Monthly Archives: March 2015

Matched – Another rebellious futuristic novel; still good.

matchedTitle: Matched

Author: Ally Condie

Summary: Cassia lives in a society where everything is selected by the government to best fit her needs. The food she eats, the clothes she wears, the books she reads, the music she listens to, the career she’s trained for, and even her future husband (aka her Match). The story, set in the future, depicts what at first glance is an ideal society. No war, no disease, no violence. Equality. But when there’s a glitch in the system and Cassia finds out that she was supposed to be matched with someone other than her Match, she begins to question the system entirely.

Six Word Review: Another rebellious futuristic novel; still good.

I started reading because: I thought the society the author introduced was interesting and I wanted to see where the story led.

I would give this book 8/10 stars because while it’s an interesting concept that’s explored, it’s not a very new concept. Similar to one seen in The Hunger Games, this story approaches the idea of refusing to conform to society in a slightly different way.

I loved the way Condie described the setting. It put a clear image in my head and it was interesting to think about because it made me try to imagine what I thought the future would look like. I hated the pace of the story-line. It feels sort of sluggish. It’s the type of book you have to read in a fairly short amount of time because if you don’t you might end up forgetting important events and characters.

If the lead character Cassia was in a high school yearbook, he/she would be voted Most Likely To: Recite Poetry.

Anything else we should know? Matched is the first book in a series of three books. The next two books:  Crossed and Reached.

Regina, West Seattle, Teen Blogger

WTS

Clair de Lune: Naïve College Teacher Lives, Loves, Learns

Claire du luneTitle: Clair de Lune

Author: Jetta Carleton

Six Word Review: Naïve College Teacher Lives, Loves, Learns

Summary: Young, intellectual, attractive and single, Allen Liles is a new-on-the-job college teacher. She begins an after-school group to discuss poetry and literature with students, but the group’s numbers quickly dwindle down to just her and two boys, George and Toby. Allen and the boys start up a friendship and together they go out to eat, philosophize, watch movies and have beer and potato chips at Allen’s apartment. It’s all innocent fun and games until Allen and Toby’s relationship becomes more than just an after-school friendship. Suddenly, Allen’s entire career is jeopardized and with her reputation at stake, what is Allen to do?

I started reading because I read Jetta Carleton’s other book, The Moonflower Vine, and liked it so much that I reread it twice. I also thought it was interesting that this book was “newly discovered” and recently published, even though it was not recently written.

I kept reading because it was very engaging, I had to see what Allen would decide to do and what would happen. I read it in one day!

I would give this book  8/10 stars, because the story flowed and the writing style is unique, fluid and honest. I loved the picturesque, rural setting and the developed, individual characters. Allen’s enthusiastic and spontaneous personality was relatable and appealing. The ending felt rushed though, and the plot had a few poorly patched holes. These were minor flaws though, because the rest of the story was amazing.

I loved almost everything! The setting, the characters, the dialogue and the smooth, slightly old-fashioned word choice. The cover is very elegant too.

I hated the abrupt ending, it left me wanting to know more about Allen, and where she would go next in life.

If the lead character Allen could bring one thing to a deserted island, she would bring lots and lots of books.

Anything else we should know?  It’s a great book, go check it out at your library right now!

–Gabriella, Ballard, Teen Blogger

BAL

Free Music! Get It! Shut Up and Dance by WALK THE MOON

Walk the Moon

Want it?

Continue reading

Acoustic Fantasy concert at Central today!

Acoustic FantasySplendid musical group Acoustic Fantasy takes the central stage at the Central Library for the first time. Not to be missed!

2 – 3: 30 p.m.

Level 1 Microsoft Auditorium

A real treat for music lovers of all kinds, flamenco and jazz in particular.

The musical group Acoustic Fantasy performs original instrumental music consisting of styles like Flamenco, jazz and some elements of classical and folk music. Acoustic Fantasy is fronted by guitar virtuoso Sergey Ignatov and is backed by musicians of equal caliber and exceptional musicianship.

A must see. Great family entertainment!

