Thursday, June 27, 2013

Safe Haven, by Nicholas Sparks

In the book Safe Haven, by Nicholas Sparks, a woman named Katie arrives in a new town and is starting over. She meets and falls in love with Alex, a store owner with children and a wife who passed away. Slowly Katie becomes more and more attached to Alex as well as his family, but she is constantly haunted by her mysterious past. She realizes, with the help of her nosy neighbor and newly found friend named Jo, she has to choose if she will ever go back to her "old" life, or stay here with Alex and his kids.

I thought that this was a really exciting and interesting book. It was suspenseful and full of mystery. It was fun to predict what would happened, or what had happened in the past. I recommend this book to all readers. I think every one would like this extremely unique story. In my opinion, this book was very well written. It allowed readers to be able to make their own inferences and then surprised them with the truth. This book really grabs your attention and keeps your eyes glued to the page. You will not be able to put it down!

Reviewed by Melody, Grade 9.
Central Library

Monday, June 24, 2013

Reached, by Ally Condie

Reached is the final book in the unbelievable Matched trilogy by Ally Condie. Cassia and Ky's search for the Rising resulted in their separation yet again. The Rising sends Cassia back to Central to work undercover as a sorter while Ky is a pilot in the Outer Provinces. Xander works as a medic, but still has a secret. The Society has also been keeping secrets, more than usual. The waters are being poisoned, there are odd, circular white walls around several city buildings, and people are disappearing. Little do the citizens know there is a life threatening plague outbreak, which the Rising has a cure too. Will the plague be the fall of the society?


In my opinion, the first book of the series was the best. The second one was acceptable, and this one was just, meh. It seemed forced, things didn't naturally work. I personally liked this one the least and find it a horrible way to end the series. I was looking forward to a great ending but it didn't feel complete. The one thing I did enjoy is how the story is told in three point of views: Ky, Cassia, and Xander. I liked how we got to know Xander better in this book. Overall, I am disappointed in this book, but would recommend it to anyone who has read and enjoyed the first book in the series.


Reviewed by Kristine, Grade 9
Casa Verdugo Branch

Twisted, by Sara Shepard

Twisted is the ninth breath taking book in the Pretty Little Liars Series by Sara Shepard. The girls seem to have peace at last, the mystery of Alison Dilaurentis's murder is finally solved and the threatening notes from A stopped. Things aren't always what they seem. Aria's jealous of her boyfriend's new roommate, a foreign exchange student who is the hottest girl any boy in Rosewood has ever seen. Hanna ignores Caleb's warning and attends a photo shoot that nearly ruins her fathers career. Spencer's mother has bounced back from her divorce and Spencer is a bit too fond of her soon to be step brother. And Emily? She's doing everything and anything to get a swim scholarship. But once again, the Liars have a new secret..something that could ruin them forever, or worse.

Each Pretty Little Liar book I read merely increases my love of the series. I adore Sara Shepard's writing and have made her one of my favorite authors. Being able to see into the minds of four different protagonists has many advantages. Not only do we get to know the characters, we get a large supply of details! I think the Pretty Little Liar's series is one of the best young adult series out there. The length of the series is something else I love since the awesomeness continues! I recommend this book to anyone who has read any other Pretty Little Liar book or who enjoys reading.

Reviewed by Kristine, Grade 9
Casa Verdugo Branch

Wanted, by Sara Shepard

In Sara Shepard's Wanted, right when you think you have it all figured out, you don't. The Liars are really in for a shock this time. Alison's family holds a press conference and drops the biggest bombshell of them all: Ali has a twin sister. Why would they keep it such a secret? How could the girls not know something so big about their former idol and best friend? Every question that is answered leads up to three more questions. Ali's murderer may finally be revealed but what price must they pay for such valuable information?This time, the girls may find themselves in a fire too hot to handle.

You would expect that being the eighth book in the series, I would be bored by now. How wrong you would be! As always, Sara Shepard fails to disappoint! It is amazing how one author can have created such a broad plot filled with the wildest twists you could ever imagine. I love her unique writing style which lets us see into every Liar's point of view. This series seems to get better and better since many questions are answers. The only problem is that I have so many more questions now! I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys the television series or anyone who enjoy twisted plot.
 
