Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Spirited Away

Spirtied Away


By: Hayao Miyakaz
Reviewed by: Yuuki, 13
Rating: It was amazing!


While on the way to their new home, Chihiro, a spoiled 10-year-old girl, and her parents make the wrong turn and end up in front of an abandoned building. Her parents decide to explore the building. While exploring, Chihiro's parents are drawn to the food booths that are mysteriously placed out. As her parents stuff themselves, Chihiro wonders off to a bath house. Upon doing so, she meets a boy, Haku, who tells her that she shouldn't be here, the spirit world. With night drawing near, she runs back to her parents, but discovers that her parents are now pigs. With nowhere to go, she flees from the booths and finds that she is beginning to fade away. With Haku's help, she gets a job from Yababa, the owner of the bath house, and she is given the name Sen.

When a mysterious spirit threatens the bath house, it is all up to Sen to straighten things out. Also, when Haku returns to the bath house, bleeding and hurt, Sen takes it upon herself to help him, but will she be able to set everything back to normal?


Recommended to: hayao miazaki lovers

Eclipse

Eclipse


By: Stephenie Meyer
Reviewed by: Yuuki, 13
Rating: Really liked it


With graduation ahead, and Edward back in her life, Bella feels content with how life is going. When more mysterious killings and people going missing, Bella is again in the mist of having her life come to an end, especially with Victoria, Jame's mate, back in town, seeking revenge for the death of James. As she raises an army of new-born vampires, the Cullens and the werewolves join forces to stop her. Also, in the mist of battle, Bella finds that even though she is in love with Edward, she still has feelings for Jacob. But, who will she pick?


Recommended to: anyone who loves the twilight saga

New Moon

New Moon


By: Stephenie Meyer
Reviewed by: Yuuki, 13
Rating: Really liked it


After the incident with James, Edward feels that he can no longer be part of Bella's life. To protect her, he and his family leave Forks, but he leaves Bella heartbroken and confused. In time, Bella spends more time with Jacob and becomes friends with him. When Jacob begins to avoid her, she becomes suspicious. It isn't until she recalls of the old tribal legends and discovers that Jacob is a werewolf!

While riding a motorcycle that she and Jacob had worked on, she discovers that she is able to hear Edward's voice, warning her not to do anything dangerous. Bella, deciding that she wants to hear his voice more, goes cliff diving. She nearly drowns, but Jacob was able to get her to shore. Alice, Edward's sister, foresaw Bella jumping off the cliff. When Edward learns of this, he immediately believes that Bella is dead and rushes to the Volturi, the governing vampiric group, to try and kill himself. When Alice tells Bella of this, they quickly run off to Italy to stop Edward. Will Alice and Bella be able to stop Edward, or will they be too late?



Recommended to: all vampire and werewolf lovers

Twilight

Twilight


By: Stephenie Meyer
Reviewed by: Yuuki, 13
Rating: It was amazing!


When Bella Swan first entered Forks High, she was the talk of the school. Of course, being the new girl, she quickly makes friends. During her biology class, she is intrigued with her lab partner, Edward Cullen. To her, he is a secretive, but handsome, boy. In time, Bella begins to like Edward, and grows suspicious about him and his family. On the trip to the beach in La Push, Bella is able to convince a family friend, Jacob Black, to tell her of the local legends, and she discovers of his dark secret; the Cullens are vampires. Also, with the mysterious killings happening in Seattle, the culprit behind it being a group of vampires, Bella realizes that her life is on the line if she were to be with Edward.


Recommended to: all vampire lovers

MeruPuri Vol. 1

MeruPuri Vol. 1


By: Hino Matsuri
Reviewed by: Yuuki, 13
Rating: It was amazing!


Airi Hoshina is a regular high school freshman, who wishes on nothing but a warm married life. One day on her way to school, she drops a hand mirror, an heirloom from her ancestor. When she turns back to find it, she discovers that a little boy named Aram, who used her mirror as a portal, has it in his hand. She soon learns that this boy is no ordinary boy, but how can she stop herself from loving him, if all he does is love her back?


Recommended to: anyone who loves Hino Matsuri and romance

Matilda

Matilda


By: Roald Dahl
Reviewed by: Yuuki, 13
Rating: Really liked it


Matilda is a little girl genius, with the ability to read at the age of 3. Unfortunately, her conceited, stuck-up family pays no attention to her, thus never notices how special and talented Matilda is. When she convinces her father to let her go to school, she is placed in the classroom of Miss Honey, a young, kind and polite lady. Matilda also learns about Miss Trunchbull, a mean, nasty, and kid-hating woman. When Matilda discovers of a power that she possesses, she helps Miss Honey to get rid of Miss Trunchbull, but what can a 6-year-old do to get rid of an old hag like Miss Trunchbull?


Recommended to: anyone who enjoy magic, adventure, and little kids

Razor Girl

Razor Girl


By: Marianne Mancusi
Reviewed by: Annabelle L., 15
Rating: It was amazing!


The end of the world is here. What are YOU doing?

Meet Molly Anderson. Twenty-one years old. A razor girl. She's one lean, mean, cybernetic kicking machine. Which is practically true, given the enhancements her father installed in her. Her father believed the world was going to end. He was right.