Sergey Ignatov – Lead Guitar
Julia Ignatova – Violin, Keyboard
Ilya Ignatov – Guitar
Farko Dosumov – Bass
Ahmad Yousefbeigi – Percussion
Andrey Zasypkin – Drums

Translation:

Приглашаем всех на концерт музыкальной группы “Acoustic Fantasy”, кторая исполняет в основном музыку собственного сочинения, используя при этом различные стили и направления музыки такие как “Фламенко”, “Джаз” с элементами классической и народной музыки мира. Автором музыки является лидер группы гитарист Сергей Игнатов. Виртуозное исполнение каждого музыканта в группе не оставит вас равнодушными.
Такой другой группы в Америке нет.

Состав группы “Acoustic Fantasy”:
Сергей Игнатов – Гитара
Юлия Игнатова – Скрипка-Клавишные
Илья Игнатов – Гитара
Фархад Досумов – Басс-Гитара
Ahmad Yousefbeigi – cajon
Андрей Засыпкин – Ударные Инструменты

For more info, call World Languages at 206-684-0849 or Ask a Librarian!

Formal Dance? Don’t Sweat It!

formal happy danceUgh, yes, once again, formal dance season has arrived. I, myself, just had one this past Saturday, my school’s own version called OLOT. But, yes, here they come again, the Spring Flings and spring formals and all the stress that comes with each one of them.

As a girl, I know the rash amounts of anxiety over the dress, the heels, the nails, the hair, the makeup, the group, and not to mention getting asked to the dance in the first place!

But let’s back up a bit, and let’s have me explain the typical etiquette of my school’s spring formal: OLOT.

  • When: usually the 2nd or 3rd weekend of March.
  • Where: This is the dance where the school chooses an off campus venue, whereas our winter dance, TOLO, is held in our school’s cafeteria. This year, we scored the Pacific Science Center.
  • How is works is that it’s a guy ask girl dance. While at most schools the guy just approaches the girl and says, “Hey, want to go to the dance with me?” the ask is actually one of the most important parts. Usually the guy should come up with a pun or have a poster or bring the girl a baked good.

People have gone all out in the past: renting a pig, scavenger hunts, spelling out the letters “OLOT?” in the windows of a school building, or in my case, an ask imitating the scene from Say Anything where the guy wins the girl by holding up the boom box to the window. (Ok, mine was a little different…him and some of his friends just came up to me carrying the boom box playing The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson and he asked me. But close enough).

I’ll have you know that asking season gets catty, especially amongst the female half of the grade. So here’s my first word of advice: if you can, avoid the asking drama. If you get asked, great! If you don’t, that’s fine too! There’s so much silly high school stigma around not getting asked, but so what! You should still go to the dance. Rally up a group of friends and go as a big group! Also, hopefully your school dances have an atmosphere inviting towards people of all sexual orientations and genders. Ask whom you feel comfortable asking, dress how you feel comfortable dressing, and just be yourself!  It’s supposed to be fun, and it’s a whole lot easier to have a good time if you feel comfortable in your own skin! Continue reading

Hate List – Fitting in can be very hard

Hate ListTitle:  Hate List

Author:  Jennifer Brown

Summary:  After a tragic school shooting, Valerie Leftman is a complete outsider who is either seen as a hero or villain.  After writing a “hate list” with her boyfriend that was never meant to cause any harm, she will go back to face all the people she hurt and work towards solving the mystery of who she really is, and how she fit into what occurred that day.

Gut Reaction:  Compelling action, easy to connect with characters.

Stars:  8/10 stars because of the descriptive characters and suspense.

What I loved:  It is easy to relate to how the characters are feeling, and there is always a new part coming up that you didn’t expect. This book keeps you thinking and makes you feel like you are facing the obstacles along with Valerie.

Why:  Fitting in can be very hard at times, and this story shows that you never really know what people are going through. This book also shows how one careless action can lead to a lot of harm if you don’t think before you act which is a good lesson to learn.

Websites:  Hate List book trailer

–Afsara, Greenwood, Teen Adviser

GWD

All Ages Board Games tonight @ Ballard!

