PaperTowns2009_6A-198x300.jpg
I, too, am not a bit tamed, I, too, am untranslatable, I sound my barbaric YAWP across the rooftops of the world" -- Walt Whitman

Paper Towns
By John Green
Reviewed by Erin Coulter

When they were 10 years old, Quentin Jacobsen and Margo Roth Spieglman discovered the dead body of a stranger hunched against a tree at the park near their homes, and since that time Quentin has felt a secret connection to Margo. Seven years after their discovery, during the last weeks of their senior year of high school, Quentin, the consummate band geek, harbors a secret love for the wildly popular and absolutely unpredictable Margo Roth Spieglman. But because the two belong to two different high school social classes, Quentin simply watches her from afar...Until, that is, Margo chooses him to join her in a fantastic campaign of revenge against the popular crowd that she once called her friends. Quentin becomes Margo's accomplice until the morning that Margo disappears, and soon he realizes that Margo may have left clues regarding her whearabouts. Clues, meant just for Quentin, from the girl he's loved for as long as he can remember, and it's up to him to find her.

According to his website, John Green, author of Paper Towns, Looking For Alaska, and An Abundance of Katherines is a self proclaimed "Nerdfighter" who "fights for intellectualism and to decrease the overall worldwide level of suck." If you have read any of John Green's award-winning novels, you know that he is a writer with exceptional insight into the teenage soul. He has the ability to create remarkably modern teenage characters who are smart, funny, and real. Green's characters are, like himself, "nerdfighters." They are intelligent and thoughtful and different, and so much more like the actual teenagers that I encounter on a daily basis, than like the teenage stereotypes that are portrayed in the media. Quentin, the main character in the novel, knows who he is and makes no apologies for not being part of the in crowd. His journey to find Margo Roth Spiegleman reveals truths about her (and about himself) that he never realized until she was gone. He learns that people are not always what they seem, and as a reader, you root for Quentin and hope that he comes out on top.

Paper Towns won the Edgar Award for Young Adult Mystery Writing in 2009. Quentin Jacobson's quest to find Margo is full of suspense, and as he begins to uncover the dark, hidden side of Margo Roth Spiegleman, you find yourself, as a reader, hoping along with Quentin that his search doesn't end in tragedy.

Paper Towns kept me on the edge of my seat (and up past my bedtime); I simply could not put it down. The characters and the situations in the novel made me laugh out loud, but they also made me think. I would recommend this novel to all the "nerdfighters" out there; If you like intelligent, thought-provoking, and accurate depictions of teenage life, you will really like Paper Towns. And if you like all of those things PLUS a good mystery, then you'll LOVE it. I think that John Green accomplished his goal of "decreasing the worldwide level of suck" with his novel Paper Towns.

Theme Song for Paper Towns:
Best Imitation of Myself by Ben Folds


Sometimes the lies that you tell are less frightening than the lonliness you would feel if you stopped them. -- Brock Clark
Sometimes the lies that you tell are less frightening than the lonliness you would feel if you stopped them. -- Brock Clark
Inexcusable
By Chris Lynch
Reviewed by Gynger Biddison

What do you do when you are madly in love with your best friend's girlfriend? Keir Sarafien has millions of things on mind: his graduation, his sister is away at college, his mom's death, football, and most of all leaving his dad alone by himself while he goes off to college. But all he really wants is Gigi Boudakian. But he can't have her and he knows it. Senior prom had a huge turn around when Carl, Gigi's boyfriend, trusted Keir enough to let him take her. Gigi clearly saw him just as friend but it was evident that Keir was absolutely crazy about her. Keir is constantly making it clear he is a "good guy," that he couldn't possibly be capable of raping someone. That's just not him, is it? Throughout the book we see many circumstances that could have been avoided if he was in fact, a good guy. Leaving a football opponent paralyzed from a tackle got him the nickname "Killer" but that didn't prove anything more than him being a good football player, right? The videos that show Keir violently torturing the soccer team and then destroying the school's statue of Paul Revere, it's all okay because he was too drunk to function that night. Right? Even on the night of his graduation he seems to forget most of the horrifying actions that take place.

Chris Lynch is a commonly known author for middle-age teen books. He had no connection whatsoever with date-rape, but a friend had suggested the idea to him for a book. He decided to make Inexcusable different; he would tell the story from an accused point of view. Lynch connected the book to teenagers by using football, substance abuse, and rape as themes.

The genre of Inexcusable is young adult fiction. The events in the story aren't neccessarily true. The settings of young adult fiction are usually ones that would be familiar to teens or people around that age group. One of the things Chris talks about in Inexcusable is football, which teens can definately relate to. Substance abuse is also a big part of the climax, which can help teens learn about the different effects it can have on you.

Inexcusable is an Award-winning book that is very popular. It gets great reviews and I admit it was hard to put down during some of the more suspensful parts. However, I did not like the ending. Up until the very last page I really enjoyed this book and thought something more was going to happen. It ends on a very depressing note. If you do something wrong, you should be punished. Period. Rape victims should definately steer clear of Inexcusable solely because of the ending. I recommend this book up until the last few pages.

cover_iggy.gifIggie's House by Judy Blume
Reviewed by: Britt Dries
The fiesty 12 year old, Winnie, begins to have a gloomy summer because her best friend, Iggie, moves to Japan. Iggie knew who was going to move in, but wanted it to be a surprise for Winnie. One day, Winnie sees the moving truck at Iggie's house and wanders over to find out that the new neighbors are African American. The Garber family is the only black family on the street, and Mrs. Landon makes up a petition for the whole block to sign. The petition fails because of the lack of signatures. Winnie starts to get involved, although she has no jurisdiction; she's only a kid right? Since the petition didn't turn out, Mrs. Landon nails a sign on the Garber's yard harrassing them. Because Winnie has a strong opinion about racism, Winnie's friendship with the Garber kids doesn't change. Mrs. Landon tries to convince all of the neighbors except for the Garbers to move so the African American population doesn't grow on their street. Does this mean Winnie's parents are considering a move as well as the Landons? Will Winnie leave the Garber kids behind after all she's done for them?
Judy Blume is one outstanding author who has created books for all ages, including the Fudge series, Tiger Eyes, Forever, and many more. When she wrote Iggie's House, the time period was in the 1960's. Dr. Martin Luther King was proposing how white people and black people should all be equal. Racism was a huge issue of the time, and tension brought out fighting. On Judy's webpage she exclaims, "At the time, I was almost as naive as Winnie is in this book, wanting to make the world a better place, but not knowing how." With two children of her own, she wanted to write a novel for kids who are around the main character's age.

Judy Blume catigorizes Iggie's House as a middle grade children's novel. Because this book includes racism, a child that is younger than 12 years old would not understand the content and the subject matter could create a controversy. This book was challenged in 1984 for its racism content. Although Judy Blume hasn't won any specific awards for this book, she has received many medals and awards for her other books. She is a highly honored author.

Although Iggie's House has about 170 pages, I overall liked this book. Whenever you hear or see a book that is banned or challenged someplace, it gives you the urge to read it because you want to find out about the details that contribute to the challenge or ban. This book gives you a great amount of detail for your imagination to wander through, and it makes you actually think about what's happening in this book as you're reading along. No there aren't any pictures, but there's plenty of description for you to think about. I highly recommend Iggie's House to kids that range from the sixth grade to ninth grade because it isn't too discreet for kids to read this, or too "childish." Children who are in this range are old enough to understand and should be aware of the issues in our society today.

Theme song:

Black or White by Michael Jackson


Red Inferno
By Robert Conroy
Reviewed by Arthur Hemp
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red_inferno.jpg

"Victory belongs to the most perservering"- Napoleon Bonaparte


Red Inferno begins toward the end of WW II, after Russia has taken Berlin and Hitler is dead. However, it begins to deviate from history when a head-strong American general wants his country to get credit for ending the Nazi reign over Europe; Russia sees this as a threat and declares war on America and all of its allies while it finishes off what is left of Germany. America is forced to fight against Russia and Japan as well as communists on the home front. In Europe the Allies are being forced back out of Germany, allowing Russia to begin its plans to conquer Europe. The story is told from the point of view of many characters that were all in some way involved in the war, including famous and infamous leaders during WW II. The novel has many characters but focuses on these five:
Col. Burke- A former professor of Russian history who gets closer to the war than he ever intended to.
Jack Logan- A sergeant who is trapped in the town of Potsdam with his company and a group of German refugees.
Sergi Suslov- A Russian tank commander fighting against the Americans while struggling with the difficulties of fighting for the Red Army.
Tony “The Toad”- An American tank driver who gets trapped behind enemy lines searching for a way back to safety.
Billy Tolliver- A Lieutenant trying to fight back the seemingly endless wave of Russians from entering Europe.

The author of Red Inferno, Robert Conroy, is a professor of economic history who is fascinated by history, and especially what could have happened during major historical events such as wars. He has written five novels about alternate history; three of them about WW II, one about WW I, and one about the Civil War.

Red Inferno was a rare find for me; I had never heard of the author and almost decided not to get it, but I’m glad I did. Its genre could be best described as a war/historical-fiction novel, with some elements of romance and a spy thriller developing later in the story; It's an all around awesome war story.

Red Inferno gives a fascinating, as well as frightening, look at how history could have changed due to a single event. Its heros are likeable and will make you want to cheer them on, and its ruthless villains who will stop at nothing. I liked the way the plot plays out and its alternating characters let you better understand what's going on all over the world. Every time I put the book down I wanted to pick it up and see how things would turn out in the end, and I had to try my best not to skip through to see what happens to one of the characters. I would suggest this book to anyone who is a fan of history or war novels, especially WWII or Tom Clancy novels; it really makes you think about how people affect history everyday.