The year is now 2036, and out of the shelterhouse Molly was in for six years. Into the a post-apocalyptic feeding zone. Even with ocular implants and razor nails- can Molly live up to her father's favorite character- from a book no less- and be a razor girl?

Then, she meets Chase Griffin, a blast from the past, but a welcome one as he helps her complete her pilgrimage, and- hopefully- save the world...

From the Others, before it is too late. In more ways than one.

I was just absorbed into the plot so easily. Ms.Mancusi gives you a preview of what is to come and then you have two parallel storylines that complement each other. Very enthralling and intriguing. The characterization itself was very well done, and with several point of views, you can experience the story. The characters themselves engage you and you feel like you're right there with them.

I heartily enjoyed the novel as well as its plot, which surprised me, considering semi-science-fiction it was, then again there was romance intergrated in the plot. Still, I think non-romance readers (guys included) can still enjoy the story. It's a definite read, but for older teens, due to some romantic scenes.



Recommended to: OLDER teens who enjoy romance, adventure, post-apocalyptic plots

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dead is the New Black

Dead is the New Black


By: Marlene Perez
Reviewed by: Yuuki, 13
Rating: It was amazing!


As Daisy Giordano stars her junior year of highschool, the mysterious death of a girl in Nightshade has the town buzzing. Her psychic family helps the chief police to solve this case, while Daisy, being "normal", can't do much to help, but she is determined to do whatever she can to help. Daisy believes the culprit is a vampire, and immediately suspects Samantha Devereaux, her old elementary friend who came to school with a "new" look. With the help of her sisters and boyfriend, and a few of her new friends, will Daisy be able to stop the culprit?


Recommended to:

Julie & Julia

Julie & Julia


Directed By: Nora Ephron
Reviewed by: awesomeVia, 15
Rating: It was amazing!


"Julia & Julia" starring Meryl Streep as Julia Child and Amy Adams as Julie Powell is a very interestingly funny movie. The movie is full of food and I suggest you watch after you eat or else you'd be hungry after it's finished.

It starts with Julia Child's road to success, starting with Paul Child (Stanley Tucci) and Julia staying in Paris for a bit and getting used to Paris' awesome food, and the Versaille-like apartment they live in. Julia is tired of having nothing to do and thinks that she loves to eat and enjoy good food, she goes to earn to cook at Le Cordon Bleu, an exclusive school for culinary arts. And then there's another story about an office worker named Julie who feels she's not getting anywhere with her current job and with her supportive husband, she starts a blog with a goal, cook all 524 dishes in "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" in 365 days, in a tiny apartment over a pizzeria, risking her own well-being, her marriage, and her cat's well-being. She claims she never gets anything done because she has ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and wants this to be the first thing she ever gets done.

The two stories are similar, one a bit older, one more modern. The two characters are similarly alike but with a wee bit of differences.

The movie is based on two true stories, one by Julia Child called "My Life in France" and one by Julie Powell called "Julie & Julia".

The movie is mostly satisfying to women and foodies. Food-wise, it has a LOT of food! This movie is guaranteed to make you hungry if you watch it on an empty stomach and especially that cake...


Recommended to: Women, housewives, foodies, fans of Julia Child, fans of Nora Ephron directed movies (Sleepless in Seattle), etc.

To Kill a Mockingbird (Movie)

To Kill a Mockingbird


Directed By: Robert Mulligan
Reviewed by: awesomeVia, 15
Rating: Really liked it


Well, I read the book and them I watched the movie. The movie is in black and white which color existed by then and I have no idea why they still used black and white.

To Kill a Mockingbird pokes fun at American education which is expressed more in the book than the movie. The movie portrayed the Tom Robinson case and Boo Radley heavily. Even though the story is mainly about the evils of life, the book does a great job of the "poking fun at American education" and the "evils of life" at the same time but the movie mainly focuses on the symbol of the mockingbird. The "it is a sin to kill a mockingbird" (which a mockingbird sings beautiful songs and to kill this bird who is harmless...)is still portrayed throughout the story as Tom Robinson and Boo Radley are the mockingbirds of this story. Also, racial prejudice of the time period is shown heavily during the courtroom scene.

Scout Finch is a very clever character because of how curious she is and how brave she also is. Atticus Finch(Gregory Peck)also teaches Scout many lessons about life and does a great job raising Scout and Jem as a single father. The actor Gregory Peck won an Oscar for Best Actor in this movie.

The movie doesn't completely cover what the book has but it is well-made and is considered one of the must-see movies of the 20th century. It has a decent plot and does cover the main points of the book by Harper Lee.


Recommended to: Anyone reading this for an English class, movie buffs

Switch

Switch


By: Carol Snow
Reviewed by: Tina R., 14
Rating: Really liked it


Claire Martin is a normal girl, except for she switches bodies, against her own will. Since she can't tell anybody about this, she just goes with the flow until she suddenly gets stuck in the beautiful body and life of Larissa, a blonde beauty queen. Now, the problem is, does Claire want her old and boring life back or would she rather stay as Larissa?


Recommended to: Teens

The Fame Monster

The Fame Monster

By: Lady GaGa
Reviewed by: Tina R., 14
Rating: It was amazing!


