Friday, April 10, 2020

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

In the kingdom of Ikhara, a demon king rules. Each year, he takes eight young concubines from the lowest caste- the Papers, or the humans. However, when Lei, the main character, catches the eye of a military commander and is brought to the king as a present, she becomes the ninth. However, unlike most of the other girls, Lei doesn't want to be a concubine. When she falls in love with another consort, she decides that she can't be the king's concubine, and becomes embroiled in a conspiracy to end his terrible reign over the people.

I actually enjoyed reading this book, even though magic/fantasy is not normally my preferred subject. It was filled with action and suspense- there were many scenes of Lei barely avoiding the king. It also talked a lot about sexual violence and the characters' responses to it. The caste system of the demons and humans was also very interesting to read about, and the magic and the pantheon of gods were also intriguing. The book was a roller coaster- its atmosphere ranged from very happy to depressing in the next paragraph. However, I still really enjoyed it and would recommend it to other readers who enjoy fantasy, magic, and action.

Reviewed by NK, Grade 10
Montrose Library

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Small Steps by Louis Sachar

The book “Small Steps” is actually a spin-off from the book “Holes.” The book follows Theodore Johnson, also called Armpit’s life after getting released from Camp Green Lake. Theodore tries so hard to return back to his regular life, but that cannot be changed easily because of his records. Still, Armpit’s neighbor Ginny, who’s younger than Armpit, becomes friends with him. One day, Armpit and Ginny goes to the Kaira Deleon’s concert, who’s a huge teen pop star. That’s where Armpit meets Kaira and they start to form a relationship. However, that relationship completely changes Armpit’s life.

I absolutely liked this book. I liked it because of how the book faced real word problems, such as racism and lookism. I believe this book will be liked by high school students. This book made me feel that everything in this world cannot be easy or joyful. It also made me think of how a person’s life can change so easily because of one incident or accident. I do recommend this book, but not for younger kids. This book should be read by, like I said before, high school students.

Reviewed by Jonah, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library

Monday, April 6, 2020

You Killed Wesley Payne by Sean Beaudoin

You Killed Wesley Payne, by Sean Beaudoin is about a 17 year old detective named Dalton Rev, who transfers to a tough and dangerous school filled with gangs and cliques. Dalton is on a case where he must solve a students death here at Salt River High, whose body was found hanging down on a goal post at the school football field. Dalton interrogates all the cliques and goes through a lot of difficulty and frustration finding out who was responsible for the murder of Wesley Payne.

In my opinion, this book was overall just decent. It's a good book and I think that you will like it if you are into murder and mystery, but I personally didn't have too much fun reading it. The context and whole plot of the book seemed confusing and weird. The beginning of the book was pretty fun, but as I progressed through the book, it just wasn't that interesting. It's up to you whether you want to read it or not! Be my guest.

Reviewed by RC, Grade 9
Glendale Central Library