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

February Book Horoscopes!

starbookFebruary is weird because it is the second month of the year, the first month of a new semester, and the second-to-last month of winter; the month that despite it’s only having 28 days somehow seems to drag on and on in cold ambiguity.

Luckily, we’ve selected a bunch of fantastic books to engage your consciousness so that before you know it, spring will be just over the horizon!  Remember to help yourselves to any of the books on this list, which as always come from a variety of genres and reading levels.

AriesYoung Warriors

Young Warriors by Tamora Pierce and Josepha Sherman

This book is an anthology compiled by two great authors. It is a collection of fantastical tales of young people showing strength. If you feel yourself in need of some inspiration to get you through the last part of winter, this book will give you the relief your adventurous heart is yearning for.

Rosie ProjectTaurus

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simison

This is hilarious and heartfelt romantic comedy is sure to please you as we approach Valentine’s Day. Don, the main character, likes his life to be orderly and doesn’t like taking risks. He suffers from an unfortunate lack of social skills, but he finds love in Rosie, a wildly different woman who pushes him out of his comfort zone, as he helps her search for her missing father.

GeminiCurious Incident

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

This book is an inspiring story about Christopher John Francis Boone, a fifteen-year-old boy on the autistic spectrum who has a very particular view of the world around him. Then one day his neighbor’s dog Wellington is killed, and Christopher takes on the role of a detective to figure out what happened.

Fahrenheit 451Cancer

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

The start of the new semester is a great time for you to go back and read a classic – or if this is your first time reading it, enjoy this treat! Fahrenheit 451 is the dystopian tale of everyone’s worst nightmare – a world without books. Guy Montag is a fireman, and his job is to burn them. Poetic, striking and important, his story will both entertain you and make you reflect about the value of art.

LeoFlowers for Algernon

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Charlie is a mentally disabled man who is being subjected to experimentation in a series of studies to increase his intelligence. The same treatments are being given to Algernon, a lab mouse. When Charlie’s intelligence begins to accelerate beyond what anyone had imagined was possible, everyone is thrilled – until Algernon begins to deteriorate unexpectedly. What will happen to Charlie?

WatchmenVirgo

Watchmen by Alan Moore

This brilliant graphic novel tells the story of what happens to superheroes when they begin to suffer from failures that seem to be uncomfortably akin to those of humble mortals. This book talks about humanity and questions what it truly means to be a superhero, all the while never ceasing to entertain. Continue reading

Frankenstein – More to it than you think

frankensteinTitle:  Frankenstein

Author:  Mary Shelley

Summary:  Victor Frankenstein has grown up in a loving family with a happy childhood during the 18th century in Europe.  However, just as Victor is about to leave for university, his mother dies.  Once he has grieved the loss, he leaves for college where his mind his opened to the world of science and he becomes the most skilled scientist in the university.  Unfortunately, his potential for success is thwarted by his obsession with the processes of life and death triggered by his mother’s abrupt demise.  He becomes so obsessed, in fact, that he creates a living being from scratch.  The rest of the novel follows the repercussions of this one fatal action.

Six Word Review: More to it than you think.

I started reading because:  I had to read it for school, but I ended up being really interested because the actual story was a lot more interesting and well-crafted than the general understanding of it today.  The creature Victor Frankenstein creates isn’t even named Frankenstein.  It’s never named; it’s just called “the monster.”

I would give this book 10/10 stars because it had a lot more depth to it than I had initially expected. It examines what social isolation does to people (and monsters) and it also explores the concept of what it truly means to be alive.

I loved the suspense Shelley weaves throughout the story.  I was always excited to find out what happened next.  I hated the ending.  It made sense to have it end the way it did, but I just wish there had been a little more to it.

If the lead character Victor was in a high school yearbook, he would be voted Most Likely To: Be Irresponsible And Selfish.

Anything else we should know?  The story is based on a dream Mary Shelley had.  She was interested in the concept of life and death because she had many miscarriages.

–Regina, West Seattle, Teen Blogger

WTS

Brandon Sanderson @ Central tomorrow!

brandon-sandersonBrandon Sanderson reads from Firefight

Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2015, 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Acclaimed fantasy author Brandon Sanderson will be reading from his new teen fantasy novel, Firefight, the second in “The Reckoners” trilogy.

In the futuristic world of Brandon Sanderson’s “The Reckoners” trilogy, supervillains known as Epics rule the world like despots. But after exacting vengeance for his father’s death and proving that Epics have weaknesses, teenage David is left wondering what he’s fighting for now. To find answers, he heads to the even more oppressed Babylon Restored (formerly Manhattan) to face several of the most powerful Epics there are. Can’t wait to find out what David will discover as the second book in the series unfolds?

Brandon Sanderson is the author of the #1 NYT bestseller Steelheart, the first book in “The Reckoners” series, and the internationally bestselling books in The Stormlight Archive and The Mistborn series. He was also chosen to complete Robert Jordan‘s Wheel of Time series. His books have been published in more than twenty-five languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide.

You can visit him at brandonsanderson.com and follow @BrandSanderson on Twitter.

Books will be available for purchase and signing.

For more info, call Central Library @ 206-386-4636 or Ask a Librarian!