Sunday, December 31, 2017

Plans for the New Year

Hey everyone! RIP this website as I have a lot of explaining to do. Thanks to everyone who stuck around through the thick and thin. If you haven't noticed (or are just new to this blog) it has been more than three weeks since I have posted. Now sure, during school, it makes sense because being in AP classes can be very hectic. But over break? Now what's going on. Honestly, I'm not sure. I've burned through all the amazing MG novels and I'm in this weird in between place where YA still doesn't interest me but I can not find no good MG books. Also, I've come to the realization that not posting for months and then spamming reviews during break isn't the way to go anyway. I have to evenly spread them out. So here is my plan. I am going to be realistic: I have realized trying to check out, read and write a review on a novel every week is impossible. I'm going to create a new schedule. One week out of every month will still be a novel review. Another week will be a shorter book review (so comic or some type of kid's book like a picture book- they still can be good you know). Another week will just be something fun and cool. The fourth week is a my choice week. I can choose not to post anything that week if I'm busy, maybe double up on another type of review, or just post whatever. There will be no order to these weeks. I think this will work for me mostly because it gives me the option to focus on quality over quantity (one good novel book review instead of two bad ones), and shines light on other parts of the book community. This year, my goal is to hit 30000 views total, or 100000 for my all-time view count. Hitting this would be incredible. I'm not going to lie, my all time goal is to, before high school, appear as a panelist at NTTBF, the biggest book festival in the south, around 8000 people attended last year and I'm assuming more than 10000 will this year. Hitting 100000 views would be a great addition to my resume and would help me reach my goal. So thanks for sticking around, and have a Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

(Yes, I'm Alive:)) Lawless by Jeffery Salane

Before I begin this review, I'd like to say hello to those of you who have stuck around. The past month, I have no idea why I didn't post. I mean I've read, I just never reviewed. Weird. Right before I'd sit down to type one of these, I would remember I had a test or homework due the next day, and I would forget. It's been a while. However, as a Christmas gift to anyone that has stuck around, I am planning to release my third annual Christmas gift to you, a fanfic. Anyways, enjoy the review.

Summary: The Lawless School provides the right education for kids on the wrong side of the law.

M Freeman has been homeschooled her entire life. So M has no idea just how unusual her education has been - not until she leaves home to attend the prestigious (and mysterious) Lawless School.

Lawless (Lawless, #1)Suddenly, it's very clear to M that her tutors have been preparing her all along for a life of crime. She excels at escape tactics. She's a whiz at spotting forgeries. Her years of piano lessons pay off when picking pockets and cracking safes.

M's newfound talent for criminal mischief soon brings her to the attention of the Masters, the secretive school's most secretive clique. M's interest in the Masters is personal - joining this international dishonor society is her best chance to learn the truth about her father's life . . . and his death. But when her first real-world heist goes wrong, M is left wondering: Is there truly honor among thieves?

My Thoughts: Well for starters it was an amazing book (obviously). It reminded me a lot of the Spy School series but I like the different perspective it took. What if there was a school to train thieves? Very interesting, and executed very nice. However, there are two things I would like to point out. For the one, I don't got very confused at time who was the protagonist and the antagonist. In other words, who were the good guys? There are two main groups in this story, the Lawless students and the Fulbrights. However, the Fulbrights are portrayed as enemies to the Lawless students' plans. But if the Lawless students are thieves, does that make them the bad guys and the Fulbrights like the CIA trying to bust their plans? Or am I supposed to root for the Lawless students and for M to complete her heist? Confusing isn't it? The only other minor critique is that in my opinion, at times it felt cheesy. In other words, it didn't feel original for a paragraph or two. It's hard to explain, but I think if you read it, you may see what I mean.

Rating: 8 out of ten

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Summary: Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.

Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.

When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. He starts hiding books in his home, and when his pilfering is discovered, the fireman has to run for his life.

My Thoughts: Wow, so I never really was into these type of books before. You know, the books that are from a "literary" standpoint- Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, Jane Austen, etc. Basically the books where they aren't mean solely for entertainment but are meant to write about society or whatever. And I will be honest, reading the intro to this book, I was VERY bored. There was too much exposition. I was waiting and waiting for it to dive into to the action, but the first two chapters were all setup. I'm assuming this is how it is for all other high-literary works but I was very disappointed. However, as I got into the third chapter (of a three chapter book), it was really riveting. All the exposition I had skimmed through all locked into place, and I have to say I was very satisfied with the third chapter, when he is on the run. I would definitely recommend this book if you're like me wanting to get into this higher-level literature but don't know where to start. The exposition is a little boring but it is definitely worth it.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Football Hero by Tim Green

Football Hero (Football Genius, #2)

Before I start, really apologize for the upload schedule, school has got me jammed. Will try to keep up the reviews.

Age Group: Middle Grade
Genre: Sports Fiction
Publishing Date: April 22nd 2008 by Harper Collins

Summary: Ty Lewis can't believe it when Coach V recruits him for the football team. This is Ty's big chance to prove how fast he is on the field, get a fresh start in a new school, and be like his older brother, Thane "Tiger" Lewis, who's about to graduate from college—and is being courted by the NFL.

But Ty's guardian, Uncle Gus, won't let him play. Uncle Gus needs Ty to scrub floors and toilets for his cleaning business while he cooks up gambling schemes with the local mob boss, a man called "Lucy."