Lady GaGa's new album is even better and more original than the Fame, her first album. This album includes many new songs; including one that features Beyonce.


Recommended to: Everyone

Night World, Vol. 1

Night World, Vol. 1


By: L.J. Smith
Reviewed by: Yuuki, 13
Rating: It was amazing!


There's a secret that is kept from humans, and that is the Night World. The Night World is not a place, it is a secret society, where vampires, werewolves, witches, and shape-shifters. The 1st volume contains 3 stories, each about a teenage girl and her soul mate.

Secret Vampire
It's the first day of summer vacation, and Poppy learns that she is diagnosed with terminal cancer and has only a few weeks to live. James Redfern, a vampire and Poppy's kindergarten friend, is determined to save her by turning into a vampire. Poppy willingly agrees and James turns her into a vampire. In the process of Poppy's transformation, they both have to deal with Poppy's overprotective brother, Phil, and that they are falling in love with each other. That's not the only problem, now that Poppy's a vampire, and Phil's knowledge of the Night World, James has broken the Night World laws, which is that the Night People aren't suppose to love a human, and that no human should know about the Night World. The punishment is death. With death staring at them in the face, Poppy, James and Phil must do whatever it takes to save themselves.

Daughters of Darkness
When the three nieces of her next-door neighbor arrives to town, Mary-Lynettes suspicion heightens as she accidently sees them burying something in the backyard. After discovering about her next-door neighbor's death, Mary-Lynette and her brother, Mark, become friends with the three girls, Rowan, Kestrel and Jade, and they discover that they are vampires who left their homes to live like regular teens! Ash Redfern, the brother of Rowan, Kestrel and Jade, comes to take his sisters back home, he ends up falling in love with Mary-Lynette! He and his sisters, decide that they must find out who killed their aunt, with Mary-Lynette and Mark's help. As mysterious events begin to occur, Mary-Lynette suspects that the sisters have something to do with it, but is it really the vampires, or is there someone else terrorizing the town?

Spellbinder
Thea and Blaise are cousins, who are witches, and they transferred to another school, having both been expelled at the last school they attended. Thea is an animal lover, and is a natural healer. Blaise, on the other hand, enjoys using the powers of Aphrodite to toy with human boys. As they both lay eyes on Eric, a human that Thea cured when he got bitten by a snake, they both fight for his love. But when Thea discovers that she truly loves Eric, she tries to think of a solution, but accidently summons a dangerous and angry spirit, who creates chaos and killed a boy at their school. Also, Thea tells Eric about the Night World, which endangers his life. Standing accused in front of the Inner Circle, will Thea be able to make everything right again before the night is over?


Recommended to:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ripple Effect

Ripple Effect


By: Paul McCusker
Reviewed by: Lynna, 17
Rating: It was amazing!


Ripple Effect is part of a time thriller triology by Paul McCusker, and what really caught my eye was the cover and the summary at the back of the book. This is a really good novel that has gone beyond the realms of imagination. I was really hooked onto this game; not one page has thrown me into boredom. I was absolutely intrigued by the idea that this book was able to describe.

Ripple Effect is about a girl named Elizabeth, whose initial decision to run away home turned disastrous - nothing like she has planned. She has entered into "time twin's body"; some mighty coincidence happened in which she went to an alternate world in which everyone, familiar and unfamiliar, addressed her as Sara, while the real Sara has gone into her body and is a coma. Elizabeth, struggling to live a life she is not familiar with, is diagnosed with Amnesia and called insane in her world when she tries to explain that she is not Sara, but is Elizabeth. On the other world lies Sara in a coma with Elizabeth's parent sobbing besides her bedside over who they think their daughter is. Jeff, Elizabeth's best friend, and his cousin Malcom find the situation just wrong and unfitting as a puzzle, goes deeper into the situation and realizes that with this crazy theory, they need to save Elizabeth from the other world for she lives as Sara, who was a target for murder.

I really enjoyed this book. It had suspense in which you don't know who to trust as far as characters go. I want to read the rest of the triology!


Recommended to: Everyone

Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men


By: John Steinbeck
Reviewed by: awesomeVia, 15
Rating: It was alright...


The book by John Steinbeck is a sad read. At the beginning, I knew it was going to be sad and even till the ending, someone had to spoil it for me and it was sadder.

The story is about two men, named George and Lenny. Lenny is "retarded" and most of the time, holds the two, especially George back. Lenny is pretty much a little kid in an adult body because of how much he cares about rabbits and their dream farm as well as touching soft things like the mouse's fur to puppies to some mady's satin dress. Oh yes, they frequently fantasize about their dreams of owning a farm. But while working on that farm that Curley and his dad owns, they encounter Candy who helps them acheive this dream along the way and others. But something so shocking that Lenny does that later led to an unexpected ending that you have to read for yourself.

To me, it was sad. But along with the sadness, there was the lacklusterness. Some of the parts was boring. I found Lenny's character pretty funny and George being a big brother figure to him. It's an okay read though.


Recommended to: Fans of Steinbeck, anyone (because you're going to read it sooner or later)

Friday, December 11, 2009

To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird


By: Harper Lee
Reviewed by: Cindy, 15
Rating: It was amazing!


