Monday, June 30, 2008

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

In Eclipse, Bella has to face the fact that the two sides of her world cannot combine. While Edward was away in New Moon, she made friends with Jacob Black. He quickly fell in love with her, while she herself still could never think of anyone but Edward in that way. He made her feel safe and secure, though, so she took the relationship for granted. Edward, however, has a strong aversion to Jacob that goes far beyond jealousy and Jacob feels the same towards him. Neither likes the other to spend time with Bella. But when someone new comes to town and threatens her, everyone is forced to put aside their differences and work together to keep her alive. Eventually Bella realizes that she loves Jacob the same way she loves Edward. In the end, once the danger is averted, she is forced to make a decision that will destroy one relationship forever. I loved Eclipse all the way to the last page and anxiously await the fourth installment in the amazing Twilight series. -Cassie P.

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

New Moon picks up right where Twilight left off. Bella and Edward are still happily together when Bella’s eighteenth birthday comes up. When Bella accidentally gives herself a paper cut at the party Edward’s family throws for her, she sets into motion a chain of events that rapidly changes her life. Soon after her birthday, Edward tells Bella that he doesn’t love her anymore and his family is moving across the country. Tired of life without him, Bella takes to dangerous stunts so she can imagine his voice berating her. One day, word of one of her stunts reaches Edward and he, thinking her dead, goes on a suicide mission. Bella reaches him before he completes his mission and he admits that he always loved her. He and his family move back to Forks and he and Bella happily reunite. This second book in the Twilight series was just as compelling as the first. -Cassie P.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Twilight starts off with a preface where the main character faces her imminent demise. Without any background information at all, I was already swept up in the book, even though I had barely finished the first page. Chapter One goes back to the beginning as Bella, the protagonist, moves to the cold, rainy town of Forks, Washington from sunny Phoenix, Arizona. The story goes on to describe how Bella meets a strange family in her new school. She soon becomes obsessed with one of them named Edward. While at first she doesn’t realize why Edward is different, she falls passionately in love with him and he with her. When she figures out the truth, it oddly doesn’t deter her one bit. The novel reaches its climax when the events in the preface occur. In context they are even more compelling. The happy ending perfectly concluded one of my favorite books of all time. -Cassie P.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Witches Night Out

Bethany Salem is at sixteen-year-old girl who practices the religion of Wicca. Her and her friends decide to start a coven named “Witches’ Night Out” and anyone who wants to practice Wicca can join. But, when Bethany’s boyfriend Joe(who is also a coven member) dies in a freak car accident, Bethany calls upon her friends to work together to find Joe’s killer. Will Bethany be able to use the power of magic and some common sense to do just that? –Stacey B.

Walk Softly, Rachel

This whole book was mainly about a fourteen-year-old girl named Rachel. She had a brother named Jake who died when she was seven years old. Rachel didn’t know that much about her brother because her parents never told her what exactly happened on the night of Jake’s death. Even though they never talk about him, Rachel and her family have kept Jake’s room the way it was since the day of his death. One day, Rachel found Jake’s journal in one of his drawers. The journal becomes an invitation o the past. Rachel is able to hold on to some of her brother’s life. –Jenna H.

13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson.

Ginny’s aunt Peg was always very interesting. One day her Aunt left without any warning to go to Europe. There she envelopes a brain tumor and died. Now Ginny has received a package from her Aunt that contains thirteen little blue envelopes. Each envelope contains different instructions that soon have Ginny traveling all across Europe. Ginny’s life is soon changed all because of these thirteen little blue envelopes. AN interesting part of this book is that her aunt wrote these letters to help her niece. She wanted to show her how interesting in the world can be if you go out and see it. I think that is a very good life lesson. –Natalie M.

13 At Dinner by Agatha Christie

Jane Wilkinson is not happy with her husband and everyone knows that. She’s always talking about how she’ll just have to call a cab and o him off. So when this actually happens Jane is of course the main suspect. The only problem is she has a perfect alibi. It’s up to Hercule Poirot to solve the case. Agatha Christie is a superb mystery writer. She leaves you on the edge of your seat with all of her twists and turns. And a mystery that seems impossible is so easily solved by the detective Hercule Poirot. You’ll never be able to guess the ending. –Natalie M.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter is a mandatory story that has to be read by all students entering their junior year at Gateway High School. Although mandatory, this story’s plot and characters are round and interesting,, though actually reading it may be difficult. The plot consists of a women, Hester Prynne, who has committed a sin against God. Her sin, one of adultery, is seen as unforgivable in the eyes of the townsfolk, who therefore condemn hester ot wear a scarlet letter (A) upon her breast as a symbol of her crime. Bearing the consequences of her actions by raising her bastard child, Pearl, while at the same time enduring the ridicule and disgust of the townsfolk. The only one who could possibly lighten her burden is the man with whom the crime was committed with. But he, Roger Dimmesdale, holds such a high position in town as part of the clergy that she cold not bare to disgrace him, a man who she must passionately loves. As the events draw on the story opens a bitter sweet ending , with Pearl grown and Hester an old women. - Christine Y.

