Thursday, September 5, 2013

Wish by Beth Bracken and Kay Fraser (Faerieground Series #1)

Title: Wish
Authors: Beth Bracken and Kay Fraser
Illustrator: Odessa Sawyer
Publisher: Stone Arch Books
Reviewer: Sadie (9)
Rating: 5 Hearts

           This book was AWESOME. It is a Great fairy, love, action book. The best Book I’ve ever read. It was full of great things like a forest called Fairy Ground, two girls who find out one of them  was the Fairy Queen’s daughter, romance, anger, prison, lie’s and wishes.

            I love this book because I like the fairy grounds. I showed two of my friends and they asked if they could read it. My favorite person in this book is Soli, Soli is my favorite because she made a mess and she was willing to risk her life to fix it.

         So if you like this book it’s got GREAT pictures. And it’s REALLY cool, the Fairy Grounds is a place where if you make a wish it will come true. I really think you should buy it. I liked this book So much that when I started reading when I was on chapter 13 or 14 when I started reading it all the way to the end. Hope you like the book!

Mom's note: The illustrations throughout the book really make it a quick read and very rewarding and accessible even for those on the low end of the suggested 9-12 age range. It is a book that my daughter looked at and said, "Ooooohhh."

Monday, April 29, 2013

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Title: Clockwork Princess
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: March 19, 2013
Reviewer: Bethany (15)
Rating: 5 cheeseburgers

“Clockwork Princess” is the final installment in the Infernal Devices trilogy. I reviewed the first book, “Clockwork Angel,” in April of last year, so as it’s now April again I thought I would write a review of the closing. May contain slight spoilers.

The series takes place in 1878 London, England. Tessa Gray, an American shape-shifter, is being protected at the London Institute by the shadowhunters, a special race of people bred to kill demons. It’s been two months since the close of “Clockwork Prince,” and Tessa is still stuck in a love triangle between her English fiancĂ©, James Carstairs, and his best friend William Herondale. The race to find Mortmain, the man who created Tessa, comes to a head when she’s kidnapped from the Institute. Now William must rescue her before Mortmain can use her powers for evil.

If there’s a better series out there than the Infernal Devices, I haven’t read it yet. At first, I was apprehensive to read “Clockwork Princess,” as I didn’t want the story to end, but I found that the ending was one of the best closings I have ever read. It’s such a wonderful story, as well as the Mortal Instruments, Cassandra Clare’s other shadowhunter series, which hasn’t ended yet. I can’t really articulate how much I love her writing, and how much I love her stories. I said it in my review of “Clock Angel,” and I’ll say it again: the Infernal Devices is my favorite book series to date. It broke my heart. Beautiful read, five whole cheeseburgers.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rock 'N' Roll Soldier by Dean Ellis Kohler and Susan VanHecke

Title: Rock 'N' Roll Soldier
Author: Dean Ellis Kohler and Susan VanHecke
Publisher: HarperTeen
Reviewer: Benny
Rating: 4.5 Cheeseburgers

Prepare to have your mind blown. Rock n’ Roll Soldier is a unique, true, memoir about Dean Kohler’s service in the Vietnam War during which he starts a rock band, gets some chicks, and even records a single. This is a book that made me look at music in a different life-changing way. I no longer see it as a way to entertain people, but as a way to lift their spirits and let them sink into it. All that Kohler had to do while fighting the Viet Cong forces in Qui Nhon. The effort described in the book was surprising and entertaining to me and I congratulate Kohler for his great efforts and loyalty.

Anyone who loves music and warfare will love this book, though it has some mild language and some weird moments that the little kiddies wouldn’t understand. Also, the plot will have some gaps unless you know about the Vietnam War. At first, I wondered why Kohler had a Vietnamese girlfriend when they were attacking Vietnam, but then I looked it up and found out they were supporting southern Vietnam whilst fighting northern Vietnam.

I like the fact that something that actually happened turned out to look so much like a fictional story. However, I think the Author’s Note would be much better labeled “Prologue” because it seemed more like a prologue than an author’s note, because I didn’t know what was happening because I skipped the Author’s Note. But it was a very good book which was very well put together, and not only taught me the power of music but also how humanity can work together to build skyscrapers, form an organized society, and even play rock bands in warzones. This book restored my faith in humanity, as well as taught me the true meaning of music.

For more info, visit the book's web site: Rock 'N' Roll Soldier

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Once Was Lost by Sarah Zarr

Title: Once Was Lost
Author: Sara Zarr
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Publication Date: October 1, 2009
Reviewer: Bethany (15)
Rating: 5 cheeseburgers

“Once Was Lost” is the story of fifteen-year-old Samara Taylor, the daughter of a pastor. The book takes place at the end of a long, hot summer, when her mother lands in rehab after a DUI and her father seems more interested in his congregation than his family. Sam struggles contemplatively with her faith, what little she had left fighting for survival once another tragedy strikes the hot Californian town in which she lives.

I liked “Once Was Lost” because it was different. It wasn’t a love story, even though Samara does develop an interest in a boy in her town, and it wasn’t about whether God exists or not. It was about the characters; not just Sam, but everyone, and their suffering and recovery. My favorite line in the book is, “I want to believe the stories, that there really is someone who would search the whole mountainside just to find that one thing that he loves, and bring it home.” It basically sums up the novel in its entirety. Thanks to Sara Zarr, Samara is now one of my favorite literary characters. The religious aspect is a device used to show how Sam really loses herself, and though you never really learn where she stands on the subject of God by the end, I think the book was better for it. I give it five whole cheeseburgers; my love for Sara Zarr is cemented.

Note from editor: This book has a new title, What We Lost. Don't be confused! :) It was a National Book Award Finalist too. 

Hunger (Gone #2) by Michael Grant

Title: Hunger (Gone #2) 
Author: Michael Grant 
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Reviewer: Shira (11)
Rating: 11/10

 Readers won't be able to put the book down, and will be submersed in the world of the 'FAYZ' -- A world of kids all under 15 years of age, trapped in a forcefield like bubble, and gaining mutant superpowers.

 In Hunger, we follow the main character, Sam Temple, and his friends as they try to survive in the world of the FAYZ while fighting Sam's brother, Cain Soren,and his posse. In the end, the kids team up to fight the 'Gaiaphage',a mutant power that has been growing in the depths of the earth, living off of nuclear power from a meteorite that hit Perdido Beach, CA, 13 years prior.

 This book is undoubtedly the best book I'v read ,I highly recommend this book for anyone who loves action, drama, and excitement.