In the old Southern town of Maycomb, the Finches live comfortable lives during the Great Depression. Jem and Scout, the children of the family run around enjoying the freedom of summer when they can try to reveal the legendary Boo Radley. Yet, when their father, Atticus receives a case to defend a black man, they must pause in their fun and grow up.

I once again must criticize myself for judging a book by its cover and thank my high school for making me read it.

I don't tend to read many books like To Kill a Mockingbird [henceforth, to be referred to as Mockingbird]. The main reason being that I enjoy plots that gradually give us background story. Mockingbird spends a good part of the story just giving us a general view of the characters and the town. Mrs. Lee does this in a very relaxed way. She doesn't try to rush even though the book takes place over a long period of time and, somehow, she makes sure you never get bored of her characters.

Mockingbird is told through the eyes of Scout, formally known as Jean Louise, a young tom boyish girl who loves to read. She, like most young people, asks a lot of questions but they help clarify the story while adding a little more depth. She's realistic and can be quite a lovable character even if she is prone to violence. The whole cast is actually very easy to connect with. The development of the characters is natural and enjoyable.

The tension starts building about a third into the actual story. To fully understand Mockingbird, you have to put into consideration the biases of the time. There is also a certain way the characters speak that can confuse some if not read carefully.
The writing style is informal but corresponds well with how a little girl would think and I think that is one of my favorites things about this book. It doesn't feel cliché or hurried.

I will say that I absolutely loved the ending. Its absolutely heartwarming and I hope this classic is enjoyed for years to come.


Recommended to: 13+

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Platinum Garden, Vol. 4

Platinum Garden, Vol. 4


Directed By: Maki Fujita
Reviewed by: Shelby, 16
Rating: Really liked it


it kept you reading! it wasent boring or to shallow. it was funny, but very dramatic at times


Recommended to: teens btween 14 &17

Monday, December 7, 2009

New Moon (Movie)

The Twilight Saga: New Moon


Directed By: Chris Weitz
Reviewed by: Lizzie, 17
Rating: Hated it!


This follows the second chapter of Edward and Bella's weird journey.

Oh my, what's worse, Twilight or New Moon? Well, move aside Twlight, New Moon is now replaces you in that department. Okay, YES it was far better quality, than part one. It wasn't so blue! Secondly, I thought it resembled the book...It's been long since I read it, so I can't really say if it was little or a lot. ANYWAY, moving on.

In the book, we clearly see a more annoying Bella than part one. I think the movie, captured that annoyance. First off, I'm going to write this review, as if it was not based on a book. To be more fair, hehe. Let's start, shall we?

Okay, so what made me twitch, was the fact that Bella did crazy things, just to see...'Edward'? Okay, so sure you can be all heartbroken (so expected), but to risk your life for a sparkly dude? NO! How pathetic. It's love? No 'doll. It's called Obession. Oh I lol'ed when Bella was screaming in her sleep. She sounded like a pig squealing!

Eh, as for Jacob....I don't care for him. The wolf pack was amusing, the animation was good...but it isn't enough to say, "OHMYOHMYOHMYOHMY ITS SO AWESOME!111" Twilight is Twilight, people. Exepect it to have such flaws, that are not forgivable. I don't see the hype of this, at all.


Recommended to: Only Twlight fans would read this...'stuff.'

The Van Alen Legacy

The Van Alen Legacy


By: Melissa De La Cruz
Reviewed by: gothiclolitamaiden, 16
Rating: It was alright...


“Once left to live the glamorous life in New York City, the Blue Bloods--an ancient group of vampires--now find themselves in an epic battle for survival following the stunning revelation of a young socialite's true identity and the growing threat of the sinister Silver Bloods.”

Let’s start with the positive. The Van Alen Legacy was probably the most exciting book in the series thus far, fast-paced and intriguing, and there was some (key word: some) character development. Melissa De La Cruz’s writing has improved since the first book, in my opinion, and fashion geeks will love her descriptions of the characters’ various outfits. Her sense of humor is mostly absent in this book, but this is not a total loss since the tone of the book is very serious in comparison to the rest in the series so far.

Now that I’ve stated the positive, I’ve got to talk about the negative. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m starting to get really confused. There is so much betrayal and scheming going on in this series, and it’s interesting, but I can barely keep track of it all. I’ve seriously considered going back and reading all of the books to try to make sense of the plot (which is steadily growing more garbled by the chapter), but I’ve got way too much on my To-Read list right now. There are so many characters, some of whom are double agents, and it is starting to bamboozle me. Added to all of this double-crossing is all the romantic entanglement, and don’t get me started on that.

The characters, though there has been a bit of development in this book, are still rather one-dimensional. We do see Mimi’s other side (won’t spoil too much), but everyone else is kind of boring. And the fact that all of the young protagonists are beautiful, rich, athletic AND smart is beginning to bug me.

The whole vampires-are-fallen-angels-who-are-constantly-reincarnated thing is beginning to be a bit ridiculous as well. I don’t mind authors messing with history a bit, and mythological references are great, but this is getting just a bit hard to believe (even for a fantasy/romance/vampire novel). I mean, wouldn’t someone eventually realize that half of the world’s leading politicians, businessmen and socialites were vampires?

