Tuesday, January 1, 2019

ARC Review: XL


ARC Review: XL

The advanced reader copy, XL, by Scott Brown, is a novel I definitely recommend reading.  The novel tells the story of a teenager, Will Daugherty, who is slightly below five feet tall.  Will is really jealous of his stepbrother Drew, who is 6’3, and their friend Monica, who is 5’10.  Will secretly loved Monica, but he is very self-conscious about his height, so he has no confidence in himself.  But then Will starts to grow, and it happens really fast.  There is a whole lot of drama and multiple twists and turns throughout the story.  I recommend this book to any teenager and up, for it has some romance in it.  As the story goes on, it tends to keeps getting better and better.  Many important and surprising questions are answered, and the outcomes are unbelievably shocking!  The story is based on a scenario a lot of teenagers dealt with, sometime in their life, which is feeling self-conscious.  I would rate XL a 9.5/10, because of how well the story was a plot out.

Title: XLAuthor: Scott BrownPublisher: Randon House Children's BooksReviewed By: John V. 

ARC Review: City of Ghosts


ARC Review: City of Ghosts 

 I read the book City Of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab. A teenage girl who usually spends the majority of her summer break at the beach in New York City, ends up having her plans changed by her parents. The family decides to take their trip to Scotland. Cass’s parents are filming a documentary about ghosts in Edinburgh, Scotland. The history and mystery of Edinburgh is haunting. Literally.
Cass has a best friend who is a ghost. His name is Jacob and Cass is the only one who can actually see him. Cass has a veil that can separate the living from the dead when she pulls it over her face. When Cass pulls the veil down over her face, she can enter the spirit world. Cass encounters many obstacles along her trip to Scotland. One of her many challenges is when she becomes trapped in the spirit world for a period of time.

I would recommend this book to anyone, but especially those who like paranormal activity and mystery.

Title: City of Ghosts
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Scholastic
Reviewed By: Joseph T. 

ARC Review: Grenade

ARC Review: Grenade 

The book Grenade by Alan Gratz is arguably the best book he has written so far, two hundred eighty eight pages of pure excitement and thrilling history of both Japan and America. Hideki, an Okinawan student was just forced to fight the battle of his life. As bombs explode on his school as he is only in fourth grade Hideki has to fight the battle of his life. In the middle of WWII, on the small island of Okinawa American naval ships are bombing anything they could on the island. Back then there were no rules of engagement so if an American saw a Japanese soldier they could shoot them. The Americans knew that there were not allied forces on the island so they had the green light to bomb it. That is exactly what they did. As the bombs were falling, Hideki graduated early into “The Blood and Iron Student Corps”. Their Sargent gave them to grenades, “one to kill an American soldier, and the other to kill yourself” Gratz added. Hideki was responsible to kill someone. Hideki did not know if he could do it, but at the same time, he did not want to lose his family, country, and most importantly his dignity during the war. “For every ten Americans is one Japanese soldier” their Sargent screamed as he sent them to fight.
Ray, is a rookie American soldier. This is his first battle, and very well could be his last. He did not know much, but he knew he would either live protecting his country, his childhood, his life or die to trying. Ray faces many challenges along the way but none compares to the biggest one of his life. As Ray and Hideki unknowingly cross paths, they realize they have a lot in common, and eventually run into a dangerous situation where both of their lives are at risk. One will perish and the other will rise and overcome other challenges they may face. Read the book to find out what will happen and how Ray and Hideki unknowingly form an unbreakable bond.

Title: Grenade
Author:Alan Gratz
Publisher: Scholastic
Reviewed By: Patrick M.

ARC Review: The Collector

The Collector

ARC Review: The Collector  

The Collector, by K.R. Alexandar, tells the story of siblings Josie and Annie are forced to move to their Grandmother’s house they begin to see bizarre things they hadn’t noticed in their previous visits. Grandma’s new set of rules being one of them, “Never leave your windows open after dark, No dolls in the house.” and “Never, ever go by the house in the woods”, these rules deeply unsettle them. That, however, isn’t the creepiest part, Grandma keeps mentioning a person, or thing, called Beryle. 

