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 after 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.
Summary: I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban, is by Malala Yousafzai, a young girl from Swat Valley, who is standing up for girls rights and education against the Taliban. I am Malala is an autobiography that describes the hardships of living under the Taliban, and the ways Malala herself stood up against their bans on the things that women could do, such as being educated. This book is her journey through her life that started peacefully without the Taliban, and then as the Taliban gains power how life changed and instead of doing as the Taliban wanted and keeping safe, she spoke up against the inequalities and stood up for women’s rights. It shows her dedication to a safer and educated world for not only girls, but boys as well. Not just children but adults. Even after being moved to England, she continues to fight for education.
I thought this book was amazing because Malala was 12 year old girl that impacted the world so greatly and in such a positive way. It shows how a girl who doesn’t let go of her hopes and dreams can achieve so much, even though they are from a humble background. The book was very informative and encouraging. Malala talks about all the things that are going on as she struggles against the Taliban with her father and a few other outspoken individuals.
I agree with Malala’s opinions, that every child and adult should be given an education because it is their right. No matter the gender of a person, people have a right to being informed, and it is crucial world that people are educated. A common theme is that people should be informed and educated. That people should have the rights that they deserve, rights that all people should have because they are human.
I believe this book is encouraging and that it really shows a human face to this great international hero that Malala has become. It also shows the hardships that people face, living under the Taliban and breaks the many stereotypes that people have gained of Muslim people. I really liked this book, because Malala spoke out through this book to show people what was really going on in the Middle East. Many people have a very withdrawn perspective on what is going on in the Middle East. They don’t really understand what it is like to live there, but I am Malala can change this spectator view and show what is really going on. Living in America, or really anywhere not in the Middle East, it is hard to be able to “walk” in these people’s shoes. We don’t know what it’s like, but through Malala, we can understand. I would definitely recommend this to everyone. I believe that everyone should read this book, not just because of the ideas that Malala Yousafzai talks about, but also because it is an incredibly encouraging and life changing story.
I picked up this book because I was curious to learn about Malala Yousafzai. It was wonderful to see someone my age, though at the time younger, to go through these hardships that she faced and still keep fighting for something that is so dear to her heart, and because of her struggles and her continuous efforts has changed the world for the better in so many ways. Malala Yousafzai’s tale is an encouraging tale, and I would recommend it to everyone. Malala’s story is sure to grab anyone’s attention, and it can really change a person’s perspective as well as help them make a difference in their own community.
Reviewed by Rabia kamal
The Lightning Thief, the first book of the Percy Jackson series, is written by Rick Riordan. He has also written two other series, one about Egyptian mythology and the other about Greek as well as Roman mythology. The Lightning Thief is a fantasy fiction, revolving around Greek Mythology. Riordan uses the three powerful Greek gods: Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades as well as the Titan Kronos to play major roles in this novel. This fictional book is based on a dyslexic 6th grade boy, finding out that he is a half-blood, meaning his father is a god, however his mother is a human mortal. This boy, named Percy Jackson, finds out that he is not a normal human. He is taken to a camp to be trained to face evils that he will face in the future. As the title states the Lightning Thief, this book is about a thief who stole the Lightning Bolt, a symbol of power, from the Greek god, Zeus, in order to ignite a significant war against the powerful gods. The ending of this novel, is left at a cliff-hanger as the thief is known only to Percy. The overall theme of this book is associated with the motif of identity. Riordan suggests that the theme of the novel is: identity should be recognized as life progresses, rather than at rough times of life. This fictional book talks about a young boy and his ambiguity of his reality. This novel is really interesting as a boy in middle school finds his real parents and sets out on adventurous journey to help a god. This is an action packed book which ensures that the reader doesn’t get bored at any point of the plot. The only question that this book would raise in a reader, is, “What happens next?” By ending the plot with a cliff-hanger, Riordan compels the reader to continue reading the next book in the series. In my opinion, this book lacks nothing. It is both relatable as well as action-filled. By visualizing the plot of the novel, I personally find it amusing to read this book. I love this book, because it is fascinating to portray in my mind. As the plot deepens, so does my attention to detail as I visualize the images of the plot in my mind. The book talks about the strength that each god posses, and their power granted to their children. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in action-filled novels.
I picked up this fictional book, because it had a displayed a contrasting and interesting juxtaposition of an innocent boy in a dangerous world. The novel implied a relatable yet an engaging tone as suggested by the adventurous almost dangerous cover. I selected this novel, because of both the peculiar and the conceptual title, The Lightning Thief. Finally, I chose this novel, due to the vast majority of my friends and peers recommending it. I was genuinely drawn into the novel because it was fascinating to me. Not only was it easy to comprehend, but also this book was extremely relatable to me and displayed to me that even though school and life gets rough, just seek comfort by surrounding yourself with people that give you positive influence in your life. This book was also exceptionally easy to visualize the scenes in my mind, which in turn made it better for me to effortlessly understand the entire plot. I would give this fictional book to anyone interested in reading action and adventurous books. People who are interested in fantasy fiction and greek mythology would love reading this book. This text could be given to anyone as it is easy visualize the plot.
