Saturday, August 27, 2016

A new student review of On Guard by Patrick Jones

Booklover1111 posted a new student review of On Guard by Patrick Jones. See the full review.

Over all, this book was okay. It definately wasn’t one of my favorite books and there were a couple things that I would change. First of all, I didn’t like how there was some violence in the book. Secondly,  I personally didn’t like that there was a lot of talk about gangs and a few references to swear words. Some things that I liked about the book were the characters Jade and Mercedes. Jade is a really strong and tough character, but yet she is still girly. Mercedes is always trying to help her sibling and never worries about herself. This book is a really quick read because it is only 97 pages. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

A new student review of Between Worlds by Skip Brittenham

Ampster posted a new student review of Between Worlds by Skip Brittenham. See the full review.

Between Worlds is a book about overcoming obstacles and defining what is possible. Mayberry and Marshall go through this fantastic journey, running, plotting, and fighting their way out of anything that comes their way. What it comes down to in the end of the book, though, is that you can't do it alone. Teamwork is a very important aspect of this book. Mayberry, Marshall, and even Aaron can't defeat the evil by themselves. They all need to work together to break the barrier.
 
In this book, Brittenham develops the characters very well. All of them are unique in their own way. Mayberry is a strong girl who likes to explore and set her own standards of what is possible. She is sarcastic, yet at the same time she is sweet, caring, and determined. Marshall is a boy who dreams of having an awesome life but doesn't hold much hope of it happening. He is courageous, strong, and brave, just not all the time. He has a crush on Mayberry but doesn't want to ruin their friendship, so in that way he is both shy and thoughtful. Aaron is a character who has simply lost hope. He lost hope in survival, family, and life. Mayberry and Marshall come and ignite that flame of spirit once more in his worn body.
 
I loved how Brittenham wove all of these different characters, plots, and backstories into one story that kept you on your toes and begging for more. I loved the prologue and how it tied into the story, explaining Aaron's grief and hopelessness. This story was well-written, with lots of detail and a great plot line. I thoroughly enjoyed this thrilling tale.
 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A new student review of Bridge Through Time by Scott Spotson

1231713 posted a new student review of Bridge Through Time by Scott Spotson. See the full review.

Absolutely loved it!  The author drew me into the story from page 1.  It was like going on a roller coaster ride. The time jumps were clear--stated clearly and with dates provided. Total page turner--I have never read a book so fast in my life!  The twists and turns make you say: "Wow. I should have seen that coming... because it makes total sense." It is as if everything we do, every choice we make has a direct effect on the paths that our lives and our reality takes! Many sci-fi books are so unrealistic, but not this one. Bridge Through Time seems totally plausible, totally realistic, and totally a time in our future. This book is a page turner!  A book that, like a roller coaster, buckles you in for the ride--and as the reader, you are happy to enjoy the thrills!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A new student review of Briony Hatch by x x Penelope and Ginny Skinner

Christian Reader posted a new student review of Briony Hatch by x x Penelope and Ginny Skinner. See the full review.

“…on my next birthday, I will be fifteen!  At this stage in my life, I am meant to be experimenting with drugs and having my first fumbling sexual experiences.  But hanging out with Starling is so much better.”  That quote from page 9 basically sums up the entire book.  Briony hates her life, and decides to escape that life by reading the book series she adores.  She obsesses over little things that happen in her life, such as her still being a virgin and never having tried drugs.  She longs to be with the “in-crowd,” but knows that that will never happen.  In her own words, she considers still being a virgin at fifteen years old something “freaky,” and certainly does not want to get drunk or do so many drugs that she goes crazy.  Briony hates her body, particularly her hair – she thinks curly hair is a curse, and wishes she didn’t have her lovely locks, as she only longs for wavy black hair.  Briony also calls herself “fat and ugly” several times throughout the novel.  Her closest “friend” Julia just wants to do drugs and have sex and get Briony to join in, but Briony just wants to stay at home and read her books.  Julia also insults Briony on a regular basis, and doesn’t seem to care how her “friend” feels.  For some odd reason, Briony still chooses to hang out with her so-called “friend.”  Briony is also dishonest, throwing out a letter the principal told her to give to her parents.  The letter was about how she wasn’t paying attention in History class in school, and was fairly accurate in its content, but Briony didn’t care and just trashed it on the way home from school.  After Briony gets sick, she decides to dye her hair black and start wearing gothic clothing.  She legitimately thinks she is an exorcist, and starts acting and dressing the part.

 

All-in-all, the main character was very difficult to even like or find commonality with.  I had difficulty connecting with Briony for all the reasons just listed – I disagreed with her about everything she thought was normal.  Briony was disrespectful towards her parents, and not only called them obscene things, but also just acted like a brat.  After she got sick, Briony sort of went off the deep end, so to speak – she became an entirely different person, and didn’t really change for the better.  Briony didn’t have very good judgement, either, as she was willing to hang out with people who didn’t honor her as a person and who never would respect her.

