Category Archives: JocelynC

Looking For Alaska by John Green, Reviewed by Jocelyn Cabauatan

 

 Looking For Alaska by John Green

From: goodreads.com Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter’s whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the “Great Perhaps” (François Rabelais, poet) even more. Then he heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.

                                   Who wouldn’t feel terrible about one of their friends passing away? Miles “Pudge” , Chip “The Colonel” , and Takumi were all very good friends with a girl named Alaska until one night something happened. Pudge , Takumi, and the Colonel will forever feel terrible about it happening enough though it was none of their faults .That very thing happened in John Green’s realistic fiction novel Looking For Alaska. My favorite parts about this novel were the captivating vocabulary, the unique characters, and the different scenes that this novel had to offer.

The captivating vocabulary of this novel kept me wanting to read it. It described each and everything from different stand points. For example, at the beginning of the story when Miles first went to “Culver Creek” his parents were pretty up tight about him going to that boarding school and then, through out the book they seemed to realize he liked going to school there and that he had more friends as well. Another good example of the captivating vocabulary usage was when the author was describing the dorm rooms everyone stayed in he described them as a box with cinder-block walls coated thick with white paint. One last example of the captivating vocabulary was when the author was describing the way some of the characters spoke like the police man who had a southern accent and Lara who had a broken English accent.

The unique characters of this novel were probably my favorite to read about. One example, of a unique character was Alaska Young who was one of the main characters of this story Alaska was kind of, a trouble maker who pulled pranks, and did lots of illegal stuff but, she also loved to read which sometimes kept her out of trouble. Another one of my favorite unique characters was Miles “Pudge” because he was a little dorky and had a huge crush on Alaska and also hung out with her a lot along with a few others in his group of friends. Pudge, also remembered last words of people who have passed away which made him unique in my opinion. Chip “The Colonel” stood out to me a lot because he knew almost everything about everyone and he hung out with Alaska and Miles as well and even gave Miles his nickname Pudge at the beginning when he found out they were roommates. Takumi was also a unique character in my opinion, because he was a foreign exchange student from Japan, he has a unique name that sounds different than most, and he liked to have fun with Alaska, Pudge, and The Colonel.

The scenes of this novel were very different from anything I’ve ever read. Some of my favorite scenes to read were when Alaska, Takumi, Pudge, and the Colonel were pranking The Eagle who enforced the school rules a lot , and the Weekday Warriors who were basically another group of kids who pranked. Another one of my favorite scenes to read about was when Alaska talked Pudge into staying at school with her during Thanksgiving break because it took him awhile to commit to doing that but they had a pretty good time together as friends. Lastly, my favorite scene to read about was when Alaska committed suicide because it took her group of friend awhile to figure out why she did so. Reading that scene kept me on the edge of my seat and kept me very suspenseful of why Alaska did that.

Overall I really enjoyed reading this novel because of the unique storyline it gave. I recommend this novel for any teenager or young adult who likes stories that keep them on the edge of their seat. I think that almost anybody would fall in love with this exhilarating novel. Through the use of captivating vocabulary, unique characters, and different scenes I think that John Green has written an amazing novel called Looking For Alaska. I hope more people enjoy reading this novel as much as I did.

 

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Fire On Ice by Sasha Cohen, Reviewed by Jocelyn Cabauatan

Fire On Ice by Sasha Cohen

From barnesandnoble.com

Olympic silver medalist Sasha Cohen tells her story — on and off the ice

champion figure skater Sasha Cohen captured the world’s attention with her exquisite spiral and outstanding layback spin at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City. In Torino, she reigned as the most intriguing contender in figure skating at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games and triumphed with the silver medal. For the first time, Sasha tells her amazing story, in her own words, including:

  • Her      discovery of ice skating at age 7 and the coaches who trained her
  • Her      comeback from the injury that almost ended her career
  • The      crushing lows and miracle wins

 

Who wouldn’t want to live their childhood dream? In the novel Fire On Ice by Sasha Cohen, she demonstrates her love and passion for the wonderful sport of figure skating and her strive to live her childhood dream to be an Olympian. Set in an autobiography for anyone who enjoys reading about athletes that have gone through challenging times in their careers. My favorite parts about this novel was the settings, unique vocabulary, and the experiences Sasha went through.

Each setting of this ambitious novel was different and unique in its own way. For example, at first Sasha Cohen started off in a gym as a gymnast and then went to a sheet of ice and became a figure skater. Sasha also had to move from California to Connecticut and even into New York for training. She also had to compete a lot for figure skating and so she traveled to Russia, France, and all kinds of other exhilarating countries. My favorite settings were when she competed in the 2002 and 2006 Olympics because of how incredibly big the arenas sounded compared to just a normal sports facility.

This novel had some amazing and unique vocabulary as well. For example, a lot of the vocabulary was talking about jumps, spins , and even footwork that were based off what Sasha had to do. A lot of skating vocabulary has very odd names but since I’m a figure skater myself I automatically knew what jumps and spins she was talking about through the novel which was a plus. Even though this novel had some large and unique words inside of it the reading itself was very easy.

Sasha went through some tremendous and heart breaking experiences through this novel. For example two of the most tremendous experiences she went through was competing in the 2002 and 2006 Olympics she described them each as a exhilarating and over whelming experiences. Though Sasha had some amazing experiences competing at the Olympics twice she also had some very terrible ones too at competitions like any other skater. One of the most terrible times she went through as a professional skater was when she had to withdraw from the senior national championships because of a back injury which also almost ended her career. Even though Sasha went through some tough times she still managed to get through everything in her career and still skates in shows to this day.

