Thursday, April 28, 2011

Speak Review

I recently finished reading Speak by Laura Halse Anderson. I liked this book a lot, but I don’t really understand all the fanfare it got. While it is a good book about an important topic that affects many teens, I’m not sure why it is used in so many schools to teach the topic. PLEASE READ BOTTOM PARAGRAH FOR FURTHER EXPLANATION, SPOILER ALERT

This book is about Miranda, a girl who is raped at a party where most of her peers from high school are partying, complete with beer, drugs, the whole nine yards. She tries to call the cops to report the rape, but can’t speak. Because the line was left open, police track it and come to the party, breaking it up and arresting several people for underage drinking. Back at school, she is now ostracized from all the groups she used to hang out with for calling the cops and ending the party. Miranda doesn’t speak when it isn’t absolutely necessary because of trauma from the rape, and still hasn’t confided in anyone the fact that she was raped, not even the police.

I liked the characters in this book. I was able to relate some of them even to people I know. It was fairly easy to identify with Miranda, because, even though hers was much more severe, everyone has felt left out at one time or another. The characters were fairly well developed and you got to know most of them, even if once you got to know them, you were made to hate them.

I would recommend this book to teens age 13 and up. It does deal with a very mature issue, rape, and there are some disturbing parts that might disturb younger readers. In parts of the book, Miranda contemplates suicide, she cuts her wrists, and other things along those lines happen. While younger readers have heard of these, I would not recommend dwelling on them that young.

This book is very similar to Hate List by Jennifer Brown. They are both about high school girls now outcast due to a crime committed that involved them as main characters.

Overall, Speak by Laura Halse Anderson is a good book.

While eventually Miranda does stop the boy who raped her from doing it again and finds out many people at her school hate him, she still never really tells the cops or even her parents. The only person she actually says that she was raped to was her art teacher, in the very last line of the book. I think if schools are going to use a book to teach people to speak out about rape and other crimes, they should use a book that has the main character tell the authorities promptly, not wait for nearly a year.

Locomotion Book Review

Let me begin by saying the the book Locomotion by: Jacqueline Woodson, is not a very well written book, nor do I view it as a book with a good story.

The main character of this book is a young boy, named Lonnie, who's parent's died in a fire before the book. Though this is really as far as the story went, only developing in some small segments. Also the way the story is told is done with poor execution, never feeling all that great. What I mean by the story being told poorly is the fact that it is done through poems, I like this concept, but it has been done much better in books such as The Surrender Tree, or All The Broken Pieces. Also there is never really any character development throughout the entire story.

I would not recommend this book to many people, but if I had to I would recommend it to people looking for a short, cheap, story.

So over all I thought the book had bland story, underdeveloped characters, no real emotions, and overall was very poor in execution and writing.

Elephant Run

****************************Warning spoiler Alert!!!!!!!!!!!***********************
Elephant Run by Roland Smith, This book is about a boy that goes to Burma during WWII. Somethings that I liked was that it kept you wondering in some places. I also liked was that most of the characters were around the age of middle schoolers. somethings that I didn't like was that in some places it was it was really slow and boring. Another thing that I did like was that they wold discribe things in deatil to a point where you thought you were in the story itself. Some of the people that I would recomend this book to are people that like history and people that like war and camps of differnt sorts. I would recomend this to someone that likes history is because it has a lot of historicial events that they talk about. The people that like war because of the POW camps. POW camps are camps that they kept people that were captured by the enimy during time of war. I could not relate this book to anything because I personally have not read many history books, or books that have to do with WWII.
*This book is a really good book I would recomend it to anyone that has not read it.*

Trouble by Gary Schmidt

When Henry’s brother gets hit by a car, driven by a Cambodian immigrant, he if furious. He doesn’t know how to cope with his anger and sadness. His sister and father have shut themselves in their rooms. The only thing that keeps Henry going is his dog, Black Dog, and his goal to climb the mountain that his brother, Franklin, said he never could. It was an amazing journey for Henry, the main character. He realized how harsh people can be, racism, and he learned to trust himself. It had some unexpected twists.

This was a very good book. I expected I would dislike it because I don’t like the author that much.

The only thing I didn’t like about this book was that it didn’t really talk about the war in Vietnam even though that was the time period and context.

I really can’t compare this book to any other book I’ve read. I haven’t read books in the Vietnam War era.

I’d recommend this to anyone who has enjoyed books by the author, Gary Schmidt.