The Man Who Ate the 747 by Beo Sherwood

This is the story of J.J Smith who finds love in the small city of superior Nebraska. He is keeper of the records. He ends up there when he finds out about Wally Chubbs, a man attempting to eat a plane to prove his love for Willa Wyatt. In the process he ends up falling in love with her. It all might work out until l they decide the record can’t bedone. And well I’ll let you find the rest out on your own. –Melissa L.

The Mango Season by Amulya Malladi

The main chracter Priya Rao, is returning back to her hometown in India after spending seven years in America as a student then as a worker in San Diego. Going to India means she’ll have to tell her family about her engagement to an American, Nick. Priya was looking forward to her trip and dreading it at the same time. She missed the mangoes and making mango picle but she also knew her parents wouldn’t approve of Nick, when they want her to marry a nice Indian boy they pick out. After Priya’s stay a little while in India she discovers her parents already have a match made for her, but what about Nick? What if Priya never tells her parents about Nick and just goes on with the wedding? What about he boy Priya’s parents have in mind for her to see? I found this book very enjoying ot read, even when it was mostly written for adults to read. The author really emphasizes about mangoes and India that you almost feel like you are inside the story. Priya had her ups and downs and was stressed out about Nick, and you felt like you were almost standing there with her going through it. I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys to read. –Ina K.

The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman

In this extraordinary book, Lyra, a young girl living at Jordan College among much precedence scholars, is fairly happy with her life playing with other children. That is, until she hides away in a cabinet in the room where the senior scholars meet and finds out about mysterious expeditions to the North. While eavesdropping, Lyra hears about a mysterious Dust that is attracted to adults and their demons. (Daemons are the physical embodiment of their person’s soul.) When a mysterious group known as Gobblers began kidnapping children form all over, Lyra’s life takes a turn for adventure. With her best friends taken by the Gobblers, she vows to locate him. When called to the master’s home for dinner among scholars, Lyra finds a woman, Mrs. Coulter, she is mesmerized by and joins her as an assistant. When leaving, she is called to the master’s study and given a alethiometer which is able to tell things fo interest to those able to read it. While living with Mrs Colter, Lyra discovers Mrs. Coulter is a Gobbler. Running away form Mrs. Coulter, Lyra is found by a gyptian famil she knew form Jordan College. This family and others are gin north to find the missing children and are accompanied by Lyra. IN her thrilling adventure s in the northk, Lyra encounters witches, armored bears, horrible people hurting and terrifying the missing children, and surprising truths about her parents. “I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys page-turning books filled with fantasy and adventure. –Sam B.

The Boy Who Couldn’t Die

This book is mainly about a boy named Ken. Ken’s best friend is killed in a plane crash. Ken now makes a very huge decision. He decides that he will never die. Ken is the only child of very rich parents. Ken then searches and he finds a woman who can make him invulnerable to pain and death and it works. Ken cannot be burned, shot, or even stabbed. Ken can’t die, but he can kill as long as he is awake he has complete control of his life. Dreams take over him, he can’t stop, he dreams of murdering someone he loves. He can’t stop. –Jenna H.

Tell Me Everything

This book written by Carolyn Coman, is basically all about a twelve-year-old girl named Roz. Roz has a phone relationship with a boy named Nate. Nate is the only piece of her mother she has left. Nate was saved, well technically rescued by Roz’s mother. The mother died trying to rescue Nate. Roz doesn’t know what went on that day, but she will do anything to get Nate to answer her questions. Roz needs to find Nate and find out everything before he disappears like her mother did. –Jenna H.

Talk Talk Talk by T.C. Boyle

A different spin on the concept of identity theft is written about in this story, Talk Talk Talk by T.C. Boyle. One woman, Dara Halter, istrying to live her life as normally as possible, and so far in life she has been successful. She has a wonderful teaching job at a local school. A new, caring boyfriend (Bridger Martin), and she has no debt. Until one day, after being pulled over by the police for running a stop sign, she is arrested for outrageous charges such as bad checks, auto theft, and more. Dana, who had lived a successful life meanwhile with the struggle of being deaf cannot believe that this could be happening to her. Being deaf was a handicap enough but now with an identity thief, how could she possibly continue? So as a result, Dara and her devoted boyfriend Bridger go on a chance to find the thief! This story is a good book to read, if extremely bored. This story is a good and the idea is good, but at times the story drags and becomes dull. If I were to rate this story out of ten, I would give it a seven. –Christine Y.