Maybe I’m just nitpicking way too much, but this series is certainly not the pinnacle of vampire fiction. It stands out in a sea of cruddy Twilight ripoffs because of its original (relatively, even though the word “vampire” is thoroughly unoriginal these days) premise and its little quirks, but more thought-provoking fare can be found. It’s a weak little light in the darkness of the dying modern vampire genre, but a stronger light is needed to salvage the genre’s reputation. Come on, Anne Rice! Save us all from impending doom!


Recommended to: 14+ Mostly girls, but guys can enjoy it too, anyone who likes stories about vampires or glamorous people.

Pendragon: The Merchant of Death

Pendragon: The Merchant of Death


By: D.J. MacHale
Reviewed by: Daniel, 14
Rating: It was amazing!


Amazing! The perfect mix of suspense, action, and adventure! The Best book I've ever read. Giving a little more information about being a traveler in each book while still keeping you on the edge of your seat, wanting to know what happens next. I would recommend it to anyone who likes sci-fi or fiction.


Recommended to: Teens and Adults

The Ultimate Gift

The Ultimate Gift


By: Jim Stovall
Reviewed by: Tracy L., 14
Rating: Really liked it


The Ultmate Gift was about a selfish young man named Jason Stevens. His great uncle died, leaving all his relatives inheritances except him. However the will said that during the next 12 months, he would endure 12 monthly tasks, and if at the end, he was still doing them, he would get "The Ultimate Gift." During the next year, he learned the Gift of Work, Money, Friends, Learning, Love, A Day, Laughter, Dreams, Gratitude, Family, and Problems. At the end, he succeeds, but you have to read to find out the gift.

I liked this book because it shows that if you put your mind to something, you can accomplish it, and hard work pays off.


Recommended to: Anyone

Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry


By: Mildred .D. Taylor
Reviewed by: Sarah, 13
Rating: It was alright...


Annotation:

An African-American family living in Mississippi during the Depression of the 1930s is faced with prejudice and discrimination which its children do not understand.


Recommended to:

Of Mice and Men

Of Mice and Men


By: John Steinbeck
Reviewed by: Annabelle L., 15
Rating: Really liked it


required short novel for sophomores, I have to say, I might not be fond of reading "Old Western" times, this story enticed me- not with Steinbeck's usual lengthy descriptions of setting and all.

Lennie Small and George Milton are two guys who are traveling workers in the Midwest. When they show up to a small ranch, everything starts unraveling. Their past, their future, their present- their dream.

In the end, Steinbeck brings everything full circle from his symbolism and descriptions and settings- all wrapped up in a tiny booklet.

The thing I liked most from this book was the characterization. Not only could you relate to certain aspect of characters, but you could really feel like you were a part of their story. You were there. Somehow, it just clicks.

I hope to all who read, enjoy the book. :)


Recommended to: anyone who can get through longwinded descriptives and symbolism of Steinbeck's and high school sophomores (though... it's required anyway :D)

Confessions of a Shopaholic

Confessions of a Shopaholic


By: Sophie Kinsella
Reviewed by: awesomeVia, 15
Rating: Really liked it


The reason why I liked the story is because I can sort of relate to it. Personally, I like to shop too but not in the way of Becky Bloomwood.

*Spoiler* Starts off, Rebecca (Becky) Bloomwood is a lady who lives in a flat in London with her friend Suze. She has this problem with her urge to buy something, her shopaholicism. On the other hand, she is unhappy with her job at a gardening magazine because she thinks the pay is not good enough. While she wants to work for a fashion magazine, she ends up working at a finance magazine instead. Then, working at the finance magazine, she is not happy and the pay is still not good enough. Her boss at the magazine, Luke Brandon, then catches her eye. She connects with him but he doesn't know that she has this problem with controlling her money. Meanwhile, she tries everything to get herself out of debt, soon, either by making more money or saving more money. Also, she has this dreaded debt collector named Derek Smeath following her around like a stalker and eventually...revealing all. And then she goes on a talk show and becomes successful.

The book is interesting and the character, Becky, is funny at times. Read it.


Recommended to: Fellow Shopaholics, Fashionistas, looking for a light read, humorous ones, girls, etc.

Vampire Knight, Vol. 1

Vampire Knight, Vol. 1


By: Matsuri Hino
Reviewed by: Yuuki, 13
Rating: It was amazing!


I am a HUGE fan of Vampire Knights, and I only have one thing say, "Read it!!!" Oh! And one more thing, KANAME IS MINE!!!!

10 years ago, Cross Yuki was attacked by a Level E vampire, and was saved by another vampire, Kuran Kaname. Ever since then, Yuki has truly looked up to him, her savior. Having no memories of any events before that time, Kaname takes her to a family friend, and ex-vampire hunter, Cross Kaien, who takes her in as his daughter.
Now, Yuki and her adoptive brother, Kiryu Zero, whose parents were killed by a vampire 4 years ago, are students of a boarding school, Cross Academy, which is made up of two classes, the Day Class and the Night Class. Yuki and Zero are also prefects, protecting the school's secret, which is that the Night Class is made up entirely of vampires, while the Day Class is made up of humans.


