Tag Archives: science fiction

The Well’s End – extremely inventive and action-packed

The Well's EndTitle: The Well’s End

Author: Seth Fishman

Summary: The Well’s End follows the perspective of a 16-year-old girl named Mia Kish.  Mia is like a typical high schooler (albeit in a ridiculously fancy, upper class prep school) except for her earliest memory, falling down a well as an infant, which earned her the nickname Baby Mia. However, when her school comes down with a virus that ages its victims to death in just days and the school is quarantined by soldiers in hazmat suits who aren’t afraid to shoot children, she and a handful of others, including her best friend, Jo, and a mysterious new transfer who knows things like the distance that gunfire travels, must follow the directions that her father left her to get to safety from the plague.

I loved that his novel is extremely inventive and action-packed.  This book is the definition of a page-turner.  The virus is a suitably terrifying threat, capable of aging a healthy adult to death in just hours.  Mia is an ideal protagonist – she is smart, capable, and despite the immense amount of suffering that she undergoes, stays likable and lucid.  The interactions between the characters is one of the strong points of the book, as they support each other and keep each other sane throughout.  Overall, the book is primarily plot-driven, but the characters are deep enough to be interesting in their own right. I really liked how the characters fit into both the “realistic” and “science-fiction” elements of the story.  I think one of the signs of good characters is if they can be likable heroes, able to think more clearly, recover more quickly, and keep fighting longer than most of us, while still retaining their unique personality and staying relatable.  These characters definitely achieved that. 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

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

Pattern Recognition – realistic mystery with a touch of science fiction

pattern-recognitionTitle: Pattern Recognition

Author: William Gibson

Summary: Pattern Recognition is a science-fiction mystery novel. The main character is Cayce Pollard, who works as an advertising/logo specialist. Mysterious yet artistic video clips are appearing on the internet, which attracts the attention of many people including Cayce. The CEO of the company Cayce is working with makes an offer for Cayce to track down more information about the video clips. Cayce gets a lead on the possible producer of these video clips from an online connection, and starts the hunt to figure out who is behind the mysterious video clips, and what their motive is.

I kept reading because: The book was fast paced and kept me interested along the way. There are a lot of references throughout the book that I had to stop and look up on Google. For instance, I had to look up some name brands and some types of machinery. However, this did not detract from the reading experience—rather, it enhanced my enjoyment of the book as I understood what the book was referencing and how it enhanced the story. The book is mainly geared towards high school upperclassmen, and would probably fall under young adult realistic fiction.

Who would love this book: Overall, I highly this book to anyone who likes realistic mystery books with a touch of science fiction. The book combines many different themes and plays around with the human psyche and mentality. I had to think about what was happening in the book multiple times. Each time, I would be blown away at how Gibson used his words to enhance the story. The sentences would get short and crisp when the situation became tense, but when a character was letting his/her thoughts flow, the sentences would become long and eloquent to fit the mood. This book is a masterpiece combining a riveting story with superb writing. Pick this book up today!

–Matthew, Grade 12, Lake City

LCY

March Book Horoscopes!

IntroWhy hello there, lovely readers! A new month is here, and that means it’s time for the next installment in everybody’s favorite recurring blog series. We are pleased to present you with the March installment of Greenwood Teen Advisory Board’s (TAB) Monthly Book Horoscopes, book recommendations based on YOUR Zodiac sign!

This issue is packed with a great variety in genres and, as always, covers books from all reading levels. Get excited, readers, because SPRING!!! is finally just around the corner! To celebrate, we have a special treat planned for our April issue… so stay tuned!

Aries

Tomboy by Liz PrinceTomboy

This endearing memoir in the form of a graphic novel tells the relatable story of growing up and trying to find a social identity. Liz Prince has never identified with the girly girls, but she also doesn’t truly fit in with the bros. What does it really mean to be a girl? Anybody who has been through middle school (and anybody who still has that adventure ahead of them) will relate to this book.

Taurus

Good OmensTaurus by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

If you like mythology, satire, and/or knee-slapping wit, then congratulations! – read this book.  Legendary authors Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett team up to tell the hilariously original and most decidedly fact-checked account of how the apocalypse actually happened. Angels, demons, and prophecies twisted together with some modern humor = this deliciously wordy bible of brilliance.

Gemini

The Eye of the World by Robert JordanEye of the World

Fantasy lovers looking for something new to read, your search is over! This book is the first installment of the Wheel of Time series, an epic saga that has been around since 1990. These adventures draw on all kinds of different mythologies to create a world crafted so intricately you won’t want to leave. It’s a good thing there are fourteen books in the series. You will be reading for a while!

Cancer

Ender's GameEnder’s Game:  Battle School by Orson Scott Card

You may have already read the great science-fiction novel Ender’s Game. You may even have seen the movie that came out in 2013! But the real question is, have you read it in graphic novel format? We didn’t think so. This special adaptation puts a new twist on the original story with illustrations that allow you to experience Ender’s adventures in battle school in a whole new way.

