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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 Other Life by Susanne Winnacker, book review by Hannah White

Book Review from Goodreads.com :

Sherry and her family have lived sealed in a bunker in the garden since things went wrong up above. Her grandfather has been in the freezer for the last three months, her parents are at each other’s throats and two minutes ago they ran out of food.

Sherry and her father leave the safety of the bunker and find a devastated and empty LA, smashed to pieces by bombs and haunted by ‘Weepers’ – rabid humans infected with a weaponized rabies virus.

While searching for food in a supermarket, Sherry’s father disappears and Sherry is saved by Joshua, a boy-hunter. He takes her to Safe-haven, a tumble-down vineyard in the hills outside LA, where a handful of other survivors are picking up the pieces of their ‘other lives’. As she falls in love for the first time, Sherry must save her father, stay alive and keep Joshua safe when his desire for vengeance threatens them all.

 

            “1,143 days since I’d smelled the sea, heard the splash of waves. 1,141 days since I’d had candy, even longer since I’d tasted the smoky sweetness of a s’more. Too long. 1,640,160 minutes since I’d run, since wind had tousled my hair, since I’d seen another person apart from my family.” Counting time was the only thing she could do. Sherry had spent 1,141 days in a bunker, hiding from what government had called rabies, until they ran out of supplies. In Susanne Winnacker’s intense The Other Life, Sherry has to grow up quicker than she ever imagined. These Weepers kept me second guessing with their timing and pacing, conflict, and actions.
            “Dad leaned on the door frame. “You’re grounded for another week, young lady.”” I really enjoyed the timing and pacing, because at the beginning of every chapter, there would be a flashback of a time that she hadn’t been in the bunker; a time that was good or sometimes bad. Times that she missed. I could definitely feel how much she missed her best friend, and how she missed everything that she no longer had the advantage to experience. In the beginning of the story, she’d counted the days out of the time that they had spent in the bunker that her parents had argued. She counted the days for everything, even whenever she had finally eaten an apple, 1,123 days. I mostly enjoyed the fact that she had kept up with the days that she’d gone without things, and exactly whenever she’d tell us how many days. She didn’t think much about the things she’d gone without until she had a chance to experience them again. Sherry forgot the things she was privleged to do.
            There was lots of conflict in the story as a whole, but the climax had the most conflict in my eyes. Everyone had been keeping their secrets to themselves, because they were afraid that the others would look at them differently or start to hate them because of the things that they knew. Throughout the story, they had been convinced that the whole world was infected with rabies, that the military and everyone else but the people still hidden were gone, and they even believed that there weren’t many people in bunkers. The climax was seeing the helicopter fly overtop of them, knowing that they seen the signs for help they gave, and flew on. Tyler was known for not speaking, and they didn’t even know his name, they just assumed it was Tyler because he had it as a tattoo. Everybody had already told their stories, and the second the helicopter flew over without stopping, Tyler shared his. Turns out, the area three states in the USA was off limits; danger zones. The world was continuing to live, while three states were frozen with a virus that they didn’t even ask for. It was a twist in the story that really caught me off guard, and I never expected a thing.
            Last but not least, the actions were also a big part of the reason why I really enjoyed the Other Life. I’m not one to read action novels, and I won’t lie, the only reason I chose this book was because I needed to read a different genre that was on my list for class, and this one just so happened to be about zombies. There honestly wasn’t that much action in this story, it was more of the suspense that foreshadowed. What little bit of action there was, made me want to keep reading even whenever it was 3am on a school night. Whenever Sherry and Joshua went into a Weeper’s nest looking for Sherry’s father, that’s whenever I realized that this book was very detailed and suspenseful, and that’s what kept me reading. Susanne had described everything that happened, and it made me feel like I was there. I remember while reading, Sherry and Joshua had three survivors from the nest, and I was so into it that my aunt had come in there and asked me what I wanted for dinner, and I jumped out of my bed. That’s what good books are all about, whenever there’s so much action and detail that you feel as if you’re there.
            I really hated that this book had to end so fast, because it was 254 pages that I’d read over and over again if I didn’t have other books I needed to read. I’d definitely recommend this book to anybody who’s interested in the Walking Dead, zombies, or action in general for that matter. Susanne Winnacker has won me over with her timing and pacing, conflict, and actions, and I really hope she doesn’t let me down when reading her other novels, because that’s something I’ll definitely be looking for.

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.

 
 

Barcode Tattoo by Suzanne Weyn, Reviewed by Lindsey Gore

From Goodreads.com:

The bar code tattoo. Everybody’s getting it. It will make your life easier, they say. It will hook you in. It will become your identity.

But what if you say no? What if you don’t want to become a code? For Kayla, this one choice changes everything. She becomes an outcast in her high school. Dangerous things happen to her family. There’s no option but to run…for her life.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a bar-coded world? Kayla does, but she is opposed to the thought. People’s lives have been ruined from the code, but are they brave enough to fight it? This story kept me fascinated, but what I loved most was the plot, the characters’ names, and the futuristic vocabulary used by the characters.

