Monthly Archives: September, 2013

Prom by Laurie Haulse Anderson, reviewed by Georgianna Evans

Ashley Hannigan doesn’t care about the prom,but she’s the exception.Its pretty much the only good thing that happens in her high school ,and everyone else is excited about it.That is until the faculty advisor is busted for taking the prom money ,and Ashley finds herself roped into putting together prom out of absolutely nothing.But with friends and family helping her out maybe prom won’t totally suck after all.

Sited source.   From the cover of the book.

 

The book that I’m reviewing is called “Prom”by Laurie Halse Anderson.THe book was a great book, it is just like what teenagers do for fun today.There is a little too much sadness near the end for me. But at the very end the book gets happy again.The book had a great theme,good detailed setting,and a good vocabulary.

 

The main point to the book “Prom” is a mischievous math teacher stole all the money from prom committee. The prom committee crystal,because prom was canceled  at first.But Ashley Hannigan claims she hates prom ,but she volunteers to help,out on prom committee.Without Ashley prom would not have happened.The theme to the book was don’t trust one person too much.

 

The authors use of vocabulary was great.the author used great language skills ,the vocabulary was good,a favorite sentence of mine from the book used by Ashley Hannigan.”I hate prom,but I like it listening to all the buzz about prom kills me.The authors wordplay worked out great for her.I really enjoyed the vocabulary and how the author made  the  words make sense in there own ways.

 

Prom had many different settings.Most of all the actions done in the book took place at the school,Ashley’s home,and at the mall.The time period in the book was just like it happened yesterday.The author did a fantastic job with describing all the places in detail.Ashley says in the book that at her school they have security guards ,metal detectors,and plenty of rules.

 

In the book ” Prom” a lot happened to make the ending rather sad ,but at the very end everything was straightened out.I liked the book at first it was great  but there was a lot of crying over the prom .The rest of the book it’s theme setting ,and vocabulary were all great.I would recommend this book to someone who likes to read about present day teenage problems.

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The Outsiders By S.E. Hington, reviewed by Georgianna Evans

The
Outsiders is about a fourteen year old boy named Ponyboy. His two brothers
Darrel and Sodapop who look after him.The three brothers are greasers, while
others are socials(socs). The two groups get into fights for no reason.Pony and
his friend Johnny are walking home lat one night when some socs try to drown
Pony,Johnny stabs the soc.Then pony and Johnny run away together.Johnny dies
from being a hero from burns all over his body.

The book is really good to read.It is about two groups of people who are very
different but not too much.I enjoyed reading the ending of the book the most,
the concepts,and lessons were very real.The Outsiders themes,setting,and
vocabulary were great.

The different themes that”The Outsiders” included we’re great.One
part to many of the themesis there are two groups who are always in a
fight.Every since Pony was younger he could remember gangs of socs coming after
the greasers.Ponyboys friend Johnny always get best up by his father ,then
Johnny also is a big target by socs.Pony feels bad for Johnny but he can’t
change anything.

The different settings were at Pony’s house ,some were more local like at the
park,movie theater ,and at an old abandoned church.Most often the fights would
happen for no particular reason.They would happen anywhere they felt like
beating up someone.The times the fights took place were always different like
two am in the morning,and mid afternoon.They would fight it out everywhere they
choose.

The one special thing that caught my attention in “The
Outsiders”…Was their unique way there vocabulary was. One example is
Ponyboy called a girl tough because she was pretty. Also the author of the book
used a lot of trick sentences to catch your attention. There were some spelling
errors but I think the author purposely did them to make the word the way the
characters would.

The Outsiders was a great book to read. I would recommend this book to anyone
who likes to read older stories.I liked the book , but to me the book was a
little boring ,because nothing new happened until the end no new action,plot
twist.For me I like to read mysteries where something always happens.The book
had a great setting ,theme,and great vocabulary

Marked by P.C Cast and Kristin Cast Review by Alyssa Marcum

Marked Review
Barns and Nobles:
The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird’s world, vampyres have always existed. In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire—that is, if she makes it through the Change. Not all of those who are chosen do. It’s tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny—with a little help from her new vampyre friends.

