Friday, May 30, 2014

Summer Update

It's summer. It's a big break from school, and from this. I will read books and post every couple of days. This is because of summer stuff like vacations or family. Expect 3 or 4 posts a week. Don't worry though, I will go back to a book day when school starts up again. I hope you are okay with this, but if you aren't, tell me (in the comments) to read more. Thanks.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas***

The Burning Sky is about Archer. He is a boy attending Eton, a school for boys. Some people in his world can control some four elements. The elements are: water, air, fire, and earth. There are some sub-branches of these powers as well. Archer has control of these powers, and what nobody knows is that Archer is really a girl. It's her goal to stop Bane, the head of the villains in this book, and to help restore the world/region to its former peace.

When I figured out there are only four elements, fire, earth, water, and air, my mind went straight to the Last Airbender.  This is (or was) a show that I saw some, but not much. I briefly picked up details on it, and I think that the author of this book might be ripping the show off a little. The four elements in the Last Airbender are fire, earth, water, and air (from what I can remember). I think that element/magic is very overdone, it's not bad, it's just that most books I read have this. I don't know what time period this book is set in, it's pretty confusing. I think that if you like fantasy books, you will like this book too. Tomorrow I will give an update for the summer.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dragon Keeper by Carole Wilkinson****

Dragon Keeper is about Ping, a young Chinese slave. She does work that her master is supposed to do, which includes feeding the last remaining dragons. When one of the dragons dies, it falls upon Ping to help her master create a stew from the dead dragon. Ping gets word of the Emperor visiting, and becomes very curious. While the Emperor visits, Ping sneaks around the palace. She eventually gets caught, but manages to escape with the help of the last remaining dragon. Together, they go on an amazing journey to get to the sea that is filled with many exciting events.

This book is my kind of book--fantasy. I love fantasy. I think that this book had a lot of surprise plot changes. Most of the plot changes actually make a difference on the book. I have read books where a major character will die, only to be replaced by someone else with no change in the book. I think that this author did a good job with her writing. I think that fantasy lovers will love this book.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Infects by Sean Beaudion****

The Infects is about a group of kids who have been convicted of some actions that they did. Nero, one of the boys, worked at a poultry plant, but broke very expensive equipment. At the directional camp, some of the kids there go crazy. They start eating some of the other kids there, so some of the kids, including Nero, escape. They band together and fight of some of the so-called zombies off. They manage to escape, and then learn the worst thing they've probably ever heard.

This book is a very funny book. It made the zombies have more intellegance and speed than most other books. The author makes the zombies feel very realistic. I think that if the place where this happened was more realistic, I might of liked this book better. The way the book ends is such a giant surprise, that you have to like it. I think that zombie-lovers will like this book.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Swim the Fly by Don Calame***

Swim the Fly is about a group of kids who have set themselves a goal each summer. This summer's goal is a bit unrealistic, but that doesn't stop them from trying. One of them, Matt, stepped up and volunteered to swim the butterfly. The butterfly is the most difficult stroke to swim. Can Matt accomplish his own personal goal?

This book is pretty good. It is a bit inappropriate, but I really liked the development of Matt. It felt that you could see him growing as a person and a friend. I think that a lot of high school students can relate to some of Matt's problems. This book is a real laugh (it's funny), and I think that a lot of people will like this book.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Period 8 by Chris Crutcher*

Period 8 isn't very good. Most of the book is a boy trying to figure out feelings and swimming. Near the end of the book the plot starts to pick up. There you learn that some characters run a underground business that ruins kids' life. When I first picked out this book, I thought that this was a book about the future. I was surprised when I started reading this book, but still didn't like it. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Chupacabra by Roland Smith*****

Chupacabra is one of the many books that Roland Smith has written. It is in a series about animals that are so rare they are considered myths. These animals are known as cryptids. I really like what Roland Smith writes about. It combines nature and technology very well. I think that if new technology is added in the next book, I might like the series better. I think that the way some of the technology is used, and some of the ways people escape makes the series all the better. I highly recommend this book to anyone.

