Review Crew Book Reviews by Genre: Classics

The Things They Carried
O'Brien, Tim
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Actual Rating: 3.9

This book is good and fairly understandable if you like books that take place in war times. It has A LOT of symbolism which many can be examples of the exact things they carried. There are many back stories and stories about the soldiers as well giving you a lot of imagery as to what is happening. It talks about their missions and thoughts emotionally. It was a little difficult for me to read it but it's a pretty well written book otherwise.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Dominique R.
A Separate Peace
Knowles, John
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

A Separate Peace by John Knowles, is a pretty good book in that it shows a lot of emotion and drama. It gets you thinking: How did this happen? What does this mean? And what will happen next? There is a strong friendship between Gene and Finny and the actions are either caused by envy or just pure accident. Many signs of symbolism are found throughout the book and some also can relate to religion. This book is good also when relating to real life situations which can relate to a majority of the people who will read it. I really liked this book and it was pretty easy to understand.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Dominique R.
Genres:
Lord of the Flies
Golding, William
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Actual Rating: 4.5

In the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, I found it to be based upon the ideas of good vs evil. A group of British boys are traveling on a plane when unexpectedly their plane crashes on an unknown island. Many examples of symbolism can be found throughout this book which play a big role on finding the true meaning of it overall. Good vs evil can also be found throughout the boys and what they go through when trying to survive and keep stable. This book makes you want to keep reading so you can learn what happens next, which I believe can be some of the best books to read. Keep an eye out for the meaning of the title and how it plays along with the things that are affecting the boys and their survival.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Dominique R.
Genres:
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Wilde, Oscar
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Actual Rating: 4.5

In the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, it depicts many aspects relating to actual things in today's society. Many concepts such as love, hate, beauty, selfishness, and more help to do this. In this book Dorian also goes through a series of emotions and battles with his own thoughts. Throughout, many people have had a great or little effect on how the book plays out overall. This book was very interesting and kept me engaged the whole time while reading it. If you love reading novels that are a bit crazy but really puts others lives in perspective this is a great book to read.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Dominique R.
Genres:
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Hurston, Zora Neale
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

Actual Rating: 4.5

When I first saw the cover and title of this book, I was intrigued. The title of this novel does not reveal much about what the plot was all "about". The main character of the book, Janie, is a woman of mixed race who is trying to find her happiness, which she believes is love. Hurston writes this novel in a way that the readers too, can feel what Janie is feeling, and see what Janie is seeing. Even though this book was written in the 1930's, the topics that pop up are still relevant today, including Feminism. This book may have been predictable at certain times, it was surprising as well. I have never read a novel like this one before. I encourage others to read this book, so they too can experience the journey of Janie's coming of age.

Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Jessica J.
The Tempest
Shakespeare, William
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

When assigned this novel for school, I did not expect much to be completely honest. In fact, the story of The Tempest was actually a pleasant surprise. The story is about Prospero, a man looking for revenge against the one person who took his Dukedom away from him, his brother Antonio. At the beginning, the story moves a bit slow and can be a bit boring. Although, it does not take too long for Shakespeare to interest the reader with the plot of the novel. I did not find the story to be predictable, which is what made it so interesting! A theme that the story revolves around was Compassion VS Cruelty, making The Tempest very interesting and intriguing. The language of Shakespeare may be difficult to understand, but is not too difficult. Although, it would be useful to choose a version of The Tempest that has annotations/footnotes as there are various terms and mythological references that some people may not understand or know.

Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Jessica J.
Genres:
Fathers and Children
Turgenev, Ivan Sergeevich
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

To be completely honest, Fathers and Children by Ivan Turgenev did not appeal to me when I first saw. However, that changed when I began to read it. This book takes place in Russia around the mid 1800's. For a translated work, this novel was quite intriguing. The book not only speaks of the generation gap between parents and children, but also talks about the coming of age. In Fathers and Children, the reader gets the chance to see various characters find their way through love, social revolution, and coming of age. Despite how old this story is, several of the topics [coming of age] that it discusses still applies to teenagers today. This novel surprised me in the way, as the one person who you may expect to be the antagonist of the story, is actually the protagonist...If you are looking for a bit more of a challenging read, this is the book for you.

Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Jessica J.
Genres:
The Old Man and the Sea
Hemingway, Ernest
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

This book is about an old man who is having bad luck in catching fish. One day he goes fishing in the early morning and has the experience of a lifetime. I liked this book because it showed that the journey is more important than the destination. I chose this book because it seemed very meaningful. I enjoyed that very many idle objects represented important concepts. I did not enjoy that the book is so predictable. I cannot relate to the characters because they were very thoughtful and knew what life means. This is not one of the best books I have read all year.

