Stanley Yelnats was walking home from his last day of school, on an ordinary evening when out of the blue, a pair of baseball shoes fell from what seemed like the sky. Once recovered from the sudden shock, Stanley began to recognize this pair of shoes as the famous baseball player Clyde Livingston’s famous cleats. He was in such revelation at that moment that he hardly heard the police car pull up behind him. The officer stepped out, grasped the shoes from Stanley, and in return, placed handcuffs on his wrongly accused wrists. Stanley then travels to Camp Green Lake where he and many others are forced to dig holes exactly five feet deep, and five feet wide by the dreaded warden, the repulsive Mr. Sir, and finally the kind but still quite annoying Mr. Pendanski. It had only been a few days ago when he was unjustly convicted of a crime and sent to supposedly build character in what looked and felt like the most hottest and driest place on the planet. He and the others were forced to live in devastating conditions which included the worst of the worst living conditions. Days and days pass as Stanley meets new friends and foes but also as a newly found mysteries arise. Is the warden actually having the campers dig for character or perhaps something else? Is Stanley here because of the supposed curse on his family? And what other treasures could lie in this vast desert.
This book was an overall spectacular read. I had chosen to read this Louis Sachar novel because many of my friends had requested it to me along with many of my past and present teachers. I thought it would be a fun read and a possible new experience. Some of the many things that I really liked in this book was the exciting and suspenseful story along with the explicit details listed throughout the story. This book was amazing and barely had any flaws but if I had to think of one, I could have liked the organization and structure of the novel to have been a little better. Each chapter was very short and I would have liked them to be at least a little longer, but as mentioned before, there were close to none, if not any, very big dislikes in this wonderfully written novel. Readers who love a little mystery, some suspense, and a great story line would love this book.
War and Hatred flood the world, leaving the USA broken, but through the ashes hope arises when a group of scientist forge a city experiment that will one day restore humanity. They re-build Chicago: however, they change the way the new civilization will see the world. The citizens of Chicago are divided into five different groups: Erudite (The intelligent), Amity (the peaceful), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), and Candor (the honest). At the age of 16, teens take an aptitude test to determine which faction they belong in. Two decades after this city is born, the story begins with the life of Tris Prior. When taking the aptitude test, Tris discovers that she is divergent. A divergent individual is someone who is aware during simulations because of their genes. The story follows her life as she discovers love, sacrifice, and heartbreak.
This is a great story for anyone who loves romance and is fine with some gore. I chose to read this book because it was one of my mom's favorites and she thought that I would enjoy it.
Divergent teaches the reader that in order to see clearly one must not only focus on one singular flaw in a community, they must look at the body as a whole not just looking at one arm or one leg. Event though this is a great story, most problems are solved with violence, and this may affect some readers in a negative manner.
Divergent takes place in a dystopian world where the characters are restricted to a small "city" and are divided into factions. This story follows a girl who does not particularly fit in any faction and has to make a decision what group she wants to be a part of. When she makes this decision she learns that people like her are not accepted and she must work hard to hide her identity.
This story is very engaging and always had suspense to keep my on the edge of my seat. The more casual writing style that Veronica Roth uses makes me more engrossed in the story and engaged with the characters. It's also very interesting how the plot line excels and how the author can describe each faction and character with such detail.
This is the book that made me interested in dystopian fiction. It is filled with suspense, comedy, and phenomenal character development that had me crying.
The Hunger Games follows the gripping story of Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old that is the main provider for her younger sister and her mother after her father's passing. However, Katniss lives in Panem, built on the ruins of North America. In Panem, every year there is a deadly brawl in which 24 teens, 1 male and 1 female, from each of the 12 districts in Panem, face off in a fight to the death. Only 1 victor emerges alive. When Katniss's younger sister, Prim, is chosen to compete for the Hunger Games, Katniss volunteers herself to take Prim's place. What will happen in the arena? Will Katniss make it out alive?
Collins' creation will have you gripping the edges of your seat in suspense, shrieking with fear, and experience huge floods of relief! The Hunger Games truly grips the reader with all the emotions Katniss experiences and will leave you impatient to read the next books in the series.
I found the book, "Run, Hide, Fight Back" to be a very interesting and suspenseful book. I really enjoyed reading it and I would like to read more books like this. I very much enjoyed the detail described in this book and there were plot twists that I never would have expected.
Grenade by Alan Gratz is a great book perfect for most ages. It is a historical fiction that will take you back to 1945 on Okinawa Island, Japan, in the grip of World War II. The two perspectives of Hideki, a native on the island, and Ray, an American Marine, both have never experienced war before and are fighting on opposite sides. Hideki is pulled out of school and drafted into the Blood and Iron Student Corps, they expect him to fight for the Japanese army and all he is given is a grenade. Ray, has landed in Okinawa with his group of soldiers, he is surrounded by the enemy and has no idea if he will live through the war. Both have to fight their way through the island and eventually they meet. The choices they make could change both of them severely.
