Thursday, January 30, 2014

Son by: Lois Lowry

When I started reading Son, I was really excited. I couldn’t wait to see how Lois Lowry would tie up The Giver, Gathering Blue, and The Messenger. I was really surprised at the point of view. I did not expect it to be from the view of a birthmother. After I finished Part I I had an idea of how of how she would tie everything up but I never imagined what came next. She took all the unanswered questions from all the other books and answered them. Lois Lowry went beyond just answering the questions she put in a very huge unexpected twist at the end. I would give it 5 stars just because of the fact that she finally finished the story with a memorable ending.

Here is the Goodreads link for Son:

Note: The reason for this book not having a blurb or summary is that Son is the fourth book in a series and I do not want to spoil the first three books for people who haven't read them yet.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The House of the Scorpion by: Nancy Farmer

The House of the Scorpion is a story about Matt, a clone. Matt is the clone of Matteo Alacrán or El Patrón, the ruler of Opium. Opium is a country that is between the United States and Aztlán (formerly Mexico). Opium is a part of the Dope Confederacy which consists of a bunch of countries that produce various drugs. Matt lives the first 6 years of his life happily. Then he sees Steven, Emilia, and María through his window and wants to join them. He breaks the window and jumps out, landing on the glass. His feet get cut by the glass and Steven, Emilia, and María carry him back to their house. There he is treated. He lives luxuriously for a little while. But Steven’s father, Mr. Alacrán figures out that Matt is clone and tells a maid to take him away. He is locked into a room filled with sawdust for his “litter”. That begins the long line hardships Matt is to face.
When I began reading The House of the Scorpion I had no idea what it was about. I just opened it and started reading. At the beginning of the book I was confused. I didn’t know what was going on. But then slowly I started to understand. I understood how the household worked, how the government worked and most importantly what it took to live a good life. I wouldn’t say that it was the best book I have ever read. I think it is okay. I feel like the conflict wasn’t very interesting to me. The conflict could have been a bit more rough and tough. I also didn’t get the message the author was trying to give me. I would give it 2 stars because it didn’t get me interested.

Here is the Goodreads link for The House of the Scorpion:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Allegiant by: Veronica Roth

There has been a lot of hype about this book. People have been waiting for a long time to read Allegiant. To read the thrilling conclusion to the Divergent series. They have been waiting to see what Veronica Roth cooks up in her conclusion of the story. Does she put in a beautifully crafted twist or does she surprise everybody by ending it like a fairy tale? Will she change her mind about ending the story and end on a cliffhanger like The Mark of Athena? These were a few questions I had in mind as I cracked Allegiant open. I was ready for it to be amazing, for it to blow my mind. But as I was going in I was going in with a bit of sadness, sadness for the fact that the story was probably going to end. I was not disappointed when I started reading . As usual Veronica Roth had started the book as if 539 days hadn’t passed in between the books. As I read the first chapter I got more and more excited because she had dived right in. Then I got to the second chapter and freaked out. The second chapter’s perspective was Four’s/Tobias’. I really liked the switch because it quenched the thirst that I had for Four’s/Tobias’ perspective after reading Divergent, Insurgent, and Free Four. The rest of the book was great of course. It was fast-paced, filled with shocking discovery after another, and was action packed. But Veronica Roth, being the author she is, put in an unbelievable twist. Its shocking. It will shock you. When I read it, I didn’t believe it. But then I had to believe it I had no choice. It was just scandalous, if I may. I will give her props though, for having the guts to do what she did. Five stars, the fifth star for having the guts, for “being brave.”

Here is the Goodreads link for Allegiant:

Note: The reason for this book not having a blurb or summary is that Allegiant is the third book in a series and I do not want to spoil the first two books for people who haven't read them yet.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Wave by: Todd Strasser

The Wave is a story about a history class learning about Nazi Germany. The students in the class have questions, “Why did people follow HItler?” Another one is, “How did they not know it was bad?” Unable to answer these questions their teacher Mr, Ben Ross begins an experiment to explain. He starts by teaching them: STRENGTH THROUGH DISCIPLINE. The students accept the motto and follow the disciplines. The next day the students are still following his disciplines. Mr. Ross decides to continue the experiment by adding two more slogans: STRENGTH THROUGH COMMUNITY and STRENGTH THROUGH ACTION. Using these slogans Mr. Ross creates a group, The Wave. Soon the Wave starts taking over the school and it is up to Laurie Sanders to stop it. 
When I read the synopsis for The Wave I expected a very horrible and gory story. I was very disappointed when I read The Wave. I would have really liked it if it had a little more goriness to it. I felt like the writing was kind of timid. I also think the the author ended it too quickly. Almost like he was tired of writing so he just wrote two chapters and BOOM, the book has ended. One star, just for the effort the author made in writing the book.

Here is the Goodreads link for The Wave:

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Outsiders by: S.E. Hinton

The Outsiders is a novel about two groups, the Greasers and the Socs, who are divided by their social status. The Greasers and the Socs are rival gangs. The Socs are rich, live good lives and have doting parents who give them whatever they want. The Greasers are poor, barely getting along kids without parents or with drunk parents who don’t care much about their children. The only family the Greasers have are each other. Ponyboy Curtis is the youngest and brightest Greaser. He goes to school, gets good grades and runs track. Sodapop is one of Ponyboy’s older brothers and a part of the gang. Darrel or Darry is Ponyboy’s other older brother and he is also part of the gang. Dallas or Dally is the roughest and scariest member of the gang. “Two-Bit” is the joker and kleptomaniac of the gang. Steve is a good friend and the rock. That leaves Johnny, Ponyboy’s best friend. 
Ponyboy’s story begins with, “When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home…” Ponyboy takes you on a journey through his violent and turbulent life. But his story is a story of love, loyalty and friendship.
Going into The Outsiders I knew it was highly distinguished and very famous. Because of this knowledge I was a bit jaded. I didn’t expect the story to grab my attention as much as it did. Most of the classic tales I have read haven’t caught my attention that much. The reason I liked it so much was the fact that Ponyboy was living such a hard life yet he still stuck with his “family”, his gang. I liked it because it shows a great human quality. It shows us how kind and loyal and gentle we can be. Yes it is ironic, Ponyboy lives a violent life but the story is about kindness, loyalty, and gentility. Sure humans are the most destructive creatures on Earth but some of their qualities are so heartwarming. I completely agree with everyone who says The Outsiders is a story of love and unbreakable friendship. There are of course parts with lots of hatred and violence but at its root it is a story of loyal friends who feel immense love for each other. This book touched me very much and any book that has the ability to touch you so immensely deserves 5 stars.

Here is the Goodreads link for The Outsiders:

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