Recommended to: any vampire lovers!!!

Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix


By: J.K Rowling
Reviewed by: Yuuki, 13
Rating: Really liked it


Harry is now in his 5th year at Hogwarts, but trouble is never too far away. But with all that has happened, Harry has a lot of things on his plate, such as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, the never-ending articles in the Daily Prophet about him and Professor Dumbledore saying that Dark Lord has returned, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, and the weird visions he's had of a locked door in the Ministry of Magic.

This book was the best! It had me laughing, crying, and even at the edge of my seat! Please read it!


Recommended to: Any Harry Potter lovers

Nothing Like You

Nothing Like You


By: Lauren Stransnick
Reviewed by: Tina R., 14
Rating: Really liked it


When Holly loses her mother six months ago, she is desperate for anything; just something to keep her mind off of it. Holly had no clue that one night and one secret could cause so much guilt, and her friendships with her two best friends, and "so-called boyfriend" to come to an end. This novel doesn't exactly have the best ending, but a great lesson can be learned.


Recommended to: Teens

New Moon (Movie)

The Twilight Saga: New Moon


Directed By: Chris Weitz
Reviewed by: Tina R., 14
Rating: It was amazing!


WOW! New Moon was great! it really followed the book well. And for all the Twilight fans that were dissapointed with Twilight, I can assure you that New Moon will definitely meet your expectations. The graphics were great, the actors played their parts well, and the settings were awesome. I attended the premiere, and it was absolutely worth it!


Recommended to: Everyone!

The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret Life of Bees


By: Sue Monk Kidd
Reviewed by: Tina R., 14
Rating: It was amazing!


During the summer of 1964, a young abused girl is given a welcoming home by three African American beekeepers after she escapes her father, T-Ray. Here, she discovers many hidden secrets about her mother, whose life was taken by her very own daughter. This is a great book that describes old racism, love, and family in ways that will really touch the reader. (The movie is also great! it stars Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson, Queen Latifa, and Alicia Keyes.)



Recommended to: Everyone

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Moon (The Movie)

The Twilight Saga: New Moon


Directed By: Chris Weitz
Reviewed by: Lisa M., 15
Rating: It was amazing!


OMG! New Moon was absolutely amazing! Let me just say that the novels were definitely in much more detailed so before hand, if you haven't read the novles read those first, than watch the movie. But though some may say that New Moon-the movie was a let down from here to there, it was still GREAT! (:

The cast of the New Moon such as Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Launter, etc. worked very hard to please their fans of Twilight(: they did quite a very good job. To those who love twilight-which includes me(: keep up the support;D i am absolutely grateful that Stephenie Meyer was able to come up with such a unique story and also the director Catherine Hardwicke who put time into the movies and to make twilight come to life(:


Recommended to: For anyone out there who likes to read about love, some drama, and vampires;&:werewolves. And also for those who may be going through a hard/rought time, this is a book for you to explore your imagination and for your comfort whenever things are so well(:

New Moon (The Movie)

The Twilight Saga: New Moon


Directed By: Chris Weitz
Reviewed by: awesomeVia, 15
Rating: It was alright...


The movie that Twilight fans have been waiting for a year to see. Well...it wasn't worth waiting a year for because it was so...predictable.

The movie kind of drags a bit, and getting to the climax took forever. I did like the movie though and it was so much better than Twilight. The special effects were way better than Twilight. The ending was weird and should not happen until Eclipse. They got it mixed up with Eclipse. The movie was okay. Best to see it with Twilight fanatics.


Recommended to: Twilight die-hard fans, girls, etc.

Murder at the Vicarage

Murder at the Vicarage


By: Agatha Christie
Reviewed by: Kayleigh, 16
Rating: It was amazing!


This mystery comes straight out of the Miss Marple series by Agatha Christie with full force. Told by the main character, Len Clement, St. Mary Mead’s vicar, the reader is walked through a murder mystery with many Peculiar Things and things you won’t see coming. Of course, Miss Marple is in the heart of this mystery and always seems to be one step ahead of Vicar Clement, Inspector Slack, and Colonel Melchett.

The basis of this story is trying to find who murdered Colonel Protheroe. Once someone turns himself or herself in, Miss Marple is right there telling authorities that they aren’t the murderer and that’s where the story begins. Unexpected relationships, crooked thieves and clever setups are all apart of the fun and thrilling story line.


Recommended to: mystery lovers everywhere

New Moon (The Movie)

New Moon


Directed By: Chris Weitz
Reviewed by: Kamille, 14
Rating: It was amazing!


From a teenage girl's perspective, this was an out of this world movie. Of course I might be biased, seeing as I was a bit distracted by the attractive guys, but I think this movie was a real improvement. The actors have really stepped up since the first movie and made this story even better. Kristen Stewart really conveyed the character Bella's conflict and heartache for her beloved Edward Cullen. Robert Patterson was really great as well, and so was Taylor Lautner, who trained hard for his part as Jacob Black. The special affects are without a doubt, far better, and the additional characters really added to the story. When I first heard that a new director would be taking the place of Catherine Hardwicke I wasn't too sure if that would work, especially when I found out that the new director was a man. I didn't think that a man could direct a romance story that's told from a female's point of view. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it did keep that special something that speaks to me as a young woman, and the movie flowed more graciously than before. Chris Weitz did a wonderful job and I think it's something that the whole cast should be proud of.


