Category Archives: Fantasy/Supernatural/SciFi/Horror

Book Talks Using Voice Thread

For the fourth book review of the year, Honors 9 Students created “book talks”.  These book talks are located on voicethread.com, and we invite your comments and additions to our conversations about the great books we love.

http://voicethread.com/share/5068841/

Advertisements

Witch and Wizard the Gift by James Patterson reviewed by Ali McCoy

Witch and Wizard the Gift By: James Patterson

Amazon.com

When they were imprisoned by the new, brutal government, Whit and Whisty were barely able to escape with their lives. Discovering a hidden community of children like themselves–hunted by the state and with varying degrees of special talents–they have taken refuge underground. But the New Order is rapidly pushing in on them from all sides, and the pressure to stop the regime is mounting.

One day, as they rush to save another group of kids who are about to be captured by police, Whit and Whisty discover not only their own faces plastered to buildings on wanted posters, but also their parents’. When the hunting party sent out after the siblings always seems to be one step ahead of them, they begin to fear that it is controlled by a very, very powerful force. They are in much more danger than they feared…

 

I read the book Witch and Wizard the Gift by James Patterson. The book is a very good read. I as a reader really loved it. We all believed in witches and wizards as little kids and this book really gives us a view on what they might have been like. My very favorite part of this book was its plot, its good descriptions, and the way it ended so that the next book could start.

This books plot was fantastic. I could really tell what it was getting at, there was no cutting around the corners for this book. James Patterson knew what he wanted to write and he wrote it. I didn’t have to try and guess or wonder what he was trying to get at I knew it by the way James Patterson wrote his story. The way he writes made the plot so easy to know what he was getting at.

James Patterson gave me very good detail. Not only about the characters even though the description of the characters was great. He described the places the characters were at very well I thought that I was there with them. James also described the characters feelings very well. I could imagine how the characters felt very well.

The way Patterson ended this book was great. It ended with just enough that makes you want to read the next book. I know it made me wonder what was going to happen next. It made me have that feeling that longing of I need to know what happens next. James Patterson ended this book amazingly.

I would give this book a four star rating. I know that I would tell anyone and everyone to read it. So readers out there that like a little action, a little love, and a lot of heart break you should read this book. It is a great read. I am very glad that my little eyes had a chance to read it.

 

 

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.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, reviewed by Jenna Meade

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

 

Barnes and nobel

 When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder—much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing—not even a smear of blood—to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

 

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

 

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

 

 

 

What would be more exciting then finding a whole different world that others cannot even see?  Clary Frey, the main character of the trilogy City of Bones, finds herself in another world that she can’t walk away from.    As the book goes on, many complications arise which pulls others into the trilogy!  The author, Cassandra Clare has outdone herself with this book series.  Although, this book has some outstanding main points, the most that stand out to me, is the plot, theme, and the word usage.

 

One of the main topics the was brought out in the book was the plot.  While most supernatural book series is great,  the author has wrote this book in a strange but addicting way that pulls you in.  The plot twist that occurs in the climax of the book changes the way the book is brought up.  This is the main reason why  the plot really stands out to me.  Seeing as I read on, the plot of this book  is definitely shown in the second one as well.  In the book, the plot can truly hold your attention.

 

The second element the was shown clearly in the book was the theme.  Comparing the book to real life is impossible due to the genre. Although, the actions and personalities of the characters help let my mind imagine how living while seeing a whole new world could be possible.  The book starts out telling the story of the main character living her normal life, so in the beginning, I seen myself as her.  So as the story went on I still saw myself in her shoes and tried to picture everything that she went through in life happen to myself.

 

The third noticeable element  the stood out in the book is the word usage.  This book is set in the present day, however the vocabulary is outstanding.  This other world has different slang that one will have to get used to.  As I read on, I understood more of what things meant and what the characters were talking about.  To me, when I caught  on to what the words meant, the book got a whole lot more interesting.  Without reading the trilogy in order, one will not understand the transition of the vocabulary.

 

In conclusion, City of Bones is an enjoyable book.  I would recommend this book to anyone with a taste for thrill and the love for fantasy.  I am really  excited to see what the other books in this trilogy has to hold.  People always says that the first book is always the best, I am hoping that  with is series, this statement is not true.  Cassandra Clare as done an amazing job portraying the plot, theme, and word usage in the City of bones.

