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

Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

The Dursleys are nothing but mean to Harry Potter and all he wanted to do was go back to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As he was about to leave he meets a house-elf who warns him, if he goes back to Hogwarts terrible things will happen. And they sure. In Harry’s second year of Hogwarts, he gets a new teacher who worries about his hair more than the class, a ghost haunting the girls bathroom, and Ron’s sister, Ginny, who is obsessed with him. But, those are just minor things, the real trouble began when someone or something is turning Hogwarts students to stone. Who could it be, Harrys formidable enemy, Draco Malfoy, or Hagrid whose mysterious past is finally revealed. Or could it be Hogwarts most suspected- Harry Potter himself! I think this book is very action-packed and exciting at every page, like you never want to put down this book down until you finished it. This book is very interesting and has a lot of funny,serious , and sad moments. I kept reading it because I enjoyed the first book very much and I wanted to find out about Hagrid’s past and who is turning the Hogwarts students to stone. I would give this book to anybody who like the first book in this series and anyone who like magic, action, and mystery novels.

Reviewed by Swetha Thiagarajan

The Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason

41F0ANC74bL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Miss Holmes, niece of Sherlock Holmes and Miss Stoker, the vampire hunter find themselves hired by Irene Adler, the Princess of the Wales to solve a case regarding a clockwork scarab. Numerous deaths coincide, Miss Homes and Stoker must solve the mystery before the next death.

This book is very interesting and I definitely recommend it to those who especially like mysteries such as Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This book can be appealing to others with different interests of genres like Sci-fi or romance. I found this book very interesting because the author manages to tie in many genres into one; such as action and murder, love and friendship, time travel and vampires. I agree with the authors opinions about this vamped up world of Sherlock and Watson twisted into a story of his niece and her partner in a womanly perspective. This book is very fast paced and many courses of actions take place quickly but not many questions can be raised as the author uses great descriptions and analysis.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved the way Gleason links multiple genres into one book and especially how she incorporates this book in the 1880s of London. I recommend it to everyone who is interested in detectives, time traveling, romance and friendship, and action and adventures.

I picked out this book because it referred back to the familiar world of Sherlock and Watson which I really enjoyed so I thought it would be interesting to read something similar in a different perspective.

I kept reading this book after I first started because this was one of those books that once you start reading, you can’t stop. You become part of the book and you don’t want to abandon it.

I’d give this book to someone who’d like to experience the same situation I experienced while reading this thrilling book.

Reviewed by Khushi



Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

virgin_suicidesThe Virgin Suicides by Jeffery Eugenides tells the story of the Libson sister who are all teenagers Cecilia the youngest, Lux, Bonnie, Mary and Therese the eldest with Mrs. Libson and Mr. Libson as their parents, Mrs. Libson who is strict and catholic and Mr. Libson a not so strict dad and a math teacher at his daughters high school. Seen through the eyes of the teenage neighborhood boys who are deeply in love with them, the ones who would get through with the approval of the sisters parents coming back from the Libson house taking souvenirs from the libson’s sister’s room and bathroom picturing that everything they touched they were now touching looking at the same travel magazines that they were. The day after prom Lux misses curfew and Mrs. Libson locks the sisters from the outside world making excuses as to why they are missing school they started becoming depressed all they have are travel brochures, rock records that later get burned my their mother and decorating their cluttered room.

Provide your reactions to the book: Jeffrey Eugenides book The Virgin Suicides has a mixture of themes two of these themes are dreamy and dark. It really captures teenagers feeling even though it is through the perspective of the neighborhood boys he still captures both gender’s feeling and point of views.

Conclude by summarizing your idea: I love this book because it is unique and it is not the mainstream coming of age novel it is very different book to read. I would recommend this book to someone who likes coming of age novels.

Why I picked it up: I watched the movie The Virgin Suicides directed by Sophia Coppola and loved it later I found out that it was based on a book so I decided to read it and it was great as well.

Why I kept reading it: I wanted to know how the film contrasted from the book and people always say “the book is better than the movie” and their right the book had little details that the movie dose not show and I just wanted to keep reading page after page.

Who Would I give it to next: I would give this book next to someone who likes to read books that are coming of age that have romance/darkness and a hint of comedy to them.

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

I picked this book up because I had read The DaVinci Code and I had enjoyed it immensely. Then, I found out that there was a prequel. I figured that if it was anything like The DaVinci Code, I would enjoy it as well. I was going to read it for fun, but once I heard about the book trailer project, I decided that it would be more interesting if I tried to make a visual representation of what I thought of this book.

I kept reading this book because it keeps you interested. You cannot put the book down, you just have this need to find out what happens next. Although some parts of this book are really gory and have way too much detail, I live for suspense and thriller novels, so it wasn’t too bad for me to handle. I especially enjoyed the way Dan Brown connected every single plotline to the main plotline at the end of the book and suddenly, everything made sense.