Skeleton Key by Anthony Horowitz

Skeleton Key, the third Alex Rider adventure by Anthony Horowitz is a great book. It is longer than both the Storm Breaker and Point Blank, but packs more action. Teenage super spy Alex Rider finds himself in several suspenseful situations in locations all over the world. These locations include Wimbledon, England (the place where the Wimbledon Tennis Championship takes place), Murmansk, Russia, and island called Skeleton Key, and more. In this novel, Alex works for the CIA to investigate a man suspected of having a nuclear weapon while the people of MI6 try to clean up a situation Alex got himself into near the beginning of the book. Skeleton Key deserves the five-star rating I gave it, and it remains suspenseful to the last. –Bruce H.

She Died Too Young by Lurlene McDaniel

This is the story of Chelsea James who is in need of a heart transplant and Jillian Longodo who needs a heart and lung transplant. They meet at the hospital and become fast friends. When Chelsea, Katie, and Laceyt decide to meet at Jenny’s house, Jillian comes to. They end up as very good friends. IN the end though one will die. Will it be Chelsea or Jillian? One will die wating for the transplant and one will get it. Either way, it’s a wonderful story. Like a lot of Lurlene McDaniel books. It paints the perfect picture for those who have no medical disease, showing them how wonderful and how great a gift their life truly is. –Melissa L.

Scorpia by Anthony Horowitz

Scorpia is the fifth novel in the superb Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz. Folowing the information given to him by Yassen Gorogovich in his last breaths, Alex Rider goes to Venice ot search for Scorpia. Scorpia, whatever it is, is aid to have information about Lex’s father, John, and his past as a contract killer. Alex, who is a teenage spy for Britain’s M16, ends up getting himself tangled with a world-wide group of criminals. The story is a very suspenseful and fast paced. Anthony Horowitz is a brilliant author and wrote this story very well. The story is fantastic and deserves a five star rating. However, has Alex finally gotten himself into too much trouble? -Bruce H.

Rakkety Tam

Rakkety Tam is abut a squirrel named Rakety Tam Macburl and a cannibal wolverine named Gulo the Savage. While Rakkety Tam searches for Gulo to kill him, he becomes many animals that he befriends, including some from Redwall Abbey. I like how the author tells what is going on in different places at the same time. The climax of the book and one of my favorite parts of the book is when Rakkety Tam and Gulo finally meet. Rakkety Tam is a good book that makes you want to find out what happens next. – Michael K.

Point Blank by Anthony Horowitz

Point Blank by Anthony Horowitz is the sequel to Stormbreaker, and it is a great, suspenseful book. In this story, protagonist Alex Rider is sent to Point Blank under the fake name of Alex Friend to investigate a school for the delinquent children of famous, very rich families. Point Blank has many suspenseful sections where it is very hard to set the book down. Even in the last chapter, Anthony Horowitz found ways to keep the book exciting. It even ends mysteriously. Point Blank is a very well-written, fast-paced novel that deserves five-star rating. –Bruce H

Mugglenet.com’s: What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7

If you like the Harry Potter books and want to know some theories of what will happen in the seventh Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, you should read this book. In this book, the creators of the website Mugglenet.com discuss how they think the seventh book will unfold, who lives and who dies, and how the story will end. The book also discusses some of the characters’ destinies. I thought that the first chapter should be taken out because everything in ti has been confirmed or changed. I thought the ook was good, but some people might become disappointed if the books predictions are not right. –Ronak P.

Missing Persons: The Chocolate Lover by M.E. Rabb

This book is a hilarious mystery of two girls (Sam and Shattenburg) are trying to find and solve a missing persons case about a chocolate loving, elderly woman who had disappeared fifty years before. Sam and Sohpie end up in Venice Indiana after their father dies in order to escape being split up. When they leave Sophie’s name is changed to Fiona in order to throw off investigators. They also find about someone who could be their long time missing relative Leo, that’s when they find out about the missing persons case. This time’s story by M.E. Rabb is a story with plenty of laughter and suspense. I think it was awesome how the story was developed and I just love it in general! Hopefully this sounded interesting and you now want to read it but remember it’s a sequel! Thanks for reading! -Melissa L.

Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is a fantastic author and in this story, Harvesting the Heart, she does not fail to deliver another fantastic novel with interesting characters and phenomenon plot. This story is about a woman named Paige, who struggles with the fact that her mother left her behind at an early age. Without a mother’s guidance, Paige fell into troubled times as a teen, and had to kill her child through abortion. Now years later, Paige has run away to start a new life with a knight of shining armor Nicholas. Their lives are quickly beginning and soon Paige is pregnant, but the fact is she has never told Nickolas about her first abortion. With nowhere left to go and self- doubt quickly suffocating her, Paige must run away. Paige goes on a journey of discovery and realizations, but will everything still be the same when she returns? This is an excellent story for anybody to read. It offers amazing insight with its creature plot and amazing characters. I would rate it a ten out of ten! - Christine Y.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the last book in the Harry Potter series, and we finally find out who lives and who dies. Harry is searching for horcruxes, objects that contain a piece of Voldemort’s (the evil wizard) soul. Many problems arise during his search, such as the legend of the Deathly Hallows. I really like the mystery of the book and how the author gradually reveals us the answers to the questions. The book is full of surprises. I think this was my favorite book of the Harry potter series. –Michael K.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Finally, the long awaited book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, has been published to complete the phenomenon series by J.K.Rowling. This anticipated book has been well worth the wait and contains everything a good book need: action, love, and drama. With the three loved main characters, Harry, Ron, and Hermione, Rowling takes you on a final adventure. This adventure includes many struggles like breaking into a government office(ministry of magic) or stealing from a highly guarded bank (Grinngotis). Along with the trouble comes tragedy as many beloved characters pass away. But even through theses troubles the main concepts of love, friendship, and togetherness, pulls these characters through. All of the questions that arose will finally be answered in this final and exciting book! In my personal opinion, this was the best Harry Potter book out all seven published. J.K.Rowling, the amazing author that she is, pulled together all the key elements with a creature that could shock anyone. I would recommend anybody to read the Harry Potter series, but I would have to warn them that once picked up, it takes a while to put them back down! -Christine Y.

Game Over: How Nintendo Zapped an American Industry, Captured Your Dollars, and Enslaved Your Children

If you like Nintendo games or just want to know how Nintendo became a huge success you should read this book. First, the author had researched the Nintendo Co. Ltd.; then he gave the story of the extraordinary invention the Nintendo Entertainment system. The author also writes about some of the competitors, for example in 1990 the president of Apple was asked, what company he fears the most, he answered, “Nintendo”. The author makes Nintendo products look bad, but I think they were great and still are. Since this book was published in 1993, it does not contain anything about recent products Nintendo released over the past seven years. –Ronak P.

Eldest

Eldest, the second book in the Inheritance Trilogy, is continuing a story about a boy, Eragon, and his dragon Saphira. While I liked the first book in the trilogy better because it had more action, I like this book because it shows Eragon maturing and learning new things. The part of the book that grabbed me the most was the surprise ending of the book. Because of how much this ties back to the first book, I would certainly recommend this book to someone only if they’ve read the first book of the trilogy. –Michael K

Down the Rabbit Hole (An Echo Falls Mystery) by Peter Abrahams

Ingrid Levin-Hill is living an ordinary life in the ordinary town of Echo Falls. Until the day she gets lost walking to her soccer field. That day, she meets one of the town’s eccentrics, cracked-up Katie, and the very next, the town’s local paper blares a headline that changes the rest of her life. Local resident found dead. That resident is cracked-up Katie. Now Ingrid is on a mission to find cracked-up Katie’s murderer. Along with the added stress of soccer, school, and her new starring role as Alice In the Echo Falls production of Alice in Wonderland. However, the more curious her town becomes in the murderer. Who is the new play director, Vincent Dunn? And who was the person deep inside of cracked-up Katie’s seemingly insane exterior? Peter Abrahams has woven a cunning, suspenseful book of intrigue and mystery, allowing the reader to constantly guess ahead and keep one step ahead of Ingrid, constantly fearing for her. –Olivia R.

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Linnet Ridgeway was the perfect reason for murder. She was beautiful, smart, rich, and had just married a handsome young man named Simon Doyle. But their honeymoon is cut short when Linnet is murder. As more murders occur and more evidence is found the plot gets more twisted and it’s up to Hercule Poirot to solve the case. This book is a great mystery. Including a great plot and a wonderful detective. This is an edge of your seat thriller that will have you guessing until the very end. –Natalie M.

Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Kristina Georgia Snow is perfect. Straight A’s, obedient, quiet, never any trouble. But after a trip to visit her troublesome father, Kristina discovers, through a boy, what would change her life forever. The monster, crank. After discovering the monster, Kristina disappears, and Bree takes her place. Bree is fearless, the exact opposite of Kristina. Bree abandons Kristina’s friends, makes new, monster-loving friends, and becomes more reclusive, continuing to hide secrets from her family. Her grades start to slip, and she starts skipping classes. She starts meeting different boys to get more of the monster, and she discovers what it feels like to love and be loved. However, one thing happens that destroys her wild ride. A baby. Now, she must deal with being pregnant, and her addiction to crank. What started as a wild ride for the monster becomes a struggle for her mind, and her life. Ellen Hopkins has written, in prose, a heartbreaking and disturbing story about the effects of drugs and how they can destroy one’s life. –Olivia R.

Circle of Three: In the Dreaming

It is midsummers eve and Kate, Annie, and Copper find themselves dressing up to go to a Midnight Dance in the woods where coven members will be calling upon faerie magick, but each will find surprises waiting for them there. –Stacey B.

