Everyone tells me this house is normal. But it’s not. I know it’s not. It’s old, so that could explain the creaking, but that doesn’t explain the footsteps when nobody else is home. Or the glimpses of phantom shadows that shouldn’t be there. Or when I hear snippets of casual conversation, but I don’t recognize the voices.  

We’ve lived here for a few months now, and I’m still having trouble sleeping. The noises and phantoms have been getting more frequent, too. Both my brother and my mom see and hear the same things as me, but they always say it’s a trick of the light, or that I’m just being paranoid. But I know I’m not. I trust my instincts, and my instincts tell me it’s all real. 

As I lay in my bed during yet another sleepless night, staring at the clock, I hear footsteps coming down the hallway. I cover my head with the blankets and burrow as close to the wall as I can, waiting for it to go away. But this time, it didn’t. I hear my door creak open and footsteps coming into my room. I peek over the covers to see if the door is really open, and to my shock there’s a boy around my age standing there. He looks scared and confused, with panic written all over his face. 

We sit there for a few moments, frozen, before he talks, “Who are you-” 

“Why are you in my house? What, do you live in the attic or something?”

“I-I don’t know,” He puts his hands up.

 I look around for anything that could be used as a weapon and grab my lamp.

 “Mom! Mom!” I yell, But she doesn’t come. I stand up and slowly walk towards the door. “Move out of the way, or I will not hesitate to hit you with this lamp,” 

He moves out of the way, “Look, what’s your name? I’m Jace,” He starts to put his hands down,

“Hands back up Jace,” I hold the lamp up threateningly, “This is a weird home intrusion tactic, but it’s not gonna work on me,”

 I back up out of the door and go down the hallway towards my mom’s room, only to find that her bedroom isn’t there and instead it’s a blank wall. I whip around and look at the rest of the hallway, only to see nothing but the bathroom door. I run down the hallway and find that the layout is nothing like my house. There’s one other bedroom around the corner, and I burst in, finding nothing but an empty bed.

“What did you do!?” I say

“That’s my room, and I haven’t done anything. I’m just as confused as you. Also my arms are getting really tired, can I please put them down now?”

“Fine. But I’m keeping the lamp,” I pause before saying, “My name’s Paige,” 

“We should look around,” Jace suggests 

“Fine. But I still think you caused this,” I say as we start walking

“I really didn’t. If anything, It was my dad. He was always building something in the basement. I’m not sure what, but it was very sciencey,”

I pause, “So was my mom. She was always ranting about demi particles and how she could contact other universes with them. She almost got fired for smuggling things out of her work lab. She moved here because apparently she was getting ‘weird readings’” 

“Let’s go to the basement and see what’s there,”

I hesitate, but decide to follow Jace since this seems to be the layout of his house. We go down a staircase and through a kitchen. Once we are in the living room he opens a door and we see flashes of light coming from the basement. We can’t see what it’s coming from since there’s a landing, and the basement is behind a wall. 

“You’re going down first, Jace,” I say

“You’re the one who’s really good at threatening people! You go first.”

“I’m also the one with a lamp. And I don’t think demi particles are going to stop if I threaten them with a lamp. Go.”

“Fine,” He says, and walks down the stairs. 

I follow behind him, and as we walk down the stairs we start to hear a loud buzzing noise. When we finally got down, I saw what was causing the noise and lights. 

The walls are covered in complicated circuits with wires all connecting to a small box in the center. It’s all black, but there’s lights dancing on the surface and it’s shifting and changing size. 

Now that I look around, I realize that the whole room is changing and whirling around us. 

“My dad tried to teach me about this stuff. I didn’t care, but I did learn enough to know that that box is not supposed to be doing that,” Jace yells

“What is it?” I ask

“The demi particles, I think. We need to get them disconnected and isolated,”

“Lets just burn the whole house down,” I suggest, “We’ll destroy everything so it’ll stop, right?”

“No, we can’t burn the house down! That’ll release it into the rest of the world. We have to isolate it. He kept it in a Faraday cage when he wasn’t using it,” He starts looking around the shifting room. I have absolutely no idea what he’s doing, but his dad seems to have told him way more than my mom told me about this stuff.