As Josie and her sister begin their enrollment in yet another year in school, they don’t make many friends. Except for one girl by the name of Vanessa, who is one the nicest people they had ever met. Vanessa invites them to her house, and under the pressure of not wanting to lose the only friendship they had, they follow her into the woods, the very woods their Grandmother forbade them from going into. As the story progresses these rules get broken, one by one, things soon escalate until Josie is faced with all of the consequences of her actions into one terrifying moment of shock and disbelief. 

The author writes it in a simplistic way that makes you want to read more by ending every chapter on a cliffhanger, for example, the end of chapter one “I swore I’d heard an old woman laughing.” He builds up suspense throughout the book as well, like when Annie brings home a doll from Vanessa, in fear Josie throws it out of the window, but it keeps coming back. I wouldn’t call it the greatest book of all time, but it is surely worth a read if you like horror, you could read this 217-page book in a day if you wanted to! There were some parts I didn’t expect, which was nice! 

Title: The Collector
Author: K.R. Alexander
Publisher: Scholastic
Reviewed By: Summer M.

ARC Review: More Than We Can Tell

More Than We Can Tell

ARC Review: More Than We Can Tell

More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer brings the reader along for a crazy peek into the two characters lives: Emma Blue, and Reverend Fletcher. Emma Blue, a girl-gamer, has created her own online video game. She has many players, most of whom were very supportive of what she was doing, some of them were not. Nightmare, a not-so-friendly player, has started sending Emma harassing messages on the game. On top of this, Emma’s parents are constantly fighting. Emma’s only escape is to her game, until Nightmare takes her only safe place. When out one day, Emma meets Reverand Fletcher, who could turn out to be her new safe place to talk to. Reverend was adopted into a nice family, away from his abusive father. Until one day, when Reverend receives a letter from his birth father, who he hasn’t seen in a very long time. When Reverand and Emma meet, they are each other’s only support system. But as things start to pull them away from each other, will they be able to find their way back? Or will they veer off the path, and land in a lot of trouble? I would rate this book a 5 out of 5, because the author really engages you as the reader, and makes you feel as if you are with Emma or Reverend during the story. You can really see the real-life connection throughout this story. If you enjoy realistic fiction and interesting turns-of-events, you should definitely read this book!

Title: More Than We Can Tell
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Reviewed By: Eliazabeth Morgan

ARC Review: Estranged

ARC Review: Estranged


When I first picked up Estranged I thought it was going a quick read I would forget about and leave it. behind
Boy was I wrong. 

When I saw it was getting the sequel, I got really excited. The story starts off with The Childe who was swapped with the dominating species of the world below, the Fae, a species capable of wielding magic. Every so often they would switch a human child with one of theirs (called a changeling), just to have a human. There is peace in the world below before the evil sorceress Hawthorne comes and takes the throne. The human Childe goes to find his changeling, to save the world below.

My favorite character is probably Whick because of his design and how he acts around the other characters. He also feels right in place with the other things and creatures in the story. The way he is made and bound to the human Childe is very creative, instead of him being completely free-willed until part of the book shows them welting away the symbol that binds him. I would love to see more of Whick in the next book and possibly Hawthorne not being gone. 

Title: Estranged
Author: Ethan M. Aldridge
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Reviewed By: Harrison M.

ARC Review: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

ARC Review: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein

In the late 1700s, Elizabeth Lavenza is an orphan being abused by her caregiver. One day she meets Victor Frankenstein and his family. Victor is troubled by his past and seems not to understand how to conduct himself in society, so his mother buys Elizabeth so that she can teach him. In Elizabeth’s present day, Victor has gone off to university leaving her alone with the remaining Frankensteins. He stopped sending letters and no longer made an effort to contact her or his family. Without Victor, Elizabeth is useless, so what’s to prevent the Frankensteins from selling her? Elizabeth takes an emergency trip to Ingolstadt to bring her love back, but what will happen when she starts to uncover what Victor was truly doing there?

The author is Kiersten White and it is a shorter novel compared to others I’ve read at 304 pages. I would recommend it to any Middle Grade or above reader who is interested in that time period and had read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. This book is a retelling of Mary Shellys Frankenstein so having that information before heading into the book would be helpful. I give this book a rating of ⅘ stars. The plot is sound, and the writing is superb.

Title: The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Reviewed By: Isabella L.