Monday, October 26, 2015

A Work In Progress, by Connor Franta

A Work in Progress, by Connor Franta, is a memoir based on a Youtuber's life, Connor Franta. Connor Franta is this big youtuber who has reached out to many people in society. He has done inspirational, comedy, vlogs and lifestyle videos. He is just a Minesota boy from a small town who is living in such a big world. Connor's book talks about many fascinating and inspirational aspect in his life. In the book we will follow his journey and adventures he goes through. He begins his journey from the beginning, the moments as a child. He begins talking about the life his parents had and how his life as a child was. In the book we slowly see how he came to love filming and the word creativity. Only some of us know the fact that Connor is gay and this fact is a big moment he goes through. He ends up explaining his journey of growing up and discovery. He discovers he is playing a phony life because he is not being his true self. He is going through confusion and through out the way he comforts us with words of wisdom and inspiration. The book is full awe because it has his personal interests and it is full of photography. Photography is one of his biggest hobbies so he demonstrates that my presenting that in his photos and book format.

I absolutely loved this book. This is my number one favorite book and nothing can change that. Connor Franta is the most inspirational person I've ever met. His book talks about personal aspects in his life, all his ups and downs. He gives us words of wisdom that he has observed and analyzed through out his 22 years of life. As I read I was discovering those aspects of life as well but I still learned new things about life. I personally love memoirs because it gives us the advantage of seeing what life is really like for them. They are not showing us an act or their mask. We are reading their experiences and thoughts, which is really personal. I personally believe we should all write our story. I am actually writing my own story for a special project of mine for school and I hope my book can inspire others some day. I recommend this book to young adults and adults. I believe they are truly going to enjoy it like I did. The book is beautiful full of colors and photos of his life. By the way is creativity is amazing so You should really check is book out, no regrets

Reviewed by Andrea V., Grade 11
Glendale Central Library

Oedipus, by Sophocles

Oedipus The King, is a play by Sophocles about King Oedipus and is gradual demise. After a plague has sweeped Thebes, King Oedipus vows to find the cause. After consulting the gods and prophets, he learns that the sickness will not leave the city until the murderer of former King Laius is caught. When Oedipus launches the investigation, little does he know that he is searching for himself.

Oedipus is such a good play and I’m so glad I read it. The constant irony is overwhelming and as the reader you can’t help but feel yourself bursting with anticipation because you feel like everything is obvious but the characters are just too dumb to realize it. The word play is also very creative. I would recommend this to anyone who loves Greek tragedies or enjoyed the play Antigone.

Reviewed by Nayri T., Grade 12
Casa Verdugo Library

Monday, October 19, 2015

Bloodlines, by Richelle Mead

Bloodlines, By Richelle Mead, is about a girl named Sydney Sage is in a world of Humans, Moroi, And Alchemists. Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, which is a race that protects the Moroi secret from the human world. When the Moroi's have an vampire attack against the new queens, Vasilla Dragomir, long lost sister, Jill Dragomir. The Moroi decide to send the princess away during the revolution so the princess what get in any more danger. Sydney is asked to go to a new school in Palm Springs and protect the princess from all the people against her with the help of the warriors of the Moroi world, Dhamphirs, and the Moroi to make sure she doesn't get discovered. Sydney now has to be around this race she has already gotten in trouble with while trying to impress the alchemists. Sydney is going to have to protect Jill at all costs but will it be that easy?

I feel this book is worth the read. The story is very captivating and you feel like you are getting used to this new world with Sydney and not dealing with it on your own. The characters are very likable and made me laugh from time to time. Sydney may have her annoying moments throughout the book but it isn't too much that would make me hate the book it just made me root for her. If you are into funny fantasy novels with some danger i would recommend you read this book. Finishing this book just makes you want to be there for her experiences with this world.

Reviewed by Mia J., Grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Shakespeare:The Biography, by Peter Ackroyd

Shakespeare:The Biography, by Peter Ackroyd, is the ultimate biographical book about the brilliant Shakespeare written by Peter Ackroyd. Because of the significant information provided this book is one among many to actually have a well committed author exploring Shakespeare’s life like an arcane garden. Also, Ackroyd walks us along the streets of London and the nature that shaped the master mind of Shakespeare.

Aside from family background and works of Shakespeare, we learn more about the atmosphere he lived and breathed in. This isn’t just your typical biography highlighting only the hero. Ackroyd takes a step beyond and pinpoints the Elizabethan setting. The things we smell, see and touch throughout is what the phenomenal writing provides and makes us believe even for the slightest bit that we are roaming down the streets of London. The personal comments shared by Ackroyd as well creates an impact on the audience. As a result, the readers end the book with a better understanding of Shakespeare and his era.

