Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Son of Neptune, by Rick Riordan

The book, The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan, is a fantasy story about how Percy Jackson is found by a pack of wolves and trained to be a warrior. He doesn't know how he got there, but after getting chased by the sisters of Medusa, he stumbles upon a camp made for half-bloods. He then goes on to find out he is a half-blood, and meets two other half-bloods, Hazel and Frank. Now it's Frank, Hazel, and Percy's mission to go and rescue the eagle standard which belonged to Camp Jupiter though was lost in a battle against the titans. To bring back hope to the camp, Percy has to use all his power to get the eagle standard back. 

In my opinion this was a great continuation of The Lost Hero of The Heroes of Olympus. I like how we know who Percy is, yet he doesn't, so it brings a feeling of dramatic irony into the story to the point you want to go into the story and tell Percy yourself! The characters are also very well written in terms of their back-story, so that each one of them has their own secret in which they are keeping from each other. They all have such different personalities yet they blend so great so that they can get each task done with as little consequences as possible. Overall, it has a great feel to it with a great blend of action and drama.

Reviewed by Arvin O., grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy, by Ally Carter

http://catalog.gpl.internal/ipac20/ipac.jsp?session=139E9B4U03572.21068&profile=gcent&uri=link=3100007~!932292~!3100001~!3100002&aspect=browse_search_page&menu=search&ri=1&source=~!horizon&term=Cross+my+heart+and+hope+to+spy+%2F&index=PALLTI#focusCammie Morgan, a young spy, just wants one normal semester for a change. At the Gallagher Academy, a top spy school, danger seems to follow Cammie everywhere. She learns that her private school will be the home for mysterious guests, only known by the name Blackthorne. Cammie Morgan is blamed for a school security problem putting all their identities at risk. Her and her closest friends have to go to many extremes to learn the truth about Blackthorne and to clear Cammie's name. Even though, Cammie and her friends have confidence, this mission will be more treacherous and challenging than any other they have faced.

In my opinion, Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter was amusing and thrilling to read. The humor lightened the serious situations they were put in. It is a very positive book with multiple suspenseful scenes. While tip toeing silently through forbidden corridors, the girls took the risk of getting in trouble to prove the truth. I think that young girls and teens would love reading this book over and over again. They can connect and relate to the boy drama, strong friendships, and adventures and hardships in school. While our lives may not be as exciting as Cammie's, it's still entertaining to hear about her dangerous spy adventures.

Reviewed by Jennifer G., grade 9
Montrose Branch Library

Monday, May 5, 2014

Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen is a great historical novel revolving around a 23 year old American man named Jacob. Jacob literally "runs away with the circus" after finding out that his parents had died in a car accident. He falls in love with one of the girls in the show, Marlena, who handles the elephant. Marlena is with August, a rough and abusive man who mistreats everyone-humans and animals alike- he meets. Jacob narrates his life in the time he was in the circus and after it's collapse. 

I enjoyed this book. It had a great setting and provided fine visual detail of the scenes. I could see all the characters in my mind from the descriptions by the author. I would recommend it to older audiences, probably high school level and above. Great book, overall.

Reviewed by Anonymous, grade 11
Pacific Park Library