Angel by James Patterson reviewed by Alyson Green

“Angel” by James Patterson

 

From Goodreads.com:

“Maximum Ride and her friends have always had each other’s backs because they can’t trust anyone else. No. Matter. What. But now the flock is up against a threat unlike any they’ve ever faced. Just when they need each other the most, Fang is gone. He’s creating his own gang that will replace everyone—including Max.”

 

 

In this novel “Angel” I found out how much friendship really means. I haven’t always stopped to think about how much one person could mean to myself or who would fight for me like the characters in this novel did. It really opened up my eyes and I’ll be thinking differently of people. The way that Max risked her life multiple times is one of the few reason I truly enjoyed this novel. I enjoyed the wonderful setting, theme, and plot of this novel the most and I highly encourage anyone into supernatural books to have a read!

The astounding setting in this book really knocked me off my feet. I couldn’t believe the amazing detail it gave in each place the flock went. When the birdlike people flew in the air it told in mesmerizing detail on how they were two thousand feet in the air and how magnificent the view was looking down on Paris. I could feel the wind in my hair and the coldness on my cheeks while reading about how fast Max had to fly through the tunnel to save all of the world. I feel like the writer of this novel has definitely been in intense situations to have written some such as these in such intense places. The overall setting of the book was fantastic!

While I very much enjoyed the setting of this book the theme really took me buy surprise! I started reading this novel thinking that it would be about a girl who falls madly in love and has a wonderful life. However I could not have been more wrong. The book had a theme of an apocalypse and not the “zombie” kind. When reading it I found out the theme is more of a love story than anything else. Max and Fang struggle with each other while also saving the world and it is all very sweet. Though you have to think there can only be so much romance while trying to deactivate a bomb set off to kill the whole world. I really think the theme overall was to show you have to put your own feeling in front of others, because in the end you are all you can trust.

My personal favorite part of this book has to be the plot. The plot goes into such amazing detail on how each person or bird in this case feels. It tells that Max and Dylan don’t really need to be programmed to love each other. It also tells how Angel really does know what is going to happen and when you look back on it she really does try in everyway possible to keep everyone else safe. Which I think is a very big thing for a seven year-old to do! I am amazed at how much time there was put in to telling who can do what. When the world was coming to and end and all the gang members from each side had to work together they used each of there strengths to there ability. I think that the plot was very well written and detailed.

In conclusion to this book the setting, them, and plot really supirsed me in a wonderful way and I plan on reading James Patterson’s other novels. I recommend this book to anyone who is into supernatural novel’s and any teenager who is going through a time of feeling faced with a tough decision of any kind. I very much enjoyed this novel.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, Reviewed by Summer Jewell

From Goodreads.com
Mara Dyer doesn’t think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been through, she can fall in love.
She’s wrong.

     Boom! That’s the sound sound of the abandoned asylum collapsing, crushing Mara Dyer’s best friend and boyfriend. She feels guilty, like she caused the whole thing. These feelings would follow her across the country to Florida, as she is forced to answer the real question; What happened? Was she at fault for her friends’ deaths? A few of my favorite aspects of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer include the highly developed and intense plot, the mysteriously flawed characters, and the diverse mood.

     I very much enjoyed the plot of the book. It was intricate yet slowly developing, as not to be overwhelming. At first, Mara seems to have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, suffering with the agressive hallucinations. Soon though, as she is linked to a series of unfortunate events, she and her mysterious love intrest begin to uncover her supernatural abilities. I liked that the author was very descriptive in some instances and vauge in other, to some of the plot secret and mysterious. Throughout the novel, action was built up and became extreme. For example, when she and her Noah (her partner in crime) had to save her younger brother, I was on the edge of my seat.

     Secondly, I enjoyed the characters. In particular, Noah Shaw was my favorite. He is vauge yet understanding, dangerous yet intelligent, with just enough witty humor. Even he has his flaws, though. He comes from a broken family and has an extensive record of times that he’s gotten in trouble. I also became fond of Mara herself. The only problem I had with her was that, though I thought she was portrayed as a particularly strong character she became rather independent throughout the novel. I’m sure this was partly because of the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/ Supernatural Powers, but it was a little unnerving.

     Lastly, I liked the mood of the novel. It was set in suburban Florida, which I found interesting. The author successfully reminded me that flaws can be found in normality and otherwise typical society. I liked that the weather changed with the emotions. Specifically, this happened in one instance in which she had come face to face with a malnourished dog and it’s cruel abuser.

