All Book Reviews

A Wolf Called Wander
Parry, Roseanne
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

So good I can't believe my firends never hered of the book! 5 STARS!!!!!!!!!!!

Reviewer's Name: Emma
Genres:
Archenemies
Meyer, Marissa
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

There's a trope in comic books about how supervillains' schemes sometimes make sense. Maybe they want to solve some systemic problem with society, but the way they go about it is all wrong. There's often a leap of logic between "let's solve global warming" and "I want to build an ice ray to freeze the entire planet." Because this trope falls apart in the cartoony logic that graces the pages of comic books, it's refreshing to see some truly fantastic moral ambiguity between villains and heroes (all with quite unique powers and abilities) in Marissa Meyer's Archenemies.

While there were a few moments of illogical villains in Renegades , this sequel really delves into these characters who think they're doing the right thing—from both sides. I love how there are heroes who take their "we are justice" ideology too far, while there are also villains out there trying to improve the broken society that favors the heroes' worldview. The "who are we to judge?" theme that keeps coming back in this book really highlights the entire problem with the superhero genre. This brilliant handling of the concept of true justice should be the best reason to pick up and read this series.

On top of this, there's the heart-pounding thrill of Nightmare continuing to infiltrate the world of the heroes. She takes calculated risks to accomplish her goal, but there's also tremendous character growth when she realizes that maybe being a hero might be better than getting her vengeance. Of course, these doubts creep in as she develops deeper feelings for Sketch—who also has a lot of "secret identity" antics that made the whole thing entertaining to read.

A shining example of the moral ambiguity of superheroes, I give Archenemies 5.0 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: Benjamin W.
Genres:
All Systems Red
Wells, Martha
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Sentient artificial intelligence is a topic that science fiction has covered for decades. Somehow, in all that time, I haven't really come across many stories from the perspective of the newly sentient AI. All Systems Red scratches that itch in a way that's intriguing but merely feels like a prologue to something much more interesting. Perhaps I'm just used to longer-form stories that explore such a complex topic like this. Still, to so densely convey what it's like to be a robot now in control of its destiny takes a certain level of skill.

The problem is, it's been about six months since I listened to this audiobook and I can't recall much about it other than it's in first person via the "Murderbot" point-of-view. I guess there was some humor involved with this robot describing things that we as humans almost take for granted—using the external observer to point out the quirks in our species. And maybe the bigger reason it hasn't stuck with me very much is that the titular Murderbot decides to be a lazy human with its freedom.

I understand that this novella is still early in the series, so I haven't read far enough to get invested yet. I just wonder if it would have worked better as a "book one" in a combined volume of three or four novellas. Once I can get my hands on the other "Diaries" in this series, I might change my opinion about this first entry. As it stands right now, it's short enough that I think others should read it for the unique point-of-view, regardless of how deep it gets into the larger story of the series.

A short but interesting take on an AI who gained their sentience, I give All Systems Red 3.5 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: Benjamin W.
Masterminds
Korman, Gordon
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Five middle-school kids living in Serenity think it's the most perfect place in the world, but is it? This page turning novel by Gordon Korman has everything: intrigue, mystery, action, and more. It's impossible to put this book down. There's a twist and turn around every corner. The kids in the book think they're living in a utopia, when really they aren't. Eventually, they learn the awful truth about their home town, and formulate a plan to escape, but does it work? Read Masterminds to find out.

Reviewer's Name: Adelie
Oedipus the King
Sophocles
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The play Oedipus the king is one of the most tragic play. In the end of the play the protagonist fall into tragic downfall.. However ,I like the characters role of king Oedipus.. Whenever he made decisions to end the plague in order to end his people suffering.
Another ther event I like his character is when he care of his people and considering his people like his own family.. To become an admirable leader ..one should considering his people like his own family.. Oedipus is the best example in this play. Nevertheless this play could not be much interesting in the end of the play, when they found out the true prophecy Jocasta killed herself and king Oedipus taking his eyes off.
However if I were recommended to get a book.. This book will be the best,inorder to know the identity of ourselves.

