Thursday, April 27, 2017

In The Shadow Of Blackbirds By: Cat Winters

The year is 1918 and the world is at war. But back home in the US, the Spanish Influenza terrorizes civilians and spirit photographers are making a good deal of money off of the many mourners.
Mary Shelley Black wants nothing to do with the many spirit photographers. She thinks that they are a bunch of frauds that only want money. But when strange things start happening to her after the death of a loved one, she finds that there might be more to spiritualism than she originally thought.

Now Mary Shelley must set off on a journey to find out the truth that surround these strange occurrences. Along the way must be careful not say the wrong thing.

Or catch the flu.

The main thing I liked about this book was the mystery aspect. It is difficult to predict what is going to happen next.

The main thing that I didn't like was that it was very slow to begin with. I almost gave up on it a couple times.

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

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The 39 Clues: Doublecross: Mission Titanic by Jude Watson

This book is in the mystery and adventure genre. 

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Amy and Dan Cahill are no longer the heads of the Cahill family. They wanted a life without all of the stress, and they got their wish. Ian Kabra, Lucian, has know taken over at just seventeen years old. He has connections to the most important and powerful people in the world. Ian has been waiting for this for years.
And he has already screwed up.

An old member of the Cahill family has invaded the organization, calling himself the Outcast. The mysterious man has given Ian a test. Four of the world's greatest disasters are to be re-created, and Ian has to stop them. If he doesn't stop them in time, thousands of people will die. But Ian can't do this alone. Back from their vacation early, Amy and Dan have come to help.

What I like about this book is that it had a lot of humor that a lot of the other books didn't have.

I don't really have anything that I didn't like about this book.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

All Fall Down: Ally Carter

                The book I read was 310 completely useless sheets of paper. A waste of a perfectly good tree. A horror to the eyes of innocent children. This book that I read was, "All Fall Down" by Ally Carter. 
                 The reason that this book is so terrible is because it is so confusing! It doesn't explain what is going on at all and the whole time while other things are happening, you're trying to find out what the heck happened before that. The narrator of this book is one of those stupid girls who do stupid things and think that that everything will be fine no matter what. I hate books that have those types of girls. 
                 I picked up this book thinking that it would be an action book full of action and things actually happening, but it wasn't. It had one interesting part and then the rest of the book was dull. 
                The plot of the book, as far as I understand, is that all of these people live in one big area and the countries are just all connected to one line. That's all I understand. There's a small bit of romance but it is a romanceish book. The author really doesn't know how to explain their thoughts better when writing a book.

                 I give this book 1 and a half stars for attempted effort. Image result for 1 and a half stars

Little Free Library Set-Up! :)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes By: Chris Crutcher
Burned by her father Sarah has been an outcast for most of her life, Eric on the other hand has recently escaped the outcast life. Having slimmed down with swim team he has begun to integrate back into the regular world of high school. The truest of friends are slowly slipping apart when a catastrophe of massive proportions brings them back together. Sarah has suddenly become catatonic, one day she stops talking and won't move. Eric knows her father is horrible, but does he know how horrible? Sarah is petrified to the point of contemplating suicide. Eric must find a way to save her from her father's tortures and in the process find himself as a person. The only question is can he do it in time?

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes is a touching story of friendship and overcoming. All people are able to connect to some character in some way. In a way all the characters individual shortcomings and accomplishments are made in effect to the others. It is an exciting and heartfelt story that showed true emotion and emotional

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Sun Is Also a Star By: Nicola Yoon

Daniel is on track to become a doctor, just as his parents want him to be. But is that really what he wants? Daniel is a poet, he likes to look at life as if everything happens for a reason. He likes having his hair long. He believes in love... On his last day of freedom before he becomes the perfect son his parents want, he intends to blow with the wind. Let fate take him where it may, and hope it knows what it is doing.

Image from Amazon
Natasha has bigger problems than worrying about love. Besides, she doesn't even believe in it. She believes in science: the things that can be proven with cold hard facts and data. She intends to spend her day desperately trying to prevent the inevitable, not meet a cute boy who is the polar opposite of everything she believes...

Daniel and Natasha do not plan on meeting one Autumn day in New York City. But when they do they set foot on an adventure of self discovery, acceptance, and love.

The main thing I liked about this book was that it tells more than just the main character's stories. It tells how Daniel's parents came from Korea, what is going through the mind of a security card that handles Natasha's things, and evan a brief history on African American hairstyles. It shows how much is going on in just one day for so many different people that you would never be able to just see.

The main thing I didn't like about this book was that it had to end! It was so good!

