Monday, May 30, 2016

Way of the Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman

Dan Millman’s, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, is a fictional novel that changes lives of people by slapping the readers’ face and waking them up into reality. The author’s descriptive imagery and diction brought laughter, tears and helped to reflect on the deepest questions of life and realizing life’s larger meaning and purpose. For example, Socrates(teacher of Dan), always says “The journey is what brings us happiness not the destination,” “A warrior does not give up what he loves, he finds the love in what he does,” and “Life has three rules: Paradox, Humor, and Change.” As Dan develops throughout the entire book, he learns to be himself, to be the moment, to focus and to live everyday like it was the last day.

All the amazing and life changing lessons that the character gains are what the reader gains and learns throughout the novel. I liked this book because the fiction came to life and taught me relevant life lessons. High School students and adults would highly appreciate this novel because they will not only enjoy the action but also discover new themes that will remain with them throughout their lives.

Reviewed by Siranush  M., Grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Monday, May 23, 2016

Ticket Masters, by Dean Budnick and Josh Baron

Budnick’s and Baron’s documentary, Ticket Masters communicates about the development of the amazing concert industry year by year and how the public got scalped by various fooling companies. The book is extraordinary because of the authors’ serious and strict tone, and their reliable sources from interviews with CEOs of major companies. For example, the phrases “12 million dollar investment in Ticketmaster,” “$2.50 fee for printing at home,” “the ticket price is much higher than its original face value” and “$25 service fees” displays how horrible Ticketmaster is and how it earns most of its money, which is by placing annoying fees for no absolute reason.

The author’s solemn diction forced me to juxtapose ScoreBig (ticketing company that places no fees), where my internship was earned during the summer with Ticketmaster which places at least 3 different types of fees on a single concert ticket. I think that mostly adults would like this book because the book primarily discusses ticketing companies, which might not be in the interest of teens and young adults. I recommend Ticket Masters, by Dean Budnick and Josh Baron, to business owners because they will like the writers' critiques on other companies.

Reviewed by Siranush M. Grade 12
Glendale Central Library

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, by Christopher Hitchens

This book covers the highly controversial topic of religion. The author brings up various arguments that are brought up about the existence of god and proves how they cannot have possibly been true in a highly persuasive and unbiased form. Furthermore, this book also talks about how religion “kills” by explaining that religion has been and is the root cause for mass killings of people all in the name of god. A lot of ancient claims are refuted by the author through scientific explanation. This book defines that religion is just morally wrong and through every chapter a new topic is brought up and challenged through logic and reasoning.

God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, by Christopher Hitchens, will go down as one of my all time favorites. I really liked the author’s style of writing in this book. He didn’t just flat out say that religion is wrong and god is imaginary. The author provided extensive examples to prove his points and in the end you were left to form your own opinion. I hit the point in my life where I started to question religion and I decided to pick up this book. It drastically helped me find out where I stand in this matter. I not only recommend this book to atheists, but I recommend it to anyone open minded. While reading this book, I came across several ideas that just left me in astonishment. All of a sudden, everything was making sense to me and the questions I had regarding religion were answered. This book will provide you with a new way of thinking and I think that anyone who questions religion should pick this up.

Reviewed by Arthur A., Grade 11
Glendale Central Library

Monday, May 16, 2016

Sweethearts, by Sara Zarr

Sweethearts , by Sara Zarr, is a phenomenal book that makes want to ponder a bit. This book is based on a past experience of a girl named Jennifer Harris (also known as Jenna Vaughn). The story begins with a flashback when she was in elementary. Elementary was a big moment fro Jennifer because she was bullied for her weight which meant she only had one friend, Cameron Quick. Cameron Quick also lived a terrible life..not with society but with his family..also known as his abusive father. The point is one day he just disappears and Jennifer never sees him again. Jennifer later moves and had great change for her family and society..she becomes Jenna Vaughn. A new identity for her but still deeply maintains Jennifer. Jennifer lives a happily normal life until the unexpected comes on her birthday that will change her perfect life into the reality she is really living.

The book was so great and different from other books. I would totally recommend it to young adults because it is a beautiful story based on true friendship. It is a story we can all relate to. It made me wonder about typical stereotypes in society and why they behave in such a way. I honestly thought it was going to be a lost love or something but it was different and unexpected..