Reviewer's Name: Sara
Genres:
The Fault in Our Stars
Green, John
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Fault In Our Stars is a novel written by John Green, a renowned author of Young Adult fiction. The story gives an account of Hazel, who can hardly remember life without cancer and has almost given up hope in her life. She then meets Augustus Waters, a cancer survivor, who reads her favorite books for her and hangs out with her and this helps her to gather strength. The two of them deal with cancer and love.

The story is written in a breathtaking way which makes us become a part of the characters and feel the same emotions. Hazel and Augustus appeal to readers through their sense of humor and their courage. But behind this courage, both of them hide their pain to protect their families. John Green, through Hazel and Augustus, brings both: tears and laughter.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Fault in Our Stars is a beautiful novel and I would recommend it to anyone who believes in love and has the courage to fight for it. Through this book, I realized that cancer not just touches victims, but it also touches all those who love it.

Reviewer's Name: Cheyenne
All That is Secret
Raybon, Patricia
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

All That Is Secret launches the reader into a sobering event, immediate choices, and gripping consequences. Annalee Spain is a bright, compassionate professor of theology in Chicago who might be up to the task. A mysterious telegram, a conversation with her wise landlady, and Ms. Spain's empathy in her brief interaction with a young delivery boy propel Ms. Spain into decision. But a professor of theology has her own questions. Is this mystery worth risking a conversation with the God who seems so distant? The telegram's author weighs-in and the mystery ramps-up.
I found myself flipping back three chapters to re-read interesting relational intricacies and investigative details. The richly defined individuals, the character-specific language, and the locomotive pace create vivid scenes that kept me riveted. I highly recommend this book.

Reviewer's Name: Tina
Renegades
Meyer, Marissa
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

After having finished Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles, it pleased me to learn that her next major series was about superheroes. After all, the fairy tale sci-fi retelling was great, but its source material always felt like it was for girls. Just like getting the choice of a girl's toy or a boy's toy in a Happy Meal, Renegades felt like it was meant for the guys. Obviously, I'm being a little facetious, as both series are definitely for all genders. The twist with this book is that the main character is a villain in a world filled with superheroes.

Renegades feels like the pendulum swing away from the superhero purism that saturated the market with the rise of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Shows like The Boys and Invincible—both of which started as comics themselves—bring up interesting thought experiments when questioning the legal and moral repercussions of superheroes in the real world. Renegades does this by following Nightmare and her desire to take down the superheroes who were supposed to protect her family but didn't. The questions Renegades asks are important when the status quo of a society revolves around superpowered humans.

While the execution of this book is nearly flawless, the crux of the climax felt off to me. I get that not all villains would be logical in their actions—some may even suffer from mental health issues—but the big twist seemed like it went against what all the villains wanted to accomplish. Sure, it pushed Nightmare to make some tough decisions about where her loyalties lay (which is a continuing theme throughout this trilogy), but there could have been a better way to go about it. Regardless, this was an extraordinarily strong start to another classic series by Marissa Meyer.

An excellent superhero book told from a villain's perspective, I give Renegades 4.0 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: Bejamin W.
Genres:
Venom Vol. 1, Rex
Cates, Donny
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Donny Cates was chosen by Marvel Comics back in 2018 to be the writer for Venom, and they picked Ryan Stegman as the artist. The result was a truly wonderful three year comic book run, very detailed and planned out by Cates, and with phenomenal artwork by Stegman.
They also introduced some very important, new things to the Venom mythos.
Eddie Brock, AKA Venom, discovers that centuries ago, an evil god called Knull created a race known as the symbiotes. He tried to use these beings to revert the universe back to it's former state of darkness, but his plans for foiled by Thor, god of thunder.
But now, the presence of Knull is felt once again within the symbiote hive mind, and Venom must stop him.
It's an interesting premise, and is truly great if you continue reading the series past this first volume. Stegman's art is fantastic as well.
I highly recommend this comic if you are fan of Venom and Marvel comics in general.