This story is thrilling, suspenseful, and fun to read! I loved this book because it is constantly surprising and it puts you in 1945 with the characters, who have extravagant emotions and conflicts. I stayed up all night reading this book and it was so worth it! It can be a little violent but overall it is an amazing book. I was recommended it by a friend because I don't normally read historical fiction but it did not disappoint! I love all of Alan Gratz's books and I would certainly recommend them and Grenade.
Okay let's get the bad stuff out of the way. To start things off, many times throughout the book it feels a bit slow. I find myself trying to read a part of the book, hoping that something exhilarating will happen, but it turns out to be slow. Following that, sometimes things felt the opposite and felt rushed. At some points of the book, I feel like some plot twists/reveals were forced into happening and being revealed. I would think to myself that it's a bit cliche. But otherwise, there's nothing else that really bothers me.
Now the neutral/mixed emotions. Sometimes the transitions are very good; making the audience know another character's POV at the time of an event. Other times... well it's a little dull. For example, one scene you'd be at an action paced-fight, the other, you'd be having a conversation. But yeah this is the only neutral/mixed emotion factor.
Now the amazing stuff. The characters are absolutely amazing, the plot is amazing, and the action-paced scenes are amazing. I cannot use words to describe how much I love Neal Shusterman's unique way of writing. The way that the characters interact with the world around them, and overcome the problems and struggles put before them really draws you in, and they dynamic between the characters themselves is also amazing. Really love it!
The Maximum Ride series by James Patterson is an amazing young-adult science-fiction series which follows the journey of six individuals who were given wings and other bird-like abilities by a genetics experiment. In the first novel, The Angel Experiment, the six have escaped the laboratory where they were held prisoner and are trying to remain free while being hunted by human-wolf hybrids that the experimenters have also sent to hunt them. I enjoyed the complexity of The Angel Experiment and would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed movies like Wolverine.
The book The Maze Runner by James Dashner follows Thomas. Thomas awakens in a box remembering nothing but his name. Before he knows it, other teenagers, all boys, open the box and greet them. He soon finds out that they have been living in the place they call the Glade for about two years. Not one of them remembers anything but their name. Every day, a few chosen go out into the endless maze and run it trying to figure a way out. However, in the evening, the gate closes, and if you don’t make it back in time, the Grievers that only come out at night in the maze will eat you alive.
James Dashner engages the reader in the first few chapters of the book and the characters are relatable and funny. He takes his first three books in the series and connects them very well. Fair warning, if you chose to read this series, the third book, The Death Cure, is very sad, but all in all, I would totally recommend reading the series.
The Maze Runner is the first book in James Dashner's dystopian trilogy. It follows Thomas, a teenager who finds himself trapped in a maze with a group of boys and no memory of his past. This book kept me on my toes, and I couldn't put it down. It was intense and mysterious with a gripping plot and a diverse group of characters. I would definitely recommend this book to teens who love action packed adventure and the ideas presented through futuristic worlds!
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan is an amazing book about Greek Mythology. Percy Jackson, the main character, learns who he is and sets off on a crazy journey to return something very valuable. He has to fight dangerous monsters along side his two friends and save his mom. Percy learns that there are actually Greek gods and that they probably want to kill him. This book is a great book for all ages and I would definitely recommend it.
Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets is a continuation of Harry’s journey in the wizardry school of Hogwarts. The book basically starts when messages appear on the wall. These messages say that the "Chamber of Secrets" has been opened and that the "heir of Slytherin" will kill all students who are muggles. These threats are found after attacks on some students that leave everyone in the school scared. Harry starts his own little investigation with his friends, Hermione and Ron.
The book is full of mystery, but it has its share of funny too, like a new professor, Gilroy Lockhart, thinks that he is the best at everything, as he shows off to his students including Harry, Hermione and Ron. Eventually, Professor Lockhart, ends up humiliating himself many many times in front of his pupils.
In another part, Harry and Ron decide to use an enchanted flying car to get to Hogwarts from summer break. Just as they arrive at Hogwarts, the car begins to break down and they end up crashing into a tree that swings its branches wildly. Harry and Ron somehow survive, but eventually get detention.
So, overall, it is a good read, but personally, it is my least favorite book in the series.
For people who want to enjoy an intriguing, fast paced novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the perfect book to read. It keeps you involved throughout the book as most chapters have cliffhangers at the end. This novel is the first of the seven famous Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling.
