Tag Archives: fantasy

Pantomine – a tale of deceit, mystery & magic

PantomimeTitle: Pantomine

Author: Laura Lam

Summary: Micah Grey wants to get away from his life—and the circus seems to be just the right place to do that. He delves into the world of circus arts as a new trapeze artist, but soon learns that the circus may not be quite what it seems. As the story unfolds, more of just who Micah is gets revealed, and between Micah’s past, and Micah’s present, a tale of deceit, mystery, and magic is unveiled.

Quick review: Do you like magic, circuses, and stories where the main character isn’t who they say they are? Then you’ll probably like this book. Told in a flip-flopping style of one chapter in the past, and one in the present, Micah’s story quickly begins to unfold. As the reader, you get caught up immediately, because you can tell that there’s something about Micah that he’s not telling you yet.

I started reading because… I was told that it had good representation of characters who were learning more about their gender and their sexual identity, as well as having an engaging fantasy setting.

I would give this book8/10 stars. It’s engaging and exciting, although the language felt a bit simplistic at times. I found the flip-flopping story technique frustrating at times, when I just wanted to get back to the storyline I had been on, but ultimately it was, in my opinion, the best way to tell this story.

-Sofia, 16, Greenwood Teen Advisory Board

GWD

Shadow and Bone: Dark Tale in a Magical World

shadowandboneTitle: Shadow and Bone

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Six Word Review: Dark tale in a magical world

Summary: Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart. (Book summary from author Leigh Bardugo’s website.)

I liked the Darkling’s character. His character seemed to be a perfect balance between evil and good. Bardugo did a nice job characterizing him.

I hated the main character, Alina. She was your typical naive character who had no idea what was happening. She acted confident but she was lying to herself.

I rate this book 7/10 stars, because the story was amazing and the world was captivating. The only thing I hated were a few of the characters.

I kept reading because I loved the story and I wanted to see what would happen with Alina and the Darkling. It was so beautiful and rich that I couldn’t put it down. The world Bardugo created was so captivating that I had to keep reading. The twists kept me on the edge of my seat.

–Rachel, Green Lake Branch
GLK

Peter and the Starcatchers – The next best thing to Harry Potter

peter-and-the-starcatchers-book-cover_350x525Title:  Peter and the Starcatchers

Author:  Dave Barry

Summary: Soon after Peter, an orphan, sets sail from England on the ship Never Land, he befriends and assists Molly, a young Starcatcher, whose mission is to guard a trunk of magic star dust from a greedy pirate and the native inhabitants of a remote island.

Gut reaction: Amazing! The next best thing to Harry Potter.

Why: It does a great job of telling how everything came to be in Disney’s Peter Pan. It is very suspenseful and managed to keep my attention to the very end. It has everything one could ever want in a book, romance, suspense, fantasy, action, and humor. The style of writing used a lot of descriptions, but not too many to bore me.

Who would like this book: Peter Pan fans, children, and people who enjoyed the Harry Potter series.

–Catalina, University, Teen Blogger

UNI

 

5 Book reviews from Emily…3/5ths John Green (lol)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's StoneOh Harry Potter, it’s a classic. If you haven’t read it, then who are you. This book is about a wizard who doesn’t have parents and lives under a staircase, um let’s name him Harry Potter? Well Harry Potter is a wizard, but his aunt and uncle don’t know that, they’re just rude people who assume horrible things, gross. But Harry and his crew go to this wizard school and they do a bunch of amazing things together and it’s basically like your friendship goals. But then there’s an evil guy, of course. Well he and his squad try to kidnap Harry and ruin his life because it seems like they’re jealous of him and his awesome wizard skills. Or his parents just did something bad and he’s trying to get revenge. But really, you need to read this, not because it’s a classic. But because it’s just a great series that includes adventures and great friendship.

maze runnerHave you ever had a dream where you’re stuck in a white room and there is no end?  Well, I recommend the book, The Maze Runner. You might’ve seen the movie and thought “That was amazing!” But once you read the book you’ll think “Oh my goodness, that was like watching the Super Bowl last year!” This is a book that has a BUNCH of mysteries. Why are there cement walls trapping them? How did they lose their memory? It’s all so confusing! But that’s what makes it so good. I recommend the book AND the movie, they’re both amazing. So in the book, Thomas gets sent to a village and has no memory from his past life. He is sent to survive there with other boys around his age. There’s also a maze that has weird robot killer bug thingy and the maze runners go in to see what the maze looks like, but if they don’t make it in time for the doors to close…then something bad happens. Go read it to find out, if you like mystery books and adventure books, this is a great book for you!