Reviewed by Kristine, Grade 9
Casa Verdugo Branch

Dragon Rider, by Cornelia Funke

In Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke, Firedrake, a brave young dragon, a lonely boy named Ben, and their furry brownie friend, Sorrel, are in search of the mythical place where dragons can live in peace forever because the greedy humans are taking over their lands by cutting down trees and building homes. Together they embark on a journey that takes them to magical lands where they meet marvelous creatures - and one ruthless villain named Nettlebrand with a minion named twigleg the size of a twig. Along the way, they will discover allies in odd places, courage they didn't know they had, and a hidden destiny that changes everything.

Although this book is a bit of a children's book, it's one of my favorites and I like it because it is adventurous and about dragons. I think others who like reading about mythical creatures going on adventures would enjoy this book. It made me feel worried for the protagonist at times when they were caught in traps and made me hope they would get out of it alive to achieve their goal and save their city of dragons. I would recommend this book to as I said before anyone who likes reading about mythical creatures and dangerous experiences who doesn't mind reading words in larger fonts than others.

Reviewed by Nyree, Grade 12
Montrose Branch

The Lucky One, by Nicholas Sparks

In the book The Lucky One, by Nicholas Sparks, an army guy named Logan finds a photo on the ground. He walks over and picks it up. The second he picks the photo up, the place he was standing at less than a minute ago blows up from a bomb. He realizes that the picture was a good luck so he sets to find the woman in the picture, to thank her. He walks half way across the country in search of the woman. As he goes to a local bar, he asks around if anyone knows that woman in the photo. Not realizing that the person he asked was the best friend of the woman's ex husband. He finds the woman but he can't find the courage to tell her why he found her. The woman mistakenly thinks that he is looking for a job and thinks he has seen the ad in the newspaper. He plays along and ends up working at the woman's dog business. As days go by, the woman, Elizabeth and Logan build a relationship. They fall in love together but the ex-husband does everything in his nature to make Logan's life hell.

I think that this is an adventure type of book, because Logan is on this adventure to find the woman on the picture that he found. He is so determined to find her that he does not even care that she could be anywhere in the whole world. Logan does not give up and luckily he finds her sooner than expected. In my opinion this book teaches you how to be determined and go for your goal no matter what. No matter how hard you think something is or how impossible it is, you should always try if that is what you really want.

Yuliya. grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lola and the Boy Next Door, by Stephanie Perkins


Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion...she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit--more sparkly, more fun, more wild--the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood. Lola just wants to stay away from them, but fate has something else in store for her.
When Cricket--a gifted inventor--steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.


The book Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins was very inspiring. It shows you to not be afraid to show everyone who you are or what you are. You should be confident in your own style. You should be with the person your heart desires. This book is meant for every teenage girl. You should not care what people say or think about you. You are the best in who you are and don't need to change anything. Your true love and soul mate will happy with the way you are. This book teaches teens to not put a fake image just stay the way you are.
 
Reviewed by Kristine Z.; grade 12
Central Library

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck


The Grapes of Wrath is about a man named Tom Joad, who had just been released from prison and was headed back to his home land in Oklahoma where his family owned land and had a farm. When he got back he realized that there were a lot of people that were leaving Oklahoma and heading to California for cheap work because banks were taking back their land because the workers couldn't make their housing payments because of the dust bowl. When he finally got back to his family they got kicked off their land and they had to leave for California to find work.

My opinion of the book The Grapes of Wrath, written by John Steinbeck, would be that it is a good book to read if you want to know how it was back in time and how hard it was to find work. Most people depended on their farms for their income and when the dust bowl hit it ruined everything started killing their crops and that took their main maybe only source of income away. And they had to live on the road with little to eat and barely any money. I liked it because I like learning about what life what like is the past, that way I can compare it to how life is now.

Reviewed by Samantha, grade 12.
Montrose Library

Wicked, by Sara Shepard

Wicked, by Sara Shepard, is the fifth book in the unbelievable Pretty Little Liars series. A's identity revelation should've helped the girls right? Wrong. They have more problems then ever. Aria's attracted to her Mom's new boyfriend and he to her. She's thinking of moving to her dad's to escape his constant attempts of flirting. Lets not forget Hanna, her obsession with being the queen of the school is at its full peak. She befriends Kate, Naomi, and Riley, her recent enemies. But when she finds out Kate is planning something against her, Hanna might spill some dirty secrets. What will Daddy say? Spencer's dealing with the consequences of cheating on her Golden Orchard essay. Not only that, but now there are news that she might've been adopted! Too bad her mother never told her not to believe everything she hears! It seems Emily is getting the break, she has a new boyfriend! If only these girls remembered, in Rosewood, someone is always watching...

