Friday, April 28, 2017

"Falling Over Sideways" by Jordan Sonnenblick

"Falling Over Sideways" by Jordan Sonnenblick is a children's story about the chaos that comes with a parent having a hardship that you cannot control. Claire is in the eighth grade and nothing is going right. She wasn't promoted in dance class like the rest of her friends were, her arch nemesis is picking on her, and she doesn't really fit in at school. One day, she is with her dad when he has a stroke and has to be taken to the hospital. The story ensues with Claire learning how to grow up and take responsibility for actions and problems that she sometimes does not want to deal with.

This was a really great story and easy read. It was a heavy topic but not one that made you really depressed or that younger kids would not be able to handle. I would recommend this story for ages 11-15.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

"Every Exquisite Thing" by Matthew Quick

 "Every Exquisite Thing" by Matthew Quick is a beautiful story about the struggles of high school and what it truly means to feel lonely and not be yourself. The plot opens with a girl named Nanette who does not believe in herself or the things that she does. Her teacher loans her a book about self discovery and she soon is hooked. She meets the author of the loaned book and the plot thickens with romance, understanding of life and wanting, and death.

Although frustrating at times, this was a wonderful book. In class we discussed how it reminded us of the recent Netflix series "13 Reasons Why" and how the feelings of being alone were portrayed really well through the various characters in this book. It was frustrating for me as a reader at times to watch Nanette continually spiral out of control when she has had a lot of help already and doesn't seem to be heeding any advice given. I would recommend this book for ages 15 and up.


"Orbiting Jupiter" by Gary D. Schmidt

 "Orbiting Jupiter" is an interesting coming of age novel about a thirteen year old who has had a very troubled life. Joseph has led a troubled life, from getting a girl pregnant at age thirteen to running away from foster home after foster home. He ends up with a kind family where he learns what the true meaning of brotherhood and family means.

I really enjoyed this book and the message that the author had behind it. There was a lot of struggle for the young man that seemed a little bit excessive but there is most definitely issues like this in real life that we don't think about in our daily lives. This was a very easy read and would recommend this book for fifth grade on up.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

"Daughters Unto Devils" Amy Lukavics

Daughter's Unto Devils is a historical fiction mystery by Amy Lukavics set in prairie times. The main character, Amanda, goes through many trials living in her mountain home, from an unwanted pregnancy to believing that there is a devil haunting her soul, this story shows the struggles of mountain/prairie life with a scary twist.

This was my least favorite of the books we read thus far class. It was not terrifying but I could not get invested in the characters at all and the story line was so out there that none of it was very believable. I think that this would be an easy read for people that like sci-fi.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

"Sold" by Patricia McCormick

"Sold" by Patricia McCormick is a fictional story (though these things happen constantly) of a young girl from Nepal who is sold into prostitution. The story is told from the main character's perspective in verse, describing the different events that happen in her life. Her family is a poor one and her stepfather gambles away the family's funds every month, so he makes the choice to sell her. She believes that she is going to be a maid in the city (India) but comes to realize that she has been sold to a prostitution house.

This was a very good story although moving isn't quite the word I would use. You had to navigate the story through a thirteen year olds perspective, which was difficult at times because she didn't really know what was going on around her. I wish the story had had more depth to it because I think it could have been a really awesome read. This book is suitable for ages 12 - high school


Saturday, February 18, 2017

"The Edge of Everything" by Jeff Giles

The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles is a story about a young girl and her quest to find answers about her past with the help of her little brother and a mysterious stranger. Zoe and her brother Jonah are automatically thrust into an intense situation at the beginning of the story when a man drives up to an abandoned house and tries to kill them. As they learn that this man is a known murderer, another man comes out of the woods and saves the two, their dogs, and lets the murderer escape. Their savior, X, is a bounty hunter from a place called the Lowlands who’s one and only job is to collect the souls of evil people. X and Zoe have an immediate attraction and they must learn how to cope with feelings of love without being able to be together. 

This book has gone to the top of the pile in one of the most intriguing young adult novels I have read to date. It is very long, almost 400 pages, but the book automatically puts the reader into a high intensity situation which has you hooked from the very beginning. The story line is pretty generic, star crossed lovers not being able to be together, but the situations they are put into by themselves are very interesting. The ending/part four of the book got very slow and boring however. This book is good for ninth grade and up. 


