Monday, June 15, 2015

Even When You Lie to Me

Even When You Lie to Me


Reviewed By: Amanda S.
By: Jessica Alcott
Rating: Hated it!

This was a totally lame book. It was about this senior in high school that is obsessed with her new English teacher and is constantly pining over him. There is almost nothing else in the entire book besides her fantasizing about her teacher and complaining that she is fat (while doing nothing about it to change). It’s completely idiotic. She identifies herself by being fat and has no real personality or dynamic changes. At the end of the book, she ALMOST has sex with her teacher, but he decides it’s wrong and leaves the town within a week. Pure, 100% garbage that I would recommend to no one except maybe people that can somehow identify with the main character


I would recommend this to: No one



You and Me and Him

You and Me and Him


Reviewed By: Amanda S.
By: Kris Dinnison
Rating: Really liked it

This book was pretty good; not my favorite, but worth reading if you have time to spare, like a long car ride or something. It’s not really a love triangle like I thought it would be; it’s about a girl and her gay best friend that have crushes on the same new guy that comes to their school. The main character is generally likable, with a nice and loyal personality, while honestly her best friend is really irritating sometimes. Anyway, besides that, it’s a decent book about figuring out what means more to the main character: winning the heart of a flighty guy who’s afraid of commitments, or keeping a longtime friendship going with a boy that has almost always been there for her? I really only suggest this book if you’re into high school drama stuff.


I would recommend this to: Teens



Unspoken

Unspoken


Reviewed By: Amanda S.
By: Sarah Rees Brennan
Rating: It was amazing!

Imagine if you had a voice in your head. What if it spoke to you 24/7, telling you its deepest secrets, its every thought, conveying all of its emotions constantly, and reading your mind too? Would it be a comfort to you, or a menace? There is no privacy, no way to escape, you can only grin and bear it. This is Kami Glass’s problem. Ever since she was born, she has had an imaginary friend, Jared. Jared is always there for her, even when she doesn’t want him to be. Unfortunately, Kami never grew out of her little obsession. She learned to stop talking about him though, as you tend to lose friends fast when you tell them you hold full conversations in your head with an imaginary voice. Kami lives in the little town of Sorry-in-the-Vale, England. There was once a powerful family that ruled the town, the Lynburns, but they had moved away before Kami was born. Now, many years later, the Lynburns are back. The family moves back into their ancestral home, the Aurimere, which overlooks the whole town. Rosalind and Lillian Lynburn, twin sisters, return to Sorry-in-the-Vale with their sons, Ash and... Jared. Kami dismisses this as a mere coincidence; after all, Jared is a fairly common name. But her entire life is flipped upside down by a simple ride in an elevator with a stranger, the new boy in town. Soon a terrible realization is made, that this is Jared, her Jared, real and tangible, standing in front of her. And that isn’t even the worst of it. Soon, rumors are flying, and an attempt on Kami’s life is made. Secrets rule the town, magic is in the air, and so are evil intentions. This is no longer a childhood fantasy... It’s a teens nightmare. This is an interesting Gothic-style romance with a delightfully sinister touch of magic and a good dose of humor as well. If you were a fan of The Mortal Instruments or the Twilight series, or of action/adventure, this book will probably appeal to you. “Unspoken” is the first book of the Lynburn Legacy Trilogy.


I would recommend this to: Teens/YA



The Book Thief

The Book Thief


Reviewed By: Amanda S.
By: Markus Zusak
Rating: It was amazing!

“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak is a powerful, thought-provoking read. The story is mainly centered around Liesel, a strong hearted young girl living in Nazi Germany. Written from the perspective of death, the author gives a thoughtful and interesting description of her life, making this book a definite page-turner. Liesel, 9, is adopted in the beginning of the story by the Hubermann’s, shortly after the Nazis take her mother and the death her brother. Her thieving career begins at his funeral, where she finds “The Gravedigger’s Handbook” and takes it on impulse, despite not being able to read. One night, after Liesel has a particularly bad nightmare, her foster father Hans discovers the book, and decides right then that he will teach her to read. After many weeks of struggling through the book page by page, word by word, Liesel begins to develop a strong love for reading. She continues to steal various books with her partner in crime Rudy Steiner, a boy made famous in the town by the “Jesse Owens incident”. But Liesel’s happy and sheltered life will, of course, not last long. Her world is turned upside down when Max, a Jew, comes and finds shelter in their basement. Trouble is brewing between Germany and other countries, and tragedy is on the horizon... I would highly recommend this book for any teen or adult, it is full of surprises and thoughtful outlooks on life. It may appeal especially to people who enjoyed other works about the times of the Holocaust, such as “The Diary of Anne Frank” and “Night” by Elie Wiesel, or individuals who like to contemplate the subtle ironies in life.


