Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Teen Review: Crash

June 28, 2011

Crash by Jerry Spinelli
Teen Review by Dani, who says that she really liked the book–Yay!

When 5-year-old Crash (John) Coogan meets Penn Webb, that is when all the pranks begin. All Crash has ever done was mess with him–Penn is a dweeby, vegetable eating neighbor.

Then, the summer before 7th grade, Crash meets Mike, and, before they even learn each others’ names, they know they will be best friends. They both are on the football team; Crash is the full back and Mike is the linebacker. Penn and Jane Forbes (Crash likes Jane) go out for cheerleading, and they both make the squad. Abby and Penn (Abby’s John sister) become great friends and try to stall the mall, but it does not work.

Scooter, their grandpa, comes to stay. He comes to every game but when Crash breaks the school TD record and he presses the wrong button on the video camera Crash gets really mad. On Thanksgiving break, Crash accidentally tackles his grandpa during a 2-hand touch game he has a stroke the next morning.

***Spoilers Alert***

Do not read any further if you do not want to know how the book ends!

Scooter finally gets out of rehab he can only say a-bye. Crash runs in the relays but purposely comes in second to Penn, for the relays Penn takes them from last to second. Jane invites Crash to a 4th of July party at her house. Penn and Crash become best friends.

**Thanks for the review, Dani! Crash sounds like an intense book, and your review totally made us want to read it, too! Remember that any teen who turns in a review to one of our libraries this summer can add 75 points to their Summer Reading Program log. Every little bit helps you reach the grand total and get all your cool prizes. Stay tuned to the blog for more teen reviews coming soon!

Teen Review: DWEEB

June 21, 2011

Title:  DWEEB

Author:  Aaron Starmer

Review:  I liked the book DWEEB because when they all got called down to Vice Principal Snodgrass’s office during 2nd period it left me wondering “Why?”  This book in a lot of parts leaves you curious.  When Eddie snuck out to the auditorium all the bullies, like Tyler Kelly, and most of the kids seemed brainwashed.  I like the part when Wendell was in Vice Principal Snodgrass’s office and Wendell got stuck in the chair.  He had to get unstuck from the chair quickly but he couldn’t.  So instead he just ran into the closet with the chair stuck to his rear.

Teen Reviewer:  Chauna

**This is the second review from Chauna and we’re so grateful to her for sharing her opinions on her latest reads.  Remember that any teen who writes a review and turns it in at one of our 3 libraries will earn 75 points towards the grand total on their Summer Reading Program log!  Thanks to all the teens that’ve turned them in so far.

Teen Review: The Giver

June 14, 2011

Title:  The Giver

Author:  Lois Lowry

Summary:  This novel is about people that live in another world with no color just gray everywhere.  They have certain rules and schedules they have to abide by.  Each parent and child lives in a house with four people; including themselves.  Which are a mom, dad, daughter, and son.  As a child you volunteer and are watched at the ceremony of eleven’s you are told your job for life.  But for Jonas he has a special talent unraveling inside and The Giver will teach him what it is and how to use it.

Main Character:  Jonas is the name of the main character.  He has a special gift, talent within himself.  As the story goes on little pinches of color he sees and how he is talented at a lot of things he comes to see what his talent is.  The Giver’s part is to help Jonas figure out his true gift and balance it.

The Giver:  This is the title for Jonas’ teacher.  He will show Jonas what his job will be and gives him some visions.  These visions will show Jonas how other worlds live and work.  He plays a huge part in Jonas’ choices.

Favorite Moment:  I would say at the end of the book when Jonas takes himself and a very important abandoned baby away from their world.  Then because Jonas uses his gift to protect them, make a difference, and explore the world.

Thoughts on the book cover:  The book cover was amazing for this novel.  It was because it showed a picture of the Giver.  Also because in the background was how Jonas saw things with his gift, instead of the grayness.

My thought about the book:  My thought of this novel is that it is creative.  It gives you a different look on what you’re supposed to do with your life.  Also, that you have a special part in this world.  Finally what you think and know matters and can make a difference.

People that should read this book:  Honestly anyone could read this book because it shows people you can live in this world.  Next that you can look at it with confidence, creativity, and boldness.  Then make a difference.

Teen Reviewer:  Moesha

**Thanks for such a thorough review, Moesha!  The Giver is a really popular book and we think your review will inspire others to check it out.  Remember that any teen who turns in a review to one of our libraries this summer can add 75 points to their Summer Reading Program log.  Every little bit helps you reach the grand total and get all your cool prizes.  Stay tuned to the blog for more teen reviews coming soon!

Teen Review: The Diary of Melanie Martin

June 7, 2011

Title:  The Diary of Melanie Martin…Or How I Survived Matt the Brat, Michelangelo, and the Leaning Tower of Pizza

Author:  Carol Weston

Review:  I liked this book because you could never tell what was going to happen next.  You could never tell when Melanie was going to get in trouble for what her brother did.  Her brother, Matt, was always getting lost.  I like the part when Melanie said she wanted to be a hero and not get in trouble when they were on vacation on her parents’ anniversary and her dad found an old friend, Sophia.  It seemed like her dad and Sophia still liked each other.  Melanie called for a toast and everything was fine.