The book is about 11 year old Harry Potter, who receives a letter saying that he is invited to attend Hogwarts, school of witchcraft and wizardry. He then learns that a powerful wizard and his minions are after the sorcerer’s stone that will make this evil wizard immortal and undefeatable. Harry decides to go after the sorcerer’s stone before the wizard reaches it, but his loyal friends, Hermione and Ron don’t let Harry face this danger alone.
This book is full of fantasies and imagination like at one point, Harry Potter is asked to catch a flying golden ball while flying on his broomstick. Eventually Harry Potter stands on his broomstick and tries to reach for the ball, but he falls off the broomstick in a very tense moment. He unexpectedly throws up the golden ball winning the game for his team.
Harry Potter and a sorcerer stone is a good book to spark joy and imagination for anyone, regardless of age. But I would say it is most enjoyable for elementary school students, who can very well relate to the fantasy world. So I would say that it is a must read for younger audiences, but it’s a good read in general.
Twelve year old Kyle Keeley loves games, and his favorites are created by Mr. Lemoncello, owner of the famous Imagination Factory. When Kyle finds out there will be a lock in at the brand new library, and Mr. Lemoncello is involved, he is determined to be there. The only thing standing in his way is an essay contest. All he has to do is write a prizewinning essay. No problem - or is it? Because the essay is due this very morning, and he hasn't got one.
I loved this book because it was full of puzzles that the reader can solve along with the characters. The characters themselves were all likeable, and my favorite was Sierra. I love how she is always reading a book! I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who loves libraries, puzzles, or games. It was fantastic!
If you're like me, you've been looking forward to the new Hunger Games prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, since its announcement last year. After all the anxious waiting and counting down the days, I found that this new novel, focusing on future villain, Coriolanus Snow, is not as good as the original trilogy but still holds its own and has its place in Collins' universe of Panem.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a villain background story. The main character-- for I certainly would not call him a protagonist, even 65 years earlier-- is Coriolanus Snow, future tyrant president of Panem and one of the most despised villains in all of young adult dystopian literature. Here, Snow has an ego, he has big plans, dreams and ambitions for the future of his country. Coriolanus is an orphan after the war that spurred the Hunger Games. The Snow household is broken down and poor, and Coriolanus lives with his grandmother and fellow orphaned cousin, Tigris (yes, that very same Tigris from Mockingjay that Katniss and her squad hid with while in the Capitol. This connection is one of the most interesting in the book, because here, Tigris and Coriolanus are best friends as well as cousins, always looking out for one another and sharing a tight bond. The obvious deterioration of their relationship is never addressed in the book, and I desperately want to know what went sideways between them now.) Coriolanus is a student at the Academy, a high school, and is chosen as one of the 24 best and brightest Capitol students to mentor a tribute in the 10 Hunger Games.
One important thing to note and understand about this book is that the Hunger Games are very very different from where we join them 65 years later. The tributes are abused and starved. The arena is not high-tech or glamorous. The television viewership is low. Most people do not even watch the games at all. All of that changes after this book, I would presume.
Coriolanus, who is hated by the leader of the Academy, Dean Highbottom, is consequentially assigned to mentor District 12 female tribute, Lucy Gray Baird. Lucy Gray is the true protagonist of this novel, and a strange one at that. She is part of a 'Covey', a traveling musical family who got stuck in District 12. She is strange to Coriolanus and the other Capitol children. She is musical, cunning, and not to be underestimated.
One of my wishes for this book is that there would be a romance between Lucy Gray and Coriolanus. There was, and unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations, which greatly added to my minor issues with this book. Collins greatly crafted a love triangle in the original Hunger Games trilogy, and I was so excited for more of that great romance that made you root for two people to end up together. The romance between Coriolanus and Lucy Gray seemed disjointed, rushed, and absurd. It almost seemed like Coriolanus was using Lucy Gray, which of course is false since he had nothing to gain from loving a poor girl from District 12.
Coriolanus prepares Lucy Gray for the arena while some Hunger Games traditions are introduced-- the betting, mutts and TV host and interviews are all started in this book. The Head Gamemaker at the time is Dr. Gaul, a psychotic and mutation-obsessed woman who takes interest in Coriolanus. Readers should expect to be creeped out and disturbed by Dr. Gaul throughout the novel.
Drama unfolds before the Games even begin, and there are many, many characters and side plots introduced and finished before the Hunger Games even begin. The actual part of the Hunger Games was my favorite part of the novel. Collins truly is a master of writing stories set in the arenas. I will not spoil who wins the 10th Hunger Games, but expect to be surprised by the turn of events right after the Games conclude.
My only other problem with this book is it actually felt like three books instead of one. Like the rest of the series, it is divided into three sections, and each felt like it's own standalone story. The third section Iread very fast. The first was very slow. And the middle was the best, with the arena and Hunger Games.