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Archived by Victoria Schwab*

The Archived isn't very good. I really didn't enjoy this book. It seemed like one of those stories that is so fake it's not good. This book had something called Narrows, which is the barrier between life and death. The entryways are basically hidden doors that only certain people can see. Also, most of the people who run this business are dead. I think that if the whole hidden-doors-that-only-certain-people-can-see is changed to something a lot more believable, this book would have been much better. The dead people or Histories, are stored in cabinets. This idea drove me insane. I think that people should be treated much better than that. I don't really recommend this book.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Pieces of Us by Margie Gelbwasser***

Pieces of Us is a story about abusive dating. Abusive dating is when one partner knowingly abuses the other partner in the relationship. This could be in any way, and some are: emotional abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse, and sexual abuse. This is a big problem that needs to stop. Pieces of Us captured this perfectly. It told a story about a girl whose boyfriends, both of them, abused her. She was Ms. Perfect, but then she got caught at a party drunk. She was forced by her boyfriend to do some very bad stuff. Her boyfriend recorded it and threatened her. Then, later, her new boyfriend finds out and does stuff that's censored here because I'm a good person. I highly do not think that kids under the age of eighteen should read this book. Very powerful book though.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Outside by Laura Bickle****

The Outside is the second book in The Hallowed Ones series. I think it wasn't as good as the first book, but it is still good. I think that if the way the characters discover certain things changed, this book might have been better. Some of the ideas in this book were genius though. The main characters use fireworks to try and kill the vampires. I thought that the author did a good job writing the book. Many people may like this book.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle****

The Hallowed Ones is about an Amish community. They have almost no communication with the rest of the world, so when a disease that makes people turn into vampires erupts, they have no idea. This book definitely had a cliff-hanger ending. It just left off when the main character and her friends were leaving, Some books are able to get away with this kind of transition (those kinds of transitions make me not want to read further), but most books can't. I feel that this book had a good feeling for this series book. It kept true to old legends, like how garlic keeps vampires away, or how they can't enter holy land. That is a strong point for me because the book didn't make vampires totally super-villain-that-does-whatever-he/she-wants, but it also didn't limit the vampires power. It's not like the characters were able to shoot them, guns don't work. It's cut of the vampire's head, or burn it alive. I definitely thought that this book is generally a good book. I didn't like the ending, but the way the author used the older stories of vampires is good. It adds realism, and a story that we already know, so we can infer (predict) a few things about the vampires. I think that teens will like this book.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Unforgotten by Jessica Brody*****

Unforgotten is such a good book. I really liked how the book changed randomly, but still kept true to the character thoughts/feelings. She always wants whats best for people, so, in this book, she has to make some of the hardest decisions in her life. The ending is a complete twist from what I thought it would be. Reading a lot of books has (sort of) let me predict the ending of books closely. This ending completely threw me off. I really liked this book, and I think that if you have read the first book, you will like this one too.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Struck by Jennifer Bosworth****

Struck's beginning made me interested instantly. I really liked the way the whole book formed. The plot is good, and the details make it even better. I liked the way the disasters happened. It happened in California where lots of fault lines are. The disasters were earthquakes, and were set of by lightning storms. The main character, Mia, is struck by lightning a lot, which helps further the plot. It creates more opportunities for Mia to explore. I think high school students will like this book.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Night She Disappeared by April Henry***

The Night She Disappeared is a book about kidnapping. A girl was asked to take out a pizza, but was given a false address. She was abducted, and everybody thinks she's dead. I wondered when I finished this book, was if the author had been kidnapped before, or had someone close to her gotten kidnapped. The level of feeling that goes into the stories about kidnapping, and the way the author makes the kidnappers feel real is really good. I think that middle school students will like this book.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Missing on Superstition Mountain by Elise Broach**

Missing on Superstition Mountain wasn't very good. I think it has a pretty random plot, and just ends abruptly. Unless there's a sequel, the ending isn't good at all. I think that the whole story-line with a kid falling down a ravine, landing on a ledge, finding skulls, and then managing to get back to their house safely. Then they go back to the ravine with research done at the local library. They have the police figure out the skulls were from sixty years ago. I feel that this whole book is very cliche. There are so many T.V shows based off of this, and books too. I think that this book is too cliche, but if you want to read it, you can.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman****

