Classic Story Reviews
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck: "Of Mice and Men" is a great novel that tells the story of George Milton and Lennie Small. These two lifelong friends are ranch workers during the Great Depression. They recently left an old job and are searching for a new one in California. George Milton was put in charge of taking care of Lennie Small by Lennie's Aunt. Lennie has limited mental capabilities, but is a very good work hand because of his large stature. When George and Lennie finally find a job they run into many troubles. Lennie sometimes does things by accident and does not know that he is hurting the people around him. The events of the novel create a challenge for George, who is in charge of Lennie. I recommend reading this novel to follow the adventures of two struggling farmers during the Great Depression.
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller: "Death of a Salesman" is an intense play that takes place both in the present and the past. Willy Loman is the main character in the play. Willy is starting to lose his mind. As the play goes on Willy has dramatic flash backs and reminisces about the so called “good old days”. Willy may have some kind of sociological disorder, but it is never specified in the book. Something is also haunting Willy that happened when he first got married. His secret is only disclosed in the last moments of the play. If you are interested in plays, business, or history, I would recommend reading "Death of a Salesman".
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury: "Fahrenheit 451" takes place on Earth in a dystopian future. In this novel, everyone is bland and boring, conforming to society’s norms. The biggest difference in this world is that books have been outlawed in society. Any books that are found are burned and set fire to. There are so called "firemen" whose jobs are to burn any books discovered. The main character is a fireman named Guy Montag. One night on his way home he meets an outgoing teenage girl named Clarisse McClellan. Clarisse seems to not be affected by the rest of society, and is a free spirit. Clarisse also has Guy ask questions about his life and the rest of society. The whole book is about Guy’s self-conflict. He wants to do the right thing and stop the burning of books. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about dystopian futures. The book is a great read and does a great job of describing the dystopian future.
- Reviewed by Stephen J.
Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book Club Selections
Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headly
Aza Ray Boyle's life has been defined by a unique lung disease and her evolving friendship with Jason, but just before her sixteenth birthday, she is swept up into the sky-bound world of Magonia and discovers her true identity.
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Pursued by power-hungry Prentiss and mad minister Aaron, young Todd and Viola set out across New World searching for answers about his colony's true past and seeking a way to warn the ship bringing hopeful settlers from Old World.
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are. But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona's powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.
College Bound Book Club Selections
White Oleander by Janet Fitch
White Oleander tells the unforgettable story of Ingrid, a brilliant poet imprisoned for murder, and her daughter, Astrid, whose odyssey through a series of Los Angeles foster homes-- each its own universe, with its own laws, its own dangers, and its own hard lessons to be learned-- becomes a redeeming and surprising journey of self-discovery.
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
The first rule about fight club is you don't talk about fight club. Fight Club tells the story of a disenfranchised young man frustrated with his bureaucratic job and superficial relationships and disillusioned with the consumer culture's prepackaged pleasures. Relief for him and his peers comes in the form of Tyler Durden, the intensely charismatic inventor of Fight Club. Waiters, clerks, and middlemen seek out the satisfaction of secret after-hours boxing matches in the basements of bars, thinking they have found a way to live beyond their confining and stultifying lives. But in Tyler's world there are no rules, no limits, and no brakes.
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
On her 18th birthday Kate takes her mom to her hometown of Eden as her last dying wish. While at Eden, a seemingly empty town, she enrolls in their high school and is soon invited to a party by the head cheerleader. However the party goes fatally wrong and Kate is offered a deal by a mysterious man, she takes the deal not quite realizing what she has agreed to do until she has to live with him for six months. During this time she realizes that the mysterious man, Henry, is the King of the dead and he wishes to make her his queen. But to do so she has to pass 7 tests. If she passes she will become immortal and a goddess, but if she fails her fate won't be the only one at stake.
Reviewed by Carolyn H.
Fairest by Marissa Meyer
Fairest, by Marissa Meyer, is the latest and fourth installment in the Lunar Chronicles, even though it is a prologue to the first book, Cinder. Fairest is all about Levana’s backstory, leading up to the events that occur in Cinder.
Fans of the Lunar Chronicles will be excited to get their hands on this book! Although it does not offer any fresh plot twists for the next book, it will satisfy fans’ curiosity about Levana and the way she acts. It offers answers to questions that readers have always wondered about Queen Levana: What was she like growing up? What was her family like? Why does she always wear a veil? Why is she so cruel and heartless? What’s with Princess Winter? More importantly, Levana’s story explores what love is, what it looks like, and how the desire for it can become twisted and lead to harming others.