The Final Touch

~~~~~~~~SPOILERS~~~~~~~~~~~~This book was amazingg!!I absolutely loved it. It is by a Christian author,and it is mind blowing. There is this girl maned Shaley and her mom is a rock star. Minutes before her mom and Greg were supposed to be married, Shaley was kiddnapped. All of this happened in 2 chapters. Again, every other chapter is from Shaleys point of view, and others from her parents. Later in the book when the SWAT team gets involved, there is another point of view that jumps into the story. Its from Reynolds, a SWAT team member. This story was VERY high paced, and I loved it. In the midst of all this tragedies, Shaley discovers that this monster that has kidnapped her, was her stalker from 2 years ago. This man was arrested, but he escaped. Unfortunately, when Shaley is delivered to a cabin in Nevada with this man, she learns about him. He is doing all of this in the name of God. He claims to be a "prophet" and has named himself "Joshua"after the man in the Bible. "Joshua" informs Shaley that later in the week, she would be marring him. (Let me inform you that Shaley is 14 and "Joshua" is 55). She was scared out of her wits, and in the middle of all of these horrific happenings, Shaley calls apon God to save her. She parents are praying and worrying for her and asking God why he did this. Shaley, (being the 14 year old she is) called 9-1-1 when Joshua was in the bathroom. Sadly, she didnt get to finish her call before he was done. The operator got enough info to come after her. Joshua discovers that Shaley called, and beats her and drags her somewhere else. They break into a car maroon SUV, Shaley crawls into the back seat floorboard, and they ride to Peace Montana close to the Canadian border. (Notice they traveled from Georgia to Montana). They break into another cabin, and turn on the radio. They hear on the news that people have seen her in a Montanan gas station and are coming for her. But after hearing this Joshua is furious. They hear a bullhorn, sirens, and copters up ahead. I am not going to give away anything else. You need to read the book!!! I would recomend this to anyone who isnt easy to scare or shake. My sister (11) started reading this and she had to stop because it gave her night mares.

~~Abs :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hate List Review

A few weeks ago, I finished Hate List by Jennifer Brown. I really enjoyed the book and thought the story was wonderfully evoked, but it wasn’t really all that challenging of a read. However, the book was great! I finished it in about a day and a half, and have thought about the issues in it lots since.

In the story, Valerie was the victim of a mass shooting carried out by her boyfriend. Nick, the boyfriend, targeted people on the “hate list” of people that annoyed Valerie and him. Valerie has to go back to school and face people who think that the shooting was her fault, deal with her family’s problems, and try to sort out her own feelings about the incident.

I really liked the plot and how the author related to things that are important to teenagers today. The plot moved at a good pace and there were always twists that kept you reading, like when Valerie discovers an art studio or befriends a former enemy. Brown mentions mp3 players and cell phones, things synonymous today with being a teenager. This book is reminiscent of the Columbine shooting, so it is relates to things that really have happened, and to me this makes it a much more interesting read.

I didn’t really like the level at which this book was written. It was a pretty easy read, so even though the topics in the book were fairly profound, I didn’t feel extremely challenged while reading it. The vocabulary was decent in most of the book, but not of the caliber that I think should be expected of young adults.

I would recommend this book to any age teenager. There is some language and under-age drinking, but this is something most teens know about already. The book, I don’t believe, contains anything that teens haven’t heard about before.

This book reminded me a lot of Speak by Laura Halse Anderson. They are both about teenage girls struggling to cope with a traumatic incident that has alienated them from their peers. Both are good reads.

Code Orange

Code Orange was about a student named Mitty who slacks off on all of his school work. In science, they were given a project to choose and research a disease. Mitty chose Smallpox. Olivia, his crush, persuades him to do research and to take his time. Mitty finds smallpox scabs in an old book of his parents’. He touches the scabs and becomes convinced the he is going to get smallpox. After sending out many emails about the scabs, he runs away, only to be kidnapped by terrorists. They want to release the disease on all of New York, where he lives. He uses his knowledge, that he didn’t know he had, to outsmart them. Pretending to have smallpox, he gains control of his captors.

I thought Code Orange was interesting. The plot wasn’t like anything else I’d ever read (although, I don’t read a lot of books about diseases…), but I didn’t like it.

I didn’t think it was realistic in any way. The scabs were a stretch to believe, but when Mitty gets kidnapped, it lost all realism it had. It also lacked depth. I didn’t get to know any of the characters.

I would compare Code Orange to The Rock and the River because I both, the main character does things behind their parents’ backs. In The Rock and the River, Sam helps the Black Panthers without telling his father, while in Code Orange, Mitty doesn’t tell his parents about the scabs until he writes a letter telling them he is contemplating committing suicide then runs away. And, in each, the main character’s crush persuades them to do the right thing.

I would recommend this to anyone who isn’t a big reader but is into science.

The Rock and the River

The Rock and the River:

During the time of Martin Luther King Jr. protests, Sam wants to follow his famous father, Roland Childs, another leader in the peaceful protest world. But, whenever he sees a police officer beating a black person for nothing or other unfair racial treatment, he finds it hard to peacefully protest. When his brother, Stick, joins the Black Panthers, a group that takes action (non-violent and sometimes violent) to help victims of these crimes, Sam feels torn. His brother tells him, “You can’t be the rock and the river,” meaning that you can’t stay still like the rock and move ahead like the river. Will he ever understand what the Black Panthers is about?

I liked this book; it was really well written. I haven’t read something about the Martin Luther King Jr. speeches before. I think it’s a good first-hand look at what it was like during the 1960’s. It shows the two sides of wanting to get somewhere but not knowing how to get there. Although
I could tell the emotion in this book, it didn’t hit me as hard as it could have. But I still didn’t want to put down The Rock and the River, but it also took motivation to pick it back up.