The Grimm Legacy is an okay book. It is about a store that contains magical items. They sometimes rent out the items too. I think that the whole idea of renting out a magical item, even if it is a friend, is a bit unrealistic. The store does make you take out a deposit though, like your sense of direction or something similar. I think that if you like books that combine many fairy tales into modern times, you will like this book.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

World's End by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski****

World's End is the sequel to Dormia, and is just as good. It brought back a lot of characters that seemed like they wouldn't be brought back. Take Clink, the pickpocket who help Bilblox escape from jail. He returned in this book, becoming a key part in Alfonso's adventure. Some characters were reinforced in this book as well. Kiril, one of Nartam's key components, has facts added on, like how once he starts to bleed it is hard to stop. I really liked some of the twists and turns in this book. I think anyone who enjoyed the first book will enjoy this one as well.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Close to Shore by Michael Capuzzo***

Close to Shore is about the shark attacks of 1916. They happened near New Jersey, and in a creek eleven miles inland. This happened when knowledge about sharks was almost nothing, and most statements were not tested. A few people died from the sharks, but it still provoked fear in everyone. I don't like non-fiction books, so I really wouldn't know who would like this book. If you want to read this book, you can.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Croak by Gina Damico***

Croak is about Lex. She's been acting out lately, so her parents decide it's time to send her to her uncle's farm. It turns out to be a place where reapers collect dead souls and send them into the afterlife. She hears stories of a reaper that lived long ago after seeing many deaths that nobody knows about. The reaper had very special powers, and discovered many secrets. But with people dying of an unknown cause, Lex doesn't get a break-until her uncle comes up with a plan to stop the rouge reaper (look at that alliteration). All Lex has to do is scythe her way to the death site fast enough. She manages to find the reaper, but is given the choice of a lifetime. Kill all the people who have done wrongs, or save them.

Sometimes I read the Amazon reviews just to see what people thought about it, and somebody wrote something that I hadn't even realized (here's a link, last review of the section). This book resembles Harry Potter. She points out that Lex is taken on a motorcycle with a weird man, finds out that they're different from everyone else, given an education in this subject, and even has a blond haired nemesis. Remember, this is written by someone else, so click on the link above, this review is really smart and pointed out something that I didn't even think of. I did like this book, and I am sort of excited for the sequel. I think that this book should be read by high school students. It is very inappropriate.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Trafficked by Kim Purcell***

Trafficked is about a girl from Moldova. She is sent over to the U.S and is promised to get four hundred dollars a week working as a nanny for children. But she is illegal, and is never paid for her work. She can't even leave the house. It's only when she's beaten by her employer that she manages to get the secret out that she is illegal.

This book is okay. Human trafficking is real, and very bad, but I didn't really understand this book. In the beginning of the book she is fine with her job. It doesn't really start to get to you that she's been trafficked until she starts to think that something is wrong. Also with the nanny job, I wouldn't know, but would somebody traffic a person over to be a nanny? I think that middle school students might like this book.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Starters by Lissa Price***

Starters is about Callie, a teen in a future where all middle aged people are dead. Elders (or Enders) rent out young peoples bodies to do what they can't. There are rules, but many Enders don't follow them. Callie realizes that her chip is malfunctioning, so now she is waking up while the renter is supposed to be in control of her. Follow Callie in her adventure in this dystopian series.

This book is okay. I thought it would be really good, but it really didn't catch my attention. I think if the characters were more likable, this book might have been better. Callie had a reason to be sort of withdrawn, her parents are dead, but the way they die drives me crazy. Don't spores come from plants and fungi and other stuff like that? I would like to know what plant produced the spores that are so deadly to the public. I think that middle school kids would like this book.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Dormia by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski****

Dormia is a okay book. It doesn't really seem logical, with all the sleep activities like climbing trees hundreds of feet tall. If the way the Dormians (or whatever they're called) had a more realistic power, this book might have been more believable. I think that if the concept of how the tree worked is different, I might have liked this book better as well. Also, if some of the other major characters were more defined, this book might have been a bit better. I think that if you like to read long fantasy books, this is the book for you.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse*****