Jack Logan's theme song:
Get Us Home by The Panics


Clockwork Angel
Clockwork Angel

Clockwork Angel

By Cassandra Clare

Reviewed by Charissa Pincock


"Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting a bull not to attack because your are a vegetarian." -Dennis Wholey


From the very beginning of Clockwork Angel, our main protagonist, Theresa ‘Tessa’ Gray, has not only been out of her element but dragged along on a wild ride she never thought could exist. The death of her remaining caregiver sends her, an American, to a Victorian London to be with her brother. Upon arrival, she is kidnapped and forced to learn a cursed gift she never knew she had to prepare her for servitude to the mysterious Magister. Suddenly, and quite unexpectedly, she is rescued by the Nephilim, a group of warriors with descendants from Heaven itself, and is pulled into a world of mythical creatures who can be just as deadly as helpful. Wanting nothing to do with the new knowledge she has, Tessa wants to go back and forget until her brother goes missing and fearsome creatures of man and machine appear and are seeking her. It is then she is forced to ask for help from the people she never thought existed. In a time period of strict rules and etiquette and stereotypes, Tessa finds friends who reinvent the way she sees humanity and show her a beautiful, dangerous new world. Clockwork Angel is filled with adventures that have cruel lessons and betrayal and despair, but also with adventures that teach you how to stand on your own two feet and about how important friendship and hope really are.

Cassandra Clare grew up on the move. She was born in Iran, spent a month living in her father’s backpack as toddler when her parents were trekking the Himalayas, and lived in England, Switzerland, and France all before the age of ten. According to her website, “[she] always had a book under her arm” and “[she] found familiarity in books” as she travelled everywhere. She writes about more fantastical places based on the places she had been to entertain herself. After beginning a career of writing about celebrities’ predictable lives, she started writing teen fantasy and has never looked back.

Clockwork Angel is definitely a true-blue-dyed-in-the-wool-as-sure-as-your-shoe fantasy novel. With mystical creatures that have become clichéd with recent book releases, Clare defines her own creatures and creates a new world for the reader to discover and enjoy. There is a touch of sci-fi that is coupled with a surprisingly tasteful mix of history, as the setting takes place in a Victorian London. There is a generous helping of sharp humor provided by interesting characters. Add a heaping cup of action and a dash of romance, and you get the ultimate recipe for a teen book that fits this book’s mold perfectly.

I am a very firm believer in the philosophy that a character and how they react to trials can determine if a book is award-winning or not, and Clockwork Angel delivers in that aspect and in so much more. Multi-layered, flawed characters that can and will surprise you with every turn, suspense and mystery that will make you fall off that proverbial seat you are sitting on the edge of, and page after page of action (my guilty pleasure) guarantee this book to be enjoyable for teenage boys and girls alike. I can truthfully say this book consumed me until the very end and hopefully any future readers will grow with the characters just as I have.

Theme Song for Clockwork Angel
Scars by Papa Roach




We_All_Fall_Down.jpgWe All Fall Down
By Robert Cormier
Reviewed by Jennifer Bonneville
According to the website The Author Page, Robert Cormier, the author of After the First Death, The Bumblebee Flies Anyway, The Chocolate War, Fade, I am the Cheese, Tunes for Bears to Dance To, In the Middle of the Night, and We All Fall Down, writes to tell the youth of today about the world in its entirety. He refuses to shield teenagers from the good, the bad, and the ugly. “Happy endings are not a birth right. You have to do something to make them happen," says Cormier. This is one of the many truths that Cormier lived by in life and his novels. Cormier has won many awards for his young adult writing. He won the Margaret A. Edwards Award of the Young Adult Services Division of the American Library Association. This is presented to writers that create a window to view the world and help young adults to understand themselves and society.
When Karen enters into her home earlier than usual, she is greeted by unwanted guests. Everything she loves has been smashed and slashed, urine is covering the walls, and the smell of booze is heavy. Four high school boys that Karen has never seen before are in a drunken stupor, destroying everything she loves. During a physical altercation, she is tossed down the cellar stairs and lands in a coma. Karen's sister Jane is devastated by the news of her home and the condition of her sister. Spending much time alone, she wanders the mall avoiding her destroyed home, family, and life. She falls in love with a seemingly nice boy. Little does she know the love of her life, Buddy Walker, is one of the boys who tore apart her home and her life.The Avenger sees everything and waits.
Mystery lurks all throughout We All Fall Down. Who is the Avenger? What does he want? Will Karen survive? Questions overflow in your mind. Answers seeming to never come; this is the ultimate thriller novel. You’re left on the edge of your seat confused, frustrated, and in love with the not knowing.
We All Fall Down left me with so many questions that I’d lose track of time. I read more than half of this novel in one sitting, unable to tear my eyes away. The mysteries engulf you, and the characters entrance you. You feel what they feel, their pain so real it stings. I would recommend this novel to anyone who wants to see the world in a new light, an unfiltered light. If you like mystery, romance, and betrayal you won’t be put down Robert Comier’s We All Fall Down.

Theme Song of We All Fall Down: Give you Hell by All American Rejects

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No object is so beautiful that under certain conditions it will not look ugly. -Oscar Wilde
Thirteen Reasons Why

By Jay Asher
Review by Audrey Bradwell

At first, Clay Jensen was excited when he received a mystery, unmarked package in the mail. Those feelings faded quickly when he came to find thirteen audiotapes with Hannah Baker’s voice. Hannah was the girl Clay had liked since he met her a few years before, but he was too afraid of her reputation to do anything about it. Hannah Baker was the girl that committed suicide two weeks before the arrival of that package. Now she was going to tell Clay the thirteen people who pushed her to the edge and how he fit into that list.

Jay Asher has worked every possible job related to books, but Thirteen Reasons Why is actually the first book he has published. You would have never guessed it, though. He creates real characters, ones you would find in your own high school. He makes you love some, and want to beat up others. Jay Asher said in an interview that the idea of telling someone’s story through a series of audiotapes had appealed to him for a long time. One day he just sat down and Hannah’s story “popped” into his head. Currently, he is focusing mainly on teen books, and for good reason. Jay Asher was able to take a subject that is generally hard to discuss, and make it an easy read with great levels of suspense and a sense of humanity.


There is no doubt that this book is a mystery. Every page reveals some answer about what made Hannah Baker crack, and you can hardly wait to read the next. As a teen novel, it’s easily put down mid-read, especially since it deals with such an intense topic, but Thirteen Reasons Why is so filled with suspense it is an absolute page turner. Waiting to find out why Clay was on her list was such incentive that I finished the book within a week.

When I began reading Thirteen Reasons Why I could hardly keep from rolling my eyes; not another I’m-a-sad-teenage-girl story, but after a couple chapters I was hooked. Hannah Baker’s story is heart wrenching, and reading Clay’s reactions almost brought me to tears. Thirteen Reasons Why is a book about a topic that is overly done, but done with such a twist that it’s impossible to put down.

Theme song for Thirteen Reasons Why:
Lithium by Nirvana



1ZDABCA0U9UIKCAX9OKI2CA312WPBCANS8R1XCA6DHJ68CA73JPASCAPV72GYCAGZJ1DGCAS59NJSCA2E9KHPCAPLH3VBCANZVTBICADU66V2CAR10A9GCA1P9XSJCAK7QRZ3CABDECKOCAPNASTJCAC2WGCA.jpgCode Talker
By Joseph Bruchac
Reviewed by Brad Day
As the story begins there is a boy sitting near his house looking at the rolling hills and mesa's that surround him; He is trying to see all he can before being sent away to a boarding school. The boys name is Kii Yahzi, which means little boy, because he was very small for his age. He is a Navajo indian and is told that he must go to school to help protect the future generations from the United States government so they would not have to endure the hardships of the past again because of their inability to communicate. At first he had many problems with the school because they were required to speak only English and faced harsh consequences if they spoke Navajo. After going through all of his schooling, he looks to the future to see what would be right for him; he and his friends find what they want, and they want to join the Marines. Because WWII has started, they are struck by the great responsibility that they really were going to take on. They were thrown into what might be the worst part of the war, the invasion of Japan, and in that time his Navajo language comes back to help the U.S. in the fight.

Joseph Bruchac has written many books about the important history of many Native American societies. He did a lot of research with the people that served in WWII and has proved that with the great detail in the book. He holds the Navajo people to a very high regard and personally spoke to many of the people, including the actual children of the main character.

The book is more of a biography since it follows pretty much only one person. It's about one person's life from when he first goes to school until well into his adulthood. Also, the author speaks to many of the people that lived with the main character and knew him personally. The book is pretty detailed, though, so I'm not sure if that is because he had really good information or made some things up.

I liked this book. Eventhough I couldn't really relate to his story, it is written in a way the captures even my attention. That is pretty difficult because usually I just fall asleep when I start reading. I think the story is good because the things are changing all the time. At the beginning I knew at some point he was going to join the military, but the way it was done was unexpected so I'm happy with it.


exit_here.jpgExit Here
By Jason Myers
Review by Carly Fullerlove

Surprisingly, Jason Myers has only written two books; The Mission and Exit Here. Both books touch upon the struggle toward adulthood and the battle of finding yourself. Both books are intense and quite taboo. Exit Here is based in San Francisco, where the author now resides, giving the book a realistic feel. He is a self-made author, raising the bar for all writers out there.
In the novel Exit Here, you will find three themes running throughout the pages; drugs, sex, and dismay. If you’re looking for a book that gives you that warm feeling inside, I wouldn’t recommend this read. It is clearly stated in the foreword, “This is not a love story” and “There are no happy endings.” Those quotes seem to stay with you as you turn each page. Even if you don't do drugs, have promiscuous sex, or live in San Francisco, you can’t help but find yourself relating to the main character, Travis Wayne.

