All Book Reviews
In my opinion, Warhorse wasn’t a very good or enjoyable book. The only reason I chose this book is because we were learning about the renaissance era, and I thought, “Maybe this will give me an edge on it.” I was very, very, VERY wrong. This book is about a boy named Lorenzo in the Renaissance era who is an amazing crafter and designs armor protection for a Duke. One day there is a war about to take place so Lorenzo decides to fight the war with the Duke. But, his mentor, Massimo, forbids Lorenzo to because of his father’s wishes. The young armor-smith obeys his master, but to help the army, he lends his horse, Scoppio, to the Duke. Then Lorenzo later goes and joins the Duke, and gets his horse captured! Sorry, can’t tell you anymore. In my opinion, this book was very confusing. To start off, at chapter about 15 it started to get really funky. So up until then you can read it strait-through, but then you need to start to re-read. Also this book was a very uplifting book about hope, but to me it was all about obstacles of war and perseverance. This book was very odd, I mean, how many books can you find about historical fiction on Renaissance war? That is one of the reasons I chose to read some of the odder books, to give you an inside look on the weirdest things. This is the worst book out of 14 that I have read, but a close second would have to be Wh3n. Sure it was action packed, but it was also very depressing. So don’t read that one either. But in all, the character is very un-relatable, that is why I found this book so bad, sure he had a lot of character development, but how many kids do you know that are armor smith designers? So on that note I’ll leave you off, Maybe you’ll like a hidden element I didn’t catch! So with that in mind, go read this book to find out for yourself!
Actual Rating: 4.5
The book Losing It was a very good book. This book was about an obese kid that all he did was watch baseball, but that all changed one day when his dad had a stroke. He had to go live with his Aunt, which made him exercise, and he also went and ran cross country. I can’t tell you anymore, Sorry. This was an ok book in my opinion. I chose this book by its cover, Yes, I judged this book by its cover (And back). There was a lot of character development, from a kid who could barely walk everywhere, to a kid who was a runner. This book is probably going to be in the comedy section, even if it didn’t make you laugh, because it’s really a kind of an obstacle overcomer book. I also think this book is good for people who think they can’t do it. This book teaches you can do anything with hard work. I also think that this is a book for ages 12+ because it is a bit of a harder read. I mean who could know about some of the things that they talked about. There were a few words I had to look up. Overall this book is a book I would recommend to anyone really.
Reviewer Grade: 7
In the last book of The Selection series, Eadlyn must choose between the last six boys, better known as the Elite. Her relationships become even more complicated than she could have realized. The combination of her mixed feelings about the Selection, her worry over her sick mother, and running a country are too much to handle at some points. Discover new secrets and even more news from the Selection world in the last book, The Crown.
I am personally, a huge fan of the Selection series. I had already pre-ordered this book and got it the day it came out. I have to say, I was disappointed by the small size of the book. It was just over 250 pages, the font was huge, and it was double-spaced. There wasn't much of a story. I feel that Cass rushed the story, and she was just trying to get it done.
As well as the little content, the relationships just seemed forced in this book. Keeping it nameless, one of her suitors and her exchange declarations of love to each other, after just barely having their first kiss. I personally loved the combination of the two characters, but the relationship felt rushed. Cass could've given them much more justice than she did.
What I did love, however, was the character development of Eadlyn through the book. In The Heir, I thought Eadlyn was terrible. She was snotty, rude, and not a relatable character. In this book, she was much kinder, and I appreciated her more as a person. You could see her opinions and beliefs being influenced by the big hearted boys who surrounded her.
The book, for the most part, was predictable. I had it figured out who she was going to pick since the last book. Other than the main plot, the book managed to surprised me. Cass always has something hidden up her sleeve, and this book had all of her secrets spilling out.
Overall, I'm a huge fan of the series, but this book would defiantly not rank high on my favorites.
Reviewer Grade: 9
After a tragic accident she caused that led to the death of her father and sister, teenage Hollywood star Pagan Jones has a second chance at life when the mysterious Devin Jones shows up at Lighthouse Reformatory for Wayward Girls and offers her a proposition: a part in an upcoming movie filming in Berlin in exchange for her freedom. While it seemed too good to be true, Pagan reluctantly agrees and is sent to Berlin. Pagan personifies the sassy movie star of the fifties, which makes her a fun protagonist--but she still has plenty of depth and flaws that make her interesting as well. Set in the simmering tensions of the Cold War, this thriller/mystery is fast moving and will satisfy the historical fiction buff as well as those who like a good mystery!
Told through recovered computer documents, Illuminae tells the story of Kady and Ezra fighting to survive after a rival mining company destroys their colony and they and the rest of the survivors are fleeing on an damaged fleet while being pursued by the enemy warship. What follows are pages of IM chats, reports, and emails recovered to tell their story of rebellion and survival. When a mysterious illness starts to affect other refugees, it adds a whole other dimension to this story. This was a such a unique take on science fiction--telling the story through recovered documents as two teens fight the system so they can stay alive and stay together--a fast and exciting read!
