Friday, September 14, 2018

Shadow Girl by Liana Liu ; review by Sanah Sanduja

I loved reading Shadow Girl. The plot was terrifying and captivating in all ways possible. The characters all had different personalities and the settings were described in so much detail, it made me feel as if I lived there. Mei goes on an intense journey by leaving her hometown for a whole summer to tutor a young girl at a private island. Mei lives with her mother and has never left her for more than a weekend. The dialogue of the protagonist, Mei, was very interesting to read because the author would provide not only what she says, but what she is really thinking inside. This book truly had me hooked from the beginning, and the end had me begging for a sequel. I would rate this book an extraordinary and amazing 5

Love is Both Wave and Particle by Paul Cody; reviewed by Sanah Sanduja

Love is both Wave and Particle was an interesting book told by several perspectives. It was very confusing due to the fact that the author does not provide quotation marks nor who is speaking. Because of this, it was difficult to decipher what was actually said by who, especially since many different characters became narrator at different times. Aside from the dialogue, the novel was about a very sweet love story between two extraordinary people. The two people that fall in love have been through a lot, and are brought together for a special assignment at school. Although they have completely different lives, they have much more in common than they think they do. This book is engaging right from the start up until the last line. I would rate this novel a 4. 

Whisper by Lynette Noni reviewed by Vanditha Krishnan

Whisper by Lynette Noni
reviewed by Vanditha Krishnan

Lynette Noni effortlessly combines Stranger Things and the Divergent trilogy in her new young adult and science fiction novel, Whisper. Although I am not a big fan of science fiction, Whisper has changed my opinion for the better. This book is one you will never be able to stop reading; the plot is just so unique, and each and every character is quirky and lovable.

Something that just makes Whisper so much more special when compared to other books is its narrator, who we know as “Jane Doe.” Captive and imprisoned in Lengard, a psychiatric facility, Jane refuses to tell anyone her real name, since she does not speak. The officials at Lengard go to great lengths to pry for more information about Jane and her background, but she has successfully been silent for more than two years -- far longer than any other resident in the ward. Jane simply has no clue as to why she is in Lengard in the first place; she is only told that the facility is for extraordinary people like her. Unfortunately, Jane gullibly believes these lies and continues to remain silent. Things seem to be going as per routine until Jane realizes that she is assigned to a new evaluator -- Ward. The two gradually become friends, something that feels odd to Jane, as everyone she has come into contact with has been cold and distant. Jane, who doesn’t have close friends at Lengard, finds her icy exterior slowly chipping off when she talks to Ward. Ultimately, by the end of the novel, Jane finds the truth and understands why she is imprisoned and controlled by the government. The question is, does she ever know whom to trust?

This book captivated me from the start; the plot was enthralling and unique. I have to admit, as soon as I started reading, I found Jane weak and annoying, but she certainly became admirable by the end of the novel. It’s such a shame that it took nearly 100 pages for her character to develop.

I would give Whisper a rating of 3.5 stars out of 5, but that’s only because of the rather slow plotline towards the beginning and Jane’s initial nature. Honestly, I felt like 75% of the novel was action-packed and exciting, but the background and the descriptions of Lengard itself were a bit too dry for me. Overall, though, I would love to read the next book in this duology. I guess I just have to wait until it comes out.

Someday, Somewhere by Lindsay Champion reviewed by Vanditha Krishnan

Someday, Somewhere by Lindsay Champion
reviewed by Vanditha Krishnan        

There are few novels that are heartbreaking yet beautiful at the same time. A tale of opportunity, love at first sight, and music, Lindsay Champion has outdone herself with her standalone debut Someday, Somewhere. This novel is just one of those rare books you cannot seem to put down.

Someday, Somewhere starts off by introducing Dominique and Ben, two teenagers with completely different lives that intertwine at one single moment. Dominique is a second-generation resident in one of New Jersey’s poorest areas, Trenton. She works long hours at her mother’s failing laundromat business while managing school, but hopes for much more in the future. On a class trip to Carnegie Hall, Dominique listens to a young violinist, Ben, whom she is immediately attracted to. Dominique believes that Ben’s life is perfect, due to his financial situation and privilege, but little does she know that he has a multitude of struggles he deals with as well. After many awkward conversations and frequent visits to New York City, Ben and Dominique fall in love. However, both of the characters find that they are keeping secrets from each other.

I loved reading this novel. The pace was perfect, and it was not as cheesy as other contemporary novels are. The dual perspectives in Someday, Somewhere enhanced the plotline even more. There were a few moments where I was frustrated at Dominique, especially for some of her actions, but by the end of the book, I realized that her flaws made her a better person. I was able to relate to the story much more than I realized, and the characters felt real to me. One thing I wish was done differently was the insta-love. I found it odd that Dominique and Ben seemed to immediately fall for each other. In my opinion, the beginning of the story could have been extended a bit further.

