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The Recruit – A Review

Posted on March 20th, 2015 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff

The Recruit

 

Title/Author: The Recruit by Robert Muchamore

Read by: Anna, Teen Librarian at Teen Central

Summary: A young boy finds a way out of his rough life after his mother dies, when he is given the opportunity to train as a spy for the British government.

Series/Standalone: Book one out of twelve.

Genre/sub-genre: Mystery/Thriller/Espionage

Diversity: Some of the more minor characters came from different backgrounds.

Relatable characters: Yes, though some of the characters seemed a lot older than their stated ages.

Would I re-read?: Perhaps, though I am really looking forward to reading the rest of this series.

Personal thoughts: This was a very fast read for me, as I couldn’t put it down. It was also something that I wish had been around when I was a teen because I know I would have loved it back then too. The characters were great, and James’ first mission was interesting because it did leave him with a lot of questions about the validity of what the government was doing versus what common civilians were trying to do, and what large companies sometimes get up to. If you enjoy reading about spies, I encourage you to pick up this book, you’ll be glad you did!

Princess of the Midnight Ball – a review

Posted on February 4th, 2013 by Mary in Books, Reviews - Staff

 

I am a collector of “The 12 Dancing Princesses” The original “12 Dancing Princesses” by the Grimm Brothers is well grim as is most of the stories that were never originally intended for children. I love how writers interpret this fairy tale and “Princess of the Midnight Ball” is no exception.

Princess of the Midnight Ball brought a different spin on the story although retained some of the originally story plot. Princess Rose and her sisters were put under a curse that was struck by 2 bargains with their mother, Queen Maude and King Under Stone. The price: Queen Maude had to pay was to dance for King Under Stone every two weeks. When the Queen would miss a ball, the number of nights increased. Queen Maude died when the youngest princess, Petunia, was 2 years old. The princesses then had to take up the payment for the two struck bargains made with King Under Stone.

Along comes Galin, the hero of the story, home from the war. It took a while for the war to end as well as for him to get home. Since his father and mother both died during the war, he went to find his mother’s family to see if they could let him stay with them for a while and know of a job for him. His Uncle Reiner was the chief gardener of the castle so Galin was given a job as an under-gardener. Galin’s first meeting with one of the princesses, Rose, that resulted in a mishap. Galin eventually picks up the task of wanting to find out the reason for the princesses’ shoes to be worn out every three days. He guessed that they had to be going somewhere. He received permission from the King to monitor the grounds to see if the princesses came outside to go to their intended destination. No luck. Eventually, he was able to get permission to find out what was going on by sitting in the Princesses’ room. He has a few tricks up his sleeve to help him be unnoticed and to follow the princesses. He becomes determined to save them from King Under Stone.

Since this is a retelling of a fairytale, you know there has to be a happy ending. But it’s how Jessica Day George gets to the happy ending that keeps the reader in suspense.

Because I have been reading various adaptations of “the 12 Dancing Princesses”, I had no idea how the story would go. I love how authors can take the premise of the story and change it to a new location with more or less details depending on the intended audience.

I could imagine the storyline in my head as I was reading, what the characters looked like and the scenery. I like a book that brings out my imagination. So I would recommend this book to everyone who loves to use their imagination.

Graffiti Moon – A Teen Review

Posted on April 4th, 2012 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Teens

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Read by: John, a teen at the Copley Teen Room

Graffiti Moon is a brilliant story about the awkward moments and true aspects of teenage love.
Ed is a graffiti artist who goes by the name of Shadow, spraying raw emotions onto the city walls.
Lucy blows glass, crafting her memories into tranperant art.
Lucy wants to find shadow. He is here dream man. Simple enough? No.
Lucy and Ed have actually dated before, which ended with Ed touching her butt and Lucy breaking his nose.
On their last night of senior year, follow them on a misadventure of expression of art, poetry, reality vs.
expectation, and a struggle to accept one’s self.
I enjoyed this and laughed for the first time in a long time reading about Ed, his poetic yet mischevious friend,
lucy and her supposedly psychic friend as each chapter shows different aspects of the same amazing night. I couldn’t
put the book down and regreted finishing it so fast.

Night Circus – A Review

Posted on January 25th, 2012 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff

Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Read by: Anna / Copley Teen Room

Are you looking for an enchanting read? Night Circus is the story of a young man and a young woman pitted against each other in a strange, twisted magical challenge that could very well last for years, maybe even until they die. There are no set parameters for the challenge that they know of. Both of their instructors are vague on the details, but what each of them does know, is that the strange circus, unlike any circus you’ve ever been to, is their playground, the place where they can experiment with real magic, and challenge each other. These are not parlor tricks they play. They do not pull rabbits out of hats or slot rings together. They do not ride on the backs of elephants or send large cats through hoops of fire. Instead, they make wishing trees, and caves of ice, places where the circus patrons can venture through and explore, things they can create for each other. Even as love blossoms between them, they rarely ever meet in person.

This is no ordinary circus. The gates don’t open until dark, and they don’t close until dawn. The circus arrives one day with nothing to announce it’s coming. And it leaves just the same. It is simply there one day, and gone the next. The cast of characters that inhabit the circus are just as interesting as the two main characters, for it is they, who make up the circus: The fortune teller, who’s in love with one of the challengers, the illusionist, the contortionist, the two twins with shocking red hair, one born just before the first ever opening of the circus, and the other born just after.

This is a riveting read you won’t be able to put down until the very end. Trust me on this. Pick up your copy today, and give it a read. You will be glad you did. And maybe someday, somewhere around the world you’ll see those famous black and white striped tents, and the magical clock striking midnight in your backyard…

The Last Herald Mage – A Review

Posted on December 27th, 2011 by Anna in Books, Reviews - Staff

This is the fantasy/gay romance trilogy by Mercedes Lackey which begins with the book Magic’s Pawn, which I’ve previously reviewed here. All three books contained in this large, single volume are these: Magic’s Pawn, Magic’s Promise, and Magic’s Price.  Now that I’ve finished all three books, I cannot speak highly enough of all three. Mercedes Lackey is one heck of an amazing author. All three books deal with many serious issues (such as rape, death of a loved one, suicide, and others) in a straightforward way. Some issues can be hard to deal with in a real life setting, and she shows just how hard they can be even in a magical place. Yet, at the same time, you won’t find these books hard to read. The characters are easily relatable, and most of the magic is easily understood. Here, there are no wands or Harry Potter-like magic. Within the world, the magic used is commonly referred to as “mind magic”. Hard to explain, but once you read it, it makes perfect sense.

This trilogy is roughly twenty years old now, but it’s no worse for the passage of time. If you enjoy fantasy books and like gay romance, you will thoroughly enjoy this book. Hands down.