One of the things I loved the most was the plot. Kayla’s dad went crazy when he got the tattoo, so he slit his wrists. This led her mom to believe that it was the code’s fault, so she tried to burn it off of her arm and ended up dying in the house fire she caused. After all of this, Kayla was a wanted fugitive for not having the code. As the story goes on, Kayla learns about her responsibilities as a bar code resistor, and it led her to do amazing things with her mind and the friends she made along the way.

Another thing I enjoyed was the characters’ names. Some of the characters’ names were Mfumbe, Zekeal, and Nedra. All of them are very uncommon, but it seemed ordinary in Kayla’s mind. This is a very creative way to exaggerate the future and the book kept me enthralled until the very end.

The last thing I wanted to share was the futuristic vocabulary between the characters. Whenever we hear good news, our instant vocal reaction is “Awesome!” or “Amazing!” If this same scenario happened in this book, they would say “Final Level!” This kind of threw me off, because I didn’t expect it. It made me think about the book more and about how things can change in a short period of time. This is a smart and creative way to describe the future.

I loved many things about this book, and now I want to read the whole series. Based on this book, Suzanne Weyn is a very smart author and knows how to catch an audience’s attention. I would recommend this book to teenagers who are into dystopian novels.

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.

Fallen by Lauren Kate: book review by Hannah White

From Goodreads.com :

 

There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce

 

he goes out of his way to make that very clear. But she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, Luce has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret…even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, FALLEN is a page-turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

“What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?” What if a kiss could kill the one you love? What if you were cursed to see your beloved die every seventeen years? We have our hearts broken a radical amount of times in our lives, but mostly by different people, right? Imagine having your heart broken by the same person every seventeen years, but for a reason that you can’t fix with a million flowers or a billion kisses. Lauren Kate’s supernatural series Fallen has heartily won me over with it’s inspirational characters, astonishing plot, and dramatic theme.

Everyone has that one character that they can connect with on a personal level, those kind of characters that inspire us through personal experiences. Luce has an unusual story that curruptly haunts her on a level so strong that it terrifies her into not even wanting to speak of it. Something so unfathomably deep picks at her mind the second she wakes up to the sheep she counts before bed. She’s a one man army fighting with the shadows in her head, but she thought she was the only one that was in the battle. Her private thoughts eat at the core of her soul from overthinking, and I can relate to that more than anyone would understand. Then there’s Daniel, the boy who shelters himself from the world as if it’s not there; as if nobody deserves to be capable of having any sort of knowledge of him and his story, because he doesn’t want anybody being risked. He loves Luce unconditionally time and time again, and it never gets old to him, but she doesn’t know that. He makes Luce seem insane when she’d confront him about having the feeling of knowing him some time before; Daniel was the perfect liar with a perfect front. They’d known so much about each other, but with the fear of foolishness and irrational truth, they fell in love quietly, then all at once.

The main reason I found the plot so amazing is because it’s not a story that you read every now and then. I’ve never read anything with this kind of conflict. Daniel was cursed for all of the wrong reasons. He lived forever but that wasn’t the lousy part of it all. What really made me love this book was the fact he watched her die every seventeen years. No matter how hard he’d try to hide from her, she’d always find a way to him. It was fate, and I really enjoy that, because whilst reading this book it’s like I could feel the connection between the two of them. Books like this makes me wonder why life can’t have love like that. Now a days, everyone is constantly arguing and never loving. When Daniel explained what the shadows were to her, that they couldn’t hurt her, that’s whenever the fight broke out, and I could genuinely feel the hurt in her as I read the chapter when she had to leave him to fend for himself. It broke my heart imagining all of the things that could happen, because romance novels is always difficult for the reader. It’s basically us forcing ourselves to feel every emotion that the narrator has. The confusion, the lust, the pain; we can feel it all and it tears us apart. That’s why I enjoy reading so much, and especially with Fallen. Readers can live all of the lives they want and resume to which ever they decide to feel next.

What made the theme so dramatic in this book makes me refer back to the conflict of the story. I feel like there was more than one theme of Fallen, substantially because the story began sluggishly and for the most part of the book I never understood exactly what was happening or what the climax was going to be. So when the climax came, it blew me off of my feet. The only thing that I could gather in my head entirely whilst finishing this book, was that I should never expect something particular from somebody simply because I feel as if I know them personally. There wasn’t an exact theme, and I’ve come to that conclusion because it jumped around; it had no basic theme. It was a great book, I have to admit. Most reviews I’ve read hadn’t enjoyed it and I can see why they hadn’t, because it reminded me a lot of the Twilight series by Stephani Meyer. Not many people like the Twilight books, but I enjoyed those a lot, as well. I’m a sucker for romance and supernatural. This book didn’t entirely add up, so hopefully whenever I order the next book to the series, it’ll make more sense and I’ll be eligable to explain further.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and my goal is to finish the series, because the ending really leaves you guessing. I would definitely recommend this book to any Twilight fans or anyone who enjoys romance or supernatural books for that matter, mainly young adults. I would also like to recommend this book to anyone who’s trying to venture into detailed novels, because this book has definitely had a wonderful setting thankfully to the descriptive view that Lauren Kate has shared with us. It wasn’t my favorite book, but it made me want to know more, and that’s good enough for me. I can honestly say that Fallen is a great book thanks to it’s characters, plot, and theme.

