Tag Archives: books to movies

Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian Stories

Look for something futuristic? Maybe dystopian future?

The first thing I’d have to recommend is the CW show The 100. With the start of the second season in mid-October, the first season was added to Netflix and The Seattle Public Library, and like many teens, I binge-watched it in 3 days. Continue reading

A Separate Peace – struggles of friendship and dealing with emotions.

A_Separate_Peace_coverTitle: A Separate Peace

Author: John Knowles

Summary: This book takes place at a boarding school called Devon during the first few years of World War II. A coming of age novel, the book starts out with Gene coming back to Devon fifteen years after he was a student there. The book focuses on events that happened while he was a student there. Gene quickly becomes friends with Phineas (Finny), a charismatic, charming student who rooms with Gene. Finny and Gene are opposites: Finny is athletic and captivating while Gene is book-smart and quiet. This leads to some resentment of Finny from Gene (without Finny’s knowledge), but they remain good friends. Finny and Gene create the “Super Suicide Society”, which is just a group of people who want to enjoy their time at Devon while doing crazy and fun activities. One of the things that the members of the society do is jump off of a tree branch into a lake. When Finny and Gene jump off of the branch, the branch is jostled and Finny falls and breaks his leg while Gene makes the jump into the lake. Following the incident, Gene is haunted by what happened during the jump, and for the remainder of the book comes to terms with himself and his actions.

Why I Kept Reading: The characters in the book are of similar age to us teenagers. This makes many of the emotions and experiences very relatable. However, the ideas and motifs presented are incredibly dense and thought-worthy. World War II plays an important part during one of the sections of the book, and the experiences that soldiers have during the war is brought up and considered. The setting is your average boarding school, and very realistic. Character development is well thought out and the potential of all the characters is shown.

Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants something to read and ponder about. This book is a “loss-of-innocence” book, and shows the transition from boyhood to manhood and how maturity grows over time due to events that happen during one’s life. The struggles of friendship, and dealing with emotions also plays a huge part in this book; something that we all can relate to and understand.

–Matthew, Lake City Teen Blogger

LCY

To Kill a Mockingbird: Read for school, reread for life

Mockingbird coverTitle: To Kill A Mockingbird

Author: Harper Lee

Summary: A young girl by the name of Scout along with her brother, Jem, and the new boy in the neighborhood, Dill, are growing up during the Great Depression in a racist white community. Scout, Jem, and Dill become fascinated with their neighbor, Boo Radley. He’s lived in the house on their street for years, but they’ve never seen him and as far as they know he’s never left the house. The house is owned by Boo’s brother, Nathan Radley. Scout starts school and then begins to be bullied by the other kids when her dad, a lawyer, decides to take a case defending a black man who is accused of raping a white woman. By the time the outcome of the case is revealed, Scout has learned a lot about people and how important it is to always view things from other people’s perspectives.

Six Word Review: Read for school, reread for life. Continue reading

Lord of the Flies: An unsettling look at human nature

lord-of-the-flies-imageTitle: Lord of the Flies
Author: William Golding

Summary: Lord of the Flies is a chilling story about a group of schoolboys stranded on an island after a plane crash and their descent into madness.  Starting out as a group of cooperative boys all working to survive as they wait for a passing ship to save them, slowly, the “terrors” of the island eat away at the boys until they are reduced to primal beings consumed fully by their emotions and instincts. Ralph, at the beginning, is the leader of this band of boys.  However, a power struggle soon emerges between Ralph and Jack, the leader of the choirboys.  As time goes on, the boys slowly begin to believe in a creature called “The Beast” that roams the island, and they become obsessive about trying to hunt down and kill the beast, which leads ultimately to the boys’ downfall and descent into madness.  As the book progresses, the reader faces many questions about humanity and society. Continue reading

