Divergent by Veronica Roth

divergent_book_by_veronica_roth_us_hardcover_2011 Divergent is the first book in the dystopian trilogy written by Veronica Roth. This book is set in the post-apocalyptic Chicago where all the survivors are divided into factions – Abnegation (selfless), Dauntless (daring), Edurite (intellectual), Candor (honest) and Amity (peace). All sixteen-year-olds take an aptitude test in order to decide which faction they really belong to. However the protagonist, Beatrice has results that are inconclusive hence making her a Divergent. Being divergent is very risky because the government doesn’t want people to have an independent will. The rest of the plot revolves around how Tris overcomes this challenges and discovers a war between factions. This book is very interesting and engaging. It has smooth transitions. The key details and descriptions about the five factions are really fascinating. The characteristics of each faction such as what they wear, what they eat, what they do and much more are the ones that attract the readers. The book is very detailed so that the readers understand everything about the book. There are some emotional moments when Beatrice leaves her family. At the same time the bizarre rules and procedures of the government, really puzzle the reader. The simulations are the scary and action-filled parts of the book. Overall this book is an action-filled, entertaining book. I would recommend it to anyone who loves books in the dystopian genre and who enjoys fast-paced events. Anyone who likes these types of books will find this book enjoyable.

 Click here to find it at the Cupertino High School Library

Reviewed by Dhanyasree Premsankar

Going Bovine By Libba Bray

https://www.wevideo.com/view/537987923

The book, Going Bovine by Libba Bray, orbits around the illusions of 16 year old Cameron Smith as he is slowly taken over by Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the human equivalent to mad cow’s disease. His story begins after he accepts a quest offered by Dulcie, a literal pink “punk rock” angel, to engage in an exorbitant adventure find Dr. X, the time traveling physicist who triggered the end of the universe via his excessive trips across dimensions through the means of wormholes. Along with Gonzo, his neurotic hospital roommate affected with dwarfism, the sudden appearances of Dulcie, and random signs of guidance, Cameron goes on a utopian road trip to Disney World, the location of Dr. X’s secret laboratory. En route, they meet Balder, a Norse god cursed to appear in the form of a lawn gnome, escape the ever appearing theoretical fire dragons commanded by the Wizard of Reckoning, encounter a mysterious cult, meet the acquaintance of several physicists and fight against a notorious snow globe corporation. At their final destination, Cameron realizes his true identity and twist that shakes the reader’s entire perspective of the book is revealed. The book offers valuable insight to the true meaning of life and leaves the reader wondering even af6512140ter the last page, regardless of the number of times, has been turned.

 

The novel brings up unpopular yet eye-opening perspectives on modern education, religious cults, as well as American materialism, and includes several references to wormholes and string theory. Its overall bold quirkiness and unpredictable storyline also added to the book’s appeal. The unexpected twists and turns of the plot made the book more intriguing and harder to put down. Although the book supports several disliked opinions and contains varying degrees of profanity, it offers stimulating views on various topics trending in modern culture. The book invites the reader to be more curious as to how a character ends up. I would recommend this book to readers interested in profound, vivid and yet cryptic dark comic tragedy.

 

Reviewed by Sritharini R.

 

Maze Runner by James Dashner

 

 I really liked this book because it was action packed, and the main character does not have his memory so it made me want to continue reading to see if he ever gets his memory back.I enjoyed this book a lot, and I want to continue reading the other books in the series. Overall I believe that this is a great book and that everyone should both read and watch the movie. My brother brought this book from his school library and it seemed really interesting so after him, I picked it up and started reading it. I kept on reading this book because I wanted to find out if the characters would survive and if the main character would get back his lost memories. I would give it to my friends, because they enjoy books that are action packed and have some mystery to them.