Can you imagine going to high school and trying to fit in, knowing that you are destined to become a vampyre? In the book Marked by P.C Cast and Kristin Cast, Zoey Redbird was just a regular high-school student before a Tracker marked her forehead with a sign of a crescent moon. This was a sign the she was going to be transformed into a vamprye. Zoey has to leave her boyfriend, mom, friend, and her horrible step-dad because she had to go to the House of Night to learn about her transformation into vamprye. The person she misses the most was her Grandmother. The things I enjoyed the most in this book were the detailed setting, the characters in the book, and the theme.
The first thing I really enjoyed about this book was the setting. This setting was described with amazing details. I love books that give details about the scenes that make you feel like you are actually there. In the book, it tells about her first time day at school. Zoey had no idea what to expect and was very anxious. Can you imagine going into a school full of vampires? What do you think a vampire school would look like? I could imagine it would be a castle filled with flying bats and a moat around the castle. In the book the author describes the school as basically a regular high school besides taking fencing classes, drinking blood at special rituals, and having pet cats follow you around wherever you go. The thing that stood out the most to me was that the classes started at night. Just think about going to school night. I don’t like the dark and I would be afraid to go the school at night.

The second thing I enjoyed about this book was the characters. I felt as though the characters fit the parts and I feel that is what makes this book excellent and a good one to read. However, Zoey was my favorite character because in the book, she really stood out and was just trying to fit in. By the end of the book, she realizes that she is unique and she embraces her individuality. It was an excellent book in the House of Night series and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
Lastly, I really enjoyed the theme in this book. In the book, it tells about Zoey just trying to fit in. I think you should just be yourself. Would you want to be known as someone who is fake? She is just trying to get though school like everyone else but at the end, she accepts her differences. In the book, the theme also kind of talks about how you shouldn’t be afraid to stand up to people who are being mean to you. In this book Zoey has a lot of stress to add to her new life at the house but stands up against her enemies and embraces her destiny.
In conclusion, I really enjoyed everything about this book. However, my favorite things about this book were the setting, characters, and theme. This book was very interesting and it kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading it. At the end of the book, it didn’t leave you hanging, but it lead up for the second book. I will definitely be purchasing the second book. I’m looking forward to reading it.

 

 

 

Alyssa Marcum 3rd period
Honors 9 English

Fifth Period Reading Book List

I challenge the students in third period to keep track of EVERY book you read this year — NOT just the ones we review for class, but ALL books you read this year.  Let’s see if we can read a total of 300 books for this class period! Can we do it?  To help us keep track I have created this post-it note wall.  Click on the link to navigate to it.  Find the post it with your name.  Click on it to add text.  Each time you finish a book, come to this wall, and add that info to your post it. My post it has my first entry on it.

Book Title Post It Wall

Third Period Book Reading List

I challenge the students in third period to keep track of EVERY book you read this year — NOT just the ones we review for class, but ALL books you read this year.  Let’s see if we can read a total of 300 books for this class period! Can we do it?  To help us keep track I have created this post-it note wall.  Click on the link to navigate to it.  Find the post it with your name.  Click on it to add text.  Each time you finish a book, come to this wall, and add that info to your post it. My post it has my first entry on it.Reading Tracker Wall

Matched by Ally Condie, reviewed by Annabeth Stennett

From barnesandnoble.com

Cassia has always trusted the society to make the right choices for her. So when Xanders face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate…until she sees Ky Markhams face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it’s a glitch and she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice, between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Everyone wants to know who they are going to marry and spend the rest of their life with. It’s a human fact of curiosity. In “Matched” by Ally Condie you learn that on your sixteenth birthday at your Matched Banquet. In this dystopian community the society chooses everything, basically your fate, and Cassia decides she wants to change that. I enjoyed the entire novel but I most enjoyed the plot, the characters, and the theme.

I enjoyed the complicated, yet on the edge plot. In “Matched” Cassia the protagonist is like a robot in the Society. The Society controls you, tell you, what to do, who to be with, what to eat. Everyone in Oria Province lives this way. At Cassias Match Banquet she is matched with Xander. But when she gets home and tries to learn more about him another face pops up. This face belongs to Ky Markham. The society claims it is a rare mistake. The plot is very good and well written. It is a post-apocalyptic society with twist turn and adventure romance.

The characters are the second thing I loved. Cassia the protagonist, I can very much relate to her in many ways. I don’t like being put in a box and being told what to do and expected to do so. Cassia realizes this through the course of the book. Ky is my favorite character though. He is strong and independent with a dork secret. Xander is Cassias best friend and her match. He loves Cassia and never doubts her choices to her.