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

(This book was mentioned as a book to read if you are a Hufflepuff but I'm a Slytherin and I loved it!)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Before I Fall By: Lauren Oliver

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Samantha Kingston's life was good. She had a hot boyfriend, a group of close friends, and was one of the most popular girls in school. Until one night when she went to a party, and Sam's life changed forever, or, more specifically, ended.

Then she woke up. And it was the same day.

Throughout the course of this book, Sam relives the same day seven times. With each time she is forced to redo the day, she learns something new about herself, the people around her, and how everything she does has it's own effect on the world.

The main thing I liked about this book was how it looked at human nature. Sam must change and reinvent herself to better effect the people around her.

The main thing I disliked about this book was that there were a few parts that were a bit hard to follow. It wasn't that bad in this aspect though.

Eleanor & Park By: Rainbow Rowell

image from amazon
Eleanor hates her step-father Richie. He kicked her out of the house for a year, drinks too much, and forced them to move to a dinky house in Omaha without even a bathroom door. Now Eleanor must start at a new school where her strange clothes make her an outcast. She would hate everything about Omaha, if she never met Park.

Park doesn't fit in. Though he has lived in Omaha all his life, being half-Korean makes him the odd one out. His dad thinks he's a wimp and so does his kid brother. Park can't wait to get his driver's license and get out. But one day there's a new girl on the bus, and she sits with him.

Eleanor and Park don't even start as friends, but slowly they begin to care for eachother. This beautiful love story takes place in 1980's Omaha, Nebraska and is guaranteed to bring a smile to your lips and warmth to your heart.

The main thing that I liked about this book is that it's just a genuinely happy book. Of course it still had some intensity and parts to make you tear up, but for the most part, it was very happy.

The main thing I disliked about this book was that it ended. The ending itself was also very frustrating.

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

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

What book should you read based on your Hogwarts House?

 : I came across this article while spending my time absentmindedly scrolling through Pinterest. As a Slytherin, I have enjoyed the two books that I have read from this list (Heartless and Three Dark Crowns) and look forward to reading the third. I have also read one of the Ravenclaw books (Replica) and was satisfied with it. I hope this book can help you find your next great book. And finally, remember, draco dormiens nunquam titillandus.

click here for full article

Angelfall by: Susan Ee

Product Details

The apocalypse has settled on Earth. The Angels have come and the world is taken into their deadly grip. Death and destruction reign true as humanity slowly slips into darkness. What the world needs is a hero but that's not who Penryn is, she is just a daughter of man, a human girl trying to survive. If life wasn't hard enough before the apocalypse it might as ell be hell now (literally). Her schizophrenic mother crippled her sister when they were very young. A disability like that gets you killed now-a-days. How is Penryn supposed to protect little Paige from Angels and Demons if she can't protect her from their own mother? That's one of the many questions Penryn asks herself when Paige is stolen by Angels. SHe must team up with a wingless vengeful Angel named Rafe to save her sister, and maybe just maybe the world in the process. But will she get there in time.

Angelfall is a thrilling apocalyptic novel with twist and turns at every page. An amazing cliff-hanger end accompanied by the growing hunger and suspense for what follows keeps readers on their toes awaiting the next book. The way what we know about religion and pop culture blend together to make this wondrous tale is beyond me. It's a swirling storm of family, trust, and daring. A resistance novel mixed with magic and  a moral. Truly fantastic.

Gifted by: H. A. Swain

Product Details

Throughout the book we see the government trying to dictate who the citizens are. They use special schooling and medical procedures to decide who will be a popstar, a scientist, a warehouse worker, and a big shot. Who a person naturally is and becomes isn’t allowed. Society gets to decide not the individual. That is why we see rebellions more commonly known as “brain activist”. These people are fighting for their right to think freely and be who they want to be, not who they're told to be.The whole population is conforming to one man's idea of a perfect society. In this “utopia” your own thoughts aren’t even yours. They are patented and sold by Chason Industries. Only certain select members of the elite are able to afford ASA’s that allow them to become gifted. Without these procedures you are not allowed to have a career in anything. The big shot corporate manager of Chason Industries controls all of society and this cannot continue. It’s time people stood up for themselves and showed the world that their brains aren’t just there for the taking.

This book is one of the better books I have read but lacks a certain crucial piece of a story. It has no falling action and very little conclusion. It seems that the climax is practically the ending. You have this extreme build up to a moment of pure suspense and then are just dropped right into the end. It is one of my extreme pet peeves and bothers me greatly. 3/5 stars.

