Monday, July 8, 2013

Divergent, by Veronica Roth

In the post-apocalyptic America, the world has been torn apart into different factions. Each faction exhibits a certain human characteristic or quality that they feel is the most important in society: selflessness, peacefulness, honesty, intelligence, and bravery. When you come of age, you choose your faction. This one choice will determine your principles and allegiances forever. In Divergent, by Veronica Roth, sixteen-year-old Tris is forced to choose between the feuding factions that will fix her identity for life. However, it becomes apparent that Tris is an anomaly who doesn’t fit in any of the groups, and she’s slowly sucked into the deep battle between the factions.

I found this book really refreshing, among the many stories set in the post-apocalypse world. It contained suspenseful, adventurous, and dark parts, but there was still room for lighthearted and funny scenes. Of course, like in most teen-based books, there was a love-interest. What I found interesting and different, though, was that the love-interest was secondary to the actual plot (which was much larger and deeper), rather than being the focus of the plot. The most enjoyable part of the book, in my opinion, was how the author was able to explore the different aspects of human nature, while still making it relatable. Tris, while set in a different time and place, still experienced many things that a teenager today would go through. I would definitely continue with Tris’s journey in the next book, Insurgent. I think that a lot of teens would appreciate and enjoy this book, it really pulls you in and you can't put it down!

Reviewed by Gabby Y., grade 10.
Montrose Library

Where I Belong, by Gwendolyn Heasley

Where I Belong, by Gwendolyn Heasley is a very good book that will open up many people's eyes and make you appreciate everything that you have and realize that some people do not even have that. Corrine's family was very wealthy and she had everything she ever wanted and asked for. She was extremely happy with the life style that she was living, but one day everything suddenly changed. Her parents told her that she had to move to Texas with her brother and go to a public school, because they could not afford their big house anymore or the private school that she was supposed to go to. Will Corrine adjust to the new life style she is forced to live or will she struggle forever?

Some people do not appreciate what they have. Nothing is ever enough for them, they want more and more and more. Hopefully this book will teach those who read it a lesson that you can never take things for granted, because unfortunately nowadays we can never predict what can happen the next day. This is exactly what this book is trying to get across to the reader. Always be ready for the unexpected. I guarantee that this book will not be a waste of your precious time and you will definitely not regret reading it. Do not hesitate, pick up the book and read it.

Yuliya, grade 12
Glendale Central Library

The Blue Girl, by Charles de Lint

A science fiction book about a unique girl that always gets picked on for being different at school. Even though the other students always make fun of her and tease her, she always defends herself even if she is scared. She starts seeing a ghost boy that went to the same high school before and died there. He also used to get picked on. She is the only one that can see him. Eventually they end up getting closer to each other and he tells her all about his world and she tells him all about hers. They fall in love with each other. How will they make their relationship work?

If you are the type of person that likes fantasies, The Blue Girl, by Charles de Lint is definitely for you. It involves high school life in it, love, ghosts, etc. It is a book that you will get hooked to. In the beginning it may be a little bit hard to understand what is going on, but as you go on reading the story starts unfolding and you start finding out more about the characters. Pay attention and you will notice all the similarities the ghost and the girl have. His support and her bravery is what gets her through high school every day.

Yuliya, grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

In the book Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley, the novel opens in the Central London Hatching and Conditioning Centre, where the Director of the Hatchery and one of his assistants, Henry Foster, are giving a tour to a group of boys. The boys learn about the Bokanovsky and Podsnap Processes that allow the Hatchery to produce thousands of nearly identical human embryos. During the gestation period the embryos travel in bottles along a conveyer belt through a factorylike building, and are conditioned to belong to one of five castes: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, or Epsilon. The Alpha embryos are destined to become the leaders and thinkers of the World State. Each of the succeeding castes is conditioned to be slightly less physically and intellectually impressive. The Epsilons, stunted and stupefied by oxygen deprivation and chemical treatments, are destined to perform menial labor. Lenina Crowne, an employee at the factory, describes to the boys how she vaccinates embryos destined for tropical climates.
My opinion about the book Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, would be it's truely weird they duplicate embryos by the thousands. And they have categories that separate you by how hot and sexual you are. And it's against the rules to fall in love with someone because they want you to have sex with as many people as possible and produce as many embryos as possible. They have this medicine that makes you really want to have sex with different people and they will even let you go where ever you want to go as long as you do what your suppose to do. It's just really weird.  

Reviewed by Samantha, Grade 12.
Montrose Library