Category Archives: AlyssaM

Beneath the Glitter by Elle & Blair Fowler Review by Alyssa Marcum

Beneath the Glitter From internet stars Elle and Blair Fowler comes a scintillating new novel that takes readers Beneath the Glitter of the glitzy L.A. social scene.

Welcome to a place where dreams are made.  And where nothing—and no one—is ever what it seems.

After their make-up and fashion videos went viral on YouTube, sisters Sophia and Ava London are thrust into the exclusive life of the Los Angeles elite.  Here fabulous parties, air kisses, paparazzi and hot guys all come with the scene. Sophia finds herself torn between a gorgeous bartender and a millionaire playboy and Ava starts dating an A-list actor.  But as they’re about to discover, the life they’ve always dreamed of comes with a cost.

Beneath the glitter of the Hollywood social scene lays a world of ruthless ambition, vicious gossip…and betrayal.  Someone closes to them and they trust is working in the shadows to bring the London sisters down. Once the betrayal is completed, Sophia and Ava find themselves knee-deep in a scandal that could take away everything they care about including the one thing that matters most—each other.


The book Beneath the Glitter by Elle and Blair Fowler is probably one of my favorite books of all time. I am personally a “Girly-Girl” so I really enjoyed this book and the beauty theme. The things that stood out the most in this book to me were the authors of this book, the details in this book, and the concept of this book. I love that the authors of this book are famous YouTubers because I feel like it gives me a chance to get to know more about them and it makes them stand out from other authors. I really enjoyed the details in this book because the more details you have, the easier the book is to get into. Lastly, I found the concept of this book very interesting. In this book it is a mixture of different genres and that makes it very interesting.

The first thing that stood out about this book was who the authors are. The authors aren’t just famous YouTubers but they are also sisters. I have watched the sister’s YouTube videos for almost two years now and I already knew a lot about them before I read this book. They have made makeup and beauty videos for almost 4 years now. Allthatglitters21 also known as Elle Fowler currently has over 1,150,000 subscribers and 421 videos. Her sister, juicystar07 also known as Blair Fowler has over 1,500,000 and has 389 videos.  I have enjoyed their videos and I will continue to watch them.

The second thing I enjoyed about this book was the amazing details. I love when a book gives so much detail that you feel like you are seeing the movie in your head. As I read this book, I used the background information that I knew about their lives to help me understand the book a little better. I realized throughout this book there where little things the authors added that has to correspond with the sisters their lives.

The last thing that really captured my attention was the whole concept of this book. This book is very different from other book I’ve read before. It connects the authors’ lives right into the book, such as in an autobiography, but it also has a mixed genre of a romance and crime. In the beginning of this book, it connected to the authors. Example, the character Ava was the younger character with brown hair and she had a little dog named Popcorn and the older character, Sophia, had blonde hair and had a kitten. In Blair’s life she is the younger sister with brown hair and she has a little dog but instead she named it Teddy and Elle is the older sister who has a kitten named Pinecone. Another example in the book is they get discovered and create their own makeup line, just like in really life. In the story, it goes from a story based off of their lives, then it adds in a little romance in the middle and toward the end of the book it becomes a crime novel.

At the end of this book, it had a kind of a questionable ending. What I mean by questionable ending is that, by the end of the book, it gives you information that won’t be revealed until the next book. The second book came out in August and I will diffidently be reading it sometime soon. It is titled Where Beauty Lies. The ending of this book leaves you wondering what is going to happen next and leaves you wanting more.







The Hate List by Jennifer Brown Review by Alyssa Marcum

The Hate List months ago, Valerie Leftman’s boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.

Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.


No matter what your age or race or gender, everyone has gone through a tough time in their life one time or another. In the book, The Hate List by Jennifer Brown a girl named Valerie was dating a school shooter, but she didn’t realize it at the time. Valerie already had a hard enough time with her life before the shooting occurred. Her parents fought all the time and she didn’t have many friends. That’s when the thought came to her to make the “Hate List.” It was a list of everything she hated. After the school shooting, she lost everything that was important to her. She lost her boyfriend because he took his own life. What if that happened to you? However three things that really stood out to me in this book were the setting, characters, and theme.

The very first thing that stood out to me in this book was the setting. This book starts out a little different than most books. In the beginning of this book, it starts off by using a news report about the school shooting. As I read the book, it gave me more and more ideas and clues to what had happened the day of the shooting. By the end of the book, you will know everything that happened and the after effect of the shooting one year later. The setting also has great details that left me in suspense.