Burned by Ellen Hopkins

It all started with a dream. A simple dream about a boy that most teen girls experience. But Pattyn Von Stratten is not like most teen girls. Raised in a strict Mormon family who believes that women are only good for childbirth and for serving their husbands. And the only kind of boy a Mormon girl is allowed to marry, or even date, is a good Mormon boy. Pattyn might, outwardly, have the perfect family and the imperfect life, but her father is an abusive alcoholic who hits her mother, and terrorizes Pattyn nad her seven other sisters. After that one dream, Pattyn changes, and begins to question her religion, how it treats women as servants, and how unfair it seems. She begins to see a non-Mormon boy, and is caught in a situation with her father, who threatens to kill the boy if he ever touches Pattyn again. Pattyn becomes so angry and frustrated, she breaks a girl’s nose, and ends up breaking a window and becoming suspended. Her family decides to send her to an aunt she doesn’t even know, so that she can find “redemption” and “salvation.” However, she finds love she would never have known in her Aunt J, and her true love, Ethan. During those few summer months, she is at her happiest, until a letter from her favorite and closest sister and a phone call from her father brings her crashing down to reality. Now she must go home, away from the happiness and love of rural Nevada back to the cruelty of her home and her father. Ellen Hopkins, the author of Cran, writes another heart breaking and provoking story, in verse, of a girl who has never felt loved or has loved, who finds love an acceptance in the last place she would think to look.
–Olivia R.

Big Mouth and Ugly Girl by Joyce Carol Oates

Two lives unexpectedly collide in this warm and humorous story written by well-known author Joyce Carol Oates. Matt “Big Mouth” Donaghy is a straight A student. Ideal. Funny. A bit too funny. After making a thoughtless comment in his schoool cafeteria, he ends up being taken into custody by the police. Ursula Riggs calls herself “Ugly Girl.” A basketball star, she ends up quitting after a loss that she believes her entire team will hate her for. After hearing of Matt’s “arrest,” she decides to stand up for him, and for what is right. The case might be over, but the problem that arises from it causes both Matt and Ursula to struggle through school and their own lives. Luckily, they have each other to help them through thick and thin. Joyce Carol Oates has written a thought-provoking story about what is right, what is wrong, the matters of the heart, and acceptance.
-Olivia R.

Behind the Curtain (An Echo Falls Mystery) by Peter Abrahams

Ingrid Levin-Hill is back for another chilling mystery. After the events in Down the Rabbit Hole, Ingrid’s life is back to normal, or so she thins. Now, her dad’s job seems to be coming out of hand, while mysterious people keep trying to get her grandfather to sell her farm, no matter how many times he says no. to top it all off, her brother ahs been having mysterious mood swings, he’s not acting like himself, and he’s becoming extremely buff, too buff, and all too fast. That’s just in her family, but outside of her family, she has even more problems. Her soccer coach has been replaced by the very person who might take over her father’s job, and while going to the dreaded Math Fefst competiton she was unwillingly picked for, she is kidnapped, yet no one believes her story. Can Ingrid get out of this mystery without getting into too much trouble? Best selling author Peter Abraham had done it again with this suspenseful sequel to Down the Rabbit Hole. –Olivia R.

Ark Angel by Anthony Horowitz

Ark Angel is the sixth Alex Rider book by Anthony Horowitz, and alike all of its predecessors, it is captivating. Ark Angel is a “space hotel” being assembled by Nikolei Drevin, a billionaire, and hacked by the British government. However, a group called Force Three kidnaps Paul Drevin, Nickolei’s son to demand a ransom. As it turns out, they kidnapped Alex Rider instead. Alex escapes, however. Nikolei decides to take Alex with him to his home for some rest and to have a good time with Paul in return for saving with him to his home for some rest and to have a good time with Paul in return for saving Paul form being kidnapped. However, bad events follow Drevin and things begin to not add up. Is Nikolei innocent, or is he some how involved? Will Alex survive, or has death finally found him? Ark Angel is well-written, very suspenseful, and most definitely thrilling to the end. I give five stars to Anthony Horowitz and his masterpiece, the Alex Rider series. –Bruce H.

Animal Farm by George Orwell

If you enjoy fantasy books where animals talk, this is a book for you. There was a farmer named Jones who mad the animals work a lot. One day the animals become weary of working and rebel. There are tow pigs, Snowball and Napoleon, who decide that they must become the leaders of the farm. They succeed in getting the other animals pay attention for a while, but when the pigs realize how excellent the power is they lose control so read how chaotic animal farm becomes after power controls animals. The story of animal farm is based on the Russian Revolution I thought the book was easy to read and the writing style was simple to comprehend. –Ronak P.

