Category Archives: Miscellaneous

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, and we invite your comments and additions to our conversations about the great books we love.


Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks. Reviewed by Abby Lee.

   Nights In Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks

From From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks comes a tender story of hope and joy, of sacrifice and forgiveness-a moving reminder that love is possible at any age, at any time, and often comes when we least expect it. At forty-five, Adrienne Willis must rethink her entire life when her husband abandons her for a younger woman. Reeling with heartache and in search of a respite, she flees to the small coastal town of Rodanthe, North Carolina, to tend to a friend’s inn for the weekend. But when a major storm starts moving in, it appears that Adrienne’s perfect getaway will be ruined-until a guest named Paul Flanner arrives. At fifty-four, Paul has just sold his medical practice and come to Rodanthe to escape his own shattered past. Now, with the storm closing in, two wounded people will turn to each other for comfort-and in one weekend set in motion feelings that will resonate throughout the rest of their lives.

Swoosh! That’s the sound Adrienne and Paul heard as they look deeply into each others eyes during the eyebrow raising storm in the small costal town of Rodanthe, North Carolina. This novel turns a simple love story into an eye popping thriller. We think divorce would be horrible but, two middle age people turned a bad situation into a quiet good one until something tragic happens! In this “want to read” novel I respectively enjoyed the characters, the narration, and the setting.

I enjoyed the characters in this book, and kept wanting to read more! Adrienne Willis middle aged women was portrayed very well. They detailed her out to be a conservative , emotionally hurt woman with a very rough past. I believe Nicholas Sparks done a terrific job at letting us not only envision her with details but, feel her emotions also. Not only did he portray Adrienne’s character he done a fantastic job at including Paul’s character and her daughters. Nicholas done an amazing job!

I also enjoyed how the narration was sought out to be in Adrienne’s character mostly through out the book. I believe that if this novel was narrated in the mind set of Paul all through this book it wouldn’t as been as interesting. Since it was wrote mainly in the mind set of Adrienne’s point of view we ended up getting most of the “mushy” detail of a woman and not so much of the so called “heartless” side of a man. I think Nicholas sparks done a phenomenal job with the narration in this book.

I mostly enjoyed the setting in this novel. Everything from Adrienne watching the Inn for her friend to her and Paul’s moonlight walk on the beach, everything fell into place. If this book was set in any other setting I believe this book wouldn’t be as interesting. The setting set the romantic feel to the novel. I think placing this novel at the beach was a lovely idea.

Overall this book was great. If I was rating this book I would give it 5 stars out of 5. I wouldn’t recommend this book for a class read because of the grave detail that this story does include. Nicholas Sparks done an amazing job at portraying the characters, the setting , and the narrations!

Payback Time by Carl Deuker, Reviewed by Chris Watkins

Payback Time


by Carl Deuker

From           Chris Watkins  5th Period 9-16-13


Through the eyes of a distinctly non-athletic protagonist—a fat high school journalist named Mitch—veteran sports novelist Deuker reveals the surprising truth behind a mysterious football player named Angel. When Angel shows up Lincoln High, he seems to have no past—or at least not one he is willing to discuss.

Though Mitch gets a glimpse of Angel’s incredible talent off the field, Angel rarely allows himself to shine on the field. Is he an undercover cop, wonders Mitch? Or an ineligible player? In pursuit of a killer story, Mitch decides to find out just who this player is and what he’s done. In the end, the truth surprises everyone.

Have you ever felt that you were right, maybe that you could never be wrong? Well Mitch True knows all about being right and wrong. Mitch True is a reporter and news writer for his school, Abraham Lincoln High in Seattle. One day Mitch is chosen to write articles for the sports part of the newspaper. But one day Mitch discovers and odd predicament about the football team, which may turn out to be very dangerous to him, and the one person he loves. I enjoyed this entire novel, but I most enjoyed the conflicts, settings, and the different characters.

