Author Archive: taylorleepage

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson , Reviewed by Taylor Page

                                                                             Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
From Goodreads.com:
Jess Aarons’ greatest ambition is to be the fastest runner in the fifth grade. He’s been practicing all summer and can’t wait to see his classmates’ faces when he beats them all. But on the first day of school, a new kid, a girl, boldly crosses over to the boys’ side of the playground and outruns everyone.
That’s not a very promising beginning for a friendship, but Jess and Leslie Burke become inseparable. It doesn’t matter to Jess that Leslie dresses funny , or that her family has a lot of money — but no TV. Leslie has an imagination. Together, she and Jess create Terabithia, a magical kingdom in the woods where the two of them reign as king and queen, and their imaginations set the only limits then one morning a terrible tragedy occurs. Only when Jess is able to come to grips with this tragedy does he finally understand the strength and courage Leslie had given him.

Who wouldn’t want a magical kingdom that had everything a person could imagine? This is the very idea that brings Leslie and Jess together in Katherine Paterson’s book Bridge to Terabithia, where two lives are bridged, and nothing will be the same. “A place just for us” says Leslie. This book tells the story of two friends with very different backgrounds that bond and create a fantasy land called Terabithia. While I enjoyed the entire novel, I most enjoyed the interesting theme, exciting setting and great characters.

I loved the challenging themes presented in the book. Bridge to Terabithia is expressed in a very interesting way. Jess and Leslie’s friendship is the central theme of the story .Their friendship is delightful on a simple level, with their amusement and joy. However, Jess and Leslie’s friendship is so magical because it allows them to rejoice in childhood and to escape pressures that bear down on them so heavily in the rest of their lives. This is the essential beauty of their friendship: it allows Leslie and Jess to find their true selves. For example both characters are outcast and Jess, in particular, has a life full of hard work. Terabithia was a unique way to reveal the theme of the story.

The setting was something I also enjoyed in this story. Terabithia stands as a symbol of childhood, a perfect world in which children can rule without heavy responsibility of adulthood. No bad can touch the rulers of Terabithia. Terabithia helps Jess and Leslie escape there tackles in life but Terabithia is not a complete sanctuary, it is proven by Leslie’s death. She drowns in the creek, the border between the perfect world of Terabithia and the hard world of reality. By the end of the novel Jess comes to understand that he must not depend on Terabithia as an escape, but to handle his life problems head on.

The third element that most caught my attention was the characters in the book. Jess and Leslie meet at the very beginning of the novel when Leslie out runs all the boys at school .Jess Aarons is a talented and intelligent kid .He is the main character and protagonist of the novel .When Leslie moves next door Jess is lonely and lost in the middle of a family of four girls. Leslie is a also highly intelligent and imaginative, it is her idea to build the fantasy land Terabithia. The two characters have a special click that compares their personalities, lifestyles, and relationships. The gender roles caught my attention as well. Each Jess and Leslie are expected to fit into a mold but in Bridge to Terabithia it shows that neither characters have to have a certain role but they can be themselves without gender stereotypes .

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and intend to keep reading the authors books. I recommend this book to teens that enjoy a book that goes in too deep thought and who love books about friendship. I think this novel would make great discussion while it challenges you to think about the life of reality and a perfect world. Through the use of strong theme, unique setting and awesome characters, Katherine Paterson has created a winner in her book Bridge to Terabithia.

The Perfect Date by R.L Stine , Reviewed by Taylor Page

 The Perfect Death by R.L Stine

From Goodreads.com:

After his girlfriend’s gruesome death one year ago, Brady is finally ready to get on with his life. He’s met Rosha and he’s fallen hard.

But he’s also fallen into trouble. Terrible accidents seem to happen whenever Rosha’s around. And a strange figure with a scarred face is following Brady everywhere he goes.

Is Rosha really Brady’s dream girl? Or has she brought his worst nightmare back to life?

