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+

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YALLfest Review

Yallfest

Last month, I went to YALLfest in Charleston, South Carolina. It was amazing! I met so many amazing authors and went to so many fun events. I even got five free books, and three of them were advanced reader’s copies!

Both days, I carried bags of books and got almost all of them signed. My favorite part was the very last event, The YA Smackdown. Most of the authors were there and they were all super funny. There was a part where a bunch of the authors split into two teams, Team Harry and Team Voldemort, for a lip synch battle. It was hilarious, and while this was happening, Veronica Roth was sitting right next to me!*Squeal*

To close the event and YALLfest, Tigerbeat performed. Tigerbeat, a band made up of a group of YA authors, was amazing! My favorite cover of theirs was a rock version of You’ll Be Back from Hamilton.

I went to panels for Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller, Becky Albertalli and Angie Thomas, and Marissa Meyer and Cassie Clare. They were all really funny and I’m super glad I was able to make it to all of their signings and panels. Unfortunately I didn’t get to meet Cassie, but I did meet all the others and they were all super nice! During Becky and Angie’s panel, they tried mystery Oreos and hated them, but they still gave it to the audience to try. During Marissa and Cassie’s panel I was all the way in the back, unfortunately, but Cassie surprised everyone at the panel by releasing the cover and release date of the third book in the Dark Artifices Series!!!!!!!

I was so happy I got the opportunity to go to this amazing event! I can’t wait to go again next year!!!

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.

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

The Joys of NaNoWriMo

 

NaNoWriMo logo

By TJ Lawrence

Now that November is coming up, I’m here to tell you about National Novel Writing Month.  (That’s the NaNoWriMo I referred to above; participants are affectionately called WriMos, and it’s in – you guessed it – November.)

NaNoWriMo is a bit of a challenge.  It requires you to set your own bar high. For adults, 50,000 words in a month is the preset goal.  For people under 18, there is a separate site, where any goal – from just 1,000 words to 100,000 words – can be chosen.  For some, the pressure to reach your goal is stimulating. NaNo definitely encourages commitment.  Commitment to your ideas and your abilities, no matter if you produce a polished novel or 80 double-spaced pages of ‘word vomit’ that you will eventually have to rewrite. (< me)

If you’ve been struggling to write your book/script/fic/etc. on your own, the best thing about NaNoWriMo is that it makes you feel less alone.  There are supportive writers’ chats, places you can get storytelling tips, revision centers… and all of them are full of people who are having problems just like you are.  Wrote your main squad into a corner?  Yeah, somebody else probably stuck them in a lava temple with zombie alligators and forgot the secret exit was blocked.  Just can’t kill someone off? There are dozens of messy, tear-filled posts about dealing with that.  Writer’s block? Every single person on the site has probably been there.  If they already fixed their problem, you can get tips on how to solve your issue.  And if they are still stuck, you may be able to help them, giving you that wonderful, fuzzy good-deed-for-the-day feeling and establishing your ‘blog cred’ as a helpful individual.

NaNoWriMo YWP (the under-18 version) launched a redesigned site in time for November of last year.  It has a cool writing interface that automatically logs your words (make sure to save your work somewhere else too, though) and can bring up writing prompts to get you started for the day.  And you can use the site any month of the year – although November is when the party really gets started.  In addition to help blogs and character workshops, there are also chats about fandoms, roleplays, and additional miscellaneous randomness.  Famous authors (John Green, Lois Lowry, etc.) provide short and extremely encouraging pep talks to keep you going until midnight, Nov. 30.

But NaNoWriMo is just the beginning of your book.  It kick-starts your feeling of accomplishment, of actually getting something done, of creating an entirely new world, character, plot, or whatever you want!  Doing NaNo was worth it for me because I learned to believe in myself and in my imagination.  I will continue writing about Cory and Marie and Dennis and all of my other new characters.  I know who they are, and what they will do, and soon the rest of the world will too.  But the point of NaNoWriMo, for everyone, is that you start.  You try! You are doing it, and there’s no point to hesitation.  After NaNo, you will have more hard work to get through.  But NaNoWriMo lets you know that you can work hard, on time, and create whatever kind of story you put your imagination into.

NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo Young Writers’ Program

The Year of the Hangman Review

Cover of the book The Year of the Hangman by Gary Blackwood

Review by shipperprincess52

Stars- 2/5
Summary- In 1776, the rebellion of the American colonies against British rule was crushed.  Now, in 1777—the year of the hangman—George Washington is awaiting execution, Benjamin Franklin’s banned rebel newspaper, Liberty Tree, has gone underground, and young ne’er-do-well Creighton Brown, a fifteen-year-old Brit, has just arrived in the colonies.  Having been shipped off against his will with nothing but a distance for English authorities, Creighton befriends Franklin, and lands a job with his print shop.  But the English general expects the spoiled yet loyal Creighton to spy on Franklin.  As battles unfold and falsehoods are exposed, Creighton must decide where his loyalties lie…a choice that could determine the fate of a nation. (Goodreads. Been a while since I read this book and I didn’t like it so I didn’t want to write my own summary for this one.)

Thoughts- I didn’t like it. The characters weren’t interesting and there wasn’t really any action. Creighton was annoying and bratty, he didn’t know how to do anything on his own and that made him extremely unlikable. The whole thing was twisted and boring. It was practically a Revolutionary War AU Fanfiction. It’s the complete opposite of the real war. I really couldn’t stand any of the characters and the plot bored me to tears. (I won’t say anything about the plot just incase I spoil anything.)

Read it at your own risk. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Age- 12+

“Message in a Bottle” Book Summary and Review

Cover of book Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks

Review by dancingforever27

In 1999, Message in a Bottle was mass-produced in an abundance of book stores. World-renowned author, Nicholas Sparks, narrates a love story between two unsuspecting love interests. This is a fictional romance story that debates fate and forgiveness, yet remains original and an easy read. Like all other stories written by Sparks, this novel takes place in the South of America in real locations.

The female lead is Theresa Osborne, a hardworking and determined woman. She previously has been divorced to a man unworthy of companionship, David, as he had an affair while they had a son to take care of. She has had a history of bad romantic relationships and some serious trust issues after figuring out his secret. Her friend and her husband, Deanna and Brian, have been focused on getting her out of this slump.

Theresa believes that her work in the city as a part of the columns in the Boston Times is too valuable to her life to be focused on dating. Her son, Kevin, alternates with both parents over summer, and he has just left to stay with David and his new wife, Annette. Currently, Kevin is spending a few weeks with his dad, and she believes she should be spontaneous and go to the beach for a few days. Her main focus for the trip is to relax and renew from these stressful situations she finds herself in such as taking care of Kevin, finding informative parenting text to write about in her column, being a single mother, and getting popularized for her work in the columns and later be featured in The New York Times.

While she was staying on vacation, Theresa notices a washed up bottle along the shoreline. Inside the bottle is a message on a scroll, one describing a romantic yet tragic love story. It seems to be understood that a man named Garrett loved a woman named Catherine very much. In a way, she has left him, most likely through death. As she reads a brief description of his passion for the missing lover, she cries of a longing for that type of relationship and informs her friend Deanna. She thinks that Theresa should release this into her column to find out who this poetic and adoring man is. This leaves Theresa with many questions about him, and she also has a few decisions to make based on that:

Questions about Garrett

  1. Where does he live?
  2. How can she meet him?
  3. What exactly happened between him and his previous lover?

Decisions to Make

  1. Will she listen to Deanna and publish the letter? If so, will she make it as personal as it was in the original print?
  2. If she finds out more information, will she try to find out where he is and meet him?

                                                                                 Find out more by reading the novel.

            I would rate this book an 8 out of 10 for the following reasons:

On the positive side of things, this story is a great romance with multiple layers of overcoming a devastating loss for Garret. Both characters are quite idealized by having great character. Each lead character are quite opposites. Theresa is a big-city woman with large dreams of being famous and well-known. Garrett loves to sail, is a rhythmical and romantic type of man, and is a classic type of southerner. These qualities allow for a constant struggle of how to work together and make their relationship progress.This works well to keep the reader interested, as they should keep attempting to predict and wonder about their future together.

On the other hand, it was tad bit frustrating to see Garrett use Theresa to get over Catherine, as it seemed. I also did not really see the two ending up together, nor did I really want them to because in no way would either one be happy giving up their lifestyle. This made them go through a constant struggle which was saddening to see them this way. Lastly, the secrets held between each individual of them led to the inevitable anger and fighting because of lying too much.

 

Ages 14 + for intimate scenes