Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Title: One of us is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Rating 5/5 Stars
Teen Reviewer: Se Choi

When Simon, Cooper, Nate, Addy and Bronwyn were stuck in detention for being wrongly accused of having their phones in their bags(the phones in their bags weren't theirs), Simon died because of a peanut allergy reaction from a cup of water. There were no epi-pens in the nurse’s office so he could not be saved. The four kids were questioned and were all suspects of Simon’s murder. Simon was the creator of a local gossip app and all four of them had secrets that Simon was about to post on his app. Cooper’s secret was that he was cheating on his girlfriend, Nate’s was that his mother was in a rehab center for a coke addiction. Addy was also cheating on her boyfriend, and Bronwyn cheated on a test(she was a very smart person and was going to Yale so this was very serious). When all their secrets were opened to the public by the police, they were being convicted of murder and were cast out of social groups they used to be in. Cooper, Nate, Addy, and Bronwyn were constantly harassed by police and were taunted at school. The problem at their High School had grown into nationwide news. Then after many days of answering questions for investigators and avoiding news reporters, Nate was arrested by the anxious police. The police was worried about constant angry responses to the fact that they released the secrets of the four. ::SPOILER:: Then the remaining three proved the police wrong by finding out (with proof) that Jake, Addy’s boyfriend put the peanut oil in Simon’s cup of water and put the epi-pens away and that Simon made the plan to kill himself and bring four kids down with him. Simon did this because the four kids were famous, smart, and attractive but they took that for granted. So he worked with Jake to frame them.

The ending to this story was very unexpected, and Simon’s master plan of his death was very smart and decisive. When you think it would be any of the four that would be guilty, it is someone else. The tense moments of the novel were a great experience.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Book Review: The Odds of Lightning

Title: The Odds of Lightning
Author: Jocelyn Davies
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Teen Reviewer: Se Choi

Before the first day of high school, four friends parted ways to try to do what they believed was right for themselves. Nathaniel wanted to be an amazing geologist like his brother so he stayed away from his friends to study and write essays for scholarships for school. Lu wanted to be independent and feel no emotional pain so she was never telling the truth to her friends and so she was far from a real friendship. Will wanted to impress Lu so he joined the soccer team and became famous in the high school and was caught in the wave of fame.Tiny wanted to be invisible and tried to avoid people. But in the background of this corroded friendship, there was a huge superstorm that is about to strike New York. Now after a couple years it is the night before their SATs, so Will and Nathaniel throw a party to let their minds rest from studying for the test. Many people come to the party, and so do Tiny and Lu, and they eventually meet on the roof. They accidentally close the door behind them and they are locked outside. While they were trapped on the roof, they were shocked by lightning which made the four of them have unnatural abilities(which are not always a good thing). Nathaniel became a superhero because he always wished to be better and smarter than his genius brother. Lu became numb to everything because she wanted to be impenetrable to feelings, Will could change into people(not at his own will) that he thinks Lu likes and Tiny was becoming invisible. When Nathaniel opened the locked door with his super strength, Lu rushed out to go to a concert where her boyfriend was and the other three friends go on a wild goose chase to follow her through New York. As they ran around in Manhattan, they once again bond with each other and eventually realize that their abilities were effects of what they wanted and that they should be who they really are, not a modified version of themselves. Then, after the exciting run through the city, they wait for the lightning to strike them again so they can be changed back into their normal state and go take the SATs.

This novel is very creative and full of scenes that you wouldn’t see on a normal day. But aside from that, The Odds of Lightning is fun to read and is very exciting.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Book Review: Fate of Flames

Title: Fate of Flames
Author: Sarah Raughley
Teen Reviewer: Nanditha Prashanth
Rating: 5/5 Stars

Fate of Flames is an action-packed book following the path of a girl named Maia (the next fire effigy). She is one of the 4 girls chosen to be part of a group called effigies who protect and serve the world from vicious creatures that are known as phantoms. Maia was always one of those many girls who aspired to fight like an effigy, to save lives like one of them, and to become one of them. But when she is given the responsibility or burden. in her eyes. of protecting the country and nation, Maia is bombarded with a tough decision. One that can save her and one that can bring her to her last wish. The plot of the story entails what future decisions Maia will have to make and what consequences she must face due to it. When she is chosen as the next fire effigy her life seems to be a game, a game of life and death. The rest of the story revolves around her journey and effort protecting her secret and living as an effigy.