Animal Farm: The fault in revolutions

PrintTitle: Animal Farm

Author: George Orwell

Summary: This well written novel begins with an introduction to a gaggle of commonplace farm animals who have been called to order by an elderly and wizened boar known as Old Major, who has awoken from a stirring dream the previous night in which he and his fellow animal compatriots rise up against a negligent Mr. Jones, who keeps the farm, known as Manor Farm. Old Major’s dream is lived as a reality just before the old boar passes away, leaving in charge the two pigs of most exemplary intelligence: Snowball and Napoleon. However, it is swiftly made clear that an amount of disorder is present among the two pigs, as the construction of a windmill which hoped to bring renewable energy to Manor Farm is brought to an abrupt halt by Napoleon, who has destroyed the windmill in a successful attempt to villainize and erase Snowball from the farm. With Snowball lost in the dark and foreboding forest along Manor Farm, Napoleon’s reign of tyranny dawns upon his fellow animals, who are oblivious to this destruction, as all hopes for words of truth are erased by Squealer, a pig who specializes in censoring news to maintain Napoleon’s rule.
Readers are left with an unresolved crisis when Napoleon is discovered to be fraternizing with businessmen and adapting human traits. The only conclusion that can be drawn is that violent revolts lead to violent regimes.

Gut Reaction: The first feeling which I drew from this book’s plot and the style in which it was written was a feeling of mild peculiarity and intrigue. It was also quite easy to become enveloped in the characters’ personalities, and be left bewildered and even heartbroken when a character is removed from the story.

Why: It is most likely that I felt this way about the novel in part to the fact that Mr. Orwell’s writing style isn’t entirely vernacular to most teenagers (thus the peculiarity), and also due to the fact that this book focuses heavily on symbolism in the form of farm animals with elaborate names(thus the intrigue).

Who would like this book: It is my personal opinion that older teens and adults with a keen interest in humanities and creative writing would be the key demographic for this novel, as this book‘s main theme is the fault in revolution and general civilization. However, if you are a younger teen, like myself, you may be interested in reading this lovely book as well.

–Natalie, 12, West Seattle Teen Blogger

WTS

Sin City 2 – sexist potrayal of women, but cool visual stylings.

Sin City 2I recently watched Sin City 2 and the animation and style of it was very cool and entertaining.  The action scenes were brutal yet well executed.  However, the sexism and portrayal of women, of course, was not missed (nor was it surprising considering this was a Sin City adaptation). However it was still disappointing having to see women being identified as simply sexually appealing characters for the entertainment of the targeted audience.

Each character’s different plots intertwined nicely and no character showed up without a reason.  The back stories all began with their separate (sometimes shared) antagonist. The acting was really great as well, showing quite raw emotion.  This movie impressed me despite the somewhat incredibly cheesy moments and cliché tag lines, and I do recommend it but please be cautious of the more intense moments in the film.

–Sophie, Southeast Region TAG

Biography of Legendary Race Horse Seabiscuit

seabiscuitTitle:  Seabiscuit: An American Legend

Author:  Laura Hillenbrand

Summary: This book takes a look at the life of Seabiscuit, one of the legendary race horses of all time.  This book is non-fiction but feels and reads like an extremely well written novel. Hillenbrand goes through the life of Seabiscuit and his career as a racehorse.  Not only does the biography of Seabiscuit tell the story of Seabiscuit, but it also tells the story of the jockeys and owners.  From the training of Seabiscuit to the low-tier races, and from the low-tier races to the high stakes championship races, the biography is action-packed and incredibly heartwarming.

Why I Started Reading: Biographies narrated as stories appeal to me, so when I saw this book, I picked it up and decided to start reading.  Even though this book is fact-heavy, the story never stops moving forward, and the reader is always looking forward to the next story about Seabiscuit or the trainers/owners.  Consider this as a biography of one of history’s most famous sports “players”.

Why I Kept Reading: The narration is exquisite and the description of each race is so thrilling that you could hear the crowd thundering and cheering at each race. The details and facts are accurate and well researched, all adding to the flow of the story.  Although I have never raced horses or attended a horse race, this book explained the details of each race clearly such that I was able to envision every single detail.  In addition, one thing that makes this book great is that it doesn’t only focus on Seabiscuit, but also tells the stories of Seabiscuit’s jockeys as well, and delves into the precarious life of a jockey.

Six Word Recap: Biography of Legendary Race Horse Seabiscuit.

–Matthew, Lake City, Teen Blogger

LCY