Recommended to: anyone really, minors with parental permission

New Moon (The Movie)

New Moon


Directed By: Chris Weitz
Reviewed by: Lissette, 13
Rating: Really liked it


I Personally liked The first movie better. The fist showed how much love Edward and Bella have for each other. The second, however, just gives people the illusion that Bella is always leading Jacob on and that Edward is a big Jerk for Dumping Bella. The movie doesn't really express how Edward ONLY left her to PROTECT her not hurt her. But now everyone likes Jacob because they think Edward is a Jerk.


Recommended to: Anybody

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland


By: Lewis Carroll
Reviewed by: Matt, 13
Rating: It was amazing!


Go down the rabbit hole and you will find the strangest world of fantasy in classical and modern literature. This plot is centered around Alice (a young English girl) and her travels through the mystical Wonderland. Where she change sizes multiple times and meets many animals who are offended by almost everything. But things get stranger, and among these oddities is an insane tea party with an exhauted dormouse and an insane hare and an equally mad hatter. Alice has many adventures through this insane world, and there are a couple lovable characters such as Alice herself and the Cheshire Cat, who disappears with a grin. All this in more can be found in this childrens' classic.


Recommended to: anyone who is interested in trippy fantasy or has listened to Jefferson Airplane's 'White Rabbit'

Surrealistic Pillow

Surrealistic Pillow

By: Jefferson Airplane
Reviewed by: Matt, 13
Rating: It was amazing!


This is a classic album by the 1960s-70s SF acid rock group Jefferson Airplane. It is a great listen especially when you're just sitting around and enjoying the music

Track Listing:
1) She has Funny Cars*
2) Somebody to Love*
3) My Best Friend
4) Today*
5) Comin' Back to Me
6) 3/5s of a Mile in 10 Seconds*
7) D.C.B.A 25
8) How do you Feel
9) Embryonic Journey
10) White Rabbit*
11) Plastic Fantastic Lover*

*recommended


Recommended to: Everyone

Have a Little Faith

Have a Little Faith


By: Mitch Albom
Reviewed by: Yaz, 16
Rating: Really liked it


No matter what your faith, this is a great, inspirational and fun book to read. The story covers big topics, but Mitch Albom's rabbi is so easy-going and funny that it's very enjoyable to read even while it's making you think a little. The inner-city pastor Albom meets isn't quite as easy-going or humorous, but his story is no less inspirational. You will remember these two men long after you've finished the book.


Recommended to: Every lost soul :)

The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis


By: Franz Kafka
Reviewed by: Yaz, 16
Rating: It was amazing!


I have had this book for the longest time. My mom gave it to me years ago and I alays read a little before i go to sleep.
The fascination and the horror of these stories is positively captivating. The Metamorphosis, In The Penal Colony and The Hunger Artist become something than just curious entities that were written before our time. They become metaphors and interesting takes on society and the so-called humanity of human nature. The stories are just as current as they are when they were written.

It is nothing short of inspirational for horror writers and for the mind that is open to reading between the lines of some positively phenomenal writing. Fantastic!


Recommended to: Every single person

The Killer Angels

The Killer Angels


By: Michael Shaara
Reviewed by: Yaz, 16
Rating: Really liked it


Quite a good book. I personally love historic fiction over history books. If they are based mostly on fact, you can really see the impact of wars and tribulation. It is not a great surprise that The Killer Angels is moving and compassionate. Men aren't just fighting against men at Gettysburg, they are fighting against friends. People they grew up with and moving sentences that suggest that you forget what you're fighting 'for' in the war when you're in the thick of it, watching your fellows disappear from this earth around you.

War is a much different story during the present day. You don't see the expressions of those you kill, you don't know their names, or their families. At Gettysburg, the immense weight of personal kinship threatens to tear hard Generals and Colonels apart. A great, great read for anyone that would like to know a little bit more about what happened at Gettysburg or to learn about a little bit of human compassion.


Recommended to: High schoolers mostly

Slaughterhouse-five

Slaughterhouse Five


By: Kurt Vonnegut
Reviewed by: Yaz, 16
Rating: Really liked it


This was a very wuick and interesting read for me. I'd have to say this is one of the best "sci-fi" books I've read but honestly I don't think it's really a sci-fi book at all. It's almost a poem, yet written in easy to understand prose. It's fantastic but only illustrates the realities and absurdities of day to day living.

This book is quite a unique experience, and even if you hate sci-fi you might pick it up since it's a different experience than the genre implies. Even satire doesn't seem to sum it up as there is a human warmth here that is absent from many other books labeled "satire."


Recommended to: 13+, everyone

Animal Farm

Animal Farm


By: George Orwell
Reviewed by: Yaz, 16
Rating: It was amazing!


Another briiliant book of George Orwell I read this past month. I cannot get enough of his writing, it is amazing!!

George Orwell's classic satire of Stalin's Communistic state of the old USSR still can teach us a lesson.

