Tag archives for Science Fiction
BOOK NAME: The Invention of Hugo Cabret
AUTHOR: Brian Selznick
Have you ever read a book that was a piece of art and a great story at the same time? If not, then you’ll find that The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a great book to try. In fact, it’s such a great book that they made it into a great move too and it has since won several Academy Awards. It is also impressive to say that you read a five hundred page book in one day, as long as you don’t mention that the majority of the book is pictures. However, you’ll find that this novel is like a picture book times a thousand with stunning illustrations, realistic characters, a nostalgic setting, and a mysterious adventure that will keep your eyes glued on the pages.
Hugo Cabret is a boy that lives in a magnificent train station in Paris. This boy’s father used to clean the clocks and make sure they stayed working. Hugo learned everything he knows from his father. He learned something new every day until the day his father died. Not wanting to go to an orphanage, he takes his father’s place so no one would notice his dad was gone. The only thing Hugo’s father left behind (besides his knowledge) was an automaton. An automaton is a complex humanoid “robot”. Hugo suspects his father left a secret message and when he gets it working he will understand.
On his own with no one to support him, Hugo goes through many tribulations, including to resorting to stealing. He steals food from the café, and steals small toys for parts for his automaton. The man who owns these toys catches him stealing and they come to find that they are not complete strangers.
This is a book that I think everyone should read, especially if you want to see the movie. This inspiring book is sure to be an instant classic.
BOOK NAME: Gathering Blue
AUTHOR: Lois Lowry
Gathering Blue is an amazing book about a young girl named Kira. Kira’s father had been killed on a hunt, even before she was born, and her mother has now died of illness. In Kira’s community, if you can’t do work, you might as well be brought to the field to be eaten by the beasts. Kira, who was born with a twisted leg, is too young to weave by herself, so she has the small job of picking up the scraps at the weaving shed. Now that both of her parents have died, Vandara, an evil woman in the community, wants Kira to be taken to the field.
Kira is taken to court. The judges decide that Kira can stay in the community, but now she will have a new job. Every year, the entire village would get together, and the “Singer” would sing a long song about all the good and bad things that had happened to the village. While he sang, he would wear a robe Because of her magnificent abilities in weaving, Kira will repair and restore the Singer’s robe. She will now live in the government building.
In the building, Kira meets Thomas the Carver. They eat their meals together and become good friends. Slowly, Kira begins to notice some strange things about her community. Could people be keeping secrets from her? Kira is determined to find out.
I really enjoyed this book. I would recommend it to anyone ages 12 and up. Kira’s courage is truly inspiring, and everyone should learn from her.
This book is a sequel to The Giver. Read Mairen’s review of The Giver.
BOOK NAME: Saga
AUTHOR: Connor Kostick
After the downfall of the world of Epic, a space probe of Saga has arrived at New Earth. It has deleted all the data of Epic and sent a virus into New Earth’s systems, causing anyone who connects to Saga to be infected with the virus and is forced to continue playing without dying. This probe has also invited the inhabitants of New Earth to enter into Saga thinking it’s a game just like Epic. There’s one problem though: Cindella Dragonslayer is immune and willing to fight.
In Saga, Ghost and her gang of Anarcho punks are running around vandalizing malls. But when they get caught and sent to jail, who do they find but Cindella Dragonslayer. Things get ugly when Cindella actually kills an innocent security guard, and talk about the Dark queen of Saga is becoming more frequent. The gang is quickly put up to the top of the most wanted list and must lie low, but not without formulating a plan. Ghost may not know who she is, but she sure can do some crazy things.
Can the people of New Earth join with Ghost and her gang to overthrow the Dark Queen, therefore demolishing the implanted virus? Will Ghost finally figure out her past? Find out this and more in Saga by Connor Kostick.
I thought that this book was marginal, and failed in comparison with the first book in the series, Epic. I found it really weird when the book took the story from the Queen’s point of view because of the way she talks. She keeps saying “we” instead of “I” as if there were more than one person in her. Also, I feel like the book strayed from its roots. I barely got to see it from Erik’s (or Cindella’s) point of view, which was upsetting to me. So much seemed to have happened between the demolition of Epic and when the story takes place and to just get snippets of it was really frustrating. Not only that, but I kept getting really tired of Ghost’s reappearing questions. Almost every chapter, she would wonder who she was. It felt really repetitive to me. It also started to get a lot darker than Epic. It’s no longer a game, and there is evil world domination going around. Usually, that makes for a great story, but it’s just how the Queen plans to wipe out world after world with Nuclear Bombs. I would definitely recommend that anyone thinking of reading this book consider stopping at the first one.
