Friday, February 12, 2016

The Fault in Our Stars Book Review

 “The Fault in Our Stars” By John Green

            “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green is a young adult novel that follows the life of a teen cancer patient named Hazel Grace Lancaster.  The story is about her battle with cancer, but also her coming of age as she meets another cancer patient Augustus Waters. Hazel falls in love with Gus, but is hesitant to start a relationship because of her health. She is constantly struggling with how her death will affect the people around her.

            The author’s style was very casual as it was a novel about teens. The author definitely knew how to reach out to teen readers by making this into a love story. The author presents this story in a way that makes it not just about the sad affects of cancer, but the celebration of life and love. It can bring about laughter and tears as it explores the many different aspects of the lives of these teens. The romance of this novel could seem a bit unrealistic to some readers, but in the end it is just a beautiful story about two star crossed lovers both fighting the same battle with cancer. The audience if directed towards high school students who love novels about romance and teen empowerment. Teens should know that this is not just another story about cancer. Nor is it a happily ever after love story. This novel is definitely worth having in the library collection because it is a journey with many different emotions that will make you realize how special life is. Danielle D.; Teen Reviewer

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Cather in the Rye Book Review

The Catcher in the Rye

            The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is a famous fictional book that takes place in the post WWII era. The story is about self-discovery, overcoming hard times, and facing many of life’s common struggles. It is told through the main character Holden’s point of view, intimately and informally. Holden often tells the story as if he is talking to you, which produces a feeling of comfort while reading. Most people can relate to it and that is why it is so wildly known and alluded.

            This, personally, was one of my favorite books I have ever read. Anyone who reads this book can relate to it in some manner and get something out of it. There are so many themes and morals that are easily recognized in the book that really keeps the audience intrigued and involved. The main character, Holden, has such a pronounced point of view towards life that can never fail to bore the reader and can always relay a message one way or another. This book explores themes of innocence, loneliness, depression, sexuality, alcohol, adulthood, trust, and important values.

            I would highly recommend reading this book to anyone who is 14 or over. Being a teen, or even an adult, reading this book will offer so many amazing themes and values that all can relate to and greatly appreciate. It taught me many important lessons and offered a sense of tranquility while reading. This definitely wasn’t a book I had to “force” myself to read. All in all, Salinger does an amazing job connecting the story/character to real life. This book isn’t famous for nothing.
Lauren R.; Teen Reviewer

Looking for Alaska Book Review

Looking for Alaska Review

            Looking for Alaska by John Green is about a junior in high school named Miles “Pudge” Halter who meets his love interest, a beautiful but troubled girl named Alaska Young, at a boarding school in Alabama who goes missing and Pudge feels like it’s his responsibility, along with his friend and roommate, Chip “The Colonel” Martin, to find out what happened to her. At his boarding school, Pudge does a lot of things with Alaska, the Colonel, and his friend Takumi Hikohito that he would’ve never done at his home in Florida, like start smoking. At one point, Alaska sets Pudge up with a Romanian girl named Lara Buterskaya, but Pudge finds himself falling in love with Alaska rather than Lara. Alaska insists on keeping her relationship with Pudge platonic and has no interest in dating poor Pudge. Together, they all pull crazy pranks on a group of students they don’t get along with and Pudge learns that Alaska blames herself for her mother’s death when she was 8, which explains why she’s so troubled. On the anniversary of her mother’s death, Alaska mysteriously goes missing and no one knows where she went. Pudge decided that he had to find out what happened to her and spends the remainder of the book trying to fit the pieces together to see what happened to Alaska Young.

            The book was fairly easy to understand; I had no trouble understanding it. The book flowed together nicely and any flaws that the book may have are outweighed by the content. Before reading this book, one should be aware that there is a brief sexual scene at one part and the teenagers are often drinking, smoking, and using explicit language so one should be mature enough to handle things like that. As Pudge goes on a wild ride trying to figure out what happened to Alaska, the reader feels like he’s on the journey with him trying to figure everything out too. I recommend this book to anyone between the ages of 15-17 and anyone who likes a mystery would be intrigued to find out what happens to Alaska while reading this. This book is one worth keeping in the library.  Christina D.; Teen Reviewer

The Fault in Our Stars Book Review

The Fault in Our Stars

            The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is about a 16 year old cancer patient named Hazel Grace Lancaster who meets another cancer patient and love interest named Augustus Waters, or Gus, and they’re trying to find a way to beat their cancers once and for all and helping each other through the pain. Hazel Grace has stage 4 thyroid cancer with a metastasis growing in her lungs, forcing her to keep an oxygen tank on her at all times. The medicine she’s taking allows her to keep living her life with the cancer. She is forced by her parents to go to a support group for cancer patients where she meets her love interest, Gus, and their friend, Isaac. Gus has osteosarcoma, which caused him to lose his leg. Isaac has an eye cancer known as retinoblastoma, causing him to lose both eyes and have glass eyes to replace them. Hazel Grace and Gus soon start to fall in love with each other and keep each other’s spirits up while trying to defeat cancer. They fly to the Netherlands together with Augustus’ wish from Make-A-Wish and get to go on vacation together. They get to spend every moment together with their limited time because of cancer and they try to make the best of everything despite the circumstances they’re in. As much as they try, one of them finds out their cancer is definitely going to kill them and they spend the rest of their time left together trying to be as happy as they can be.

