Author: AimeeTheLibrarian

Read + Review: Zero Repeat Forever by G.S. Prendergast

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This is a science-fiction/apocalyptic novel; Earth is under siege by foreign, alien creatures called the Nahx. They are merciless and bulletproof, using toxic darts to kill humans by the number, reigning terror across the globe. One defective Nahx, called Eighth, is separated from his offside and meets a human girl named Raven. She is one of the few living still in her area, thanks to her training at a summer camp. She, along with a group of friends, are trying to stay alive. But when Eighth and Raven have to rely on one another for survival, their hatred and fear towards each other changes into something else entirely.

At first, I really didn’t connect with any of the characters the way that you usually do. I was a little concerned, but as I read further, I came to accept them. The world that the author described was pretty interesting, however, and I appreciated that. Throughout the book you become more attached- it’s a fun, emotional joyride of a sort. Overall, it was an incredibly endearing story that I came to enjoy.

I think that a memorable thing for me was the way that the characters were forced to communicate. The dialogue reveals depths of character, especially since Eighth and the Nahx communicate via. sign language. It was really sweet and endearing the way that Raven has to work to understand the unfamiliar, physical dialect.

0-four-stars1

Reviewed by Lexi, Grade 8, Tuckahoe Area Library

 

Read + Review: Wild Bird by Wendelin Van Draanen

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Meadow, Nico, Anabella… all the names come swirling into Wren’s mind. But they’re not there to save her. They can’t help her escape wilderness therapy camp. A place for troubled teens, Wren Clemmens is whisked away into her worst nightmare, one that she would never have imagined to come true. With no friends at school, the opportunity to befriend Meadow, a mysterious and menacing girl, is one that Wren is quick to take up. After falling into bad habits and changing her demeanor to reflect that of Meadow’s, her family becomes increasingly worried about their safety as a whole. Thus, Wren is thrust into a new world, where drugs and boys are no longer an option. Trapped in the desert, Wren must learn to let go, start a new chapter, and understand the reality of it all.

It usually takes me a few chapters to really get a feel for a book, but the storyline immediately drew me in. All of the situations seemed very simplistic, yet they were twisted into this heroic, daredevil spinoff that kept me on my feet. I empathized with Wren because, no matter what, she continually failed to make friends. Personally, I was not a fan of Meadow’s personality, but I do know people in real life that are similar to her. The writing style was full of imagery and very descriptive, but I wish that there had been more information about the other characters in Wren’s family. Yes, they were talked about, but perhaps there could have been a chapter from their perspective or another character’s in order to get both sides to the story. I truly did enjoy this book and would recommend it to anyone who is trying to find themselves and explore new possibilities.

Wren may have had a tough girl image, but in the exposition, we see her softer, more gentle side. That really gave me hope because I knew that Wren was capable of being a better person; she just needed love to make her flourish. I’ve seen friends in real life who are quiet and alone, but when you talk to them they’re a whole new person. It’s exactly like Wren’s situation. We never know who could be hiding under those false masks.

0-four-stars1

Reviewed by Mitali, Grade 10, Twin Hickory Area Library

Read + Review: The Last Message Received by Emily Trunko

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Everyone experiences loss and heartbreak. Final conversations between people have a lasting affect. In this novel, readers get a glimpse of a collection of last words, texts, social media posts, emails, and anything in between. It is a heartfelt book, containing all kinds of loss from last exchanges: the end of friendships, breakups, suicides, and untimely deaths.

Full of sadness and loss, this book was relevant to everyday life, with many sudden endings. This book inspired me to reflect on my own life; every person that has come into mine, and those who I will meet again in time. This book is realistic, and filled with the everyday realities that people must face. The illustrations and word art were extraordinary and provided a complimentary element to these final conversations. Even though it is a quick read, this book leaves a lasting impression of how life and relationships coincide.