BOOK NAME: Project Jackalope
AUTHOR: Emily Ecton
One of the most famous mythical animals is the jackalope. According to legend, jackalopes are rabbits
that sprout massive antlers. They are known to like whiskey, sing campfire songs, and wreak havoc with
their deadly deer-like appendages.
Jeremy doesn’t think anything of jackalopes, mostly just trying to earn a C- on his 8 th grade science
fair project. That’s when a live jackalope turns up in his room, courtesy of his crazy scientist neighbor,
Professor Twitchett. Not only is a make-believe creature chewing on his dirty laundry, it seems that a
bunch of shady men in suits are after Twitchett and his experiment, the experiment that Jeremy now
has. Jeremy doesn’t want the jackalope, and would gladly get rid of it, but there is something about
these men that is just too sinister.
Jeremy needs help, so he asks his know-it-all classmate Agatha for assistance. Now Jeremy, his partner
in crime, and their fuzzy little killer, are on the run. They need to find Twitchett, rid themselves of the
jackalope, and get out of this mess.
This book was pretty good. It was very funny. Jeremy incorporated his sarcastic personality into the
storyline with humorous comments and side notes. It really added to the reading experience. I found
it unique that this story made the concept of creating a jackalope somewhat believable. Through some
DNA transplants, Twitchett created an animal hybrid with the body of a rabbit and the antlers of a deer.
It was quite an interesting experiment, and was written about in such a way that it sounded nearly
doable. I enjoyed the surprising way the story concluded, although I won’t spoil any of it. This book is
short and is not overly difficult to read, so it would be good for anyone in elementary or middle school.
Want another opinion? Read Parker’s review!
BOOK NAME: Project Jackalope
AUTHOR: Emily Ecton
When I first saw the cover of this book, I thought it would be boring and about talking animals with the main character being a jackalope–a jackrabbit with antelope horns. But this book really was something else.
This book reminded me of a past book that I’ve read called Boom! Both books have a kid who feels that he can’t trust anyone, and both include creepy guys in suits. One of the main differences is that Boom! went from realistic fiction to extreme sci-fi, and this book went from realistic fiction to minor sci-fi.
This book is about a kid named Jeremy who has a crazy full-grown neighbor named Professor Twitchett, who is still into the little kid spy stuff that I liked when I was in third grade. He left a jackalope that he created at Jeremy’s apartment, which immediately brought a government agency to his door. Obviously, Jeremy wasn’t big on an organization, the FBI for all he knows, chasing him, so he contacted Agatha, who knows Professor Twitchett way better than Jeremy. She panicked and said the Jackalope was her idea, and it all went downhill from there. Who knew the guys chasing them had puke-ray guns and man-eating robots? These guys never do give up!
My favorite character is Agatha because she always had a plan. I highly recommend reading this book. It will make you want to keep reading.
BOOK NAME: The Maze Runner
AUTHOR: James Dashner
Thomas wakes up one day in a pitch black box, only knowing his name. The box is moving; and keeps moving for what seems like forever. But when it finally stops, he is shown a horrible world- a world within a maze. As he learns of the dangers surrounding the center, and learns that the maze may not be solvable; a girl shows up in the box- and she’s too early to be the new recruit. She carries a simple message- that she’s the last person to show up. Not only that, but both her and this maze seem oddly familiar to Thomas. Why does everything look so familiar? Is the maze really unsolvable? Find out this and a lot more in The Maze Runner.
I thought that this book was absolutely an amazing start to the trilogy! It was packed full of action and plenty of shockers. It was a very well-written book but does get a little violent at times; so I wouldn’t recommend this book for small children. However, this is a great middle-school level book. I really liked the part when Thomas gets stuck out in the maze at night. It was really interesting to see how he reacted to Minho’s actions–either copying them, or doing the absolute opposite. My favorite character is Chuck (a friend of Thomas) because I can really relate to him. In particular, I admire his attempt at humor (he often says “It’s better than living in a pile of klunk”) and I try to be funny almost all the time even though it usually doesn’t work out. Overall, this is an outstanding book by James Dashner and I would highly recommend The Maze Runner.
DogEared: Want another opinion? Read Emelie’s review!
BOOK NAME: The Seer
AUTHOR: David Stahler Jr.
Jacob has just been forced away from all he knows and loves. He used to live in Harmony, one of the colonies on the moon Nova Campi. Harmony’s inhabitants are all totally blind, whether from birth or by choice. They live by the code of Truesight, the belief that blindness erases all of the impurities in one’s soul. Jacob was evicted because he suddenly, and quite unexpectedly, acquired the ability to see. Such an “abomination” must not exist in Harmony, and Jacob needed to escape or face the wrath of Harmony’s High Councilor.
