Friday, December 30, 2016


Image result for extras the book

Title: Extras
Author: Scott Westerfield
Pages: 417
Genre: Sci-Fiction, Action
Ratings: 4/5
This book is a fantastic mix of action and Sci-Fi because it takes place in a futuristic, utopian society in Japan. In this city, all currency is based on face-rank, or how famous you are. This scale ranges from #1 most famous person in the city to the one millionth most popular person in the city.

It all starts with Aya Fuse, just a small, insignificant Extra. Aya has been doing everything she can to try to become famous like her brother, Hiro. (He just so happens to be one of the most famous people in the city.) She has kicked (posted) more stories than she can count, but she’s always just been an Extra. Then she finds out about the Sly-Girls, a group of people dedicated to staying off the radar. They go against everything society has taught them and try as hard as they can to be no-bodies. Aya has caught them riding the Mag-Lev trains, (super fast transport trains) and she believes that once she kicks this story, she may just become famous, or at least she won’t be an Extra anymore. However, while infiltrating their ranks and posing as one of them, and trying to get important videos, she stumbles on something far bigger than a few girls riding on top of trains. She finds these creatures that look inhuman, and what she thinks is a “World Killer.” While riding on top of one of the trains, it takes an unexpected stop inside a mountain. Her and a fellow Sly Girl, Lai, hop off the train in search of why they were stopped. What they find is of course a mountain, but it’s hollowed out. They realize it is storing something, what they think is an enormous “World Killer” which they fear will be used to destroy cities one by one.

After a few months of working undercover, she finally gets enough shots to kick her story. With the help of her brother Hiro, they both believe that this story will sail through the roof! However, on the night of the big reveal, there is something wrong. None of their feeds are working and she can’t post her story. What ends up happening is the “inhumans” find out about the story and they can’t let her kick it. She is being followed and about to be kidnapped, when a former special circumstances agent, Tally Youngblood, who happens to be the most famous person in the world, rescues her and her friends. However, they are not in the clear yet, Tally has decided to use Aya to infiltrate the inhumans base. She disguises herself and purposely gets captured. Once she gets into their base and tries to destroy it, Aya realizes something. The inhumans aren’t out to destroy the world, they are trying to save humanity. They have hollowed out the mountains to make launch pads. They think that since humanity is using all the land on the earth, they must colonize space! Aya realizes this and manages to stop Tally, with great effort. She then re-kicks her story to show how the mountains were not city-killers, and how they were actually to help humanity.

I think the theme of this book is that “fame/popularity doesn’t make a person who they are, it’s about the way they act.” I think this is the theme because Aya ends up becoming the third most popular person in the city, but in the end, she’s still just Aya. Also, her friend Lai (a sly girl) dedicated her life to staying off the radar, but when Aya kicks her story she also becomes famous, and she realizes that she doesn’t care if she’s famous or not. She’s also still just Lai.

Some things I liked about this book werewas how there was constant action and how it was never predictable. I never would have guessed that the inhumans were trying to colonize space and not trying to destroy the earth.
Some things I didn’t like about the book werewas weird slang that took made the book feel not very smooth. For example, the author would use words such as dizzy-making, which disrupted the flow of the book.

I think this book is mostly suited for people who like futuristic books and constant action, but it is also suited for both genders.

Contributed by Ethan Naughton

Friday, December 23, 2016

From Bad to Cursed

Image result for From Bad to Cursed book

Title: From Bad to Cursed
Author: Katie Alender
Pages: 448

Rating: 4/5 stars

The book is an outstanding mixture of Mystery, Horror, and Supernatural and takes place in modern times United States. A high schooler, Alexis Warren, is your average teenager, almost. She and her family have just recovered from the possession of her sister, Kasey, by an evil spirit. But another problem comes up for Alexis, and the choices she has to make will either save her and her friends or destroy her life.

