Tag: Read + Review

Read + Review: Gun Slinger Girl by Lyndsey Ely


Serendipity “Pity” Jones lives on the 87th farming commune with her abusive jerk of a father and her equally jerkish brothers. It is after the Second Civil War, The United Patriot Front lost, The Confederation of America won, and Pity’s late alcoholic mother was on the losing side. When her father announces he’s selling her off as a fertile bride to a mining commune, she runs away with nothing but the perfect aim and pair of six shooters she inherited from her mother and her best friend, Finn, headed for the east. Only life throws them a fast one and things start to take a turn, setting the destination to Cessation, a town far to the west where not only can CONA not reach Pity, but it also is known for a lack of law . Thankfully, Pity finds some form of security through Casimir, a grand building that is many things, like a casino, at once, ran by a woman named Selene, whose word is law in Cessation. She soon lands a job as a new act at Casimir’s theatre, which features talents ranging from acrobat to knife throwing. She makes tons of new friends, gets to nourish her sharpshooting to its full potential, and meets Max, a stagehand who make her heart flutter. She should be happy; but this is Cessation, where killing is the norm and its laws decided by one woman, who Pity still needs to fully prove herself too if she has any hope of staying. When the darker aspects of the theatre become more clear and a sinister plot begins to convey itself, Pity must decide for herself what is righteous justice, and what is murderous vengeance.

I really loved this book. At first I thought this was just going to have a typical old western setting, but it turned into something much more creative then that, taking place in a time in the future that resembles an old western by drawing parallels and similarities to it. At the same time though, I feel like there is some wasted potential. Some questions involving the setting’s backstory are still left unanswered, and, with the current lore, I see so much more potential for further world building and more stories to come from it. At the same time however, I am wholly satisfied with the way the main story and plot itself ends and feel like a sequel would be really unnecessary. I am so incredibly conflicted. On a negative note, there are a few characters here and there who I felt that could be handled better in terms of their impact on the story and their foreshadowing about their relations to certain people.

There are so many different memorable moments in this book it would be hard for me to choose on as an example. I will say this, I like the ending, it felt simple and realistic, yet satisfying.


Reviewed by Dahlia, Grade 9, Twin Hickory Library


Read + Review: Ginger Kid by Steve Hofstetter

Image result for ginger kid book

This is the true story about a ginger nerd’s rise from socially awkward laughing stock to quick-witted comedian. Steve Hofstetter had everything going pretty alright for him at school, that is, until he got accepted in a fancy smart school called Hunter, where he knows absolutely no one and no one knows him. It would have been fine if it was just left as that, but he tries way too hard to get people to like him at first and winds up at the bottom of the social ladder. Now he has to deal with the most painfully uncreative bullying tactics possible done by bullies who thought they were geniuses, a real life Regina George, relationships fueled by no real love, huge jerks, a may-or-may-not-be-an-actual-gangster with a switchblade, his own dysfunctional and cheap parents who are borderline hoarders, and his own lack of social experience to work with. He soon gradually begins to earn his own friendships, learns plenty of lessons about love and what a friend truly is, gains confidence, learns about his skill for improv and cultivates a sharp wit to go along with it, joins a Jewish youth group, develops a positive reputation for himself, and finally rises up from his socially doomed status, although he still a huge nerd (and there is nothing wrong about it!).

I really liked this book. I found it to very interesting and funny. I always enjoy getting to learn about other people’s life stories and perspectives, and I feel as though I’ve actually learned some useful tips about interactions with other people.

I thought the most memorable part of the story was the one where he goes to prom. Not to spoil anything, but it is very sweet and satisfying to see how far he’s come in life.


