Author: DeeTheLibrarian

Read + Review: Self-Driving Cars: The New Way Forward by Michael Fallon

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Self-Driving Cars is a nonfiction, informative book about the history of cars, different car companies, how the idea of self driving cars started and the evolution. Looking at the title, I didn’t expect to see the full history of cars, but it did make a nice starting chapter, explaining what happened to the horse buggy whip making industry in Whip City. The book is well written, and structured into chapters, making it easy for the reader to switch topics. The book also includes a nice timeline, along with glossary, bibliography, further information and index sections, not to mention the context-specific, attractive pictures.

I think this is a great book for all 10+ age groups, especially for drivers and car savvy people. This will make a good read not only for people interested in technology and cars, but also for people who are into history. There are many good features in this book. The only negative comment I would make is that the title was somewhat misleading, since I expected major part of the book to be talking about the current and future technologies. The author does get to that part in the last chapter, but fails to offer excitement in terms of concept cars, pictures, etc. It really helps that this book has a timeline at the back, so anybody could just flip to the back and learn something new.

There are many memorable things about the book, especially the section describing how someone in the 1900’s made an exhibit of the future, and we have created a world just like his exhibit, with tall skyscrapers, cars, and many people. It is fascinating how just one idea could change the whole future. The book gives top-notch information, and offers a new perspective on how the cars became integral part of American culture.

4-stars

Reviewed by Siddarth S., Twin Hickory Library

Read + Review: Legendary by Stephanie Garber

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This book was a sequel to Stephanie Garber’s fantasy book Caraval. The book continues the magical adventure of Caraval from the point of view of Donatella Dragna, Scarlett Dragna’s sister. Tella faces an incredible journey to find her missing mother, Paloma. Paloma disappeared when Tella and Scarlett were little kids and left them with their father. This time, Caraval is not just a game. Tella must find a missing object to free her mother before it’s too late. She faces many obstacles and enemies, and races against time as it slowly ticks away. The stakes are high, and Tella enlists the help of a cunning friend, Dante, to help her along her path. She begins to have suspicions about him, but dismisses them as he is very helpful with her mission. As time counts down, will Tella be able to free her mother in time before she’s lost forever?

I liked this book a lot. The rich imagery Stephanie Garber writes really brings the story alive. The characters really pull emotion from you, and you find yourself hanging on the edge of your seat at every twist and turn. One thing I disliked at the beginning was that the book was from the point of view of Tella. The previous book was from Scarlett’s point of view, and it was a little bit difficult to adjust to at the beginning. However, as I got further into the book, I began to appreciate the different viewpoint, as you can really see the story from different angles. This book is absolutely magical.

One memorable thing about this book are the characters. They are very believable and you find yourself experiencing the same emotions they do as you read the book. The characters are very dynamic, and their motives are always changing and adapting to their situation. These characters all tie together brilliantly and give the book a great dynamic feel.

4-stars

Reviewed by Prachi S., Twin Hickory Library

Read + Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: New School Nightmare by Carolyn Nowak

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Unbeknownst to humans, vampires lurk in the shadows, seizing the necks of innocent individuals. Their only bane is a well-placed stake by the Slayer, the vampire murderer. The sacred mantle of the Slayer belongs to the average middle school girl, Buffy Summers. After she learns the existence of vampires from her eccentric teacher Miss Sparks, she has to juggle two lives at once. Luckily, she isn’t the only student who posses magic in Ohio. As the school year progresses, Buffy and her magical friends discover the Primium Dominum, the master of all vampires, who plans to overthrow all humans at a solar eclipse. Unfortunately, he is nearly impossible to locate, let alone kill. So, Buffy has to end the vampire lord before he ends the world.

Honestly, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I would have liked. Many aspects of the tale are uncertain and the plot is uneventful. Although the author builds up much suspense towards the main conflict, the resolution feels anticlimactic and perhaps slightly disappointing. When Buffy was trying to figure out the Prmium Dominum’s identity, the culprit was quite obvious to the reader. I would have much rather liked it if the identity of the vampire lord was more difficult to find. Overall, while this book did contain numerous thrilling events, I did not find this book very entertaining.

There are many memorable and rather humorous events scattered throughout the book. For example, when Buffy first learned the existence of vampires in a parking lot of a cinema is unforgettable. Additionally, the shocking events of when Buffy discovered her friends magical abilities were emblazoned into my mind. As you can see, this graphic novel is a cornucopia of some of the purely astounding events.

two-stars

Reviewed by Soumya K., Twin Hickory Library

Read + Review: The Prodigy by John Feinstein

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The book “The Prodigy” is about a boy named Frank. He starts off his golf career with a boom! He won the PGA’s tournament, but ever since he won the tournament he has been called the Perrington Prodigy, the next Tiger Woods. Agents have been lining up at his door and have caught his father’s ear, pressuring Frank to go pro and sign deals with big-name companies. Frank has other plans – including attending college. What will he do?

There is no one Frank can confide in until he meets one of his coach’s old teammates, Keith Forman, a renowned golf reporter. Keith Forman helps Frank in his career and guides him in what competition to participate in and what interview he should do. This might be a problem after college starts! Will Frank be able to face the pressure of being a teenage prodigy? And more importantly, on his road to fame, who can he trust and who will betray him?

I like the connectivity of the book. With any struggle or success pop up, the flow would not stop. The characters were designed with a great personality. Frank and Keith were the best fit for this book. This book demonstrates the value of never giving up. Keith promoted Frank’s inner spirit, with any ups or downs they would be together and would be happy.

5-stars-3

Reviewed by Savir M., Twin Hickory Library

Read + Review: Out of Left Field by Kris Hui Lee

outofleftfield

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This book is about baseball and friendship. Cody plays baseball and Marnie plays softball plus they are best friends. The two of them play pick up baseball in the neighborhood with friends who are also Cody’s high school teammates. When Cody gets hurt, the high school baseball team needs to find the best player to replace him. The next best pitcher is Marnie but the team isn’t sure that they can win with a girl on the team even though Marnie has proven that she is just as good as the boys when they play pick up. Can Marnie take them to the championship with Cody in the dugout?

I really enjoyed this book and think it was written well. While the story line may be predictable, things didn’t happen in the exact order you would expect. The author used colorful and descriptive language throughout which made me want to keep turning the pages. I would recommend reading this book if you are a sports fan and especially if you are a girl who loves to play with the boys.

One memorable thing about the book is that Marnie realized that not only does she love baseball but she loves Cody. Cody had been in love with Marnie since they started high school. Even the baseball team knew before Marnie figured it out.

5-stars-3

Reviewed by Samantha H., Glen Allen Library