Tag: Read + Review

Read + Review – Scythe by Neal Shusterman

In mankind’s existence, Scythes now wander aimlessly in the world, ready to end life as a purpose to keep the population attentive. When both Citra and Rowan meet a strange, mysterious Scythe, their lives are turned upside down as they are chosen to become apprentices for him. Though neither wants it so, they must train in the master of killing till one is chosen for the true job. Will independent Citra get the gruesome role, will rigid-stiff Rowan be given the position, or will both perish in the result of downfall?
What I loved most was definitely the off-on, complicated relationship of Citra and Rowan because it wasn’t really seen, but it had such a momentous vibe when they were having serious moments together. Though they showed their feelings for each other in the end, it wasn’t the love you’d expect and I felt like if they had actual time together, they could have had something. I also just liked the idea of having another dimension where Scythes had the power to eliminate people in order to keep the population healthy and the style was contemporary. The book left on a cliffhanger and I hope there may be a sequel with more of Citra’s feelings for Rowan.
The memorable thing about this novel is how every rule of a Scythe is to be honored as this world is operated to make sure there is no war and no hunger. When Scythes do their work, it is not something to be scared of, but something to be glorified as it is revealed that the work of a Scythe is through “thou shalt kill.”
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Reviewed by Ashley, Grade 6, Tuckahoe Area Library

Read + Review – Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

under-rose-tainted-skiesNorah remembers the time when she was younger and worry-free, but her world comes crashing down when she is diagnosed with agoraphobia. At 17, her panic attacks, anxiety, and constant fear of helplessness continue to take over her life. Norah can’t stop thinking about everything that could go wrong: a robbery, car accident, falling in the shower… But then a new neighbor, Luke, moves in next door. Everything feels so normal with him by her side, but how is she able to love him when she’s built a wall around her?
Reading about mental illness is something that I wouldn’t usually think about doing; however, this book reeled me in. I find it remarkable how Louise Gornall took her own life experiences and applied it to Norah, allowing her to portray the main character in a realistic manner. I have now gained a new perspective on mental health and what goes on inside the lives of individuals with illnesses such as this. I wish more books like this came out on the market; they’re informative, yet transformed into an interesting story. I really enjoyed Luke because he didn’t see Norah as some sick person, rather someone with a story and a life at hand. He made Norah so happy, and I don’t believe that anyone else would be able to make her feel that way. This book is pretty impressive, considering that this is Louise Gornall’s first. You were clearly able to characterize Norah, Luke, and the other people found in this novel. I find that a lot of stories are not able to build up characters or a plot line, yet Gornall was able to do so. Overall, I am in love with this book and recommend it to anyone who wants an informative good read.
One of the most memorable things about the book was how Norah attempted to persevere through her hardships. Even though a lot of times she was unsuccessful, she continued to fight and stay strong for as long as possible. I don’t think I would be able to do the same if I were in her shoes; it would probably be too much for me to handle.

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Reviewed by Mitali, Grade 9, Twin Hickory Area Library

Read + Review – The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti

Hawthorn Creely is the stereotypical excuse for a misfit high school senior. Her tedious life makes her yearn for a strange and mysterious event to occur in her small town located in Ohio. These wishes all came together one day when Lizzie Lovett, the most popular and alluring senior in Hawthorn’s junior year, goes missing one day while going camping with her boyfriend. Although she didn’t have much interest in Lizzie, a strange theory of that Lizzie actually being a werewolf sprouts in Hawthorn’s mind. She tries to go into the woods and search for Lizzie, alone. But a crazy conspiracy like this made Hawthorn lose her best friend Emily to a boy, and the senior diva queen Mychelle to turn the entire grade against her. Even though she is a strange teen who doesn’t want to get involved in danger, she tries to prove to everyone that she will save Lizzie Lovett and be the hero of high school, even if it means taking her job and boyfriend, even when people suspect him of killing Lizzie.
The book overall was disappointing and did not make me want to keep reading, but instead made me take frequent breaks. I disliked how the author did not include as much flashbacks as I had expected, as that would have made me understand Hawthorn’s character more. Also, there were parts of mature content that made me skip over chapters so I could not read it. Character description for this book did not hit the mark as I would have thought so, and description is key for the reader to visualize it. On the other hand, a key element Chelsea Sedoti nailed was the plot. The mysterious idea of the truth shocked the readers all throughout the book. Bizarre situations sometimes threw the audience off track from the main plot, but provided well written humor for them. Lastly, this writing style although did include inappropriate scenes not suitable for anyone my age, it really hit a home run on the ability to make people laugh and to put yourself into the shoes of Hawthorn Creely, but only for a little while.
One memorable thing about this book, in my opinion, is the adventure of Hawthorn not only looking for Lizzie but trying to find who she is herself. This venture is also relatable to life and gives the reader something to think about. Hawthorn starts out as a pathetic and social outcast and transforms into something the audience would have never thought would happen.