When Lucy hears just how famous Ty's older brother is, he becomes suddenly friendly. Are the questions Lucy is asking Ty really about fantasy football . . . or is the Mafia using Ty to get valuable insider info from his superstar brother? Desperately worried, Ty must come up with a plan to save Thane's football career—and, ultimately, his life.

Author of the New York Times bestselling Football Genius, former NFL player Tim Green will have you on the edge of your seat rooting for Ty—and enjoying an up-close look at what it's like to be inside the NFL

My Thoughts: Obviously, I thought it was a fantastic book. Normally, any work by Tim Green exceeds my expectations, and this one was no different. Of course, as it is one of the earlier books, I did not really like how out dated to it. Not just the copy at the library was worn, but just the events and descriptions just seemed past our time, however, I can't blame because the book was past our time. Overall I really did think it was a great intro book to the series. I could have used a tad bit less of the action/conflict, as it seemed a little to dark and, in layman's terms, "scary" for the target genre, but it wasn't anything to be worried about.

Rating: 8.5 out of ten

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young Girl

Age Group: Middle Grade (More YA though)
Genre: Memoir
Publishing Date: Published July 1993 by Bantam (Mass Market Edition)

Summary: Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit.

In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annexe" of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death.

In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short

My Thoughts: Wow, this book was incredible. Sure, I did have to read it for school, but I really did get into it. I will say, it is sort of bland, because you know there are no thoughts you are just reading someone's recollection of an event. But it is sort of like, reading someone's diary is always going to be good. I really did get into it down the stretch, but that was because towards the end there was more drama, more action. Since there isn't really any spoilers (I mean, I think we all know what eventually happens to Anne), I should say her description of the robberies, when they get discovered, and the obvious romance, it was pretty good. The beginning was a bit banal, but I think if you really get into it, it really is a fantastic book.

Rating: 8 out of ten.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Unstoppable by Tim Green


Age Group: Middle Grade
Genre: Sports Fiction
September 18th 2012 by HarperCollins

Summary: If anyone understands the phrase "tough luck," it's Harrison. As a foster kid in a cruel home, he knows his dream of one day playing in the NFL is a long shot.

Then Harrison is brought into a new home with kind, loving parents—his new dad is even a football coach. Harrison's big build and his incredible determination quickly make him a star running back on the junior high school team.

On the field, he's practically unstoppable. But Harrison's good luck can't last forever. When a routine sports injury leads to a devastating diagnosis, it will take every ounce of Harrison's determination not to give up for good

My Thoughts: Wow, this was definitely a very powerful and moving book. I really love the story of this kid. Abused, wants to kill himself, yet he somehow finds a new life and turns into this incredible star. He comes crashing down with this illness, and has to find it within himself to bring himself out of the trenches and back to stardom. It really was moving to me, and I love that it all centered around the intense and insane world or sports. I do have to say though, the backstory was a little creepy. Can't really spoil anything, but sort of wish Green might've taken an alternative route. Nevertheless, still an amazing book.

Rating: 8.6 out of Ten

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Spy School Secret Service by Stuart Gibbs (WOO!!!)

Spy School Secret Service (Spy School, #5)

Age Group: Middle Grade
Genre: Realistic Fiction/Mystery/Action/Thriller
Publishing Date: October 11th by Simon and Schuster

BLOGGERS NOTE: I haven't been posting lately because of PSAT and life. To compensate for that. I will be posting a sneak peek: the first chapter of this book, on Stuart Central, a Stuart Gibbs community. Check it out here: CLICK ME

Summary: Ben goes undercover in the White House to take on a SPYDER operative determined to assassinate the president in this latest addition to the New York Times bestselling Spy School series.

Thirteen-year-old Ben Ripley has had a lot of field success despite only just beginning his second year at Spy School, something graduates rarely experience. But he’d never have survived without the help from experienced agents and his friends.

Now he’s been called in on a solo mission—and the fate of the United States of America is on his shoulders alone.

The Mission: Prevent a presidential assassination by infiltrating the White House, and locating the enemy operative. But when the president’s son is as helpful as a hamster, and a trained SPYDER agent would never appear to be up to something (they’re far too clever for that), Ben may be in over his head this time.

And when everything goes wrong, Ben must rely on his Spy School friends to save his reputation…but even friends can double-cross or be swayed to the enemy’s side.

My Thoughts: Holy crap. This was a book for the ages. I don't really know how to describe it because it was so good. I am not going to lie, realistically, I did think Spy Ski School was a little bit of a disappointment, I didn't really feel like the new character blended with the series. No doubt, it was a great book which you should read, but this book shot the last one to the moon. The excitement and the suspense was so good. Everything built one each other, and the twist, unlike the last few, was ACTUALLY UNPREDICTABLE (shocker right???) The last set of books I found myself guessing who the villain/antagonist was before hand, but this one had such a shocking ending. It was also a pretty unique book how it seemed like everyone was against Ben's side. Also, ALL YOUR QUESTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED. Any question you had about the series will be answered (well mostly). Relationships, new characters, Ben's status as a spy, yep all covered. Stuart hit it out of the park with this one.

Rating: A JTB FIRST: 11 out of 10