Reviewed by A.M., Grade10
Glendale Central Library

Monday, October 12, 2015

Black Dog of Fate, by Peter Balakian

The memoir Black Dog of Fate, by Peter Balakian, recounts his life growing up as an Armenian-American. It combines perfectly what it means to be an Armenian-American, perfectly describing the assimilation of Armenians but also the preservation of Armenian culture, not only with language, but with food and traditions. While growing up, Peter never knew or heard about the Armenian Genocide and cannot understand why nobody in his family will talk about it with him. In the memoir, Peter struggles to learn exactly what the 1915 genocide was and how it effects his family so much that they fear to speak of it.

I have never been able to connect to a book as much as this. Coming from an Armenian family who was effected deeply by the genocide, I felt like I was Peter. I grew up never understanding the full concept of what the genocide was because it was essentially a family taboo. Peter’s writing really resonated and connected with me personally and I recommend this book to people who are interested in learning about the genocide and the true consequences of such a disastrous event and how it lead to a huge migration of Armenians.

Reviewed by Nayri T., Grade 12
Casa Verdugo Library

Nana Volume 5, by Ai Yazawa

In the manga Nana Volume 5, by Ai Yazawa, a chance to visit home knocks on Nana Komatsu’s door as she receives a pair of free tickets to watch Trapnest live in VIP seats! But clever Hachi (Nana Komatsu) plans to hit two birds with one stone. Not only will her wish to see her favorite band member Takumi Ichinose will be granted but she also plans to drag Nana (Nana Osaki) with her to see the hot new bassist of Trapnest who happens to be her Ren. Merely that is a plan Hachi creates not a solid decision. That part remains on Nana’s wish which doesn’t seem to be in favor of taking a turn back to her ex lover.

As things seem to have calmed down in room 707, we take an insight onto the other half of the story to Nana’s life. This series can either show the two parts one’s life or the difference between the people we are. Nana’s heartbreak and relationship issues seems a whole lot more critical and really makes you think and connect. Whereas Hachi’s problems are like the times we eat chocolate and go on a shopping spree to ease the depression of the childish troubles we face at times. Therefore, both cases are very magnificently written to connect the readers to their deepest emotions and actions.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 11
Glendale Central Library

Monday, October 5, 2015

Nana Volume 4, by Ai Yazawa

In the manga Nana Volume 4, by Ai YazawaNana Komatsu is tangled with all sorts of boyfriend mischief. On top of that, her sweet dreams of a blissful Tokyo life is crumbling as her job slips away. Confused with it all, Nana finds herself spending more and more quality time with her best friend forever Nana Osaki. As Nana spends more time getting to know the people of the band “Blackstone” she finds out about former the bassist Ren (currently the bassist of Trapnest) who also happens to be the lover of Nana Osaki’s life. This gives the perfect opportunity to distract Nana Komatsu’s worries and be the ultimate cupid to glue together Nana Osaki back to her other half Ren.

Nana Komatsu faces a significant turning point, among the many more to come, as ties breaks with Shoji. During this part many of us can see ourselves and the emotions that we encounter when we face a hurtful break in some sort of relationship. The reader becomes more engaging with the character of Nana Komatsu as they see a part of themselves in her and especially when she tries to have new adventures to erase away the pain of Shoji. I myself felt very emotionally connected to cupid Nana Komatsu who humorously takes on a new challenge to reunite Nana Osaki to Ren Honjo as a way to refresh her thoughts and push Nana Osaki to a happy ending.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 11
Glendale Central Library

Necessary Lies, by Diane Chamberlain

Ivy Hart is born into a poor family that lives on a small farm. Her parents die when she is young and she is forced to take care of her old grandmother, mentally-ill sister and her baby, William. Her grandmother, Nonnie , has a grudge against the older sister, Mary Ella. She had her own baby to take care of even though she was only a teen and the family was struggling already financially. Ivy falls in love with Henry Allen, the sort- of rich kid who loved her back. They kept their relationship a secret from their parents in horror that they will punish them. Jane Forrester, a woman who had a good education and lives in the uptown area, decides to work helping poor and ill people improve their lives. She goes to Ivy's house and does great things such as give the family a fan to help endure the harsh summers and took them to the beach for the first time. Jane starts a campaign to stop Ivy from being sterilized. She realizes that the path she had chosen is not the easiest.

I like the way that Necessary Lies, by Diane Chamberlain, has captured the reality world and all the conflicts in the story can be real life situations. Diane Chamberlain really shows us a world where not everything is a happily ever after. I love how this story teaches us about the consequences we may receive if not working hard. I disliked how depressing the tone of the book can be at times though.

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library