     All in all, I think Michelle Hodkin successfully created an amazing novel. I absolutely loved reading it.; It’s one of my favorite books. I would reccomend this to anyone who enjoys the supernatural ( I thought of it like horror meets realistic fiction.). Also, I believe anyone who enjoys reading novels with an underlying romance would like this, because it is there but not neccessarily the main focus. Michelle Hodkin’s writing style reminded me of John Green’s, so his fans might like this as well. This book’s great qualities include, an exciting plot, relatable characters, and a detailed mood.

 
 

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare Reviewed by Krista Ellis

To save her mother’s life, Clary travels to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters – nevermind that by doing so she is breaking the Law, which could mean death. Even worse, Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by Shadowhunters who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who an ally in the mysterious Sebastian, who holds a strange attraction for her. As Valentine musters a demon army, can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their ancient hatred and work together? And can Clary harness her newfound powers to help save them all – whatever the cost?

In the third book of the City of Bones series, Clary and the gang travel to the Shadowhunter homeland of Idris, even though Jace doesn’t like the idea of Clary going to Alicante, Idris’s capitol and only city. We meet dome new characters too, like Luke’s sister Amatis, the new Inquisitor and Jace, Isabelle and Alec’s childhood friends, the lovely and very striking Aline and tall and handsome Sebastian. Although I really enjoyed everything, I really liked the setting and the vocabulary but didn’t catch the theme, which kind of confuses me a bit about what it is though… anyway lets continue.

Lets start out with discussing the setting. I actually really liked it, but I’m not gonna lie I was actually thinking it wasn’t going to like it, I completely changed my mind after reading the novel. Anyway I did really enjoy the nove, where it started out in New York and within 4 to 5 chapters into it, the characters were in Idris. And thanks to the great vocabulary, it was easy to visualize what Alicante is like, Old-fashioned and classy. I hope to get more of a good setting in the next book in the series. I would like to visualize more of The City of Glass, Alicante.

Next lets talk about the absolutely brilliant vocabulary choices Cassandra Clare uses. I am absolutely in love with it because it is easy to visualize what is going on in the novel. Lets just say if I can envision what is going on, on the page I easily fall in love with the novel. And if a  novel has a series to it then I’ll have a reading palooza in my room. I remember in the book where the big battle scene between the Shadowhunters and Valentine’s demon army, I love the fact that the author had described Magnus and Alec fighting about Magnus wanting to meet Alec’s family, because Magnus is in love with Jace and then out of nowhere a few dozen demons show up, then Alec says “If we survive this you can meet my entire family.” It was full of humor in a serious situation which I thought was just brilliant.

Then last but certainly not least, it’s time for the theme. I really didn’t like it because I can’t really figure out what it was. Now if i would have figured it out then I probably would have liked it more. But since I didn’t we’ll never know. Although if I could have figured out what it is, I would say it is “Fight for what you believe is right.” Because it is the same story line as the first two books. But in a way I think it is a strong message to give.

Overall… I really enjoyed City of Glass and recommend it for other students because I really think they will enjoy it. Due to its wonderful setting, visual vocabulary and mysterious theme I believe Cassandra Clare really has talent with her writing and is very creative. She is now one of my favorit authors to look up, and I just want to say She has done an incredible job with making people happy.

-K.L.Ellis

Angel by James Patterson. Reviewed by Abby Lee.

Angel by James Patterson

From Amazon.com : Max Ride and her best friends have always had one another’s backs. No. Matter. What. Living on the edge as fugitives, they never had a choice. But now they’re up against a deadly force that’s racing across the globe, and just when they need him the most–Fang is gone. He’s creating his own gang that will replace everyone–including Max.

Max is heartbroken over losing Fang, her soul mate. Her closest friend. But with Dylan ready and willing to fight by her side, and she can no longer deny that his incredible intensity draws her in. Max, Dylan, and the rest of their friends must soon join forces with Fang and his new gang for an explosive showdown in Paris that’s unlike anything you’ve ever imagined . . . or read.

Wonder what would happen if someone came up to me and told me I had to save the world? Hmmm, I’m not actually not sure what I would, but neither did Max. Max, Dylan, and Angel were totally shocked when their doctor told them the world was in danger and since they were Gen77 kids it was their job to save it. In this novel I enjoyed lots of things. I mostly enjoyed the details, the plot, and the genre.

