Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Kalahari By: Jessica Khoury

In the midst of the vast Kalahari, Sarah Carmichael and her father, a zoologist, await the arrival of five teens. This kids are here to stay a week in Africa with the Carmichaels before returning home. Some came to photograph, some to learn, and others to simply see new places. Sarah wonders how they will get through the week being around a bunch of spoiled city kids, but when her father and friend Theo leave her with them to hunt poachers, she realizes that they might not even survive the week.

When searching for her father they come across a dangerous secret that threatens the fate of humanity; a disease that slowly turns those infected into living metal. Running from hunger, thirst, a mysterious metal lion, and the disease itself, Sarah must get the others to safety without getting caught by the creators of the disease that will do anything to cover their tracks.

The main thing I liked about this book was that the author researched the Kalahari to make her book as accurate as possible. I found it really cool that there were so many accurate facts that I never knew before. The story was also very fast paced.

The main thing I didn't like about the book was how they described the disease. The first sign of it was terrible itching which made me itch. I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn't real because I started to think I was getting infected by reading it!

Overall I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Lumberjanes: Beware the Holy Kitten

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As I've posted about before, graphic novels are one of my favorite things to read. When I saw the Lumberjanes comics at Hastings, I knew that I had to get a copy of the first few comic books!

Lumberjanes: Beware the Holy Kitten is the published collection of the first four Lumberjanes comic books. Set at a summer camp for "Hardcore Lady Types," Lumberjanes introduces the readers to an assortment of rad girls: Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley.

From the very beginning of the first chapter, it is clear that this summer camp is not your typical summer camp. Magical creatures and items pop up everywhere, and the girls find themselves in crazy and amazing situations. By using the Lumberjane's motto-- "Friendship to the max!"-- the girls find ways to conquer magical wolves, explore ancient ruins, and solve puzzling riddles. There appears to be something lurking in the forest, waiting to be discovered.

Overall, Lumberjanes has a great story. I also love the artwork that goes with it. Each of the characters is so uniquely brought to life through art and words. I'm very excited to continue reading this series and putting all of the puzzle pieces together.

I'd give Lumberjanes a 5 out of 5 stars.

Spooky!: Miss Peregrine's School for Peculiar Children

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I was on the look out for a good road trip book-- something distracting enough that I would want to read it instead of sleep or mess around on my phone on the endless hours between Missouri and South Carolina (there are 21 of these hours... if you are curious). I found exactly what I was looking for in Miss Peregrine's School for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.

Jacob Portman seems to be your typical 16 year old. He's grown up with his grandpa's fantastical tales of his childhood-- a childhood surrounded by the terror of World War Two and mysterious friends with seemingly impossible abilities-- girls that can levitate, invisible boys, and children with super-human strength.  Though Jacob slowly begins to believe that his grandpa's stories are just stories told to a young child, a frightening and tragic event leads Jacob on a journey to discover the truth of his grandfather's mysterious past.

While I really enjoyed the story, I loved the author's writing style most. He did a great job writing from the point of view of his character, and even though the story is very fictional, his writing made it all seem very real.

Overall, I'd give this book a 5 out of 5 stars. It will be interesting to see what the movie is like when it comes out later this year!

Crescendo By: Becca Fitzpatrick
I am reviewing the book Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick. It is an action packed book with a little romance. It is part of the Hush, Hush Saga.

Nora isn't sure what is going on. Is Patch cheating on her with Marcie Millar? Patch seems to be getting a little close to Marcie, but if nothing is going on, then why does Patch keep lying about the times when he is with her? That's not the only thing that's happening. Nora's father, he supposedly dead father, is speaking to her. She knows that she's not crazy; she's even seen him before, so how can he be dead? Why did he pretend to die?

What I liked about this book is that it had a lot of detail this time, and the author described all of the emotions that the characters were feeling.

There is nothing that I can think of that I don't like about this book.

The next book in this series is called Finale.

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Green Angel By: Alice Hoffman

Green can grow anything. Her garden yields the greatest plants and her vegetables are renowned. Other than her knack for growing, Green is nondescript. Not like the rest of her family who seem to shine. No one remembers Green. Then after one fateful day, Green forgets herself.
The girl who once was Green is now Ash. She inks darkness into her skin and chops off her hair. Half blind, Ash is alone in this world with nothing but her dog and a garden that won't grow. With the help of a few chance encounters can Ash transform back into Green before she completely looses herself.

The main thing I liked about this book was the sense of fantasy that runs through it. There is no blatant magic, but the story is mystical all the same. Also, the book is really short. If you aren't looking for a major commitment I suggest this book.

The main thing that I did not like about this book was that it is severely depressing. You watch the main character completely loose herself and curl up into a ball of sorrow. If you are looking for a feel good story DO NOT read this book.

Overall I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Incantation By: Alice Hoffman

The Spanish Inquisition was a very dark time in the world's history. This was a time when Muslims, healers/doctors/surgeons, and Jews were persecuted for their practices and beliefs.

