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Other Award(s)

Book Review: Into the Wild

Into the Wild
Author: 
Krakauer, John
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

I was required to read Into the Wild for English class and normally I’d be
procrastinating to get into those books but I enjoyed this one a lot. In
1990, based on real life events, a wealthy boy named Christopher McCandless,
fresh out of college from the East Coast, abruptly decided to donate all of
his money to charity, sever contact with his parents, and set out for the
great Alaskan wilderness. He journeyed all over the West Coast traveling
around California, New Mexico, and Arizona and even held a job at a farm in
South Dakota, eventually renaming himself Alexander Supertramp. Alexander
picked up new skills and information such as how to skin a moose, different
camps he might stay at, what weapons he needed, etc. from all of the
individuals he met. For years, he remained in the continental United States but his
goal was always to live off the earth in Alaska - he thought there was more
to life than the money and fame his parents treasured. What I enjoyed most
about this book was that there were actual accounts of Alexander’s journey
either from his personal journal or the friends he encountered that allowed
the readers to sympathize with Alexander and understand his goal despite his
unfortunate fate. The problem with the novel was that I think Alexander was
portrayed to be more conscientious and experienced than he truly was due to
the fact the author, Jon Krakauer, outright states he idolizes him in the
foreword. This concept can also be emphasized by the epigraphs at the
beginning of each chapter that provide quotes from famous adventure novels
including The Call of the Wild and White Fang as if trying to ensure that
Alexander was the hero Krakauer thought he was. However, I did find
Krakauer’s bias easier to support the claim that Alexander was naive. Why
else would the author be trying so hard to prove he was not? Slow-paced at
some parts, but I do think this is an interesting telling of what so many
individuals are afraid to do.

Reviewer's Name: 
Isabella W.

Book Review: Spy School

Spy School
Author: 
Gibbs, Stuart
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Spy School, by Stuart Gibbs, is a really good, light, and easy read.
The book's main attraction is its plot twists. The unknown double agent,
hidden 'spy' school, and secret organization all combine to make a great
action-packed, half-romance novel. The ending also gets the reader hyped up
for the next book in the series. Stuart Gibbs uses great foreshadowing
throughout the book, and hints at every little detail in the plot. Although
the plot is sort-of cliche and some characters are kind-of bland, the book
sums up to be a highly entertaining read. I would recommend this book to
anyone willing to put in the little time it takes to read it.

Reviewer's Name: 
Steven L.
Genres: 

Book Review: I'll Give You The Sun

I'll Give You The Sun
Author: 
Nelson, Jandy
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

"I'll Give You The Sun," is a touching story about relationships, heartbreak, and love. This story is told from the point of views from Noah and his twin sister, Jude Sweetwine. "I'll Give You The Sun," starts with a broken family that appears like it will never be mended and everything will remain shattered for life. However, as the plot progresses, the reader understands that nothing is permanent and mistakes can be fixed. Life can be renewed and more glorious as ever. This book really emphasizes the quote, "No rain, no flowers." My only critique for this book is that it gets inappropriate at some points; this book is more suited for an older audience.

Reviewer's Name: 
Siena G

Book Review: The Name of the Wind

The Name of the Wind
Author: 
Rothfuss, Patrick
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

When JRR Tolkein wrote Lord of the Rings, it revolutionized the fantasy genre and paved the way for many novels to come. 53 years later, The Name of the Wind was published, and while it may not have the grandiose setting, story, and lore, it is a fantasy journey that should not be missed.
You follow the life of Kvothe as he tells his famous story to a man for prosperity. The story itself is grand and epic, and is satisfying to read, and it contains action, magic, and love. I would recommend the book to anyone who is a fan of fantasy novels.

