A Sonnet for Books

When you open up a book you open up possibility,

An endless world created for you,

Each sappling book turns into a tree,

Until you find a story that is brand new,

When you open up a book you open up care,

Everyone created to please,

The authors challenge you to dare,

When you’re done you feel at ease,

When you open up a book you open up knowledge,

Whether it’s fantasy or history,

Each antagonist keeps you on edge,

Sometimes the end is left a mystery,

When you open up a book you open up desire,

For a new story, a new world, a new fire

Review of “The Book of Wonders,” by Jasmine Richards

Scheherazade, or Zardi, as she prefers to be called, lives in the riverside city Taraket with Nonna (her grandmother), Baba (her father), Zubeyda (her sister), and Rhidan (a boy of mysterious origins who has lived with her family ever since he was an infant).

Things are right for Zardi and her family, except for one major thing: the sultan. Shahryar rose to power fifteen years ago, and ever since, the kingdom of Arrabitha has been cowering under his shadow. He kills anyone who does magic, and he kills young women every season just for sport.

Everything changes on the day Captain Sinbad appears at the docks, telling tales of his adventures. Zardi, curious, along with Rhidan, listen among the crowd. Rhidan, desperate to find out where he comes from, asks Captain Sinbad if he’s seen anyone like him before. The captain starts to say something, but not before he and his crew take off, fleeing the sultan’s guard.

Rhidan and Zardi, desperate to find the captain, try to chase him down, but it’s too late. Captain Sinbad’s ship, the Falcon, sails away without them.

Rhidan and Zardi make it home, but a drastic turn of events leaves Baba and Zubeyda imprisoned and due to be killed at the end of the season. Zardi and Rhidan, determined and heartbroken, set out to find Captain Sinbad and save Baba and Zubeyda.

I really liked the exotic tone of this book, and I liked the fast pace in the first half of the book. However, the book really slowed down in the second half and I found myself getting bored. It was a good book overall, but the ending I didn’t find pleasing, and there isn’t a sequel.

Rating: 4/5 stars. The majority of the book I liked, and the issues I listed aren’t really as major as they seem. I’d reccomend it to any teen who’s looking for something fast-paced and exciting to read.

Ages: 10-14 (There’s lot’s of violence, blood, etcetera.)

Blood Sisters by Jane Corry- Book Review

Blood Sisters by Jane Corry is the only book I’ve read so far this summer. I am very new with this author and this is the first time I have read any of her books so, I was a little skeptical before reading the book. Honestly, I didn’t expect to be interested in this book, but I became addicted to this book pretty quikcly. In the end, this is a very good book for all of you out there who like mystery and thriller.

The book starts off from the perspective of Alison and Kitty who are half sisters. Alison Baker is now in her thirties and she always keeps to herself and creates art which was once Kitty’s passion. Now she teaches art at the local college and cuts her self because, of the emotions and guilt related to the accident that happened 15 years ago. Kitty James on the other hand, is now in a care facility because of her lack of speech and loss of memory due to the same accident that happened 15 years ago. However, someone remembers exactly what happened that day and this mysterious person wants revenge for what happened that day. The plot of the story starts moving when Alison receives an advertisement for an artist-in-residence position at the local low security prison and she takes the job for money despite her fears. Soon after, Alison receives threatening notes and phone calls but, decides not to tell her mother knowing the amount of stress she already has. At last she confides in Clive, a student in her stained glass workshop that she starts dating. Meanwhile, Kitty finds herself a boyfriend at her care facility and manages to get pregnant causing stress to her and Jonny’s (Kitty’s boyfriend’s) family. Her memories also start to resurface and she starts to remember bits and parts of the accident.

Corry really builds up the tension throughout the book as things start to escalate and new secrets are revealed. This book kept me at the edge of my seat for hours and I really enjoyed this book even though I haven’t really read anything in a while.

Altogether I give this book a 10/10! and if you enjoy the thriller/mystery genre you should definitely check this book out. However, I would not recommend this book for elementary school kids since, there is a lot of heavy emotion. I hope everyone is having a great summer! and definitely be sure to read this book!

 

Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardugo

 

Six of Crows, written by Leigh Bardugo, is a high fantasy book set in the Grishaverse, the same universe her previous series Shadow and Bone occurred in. It includes overlapping characters as this book took place only two years after the events of Ruin and Rising. It follows six characters as they plan an ambitious heist and form a unique bond.

The book is generally loved among the young adult book community and I haven’t heard anything bad about it. The unique story line of gang members and heisting isn’t something you find in mainstream fantasy, especially in a world that already been developed. Rather than expanding on her universe by focusing on the magical higher-ups of Ravka or other nations, Bardugo chose to laser in on the slums of Ketterdam in the small island, Kerch.

The characters posed a problem for me throughout the book. Most of the first book is spent developing the characters, therefore, it was disappointing that I didn’t seem to connect with any of them, leaving me bored and waiting for the action to start.

Kaz, a beloved character, was too cold-hearted and rude for me to understand why people liked him so much. He was an interesting character and had a unique personality, and when later things are revealed about his past, it begins to make him a more likable/ understandable character. By the end of the sequel, Crooked Kingdom, he did become a favorite of mine. Inej lacked depth throughout the first half of the book, most likely due to the shifting points of views. As with Kaz, she gets better in the second book and is also a favorite character of mine. Jesper was my favorite throughout both books, as he was comedic and lifted the dark mood. Wylan did the same. Both characters worked great in the book. Matthias never connected with me despite giving reason to, therefore I never cared about his brutish, old-fashioned character. Nina was annoying most of the time and I found myself skipping through her and Matthias’ chapters quicker than the others.
Each character had specific skills that aided the plot greatly and mixed in magic and logic in a way that was enjoyable to read.