As always, I loved this book! It seems that every book I read by Sara Shepard is amazing! Those poor girls never seem to get a break! I was completely shocked by Hanna in this book and I'm dying to read the next one, Killer! Sara Shepard has an amazing writing style that I prefer over other books. Every chapter is a different girl's life. Seeing the story from different points of views makes it even more interesting and detailed! Also, you get to see what each of them is thinking rather than just one person! I would recommend this book to anyone who likes the television series or overall mystery! You won't be disappointed!

Reviewed by Kristine K, grade 9
Casa Verdugo Branch




Monday, June 17, 2013

Thwonk, by Joan Bauer

Thwonk, by Joan Bauer, is a fun leisurely read. A.J. McCreary is about to get the visitor of a lifetime, Jonathon, a Cupid. A.J., aspiring photographer, never prospered in the romantic field. She searched for looks and not personality. When Jonathon gives her help in her choice of three categories (academics, arts, and romance ), A.J. decides to have the guy of her dreams fall in love with her. Peter Terris, the guy she's been in love with, needed only one shot from Jonathon's arrows, THWONK! He's in love with her forever. But what did she love about him? His beauty...careful what you wish for..


I needed a light book to read for fun this week and Thwonk was perfect! It's relatable, for girls mainly, and interesting to read. I loved how our similar preferences don't usually bring the best matches! I have never read a book by Joan Bauer before so it was cool to see her writing style. I think it was an overall good book and I'm thinking of checking her other books out! If your looking for a light, relaxed read then I highly recommend you read this! However, I think only preteen-teen girls would enjoy it because it is more relatable.

Reviewed by Kristine K., grade 9
Casa Verdugo Branch



Monday, June 3, 2013

The Unwritten Rule, Elizabeth Scott

In Elizabeth Scott's book, The Unwritten Rule, Sarah has found herself stuck between making two important decisions: hurting the feelings of her long-time best friend, Brianna, which can potentially break their friendship apart, or being with the boy of her dreams, Ryan, whom she has loved since the eight grade. The problem is Ryan is Brianna's boyfriend, and we all know the unwritten rule, which is to never like your best friends boyfriend. So, as tension builds up, secrets come out in the open, and emotions are relieved, Sarah's fight to make the right decision slowly starts to become harder.

You may say that the story-line in this book, The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott, is very comparable to the way friendship between young teen girls in reality is. I really liked this book because it felt realistic from the beginning to the very end. I thought the characters were very raw by the way they put themselves out, which was helped by the well written description of each and every emotion they felt. Also, the cover of the book (two pairs of feet, with a purple background) was very eye-catching, and i thought was very cute. The sweet cover page is what lured me to read the book in the first place.

Reviewed by Anonymous, grade 12.
Central Library

Bleach, by Tite Kubo

Ichigo Kurosaki is a teenager gifted with the ability to see spirits. His life is drastically changed by the sudden appearance of a Soul Reaper—one who governs the flow of souls between the human world and the afterlife—named Rukia Kuchiki, who arrives in search of a Hollow, a dangerous lost soul that absorbs energy from souls. When Rukia is severely wounded defending Ichigo from the Hollow, she attempts to transfer a part of her reiatsu (literally, "spiritual pressure") energy to Ichigo so that he can defeat the Hollow. However, Ichigo takes almost all of her energy, transforming into a Soul Reaper and allowing him to defeat the Hollow with ease. With her powers diminished, Rukia is left stranded in the human world until she can recover her strength. In the meantime, Ichigo must take over Rukia's role as a Soul Reaper, battling Hollows and guiding souls to the afterlife realm known as the Soul Society.

Bleach, by Tite Kubo, is the best manga i ever read. The anime Bleach is one of the top three anime on world scale. It is about death gods (a.k.a shinigami) spiritual power (a.k.a. reiatsu) hollows and spirts. It has the most thrilling stories in the anime history. it also contains chapters about romance, action, comedy, and school life, so it is enjoyable by both girls and boys. if you are a manga / anime fan and you still have not read this manga i have to day you are really missing out. This manga is so successful, it have been going out since more than 3 years ago!

Tasneem, grade 9
Central Library