As you read the first few pages, you get the sense that something is not right in Travis’ world. He has returned home from suddenly dropping out of college in Arizona, then a vacation gone wrong in Hawaii, and seems to be in a depressive rut. He is disconnected from his family, apathetic with his friends, and can’t seem to care about much of anything. The stresses of his wealthy father, who owns half of the city, seem to weigh down on Travis. His mother turns a blind eye to both him and his little sister. His friends are as burnt-out as he is. Something seems to be missing.

When Travis left for college, he left a number of things behind, including his friends, family, and ties to home, and, the most important thing, Laura. Laura was his best and his worst, his happiness and his sadness, his rain and his sunshine. On his return home, he is desperate to rekindle any feelings he left behind. At a party with his friends, he spots her, boyfriend in hand. Hell-bent on breaking her relationship up, he succeeds, but not with all smiles. Something isn't right with her anymore, and there seems to be something she isn't telling him. But what?

As you dive further into the pages of Exit Here, you read letters that Travis writes. They are about his nightmares, and everything he fears. He has persistent nightmares of a dead young girl, desolate places, and a loss of hope. It's not quite clear why he has these nightmares, but the pieces are coming together. What happened in Hawaii? Why the sudden drop-out of college? What is Travis not being told about his love, Laura? Will the nightmares end?

These questions rack your brain as you turn each page. This is not a book to be put down easily. There is a twist and turn and surprise waiting around every corner. Travis' voice seems to echo through your mind as you read his words. You feel what he feels, and wonder every thought that he wonders. You never know what's going to happen next. It's truly a compelling and powerful book, and I'd recommend it to anyone. You can thank me later.

Theme song of Exit Here: Life in the Fast Lane by The Eagles



augusten_burroughs.jpgDryBy: Augusten Burroughs

Reviewed by: Jayme Gohde

Discovering he was gay at a very young age and being abandoned by his mother at her psychiatrist's house so she could live it up with her girlfriend definitely affected Augusten's life. His alcoholic father never really even noticed he was gone. So, it's kind of apparent that life was rough for Augusten growing up, but both good and bad came out of his childhood. While he landed a great advertising job making more money than he needed, he spent all this money on the bad habit he inherited from his parents, drinking. His hot shot bosses started to catch on and weren't exactly proud of his showing up drunk or even missing important meetings. Since Augusten was the best in their business, drunk or not, he got one last chance to prove his comittment to the company. He had to go to rehab. He decided if he was going to have to go, it was going to be enjoyable. Proud Institute, the gay rehab center in Minnesota is where Augusten decided would be the most enjoyable for him. Hot male nurses, just asking to be fantasized about and plenty of "sleepovers" with the other men staying in Proud is where Augusten imagined he'd be spending the next 30 days. Boy, was he wrong.

Born Christopher Robinson in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to a bisexual mother with a knack for poetry and an alcoholic father, it was apparent to Augusten that he was born into a mess. We learn in his previous novel, Running with Scissors, that at age 12 when his parents divorced, Augusten is adopted into an even bigger mess of a family which just happens to be that of his mother's psychiatrist.There were very few rules in that house, and along with the "doctors" real children, Augusten really had to fend for himself. It should've been a wake up call for Augusten to strive for a better life, but in a way he really loved the crazy Finch family. When one of Dr. Finch's older sons decided he had an interest in Augusten, he tried to fight it but in the end this was the beginning of Augusten's life as a gay man. It's pretty easy to say that Augusten has had a pretty rough life, which is where his decision to begin drinking came from. He had to only be about 14 when he started drinking, and his life would never be the same again.

Dry by Augusten Burroughs is in fact a memoir because it goes into intense and factual detail about another phase of his life.While Augusten began writing his previous book, Running with Scissiors, which is also as a memoir, the "Finch" family protested that he wasn't completely factual while writing about the events in their house. While Augusten still claims it to be completely factual, he agreed to change the genre of Running with Scissors to be just a book. Dry, though, is definitely a memoir because it describes his life after leaving the "Finch" household and being out on his own as an alcoholic, with a job that payed way too much.

If you're going to like any of Augusten Burroughs' books, you have to have a sly sense of humor. He doesn't worry about offending anyone. He describes his life in depth, and he'll go intensely into detail, even when you wish he hadn't. That's why Dry is such a great read. You hear about alcoholics all the time, but you never hear about them recovering. You won't want to put this book down because you'll want to know what crazy drunken memory he'll create next and then about his experience in rehab, which was nothing and everything he expected to it be.

Theme Song:
You're Not my God- Keith Urban


Texternal image site_05.gifhe Boy Book

By: E. Lockhart

Reviewed By: Jessica Homan

Just when Ruby believes her life is going great and nothing can change it, she gets a call from her friend saying that she will be moving and not joining her for their junior year of high school. Ruby is then lost and confused about how she will ever survive the school year. Just when she is about to start school, her former acquaintance, Noel, e-mails her. Noel and Ruby discuss everything they have been doing and their goals for the school year, until a party that Noel attends gets out of hand and a girl from school who used to be very modest is taunted with the images of her floating around school. How will Ruby and Noel help recover the pictures before the whole school sees them?

A writer since she was eight years old, Emily Lockhart wrote two novels in the third grade and is in the process of writing her fourth book for the Ruby Oliver Series . The Boy Book is second in the series of novels. Lockhart has enjoyed writing since a very young age. She wrote during high school which gave her the great ideas and themes to write about in novels such as The Boy Book. Emily Lockhart is a very talented writer, and her novels have been translated into ten different languages.

Emily Lockhart's novels would be found in the Young Adult section of any library. Young Adult novels are novels that attract the interest of people between the ages of 14 to 21. During this age, a lot of young adults find it hard to find an interesting book that gives them a thrill and makes them want to read more. A lot of books that young adults choose to read are not that intresting and are rather boring. But with Emily Lockhart's novels, every teen has something enjoyable to read that is available to them.

I LOVED this book! Iwould most definitely recommend it to anyone who is in the mood to read a book that is full of drama and excitement. This book was enjoyable for me because it was the actuality of the way high school really is. I would recommend this book becuase it opens your eyes to see that the way we live high school is not how it should be, but it is how we want it to be. The way that it should be, is that we love each other and always have everyone's back no matter what race, religion, or group we are a part of; you should always love all equally and be there for them in any situation, just like a family.

The theme song for The Boy Book is:

Beautiful Liar- Beyonce ft. Shakira

51THPN8NGWL.jpgHow I Live Now
By Meg Rosoff
Reviewed by Breann Randle
Fifteen-year-old Daisy is sent,by her "wicked" step mother, to England to live with her aunt and four cousins she has never met. Soon after she arrives her aunt goes away on a business trip, and the next day a bomb goes off in London. Little does Dasiy know, the bomb is the beginning of a long struggle to survive. Her Aunt Penn is worried about the children and panicked to get back but was stranded away from the children. Becausethe war was happening "far away from them," they were living every child's dream of an independent and rule-free life. There are no grown-ups to be found anywhere, that is, until the war ends up at their front door. Soldiers arrive and separate Daisy and her other female cousin, Piper, from the three boys, Edmond, Osbert, and Isaac. They are each sent to live on different farms, and that's when the reality of war finally hits them, and it hits them hard.

Meg Rosoff, author of How I Live Now, was born in Boston in 1956, and now resides in London. In order for Rosoff to find what she really enjoyed in life, she had to take quite the journey. After high school in Boston, she moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts to attend Harvard. She found out pretty quickly that she wasn't a huge fan of Harvard, so after three years of thinking that she had to get out of there, she applied to an art school in London. In an interview she claims that "art school was a disaster," but at least she found love in London. Meg says that she got a lot of her inspiration from her sister who once said, "Just because life is hard, doesn't mean it can't be good." In an interview she said that she wrote the story of How I Live Now after her youngest sister died of cancer. The story is about loss and an urgent need for love. It shows how we are responsible for the people that we care about. She said that at the beginning she started out with the idea for an American heroine and an English family of eccentrics, and she thought about what would happen if their meeting took place at the start of the war. She came up with the setting by listening to the Talking Heads song "Life During Wartime". It helped her to imagine the world that she wanted to create.

How I Live Now won the Michael L. Printz Award in 2005, the ALA Best Books for Young Adults in 2005, the Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book of the Year, and many others. Daisy's journey through life is a coming of age story. While living in England, Dasiy finds love and is thrown into battles that a girl from New York never thought she would have to face. It is a "daring, wise, and sensitive look at the complexities of being a young adult in a world teetering on chaos," says People Magazine.

How I Live Now is a book with many unexpected twists and turns. When reading this book I felt like I had become friends with Dasiy because of her tone of speech. She really sounds and acts just like my friends do. All of the characters, but especially the boys, are so interesting that I wish that I could ask them questions and get inside their heads just a little more. This is a book that keeps you wanting more. It is a very exciting and riveting read, and it doesn't matter how old you are; this story is really meant for all ages. You will be absorbed in the journey until the very last page.

