Waterloo: The True Story of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles

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Review by: fealtytokhorne
This post is a review of the book: Waterloo: The True Story of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles, by Bernard Cornwell. The book is a summary of the events of the Battle of Waterloo, as well as some of the events after it. In order to summarize the battle, Cornwell uses several witness accounts, piecing them together to find what exactly happened during the momentous battle. This can be rather difficult at times, as the witness accounts often contradict each other. Throughout the book, he also examines the tactics used by each army, and explains why the armies efforts either failed or succeeded. This results in a book that is perfect for those who are just starting to get into the subject of the Napoleonic wars, or those who only have a passing interest in the subject.

However, there are still some problems with the book. For example, the witness accounts feel rather disjointed at times, forcing the reader to go back and look at previous chapters. Cornwell also makes it look as if Wellington, the British commander, was simply superior to the other commanders mentioned within the book. This may be the case when compared with some of the other leaders, such as Slender Billy, who made several horrible mistakes which cost many lives, but it may not necessarily be true for the others. As a result of this, I rate this book 4/5 stars.

The Island on Bird Street

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Review by: Lilley629

Alex is eleven, but lives a very different life than the other children his age. In The Island on Bird Street, written by Uri Orlev, Alex is the main character and lives in the Warsaw Ghetto since his family is Jewish. His mother left their apartment one day and never returned, so it has only been Alex and his father trying to stay alive from the Nazis. Snow, Alex’s pet mouse and longest companion, is also in the picture. He keeps Alex company when there is no one else and serves as his good luck charm. Alex, his father, and even Snow have adapted very well to their living conditions.

In the Ghetto, there was an early curfew that all the Jews had to follow. However, Alex and his father worked around it by discovering secret passageways between the buildings. His father also made friends with a man he worked with at the rope factory, Boruch. Alex and his father trusted him very much. They invited him over for dinner and played a homemade version of checkers. During work hours, Boruch helped watch Alex and hide him since children weren’t allowed in the factory. Alex learned everything he knew from his father and Boruch.

The day they had prepared for had finally come while Alex, his father, and Boruch were at the rope factory. The three of them hid behind a lot of rope so they couldn’t be seen. However, the police found them and escorted them to where all the other Jews were being rounded up. On the walk down Alex’s father and Boruch were trying to settle on who Alex would go with. They thought this was just another selection, but one of the policemen informed them that this time they were clearing the Ghetto and taking all the Jews away. This meant that Alex’s father and Boruch would have to think fast to make a plan to save Alex.

Once the police started making all of the Jews in the first group walk to be transported, Boruch started briefing Alex on the plan. His father was in the other group because he was stopped to be checked by an officer. Boruch told Alex that once he pushes him he should run to the destroyed house, Number 78 on Bird Street, and enter it from the tiny opening. Then he should go in as far as possible and wait for as long as it takes for his father to meet him there. Once it was time and Boruch pushed him and told him quietly to start running, Alex took off exactly like Boruch had told him to do. A policeman ran after him, and Boruch ran after the policeman. Boruch tripped the officer and then once Alex reached the opening he heard gunshots. Alex went inside as far as he could and was not found by the policemen. He remained hidden and was determined the stay there until his father returned, no matter how long.

Overall this book was exciting and very fun to read. I was always looking forward to keep reading, even though the plot can be predictable at times. From the beginning when you learn they’re in the Warsaw Ghetto, you have a good idea of what’s going to happen since this is historical fiction. It was also touching to know that this story was based off of the author’s own experiences. Knowing that makes the book feel more real, even though the characters are made up. Since the author is also very credible, the book was very historically accurate. Since Uri Orlev was born in Warsaw and hid in the ghetto for three years, he experienced first-hand the kinds of things Alex experienced in his novel. The treatment of Jews from the Nazis and the living conditions in the ghetto seem very accurate. In addition to remaining historically correct, Orlev also had a very genuine purpose for writing this book. I would genuinely recommend it!

Stalking Jack the Ripper

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Review by: shipperprincess52

Stars- 5/5

Summary- Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.
Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome.

Thoughts- This book was AMAZING!!! I couldn’t put it down. After I finished it, Stalking Jack the Ripper was all I could think about. I read this book almost two months ago and I still spend hours at thinking about this book and Jack the Ripper. I highly suggest it for everyone!
Age- 12+

The Hidden Oracle

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Review by: shipperprincess52

How do you punish an immortal?
By making him human.
After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favor.
But Apollo has many enemies—gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go… an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

The Hidden Oracle takes place after The Blood of Olympus and around the same time as The Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book #1). It’s a really good book and it’s interesting to read a book written from a god’s point of view instead of a demigod’s. If you haven’t already read Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Heroes of Olympus, and Magnus Chase , I highly suggest reading them before you read The Hidden Oracle.  Rick Riordan is an amazing author and The Hidden Oracle is just as good as all of his other books.