My book comparison might be a bit strange. I think it is like Someone Named Eva because both books are about something that is not often written about. Plus, the main character each don’t know which path to take; for Sam, it’s peaceful or joining the Black Panthers, and for Milada it’s going along with what is happening or fighting back and trying to keep her identity.
I really liked it though. I wanted to urge Sam to do something.
I recommend this to young adults who like to read things about history or that like to read things about indecision and growing up.

Code Orange

Mitty is a teenage boy who likes to enjoy life. He doesn't care about homework at all, but he is pressured to finish an assignment because his crush is in his class. His assignment is about deadly diseases. He chooses smallpox because he found some smallpox scabs in a book he read. He touches the scabs and inhales the dust. Little does he know that when the scab was fresh it had Virola Major- a deadly virus. It has no personality. It's only task is to take over the cells of the other creatures and spread. It has the power to kill everyone. Mitty's life becomes at risk along with everybody he is in contact with.
I really liked the information in the book. It entertained me and taught me about smallpox. The only thing I didn't like is that it was very easy to read. I would have enjoyed more of a challenge.
I would recommend this book to people who don't usually read. This book would capture all their attention. I would also recommend this book to people like me. Drama with a little bit of romance, but not to crazy.
I would compare Code Orange to the book any book that includes diseases. I personally haven't read a book that I can compare this to.

The Surrender Tree

The Surrender Tree was such a good book. It was a book with a lot of little short stories made into poems. It was so neat how they made a little poem into a story about Rosa and her life. I liked it but it was a little confusing at the beginning but the more I got into it the more I understood. I would reccomend this book to a person who likes poetry. I am not a big fan of poetry but I liked this book. It reminds me of either Locomotion or All the Broken Peices. This book is awesome.

Molly Fyde

Molly Fyde was an okay book. It was about this girl who gets expelled from a Navy flying school. She goes to normal school for a while but then gets into a huge adventure. Her dad's old ship was found. She goes with her crush Cole to find the ship and then have epic adventures through space, the final frontier.
In the book I really hated the first 4 chapters because it was so confusing! I didn't understand it at all! After those chapters i enjoyed how Cole and Molly escaped from the Glemots.
I would recommend this book to people who are sci-fi fans because of the role in space. Also I would recommend this book to young adults over 12 because it has some language.
I haven't read a book like this before so I cant really compare this to anything.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Review on "Elsewhere" ;)

I LOVED THIS BOOK. Okay, so, now that that’s out.. LET THE REVIEW BEGIN! I recently finished “Elsewhere”! This book is about a girl named Liz (Elizabeth), who doesn’t exactly know where she is. In the first part of the book, she is on a ship, talking to Curtis Jest who was her favorite singer, that had died recently. For a while, she thought she was dreaming, until it became obvious that she was dead, and this was her after life. It wasn’t how most people think of being dead, the place was called “Elsewhere”, it had shops, friendly people, almost everything as Earth. She met her grandmother Betty that had died of Breast Cancer before she was born, so they had never met before hand. At first, Liz doesn’t like it there, then she meets people, and almost falls in love. Also, in Elsewhere you get younger, then when your back to being a baby, you get floated down the river to Earth, to be born all over again. I loved the style of her writing! It was almost like a diary, but not. Yet, that probably doesn’t make sense; it wasn’t a book you had to drag yourself into. There would be parts that it would take a few minutes, but then you’d be glued to the book! I can’t actually think of anything I didn’t like. The only thing might have been, how sometimes a chapter would start differently, but it would explain soon! I would recommend this book too probably girls. The reason for that is the whole love part, but that’s only a tiny part, and mostly near the end! Boys could get through this book, but they may not like it as much. The age would be 12+, because it does mention a few weird parts, but it’s not descriptive or anything, more like it’s just mentioned! I couldn’t compare this book to any other that I’ve read. It’s very cool and weird knowing that she’s dead in the story, but it makes so much sense, and makes it awesome! This book isn’t scary, by the way, I thought it would be at first, but it’s not .. AT ALL.

~ Baileyyyyy <3

Paint the Wind (Recommended by Dana :D

This book was a good read, but I am not a animal person... I enjoyed reading it, there was a lot of suspense which is something that I like, it was all fast and up in your face. The writing style was different it was like every other chapter was from the horses point of view. The story is about a herd of horses from a local ranch, that in the past escaped. It follows them and their new foal, on their journey in the wild. When a big tornado hits, Maya and the wild horse are left together. This story had multiple climaxes throughout the book. I would recommend this to a serious animal lover that likes real fast books. I enjoyed reading the exciting parts because I didn't want to put it down. Iw ould compare this book maybe to Saving Zasha because it has a climax and its about animals.

-Abby S.

Molly Fyde and the Fight for Peace Review

Molly Fyde and the Fight for Peace is another well-written book by Hugh Howey. In this book, Molly and Cole continue to, well, fight for peace. The Bern invasion is coming. Molly and Walter with the people of Lok and Captain Saunders (and his team) plan to fight Bern. Cole, in hyperspace, develops his own plan to conduct with Penny and Mortimor. Anlyn and Edison, who meet up with Molly, have a branch of her plan. Anlyn can’t wait. Together, they will fight the Bern, not knowing exactly who is doing what.

I loved it. Although parts of it were mind-bending and confusing, such as Cole’s plan, when he talks to the Bern Seer, and at the end with the Bern Seer, and how does hyperspace work? I can’t wait to know if there are more Molly Fyde-s!

I recommend it to any young adult who likes science fiction or that has read the three other Molly Fydes and liked the series.

Honestly, the only thing I can kind of compare it to is Artemis Fowl because of the creative made-up worlds along with cool futuristic technology, although it is a stretch. And if I had to choose which one is better, I’d have to say Molly Fyde :)

When you reach me review

I read when you reach me, it’s about a girl who has a friend that time travels to give her letters that end up telling her how to save her friends life.
