Saturday, December 17, 2016

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe By: Benjamin Alire Saenz

Aristotle doesn't like boys, he never has. He feels that they are mysteries, ones that he can't solve. Most of the time he doesn't even want to be a boy. Someday he thinks he will be a man and understand the world, but how he will get there, he doesn't know. His parents never speak of his brother, he's been in prison ever since Aristotle was small. They won't speak of his brother, his father won't speak of the war, nobody talks about anything, especially Aristotle. He was born knowing how to hide his feelings, he's good at it. Until he meets Dante. Aristotle has never meet a boy like Dante. Dante isn't afraid to be who he is, and with Dante, Aristotle learns to accept himself. Aristotle doesn't understand how he feels about Dante, he doesn't understand why Dante makes him feel this way. Aristotle doesn't realize it yet, but he loves Dante, he just doesn't know why. Or how?

This has been and will always be one of my favorite books. I have never before felt such a deep and personal connection with a character. The way Aristotle grew throughout the book physically, mentally, and emotionally depicted what most kids go through during this part in their lives. How he grew from being a confused lost young boy to a strong man was inspirational. The connection him and Dante shared was beautiful. They complemented and offset each other, they helped each other grow and develop. Something I have learned from this book is that we all have a little Aristotle and a little Dante in all of us. We just need a partner to help us find it

5/5 stars.

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Forever Song By: Julie Kagawa
Alison Skemento, a fringer turned vampire with a seemingly unreachable goal. Her and her somewhat dysfunctional vampire coven are on a mission across the world to stop the psychotic vampire Sarren from releasing his mutated version of the red lung virus called requiem. She is fueled by revenge due to the death of her lover Ezekiel. He was abducted by Sarren, he was tourchered for hours before he was brutally killed. Allison heard the whole thing via demented voice recording. As she travels she keeps hearing Sarren's sick and twisted message in her mind "Sing my little bird and make it a beautiful song" followed by Zekes cries of agony. But when she finds Zeke back from the dead new surprises are in store. He is a childer of Sarren, a vampire who is controlled by their Sire. Zeke is a vampire, a blood sucking demon who shall never once again regain his innocence. Allison is a monster trying to helplessly cling to her only shred of humanity left. Allison, her Blood Brother Jackal, and her sire Kanin, this team of wayward vampires must find a way to change the fate of humanity.

Once again Julie Kagawa has thrilled her readers with a new installation of the Blood of Eden. The third and finally book is a true literary masterpiece. We see the depths of human emotion from each and every character. Love, hate, rage, desperation, and above all fear. I feel that Julie Kagawa can do no wrong when it comes to dystopian societies. She keeps her readers on the edge of there seats for all 485 pages.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Anna and the Swallow Man By: Gavriel Savit
All seven year old Anna knows on a Krakow morning is that her father has to leave for a few hours. He leaves her with a family friend.

And never returns.

Anna is left alone in 1939 Poland without anyone. She is scared and hungry and alone. That is when she meets the Swallow Man, a mysterious man who can speak to words. Something about the way that the Swallow Man can weave so many languages the way that her father could (and taught her to) gains Anna's trust. So she travels with him, learning the ways of the road, war, and meeting many people along the way.

The main thing that I liked about this book was how it has many extended metaphors that slowly dissolves into reality as Anna becomes less naive and begins to better understand the world.

The main thing that I did not like about this book was that it was very sad. This is by no means a feel good book of any sort! It also had a lot of considerably difficult vocabulary and a disappointing ending (I can't say anymore about that though.)

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

Hollow City by: Ransom Riggs

Image result for hollow city

In a world full of mystical time loops, blood sucking hollowgasts and flying ymbrynes, one group of kids dare to dream, dreams of freedom, dreams of saving their beloved Mrs. Peregrine. In this second novel of the Mrs. Peregrines home of peculiar children series, the children must embark on a dangerous quest to London in hopes to save the ymbrynes and defeat the wights once and for all. Will they be able to save Mrs. Peregrine before time is up? Will Jacob finally understand his powers? Will anyone survive? (buy it here!)

The Liberation of Gabriel King by: K.L. Going

This book falls into the category of Historical Fiction.

KL Going
Gabriel King is a wuss. He is literally scared of almost everything he encounters, and he especially doesn't
want to go to the fifth grade. Frita, his best friend, will take no more of this. She wants to be able to experience with fifth grade with her best friend. So, to solve this problem, Frita decides that they should make Gabriel more brave. Gabriel makes a list, a long list, of his fears to cross all of them off, so that he will be brave enough to go on to the fifth grade. With this, great tribulations and challenges continually come his way.

I really liked the plot and the idea of the book, but the writing just made it all the worse.

What I didn't like about this book was that it wasn't very descriptive at all, and since it is set in a different time period, there was a lot of room for mistakes for me to make.

I give this book a 2 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Image from
I'm a sucker for fun covers. It was the cover of this book-- and maybe all of the awards plastered on it-- that made me want to read it at first. It was the story and the characters that forced me to stick around.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is about two boys growing up in very different families. Ari's brother is in prison, and his dad still struggles with the things that he witnessed during the Vietnam War. Dante's obsessed with knowledge and learning, and that's probably the result of his very educated parents. Even though both boys are loaners in their own ways, when the they meet, they immediately become friends.

Shortly after they become friends, Ari and Dante are involved in a horrible accident. This accident, along with the things that Ari continues to learn about Dante and himself, could strengthen or destroy the two friends. In the end, it's a story about friendship, courage, family, and love.

Overall, I'd give this book a 5 out of 5 stars. It's vivid descriptions and heart-wrenching conflicts make it difficult to put down. Aristotle and Dante is clearly deserving of its Stonewall (for authors writing about LGBTQ topics) and Pura Belpre Awards (for Latina and Latino authors), and it certainly lets the readers read and learn from a perspective that may be very different than their own.

I would say, however, that this book would be best for more mature readers who are ready to read about the type of complex relationships and changes that can happen in the early high school years.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

All In By: Jennifer Lynn Barnes

All In falls into the romance, action, and mystery category, and it is the third book in The Naturals series.

There is a new murder, and this time, it calls for a field trip. Cassie and the team are taken to Las
Vegas for the investigation. Someone has been killing people in casinos. The person has also been tattooing a series of numbers on the victim's wrists. While Cassie doesn't want to think about it, Sloane, her teammate, has been acting awfully suspicious lately.

All victims have a series of numbers tattooed on their wrist, and they're going to need Sloane's mathematical gifts to find out what they mean. That is if Sloane is on their side.

I liked that this book a had a lot of mystery in it, but not so much that it made it confusing.

There really isn't anything that I can think of that I didn't like about this book.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

The Martian By: Andy Weir
Mark Watney is going to die.
He is alone on Mars, everyone thinks he's dead and he has a limited amount of food. Well, that's not too bad right? He can just call Earth and everything will be okay. Great plan! If he had a way to contact Earth. 
So yeah, he's gonna die.

The main thing that I liked about this book was the humor. Even though Mark is in a horrible situation, he kept making some really really funny jokes.

The main thing I did not like about this book was that some of the technical scientific parts were difficult to understand. Then again, the book was very accurate scientifically so I can't complain. Also, there is a large amount of cussing so read at your own discretion.

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