One day when Kasey comes home from school and asks Alexis to drive her to a friend’s house, Alexis is happy at first, happy that her sister finally made friends and even started a club, The Sunshine Club. But she soon finds out that the club is not as harmless as it seems. Kasey thinks she can fix the problem on her own but Alexis and her best friend, Megan, join the club to investigate and watch over Kasey. They find out what’s really going on, the girls are all of a sudden becoming beautiful and popular, and the price is their souls. Alexis and her best friend, Megan make plans to destroy Aralt, the evil spirit that is taking over the girls’ lives. They end up accidentally giving up their own souls, and with the help of Aralt become beautiful and successful. Why were they trying to destroy someone who gives them so much and asks for so little in return? It’s not until the end that Alexis realizes that it’s not only Aralt controlling her actions but herself as well. It shows how Alexis tries to fight her inner demon, literally, and leads us to the theme of the book. In the tragedy that is Alexis’s life, she’s had to make many choices. She’s had to fight herself to do what’s right instead of what’s easy, to give in. With Aralt the easiest thing to do is to give in. Why give up fame and success and beauty to stop Aralt?. So what if the next girls Aralt will choose end up succumbing to him?, iIt’s not her problem. Instead Alexis comes to her senses and tries to stop him, even if it means risking her life. That is the theme of the book, do what’s right instead of what’s easy.

I like that the book is a Supernatural book, but twisted into the life of a teenager. Alexis was a pretty normal person, with mild behavior issues. Add some spirits and possessed girls and you get an amazing story packed with action at every turn. What I wish was different is that it was at a higher reading level. I recommend this book to anyone in 7th grade or higher. Anyone who reads it will LOVE it! It won’t let you put it down so get ready to stay up all night!

Contributed by Taymae Mimouni

Friday, December 16, 2016


Author: Louis Sachar
Pages: 233
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Awards: John Newbery medal, National Book Award for Young People's Literature, Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award
Rating: 5/5 stars

Image result for holes by louis sachar   awards
The protagonist in Holes is Stanley Yelnats, he is under a curse because of his great-great grandfather, and because of this curse he is sent to a boys detention center where the kids have to dig one hole a day. The detention center is located in the desert.

Stanley is wrongly convicted of a crime and is sent to a detention center for boys. At this detention center the boys have to dig one hole a day. Stanley finds out that they are digging to find a treasure that kissing Kate Barlow (an outlaw that stole from money from different towns) buried the treasure  somewhere in the desert, and that one of the people she robbed was his great grandfather. This is where he meets this boy named Zero, and they instantly become friends because they both do not belong there. They form a bond quite quickly because they are from the same town. The kids call him Zero because he is very quiet and says zero words. But after some time, Zero runs away from camp, and inspired by Zero, Stanley runs away soon after. They soon reunite in the desert and climb a mountain to find food when they make it to the top they find onions to eat and water. They later sneak back to camp to try to find the treasure. , so they went back to hole where  they found a lipstick case with Kate Barlow's name on it buried in a hole. This is where they found the treasure, but right as they pulled it out, the head counselor caught them. After a while stuck in the hole, Zero found out that the treasure said Stanley’s name on it, and they got to go home with the treasure and the camp was shut down., Stanley and Zero split the treasure because there was a lot of it.

I think that theme is never give up. It is that because Stanley and Zero never give up trying to survive when they run away. They were going through dehydration climbing the mountain but pushed to the top. I liked the ending. I also Liked when Stanley did not fit in and was the odd man out. I also liked how where were like two parts of the story, one with him great great grandfather getting cursed and the other with Stanley. Kids/teens would like this book.

Contributed by Henry McIntosh

Friday, December 9, 2016

Title: Scorpia Rising
Author: Anthony Horowitz
Pages: 402
Genre: Action, Fiction
Awards: This author has won many awards
Rating 4/5 stars
Image result for scorpio rising book anthony horowitz

Scorpia rising is an action-packed adventure full of high speed chases and gunfights. Scorpia Rising is about a teenage spy named Alex rider who works for M16 or the British Intelligence Agency. He has worked for them on many occasions and is one of the most lethal spies ever! His father John Rider and uncle Ian Rider both worked for M16 but sadly they were K.I.A (killed in action). Alex’s main conflict is against Scorpia and their evil plans.  

Scorpia is a terrorist agency that is notorious for sabotage, corruption, blackmail, intelligence, killing, and of course blowing stuff up. Scorpia has been dogging Alex all of his life because on his first mission he foiled their plot to blackmail france and cost them millions of dollars! He has made Scorpia look like a fool on many occasions and now they are back for revenge. They lure M16 into a trap by sending out false evidence that leads to Cairo college, M16 is forced to use Alex who is trying to live a normal life by going to school and doing regular teenage stuff. They send Alex and Jack starbright (his nanny/mom) to Cairo undercover as a normal mom and son, so that Alex could go to the college and inspect the man of interest, Erik gunter who is supposedly undercover as a security guard. But one of Alex’s old enemies, Julius Grief, who was made to look exactly like him by his mad father has escaped from a maximum security prison and has teamed up with one of scorpia’s ringleader,Razim, to destroy Alex rider once and for all.