I didn’t like how it changed times (that confused me) and I think the author could have made it more interesting and less dry. I liked how it challenged you to think about time travel, it made me sit down for a few minutes and try to understand time travel. I liked how it ended.
I would recommend this book to people who like easy reads, because this book was easy to read most of the time. I think 5th-7th grade would enjoy this book the best, but some adults would probably also enjoy it.
I don’t know of any books to compare it with, because I’ve never read a time travel book before.
The short Second life of Bree Tanner
Don’t read if you have not read this book!!!!!
*******************Spoiler Alert****************************

The short second life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer. This book is about a new born vampire that falls in love and finds out things for herself that she was lied to about. But she dose not stay in love for long due to some tragic events.

I liked the fact that she made the book to clear up the life of Bree Tanner. I also liked the fact that she is able to fine out things for her own and not believe the lie that everyone else believes.

I recommend this book to people from age 11- maybe 40’s. This book is most popular with the teenage. This book can be connected with the teenage groups and maybe with people older. It has to deal a lot with kids 17 and older.

I can compare this book to the ending of Breaking Dawn. It takes place in Bree’s head. Just like at the end of Breading Dawn it takes place in Jacob’s head. These books are kind of a like. The moat difference between these books is that Jacob always thinks about Renesmay and Bella and Bree thinks about Diego all of the time.

Go and Come Back

Go and Come Back

This book was so good. It was mainly about how two old white ladies from New York come to their tribe called Isabo. When everyone comes to greet them except for Alicia. Alicia then starts watching them because they are silly and don’t know how to live in their tribe and Alicia said that someone is going to have to help them out. That someone is Alicia and she helps them learn how to live in the tribe of Isabo. I liked the book but it wasn’t my favorite it was a little confusing on some parts. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes an adventure.

Review on Hate list :)

I read Hate list, I really enjoyed reading it! Usually I don’t like reading, but with hate list I didn’t want to ever put it down.
Hate list is about the perspective from a teenage girl who’s boyfriend was involved with a school shooting, it showed me just because you think someone was a part of something doesn’t mean they were, and people can change from who you thought they were to someone different.
I liked that it was a fast pace book, and I could sort of relate to Valerie the main character because she felt like people thought she was someone that she wasn’t. I didn’t like how sad it was and I didn’t like the ending. (I won’t spoil it!)
I would recommend this book to middle schoolers, high schoolers, and young adults that can handle reading about depression. Also because they could relate to it the most and I think relating to a book is important.
I can't think of a book to compare this wiht because there aren't many books like it that are about high shcool shootings that teach you a lesson.

Elephant Run

This book was about a boy named Nick Freestone. He lived in England in WWII, while Nazi bombers destroyed the city. So his mom sent him to live with his father in Burma where he owns a ranch that trains elephants. But it is short lived Japenese soliders took his father prisoner it is up to nick to save his father. This book was an okay book it was very slow and boring there was a part i liked and that was when Nick's father was captured. what i did not like about was because i was on page 200 and Nick still had not got out of the elephant ranch [now controlled by the Japenese] and did not rescue his father to the very end. I would recommend this book to a person who would like to learn about people who train elephants and enprisoment. But overall I can't compare this to other books because I have never read a book like this.

The Giver

The Giver is about a futureristc world in which society controls almost everything. The main characters Jona is chosen for the most importent job of all the reciver. The last time the tried to get a new reciver it ended tragically. This time they cannot fail. When Jona and the Giver (the old reciver) come up with a some what 'crazy' plan nothing will ever be the same again.

I liked this book but I didn't think it was as great as everyone makes it out to be. They're were points in the book I loved and some I didn't like, at all. I especially disliked the ending, because it was a little confuing and seemed forced.

This book didn't have any adult themes but in order to undestand the message I think you need to be a middle schooler, maybe a mature fifth grader. I think adults could enjoy this book too, but they'd view it in an entirely different way then I did.

This book was about the same topic (controling government) as Matched and The Other Side of the Island, but I'd say Matched is more entertaining, and has a better flow then the Giver. I'd say The Other Side of the Island had a better story and flow but didn't deal as much with the topic (other then just the rebellion side of it) then the Giver.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Life As We Knew It

A recent read for me is Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (don't ask me how to pronounce that because I have absolutely no idea whatsoever). I finished this one a couple days ago, so my thoughts aren't as fresh in my mind as they were for Hate List. I really enjoyed this book too. It was another one of those I found hard to put down. Once again, I can't relate to the main character. I haven't exactly been through the moon moving closer to the Earth and ending the world. Hopefully nobody has. Like Valerie, Miranda is a main character I can feel sorry for. Her entire world is ending. She is losing almost everybody she loves. Her family is starving. She is completely out of touch with her dad and his new wife (who is pregnant). They have no electricity or gas so during winter they almost freeze. They have no idea what is going on with the rest of the world. That has to be extremely hard. This wasn't anywhere near close to being real, so it wasn't like I was reading an auto-biography.
This book also made me think of one thing: The end of the world. It made me wonder what the scientists think is actually going to happen on December 21st, 2012. I still don't believe anythings going to actually happen, but still it made me wonder. So, of course, I looked it up. (Who doesn't love Google?) I found out that many people believe it is because of the Mayan calender. The Mayan calender ends on December 21st, 2012. Since everybody believes that the Mayans were extremely advanced in education, everybody believes that they had predicted the end of the world. I couldn't understand what the scientists were talking about when I read what they were thinking. I will say that, yes, I believe in the Bible and a date for the end of the world isn't mentioned in the Bible whatsoever. Besides that, how can a civilization that lived thousands of years ago predict the date of the end of the world? It doesn't matter how smart they were. It isn't possible. (This is my opinion. Please don't take it offensively.)