Reviewed by Oleon

Lost and Found by Shaun Tan

Lost and Found by Shaun Tan is a graphic novel containing three unique and interesting short stories. Each tell a simple story with simple plots but the heavy messages in those stories are what ultimately invests a reader in the story. Even more impressive is the art style and sheer creativity in expressing the pieces in the book. Shaun Tan’s style is hard to pin down, its like a mixture of minimalistic, steampunk, cartoonish, and abstract. A different style is expressed in each of the stories to give them individuality, tone, and mood. Personally, the book sent me down into a smooth river of feelings and emotions that subtly changed after each story was told. It was a riveting experience that ended all too soon because of the books width. However, the novel’s depth weighs more heavily than the books length. Like a song we understand just as much it understands us in such a short amount of time. Before I began the awe-inspiring journey, I picked up the novel and found curiosity in its bizarre art style that I would later call beautiful. Like the perfect song, I fell in love with its deep, hidden meaning and emotional art. Anyone who likes to find special meaning in lost and forgotten things ought to give this little book an audience.

Reviewed by Autumn Greene

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The book itself has a lot of memorable events, big a really big one is the Tom Robbinson case. The book talks about racism in the events that take place, and knowing that many people wouldn’t listen to a man because of his color was not right. My reactions to this book was somewhat shocked. Only some events did that to me, and some were interesting. I was interesting in what was next for the Finch kids and the case itself. I think that racism was definitely wrong back then. There was no right to be treated that way and knowing that some people wouldn’t give you the respect you deserved. I had to read this book for my Lit/Writ class, but I did get hooked. I wanted to know how these people treated one another with their ways. It was interesting to find out how things were back then. I also had to keep reading it for my Lit/Writ class. I would give this book to people 10 years and over. It’s a suitable book for anyone to read, as long as they can understand it. It’s important for them to know what racism was and how was it.

book reviewed by Giovanni Mendoza

Prey by Michael Crichton

Prey is about a man named Jack Foreman, who has recently been fired from his job as software developer working in a time period in which the computer industry made a huge boom. Now a house-husband, Foreman deals with the kids and also with having a wife that works long hours. The company that Julia Foreman, Jack’s wife, works for is Xymos. This company is currently working on microscopic cameras that can be used by the military. These cameras can’t be destroyed, and they are controlled by algorithms that were written by Jack and his team at his former company. When the code goes wrong, Jack is called to Xymos on a contract to work to solve the problem. The problem seems to have no solution at first, as it seems that the company knew about the problem but never did anything to solve it. Instead, it continued to build the cameras without fixing those problems. Unfortunately, those cameras escaped, and due to the software algorithms that Jack writes for his old company, they are able to reproduce and also grow by feeding on live prey. The cameras have become an indestructible killing machine and it is up to Jack and his former team, which has actually moved to Xymos, to solve the problem in 24 hours or less…

I was able to relate to this book a lot, as I work on scripting algorithms myself. I apply some of the programming methods vaguely referenced in this book to my own code, and as a result, my programs run a lot more smoothly now. As someone who works on a team with the occasional fool in the tech world (robotics), I enjoy relating to Jack’s problems with people on his team. The thriller in this book is that of a whole new level. As a reader of many fiction books, I know that in most cases, the characters will solve the problem no matter what. The thing with this book is, though, that you never know what Xymos has hidden from us next. The problems keep on piling on, and as the situation becomes more desperate, a reader like myself truly enjoys poring over the plot and soaking in the mystery. This book has truly changed a lot for me this past month. I can write algorithms a lot smoother now, and I learn from Jack that working on a team is more than just carrying when no one does anything. It is more about trusting your teammates that the job will be done. I learn from this book that during stressful situations it is important to remain calm but it is understandable to break down at times. It is all about getting up and continuing to work harder, putting in as much steam as you can. I truly enjoy thrillers, and Michael Crichton has written several other amazing thrillers that I have read as well, including Jurassic Park, and I was truly looking forward to this experience. The book looked like it would be about aliens based on what it said on the back cover, and as a result, I was very excited, as I always am at the mention of anything unusual, including the extra terrestrial. The book contained a lot about the writing of algorithms, and as that is something I do, I wanted to see more references to that. I was in luck, as Crichton continued to include code bits and pieces here and there across the book. The thriller got to me, yes, but it was primarily the programming portion of the book I enjoyed the most. I would give this book to a person that loves technology, loves programming, or just wants to read a thriller in general. If you love seeing characters deal with problem after problem, this book is for you. People who love books about family and how it must stay together would love this book as well. Prey contains a lot about office politics and busy life in an industry, so adults can relate to this book as well. Any of the people mentioned above really would be possible people I would give this book to next.

book reviewed by Deep Sethi