Alex rider and Jack starbright get captured and sent to a maximum security fort that doubles as Razim’s base and what Razim has planned for them nobody is ready for. Jack Starbright has an escape plan but it exactly what Razim wants and he tortures Alex by making him watch Julius Grief blow up the car that she is in and kill her. A rescue team soon storms the base and Alex rider escapes but he will never be the saame.In this book I like how it is written about a teenager so that I could relate to it, like having to go to school having friends, being on your phone etc. I also like how  it is unpredictable with twists and turns that I never saw coming! I would recommend this book to teens or pre teens and people who like action books.

Contributed by Emmanuel Martin

Friday, December 2, 2016

"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" Book Review

Image result for goblet of fire
Title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Author: J.K. Rowling
Pages: 636
Genre: fantasy and mystery because it has a lot to do with wizardry
~Scottish Arts Council Book Award 2001 

  • ~Children’s Book Award in 9–11 category 2001 Winner of the Hugo Award 
  • ~Whitaker’s Platinum Book Award 2001 

Ratings: 5/5 stars

Hogwarts makes it difficult for outsiders to harm students and staff inside. Harry Potter, a fourteen year old, faces the rigorous task of surviving the Triwizard Tournament (which he was entered in without consent) where wizards have died in before. He also has to look out for Voldemort, a powerful wizard who has been plotting to kill Harry since he was a baby.

Hermione and Ron (Harry’s best friends) help Harry conquer his fears. Hermione aids Harry before the first round of the Triwizard Tournament by spending a great deal of time giving him pointers with his plan. Ron, like Hermione, also helps him solve mysteries, keep him company, and support him. The story starts off when Harry is at his ignorant Aunt and Uncle Dursley’s house for the summer (as usual). He dreams of Voldemort planning to murder him as he jolts awake with his scar hurting. During the first task, Harry has to get through the guarding dragon to get to the golden egg. As time passes on, the second task arrives, and Harry saves Ron at the bottom of the lake. In addition, he saves Fleur’s sister because he doesn’t notice Fleur coming. This earns him extra points for expressing morals, tying him first with Cedric. As Harry overcome these barriers, he develops the courage he uses in the third task. In the third task, Cedric and Harry are transported to a graveyard, and they find Voldemort and Wormtail there. Cedric is killed by Wormtail as Harry and Voldemort duel. Spells are executed at the same time, causing the ghosts of the wizards Voldemort killed to come out and hold him off. As the ghosts hold him off, Harry quickly grabs the cup (portkey) and transfers back to Hogwarts for help.

At the end, Harry is announced as Triwizard Champion with a prize of a thousand Galleons. He is also invited to spend the summer holidays with the Weasleys. Friendships are the backbone of happiness and life. It is something that separates Harry from Voldemort (who are both orphans and speak Parseltongue). For the first half of Harry’s summer holiday, he was just counting and getting through each day with the Dursleys until he went to watch the Quidditch World Cup with Ron and Hermione. Those few days with his best friends made up for the happiness he missed. During the school season, Harry and Ron get into an argument for weeks after Ron doubts Harry and gets jealous over the attention that comes with being a chosen champion. During those weeks, Harry feels very lonely and sad, but he soon becomes joyous after the two friends clear things up. Harry’s friends complement his incomplete family.

I like that this book isn’t just fiction, but also mysterious. The plot is filled with suspense and action as Harry completes adventurous tasks, while spending his time finding out bits and bits of information that leads to the mystery behind the missing of Crouch and the culprit who entered him in the tournament. There were many nuances of each character that leads to suspicion. The book includes many morals as well. For example, the awareness of enslavement is raised as Hermione works on building equality between the house elves and wizards. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery packed with action. If you like a book that keeps you reading nonstop, you’ll love this book!

Contributed by Angela Liu

St. Louis County Library Winter Reading Club!