Leo

Something to Blog About by Shana NorrisSomething to Blog About

Libby Fawcett is blogging about her life online, in secret. The blog is where she can rant and vent about all the things she isn’t able to (or simply doesn’t wish to) discuss in person with anybody in her life. But what is going to happen when her blog is exposed for everyone to see? This book is a great coming of age story about the tribulations of being a girl in high school.

Virgo

Barrel FeverBarrel Fever by David Sedaris

This snappy collection of short stories and essays attacks everyone and everything – nobody is safe from David Sedaris’s cracking wit. If you are looking to bring a little more sarcasm and humor into your life, this should definitely be next on your to-read list! Please note that this book caters more towards an older audience – parental guidance is suggested for our younger readers.

Libra

Heist Society by Ally CarterHeist Society

Katrina Bishop was born into a family of con men, and now she believes to finally have left that life behind her. She attends a fancy boarding school and doesn’t want to go back to her family’s scheming ways. But when she finds out her father is in trouble for stealing a series of priceless paintings, she needs to intervene. The suspense and girl-power is awesome! This book is the first book in a series.

 Scorpio

Amy and Roger's Epic DetourAmy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

This is a story about a girl named Amy Curry who has to spend her summer driving her mother’s car from California to Connecticut in lieu of their cross-country move. An old family friend, Roger, accompanies her on the trip. Roger and Amy, who is struggling to come to terms with her father’s recent death in a car accident, discover a lot about each through their journey through this cute, inspiring book.

Sagittarius

Redshirts by John ScalziRedshirts

Andrew Dahl is excited to assume his new position in xenobiology on the starship Intrepid. But soon Andrew starts to notice something fishy going on with the mysterious Away Missions, which always seem to render one lower-ranked crew member dead. Set hundreds of years in the future, this is an excitingly original sci-fi read packed with suspense and guaranteed to satisfy your thirst for adventure.

Capricorn

The SilmarillionThe Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien

If you are an unsatisfied Lord of the Rings fan dying for more material to sink your teeth into, then you need to check out the Silmarillion. This book is Tolkien’s deeper look into the mythology of Middle Earth, with explicit explanations of its legends and painstaking accounts of its histories that give insight into the cultures, languages, and backstories of the characters we see in Tolkien’s famous epics.

Aquarius

Homer’s Odyssey by Gwen CooperAquarius

No, not that Odyssey – this book is about the journey of a very special cat named Homer. This heartwarming true story explains how Homer changed Gwen Cooper’s life, not only through his incredible persistence and will to survive through times of tragedy but also through the way she saw her own struggles reflected in him. Read this book if you like kitties, but also if you want to feel inspired.

Pisces  

Half MagicHalf Magic by Edward Eager

What happens when you wish on a magic coin that is only worth half as much as a normal one? The answer is described in this charming novel and contains just the right amount of silliness balanced with profound life insights. Readers of any age will laugh and sigh as they follow the mischief that ensues when four children misguidedly wish their hearts’ desires to come half true.

Remember to come back in April to get your next astrologically endorsed recommendation! We love you, happy reading!!

–Greenwood Teen Advisers

GWD

Timebound – Girl trying to not disappear forever

Timebound

Title: Timebound

Author:  Rysa Walker

Summary: From the moment Kate’s grandmother tells her that she can travel in time, things start going very badly. Someone in the past is trying to alter time so that Kate will never be born. Kate must hurry in order to fix things before she disappears.

Six Word Review:  Girl trying to not disappear forever

I give Timebound 8/10 stars because it’s unique and funny and unlike any other time travel book I’ve read. ​I hated not knowing if time was a circle as it is in some time travel books. I loved the characters and I couldn’t get enough of how realistic their emotions were.

If the main character was stuck on a deserted island they would… find a way to build a raft, even if there weren’t any trees.

In a yearbook, the main character would be voted most likely to solve the world’s biggest problems.

This book reminded me of Ruby Red by Kerstin Gler because it evokes the same feelings of uncertainty, at same the time that it pulls you into its world.

Websites of Interest:  

Rysa Walker’s website

Anything else we should know? This is the first book in the series. The second book is called Time’s Edge, which to me sounds very promising and hopefully will answer all the questions Timebound leaves readers asking.

–Xanith, University Branch

UNI

 

Hunger Games – Katniss goes on a legendary journey

hunger gamesTitle/Author: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Summary:  In a futuristic depiction of North America, the capital Panem keeps control of its 12 districts by making them pick a boy and girl Tribute between 12 and 18 to fight to the death in an arena on national television. The main character Katniss Everdeen is conflicted between the urge to survive and her unexpected love in this stimulating dystopian novel.

Six Word Review: Katniss goes on a legendary journey.

This book reminded me of the book Divergent because of the central dystopian theme and the emphasis on action and fighting.

I would give this book 8/10 stars because of how well the author set up and conceptualized the story and the fact that the book was very compelling and hard to put down.

What I loved about this book is how well-developed the characters were because it made it so that you feel like you know them by the middle of the novel.

If Katniss was stuck on a deserted island she would: build a boat and get away because she is an innovative person.

 I started reading this book because it was given to me by my middle school as a prize …and I kept reading: it because it was such a good story.

–Peter, grade 10, Lake City

LCY