The villain was amazingly unlikeable and brought out real emotion when the details emerge. Romance-wise, the book gave us a couple with history and two slow-burning relationships, which kept the interactions realistic because, how much time would there be for romance as you’re saving the world?

The setting was amazing due to the happy – and sad – memories of the Shadow and Bone trilogy set in the same universe. I recognized place names and overlapping beloved characters that heightened my experience reading the book. I loved the stark difference between the two stories and the underlying themes of addiction and drug use. Although the setting isn’t described as much as I would have liked, I had vivid images of the streets of the Barrel throughout the book.

Plot-wise, the book was unique and kept me on edge. Bardugo isn’t one to shy from violence, which ended with scarred characters with gruesome pasts continuing to suffer in a ruthless gang society. The heist was well thought out and nerve-wracking. I feel as though if she had given the characters more to do in the first half of the book, I would have started to like them sooner.

This book did manage to disappoint me, but the second book was a lovely surprise that makes me think back on the series with a warm heart.

Overall, I rate Six of Crows 6/10 dragons, for its amazing plot and sentimental setting. Despite issues with characters, the second book lifted the first book higher in my mind when looking back on it.

Review of Raina Telgemeier’s Smile

The graphic novel Smile tells the story of the author Raina Telgemeier’s life through middle school and part of high school. The book is about Raina’s life which at the time includes dealing with losing her front teeth, the different treatments she has to do to get her teeth back to normal, friend issues, and boy drama. The book is very well illustrated and it’s no surprise that it is a Will Eisner award winner. Overall I really recommend this book. It is a great read and you’ll love it!

Harry Potter by J.K Rowling

Harry Potter thought he was a totally normal kid. Until a giant by the name of Hagrid came and took him to a land of wonder far beyond his belief. In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K Rowling, a boy named Harry Potter thought he was just a normal kid. But, when letters from somewhere start coming, his aunt and uncle get worried. They don’t let him see any of the letters even though he tries to get them. When so many letters come to the house that they can’t stand it, they travel to different places to try and find somewhere where they won’t be bombarded by letters. On a tiny rock out at sea, they think they are safe but when a giant named Hagrid comes to tell Harry he is a wizard everything changes. Now that Harry knows his backstory, he must go off to Hogwarts to learn magic.

            At Hogwarts, he makes many friends along the way, he also makes enemies and learns about what happened to his parents, why he is famous, and why he has a peculiar scar shaped like a lightning bolt on his forehead. He learns that an evil wizard named Voldemort (He-who-must-not-be-named or You-know-who) killed his parents and tried to kill him but, he couldn’t kill Harry. The lightning scar was where the spell had touched him. He was the only person ever to survive the Killing Curse.

            Harry gets on the Gryffindor Quidditch team and is the youngest person in a century to play. He competes to win the Quidditch Cup but, when his broom starts to go crazy, his friends must try to rescue him. They think that Professor Snape is behind it, nobody else believes them. Once Harry is safe, he catches the Snitch and makes everybody (except Slytherin) like him even more.

            He also finds the Mirror of Erised which, when you look into it, you see your heart’s deepest desire. Harry, who never really had a good family, sees his mother and father. When he tries to see it again, he is confronted by the headmaster, Dumbledore, who tells him it is being moved and not to look for it again.

            Harry goes on many more exciting adventures, some of which include fighting a troll and going into the dreaded Forbidden Forest. He makes new friends along the way too, who help him greatly along the way.

            When Harry and his friends find a plot to steal something special hidden within the school, they want to try and stop whoever is planning to steal the object. They think it is Professor Snape but, when they go through Devil’s Snare, a room with winged keys, and a giant living chess set, they find out that it is…… read the book!

            After all the exciting things that happen to Harry, he must go back to his aunt and uncle’s house for the summer but, he always comes back to Hogwarts.

            I really enjoyed the whole Harry Potter series (there are 8 books total). I thought they were very original, and they had many twists and turns within them. If you are fans of things like the Hunger Games, Divergent, or Percy Jackson, I would advise this book. Or, if you just enjoy fantasy and adventure, this could be the book series for you. This book is just as good now as it was 20 years ago. I would especially recommend it if you have seen the movies, as the books are much better than the movies (as they are with every series)

                                    I rate this book 9 ¾ (some Harry Potter humor for you).

Fahrenheit 451 novel review

 

Farenheit 451

Ray Bradbury pieces together a magnificent story of the journey against corruption in a dystopian society. The significance of the title, Fahrenheit 451, is that it is the temperature at which books burn. In this society, it is illegal to possess books because to government sees knowledge as a dangerous power that is best to be burned.

Along with this terrifying law, the duties of a fireman are completely different. Instead of saving people from fires and putting them out, firemen start the fires. They receive calls when a house needs to be burned, when someone is caught with books. They unconsciously slide down their poles and bring  along their kerosene-spewing hoses in a wailing firetruck.

People live differently, they talk to “family” the television walls in their houses, and everyone is addicted to electronics. They drive so fast on the highways that no one sees the grass or the trees or the flowers on the side of the road. Children are hit and killed on the roads, there are multiple suicides each week, and no one cares. You either fit in, or you’ll perish here.

Guy Montag is a normal citizen living in the society, and he works as a fireman. He sees nothing wrong with burning houses and books because that is how everyone does it. In fact, he loves the book burning. He adores watching the flames devour words of Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreau, and even the Holy Bible. But Guy is suddenly changed when his eyes are opened to the other side. When he first illegally holds a book in his hands. And he knows he’s never letting go of it.

Someone has to win, and Guy knows it can’t be the flames of evil.