Imagine meeting the perfect person after the horrible death of a boyfriend or girlfriend. Things seem great until someone realizes terrible things keep happening when around this “perfect person”. An unknown figure seems to be following and watching every move. Is this a relationship to risk? These are the challenges that Brady faces in the mind blowing horror book The Perfect Date by R.L Stine. This novel tells the story of a boy who thinks he’s met his dream girl but he doesn’t know as much about her as he thinks. Although I loved the whole novel its dreadful relationships, shocking ending, and its compelling plot really caught my attention.

I really enjoyed the series of relationships presented in the book, and think that it would make a interesting discussion. Why every relationship is with Brady going downhill is the major question as portrayed in The Perfect Date. In this novel Brady was in the mix of three different relationships. He is currently dating Allie and also associating with Rosha. Recovering from the horrific death of his last girlfriend Sharon. With that being said, Brady is caught up in lies, cheating and confusion. While this isn’t a particularly new theme LMN present shows with the same concept. Like the LMN episodes The Perfect Date had a twist that I didn’t see coming.

The unique plot was also something that I most enjoyed in this novel. The Perfect Date had many nail biting scenes included in it. Many events made me want to read more and more. Many questions flashed through my mind while reading. Who is this person following Rosha and Brady? Does Brady see Rosha is not who he thinks? The sequences seem to have a paranormal relation. I think this would appeal to readers who enjoy this category.

The third element that kept me reading was the twisted, mouth dropping ending. While trying not to spoil the ending, Brady unravels a secret that he never expected. For me as a reader I enjoyed the hidden foreshadowing that I didn’t catch until the ending. The weird names and scarred face stood as a symbol of his past relationship. The Perfect Date showed active description all throughout it. The book showed an unbelievable climax and then the ending made the book a winner.

Overall I loved the novel, and I will continue to read the series of fear street books. I really want to know what happens after the shocking ending! I recommended this book for teens who want to read a novel that will make the hairs on their neck stand. This book was definitely a “what would you do” situation. Through the use of dreadful relationships, fantastic plot and gut – wrenching ending, R.L Stine has created an outstanding book, The Perfect Date.

Never Wave Goodbye by Doug Magee , Reviewed by Taylor Page

Never Wave Goodbye by Doug Magee

From Goodreads.com:

An innocent rite of passage turns into a nightmare for four couples, exposing their secrets and risking the lives of their children.

After passing the bittersweet parental milestone of putting her daughter, Sarah on the bus to sleep-away camp for the first time, Lena Trainor plans to spend the next two weeks fixing all the problems in her marriage. But when a second bus arrives to pick up Sarah for camp, no one seems to know anything about the first bus or its driver.

Sarah and three other children have been kidnapped, and with hours of the crime the parents receive an e-mail demanding one million dollars. When the specifics of the delivery terms throw suspicion on the parents of two of the abducted children, some of the parents begin to turn on each other, exposing fault lines in already strained marriages and forging new alliances. While the kidnapped children are living their parents’ worst nightmare, the police are trying to sort the lies from the truth in conflicting stories and alibis that seems to be constantly changing.

What if you placed your child on a bus for their first sleep away trip and then minutes later a second bus, the real one showed up?  Set in on this advanced thrilling novel of suspense Never Wave Goodbye by Doug Magee that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The novel tells the story of a parent’s worst nightmare! Four kids have been kidnapped. Where are they? Who took them? Can it be that one of their parents is responsible in some way? I was definitely hooked on this book because of its fantastic description, chapter viewpoint, and unique mix of characters.

The descriptive writing defiantly made me interested in this novel. In an investigation or in search for a kidnapper what are the first things police ask? ….Did they have curly hair? Were they tall or short? Throughout the scenes the narrator uses very descriptive writing especially when describing a kidnapper. When Sarah is picked up from her home her mom notices a lot of things instantly and thoughts flash through her mind. He had curly hair, he looked young, and she even noticed a coffee stain on his tooth so she figured he was a smoker. This suspenseful novel gives you a picture to create in your mind. Almost making you feel like you were in this mind blowing situation.

