The General

May 31st, 2012 by mctague

Review by Nate K.
Recently, I read “The General” by Robert Muchamore. This book is a sequel to his previous books, in which the main character James is a secret agent for CHERUB. CHERUB is a highly secretive spy organization which recruits highly talented kids and teenagers, training them to become spies. In this particular book, James, his sister Lauren, and eight other agents are sent off to Las Vegas, to take part in a U.S. Armed forces training drill. They arrive at a high tech compound in the desert, built to be like a very large Middle-Eastern village. They act as terrorist insurgents, fighting against the soldiers, who are trying to track them down. They use paintball guns opposed to real guns for obvious reasons. In the book, the “terrorist” leader, Kazakov, plans to take down the soldiers in two days. I will not spoil the ending; you will have to read for yourself. I liked this book, but I would only recommend it to mature teenagers, as there are some suggestive parts to the book. Overall, I give it two thumbs up.

The Mediator

May 31st, 2012 by mctague

Review by Isabel

Almost everyone has a special talent; however the fictional novel, The Mediator, by Meg Cabot, is about Savannah, a girl who can see, hear, talk to, and feel ghosts. Savannah is what is called a Mediator. She helps ghosts with their “unfinished business” in the mortal world, so that they can finally leave earth and go to heaven or hell. In this book, the characters do not seem real or believable. This is because one of the main characters is a ghost, and I do not happen to believe in ghosts. On the other hand, Savannah, along with being a mediator, is still a teenage girl with her own problems. “Now listen, I can’t go around helping ghosts all day long, I have a social life to work on you know.” (p 38) For this reason I can relate to the social, school, and family problems she faces in the story. Throughout the novel, the two main characters, Jesse and Savannah, change a lot. In the beginning of the book, both characters are out very conceded and rude to each other. However, you can clearly tell that as they start to work together and get to know the other better, they also begin to understand each other’s lives more. They realize that there is more to the other’s life than they had originally thought. You can tell from this story, which the author, Meg Cabot, most likely believes in God. She also probably believes in heaven and hell, considering that these are all topics discussed widely throughout the novel. In conclusion the book The Mediator, by Meg Cabot, is a great read and challenges ideas about the supernatural.

Decoded

May 31st, 2012 by mctague

Review by Daniel

In this book, Decoded, the subject is Jay-Z growing up in the projects in Brooklyn and his struggle of getting where he is today. This subject has increased my interest in it through helping people out who live in projects. Also how people who are from the poorest of places can come out to be something in life. With my increase of interest with this book some ways that I could help with the projects and its people is its community and the environment.  Throughout this book there were many facts that I found surprising. One fact is that I never knew how harsh and mean people could be. Also in the world what people do to others through a mistake in drug dealing. Another fact that I learned is what the real world is like, and how there are different people and places.  This book has changed my opinion of certain people in various ways. The certain people are people that live in projects. The change in my opinion is that not all people who live in the projects are drug dealers or gang members, and some of them can reach their American dream with drive.

Pretty Little Liars Series Book 8: Wanted

May 31st, 2012 by mctague

Review by Anastasia A.                            

Pretty Little Liars Series Book 8: Wanted by Sara Shepard is a great read. It would broadly be classified as fiction. Wanted, along with the rest of the books in the series include mystery and many twists to every aspect of the story line. Rosewood, Pennsylvania is the main setting of this book. Rosewood is an affluent town in the heart of Pennsylvania. The setting of this book is what helped to shape the main characters. Emily, Hannah, Aria and Spencer are four teenage girls who attend Rosewood Day High School, a private school in Rosewood, and are being stalked and harassed by an anonymous person by the name of “A.” Rosewood, being a small and quaint town, made it seem that these girls were just your average well dressed, innocent, do-good wealthy girls. But, as the author Sara Shepard is emphasizing in this book, everything is not what it seems. She is trying to show the reader that someone may not be who you think they are or, who you want them to be.  The characters have been stalked, taunted, harassed and close to being killed in this book.  Although the characters have believable lives, the things that “A” does to them aren’t believable.  I can’t relate to most of their predicaments because they’re too fictional. Although Spencer, one of the characters reminds me of myself because we put school first and try our best. Also, the character Aria reminds me of myself because we share the same interests such as, reading and writing. For example, “It isn’t our Ali,” Spencer said in a comatose voice. “It’s…the real Ali.  Our Ali was…Courtney. The girl we knew is dead.”  This shows the theme and how twisted and unrealistic the girls’ lives are. This is at a point in the story where the girls realize the girl they had been friends with was not who they thought she was. The police said she was dead, but she was right in front of them. When they thought it was her and she was truly alive, it wasn’t what it had seemed all along.  As you can see, Wanted by Sara Shepard is a great book and a wonderful read.  It’s action packed and full of mystery that keeps you wanting more!