This teen book is also for adults especially therapists of teens. It is for children of parents with mental illness, OCD kids, teen's with self-harm issues, adolescence that are ostracized by their peers, persons who have felt unseen and misunderstood by family members, and people experiencing grief. Highly readable for so many serious subjects.
For fans of Game of Thrones (although I have only watched the show, not read the books, so fair warning!). Told simultaneously through five different characters, Herman takes the real life figure of Alexander the Great and infuses the time period with magic and mythical figures. Twists and new revelations are around every corner and will keep the reader guessing until the end!
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is about a fireman named Guy Montag whose job is to, ironically, start fires. Everything was going great for Guy, I mean he had money, a “loving” wife, and had an exhilarating job of burning books. That all changes when he meets a teenage girl who completely changes his view on the corrupt world and when he opens a book, which is illegal, he realizes why reading them is forbidden. Guy realizes he must escape this awful place, but where would he go? How would he get there? And who can he trust? Fahrenheit 451 is one of many dystopian society novels that catch my attention because it makes me wonder what would happen if this WAS our world. It is very boring in the beginning and is confusing at some parts, but overall it’s an amazing book and had me reading 20 pages within 10 minutes towards the end. I chose this book because I love dystopian society books and also the cover looked intriguing. I wonder what would happen if books were illegal and people were forbidden to read them?
Reviewer Grade: 10
After a mission to Mars goes wrong, Astronaut Mark Watney is left on Mars all by himself and must find a way to survive on the deserted planet for 414 days. The Martian by Andy Weir is a nerdy but super jaw-dropping novel because it incorporates a survival journey combined with accurate science. Having a limited supply of food, no contact with NASA, and his crew mates thinking he is dead, Watney must use his botany and dummy mechanic skills to find some way to not die on Mars before the next Ares mission. Being stuck with disco music, a variety of technical problems, and no human interaction, Mark Watney is on the route to giving up, when NASA is able to contact him and work to bring him back home, but will Watney make it? We read this book as a requirement for English and I thought it was going to be a nerdy, boring sci-fi book, but it actually was super attention grabbing and I found myself finishing it within 2 days. The whole book is so interesting because you get to learn about a guy surviving on Mars and even if it is fiction, Andy Weir actually used accurate scientific data to back up his book.
Reviewer Grade: 10
Magnus Chase is a sixteen-year-old homeless kid with a fear of wolves and a tragic past involving the death of his mother. He doesn’t think he is anyone special – that is until his mysterious Uncle Randolph tells Magnus that the boy’s father is a Norse god.
And that he is in grave danger.
Magnus is plunged into the world of Norse mythology, discovering the truth behind his parentage and his mother’s death. He also finds out that Ragnarok, the Norse definition of the apocalypse, is on the horizon. The fire giant Surt is planning on unleashing an evil creature named Fenrir Wolf to start Ragnarok. If Magnus and his friends don’t stop Fenrir from being released, Ragnarok will begin and both mortals and heroes will be in danger.
This book is witty, surprising, adventurous, exciting, and very unique. Our hero Magnus Chase is someone you can really root for – along with his friends Samirah, Hearth, and Blitz, who are all relatable, likable, and overall totally awesome. I really loved how this book takes you on an amazing adventure from page one. Every plot twist was completely unexpected. This book is easily one of the best books I’ve read this year- suitable for everyone who loves a good adventure story.
I chose this book because Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series, is one of my favorite authors. I had high expectations for this book because of this – and it totally met all of them.
Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer is the start of an amazing, utterly unique book series. 5 out of 5 Stars.
Reviewer Grade: 9
After her friends find out that she's been keeping secrets, Zoey is alone. In a week, she goes from being the most popular fledgling to being an outcast. On top of everything else, Neferet has declared war on humans. Zoey knows that it's wrong, but who will listen to her now that everyone believes her to be a liar?
This book was alright. Despite everything, Zoey can't waste time feeling sorry for herself. She must pick herself back up and continue fighting in the battle of good vs evil. Some things are bigger than yourself.
Reviewer Grade: 12
Friends turn into enemies and enemies turn into friends in a shocking turn of events. Zoey finds herself at the center of drama as usual. Somehow, she's managed to rack up three boyfriends, but that's the least of her worries. Not knowing who to trust, Zoey finds herself confiding to her sworn enemy instead of her friends. But keeping secrets is sure to lead to trouble.
I enjoyed this book. It was a mess of emotions, but it was good. I understand why she had to keep secrets, even though it backfired in the end. It was a tricky situation and she didn't make things easy for herself either.
Zoey has finally settled into her new life as a fledgling. She's come to terms with her powers and is in training to become a High Priestess. Just when everything seems to be working out, human teenagers begin to disappear and are later found dead. Naturally, the vampyres are suspected to have orchestrated the murders. Nothing is ever as it seems as Zoey finds the people she loves in danger and faces a shocking betrayal.
This book was pretty good. Zoey had to question her beliefs and learn to trust somebody that she thought was an enemy. Already, she's finding out that maybe what she thought was right and wrong really is the opposite. I liked that she didn't just deny everything and let personal grudges get in the way of doing what's right.