I would recommend this to: Teens/Adults



The Strange & Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

The Strange & Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender


Reviewed By: Amanda S.
By: Leslye Walton
Rating: Really Liked It

This book was extremely unique, and I have mixed feelings to the EXTREME when it comes to reviewing it. I loved reading it; the characters were so enthralling, and the diction the author uses is incredible. Ava is a child born with wings, and why? Nobody knows. The whole book is gripping and entertaining, and was simply a joy to read. It's very hard not to give away any of it, so you'll have to read it and judge it yourself. But, *SPOIL ALERT* If you are sensitive to rape or particularly violent scenes, the last few chapters are rough, and made me went to throw the book down and never touch it again. Hence, the mixed feelings. Anyway, it's an overall decent book, and it's worth the time to read.


I would recommend this to: Teens/Adults 15+



The Tales of Beedle the Bard

The Tales of Beedle the Bard


Reviewed By: Amanda S.
By: J.K. Rowling
Rating: It was amazing!

Any die-hard Harry Potter fan will surely recognize this book, a fascinating collection of imaginative wizarding fables that was mentioned in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows". Each tale has a unique moral and is followed by a commentary by Albus Dumbledore. I've read the book at least 10 times, as it's great for reading right before bed. It contains 5 stories, including "The Tale of the Three Brothers". It's fairly short, only around 110 pages long, but it is definitely worth checking out for Gryffindors, Ravenclaws, Hufflepuffs, Slytherins, wizards, Squibs, and muggles alike.


I would recommend this to: Harry Potter fams



The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars


Reviewed By: Amanda S.
By: John Green
Rating: It was alright...

To be entirely honest, this book received a lot of hype and excitement that I just didn't really feel when I read the book. No, I am not heartless or evil; I sobbed my eyes out when it came to the tragedy at the end, but even though it was a nice love story, it didn't strike a lasting chord with me. It's basically a "Hold on to the ones you love, you never know when you're going to lose them" story, but between two kids with cancer. Let's be honest, it's fairly obvious something bad will happen. I don't mean to offend anyone, that is simply the fact. While it is a decent read and I encourage you to read it, it wasn't a personal favorite. It had it's good moments, and it's worth reading.


I would recommend this to: Teens



The Hunger Games Trilogy

The Hunger Games Trilogy


Reviewed By: Amanda S.
By: Suzanne Collins
Rating: Didn't Like It

These books had serious potential for being an amazing dystopian work literature. The concept is there, the plot is there, the action is there, and all three of these aspects were beautifully executed. Katniss Everdeen, the main character, lives in a world where children fight for life or suffer death in a brutal "game" designed to remind the citizens of the districts to keep in line with the government. It is a brilliant yet depressing subject. The one thing that these books lack is... Drum roll please... character development. The complete absence of any kind of personality or life in the characters makes these books fall flat. Ok, so, yeah, Katniss makes the ultimate sacrifice for her sister. But who wouldn't? Why do people chop this up to be the most amazing thing ever written in a book? The rest of the series is basically violence and her internal struggle of choosing a guy while being a figurehead for a revolution that was, newsflash, not started by her and bound to happen anyway. Her lack of personality and lack of ever having an independent thought besides committing suicide on national tv makes her really difficult for me to care about. Overall, the books were ok, but the characters remind me of Twilight: One dimensional and boring.


I would recommend this to: Teens, I guess



The Tale of Desperaux

The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread


Reviewed By: Amanda S.
By: Kate DiCamillo
Rating: It was amazing!

Despereaux was a mouse who was not expected to live. All the others in the litter died, and Despereaux was born with his eyes open. Named "despair" by his mother, he was immediately an outcast. He'd rather read books than eat them and listen to music than behave like a normal rodent. Then the unspeakable happens: he falls in love with a human princess. This is the story of a mouse, a princess, some soup, and a spool of thread. My grandmother used to read me this book all the time, until I got old enough to read it myself and fell in love with it all over again. It's a charming story with great narration and a few illustrations throughout. I enjoyed it as a child and I still enjoy it now, so I would suggest it to anyone who enjoys a good book.


I would recommend this to: Children, teens, and adults (maybe)



Monday, June 8, 2015

The Candy Shop War

The Candy Shop War


Reviewed By: Amanda S.
By: Brandon Mull
Rating: Really liked it

I loved this book! It’s about four friends that discover a candy shop that sells very unusual candies and confections: they can make you weightless, morph into other people, or even be invincible. But the sweet old lady that sells them may be more sour than they realize, and they must discover the secrets behind her mysterious missions before it’s too late. The characters were likable and realistic, and the book was a fun adventurous read.


I would recommend this to: Preeteens and Teens