Saturday, November 21, 2020

The Ask and The Answer Book Review

 The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

The Ask and the Answer is the second book in the Chaos Walking trilogy, and is a story featuring two teenagers named Todd and Viola, who were separated and held captive on different sides of an emerging war led by tyrants on both sides, one side seeking absolute power, while the other is willing to use any methods necessary, no matter how cruel, to win. Each of these leaders believe that the teen they captured could be the key to winning their side of the war. Although extremely difficult, Todd and Viola try to do everything in their power to reunite and end the conflict. However, this war takes place on a distant planet that humans began to occupy not very many years ago, where certain chemicals in the air made the thoughts of men and animals (but not women) audible to all. This concept puts a twist on the strategizing involved with ending the war, as taking just one prisoner can lead to the enemy knowing their every move. Although Todd and Viola do eventually reunite by the end of the book and take hostage the leader of the arguably crueler side of the war, they are too late to stop the already-begun conflict, which they accidentally escalate even further by angering the natives of the planet who start attacking cities.

This book does an excellent job at showing the harshness of war from both sides of the conflict, which is done by being written in a point of view that is different from most books, as each chapter alternates focus between the two teens and their struggles. This separation of these characters also does a great job at developing their characters individually, and shows how they would act without each other. One of the weaknesses of this book is its main antagonist who is although menacing, is unrealistically evil, and committing genocide without any strong motives. Another one of this book's greatest weaknesses is caused by one of its strengths, which is the separation of the two main characters. In the first book in this series, The Knife of Never Letting Go, many of its greatest moments were dialogue between them and the lessons they learned from each other. Although it has its faults, this book is overall a great read for high schoolers, and is worth being in the library. Lucas M.; Teen Reviewer


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The Outsiders Book Review

          The classic, “The Outsiders” written by S.E. Hinton is a true coming of age story published in 1967. This novel is a story of realistic fiction about a teen gang residing in the rural side of Oklahoma in the 1960s. This teen gang nicknamed the “Greasers” are seen as the hoods or delinquents by society as opposed to the rich and preppy “Socs” from the west side of town. The “Greasers” gang is made up of Ponyboy Curtis, Sodapop Curtis, Darrell “Darry” Curtis, Johnny Cade, Dallas “Dally” Winston, Two-Bit Matthews, and Steve Randle. This group of best-friends stick together through a series of wild events throughout the novel including death, fights, and much more. While this story is full of adventure, it also has a lot of tragedy intertwined. One word of advice for all future-readers is to buckle up for the emotional rollercoaster you will take.

I enjoyed this novel for many reasons but my favorite is the way the author incorporates a different lesson in each chapter. All these lessons you will take away from the novel. A big lesson enforced throughout the novel was about the value of friendship. You learn that every character is different (one is a pretty boy, one is shy, one is a badass, one is bold, etc.) and they all value different things in life, but one thing they all share is their values of their devoted friendships with each other. They are greasers and they stick together. We see this dynamic in scenes such as the greasers continuously just walking into Pony-Boys house like it is their own and during the rumble, they all come together to fight in the rumble for their friend Johnny. This quote stuck with me personally seeing the value of friendship, “You take up for your buddies, no matter what they do.” This is just one the many lessons taught in the novel, and even though the novel is semi-short only having 192 pages, it is full of deep lessons that you will take with you for the rest of your life.

            I believe that this novel should be read by teenagers because there is some foul language and concepts in the novel. There is a huge concept of fighting and gang-like activities throughout the novel, but every action in the novel there is a lesson well-learned. On that note I highly recommend this story because of the way the author hooks you in with its charming characters and lessons. This story is brilliantly written and composed by author S.E. Hinton. Amanda Y.; Teen Reviewer

The Fault in Our Stars Book Review

 


The book “The Fault in Our Stars”, written by John Green, is an ingenious book in which a young girl named Hazel has been diagnosed with lung cancer. Hazel is 16, she is very humble but shy and she attends a support group. She meets a boy, Augustus Waters. Augustus is handsome and confident, he was also diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called Osteosarcoma. However, he had recently been cleared of this cancer. Throughout the book, Hazel and Augustus embark on a roller coaster of love, sadness, and romance.  They are in search of their favorite books’ author, Peter Van Houten. While on their adventure to Amsterdam, Augustus informs Hazel that the cancer came back, and their worlds begin to fall apart. Eventually at the end of the book, Augustus unfortunately passed away suddenly and Hazel is able to learn many things about herself, her take on mortality, and her role in the world. Hazel has changed into a stronger and better human being from this adversity she has to overcome.