Warm Up with Reading this winter at the St. Louis County Library! This is a free winter reading club for all ages from December 1 through February 28th. Prizes are available for everyone who reads! Go to your local St. Louis County Library branch to sign up!

Image result for st louis county winter reading club

Friday, November 25, 2016

"Before I Fall"

Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Pages: 496
Genre: fiction, romance
Ratings: 4/5 stars
Awards: there are too many to list...check out this link for the awards' list and a movie trailer:
Image result

This book is a romance novel because firstly, this book takes place on Valentine’s Day, or as Samantha calls it, Cupid’s Day. This is also a romance novel because Samantha falls in love with the most unexpected person, Kent. The setting of this story is Thomas Jefferson High School in Connecticut. If this wasn’t set at this high school, this would’ve completely affected the resolution of this story. Samantha would’ve never have met Juliet, therefore not being able to save her. The protagonist in my book is Samantha. Samantha lived a perfect life and she had it all. She was a part of the popular group at school and had the perfect boyfriend. But obviously, none of that mattered when she was killed in a car crash. The main conflict that she faces is Samantha is stuck living the day she dies over and over. Kent is another important character besides Sam. Kent is very important because Kent falls in love with Samantha and most likely would’ve been her boyfriend if the days didn’t start over. The plot of this book is very unusual since the days start over, but the book begins with Samantha going to high school on Cupid’s day and is excited to spend the day with Robert. Then, in the rising action, Sam gets killed in a car crash and wakes up on the same day that she died. At first, she doesn’t believe that she is reliving the day that she died, she is in denial. She thinks that maybe yesterday was just a dream. The next day's, Samantha is apathetic and does reckless things, like stealing her mom’s credit card. Then Samantha tries to be a more respectful and kind person, thinking that this is what she needs to do to escape this repeating day. But one night, Samantha finds out that Juliet killed herself. So after this night, Samantha tries to prevent this from happening, in hopes that if she does this that she will be saved too. Suddenly, in the climax, everything clicks, Samantha knows that her fate has been sealed, the point of her repeating the day of her death is so she can help someone else’s life. Samantha realizes she must save Juliet. In the falling action Samantha does everything to save Juliet and make everything right. The story is finally resolved by Sam saving Juliet by pushing her out of the way of a car.

The theme of this book is to be nice to everyone because you never know what someone is going through. I chose this as the theme, because this is an ongoing message the author tries to convey. For example, Samantha and her friends were always very mean to Juliet. By them doing this, this made Juliet feel so alone, while things were also bad at home. So because of this, Juliet ended up killing herself. Another example, is that the girls have also always been mean to Anna Cartullo, they always call her names and spread rumors about her. They didn’t realize how upset it made her feel.

One thing I liked about the book is the way the author created Kent. She created Kent to as this weird, dorky guy. But the author reveals his true personality and then Samantha begins to fall for him. This ties is with the importance of the theme of this book, being nice to everyone. But the one thing I did not like was the ending. Only because I just wanted it to end with by her saving Juliet, she would wake up from a coma in a hospital. But it just ended with her officially dying to save Juliet. Despite my opinion, this shows perfectly how life really is- people can’t live forever and we don’t always get the ending we want. People who enjoy romance novels or books that make you think about life would love this book because it had an adorable love story and will make you think about what really happens in the afterlife.

Contributed by Gabby Levine

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Lovely Bones Review

Title: The Lovely Bones
Author:  Alice Sebold
Pages: 352
Genre: Mystery, Realistic Fiction, Horror
Rating:  /5 stars
**Mature content for a middle schooler