Now Jacob wanders the plains of Nova Campi. Only one thing keeps him from surrendering to the endless sea of grass, from stopping and accepting death alone in the desolate wilderness. It is the hope of finding Delaney, his closest friend, who ran literally “blindly” away from Harmony recently before his escape. If he can find her, then he will have a companion to explore the world of the beyond Harmony.
After trekking for days he meets his first Seer, a man by the name of Xander. At first, Xander does little more than offer Jacob food and water. Xander reappears to save Jacob from a gang of shady individuals, then decides to allow the boy to stay with him. Xander knows of Delaney, as well as where to find her. She is now under the custody a powerful corporation known as Mixel, a corrupt organization that largely funded the colonization of Nova Campi. After the first visit Jacob realizes that Mixel is using Delaney for her singing talents to generate revenue, and a considerable amount at that. They won’t give up Delaney, not without a fight…
Will Jacob be able to take Delaney back? Has he found a friend in Xander? Will he ever adapt to the world of the Seers? Most importantly, can he come to grips with his sight, which may be more than just looking with his eyes?
This book is the sequel to the book Truesight which I have read as well. Both are excellently written science-fiction novels, but I enjoyed this book more than its predecessor. This story had more action than Truesight, from man-to-man combat to undercover rescue attempts. I enjoyed reading about Xander, my favorite character in the story. Xander is gruff on the outside, but kind-hearted inside. He is also street-smart, determined, and an exceptional fighter. He assists Jacob significantly throughout the book. A story is often made by its villain, and The Seer is no exception. The Mixel Corporation and its high-class handlers are the embodiment of greedy, back-stabbing, and dangerous. I would recommend that you read Truesight before you read The Seer, which should not be overly difficult because both books are fairly short. All in all, they are a worth-while duo.
The human race emerged the victor of a horrific war with the Buggers, a hostile alien race. A fleet of human starships, under the command of Ender Wiggin, destroyed the Bugger home world, annihilating the insect-like creatures. In the years that followed, Ender Wiggin vanished, and human colonies sprang
up on habitable planets across the galaxy. Then, a terrible discovery was made by a mysterious human calling himself the “Speaker for the Dead”. The Buggers were not actually bloodthirsty alien beasts; they were intelligent beings who had been willing to make peace with humans! Ender Wiggin went from hero to monster and the human race mourned the unnecessary destruction of the powerful race that was the Buggers.
Then, on a world called Lusitania, another group of highly intelligent beings, the piggies, were discovered. Humans seemed to have a chance to redeem themselves for the destruction of the Buggers. When the piggies brutally murder a scientist attempting to study them, however, the old fears of killer aliens arise again. The Speaker for the Dead is now on his way to Lusitania to discover why the piggies turned to savage, unprovoked killing. He also hopes to right a great wrong he committed earlier in his life. The Speaker for the Dead is… Ender Wiggin, and it is his mission to stop a second alien race from being wiped out.
This was an excellent book, but there are some issues that must be addressed. There are some graphic descriptions of violent death, which may be disturbing to younger readers. There are also some inappropriate references that should only be read by a middle or high school audience. These factors are a drawback, but they cannot alter the fact that this book is phenomenally written. The plot constantly kept me on the edge of my seat. Speaker for the Dead is actually a sequel to another great book, Ender’s Game, but Speaker for the Dead can be read and understood perfectly well without even picking up its predecessor.
BOOK NAME: Ender’s Game
AUTHOR: Orson Scott Card
An alien civilization known as the “Buggers” has attacked the human race twice. Only the leadership of the heroic human commander, Mazer Rackham, saved mankind from certain destruction. However, the Bugger threat still looms, and Mazer Rackham is no longer in a position to command. To prepare for another assault, the International Fleet of starships (I.F.) created the Battle School, designed to recruit and train the genius commanders of the future. These young military leaders will commandeer the I.F. forces against their formidable extraterrestrial foe.
Ender Wiggin is one such recruit. For much of his young life, he has been monitored by the International Fleet. Now, I.F. officials have deemed him ready for Battle School. Ender is still a child, but his intelligence is far beyond his years, and the I.F. wants him to become the next Mazer Rackham. First, though, he must survive many grueling years and challenges at the Battle School, where students are just as capable and dangerous as he is. The Battle School centers on a military combat game in zero-gravity. By competing in the games against the other students, Ender’s talents and abilities will be pushed to the limit, preparing him for the ultimate challenge of saving humanity.