Reviewed by Andrea V., Grade 10
Glendale Central Library

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The 10x Rule, by Grant Cardone

The 10x rule is an idea that the author created which means to put ten times more effort in any category of life to receive ten times the results. This book talks about how bad it is to be average. There are average people all around, but their life is never as fulfilling as somebody who abides by the 10x rule. The idea of putting yourself in uncomfortable situations is heavily encouraged throughout this book. If you constantly challenge and put yourself in tough situations, then everything will become easier for you because you have experienced the worst. Furthermore, writing down goals is described as a fundamental habit to commit to. Everyone has goals and visions which they want to accomplish and the only way to do that is to write it down on paper and have it in plain sight. This book is highly motivational and will put you in the right mindset to succeed.

The 10x Rule, by Grant Cardone, is like no other book you have read before. It introduces a very interesting concept and mindset to have. It reminds you that you are going to have obstacles on the pathway to success but because you are facing problems, that means you are on the right track. Fear is described as “False Events Appearing Real”. That line alone really motivated me to look past my fears and do things that scare me. I recommend this book to everyone. The ideas expressed can be applied to every aspect of life. After reading this book, my attitude towards everything changed and I am more focused and goal oriented. I enjoyed every chapter of this book and I guarantee you will too. If you find yourself struggling to succeed then pick up this book. It will forever change how you live.

Reviewed by Arthur A, Grade 11
Glendale Central Library

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Things They Carried, by Tom O'Brien

The Things They Carried, by Tim O'Brien, is based on war, but is fiction. The book is based on different stories and perspectives of the narrator Tim. The book is not like any other war story, only because it is not non-fiction. The book begins with the soldiers and what life was at war as well as some of the things they carried. What is interesting is the book later talks about what happened after the war. The book helps people understand what soldiers have gone through and why soldiers do what they do after the war. When you read the book it makes you question if certain events are real or just made up. They say if you question it so much, it can be true. The story takes place in Vietnam ( Vietnam War). It simply talks about memories of what soldiers lived and how they died. It is a very emotional, heoroic and gruesome story.

The book was actually pretty great. I actually believed I was not going to enjoy it because I do not really enjoy books based on war. I have also read All Quiet on the Western Front. In compare to The Things they Carried I would say this book was way better because it was fictional but in a way sounded non-fictional. It definitely taught me something about war. I recommend this book to adults or anyone who likes a great war book. I can not stress how much you should read this book. The book was incredible.

Reviewed by Andrea V., Grade 11
Glendale Central Library 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Way I Am, by Eminem

The Way I Am, by Eminem, is a book written by Eminem all about his life. He starts from the roots and talks about how he became a rapper. We think that people just become rich and famous but that is not always the case. Eminem details how much he worked on his craft to master it and eventually get noticed by big name labels and producers. The book starts off from childbirth, to teens and leads in to adult years. Eminem talks about each and everyone one of his albums and the reactions that he got from them. This book is very personal and everything that Eminem went through and felt is in the inside of this book.

I really loved this book and I wish it was longer. It's very interesting because Eminem tells you stories and details about his rap career that you wouldn't know unless you read this book. I picked this up because I am a hardcore fan and wanted to know more about him. It made me realize that fame and wealth ultimately comes with a price and its not as amazing as people think it is. I recommend this book to fans and people that want to know who Eminem is. You will begin to understand him and why he is the way he is. I feel like if you listen to a certain artist, you should read about how they came to be a success. This book also has a lot of pictures to go with it and I thought they were really cool and added to the overall context of the book.

Reviewed by Arthur A., Grade 11
Glendale Central Library

Monday, May 2, 2016

Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson

Wintergirls ,by Laurie Halse Anderson, follows Lia as she suffers from anorexia and has a very distorted view of her body. Her best friend Cassie has just died from bulimia after calling Lia 33 times and she refused to answer. Lia now deals with the guilt from possibly being the cause of death and the pressure of her entire family telling her she is sick when she doesn't see it. Lia can't be helped until she wants to help herself but her time is running out.

I thought Wintergirls was a very realistic in how it captured the mindset and life of someone suffering from distorted body images. I feel like every teenage girl has at one point been very unhappy with their body image and this book does a very good job of warning of the potential dangerous ways some deal with solving that problem. I like how Wintergirls promotes a healthier lifestyle by showing what the unhealthy lifestyle can lead to. I would recommend this to people who enjoyed Anderson's other work such as Speak.

Reviewed by Nayri T., Grade 12
Casa Verdugo Library