Talking Head "Life During Wartime"

Pretty-Little-Liars.jpgPretty Little Liars

By: Sara Shepard

Reviewed By: Danielle Schorr

Have you ever thought of stealing your sister's boyfriend? Or shooting a fire cracker into a tree house without thought of the consequences? How about kissing your best friend, or fantasizing about your English teacher? Well, I sure hope not. But, if you have, you are not alone. High School Juniors Spencer, Aria, Emily, and Hannah, from Pretty Little Liars, have done all of the above. Do you have that one best friend you tell all of your secrets to? Well, all of these girls did, too; her name was Alison. However, it may not be the greatest idea to just have that one best friend you tell everything to because, for all of these girls, it has just came back to literally haunt them from text messages.


The Mysterious "A" writes:
"How do I know? Because, I know everything about the bad girls they were, the naughty girls they are, and all the dirty secrets they've kept. And guess what? I'm telling." -A

What and who is she talking about? Well, it looks like you're going to have to open the book and read, aren't you? "It was horrible to think Alison might be dead, but...if she was, at least their secrets were safe. And they were. For three years, anyway..."

As a teenager, Sara Shepard, author of Pretty Little Liars, loved soap operas and wanted to be a soap opera star. Soap operas are full of drama and headaches just like her novel, Pretty LIttle Liars. I believe this is how she was inspired to write the Liars series. Ironically, the character Alison, who "disappears" in the story, is also the name of her sister in reality. "She got an MFA at Brooklyn College, started receiving evil text messages from someone only known as A, nearly got ran over by her best friend's SUV, and kept thinking she saw dead people everywhere." Okay, so maybe that didn't exactly happen. When she was preparing for her young adult series, Pretty Little Liars, these ideas flooded her mind. But it is just the littlest and craziest ideas that have made her series, very engaging to read.

Pretty Little Liars is more of a young-adult, romance, mystery, all in one. It's considered young adult for the teen characters and the average teen's drama-filled life in today's society. For instance, Aria, Emily, Hannah, Spencer and Alison were the best of friends until Alison randomly disappears and tears the whole group apart right before their senior year. Sounds like typical girl drama to me. Romance takes stage in a few sections of the novel also, including when Spencer and her sister's boyfriend, Wren, randomly start making out and being all touchy towards each other, or when Hannah and Emily are both in a photo booth together and start kissing. If you ask me, it's pretty disturbing, intense stuff. Then last but not least, there's mystery. Where did Alison wonder off to? Especially for three years?! The only possible way to know and to stop wondering is to start reading!

Sara Shepard did an amazing job on Pretty Little Liars. I love how she kept adding the mystery in so many ways. It's almost like, "Oh my word, what is going to happen next?!" kind of feeling. I would recommend this book to almost everyone. It has a little bit of everything in it. It goes from girly, to getting in trouble with the police, to parties, to getting kicked out of your house. It gets pretty intense and is one that does keep you on your toes. It's hard to put the book down or even stop in the middle of a chapter. In fact, it's nearly impossible. So, what are you waiting for? Aren't YOU curious who A is and what happened to Alison?



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Unbelievable
by Sara Shepard
Reviewed by Andriea Schwartz
Aria Montgomery woke up looking at Mr. and Mrs. Marin’s
faces, which made it all real. The panic in their eyes and the worry in their whispers proved that it did happen; Hanna Marin did get hit by that car. As she looks around the room and sees Officer Wilden, Mona Vanderwaal, and Lucas Beattie, each in a state of panic, Aria sits up and asks, "Did I miss something?" She'd only been asleep for fifteen minutes, but it felt like she’s missed a year of information. Hanna had been hit by a car the night before, which was mysteriously immidately after she discovered A’s identity. Officer Wilden asked Aria if she saw who hit Hanna, but all Aria could say was that it was dark...But that wasn’t completely true. She didn’t see who it was. She knew. Following the hit and run, the girls received a text saying “she knew too much – A”.

Sara Shepard creates wonderful, intriguing stories with her Pretty Little Liars series. The fourth book in the series is Unbelievable and it keeps you at the edge of your seat from start to finish. Sara grew up on Philadelphia’s main line and based her series on that (although she didn’t have any serious stalkers like they did in the book). Shepard actually named the main character after her sister Allison. Sara Shepard is definitely a must read author.

These books are young adult, mystery, and romance all in one. It’s a coming of age novel for teenage girls and shows how young adults are going through high school. The mystery part is that A's identity is unknown, and it is mysterious how A knows everything about the other characters. There’s romance all through the novel; everyone’s falling in love, breaking up, dating, hooking up, or all the above.

This book is amazing, and I recommend the whole series to anyone who wants a good read they won’t be able to put down. I am responsible for getting others hooked on them just as much as I am due to my constant recommendations. The series is great for women of all ages, and some men may even enjoy them. There are unbelievable twists and turns in this book, and A won’t let you get away easily.


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Looking For Alaska
By John Green
Reviewed by Aaron Stevenson
At the age of 16, Miles Halter moves to a boarding school, Culver Creek. There he meets his roommate Chip (the Colonel), and by his words maybe the hottest girl on the planet - Alaska. . Miles, also known as Pudge, is crazy about Alaska even thought she has a long time boyfriend. Pudge, Alaska, and the Colonel begin their high school year off drinking, smoking and playing classic pranks. And Pudge cannot help but fall in love with the craziness of Alaska before IT happens.

Mr. John Green, also the author of Paper towns and An Abundance of Katherines, becomes the New York Times best selling author with his book Looking For Alaska. Mr. Green has an actual obession with people's last words, just like Miles in the book. During the writing of this book he was in the middle of a break up with a long time girl friend, thus explaining the mixed emotions shown all throughout the book. John Green uses the old school that he used to go to as a kid as the setting of his book. John won numerous awards after publishing Looking for Alaska, such as the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award, Finalist, 2005 Los Angeles Times Book Prize, 2006 Top 10 Best Book for Young Adults, 2006 Teens’ Top 10 Award, 2006 Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, A Booklist Editor’s Choice Pick, Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection, and Borders Original Voices Selection.

Looking for Alaska is a coming of age novel; Miles Halter learns what it's like to be on his own and being able to make his own desicions, whether they are the wrong or right ones. He is becoming his own person and learning about human nature, how to react to things, how others carry out their lives differently than others, and most of all how other react in stressful situations.

I enjoyed this book thoroughly, and I recommend it to anyone and everyone. Have you read it? Read it again. I think this book teaches you many things about life on a day to day basis.


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Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer...
The Boyfriend List

By E. Lockhart
Reviewed by Molli Bevill

Going to her very first shrink was rather tough. Ruby just sat there and didn’t really want to say anything to her so called counselor. The counselor told ruby that she should write down all of the crushes, first kiss, feelings, or fantasies she has ever had. Ruby was neighbors with this girl named Meghan since she was young. She and Meghan didn't really get along because Meghan dates a very popular boy and talks non-stop about him. Meghan decided to have Ruby come sit by them at her lunch table one day. Ruby never really considered her to be a close friend, but figured that things could change by the end of the school year. Having close friends was always important to Ruby. Ruby had been friends with Kim, Nora, and Cricket since the first grade, and she soon has a wonderful boyfriend named Jackson. She thought Jackson was everything she could have asked for in a boy. She was so in love with him until he broke up with her unexpectedly. Jackson said they both wanted to break up when Ruby had said nothing about breaking up. Ruby is torn apart and decides to tell her friends what happened. Kim gives Ruby a phone call while she is eating dinner. Come to find out Kim is the reason why Ruby and Jackson had broken up. All of Ruby’s friends want nothing to do with her and start hanging out more with Kim and Jackson. When Ruby walks into the bathroom, she finds some messages that were written about her all over the stalls from her best friends. From getting called a slut to becoming a maneater, Ruby could actually be getting aroud, but is she?

E. Lockhart sets this off for a series set up. She wanted young ladies to see how to overcome their boy drama. Lockhart feels that every young lady has boy drama in her life and not many girls know how to handle it properly. She wrote this for ladies to see how Ruby handles things with her experience with all of her boys she had a crush on. Lockhart went through some of the same things Ruby experienced during high school. With that said, all of us girls have a lot of the same problems and should take each other’s advice on what to do.

Coming of age fits this book due to all of the teenage drama each teen goes through. From becoming best friends to losing friends is one of the hardest things a person should ever have to go through. Having the best boyfriend in the world to losing him to a best friend that has been close since the first grade hurts really bad. It takes time to get over the love someone has had, and they decide to break things off with their other half.

I would reccomend that every girl in high school read this book. The Boyfriend List can offer so much advice for a girl who is having realationship problems and has no clue what to do. In that case, if girls read this they will learn many kinds of tricks they may want to try to pull on their ex boyfriend(s). This is really great book if you enjoy reading about drama and problems that girls have in high school. Every girl has had boy drama in her life at one time or another. They all know how much fun that is to go through. Making friends to becoming enemies...It could be a very interesting for anyone's high school career, especially girls.

Theme Song: Maneater


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Saint
By Ted Dekker
Reviewed by John Bonneville
With sweat running down his face and thoughts racing through his mind, Carl's mission just changed to assassinating the President of the United States. Carl has been trained as an assassin by Group X, and they accept no failures in this line of work. As Carl may not know who he is, has no knowledege of the world around him, and has been through various tests that most people consider torture, why can't he kill the president? Carl has been trained by his handler, Kelly, and they have come to love each other over the course of Carl's treatment even though it puts both of their lives on the line. Carl is known by Saint in Group X, and is said to be the next best assassin ever created. Group X has only had three people pass all of the tests, one of them being Englishman. Englishman hates Carl through and through and only waits for Carl to fail his missions. Failure in Group X is met with death.