The Lovely Bones Review

The Lovely Bones  is a great fictional novel.  That takes place in the 1970’s and late 1980’s, this story of a young girl is told from her point of view in heaven.  Susie Salmon, who is already dead when you first meet her, starts to tell the story of her short life from heaven.  Heaven seems to have everything Susie would want, all the luxuries she could ask for.  Yet Susie is looking down at her home ,and her family on earth.  Susie can't let go of earth or her family.  Susie's father, who is having trouble letting go of his lost daughter, sits in a room full of bottled ships she helped build.  Her father finds out who the murderer of his daughter is, yet doesn't know what to do.  The police don't like the idea her father has and disregard it.  The family is really struggling to hold on.  Susie's sister can't accept her death and lies to herself.  While the mother thinks the only way to go about her problems is to run away from them ,and her family who everyday reminds her of the daughter she once had.  Susie's sees her little brother trying to understand and grasp the word “gone”.  While she watches her friends ,and a girl she new little about she realizes she may not be the only one, the only one “gone." One day in heaven ,when Suise does not look down on earth, instead she finds herself in a field  with many other girls around her, she realizes they are all victims of the same man who killed her.   She sees they have let go of earth ,and she wonders if she can do the same.   One day while Susie watches a girl named Ruth, she falls ,she falls from the gateway where she stood watching. Susie fell right into Ruth's body while Ruth went to heaven. They both finally get what they wanted, in the little time the have they see and do everything they couldn't do where they were.  And when that time ends and Susie returns to heaven ,she lets go of earth.  And her family is able to move on. Susie realized, letting go is sometimes easier than holding on. Her sister can now move on with her husband and baby.  Her mother now returns home to her family who will reminder of her beautiful daughter.  And her brother now understand what the word “gone” means.  And Susie can now move on from her grieving ,from her death.  My favorite quote from the book is “Don’t worry Susie ; he has a nice life.  He’s trapped in the perfect world.”  liked this quote because it ties into Susie life ,and afterlife so well, it helps her let go.  The quote helps her understand ,and be okay with letting go of earth and her family.  The things in her perfect world she can't have.  Anyone looking for a book that can make you so happy and sad at the same time will love this book.  This book has a great message sent in it.   

Contributed by: Shale Kennedy

Friday, November 11, 2016

Hunger (Gone series)

Hunger (Gone)
Title: “Hunger"
Author: Michael Grant
Pages: 608
Genre: Dystopic
Rating: 4/5 stars

Hunger Review
“Hunger” is the second book in the riveting Gone series written by Michael Grant. This book is a fantastical combination of mystery, drama, and all things sci-fi. This dystopian novel takes place in a small beach town, in southern Alabama. Perdido Beach is the perfect setting for this book because they are on this tiny peninsula, so it makes you feel like they’re really trapped within the barrier. Sam Temple, a 15 year old boy, is left to run a town full of kids. He’s the appointed mayor of the small town, and he has to find a way to stop the mutations of animals, keep the normal kids from rebelling, and make sure no one starves. Caine, on the other hand, only has one mission, and it’s to stop his twin brother, Sam. He runs the group of muties (mutants) at Coates, the elite private school for juveniles. Between his controlling temper and his fascination with the Gaiaphage (the reason they all have mutations) , he has little time to think about  ruling the other kids.

When all the food has gone to waste, Sam, asks a group of kids to ride with him up to the cabbage patch to collect more food. While they are up there, a kid called E.Z. picks up a head of cabbage and is devoured by “zekes”, which are man-eating worms. Now Sam has to worry about these creatures killing his kids  and his veggie crop. Meanwhile, back in Perdido Beach, Hunter, a mutie, has killed another kid by accident, when his main target was Zil,a normal. Now Zil has created the Human Crew, who will kill and mutilate any mutie that steps in their way. Meanwhile, Caine has woken up from his 3 month coma and is ready to destroy Sam. He takes over the power plant with Drake”Whip Hand”, Diana, and Computer Jack. While Caine is trying to break open the heavy door, a brave girl named Britney, has a gun locked and loaded for the intruders. Caine finally breaks through and Drake wrecks the girls to pieces yet, Jack keeps on working to get the power shut down in Perdido Beach. While this is happening, Edilio and Lana go to the mine to blow up the Gaiaphage. But the Gaiaphage has a different plan for her. He possess the healer and she goes and shoots Edilio and then, with some control, walks back into the mine and attempts to blow it up. Sam has gone up to the power plant to where he is met with Drake. Drake beats him to a tiny pulp and Orc shows up, a half rock, half human mutant, and kills Drake. Orc then picks up Sam and takes Caine also to the mine. Caine, Orc, and Sam come upon the mine and there they find Duck, who can suck things into oblivion. Caine and Duck go into the mine and find Lana. In order to stop the Darkness, Caine throws Duck at the Gaiaphage, which pushes it deeper into the barrier, but kills Duck in the process. Lana is snapped out of her daze and heals Sam and Edilio and then they all go home to hope to survive another day. In the cliffhanger of the book, you realize the girl that was beat by Drake, Britney, is still alive. The normals hate the muties, so they lead other kids in thinking because they are different, they are bad. Some kids still think that the muties are okay, but with all the events that are occurring, they are going to need more convincing. Sam’s friend, Quinn, is often ridiculed by the normals for being friends with muties, but he realizes that if the the normals want to kill the muties, they are not better than the mutants.