I would give this book 4 stars out of 5, only because of my uncertainty towards the beginning. Readers with an interest in music would especially appreciate Lindsay Champion’s interpretation of love at first sight. I would definitely recommend this novel to other teens, and I hope to read many more books by the same author.

More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer reviewed by Vanditha Krishnan

More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer
reviewed by Vanditha Krishnan                     

A wonderful book is one you cannot put down; it is a novel that engrosses you with its emotions and touches your heart. More Than We Can Tell, by Brigid Kemmerer, has, in my opinion, surpassed the standard for a “wonderful book” and deserves its own category for its excellence.

This tearjerker begins by introducing you to the two main characters, Emma and Rev. Both of them face difficulties in their home lives, but they share more than they think. Emma Blue loves to code. She develops her own video game, which requires a great deal of effort, but hides this from her parents, due to the fact that they believe that coding is a waste of her time. Her father appears to disregard Emma’s interests, while her mother pushes Emma towards becoming a doctor like herself. Emma’s only solace comes from playing video games, but she also has to deal with getting verbally bullied online by other players, just because she is a girl. Then we meet Rev Fletcher, who is introduced in Kemmerer’s earlier novel Letters To The Lost. Rev, unlike Emma, is dealing with emotional issues from the past. Despite trying to forget about his childhood days, Rev often gets reminded and finds himself in a downward spiral of emotions. His loving adoptive parents and friend Declan try to help, but Rev appears to be inconsolable. That is, until he meets Emma.

This story ranks high on my list when compared to other novels. Rev’s compassion and ability to truly love despite his circumstances make him one of my favorite main characters. Emma was a bit hurtful at first, but she eventually grew on me. The fact that she did not judge Rev towards the beginning of the story showed her true character. Emma and Rev's friendship that eventually blossomed into a first love was simply heartwarming. They found comfort from each other and embraced it immediately.

I enjoyed reading More Than We Can Tell. On a scale of 1 to 5, I would definitely give this book the highest rating; that is, a 5. Kemmerer’s novel made it easy to fall in love with Rev and Emma, as well as their trust for each other. This poignant novel, along with its many messages to the reader, deserves to be much more famous than it is today.

Because You Love to Hate Me: Tales of Villiany (various authors) ; Review by Yashaswi Bhati

Book Title :   “Because you love to hate me:tales of villainy “    

My review:” Because You Love to Hate Me :13 tales of Villainy “ is a collection of thirteen fairy tales but from villains point of view .
It contains stories of pain,sorrow & heartbreak.These stories are kind of related to story of “Wicked:The life and times of the wicked witch of the west by Gregory Maguire“ and “Maleficent “by Elizabeth Rudnik where they tried to show the other side of classic fairy tales.
This book was kind of hit or miss for me,as some stories were amazing & loved reading them while others were meh,they just didn’t feel that villainous at all.
Overall if you like books on villains,this book is a treat for you.
I’ll give it a 3 star ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️rating out of 5 stars.

You Won't Know I'm Gone by Kristen Orlando; review by Yashaswi Bhati

Title : “You won’t know I’m gone “

This is the second book in “ The Black Angel” chronicles after “You don’t know My name “ by Kristen Orlando.

It’s a great spy read with lots of thrill and action.The Orlando ‘s writing is stunning and descriptions are perfect.

The story revolves around the main character who is a seventeen year old girl named “Reagan Elizabeth Hillis “,who is expected to follow her parents footsteps in joining the worlds most powerful top secret agency “ The Black Angels”.
Reagan is a wonderful character full of determination and rough edges which fits with the situation and makes her quite believable.
Everyone else that’s featured in the story plays a role  directly or indirectly linked to Reagan and leave their mark discreetly.

Overall ,I loved reading this book and would highly recommend to all those who are looking for a fun ,thrilling and emotional ride.
I would give this book a rating of 4 stars. ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐

Book: Devils Unto Dust Author: Emma Berquist Name: Sourabh Anumolu

Book: Devils Unto Dust                     
Author: Emma Berquist

Name: Sourabh Anumolu

Willie Wilcox lives in a old town named Glory with her three siblings who she takes care of. Her mother died to disease while her father is a gambler who is not home often.  Glory is run by a corrupt judge who cares more about money than the welfare of people. Willie must protect her siblings from any harm including shakes (bloodthirsty, mindless zombies) which are common in the dessert. However problems arise for Willie when her  father steals a large amount of money from McAllister who is a shake hunter,  leaving her to pay it off. With only having a week of time to pay if off, and the threat of safety to her siblings, she hires two hunters to travel to Best to find her father and bring him home. Willie and the two hunters set off to find Willie’s father when, Micah, Willie’s younger brother and Sam, Micah’s friend tag along. Over the course of the journey, the group encounters many groups of shakes posing a big danger to any one of them if they are bitten or infected. They manage to get to Best, and find her father after searching for a long period of time. They start to head home when they are attacked by a large group of shakes leading to the loss of a important member of the group and with Willie being left behind. However the hunters and Sam return to bring Willie home because it is the hunters job to fulfill their contract. They manage to get home, and solve the debt by telling McAllister that her father is dead.