Ted Dekker has had a life that not many can say they have, but of course the same can be said for Carl and his unusual upbringing. Ted Dekker was born in an Indonesian jungle where, no matter how crazy it sounds, there were headhunting tribes living outside his home. The tribes and Englishman both have the same sick tendencies. When a headhunter or Englishmen kills they save the head as a reward. Ted had been through a lot just running around the jungles of Indonesia, but he never really had parent time because of the work they did. Carl has never really had a parent because of what Group X did. Ted Dekker was able to get out of the Indonesian jungle and move to America where he now presides in the mountains of Western Colorado.

Saint is most definitely a suspense thriller. This book can get you to pick it up and never put it back down. Ted Dekker does such a great job propelling the story along with twists and turns that just keep you guessing about what is next! One of the tests that Carl has to accomplish just to become an assassin of Group X are to lay in a box. That's no problem, and I could lay in a box all day! Carl had to lay in a box, shoot a target over 2,000 yards away and, just for fun, and has agitated hornets stinging him and buzzing around him! Sometimes I would sit and try to figure this book out before I turned the next page, and often times I was wrong. The way this book is written is so captivating that it is nearly impossible to put down!

I really enjoyed reading Saint, and would recommend it to anyone who likes thrillers, action, and characters that will stay with you forever. I really liked this book because of the way that the characters were built. You start off with Carl and he doesn't even know who he is in the beginning! Then Kelly and Englishman ar thrown in, and you just wonder what are these people going to do next? Another reason I liked this book is because it makes you really think, but at the same time keeps you entertained. Even when Carl has obviously been abused by Group X time after time, the side humor and the action are enough for you to keep wanting to read this book. I recommend it to people who enjoy being entertained with violence, mystery, and a side romance. Saint by Ted Dekker is a captivating story of love, killing, and confusion, but that shouldn't stop anyone from picking up this book!

My song: A Little Better by Gnarls Barkley


tezzeret.jpgTest of Metal
by Matthew Stover
reviewed by Jonathan Knussman

The Magic: The Gathering universe, or multiverse, is an infinite collection of planes of reality. And one thing that ties these planes together is mana, or magical energy, and planeswalkers, mana is used by mages to cast spells and planeswalkers are especially powerful mages who can travel through the æther between the planes. This story starts with one such planeswalker, Tezzeret, finding himself alive again after being toppled from the top of an interplanar consortium and almost killed by the psychic planeswalker, Jace Beleren, who instead of actually killing him left Tezzeret for dead with his brains essentially turned to mush and scrambled. But Tezzeret, finding himself alive, is not exactly good news; there are few beings who could put him back together and the one who did was the evil dragon planeswalker, Nicol Bolas, who Tezzeret stole the consortium from. Now Tezzeret must work for Bolas and find the secret of the precious magical alloy etherium, which is infused with power from the æther. And he must also find the creator of etherium, a sphinx named Crucius the Mad. Tezzeret may have been "rebiult" or even considered "a new man," but his past still lingers about him and may cloud his judgement.

Test of Metal is Stover's First book set in the Magic: the Gathering Universe. he also is a science fiction/fantasy novelist and lives in Chicago, IL.

Test of Metal is a Fantasy novel because it is set in a Universe with wizards, magic, and the typical medieval background of many fantasy novels. With the exception of what are called artifacts, which are basically objects constructed of metal and can function on their own in many cases, these artifacts are powered by mana or magical energy and not electricity.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I liked it because I play Magic: The Gathering and since this book relates and expands on the lore behind Magic, I loved the book. Stover fans have also read the book with no background knowledge about Magic and enjoyed the book as well, so it is not limited to being enjoyed by nerds who play Magic: The Gathering. However, I would not recommend this book to anyone not yet in high school and it also helps to have read the book that chronologically takes place before this one, called Agents of Artfice; I didn't, though, and I sill enjoyed it. This book doesn't have the same kind of popularity or plot depth that Harry Potter does, but the book certainly has unique ideas in it, which I think puts it right up there with amazing books like that.


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Albatross
By Josie Bloss
Reviewed by Katie Davis

Tess and her mother packed up their belongings and headed to Grand River, Michigan when her mother finally found the courage to leave her father. Tess's mother didn’t want her growing up around a bipolar father that cared more about work, a clean house, and Tess’s grades in school, than showing them respect, love, or the way a girl should be treated. When Tess starts attending her new school, making new friends to replace her old ones seems impossible, until the irresistable charmer Micah comes along. Micah is an attractive musician, photographer, writer, and intelligent boy that makes Tess fall in love almost instantly. Unfortunately, there is a downfall for Tess…this boy (and the rest of the school) is head over heels for Daisy. She promises that someday she’ll stop playing the field and marry him. Tess gives it everything she has to get Micah interested in her. Eventually, he starts inviting her over to his house and giving her all the signs showing that his feelings might be just as strong for her. One second he’ll be holding Tess in his arms, then the next he’s telling her that she’ll never be good enough for him, because precious Daisy is the only girl for him. Tess lets this manipulating boy walk all over her, making her feel worthless. Will Tess learn to follow the voices in her head that tell her she deserves better?

Josie Bloss, the author of Albatross, Band Geek Love, and Band Geeked Out was quite the musical nerd throughout high school and college. She even became a member of the best marching band she could find. She had a difficult time trying to decide whether to be a lawyer or to pack her things and head to a quieter environment and become a writer. Like Tess, Josie too had her “Micah type” boy. She was crazy in love with a boy who insisted on treating her like she wasn’t good enough and that's was what inspired her to write Albatross. She wanted to help teach girls the lesson that people are cruel and that you can’t believe everything people say, especially when it comes to boys. They want power and to know that no matter how they treat you, you'll stick around no matter what.

Albatross is about a high school girl trying to find herself. Moving to a different school as a junior in high school can’t be easy. Tess learns to grow up and not make the same mistakes her mother did , like falling in love with someone that treated her like a slave. Battling her emotions was a diffitcult task that she successfully made it through.

Don’t read this book unless you are planning on spending the evening at home. It’s simply addicting and won’t allow you to stop flipping the pages. I would recommend this novel to girls that have ever been in an emotional abusive relationship. It sends a good message out to girls showing us that we aren’t alone, and that there is another voice arguing with the voice that keeps making you run back to that addiction.

Theme song for Albatross:
Addicted By Kelly Clarkson


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The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity."-Dorothy Parker
Book: Thicker than Water
Author: Carla Jablonski
Reviewed by: Kelsey Mull

Kia is not really your average teen; she sports a Goth look, goes to a special art school, and has a dark secret. Kai’s parents are divorced, her mother has cancer, and her father is a workaholic. Kia’s friends try to help, but just don’t seem to understand. In order to distract Kia from her world and herself, she turns to clubs that have good music, good drinks, and vampires? Kia soon finds herself staying late at parties, drinking, failing school, and hopelessly in love with a totally hot DJ called Damon. Damon has all the qualities she is looking for in a man; he is handsome with pale skin, black wispy hair, and fangs. What more could a girl want? But suddenly, Kia finds herself being pulled deeper into the darkness of the new world around her, even though in her mind she feels like she finally belongs. She wants to tell Damon her secret, and she has a feeling he has something to share as well. But as her two worlds begin to unravel, Kia slowly begins to realize that she cannot draw a line between reality and her imagination.

Carla Jablonski is an author, and editor of dozens of middle school and teen books. Besides the teen book Thicker than Water, she has also written Silent Echoes. Some other styles of books she has written besides teen novels are fantasy, and quite recently, graphic novels. Besides being an editor and an author, she also is a part time trapezes artist. She did this just so she could get in touch with one of the characters in the book she was writing. The way she has so many things going on in her life reminds me of how Kia felt in her life, and how it almost drove her insane. This is how I think Carla relates to Kia in her book.

Thicker than Water I think could be classified as many genres, but the top three that come to mind would a romantic, mystery, and a coming of age novel. This is basically the romance part in the book; there are two loves in Kia’s life and she has to choose between them, which leads to many conflicts. The mystery part of the book is finding out who she is, and what Damon is. As the story unfolds you find out things about Kia that she didn’t even know herself. Most of all it is a coming of age book. Kia finds that she is not a child anymore and must accept the consequences for her actions, and she grows up a little along the way.

Overall, the book was a good read. It had a solid plot, and it kept me up at night reading to find out what would happen next. The only part about the novel that was kind of a letdown is that they left a lot of unanswered questions, and the ending was also kind of a bummer. Don’t get me wrong, the book was really good, but in my opinion, it had the potential to be better. I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever had any trouble fitting in or had a really difficult time in their lives and are unsure what to do. If you’re just looking for a good book to read you should definitely pick up this book.
Theme song: Love like Winter
by: AFI



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Looking For Alaska
by John Green
Reviewed by Kent Lowe
Miles lives in Florida. At the age of 16 he has no friends and even less self-confidence. Miles decides that he wants to go to a preparatory school in Alabama, and after much protest from his parents, they decide to let him go. When Miles gets to the school, he immediately becomes friends with the Colonel, who is his roommate and the person who gives Miles the nickname Pudge. The Colonel is a poor boy that came to the expensive prep school on scholarship, and he is best friends with a girl named Alaska, who Miles finds very attractive. These three and one of Alaska’s friends live it up by playing pranks, drinking, and smoking. Alaska has a long time boyfriend, but that does not deter Miles who is crazy about her, and after one crazy night, it happens.
John Green, author of Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, and An Abundance of Katherines, has a writing style that makes his work seem so real and genuine. John Green is a multiple award winning author who can write about teenage years unlike any other. He creates genuine characters that seem so alive when you read. John Green makes his characters very intelligent but they are not the most normal characters; they have things about them that seem weird, but he makes these quirks seem commonplace. His characters are like actual teens in many ways and his books portray that he can read in to the teen spirit.
Looking for Alaska is considered a young teen fiction novel. Pudge vies for Alaska despite her craziness and indecision throughout the whole book and the depeiction of the lives of these young teens gain John Green respect and fans. He was awarded with the 2006 Top ten best book for young adults, 2006 Teen’s top ten award, and several others.
I could not put this book down. It has sadness, happiness, and everything in between. It took me two days to read 220 pages because I simply could not stop, and I do not read very often. This book is one of my favorite books and I recommend it to all teens. This book deals with alcohol, drugs, and sex ;it does not shy away from real aspects of teen life. Looking for Alaska was not your typical teen book with the stereotypes of teens shown in the media; it has real characters that any one in high school can relate to.