Teen Reviewer:  Chauna

**Thanks for your review Chauna!  We love having teens contribute to the blog.  Remember teens, any review you submit to one of our libraries earns you an extra 75 points to put on your Summer Reading Program log to help get you towards that grand total.  Stayed tuned as we feature teen reviews all summer long…keep reading, keep reviewing!

BRR: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

May 31, 2011

BOOK READ RECENTLY:

Title: If I Stay

Author: Gayle Forman

Other books in series or Standalone: It has a sequel/companion called Where She Went

First Impressions: I picked this one up because it sounded like a pretty interesting story.  A 17-year-old girl named Mia is riding in the car with her parents and little brother when they are in a horrific car accident.  With her parents dead and her little brother’s life hanging in the balance, Mia has an out-of-body experience while comatose.  She can see what is going on around her and realizes that she has to make the decision herself:  should she live or die?

Last Impressions: I really liked this book!  At first I wasn’t sure how it would work with the whole thing going on while the main character is in a coma, but the flashbacks very nicely give us backstory on Mia and her family and helps to get to know them as lovable characters.  The flashbacks also provide plenty of light and humorous moments, which helps break up the saddness of the whole situation Mia is in.  I also really liked how passionate Mia is about playing the cello.  I enjoyed that uniqueness about her, and it even kind of made me want to listen to some cello music!

Favorite Moment (POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT):  Mia’s flashback to her first date with her rocker boyfriend Adam.  Really cute and romantic.

Least Favorite Moment:  The description of the accident scene.  But then again, I might have a weak stomach where blood is concerned.

Thoughts on the bookcover:  Very simple and pretty.  I love the colors, and the dying tree with one bloom left on it seems like it fits Mia’s situation well.

Dream Cast:  Kat Dennings (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) as Mia, Reid Ewing (Modern Family) as Adam

People who should read this:  If you like realistic fiction or more serious books.  Music lovers will also appreciate what a big role music plays in the book (Mia is a cellist, her boyfriend Adam is in a rock band, and her parents were avid music lovers).

If you like this book, you may also like:  Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, one of Sarah Dessen’s many books (like What Happened to Goodbye), either Speak or Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Girls by Lori Lansens

May 20, 2011

I read this book as a requirement for my Disabilities Literature class, and I absolutely loved it… so I here I am, telling you that you should read it too!

The Girls, by Lori Lansens, is the story of a pair of twins, Rose and Ruby Darlen.  Rose is the serious, talented writer and Ruby is the beautiful, funny one who loves to discover ancient artifacts.  They’re twenty-nine years old, which wouldn’t be that big of a deal for the average set of twins.  But these twins are joined at the head, and at 29 years old, they are the oldest surviving craniopagus twins in the world.  The Girls is told from both Rose’s and Ruby’s perspectives; they alternate chapters as they write a book together about their life. 

You might think that the central story line would be Rose and Ruby’s disability, but it’s not.  These girls refuse to let their disability define them.  In fact, at times, you will probably forget that they are joined at the head.  These girls are extraordinary first, and disabled second.  Their disablity does play a role in how they live their lives, but their story tells more about  their struggle to be accepted by others.  At times, you will also probably forget that this is a work of fiction, and not a true autobiography.  I don’t know how Lansens did it, but she really managed to give each character their own unique voice, and she made this story come to life in an incrediblely realistic way. 

I would tell you more, but I don’t want to give anything away.  The writing is beautiful, the story is amazing… just see for yourselves and read this book!  You won’t be sorry :)

Here’s another review that I think sums it up pretty well: http://blogcritics.org/books/article/book-review-the-girls-by-lori/page-2/

-Brianne

BRR: Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

May 11, 2011

BOOK READ RECENTLY:

Title:  Incarceron

Author:  Catherine Fisher

Other books in series or Standalone:  Has a sequel called Sapphique

First Impressions:  This sounded like a really unique story.  Finn is trapped in a futuristic prison called Incarceron.  He has always been told that he was born there, but he can’t remember anything before the past three years and he’s sure that he had a life on the outside.  Things start to piece together for Finn when he comes into ownership of a device that lets him communicate with someone on the outside: Claudia, the daughter of the Warden.

Last Impressions:  Once it gets going, this book is great!  I had the hardest time at first trying to figure out when and where it is set, but once things started coming together, it turned into a really exciting and thought-provoking story.  The technology involved is super cool and it’s fun to imagine it alongside the 18th century style of clothing.

Favorite Moment:  I can’t say because it’s a HUGE spoiler, but I’ll say that I really liked the ending.

Thoughts on the bookcover:  Very cool.  It’s so mysterious because you don’t know how all the objects on it are going to come into play in the book.  And the crystal key looks so pretty!

Dream Cast:  A movie is already in the works starring Taylor Lautner as Finn, and I can see him filling this role perfectly!  No one else is confirmed for the cast yet, but I could totally see Emma Watson as Claudia.

People who should read this:  With the dual viewpoints of Finn and Claudia, both guys and girls could enjoy this book.  It’s great for anyone who likes dystopian lit or books about cool futuristic technology.

People who should not read this:  It kind of takes awhile for the story to pick up and for you to figure out what exactly is going on, so if you’re impatient, you might get frustrated.  But seriously, hang in there, it gets really good!

If you like this book, you may also like:  The sequel, Sapphique, of course!  Also The Maze Runner, Gone, and The Knife of Never Letting Go.