I liked the book because it was and wasn’t like The Hunger Games. I liked that it’s still about kids fending for their lives because it shows that sometimes they may seem tough on the outside, but on the inside they are all scared kids. For example, after their meet at the power plant, Sam goes home and breaks down crying because he is just a kid and he doesn’t know how to deal with it. This showed that they are all terrified of the environment they live in. Even though the book is 590 pages, you get immediately sucked into this mysterious world.(I) I would recommend this book to anyone that is 6th grade and up. If you like The Hunger Games or Divergent, you are sure to this fantastical spin on the genre.

Contributed by Elise Hillebrand

Friday, November 4, 2016

Deep and Dark and Dangerous Review

Title: Deep and Dark and Dangerous
Author: Mary Downing Hahn
Pages: 192
Genre: Mystery
Rating: 5/5 stars
Deep and Dark and Dangerous

The story is set in modern time, and takes place at Ali’s family vacation house that’s on a lake in Maine. Ali tries to ignore this mean girl named Sissy which happens at the lake house when . Ali’s Aunt Dulcie takes Ali and Emma, Ali’s little cousin, to the lake house for the summer.
At the very beginning of the book, Ali’s mom, Claire, does not want her to go out to the house with her aunt and cousin. But, after a while of begging and nagging, her mom finally gives in. One day while Emma and Ali are playing on the shore of the lake, they meet this girl named Sissy. Emma loves Sissy and does whatever she tells her to do, but on the other hand Ali hates her. Sissy is really secretive, and never talks about her backstory. Sissy talks about this girl named Teresa who drowned in the lake when Ali’s mom was a kid. In the climax of the book, Ali and Emma find out that Sissy is actually Teresa, but as a ghost. Sissy also takes Ali and Emma out on the lake on a canoe, and Emma almost drowns. Later, Dulcie tells the truth to Ali about how Teresa drowned. Dulcie, Clare, and Teresa all went out on a canoe. Dulcie through this doll off the canoe, and Teresa really wanted it, so she jumped off and went after it. When Teresa jumped off, that causes the canoe to tip. Dulcie grabbed Claire and hung on to the canoe with her, meanwhile Teresa swam for that doll and just drowned. Her bones were never found. In the very end, Sissy tells Emma and Ali where her bones were, so they told people to go down and get them and sure enough, her bones were there. They had a funeral for Sissy.
I think the theme of this book is get to know both sides of the story before you make your opinion. This is a possible theme because throughout the whole book, Sissy hated Claire and Dulcie because she thought they just left her in the lake the die. This was not true at all, Sissy only thought this because she never heard the other side of the story. Also, Dulcie got mad at Ali because Emma said Ali called her names, which wasn’t true. If Dulcie heard what Ali had to say, then she wouldn’t have got all mad.
I love this book so much because it is so suspenseful. It kept me on the edge of my seat every time I turned the page. The only thing I don't like is the way that Sissy influences Emma to do bad things. It made me really upset when Emma turned into a brat. Anyone who loves mysteries and ghost stories should definitely read this book. This book has a really good, unpredictable plot twist.

Contributed by Zach Hearst

Friday, September 23, 2016

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Title: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Author: Jenny Han
Pages: 368
Genre: YA Fiction, Teen Romance
Rating: 4/5 stars
Awards: SLJ Best Books 2014, Young Adult and
IRA Young Adults’ Choices 2015 Reading List

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is an amazingly well written book by Jenny Han. It is a mix of young adult fiction and teen romance. This book fits these genres because there are a lot of relationships and drama with boys all over the place. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before takes place in present day Virginia. It affects the plot by using technology to solve little problems and to communicate. The main conflict in the book To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is that Lara Jean is in love with 2 boys: Josh and Peter. E) Josh was Lara Jean’s first kiss in 8th grade, and she hasn’t quite seemed to get over him since then. After Lara Jean’s love letters to Peter, Josh, and a few others mysteriously get sent out, Lara Jean’s life gets turned around.