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Hold Still
by Nina Lacour
Reviewed by Megan Pille
At the age of 16, losing your best friend is the hardest thing you would ever think possible. Caitlin lost her best friend to a suicide. They used to be best friends, the usual do everything together pair. Photography was the biggest thing they shared; they were always taking pictures and obsessing over their teacher. Learning to cope with the loss of her best friend, Caitlin displays her feeling through her artwork, and upon meeting someone, new she almost loses the chance at a new friendship and a chance to heal.

The author of this book, Nina LaCour, grew up in San Francisco. She had her first job at the age of 14 at an independent book store. Nina has tutored and taught in many various places such as juvenile hall to private collage. She is now an English teacher at Independent School. LaCour wrote this book because she felt compelled to write about something she had wrestled through in her life. In the ninth grade she lost a friend to suicide which inspired her to write this book. Nina LaCour now lives in Oakland, California.

I would classify this book as a coming of age novel. The main character learns a lot about life as she grieves and learns to live again without her best friend.

I really loved this book because in some ways it did really relate to me and what I have been through in the past year or two. Not just the losing a friend part but the art and photography was a big part of what intrigued me about this book. It was so good in more ways than one. I would recommend this book on a rainy day with a cup of hot something, whatever that may be.

The song i have choosen to fit this book is called Gift of a Friend. by Demi Lovato.



a-wolf-at-the-table_l.jpgWolf at the Table
by Augusten Burroughs
Reviewed by Morgan Brown
Wolf At The Table is a memoir of Augusten Burroughs's childhood, not in its entirety, but specifically of his experience with his father. The book starts out with Augusten trying to remember his father in his far-reaching memory but unfortunately "...then [he] could not forget him no matter how hard [he] tried." Augusten's father is a cold, dark, shell of a person. He refuses love to Augusten, and he's driving his wife and other son further and further into insanity or actual physical distance. Many times Augusten was ripped away from his home because his father "wasn't safe". At the beginning the meaning of that wasn't clear, but as he aged it was something that became a deep understanding in his life. From his father raping his mother in the middle of the night to letting three of his beloved pets die, Augusten's father's torment was constant. The worst thing of all was that he had no technical reason to be scared because he was neglected and not beaten or anyway physically harmed. He was a pebble in his father's shoe and was always treated as such. Can things get worse? Trust me, they can. All you need to do to see this young boy's struggle to maintain is own sanity is read A Wolf At The Table.

Augusten Burroughs has many memoirs. I have read three and have at least three more to read. I’m not quite sure of the exact number at the present moment, but I do know that as soon as I finish one I can't wait to pick up the next. He reminds me that my life isn't that bad, and the way he writes with such humor makes me see the funny side of my own problems. Having issues with my own father, albiet nowhere near as severe as his, makes me understand him more and more as I read.

This novel is a memoir because it is the story of his life told through his eyes but also is considered a graphic memoir and a banned book. Augusten doesn't for one second shy from the truth of his life and refuses to sugar coat anything. To me, that is what makes his novels so great, but is also why they are so controversial. When you talk about the furthest extent of cruelty that other people want to pretend doesn't exist you will get negative feedback.

I loved this novel. With all the horrifying twists and turns in this young man's life, I kept reminding myself, this is real. This book shows me that anyone can live through their parental mistreatments, but also shows how it changes us. Every time I put down one of his books I go from it feeling wiser. I recommend it to everyone that can handle it because not only is it so cleverly written, but it kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what that dark man will do next.


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The Chocolate War
Author: Robert Cormier
Reviewed by Randi Hartman
If you're looking for a cheery book with a happy ending The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier is not the book for you; but if you're looking for a book that's interestingly depressing and makes you think a little bit, you are in the right place. The Chocolate War is about a boy named Jerry Renault. Jerry has a very sad, lonley life. His mother is dead and he and his dad don't really know what to do with themselves. Jerry goes to school at an all boys Catholic school where a secret society called the Vigils basically runs the school, and the cruel head master, Brother Leon, just lets them do as they please. The Vigils take Jerry in and give him a challange. What is that challange? To deny Brother Leon and refuse to sell the chocolates that the school makes all of their money off of. Jerry takes it one step further and upsets the balance of power within the school. Archie, the Assigner of the Vigils, decides he is going to make Jerry's life living hell. Jerry finds himself asking more and more frequently, "Do I dare disturb the universe?"
Robert Cormier was just your average teenage boy growing up in a small town and attending a Catholic school. He has always been interested in how people manipulate other people, and intimidation factors, both of which you can find in his novel, The Chocolate War. Cormier won countless awards and honors for this best-selling book. It has been taught in schools and colleges across the world, and translated in over a dozen different languages.
The Chocolate War would definitely fall in the Young Adult genre. Teens and young adults would be able to relate to this book because it shows how authority can harm teens rather than help them in some cases. This book is about teenage kids who are being taken advantage of simply because they can be. A lot of young adults know what that's like, and they can relate very well to the plot of this book.
This book took me a while to get into, but once I did I didn't want to set it down. I would recommend this book to any high school or college student. The authority problems and the way Jerry tries and fails to over throw authority is very interesting and appealing to teenage kids.
Theme Song for The Chocolate War: Shut up by Simple Plan



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The Orc King
By R.A. Salvatore
Reviewed by Ryan Porter
Orcs and Dwarves have been mortal enemies for as long as both races have been created, with King Obould as the first peaceful Orc king who wished for a kingdom of peace where all races are created equal. But disagreement between Orcs begins a revolt and uproar against King Obould by what is supposed to be his loyal army. King Bruenor goes upon a quest with his allies, including Drizzt Do'u Urden, a skilled assassain and master of stealth and speed, in search of a hidden city that could hold the key to the past when Orcs and Dwarfs got along peacefully. Their search leads them to the ruins of a long lost city that holds secrets beyond any of their expectations.

Robert Anthony Salvatore is known as one of the biggest and most successful fantasy genre authors. His first published book in 1988 The Crystal Shard from TSR to some of his newest books, The Two Swords, Book III of The Hunter’s Blade Trilogy published in 2004. His books regularly appear on New York Times best-seller list and have sold more than 10 million copies.

In this Fantasy world where demonic monsters with two heads and 300 feet tall and races of Orcs, Elves, and Dwarves all do exist, the only genres that comes to my mind to best describe The Orc King would be that of Fiction and Fantasy.

At the beginning, The Orc King was a snorefest because there was only talking and talking and absolutly nothing going on. The foreign names and multiple characters made it very hard to keep straight which character was talking, but not giving up on the book is the main priority. After the action and the in-depth descriptions of the battle really began putting mental images of the scenes in my mind, I couldn't keep the book down always wondering what may happen to Drizzt and his allies next. The book does a great job of always keeping you guessing about what may happen next and making everything unexpected. For those who enjoy action and epic battle scenes along with a little bit of romance and mystery thrown into the mix, this is the perfect book for you; however, if you are one that cannot stay focused or is bad at keeping names or stories straight over a long period of time, I'm afraid The Orc King is not for you. I believe that R.A. Salvatore did great job with the in depth description of really creating a movie in the reader's mind while they continue through the pages of The Orc King.
Theme Song: I'm a Soldier by Eminem

the_monstrumologist.jpgThe Monstrumologist
By: Rick Yancey
Reviewed by Casey Cornett
Will Henry is an orphan and at times unwilling assistant to a doctor with an odd area of expertise: monster hunting, also known as Monstromology. Throughout his short time of serving for the doctor after his parents’ tragic death, a poor grave robber comes across a young girl and a monster feeding on her. He knocks on the doctor's door for help. A baby Anthropophagi, a headless monster that feeds through the mouthfuls of teeth in its chest, becomes the center of Will and the doctor's lives as they discover there are a growing number of Anthropophagi. Both Will and the doctor experience the most horrifying expedition anyone has ever faced in order to save the world from becoming the minority to the species Anthropophagi.
Rick Yancey went to school at Roosevelt University, in Chicago, as an English major. After college he began teaching in the theatre to pursue his interest in art. He then decided to take a job with the IRS and wrote more than five novels on taxes. Since then, he has written mystery novels including A Burning in Homeland and Alfred Kropp trilogy. His most recent book released is the sequel to Monstrumologist called The Curse of Wendigo.
The monstrumologist is a science fiction novel recommended for young adults interested in very in depth, gruesome scenes explaining the toll on humans after the Anthropophagi has fed.
The novel was good, but it takes awhile to get interesting. I recommend it for boys who have troubles finding a book that interests them because it's common sense that boys like gruesome details and monsters. The monstrumologist is a book that will give you an adventure with a promising twist and send you back to your childhood looking under your bed for monsters.