I enjoyed reading this book because the plot featured a variety of genres like horror, dystopian, and post-apocalyptic. The plot had many important events one after another, and even if the reader thought it was going to end, it still continued. In addition, the book has a interesting backstory which made the reader want to continue reading to find out because the author did not give the whole backstory in one part of the book but instead gave it in certain parts where there suspense and tension making the book better. Overall the book was well written compared to other books because of how of the plot was set up , and that there a overall feeling of suspense and tension to keep the reader on the edge and to keep them engaged.

Rating: 4/5

Review on Lamentations Sophia Milla

Review on Lamentations
Sophia Milla

 Each book that we encounter has a different impact on us-- whether if it’s for us to laugh, to learn, or maybe for us to cry. One collection specificially holds about sixty-six books that have these different purposes. Surprisingly, this collection is The Bible itself. While the Bible takes a general reputation of being a book focused on God’s holiness, that isn’t actually its sole purpose! Throughout the book are tons of songs, wise sayings, visions and funny stories. Believe it or not, there are even jokes that can be found in the Bible!
            Anyways, that’s just a quick glimpse on what the Bible holds. Looking specifically, there is one book in the Bible that has a mix of emotions. That book is called Lamentations.
By the title itself, Lamentations seems like an awfully sad book. It definitely starts on that note. The author of the book is an older guy known as Jeremiah, who walks down the streets of Jerusalem, the holy city. The city recently suffered from a fall after the Babylonians came and plundered it.
He observes the city by writing “How lonely sits the city that was full of people!” (1:1).
Jerusalem was in a desolate state. The city had nobody to help it, and the people within it had been led away into slavery. How awful! But it gets worse. All of the beauty the city once had is now gone, and even children and parents have been separated. Not only loved ones are suffering, but even those of the highest classes are suffering, such as princes and priests. All the people within it thought that God has left them; the God that loved Jerusalem dearly. People cry out to Him, realizing the punishment of their constant sin and carelessness. It was a punishment that resulted in the fall of kings, and mothers  eating their own children! The author, Jeremiah, observes all of this and cries out to his God about his deep agony and broken spirit. Why was all this injustice happening? Jeremiah wondered about the injustice he himself received, as many people were targeting him for the truth he told. He knew in advance that Jerusalem would fall, and it was his job to prophesy what would happen. As Jeremiah writes on about the ways he has suffered, there is one important word he mentions in the midst of it all, which is yet. There was something present in Jeremiah’s life that opposed all the suffering and pain he was going through. He had a spark of hope in his life, and that was putting all of his hope in God. How could he put his hope in the God that allegedly abandoned his people? No; Jeremiah knew that God did not abandon his people. He wrote, “Though [God] brings grief, he also shows compassion because of the greatness of his unfailing love” (3:32). Even though Jersusalem was suffering in a town filled with desolation and starvation, God was planning to restore them. His anger only lasts a moment; and the falling of Jerusalem was that moment.
            My Opinion:
            This book was definitely one that really opened my eyes when it came to dealing with hardships. When we go through tough times, we can easily doubt that things will get better. We can feel hopeless, and as if nobody can save us from the pit that we are in. What’s incredible is that, it’s okay to feel like that naturally! People aren’t supposed to be excited when they’re struggling, or when something awful happens in their lives. Who would be happy after dealing with loss, or with rejection? Jeremiah himself was a guy who was very truthful and bold, and even he felt hopelessness. But through it all, he put all of his hope in what was always his hope: God. Even if not all of us believe in God, or any powerful beings, it is so key to remember that there is always hope, even if there is a speck of it. That “yet” in the midst of all the sufferings listed in Lamentations is an important factor of our lives. There is better coming. There is restoration coming. I love knowing that. I had to remember that even in the hardest times of my life. If I didn’t know that there was always hope present in my ups and downs, then I probably would be in a corner right now crying, dwelling on what happened. But because there is hope, we have the ability to look and move forward, being the strongest that we can be.

Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, review by Nina Soukhanovskii

Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton.  A Quote to Consider: “With a shiver of foreboding he saw his marriage becoming what most of...