“The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly”, Part 1: Summary (Book Review)

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is a Young Adult, Fiction novel, by Stephanie Oakes. Published by Dial Books, it is a novel of 400 pages. Though there is no action in the book, the mystery of who killed the Prophet, as well as the practices in the cult, will keep your interest until the last page.

The story begins when Minnow Bly, the main character, attempts to kill a boy, named Philip, after stressing her. “I am a blood-soaked girl,” is how the novel begins, and is what makes the readers want to keep turning the pages. A few pages later, the police are there in order to provide medical assistance to Philip, and to arrest Minnow. They are ready to handcuff Minnow, but there is a small issue — Minnow doesn’t have any hands…

Flashbacks throughout the book reveal to us what had happened earlier. Minnow is a seventeen-year-old, who has just escaped the cult which she was in for the past twelve years of her life. The cult has unusual practices and beliefs. However, the characters don’t refer to it as “cult,” but rather “Community.” The Community is run by the Prophet, named Kevin. His followers refer to themselves as “Kevinians,” in the name of their prophet. The Prophet claims that once, he had met a janitor who was named Charlie, and that he was God. He also claimed that Charlie had told him that he was chosen to write and share his words.

Life in the Community is much different than in the real world. Every day, people wake up early and start doing their chores. Some people milk the cows, and some others clean and do other chores. Every man has multiple wives, so the families are very large, each one having more than ten children. This cult has many strict beliefs. For example, the Prophet claims that women cannot read books, since they are creations of the Devil. We later learn that he wants to keep them illiterate, so they will not be able to read his notes. The believers cannot listen to music, nor do anything that goes against the Prophet’s rules. Whoever doesn’t follow the rules shall see the consequences — the Prophet’s sadistic practices.

That is what happened to Minnow. Since she was considered older, the Prophet wanted to marry her, adding to his other eight wives. Minnow refuses, but the Prophet insists. Therefore, Minnow attempts to escape the Community. When the Prophet’s men catch her, she is sent to the Prophet. The Prophet orders Minnow’s biological father to cut off her hands, and after much debate, he does so.

One day, a fire starts in the Community. Minnow is able to escape into the forest and run to civilization. She attempts to save her sister, but she sees that her father has already gotten her. When she reaches civilization, Philip causes distress to Minnow. Being much exhausted, traumatized, and having witnessed a fire, Minnow is not very patient. Though she does not have any hands, that doesn’t get in the way of kicking Philip, almost to death. Minnow escapes, and the Prophet is mysteriously murdered.

Minnow is sent to a juvenile prison, where she becomes friends with her cellmate, Angel. Not true to her name, Angel had murdered her uncle, giving her the longest sentence of all the prisoners. An FBI agent, referred to as Dr. Wilson, has taken interest in Minnow. He wants to find out who has murdered the Prophet, in return of giving back her freedom. Did anyone in the Community survive? Will Minnow get out of prison? Did Minnow kill the Prophet? Will Dr. Wilson ever know the truth?

 

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Another Day, Another Dungeon (Book Review)

DayDungeon

Another Day, Another Dungeon is a hilarious book by Greg Costikyan that describes a treasure hunt in the legendary Caves of Cytorax. Timaeus De’Asperge, a fire mage, and his companions fight Rog, a huge beast, and get its “nice comfy pile of gold”. They proceed to find a life-sized statue of a man in the altar of an evil temple. It is made of solid athenor, the most valuable metal in the world due to its ability to store mana. They bribe the guard to get in, but nothing of that value can be kept secret and soon their home is a battlefield, their friend kidnapped, and the statue gone — but only they know that. They find out that the statue depicts the last human king, Stantius III, and that the scepter of Stantius is glowing — the sign that a new king has arrived.

Suddenly, they are on a quest to not only find the statue, but to bring it to Arst-Kara-Morn, where the people will do anything to destroy them. They must somehow reverse a spell at Arst-Kara-Morn that has entrapped the soul of Stantius III inside the statue, preventing any more human kings from coming. This series is a great one to read and one I would highly recommend.

Rengades (Book Review)

Renegades

Stars- 5/5

Summary – The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone … except the villains they once overthrew.
Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.(Goodreads)

Thoughts – I absolutely loved Renegades! It took me less than a day to read it. I couldn’t put it down, just like I couldn’t put down any of The Lunar Chronicles books or how Heartless was impossible to stop reading. That’s what I love about Marissa Meyer’s books — they pull you in and they won’t let you out until you’ve devoured the entire story.
This month, I was lucky enough to meet Marissa Meyer and see her in a panel with Cassandra Clare which was amazing! She was super nice and I got Cinder and Heartless signed. I wrote a review on YALLfest so go check that out!
My favorite character in Renegades would have to be Nova. She was strong and though her abilities weren’t showy, they were silent and powerful. On the other hand, my least favorite character was Ingrid, she was just horrible to the other Anarchists.
I highly suggest this to anyone that likes superheroes or anyone that enjoyed Marissa Meyer’s other books.

Age – 12+

Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton (Book Review)

FullCicadaMoon

When Mimi and her family move to Vermont in 1969, it is still a mostly white state. She is judged because of her appearance but also because of her dreams. A woman astronaut is practically unheard of but one who is half-Japanese half-African American is a crazy thought and that’s what people tell Mimi. Science is her passion but because she is a girl nobody, except her parents, support her.