This book ranks highly on the list of my all time favorite books. The futuristic world portrayed by author Orson Scott Card intrigued me. The interstellar wars with aliens reminded very much of Star Wars and Star Trek, two classic sci-fi sagas that I have watched. Ender’s extreme intelligence and skills set him up for greatness. His ability to strategize and think ahead made him an exceptional character to read about. In the story, Ender faces both internal and external conflicts, which tie together to form a multifaceted storyline. For example, while Ender is trying to win the games and crack the code of the mysterious teachers and staff, he must also deal with his longing for his kind-hearted sister. He must also contend with his fear of his evil older brother, who is already planning to take over the world. The book was full of action and suspense, as well as few surprise twists. I strongly recommend reading this book.
Want another opinion? Read Reed’s review!
BOOK NAME: Frozen in Time
AUTHOR: Ali Sparkes
Ben and Rachel are sure that their summer is going to be horribly boring and rainy. They’ve been forced to stay with their somewhat eccentric scientist Uncle Jerome. The final straw comes when the TV, the only entertaining device in the entire house, breaks. Devastated, Rachel and Ben decide to explore the garden and woods on the property, despite the foul weather. While trudging through the mud, they unearth a secret chamber. Inside, they discover something astonishing, two children, sleeping inside of a pair of torpedo-like chambers.
When Ben and Rachel awaken Freddy and Polly Emerson, they discover that the children have been asleep for more than fifty years! Shockingly Freddy and Polly haven’t aged at all; in fact, they still believe that they are in their own time. When Ben and Rachel tell them that five decades have passed, the horrified Emerson children complain that their genius father left them in hibernation. Apparently, Mr. Emerson had found a method to preserve the human body for extended periods of time, but it seems strange that he would abandon his children while they were in a state of suspended animation. Ben and Rachel want answers, but first, they have to get Freddy and Polly used to the 21st century. As Freddy and Polly marvel at fast food, modern fashion, and internet, an agency that has been lying in wait for their revival begins to push its own agenda. They want Mr. Emerson’s secrets, and Freddy and Polly are the best way to get what they desire.
Frozen in Time was a fairly good book. It was a little slow in parts, such as when Freddy and Polly were explaining their father’s work and their old lives, or when Ben and Rachel introduced the Emerson children to twenty-first century trends and technology. The excitement picked up toward the end, when the secret organization attacked. The storyline also had some humor thrown in. Freddy and Polly’s interpretations of and reactions to 21st century life were often quite funny to read about. For example, Polly thought a website was an area full of cobwebs. I thought that the prospect of placing someone in a state of hibernation to prevent them from aging was pretty cool, and I enjoyed reading about how the process worked. The book made me wonder what it would be like if I fell asleep and woke up fifty years in the future. How would I react to the new time and all its wonders and troubles?
The Prometheus Project: Trapped
Douglas E. Richards
This book begins by introducing you to siblings Ryan and Regan Resnick as their family moves to the “boringest place on earth”, Brewster, Pennsylvania. But as you read this book, you are teleported to a secret world that is anything but boring! In this world aliens have created, they test other intelligent life forms. The siblings are trusted with this secret when they infiltrate the Prometheus Project, where their mom and dad work. A freak accident happens while the scientists are conducting research. I can’t tell you what happens, but the two kids have to understand a problem by themselves or they might never see their parents again since they will be trapped in the unknown world created by aliens. It must have been a difficult experience for Ryan and Regan because it is hard enough to find food and water in the wild, but most likely would be almost impossible to find it on a strange, alien planet.
The author vividly describes very advanced and ingenious technology like sidewalks that are bouncy so you can walk at five times the speed as a regular sidewalk. While fascinating to think about, the scary part to me is thinking that there might be some race or creature that may be even more intelligent and knowing than us. I really like the author’s attention to details like descriptions of the houses and landscape. This is the best book about aliens I have read since Ender’s Game. This stunning book is a great mix between adventure and science fiction, so I would definitely recommend this book to fans of both genres. Of course anyone can read this book and I think they should! I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
BOOK NAME: Feed
AUTHOR: M.T. Anderson
While walking through the bookstore with a 2-foot-high stack of books in my arms, I saw Feed and added it to the stack. It somehow managed to survive the rigorous tests that got it into my bag on the way out of said bookstore, and I’m glad that it did. I started to read it and, while being confused with the language used, was quickly drawn into the vortex that is M.T. Anderson’s book.
Now, don’t go pick up this book if you can’t take bad language. It’s in the teen section for a reason, folks. Please get your parent’s permission if you’re 13 or under.