Between the madness of saving the world and the madness of Max and Fang’s ending love, somehow author James Patterson detailed the characters amazingly. In this novel I felt like I could imagine exactly what each character looked like. I could sense the jealousy between Fang and Dylan. I felt that I was saving the world with both groups. If I could give the author an award for best detailing so far James Patterson would win!

In this novel another aspect I enjoyed was the plot. I believe every little thing fell perfectly in place in the plot. From beginning to end it was spectacular. I honestly haven’t read a scientific fiction book that flowed so well together. The only thing I had a little trouble catching on to was how the narration of Fang and Max would alternate in some chapters. Sometimes I would have to figure out who was actually speaking because it wasn’t so clear at first. Overall, the plot was amazing.

Let’s get one thing straight… I’m not really much on Scientific fiction usually. I really enjoyed this book, though. I think the novel was classified perfectly. I can’t get over how great this book was. I think the love story mixed with “fixed” kids and doomsday was just a lovely combination!

I really enjoyed this novel. I think overall this book needs to be read in all first year high school classes. Not only is it a thriller, but some people could probably relate to the small love story that’s mixed into it. I rate this book a  5 out of 5 stars. The plot, the characters, and the genre was fantastic!

The Grimm Legacy By: Polly Shullman Reviewed By: Cassius Dotson

                                      The Grimm Legacy By: Polly Shulman

 

From the Book:

What if fairy-tale magic really existed? Elizabeth has just started working as a page at the New York Circulating Material Repository, a lending library of objects-contemporary and historical, common and obscure, and secret too- for in the repository’s basement lies the Grimm collection, a room of magical items straight from the Grimm Brothers fairy tales. But the magic mirrors and seven-league boots and other items are starting to disappear, and before she knows it she and her fellow pages- handsome Marc, perfect Anjali, and brooding Aaron-are suddenly cought up in an exciting but dangerous adventure!

 

Imagine being able to work in a library full of magic. Wouldn’t it be exciting?

Alright now admit it we would love to work with magic. That idea is pursued in Polly Shulman’s novel The Grimm Legacy. The only one of it’s series is full of magical items that would blow your socks off!  There’s a catch though, this isn’t ordinary magic, it’s very dangerous and can tempt the mind into doing things it regularly wouldn’t do. While I enjoyed the entire book, I most enjoyed the theme’s, setting and character’s that it included.

 

I enjoyed the magical themes presented in the book, and think that if there’s fantasy lover’s out there that they would enjoy this novel. What does it mean when magic is stolen is the main question portrayed in the secret halls of Grimm Legacy. In this library everyone has there own stacks  to work on, but there’s a certain stack that everyone has access too if they have been trusted by the boss. The only way to get this trust is by taking a test. If you pass the test you get a key to this stack, which is always different. This key unlocks the doors to The Grimm Collection. The Grimm Collection holds all of the Grimm Brothers fairy tale magic. This magic can be dangerous, and can be nice, but it’s up to you. Borrow the magic… if you dare!

 

 

 

 

The setting was a second element that I really enjoyed in this novel. Like most fantasy books, the setting has lots of magic items and mystical creatures. The mystical world of this novel is a result of stolen Grimm Collection items, that are being sold for there magic. In this novel it touches on trust in each other and the importance of cooperation. One example is how Elizabeth, Aaron, Marc, and Anjali the protagonists go on an adventure to get the items back, and learn to cooperation and trust each other. This particular part of the novel could teach us a few things. For me as a reader I enjoyed the magical descriptions of this setting. The Magic Mirror on the Wall will be waiting to cooperate with you!

 

The third element of this novel that I most enjoyed was  the interactions between the characters. While the primary audience is young adult, the interactions are not dumbed down in anyway. There is positive and negative interactions with the characters. The scenes to were Elizabeth thinks Aaron doesn’t like her but truly does, or were Anjali uses Elizabeth as an excuse to see Marc. There is love in the air between all four characters, but sometimes they don’t show it. The characters then learn that sometimes the truth can hurt. Since the setting is very magical the characters have some magic of there own to share. The only way you can find this out though is if you take the challenge of borrowing the magic!

 

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, and would like it if a second comes along. I recommend this book to any fantasy lovers out there.  This novel will keep you on the edge of your magic carpet. It looks like Elizabeth and her fellow pages have some adventures and experiences that our fantasy lovers would enjoy.  Through the strong theme, magical setting, and mystical characters, Polly Shulman’s  novel The Grimm Legacy is a winner!

 

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.