This is another book I can't compare to anything. I haven't read another book like this ever. Literally never. I have read post-apocalyptic books. It just isn't the same thing. I can relate main characters to each other. I can relate Miranda to Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games. They are both starving most of the time. At one point, Miranda has to take care of her family by herself, where Katniss does that every day. I just can't compare this to another book.
The style of this book is also very different from many books I have read. This book was written in the style of a diary. Basically, it was like I was reading Miranda's diary. Anyone who likes that type of writing style will most likely enjoy reading this book. I also believe anyone who likes Science Fiction would like this book as well, but, just like Hate List, I believe it is your own judgement whether or not you would like this book. ~Ashleigh

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hate List

I literally just finished Hate List by Jennifer Brown. It was impossible to wait until a decent time to write this review, so that's why I'm writing this at 12 in the morning. I had to get my thoughts about this book out before they left my head. I actually really liked this book. I can't really put my finger on why, but I did. I can't relate to the main character at all. I have never been through anything she has been through. Absolutely nothing. I haven't been through a school shooting. I've never had a boyfriend who I could see the good side of no matter what other people thought (I haven't even ever had a boyfriend for that matter). My parents have been together for 20-something years and they aren't getting a divorce any time soon. Even not being able to relate to her, I felt sorry for her. Valerie Leftman isn't even a real person and I felt sorry for her. She may not be a real person, but the way Jennifer Brown writes makes her seem real. Jennifer Brown makes Valerie Leftman real. When I read this, I felt like I was reading an auto-biography. I felt like all of this had really happened to a girl named Valerie Leftman. This may be exactly why I liked it, but I can't be sure. It could be anything. The book kept me wanting to read more. It was hard to put this book down. This is also a possibility of why I liked it so much. Like I said, I can't pinpoint my reason for liking it so much, but I liked it. I did actual research on school shootings. Basically, I read a wikipedia article on the Columbine Shooting. The Columbine Shooting and Hate List seem close. Almost like Jennifer Brown was basing the shooting in the book on the actual shooting. I saw a few connections. Only one teacher was killed during both shootings. The shooters committed suicide. Small stuff like that. I noticed two differences between the actual shooting and the book. Nick stayed in one room, The Commons, during the entire shooting, while Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold (the Columbine Shooters) went throughout the school. The other was the fact that Harris and Klebold also used bombs, where Nick only used a gun. (If you are wondering, I am looking at the Wiki article as I type this. I don't remember the shooter's names off the top of my head.) This is actually a question I would like to ask the author. I would really like to know if she based the Garvin High School shooting on the Columbine Shooting. It is almost impossible to compare this book to anything fictional. This book is to realistic for comparisons like that. I could compare this book to the non-fiction book, Left For Dead, but I won't. They are completely unrelated books. One is about a ship wreck that left hundreds of sailors on a secret misson stranded in the middle of the ocean. The other is about a girl trying to get over a high school shooting where her boyfriend was the shooter. Like I said, completely unrelated. There is nothing that I have read that I can possibly compare to Hate List (or at least, nothing I can think of right now). I hope that when choosing whether or not to read this book that you will take my words into consideration. This is a very strong book. It is a really good book. Honestly, I wouldn't know who to recommend this book to. I think it should be your choice whether this book is for you or not. I feel I have described this book greatly enough for you to decide whether or not you want to read it. Let me say one last thing: This is not one of those teenage drama stories like The Twilight Saga or some other teen drama story. It is better than that. It is about a teenage girl trying to deal with bullying and family problems while trying to get over a school shooting. It may seem like a teenage drama story, but it isn't. It's more than that. ~Ashleigh

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hate List

So I'm trying to catch up on my reviews, and I read Hate List a while ago.

This book contains some sences with violence, teen derpression, and teen drinking. If you can get over that it's a really really really good book. I think that this book is AMAZING!!! It is a little graphic but not really extremely scary. Overall the most scary thing is that this could happen!!!

This book is definetivly for people who can handle intense scences and depression.


Molly Fyde and the Blood of Billions

Hey Y'all! I recently read the third book in the Molly Fyde series, Blood of the Billions. I thought this book was okay compared to Hugh Howey's other writings. I liked his other books better.
This book was seen from the point of view of three different characters, Molly, Cole and Anylyn. In Molly's chapters, you followed what Molly did on Lok. In Cole's chapters, you followed what Cole did in Hyperspace. In Anylyn's chapters, honestly, I was too confused by Anylyn's chapters to know what was going on. I really liked the chapters with Cole and Molly, but the Anylyn chapters could have been left out.
If I had to recommend this book to anybody, I would recommend it to people who:
A) Like science-fiction.
B) Are in at least middle school. (This is because the book uses cuss words. It also uses a lot of big words you don't learn until 6th grade.)
Anyway, the book is kind of good, except for the Anylyn chapters. Those chapters are bad.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

All Broken Pieces