In the very beginning, Lara Jean’s sister who she tells everything to, Margot, leaves for college, leaving her broken hearted boyfriend, Josh, behind. Once she leaves, Lara Jean realizes she has had a love for Josh for a very long time, even before her sister. But when Josh tries to confront her about it, she tells a lie to Josh that she is dating Peter Kavinsky. Peter goes along with the plan to make his ex-girlfriend jealous. As the weeks go on, Peter and Lara Jean start to become very close with what they do. He takes her and her little sister to school everyday, and even go as far to kissing to get people to believe they were dating. But what they didn’t know would happen is they would start to fall for each other. So one day, Lara Jean decides that she wants to go on a class field trip with Peter to a skiing slope. When they go, they go skiing together and end up in the end, kissing in a hot tub. Everyone claims that they did it, but Lara Jean is very upset because it was not true. When her sister comes home from college for Christmas, she overhears a conversation between Josh, Peter, and Lara Jean about that night. Since Lara Jean tells her sister everything, Margot was very upset to hear that all these things happened and was never told. This was a very big deal when it happened and the whole house party that was  going on at the time. When Lara Jean explains everything to her sister, it takes her a while to forgive and forget. But in the end, Lara Jean ends up with the guys she feels she should be with.

The theme in this story is just because someone is quiet doesn’t mean that they don’t have a loud voice. For example, everyone thinks that Lara Jean is this super quiet girl who doesn’t want to date, and here she is dating the coolest guy in the school. This could also mean she can stand up for herself. For example, one day Peter doesn’t pick her up from school like normal and then Lara Jean ignored him for a week. she stood up for herself.

I really liked this book because realistic high school events happened like huge parties where everyone was drinking and there was a ton of drama. But what I didn’t like so much was the facts that her mom is dead. She doesn’t have anyone to tell all of her boy problems to or to cry to when she is just not having a good day. Plus, she has to practically take care of her whole family now that her sister is gone to college. For all you girls out there that like a nice chick-flick, this book is for you.

Contributed by Hannah Harder

Friday, September 16, 2016

Rapunzel Untangled Review

Rapunzel Untangled

Title: Rapunzel Untangled
Author:  Cindy C. Bennett
Pages: 304
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4/5 stars
Awards: Whitney Award nominee, 2013, Featured on USA Today's Happy Ever After review page, 2013 
    • “A suspenseful mix of romance, adventure, and dark arts,”...“compels readers to want to find out Rapunzel’s backstory as much as she does” (Booklist Review).

This book is a combination between adventure and romance because Rapunzel falls in love with a boy where they will both later explore the deeper meaning behind the Gothel Mansion. The book takes place in the Gothel Manor where all her adventures start. The main character, Rapunzel, has a disease called SCIDs and has been stuck in the same tower for as long as she can remember. The main conflict she faces is that she finds out Gothel isn’t her real mother. She goes through many steps trying to figure out why Gothel would even want her. The antagonist is Gothel, also known as Rapunzel’s “mother.”

Rapunzel was doing homework in her tower when she stumbled upon Facebook where she meets a guy named Fab Fane Flannigan. They start talking back and forth where they learned a lot about each other. Gothel has been going on a lot of business trips recently causing Fab to come by and bring different food and games to show Rapunzel. Rapunzel and Fab have been exploring the Mansion and going outside. After a couple of days of sneaking out together, they both go to a Halloween Party where Rapunzel gets sick. During her recovery, she overhears her mother keeping a secret away from her. Ever since that day, Fab and her have been trying to figure out the secret. Gothel finds out about Rapunzel sneaking out with Fab, and she gets really angry and decides to tell Rapunzel the secret. Rapunzel figures out that Gothel kidnapped her and was going to use her soul to bring back her dead daughter with the help of a wizard named Vedmak. For that to happen, Rapunzel would need to be healthy and they would need her long blonde hair. Turns out, Vedmak was using Gothel to get Rapunzel healthy, so he could bring back a witch from a long time ago. Vedmak creates an earthquake to try to kill Rapunzel and Fab. They both escape the mansion as it crumbles to pieces. Rapunzel ends up in the hospital where she figures out she’s not who she really is. Her name is actually Sara Rowley and her parents are divorced. Her birthday wasn’t June sixth, it was really December third. She didn’t have a place to go because her parents were practically strangers to her. Rapunzel ends up moving in with Fab and his family and they start dating.