Friday, February 3, 2017

The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner

"The Memory Of Things" by Gae Polisner is a historical fiction and young adult novel about the 9/11 tragedy and a young man's quest for fulfillment. The story begins with the main character, Kyle, in shock and walking away from the twin towers in New York City right after they had been hit. He sees what he thinks is gigantic white bird on a bridge as he walks across but in reality, it turns out to be a young girl that is going to jump off. Kyle pulls her off of the ledge and their story ensues with adventures, young love, and realizing that they are capable of much more then they believe.

I really enjoyed this story! It had some very serious and sad moments, but also light and lovable moments that made you laugh and grow with Kyle. The story was mostly from Kyle's point of view, but occasionally it was in verse from the girls point of view. Polisner did a very good job capturing the essence of teenage romance but also the shock and confusion of what happens during a disaster.  You wouldn't think that those two would go hand in hand but in this story, they did. The only thing that I really did not enjoy was the ending, which seemed lackluster. Both characters go their separate ways and Kyle believes they will never see each other again (because their relationship was built on not normal circumstances so in real life would they even be right for each other?) but Hannah gave him her phone number anyway. And then it ended. I wish there had been maybe an epilogue with a future look at what happened to both characters.


The Memory of Things

Image result for the memory of things What would you do if the twin towers were being destroyed right in front of you and while trying to run away to safety, you see someone in need of help? Do you risk your own life and go back to help that person also get to safety, or do you hope they get somewhere safe on their own? Well, that's the decision sixteen year old Kyle Donohue had to make as he struggles to make it to safety. The Memory of Things falls into the categories historical fiction and friendship and love. As Kyle and this mystery girl takes things day by day, the more he gets to know her, the more he wants her to stay. These feelings eventually turn into something more and both teenagers discover a fondness for each other. While this story isn't just about friendships and relationships, it's mostly tells a story about trust and hope.

Monday, January 30, 2017


Image result for zom-b You always hear about the world ending by a zombie apocalypse, but what if one actually broke out and even worst...while you were in school? Would you try and fight for your life or because of all zombie movies, would you even try to survive? Would you try to be the hero, or would it be everyone for themselves? These were the decisions B had to make as  she and her friends desperately try to find their way to safety.


Friday, January 27, 2017

"Ship Breaker" by Paolo Bacigalupi

"Ship Breaker" by Paolo Bacigalupi is a young adult novel about a boy from the future, named Nailer, who's life goal is collect as much scrap metal from sunken ships as possible. He is part of a small crew that also scavenges for copper and any other valuable metal. This is the only thing keeping them alive (barely). One day, a hurricane hits their beach home and everything is destroyed but new ships ripe for the picking come up. Nailer and his friend Pima are the first on the scene to a large 'clipper' ship where they find an interesting artifact: a girl.

This book was a very interesting story from the perspective of Nailer, from almost dying to the moments he has with his abusive father. I would rare this 13+. The use of 'damn' and 'bastard' were used very frequently among many of the characters, which might not be suitable for younger readers. The book was very difficult to understand solely from the perspective that you did not understand what year or where the location of the story takes place. If you want understand (or don't care about those details) then it's a very compelling read.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

Monument 14 Book Review

Image result for monument 14 14 kids were on their way to school when a disaster happens out of nowhere that will change their lives forever. 14 kids left alone to make life decisions.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

  Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be trapped inside of a Target or a Walmart for weeks at a time with no contact to the outside world? That is exactly what happens in Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne to sixteen kids, ranging in ages 6-17, when a random manic hailstorm pelts their school bus and they are forced to ram into the side of the local supermarket. When they find out that their town is under a nuclear cloud that can cause severe reactions. The children have to learn to survive, choose a leader, and take care of each other under the dire circumstances while trying to figure out how to escape the superstore and find their parents. This is the first of three books in this series.
 I thought that this book was a great young male read beginning at age 13 and up. There were a lot of twists that would possibly shock and that are too mature for a younger audience, such as death, teen pregnancy, and sex between adults and teens. The book was very compelling and kept me hooked throughout, although at the beginning it did have a very Lord of the Flies vibe at the beginning, but it really did come into its own towards the end.