Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Star Wars: The Force Awakens, By Alan Dean Foster

Star Wars: the Force Awakens, by Alan Dean Foster

Star Wars the Force Awakens is a story about a girl on a remote planet that feels lost, alone, and trapped. Rey,the main character, is a resident of the planet Jakku, a desert planet where only scavengers and brigands live, the planet being mostly deserted save for a few remote villages after the massive battle that took place there that ended the war. She is stuck in this hive of depression as she waits for her parents, who apparently left her there as a child, to come back and get her. She is pulled out and into the light when Finn arrives. Finn is a stormtrooper of the evil First Order, a successor state to the Empire, who has defected. He arrives on Jakku after the tie fighter he is flying in with escaped Resistance pilot Poe Dameron, crashes. Together the three meet characters we have met before and new characters we will remember for a long time, with even more info on things at parts than the movie provides us.

The book opens with Finn and his fellow stormtroopers assaulting a village on Jakku where Poe Dameron is meeting with Lor San Tekka, a man who has a piece of the map that will show the Resistance where Jedi Master Luke Skywalker is hiding. Finn, after being ordered to assist in the slaughter of the village people, decides to defect, which he does once on board the Star Destroyer. He helps Poe escape and they crash land on Jakku, this crash presumably killing Poe. This is where Finn meets Rey, who has come into ownership of BB-8, the droid who has the map piece. They eventually escape off planet together with BB-8 in the Millennium Falcon. After going off planet they met with many challenges, running away from Rathtars, helping the Resistance fight the First Order, and finding Luke.

The novel version of the Force Awakens is just as good as the movie but with some additive dialogue, especially in the fight scene at the end of the movie. As far the plot goes my major gripe, the same issue many people have with this story, is that it is very similar to the Episode IV: A New Hope as it has many similar plot points and tropes. It is different enough to not be too mad about it but I feel with the next one (The Last Jedi) they will need to be differing from Episode V a great deal, unless they want tanking reviews and a disappointed audience and readership. The novelization is worth the read as it gives you many new scenes and dialogue lines that were not in the movie that give you better insight as to the events that are taking place. If you are at all a Star Wars fan I would recommend this book.

Reviewers Score: 8.8/10

The Secret History of Us, By Jessi Kirby

The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby is a romance novel that is full of mystery and a few plot twists. The story focuses on Olivia, a high school student, who wakes up from her coma, unable to recall why she was in one to begin with. She also forgets everything from the time between her first year in high school all the way to the present. She has no way to truly remember anything that makes up who she is. A lot of things frighten her and she’s not sure how to handle her memory loss because it feels like she doesn’t know who she is and everyone is telling her who she was. She remembers her parents and two of her best friends, but she doesn’t remember why she stopped hanging out with one of them. She doesn’t remember her boyfriend, but everyone tells her they are the perfect couple. However, she feels no connection to her boyfriend, but she does feel an inexplicable gravitation towards Walker, the boy who saved her. With her memory loss and her growing attraction for Walker, it complicates her relationship with Matt and makes her life harder than it was.

Although I can’t literally relate to what Olivia is going through, I can relate to the overall point that figuring out who you’re supposed to be is hard. I also know that it makes it even harder when other people tell you who you’re supposed to be. Plus, the fact that it’s a teenager who is going through this makes it all the more relatable to high school students. Overall, it was a pretty good book. However, in my opinion, there was no real aspect of pure romance to it. I found it to be more of a mystery or suspenseful novel. Although, I would still recommend this book to those who enjoy a book with a lot of suspense with a dash of romance mixed in.

By: Sierra Brock

Monday, October 30, 2017

"Eat, Brains, Love" By: Jeff Hart

  “Eat,Brains,Love” by Jeff Hart

     This past month I read a bit of a horror book in response to it being the season of Halloween. This book was a horror/romance that was also quite action packed. On the scale of horror thrills, it really wasn’t scary it just had the horror aspect of it. The romance wasn’t as much of a part of the book either. The plot of the book is pretty good for a short novel though.
In this book two teenagers from both sides of the social spectrum, one’s popular, one’s a loser find out they’re zombies. Soon they are on a chase away from the government who is using a teenage psychic to find them. The story follows them on a road trip, with these two learning what their new life is going to be.  While on this crazy road trip the two of them start realizing it will be just them in their new life. They start to fall for each other, but don’t want to admit it to themselves.  The other part of the book shows things from Cass’s side. She struggles with her psychic powers, and also how to be an abnormal teen chasing after the zombie couple. This shows that while she is struggling, many others are struggling to, and the author shows how to get through things.

I believe that this book would be great for anyone who really likes action in their novels. Most of the book was based on the actual chasing after the couple. There were only bits and pieces that involved any real romance. On a scale 1-10 I would say this book was a 7, because personally I would’ve liked to have a more general ending. At the end most of the scenes were jumbled and confusing.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Bleed Like Me - Book Review