One of the things about this book that I enjoyed tremendously is that it does not paint Coriolanus as a hero, even back then. He is still cunning and a little evil, especially at the surprising ending. Coriolanus is never written as a good person. Instead, the good people around him are at his disposal.
Another thing to note is the literalness of the title. There are all three-ballads, songbirds, and snakes, in this novel. It is in no way symbolic or metaphorical. There is a lot of music, for Lucy Gray, and to add a lighter tone. I liked the inclusion of all the music, though it was a little strange to have so many songs included in full, with all their lyrics and everything. There are several songs from the original trilogy in this book, The Hanging Tree among them, and I enjoyed the inclusion of those.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes does not feel like a Hunger Games novel. It feels like a companion to Collins' original trilogy, but not directly connected to that world. That being said, it is a very compelling and originally imaginative story, that only suffered from a few disjointed elements. This prequel does not quite live up to the original beloved stories of The Hunger Games, but comes very close and presents a new take on Suzanne Collins' world of Panem.
This book is fantastic! The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes adds a whole new level of depth to the Hunger Games Series main antagonist, Coriolanus Snow, and to Suzanne Collins' dystopian world. This novel shows the journey of Coriolanus Snow from an eighteen year old boy trying to find his place in the world to the ruthless president in the Hunger Games Trilogy. I could not put this book down. It is the perfect addition to a fantastic series. I highly recommend this novel for any teenaged reader or fan of the Hunger Games Series.
A graphic novel with heart (and guts). Raina is a fifth grader with crippling anxiety. Sweetly told, the story unfolds to her going to a therapist and getting help. In the end, she learns to cope and trust her friends. Thumbs up!
Artemis Fowl is back!
Well, not really. But his little brothers are a more than sufficient replacement. Twins Myles and Beckett have lived a life of education and luxury (with some mild kidnapping thrown in). But everything changes drastically when a small troll appears on their island. Before they know it, they find themselves kidnapped by ACRONYM (a government organization that deals with magic) and working with a fairy to escape from not one, but two baddies - an evil, mustache twirling duke and a deranged nun that are themselves at odds. Will the Fowl Twins escape in time to save their lives and, perhaps more importantly, human-fairy relations for the rest of time?
This was very cute. Colfer was in top form here, and this held all of the characteristics of a middle grade book that I find to be readable (they aren't always my favorite). Myles is snarky. Beckett is a loose cannon (who can talk to animals!!!). The duke has access to insanely quirky gadgets and wouldn't be out of place as a Despicable Me super-villain. The evil nun is an evil nun. The pace moves quickly, but we still get to know our characters. Aside from its general predictability (adults will see all the twists coming before they happen), it's a fantastic middle grade read. If the narrator is any good, I'll add this series to my list of books that I listen to while running.
TLDR: If you loved the Artemis Fowl series, you'll love this one too! It has all of the best elements of the original series with some fun new quirks and characters. 4 stars - I really liked it.
Thanks to Disney-Hyperion and Netgalley for the eARC, which I received in exchange for an unbiased review. The Fowl Twins is available for purchase on 05 Nov, but you can put your copy on hold today!
Inside Out and Back Again is a historical drama all told in poems. A Vietnamese family is forced to flee their home in Saigon, Vietnam due to the outbreak of the Vietnam war. Luckily, they escape and flee to Alabama, however, Ha, the daughter in the family has trouble adjusting to the different lifestyle in the U.S. In, this book, you get a view into the life of Vietnamese refugees and their struggle to adjust to a new life, all in the form of poems. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a great story filled to the brim with poems.
Reviewer Grade: 8
Do you like magical creatures? Do you like actually well-executed pop-culture references? Do you like respectfully handled minority representation? Then the Lumberjanes series is definitely for you! It follows the adventures of five girls at a very unusual summer camp - Ripley, Jo, Mal, Molly, and April. Together, they encounter all manner of magical beasts, artifacts and locations, all while bonding with each other & following their motto of 'Friendship to the MAX!'
The series also has representation to offer, as I previously mentioned. With not only a main-cast lesbian couple, but a trans character,a nonbinary character, and several characters of color, it does well showing the diversity that exists in our world. "But, the art! What do you have to say about the art?" I hear you ask. Well, being a comic, it does have to convey much of its story through images. Through volumes, the art style does shift as different artists draw for Lumberjanes, but it consistently holds in a quality range of 'good' to 'great'. The main artist's style is a little unusual & a bit difficult to get used to, but it'll quickly grow on most readers. Overall, the Lumberjanes series is worth a read, even if it doesn't quite sound like your thing. It's charming and sure to delight pre-teen and teen readers.