Pretty Little Liars Review

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Review by: dancingforever27

The renowned television show Pretty Little Liars, directed by I. Marlene King, aired from June 8th, 2010 through June 27th, 2017. Originally, this series was adapted from a multitude of novels by Sara Shepard. Simply, this show was centered around four girls, and their stalker(s), who reunite after their friend’s mysterious death.

In the “Pilot” episode, five girls are enjoying the last weekend of summer before they head back to Rosewood High School by having a sleepover on Labor Day weekend.

The Liars:
Alison (Ali) DiLaurentis- the most popular and mean girl in school. Valued by many as the “queen bee.”
Spencer Hastings- a girl too smart for her own good in a complicated family. The standards for her throw her into anxiety.
Emily Fields- a closeted girl on the R.H.S. swim team who has a crush on Ali.
Aria Montgomery- an artistic girl who fell in love with her young English teacher.
Hanna Marin- a girl who’s parents split up, leading to her eating excessively.

All five of the girls stay at Spencer’s barn and drink, party, and later fall asleep. Alarmingly, the four girls wake up to find Alison missing in the middle of the night.

The show skips ahead one year after Ali was reported missing where the police officers find her dead body. She was then pronounced dead at the scene. This then changes her case from a missing person investigation to a homicide investigation, which surely distresses many characters. Nothing quite like this has ever happened in Rosewood, well, of course since the liars came along.

While Ali was “missing”, the four girls part ways without their leader to keep them close with lies and deception. This was, until, they started receiving texts from an anonymous person going under the surname “-A”. This “A” knows all of the girls’ secrets, which each person only had revealed to Alison, rasing the question, “Who is A?” For the following seven seasons. Every two seasons or so, a new “A” seems to be revealed under troubling circumstances. The entire show is filled with mysteries over who killed Alison and what their stalker(s) want from them.

This show keeps all characters and audience members on the edges of their seats to find out answers to the destabilizing event, as many people could’ve wanted Ali gone.

I have to say that this show is my all-time favorite due to the constant suspense and dark undertones. Also, it sets itself apart from other murder mysteries as they cannot tell anyone about “A” without their secrets being revealed, too.

Throughout all of the seasons, each character gets further and further traumatized by the torture “A” puts them in, mentally and eventually physically. This is enhanced by the number of plot twists, especially while they try to uncover “A” and when he/she is revealed to everyone.

The pros above can really be summed up in the following-
The immense amount of secrets for such a small town makes everyone look suspicious; a great way to keep “A’s” identity hidden.

The only main negative part of this show to certain people could be that it can get a bit repetitive with the “game,” dubbed by many characters in the show, always somehow continuing by another, or even unheard of, character. Although, this would only be the case for someone who is not into mysteries and who does not really enjoy the up-and-down plot line that resembles an emotional roller coaster.

I would rate this television series a 10/10 because of the endless suspense, unpredictable (for most) “A” reveals, and shocking secrets the liars make and discover. In addition, I would highly recommend this series to anyone who is looking for another “Netflix show,” and for new surprises around every corner. (Due to the fact that this show aired the series finale in June, it is an especially great television show to watch on your own schedule without waiting for it to air every week.)

Age- 13+

Game review of “Super Mario World”

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Review by: jakobsherman

Super Mario World was a game released in 1991 by Nintendo. This is a game that would go down in history as one of the best games to ever hit shelves in stores, and for good reason too. Many people praise this game for it’s complex yet simple gameplay. This game mostly revolves around jumping around and collecting power-ups (Mario’s version of items). The game does an excellent job of teaching you these mechanics without shoving them in your face with a tutorial like many other games. Most 2-D Marios are good at this. They show you how to dodge Goombas by letting them kill you, or rather, making you fly off the screen.

This game, however, has some flaws when it comes to that. For example, it teaches you nothing about the different Yoshi powers. Speaking of Yoshi, this is the first game to feature Yoshi, the iconic green dinosaur who’s famous for eating things, and then turning them into eggs. Yoshi sort of acts as a power-up in this game. You find him and other power ups by hitting a question mark block with your fist, although many believe it’s your head. One of these power-ups is the feather, which gives you a cape which lets you fly and glide by jumping once in a sprint. This however allows players to skip near levels entirely.

The difficulty of this game, in my opinion, is unbalanced and sometimes unfair. This is mainly due to the huge difficulty spike around the third world. Worlds are basically just a group of singular levels. At the end of each world you enter a tower and fight one of the eight Koopalings, each being one of Bower’s children. These levels range from haunted houses to underwater sequences to grassy plains, to caves with what seems like endless amounts tunnels. Nearly half these levels, have secret exits that lead to switches that help you in other levels, and even unlock more levels themselves. There are a total of 29 secret exits in this game, and there’s even the star world with five more levels and the special world with levels like Tubular which take hours to complete due to their difficulty. At the end of the last world, you finally face Bowser in his castle in a fight to save Peach from his grasps.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a retro game to play without a deep story or just a fun time, whether it be a quick play through or an one-hundred percent one with lots of content, I recommend Mario World. I give this game an 8.7/10.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

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“Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
                                                                                                                                                          The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war– and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: be a weapon. Or be a warrior.”