            The way Green wrote this book is fairly easy to understand. Everything flows together beautifully and its obvious Green did his research on all the different types of cancers before writing this book to make it as realistic as possible. It would be helpful to know before reading this book that there’s a movie version of it so one should read the book before watching the movie. While reading this book, it feels like the reader is friends with Hazel and Gus and is watching their dear friends go through this struggle. This is a great read for anyone between the ages of 14-16 and anyone who likes a good love story. This book is a great book and it’s worth having in this library. Christina D.; Teen Reviewer

Catching Fire Book Review

Catching Fire

            Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins is the second book of the Hunger Games trilogy. Catching Fire is about a now 17 year old Katniss Everdeen whose living back in her home district, District 12, in Panem with her love interest, Peeta Mellark, and they have to find a way to win yet another Hunger Games without either of them dying. Traditionally, once someone wins the Hunger Games, they don’t have to worry about being chosen again because they already went through it. However, this year is the 75th Hunger Games, which means it’s a Quarter Quell. Every 25 years, Panem has a Quarter Quell and the rules change for just that year of the Hunger Games. This year, the president of the country, President Snow, decided that only people who already won the Hunger Games can be chosen to go back to the games and risk their lives all over again to fight to the death. There are only 3 winners of the Hunger Games from District 12; Katniss, Peeta, and Haymitch Abernathy, winner of the 50th Hunger Games and mentor to Katniss and Peeta during the 74th Hunger Games. This means that Katniss is definitely going back to the Hunger Games and either Peeta or Haymitch are going with her. Peeta ended up being the one to go back with her and together, they have to suffer through the same pain they did just a year ago but with other previous winners in a different secluded area controlled by the government. This time, they don’t know if it’s possible for both of them to make it out of the Hunger Games alive.

            Catching Fire is my personal favorite from The Hunger Games trilogy. Collins’ writing style stayed consistent with the first and made it a great read for her audience. It was easy to understand and everything flowed together well and it was a great read for young adults. The good outweighs the bad in this book. Before reading this book, one should read The Hunger Games first so they know what’s going on when they start the second book in the trilogy. They should also be aware of the ruthless killing that goes on during the Hunger Games so they need to be mature enough to handle it. It feels like the reader is right next to Katniss and Peeta while reading this book rather than watching everything unfold. This book is perfect for anyone between the ages of 14-16 and anyone who likes adventures would like this book. This book is certainly worth keeping in this library. Christina D.; Teen Reviewer

The Hunger Games Book Review

The Hunger Games

            The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is about a 16 year old girl named Katniss Everdeen from District 12 in Panem who has to compete in the Hunger Games with her district partner and love interest, Peeta Mellark and she has to find a way to win the Hunger Games without Peeta dying. Panem is what used to be the United States and is now a dystopian society in a post-apocalyptic world. Panem has 12 districts where each district is responsible for producing one item. Katniss is from District 12, the coal mining district. Every year, her country hosts something called the Hunger Games. Two children between the ages of 12 and 18, one boy and one girl, from each district are chosen to compete in the Hunger Games. In the Hunger Games, one has to try to survive in a secluded area controlled by the government with what they have and they have to try to kill everyone else around them until one person is left standing. When the annual reaping for the 74th Hunger Games happened, Katniss’ little sister, Primrose Everdeen, was chosen to compete in the Games. Katniss volunteered to take her place so her sister didn’t have to risk her life in the Hunger Games. Peeta was also chosen so the two of them were put on a train to the capital of the country, simply called the Capitol. In the Capitol, they met all of their opponents and trained to compete in the Games, and then they were sent off to the secluded area to fight to the death. While there, Katniss starts to see Peeta as a love interest and has to find a way for both of them to win without dying.

            The author’s writing style was perfect for the young adults that this book was intended for. Collins could not have written the book in a better way for her audience. It all flowed together nicely and it wasn’t too challenging for the audience, but it wasn’t easy either. Any flaws that this book has are definitely outweighed by the content. If one plans on reading this book, they should know that it’s part of a trilogy and there are also movies for all 3 books, so one should definitely read the books before watching the movies. While the movies were good, nothing can beat the original books. They should also know it can be quite brutal at times, considering teenagers are killing each other, so one should make sure they’re mature enough to handle that. It feels like the reader is involved in the story while it’s happening rather than an outsider looking in. I would recommend this book to anyone between the ages of 14-16 and to anyone who likes adventures. This book is definitely worth keeping in the library.  Christina D.; Teen Reviewer