Reviewer's Name: Camden
The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky
Schindler, Holly
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

When the house Auggie Jones lives in with her grandpa Gus is deemed "in violation" by the new House Beautification Committee, she sets to work renovating it with the help of her grandpa and local community. It starts small, with replacing the boring, clear glass in Auggie's windows with colorful stained glass that had once been part of the nearby church. Soon, though, the project expands to creating sculptures out of materials like toasters and curling irons that grandpa Gus found while working as a trash hauler. What was once junk is turned into masterpieces that redefine the town's idea of beauty.

The book's cover was what first drew me in, as it reminded me of how I like to make things out of up-cycled materials. I love the story this book tells and the characters present in it. One of my favorite things about The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky is the vivid imagery the author uses literally from the first sentence, where she describes how grandpa Gus's truck "shimmies like she's dancing the jitterbug." Although it was written for children, this is a wonderful book for readers of any age to enjoy. The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky challenges the reader's ideas of beauty and serves as a reminder that there's always more to something, or someone, than meets the eye.

Reviewer's Name: Jacie
Holes
Sachar, Louis
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

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.

Reviewer's Name: Ethan
The Son of Neptune
Riordan, Rick
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

"The Son of Neptune'' by Rick Riorden is the second book in his 'The Lost Hero' series. It is one of my favorite books I've ever read. It starts off with Percy running away from two Gorgons who he can't permanently kill, they keep coming back from the dead at faster and faster intervals. Percy has amnesia and can't remember anything but his girlfriend Annabeth, he has no idea where he is or where he is going only that he has a sort of internal gps leading him to the Roman demigod camp, Camp Jupiter. He encounters Hera in a disguised form carrying her into the camp where she reveals who she is. Percy is revealed to be the son of Neptune which is more looked down upon at the camp, during the camps war games Percy and his team (the 5th legion) surprisingly win causing Frank to be claimed by his father Mars (Frank and Hazel are Percy's friends at camp). Percy, Hazel, and Frank go on a quest to fulfill a prophecy regaining the 5th legions eagle and weapons lost in Alaska and saving Thanatos the god of death who was imprisoned by a giant working for Gaea. If Thanatos had remained chained the doors of death would have remained open allowing the dead to return from the underworld. After freeing Thanatos Percy, Frank, and Hazel rush back to camp where giants and a monster army are attacking the camp, eventually the camp defeats the army and they get a message from Leo, Jason, Pieper, and Annabeth at the Greek demigod camp, Camp Halfblood. This setting up for the future books of the series where the seven of them go on a quest to save the world from Gaea (the goddess of the Earth who had been asleep for over a millennia awaking to destroy the gods) following the prophecy of 7. This is an amazing book with excellent execution for the idea, and the book playing a major part in the story line. It is perfectly written and a great series to get kids interested in mythology both Greek and Roman. The mythology used is accurate with some of the authors interpretation put in to fit the story being told. The action throughout the book is perfect keeping the reader's attention. In my opinion it is overall an excellent book and a part of a great series.

Reviewer's Name: Audrey
Wings of Fire
Sutherland, Tui
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is pretty good, the art is amazing, and the story is very fun to follow. The main point of this book, at least through my eyes is friendship. The characters are really interesting and feel very real! I rate this book 5 stars for an amazing message and great execution. (I wouldn't recommend for young kids however, it contains some graphic scenes, 10-13+ is how old I'd say you should be to read this)

Reviewer's Name: Cody
One of Us Is Lying
McManus, Karen M.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This book is for 12 + it is a book of mystery .

