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Teen SRC 2020 – Legend by Marie Lu

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“Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.” – Marie Lu, Legend

Legend by Marie Lu is possibly one of my favourite books of all time. Honestly, I’m quite a sucker for dystopian novels because the rush I get when I’m reading is so wild. The pace that Marie Lu sets for this book is exhilarating, and there are no dull moments in this book.

This story is told through two POVs between Day (Daniel Altan) Wing and June Iparis. Day is an infamous criminal who’s on the run from Republic officials with the help of his friend, Tess. At the same time, June is a prodigy, recently graduated from a Republic academy (although she’s had a good share of rulebreaking herself). When June is set on a mission to hunt down Day, they end up colliding, and everything starts to unfold as they find out their real enemies and underlying secrets.

I enjoyed this novel because the action and the plot twists were invigorating. Every time I thought I had something figured out, something just had to go wrong. I had my breath held the entire way through because of how fast-paced it was (which I love), and I couldn’t put the book down until I reached the end.

However, I felt like there were still pieces missing. I would’ve liked some more details about the world revolving around them. I had so many questions about their surroundings that were left unanswered. I also would’ve liked more time spent on Day and June’s chemistry. It felt rushed, and I wanted to see more development between them.

Lastly, I just want to put it out there that Tess and Day have the most intriguing friendship ever. Their friendship is so well developed to the point where it felt like they were siblings. The way that they cared for each other is a dream most people have, and they were always there for each other. Their backstory was so heartwarming, and it helped me realize how much time it takes to develop sincere trust. I feel like side characters don’t usually get the same amount of admiration as main characters do, which is quite a bummer- but I don’t see how anyone could not adore Tess!

All in all, this novel was an astonishing read, and I would definitely recommend it. My rating for this novel is an 8.5/10 because there were some missing pieces to the story that I would’ve enjoyed seeing.

Till next time,

Max.

Teen SRC 2020 – The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket

The Reptile Room - Snicket, Lemony

The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket

Uncle Monty appears like a kind-hearted and secure person. The Baudelaires like him and it feels like they have finally found their perfect caretaker. They each have their own room and their own duties for the trip they’ll be taking. They’re very eager for the experience and everything seemed to have clicked together. Until Stephano, Uncle Monty’s “assistant”, who is really Count Olaf in disguise, appears in the picture. Everything falls apart as the children desperately tries to persuade the others that Count Olaf is up to mischief once more. But no one even looks twice before dismissing them. Once again the children are left on their own to survive.

It feels that every time they’re given a slight crack at a new life, it’s snatched from them. The relationship between the siblings is exceptionally strong and their strengths really compliment each other. They make an extraordinary team & they each pull their weight when needed. The story shows how sometimes adults dismisses children as a reliable source. But many times because they don’t notice them, children often hear the most I rate this 7/10 as I still really enjoyed it however, why is the only adult helping the Baudelaires an incompetent banker? Shouldn’t there be other RESPONSIBLE adults involved in the process before giving the children to the next caretaker?

Teen SRC 2020 – The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket

The Wide Window

The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket

The children have managed to escape being captured by Count Olaf yet again and now they are at their new guardian, Aunt Josephine. She lost her husband and now lives alone at the top of a cliff, in a house that is right above Lake Lachrymose. However, she worries about everything that might possibly happen, and completely obsessed about grammar. The circumstances there are quite boring but the peace is quickly broken when Violet runs into “Captain Sham”. The children immediately recognizes the man as Count Olaf Right away. However, no one believes them that Count Olaf is back to his old schemes. Therefore, the children are on their own again.

By the third book of this series the formula is already really obvious. Mr Poe pushes the kids to another rookie relative, Count Olaf turns up in a disguise and the children recognizes him automatically. All the adults just dismisses them and their accusations. Count Olaf almost captures the children. They then use each of their own skills (Inventor, book worm, and biter), the children forestall Count Olaf and the follower chosen . Mr Poe coughs, calls the police, and lets Olaf escape; and repeat. Because the pattern is obvious and annoying I am enjoying the series less and less, I would rate this book 6/10. At the start it was interesting and intriguing, but now its really irritating.

Teen SRC 2020 – The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis

The Horse and His Boy - Lewis, C. S.

The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis

It takes place during the Golden Age of Narnia, with the Pevensies ruling at their peak. The two main characters and horses are escaping from Calormen and travelling north of Narnia. On their travel, they learn of the Prince of Calormen’s plan to overtake Archenland. They then have to race the Calormen to Archenland in order to warn the King of Archenland of the incoming attack.

Although the story is set in the countries to the south of Narnia (Calormen and Archenland), which gives it a quite different experience then the previous books. I always find the visual imagery and the feelings of each character as they evolve fascinating. But he revived his deceitful, dirty, turban-clad race, the Calormen. A lost fair skinned boy grew up among them and he is depressed until he is finally reunited with the beautiful, white, and kind people of Narnia. His representation of the people of Calormen is dreadful . When he says “Calor-men”, by calor is he implying people of the hot countries or is it the not inconspicuous way of indicating colored people? However, the descriptions reveals it all; the people are described as dark skin, wears turbans, and savage slave owners. Their leader is a dishonest war-dealer. This land and its people are consistently compared against the fair-skinned, wise and free-thinking people of Narnia and Archenland. However, all of this could be seen from another point of view. Lewis may have been trying to describe the life as it was years ago in that area. There were slavery in those communities too as it was in the western world, and there were child marriages in their society. Besides that, the story came off strongly and all the scenes and visuals are really detailed. I still really enjoyed the story and how it was different from the first two and I rate it 8/10.