Reviewed by Dahlia, Grade 9, Twin Hickory Library

Read + Review: Batman Nightwalker by Marie Lu



Batman, before being Batman, was Bruce Wayne, a young 18 year old gaining the billions of dollars in his family fortune. At his 18th birthday party, he saw the two types of people who were there: the people who cared for him and those whom only needed him for their own benefit. The latter category was where he put Richard, the mayor’s son and his former childhood friend. Richard was now someone different and was asking Bruce for a fake internship at Wayne Tech to make his dad happy. Driving home, the young billionaire captured a Nightwalker, a member of the group terrorizing the city. However, in doing so he interfered with the police chase and landed up in community service at Arkham Asylum, the ill-famed prison containing the city’s worst prisoners. During his community service, Bruce meets Madeleine, a girl only willing to speak to Bruce. Weeks pass and Bruce nears the end of his community service as he starts to learn about her secrets. He discovers hidden passageways she talks about and is allowed by the detective to talk with her. In the meantime, his enmity with Richard is growing and he’s having a hard time managing his relationships. The city’s rich are being terrorized and killed one after another when Bruce learns he is next. Despite having doubt on Madeleine’s intentions, Bruce follows her advice and discovers secrets about the next attacks of the Nightwalkers, opening up her mysteries. Is she just showing him secrets or gaining the information she wants to destroy Gotham City?

I loved the mysterious vibe this book gave off. In addition, I loved the mini side plots which gave the book more flavor. For instance, Bruce and Richard’s rivalry helps add character to both of them, and complicates the plot of the story. In addition, Bruce’s character was an excellent portrayal of a young man entering the world and facing all of it’s dangers. Finally, I liked how close Bruce was with his friends as they were his companions through his journey. He learned how there are only a few people in the world who you can trust. Bruce’s communications with his friends portrayed those of an older teen. Overall, I loved the book.

In my opinion, the most memorable part of the book was when Bruce realizes why he and Richard have become rivals. At that moment in the book, everything clicks into his head and he realizes the intentions behind Richard’s actions. For example, before, Bruce thought Richard hated him because he was really rich but after finding out Richard’s reasons, he almost felt bad for Richard.


Reviewed by Anmol, Grade 7, Twin Hickory Library


Read + Review: Champions Change the World by Mark Waid


Change the World is one of a few stellar graphic novels in the series, Champions. Change the World stars the next generations of Marvel Superheroes led by the children of the Marvel Superheroes that we all know and love. This book’s stars include Miss Marvel, Spider-Man, Nova, Totally Awesome Hulk, Viv Vision, and more. These teens want to Change the World on their own away from their parents in the Avengers who only care about fighting the battle and not cleaning up afterward. The Champions starts off as an idea and eventually turns into a full-scale team of superheroes working to save the world in a better way.

I liked the intense pace of the novel along with the quality of the art and captions which guided me through this graphic novel. Although the captions and speech of the characters expanded more on the backstory, I feel that if you don’t have enough background knowledge of the Marvel world, you will be lost really easily. I enjoyed this book though as I liked seeing the corners and unexplained parts of the Marvel world be explained more and the stories you don’t think about come out. I also liked the strong will of the characters and that it shows me that no matter how old you are, you should be independent and can change the world too.

The most memorable part of this graphic novel was that I learned that through a few words and a picture, you can say a lot. It surprised me when I saw the picture and read the captions and realized,”Wow! I understand!”


Reviewed by Lawrence, Grade 6, Twin Hickory Library

Read + Review: Someone to Love by Melissa de la Cruz


Teenager, Olivia “Liv” Blakely understands just how crucial it is to uphold a good image, no matter how fake it might feel. As her father is running for governor and her love life dream finally becomes reality, Liv has a battle to face. Bulimia, her eating disorder, takes its toll until she eventually realizes what she has to live for. Liv Blakely has to fight the media, hungry for interesting, juicy gossip, but she she doesn’t do it alone. Liv Blakely and her friends know there are no short-cuts to the bare truth.

The book Someone to Love by Melissa de la Cruz was a wonderful display of love and suffering wrapped into one. The aspect of this book that did not appeal to me was the blood and depression. When I read these parts of the book, I felt like shutting the cover and not reading it again. This is something that I felt I couldn’t handle, but others might not be bothered by it. I definitely recommend readers to give Someone to Love a chance.

One memorable thing about this book was how severe and dangerous the main character’s depression. It was becoming so out of hand, that she even started harming herself. I will definitely not be able to get this image out of my head for at least a few weeks!


Reviewed by Nikki, Grade 6, Twin Hickory Library