Monday, November 30, 2015

City of Lost Souls, by Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls, by Cassandra Clare, is the exciting fifth installment in The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. In this edition, Jace goes missing after Clary leaves him alone on the rooftop with Sebastian, who was thought to be dead. Everyone is extremely anxious about Jace's disappearance, but it is only until Clary sees Jace walking around with Sebastian that she begins to get suspicious. Soon she learns that her Jace has been taken over, controlled by Sebastian, and they try to convince her to join them in their plan to bring demons into the world. Clary devises a plan with her best friend Simon and agrees

I really enjoyed City of Lost Souls! I'm usually not into these fantasy books with demons and faeries, but The Mortal Instruments is definitely an exception. Every book leaves me on the edge of my seat, including this one. I enjoyed the plot, as usual, and the characters were just as lovable and hilarious as always. I would recommend this book to fans of The Mortal Instruments series and teens who enjoy romance and adventure.

Reviewed by Rebecca S., Grade 10
Glendale Central Library

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Time Keeper, by Mitch Albom

The Time Keeper, by Mitch Albom, is a novel about Father Time, whose real name is Dor, and his mission to be freed from the pain and anguish of his new and unwanted job. After centuries of being lonely and trapped in a cave with nothing but his memories and voices of strangers asking for more time, he is given the opportunity to free himself of his job by helping a teenage girl named Sarah Lemon and a wealthy business man named Victor Delamonte learn to appreciate the time that they are given.

The Time Keeper was a book that I had been interested in reading and one day I decided to finally start it. Although it didn't meet my expectations and high hopes, it was a good book and I liked the message that it sent about appreciating the time and moments that you have. It teaches you that you should live in the moment instead of wasting your current time wishing for the future. Although the book did get kind of boring at times, my interest in finishing the book never faded.

Reviewed by Nayri T., Grade 12
Casa Verdugo Library

Monday, November 16, 2015

Love Lucy, by April Linder

On a backpacking trip through Europe, on the summer before Lucy Sommersworth will attend a private college, she is struck by the beauty of many things in Florence, Italy. To name a few, Lucy adores the culture of the city, the architecture of the buildings, and her new favorite type of food; Italian. Then the handsome street guitarist that works at the place she's staying at catches her eye. By the name of Jesse Paladino, a tourist himself from New Jersey, he has been staying in Italy for way longer than he planned. What will happen when Lucy's traveling buddy is starting to cause confrontations and Jesse starts sweeping Lucy off her feet? 

In part two of the book, Lucy's back in her home town already settled into the college which she can't seem to get used to. Convinced that Jesse was just a summer fling, she can't come to the realization that some relationships are meant to last longer.

The greatest summer novel any teenage girl with dreams of love and travel can read is right at your fingertips! Bound to sweep you off your feet, the tale of just another teenage girl with high hopes and overbearing parents is highly relatable. I recommend Love Lucy, by April Linder, to anybody in their teens that wants a tour of Europe and a whimsical romance right in their hands. This story is meant to inspire people to follow their heart and guides teens through making those very tough decisions in life.

Reviewed by Alexis K., Grade 10
Montrose Library

Excelsior! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee, by Stan Lee and George Mair

Varieties of comic books can become a destination for fantasy, action or just a relaxing moment for nearly any age. Who among all the comic writers out there is the king of the comic book world? Why the great Stan Lee of course! Excelsior! : The Amazing Life of Stan Lee is an intriguing book written by George Mair about the biography of Stan Lee. This book balances telling the story of Stan’s early life in a good pace without leaving major gaps. Also, it addresses the rollercoaster ride the comic industries go through during that time and how comics became popular around the globe.

Mair’s thorough writing didn’t miss a moment of Stan Lee’s life which in some way may have affected his future or was simply interesting. One of the reasons why Excelsior! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee, by Stan Lee and George Mair, is a little more special than any other biography books is because how Mair doesn’t only focus on the dramatic or tragic parts. He goes a little more beyond and tells the humorous parts of the comic genius’s life. Altogether Mair told the story of Stan Lee’s harsh and humorous life, and how he rose high up later just like the comic book heroes.