Alex Rider: Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

The first installment in the acclaimed Alex Rider series by the British author Anthony Horowitz was well-written and captivating. It made me want to continue reading. The book contained many exciting moments, most of which will take the reader by surprise. It all starts when Alex Rider’s uncle and guardian, Ian Rider, mysteriously dies. Alex soon learns that Ian was a spy for the British intelligence agency, MI6. Alex is then sent ot complete his uncle’s mission for investigating Herod Sayle and his powerful computers, the Stormbreakers, many of which will be given to British schools. Is Sayle’s donation too good to be true, or is he just a generous man? Find out when you read Strom breaker, which I feel deserves a five-star rating. As a side note, a Stormbreaker movie was made which, to me, was not as good as the book for several reasons, including the fact hat characters were added that somewhat changed the plot and that some names were changed. –Bruce H.

Monday, July 24, 2006

.Hack: Legend of the Twilight By: Tatsuya Hamazaki

"The World" to many a virtual computer game, but to some a story of fate and destiny.

Shugo and Rena, normal twins of age 14 are just your average teenagers. Shugo a boy who doesn't waste his time playing video games, like every other boy his age, but instead uses his time wisely. On the other hand is his twin sister, Rena who would love some adventure and fantasy in her life, but is only a mere child. Complete opposites they are, but the love never stops between them, especially as they enter a new life in "The World." Rena being as loving and caring as ever, never thought she would reunite the heroes of "The World" together.
Rena had just started to play "The World" and had won a contest. The prize was very rare in the game. She had won the costumes of the legendary heroes, Kite and Black Rose. She also dragged Shugo into this game and from that day on they were no longer just Shugo and Rena, but the legendary heroes, Kite and Black Rose. Throughout there journey they met many companions, found a mysterious bracelet, and the game went haywire. Shugo sleeping and in his dream he found a very distraught looking girl looking at him. She gave him a very unique bracelet, known to be the rare twilight bracelet, the one that Kite used to own. Aura asked him to continue this game and finish what the heroes could not and left. Shugo woke with the bracelet in his hand glittering in the sun. Strange things started to occur, like the monsters started to attack level one players. Even the game administrator, Balmung also a legendary player could not figure out why. Will Rena and Shugo ever find out the mystery of this game? Will they ever succeed?

Friday, July 21, 2006

Framed! by Malcolm Rose

Luke Harding graduates and receives his forensic investigator identity card at age sixteen, making him the youngest qualified FI. He expects a small break before being assigned a case, but his first case comes within hours: a local student was shot dead by someone with very good aim with a bow and arrow. The only problem with Luke’s first case? He’s the prime suspect!
Bodies and suspense begin piling up, with all the clues pointing to Luke! Now, he must solve his first case with the help of his Mobile Aid to Law and Crime, Malc.
The first in the new series Traces, Framed! by Malcolm Rose is a spine-tingling murder mystery that I encourage everyone to read. You’ll be on your toes the entire time!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Camp Fear by Carol Ellis

Eight new camp counselors, all about eighteen or nineteen years old, begin shaping up Camp Silverlake for the children arriving soon. Some of those counselors have been to Camp Silverlake before, years before, when something unspeakable occurred. Now, seven years later, someone is haunting those counselors at Camp Silverlake, turning each individual’s worst fears into reality.

Although this book was a bit predictable at times, overall it was a great, suspenseful, blood-rushing novel. Camp Fear by Carol Ellis will surely thrill any mystery lover! - Timmy W

The Stalker by Carol Ellis

Janna Richards was just one of the dancers in the play Grease, so she was thrilled when she had her own personal fan. But, that quickly changed when the so-called “fan” began stalking her- following her tour route, sending deadly messages, and even watching her through her motel window. After some near-fatal “accidents” occur, Janna calls the police, only to learn they can do almost nothing to help. Now, Janna must take matters into her own hands before the curtain closes on Janna’s life!

The Stalker started off a little shaky, but overall, it is an exciting mystery that I would recommend to mystery lovers everywhere! - Timmy W

Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher

Whale Talk is a sports fiction novel. However, it deals with other topics, such as modern day racism (a few characters in the story are racist), abuse, and how one accident can change someone’s life forever. The story is about The Tao Jones; everyone just calls him T.J. Jones (the J is from Jones). T.J. was adopted when he was very young because his biological mother was a drug addict and left him alone for hours at a time. Throughout his life he has faced racism and is tired of it. T.J. is very athletic, and in a school that values its athletic program, he is also criticized for not trying out for football, basketball, or any other sport. Then, he sees a kid being picked on for wearing his deceased brother’s Cutter High letter jacket. When T.J. is asked to put together a swim team, he decides to fill it with a group of kids who don’t really fit in with the other Cutter kids, including Chris Coughlin, the kid who was wearing his brother’s jacket. The book caught me because of the plot and a few other things. The main plot of the story is about how the swim team progresses throughout the season. Another thing that caught me in
Whale Talk is that it is a roller coaster ride of emotions. In a matter of pages, the story can go from normal to suspense to sad and back to normal, or it can go from normal to suspense to rage to suspense and back to normal. Another catchy thing in the book is the ending. IT is very unexpected and sad. All things considered, it was an okay read. - Bruce H

The Island of Dangerous Dreams by Joan Lowery Nixon

Andrea is forced to spend the summer with her creepy aunt when her parents decide they need some time alone. Then Andrea and her aunt are invited to an island to bid on an amazing art artifact. Everyone knows the object is stolen, but Andrea is the only one who seems to care. Then the artifact is stolen and someone is murdered. No one knows who will be next.

