Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Catch-22, by Joseph Heller

http://catalog.glendalepubliclibrary.org/ipac20/ipac.jsp?session=13P10292L360M.53085&profile=gcent&uri=link=3100007~!502345~!3100001~!3100002&aspect=browse_search_page&menu=search&ri=1&source=~!horizon&term=Catch-22+%2F&index=PALLTI#focusCatch-22, by Joseph Heller, is a satirical novel set on the island of Pianosa during World War II. It revolves around the bombardier Yossarian and his desperate attempts to get out of flying any more missions. He's stuck in an endless loop since the colonel in charge seems to raise the mandatory amount of missions as Yossarian is about to reach them. So he is trapped on an island with a group of other pilots, navigators and bumbling military officials. There's no way out for him - he can request a psychological evaluation to declare him crazy and send him home, but the mere act of doing so will prove he isn't crazy according to Catch-22.

I'm glad I decided to read Catch-22. I think it's one of the best books I've read this summer. It goes beyond a social satire and becomes almost a philosophical satire in some parts. I really liked the part about Milo's syndicate as well as Yossarian's general attitude toward things, especially the missions. The general atmosphere of absurdity that pervades the storyline and events makes the book a fun read. It's also refreshing that a modern-day "classic" is written in a more accessible voice, as opposed to the stuffy prose of earlier summer reading lists. I really enjoyed Catch-22 and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for something to read.

Reviewed by Anonymous, grade 12.
Grandview Library

The Catastrophic History of You and Me, by Jess Rothenberg

Brie's life ends at sixteen.Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally. But now that she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there's Patrick, Brie's mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul . . . who just might hold the key to her forever after.

The Catastrophic History of You and Me, by Jess Rothenberg, is one of my most favorite books ever if not my MOST favorite. I read all 375 pages of it in few hours. It was really interesting and heartbreaking (no pun intended). It's a phenomenal love story that makes the readers be like "Whaaa..?". There is also a HUGE plot twist that surprises you so much! I would recommend this book to everyone. It's a story that needs to be read by millions of people.

Reviewed by Iren H., grade 10
Glendale Central Library

Waiting For You, by Susane Colasanti

At the beginning of her sophomore year, Marisa is ready for a fresh start and, more importantly, a boyfriend. So when the handsome and popular Derek asks her out, Marisa thinks her long wait for happiness is over. But several bumps in the road—including her parents’ unexpected separation, a fight with her best friend, and a shocking disappointment in her relationship with Derek—test Marisa’s ability to maintain her new outlook.

This was my first time reading Susane Colasanti, and I really enjoyed it! She definitely has a style to her writing, it was simplistic and enjoyable. It flowed very nicely, making it a very easy read. Waiting for You is an emotional, fun, sort of coming of age story all centered around a first love. Although I predicted whom our heroine would end up with ultimately, it didn't keep me from turning the pages at warp speed! I liked the serious elements that Colasanti presented too. It was definitely not something I was expecting, but I think it really added to the overall prose of the story.
Reviewed by Iren H., grade 10
Glendale Central Library

Something Like Fate, by Susane Colasanti

Lani and Erin are bonded for life. One thing that connects them is their fascination of fate. Lani wonders how much of our lives has already been decided and how much we can actually influence. Since the Unknown can unexpectedly change our lives forever, how much can we really control? From the minute Lani meets Jason, she can't deny the intense connection they share. It feels like she's known him forever. She's not sure if he feels it, too. But it doesn't matter. Because Jason is Erin's boyfriend. Lani is determined to ignore her feelings for Jason, no matter how powerful they are, rather than risk hurting her best friend.

Something Like Fate, by Susane Colasanti, was VERY cliche but also very entertaining. The character development was not very decent. But this book just talks too much about fate, destiny and all that stuff. Also, this book uses some weird words for dialogue. I also think that the main character, Lani, was very typical and predictable. She's too good and nice. She also gets persuaded by other people's words easily like going against one of her friends because her other friend said a few things about her. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes romance books. Even though the plot was a bit dramatic and cliche, it was still a fun and light read that I did enjoy quite a bit.

Reviewed by Iren H., grade 10
Glendale Central Library

Bittersweet, by Sarah Ockler

The story Bittersweet, by Sarah Ockler, starts with Hudson being on the verge of becoming a figure-skating star. On the day of a very important competition, she discovers her parents are about to divorce and her whole life shatters into pieces like a beautiful ice sculpture. Fast-forward 4 years. Hudson Avery is now 16 and, besides going to school, she works in her mom's diner, baking the most delicious cupcakes ever. She's permanently hung her skates, but when the occasion arises for a spot in the limelight again, Avery starts to wonder if anonymity is really what she wants in life and what her dreams are really made of.

Holy cupcakes, this book was sweet! I don't know what I was expecting when I started Bittersweet, but it definitely wasn't this: a deep, provocative, compelling yet fun story. I completely fell in love with Hudson; her struggles, her relationships, her plethora of mistakes, her revelations, and, of course, her cupcakes!



Reviewed by Iren H., grade 10
Glendale Central Library

If I Stay, by Gayle Forman

In a single moment, everything changes. In the book If I Stay, by Gayle Forman, Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...

My impression? It was good. Not fantastic, but okay. Decent. Tolerable. But I'm a bit irritated with this book right now, because it is one of those books that has been ridiculously overrated. Yeah, it was sad. But not 'devastating'. Not 'heart-wrenching'.This book was fine, but I honestly think that if I had read the first chapter and then read the last chapter I wouldn't have missed much. Yes, her parents were both beautiful people who will be missed. And I have to admit the whole story of he brother's life and death tugged at my heartstrings. But at the end of the book, I found myself feeling more bored than anything. This book wasn't new, or original, or groundbreaking. It was a way for me to kill time while I waited for my Mom to pick me up from school. I've seen stuff like this novel a million times before, and most of them were a lot more sad. Sorry Forman, but I'm not impressed.

Reviewed by Iren H., grade 10
Glendale Central Library

Twenty Boy Summer, by Sarah Ockler

In the book Twenty Boy Summer, by Sarah Ockler,  According to Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn't told Frankie–she’s already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago.

This was undeniably one of my most favorite debut novels this year. Anna and Frankie were phenomenal characters. I totally understood Anna, I got her right away, but it took me the entire novel to finally get Frankie. Incredible. Ockler's depiction of Anna's emotions was beyond spectacular, I can't even begin to imagine how it felt to write that, because I know how it made me feel reading it. Wow. And how fantastic was the writing!This book is captivating.


Reviewed by Iren H., grade 10
Glendale Central Library

Where She Went, by Gayle Forman

It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever. Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future-and each other.

"Where She Went", by Gayle Forman, is the sequel to "If I Stay". I should say that I liked this book more than the first book. The story in this is not as boring as the first. Many things happen this book that warm your heart. It is a little bit predictable, but it still is an amazing entertainment. The ending's very romantic and cute. I'd rate this book 7/10 and would recommend it to teenagers(girls and guys).



Reviewed by Iren H., grade 10
Glendale Central Library