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