Reviewed by Viswanath, Grade 6, Twin Hickory Area Library

Read + Review – Life Before by Michele Bacon

life-beforeXander Fife has a normal seventeen year old life. He plans for an extraordinary summer of soccer, partying with friends, and a road trip before they all go separate ways for college. His family’s deep secrets get exposed, and Xander is in grave danger. Skipping from town to town, Xander assumes a new identity and his plans for the summer becomes his life before.
I like the suspense and thrilling adventure. The plot twists make this book come alive. Friendship, death, and romance are pieces of importance throughout this action-packed novel. I disliked the part when Xander got attracted to a new girl. It pulled away from the fast paced momentum that the author was building up. Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot, and I hope that there will be a sequel.
One memorable thing about this book was the motif of independence. Xander had to get food and shelter by himself in a completely new city where he knew no one. He had to think for himself and live on his own.
four stars

 

Reviewed by Nikhil, Grade 6, Twin Hickory Area Library

Read + Review – The Fever Code by James Dashner

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This book is the 5th book in the Maze Runner series. The book starts with on boy named Thomas. Thomas, at a young age, was taken from his parents from the cruel and horrific outside world and was brought into the shelter of WICKED. Thomas is immune; therefore, he cannot have the disease. WICKED is trying to find a cure for the disease. Thomas, alongside others, was used in many tests to try to find a cure for this disease with WICKED. He later forms a special friendship with other kids that are immune. Thomas is often told that he is helping WICKED to build a maze that will help them find a cure for the disease, and he starts trusting WICKED. As Thomas’ life goes on with WICKED and building the maze, many untold secrets unravel and Thomas begins learning things that will destroy his trust in WICKED.
In my opinion, this book was amazing. I have read all of the other books in this series, yet this book was the one that stood out the most to me. Unlike the other books in the series, this book was a story that explained how the maze was built and explains to the audience what had happened before the maze was built. This book had a lot of twists and surprises; I could not put the book down!
The most memorable thing about this book was when Thomas learns that he is actually helping WICKED through tests. He quickly learned that he was being tested and found out that he was being tested in order to find a cure for the Flare, which is a disease. He wanted to keep helping WICKED to find a cure for the Flare. I found this relateable to me and other people because most people want to continue helping someone after realizing that they are helping someone for a good cause.

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Reviewed by Eugene, Grade 7, Twin Hickory Area Library

Read + Review – The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner and Other Stories by Terry Pratchett

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Come with me to a magical place far, far away… This collection of fantasy short-stories focuses around humorous creatures, creative situations, and evil witches. Each narrative plot is seemingly different; however, this all ties in together at the end of the book. The characters, ranging from Geryboam to evil gnomes, have such contrasting personalities, which only adds on to the book’s unique perspectives. Although Terry Pratchett wrote these when he was 17, the themes hidden throughout the novel and the creative fonts of the words make for an all-around great kid-friendly novel.
In my opinion, this was definitely not one of my best reads. The actual plot was really confusing, and I didn’t really understand why the stories were laid out the way they were. These seemed more like bedtime stories than a teen novel. Furthermore, I felt like the short stories didn’t really interest me since their plots were too predictable. Plus, the themes were very repetitive and I wasn’t drawn into the book like I have been to others. I’ve been a fan of fantasy novels, but this Terry Pratchett one didn’t make the cut.
One thing that I took notice of was how Terry Pratchett wrote some of the words in really cool fonts and sizes in order to make the book come alive and seem more believable. I’ve never seen anyone do such a thing in a story, so I was really fascinated by this.

one star

Reviewed by Mitali,  Grade 9, Twin Hickory Area Library

Read + Review – Secrets, Lies, and Scandals by Amanda K. Morgan

Five teens, Ivy, Mattie, Cade, Tyler, and Kinley, are each taking a summer class in psychology with a horrible teacher. One day, Cade, Ivy, and Tyler are forced to stay behind after class and wait for Kinley to finish her test before Mr. Stratford talks to them. When Mr. Stratford angers Ivy she threatens him and Cade punches him. He trips on Kinley’s foot and Mattie walks in to find him dead. They try to dispose of the body and wait in anticipation for someone to catch them. They each try to rat each other out.
I thought this was a great book. Each character was trying to backstab each other and that added onto the plotline. The scenes also were kept short and there was not too much dialogue. The author got straight to the point with a little bit of suspense and that made the book the perfect length.
The most memorable scene was when they were talking about how to dispose of the body. It was filled with grim humor and that lightened the moment. I actually laughed.