The Differences in the kids was the second element I enjoyed in this novel. Doug Magee made all the children come from a different background. Each child had their own personality and some from different culture. When one abductor is killed, the four frightened kids are alone struggling to survive. Sarah, Linda, Franklin, and Tommy made the book fantastic because when worst comes to worse each kid plays a role in doing something that they are more skilled at than others.

I enjoyed the chapter perspectives presented in the book and I think it would make interesting discussion with friends and family. Never Wave Goodbye is like our world today there are many related tragedies like ”kidnapping”.  In this novel every other chapter shows a different point of view from either parents or kids. This is so you can mentally visualize each scene from different perspectives .In this book, though, the parents knew the children had been kidnapped the children themselves were left clueless and wondering .Including different outlooks was a great idea I thought because it is almost exactly like the shows about kidnapping such as LMN and I.D.

Overall I really enjoyed the novel, I recommend this novel for a teenager who loves an unsuspecting end that will actually challenge them to think about what they would do in this ‘’ what if ’’ type of situation and I also recommend it to parents who are not so strict. The four victims are definitely very strong and learn from one another, which can demonstrate that to anyone. With the use of specific description, chapter viewpoint, and great mix of characters Doug Magee has created an outstanding book, Never Wave Goodbye.

Matched by Ally Condie , Reviewed by Taylor Page

Matched by Allie Condie  

 

From Matched the Book:

Cassia has always trusted the society’s choices. And when her best friend appears on the matching screen, Cassia is certain he is the one … until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now she is faced with the impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between perfection and passion. Society matched them, but love set them free. In the society, officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die.

 

What would it be like to have things chosen for you? People make decisions for themselves everyday like what to wear, and what to eat. It is not unusual in the world we live in today, but what if it was different? Would you always LIKE what the society chose for you ?The strong desire for choice of your own is expressed in the book Matched by Ally Condi , the dystopian novel that reveals the themes of what true love is , and what happens when breaking the rules of the society for who you truly wish to be with. The novel speaks about two young teenagers who will decide if they are willing to go this far for true love. Although I loved the whole book, I mostly enjoyed the dystopian setting, characters and remarkable description.

 

I was really interested in the setting of the book, and I think it would be something great to discuss with friends. Like the book The Giver, the society tries to make things “perfect”, in the society everything is chosen for you.  As a symbol for perfection in Matched the society only has 100 songs, 100 poems, and 100 pictures because they believed the society before theirs was to overcrowded with information. Society decides who you will be matched with, where you work, what you eat, and even when you die! Today people make everyday decisions without even thinking about it. Cassia is challenged and at great risk when she finds herself falling for someone else that is not her match. Matched is a fantastic mix of romance and dystopian future.

 

The character of Ky Markham was the second element that I really liked in this book. In the book Ky played an important part. He is intelligent but mysterious. There is something behind him that he doesn’t really show. He holds his secrets of past to himself and only shares them with Cassia Reyes who he has interest in. Ky is an aberration which means he cannot be matched. He is described as a very good looking person and has a calm personality. Ky is described with deep blue eyes, and dark hair .Cassia adores Ky where as others just see him as a friendly normal aberration.

 

The third element I really enjoyed was the active description. Throughout each scene Cassia uses great vocabulary. The novel gives you an excellent imagination of the book, and helps you visualize each sequence. The young adult novel helps you picture the looks of each character and personality. Almost making you feel like you’re in this futuristic society fighting in the struggle against powers.

 

Overall I thought Matched a fantastic book and I would love to finish reading the series. I really would love to find out what happens at the end of this love triangle. I recommend this book to other teenagers who enjoy a lovely romance/action novel but also gives you an experience of what is future could hold. Cassia is fighting for what she truly believes in which can send a message to teenagers all over the world. With the use of unique setting, mysterious characters, and great description Ally Condie has created a prize book, Matched.