Overall I thoroughly fell in love with this amazing novel right from the beginning. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about competitive athletes and wants to know more about a competitive athletes’ personal life. Sasha Cohen is most definitely is an amazing role model for anyone. Through the use of different settings, unique vocabulary, and amazing experiences Sasha Cohen has definitely made an amazing novel in her book Fire On Ice. I hope more people will become fond of this novel as well.

 

 

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs Reviewed by Jocelyn Cabauatan

 

                                                                                                       Miss Peregrines Home For Peculiar Children

From: Goodreads.com

 

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience.

As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here – one of whom was his own grandfather – were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason.

And somehow – impossible though it seems – they may still be alive.

 

What would you do if everyone thought your grandpa was completely off his rockers for telling outrages stories about children he lived with through a war and had super hero like powers? The novel Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs demonstrates that very well. In fact Jacob’s grandfather Abe used to tell Jacob about peculiar children that he lived with during the tragic event of the Holocaust. Jacob’s parents always thought it was Abe’s imagination but Jacob begged them to let him explore the house and the island when Abe passed away that’s when Jacob realized it wasn’t his imagination. My favorite parts of this novel were the unique characters, the different settings, and the use of vocabulary.

The characters in this novel were very unique not only because of their peculiar talents but because of their unique personalities and looks. A lot of them had very nice personalities except for Emma Bloom until you got to know her which in Jacob’s case he did. They all had such spectacular and peculiar talents! For example, Olive had the talent to levitate while another character had a head full of bees literally and could make the bees sting people if he wanted them too! While they all had different talents some of them had very odd but unique looks. For example, the twins who wore the crazy clown looking costumes, and the boy with his face on a dog were two of the very different looks!

The settings in this novel were so in detailed! For example, one of my favorite settings were at the orphanage where the peculiar children lived when Jacob went there at first it seemed like a haunted house that had been torn up and had been abandoned for years. Another one of my favorite settings was at the pub that Jacob and his father stayed at because it kind of helped Jacob discover one of the “ wights “ that had been dangerous to him and his peculiar friends. My last favorite setting was the sea because the water seemed so clear and beautiful. Those are only just some of the different settings in the novel there are many more for people to enjoy reading about.

Lastly, I enjoyed a lot of the unique vocabulary. The characters used a lot of a German-English accents through the book and they used very distinct vocabulary to where you could tell that they had those types of accents. The vocabulary usage also made you laugh a lot because the characters used a lot of sarcasm. They also used very large words that made me think and learn a lot about what some of the words meant. This novel had a very different way of using vocabulary that I believe almost anyone could enjoy.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and will intend on reading the next book when it comes out. This novel had a lot of imagination and was written tremendously. This science fiction novel had me on the edge of my seat the entire time while reading it. I almost could never put the book down! I would recommend this novel to any teenager or eighth grader that’s looking for something that’s going to put them on the edge of their seats. Through the use of all the unique characters, different settings, and the use of vocabulary Ransom Riggs has successfully written a very amazing novel and I hope more people get to read it soon.

The Outsiders by S.E Hinton Reviewed by Jocelyn Cabauatan

The Outsiders by S.E Hinton

From:   Goodreads.com

According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for “social”) has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he’s always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers–until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy’s skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser.

Are you a prep , jock , greaser , or soc? Which group do you fall into? The novel The Outsiders by S.E Hinton demonstrates the two differences between the poor group the Greasers and the rich group the Socs. Ponyboy (a member of the Greasers) and his friend Johnny get into a tremendous amount of trouble for something they didn’t even mean to do. This novel tells a story about the greasers and the socs through the worst and best times. While I thoroughly enjoyed the novel I most enjoyed the adventure , the tremendous heart break , and the overall story it told.

I enjoyed the amazing adventure Ponyboy and Johnny had to go on when Johnny killed one of the Socs for jumping him. They had me on the edge of my seat wondering where they were going and what they were going to do to survive. Since they had to leave town Dallas (another member of the Greasers) gave them fifty dollars to survive on. Dallas also gave them directions to a church that they could hide in until he got there. But the church later on caught on fire while they were away but then they had to go back in because some little children were in the church and they wanted to save them.

Secondly, I enjoyed reading about the tremendous heart break between the greasers and the terrible death between Johnny and Dallas. Johnny died when the church caught on fire and he went back in to get the children, he was rushed to a hospital but his injuries were just to serious. Dallas died from pulling a unloaded gun on the police and the police shot him when he did that because he robbed a grocery store. These two deaths brought the greasers together as a family as if they already weren’t like family but this just brought them closer. Everyone was extremely depressed.

Thirdly I enjoyed the overall story a lot. The story about Ponyboy and the Greasers was very sad but they were very, very tough. The story in the beginning about Ponyboy was the same in the end because it was mostly about Ponyboy reflecting his life before and after Johnny, and Dallas’s deaths. I enjoyed reading about how the Greasers survived with the Socs always jumping and threatening them. It was a very amazing story that I couldn’t just stop reading.

Overall, I enjoyed the novel very well. I would recommend this book to anyone that’s looking for something different to read compared to other books. I would also recommend this novel to anyone that likes controversy between groups and people. It’s novel that anyone would love and could easily get attached to. This book is packed with a very giant adventure, tremendous heartbreak, and an amazing story to follow! S.E Hinton had definitely written a very amazing and different novel.