Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Dead by Charlie Higson*****

The Dead is about Ed, a survivor of the disease that only effects people sixteen or older. He knows everything is done for when the news announces that they're pretty much dead. He and a few other kids manage to escape their private school. They get a few kids out of church. Most of the children are followers of the Lamb, a made up religion created by one of the kids. They manage it to a museum that has been taken over by a "general." The "general" is named Jordan, and helps them many times during the journey. Ed loses many friends, most of them like family, and learns that being the hero is the hardest thing of all.

I really loved this book. It's actually pretty thick, over four-hundred fifty pages long. i might have liked it better if another kid was meant to carry on. Jake, with his background, seemed more like the perfect candidate for a main character, but I never really thought it was Ed. I know how the book shifted between people, but I really think that Jake should've survived. I think that high school students will love this thrilling tale.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick****

Ashes is pretty good. It has a pretty reasonable plot, and is believable. I think that if the author had this book in a first person story (told by one person), it would be even better. I liked the way the author didn't make the hero and his/her friends the only people that were still normal, there were other normal people, and also some of the people that got seriously effected by the EMP (electromagnetic pulse). I think that zombie-horror-sci-fi people will love this book.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Wise Young Fool by Sean Beaudoin****

Wise Young Fool is about Ritchie Sudden. He's a teenager in a band that isn't even real, until his friend decides to enter them into a competition. His friend gets a bongo drummer and a singer to join them for the contest. They are amazing, but don't win. The contest guaranteed a chance on TV, and some money. Ritchie is sent to juvie after the contest because he drives through a house. The reason: his sister.

I loved Ritchie. He is a character that many teenagers can relate to. He has his struggles, but also his high times. I really liked some of the other characters in the story as well. The author could have changed the way Ritchie disrupted the system in juvie, or the way he brought on life problems. I really think high school readers will love this.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Unstoppable by Tim Green****

Unstoppable is about a boy who is stuck in foster homes. He loves football, but has never played. When he gets a chance, his teammates call him unstoppable. Then a teammate out for revenge hits him in the knee. The doctor finds something wrong, something very wrong, when he gets the knee checked out.

This book is very good. It has a good plot, and tells some troubles of the teenage life. The boy is bullied, and also loves to fight. He is told to hold the anger back until he gets on the field. A lot of teens can probably relate to having anger towards teachers, parents, or even friends. I think that a lot of teens would like this book.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Lives We Lost by Megan Crewe**

The Lives We Lost isn't very good. It is very dull, predictable, and not very grabbing. I couldn't get into this book. I think that I would have liked this book better if the plot was more adjusted. It felt to mechanical. It is like someone is a robot traveling through the land. I think that middle school kids might like this book.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Stained by Cheryl Rainfield*****

Stained is about sixteen-year old Sarah Meadows, a teen with a port wine stain. She is kidnapped by a close friend of their family, who says that she is just a person playing the part of the victim. He has killed other girls like her with port wine stains, or more noticeable birthmarks. He tries to degrade her confidence, but Sarah never gives up, she keeps fighting, trying to find a way out. Her best friend, Nick, wants her to escape, and spends his time grieving and drawing comic strips about her. He uses some superheros that Sarah created to make the story. He also may be in love with her. Can Sarah escape the clutches of her kidnapper? Can Nick confess his true feelings?

I think that the author did a really good job with this book. Since I've read so many books, I know whether or not I'll be able to really, really enjoy a book. This is definitely one of them. It is always fast paced and continues to keep your attention for hours. It makes you emotional, and makes you think of ways Sarah could escape her kidnapper. I think if the author had put a little more detail into the kidnapper, the reason why he did it would be more clear at the beginning of the book. It would also help explain his motives, and help explain his emotions. This book has a lot of inappropriate spots, so it is definitely for high school students.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Angel Fever by L. A. Weatherly****

Angel Fever is the last book in the Angel Trilogy by L. A. Weatherly. It has many plot twisters, and things that push the characters to their breaking point. Some characters are forced to do things that they would never do. This book is really good.