Reviewed by Sam Choppala
The Argo II have made progress on many quests but they are no where near defeating the earth mother, Gaia. Her giants have all risen and they are stronger than ever. The demigods must face Gaia before the Feast of Spes, where she plans to have two demigods sacrificed to Athens. Gaia needs their blood to awake. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter,led by Octavian, is ready to strike Camp Half Blood. The gods are still suffering from multiple personality disorder, so they are useless. It up to the young demigods to stop Gaia from rising. If Gaia rises, then its game over.
This book is full of adventure and near death experiences by many of the crew members. The Blood of Olympus keeps you on the edge of the seats, and there are also moments where things are sad.
I think the Blood of Olympus is a really good book and a great finish to the series. I really loved of Rick added Reyna’s and Nico’s points of view because we get to know more about them. However, I would have loved if Rick added more Percy and Annabeth’s point of view. I also think the ending could have been better.
My friend in 6th grade recommended me the Percy Jackson and I was hooked from that moment on. I loved how Rick mixed modern day time and Mythology.
I kept reading it because the book was crazy and funny. The book is adventure so you want to know where they are going and who dies.
I would recommend this book to anybody who likes mythology and loves adventure books. This book series is seriously amazing, but I recommend you to read Percy Jackson and Olympians series first before reading The Heroes of Olympus. Because some things the chracters say in the Heroes of Olympus you might not understand.
Reviewed by Swetha
Summary: The storyline is an intertwining of Tom Sherbourne and his wife Isabel’s life after they decide to raise a ship-wrecked baby as their own and the life of the baby’s mother and how each react when they find out about each other.
Why I picked it up: It was my choice for the Book Club assignment for AP Lit over December break!
Why I kept reading it: I needed to find out what would happen to each of the characters (whether they would accept or deny the truth and new revelations) and think more about how to judge the actions of two opposing sides when each side is so morally gray.
Who would I give it to next: Anyone! But particularly freshmen; they’re more likely than other high school students to be at the point where it’s hard to take into consideration the consequences of one’s actions and acknowledge that there are more perspectives than one’s own.
Reviewed by Selena H.
Summary: The book Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman shows the true life of enthusiasm as well as its meaning. The novel depicts the life of two teenage girls; Julie Lefkowitz and Ashleigh who are indeed very close friends, but do not have much in common. Julie is calm and keeps to herself while Ashleigh is an absurd enthusiast who has extreme enthusiasm over all sorts of things, from movies, to novels and all the way to history.
But now, Ashleigh is obsessed with the novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin. Ashleigh is so obsessed with the characters that she wants to make the story come true, all she ever talks about is Pride and Prejudice, as well as classical English. She seems to believe that she is part of the story, walking around in classic cloth, gowns and armors that are made from the most diverse materials. These two girls have known each other since elementary, and Ashleigh has embarrassed Julie multiple times. But now that they are in high school and coincidentally they both go through the affection and dreams of Pride and Prejudice, they are both obsessed with the novel and want to meet their very own Darcy and Mr. Bingely from the novel. Both girls sneak into a prep boys school dance with the help of a friendand unfortunately both develop feelings for the same Mr. Darcy or Mr. Bingely named Charlie at the dance. What will the girls do being obsessed with Pride and Prejudice, a novel that lives in teenage girls even in modern times, but instead of two girls and two guys this time there’s two girls and only one guy?
Why I picked it up: I picked this book up because this book seemed very famous and the novel itself seemed illustrative and visual. It was a very romantic and crafty as well as an intelligent novel with a lot of connections to literature in it. The writing and depiction of feelings seemed enthusiastic and the title Enthusiasm itself had a broad meaning, which made me want to find out what the book was about.
Why I kept reading it: I kept reading this book because it was very exciting and interesting, there were a lot of dilemmas and comedy along with tragedy and the idea was clever. I enjoyed how the book was connecting the old novel of Pride and Prejudice to our modern world and showing how much it can possibly affect teenagers.
Who would I give it to next: I would give this book to anyone seeking a humorous and entertaining novel, which at the same time provides the reader with new and creative ideas as well as ways to connect literature with teenagers.
Reviewed by Ahmed E.
Summary: In this allegorically magnificent book, the political and economic views of socialism and communism are reviewed in a fun and exciting way. In this book, there is a feud that continuously grows between farmers and their unhappy farm animals. The farm animals start a rebellion because they wish to be free from their captors. With the leadership skills of Snowball and Napoleon, the herd of animals achieve an impossible feat. They rebel and rebel until they eventually start to become like the beings they once despised.
Why I picked it up: I picked up this book because my dad recommended it to me.
Why I kept reading it: I kept reading this book because it was insightful, knowledgeable, and fun. I would suggest this book to anyone interested in politics and history.
Who should read it next: I would mostly recommend this book to any ordinary high school or middle school students because of the valuable historical lessons it teaches.
Reviewed by Jacob A.