Go Ask Alice

May 31st, 2012 by mctague

Read by Genevieve R.

“But I think when a person gets older she should be able to discuss her problems and thoughts with other people, instead of just with another part of herself as you have been to me.”

The book “Go Ask Alice” by anonymous, is a very interesting story based off of the diary of a real teenager. The subject of the diary struggles with drug abuse and finds it very hard to escape all the problems it has caused her. The author emphasizes the negative effects of drugs, and they try to warn teens of the dangers of it. They show how drugs are a big deal and can cause a lot of harm. The characters are very believable and can be related to teens today. Many teens also fight their addiction to drugs like the main character. This relates to me because the character reminds of people around me that I know who had also struggled with drugs. The main character is based off of a real person, which makes it even more believable. Many parts of the book were uncomfortable because it shows the horrible reality of drugs. It showed the outcome of what can happen and how bad it really is. I never thought about doing drugs, but the story made me realize that it was so important to avoid them. It showed how destructive they are. In conclusion, the story was very fascinating, but showed the real dangers of drugs, and it is really important to be above the influence.

I May Be Wrong But I Doubt It

May 31st, 2012 by mctague

Review by Nikola G.

“I may be wrong, but I doubt it.” The autobiography I May Be Wrong But I Doubt It presents Charles Barkley in a way that most people cannot imagine. He is known for his “I am going to say whatever I want because it is going to stir up conversation” kind of talk and surely does not disappoint. He talks on a variety of issues that many people just assume he knows nothing about and he really exposes how even though he is this tough guy on the exterior that is made to look selfish, he is really a caring man who has given away around one million dollars to charities and people around him. He signs autographs for everyone and shares his opinion with the world. He has many times been made to look foolish by the media yet he continues to voice his opinion in an attempt to help others around him. I used to look at him as just a bruising basketball player, but now I realize that there is more to what makes Charles Barkley great and why he speaks out the way he does.  The author talks about all sorts of issues, but he only covers one side of a debate. He is giving his opinion on matters such as politics, race, money, and the future. It is his book and story so his word goes above all. He always believes that he is right and knows which battles to pick because you cannot win everything you fight against.  This book has made me more interested in Charles Barkley, and more importantly, it has helped stir controversy in my head over important issues such as role models, schools, money, race, and politics. It is really an insightful book that if anything is designed to help people start thinking about what is really important and needs attention to.

Holding at Third

May 31st, 2012 by mctague

Review by Nick

Holding at Third is a fiction novel written by Linda Zinner. It is an uplifting novel that has everything in it. It puts you in the middle of Matt Bainter, a 13-year-old baseball addict’s life. He is dealing with many problems, including school, friends, and his dying brother. The way Matt deals with these problems is the main theme of the story. Persevere- to persist despite obstacles. This is exactly what Matt did. The author clearly wanted to get this message across to her readers. She faced Matt with many problems, and he never gave up. He kept trying and trying, and got out of every obstacle. The characters in this book seem very believable. The way they are characterized makes them seem very real. One example of why they seem so realistic is Matt’s thought process. When he is talking to his brother, he starts to get mad, but he thinks, “I didn’t want him to see. I wasn’t going to say anything. I’d gotten so good at not saying anything.” (128) He did what most people do, which is to keep quiet when angry because of the consequences. I cannot relate to any of the problems that characters in this book had to face. The three main problems that Matt faced were moving to a new town, a huge batting slump, and his brother fighting cancer. I have never moved or had a friend or relative fight a life-threatening disease. I do not think that any of characters resemble me, but Mat does remind me of one of my friends. This person moved to a new town and had a dad with brain cancer. The events in this book help express the authors view on the world. Matt’s struggles help show that the real world isn’t all good, and that bad things do happen to good people. In addition the ending of this story shows that life does not always have happy endings. To conclude, this was a great book, and I would recommend this to a friend.