Wanna play?

6 p.m. – 7 p.m.board game

Bring your family, friends, or come alone and play our array of board games from Blokus, Carcassonne and Ticket to Ride to Jenga and Scrambled States of America.

For more info call Ballard @ 206-684-4089 or Ask a Librarian!

Simone Elkeles for the “Realistic” Win!

Perfect ChemistryTitle: Perfect Chemistry (book #1 in the Perfect Chemistry Series)

Author: Simone Elkeles

Perfect Chemistry is such an amazing book.  It blew me away.  The characters Alex Fuentes and Brittany Ellis both have issues to deal with in their lives and it makes the plot of the story real.  It was an outstanding book and if I had to read it again I would.  The book is targeted for young adults and I recommend every teenager to read it because it’s that good.  This book is about Alex who is known as the bad boy at Fairfield High School.  He is from the south and is very poor.  He had to join a gang to make sure his family is kept safe.  Brittany is the girl who has it all: the money, the house, the family and is the captain cheerleader at her school.  But what most people don’t know is that she hides behind a mask and makes sure nobody knows of her secrets, until one day Alex comes along and unravels them all.  They’re both not perfect but as long as they got each other everything will be all right.

 

Rules of Attraction Rules of Attraction(book #2)

Very addictive, I could not put this book down. The book is funny, romantic, addictive and unforgettable. I loved the pranks, the serious moments and the amazing connection between Carlos and Kiara. The book captured my heart and I recommend you read it. It’s fun and edgy and I promise it will be worth your time. Rules of Attraction is about Alex’s middle brother Carlos who had to come back to the United States to finish his education. Carlos can’t live with his brother in the dorms so Alex made sure that he stays with his professor until he graduates from high school. But things take a turn for the worst when Carlos meets the professor’s daughter Kiara and they start to prank each other. Carlos thinks Kiara is a goody two shoes who doesn’t know anything about his life and should just stay away from him. Kiara wants to help him with his life but she can’t help from falling in love with him at the same time. Carlos also starts to like Kiara but holds back thinking that being with her will cause trouble for her and her family. In the end he finally figures out that she means the world to him and that he can’t stay away from her no matter how hard he tries.

 

Chain ReactionChain Reaction (book #3)

I am obsessed with this book. This book is a great way to end the Fuentes trilogy. It was suspenseful and had me jumping at times. I loved the fact that it can go from being serious to being funny. I cried and I laughed and most of all I enjoyed the book. I recommend you read it, I promise you will love it. This book is about Alex and Carlos younger brother Luis Fuentes.  Luis is an adrenaline junkie, he likes to mountain climb and would one day hope to be an astronaut. He is always looking for a thrill. Nikki has experienced awful things in her past that included boys and she never wants to go through that ever again. She makes sure to never trust boys ever again and let them into her heart. But Luis falls madly in love with her and tries everything to get her to open her heart to him but she rejects him over and over again. She finally notices that he isn’t such a bad guy and gives him a chance. These two go through a lot of things in their lives but they always come back to each other in the end and that’s what counts to them.

Columbia Teen Advisory Group (TAG) Member

COL

Tortall and Other Lands – a Collection of Tales

tortalTitle: Tortall And Other Lands – A Collection Of Tales

Author: Tamora Pierce

Summary: A series of short stories mostly set in the fantasy country of Tortall and its surrounding areas.

Gut reaction: Girls, magic, religion, inner strength

Why: Tamora Pierce, as always, writes about magical girls and inner strength. She also touches on religion and acceptance this time, with a religion that’s clearly Islam under another name and some social pressure thrown in. A few stories are continuations of her previous novels. She’s a good writer, but not the best. I think she handled the Islam stories very well, but I’m not Muslim, so I can’t say much on her accuracy. Also, for once she wrote from a male perspective, and that, too, ended up well.

Who would like this book: Tamora Pierce fans, feminists, fantasy/magic fans.  I enjoyed it.

–Lexie, 16, West Seattle

WTS