The Slave Dancer: by Paula Fox

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Jesse Bollier was heading down to get some groceries for his mother... but on the way, he was kidnapped! When the canvas bag is pulled off of his head, it is revealed that he is on a ship. Purvis, a crewman, tells Jesse that he'll be playing his fife for kings and princes, but the sick reality is that he's really on a slave ship, and that he has to play to make sure the slaves don't die.

I personally liked the book. By all means, it wasn't my favorite [I was kinda forced to read it...], but it was still good. It had an interesting plot, and I actually thought it was real for a while [it isn't, it's just historical fiction].

I had a few problems with it, one being that it was kinda hard to keep up with the characters and who was who and what their motive was... seriously, how did the guy who befriended Jesse turn into a total jerk?

Either way... it was kind of confusing, but overall a good book.
I give it 3.5/5 stars.
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The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

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Jennifer E. Smith's book "The Geography of You and ME", is a fantastic book involving adventure,
action, and a riveting story of love.

The daughter of rich parents who are constantly traveling the world gets stuck in a NYC citywide blackout. Stuck in the elevator of her apartment building she meets Owen, the new superintendent's son. They have a connection filled night under the rare stars on the rooftop. Though their parents both make the move, Edinburgh to London, San Francisco, to Seattle, their connection doesn't brake. Will the two find a way to come back to each other? Only time will tell (but point zero in Paris might help too).

I would recommend this 5 star book to anyone who enjoys a good love story.

Need by: Joelle Charbonneau

This book falls into the category of realistic fiction and a bit of romance.

“No one gets something for nothing. We all should know better.”

At Wisconsin's Nottawa High School, there is a new . . . trend, you could say, going around. This is not just any "trend" though. This one can very well end with death, yet does anyone particularly care? Not really. Ask for anything that you can imagine, money, a car, a house . . . a gun. Need can get whatever you desire for a price, of course. All you have to do is complete a task and take a picture of it. Whether the task be break into someone's house or even kill someone, the task must be completed.

As this new trend rises, so does the body count.

What I liked about this book is that it gives you a lot of reasons to suspect a lot of different people so that it wasn't all that easy to figure out who was running the site.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Water for Elephants By: Sara Gruen

I was finishing my veterinary degree at Cornell when everything changed. All I wanted to do was work with my father at his animal clinic. I never planned on joining the circus. Or falling in love.
Now I am 90 years old, or 93, I'm not sure. I'm stuck in "assisted living" with a bunch of men and women that have long since lost their marbles even though they are years younger than I am. No one could ever imagine my story. Sometimes, however, that's all I can do.

The main thing I liked about this book is how it switched time periods. There was an amazing story happening in the past while in the present, there is an equally compelling story. I also liked how the author used the present to wrap up loose ends. It was much better than simply saying what happened.

The main thing I didn't like about this book was, because this is an adult novel, it was very mature in spots. Read at your own discretion.

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

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Just a Drop of Water by Kerry O'Malley Cerra

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Jake Green is struggling with every-day middle school troubles. He's annoyed that he's not the cross-country team captain, mad that a new addition to the team gets that spot, and even more angry when his old friends start welcoming the new guy who stole his spot.

Then September 11th happens, and his whol world is changed. His best friend Sam-- a Muslim American-- is suddenly distant and suspicious. His mother is paranoid and moody. His father is still traveling, even in the aftermath of the attacks. And Bobby-- the school bully-- is worse than ever. How will Jake cope in a world where everything seems stacked against him?

Though slow at first, I really liked the point of view that this books shares. Jake's post-9/11 fears and anger will really strike a chord with adult readers who remember the experience, and it will do a great job informing younger readers about the true effects of that day on average American citizens. It also gives a timely warning of what happens when we allow our choices to be tainted with prejudice and unfounded fears.

 I'd give this book a 4/5 stars!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Three Dark Crowns By: Kendare Blake

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"Three dark queens are born in a glen, sweet little triplets will never be friends.

Three dark sisters all fair to be seen,two to devour and one to be Queen."

Every generation on the Island of Fenbirn, the reigning Queen gives birth to a set of triplets. Each has a unique and powerful skill. They could be a naturalist, able to control the fiercest bear or bloom the brightest rose. They could be an elemental, with the power to bend  the elements to her will. They could be a poisoner, capable of consuming vast amounts of poison without any side effects.

After they leave their mother, the Queen's reign ends. But at the Beltane festival during their 16th year, they battle between them will begin. And only one can claim the crown.

The main thing I liked about this book was how it focused on a matriarchal society. It was fun to see the difference between the mainlanders and the islanders in this aspect.

The main thing I didn't like about this book was that it started kind of slow. Other than some minor confusion over the point of view, it was good for the most part.