I thought that this book was very interesting and was easy to relate to. In the book the main character, Henry is a wonderful athlete but has problems thinking about his history from Vietnam. He is also having lots of problems with his friend, whos brother apparently died because of him. The book is very interesting and keeps you reading. It was also easy to relate to if you had or have a borther, or grandpa in the war, because it is just like real life because whatever he was thinking in the book i think about my brothers. The book makes you very emotional in some parts, but then it cheers you back up with good thoughts. To m this book is almost like i wrote the book because it is almost the same as my life. I have not read any books similiar to this one, but i would definetly recommend this book to someone with a military life. So overall i loved this book, because of how good i could relate it to me.

When You Reach Me

This book was so confusing. I decided to stay with it but I would have to re-read every chapter to comprehend it better. This book is mainly about how a little girl named Miranda who has a best friend named Sal. When one day they went home a different way and this kid named Marcus punches Sal. Sal runs home and joins the basketball team and totally shuts Miranda out of his life. When Miranda meets a new friend named Annemarie who has epilepsy. Then Miranda gets these letters from the laughing and ends up fining out that the laughing man is Marcus. This book was so good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Molly Fyde and the Land of Light- “I need you to help me rescue your father.” This one statement hurtles Molly into an adventure to save her father. It takes her to the planets of Lok and to Dakura. Also the one place she never dreamed of being, Drenard. On her way to Dakura she finds out the real reason behind her going there, she must kill her own mother.

One thing that I liked was the suspense and action in the book. Like when Molly was told that when she got to Dakura that she would have to kill her mom. Also I liked the Wadi Thooo in the book because it sounded cute. Now I want tame one.

I would recommend this book to anyone that likes science fiction and lots of action. Even those that don’t like science fiction might like this because I don’t really like sci-fi and I loved this book. Also I would recommend this to a middle-schooler because younger people might not like it or e able to relate to it, which you should be able to do in a good book.

This book reminds me of The Mazerunner because of the suspense. At the end of almost every single chapter there is a single phrase that puts you on the edge of your seat until the next chapter, where it happens again.


Blood of the Billions Review:

WARNING: slight spoiler, but doesn't reveal much In Molly Fyde’s third adventure, she still seeks to find her dad and defeat the Bern. Meanwhile, Cole is stuck in hyperspace! On Lok, Molly, Walter, and Molly’s Wadi try to find the elusive Cat. According to Parsona, Cat can help them. Molly figures out the undisclosed secret of fusion fuel. Some sleazy people are finding… ways to avoid buying fusion fuel. Cole has encounter with many strange people while stuck in hyperspace: Byrne, Mortimor (and some of his helpers), the Bern Seer, and some others. After Byrne explains everything to him, he orders him to die. How far will Cole go to protect himself? I think that this was a very good book, though some parts were too gory. Or too descriptive. Other than that, Molly Fyde and the Blood of Billion was a great book with an amazing plot. It had a lot of twists and thought-provoking concepts. I LOVED it! Words cannot describe Hugh Howey’s amazing writing.

The House on Mango Street

This book was so good. I loved how it was in mini stories but it didn't give you one picture. It gave you many little pictures of what mango street looks like and the people around them. This book is mainly about how a little girl named Esperanza has always dreamed of having a house to call her own. When she finally gets it. It was not what she expects it to be. But she learns how to work with. I haven't read any other book like this one. Right know i am reading All the Broken Peices. It is almost in the same format as the other book. It is so good so far. I encourage any one to read it. This book is awesome.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Half Way Home

Half Way Home was awesome! The characters, especially Porter, were very well written. I really enjoyed how he starts to understand himself at the same time we begin to understand him. The planet sounds beautiful. My favorite aspect of it were the giant trees. I also loved the vinnies! When Ms. Kesler got a new hedgehog, we all jumped at the chance to name him Vinnie, but he ended up being called Teko. If only everyone had read Half Way Home. They would have gotten the joke, haha. Anyways, I would recommend Half Way Home to an older audience due to the gratuitous amount of cursing. It does make sense, seeing as all of the characters are fifteen years old, and we all know how most fifteen year olds talk... Haha, I am just kidding. Seriously though, Half Way Home is more of an adult novel than anything. Most younger kids wouldn't even really be able to appreciate the messages that it conveys.

The Little Stranger

I just finished The Little Stranger, and it was amazing! The characters are so very distinct and lovable that your heart goes out to them when things start to take a turn for the worst. My favorite character was Roderick. I felt that he was often overlooked and not appreciated by the other characters. This cannot be helped, seeing as Roderick's mind may or may not be failing him, but I'll leave that up to you to decide. About halfway through, the plot plateaus and doesn't pick up again until about three-quarters of the way through the book. Even when the plot is slowing down, The Little Stranger still manages to keep one on their toes. Hundreds Hall is a exceedingly spooky, almost reminiscent of Count Dracula's mansion in the fact that they are both mainly sealed up and blocked off. It can also be compared to The Fall of The House of Usher by E. A. Poe I would recommend The Little Stranger to anyone who enjoys spooking themselves with a good old fashioned ghost story. I would also recommend reading The Little Stranger outside and during the day. Otherwise, just try to ignore the scratching noises you hear in the walls. It's just your imagination.

Paths of Glory

Paths of Glory was written in 2009, so it is considered contemporary literature. Paths of Glory was a rather dry read, and I gave up finishing it a little over halfway through. Mr. Archer tried, unsuccessfully, to capture the spirit and valor of Mr. Mallory in an average length novel, which I do not believe is possible. I lost interest because I felt that Mr. Archer spent too much time on describing Mallory's childhood and per-Everest ventures. The main reason I wanted to read Paths of Glory was to learn more about Mallory's attempt at climbing Everest. I was disappointed in the fact that this was just a sub-point of the book. Mallory's younger life doesn't interest me. When I was younger, I had a book on different types of mummies. Mr. Mallory was mentioned in the book, because he had been mummified by the freezing conditions of Everest after he died. I wish that Mr. Archer had of discussed this, as well as how his body was found. Mr. Archer did a wonderful job researching Mallory, but did poorly in conveying the importance of his exploits. Paths of Glory ended up being a wordy biography which is so rambling that it becomes very dry. I was unable to connect with any of the characters. Mallory was far too perfect, in my opinion. He seemed to have very few flaws. His friend, Guy, was the exact opposite. He was a blundering fool who seemed to have no way of doing things on his own. His character was written so that it seemed that he would be completely helpless without Mallory. I only recommend Paths of Glory to someone who has an interest in mountain climbing or in Mr. Mallory's life story. Otherwise, the book is of little value in broadening one's knowledge of Mr. Mallory's famous, and improvable, ascent.