On the first day of school, Mimi meets a girl named Stacey who treats her like an actual human being. While they are in class they get caught passing notes and get put in after school detention. When Stacey’s mom pulls into the parking lot, she doesn’t even glance at Mimi and her father. After this, Stacey starts hanging out at Mimi’s house but never invites her over to her house. Mimi eventually finds out this is because Stacey’s mom doesn’t like African Americans and doesn’t approve of their friendship. This doesn’t stop them though, they continue to hang out and grow closer and closer.

Mimi soon finds out that just because Stacey accepts her doesn’t mean everyone else will. She gets bullied in school and accused of stealing. This new town isn’t all bad though — Mimi’s neighbor is a boy her age and they quickly become friends. He helps her through hard times and stays with her when the town starts to accept her family.

Mimi and her family bring new ideals to this little town in Vermont and change the people’s views about being different.

I liked this book because it really opens your eyes to how hard it was for different people to live in a time when diversity was not accepted. It also shows you that if you believe in yourself you can do whatever you put your mind to.

Shakespeare’s Star Wars

shakespeare_trilogy

Shakespeare’s Star Wars is a three book Shakespeare-style play of the original Star wars trilogy.

Of course, this means that everyone uses archaic speech, the main thing that makes this book entertaining… especially with sci-fi Star Wars tech:

“The full report hath said that they are arm’d.”

“But with such sticks and rocks as would not harm

A womp rat, and much less an AT-AT. Thou

Wilt not fear armies of twigs. ‘Tis true?”

The three books are named Verily, A New Hope, The Empire Striketh Back, and The Jedi Doth Return.

Also included are action texts, ([Exit Grand Moff Tarkin.) and the starts of scenes and acts are marked. One of these books could be used for a play script, if the props could be attained.

A challenge presented to the author of these books was on how Yoda should speak. In the end, he settled that Yoda would speak in haiku form:

“Anger, fear, hatred-

from the dark side they all come;

Its minions they are.”

Naturally, the trilogy stays true to the original series, and does not deviate in any way to the plot line. It’s basically the entire story with the normal speech turned Shakespeare-style. But even- especially- if you have seen the movies, it is a very entertaining set of books to read.

Roar: Book Review

Cover of the book Roar by Cora Carmack

Review By Alyssa7128

“Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.”

Princess Aurora Pavan comes from one of the most ancient Stormling families in the world. As an heir to the throne, Aurora’s been groomed and pampered, more than you can ever imagined, to be the perfect queen. Thousands of years ago, her family was pledged service and devotion, in exchange for safety from the sky. The kingdom was practically made out of magic, and was capable of repelling the world’s deadliest enemies. To the people of the kingdom, Aurora sounds like she wold be the most intelligent and brave queen ever imaginable. But she shows no trace of magic she’ll need to protect the kingdom.

Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and menacing Stormling Prince from a nearby kingdom, to keep her secret safe and save her crown. He seems like the solution she’s been waiting for, as he’ll guarantee the protection of her people, and a spot as the next queen. But the more she finds out about him the more she want to hide under her bed and never come out.  When she sneaks out of the castle to spy on the Prince, she stumbles upon a black market she’s never seen before, and they’re selling what she lacks: storm magic. What scares her the most is the people selling it. They’re not Stormlings, in fact they’re storm hunters.

According to the many books Aurora read, her ancestors faced a storm and tore out its heart, to first gain magic. But when a handsome storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but instead possesses it, Aurora realizes there might me a third option for her future besides destruction and marriage.

She doesn’t have magic now, but if she’s brave enough, she could steal it.

I loved this book. Once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. It’s 380 pages long, with small print. It was a longer read, at least for me. I would recommend this book for ages 12 – 16. This book was so good and I would rate it a solid 10/10!!!!!!

-Alyssa7128 7th Grade

It book/1990 TV mini series review

Cover of book It by Stephen King

Review by shreythemockingjay36

Book/TV series: It is about a child killing spree, in Derry, Maine. It all starts with a kid named Georgie. His brother makes him a paper boat and he runs outside to float it with the flood water. It ends up going into the sewage drain and he is greeted by a clown. Georgie is only five and is killed by the “clown”. Similar things happen to other kids of Derry until Bill Denbrough, (Georgie’s brother) has had enough. He teams up with the so called “Losers” of Derry to get revenge for his brother. They soon find out that “It” is not just a clown but a leper, a werewolf, a mummy, and other nightmares all wrapped into one. Can the Loser’s Club beat the monster consuming children through the sewers? Find out in Stephen King’s masterpiece IT.

Setting: This takes place in a small town called Derry, Maine. It is actually a real place and was written there. But it is obviously a fictional story.

Book Rating: 9/10 This was a fantastic book and I highly suggest it. The thing that kept it from a 10/10 was the confusing ending. The book was 1100 or so pages so the character development was great and the characters were very loveable. This proved to be one of King’s best novel ever.

TV series rating: 6/10 The TV mini series was pretty goofy and didn’t have the intensity of the book. The Pennywise actor Tim Curry was a great fit for the role and was scary. The special effects were terrible but it was the 90s so I have to cut them some slack. Overall not bad but not great either.

For those who liked this I will be making an original It Vs the remake when it comes out.