Continue reading

Things I Can’t Forget by Miranda Kenneally

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Kate has always been the good girl. Too good, according to some people at school—although they have no idea the guilty secret she carries. But this summer, everything is different…

This summer she’s a counselor at Cumberland Creek summer camp, and she wants to put the past behind her. This summer Matt is back as a counselor too. He’s the first guy she ever kissed, and he’s gone from a geeky songwriter who loved The Hardy Boys to a buff lifeguard who loves to flirt – with her.

Kate used to think the world was black and white, right and wrong. Turns out, life isn’t that easy…

 Review by: fmarie0112
        When I first started reading this book I instantly though I wouldn’t like it. The main character, Kate, was judgmental and got on my nerves. It was obvious that some of the other characters in the book felt the same way and many times I found myself cringing because of what she had said. I just kept thinking about how embarrassed I would be if I had acted that way. After a few chapters of this I almost wanted to stop  reading the book, but I continued to read the book and I’m glad that I did. As the story progresses you get to see Kate grow and become more understanding, while not letting go of her personal beliefs.
        Kate grew up in a very conservative Christian church and she followed the rules set forth by her religion very strictly. Initially this was one of the things that bothered me because she did not only followed the rules but she also acted as if she was forcing her belief upon others. When her friend Emily got an abortion due to an unexpected pregnancy she was practically shaming he for her decision. Ultimately, this caused Emily and Kate to get into a fight that resulted in them not talking for most of the summer.
        When Kate goes to camp she is faced with many fellow counselors who also don’t follow her strict beliefs-here are boys are girls sleeping in the same cabins! A counselor lying and breaking the camp rules! As the story continues Kate is faced with these many dilemmas and she struggles to understand how she could be friends with people who do not share the same beliefs as her. Should she just say quiet and let others live their lives as they please or should she voice her beliefs as she always has? This is a constant struggle for Kate as she exits her sheltered life and enters the real world. I enjoyed watching Kate grow as the story goes on (despite how frustrated I was with her in the beginning) and I grew to respect her for staying true to her herself, not giving into peer pressure and not abandoning her beliefs.

The Love That Split The World by Emily Henry

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Review by: fmarie0112

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start . . . until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a preschool where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

Then there are the visits from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her, “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

Where should I even begin with this review? I don’t know how to put my feelings towards this book into words. Between the “other worlds” and time travel and seemingly supernatural being, “grandmother,” this book leaves you trying to understand how all the pieces of the book will fall together.

Usually when you read a book you can understand what direction the book is headed, you’ll almost know what’s about to happen before the characters do. Emily Henry keeps you confused, wondering what the outcome will be, similar confusions felt by the characters. At no point are you positive what will happen next or do you figure something out before the characters do. This is what makes you keep reading until you reach the end.

I loved the book, but a fair warning, its slow in the beginning. Initially I found it hard to get started because it took a while for the main events to unfold, but once they do I definitely struggled to put the book down. Also, the book talks about some relatively complex theories about what “time” really is and time travel. When I was reading this I found it a little difficult to understand what they were talking about and I had to reread it a few times. I still don’t completely understand how these theories work, but I got the general idea and it didn’t get in the way of my understanding of the plot. Overall, I would probably give this book a 4/5 rating but I would encourage you to read it and form your own opinion on it.

The Pearl Thief (Book Review)

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Review by: apiazza4

Julia Beaufort-Stuart is the granddaughter of Sandy Murray, Earl of Strathfearn, and the descendant of a queen. They are a very wealthy and respected family, but when Sandy dies and leaves behind a lot of debt, the Stuarts have to sell the house and all his artifacts.

The family is staying at the house as the new owners get it ready to become a school to sort out any last minute problems. Julia gets there three days before her family is expecting her, so they don’t realize anything is wrong when she gets attacked. Waking up in the hospital, she doesn’t remember anything that happened, but when she gets home she realizes that her accident may not have been an accident. An employee of her family, Dr. Housman, went missing the same day Julia was in the hospital, and she has a theory they were attacked by the same person.

Euan McEwen found Julia unconscious and brought her to the hospital, and she thinks he and his sister, Ellen, might be able to explain what happened to her. The McEwens are Travelers, which means they are nomadic and are treated terribly. She notices how hard their life is so she tries to help, but it is getting more difficult because the cops blame Euan for the attacks.

Julia and the McEwens go on adventures and discover more secrets to help solve the mystery. When a body shows up the cops are just as lost as they were before because the body is so mangled they can’t actually tell the identity. It is assumed that the body is Housman because the cops didn’t find anything to prove otherwise. Now everyone is a suspect but the real criminal is someone no one expects.

I liked The Pearl Thief  by Elizabeth Wein because it was thrilling with a new surprise on every page. I recommend this book because it is a wonderful mystery.

A Court of Thorns and Roses Review

Review by: Shipperprincess52

This review may contain minor spoilers for A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury, both by Sarah J. Maas

Stars- 4/5

Summary- Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …
Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

Thoughts- It was just as good as all of Sarah J. Maas’ books. The characters were all amazing and the book was funny and sad at the same time. I loved Lucien’s character the most because he was just really funny. I didn’t really like Tamlin, his personality and the way he treated Feyre just bothered me. (I finished the entire series the same weekend I started it so after this will be my review for A Court of Mist and Fury. I won’t do A Court of Wings and Ruin since it came out a couple of months ago.)

A Court of Mist and Fury– Ahhhhhhh! I hated Tamlin even more in this book. At the beginning of the book Feyre was less awesome than she was in the first book, but then Rhysand happened and everything got better. (No more thoughts on that otherwise I’ll end up spoiling something.)

Age- 14+