Fate of the Flames is a book that combines the emotional and physical drama of a high school girl named Maia, which is the outline of this books action-packed plot. This book is a very entertaining and interesting book. It's a book that will make you want to read and make you want to see what happens next. I gave this book a 5 out of 5 because the concept of this book is definitely a very unique one. But not only that, this book kept me wondering and it really fulfilled the thriller aspect for me. It really pulls together every aspect of the plot very well. This book is a book that I am sure will not take very long to read if you are an action lover, and I definitely recommend it.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Book Review: Scythe

Title: Scythe
Author: Neal Shusterman
Teen Reviewer: Se Choi
Rating: 4/5 Stars

Synopsis: In the future (the book does not clarify when) there is no disease, hunger, and sadness. People can live forever and that was because the government of all the countries of the world were taken control over by a computer program. This program was never cruel, corrupt but governed people fairly and well. The only thing the program did not control was the Scythe Realm. The Scythes controlled the population of their given area. Every day they would choose a target five days a week and kill him or her and give their family members one year free of not having a chance of being killed by kissing the ring of the Scythe. 

One day, Scythe Faraday decided to take on two apprentices named Citra and Rowen. They both hated the idea of being a Scythe but decided to try after they heard that only one of them would become a Scythe at the end and that the two of them had to compete for the job. Scythe Faraday taught them that if you wanted to be a Scythe you would have to not enjoy killing people, Scythes only take what they really need, and if they did not want to be Scythes after a long period of time on the Job, they could take their own life. After many months of training, they went to the Scythe Conclave which happened every season. At the Conclave, the Scythes would discuss problems and test apprentices until the Winter Conclave, which was the final test for the students. Both apprentices failed their first test so they were even, but things got even more competitive when an evil Scythe named Goddard suggested the Grand Scythe that the one that fails the final test should be killed by the winner. After the Conclave, Rowan and Citra were informed that Faraday Killed himself to protect Rowan and Citra from killing each other. Expecting to be returned to their families, they were very surprised to hear that Citra would be trained more with the Grande Dame of Death (a very respected Scythe) and Rowen would be trained by Scythe Goddard until the Winter Conclave. During that time, Citra tried to learn more about the suicide of Faraday and also learned a lot from the Grande Dame of Death. But Rowan was learning how to kill without caring and granting people kisses on the ring for fame. Rowan eventually killed Goddard and his evil companions by cutting them in pieces and throwing them into a burning building. He did this because he knew the only thing that you couldn’t be healed from is fire. The day of the Winter conclave came and Citra became the Scythe. Instead of killing Rowan, she punched him in the mouth with the ring she was given. Because Rowan kissed the ring, he was granted one year of not being killed. So Citra and Rowan escaped and fled the region.

Review: This novel was gruesome and cruel but was very good showing the characters thoughts and emotions. That, I believe is the most important part of a novel. Also the main characters’ revolt against their inevitable doom is shown very clearly at the end.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Book Review: Left Handed Fate

Title: The Left-Handed Fate
Author: Kate Milford
Rating: 3/5
Teen Reviewer: Se Choi

Synopsis: Lucy Bluecrowne and Maxwell are aboard the Left-Handed Fate to find and build a machine that could end the war with the US. The US were allies with France, and Britain was alone. When the Left-Handed Fate was near The US, they were attacked by an american ship. There was a fierce battle but eventually, the americans won and took all of them as prisoners. The captain of the americans put Oliver as the prize-captain of the Left-Handed Fate. Oliver was only 12 years old but was still made the captain. As the new prize-captain and crew sailed out, they were stopped by a french ship that were asking for Max because they wanted the machine as well. Lucy recommended Oliver not to give in, so he let the prisoners join the prize-crew to escape and fight off the french ship. Then Oliver agreed to Lucy and Max to find the parts to this machine in a place called Flotilla. In Flotilla they put the ship in a secret dock and head out to find and make the parts to the machine. They met people that could make some parts of the machine, and also found some parts as well. But then the french caught up with Max and kidnapped him. But luckily he escaped. When Max made the machine he was horrified to see that it could almost think like a human. Max and the machine communicated by writing in strips of paper. But suddenly men in black suits came and threatened to kill Max if he used the machine to kill others. So Max changed the machine into a firework launcher. And when the french found out, they stopped hunting for Max.

Review: The book was slightly boring and confusing in the beginning, but every other part of the book was exciting and strange.