I go over to the demi particles and look closer at it. It starts moving more violently and spitting out bits of electricity, breaking some of the circuits on the wall.

I jump away, “Jace, you got that faraday thingy yet? It’s kinda going crazy!”

He comes back over with a wire cage about a foot tall and wide. He quickly disconnects the wires from the demi particles and puts it in the faraday cage. 

And just as fast as it started, it stops. The world stops moving. It’s calm and quiet, just as it’s supposed to be. After a long pause, I look over at him.

“You’re still here,” I say, confused, “Shouldn’t you go back? Now that the universes are separated?”

“I dunno,” he shrugs, “but I’m okay with being here. You can’t be too terrible, right?”

“That’s for you to judge, I guess. You’re stuck here now, so you better get used to me. Let’s go back upstairs and figure out what happened to the rest of the house,”

So we walk upstairs and look around. But the house hasn’t gone back to what it was before the demi particles got out of hand. It’s the same mix between our two houses.

“Paige, I think we’re both stuck in some parallel dimension,” Jace says after a while of looking around, “I’m not sure though. My dad never really said anything about this happening,”.

“I mean, the house seems nice enough. Let’s look around outside,” I suggest

He yawns, “it’s like 2:00 am, Paige. Let’s go to sleep,”

“Okay. Well look around tomorrow then,”

He mutters a quick “Yeah,” and walks back to his room.

I contemplate going outside by myself to look around, but decide to go to bed. The adrenaline is finally going down and I realize just how tired I really am. So I go to my room, lay down, and promptly fall asleep.

Resetting the Clock (Part 4, Finale)

This is my last chance to save my sister, I thought. Then I remembered that no matter how hard I try to save her she would eventually die at the end of the day because that was her fate and I had no power to change it. I got out of bed determined to make today the best day of my sister’s life.

I walked down stairs and found my sister in the living room on her tablet. I said good morning to my grandma and told her that I was going to go to the amusement park with my little sister. I got dressed and helped my sister get dressed into her favorite outfit and headed out the door. I looked down the street for signs of danger but did not see any. I told myself that I would accept whatever happened to my little sister, but deep down I knew I would be heartbroken. I wanted to give her the least painful death.

After a few minutes, we finally arrived at the amusement park. The look on my sister’s face when we walked into the park made me happy and proud. We went on all the rides and ate all the different foods. We had a blast.

The owner of the amusement park was a good friend of my parents and agreed to help me make this day a very special day for my sister. They had princes and princesses at the entrance waiting for my sister. She got to ride on horses and even got a princess makeover! It was fun watching her play and having fun. But there was a knot in my stomach and I couldn’t get rid of it no matter how hard I tried. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to see my sister again after today and didn’t want to have any regrets so I pretended like nothing was wrong and bought her all the things for her.

It was nearing the end of the day and the amusement park was closing for regular guests but we were allowed to stay and ride all the rides alone. my sister was filled with joy as the amusement park began to light up. We went on all the rides one more time before the firework show.

I set up our blanket and sat down with my sister in my arms sitting in my lap. She looked tired. “Did you have fun today?” I asked my sister, my eyes starting to water.

“Today was fun and I will never forget about it,” she replied.

“Yeah… I will never forget today too…” I sobbed, not able to hold back my tears. I let them fall down my cheeks and nuzzled my head into her.

“Why are you crying?” she asked.

“It’s… nothing…” I croaked, “Don’t worry… Look the fireworks are starting!”

We looked up and saw the “fairies” as my sister used to call them. It was a beautiful sight. They went on for a few minutes. As the fireworks were coming to a close my sister looked up at me and said, “I love you Er…” and then fell limp into my arms. I didn’t know what had just happened. I didn’t even get to tell her that I loved her. I felt like I had been punched in the face the moment I realized that my sister had passed even though I knew it was coming. I was expecting myself to be back in bed again with another chance to save my sister, but it didn’t happen and I had to accept what had just happened.