Moving past that awkward disclaimer, the book revolves around a teenager named Titus who spends his time e-chatting people, taking Spring Break on the Moon (awesome!) and generally hanging out with his friends. This might seem normal (well, except the Moon part), but everything is done over the Feed. The Feed is a network that is integrated into people’s heads and that is used to communicate and get information. Basically, think smartphone/encyclopedia/knowledge base all in one and in your head. That’s a pretty cool idea to begin with, but the way that M.T. Anderson exploits it to force the reader to take a look at our society and what it could evolve into is really enrapturing. Titus meets Violet, a girl who likes to talk in person (shocker) and is generally a little bit strange. When a hacker disables their feeds, they are sent into rehab and Titus learns all about Violet’s view on life.
This book, once you wrap your head around the decidedly futuristic language, is great. I haven’t read a “teen” book in a while that really makes you take as big a step back as Feed did. I can see how Violet was alone in a world where everything was done on the feed, and how that could soon become our society. Basically, read this book at some point in your life. If you’re not old or mature enough now, read it when you’re in high school, or even college. It will do you some good and give you a little perspective on life.
BOOK NAME: Boneshaker
AUTHOR: Cherie Priest
Rumors of gold in the frozen Klondike brought hordes of newcomers to the Pacific Northwest. Russian miners permitted inventor Leviticus Blue to design a machine to mine through the ice. Thus, Dr. Leviticus Blue created his Bone-Shaking Drill machine.
Before using the machine on the ice, it needed a test run. Destroying several blocks in Seattle, the test was a fail. It slowly uncovered an underground toxin gas, known as the Blight, that poisoned the air to the point of turning humans into Rotters.
Sixteen years later, a wall built around the toxic city allows no entrance or exit for humans or Rotters. Dr. Leviticus Blue’s wife, Briar, and his son Ezekiel manage alone, living with the ruined reputation of Leviticus. Becoming increasingly curious and disturbed by his father’s machine test failure, Ezekiel sets out to the toxic city to try and reveal some uncovered past. But when he gets stuck in the city, Briar is the only one who can bring him back to safety.
Boneshaker was a hard read, but worth the time. It’s not very long, but the events that take place in it are very detailed and suspenseful. I wanted to read more every time I sat down to read it, but I needed multiple breaks. It’s one of the best books out there, I assure you. Unfortunately it contains mild language, but besides that–a great read. Gnarly.
BOOK NAME: The Web of Fire
AUTHOR: Steve Voake
A few years ago, an unsung hero named Sam Palmer, the Dreamwalker’s Child, saved the Earth from a group of aliens intent on destroying mankind. He ventured into the remarkable world of Aurobon, where humanoid aliens piloted giant insects. Now Sam and his best friend Skipper have returned to Aurobon. Old enemies have risen once again, and the same group of aliens is still trying to destroy mankind, this time with mind-controlling parasites. They are definitely more powerful and have taken over Aurobon, attempting to crush all resistance. Only a few rebels remain, but they are terribly outnumbered. Sam and Skipper are once again thrown into a seemingly impossible mission to save mankind and maintain balance on Earth and Aurobon. The fate of both worlds rest on a few determined rebels, some double agents, and a brand new bug. All the while, a new conflict rages in Sam’s mind. His essence is once again in Aurobon, but something is different this time…
If you already have read the book The Dreamwalker’s Child that I blogged on earlier and found it thrilling, you will enjoy this sequel even more! Much like The Dreamwalker’s Child, this book was well written and included phenomenal detail. Being inspired by art, one thing that caught my eye were the amazing illustrations. In this book, the pictures of bugs are extremely realistic looking, down to the last hair on the leg of a flea or the wing vein of a hornet. I was fascinated with the descriptions of the weapons and insects. I also liked the touch of humor in this book. In the dialog, sarcasm was often used by Skipper and Sam, and two other soldiers, Mump and Zip. This book also included a great deal of interesting science. The idea of parasitic mind control was especially interesting. The author described the parasite replacing the host’s brain, commands and actions, with its own. In this way, the parasite was able to control the host’s body. If you controlled the parasite, you controlled the host too. Just think of the uses for this, especially in the military and spy fields. I hope there are more books in the series. If so, I can’t wait to read them!
BOOK NAME: The Scorch Trials
AUTHOR: James Dashner
The Gladers successfully solved the Maze and everything was supposed to be over. No more confusion, no more puzzles, no more running to save their own lives. The Gladers expected to be able to get their preview lives they knew nothing about back. To have it easy again. But even the Maze was easy compared to what was ahead of them; the Maze provided the essentials. When diagnosed with the Flare, the Gladers are sent across a disintegrated wasteland to retrieve their cure, to prevent themselves from turning into a Crank, to pass another trial.