In this story, the characters really stood out to me as well. They all played an important part of the story that ties the events together, at the end of the book. At the beginning of the story, you get a feel for how the characters are but by the end of the story your feelings may change like mine did.


Have you ever been in a situation that you just don’t know what to do? You don’t want to make a decision or you don’t want to take a risk? Well, in this story, Valerie has to make some very hard decisions and she didn’t know who to trust. She has to decide either will go back to school or stay home and be home schooled. She had to choose to either go back to her old friends or be alone, and she had to make plans for college. By the end of this story, she had made some hard decisions and went through a lot of tough times. She realizes that she had to move on past the incident of the school shooting that had happened months before. She made plans to go on to college.

By the end of this book, you start to think about how good your life really is. Other people have a much harder life than you do. Even if this book is just realistic fiction, you realize that these things really do happen. Tragedy can happen anywhere and anytime it has happened in the past and it will happen in the future. In the book, Valerie was dating a boy that later became known as the school shooter. He shot Valerie in the leg and later shot himself, sadly ending his own life.  Valerie had went through a lot and she had to listen to her parent’s argue all the time. Later in the story, Valerie finds out shocking things about her mother and fathers relationship, but in the end, she turns out stronger than ever. Sometimes I feel like people don’t realize that life may be tough now but hopefully things will get better. You have work at making your life better.





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

The Outsiders by S.E Hilton. Review by Alyssa Marcum

Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

The ruthlessly realistic and violent story of the Greasers and the Socs, rival gangs from very different sides of the railroad tracks, is narrated by Ponyboy Curtis, a smart, sensitive kid who has grown to become one of the most recognizable figures in the history of young adult literature. Any teen who has ever felt isolated or different can identify with Ponyboy, a kid forced to be tough on the outside, but who underneath is just as scared and needy as anyone. Hinton herself has said that she has never written a character as close to her own self as Ponyboy is. Young Adult fiction was shaped and defined by Susan Eloise Hinton, and the realism she attached to the genre became the norm, enabling later writers like Robert Cormier and Judy Blume to find characters and voices that actually spoke to adolescents. Since 1967, Ponyboy has become the hero for countless teenagers nationwide as The Outsiders stands to influence an entire new legion of adolescents who need Ponyboy as much as ever.

Three brothers struggle to stay together after their parents’ death, as they search for an identity among the conflicting values of their adolescent society in which they find themselves “outsiders.”



Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be apart of a gang? Where you get to do whatever you want, whenever you want. Who wouldn’t want to be able to do anything they wanted? In the book the Outsides by S.E Hinton, Pony boy goes through life changing exsperiences. It is a attention grasping book that deals with hard times and hard desision making. The three things that I really enjoyed in this book was the setting, the theme, and the the over all lesson in the book.

The first thing I really enjoyed in this book was the setting. Can you imagine being scared to walk from a movie alone? In a town so bad you have to carry around a knife or some sort of weapond just to keep from getting beat up or keep you away from death? In this book there is a rival gang of Greasers and Socs. The Socs are the more popular, rich kids and the Greasers have long hair slicked back with grease and long sleeved leather jackets. Even today people are put into groups or characterized. You may not be apart of a gang but people are always judging and grouping you. What group are you in? Are you rich, poor, tall, short, young or old?


The next thing I really enjoyed about this book was the theme. How would you like to be apart of a gang? In the Outsiders Ponyboy looses his parents and all he has left are his two older brothers and his gang, The Greasers. In the book Ponyboy feels like he doesn’t fit in. He is always scared and doesn’t really love the life he is living. Have you ever felt that way?



The thing that I thought was the most important was the lesson learned in the book. Have you ever judged someone right when you see them? Have you maybe judged someone by the way their hair looks or maybe by the way they walk? You know you have, EVERYONE has one time or another. It is just what we do. It is called a first impression. Before you even get a chance to talk to someone you form an opinion on how you think they are. In the book there are the Greasers and the Socs that are rival gangs. They are rivals because they judge each other by how they act, look, and what they have before they even get a chance to meet each other. Near the end of the book, after many challanges the gangs realize that no matter where you are from, everyone can see the sunset.


Overall this was an excellent book. I would recommend this book to really anyone that wanted to enjoy a good book. I really enjoyed the setting, theme, lesson, and really everything about this book. I really think it would be good to teach or discuss in class because of the lesson in the book. This book was excellent and I think I would say this book would be a five out of five stars. I probably wouldn’t have chose this book on my own, but I’m really glad I got a chance to read it.