The theme of my book is if you don’t adventure you’ll never know what nature has for you. I know this because if Rapunzel hadn’t sneaked out she would've never known that her mom was using her. She would of never been able to date Fab or known that she didn’t actually have SCIDs. I like how this story was a modern version of the original fairytale but I didn’t like how the beginning and middle were easily predictable. I also liked how the author developed a slight plot twist at the end of the story and also how she developed the characters. I recommend this story to mostly females, or anyone that loves to read romance and adventure.

Contributed by: Cecilia Ha

Friday, September 9, 2016


Image result for Shelter by coben

Title: Shelter
Author: Harlan Coben
Genre: Mystery, Action and Adventure
Pages: 320
Awards: None at the time of this review
Rating: 5/5 stars

There is always something going on, with a lot of clues popping out in each chapter. The main character, Mickey,tries to put all the clues together so he can find out what happened to his girlfriend Ashley, and if his dad is still alive. Mickey has to make many choices throughout his journey, which leads to finding out more answers. Ashley has disappeared, at the same time an odd old lady that people call “Bat Lady,”tells Mickey that his dad is alive. However it couldn't be possible, because a few months before Ashley disappeared,Mickey and his dad got into a car crash, and sadly Mickey's dad didn't survive. All of this is happening during the school year, in a town located in Newark. This is also where Bat Lady's creepy,old house sits. Everyone in town avoids that house, which looks somewhat like a dungeon. Except one day, Mickey decides to take a stroll past Bat Lady's house and that's when weird things start happening.

Ema and Spoon are two of Mickey's best friends. They help him through everything, and they all have each others backs. Mickey isn't a very popular kid at his school and neither are his best friends, but they still have a very good bond with each other. When they find out Ashley went missing and everything turns upside down, they all stick together. Mickey does everything to try to find her. Everyday clues add up, and with the help of his best friends, Mickey tries putting them all together. Eventually everything does come together, and at the end Mickey solves the case and  finds out the truth. However, all the confusion does not get resolved until you read all 3 books. This specific novel keeps you on the edge of your seat. You will always want to read more and know what's going to happen next. If you don't like that feeling, then it's not the right book for you. You would need to read everything or you would be confused later on and the book wouldn't be as good.This book is for people who like mystery and action. More for teens  than adults,but overall both boys and girls would like it. What I really liked, was how a lot of things were happening at the same time,I was never bored when I was reading this book. Shelter really brought me in, and there really isn't anything I did not like. Later in the book after Mickey talks to Bat Lady, he starts realizing that you should never give up on looking for something/someone you love. While Mickey was looking for Ashley he would not waste one second. He risked getting killed just by looking for her. Overall I definitely think this was a great book!

Contributed by: Elizabeth Fridman

Friday, September 2, 2016

Deep Zone

Title: Deep Zone
Author: Tim Green
Pages: 304
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Awards: None for this book, yet the author has won multiple awards
Rating: 4/5 stars
Image result for deep zone tim green

This story takes place in modern day, in Miami and in New York. Miami is where Troy and Ty face off for the 7 on 7 tournament. One main character in the Deep zone is Troy. Troy is a star quarterback who can predict plays before they even happen. The main conflict in this book is the dangers outside of football. Another main character in this book is Ty. Ty Is a star wide receiver and he has amazing speed. Ty and Troy never in a million years would be thought that they have so much in common. The exposition of this book is Ty and Troy are dominating other teams. The riding action would include Ty and Troy finding out that they are facing each other. The climax of the Deep Zone would be Ty and Troy finding out that they have things other than football in common. The falling action would be Ty and Troy became really good friends. The resolution of the Deep Zone is when Troy moves to new York with Ty and the wants  to play again next year. The Deep Zone had many conflicts and many lessons but the main lesson Learned was that everyone has a story. Examples like reputations and backgrounds everyone has one. I liked this book because of the football story and it shows how the game can bring you closer to people, but can also separate you from some. But I didn't like all of the things that were going on outside of football also didn't like how the characters come from different books that was kinda confusing. If you like football then this book is for you because you can relate to some things in this book.

Here is a book trailer on this book:

Contributed by: J. Edwards