The last thing I enjoyed was the theme. To me the theme is freedom and romance. I think we take freedom for granite at times. So in the book they are controlled and have not a lot of freedom. Of course romance. Your match is the person you fall in love with and is your match. Cassia falling in love with Ky. Romance is a big part of the book along with freedom as well.

Overall I loved the book and I’m going to continue reading the trilogy. It was an emotional roller coaster through the book and after the ending left me wondering and questioning. I recommend this to students who like books with a hint of romance action, and a dystopian community. Cassia is a strong independent person that will keep fighting for the right to choose. It had a well-known theme, an exciting plot with twist and turns, and amazing characters.

Pretty Little Devils by Nancy Holder

Pretty Little Devils by Nancy Holder

 

 

 

From Goodreads.com:

 

Hazel Stone wants nothing more than to be a part of the hottest clique in school, the Pretty Little Devils. When PLD queen bee Sylvia invites Hazel to one of the group’s famous soirees, Hazel is thrilled–but popularity comes with a price.”

 

     Who doesn’t want to be popular? I mean come on admit it you crave to fit in. It’s human nature to want people to like you. I know I do. In this story Pretty Little Devils by Nancy Holder Hazel Stone feels the same way. She thrives to be in the popular club PLD’s ( Pretty Little Devils). When she finally gets welcomed in to there group she finds out that being popular comes with a price. In the story there are so many things that catch your eye. My most favorite parts are the characters, setting, and theme.

 

 

The characters in this book are wonderfully intriguing. They always leave you wanting more. There is a group called Pretty Little Devils who run the halls of Brookhaven High. Pretty Little Devils consisted of Sylvia, Carolyn, Ellen, Megan, and finally Hazel. Hazel use to hang out with Lakshmi. Lakshmi was a very unpopular girl who hung out with very unpopular people. So when Hazel finally got accepted into the PLD’s she moved on to bigger better things. Hazel got the hottest guy in school, Matty Vardeman. Matty was on the football team and was good friends with Josh and Stephan who had a great interest in Sylvia and Ellen. The PLD’s were despised as much as they were loved so of course they have rivals. The head cheerleader Breona Wu and her posy. Sylvia and Breona never got along in this book that’s why I find the characters so intriguing, because even though they don’t get along they are so much alike.

 

The setting in this book is very interesting. The most popular girls in school are the PLD’s and they rule Brookhaven High. The girls are very crazy but also very tamed. Making sure to always clean up there tracks at any event they held at a babysitting gig or any place they have been that they may not have needed to be. All five girls in the group are very clever and always have each others back. They can tell the tone of one another by only a text. This is very interesting because the setting is spread out so much but the girls seem to always stay together.

 

Finally the theme of this book is insane. The conflict is so unreal. How someone thought of the plot is beyond me. The problem in this story is that someone throughout the whole book wants to hurt the group. Nobody knows why and knows who. The stalker sends threatening texts to the girls to scare them away from each other. They always stay together though. Until the very end when eventually things get taken to serious and Megan gets killed. That is when finally the girls explode and blame the whole thing on Sylvia. The whole them has a very great ending and is so crazy!

 

In conclusion I think that this book is very mysterious and full of good things to keep you as a reader on your feet. I would recommend this book to any teen or anyone who likes a mystery book. This is a book that really kept me on edge and I think that anyone will like it. The characters, theme, and settings are all a very big part in this book and it something I definitely don’t regret reading.

Amber House By Kelly Moore and Tucker Reed Reviewed By: Cassius Dotson

Amber House By: Kelly Moore and Tucker Reed

 

From the book:

 

Sarah Parsons has never been to Amber house, the grand Maryland estate that’s been in her family for three centuries. She’s never wandered it’s hedge maze or explored it’s secret attics; she’s never danced in it’s ballroom or hunted for the diamonds said to be hidden in it’s walls. But all of that is about to change, as Sarah, her brother and there icy mother settle into Amber house, she finds herself drawn to both handsome Richard, who introduces her to the world of wealth and privilege, and puzzling Jackson, who dares her to find the diamonds. She discovers she can see visions of the mansions history—like her mother as a young girl, unimaginably warm and happy, or the cruel sea captain who lost the jewels long ago. Piece by piece, she uncovers the secrets of Amber house: it’s ancient crimes, and it’s fresh betrayals.

