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

Artemis Fowl: 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.

The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: 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

Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: 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

The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: 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 (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, book 5), 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