Third Period Book Reading List

I challenge the students in third period to keep track of EVERY book you read this year — NOT just the ones we review for class, but ALL books you read this year.  Let’s see if we can read a total of 300 books for this class period! Can we do it?  To help us keep track I have created this post-it note wall.  Click on the link to navigate to it.  Find the post it with your name.  Click on it to add text.  Each time you finish a book, come to this wall, and add that info to your post it. My post it has my first entry on it.Reading Tracker Wall

Matched by Ally Condie, reviewed by Annabeth Stennett

From barnesandnoble.com

Cassia has always trusted the society to make the right choices for her. So when Xanders face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate…until she sees Ky Markhams face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it’s a glitch and she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice, between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

Everyone wants to know who they are going to marry and spend the rest of their life with. It’s a human fact of curiosity. In “Matched” by Ally Condie you learn that on your sixteenth birthday at your Matched Banquet. In this dystopian community the society chooses everything, basically your fate, and Cassia decides she wants to change that. I enjoyed the entire novel but I most enjoyed the plot, the characters, and the theme.

I enjoyed the complicated, yet on the edge plot. In “Matched” Cassia the protagonist is like a robot in the Society. The Society controls you, tell you, what to do, who to be with, what to eat. Everyone in Oria Province lives this way. At Cassias Match Banquet she is matched with Xander. But when she gets home and tries to learn more about him another face pops up. This face belongs to Ky Markham. The society claims it is a rare mistake. The plot is very good and well written. It is a post-apocalyptic society with twist turn and adventure romance.

The characters are the second thing I loved. Cassia the protagonist, I can very much relate to her in many ways. I don’t like being put in a box and being told what to do and expected to do so. Cassia realizes this through the course of the book. Ky is my favorite character though. He is strong and independent with a dork secret. Xander is Cassias best friend and her match. He loves Cassia and never doubts her choices to her.

The last thing I enjoyed was the theme. To me the theme is freedom and romance. I think we take freedom for granite at times. So in the book they are controlled and have not a lot of freedom. Of course romance. Your match is the person you fall in love with and is your match. Cassia falling in love with Ky. Romance is a big part of the book along with freedom as well.

Overall I loved the book and I’m going to continue reading the trilogy. It was an emotional roller coaster through the book and after the ending left me wondering and questioning. I recommend this to students who like books with a hint of romance action, and a dystopian community. Cassia is a strong independent person that will keep fighting for the right to choose. It had a well-known theme, an exciting plot with twist and turns, and amazing characters.

Uglies by Scott Westerfield, Reviewed by Summer Jewell

From Goodreads.com:

Tally Youngblood is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait for the operation that turns everyone from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty and catapults you into a high-tech paradise where your only job is to party. But new friend Shay would rather hoverboard to “the Smoke” and be free. Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world and it isn’t very pretty. The “Special Circumstances” authority Dr Cable offers Tally the worst choice she can imagine: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. The choice Tally makes changes her world forever.

What would life be like if we were all “pretty”? Sure it may seem great at first. Who could complain about super model beauty? What about when normal is considered ugly? In Scott Westerfield’s Uglies, we get a glimpse into the future of “pretty”. With strong themes, interesting characters, and a brilliant plot, who wouldn’t like Uglies?

First of all, the theme completely amazed me. In the begining, I thought it was strange that the government actually encouraged plastic surgery, and that the main characters had to abandon society to find true beauty. As I continued reading the novel, I realized this way it was easier for the author to preach that independence is true beauty.When all we know is fake, how are you supposed to learn that pretty is more than a face, more than perfect hair or a thin body. The author teaches you that you can not manufacture pretty. Pretty is your mind, your heart, the ability to overlook someone’s flaws and see inner beauty.

Next, the characters caught my attention. We meet Tally Youngblood, a citizen of Ugly Town (where everyone lives until they turn pretty on their sixteenth birthday), who is completely abandoning her life. But really, Tally is playing both sides. She is the responsible citzen and the daring refugee, ever since her best friend dragged her into a mess of authority and freedom. Shay, her new, daring best friend has plans for and escape. Will they work? Will we ever ever meet David, a mysterious mountain man only Shay has heard of? Will he whisk Tally and Shay into a strange new land? Read to find out.

Lastly, the plot took me by suprise. Who new so much action could fit into that book? We begin with Tally, conflicted over the loss of her best friend Paris since he became pretty. Everything appears to be fine when she meets Shay. They have the same birthday, meaning they will turn pretty on the same day. But we reach a conflict again when Shay hatches plans to leave the city. From there Tally is taken on an insane journey, toying with authority and freedom. Is it possible Tally will never be pretty?

` Scott Westerfield accomplished a large feat by creating an interesting, meaningful novel. He managed to open my eyes to the flaws of the perception of beauty. Uglies is a winning book in my opinion, due to it’s inspiring theme, captivating characters, and action filled plot.