I don’t really remember what happened next because I had blacked out according to the amusement owner. I asked him what had happened to my sister, but he looked at me as if he had seen a ghost and asked, “What sister?”

“My little sister! Where is she!? She died yesterday! How could you not remember her!” I yelled with tears running down my face. I ran away and asked my grandma if I had a sister and she gave me the same look the amusement park owner gave me. She told me that I did not have a sister and told me maybe it was your imaginary friend you were with yesterday. I looked at my photo album and there was no sign of my sister in any of the photos. But I remembered her being in all of the photos. I thought I had lost my mind but then there was a flash of white light and there stood the hooded figure. A booming voice sounded, “You have broken one of the rules if our agreement. Because of this your sister has been erased from existence!”

“This can’t be I never told anyone about what was going to happen to my sister!”

“You have told the owner of the amusement park about what was going to happened to your sister! I will give you a chance to undo what you have done. All you have to do is give me your life and in exchange I will save your sister!”


“You will not be remember by anyone! Are you sure you wish to give up your life?”‘


“Very well then. Maria, the sister of Eric, will be saved in exchange for her brother Eric’s life!” I felt myself disappearing and closed my eyes, I was not afraid of what was happening to me because I was able to save my sister in the end.

The Keeper of the Lost Cities by: Shannon Messenger (Book 1)

Sophie Foster has been living with humans for 12 years. Not that it was bad, it just wasn’t right for her. At only 12 years old, she was attending high school and getting scholarships to Yale. So having human parents was not a good thing. But Sophie lived with them and loved them with all her heart.

But Sophie isn’t a human. She’s an elf. And elves aren’t what you think they are, and neither are the fairy tales. Basically, the existence of elves, and the fact that Sophie is an elf, say that whatever Sophie learned as a human, is nonsense. Utter nonsense. And Sophie doesn’t like that.

When she meets Fitz, she’s transported to the land of the elves. (Not that it’s called that, but there are cities, and if I named them, you would be bored.) She’s a Telepath, which is rare, and the even rarer thing? Nobody can penetrate her mind, yet she can penetrate everyone else’s mind. Weird. And dangerous, because there are people out there who don’t like her. Or her mysterious past and rare abilities. (Trust me, there’s more.) She meets Alden, Biana, Keefe, and a few others, but when the adventure calls, she either faces it or runs.

I rate this book a 20/10 or a 10/5 because this book was such a great read. I read it in a day (all 488-ish pages) so I could figure out what Sophie would do next. The mystery and magic explodes from the pages and creates a world in your mind that you didn’t even know existed. This book is one of my new favorite books, and I’m happy the librarian introduced this series to me. I’m currently reading the rest of the series, and I think I’ll finish quite quickly, seeing that I can never put this book down. I would recommend this book to everyone. It’s an awesome book (I’ve already said that…) and you will be glad you read it. It’s a wild adventure with 6 books in the series. I think you might have found your new favorite book! ENJOY! (with love)

Sherwood by Meagan Spooner

To: All the people who love Robin Hood and those who like twists in original stories (like Robin Hood…)

From: The girl who loved the twist in classic Robin Hood

Marian was betrothed to Robin when she was young. But instead of being a “proper lady,” she was a little different. While she did enjoy embroidery, she wasn’t normal. She loved fighting Robin with makeshift swords and archery. She was daring and loved Robin with all her heart, until he died.

The people of Locksley always held hope because of Robin. He was their protector, the one who shield them from the persecution of the Sheriff of Nottingham. They were proud. Safe. Somewhat happy. But then Robin died.

Then the Guy of Gisborne comes into play, wishing to be Marian’s new fiancé and Lord of Locksley. No way! The right hand of the Sheriff, the one Robin grew wary of, wanted to take the place of Robin! And as time passed, tensions grew, and Marian, wary of the tensions, became her hero and the people’s as well. She was Robin Hood.