After reading The Maze Runner I immediately got online, looking to see if there was a second book, the ending of the first hinting on a continuous story. The Maze Runner was rather new at that time and The Scorch Trials was being written and worked on then. I waited patiently for this book to come out and as soon as I got it, I read it as fast as I could.
James Dashner is very descriptive and the surroundings of the story and characters are so real, you’ll want to engage in the story more than ever. I read dead into the night, curious about the unrevealed relationships between the events happening and the role which they all played in the character’s lives.
I suggest this book to just about anyone of any age. If you can read and have a longer attention span than a squirrel go and read this book!
BOOK NAME: The Dreamwalker’s Child
AUTHOR: Steve Voake
If you think tiny mosquitoes, and horseflies are annoying, imagine what it would be like if you met a mosquito or horsefly the size of a fighter jet!
Sam leads a normal life, but lately it has seemed a bit boring. Strangely, insects have started following him around. However, these insects aren’t just flying around him, they’re monitoring him! They are actually insects piloted by human-like creatures from another world, who have come to Earth using trans-dimensional portals. Sam is unaware that he has a significant role to play in their world. Then a mysterious incident occurs. A bicycle accident leaves Sam in a coma. His essence enters a strange, alien world called Aurobon, where small insects on Earth, are the size of planes. Immediately, he runs into trouble. He is captured by a group of people who plan on developing a disease to destroy human kind. They know that he could foil their plans, which is why they imprisoned him. That’s when he meets Skipper, a daredevil girl who pilots wasps. She says she will help him escape the prison. What Sam does not know is that Skipper and her allies know his true identity. He is the Dreamwalker’s Child. According to a prophecy, the Dreamwalker’s Child will rise up against the dark forces in Earth’s most dangerous hour. How can Sam possibly stand up to the enemies who are trying so fiercely to kill him?
I’ll never look at insects the same way again. The author takes normal insect behaviors and transforms them into intricate military maneuvers. For example, a swarm of wasps swooping down across the landscape means that they are actually searching for enemy aircraft. A group of ants dragging away a dead wasp is actually a rescue group retrieving a fallen aircraft. This author wrote the story in vivid detail, and I could picture every event. The illustrations were also unique. They showed the inner workings of the insect aircraft and land forces. For example, the book provides a picture of the cockpit of a wasp right down to the smallest dial. It helped me understand the intricate inner workings of the aircraft. The idea of human-piloted biological creatures is a very unique concept.
BOOK NAME: Matched
AUTHOR: Ally Condie
In the Society, the Officials decide. Everything. Cassia has always trusted their choices, decisions, and motives. From when you’re born to when you die, the Society decides. Everything in everyone’s lives are controlled by the white-dressed Officials. When Cassia gets Matched with her best friend, Xander, for life, she is certain it’s the wisest choice for the Officials to have made in her life. Until she sees the face of Ky on her Matching screen for a brief moment before it goes black. Cassia’s certainty in Xander weakens and her curiosity for making her own choices in life such as who she loves overcomes her. Decisions don’t have to be made, but it’s Cassia’s choice whether or not to make them, herself.
Matched was recommended for the fans of Twilight and The Hunger Games, but I beg to differ. Matched had no inappropriate content and sent out a message on the wisdom in making decisions, having hope, and loving someone truly. With a romantic curve ball to the story of the Society in which Cassia lives in, the book contains girly content I honestly loved. This book is recommended for ages 12 and up, containing some harder to understand content that would most likely satisfy the older age group. This is one of the few books I’ll remember when I look back on my good reads and I hope Matched is as enjoyable for you as it was for me!
BOOK NAME: The Invisible Man
AUTHOR: H. G. Wells
Invisible, twisted, and evil, that’s the Invisible Man! Once a physicist named Griffin, he is now an invisible terror! The problems started when Griffin turned himself invisible during one of his physics experiments, and it was no accident! Once he was invisible, he burned down a house, ransacked, and robbed from several homes and stores. However, major issues did not begin until he arrived in a village known as Iping. During his stay in Iping, he revealed himself to the citizens as an invisible man and mass hysteria began. The Invisible Man physically beat people in Iping and in surrounding villages and towns. He also broke into houses and banks and stole money. That’s not all! The Invisible man hopes to establish a reign of terror! Can he possibly be stopped?