What I liked most about this book was that it wasn’t easy to figure out. Some mysteries I have read had plots that were easy to figure out and mysteries are never as good when you know the ending. In this book, there are many surprises that keep you guessing and wondering until the very end. - Natalie M.

The Window by Carol Ellis

After a sprained ankle keeps Jody from enjoying the slopes for the rest of her ski vacation, she decides to stay in her room in the cabin, without anything to do. A little spying into another cabin wouldn’t hurt. Especially when the cabin belongs to the lovely Leahna Calder, whom boys drool over while girls wish they were even half as pretty as she was.

Too bad someone feels different. Someone wants Leahna dead, but whom? It couldn’t be one of the other six staying at the cabin with Jody, could it? Each one had a motive, but only one’s reason for wanting Leahna dead was strong enough to actually kill.

And while that one person is fighting Leahna, leading to her death, Jody is watching. She sees everything…including the killer staring back at her.

The Window by Carol Ellis is full of suspense and will keep mystery-lovers on their toes all the way till the end! - Timmy W.

Poison by Chris Wooding

This book is about the travels of young Poison who lives in the Black Marshes. The scarecrow takes her baby sister and a changeling is put in place of her. So Poison starts her journey along with Bram to ask the Phaerie Lord for her sister back. She faces many dangers including a witch that eats bones and a giant spider queen. Poison has to find out who she really is and her innocent quest to find her sister has become a life threatening adventure.

This book was great! I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it. The end keeps you wondering about what will happen next in Poison’s life. - Saniya S

Digital Fortress by Dan Brown

Digital Fortress is a Dan Brown masterpiece. It is a mystery/suspense/action novel in which an NSA (National Security Agency) cryptographer (one who studies and deciphers codes) Susan Fletcher and her fiancé David Becker, who works for a university, are caught up in a huge twisting scandal threatening to destroy U.S. intelligence. It is a captivating twist of events, with enough evidence to support that one person is the criminal, then abruptly giving you the evidence to support that the person is innocent and someone else is threatening American intelligence. The story is set in two countries, with two story lines interconnected completely. The part that grabbed me was the suspense, the constantly twisting power struggle, and several occasions in which believing or rejecting theories could have been the difference between life and death. Also, David is constantly dodging bullets, both figuratively and literally. I enjoyed learning about a few types of codes including one used by Julius Caesar. The characters in Digital Fortress were developed at different rates, sometimes giving false hints, forcing the readers to make their own guesses about what a character will do, and then, later, they find out something different, and the plot line could change completely. The mood of the book is both slow and steady, with not a dangerous feel, just a search for an item or a search for clues at times and other times, the mood is suspenseful, mysterious, and fast passed and there is a lot of danger or the need for quick thinking and decision-making. Overall, Digital Fortress is a good novel and is worth reading; it has a good plot, a suspenseful feel as you anxiously read toward the next shocking twist, and the danger that lurks around every corner. I give this book a 5-star rating. - Bruce H.

She Said Yes by Misty Bernall

On April 20, 1999, Cassie Bernall was asked a question ‘Do you believe in God’ by two students with guns. She was shot for answering yes. Although without the help of her parents, Cassie would have been down the same troubled path as her killers. This is the sad story of Cassie Bernall’s short, but inspiring life.

This story makes you think about what you really believe. In the same life or death situation would you still have stuck up for your beliefs like Cassie did? This story also made me appreciate parents more because I learned no matter what, they’re going to love you and help you through any problems you have. This touching tale gives you many new outlooks on life. - Natalie M

Soldier’s Heart by Gary Paulsen

This book report is about Soldier’s Heart. If you like books on wars, this is a book for you. This story takes place during the Civil War. There was a boy who had lived in the Civil War Era, and his name was Charley Goddard. He was a fifteen year old boy who lived in Minnesota and enlisted in the army. Charley went to battles and made a new friend. He learned that war isn’t a great adventure and lots of fun but, that lot’s of people die and get injured during wars.

Read this story by Gary Paulsen about a boy who went to war and came back a changed man. - Ronak P

Samurai Girl: The Book of The Sword by Carrie Asai

The lone survivor of a terrible plane crash in Japan, thought she was lucky when taken in by a wealthy rich Japanese family; how very wrong she was. Now on her wedding day in Los Angeles she is attacked by a ninja; loses the person she loved the most, her brother; and learns that everything about her family is a lie. Someone is out to get her and she must find out who. She must now forget the past. The old Heaven Kogo is gone; now she is the Samurai Girl.