 

I also had difficulty finding anything in common between myself and Briony’s parents.  Her mother just slammed her father every chance she got, and seemed very emotionally unstable.  While she sometimes seemed to have her child’s best interests at hand, she never handled situations properly.  Briony’s mother had such an order to her rants that at fifteen, Briony had nailed precisely where they started and ended without much trouble.  Her mother first threatened to do unspeakable things to Briony if the girl didn’t clean her room, and then tried to get Briony to see the reason behind her argument, and then she used a blaming tactic to put guilt on Briony so as to blame the child for her problems, and then she ended with slamming Briony’s father.  Speaking of Briony’s father, in the book, Briony’s parents are getting a divorce.  They’ve been putting it off for several years, and every time some little event happens, the parents just get pushed closer and closer to actually finalizing the deed.  It was not very clear why Briony’s mother hated her father and why the father hated her mother.  The father stated it was because he had to pay for Briony and her mother’s lavish lifestyle, while the mother stated it was because the father had a new girlfriend whom he wasted his money trying to please.  Clearly, their troubles did circle around financial problems, but a solution was never found.

 

I felt bored and disgusted reading this graphic novel.  The art was subpar, and the style of writing was dreadful, as it was more child-like than adult-like in terms of the choice of words, but included such obscenities that it would never be an appropriate thing for a child to read.  By the end of chapter one, I actually had the thought, “When will this awful thing end?”  By the end of chapter two, I gave up even trying to enjoy the book.  While it was a short read, I really didn’t enjoy it – I nearly gave up reading it until I got to chapter five, where the storyline picked up a little and at least kept my interest until the end.  I have loved comics, manga, and graphic novels for awhile now, and don’t mind dealing with adult material when it’s presented in a professional manner.  I’ve read “BONE” by Jeff Smith and “Black Butler” by Yana Toboso – both of these graphic novels I enjoyed greatly.  In this book, however, the author’s intent seemed to revolve around shock-value – something I’ve never enjoyed reading.  The sex scenes early on in the book were extremely graphic and showed large amounts of nudity and sexual acts – they honestly weren’t needed to make the point the graphic novel was trying to make.  Often, scenes in the book seemed forced.  Properly done transitions were very difficult to find, and the writing style seemed choppy at times.  The book gave off this weird vibe to me, as if it were meant for a younger crowd, but that it was trying to appeal to an older audience as well.  If that really was the intent for this book, it failed on both accounts. I would never let my younger siblings read this book filled with such mature and graphic themes, and I would never choose to read this book myself, even though I am twenty-one and enjoy a well-written graphic novel.  The term "graphic novel" does not have to mean that the content within the novel be graphic (in terms of sex, drugs, or other gratuitous things), but in the case of this book, that definition fits the bill.  This graphic novel was such a let-down that I would never recommend it, nor will I ever read it again.

Monday, August 22, 2016

A new student review of Shades of Blue by Joyce Scarbrough

leah0304 posted a new student review of Shades of Blue by Joyce Scarbrough. See the full review.

This book was very well written and interesting. There are surprising twists and turns throughout the story which keeps you eager to keep flipping the pages. It also covers a range of emotions that are wrapped in suspense. The characters are developed very well in this story. As you get deeper and deeper into the novel, you feel a strong connection with all of the characters. I give this book 5 stars, because there is nothing that I would change. Everything about it was utterly amazing. I definitely recommend this great read.

Friday, August 19, 2016

A new student review of The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell

AngelLoezaLomeli posted a new student review of The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell. See the full review.

I like the way the book was written. I felt like I was part of the story watching the action happen

My favorite part of the story was when Damien reconsidered his decision of wanting to be a super villain, because this made me think that he was finally going to be a super hero! I liked when Damien put robotic scorpions in the backpacks of the bullies that bothered his friends. I thought it was funny when they got scared and after I read that I thought:  "So, what happened to acting all tough and not being afraid of anything?"

I would recommend this book to any kid that's a fan of super heroes.

A new student review of A Lady Born, A Pirate Bred by Claire Merchant

Star360 posted a new student review of A Lady Born, A Pirate Bred by Claire Merchant. See the full review.

Pirates are a fun, familiar trope that appeals to readers of many ages. I was hopeful that Claire Merchant’s tale about a female buccaneer would have a daring, Anne Bonny kind of edge. Alas, I was met with a drawn-out, sappy version of Pirates of the Caribbean. Certain aspects of the novel were enjoyable, but I wouldn’t recommend this book to my fellow bibliophiles.

The novel starts off with potential. Corey was born to a wealthy family, but ended up being raised by pirates for reasons unknown until the end. She’s no weakling, either; she can do her work just as well as the men can. Her downfall comes when she meets Sebastian. Yes, love can make people do foolish things, like buy overpriced teddy bears and cherry cordials, but I really expected more from the supposedly strong, independent Corey. Her loyalty to her crew was shockingly low when being wooed by a handsome stranger.

Another disappointment was the severe lack of action. Besides the sudden capture of Corey and a brief battle, there was very little in the way of excitement. A mysterious mermaid did add a hint of intrigue, though since she was the only magical aspect in the novel, it felt forced. I did enjoy the many different accents of the characters who appeared on the two pirate ships. They added richness to the dialogue and make it easy to identify the many characters.

Those searching for a satisfying pirate adventure are better off searching for another novel or perhaps watching Johnny Depp’s humorous turns as Jack Sparrow.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A new student review of My Life Hereafter by Lynette Ferreira

MistySpirit posted a new student review of My Life Hereafter by Lynette Ferreira. See the full review.

My Life Hereafter kept my interest greatly. The concept of what happens after you die is one that many people debate today, and have many different ideas of. I liked the concept of that idea in this book. Also, I enjoyed the plot twist, it was extremely unexpected but kept my interest in the book until the very end. The characters were fun and believable, and there were many good life lessons. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to wonder about life after death, or anyone who enjoys a good adventure.