Bleed Like Me, by C. Desir

Creepy name for a book, right? This book definitely fits the Halloween vibe for October, for it takes the definition of a modern love story and actually twists it into a horrific tragic novel. I think Bleed Like Me definitely fits under the category of cliché love stories, so I would only recommend it to those who have a high threshold for sappy plots. However, I do think it has a great plot twist ending, so if you’re into mystery, I think this book would be a fantastic selection as well. It is also a very quick and straightforward read, but I feel like there is a lot of advice that can be pulled out and used in real life situations.
One of the protagonists in the story is a teenage girl by the name of Amelia, but is liked to be called Gannon. She fits the personality of an angsty, isolated girl, who only keeps to herself and doesn’t like to associate with anyone. This attitude is certainly caused by one of the main conflicts in the book, which is her relationship with her troubled family. She lives with three younger, adopted siblings who were orphans from Guatemala. Her siblings pose great problems and chaos for her parents, as they are terrible troublemakers who always seem to give her family a very difficult time. Think of the worst thing that you have ever done and then multiply its intensity by a thousand. That’s how bad these little kids are. As a result, Gannon usually tries to avoid home and tends to hang out alone at the skate park or go to work. One day, at the skate park, she meets a boy that resembles the same mysterious vibe that Gannon has, and so they connect very quickly. This boy, who is very enigmatic, seems to possess strong feelings for Gannon in a very short time. From this point on, the book reveals their relationship that comes with countless struggles and emotional battles.
What I found to be the greatest element of this novel is definitely the emotional conflicts of Amelia. She is at an extremely difficult part of her life, where she doesn’t really know where to fit in. She sees this new boy as a new light in her life, and doesn’t really think about the consequences that come with being with this guy. She drifts further away from her family and friends and really loses a part of herself just to be in this relationship. Of course, she doesn’t see that it is toxic in the beginning and disregards everybody’s advice, letting this guy take control of her entire life. Infatuation vs love is definitely the biggest lesson to take from this story, and it shows that obsessive love isn’t love at all and is actually very unhealthy and toxic.
Situations like these are very relevant and common in real life and it’s often too late when someone realizes they are in something like this. I feel like this book does a great job of explaining this in a dramatic and captivating way. Some parts in the story were hard to read at first only because they were graphic in the sense that it was too cheesy for me to take in. However, this book is still a great read and I would recommend it to anyone who does relate to these kind of relationships in any way. I think that there is a lot that can be learned from this novel, and like I said in the beginning, it gives off a nice, horror-like atmosphere for October.

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Enemy, by Charlie Higson

The Enemy by Charlie Higson is the first book in a series of seven. It is a horror novel set in post-apocalyptic London, England. It centers around a group of schoolkids who are trapped in their school by grownups who have been turned into zombie-like creatures because of a virus. Jack and Ed, who are two of the schoolkids, convince the rest of their group to fight their way out of the building so they can find somewhere safe. They lose some friends along the way, but the remaining kids get saved by a man who has not yet been infected by the virus. As the kids get further away from the school, their adventure becomes more dangerous and thrilling.
Personally, this is one of my favourite books. I say this because it’s written in a way that is well detailed so it creates a good mental picture and it helps the reader to relate to some of the characters. This book is also very interesting and there are plot twists in almost every chapter. The ending leaves the reader with a huge cliffhanger so intense that it’s impossible not to read the rest of the series. I loved this book so much and there is honestly nothing about it that I would change! I think that people who enjoy horror and adventure would probably get the most enjoyment out of this book. However, I would still recommend it to everyone.

By: Sierra Brock
Something Borrowed, by Emily Griffin

Something Borrowed by Emily Griffin starts off with the main character Rachel, on her 30th birthday. She is “surprised” about the unexpected party her best friend, since their childhood, Darcy threw for her. Rachel has always been more of a shut off person, however when she was with Darcy her personality flips to a little bit more outgoing. Darcy was more of the adventurous friend, bold and not afraid to get her opinion out there. During the party Rachel realizes that she knows no one there, they were all Darcy’s friends! This book is more of a romantic, drama, comedy which takes you through a rollercoaster of emotions. Rachel is in love with a guy she met in college named Dex, who also seems to be interested in her, as a friend. One night she introduces Dex to Darcy, and they hit it off. A few months pass as she third wheels on their dates, in agony. He pronounces that he would like to marry Darcy to Rachel. The book just goes on with Rachel having to help plan her best friend's wedding with the love of her life. Rachel starts to be more open on how she feels, and tells Dex. Rachel has the conflict of loving the guy and losing her best friend, or letting them get together and lose herself.

by Leaja Perry

Friday, September 29, 2017

Battle Scars:Fields of Conflict, by John Wilson

Battle Scars is the continuation of Nate, Walt, and Sunday’s story during the American Civil War. In this book we find Nate to be a much more depressing and morose character. Through the loss he had inflicted upon him we see his character change, from a patriotic boy who only wants to serve his country to a angry, sad man who has lost everything and has a longing for death. Walt on the other hand is probably the character with the most little change in character, the only difference being is that in this book he is officially a member of the Union army and is fighting in the war. Sunday seems like he traded character traits with Nate in this book, as he is now the patriotic one full of gusto and determination to serve. Id say it is an accurate portrayal if not a glamorous one of what would happen if events like these happened to characters, just children really, who were in the middle of a warzone.

This book, being 162 pages, is actually the same length as the first one but goes by faster as there is many more battles including the Battle of Gettysburg and the Battle of Fort Wagner, both famous battles of the Civil War. While the majority of this book finds itself in the horror of war and is not something I would read if I was in a bad mood, it does resolve itself in a way I find to be possible, most likely inaccurate for most in this bloody war. Nate and Sunday’s story lines are probably the most interesting plotlines as they have real character arcs while Walt’s is more like a character line, his character more or less staying the same for the majority of the book.

Battle Scars: Fields of Conflict is the second and final book of Nate, Sunday, and Walt’s story and it is a satisfying conclusion, albeit not as strong a book as the first one. While reading the book I found myself enjoying the depth of what was happening to Sunday and Nate continually disappointed with Walt’s lackluster, afterthought story line. It's like the author was unwilling to take large risks with Walt’s character and just decided to keep him on a straight path, not a journey. Overall a decent book with accurate depictions of war in the age.

Reviewer Score: 6/10