I think that if this book was a bit shorter, I would have enjoyed it more. I also loved how some characters seemed to disappear in the first book, only to reappear now. It keeps the book more realistic. If new characters were introduced, I'm not sure I would've liked this book as much. I think that high school readers would love this series.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Angel Fire by L. A. Weatherly****

Angel Fire is about Willow finding another half angel. She once thought that she was the only one, but when she met Seb, it all changed. The newly formed Angel Killers decide to kill the head angels. Their plan goes terribly wrong, and friendships are broken, trusts betrayed, and the world as they knew it destroyed.

I love how the idea of a new half angle is implemented. It happens to Willow in a dream, but Seb had been looking for her almost his whole life. I think that if the author had maybe not drawn out the book (over 600 pages) so much, I would have liked it better, but it is good. I think people who like more religious-fantasy-type books would enjoy this book.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Eye of Minds by James Dashner****

The Eye of Minds is about Michael, a gamer in the world of VirtNet. He always has a good time with people who he has never met. Then a  problem occurs; it's one of the biggest terrorist threats to the VirtNet ever imagined. People can be trapped inside, and when they die in the VirtNet, they die for real. Can Michael and his friends save the VirtNet?

I think that the author did a really good job of having a catchy intro. He opened up with a situation that you have to keep reading about. At first it makes it seem like real life, but then you learn it's a video game. Then the character tells you that she can't escape. It clutches you, and won't let you go. You have to keep reading. I also liked how the author didn't make Michael be super-human in the VirtNet. In fact, Michael seemed to be the weakest out of his group of friends. I think that sci-fi lovers would really enjoy this book.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Outcasts United by Warren St. John*****

Outcasts United is a non-fiction book about a group of refugees who all love to play soccer. They all can't really play until a coach takes the refugees and creates the Fugees, the refugee's soccer team. I think that this book is very touching, and sets a very good image for kids to follow. Many times the coach or her team had an obstacle in their way, but they always surpassed it. I think that this book is a very good inspiration, and everyone should be allowed to read it.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott***

Fire & Flood is about Tella. Her brother is dying, and only she can save him. She gets an invitation to the Brimstone Bleeds, a game where the winner can get the Cure, something to cure all illness. She plays through the first two rounds, with help from some allies.

I think if the author had a different intro, I might have liked this book better. It made me almost not read it, but I'm glad I did. This book is a lot like the Hunger Games, but with little animals to help the characters along. I think that people who enjoyed the Hunger Games will love this book.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe****

The Way We Fall is a book about a community who gets sick. The government cuts them off from all outside communication, but still delivers food. Can this island community survive? I think that this book had a good beginning that made you want to keep reading. It opened with a diary/notes to a friend that wasn't even there. This made me want to keep reading, and the fact that you want to know what happens to the community. I think that this book is very good, and that middle school readers would love it.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals*****

Warriors Don't Cry is about the segregation in the town of Little Rock, Arkansas. Melba Beals is one of the students chosen to integrate Little Rock Central High School. Students, parents, even teachers disapproved, but Melba never gave up. With the help of the few decent people at the time, she made it through the whole school year, and became a hero in the end.

This memoir is amazing. It is one of, if not the, most moving books I have ever read. I think that everyone should read this book just to get a feel of what it was like in the nineteen-fifty-seven. I hope everybody realizes how big of a problem this was. I highly recommend this book to everyone.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Strictest School in the World by Howard Whitehouse***

The Strictest School in the World is very creative, but it is a bit unbelievable. The Kitty Hawk, the first real aircraft wasn't invented yet, but somehow, in the 1800 to 1900 range. Also, the birds. I think that this added suspense, but took away from the book as well. I won't spoil the birds, but there is a boy who you meet early one who is practically rubber. He can get hurt, but is indestructible. I also think that a fourteen year-old girl shouldn't be able to build a whole glider/aircraft. The tech in this book shouldn't even be around. It tells how to make an aircraft. I think that this could have been a bit more believable if she hadn't read multiple books. I think that someone with a very, very creative mind will love this book.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Now is the Time for Running by Michael Williams*****

Now is the Time for Running is about a 15-year-old African refugee (Deo) whose family is killed, all but his 25-year-old brother and perhaps his father, who he has never met. His brother, Innocent, is slightly mentally challenged (the result of the doctor's negligence when he was born), and he cannot go anywhere without his Bix-box, a tin box that holds his most cherished possessions. When Innocent is forced to run (without Deo, who is helping someone), he forgets his Bix-box and must return to a very dangerous place to get it. Deo is heartbroken when he returns to get Innocent. Deo is forced to go on without his older brother. Can Deo get across the border and find his father?