Out of the Dust. It's poetry, good poetry. It is a bit messed up at times, but it stays pretty true to what actually happened during The Great Depression. I think that this book didn't feel like poetry, but is still poetry. I actually had to read this book for school (a poetry unit), but I really enjoyed it. I think that middle school students would like this book.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Elephant Run by Roland Smith****

Elephant Run is about Nick, a teen who visits his father's elephant camp. This is happening during the beginning of WWII. The Japanese invade Burma, where Nick is, taking over his father's elephant camp. Nick's  father is taken captive among other men, but Nick is stays in the Hawk's Nest, which is the family house. Can Nick get back to his father?

I really liked this book. I really like Roland Smith's type/style of writing. I like stories more about wildlife with realistic characters that people can relate with. I thought that the book sounded far-fetched (yes, it is fiction, but Roland Smith usually writes pretty realistic books). I think that middle school students would like this book.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Feed by M. T. Anderson****

Feed is about a community where people know nothing about their government. They have a small device, called a feed. It pretty much rules over life and blocks important skills like writing and reading. Titus visits the moon and finds someone who is fighting the feed. Titus immediately realizes that this is big, and stupid. He has to get to know her. She notices that Titus is the smartest of all of his friends. Can Titus help Violet?

This book is a book predicting the future. This could happen, or it might never happen. I really liked how realistic the situation is. In time, who knows what humans can produce. We could have unlocked so many things we thought were fiction. I think that this book is a bit more inappropriate than most. High school students would like this book.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Panic by Lauren Oliver*****

Panic is about Heather and Dodge. They are competing in a game called Panic that brings out fear in the bravest people. They go though insane challenges, and are both fighting for a better life. Heather, to get her sister away from her mother. Dodge, to avenge his sister losing her legs. Can these two competitors team up and beat the rest?

I really liked how both the characters were desperate enough to risk their life to better siblings. Heather put a gun to her head and pulled the trigger, all for the sixty-seven thousand dollars to get away from her mother. I think that this book has a very weird sense of desperation to it (the characters). I really like this book, and I think that high school students will too.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Vampire Stalker by Allison Van Diepen****

The Vampire Stalker is about Amy, a high-schooler who is obsessed with the same books that almost everyone is obsessed with. The stories feel so real, so real that Amy stumbles upon two of the biggest characters in the book. At first Amy thinks that the boy she has encountered is a wannabe Alexander Banks, but then he gives proof. Amy also realizes that the person who attacked her is the vampire that Alexander is hunting, Vigo Skaar. Can Amy and Alex kill Vigo?

I think if the author didn't have Mrs. Super-power librarian, this would've been a better book. Mrs. P, The librarian, studied quantum physics, and has read all the books that Alex comes from... and is an athlete. That is way too much. It drives me crazy when people do this. It's like the librarian runs the world and knows pretty much everything. I did like though, the way some of the characters grow onto you. I think that middle school kids would like this book.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly****

Revolution is a pretty good book. It is pretty interesting when the main character's key fits a lock that unlocks a diary hidden in a guitar case. The key belongs to her brother. Her dead brother. I also like how the main character is musician. I think that this builds on to the whole book. I think that middle school kids will like this book.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Breathe by Sarah Crossan*

Breathe wasn't very good. It is super unrealistic and dumb. If the Earth is airless there is no oxygen levels, or atmosphere. Looking at the Amazon description, what's the first sentence? The world has no air. That would mean no atmosphere or ability to even grow trees outside the pods. You couldn't breathe outside the pods, and there would be no weather. Here is an example of this. I think that if an author should write a book, it should be realistic. Also, in the example, every single living cell would evaporate/explode. I really don't recommend this book at all.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Life of Pi by Yann Martel*****

Life of Pi is a book/movie that everyone should know. It is fictional, not non-fiction which surprised me. The author made the story seem so convincing that I thought it was non-fiction (until I looked it up for this). What really impresses me is that this story is so far-fetched that it actually seems believable. I really like this book, and I think any adventurous person would too.