Umberland( Book Review)

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Review by: apiazza4

Umberland, the second book in the Everland series, by Wendy Spinale is a remade version of Alice in Wonderland. This series is about the deadly Horologia virus ripping through the world. The English were working on the virus in a lab but the Blooded Queen of Germany strategically bombed this lab so that the virus got released into the air. Everyone is falling ill and there is no end in sight.

In this book, Doc finds the Professor’s journal that includes a missing ingredient of the virus. This ingredient is a poisonous apple from a tree that supposedly no longer exists. With this new information, Doc realizes they aren’t sick at all – they are poisoned. He needs this apple to make an antidote. Countless people are depending on it and he must enlist the help of someone crazy to retrieve the apple. Since Doc needs to stay and care for the ill, Duchess Alyssa of England goes to the Maddox Hadder, who knows how to get the apple. The apple tree is in the middle of the Bloodred Queens labyrinth. This is already extremely dangerous, but with two of the Bloodred Queen’s men looking for the same thing, it is even more so. With the Duchess gone and the Queen too ill to rule, England goes into chaos.

I liked this book because it was a twist on regular fairy tales and it combined a lot of different fairy tales into one interesting story. I recommend this book because it is very interesting and you will not be able to put it down.

Selection Series: Happily Ever After

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This book is a part of the Selection series by Kiera Cass. This book is different from the other books in the series because this book is comprised of multiple stories told in the point of view of someone other than America for once. In this book you can read in Maxon’s point of view, you can see what queen Amberly was like when she went through the Selection, you can see more into Aspen and Lucy’s relationship, and more.

         Although this book does provide insight on some of the lives and relationships that readers really wanted to learn about, some of the stories are not what I was hoping they would be like. For instance, Queen Amberly is very different in her story, and I found the story with Aspen and Lucy not as satisfying as I wanted it to be. Unfortunately I cannot be much more specific than that without spoiling it, but perhaps if you read the book you will understand what I mean.

           Even though the stories were not what I was hoping they would be like, that is not entirely a bad thing. For one it means her stories were a little unpredictable, which is good because if the reader already knows exactly what is going to happen before reading the book, then the reader is going to be bored. Also, even though a lot of us want everything to work out perfectly for our favorite characters, lets face it, a story with a perfect life, a perfect relationship, and a perfect ending, can be boring at times. Queen Amberly not having the perfect life of confidence was slightly upsetting, but also very interesting.

              Overall, I did find it nice to be able to read about the lives of the other characters in their perspective, and I liked how you get to see scenes or events that you never got to before. Also, I found it to be a very good closing to the first half of the Selection Series.

A Little Life

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” by Hanya Yanahigara is one of the greatest, most moving novels I have ever read. The book spans decades, following the lives of four college friends as they enter adulthood and struggle with life, love, work, and the past. At the beginning of the novel, all four young men are grappling with their jobs and financial problems. JB is a starving artist, Willem is an actor who waits tables, Malcolm is an aspiring architect who lives at home, and Jude – while a rising lawyer – is orphaned and poor. Each character has their own personal problems, but it becomes clear that Jude, who quickly rises to become the main character, has the darkest past and biggest problems. Due to a car accident that occurred when he was a teenager, Jude walks with a limp and has painful nerve damage in his spine. Unfortunately this accident is not as simple as it seems, as the reader finds out through increasingly emotional narratives. As Jude struggles to push through his chronic pain and hide his past from his friends, his health deteriorates physically with frequent leg infections and mentally with the memories of his horrific childhood and self-hate. While Jude is able to get help through his doctor, parents, and boyfriend, nothing ever remains stable and in the end, the reader is left feeling as sad for him as if he were their own friend.

This novel is an emotional rollercoaster, taking the reader through happy moments as well as terrifically heart-wrenching ones. JB finally gets a big break in the art world, only to develop a drug addiction. Jude finds happiness with his adoptive parents and starts dating Willem, but both relationships are tested when the extent of Jude’s self hatred is revealed. Malcolm gets married but their relationship has an abrupt end, with Willem at the wheel. This novel is fairly heavy, exploring topics such as death, abuse, and self-destruction, yet it is very poignant – there is no glorification or glamorization of some of the darkest aspects of life. Incredibly well-written and thought-provoking,”A Little Life” is a book that one could read over and over again- if only it wasn’t so tear-jerking.