This book was one of the most spine chilling novels I’ve ever read. This book is different from other horror novels because it is believable. Griffin’s explanation of the anatomy of human beings and their potential for transparency seemed possible! It made the idea of an invisible criminal seem achievable! This book was packed with suspense, and I just had to find out what happened on the next page. For example, the Invisible Man mailed a letter to a man named Dr. Kemp that stated that Kemp was to be the first victim of the reign of terror…It really makes you want to find out what happens next, doesn’t it? I also liked the way that the book ended because it left you with questions, but I won’t spoil it for you. Read the book yourself!
BOOK NAME: Ender’s Game
AUTHOR: Orson Scott Card
Hey guys. How are you all doing today? I know I’m happy. I am going to tell about one of my favorite books. It is called Ender’s Game. I think that this book is appropriate for 11 year olds through young adults
Ender is the main character in this book. His real name is Andrew but people call him Ender because he is a third child. There is a law that says you can only have two children but Peter (Enders brother) did so well in battle school that the government thought he would be the next great commander so they let the Wiggins have a third child because they thought that Ender would also be a great commander. It turns out Peter was too violent and Ender was just right.
Ender needs to save the world from the alien Buggers just as Mazer Rackham did about 70 years ago during their second invasion. He killed the Queen bugger. He also is Enders teacher at commander school. He teaches all of the kids who generals think have a chance at being the next commander of their fleet. Ender is the last child Mazer will be able to train before the third invasion which is coming soon. Everybody hopes that Ender is the next great commander.
Can Ender save the world? Will he ever get to see his family again? You have to read this book to find out. The book is part of a series. A very long series that is. It is so long that even today Orson Scott Card is still working on the last book. Have a nice day everybody and make sure you check under your bed for Buggers. I know I will.
BOOK NAME: A Crack in the Sky
AUTHOR: Mark Peter Hughes
Eli Papadopoulos is a teenager who lives in a futuristic America. Global warming has gone extreme, and most of the human race lives in enclosed domes. The insides of the domes are screens that simulate the sky or run ads, and everyone lives fairly happily. Eli’s grandfather was the one who ‘saved humanity’ by thinking of the domes and having his company, InfiniCorp, build it all and take care of everyone. Eli has many relatives, and they are all expected to get a job within InfiniCorp’s ranks. Eli has a pet mongoose, Marilyn, who was given to him by his grandfather. She has been genetically engineered, and can communicate telepathically with Eli. One day, Eli notices a spark on the inside of the dome, and runs to investigate. He doesn’t see anything suspicious, but he begins to be worried and tries to find out more about what is happening. Soon, he discovers a conspiracy plot to escape from the domes because everyone is going to die already. The conspiracy theorists, or foggers, believe that El Guia, a man of the desert, will guide them to safety. Eli begins to doubt his own family, and eventually embarks on an adventure involving a fogger named Tabitha, Marilyn, and his entire family to discover the truth.
As many of you know already, I love science fiction, especially futuristic stuff. I’ll read virtually anything, but this book was really a gem. I’ve recommended it to most of my friends already, and you guys should read it, too! One of the things I liked most about this book was that it gave all perspectives. You got Eli, Tabitha, and Marilyn as well as some people who lived outside the domes. It was good to figure out what the different people were thinking as well as what they knew and didn’t know. It was also cool to see all of the different paths converge at the end of the novel. If you like global warming, this is a great book for you. It’s fairly realistic, and kind of scared me when I thought of how close we are to this coming true. My favorite character would definitely have to be Eli, because he is dedicated to his friends and to finding the truth.
BOOK NAME: The Maze Runner
AUTHOR: James Dashner
Every 30 days a new boy arrives at The Glade with no memory at all. The new arrival, confused and frightened, join the other boys, known as “Gladers”. The boys learn to survive, but mainly want to escape from The Glade. There is no way in and no way out – or so they think.
Each night the stone doors to The Glade close and the next morning they open back up. Beyond the doors is a maze; nobody goes into the maze except for the maze runners. The Gladers live in fear of what lays beyond The Glade; even the maze runners. As soon as the doors to the maze opens, the maze runners run out, trying to find a way of escape within the maze.
This is one of my favorite books ever. It’s also one of the hardest reviews I’ve ever written. James Dashner built so much of a storyline within this book’s plot it was so hard to digest all of it. Even when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it constantly. My whole family loved this author and we already back-ordered the next book in this trilogy, The Scorch Trials.
I recommend this to anyone I can, but it is suggested for readers in grade 6-10. I read this aloud with my whole family and we all enjoyed it–even my parents. Definitely a favorite and I’m hoping you like it as much as we did.