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Reviewed by Miranda, Grade 6, Libbie Mill Library

Read + Review – The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

the-sun-is-also-a-starNatasha is a girl in love with science, and only science. She doesn’t believe in love or luck, and she knows it wasn’t fate that is causing her to get deported back to Jamaica. Then Natasha meets Daniel, a poet and a dreamer, but a boy who will never be good enough for his family. Over the course of a day, they run wild together in Urban New York, teaching each other that science and love have a lot in common.
This is my new favorite book of all times, and that’s saying something. The way Nicola Yoon writes just captivates you, and draws you in. There is enough figurative language and imagery to drag you into the story, but not so much that you feel like your reading some terrible book for English class. The plot was unpredictable, and I didn’t see the ending coming, much like Yoon’s other book, Everything Everything. I thought the book taught a lesson about seeing things from other people’s points of view, and giving people the benefit of the doubt. Over all, it is a beautifully written book with a great plot, and I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone who loves young adult realistic fiction.
One thing that is very memorable is that the book gives you short snap shots into other people’s lives, without making them the main focus of the book. While I have seen this type of format before, I have never seen it so spectacularly done as in this book. It really does give extra meaning to the book and teaches you about seeing things from a different perspective.

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Reviewed by Lily, Grade 8, Tuckahoe Area Library

Read + Review – What Light by Jay Asher

what-lightSierra enjoys a perfect life in her beautiful state of Oregon— two best friends, a happy family, and tons of fun and games. However, every winter from Thanksgiving Break to Christmas, she travels down with her parents to California, where they own a Christmas tree lot. But things aren’t going well, as Sierra’s family has been losing profit and they don’t know whether there will be another year on the lot. But Sierra’s life becomes transformed when she meets Caleb, and she soon realizes that things aren’t always as they seem to be.
Overall, this classic, yet twisted love story was absolutely incredible! The situations in Oregon and California were relatively different; however, they were unified through the theme of love and relationships. I found that the diction and writing structure were kind of similar throughout the chapters, which I wasn’t a big fan of. Although, this was compensated through the phenomenal plot line. One of my favorite things about the story was how Sierra’s friends, in both Oregon and California, were so supportive of her. Even if they were frustrated, they always pulled through in the grand scheme of things. In my opinion, the ending could have been better constructed, as it seemed rushed and definitely not what I envisioned. Nevertheless, this book tugged at my heart strings and I would recommend it to any of my friends.
I admired Sierra’s headstrong character because, through it all, she stood up for what she believed in. Her actions reflect her determination to succeed against the odds. Furthermore, I found it remarkable how she was able to see through Caleb’s past and focus on the future. I know that if I were in her position, I most likely wouldn’t have done the same choices.
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Reviewed by Mitali, Grade 9, Twin Hickory Area Library

Read + Review- Hawkwing’s Journey by Erin Hunter

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There is a clan that was lost long ago called Skyclan and now a cat named Firestar has rebuilt this clan from scratch and taught them the ways of the clan cats. Now Skyclan is in danger again. A group of rogues are planning to destroy the clans and dominate. Meanwhile, a young cat named Hawkpaw is awaiting his warrior ceremony with his littermates. But soon, the Skyclan medicine cat has a vision and is issued a prophecy: The fire has burned out, but the dispel the darkness, you must find the spark that remains. Everyone is worried by this prophecy and try to find an answer to it. Horrors and tragedy strike Skyclan and Hawkpaw one after another, nonstop. Can Skyclan survive this time? Will they find the spark, or be swept away by darkness again?

This book is AWESOME! The story line fits really well with the characters and I like it how each characters has a unique and individual personality. Hawkpaw is a great idea for main character as he expresses multiple emotions very clearly. So, in my opinion, I think this is one of the best Warriors Super Editions made by Erin Hunter.

The most memorable thing in this book is the way Skyclan and Hawkpaw persevered through all the problems they faced. It really teaches you how to sustains yourself, even in the darkest of times.

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Reviewed by Ojas, Grade 7, Twin Hickory Library