Reviewer Grade: 12
After a Vampyre Tracker marks Zoey as a fledgling, she must move to the House of Night to complete her transformation. There, she soon learns that she has special powers, ones that most ordinary vampyres and fledglings do not have. When she discovers that Aphrodite, the leader of the Dark Daughters, also has been gifted by Nyx and is misusing her power, she realizes that she must embrace her destiny and take Aphrodite down.
This was a good book. It was fun to watch as Zoey settled into her new life and came to the realization that she would never be normal, even for a vampyre.
Miles is fascinated by famous people's last words. He leaves for boarding school, seeking his "Great Perhaps". There, he meets Alaska Young. She's beautiful and messed up, but he can't help but fall in love with her. Maybe she can finally help him find that Great Perhaps that he's been looking for.
This book was interesting, to say the least. It was written a lot different than other books that I've read. Halfway through, the plot changed, but I liked it. It was a cool concept.
Reviewer Grade: 12
Quentin, or Q, has had a crush on Margo for ages. So when she invites him out on a night full of revenge, he agrees to help her. After the night is over, Margo disappears. Q finds a trail of clues that she's left behind and vows to find her. After all, it is what she wanted. Right?
I liked this book. I found the subject of paper towns to be fascinating. I like how the author decided to incorporate them into his story.
Reviewer Grade: 12
Actual Rating 4.5
This book leads right in connecting to The Adventure of Tom Sawyer. Huck was one of Tom's friends and the story is now based around him. He soon was adopted with many things coming along after with a man named Jim. There is a lot of action and things that can really trigger the emotions. Symbolism is a really good thing to look out for in this novel.
Reviewer Grade: 12
Actual Rating 4.5
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain, is a pretty good novel. The main character of course being Tom goes through a series of interesting things. He witnesses things he probably shouldn't have and spends a lot of time with his small group of friends. He faces a lot of adventures and risky things throughout. This book is good especially if you read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn after.
Reviewer Grade: 12
I love this book. It is disturbing and fascinating in its implications concerning human nature, and filled with characters who are equally intriguing and disturbing. Published in 1891, it was initially met with scandal, but is now considered a classic. Dorian Gray is both a social commentary and a cautionary tale about the excesses of pursuing a life of pleasure only.
Dorian Gray is a singularly beautiful young man who is initially unaware of his own power to fascinate people with his looks and personality. When we meet him, he is the muse of a sensitive and successful artist who adores him for his beauty and innocence, and has painted a portrait reflecting those qualities. Then Dorian Gray meets Lord Henry Wotton, and everything changes. Lord Henry introduces the impressionable young Dorian to his philosophy of hedonism -- the pursuit of pleasure. Over time, Lord Henry uses his influence to subtly manipulate Dorian into fully embracing his philosophy. In short, the beauty remains (Dorian Gray actually stops ageing), but the innocence is lost forever.
As our hero grows more and more morally corrupt, a curious thing happens -- the portrait ages and changes, reflecting the state of Dorian's soul even as he remains outwardly young and beautiful. Looks can be deceiving.
The concept of someone who sells his or her soul in exchange for youth, beauty, money, or fun is nothing new, but this novel is so thoroughly fascinating that the basic premise never gets old. Plus it's short -- barely more than 200 pages in the copy I read. The characters are all very memorable and seem to be representative of various approaches to living life, which is simply an interesting thing to think about. Additionally, it gives some philosophical insight into the state of society -- a depiction that seems dangerously relevant to modern life. This story raises questions of morality, redemption, and the costs of living with your choices, but they are so fascinatingly handled that those topics will linger in your mind long after you've closed the book. I recommend it to everyone.
Reviewer Grade: 12
Actual rating is 3.5 stars
This book has an intriguing premise. A British young woman, apparently a spy (code name "Verity") being held captive in occupied France, tells the story of her espionage career and subsequent capture. In an attempt to avoid further torture and prolong death at the hands of her captors, she promises to reveal secret codes that are related to British intelligence. The first half of the book is written in first person as a journal of sorts addressing her captors. The style itself works fairly well, but the narrative voice is annoying -- I found the main character to be insufferably conceited, rather than brazen and confident (as she was probably intended to be). She was not likable, and thus I didn't care much about her fate. Until...
...the second half.
A new narrator takes over -- Verity's friend and pilot Maddie. She was the one flying the plane that brought Verity to France. She is less uppity, less conceited, and altogether more relatable and likable. She tells the other side of the girls' story -- her training as a pilot, her friendship with Verity, and what happens to her when Verity is captured. I found myself rooting for her all the way. She also managed to make Verity more likable, and as more is revealed, I discovered that I enjoyed them both. By the end of the book, I saw both of them as exceptionally brave characters to be respected and admired.
Although this book is fiction, there are many references to real-life WWII intelligence operations, and plenty of mechanical details concerning planes that are also interesting. The book improves significantly as it progresses -- if you don't like the first half, wait for the second. Anyone who is interested in history or espionage will probably like this. Additionally, it develops into a beautiful story of the power of friendship and sacrifice, but is never sappy. I probably wouldn't read it again, at least not for a while, but it is definitely worth trying.
Reviewer Grade: 12