This book was highly enjoyable. I loved the story’s flow and the way Meagan wrote her characters. Marian’s journey about secrets and heartache really hit me in the heart. And brain. This book stayed with me for an extra few days. I even read it during vacation because I had to know what happens next! Anyone who loves fantasy, adventure, and Robin Hood will definitely love this book. I know I did.

I rate this a 9/10 just because of some of the slow parts. This book is a long book, 467 pages to be exact, but every second is worth it. This is great if you need a book to last for a bit longer than usual. Hopefully, I just gave you a new favorite book to read, so go ahead! Enjoy!

Sisters By Raina Telgemeier Book Review

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier is a graphic novel that is about Raina’s relationship with her little sister Amara. Before Amara is born all Raina wishes for is a little sister. But when she finally gets the sister of her dreams things aren’t how she imagined. Amara is grumpy and never wants to play with Raina. Flash forward a lot and the family, which now includes a younger brother named Will, is about to leave on a road trip to Colorado to be with family for some time. Raina and Amara still don’t get along well and are always fighting. But when they notice their parents are acting strange around each other they know they have to improve their relationship with each other if they want to survive the long road trip. This book is illustrated well, has a good story that makes you want to keep reading, is easy to relate to, and includes humorous moments too.

The Mortal Instruments: The City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

This book starts out relatively normal, a girl and her friend are entering a club called the “Pandemonium”.   It is written from two different views, one with Clary, the main character, and one with a demon boy. The demon is led into a closet by a very pretty girl.  Clary enters the closet and witnesses the “murder” of the demon boy. He poofs into magical mist and Clary gets a horrible phone call. Her mother is telling her to not come to the house, she sounds in danger and very scared. Clary goes back to her house, leaving her best friend Simon confused. She returns to see her house ruined, she is attacked by a Ravener demon, somehow managing to survive. She then meets Jace Wayland, a handsome boy who helps to bring her to the Institute, a magical place where Shadowhunters can stay. She stays there while she recovers as she was bitten by the demon.

She meets Hodge and then other people of the Institute. She then goes on a multitude of adventures with the other Shadowhunters, who are the people who hunt and kill demons, Isabelle and Alec Lightwood and of course Jace Wayland. Simon also comes on some of the adventures. Some of the adventures include defeating a Forsaken and traveling to the City of Bones and meeting the Silent Brothers. The story ends on a very interesting note, which includes lots of drama with her love interest and we uncover some new things about her newfound brother and her apparently dead father. I will let you read this and find out what truly happens.

I really enjoyed this whole book, it is the first in a six-part series (City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls and City of Heavenly Fire). The series was introduced to me by a friend, who happens to show me most of the books that are now my favorites but anyway, I am really glad that she showed me this book series because I love it!

            It has many twists and turns. Some parts that warm your heart, make you angry or sad and just the parts that you can’t help but love. Cassandra Clare has also created some really unique characters. Overall, I would recommend this book and the rest of the series too.

I would give this book a 9/10

Neanderthal Opens The Door To The Universe by: Preston Norton

Cliff “Neanderthal” Hubbard is not your typical high schooler. Neither is Happy Valley High School. Or his family. Standing tall at 6’6″ and weighing 250 pounds, Cliff finds it hard to be appreciated. Or loved. Lots of people tease him at school. He doesn’t have any friends, his family is broken, and he has enemies. Like Aaron Zimmerman.

Aaron Zimmerman is everything Cliff is not. He’s cool and the star quarterback. All the girls are out for him and he has a lot of friends. He’s got a decent family and he used to have a girlfriend. Cliff and Aaron are nothing alike; they’re on opposite sides of the fence, so it’s kind of impossible to be friends. Especially if Aaron’s friends flip Cliff off and be rude. But then the unthinkable happens.

Aaron has a near-death experience. (But I can’t tell you how.) And when he comes back, he’s changed. He claims that God appeared to him and told him Happy Valley sucks. Then Aaron says that God gave him a list to make Happy Valley suck less. And only Cliff can help him. Only Cliff. The opposite of Aaron. Thus begins the ups and downs of the adventure of completing the list. But of course, there are many downfalls and problems concerning and not concerning the list like Esther and the JT’s. And Shane. And Cliff’s abusive dad. But Cliff does get something he likes. Which I think was sweet.

