lung who owns a small land; he marries a slave name O-Ian from the Big House and his life starts changing because his wife helps him to work on the land and bears him five children, most importantly three sons. In the end of the story, however, the legacy that this farmer tries to pass on to his children does not go through because his children looked at land only as a tool to make money without any emotional attachments that Wang Lung and his wife had to their land. His kids got older, they were spoiled and behaved selfishly; all they cared was how much the land was worth to sell.

I really liked this book because it is a very emotional book that tells you about the hardship of life. It also shows how two generations can look at the same thing differently.

Reviewed by E. P., grade 10.

The Human Comedy, by William Saroyan

The Human Comedy by William Saroyan is about a family in World War II, a widowed mother left with four children; a daughter and three sons. Marcus the eldest brother is away serving, the middle brother Homer who is the main character is 17 years old and works in the post office as a messenger where he becomes the fastest messenger in his city of Ithaca; he is a messenger because he wants to help the family out financially. Finally, the youngest son is Ulysses who is a curious little person and all he does is hang around the little city and observing everything curiously. This story is about the hopes and dreams of everyday life that can go both ways, good or bad.

This book is a great American classic novel that is very heartwarming and relevant to today’s life. This story fills you up with great emotion while entertaining you so much that you will not be able to put the book down. It is filled with very funny adventures while covering everyday’s sad events.

Reviewed by E.P., grade 10.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dash and Lily's Book of Dares, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

"I've left some clues for you. If you want them, turn the page. If you don't, put the book back on the shelf, please."
This quote was the first thing that immediately pulled me in when I turned the cover of Rachel Cohn and David Levithan's novel, Dash and Lily's Book of Dares. Told in alternating points of view, these two teens are looking for something of an adventure. Lily has left a red notebook on the shelf of The Strand in hopes of her future boyfriend picking it up and following the dares she has left in them. Dash was the actual boy who picks it up and follows its instructions. Throughout their winter break, both Dash and Lily pass off the notebook to each other in random places throughout New York, filling it with their deepest thoughts. But is trading your truest feelings to a complete stranger a good idea? If they meet in person, will it lose the magic of the notebook?

Just from reading the first page in this book, it peaked my interest. I loved the characters that came to be of Dash and Lily. The dares were cute but difficult and it left me wondering if I would ever have the guts to do that sort of thing. Flipping each page was a new and refreshing twist. The only con I would say the book has is its ending. The story itself has this amazing plot line and the ending didn't live up to the rest of the book. But I would still recommend this book to teens looking for a daring journey they've never had before.

Reviewed by M.K.R., grade 9.
Montrose Library

Carrie, by Stephen King

Carrie by Stephen King is a horror book that you can never put down. Carrie has a mother who is crazed by her religion. Carrie gets taunted at school by all her classmates. She lives a sad life living with her crazed mother and her classroom peers always taunting her. But, Carrie is not just some ordinary girl. She can move objects with her mind. No one but she knows that she has this power.

I really enjoyed this book. I read it in one sitting. The storyline is really great. "Never judge a book by its cover," really comes into play for this book. I would have never read it only by looking at its cover, but I am happy that someone recommended this book to me. Therefore, I would recommend this book to kids over the age of 13 due to profanity and sexual content.

Reviewed by Anonymous, grade 9.
Montrose Library