Reviewer's Name: 
Peter C

Book Review: The Stand

The Stand
Author: 
King, Stephen
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

After a super virus wipes out almost 90% of the entire global population, only a handful of survivors remain. That is where The Stand takes place; an America devoid of almost all human life, as the survivors attempt to rebuild their society, all while battling the sadistic Walkin' Dude who is out to destroy them. The novel is long, epic, and deep. It is, however, over 1,000 pages; however, give it time, and you will truly enjoy this journey. I would recommend this book to fans of epics like Lord of the Rings, Stephen King fans, or anyone looking for a good read.

Reviewer's Name: 
Peter C

Book Review: Monstress

Author: 
Liu, Majorie
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

I chose this book because comics are a type of novel that I find interest in. This is a fantasy book that takes place where monsters and humans are divided after a war, and monsters who are caught by humans on the other side are used to be sold and experimented on. The main character, Maika, goes on the other side in search for hope of her mother. This is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys comics.

Reviewer's Name: 
Mona H

Book Review: Uprooted

Uprooted
Author: 
Novik, Naomi
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Uprooted by Naomi Novik was an interesting read - with magic and mythical creatures - but I found that in the first few chapters I stepped away from the novel several times. The beginning was slow with not much action, more setting up the scenery and the laws of the land than anything else. The novel follows a girl named Agnieszka living in a quaint village called Dvernik by a magic infested forest where every ten years a mysterious and immortal wizard called the Dragon, who lives in a nearby tower, visits to pick one woman as payment for protecting Dvernik from The Wood. Agnieszka is chosen to her surprise, but her interactions with the infamous Dragon are almost boring - they share a typical, overused trope in a love-hate relationship that frustrates the reader. The two are also locked away in the tower where there are minimal outside interactions from any other characters for almost the entire first half with the exception of one of Agnieszka‘s bedridden friends. I found that the last half of the novel was the most interesting because that was when other characters from the faraway capital were introduced and the scenes were more fast-paced. Because the world building aspect in the beginning was making me impatient, the problem was that later when Agnieszka returns to her village, I spent a long time away from there that the characters and their relationships were hard to remember and I personally did not care for them. There were definitely characters I met in the last half that I empathized or was absolutely lucid with and I did enjoy all the plot twists because, of course, they were unexpected and added some excitement to Uprooted. Overall, the beginning takes off one star for me due to the inaction and some common young adult tropes were utilized, but I loved most of the characters and the plotline anyway regardless of the latter.

Reviewer's Name: 
Isabella W

Book Review: Took: A Ghost Story

Took: A Ghost Story
Author: 
Hahn, May Downing
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Took: a ghost story is about a family the moves to a not well known tiny town. The town has a person named Old auntie and her hog named Bloody Bones. They have been haunting the town for over 150 years. It is up to the 13 year old, Daniel, to stand up to the witch and make her stop. I liked the book because there was a good mystery factor. Overall, I would recommend this book to kids who like mystery novels.

Reviewer's Name: 
Kate B.

Book Review: Walk Two Moons

Walk Two Moons
Author: 
Creech, Sharon
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Walk two moons is a great way to express the life of a teenager. I really liked the book because I can relate to some of the circumstances. When Sal is trying to solve mysteries about her life, and how her mom went missing, she also learns many things about herself. Sharon Creech did a very good job with portraying emotion throughout the whole book. The reader is able to feel empathy for all the character because of the detail in the book. Overall, I would very much recommend this book to over readers.

Reviewer's Name: 
Kate B.

Book Review: Sounder

Book Review: Sounder
Author: 
Armstrong, William H.
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

I've been on a children's book about dogs kick lately. I started with Shiloh, went to Where the Red Fern Grows, and ended with Sounder (I may read Old Yeller too). Sounder is the winner of the Newbery Medal, but it was the least powerful book out of the three. I almost feel like I may have read an abridged version of the book. The characters weren't well developed and there wasn't really a sense of desperation and overt class stratification that the book's summary promised. Overall, it was underwhelming. I'm being nice and giving it 3 stars instead of 2.

Reviewer's Name: 
vfranklyn

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