This book was really nice and I laughed a lot. There are also sad parts in the book. So if you want to laugh and cry for a long period of time, this book is just for you! I loved this book so much that when I finished it, there was a 1 minute pause before I said, “This is my new favorite book for many reasons.” It gave me so much to think about and it made me feel better for some odd but awesome reason. I definitely recommend this book to everyone who is okay with a lot of cursing and a few kissing scenes. Other than that, the book is awesome! I rate this book a 12/10 because it’s just that good.

Two Can Keep A Secret- book review

Hey everyone! I am back after reading another great mystery book and this time its a book written by Karen M. McManus, the bestselling Author of One of Us is Lying. In my opinion that was a great book so I decided to read Two Can Keep A Secret. I finished Two Can Keep A Secret in a day because, it was so good and I couldn’t put it down for a second.

This book starts off with Ellery and Ezra, the Corcoran twins who are moving in with their grandmother because, their mother is sent to a rehab. Now for the first time the twins get to explore their grandmother’s mysterious town Echo Ridge. Both Ellery and Ezra know that this is where their aunt went missing at age seventeen and a few years back Lacey Kilduff, a homecoming queen was found dead in the town’s theme park. Even though this town has dark secrets it looks picture perfect. Soon after moving in, Ellery and Ezra start their Senior year at Echo Ridge High where everyone is already preparing for the next Homecoming. Ellery, the protagonist is stuck in making friends between the popular girls and Malcolm Kelly who is the younger brother of Declan Kelly, the person everyone suspects murdered Lacey Kilduff.  As Homecoming gets closer, Ellery gets the shock of being nominated for Homecoming Queen along with disturbing vandalism acts that threaten a sequel to the murder of Lacey. Along with Ezra, Mia, and Malcolm, Ellery tries to figure out where these threats keep coming  from. Eventually, things get more intense as Declan Kelly returns to town and Brooke Bennet, another nominee for Homecoming, disappears. This book alternates between the perspectives of Ellery and Malcolm as they try to figure out the connection between Sarah’s disappearance( Ellery and Ezra’s aunt), Lacey’s murder, and Brooke’s disappearance.

This book has many unexpected twists and turns that give the reader lots of thrills. Because of its spooky plots throughout the book, I really enjoyed this. If you are into scary and mysterious books then DEFINITELY read this book. So that is it for today and I would rate this book a 9/10. Check it out if you are bored during the summer or any time you feel like it 🙂 Enjoy the summer everyone!

Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere by Julie T. Lamana

Image result for upside down in the middle of nowhere summaryAs Hurricane Katrina approaches in August 2015, Armani Curtis, a young African-American resident of the Ninth Ward, has only one thing on her mind—her tenth birthday. Dark portents, however, threaten to encroach on her excitement, as her MeMaw and her brother, Georgie, pace anxiously in anticipation of the storm. The next-door neighbors have already evacuated, but only Armani and Georgie know this. Armani, too excited about her birthday to worry about the storm, makes Georgie promise he won’t tell their parents about the neighbors.

Under an increasingly black sky and amid troublingly strong winds, the tenth birthday barbeque for Armani begins in earnest. Despite the obvious meteorological distress rapidly enveloping them, Armani couldn’t be more pleased with her birthday celebration. The family shares a blue buttercream frosting cake and Armani receives a puppy named Cricket. For the reader, who is aware of the devastation to come, the suspense here is almost unbearable.

Suddenly, another neighbor interrupts the barbeque, affirming that the storm is worst than anyone expected and that it’s too late to evacuate. The party ends as the family must hunker down for the coming winds. Windows shatter, and there is a good deal of panic. However, certain members of the Curtis clan have seen storms before. What they couldn’t possibly expect, however, is the failure of the nearby levees, which creates a giant wave heading straight toward their row of houses. Watching the water envelop and destroy everything in its path, the family grabs the puppy and the baby, and they all head to the attic. While secure for the moment in the attic, they see the floodwaters gradually rising around them. They only had time to grab a few bottles of water, forgetting to grab the asthma medication for the baby, who is gasping for air. Things get worse when little Cricket, Armani’s beloved new pup, falls into the water.