I would recommend this book to any suspense/thriller fans, Illuminati conspiracy theory enthusiasts, and symbologists. You should read this book even if you don’t fall into any of the categories mentioned. I really enjoyed it and I’m sure that many others will too.

And There Were None by Agatha Christie

And_Then_There_Were_None_US_First_Edition_Cover_1940  And There Were None by Agatha Christie presents an unthinkable mystery that keeps the reader in suspense throughout the novel. Ten people are invited to an island where their mysterious host, “Mr. Owen,” has trapped them and is slowly murdering them one by one. The scary part? He is using a nursery rhyme to foreshadow the future outcomes of each character. Why is he doing this? Each individual was specifically chosen to come to island due to a secret crime they had committed in their past. Why can’t they just kill him? The problem is that nobody knows his identity, which made the mystery much more riveting. Agatha Christie, once again, comes up with a masterful ending to a captivating story. This was one of my favorite mystery novels, as the story is always coming up with a new twist and always leaving the reader guessing about the identity of “Mr. Owen”. People who enjoy thrilling mystery novels would love this book the most due to the author’s ability to create a mystery that leaves the reader hooked to the very end.

Jasmine Tripathi and Nathan Abegaz

Strings Attached by Judy Blundell

Summary: Kit Corrigan runs away from her small-town life and seeks refuge in New York City. Her dream is to be a Broadway star, but trying to get a job in New York is harder than she thinks. An unexpected offer comes from her ex-boyfriend’s dad, a powerful lawyer. All she has to do is keep him updated about her moody ex-boyfriend who enlisted in the army. Soon Kit becomes a Lido-Doll with a an expensive apartment. But is it worth it? Are there too many “string’s attached”?

Why I picked it up: I liked the tone and style of writing that Blundell uses as well as what the characters seemed like. I was curious to know more about them and how they would impact the course of the book. Also it was an easy read, and with a lot of schoolwork I wanted a book I could finish fast and relax with.

Why I kept reading it: Despite being a teen book, Strings Attached has many complex relationships. I started out expecting a cheesy-teen book that, I could read rather than mind-blowing books like Neil Gaiman’s. I was pleasantly surprised that the characters had flaws and there there was more of a back-story than I expected. Also, one of the most captivating parts of the book is Blundell’s use of time which goes back and forth and gives insight into her characters.

Who I would give it to next: Someone who likes teen books or fast reads, but wants a little more complexity in relationships.

Reviewed by Juanita D.

Kitty Kitty by Michele Jaffe

Summary:  Jaz has to move from LA to Venice right before her senior years starts because her dad wanted to do research on soap. Jaz thinks that they had to leave LA because she was getting in to too much trouble so she avoids trouble as much as possible. She acts like a model daughter and goes to Italian class because her dad wanted her to learn Italian while she was there. In her class, she became friends with a girl named Arabella who was constantly worried that she was going to get killed by whoever is following her. Jaz does not want to get involved because it sounds like trouble, but one day Arabella is found dead. The police thinks she committed suicide because people saw her jumping into the lake but Jaz knows she didn’t so sneaks around to solve the mystery.

Why I picked it up:  When I was in middle school, my friend recommended the book, Bad Kitty, which is the first book of this series and I really liked it. A few months ago I went to the library and found out that there was a second book so I decided to read it.

Why I kept reading it:  I kept reading this book because it was crazy and funny. Also since it is a
mystery, I didn’t want to stop reading until I knew who killed Arabella.

Who would I give it to next:  I would give this book to anyone who likes humorous mystery stories. Even people who do not really like mystery will probably enjoy this.

Reviewed by Amy H.

Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie

Summary: In the beginning of the book, a news article is published in the Gazzette. The article states how at 6:30 PM, there will be a murder that will take place. Since people believed that it was a party game, everyone around decides to go. They gather around. At exactly 6:30, the lights go off and a couple gun shots are fired. Miss Blacklock is injured after the gun fires; she was shot in the ear. Also, the person that fired the gun shots is dead. Craddock, a detective is soon put on this case and investigate what happened. Craddock interviews everyone at the party and any neighbors who were around during the firing. Craddock then interviews Miss Marple, a guest at the spa. In the very same spa, the shooter worked there. As Craddock goes deeper into the case, he finds that although Letitia Blacklock, the women shot, is nor rich, she is about to gain a good deal of money. Letitia Blacklock happened to have a sister, Charlotte, who apparently died. At the end, the case came open and Craddock found out that Charlotte was not the one who died. Instead, it was Letitia. Charlotte just pretended to be Letitia to get the inherited money.

Why I picked it up: I picked up this book because I read another book written by the author, and found it interesting and fun. The other book was Murder on the Orient Express. I could not stop reading it, and I thought I’d feel the same way for this one.
Why I kept reading it: I kept reading it because it was somewhat filled with some suspense and a couple
Who would I give it to next: I’d give this book to anyone who is a murder mystery fan, especially those of Agatha Christie.