This World We Live in
By Susan Beth Pfeffer
Reviewed by Jacob Clifton
thisworldwelivein.jpgMiranda and her brothers spend their days looking for food, while their mom stays at home and tries to hold on to the old activities of their life before they lost everything. But they all know that nothing is normal in this new world they live in. The struggle to survive gets worse when Miranda’s father and stepmother arrive with a baby and three strangers in tow. One of the newcomers to the house is Ale. Miranda’s feelings for him turn to love and his plans for the future change their relationship. Then a surprising twister hits their town, and Miranda makes a decision that will change their lives forever!

Susan Beth Pfeffer was born and raised in New York City in 1948. Much like Miranda, she grew up not having the best things. When she was six, her father wrote and published a book on law, and then she decided that she wanted to be a writer. Preffer first wrote This World We Live In, then she began to check her ratings on her books. For the first time, one of her novels reached 271,257.

I've made it no secret that I love this novel. This novel kept me turning the pages and wanting to read more. I would definately reccomend this book to everyone, even though it is a "coming of age" novel. Don't read this book unless you plan to spend your entire evening at home because you will not be able to take your eyes of the pages.


specials.jpgSpecials
By Scott Westerfeld
Reviewed by Stephanie Lee

Tally and Shay just became Specials and were on their way to crash their first party. When chasing the Smokies out of the party and into the woods, they found themselves useless and not able to fight back. Someone had been supplying these Smokies with advanced equipment. Once they captured one of the Specials, they let the rest go without harm. Tally visited her boyfriend Zane, a Pretty that she hasn’t seen in a long time, because she knew he had some insight as to who these new Smokies were and why they came into the New Pretty Town. Shay, Tally, and Zane then formed a plan to fake running away so they could find this new mysterious town that the Smokies came from. Before they left, they created a distraction so nobody would notice their disappearance. Soon a group of eight Pretties took off with Tally and Shay close behind to protect them.

Scott Westerfeld had a hard time writing Specials because it was hard to get into the mind of a Special. They don’t think the same way as the other characters, so he didn’t know how to make them seem more powerful. He wanted to write a book that was based in the future, with a focus on all the technology that we may have then; that’s exactly what the Uglies trilogy is all about. In this world, at the age of sixteen, everybody has to go through an operation to make them into a Pretty. Everyone looks the same and they don’t have anybody trying to commit crimes. There are people who don’t want to change, though, and they are called Smokies. Only the fastest and most daring people get the chance of becoming a Special. These people are the strongest ones in the town and Tally is one of them. She is a fun character to follow and it’s interesting to find out where her mind will go next.

Specials is an adventure novel that leaves you hanging at the end of every chapter. One minute you think you’ve figured out what will happen, and then everything takes a complete turn. The characters take some crazy trips through the woods, and they never know what city they may run into on the way.

I love the Uglies trilogy and Specials was a great way to end it. I love not being able to put a book down once I start reading it, and usually those are the only kind of books I read. It is easy to get sucked into the world that Scott Westerfeld has created, and the book starts to come to life the more you read. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to get away from the life we live and experience a whole new generation. The Uglies trilogy is a good guesstimate of what our world’s technology may be like in future generations.

Theme song for Specials:
Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars


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The DaVinci Code
By Dan Brown
Reviewed by Dalton Stevens
Symbologist, Robert Langdon has once again been roused in the middle of the night by a stranger who is in desperate need of his knowledge of symbols and history. Being a professor at Harvard can draw a lot of attention, especially when you help the Vatican unravel the kidnapping and murders of four esteemed Cardinals in the past year. Langdon is lecturing in Paris, France at the American University, and he had expected to meet up with Jacques Sauniere, curator of the Louvre, for drinks after his lecture. Incidentally, Jacques Sauniere was assassinated before he was to convene with Robert Langdon. When the French Police arrived on the scene of the crime, no one is there except the curator, shot dead in the heart of the Grand Hall of the Louvre. Next to him, Sauniere had scrawled his last will and testament. It was a cipher that was meant for his estranged granddaughter Sophie Nevue, a cryptographer for the French authorities. Because Jacques Sauniere had intended to meet with Robert Langdon on the night of his murder, Landon was brought to the Louvre by Captain Fache of the Direction Centrale de la Police Judiciaire (DCPJ). Fache sensed that Robert could assist them in understanding the symbology that Jacques Sauniere used to tell everyone who had murdered him. Langdon tells Fache multiple times that he has absolutely no clue as to what the numbers and exclamations scribbled next to the lifeless body are about, but it is this very sequence that brings Sophie Nevue and Robert Langdon together and starts a fascinating pursuit to find out what Jacques Sauniere was trying to enlighten them with before he was murdered.


Dan Brown has written five novels that include: The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, The Lost Symbol, Digital Fortress, and Deception Point. Brown's Robert Langdon series is considered by many as controversial and anti-christian, yet, on several occasions during interviews, Brown has defended his personal stance on religion and his novels. He simply states, “I consider myself a student of many religions. The more I learn, the more questions I have. For me, the spiritual quest will be a life-long work in progress.” Clearly he does not believe that his books should be taken as historical fact, but taken as an entertaining story that anyone can enjoy. Dan Brown has shown in his multiple best-sellers that he knows how to keep everyone turning pages. Obviously he is doing something right being able to sell over eight million copies of The Da Vinci Code alone.

The Da Vinci Code is a thriller written by Dan Brown that keeps you constantly turning pages throughout the entire novel. Some new addition to the story keeps you entertained for hours while reading. You're perpetually hoping that the secret of the Holy Grail isn't lost forever and that you find out what Jacques Sauniere's last words are when they are finally understood by Langdon and Sophie.

The Da Vinci Code is one book I never wanted to put down. I found myself reading during many of my senior classes while I should have been taking notes or at least paying attention. It's marvelous story line kept me digging for more information. The character development in this novel is incredible, and you will create personal connections with every single character whether or not you like them. I would recommend The Da Vinci Code to anyone who has an interest in controversial topics that have to do with religion and science, but it's not only limited to this group of people. Any one who loves history, art, a thought-provoking story, and a very intense mystery will love this novel as well. I believe that Dan Brown did a great job of meshing fiction and history into one, and created a story that makes people think and crave more knowledge on the subjects of science and religion.


Theme song for The Da Vinci Code
Expo 86- Death Cab For Cutie

Sprout
By Dale Peck
Reviewed by Tom McCoy
Sprout.jpgMy Name is Daniel, but I go by Sprout because of my short green hair. I am a high school kid who just moved from Manhattan with my dad. He thought that it would be cool if we just got out of Dodge and we packed up and left. He could have gone anywhere in America and I would have been happier than where we ended up. Kansas. The state known for hating gays. If you haven't found out yet... I'm gay. My dad is one of the biggest participants in hating gays. My teacher is mentoring me to become a state essay winner, while dating my dad. My life right now is pretty bad, except for Ty. Ty is my world, he is everything that makes me happy, and everything good in life. Now if only his dad would see eye to eye with me...
Dale Peck lived his whole life being gay, and finally found an outlet writing novels. Sprout is loosely based on Dale’s life. Sprout was born in New York, and Dale lived his whole adult life there. Dale was born in Kansas where Sprout moved.
Sprout is about a young homosexual boy, and that would definitely put this book into the young adult/gay genre. This novel is one of my favorites I’ve read in awhile. I love reading novels dealing with real life problems and solutions. Daniel (Sprout) has to deal with some sort of problem every day of his life.
Elton John "Your Song


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The Book Thief
By Mark Zusak
Reviewed by Darren McDannald
Traveling down the rail way system to their new home in Germany, Liesel makes a startling discovery. Her brother had passed away on the way there and she is going to her foster parents' home alone just outside of Munich. Before she goes there she will have to bear burying her brother, though, and she wants to remember him in any way possible. A forgetful grave digger let her do just that. He had left his first necessary tool for his craft The Grave Diggers Handbook. At this point Liesel was illiterate but thanks to nightmares and an accordion wielding foster dad she attains literacy with her craving for lowercases and capitols.

Markus Zusak is a very well -written author who resides in Australia. He tends to write in perspective that really brings the reader into the story and captivates your thoughts, making you want to know what is going to happen next. In The Book Thief, the story is written from the point of view of the grim reaper, and gives it a lot of personification and makes you relate with it. His stories leave you wanting to be a better person after reading them by fitting in life lessons or just helping you experience what other people have to go through.

In The Book Thief you really get a sense of coming of age. It’s not your average coming of age, though, in this story it has to happen so much quicker seeing how the war is upon them and the sites that they are seeing would make anyone grow up and define who they are going to be as a person. When put in the situation that Liesel is in, the only option is to grow up. There is also a sense of rebellion and how human nature kicks in when opposing sides come into play.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved how this book was narrated because you usually just don't read anything from that point of view. I would recommend this book to just about anyone who was willing to read it. I really enjoy Markus Zusak's writing and I believe that many of my fellow classmates would enjoy it too. The only thing I will say that people might have a problem with is just the overall subject of the book, which is World WarII and the Holocaust; some people might find that hard to read about, but he really makes it bearable and it is worth the time.