Georgie and Armani leap into the water to go after Cricket, but soon they are all carried away by the fast-moving floodwaters. The rest of the family can do nothing but wait for the floodwaters to recede or for the family to be rescued.

Eventually, the family reaches dry land. Armani’s mother calculates that she should look for her husband and son on her own, leaving Armani in charge of MeMaw and her baby brother. This launches an important emotional journey for Armani. At the beginning of the book, she is highly self-centered, caring only about her birthday and putting her family at risk by not telling them about the neighbors’ midnight evacuation.

Through her ordeal, she learns a great deal about responsibility, but the lessons are hard-fought. At first, Armani responds to the chaos and hardship with mistrust, as she observes a number of panicked individuals acting in a way that is scary to her. She even observes acts of crime and “looting” which, while justified in some cases, is confusing and scary to a little kid.

The longer Armani battles to keep her family together, the more she realizes that, while caution is warranted sometimes in a crisis, you can’t survive without trusting others. She opens herself to accepting help when the family needs it most. The result is a realistic emotional journey for a child put into an unfathomable position.

Armani must also battle her own sense of guilt, particularly after MeMaw fails to survive in the wake of the floods. (She perishes while the others are asleep). At this point, she learns that the decision to stay actually had little to do with her—another step for Armani in becoming less self-absorbed. She learns that her mother was determined to stay because it was an act of “hope.” In the end, it could be considered an ill-advised act, hopeful or not. Nevertheless, Armani realizes at this moment that the world does not revolve around her. If the family wanted to leave, it would have left, regardless of Armani’s birthday celebration.

Upside-Down in the Middle of Nowhere is an intense character study of a ten-year-old girl, set against the horrifying backdrop of Hurricane Katrina.

NewsPrints by: Ru Xu

As Hector found, Lavender Blue is not your stereo-typical type of girl. In fact, she’s more than just a tomboy. The daring, ambitious, and caring with a heart bigger than all the stereotypes girl was one of a kind; and Hector found that out right away.

An orphan tucked away to fend for herself and her new “pet,” Goldie, a little bird whom was cared for by Lavender since she was in an egg was doing fine all on their own, and so young, might I add. Like Goldie, her parents were gone, but unlike Goldie, nobody took care of Lavender Blue. The fast girl stole Hector’s newspapers during one of his journeys. Upon meeting Hector and having a small conversation with him, Hector invited her to the Bugle, a boys home for newsies. But Lavender was a girl. Girls aren’t allowed to be newsies. It was unheard of! Such news would surely cause a scandal! And so their conversation went like this; “Lavender Blue, I work and live at that building over there. The Nautilene Bugle! It’s run by the mayor and his wife. Why don’t ya stay with us for a while?”

Lavender responds, “Can I stay forever?”

Hector shifts his duffel bag and responds, “I mean, we could always use more newsboys, but they gotta be… well, boys.”

Lavender, who doesn’t care, just replies, “OH! Well, that’s PERFECT! ‘Cause I’m DEFINITELY a boy!”

Hector can’t hide his surprise at her fierce determination and submits and Lavender lives at the Bugle. Fast forward a few years…

Lavender is enjoying her patchwork family with the Bugle boys, and nobody knows her secret except the mayor’s wife, Muffy, but she does a good job hiding it. She goes on secret routes to sell more newspapers but the day she meets Crow, nothing is the same. Everything changes and Blue is put to the test. But I can’t tell you what and why and who. That’s not fun. So read the book to see how Blue and the Bugle change drastically because of Crow.

I rate this book a 10 out of 10 because it’s just that good. It’s also a comic book so it doesn’t take a long time to read. The illustrations are beautiful and the story line speaks strongly to me. If you like adventure and people finding their true colors, read this book. It was a 2018-2019 Carroll County Battle of the Books read, and I read it more than 20 times.