Orwell uses a farm and its animals in a well thought out parody substituting animals for the main characters involved in the Russian Revolution unto the establishment of a Communistic State.

For example the prize Middle White boar named the Old Major is suppose to represent the father of Communism Karl Marx. The Berkshire boar named Napoleon represents the long time Russian Dictator Joseph Stalin.

Orwell uses these characters to show the development of a treacherous and diabolical form of government. Orwell shows the evolution of political brainwashing to develop a totalitarian form of government.

For kids who dont know the world war and cold war era, they should definetly pick this book up!


Recommended to: Older teens

1984

1984


By: George Orwell
Reviewed by: Yaz, 16
Rating: It was amazing!


Here is the book that first got me thinking about politics and philosophy.
This is Orwell's dystopia of how he feared the world would become run by a group of cahooting despots by 1984.

The main character, Winston Smith, lives in London in a dictatoeship run by "big brother". In this state there is no love but love for big brother. There is no excitment but patriotism. In this world smith somehow manages to fall in love.. and that's just the start of his problems.

1984 warns us to be wary of those who might take our freedom whilst trying to convince us we are actually gaining extra liberty. Im 16 years old, but I know I will remember it till I am way beyond my age!


Recommended to: Everyone growing up, and if not, still read it!

Frankenstein

Frankenstein


By: Mary Shelley
Reviewed by: Yaz, 16
Rating: Really liked it


Frankenstein is one of the most beautifully written novels I've ever read. Besides its smooth style of writing, it has also enlightened me thourgh two major themes. The first is its revelation of indivudal's fragility compared to nature's unparalled power. The main character Frankenstein's desprate endeavor in creating a monster of perfection is equivalent to an attempt to completely control one's fate and get ride of nature's influence, which results in nature's retaliation as the monster slaughter all the people connected Frankensten. The second is the excitement and fear from solitude and loneliness. The former feeling exists before Frankenstein successful created the monster and the latter feeling arises after the experient is accomplished and done. These two extreme feelings shown in the book, coincide with our daily experience, showing how loneliness can help a person achieve the extraordinary and how it can make a person suffer from the unthinkable, the despairing, the worst.


Recommended to: Everyone

X-Men Orgins: Wolverine

X-Men Orgins: Wolverine


Directed By: Gavin Hood
Reviewed by: AndrewSkyBlood, 13
Rating: Hated it!


X-Men Origins: Wolverine was directed by Gavin Hood and again stars Jackman as Wolverine. It is a prequel focusing on the character and his time with Team X, before and shortly after his skeleton was bonded with the indestructible metal adamantium. The film reveals Sabretooth/Victor Creed, to be his half brother. David Benioff began writing the film in October 2004, and unlike the other films it was shot in Australia and New Zealand.

This movie was by far BORING. Sure it had new "heros," but as always they drift away the characters. As far for the action sences, they were ok, but it's so obvious that there was stunt men, and strings. As for Logans relation ship with his girlfriend, it's an fail. They try to make it seem like there life was perfect, right after he left Team X. Fail, just like Spiderman 2. (Don't get me started) And they add Gambit for what reason? just to drive him to the waste land? The black guy from The Mummy Returns Izy, did an better role. Heck he doesn't even have powers. As far as Team X goes, they had no role, atually it's the same like the other X-Men movies. They just keep on failing on there new heros. Now Logan, is such an retard. He is way to over dramatic about who he is. Sure by getting an bike, and running away solves his answers. Ah don't get me started with his brother! Such an major fail, they try to make him like the joker that uses funny insults in battles. What makes it an HUGE fail, is that in the first X-men in 2000, Sabertooth didn't even talk! And when Wolverine and Sabertooth had there sences, it didn't have an relation, that they are brothers. Only thing i remember is that Wolverine calling Sabertooth "Bubb" is the only thing thats close to the word brother. Leave it to MARVEl to make fail movies.


Recommended to: People who don't kow what true quality movies are.

Tokyo Mew Mew, Vols 1-7

Tokyo Mew Mew, Vols 1-7


By: Mia Ikumi and Reiko Yoshida
Reviewed by: Nekomimi 13, 13
Rating: It was alright...


Let me start off saying that I really don't know why I bought the volumes as I read the series. I didn't get them all at once as I had with Full Moon O Sagashite, but still, I really don't get my intentions there.
This was one of those series that has awesome art (with a few exceptions, see below) but has a story that can be quite good to a person who does not have opinions.

Story:
Not too steadily developed. It was the kind of story that was almost thrown together. Ichigo has all these great things and a love interest and every thing is pretty-much peachy-keen for her. It's really a shame that the other four "main" characters didn't really get developed much. Then there's pretty much a bunch of guys that would pretty much kill (themselves) for Ichigo's heart. It gets annoying.

Art:
The eye style is adorable on the girls, but when she does adults, I got confused and thought they were kids. Sometimes she goes overboard with details that are better left out. BTW, there is some... neud... art in it. Nothing too detailed or etchy, but may not be good for young'ins.

Eh, just another so-so manga.


Recommended to: Anyone who has the tragic inability to make opinions. Or anyone who is desperate to read manga but isn't allowed to read teen manga yet.