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.

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Angelfall by: Susan Ee

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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

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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 whole world is changed. His best friend Sam-- a Muslim American-- is suddenly distant and suspicious as the community begins to suspect his family had something to do with the attacks. Sam's mother is paranoid and moody and suddenly seems to not trust her son. Sam's father is still traveling, even in the aftermath of the attacks. And Bobby-- the school bully-- is worse than ever. He's even starting to become physically violent. How will Jake cope in a world where everything seems stacked against him?

If the reader can stick it through the build up of the first 30 or so pages, the book definitely hooks you as the events unfold. After reading the teaser, I knew the book would be about 9/11, and I think I was just anxious to get to that part in the book-- this made the beginning feel a bit slow. Though the book is 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.