Reviewed by A.M., Grade 10
Glendale Central Library

Monday, November 9, 2015

The False Prince, by Jennifer A. Nielsen

A poor orphan boy was running for his life. He stole a roast from an angry butcher who was chasing him with a cleaver. A wealthy man stopped the butcher from killing off the boy when he was sure to die. The wealthy man, Sir Conner, payed the butcher for the roast and turned to the orphan. The orphan introduced himself as Sage. Sir Conner took Sage and two other orphan boys. He planned to train all three of them to impersonate Prince Jaron, prince of Carthya. Prince Jaron was rumored to have died in a shipwreck, and his parents and brother were all poisoned so searching for the lost prince was the last hope Carthya had. Conner gave the three orphan boys two weeks to educate themselves, learn manners, and ride a horse. He would choose one of the three and pass him off as Prince Jaron, while the other two boys would be killed for security reasons. There was Tobias, the smart and polite orphan who had no skill in battle. The second orphan was named Roden. He was strong and was an excellent listener. Sage was not smart or polite. He was strong and knew how to be a rebel, just like what Prince Jaron was famous for. The three boys competed hard to keep their lives.

The False Prince, by Jennifer A. Nielsenis one of my personal favorites. It has suspense, drama, action, a bit of romance, etc. I love all of the characters' personalities and their motives. Conner's wicked schemes, Tobias's inner strength, Mott's kindness, Sage's cunning personality and Imogen's story all are examples of things in the story that I enjoyed and what I thought was inspiring. The story plot is incredible and only a creative genius would be able to create such story. I recommend this story highly to young and old teens and adults. I am looking forward to reading the next books in the series and I hope you read this and maybe consider reading the book. :)

Reviewed by Anonymous, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

I,Q, by Roland Smith

I,Q, by Roland Smith, is a story about a thirteen year old boy named Quest ( ‘Q’ for short). His life turns upside-down when his mom, Blaze, marries a man named Roger and starts a band with him. When they book their first tour, Blaze and Roger decide to bring along Q and Angela (Q’s new step-sister), hoping to spend some quality time together as one family. During the tour, Q and Angela notice some strange people who happen to appear at all their pit-stops. They discover strange clues that lead them to believe they may have terrorist relations in their families. Can this really be true? The new siblings go on a mission to find out the truth about their relatives.

In my opinion, I,Q is quite a mediocre book. To be honest, the character development was terrible and the outcomes of the mysteries were quite predictable. The plot could have been thought out better by the author. There was not a lot of depth, breadth, or even significance. The book did not make me feel any emotions (fear, awe, anger, joy, etc.), which, for me, defeats the purpose of reading a book outside of school. I would not recommend this book to anyone who is looking for good read. Needless to say, I will definitely not continue to read this series. 

Reviewed by R.O., Grade 10
Casa Verdugo Library

Monday, November 2, 2015

Better Off Friends, by Elizabeth Eulberg

Macallan and Levi's friendship could be considered as a lot of things, but not smooth. A little hesitant to befriend the long, blonde haired new kid from California, Levi proves to be a very caring companion for Macallan. Hanging out after school on Wednesdays becomes their tradition, they both share a peculiar interest in a British comedy, and their families even become close. Contrary to popular belief, however, they're platonic. Their best-friendship is constantly under scrutiny as they can't seem to successfully have dates of their own and spend more time with each other than anybody else. This makes the pair question: are they more than just friends?

Better Off Friends, by Elizabeth Eulberg, is a fresh story of a classical tale in which best friends become more than that. Great for any teen, this story brings to the table view points from both the boy and the girl. This book, spanning from seventh grade to senior year in high school, is realtable to all of those ages. Although, it might be odd to read for people who may have friends from the opposite gender themselves. Sports teams also play a substantial role in this story which may be interesting to readers.

Reviewed by Alexis K.. Grade 10
Montrose Library

Selp Helf, by Miranda Sings

Selp Helf is written by a well know youtuber Miranda Sings, she makes videos on YouTube on a daily basis. Miranda Sings is a very funny person so in her book she writes very funny things and she makes really obvious spelling mistakes. For example the title (selp= self, helf=help) Her book talks about… EVERYTHING, like Career, Fatchen (fashion), Love, Self esteem, Dealing with Haters, Money as well as Magic. There are a lot of activities in the book like how to be a unicorn and how to know what to wear or get a boyfriend/girlfriend. Most activities include a lot of cutting and gluing things together. She talks a lot about herself and her many… many talents. In the intro of the book she implies you to thank her for all the help she is going to provide you with. She is also claims that she going to teach you how to be a better person in general.

This is a comedy book, so please don’t think your life is like how she describes it. In this book there are pictures of Miranda Sings, that she took and drew herself. Everything you see and read is humorous in this book. I would suggest to keep an open mind and good laugh while reading this book but don't rely on her to tell you what to wear on a date, hahaha!

I think the book is really funny and I would really recommend it to anybody who has a good sense of humor to get it and read it. It made me crack up and smile all the way through. Enjoy it! Bye

Reviewed by Aria, Grade 7
Pacific Park Library