BOOK NAME: Ender’s Shadow
AUTHOR: Orson Scott Card
Hi, it’s Mairen again. I don’t know if you remember or not, but when I entered the contest to become a blogger for NG Kids, I reviewed a book called Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. It is honestly one of the best books I’ve ever read, but then I heard about a parallel novel that was written 33 years later: Ender’s Shadow. The novel tells approximately the same story as Ender’s Game, but from a different character’s point of view. After reading Ender’s Shadow, I will not hesitate to say that it is definitely my favorite book of all time, trumping Ender’s Game and The Giver.
The story is told from the point of view of Bean, a diminutive child who is admitted into Battle School off of the streets of a Dutch town when he is just 6 – two years younger than the normal age. He is small for his age, and is therefore conspicuous among his fellow Launchies. While living on the streets of Rotterdam, he civilizes the children who live there, and is noticed by the manager of a popular soup kitchen. From there, he is passed on to Sister Carlotta, a devout Christian who works for the IF and sees something special in Bean. Throughout Bean’s career at Battle School, much more is learned about his past and his true identity.
One of the things that I really liked about this book was that it makes you think. While reading it, the reader has to figure out what significance the events have towards the events in Ender’s Game as well as figure out what they mean to Bean. I could literally read this book over and over again-in fact, I have! I read it once and liked it so much that I immediately flipped to the front and started over. I’ve read it 5 times now, and I caught something new each time,be it a sly bit of humor or an ulterior motive to a character’s seemingly meaningless actions. Overall, this is a must-read book that I strongly recommend to middle and high school-level readers.
BOOK NAME: The Owl Keeper
AUTHOR: Christine Brodien-Jones
Maxwell Unger is allergic to the sun. Or at least that’s the condition he was diagnosed with when he was younger. The doctor told him that he couldn’t ever be touched by sunlight, or he’d have a terrible reaction, burn up, and die.
Before Max was diagnosed with the disease, before the High Echelon asserted full control, his Gran told him stories about silver owls. After she died, the High Echelon declared that silver owls are evil and that they need to be hunted down and killed. But Max has a secret. He knows of a silver owl that is still alive – what is more, he visits her every night after the sun goes down.
Because he has to stay inside all day, Max doesn’t have many friends and isn’t connected with the outside world except for at night. But when he meets a strange girl one evening while he’s out walking, his life changes forever. Max begins to question the High Echelon as he gets to know more and more about the girl. Every week, he has to be injected with medicine to make sure his condition won’t get worse. But as he talks to his newfound friend, Max starts to wonder if his allergy is even real.
This book was a refreshing break from the monotone of other science fiction and fantasy novels on the shelves. For once, I didn’t find myself groaning once a vampire or werewolf was introduced. In fact, I couldn’t put it down until I was done. Along with providing an enticing storyline, the novel had deeper meaning to it as well–kind of like The Giver, which I reviewed a couple of weeks ago. For me, the character of Rose, Max’s friend, was the most interesting. She is a fighter, and never gave up no matter what hardship befell her. She never stopped trying to find out the truth, and didn’t let anything put her down. I think that she is a great model for kids our age today–never give up and persevere, and you’ll achieve your goals.
BOOK NAME: Surviving Antarctica: Reality TV 2083
AUTHOR: Andrea White
When you think of all of the hardships in your life, you might think of the time your pet passed away, or when you broke your leg. But I can be absolutely certain that you wouldn’t think of struggling for survival in Antarctica-on a reality TV show.
The year is 2083, and education past middle school is rare. Kids learn in a virtual classroom, watching TV shows about history or literature. One of the channels is a reality TV show called Historical Survivor. This year, the contestants will be 5 14-year-old children, and the top prize is $100,000. In a world where most kids don’t have enough to eat, let alone extra money, this is huge.
Andrea White’s book follows the five teens that are picked to compete as they journey through Antarctica, trying to recreate Robert F. Scott’s 1912 attempt to reach the South Pole. But as they trek through the barren desert, obstacles crop up in their path that make them suspicious of the fairness of the show.
This book was amazing. It incorporates action, adventure, and survival, while still allowing the reader to connect with the characters. It offers an intriguing concept of the future, and really made me think about what people want in life, as well as ideals of friendship and perseverance. I also gave this book to my 9-year-old brother to read, and he loved it as well-proving that it appeals to all audiences, both young and old! It provides a history lesson as well-but it doesn’t feel like you’re learning because you need to find out what happens to the main characters. In short, this book is a great futuristic read that serves a dual role as a science fiction and historical fiction novel.