All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Image result for All The Light We cAnnot SeeThis is a story about a German boy and a blind French girl in World War II. This is not a very romantic love story, but it is love that helps the girl survive. Werner Pfennig grew up in a small, very poor German coal-mining town. As an orphan, his life was tough and without hope. However, his talents in radio mechanics totally alter his options when war breaks out. Warner is trained at the most rigorous and famed German Military school and is sent to the frontlines. Marie-Laure LeBlanc is a blind French girl who lives in Paris with her dad, the locksmith of the Museum of Natural History. After the German invasion, they flee to the coastal town of Saint-Malo in possession of a cursed and rare gem.  Although for most of the book the two characters lives are told separately, an old radio broadcast is a thread that ties them together and influences both of their lives. The reason that I love this book is that it shows how war can destroy people.Image result for anthony doerr

Like Warner says in the book, “If it is not for the war, these people will live with their free will. They might not become important people, but as least they can live the lives that they choose and live with it.”

Review by MS. Chen

Graffiti Moon

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Image result for graffiti moonSenior year and graduation is over.  Daisy, Lucy and Jazz want a little adventure and fun.  Lucy thinks that it will come in the shape of the mural artist known as “Shadow”; if only she can find him.  Jazz wouldn’t mind finding his partner “Poet.” Daisy just wants to forget about her boyfriend who stupidly egged her after school.  Instead they wind up hanging out with Ed, Leo and Dylan (Daisy’s dumb boyfriend).  Told in alternating chapters by Ed and Lucy a story unfolds of loneliness, longing, fear and unanswered questions – and it all happens in one night. The characters are smart and funny as well as realistic and honest.

Review by Ms. Brenner

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins


url-1The Girl on the Train
written by Paula Hawkins is a psychological thriller that takes us throughout the life of Rachel Watson post divorce. Rachel was a drunk and was always described as having an overactive imagination. She finds herself to have a fascination with this young, active couple. Megan, the woman in the relationship was perfect in Rachel’s eyes. Young, attractive, happy. She watched them idly from the train she rode every morning, and she watched as their bond grew and flourished. She envied their new found love until one day, she catches Megan kissing another man. Rage consumed her, she didn’t understand how she could allow her perfect relationship to slip through her fingers. She drowned her rage in alcohol and the next morning she finds herself bruised, and bloodied with no recollection of what happened the night before. She turned on the news and noticed that the headline of the day was that Megan was missing. Rachel finds her world flipped upside down. She is questioned by police, and all fingers point to her being the one who did it. She is fed memories of her actions from her ex-husband Tom but none of it adds up. Did Rachel have something to do with Megan’s disappearance? Or is there a secondary source contributing to this thriller?

Review by Sydney

 

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One by Ernest ClineImage result for ready player one

In Ready Player One, Cline creates the unlikely pair of futuristic virtual reality technology and eighties culture – with captivating success. Most of the novel takes place in the online Oasis, but despite the absence of “real” danger, still manages to create a suspense that had me unable to put it down. When impoverished, eighteen-year-old Wade Watts becomes the first person in the worldwide challenge to find a hidden Easter Egg in the Oasis — a challenge that the winner of will inherit the fortune of its late creator — he now needs to figure out the rest of the riddles that lead to the egg while competing with other gamers and evading greedy, even dangerous, corporations. Ready Player One explores the creative ways that VR technology can change video games and society as a whole, with plenty of eighties pop culture references. Despite the fact that I am neither a videogamer nor an 80’s enthusiast, I still found the novel engrossing to the very end.

Review by Abigail

Nil by Lynne Matson

Image result for nil by lynne matsonNil by Lynne Matson

One minute you are in a Target parking lot and the next you are naked in a rock field on what appears to be an island..  That’s what happens to Charlie.  Apparently she isn’t the only teen that has been abducted by some mysterious force.  Nil is the name they’ve given this place and the force. Each person has exactly one year from the date of their arrival to make it through the gate that opens for them sporadically and without warning.  After that you die. With the, to be expected, tensions and attractions between characters as well as the dangers and unexpected events the story makes for a very good read.

Reviewed by Ms. Brenner

Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde

Image result for lost in a good book by jasper ffordeLost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde

Thursday Next, a literary detective in the Special Operations division, has become famous for her work trapping a villain in the pages of Jane Eyre. Set in an alternate universe centered in England, Thursday and he husband Landon start noticing bizarre coincidences that put their lives in danger. Thursday’s father, a renegade time traveler being hunted by the ChronoGuard, keeps finding her in the past and future to warn her about a mysterious substance that will destroy the world if she doesn’t stop it. At the same time Thursday keeps meeting Miss Havisham from Great Expectations to be trained as a book jumper. As the plot threads begin to merge and the characters keep meeting, the book becomes even more engaging. The second in the Thursday Next series, Lost in a Good Book continues Jasper Fforde’s wildly inventive and humorous universe created in The Eyre Affair. While having read the works of literature mentioned is not necessary, familiarity with their plots gives the reader a deeper understanding of this book. Fforde even brings in a character from his Nursery Crime series. This book is great fun and well worth the reader’s time.

Lost in a Good Book sub index

Review by Ms. Goldstein-Erickson

Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett

the_front_cover_of_the_book_raising_steam_by_terry_pratchettRaising steam by Terry Pratchett

After his father dies in an accident working with steam and metal, 10 year old Dick Simnel vows to make steam his servant. Ten years later, Dick tells his mother he has educated himself in mathematics at the library, knows what went wrong with his father’s work and shows his mother the prototype of a steam engine he calls Iron Girder. After Iron Girder takes a few turns on tracks he’s laid in a field at home, Dick announces he’s taking Iron Girder to the city of Ankh Morpork. Lord Vetinari, tyrant of Ankh Morpork, sends Moist von Lipwig to see this novel machine. Both Moist and Dick realize the potential it has to carry people and goods. Even as Lord Vetinari, Moist and businessman Sir Harry King begin planning what they call the railway, a group of renegade dwarfs called grags begin fomenting a rebellion. As the grags and railway are heading toward open warfare, Moist keeps extending the railway throughout the area.

Since this is a Terry Pratchett book, plot twists and Image result for terry pratchettturns, colorful characters and humor come without pause. Just when the reader suspects what’s coming next, Pratchett springs another surprise. This title also features Moist von Lipwign one of my favorite DiscWorld characters. Published near the end of Pratchett’s much-too-short life, this title is one to treasure.

Review by Ms. Goldstein-Erickson