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The Heir by Kierra Cass

The Heir is the fourth book of the Selection Series by Kiera Cass. This means that to understand anything in the Heir, the preceding books, namely the Selection, the Elite and the One have to be read. However, I would caution readers of the first three to be prepared, this book is not the whirlwind of romance the first three are. The Heir picks up after the main protagonist of the first three books, America Singer’s happily ever after. The role of protagonist is passed to Princess Eadlyn. Important to note is that Princess Eadlyn is not America. That's not a bad thing, of course, since she is a fully realized character in her own rights, but for anyone seeking someone like America facing the opposite side of the Selection will be sorely disappointed. Another thing to note is that, at least from my reading, Princess Eadlyn is hard to empathize with in the beginning. This makes it hard for people who are hardly invested in the series, but I would encourage them to stick it out, because Princess Eadlyn has a solid amount of believable character growth. I would recommend this book to people who have read the first three books. Out of context I doubt the Heir would make any sense.

I would recommend the series as a whole to people who enjoy a good romance intermingled with a well developed world and its politics.

by Erin T.


The Likeness by Tana French

likenessCassie Maddox begins her second adventure as a part of the Irish detective squad but when she sees the victim she is shocked to see a woman looking exactly like Cassie. The rest of the story revolves around the investigation of the woman's murder with Cassie's acting as the woman. Tana French uses mystery, drama, humor and a little bit of romance to craft a suspenseful book. The book leaves readers hanging on till the last minute trying to determine the murderer and who the victim really was.

by Tareem M.


Video Game Programming for Kids by Jonathan Harbour

vgprogrammingThe book I am reviewing is Video Game Programming for Kids. I would recommend this book because you learn stuff one chapter at a time, which makes the book easy to follow. Also, it teaches you BASIC, an easy program to use for people wanting to learn code typed out. The results from the book satisfy you if you do it right. In conclusion, it is a good book that effectively teaches you coding.

by Emmett S.


Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

algernonFlowers for Algernon is a compelling read for any high school student, especially those who are interested in psychology. The story is told in a journal format. In the beginning of the novel, Charlie is a 32 year old low functioning adult with an IQ of 60. The journal entries from this time reflect this through lack of punctuation and blatant spelling errors. The main of the event of the novel is Charlie undergoing an experimental surgery; the goal is to surgically increase his intelligence. However, the surgery not only accelerates his intelligence, his IQ soars past those of his experimenters. His emotional intelligence is far below his newfound mind, leading him to make poor decisions and be emotionally handicapped in many situations. During the peak of his intelligence, Charlie�s journals display abstract thinking, as well as perfect punctuation and an advanced vocabulary. He learns many languages rapidly, including Urdu, Hindu, among others. He authors papers, performs research, and is held in high-esteem in the academic community. I won�t give away the ending of the book, but I can assure you that it is not one you will be able to put down. A background in psychology will help with the reading and understanding of Flowers for Algernon, but it is not required by any means.

by Anita M.


Scarletscarlet by Marissa Meyer

If you thought Cinder was good, fans will be ecstatic to hear about Scarlet; the second book to the Lunar Chronicles! The fast paced action that was present in the first book continues and simultaneously builds a roller coaster of mystery, action, and drama. As the story progresses, Scarlet Benoit who is a determined, rowdy, and sassy girl lives with her grandmother, Michelle Benoit. As fate would have it, Scarlet's beloved grandmother goes missing one day, and Scarlet sets out on her adventure with a man named Wolf, who is literally a wolf, to save her grandmother, and perhaps the world along the way. Through the dangerous journey that leads her to her grandmother's captors, Scarlet falls in love with Wolf, but soon she will learn about the other side of Wolf's personality, the "wolf" side, and this will put Scarlet's life in more danger than she has ever imagined. Ever. Scarlet, Wolf, and the outcast Cinder team up and battle to release her grandmo ther and her own life from the clutches of Levana's mutant soldiers who for some reason act and behave like an actual wolf.

Readers who loved the Harry Potter series, the Naturals series, and the Princess of The Silver Woods series will love this action packed novel as well. This book is appropriate for students at the age of 13 or above.

By Hanan M.


Divergentscarlet by Veronica Roth

Divergent is a thrilling sci-fi novel by Veronica Roth that takes place sometime in the near future. Tris Prior, the main character goes through an adventure filled with romance, action, and a lot of danger.

by Aiswarya S.