Hunger Games

Hello! This is the first time I have used the blog, so please bear with me.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


This review talks about why the Hunger Games is a controversial book, and why you should still let your children read it anyway. The Hunger Games is a highly enjoyable and wonderful book that begins an immensely interesting trilogy. This book deals with primal human nature, romance, death, and love for those important to us. Due to the heavy subject addressed by the book, blood and gore are present for a great deal of the book. Therefore, this can be a bit of a drawback for younger readers, and I would not recommend the book to anyone younger that ten. Even so, it is very worthy of being read. The main character, Katniss Evergreen, lives in a war torn world. Her country, Panem, is in the same general area that the United States used to occupy. Katniss lives in District 12, which produces coal. She has to hunt for food to supply her family and ensure that they survive. I personally think that providing for her family has made Katniss a stronger person. She has a strong connection to her mother and sister, as well as her best friend and hunting partner, Gale. The two of them are the main providers in their households, even though they are both very young. This seems like a parallel to the way some children live in developing countries. I believe that presenting the issue in a fictional book is an easier way to show children that there really are such things in the world, even today. In a classroom setting, this could be used to open children's minds to the fact that the world is not pastel. There are some very violent colors out there, and we cannot hide this from them forever. Katniss's sister, Primrose is picked to be in a contest, engineered to keep the “districts” (colonies) in line and ensure that they do not try to throw off the oppressive government of the Capital, the head district. Katniss takes her sisters place as a tribute, because she loves her very much and knows that Prim would not be able to survive. I think that this is actually a good message to children. It suggests that family is extremely important, and that one should look out for their family no matter the situation. It also brings to mind the saying “blood runs thicker than water”. Katniss and the other tribute, Peeta Mellark, are sent off to the Capitol, where they are trained and paraded about to increase their support (and funding) from the citizens of the Capitol. They become crowd favorites for their innovative, custom outfits and Peeta's fake crush on Katniss. The Capitol and it's citizens represent everything that is wrong with today's society, such as vanity, stupidity, and greed. They have many body modifications that far surpass those common today, such as dyed green skin and and facial tattoos. Katniss describes them as “big, bright birds” that strut around in their colorful and impractical clothing. All of the tributes are taken to the arena, and given seconds to run for their lives. Katniss barely escapes, and heads for the cover of the forest. She learns later that night that Peeta has teamed up with the Careers, tributes from larger Districts that actually want to be in the Game. The Careers corner Katniss in a tree. They shoot arrows at her, and she cannot defend herself because she has no weapon. There is a Tracker Jacker nest beside her. Tracker Jackers are a type of genetically engineered wasps. They are very dangerous, seeing as just a few stings can kill a adult. Using the nest to her advantage, Katniss drops it on the Careers. Not only do some of them leave, one dies and Katniss can steal her bow and arrows. This part of the book is one of the more gory and violent. I feel that this was necessary to let the reader know just how serious the Games are. It is not an enjoyable experience to be cast in to a situation that jeopardizes your personal safety. I believe that this discourages children from choosing things that will cause them harm, like joining gangs or doing drugs. Both of these things can cause them to feel “hunted”, much like Katniss. After this, Katniss teams up with a small girl from District 9 named Rue. The two of them destroy the Career's food supplies. This infuriates their leader, Cato. Peeta seems to have deserted the Careers, which worries Katniss. She hopes that he is still alive and well. The enraged Careers track Rue and Katniss down. They plan on killing them both to exact their vengeance. One of them spears Rue with his weapon. Katniss hears her screaming and comes swiftly to her rescue. She kills the Career and and tries desperately to save Rue, but she is too late and Rue dies. Katniss mourns her death and covers her body with flowers. This is most definitely one of the saddest parts of the Hunger Games. You can just feel the grief that Katniss feels as she looks over Rue's dead body. In my opinion, this part of the book shows children that it is normal to be sad when people die, and that we need to express our feelings, not keep them bottled up inside. After Rue's death, it is announced that the tributes from the same District can now win. Katniss begins looking for Peeta, and finds him lying wounded and covered in mud. He had camouflaged himself so he would be safe. Katniss and Peeta fake a romance to get helpful things sent to them by their sponsors. The sponsors send them aid, and Katniss nurses Peeta back to health. Soon, the only tributes left are Katniss, Peeta, and Cato. The three of them face off and Cato is killed. It looks like Peeta and Katniss will be going home together, but there is an announcement; only one tribute can win. Peeta and Katniss refuse to kill one another, so they both make a deal to eat poison berries and die together. They put the berries in their mouths, but before they can swallow, the announcement is taken back. The two of them are taken away from the arena. The scene with the berries shows that friendship and love are more important than being the winner. It is better to have loving friends and family and be poor than to be rich and have no family or friends. It also shows that we should trust one another. If one of them had stabbed the other in the back, that would defeat the whole purpose of their friendship. Katniss and Peeta keep up the star-crossed lovers routine for the post-games reunion and interview, knowing that this is the only way to keep from being punished by the Capitol for the rebellious trick with the poisonous berries. Eventually, Katniss figures out that Peeta really is in love with her, and he figures out that she wasn't ever in love with him. As the train pulls into District 12, they put on a happy face for the camera, take each-other's hands and step onto the platform. So, parents, I would still consider letting your children read the books. It will teach them to consider things that they find are unfair, but feel cannot be changed. The Hunger Games will also show them ways to change these things. It will teach them of the value of human life and of love for one's family. It shows children that one tiny decision can cause a landslide of consequences. The lessons held in this fairly short book are immense and life altering. I hope that you will agree, maybe reading the book and letting your children read it as well.