As always, Marissa Meyer’s simple yet elegant writing style serves to make this book an enjoyable and easy read. Even better is the audio version of Fairest, narrated by Rebecca Soler, which you can download and borrow from OverDrive.
In addition, Fairest contains an excerpt from the final book in the Lunar Chronicles, Winter, which is coming out in November of 2015.
Reviewed by Sarah P.
Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton
A girl named Elisa just turned seventeen and she started experiencing weird things. And suddenly she is thrust into a world she cannot remember from her past lives. She is the Preliator, the one who kills the evils of this world. A protector of the human world from creatures of the Grim. This book is action packed with grim fighting and close to death situations. The author has a way of transporting you to her fictional world and has you sitting at the edge of your seat the entire time. The story is paired with great writing and great personality. And will have you reaching for the sequel, Wings of the Wicked.
5 stars. Reviewed by Amanda J.
The Giver by Lois Lowry
To start off I'd like to say that this is a fantastic book and I would highly recommend it to readers of all ages looking for a good book. It's thought provoking plot-line allows you to extrapolate new concepts, ideas and theories about the meaning of the book as well as the authors extra-textual implications about society and communism after each read. It's a very original futuristic distopian type story that could be compared very easily to the divergent series.The novel is about an 'average' teen names Jonas, who lives in a perfect world, with no fear, no pain, or no war. In the Community, there are no choices, colors, pleasure, weather, love, emotions, or any other variable conditions. You can not choose your job, spouse, or anything of that matter. When you reach the age of twelve, you are assigned a job in the Community. Jonas is singled out, and gets special training from The Giver. When Jonas' job in society he becomes the "Receiver of Memory", The Giver gives him the memories of the far past; memories of pain, fear, war, pleasure, colors, and love. When Jonas receives the truth about the world he lives in the adventure begins.......
Review by Jeremy A.
Another review of The Giver
Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment
If you're looking for a thrilling set of books that will have you on the edge of your seat until you've lead every last word on their pages, then look no further than the Maximum Ride series .This series actually introduced me too to the Sci-Fi adventure genera of books. The Angel Experiment is the first book of this series and makes a great read for people of all ages. This novel is centered around a group of teens who are normal - or should I say 98% normal... These teenagers were the result of a genetic experiment gone awry at "The School" that led to them being 2% abnormal, on a genetic scale. They were genetically altered and given avian,or bird DNA, giving them wings and allowing them to fly. The teens take refuge on a mountain, hiding from the people who did this to them, but when their youngest crew member, Angel, gets kidnapped the adventure begins.....
Review by Jermemy A.
American Sniper by Chris Kyle
Chris Kyle lets you inside the mindset of not only the war in Iraq but inside the mind of a seal; inside the mindset of someone who is trained to kill. Known as “The legend” he and his team became a force to be reckoned with. Kyle’s battlefield experiences are unforgettable and exhilarating even to the reader sitting safely at home. A small taste of what the war was really like gets left in the mouth of the reader but nothing like actually having experienced it yourself.
Chris Kyle is a retired Navy Seal sniper. He recounts his training and war experiences that lead him to become the deadliest sniper in American history, with more than 160 confirmed kills from 2003 to 2009 during the Iraq war. From BUDS hell week training to firefights in Fallujah and Ramadi, Kyle persevered through it all, a feet that only a very small amount of people could and have done.
Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
The conclusion of the Heroes of Olympus series, The Blood of Olympus picks up where The House of Hades leaves us. Percy and Annabeth have somehow survived a trip through Tartarus and have reunited with the team. The book alternates between two separate adventures. One is of Nico, Reyna, and Coach Hedge rushing to transport the Athena Parthenos back to Camp Half Blood to stop the war between the Greek and Roman demigods; the other is of the seven main demigods of the prophecy (Percy, Jason, Annabeth, Piper, Frank, Hazel, and Leo) and their quest to stop the giants from waking Gaea.
The Blood of Olympus is a satisfactory ending to a great series, but it leaves you wanting just a little bit more. I was honestly more intrigued by the adventure of Nico, Reyna, and Coach Hedge than the main adventure of the seven demigods. The climactic battle and the resolution felt a little rushed and underdeveloped. I also would have liked to hear a little of the story or the ending in Percy’s point of view. He is the demigod who started it all, and bringing it full circle would have been nice. Nevertheless, I finished the whole book in two sittings so it obviously had me hooked. If you are a fan of either of the Percy Jackson series, the Blood of Olympus is a must read.
I would give The Blood of Olympus 4 out of 5 stars.
Review by Jason R.