Music Review: Volbeat: Seal the Deal & Let's Boogie

volbeatBand members:
Michael Poulsen: Guitar, Lead singer, Since 2001.
Rob Caggiano: Lead Guitar, Since 2013.
Jon Larsen: Drummer, Since 2001
Anders Kjolholm: Bass Guitar, 2001-2005
Thomas Bredahl: Lead Guitar, 2006-2011
Franz Gottschalk: Lead Guitar, 2002-2006

Songs: The devil�s bleeding crown
Marie laveau
The bliss
Gates of babylon
Let it burn
Seal the deal
Battleship chains
You will know
The loa�s crossroad

I would rate it 9.5/10. Michael Poulsen�s voice is like almost any metal band you will find. But the songs he sings are what makes this band so great! The devil�s bleeding crown is a great starter for this album. It gives what the listener is about to listen to throughout the album. Music about gods, demons, spirits, sin, and strange love. The song that gives the album its name it deserves is Seal the Deal. Fighting for your survival, horror and hope. This band would be perfect for people looking for music that will motivate you and give you purpose.

by Tyler J.

The 3 Elements

Fire, Water, and Storm.
The basic elements of any fantasy video game.
Money, Brains, and Skill.
The basic elements of living in the real world.

by Tyler J.


The Martianvolbeat by Andy Weir

The Martian is an incredibly solid book. If you have ever watched the Apollo 13 movie, the Martian is comparable to the round-hole square peg scene in Apollo 13 but extended so that every moment of the book is centered around jury-rigging equipment. This is a very nerdy book, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it has lots of numbers in it, so be warned if that's not something you enjoy. 

I wouldn't read this book if you don't have a tolerance for some crude jokes since the life or death situation that the main character is left in leaves little option for dealing other than sarcasm and crude jokes. I would read this book if you like harder sci-fi or you don't read books very often (and are nerdy) but I would note that on a scale of sci-fi hardness, the Martian would be softer than Dune by Frank Herbert but harder than soft sci-fi like Star Wars. Overall an excellent read.

By Erin T.


Two Poems I came up with and gave my mother as a gift

Poem 1
In a world that has its ups and downs
Its joys, its cares, its smiles, its frowns
It's nice to meet along the way
Someone who likes to do and say
Those things we're all grateful for
You do these things and even more

Poem 2
The dearest people you could name
All clustering around you
A feeling that's life's nicest things
Were sent to you, and found you
The promise of a whole new year
In which you will be doing
The things that bring more memories
That you'll enjoy reviewing

by Alexandra J.


Zoo by James Patterson

zooI love this story because Patterson uses undeniable believable logic in his plot. In a world controlled by technology, we humans rarely think of the effects we have on the biosphere. Yes we consider global warming, but mostly because it affects our lives and our ecosystems. And while on occasions we might consider the effects we have on our ecosystem, it doesn't stop us from continuing our lives as usual. It isn't entirely unfeasible that one day we'll be made to pay for our selfishness, and who better to exact that revenge than the animals that we have shunted aside to make room for our excesses?

by Alexandra J.


Badlands Album by Halsey

badlands A year ago she signed with a label, released her EP Room 93, toured with Imagine Dragons and became most talked about person online after her performance at South By Southwest. It�s safe to say there�s been a lot of buzz for her debut album which has finally arrived. Trust me, Badlands is well worth the wait. Badlands is a concept album, which is a bold move for a first album. But Halsey has never been one to play it safe which is shown through the mature themes that run throughout the tracks.


From what I can decipher, the Badlands are a place Halsey created in order to tell her story of struggle. Even if you haven�t been following the run up to the album, just by listening you know that a lot of planning went to create this dark concept hinted in the promotion with the words �Those are the Badlands. We don�t go there.� A truly gritty, raw and infectious album, it�s not hard to see why Halsey�s already built up a large and dedicated fanbase which, since the release of Badlands, is probably growing by the second.

by Alexandra J.


 

Bloom by Elizabeth Scott

bloomI read the book Bloom by Elizabeth Scott. It is an amazing book for teenage girls or boys who enjoy love dramas. It is a story of a young girl named Lauren who has the perfect boyfriend and is some what popular. Lauren has a good life and good friends but she is not happy. There is something missing. Evan Kirkland is what she's missing. Evan is the new boy that arrives to her school. Lauren is constantly craving for Evans presences. It is up to Lauren to decide whether she wants to stay with her loyal and respectful boyfriend Dave or whether she is willing to risk it all for the mysterious Evan.
by Lupita Q.


Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

everythingMadeline has never left her house since she was a baby. She has a disease causing her to be allergic to the world, in a sense. Anything could trigger it and the result is not good; therefore, she has never left her house with its filtered air and white walls. Until she meets Olly, her new next door neighbor. It starts over instant messaging and blooms into something more.