Teen SRC 2020 – Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane by Suzanne Collins

Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane - Collins, Suzanne

Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane by Suzanne Collins

After Gregor swore to never go down to the Underlands again, the Underlanders kidnapped his little sister to lure Gregor down. As he is essential in another prophecy that requires him to find the great, evil white rat called the Bane and slay it. He has to decide between his own personal morales and the future of everyone’s lives.

It’s much darker and gorier, characters still dealing with their grief from the previous book, with ethical dilemmas, some dreadful consequences that will affect all the Underlander’s future,allies not being understanding and good as they appear. Twitchtip is so sassy and really adds a huge element to the book. Photos Glow-Glow and Zap were really annoying but humorous as well. I really like the new characters that had been added and unlike other stories death is actually a thing in this series. I would rate this 9/10 and I can’t wait to read the next one.

Teen SRC 2020 – Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief - Riordan, Rick

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson was always said to be “special” because of his behaviour but he had no idea how special he really was. After just narrowing escaping death. he arrives at Camp Half Blood and immediately sent back out on a quest. Zeus’s lighting bolt has gone missing and Percy has to return it to him or else a war is going to erupt.

After I first finished reading this book, I was confused about the mythology parts. But after researching and finding out about the relationships between each character it become much more clear. Throughout the entire story, the adventure is written through the eyes of Percy Jackson. Because it isn’t told in a 3rd person’s view, it makes the entire story come to life and each emotion the character feels can be experienced by the reader. I have read many books from the 3rd person’s view, or it changes POV. throughout the book; it leaves less space for surprises for the reader but it gives the reader and anxious feeling on what is going to happen when the secret is revealed. I prefer 1st person view than 3rd person as I do love a good twist. In this story, Percy Jackson is a person who’s fatal flaw is wanting to save his loved ones. His rivals often use it against him, and he is forced to decide on what is more important. This leads the ethical questions that he often ponders about. I would rate this book 8/10. I actually tried to read this book a couple years ago and I had such a hard time connecting everything, so I gave up before finishing chapter 2. Now I am really glad I revisited it and I am excited to finish the rest of the series as well.

Teen SRC 2020- The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Today I’ll be reviewing perhaps the most controversial book of our times… JUST kidding, I don’t know that it’s especially controversial, but I myself had trouble forming an opinion on it. I didn’t quite know what to think about it all, but there is one thing I can tell you: Any author that writes a main character that readers can hate without making them hate the book itself is a talented as heck. And of course, with the Hunger Games trilogy, we already knew that about Suzanne Collins.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows tyrannical dictator President Snow… as a teenager. Coriolanus is struggling to maintain appearances while living in abject poverty with his cousin Tigris and grandmother. As one of the highest-achieving students in his class, Coriolanus is chosen to serve as mentor for a Hunger Games tribute. Coriolanus knows that if he carries his tribute to victory, he will have a better chance at the University scholarship that could be his last chance at saving the family’s dire circumstances.

When the mentors are given their district assignations, Coriolanus is horrified to see that he has been assigned the girl tribute for District 12. The lowest of the low– how could the Snow name have been reduced to this? And to rub salt in the wound, Sejanus Plinth, a district-born boy coming from new money has been given a District 2 tribute! Then his tribute, Lucy Gray Baird, gives a striking show at her reaping and Coriolanus thinks he may have a chance after all.

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Teen SRC 2020 – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter is in his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry and his friends investigates the deadly Sirius Black, an escaped prisoner from Azkaban who they believe is one of Lord Voldemort followers and the reason Harry’s parents died. Now the rumors are that he is coming for Harry as well.

There’s a distinct change in mood, style, and a maturation in the writing and scenes. As the characters grow older, the challenges they faced became more intense and grave. The schemes became shadier especially in relation to Sirius and his connection in the murders of Potter’s parents. It all just got so much better. The entire story felt less soft and less feel-good. For the first time it seemed like if Harry didn’t gather up his confidence he could actually die. He owed tons to Lupin here, a hugely essential one in the development of Harry. This one is my favorite so far and I would rate it 9/10.

Teen SRC 2020 – American Royals by Katharine McGee

American Royals

Hey guys! Summer School started this week so I apologize if your reviews take a bit longer to get published. Anyways, onto my review!

American Royals by Katharine McGee is about a world where George Washington became King of the United States instead of being voted President. Now, over 200 years later, his descendants are still on the throne.

Before we get into it, I would like to say that although the concept is super interesting, I did find it odd and not very believable. The entire American Revolution was to escape the British monarchy, so I couldn’t see why the people would decide to have yet another sovereign.

Anyways, the story talks mainly about the three Washington siblings: Beatrice, the heir, who is patient, polite and perfect. Jefferson (Jeff), the only son, who has two very different girls in his heart. Finally, Samantha (Sam), the polar opposite of her sister, a very wild card. The entire book is about their life and the drama that comes with being so well-known; two of their closest friends, Nina and Daphne, also have integral roles in the story.

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