This book is amazing. It is adventurous, emotional, humorous, and educational. It is also well-written, and I liked how well-developed the characters are. I got really attached to Deo and Innocent and all of the characters. I haven't felt this sad about a book in a long time. I encourage all middle schoolers to read this book. It is definitely memorable. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Unbreakable by Kami Garcia****

Unbreakable is about Kennedy, a girl whose mother has a heart failure and dies. But then two boys come who say that her mother was killed by a spirit that a demon sent. She doesn't believe them at first, but eventually her whole house turns against her. She is now on an epic adventure against a spirit who might do anything to stop her.

I was surprised by the ending, but I generally liked the book. It used enough detail to make it feel believable, but not too much to make it feel fake. I think that it might have been better if the spirits were all more hostile, it might have added more action to the book. I think that middle school readers would love this book.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Frozen by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston*

Frozen is sort of dull. It didn't feel believable. Most fantasy books that I read I can really feel myself inside the book, as if the event is really happening. But in this book, I felt that this is more like seeing a movie that you know is fake. I really didn't like the type of way the author(s) discriminated the "freaks." The freaks didn't have gray eyes. That wasn't very believable to me either. I really didn't like this book, but maybe you will.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Final Four by Paul Volponi*****

The Final Four is about four players. Two players on each team. Each with a goal: to win the game. They have all had rough times throughout their time in college ball. Who will win? This book is very good. The detail when describing the players and their emotions is really good. I think that anybody who is watching the NCAA tournament would like this book (P.S, I think that Kentucky will win).

Saturday, April 5, 2014

No Safety in Numbers by Dayna Lorentz*****

No Safety in Numbers is about a group of kids who are stuck in a quarantined mall. They are trapped, and being hidden from the public while a rampant virus runs through the the mall, killing many. This book is very good. The whole plot of how a one of the kids finds a bomb that shuts down the mall is really good. I think that the book has a bit of a cliff-hanger at the end, and makes me wonder if there will be a second book.

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Sight by David Clement-Davies*

The Sight isn't that good. It is longer than it needs to be (over four hundred fifty pages long), and didn't feel all that interesting. It used too much space on extra details, and though those make a book better, too many is overwhelming. I think that if you're into books that are more mature than other fantasy, you'll like this book better than I did.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly*****

Angel Burn is about Willow and Alex. Alex is an Angel Killer, a group of people who have been traveling around the U.S to kill secret angels. Willow is a normal teenage girl who can see the future. She reads someones future and sees an angel in their past and future. She tries to stop the angel from hurting her classmate. That's when Alex gets a call to kill her. She is apparently an angel, but not like any he's ever seen. She's half human, half angel. Something both worlds have never seen.

This book is really good, it provides detail and didn't come up with a happy ending. Willow survived the blast, but still let thousands of angels into her own world. I think that the sequel to this book will be great, and I am really looking forward to it. I think high school students would love this book.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Beyonders: Chasing the Prophecy by Brandon Muil*****

Beyonders: Chasing the Prophecy is about Jason and Rachel. Their goal is to destroy Maldor, the evil emperor who rules over the land. They fight their way to his keep, and lose many friends along the way. But it's all worth it. They help save an empire.

This book is very good. It always has the right details, the right twists, and the right ways of putting things into context. I think that this book never even got boring, and always had an interesting plot that brought back ideas from the older books. This book is very long, but I think any middle school reader would like it.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

No Surrender Soldier by Christine Kohler*

No Surrender Soldier isn't very good. It is very, very robotic like. It felt more like a documentary than a book. The soldier, malnourished and a Japanese soldier, seems very unrealistic. He wants to stay hidden, but almost kills a dog, and steals a baseball. I think that the boy, Kiko, choosing a butcher's knife over a machete is sort of unrealistic. I don't recommend this book for anyone.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Graffiti Knight by Karen Bass*****

Graffiti Knight is about Wilm, a sixteen year old boy living in Germany right after World War II. He decides to strike back at the Soviets. He paints graffiti of a stick figure, and next to the graffiti he writes "marionette," or puppet. He is soon famous for criminal acts around the city, harassing the police and Soviets. He now has to escape the Soviet territory, an save all his friends at the same time.