Reviewer Grade: 8

Reviewer's Name: Alex L.
Genres:
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Rowling, J. K.
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

This is the sixth book in the series, and it happens to be my favorite. It's not nearly as long as The Order of the Phoenix, but it's still a fair bit thicker than the first three books. The length of the novel isn't necessarily a bad thing because it keeps the plot moving along. The best part of this book is the character development. For most of the plot, Harry is actually happy and with his friends, so many characters gain a level of complexity. This is the darkest book yet chronologically, but through themes of hope and witty dialogue it recaptures the beautiful lighthearted magic of the first few books.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Caroline J.
Lord of the Flies
Golding, William
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review:

Actual Rating: 3.5

Lord of the Flies is a strange and sometimes creepy yet surprisingly good book by “one hit wonder” author William Golding. The story is about several British schoolboys crashing on a deserted island with no adults, and details how they try to manage by finding and hunting food, building shelters, and making smoke signals to any would-be passing ships to try to get themselves rescued. All of the boys stick together at first with choir boy Jack as their leader, but when Jack and the other choir boys become obsessed with hunting and killing the wild pigs on the island and let the rescue fire go out, Ralph and Piggy, our other main characters, are furious at them and banish them into the jungle. They go off and start their own tribe, and when they do catch a wild pig, they roast the meat and invite any boys that want it to join their tribe. Ralph and Piggy remain on the beach with the other boys, but when they learn about the “activities” that go on in Jack’s part of the jungle, primarily hunting and performing strange rituals, most of them leave to join him, and Ralph’s attempt at civilization just goes downhill from there. I really can’t say any more as it may give away the book’s ending. I will tell you, however, that the ending is a surprising one and is ultimately bittersweet, so those who like everything to be resolved happily, be warned. I recommend this book to those who like shipwreck and plane wreck stories and those who can tolerate gory detail in some spots.

Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Jacob U.
Genres:
Ender's Game
Card, Orson Scott
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Set in a world where warfare is the top priority, all school systems are adapted to better shape children into viable subjects for the training program-Battle School. This program’s main goal is to shape perfect soldiers for the war against an alien race threatening humanity, or what’s left of it, as it is. While being the youngest student there by far, he advances far past the other students in warfare, academics, and strategy training very quickly. But, unknown to Ender, he is being used as a weapon in training and after to accomplish a goal that goes against all of his morals. I enjoyed this book because it was a new twist on an old idea-special treatment for the geniuses, but this time, it was not with their well-being in mind. From the cover to the synopsis, this book entices the reader to dive into this dystopian world. Besides the story, this book also has many thought-provoking moral lessons-do what’s right or serve the common good? This space centered tactic game is one the reader can play right along side Ender.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Molly Q.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Carroll, Lewis
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Written in 1865, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by a mathematician writing under the pseudonym Lewis Carol, is a charming classic that continues to fascinate both children and adults. This clever book can be re-read multiple times because of its intricate language. While the plot may be simple, I enjoyed rereading this and discovering new layers and comedic elements like puns that I had not noticed before. One of my favorite characters was the Cheshire Cat because of his cleverness and his backward logic. The story includes a number of poems so iconic that people recognize them without having read Alice’s tale. I enjoyed this equally well as the sequel, Through the Looking Glass, And What Alice Found There.

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Caroline J.
The Wind in the Willows
Grahame, Kenneth
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

The Wind in the Willows, written in 1908, is a classic tale that still has appeal to both adults and children. Each of the main characters has a distinct and charming personality. Mr. Toad is a likable and iconic character because of his zany personality. Ratty is very loyal and adverse to change. Mole is a homebody who worries. Badger is sage, somewhat antisocial, and values tradition. I highly recommend this novel to all creatures with more than one pocket!

Reviewer Grade: 9

Reviewer's Name: Caroline J.
Awards:
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
Avi
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

I honestly was not expecting this to be as good of a book as it was. I guess I was thinking it would be more like Treasure Island (which I didn’t like too much). It actually turned out to be a really good story about a twelve year old girl named Charlotte Doyle who has booked a voyage with two other families on the Seahawk ship to return home from her school in England to see her family. Charlotte then discovers that the two other families have mysteriously cancelled their trip, making her the only girl on the ship. She then has many adventures on the Seahawk with the shipmates and the cruel Captain Jaggery involving a silver dirk, storms at sea, muskets, round robins, watery coffee… and possibly murder. I highly recommend this book to anybody who likes historical fiction, books told in diary form, books about seafaring, or is just looking for a good book to read.

Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Jacob U.
The Outsiders
Hinton, S. E.
4 stars = Really Good
Review:

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton is a great read. I love the main character pony boy and his brothers each character that he encounters seems to have a story. Each character both main and minor have two sides to them. The plot is easy to follow her not boring. It is also an adventure for anyone who likes a loyal friend to stand by them on the run. The only problem I have with this book is the ending. Smallish book, quick read, I recommend the book and the movie.

Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Diego C.
Awards:
Book Review: Les Miserables
Hugo, Victor
1 star = Yuck!
Review:

Les Miserables was one of the most boring books I've read. I chose this book because my mom told me that there was a movie about it and the new musical. Well I bought it and I almost fell asleep. I mean if you like the classics then go for it but if you're more of an action or adventure person then this could easily put you to bed. the historical facts we're seen clearly in this book but if you a lot about French history then this book is easily predictable.

Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Isabella Z.
Awards:
Fahrenheit 451
Bradbury, Ray
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Fahrenheit 451 is a story about a future where people have become dull and lifeless. I liked the authors prediction of technology and how it takes over in the modern age. If you have to read it for school or if just for fun it shows the decent of peoples individuality when they are enamored by distraction all day long. Science fiction highly recommend.

Reviewer Grade: 11

Reviewer's Name: Diego C.
Little House on the Prairie
Wilder, Laura Ingalls
2 stars = Meh
Review:

Little House on the Prairie is a mediocre novel about a little girl named Laura, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and her Ma and Pa traveling across a prairie then settling down and building a house. Almost the entirety of the first 18 chapters are mind-numbingly boring (the most exciting thing that happens in the first 240 pages is Ma dropping a log on her foot). The last few chapters were pretty good, but it didn't outweigh the annoyingly long descriptions of prairie grass and dull accounts of cooking supper that dominated most of the story. I do not recommend it to people who like action or adventure stories, however, I would recommend it to anyone who read and enjoyed Little Britches by Ralph Moody or anyone who is a fan of the late 1800's settlement genre.

Reviewer Grade: 7

Reviewer's Name: Jacob U.
Great Expectations
Dickens, Charles
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Although it was first published in 1861, this classic novel is still fresh and relevant in the 21st century. It is the story of a poor, rural, uneducated boy named Pip who meets and falls in love with a rich, beautiful, and cruel girl named Estella. Through the generosities of a mysterious benefactor, Pip is able to move to London and become a wealthy, eligible, gentleman. It seems that he may at last be worthy of Estella's love.
If only it were so simple.

Filled some of the most famous characters in English literature, including several murderous convicts, a bizarre and sadistic woman who dresses only in a moldy wedding gown, a law clerk with a double life, and an exceptionally loyal best friend, this book is unforgettable. A commentary on the nature of social mobility as well as a coming-of-age novel, this story is equal parts mystery, romance, and legal drama, with enough plot twists to keep any reader turning pages (trust me -- I read it during finals week).

Most importantly, this book is a good choice for teenagers because it is relatable. It deals with finding yourself, searching for meaning in a seemingly meaningless world, coping with unrequited love, being financially responsible, finding good friends, spending your time and money on the right things, being appreciative and kind towards people who you may believe to be below your station, giving second chances, and the importance of staying close to your family even if you think that they are embarrassing, ignorant, or are not good enough for you.

This is one of the best books I have ever read. Even if you think that classics are boring or that historical fiction just isn't your thing, try Great Expectations. You won't regret it.

Reviewer Grade: 12

Reviewer's Name: Caroline K.
Thérèse Raquin
Zola, Émile
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review:

Actual Rating: 4.5

“Therese Raquin” by Emile Zola is a book that defied the literature of its time and had the people of the late 19th century in an uproar over its shocking content. Content that involved murder, wrongly placed passion, adultery, and a voice that refused to glorify the ever flawed human race. Meet Therese: a quiet woman who is niece to elderly shopkeeper Madame Raquin and wife to the Madame’s son Camille. She finds that sin somehow manages to bring her back to life, but with chilling consequences. Will deceit finally bring her the joy she has so longed for, or result in her doom? Defy the time with this twisted, blood-chilling read.

Reviewer Grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: Summer W.

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