 

Leap Day

May 31st, 2012 by mctague

Review by Katie S.
“Normally I celebrate my birthday on February 28th, but it never feels quite right.  When February 29th does roll around, it’s all the more special” Pg. 3 Josie. The novel Leap Day is about a 16 year old girl names Josie, whose birthday is on Leap Day, meaning, she only has her birthday every four years.  The whole novel takes place during her 16th birthday.  The book, Leap Day, takes place in a High School setting.  This enhances the story, because, it makes it easy for teens and people reading the story, to be able to relate to the main character, Josie. It also takes place in Florida, near Disney World.  It enhances the story, because it makes it interesting to find out about, what it’s like being in high school, and living near Disney World. It is easy to relate to for people who live there.  Josie and her friends are very believable and real characters.  They are all going to high school, similar to what it’s like going to school for us.  A few of Josie’s friends are very similar to some of my friends, the character Zoey, is very similar to someone who I know, and how she is always embarrassed about her mom being with her.   The book also switches back and forth from different people’s point of views.  Some chapters are from Josie’s point of view, others from everyone else’s point of view.  Throughout the book, Josie changes, she learns more about herself, and she thinks about what she wants for her future, and so do a lot of her friends.  She begins to notice other people points of views, other than just her own, and what their life is like for them.  In conclusion, the book Leap Day was a very good book, I enjoyed reading it.

Leap Day

The Book of Atrus

May 31st, 2012 by mctague

Review by Simon

“Perhaps the ending has not yet been written.” The Book of Atrus, written by David Wingrove, is based off of, and set as a prelude to the Myst video game franchise.  This follows the character Atrus from his birth, through his education and early life, all the way to the events preceding the pilot game, Myst. It shows him as a baby, right after his birth, a kid living with his grandmother, as a teenager learning the Art from his father, Gehn, and a young adult, with his wife, Catherine and his sons, Sirrus and Achenar. The story is set throughout this world, and many others, making up part of a multiverse of infinite possibilities called the “Terokh Jeruth”. It starts out in a desert in Arizona. Atrus is living in a cleft in the ground near a dormant volcano, with his grandmother. His father, Gehn, then comes from nowhere, after leaving him at birth and never coming back, and takes him away. He takes Atrus down through volcanic shafts to the underground cavern of D’ni, where he educates and raises Atrus for the next part of his life. Gehn teaches Atrus how to write descriptive books, which can transport one from one world to another. If the book was set anywhere else, it would have made the plot unworkable, as it relied heavily on where they were. Throughout the story, you watch Atrus transform from a boy that believes everything that he is told, to an adult that questions what he can see for himself. Although the plot is not based off of David Wingrove’s own artistic base, it is safe to assume that the plot shows that everyone is surrounded by many people, both good and evil, and no matter how alone you feel at times, there is always someone there.

Stolen

May 31st, 2012 by mctague

Review by Julia

Let’s face it, you did steal me. But you saved my life too. And somewhere in the middle, you showed me a place so different and beautiful, I can never get it out of my mind. And I can’t get you out of there either. You’re stuck in my brain like my own blood vessels.”

Stolen, by Lucy Christopher is a captivating young adult romance novel. It all started when Ty stole sixteen year old Gemma from an airport in Bangkok and brought her to the middle of nowhere. This setting completely enhanced the story. Gemma was trapped there and running away would do no good because she had nowhere to run to. Everywhere she went looked the same and there was no sign of civilization anywhere in sight. For these reasons, she was forced to stay where she was, and she did not even have the slightest chance of escaping. This unique setting helped Ty’s purpose of capturing her. Ty had been planning this for years, because he loved only Gemma. He was hoping this landscape that was cut off from the rest of the world would make her love him back. At the beginning of the story, Gemma refused to even talk to him or eat the food he made her. She did not trust him one bit, and she was afraid that he was going to kill her. Ty tried to assure her that she was safe but Gemma was in complete denial. She hated him with everything she had, and she could not believe she ever fell for him at the airport. Towards the end of the book she starts to learn more about Ty and his childhood, and begins to realize why he did what he did. She will never forgive him for what he did, but a part of her thinks he is a good guy deep inside. The first event that triggered these changes was when Ty woke up screaming in the middle of the night from a nightmare. Also, at the end of the bwhen Ty saved her she began to have a different outlook on him. One of the themes of this story is that there is more to a person than meets the eye. Also, do not judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins. The author is trying to emphasize that you cannot really know a person until you sit down and talk to them. Ty has some deep emotional problems that nobody will ever understand, and even though what he did was wrong some people cannot help but feel a tiny bit of sympathy for him. Overall, this story was a great read that will have you unsure of what to think and feel. You will see many sides of a story that you never thought were possible. I would suggest this book to all teenage girls.