Saving Zasha Review

Saving Zasha takes place in post World War II Russia where almost all of the dogs have died due to the war. I don’t know how much of this book is true, but it claims that many dogs were killed during WWII due to starvation or being used against the enemy. The book also suggests that having a German shepherd at the time was almost traitorous.Well, the main character, Mikhail discovers a German shepherd when a dying man stumbles through his family’s woods. The man tells Mikhail the dog’s name is Zasha and Mikhail takes them both back to his house where the man dies. The story follows Mikhail and his family as they attempt to hide Zasha from their neighbors for they fear Zasha would be killed. Obviously, I’m not going to giveaway the ending. However, I will say it has a really good and satisfying ending.
Great story for an animal lover or history lover, or you could be both. . I was a little concerned that this was another book that ends with a dead dog but I was pleasantly surprised by how the book wrapped up. I admit that I did shed a few tears, but they were happy tears. Throughly enjoyed, I would recommend for someone who likes a good war and animal book.
-Abby :)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Jellicoe Road

I've recently re-read the book Jellicoe Road. It's was way better the second time around. The book is a little confusing at first and has a lot of characters. I've always liked the way that they tie all the characters together in the end. This book seemed to have a little more depth this time when I wasn't still trying to make sure I had the characters right. The second time I did notice the controversial issues a lot more then I did originally. The one or two messages in the book were slightly clearer the second time.

This book is defientively for more mature readers who are willing for a challenge. I really enjoyed it both times I've read it but I know for a fact others strongly disagree.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Saving Zasha

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This book is awesome!!!! It is about how a big war started and everyone didn’t like German Shepherds. So they killed them. Only a few survived. When this old man has been cut really bad and can’t take care of his German shepherd named Zasha. After the man dies that owned the German Shepard Mikhail and his family has to take care of it. They keep it hidden at the end of the farm. This is a big struggle because they to train the dog to not bark. If they don’t they could get taken to jail. This is a big struggle because the war is going on. It is a very touching book and sad but I am not going to give away the ending for you. This book is kind of like Cracker. I encourage you to read it .

Review of Fly Girl by Sheri L. Smith

Hey! I recently read Fly Girl for an assignment in History class, studying WWII. I read this along with Dana and I honestly enjoyed reading it, but my partner wasn't a big fan. The main character is Ida Mae Jones, and she lived in Louisiana in a small town. She had a big dream that one day she can join the WASP. (Womens Air force Service Pilots.) Her little brother finds an article from the newspaper about the graduates from the school, and becomes inspired. She had been working as a house cleaner so she "borrows" some of a rich womans clothes from the house her and her "BFF" Jolene had been cleaning, and sets off secretly for the WASP interview. They were very lenient on letting African American women into the program, so her lighter skin gets her the ticket in. She leaves all of her family and Jolene to go to Avenger Field in Texas to start her training. While she is there, she makes new friends. Patsy Kake and Lily Raines are in her flight class and she befriends them from the beginning. I am not going to go on, because I don't want to tell anything else. All I am going to say is that I was so devastated in one part because of something that happens to a pilot. :( Anyways, I throughly enjoyed this book, and following and learning about the WASP and everything about them. I am sure others will enjoy it too. I would definitely recommend this story to someone else!
Happy Reading!!!

-AbBy ShEpHeRd!! :)

Review of Flygirl

The book Flygirl focuses on the life of Ida Mae Jones or Jonesy. Ida is an African-American girl who wants to fly. The best way to describe Ida's life is this as she so nicley states on page 33".....If you're colored, you get the short end of the stick. If you're a woman, you get the short end of the stick. So what do we get for being both colored and women?" Ida over comes one of these issues to be able to fly by joining WASP - Women Airforce Servie Pilots. The issue is that she has to pretend she's white which her pale complexion allows. She lives in fear of what will happen if they find out?

I found Flygirl to be terrible I just hated it. I found it to be boring, and dry at some places. Not to mention it skipped around too much so I never connected with a character, and it was occasionally confusing. Finally it had a terrible ending which is something I just can't stand. Although Abby who I read this with would disagree.

I would recommed Flygirl to......well nobody!!!! No one deserves to have to read this terrible book, but if you want read it go ahead you might find it great.

Yes I know I said terrible a lot but that's how I felt about this book.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Speak was a book that was emotional to me. It was something any girl could go through in our near future. The way Melinda changed from beginning to end was awesome. From a depressed young soul to a individual who spoke about something terrible that had happened.

This book was about a rape victim, Melinda, who everyone hated because she called the police at a party in 8th grade. Everyone assumed that it was because the party got wild.
They were wrong.
Melinda was raped. This book tells how she gets her story out in the end.
I really liked this book because it was so real. It could happen to anyone of us!
I havent read a book like this before because I've never been exposed to like this till now.
I would recommend this book to people who are at least in 8th grade and can handle a controverisal topic.