When she was a child she was nicknamed Raven for her black hair, but that name doesn't feel like hers. Neither does her true name, Estrella. To her and her family she is Esther. People think her family is odd. They cross themselves differently, they don't eat pork, and they light candles every Friday. Esther never thought of this as a sign of differences, but when accusations start flying, she realizes that there is must she doesn't know about the world, or her own family.

The main thing I liked about this book was the way the author writes. I have reviewed two of her other books (Green Angel and Blackbird House) and am amazed over and over again by how she is able to incorporate a mystical feel into her books without blatant magic.

The main thing I didn't like about this book was the gruesomeness of certain parts. I was actually getting angry when telling my friend about it on the bus one day. There are lines like, 'Then the screaming really began'. Take this as fair warning. As previously stated, this book takes time during the Spanish Inquisition which was a very dark time in the history of the world.

Overall I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Red Queen Written By: Victoria Aveyard Reviewed By: Ana (Batman)

 Mare Barrow lived in a world full of silver blooded and red blooded people. The silver blooded were the elite people and were able to have extraordinary powers. The red blooded people didn't have any special powers and had to serve the silver blooded people. Mare Barrow is special though. She has red blood and magical powers. After the royal family found out about her, they take her in the palace and lie to everyone that she's a long lost silver blooded princess. With royal politics, a red rebellion, and hiding her identity, how will she end up in this New York Times bestselling book?
One thing I liked about the book was how she didn't have any REAL romantic interests. In all the other books I've read, there always seems to be a love triangle, which gets old real fast. I liked how there was no real love triangle in this book and how it's not like any of the other books I've read.

One thing I didn't like about the book was how it was a little slow in the middle. I don't want to spoil what happens, but right in the middle there wasn't really much detail (BOY THAT CHANGED QUICK). I would of liked a little more detail in the middle.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Complete Book of Collectible Cars: by Richard M. Langworth

I thought I would do something a little bit different today. This is a book that I've had for awhile now and I thought it should be reviewed. It has every car considered collectible by Blue Chip Auto Investments from 1930 to 2000. It also includes entries about the CCCA, minor makes, and the Milestone Car Society. It includes companies both domestic and foreign. The CCCA or Classic Car Club of America rates in or between years 1925 and 1946 as "classic" or not they also have vehicles that are considered that people can vote for, for more information click here. Minor makes is just a collection of small, short-lived companies. The Milestone Car Society was founded in '71 recognizing "post-war cars from '45 to '72. The cars are chosen because of styling, engineering, roadability and performance, innovation, and workmanship. This book can't really be given a rating but it is definitely worth checking out.
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Friday, March 4, 2016

Inheritance: by Christpher Paolini

Inheritance is the end of the series. Eragon spends this book finding out his true parenthood and building a relationship with Arya. A new dragon is born in this book. Eragon will follow his destiny to its end and finish the book with it. I know this is a short review but there are too many spoilers. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars because I wasn't the biggest fan of the ending.

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The Inheritance Cycle
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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Spellcaster By: Claudia Gray
Nadia is a witch. Or she would be if her mother hadn't left her before she could complete her training. Now her father decides to pack up and move out to the seaside town of Captives Sound thinking that a change of scenery will do them all good but Nadia soon discovers that Captives Sound has its share of magic. Dark magic.Nadia must find out what it is.....without revealing herself as a witch in the process.

Mateo has lived in Captives Sound all his life. He would probably be a well loved person in the town if rumors of his family's "curse" and hereditary madness didn't follow him everywhere he went. So when the odd dreams start he tries to play them off as just what they are, dreams. But when he dreams repeatedly about a beautiful girl and his dreams start coming true, he realizes that there might be some truth to the family curse after all.

 The main thing I liked about this book was that there were set rules as to what the witches could do and not due. The reader's knowledge of these rules really helped them understand what was going on.

 Honestly, I read this book like a year ago so I don't remember anything that I really disliked. The one thing I can think of was that it was gruesome at some parts but that's it.

 Overall I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Everlost-- An Awesome Beginning!

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Have you ever wondered what happens after you die? After an unfortunate car accident, teenagers Nick and Allie find out... and they aren't very happy about it.

In Everlost by Neal Shusterman, the two teens' souls are stuck in a state of "limbo" after they are stuck between life and death called Everlost. In Everlost, there are many dangers that the souls of children can face-- monsters from legends that may or may not be real, the possibility of sinking into the Earth if you stand to still, or even the fear of being stuck in Everlost forever.

Determined to find a way out, Allie begins to try out haunting living beings to get clues about how to leave Everlost. Nick begins to think that Everlost is a better place to live that the living world. And the terrifying monster only known as the "McGill" threatens them both.

Overall, Everlost is a great book with a unique view of what it's like to live in limbo. Its interesting and dynamic characters make it a fun and fast-paced read. I really enjoyed the way that it incorporates journal entries and pamphlets from those living in the world of Everlost along with the storyline. It's also part of a series-- though I haven't read past the first one! I'd give the book a 5 out of 5 stars.