Reviewer's Name: Haley
Genres:
The Hobbit book jacket
Tolkien, J. R. R.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

If you are looking forward to diving into the fascinating world of dwarves, wizards and elves and feel ready to fight evil wolves, man-eating trolls and a fire-breathing dragon Smaug, then The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien is definitely for you. A warm children’s fantasy novel, which, however, will captivate the hearts of many adults, takes you to the atmosphere of fairy tales that you were listening to by the fireplace as a kid.
The main character, hobbit Bilbo, at first reminds us of ourselves. He, as all the hobbits are supposed to do, loves eating good food, spending time at home and making their houses cute and cozy. However, his routine crashed as a dropped pot, when a wizard Gendalf knocked at his door. Welcoming him inside, Bilbo could not even imagine that soon he would go on a true adventure all the way to the Lonely Mountain and save an ancient treasure from the claws of a furious dragon. On his way he will meet many different creatures, make friends and enemies, defeat mountain trolls, get captured by giant spiders, get into another captivity right after that, outplay Gollum in the caves and get the magical ring. But what is more important, Bilbo will turn into a brave warrior (what a shame for the entire generations of hobbits!) and a loyal companion.
The author's writing style and original universe makes it impossible to stay indifferent to the story. Kind and soft narration wraps you as an old blanket and keeps you cozy even in the coldest evenings. Younger readers, as well as their parents, will find many life lessons on the pages of The Hobbit, such as why it is important to make smart choices, appreciate your friendships and be ready to help those who are in trouble. The book is an awesome pick for both family time and independent reading.

Reviewer's Name: Oleksandra
Medea book jacket
Euripides
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Medea by Euripides is a play about a princess in Greek mythology. She is betrayed by her husband when he weds another woman and Medea vows to take revenge. She plans to hurt everyone who hurt her, but by doing this she puts people who did her no wrong at risk. Will she end up getting revenge and living out her days or will she join the same fate that she curses down upon? I recommend this book to anybody who is into Greek mythology or would like to get into it. This is a fast read of about 50 pages.
Jaala 12

Reviewer's Name: Jaala
Oedipus the King book jacket
Sophocles,
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Oedipus the King by Sophocles is a Greek play that follows the tragedy and downfall of this King. He is presented by a messenger that a disease has spread across his land and he needs to save his people. He sets out in search of this issue, but slowly comes to the realization that this something is a someone within his borders. What if this someone who needs to be eradicated is one who governs it? I would recommend this book to anybody who likes Greek mythology or the adventure genre.
Jaala 12

Reviewer's Name: Jaala
The Awakening book jacket
Chopin, Kate
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

The Awakening by Kate Chopin is a fictional novel that questions what it is to be an independent woman in a male dominant society. Edna lives in the Creole society in New Orleans that values the idea of women being a housewife. Edna strays away from this ideal and attempts to break the boundaries of what women think and can do. Is Edna strong enough to break these barriers or will the barriers break her? I recommend this novel to anybody who loves twists and turns and what it truly means to be independent.
Jaala 12

Reviewer's Name: Jaala
Twelfth Night
Shakespeare, William
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Great book! It's actually so hilarious because of the love triangle. Highly recommended!!

Reviewer's Name: Maurice
We Hunt the Flame book jacket
Faizal, Hafsah
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

We Hunt the Flame is about a girl named Zafira who is forced to take on the role of breadwinner after her father died. She is a strong-willed, independent character who gets dragged into a quest to find a rare item with incomparable power. While she has noble intentions, the prince, Nasir, takes on a role of assassin as he fights to find the artifact before she does. I really liked the slow-burn romance throughout the book, and how Zafira's personality doesn't change as she falls in love. Nasir's character arc is a really important lesson too, as he struggles with a need for approval from his father, and the cost of that approval. The other characters were really interesting as well. The author did a wonderful job of describing each personality, so even though there were a lot of characters, I never got confused between them. Near the end, a lot of the action did muddle what I thought would be an epic conclusion to the book, and the plot twists at the end were interesting but not necessary. It was obvious that the author wanted to set up a plot for the second book, but it felt forced. However, the characters were likeable, not predictable, so you might catch me reading the sequel!
Grade 12

Reviewer's Name: Maggie