I�m not sure what it is about this book, but I absolutely loved it. It�s funny and cute, and I just couldn�t put it down. At first it hooked me, then I got bored, then there was Olly. Throughout the book there are comical drawings and diagrams to move the story along which I loved. The characters are interesting, funny, strange, and all-around likeable. This novel is one of my favorites at the moment and I highly suggest it to anyone who likes romantic comedies, or just anyone. Read �Everything, Everything�!

by Nina P.


The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt

wednesdaywarsI thought that this was an excellent book to read because it had a very interesting ending.

I would definitely recommend this book to other people who love to read because I was introduced to reading it by my teacher.

Rupin L.


Captian Underpants by Dav Pilkey

captunderpantsIn Captain Underpants, there are 2 boys - George and Harold. They love pulling pranks, telling jokes, and LOVE making comic books. One day after school, they made a comic book about Captain Underpants. They played several pranks on their teacher and Mr. Krump, their mean old principal, recorded it on tape, along with what they did to their football teams. He threatened to either show the tape to them or thay had to do whatever he wants them to do. They picked the second choice.

So after 4 hardworking weeks, they order a hypnotizing ring, they used it on Mr. Krump. It worked. No more bad days. After he was Captain Underpants, he then ran off and enjoyed the day. Quickly George and Harold grabbed the tape and toys the principal stolen and went off. They found him arresting to bank robbers but then got trapped by an evil person. Quickly he escaped and then the police arrested the evil guy and George turned Captain Underpants into Mr. Krump, but with whatever, so whenever someone snaps he turns into Captain Underpants.

This book is very good and interests all people. It is very funny and the author has a good sense of humor. I liked how the author in real life did this.

Morgan M.


Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

ladymidnightIt just keeps getting better! Cassandra Clare's books never lose interest despite how many she has linked to one series! The book is in completely different point of views this time but the story doesn't fail to keep me on the edge of my seat. I always seem to easly fall in love with all the characters of this series. I just can't wait for the next one and find out where this goes and what is next to happen.

Leandra M


I Am Poem

I am an anime and video game nerd
I wonder what high school is like
I hear my brain clicking
I see myself getting an A on that test
I want to do what I want
I enjoy being with friends
I am an anime and video game nerd

I pretend I am in power
I feel the pain of others
I touch the people I help
I worry that I may fail in school
I cry when someone I hold dear dies
I need my loving family and crazy friends
I am an anime and video game nerd
I understand what is like to lose
I say do what you want

I dream of making video games
I try to help if I can I hope for the best of everyone
I love to win and beat the high score
I am an anime and video game nerd.

By Thinh N

The Julian Chapter by R.J. Palacio

julianThis book is worth reading because you get to see the story in Julian's point of view. First, I highly recommend you read the book Wonder. When you read The Julian Chapter you'll see a different way of Julian. This is one of the best books I've read. If you like wonder, you should read the Julian Chapter as well. There is also a lot a lessons I learned. In wonder it was split up into everyone's point of view, but now you get to see it in just Julian's point of view. You will find out somethings that you would not know by just reading wonder. It is truly a great book!

Aren S.

Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace

starwarsep1

If you have seen the movie this book was very predictable. I still liked it because it was about Star Wars. This book by Kia Asamiya is written in comic book style. Obi Wan and his master Qui-Gon-Jinn have to get off the planet Tatooine but they can' because their ship needs new fuel. On the way they find Anakin who is a pod racer.  It is an easy read with simple black and white pictures.

Dermot D.


The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien starwarsep1

I thought it was a really good book. I most liked the main character Bilbo Baggins. In the beginning of the book he really doesn't like adventures because hobbits don't like to take adventures. The adventure that he went on was with Thorin Oakenshield. Thorin was looking to get back his mountain that the dragon Smaug had taken from him. Thorin needed a burglar to help him and the 12 dwarves and a wizard. It was an exciting book, It had orks, goblins, trolls, dragons, elves, and wizards. In the end, Bilbo Baggins liked adventure.
From Liam D.

The Night Gardener

night gardener

 

The book The Night Gardener is a scary yet intriguing book about two young kids that leave Ireland to find jobs for a mysterious family. Yet trouble lurks the family seems sick and frail a ugly tree gives desired wishes and a creature killing the family slowly spreads terror in the house. Read The Night Gardener to find more in this amazing story by Jonathon Auxier.

By. Jack Z

 

Poem and Haiku by My Tien 

Happiness in Spring

The sun is shining. 
The flowers are blooming.
Many happy laughs from all over the park.
Fresh grass is growing in the fabulous summer sun.
Birds are chirping in the blue sky.
Spring is here and so is happiness.

 

Flower Haiku

The glistening flowers.
The flowers glitter in the sun.
Flowers glitter like star