I found this book interesting. A pampered princess has to become a samurai warrior. Throughout the book there is a secret that kept me reading. All the characters are keeping something from Heaven. - Saniya S

The Lovely Bones by Alice Segold

At the beginning of the novel, Susie Salmon is murdered by a strange neighbor, Mr. Harvey, who killed her in the cornfield behind her house. Susie is in heaven as she watches her family deal with her murder throughout their life. Her dad gets a suspicion that Mr. Harvey murdered her, but the police don’t help much since he is just “assuming”. One afternoon, Susie’s sister Lindsey, broke into Mr. Harvey’s house. She found some evidence to prove Mr. Harvey’s guilt. But before they could capture Mr. Harvey, he fled. As this was going on, Mrs. Salmon left the family and moved across the country. Many years passed with Susie gone. She would watch her family as they changed.

Altogether I didn’t like this book because it was too depressing and sad to read. Nothing good or hopeful aspired in the entire book. -- Hannah K

Chew On This by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson

Chew on This by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson

Ever wonder what really goes into that Big Mac? In Schlosser and Wilson’s new book Chew on This, you’ll learn where some of those long-named ingredients on packaged foods come from, the history of the fast-food industry, and some outrageous facts about fast food that’ll make you wonder ‘Why did I ever eat that?’.
This book also explains why so many people in America, and even in other countries, can’t resist fast food even when they know how horrible it is for their bodies. You will also learn of the awful conditions animals must endure before being cruelly slaughtered for human consumption, and why many people who already know still insist on destroying their own bodies with disgusting pieces of fried animal tissue with a side of fatty, oil-drenched potato slices. Talk about appetizing!
I encourage anyone and everyone to read Chew on This by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson. You’ll be amazed at what you’ve been stuffing into your body.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Just Ella is about Ella after she marries Prince Charming. At first, Ella thought living with royalty would be fun, but after awhile, she realized it wasn’t what she thought it would be. Every day consisted of lessons on how to become a proper princess. On top of that, Prince Charming wasn’t what she had thought he was, either. He was all brawn and no brain, and every visit with him brought Ella more agony. Finally she decided to run away to find Jed, her young history teacher who went to help the war refuges, but she got caught and thrown in the dungeon. Not giving up, she decided to tunnel out. Will she succeed? What will happen next? Read to find out.

Blood and Chocolate by Annette Cutis Klause

Blood and Chocolate is a really good book, at least better than some of the other werewolf books I’ve read. It’s about a 16-year-old girl named Vivian who can change to a werewolf at will. She falls in love with Aiden, a human. Her pack doesn’t approve, but she doesn’t care. Then, during a fight to protect her mother, she somehow becomes the pack leader Gabriel’s mate. Trying desperately to escape the nightmare, she decides to tell Aiden what she really was, certain he would accept her. But contrary to what she thought, Aiden became afraid of her and started avoiding and spreading rumors about her. On top of that, Vivian discovers that there are killings of humans and she was almost certain that she was the one who had caused them. I’m not going to write anymore so just read the book!


(This is for the bike contest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber

Vampire Kisses is a pretty good book, though certainly not one of the best I’ve read. It’s about a girl named Raven, who’s a vampire crazed Goth girl. On her 16-th birthday, a creepy family moves into the haunted house on top of Benson Hill, a place that had been vacant for years. Soon, rumors about the family being vampires start circulating around the town, a place that Raven had not so fondly nicknamed Dullsville. Raven decides to figure out if the rumors are true and sneaks into the mansion, only to be caught and invited to dinner by this totally hot dude. Raven goes and the two of them fall in love, but will Raven’s enemy, Trevor Mitchell, break their relationship? And are the family really vampires? Read to find out!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Raising Dragons by Bryan Davis

Raising Dragons, a book by Bryan Davis, was one of the best books I have read this year. This Christian fantasy is about two kids named Billy and Bonnie who find out that their parents are dragons. They also learn that they have inherited their parent’s dragon abilities –Billy can breathe fire and Bonnie can fly. Shortly after their discovery, they discover that their principal is really an evil dragon slayer whose goal is to kill all dragons, which means them! Bonnie, who’s an orphan, runs away with Billy’s family on Billy’s dad’s airplane, the Merlin. The airplane eventually goes down and they all get separated, with Billy’s dad believed dead. Billy and Bonnie get stranded in the woods and they must work together to find a way out. Using their abilities, they manage to escape the forest, only to learn that Billy’s father was alive but had turned back into a dragon and the slayers are about to kill him. Will Billy and Bonnie save his father? Read Raising Dragons to find out!