Monday, February 24, 2014

Plain Kate, by Erin Bow

Plain Kate is a novel by writer Erin Bow. Plain Kate is about a young orphan girl who is accused of being a witch because of her talent in wood carving. Plain Kate takes up with a man who claims to be a witch and wants to take her shadow from her. When Plain Kate finds herself forced to move on, she agrees to trade her shadow for some food and other items she needs in order to travel safely. Plain Kate then learns that the witch plans to use her shadow to seek revenge for his sister's death and bring the sister back to life. Plain Kate is a story of strength, of love, and of loneliness that will leave the reader in tears by the final page.

Let me start by saying, this story was exceptional. The writing is beautiful. I wasn't shocked to find out Erin Bow is also a poet, because her writing is amazing! I truly loved every moment, it held my attention from start to finish. I was never bored. In fact, I savored it, actually finding myself a bit disappointed when I had to put it down and be done. I wasn't ready to leave the characters. Every town Plain Kate travelled to, no matter how evil it appeared, there was always someone good, always someone there worth saving. Plus, everyone in this story was selfless, giving themselves to help others. It was amazing how the author ties it all together in the end. This is a sad story, a story about survival and also one about giving up the things we love. I can't rave enough about how wonderful I thought this book was. It also illustrates the value the companionship a pet can provide, since I love animals, this set well with me. I do have to warn readers, this was a very sad story, a fairy tale with less than a "happily ever after" ending. I respect the way it ended, though. The conclusion made sense. Its all about doing what is right, even though it's painful and leaves the reader feeling badly. I commend the author for making the story feel real and creating something powerful enough to make me cry. It comes to show that in reality, not every fairytale story gets a happy ending.

Reviewed by: Pamela F., grade 12
Central Library

Clockwork Prince, by Cassandra Clare

In the book Clockwork Prince, by  Cassandra Clare, Tessa Gray is torn between choosing Will Herondale and James a.k.a. Jem Carstairs. As they continue to try to convince Council to let Charlotte and Henry keep running the Institute, they also have to fight the Magister, Nate Gray, Jessamine, and Benedict and Gabriel Lightwood. Many problems arise as they discover more and more disturbing events that have occured. Will goes to Magnus Bane to try to get rid of his curse only to find out that it had no effect on him because of the circumstances in which it was placed on him. After he finds out he rushes to try to tell Tessa only to find out that she is already with someone else. They continue to try to solve their problems with their friends by their sides.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I really want to read the next one in the series. It had lots of twists and turns and the characters' interactions added lots of depth to the book. I liked the fact that it takes place in Victorian times and that there are small details that make it seem more real. The magical elements in the book are also very intriguing and they keep you interested. I would recommend this book to teenagers who like books about magic or adventures in general. As I was reading the book, I had to think back to events that happened before and I also had to use my imagination to visualize the scenes in my head. I thought that it was a really exciting book and I recommend it to anyone looking for a good book to read.

Reviewed by Kaylee, grade 9
Montrose Branch Library

Monday, February 17, 2014

Tiger's Destiny, by Colleen Houck

I will admit that this last book did upset me a bit. It is, or was, "supposedly" the last of the series but thankfully the author is planning the fifth and very last book in 2015. I really hope there is big change because this one was very disappointing in my opinion. It emphasizes how much of a love triangle the three are in and shows Kelsey's true colors. I realized I was not alone when I began despising Kelsey's character in this novel. Many readers and fans of the series were upset as well that she becomes such a selfish person and disregards the feelings of both Ren and Kishan. At the end I believe she chose to be with the wrong person and THAT was what upset me most.

Tiger's Destiny, by Colleen Houck, is continues with the trio, Kelsey and brothers Ren and Kishan. Ren and Kishan were previously cursed Indian princes who both happen to have an undeniable love interest for Kelsey. Kelsey seems to be very heartless and cold towards the two as she disregards their feelings and shows very little interest for anyone other than herself. She loves both brothers and refuses to let go of one or the other. She eventually chooses to be with Kishan, instead of perfect soulmate Ren. Since the beginning, each story shows the strong connection between Ren and Kelsey yet in the end she chooses to be with Ren's brother Kishan. It is as if the Twilight Saga ended with Bella being with Jacob instead of Edward Cullen. I really hope the fifth book returns Kelsey to Ren.

Reviewed by: Pamela F., grade 12
Central Library

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sharp Teeth, by Toby Barlow

Sharp Teeth, by Toby Barlow, takes the werewolf myth to new heights. It makes you question, "if there were werewolves, not just a single werewolf or a couple, but lots and lots of werewolves, what would they do?" In the novel, Toby Barlow believes that they would form packs like wild dogs, except they wouldn't be dogs, they'd be men. Sometimes, they'd be strong, intelligent, powerful men like, for example, lawyers. The most powerful individuals would become the alpha dog of a werewolf pack, grow the pack's strength, bind it together, and give it purpose. What sort of purpose? The same purpose any pack of wild dogs, or better yet men would want, power.