 

Who wouldn’t want to be able to see the past? Come on. Admit it. You know you want to be able to see the past of your ancestors. It’s not something an average human does but in Kelly Moore’s book Amber House, the first of the series, a young girl has this special gift. In this fantasy, it tells about three young adults and there frightening challenge with a house that can mentally speak with you. While I enjoyed the entire novel, I mostly enjoyed the theme, setting, and characters.

 

I enjoyed the mysterious theme presented in this book. What is it like to see the past is the central question presented in Amber House. In this novel a teenage girl stays in her deceased grandmothers house, and realizes some very interesting things about her past. Then the question becomes can she really see the past and interact with the visions? Certainly if someone had this gift in our world we most likely wouldn’t accept them. We would treat them bad and just flat out evil. In this book though Sarah isn’t made fun of, she’s accepted, because it’s a common thing in her family tree. This novel reminds me of a T.V. show called Ghost Whisperer. A woman can see and react with spirits. Like in Amber House Sarah can see but can she react?

 

The setting was the second element that I really enjoyed in this novel. Like most fantasy books, there’s always magical things happening.  While there isn’t much detail with the theme, there are many places it touches on the past, during the time of slavery and many other instances. One example is how Sarah see’s her ancestors beating and raping slaves. For me that would have been a harsh thing to see. For me I enjoyed the many mysterious settings. The mysterious settings remind me of how there’s always a surprise around the corner.

 

 

The third element of the novel that I enjoyed was thee reactions between the characters. There is always strong reactions between the characters. For example when Sarah and Richard spend time together they get drawn to each other  more and more. Or when she’s with Jackson always searching for the so called hidden diamonds. With the mysterious adventures going on in this book the characters are always up for the challenge. Which is another reason why I love the strong reactions between the characters.

 

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, and will continue reading the series. I would like to know what happens to Sarah! I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good mystery. Sarah Parsons definitely has a great adventure on her hands! Through the exciting theme, unique setting and strong reactions with the characters, Kelly Moore’s book is a winner!

Elfin by Quinn Loftis, Reviewed by Grace Bannister

Elfin by Quinn Loftis

Review By: Grace Bannister – 3rd period – Honors 9 English

 

From Goodreads.com:

Before tonight Cassie Tate’s biggest concerns were whether she could pass Algebra and how she was going to keep Elora, her best friend, from dressing her in a skimpy fairy costume for Halloween. Her feet were firmly planted in suburban reality and she had no reason to believe her life would be anything but that of a typical teenager. That is until tonight, when Cassie saw something that no human was ever supposed to see; in the blink of an eye she was thrown into the world of the Light and Dark Elves.

 He comes from a realm where light and dark have fought for millennia. He is of a race known to humans only in myths and legends. The darkness that lives inside him is a part of both who and what he is and it makes him the most gifted spy and assassin in the history of his time. His life is not his own; he lives in the service of the Dark Elf King. He slays who he must, has mercy on no one, is relentless in his hunt, and never tires of seeing his prey fall. He is Triktapic, assassin, spy, most feared of the Dark Elves.

 Now, in the midst of his King’s complicated plans to expand the Dark Elves’ holdings into the mortal realm, for the first time, Trik finds his loyalties divided. For no Elf, Dark or Light, can turn away from their Chosen.

 Unbeknownst to the mortal realm, the battle between Light and Dark is being brought to their doorstep. The only one who can keep it at bay holds darkness in his heart like a lover, and the one who can sway that heart must decide if she can look beyond his black past, beyond his evil nature and see the man he is destined to be.

 The questions must be asked, does love really cover a multitude of sins? Can true love actually conquer all or will his darkness consume those around him until all that stands is an assassin with the blood of the mortal realm on his hands?

Imagine finding the other half of your soul, the one person who could complete you as you complete them, and then finding out that you are on separate sides of the same war. In Elfin, the first book in the Elfin Series, author Quinn Loftis explores the idea of true love between two opposing sides – good and evil, light and dark. This story deals with the main themes of love conquering the sins of the past, and love bringing out the best in even the darkest person, and essentially the line between right and wrong.  As I have read all of her works excepting one, I find that Loftis has an amazing gift for portraying strong love and devotion between two people, all the while keeping the story PG to mildly PG-13 rated. This book set me through a rollercoaster of emotions, which for me, makes it great because it made me feel something. I believe that the original plot, the powerful emotion, and the well-constructed characters were the elements that made this book a personal favorite.