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

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Replica By: Lauren Oliver

People scream from the shores towards the Haven Institute. They scream of monsters created there against God's will. They scream of aliens. The want it gone, they say. They have no idea what is really going on there. Few truly do.

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Number 24, or Lyra as she is known by her friends, is a Replica. A man made clone. She has never left the confines of Haven. But when disaster strikes, Lyra sees an opening to escape and see the outside world.

Gemma doesn't fit in anywhere. At school people laugh at her body that is marred by scars. At home her mother is always happy to take a few pills and forget her troubles and her father seems to hate her. She has never had a chance to be free. But when she hears whispers of Haven and a dark secret that her parents are trying to keep, she is determined to find the truth. Regardless of the risks.

The main thing I liked about this book was the fact that it is actually two books. Gemma and Lyra's stories are separate. You can either alternate chapters or read one at a time. However you choose, it is all one amazing story.

The main thing I did not like about this book was how much it challenged the "what makes you human" arguement. This was a little frustrating to read. Also, I am not the biggest fan of this author's writing style.

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

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Les Misérables By: Victor Hugo
France, 1789-1799. This is the period of the revolution.
During this time Jean ValJean was condemned to 5 years of hard time.  For multiple attempts at escape he ends up serving 15-20 years. He escapes around year 18 and 19. Once escaping he flees into the countryside. Only to be rejected by all he asks for help. He searches for days tired a weary he come to the house of the bishop. The Bishop shows poor Jean ValJean hospitality and kindness. The experiences Jean has change his outlook on life.

After he leaves the Bishop's house he swears to be a good man for the rest of his days. And acting upon his vow he becomes the  mayor of Montreuil-sur-mer. He is a good man who helps all people and when he sees that a women has been through great hardships in his name he is devastated. He wants to help poor Fantine and that he does he saves her from the ruthless Javert who is always tracking and pursuing Jean ValJean.  He lets her live in his home and tends to her every need. He even saves her poor child Cosette from the ruthless Therniaders. But alas at the sight of seeing Javert again kills Fantine (who never saw her child again). Jean ValJean and Cosette are sent into a world of down spinning doom. A life of hiding and a life of hope. They lead their live the best they can while running from Javert. But there can be no happiness for them. For how can they be happy when after all they are The Miserables.

Les Misérables is a wonderfully written book. It's language and imagery is astounding. The way it pulls at every heart string is truly incredible. The reader feels the pain and misery, but also the love the characters feel. Victor Hugo is a true literary genius. A quote I particularly like in this book is in the dedication it states the following; "... in other words, and with a still wider significance, so long as ignorance and poverty exist on earth, books of the nature of Les Misérables cannot fail to be of use." -Hauteville House 1862

Rebel Bully Geek Pariah by: Erin Jade Lange
This book is in the adventure genre along with romance.

REBEL: Andi, popular girl gone rogue, is now a tattooed wild thief.

BULLY: York i the most popular guy at school, but he is also the rudest person you could ever encounter especially to his brother.

GEEK: Boston, with a 4.6 GPA, is tired with his brother's torments and strives to get into Ivy League.

PARIAH: Sam is like a ghost, never to be seen, never to be noticed, until that dreadful night.

These four teenagers would die before they would be seen together, but when they all find themselves in the woods near a raging party, they will have to make an exception. To get away from the cops, they all hop into a car, that is not theirs, to make a get away. Little did they know, an "undercover" cop owns the car that they basically stole. The night of their lives begins now.

What I liked about this book was that it was humorous and very subtle with it.

There wasn't much detail when describing the surroundings, so I had to use my imagination and had to change the entire view if it didn't correlate with the book.

I rate this book a 4 out of 5.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Carve the Mark

Carve the Mark
Carve the Mark is the newest tome by Veronica Roth.  I was terribly excited to read this book- especially when I found it accidentally displayed a week early!  

This story follows the stories of Akos and Cyra- two teens in a galaxy defined by the "current" and the unique currentgifts (powers) of each person.  In the first few chapters of the novel we get a glimpse into the childhoods of each character, learning about the moments they receive their currentgifts.  Cyra's gift is defined by pain.  This pain affects not only her, but also those she interacts with- making her a tool for her tyrant brother.  Akos's gift is complementary to Cyra's, but that is a surprise I will leave for readers.  

As we jump into the present day, the story shifts to how these powers will bring Cyra and Akos together even though they are from rival nations.  It is up to them to decide if their differences are too great to overcome.  

I enjoyed this book, but not as much as I had hoped.  I don't know if I was let down by my own Divergent-loving heart and high expectations or if it was really just not amazing.  Nonetheless, I would still recommend it to others.  I give it an optimistic 4 out of 5 stars.