 

papertownsDo you ever wonder if there’s a guy thinking about you day and night? Or boys, do you ever think about a girl all the time? Or do you ever think about running away from home? Well, in Paper Towns all of those things happen! You have Margo Spiegelman, a girl who just runs away from home whenever she feels like it. You also have a guy named Quinten, also known as Q, who has fallen in love with Margo. He misses his graduation just to find Margo, because that’s his childhood love. I recommend this book because it’s not only a love story, but it has adventures and mysteries. Also it’s funny, it has a lot of adult humor, which is the best. Oh yeah, they’re also making a movie based off of this book, SO JUST READ IT..

 

The_Fault_in_Our_StarsEveryone wants a perfect relationship and to grow old together, but we all know that might not happen. In The Fault in Our Stars, it’s soooooo not like that. There’s a girl, named Hazel Grace she has cancer and she has always had it. There’s a guy, Augustus Waters who meets her at the cancer support group and says a funny joke. Then they go on romantic trips together and start to love each other, and everything seems perfect! But it’s not; this story WILL make you cry. This book will make you as bright as then sun, and at the end as sad as the time you found out Santa wasn’t real. But I recommend it because it’s such a good book and you can’t miss out on it!

 

Looking for AlaskaI know I’m doing another John Green book, but he’s just so talented. Looking for Alaska is my 2nd favorite book, he isn’t actually looking for the state Alaska but if he was, then it would be pretty tricky. And he isn’t actually trying to find her, he just likes her. *Tries to be sarcastic* But guess what you aren’t going to believe it, SHE HAS A BOYFRIEND. This is so not like every love story. I’m serious, it’s not. In the middle of the book, something goes wrong, like you wouldn’t even expect it. I was so surprised myself. You, whoever is reading, you need to read this. It’s like a life lesson to never drive home drunk. It’s just so good, you need to read it.

–Emily, 7th grader, West Seattle

WTS

Bloodhound: More Than Worthy Sequel

Bloodhound

Title: Bloodhound

Author: Tamora Pierce

Three Sentence Summary: It’s been about two years since the events of Terrier, and Beka Cooper is a full-blown Dog. She gets her first hunt away from home when a lean winter collides with a sudden and very large outbreak of coles (counterfeit coins). Now, in the very different environment of Port Caynn, Beka must survive the opposition of the city’s Rogue (who’s acting really suspiciously), a carefree and flirty gambler who calls her his ‘luck’, and a cowardly Deputy Provost who thinks that ignoring problems will make them go away to Dog her biggest Rat yet: A counterfeiter bent on totally destabilizing Tortall’s economy.

Six Word Review: More than worthy sequel to Terrier.

I started reading because: Given how much Terrier had proved itself to me, I was excited for its sequel. I wanted to see what Beka could do as a full Dog, and how she got the Bloodhound title (all the titles of the Provost’s Dog series are nicknames she gets from the events of the book).

I kept reading because: It lives up to my expectations. Bloodhound introduces a whole slew of wonderful characters at Port Caynn, like Dale, the generous gambler and ladies’ man who flirts with Beka, Nestor of Haryse, sergeant and a very honest Dog in a very dishonest city, Okha/Amber Orchid, a beautiful singer (and Nestor’s lover) who knows more about Rogue business than she cares to tell, and Pearl Skinner, the ruthless and greedy Rogue of Port Caynn. Continue reading

April Book Horoscopes!

Book logoHi there, readers!  We promised you a special horoscope surprise this month, and the time has come to unveil it.

As you may know, April is National Poetry Month.  So, in honor of this event, our teen astrologers have carefully selected a phenomenal collection of poetry as your suggested reading material this month. It’s time for you to find out which poetry is best suited for YOUR Zodiac sign. 🙂

AriesAries  Pushing Through Solid Rock” by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Rainer Maria Rilke was a poet from Austria who wrote hundreds of beautiful, lyrical poems in different languages like German and French. To read more, check out Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke, an eBook compilation of his work.

It’s possible I am pushing through solid rock
in flintlike layers, as the ore lies, alone;
I am such a long way in I see no way through,
and no space: everything is close to my face,
and everything close to my face is stone.

I don’t have much knowledge yet in grief
so this massive darkness makes me small.
You be the master: make yourself fierce, break in:
then your great transforming will happen to me,
and my great grief cry will happen to you.

 

TaurusTaurus  “A Suggested Campaign Song” by Alice Duer Miller

Alice Duer Miller was a feminist writer and poet who wrote satirical poems for the women’s suffrage movement in the early 1900s. You can find more of her work by following this link or by checking out one of her books, such as Women Are People!, from the library.

We are waging-can you doubt it?
A campaign so calm and still
No one knows a thing about it,
And we hope they never will.
No one knows
What we oppose,
And we hope they never will.

We are ladylike and quiet,
Here a whisper-there a hint;
Never speeches, bands or riot,
Nothing suitable for print.
No one knows
What we oppose,
For we never speak for print.

Sometimes in profound seclusion,
In some far (but homelike) spot,
We will make a dark allusion:
“We’re opposed to you-know-what.”
No one knows
What we oppose,
For we call it “You-Know-What.”

Continue reading

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