This book is very good. It moved me when Wilm carried his dying sister to the hospital. I think that the whole book is amazing, and the way the author put the book together. I think that almost anyone would like this book.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

47 by Walter Mosley***

47 is about 47, a slave on a plantation. He meets a runaway slave who calls himself Tall John. Tall John says he comes from somewhere where everyone is treated equally, and also has futuristic technology. 47 doesn't believe it, and is very stubborn to accepting Tall John's beliefs. Can 47 learn how to be free, and if he can, can he save his friends?

I generally dislike historical fiction, but I love sci-fi and fantasy. These two elements in 47 do not go well together. I think that this book would be a lot more powerful if it is just historical fiction. I felt that the whole idea that Tall John was from another planet is sort of a bad idea, but the book is pretty good when it's just historical fiction. I think that middle school kids might like this book.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Eat, Brains, Love by Jeff Hart****

Eat, Brains, Love is about Jake and Amanda, two high-schoolers who turn into zombies at almost the same time. They travel across the country, growing closer together, and learning new tricks as a zombie. At the same time, a psychic, Cass is helping the government cover up their attacks and tracking them down. Can the two zombies find the cure?

This book is pretty slow to get into, but it's really good once you do. I think that the author did a good job with the plot, and that the characters really grew throughout the whole book. I think that most zombie-apocalyptic and middle school students would love this book.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Unaccompanied Minor by Hollis Gillespie***

Unaccompanied Minor is about April, a 15 year old girl who has been hopping from flight to flight with her mother's flight attendant identification. She has a horrible stepfather, and a stepmother that wants to kill her. April is caught in the hijacking of a flight, and does almost anything she can to get out. Can April save the flight?

This book is a bit boring, it only picks up when she is nearing the part with the hijacked plane. I really think the author could have done a better job with the details, and the whole plot of the story. I think middle school kids would enjoy this book.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Trash Can Days by Teddy Steinkellner****

Trash Can Days is all about a group of teens that are all connected in different ways. Jake used to be friends with Danny, who was dating his sister. Hannah, Jake's sister, is writing a blog to put people down because of what people said about her. D. Wu, Jake's "girlfriend," starts a writing club and gets a bunch of popular friends. This is a tale of a bunch of teens making their way through middle school, and learning about life.

This book is something else. I (I am in 7th grade) can totally say that what the author writes is mostly true about middle school, but some of the aspects are better. I loved the amount of detail that the author used on the characters and the gangs. I think many middle school readers would relate to this book.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Feral Curse by Cynthia Leitich Smith****

Feral Curse is all about Kayla, a werecat that reveals her secret to her boyfriend. Her boyfriend, Ben, runs off and tries to use a spell on the internet to "fix" her. He ends up being struck by lightning, but carrying a curse to each of the carnival pieces. Any were-animal that touched them gets transported to the run down marry-go-round. This leads Kayla and any were-animal that can help her on an epic adventure to help make things right.

This book is very adventurous because the animals from Feral Nights return, and are more defined. The whole idea to incorporate a new were-animal that might eventually join their group. I think that this book has a lot of opportunity for more in the series, and I'd love to see that. I would think that middle school kids would love this book.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Universe Against Alex Woods by Gavin Extence*****

The Universe Against Alex Woods is all about a kid who was hit by a meteorite. He suffers from seizures and bullying. Then he meets Mr. Peterson when he is found cowering in the back of Mr. Peterson's greenhouse. They strike up an unlikely friendship that helps both of them out. Alex, with his seizures. Mr. Peterson, with his loneliness. But this friendship doesn't last much longer as Alex helps Mr. Peterson with his life, which may be short.

This book is very weird. It has a lot of elements that aren't appropriate for children, teens, or just anyone. It's not horrible, but it can get really tense. Alex cannot see beyond logic. I think that this book is a really deep story. It has a good plot and many people might like it.