Sharp Teeth is truly a pleasure to read. It is a book about werewolves that roam Los Angeles and the drama, betrayal, love and loss that occurs among and between different packs. It also tells a love story about one werewolf who happens to fall in love with a dogcatcher. Mostly though, it's a story about identity, community and the things we do in order to feel like we belong somewhere, with someone. It's about all the things every book is ever about, but it looks at common themes from a fresh perspective, a werewolf's perspective. Normally I wouldn't be interested in a book about werewolves but this one was exceptional.

Reviewed by: Pamela Nicole Flores, grade 12
Central Library

Tiger's Voyage, by Colleen Houck

Tiger's Voyage, by Colleen Houck, summarize's Ren's journey as he breaks his tiger's curse. He is no longer the bengal tiger he's been cursed into for hundreds of years now but back into his natural form as an Indian Prince. Along the way, Ren looses memory of his love for Kelsey and she quickly becomes heartbroken. This was a turn I didn't expect the story to take, I felt more and more drawn in with every page. As the reader, you almost feel sorry for Kelsey because the author truly captures the hurt that she's feeling. Ren and Kelsey grow apart and Kishan has a newfound affection for Kelsey. By the end of the book, you're dying to know what will happen with Kelsey and Ren.

I think its a great book overall. It isn't your typical fantasy love story. There's action and suspense and love like no other. One moment you're stuck in a scene in the jungle and the next at the corner of your seat reading quickly trying to discover what will happen next.There's fights and arguments to beautiful poetry to hurtful feelings between each character. I was throughly entertained and satisfied with this novel. It only keeps me wanting to read more as each did before. This is one of four of the books, and third in the sequel. When I had finished the book, I was already running to Barnes & Nobles to get the next one immediately.

Reviewed by: Pamela F., grade 12

Monday, February 3, 2014

Tiger's Quest, by Colleen Houck

Tiger's Quest, by Colleen Houck, is one of four from the original Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck. It tells a story of a 300-year old Indian prince who is cursed as a tiger. He is trying to break the curse and along the way comes across small-town girl and recently graduated high school student, Kelsey Hays. Kelsey leaves with the prince, Ren, to India and both quickly come across his brother, Kishan, who is also has the same curse. While trying to break the curse, Ren and Kelsey find many challenges they must overcome before Ren is able to return to his natural form as a human. The story has a fantasy forbidden-love feel that reminds me of the Twilight Saga. Overall it tells a good story.

This is a sequel to the first novel, Tiger's Curse. Although in the first novel, the author mainly focuses on Kelsey and her perspective as an outsider. Soon you realize that Ren is actually a human being in the form of a tiger. It is not until the end when you realize that Kelsey and Ren have feelings for each other. Whereas in this story, it focuses on the love connection between the two. Kelsey and Ren return to India where they run into his dark, bad-boy type of brother, Kishan. There are many parts in the story that hook you into the book and make you want to keep reading.

Reviewed by Pamela F., grade 12.

Eclipse, by Stephenie Meyer

In Eclipse, by Stephenie Meyer, Bella and Edward are madly in love, but she also has a strong friendship with Jacob.  She is loving her life at this point, but than Victoria the vampire had to create an army of ''new born'' vampires to battle Edward's family and kill Bella for revenge. While Edward's and Jacob's families work together to successfully destroy Victoria and her army. In the end Bella chooses Edward over Jacob and decides to marry Edward.

I love the book but I was a little upset that Bella had to choose Edward over Jacob. But I'm glad I read it.  It was very interesting and it had a lot of detail.  But I can say I was more interested reading this book than I was interested about reading Twilight.

Reviewed by J.M., grade 12

Central Library

New Moon, by Stephenie Meyer

In New Moon, by Stephenie Meyer, Edward and his family leave Forks because he believes he is endangering Bella's life. Bella goes into a depression until she develops a strong friendship with Jacob , she finally knows he can shape himself to a wolf. jacob protects bella from Victoria, a vampire seeking to avenge the death of her mate James Bella and Edward are reunited, and she and the Cullens return to Forks.

Ireally love the book it made me want to read the whole series.  I saw the movie also and its nothing compared to the book in my opinion. the book explains so much. I loved the book I would strongly recommend it.

Reviewed by J.M., grade 12
Central Library

It Happened to Nancy, by Anonymous

It Happened to Nancy, by Anonymous Teenager,  is about a girl who is 14 and got raped by a guy she met at a concert. She was scare about what happen but in her heart she though she love the guy.  She tried looking for him but couldn't find him anywhere becuase he had giving her the wrong information. She later found out that she was infected with HIV. After a while of fighting against the disease she finally past away.

In my opinion this book was very touching.  It shows the dangers of everyday life. It also helps other teenagers to realize the dangers and helps them be safe.  I really liked the book I would recommend it to teenagers.

Reviwed by J.M., grade 12.