I enjoyed the great conflicts in the novel Payback Time. I liked how the main character Mitch True always got made fun of because of his size and weight, so he took it in to consideration to lose weight. Which I thought was very inspirational. Also I liked the conflict between Mitch and the mysterious football player Angel Marichal. The author presented all the conflicts in this book really well, which impressed me. The last conflict that I liked through out the book was between Mitch True, the head football coach McNulty, and Mitch’s photographer Kimi Yon. The conflicts in this book made it a must read for teens and adults.

Second, I liked the magnificent setting of this novel. The setting was mostly at football games or a traditional coffee shop. Which was Mitch and Kimi’s favorite place to talk and figure things out. Football is my favorite sport, which probably made me like the setting more than most people would, but overall the setting was my favorite part of the book. Also the setting was interesting because you never knew what was going to happen in any of the setting’s of this book, which made it a mysterious and interesting novel.

Last but not least, I enjoyed the different and interesting characters. All the characters in this book has something mysterious about them, which made them interesting. Mitch True was a news reporter who loved to write, but loved to figure things out. Kimi Yon was a photographer who had the same characteristics that Mitch did. Coach McNulty and Angel Marichal were the most mysterious, that is what the whole book is based on. Angel has a strange background and from what Mitch thinks McNulty is trying to hide it.

In Conclusion, overall I enjoyed the book Payback Time. It was one of my favorite books that I have read in awhile. I intend to read other interesting books by Carl Deuker. I encourage this book to be read by teens and adults. I would recommend it to all readers who love football and mysteries though. It was overall a magnificent book, I would give it a four out of five stars. I certainly enjoyed the great conflicts, interesting settings, and the amazing and mysterious characters. Payback Time by Carl Deuker.

Payback Time by Carl Deuker,Reviewed by Cody Adkins

Payback Time by Carl Deuker


Through the eyes of a distinctly non-athletic protagonist-a fat high school journalist named Mitch-veteran sports novelist Deuker reveals the surprising truth behind a mysterious football player named Angel.When Angel shows up Lincoln High,he seems to have no past-or at least not one he is willing to discuss.Though Mitch gets a glimpse of Angel’s incredible talent off the field,Angel rarely allows himself to shine on the field.Is he an undercover cop,Mitch wonders?Or an ineligible player?In pursuit of a killer story,Mitch decides to find out just who this player is and what he’s done.In the end,the truth surprises everyone.

What would it feel like to be the leading sports writer of a school?What would it feel like to reveal the truth of a suspicious football player?These are the ideas presented in Carl Deuker’s book Payback Time,which goes to no means in revealing the truth.Set in Seattle,mostly on the football field,the novel tells a story of a overweight high school journalist named Mitch who is going all out to find out the truth about a suspicious and sneaky football player named Angel.He will do anything to show the school that he is the leading writer and prove to himself that he is number one.There are many obstacles in his way,but Mitch never gives up in his pursuit for justice.While I enjoyed the entire book,I most enjoyed the themes,setting,and vocabulary that it included.

I enjoyed the themes presented in this novel,and I think some of these themes can relate to people in this world.Mitch True,the protagonist in this book,is really a person that wasn’t recognized in school.He was just an ordinary sports writer for the Lincoln Light and he was hardly noticed.For example,he was short and was made fun of because of his weight.That changes when Mitch is on the football field interviewing some players.He notices a new face on the practice field,but he is allowed no access to him.Mitch does whatever it takes to find out about this secretive player and what his background is.I really liked what the author did to make Mitch fight and not give up in seeking the truth.

The setting was a second element that I really enjoyed in this novel.Like most sports fiction books,the setting is usually on the football field.I thought the setting was very appropriate because being a sports journalist,you have to write about all of the football games and it is where most of the book takes place at.Another example of the setting would be that most of the interviewing happens there and it is where Mitch gets all of the news from.In my opinion,I really liked the setting of this book because it relates to me in a good way.I like sports and I thought the football field was a great setting all together.The football field is one of the few settings that most of the people in this world can really relate to and experience for themselves.

