Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Magnus Chase: Ship of the Dead Book Review

Book: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard - The Ship of the Dead
Author: Rick Riordan
Teen Reviewer: Se Choi
Rating: 3/5 Stars

Synopsis: Loki is threatening humanity by bringing by bringing his undead soldiers and giants on to the Ship of the Dead and destroying the world. So to stop this threat, Magnus Chase gathers his friends and sails off to stop Loki and the giants. On the way, Magnus finds a way to defeat Loki by challenging Loki to a contest of insulting each other until one person is defeated. By drinking Kvasir’s Mead, Magnus would be able to gain incredible knowledge to defeat Loki. So, to get info on where the Mead is, they had to defeat multiple giants and a dragon. To get the mead itself, they had to kill more giants and run away to Niflheim to finally fight Loki, with help from a friend, they survived the cold conditions for the night. Being lent skies, they quickly rushed to fight Loki and his army on the doomsday boat before he could sail out and cause the end of the world. Because of Magnus’s effort and persistence, Loki loses a close battle of insults and is returned as captive to the other Norse gods.  The gods thank Magnus and his friends and they live a happy life.

Review: The author tries to entertain the reader with outdated humor and numerous cheesy jokes. It may have worked with his earlier books, but its lost its charm. Aside from the jokes, the plot itself is the same good old story from many of Rick Riordan’s books. The main character and his/her companions are faced with numerous and large problems, and they solve it and get rewarded by the mythical gods that needed their help. The novel is good... but repetitive from all the other books the author wrote.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Book Reviews: Long Way Down

Title: Long Way Down
Author: Jason Reynolds
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Teen Reviewer: Se Choi

Synopsis: William Holoman’s brother, Shawn, had been shot by who he knew as Riggs. Deeply inflicted by this, he was sucked in by a sadness and darkness. One of his family’s rules were to get revenge. Because of this rule, he knew he had to kill the one who shot his brother. So, with his brother’s gun, he made a plan on how to kill Riggs and how to get away with it. The next day, filled with anxiety and fear, he started to go down the elevator of his apartment to kill Riggs. As he went down each level, everyone he knew that was murdered walked in to talk about how they died and how they felt about it. They had all died because of their family’s rule, to always get revenge. That rule had caused turmoil among his family, starting a chain of unthinking spite and rage. Due to this, Will realized that he was about to murder a man who he thought killed his brother. By doing this, he would continue that chain of revenge. Finally reaching the main floor, he was left with a choice of killing or not.

Review: This novel helps realize that revenge is not always the best choice, that it only spreads hate. It also shows the main character’s emotions and thoughts well. A novel that gives a clear message and shows realistic emotions is what makes it great. The format of the book is also very interesting and intriguing.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Book Review: The Special Ones

Title: The Special Ones
Author: Em Bailey
Teen Reviewer: Emily Sullivan
Rating: 4/5

The Special Ones by Em Bailey follows 4 kids trapped in a cult, specifically Esther. Esther and the others are trapped on a remote farm, constantly being watched by Him. Her only other interactions are between the other Special Ones and their followers, who they talk to once a night, with His permission. Playing a role to save her life, Esther must act at all times throughout her day because He is always watching. One wrong move and Esther will be renewed. None of the Special Ones know what it means to be renewed, but those who are renewed are never seen or heard from again. Trying to keep hope in her faux life, Esther struggles to overcome the daily challenges that come along with being a Special One while at the same time trying to find a way to escape the cult.

Filled with plot twists and multiple perspectives, The Special Ones is an amazing read for those who love to be on the edge of their seats.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Book Review: Running Full Tilt

Title: Running Full Tilt
Author: Michael Currinder
Teen Reviewer: Se Choi
Rating: 4/5 Stars

Synopsis: Leo had moved from Manchester because his brother, Caleb, had autism and caused trouble in the neighborhood there. But after they moved, Caleb began to become more violent and attacked Leo if he was irritated. When this happened, Leo took Caleb to the pool or ran away from the house for long periods of time. Running helped him escape Caleb but also he liked the feeling of running. So when school started, he joined the track team. On that team, he met a friend named Curtis that understood him and also taught him how to run properly. He also met a girl named Mary that emotionally supported him. With Caleb, they won several races together. Back at home, Caleb began to have seizures and his parents continued to fight with each other caused by the stress coming from taking care of Caleb. One day, seeing that Leo ran outside constantly, Caleb decided to start running himself. Hour after hour Caleb ran long-distance to be like Leo. Caleb continued to randomly attack Leo but he always forgave him. But later, Caleb drowned because of a seizure that he had while swimming in a pool. Leo did not go to school for a week but spent it with Mary and his grandparents. While fishing, he felt as though Caleb was right next to him when looking at the water’s reflection. Thinking of Caleb, Leo thought that they departed from each other on good terms.

Review: Although Caleb seemed to be a burden to Leo and his parents, at the near end of Caleb’s life, Leo saw that Caleb was important to him. This realization that Leo has is the best part of the novel. Caleb’s end is a realization to Leo that Caleb wasn’t a burden but a true part of his family.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Book Review: The Exo Project

Title: The Exo Project
Author: Andrew Deyoung
Teen Reviewer: Se Choi
Rating: 4/5 Stars

The planet earth is ruined by pollution and the fragile ozone layer is destroyed. Now the planet is being baked in the heat and people have to wear protective suits so they won’t fry up. But a new idea was made to save the people on earth: the Exo Project. Participants that signed up will be frozen in time and travel to other planets to find a habitable planet for the people on earth. If they fail to find such a planet, they will have to take a pill that will kill them. 

Matthew is a participant. He is doing this so the human race will live on. When reaching the planet, he and his team of two people find trouble, as the world is habitable but occupied with other beings that look like humans. But when a member of his team fires a gun at two alien children, the people of the planet dislike the strangers. As the people are thinking this, their leader Kiva thinks otherwise. She welcomes them to their village, which sparks rebellion against her. As tensions rise, Matthew has the choice to tell mission control that the planet is habitable or save the kind village people from extinction. 

Otherwise, the earth people of earth would overtake them. 
The solution becomes clear when he finds that the planet is also near to death, but when someone did the right thing, the planet became beautiful once more. He believed that Earth will become better in the same way and that people can adapt. So after they announce to mission control that the mission failed, he sends the ship away and lives with Kiva for the rest of his life.

The novel is very enjoyable to read because the story captures your mind. It keeps you from putting down the book until you're done reading more than half of it.