I always love a unique plot. I absolutely cannot stand it if the storyline is something I’ve read before, and this book definitely did not disappoint. Admittedly, the idea of accidently running into your supernatural soul mate is rather common in today’s YA literature. However, the events and complications that transpired afterwards were complex and completely original. I enjoyed how the main characters were always struggling with internal conflict, along with the external main conflicts. It was great to see the character of Trik fight the internal battle against his dark nature, whilst also struggling to maintain his life with Cassie and find his destiny in the elfin world. Most fans of the fantasy/romance genres will find themselves captivated by the highly exciting and original plot of Elfin.

I must say that my favorite part of any book is always the emotion. If I can’t feel what the character feels, then I find myself holding the author accountable for not doing their job. It always makes me sad to have a good plot tainted by poor, pathetic attempts to make the reader feel. Thankfully, Elfin was filled with powerful emotion from cover to cover. I could feel Cassie and Trik’s love, pain, anger, and confusion at their situation and the world around them. Every bit of the emotion seemed real, and it always astounds me to come across a writer so endowed with the ability to put such soul into their writing. In my opinion emotion is the foundation of every good book, and Elfin was brimming with it.

The third element of this book that stood out to me was the well-developed characters. The female protagonist was very believable and identifiable. Her reactions to everything thrown at her were all very realistic and I enjoyed that. It was also rather intriguing to have the male love interest be someone who was essentially evil. He was a very dynamic character and his background was well told and believable – even though most of it was withheld until later in the book. I also immediately grew fond of the character of Elora (Cassie’s sharp-tongued, gothic best friend). In all of her works, Loftis has the tendency to include such a supporting character, and I tend to be quite a fan. This type of character often provides some comic relief and is a supporting backbone for the protagonist. Readers often fall in love with these “sidekicks” – I know I do. The characters in Elfin, including the ones not mentioned here, all quickly became some of my favorites of all time.

In conclusion, I have officially given Elfin a spot on my list of favorite books. I recommend it to fans of emotional stories and I definitely plan to read the next book, Rapture, when it is released. I have to know what happens after that cliff hanger ending! It was all in all a great read and I must say that Mrs. Loftis is fabulous author. In Elfin, she definitely created a fantastic plot, intense emotion, and some seriously amazing characters.

Uglies by Scott Westerfield, Reviewed by Summer Jewell

From Goodreads.com:

Tally Youngblood is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait for the operation that turns everyone from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to party. But new friend Shay would rather hoverboard to “the Smoke” and be free. Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn’t very pretty. The “Special Circumstances” authority Dr Cable offers Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

What would life be like if we were all “pretty”? Sure it may seem great at first. Who could complain about super model beauty? What about when normal is considered ugly? In Scott Westerfield’s Uglies, we get a glimpse into the future of “pretty”. With strong themes, interesting characters, and a brilliant plot, who wouldn’t like Uglies?

First of all, the theme completely amazed me. In the begining, I thought it was strange that the government actually encouraged plastic surgery, and that the main characters had to abandon society to find true beauty. As I continued reading the novel, I realized this way it was easier for the author to preach that independence is true beauty.When all we know is fake, how are you supposed to learn that pretty is more than a face, more than perfect hair or a thin body. The author teaches you that you can not manufacture pretty. Pretty is your mind, your heart, the ability to overlook someone’s flaws and see inner beauty.

Next, the characters caught my attention. We meet Tally Youngblood, a citizen of Ugly Town (where everyone lives until they turn pretty on their sixteenth birthday), who is completely abandoning her life. But really, Tally is playing both sides. She is the responsible citzen and the daring refugee, ever since her best friend dragged her into a mess of authority and freedom. Shay, her new, daring best friend has plans for and escape. Will they work? Will we ever ever meet David, a mysterious mountain man only Shay has heard of? Will he whisk Tally and Shay into a strange new land? Read to find out.

Lastly, the plot took me by suprise. Who new so much action could fit into that book? We begin with Tally, conflicted over the loss of her best friend Paris since he became pretty. Everything appears to be fine when she meets Shay. They have the same birthday, meaning they will turn pretty on the same day. But we reach a conflict again when Shay hatches plans to leave the city. From there Tally is taken on an insane journey, toying with authority and freedom. Is it possible Tally will never be pretty?

` Scott Westerfield accomplished a large feat by creating an interesting, meaningful novel. He managed to open my eyes to the flaws of the perception of beauty. Uglies is a winning book in my opinion, due to it’s inspiring theme, captivating characters, and action filled plot.