The third element of the novel that I most enjoyed was the vocabulary of the novel.I thought the vocabulary was suitable and mature for young adults and in no way I thought the language of this book was written in a childless way.For example,”It was fourth down and forever,with everything on the line.The quarterback dropped back to pass as his receivers streaked down field.With the pocket collapsing behind him,he stepped up and fired a long pass toward the end zone.The ball spiraled through the chill night air for what it seemed like an eternity,and then…”This quote was from Mitch’s newspaper article for the Lincoln Light.I thought this was a good quote because it shows Mitch’s talent for writing and how he can make the ordinary sound extraordinary,which leads him on an exciting quest to find the truth.

Overall I really enjoyed the novel.In my opinion,I liked how the book was about sports and it was a real good fit for me.I would certainly recommend this book to young adults who like novels about sports and journalism,and anything sports fiction.Any reader who loves football and a book about revealing the truth,then this book is defiantly for you.I would not recommend this book to people who don’t like sports or anything sports related.Mitch True is certainly a brave and well spoken person who fights for the truth.In my opinion,with its strong theme,cool setting,and mature vocabulary,Carl Deuker has created a winner in his book Payback Time.

Written by Cody Adkins

Identical by Ellen Hopkins, Reviewed by Ashton Sparks

Identical by Ellen Hopkins
Do twins begin in the womb?
Or in a better place?
Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical down to the dimple. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family – on the surface. Behind the facade each sister has her own dark secret, and that’s where their differences begin.
For Kaeliegh, she’s the misplaced focus of daddy’s love, intended for a mother whose presence on the campaign trail means absence at home. All that Raeanne sees is Daddy playing a game of favorites – and she is losing. If she has to lose, she will do it on her own terms, so she chooses drugs, alcohol, and sex.
Secrets like the ones the twins are harboring are not meant to be kept – from each other or anyone else. Pretty soon it’s obvious that neither sister can handle it alone, and one sister must step up to save the other, but the question is – who?
Do you ever wonder what it is like to have a twin? How about a mother who tries her best to never be home? Or maybe a father who isn’t as great as everyone thinks? This very idea is portrayed in the novel Identical by Ellen Hopkins. Set in a normal town, the novel tells of two twin sisters who have many traumatic experiences who have to stick together. Or do they? I enjoyed most everything about this book but most of all I enjoyed the way each page was organized differently, the unique language and vocabulary, and the plot.
The way each page was organized differently really drew my attention to this book. It made it even more interesting to me. It was like every page I turned it was a new poem. I had never read a book that was organized the way this book was. I loved this and feel that this was probably the main thing that I loved most about this novel.
The unique language and vocabulary is a second element I really enjoyed about this book. The book is all about emotion. The reader really gets a feel of how the characters feel and it really makes a big impact on them. I really love to be able to feel like I am really inside the book and this one definitely gives that effect. It is all just raw emotions of each character and it is very intense throughout the whole novel. For readers who like to feel like part of the book this is definitely one for them.
The plot is the final thing I enjoyed about the novel. The author really did a great job to create an exciting novel for readers. It is definitely hard to put it down. Everyone from the outside looking in has no clue what horrors the two twin sisters, Kaeleigh and Raeanne, have to go home to everyday. Considering their father is a district-court judge and their mother is a politician who is never home no one would think they weren’t the perfect family. But after a traumatizing accident their family has never been the same since. Their mother is gone more and more and their father has so much love to give but he starts to give it in all the wrong ways to Kaeleigh. The way the girls deal with the pain is much different. They may be identical twins but they choose different paths. One chooses to take the road of not letting anyone get close to her and shutting everyone. While the other chooses to take matters into her own hands. She decides if she is going to suffer she will be the cause of it so she chooses a life of drugs, alcohol, and sex.
Altogether the whole novel was wonderful. I look forward to reading more of the authors books. I want to know if all of her novels are as great as this one. While the novel is great is does have a very adult theme so I would recommend it for high school ages and up. Through the use of organizing differently, the unique choice of vocabulary and language, and the exciting plot, Ellen Hopkins did a wonderful job creating the novel Identical.