All in all, I think this popular book is outstanding. Most people could easily fall in love with the type of person Augustus is to everyone and especially Hazel. We see character development in both of them. Their adventurous love story is very admirable, and the story is very unpredictable. The story also partakes in a simple love story that turns tragic. Although I disliked the ending because of the death of Augustus, I think that is what draws many readers in and we learn a lesson of how not every story has a happy ending. His death definitely hooks the reader into wanting to know more about what happens in the future for Hazel. Therefore, I really like this book and would say it is highly recommended for teen readers. Holly O.; Teen Reviewer

Thursday, August 27, 2020

The Help Book Review

 The Help by Kathryn Stockett

       In the heartwarming novel The Help, Kathryn Stockett portrays the lives of African American maids working for white families in a small southern town, Jackson Mississippi.  In this thrilling novel Skeeter Phelan, a recent college graduate, is thrilled to begin a career in writing, which she hopes will escape her from the circumstances of her racist southern community. Disgusted by the ideas of the Home Help Sanitation Initiative and other racist thoughts created by her childhood friend Hilly Holbrook, Skeeter begins to imagine changing the way people view race in Mississippi. With suggestions from Harper and Row, a publishing company in New York, Miss Phelan undertakes a dangerous project. She begins to interview African American maids throughout her town about what it is like to work for the white families in Jackson. The book unfolds through the eyes of the three main characters; Aibileen Clark, Minnie Jackson, and of course Skeeter Phelan. Throughout this novel, Kathryn Stockett manages to create brilliant parallels between historic events such as the civil rights movement and the lives of the African American woman in this small community in Mississippi. 

 

            The Help by Kathryn Stockett is such a moving novel that will catch any readers attention. From the very beginning I was addicted to the uncommon relationships that were formed between the main characters. I would absolutely recommend this book to all people that want to read a motivational book about change and courage. Throughout the novel I was inspired by the bravery and courage that these inspirational women portrayed during such a pivotal point in history. Ella C.; Teen Reviewer

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Final Six Book Review

The Final Six by Alexandra Monir

The Final Six by Alexandra Monir is a science fiction novel that's all about saving humanity. After a series of tsunamis, floods and earthquakes, 24 teenagers are selected around the world to train with NASA, but only 6 will be selected to go on Pontus, the spacecraft for Jupiter's moon that's called Europa. These 6 must be the first humans to go to Europa and recolonize the human race. At the training center Leo Danielle, a swift swimmer from Rome, Italy and Naomi Ardalan, a high school student from Los Angeles, California, find themselves drawing towards feelings of love for each other.

The time is suspenseful as their training continues and after the mysterious mental breakdown of 2 contestants, Leo and Naomi know that something's fishy. Naomi finds out that the 'vaccine' they've been taking is in fact bacteria from the planet Europa and that they're shooting alien substances into their own bodies. The cost of knowing NASA's secrets is vile, as Leo and Naomi are forced to separate. Will they ever be together again? Will the truth about the vaccine's be exposed?

In my opinion, The Final Six is a great novel. The book does have a sequel called The Life Below. If these books do become a series, then I'd love to read them, since I enjoy space along with science fiction novels. There are more times where I felt that the focus did shift at times towards Naomi and Leo's relationship more than the actual plot. Despite that, it's obvious that the author made extensive research on many branches of science to put the whole story together. Overall, I'd say that The Final Six by Alexandra Monir is a great novel that captures readers by the first glance. Rubama H.; Teen Reviewer.


Monday, May 18, 2020

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Sea of Monsters Review


Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Sea of Monsters
By: Rick Riordan 

         The Sea of Monsters is a book written by Rick Riordan. It is the sequel to The Lightning Thief and the second book in the Percy Jackson And the Olympians series. In this book, Percy finds out that Luke, the traitor who serves Kronos, has poisoned Thalia’s pine tree, resulting that the camp’s magical boundaries are fading and the camp will be overrun by monsters if not cured. He must sneak out of camp to find the Golden Fleece, only which has the possibility to cure the poison. It is on an island guarded by Polyphemus the Cyclops, the very one Odysseus had escaped.

         The Sea of Monsters’ setting is in the Bermuda Triangle. It is a very impressive book, but I would give it an 8 out of ten because it didn’t quite have the same charm as the first book, The Lightning Thief. Rick Riordan still did a good job on combining the Greek myths, but he did not do as good of a job as The Lightning Thief. Vihan B.; Teen Reviewer

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief Review

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief
By: Rick Riordan 

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan is a very adventurous book and is the first book in the series of Percy Jackson and The Olympians where Percy, main protagonist in the story, learns that the Greek myths about the Greek Gods are real and that they are real in the world today. He also finds out that his dad is Poseidon and that he has extraordinary powers over water. The setting is New York. This series is a personal favorite for me because I have a personal interest in Greek Mythology and I live on Long Island, where Camp Half-Blood is located.

I would give this book a 10 out of 10 because it had everything that I would want in a book that would interest me. Rick Riordan did an amazing job of making this book. He perfectly combined Greek myths into a very well thought out book that includes humor, action, and adventure. Vihan B.; Teen Reviewer