Monday, June 30, 2014

Shadowland, by Alyson Noel

Ever and Damen are two teenagers who love each other. After many years of searching for his soul mate who keeps mysteriously coming and going out of his life, Damen is finally reunited with Ever. The only resolution he can think of to keep her with him forever, is turning her into an immortal. Just when they are starting to make up for the lost time, a curse has been set upon him and is forcing them to be separated. Ever is doing everything she can to seek the antidote that is hidden by the one who cursed Damen, Roman. Meanwhile, Ever is hired for a job by a 19 years-old boy named Jude who seems strangely familiar. Damen tells her why and gives her space to make a difficult decision that might mean losing him. 

Shadowland, by Alyson Noel is one of the best I have ever read. I like books that are in a series because they don't end and the story keeps going on and on. This book is basically based on true love. There are conflicts and big obstacles that have to be faced. There are a lot of mistakes done that have to be fixed. Responsibility is also a big challenge for all the characters. When I started to read this book, I didn't want to put it back down to take a break. I only took a pause when I started to have a headache. That's how good the book is. This book encourages me to keep reading and see what happens next till I get to the very last page and have to wait until I can get my hands on the next one... at the library! 

Reviewed by Lou, grade 8
Grandview Library

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Known World, by Edward P. Jones

The Known World, by Edward P. Jones, is a series of stories regarding the death of Henry Townsend. Henry Townsend, a black plantation owner, is a freed slave who has started his own plantation with his own slaves. We switch off from his slaves, his childhood, and the lives of surrounding characters to learn about his life and the events his death caused. To start off, Moses, the overseer slave, is the first slave Henry ever bought. He is extremely loyal up until Henry's death. However, when he develops feelings for Henry's widow, Caldonia, trouble arises. It is a time where slaves are as vulnerable as ever, running away, being cruelly punished, and very few laws protecting them. There is a strict division between what is thought, and what should be thought. Regardless of "free papers", a colored person is subject to discrimination, and in some cases is stolen back into slavery. The stories surrounding Henry Townsend's death not only teach the leader of his life, they teach the reader parts of history that were ignored.

My first few days reading The Known World were unpleasant, and continued to be unpleasant. This novel seems senseless, theme less, and requires excessive thought to decipher its true meaning. I found myself confused often, having to reread and constantly looking up unfamiliar words in the dictionary. One factor that contributed to this confusion was the Jones's writing technique: prolepsis. Prolepsis is when the author is the "god" of those in the story therefore he knows every detail of their lives. This is revealed constantly in the text in instances such as the circumstances in which a newly introduced character was born or will die. I found The Known World to be a horrible book, and would not recommend it to anyone except perhaps a historian. 

Reviewed by Kristine K., grade 10
Casa Verdugo Library

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Battle of the Labyrinth, by Rick Riordan

We once again join Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon, at Camp Half-Blood. During training, Percy and Annabeth find an entrance into the Labyrinth and find out that Luke has been there before. They figure that Luke will lead his army in through the Labyrinth and ambush the camp from within. They must find Daedulus before Luke does, so that he won't know where to go in the Labyrinth. Will Camp Half-Blood stay protected or will this be it's final stand? 

Usually, I would love this book because it's part of the Percy Jackson series. But, I honestly didn't like this one. To me it was kind of like a few of the others.The plot line was the same, Percy is in a race against time, making sure that Luke does not succeed. The Battle of the Labyrinth, by Rick Riordan, was kind of bored me, but it did have some twists that I was surprised when I read. This book kind of saddened me too, because you could tell they're preparing for the final book of a great series.Definitely not my favorite for the series standard, but an okay book. 

Reviewed by Julian, grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Fallout, by David Michaels

A spy named Sam Fisher finds himself on another mission, but this time it's for revenge. His brother is found dead due to radiation poisoning. As Fisher follows his brothers traces, he finds out that it's not one man that killed his brother, it is an entire organization of terrorists and religious extremist. It's also not about vengeance anymore, it now concerns the whole world. This organization dreams of no future, so they created an irradiated virus that can destroy all of the world's oil supply. It's up to Fisher to save the world and any hopes of a future. 

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Fallout, by David Michaels, will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire way, it contains action on almost every page. The action isn't wimpy at all, in fact, I would not recommend this for those who are squeamish. However, I would recommend this book for those who love spies or stealth. I thought that it took too long for the plot to escalate and that it took a while even for the main plot to start. The book also has a bit of mystery which was nice to see. I personally liked the book and will be reading more of the series. 

Reviewed by Julian, grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Monday, June 16, 2014

Timeline, by Michael Crichton

In France, a team of archaeologists are exploring mysterious medieval ruins. One of them, Professor Johnston starts to question why the company that hired them pays so much attention to just that area. So he went to their headquarters and there is no trace of him, except when they find his glasses and a note of help from him that seems as old as the ruins. So three fellow archaeologists, Chris, Kate and Andre go to the company headquarters where Professor Johnston was last seen. The company explains to the three that Professor Johnston in fact did travel back in time with their latest technology. Now it's up to Chris, Kate and Andre to also go back in time and find their missing professor as well as the story to the ruins. 

I thought Timeline, by Michael Crichton, was very visual, everything would be described as if you put a magnifying glass up to it. There are great action scenes in the book, as well as intellectual parts. A bit confusing at times, since the book is about time travel, it switches from past to present very much so. It was even a little boring at times, but the suspense does build and it is definitely worth getting through the rough patches. Overall, a great book, however I would recommend this for older teens and up, mainly because you kind of have to know some extent of history. 

Reviewed by Julian, grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Hoopster, by Alan Lawrence

I chose  The Hoopster, by Alan Lawrencebecause I decided to change my "book reading routine" and read a book about sports. The story I read was completely different than what I expected. Andre, an African-American and the main character, is a superb writer who works at Affairs magazine as the printer is suddenly given the task of writing about racism. His article raised the amount of readers and he was given a raise; but his good fortune was short lived when he got ambushed by a viscous gang of racist and they broke his right hand which wouldn't let him play the sport he loved and beat him up badly which threw him into an all too quiet depression.

My favorite quote is "'Revenge? How can someone really ever get revenge, Andre.....It doesn't exist.'" because what Andre's dad is saying is true. Sure, he can do what someone else did to him, but would it make him happy? I think not. The author really captured the slang that people use and put it in the story, making it a lot more realistic. I would actually recommend this book to anyone who likes drama and a "satisfying ending" ending kind of book because it has those genres in this book. 

Reviewed by Narek A., grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs, is about a sixteen year old Jacob sets out to find about the truth of his grandfather's death.He goes to Wales, a place where his grandfather grew up in, and meets a girl named Emma. She can control fire. Emma takes Jacob to an orphanage where his grandfather lived in. All the children there are peculiar, they all have special abilities. Jacob is the only one who can see the hollowgasts, these creatures are responsible for his grandfather's death. Jacob kills the creatures and returns to the orphanage to discover that Miss Peregrine is kidnapped. When they find her she is in bird form and can't change back into a human. The children leave the the orphanage in Wales and look for a new home

This novel was different from my normal reads. I still liked the story line and the characters. It was fascinating to read about how all these kids had different abilities. I also liked the black and white pictures it had. Definitely a 5 out of 5 stars from me. 

Reviewed by Karla S., grade 9
Glendale Central Library