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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
By: Sherman Alexie
Reviewed by: Tommy Robertson

Arnold Spirit Jr. is your average, ordinary, everyday geek with big glasses and goofy hair. There is one major difference between him and your average geek, however. He is an Indian. Arnold is a 14 year high school freshman living on a Spokane Indian Reservation. He was born a water baby(he had fluid around his brain), which leads to his stutter, and when he doesn't stutter he has a terrible lisp. So instead of being out in the world playing with friends and being a teenager, he spends a majority of his time in his room drawing cartoons. Arnolds life is " a living hell". The only thing that keeps him going sometimes is his long-time best friend, Rowdy. Rowdy was that person that he could always turn to no matter what the problem was. That is, until the biggest change in Arnold's life happened. High school was starting and things were finally looking up for Arnold, but then the teacher handed out the books. To Arnolds amazement when he opens the book to put his name in it he sees his own mother's name. " My school and my tribe are so poor and sad that we have to study from the same dang books our parents did, that is the saddest thing in the world," Arnold says as he chucks the book across the classroom right into the face of his teacher. While serving his punishment, a suspension, Arnold saw the teacher walking down the road towards his house. Scared as he could be, Arnold waited for a scolding, but instead got the best piece of advice anyone had ever given him. A school change and the death of two family members later, Arnold will be a completely different person. Will he get through this with the help of his friend Rowdy, or will others help him through his tough times?





Sherman Alexie, author of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Flight and War Dances has a writing style unlike that of author I have read before. He writes books mostly based on the lives of Native Americans and the struggles that they not only went through in the past, but also problems that they are going through now. The characters in his book are so outspoken and honest about their feelings, just like Alexie himself. This style is definitely the right one for him considering that he himself grew up as an indian on an indian reservation.
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a Fiction book meant to be read by teens. The struggles in this book by the teenage Arnold Spirit is not unlike some of the challenges that many teens go through, such as getting teased and beaten up. Sherman's awards for this book are plentiful and include the 2009 Peter Pan award, 2008 Boston Globe Award, and 2008 Book Sense of the Year Award.

This book is a must ready for anyone regardless of age. It has many twists and turns. Some situations will make you laugh, while others will make you cry, and others will quite frankly just confuse you. But all in all this is a book I would reccomend to anyone.

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Shiver
Bu Maggie Stiefvater
Reviewed by Tia Calhouse
Grace has always been in love with the wolf pack that roams the woods behind her house. Within the pack of wolves is her warm, yellow-eyed wolf, Sam, who saved her when she was attacked by the pack six years ago. But little does Grace know that Sam lives two compeletely different lifestyles. In the winter, Sam is a wolf, lurking the woods behind Grace's house, but in the warm summer months Sam turns human. Now, during Grace's sophomore year of high school, a senior, Jack Culpeper, is killed by the wolf pack. The police and townspeople are so enraged that they decide to enter the woods to kill all of the wolves. As Grace returns home that night, she finds Sam lying outside of her house with blood gushing out all over the back deck. She rushes Sam to the hospital where he is treated and released back into the caring arms of Grace, his beloved summer girl. A twist of fate is upon them as Sam knows it is his last year to turn human, and when winter arrives he will not be able to escape the horrific transformation into a wolf, forever leaving Grace behind. But a shocking twist appears as Jack Culpeper's sister finds out that Jack is still alive from photos that have been leaked by Grace's best friend, Olivia. As the story progresses, a cure is in sight for one of the wolves, but which one will live to tell the tale?

According to Maggie's website, she has written many books with her most famous being the The Wolves of Mercy Falls and Faerie series. The Wolves of Mercy Falls series will eventually include three books, which one is yet to be released, and the Faerie Series includes two books as of now. As stated on Stiefvater's website, She used German poems which she translated herself so we could understand within the book. These poems help increase the books suspense, and it gave it a little spice. The most frequently asked question from those whom have read Shiver is whether or not we should expect a movie. Stiefvater says that she hasn't ruled out a movie, and it's up to Unique Features (with Warner Brothers getting first look at it) to decide if they can pull off the movie scene. If a movie does happen, Stiefvater has considered some actors, but the choices are always changing daily.

Shiver is a fictional teenage read that has won many awards, with the most popular being # 9 on the New York Times bestseller list. Other awards have included SIBA 2010 Book Award Finalist, Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2009, and ALA Best Read for Young Adults. This book is filled with suspensful young adult actions that include the ever so popular love story, with a chance of a death scence, and yet, the total mystery that surrounds the circle of friends, that could eventually tear them apart.

Shiver is a suspensful book that keeps you right on the edge of your seat, pondering over what will happen next. The thrill during this novel is heart-wrenching. I would recommended this to many teenager, especially those who like the Twlight Series since this story has some of the same concept. It follows Grace and Sam through their heated love journey, and the complications that arise for them. With Sam's last year of turning upon them, many questions are asserted upon winter closing in. Aside from this problem, Grace is watching her close-knit friendship's slip away before her eyes.

The Blind Side
By Michael Lewis
Reviewed by Caleb Sauder
Michael Oher is one of thirteen children raised in one of the poorest districts in Tennessee. His mother is a crack addict he is taken away from her at a young age. Michael's life seems to be a complete wreck until a very well to do (sport obsessed) family in Tennessee, the Tuohy's, see him walking all alone one cold winter night in nothing but a t-shirt and shorts. It is easy to predict that this family's kindness changes Michael's life by always pushing him to do his best, but what's unpredictable is how he changes their lifves.
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The Blind Side : Evolution of a Game is a nonfiction book written by the author Michael Lewis. Michael Lewis has written many best selling books including The Big Short : Inside the Doomsday Machine, Liar's Poker, The New New Thing, and Moneyball : The Art of Winning an Unfair Game. Aside from being an author, Michael Lewis is also a financial journalist for the New York Times. Michael Lewis uses his journalism as an oppourtunity to find true stories that would make an interesting novel. When writing The Blind Side, Michael Lewis had the advatage of talking with the real Michael Oher about his experiences and challenges that he had throughout life. He also had the priviledge to talk to Tuohy family about Michael and thier experiences living with him.

The Blind Side could be categorized as an inspirational book. It includes the idea that no matter where you come from, you can be successful. With hard work and a good attitude, you can achieve anything you set out to achieve.

I view The Blind Side as a thought provoking, real-life drama. I would recommend this book for teens, anyone who loves sports (especially football) and anyone else who values family and an underdog story. The Blind Side is a nonfiction story that makes the impossible possible.

the_road.jpgThe Road
Author: Cormac McCarthy
Reviewed by: Whitney Taylor

The Road is a father and son journey through burned America. America has been like this for many years and this man and boy, who never tell anyone their names, are traveling to the coast in hope that there are "good-guys" and some sort of life there. They have few belongings which consists of a grocery cart filled with very few food items and blankets. The road is a very dangerous place to travel because there are "bad-guys" lurking. These "bad-guys" kill anyone they find traveling the road or hold them captive. The purpose of holding them captive is so they can have something to eat, because there is hardly any food left and they have resorted to cannabalism. The man and the boy turst no one who travel the road and the man always carries a pistol with him in case anyone tries to take the few belongings they have or tries to take them. America is filled with nothing but ash, soot, burned buildings, burned bodies, and grey skies. The sun is never present. This greatly saddens the man because this is all the boy has ever seen his entire life; Catastrophe, death, and nothing but fear. The man is fearing the day he will die, which he knows is in the near future. It's getting harder for him to walk and travel the road because he is running out of energy from lack of sleep and coughing up blood constantly. He's taught the boy all he knows about survival on the road, but will that be enough?

Cormac McCarthy has won two awards for this book: The James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. This book has also become a movie that was directed by John Hillcoat. The movie was produced in winterttime Pittsburg where remnants of the regions steel and coal history lead to devastation. This book was written on an extremely personal level, springing from the relationship he has with his eleven year old son. The man's son in the book was only a little younger than his actual son, and many of the conversations in the book are the same conversations that Cormac and his son had.

The Road is considered a literary fiction or post-apocalyptic fiction. If you like the movie 2012, you would probably like this book. They are similar in various ways. In the book, it seems as though the world is on the verge of ending, but you never find out how America became the way it is in the book.

I would definately recommend this book. Especially for the people who are into science fiction and are interested in the apocalypse. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat and keep you wondering what is in store for the man and boy. This book is not a happy book, so if you like happy endings, I wouldn't recommend this book for you. If you like to get to the point of the book fast, I really wouldn't recommend this book for you because there are a lot of questions left unanswered in this novel.

9781595543738-l.jpgLunatic
By Ted Dekker
Reviewed Tyler Verardo
Lunatic is number 5 of 6 in a series of books called The Lost Books. The series is set in a world much like earth except most of the people in the world have a painful scabbing skin disease that also affects the mind. These books revolve around a group of four teenage warriors and their various quests and adventures. This particular book is mainly focused on one of the teens named Darsal. Darsal gets captured by the enemy which they call “Scabs”. She is then forced into slavery by a Scab general.

Ted Dekker was raised in a missionary family in Indonesia. According to Dekker's website, his childhood forced him to “Use his imagination to create a world in which he belonged.” This seems very true to me because Dekker can create an entirely different world and make you feel welcome and at home. This allows the reader to feel like they are in the story rather than a spectator.

The Lost Books are technically considered fantasy, but there are also many elements of suspense and religion thrown into the mix, which is an excellent combination. Dekker is mostly known for making characters that anyone can relate to. Dekker also has an ability to keep you interested throughout the whole book.

This was a great book; it has a fantastic mix up of suspense and fantasy which keeps you glued to the pages. The day after I finished this book I went to the library and got the last of the series. I would without a doubt recommend this book to anyone who is willing to read the whole series because after you start I’ve found it increasingly difficult to stop.