One aspect that was unforgettable was how every single message evoked a different emotion from the reader. Some are sad, while others make the reader feel pity. There is also the knowledge that even if we cannot connect with these mystery acquaintances, the readers may at least learn from and share in their experiences.

0-three-stars

Reviewed by Katie, Grade 9, Twin Hickory Area Library

Read + Review: Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story by Caren Stelson

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A child of six years at the time, Sachiko Yasui lived a modest life in her home town of Nagasaki. With her siblings Misa, Toshi, Aki, and Ichiro by her side, the little girl had no idea that August 9th was the day her whole world would be ripped apart. Even at a young age, Sachiko knew of the dangers that lurked around her, as America’s threats with Japan grew increasingly persistent during World War II. But when she saw a flash and debris pile on top of her, Sachiko learned that the road to recovery would not be easy. Through her father’s wise words and views of the world, Sachiko fights to understand the truth, and how things happen for a reason. Based on a real account of a hibakusha, this harrowing story is one that should be retold for generations to come, so that a devastating nuclear arms race shall never come about.

As the story went on, I was overcome with emotion. The grief, sorrow, and agony that Sachiko went through in the decades to follow was excruciatingly painful to read about. I’ve read many stories from different hibakusha, the bomb-affected people, about their journeys of self-discovery after the horrors of the explosion. Yet, none has ever given me the impression that I took away from this story. The vivid details, coupled with the factual background bits scattered throughout the story, made for an informative and mesmerizing read. There’s no possible way to describe Sachiko’s bravery in words, except that she is an inspiration to all. The silence, the emotion… everything about this book is beautifully written. I urge you to read this book if you can. I promise, you will not regret it.

I noticed that Sachiko took a lot of her father’s ideas and words, and found a way to incorporate it into her life. I truly resonated with Sachiko’s father and his ideas, for his main belief was that hate only produces hate. We need to live in a world of peace, and if everyone thought the same way as him, our world would be a better place. I also loved that Sachiko found her voice through her role models, from Helen Keller to Mahatma Gandhi. She truly is an exceptional woman that, I’m sure, will find a way to make her voice last for generations.

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Reviewed by Mitali, Grade 10, Twin Hickory Area Library

Read + Review: Dog’s Best Friend by James Patterson

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Rafe Khatchadorian is just your average kid with an average life at Hills Village Middle School, but his big mouth lands him in some hot water. From making his mother cry during Christmas to accusing Eddie and Ethan Finn of some serious allegations, Rafe can only make matters worse for himself. Yet, through it all, his one wish is to get a WormHole Premium Multi-Platform GameBox. In hopes of receiving this item, Rafe decides to put on his thinking cap and start a dog-walking business. But when Rafe discovers something even more sinister going on, his investigations lead him to a reality like none other. Secrets and truths start pouring out, and Rafe needs to make the right choice in order to save his life from crashing down.

James Patterson has done it again with a hilarious, yet entrancing book about the life of a middle schooler. Rafe is not only a relatable character, but also one that seems to teach younger kids lessons about honesty, responsibility, and trust. Through graphic comic strips and eye-catching chapters, I was hooked on all the situations that occurred throughout the story. My favorite character was definitely Georgia; she’s cunning, smart, witty, and, in my opinion, helped the story close to a strong ending. Personally, I never expected such a child-like book to convey themes that I would probably see in adult novels. Although I can’t give anything away, I will say that I was baffled by all the plot twists in the story.

I enjoy the fact that Rafe doesn’t live a perfect life. He has his ups and downs, which makes the book, in my opinion, a lot more interesting to read. As previously said above, the book is a lot more relatable than some other stories I’ve read. Nevertheless, I loved how Rafe was able to create some humor out of every situation he faced. If you always look at the negatives in life, you’ll never have time to reach the positive. I think Rafe did a great job of learning how to balance his negativity out, and to make the best of every obstacle he endured.

0-four-stars1

Reviewed by Mitali, Grade 10, Twin Hickory Area Library