Friday, December 19, 2014

Book Review: The Selection By Kiera Cass

Title: The Selection

Author: Kiera Cass

Genre: Dystopian, Romance
Series: The Selection Book 1

Book Summary: (via Goodreads)
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself--and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
Characters: America, Maxon, and Aspen are the main characters. There are a ton of great secondary characters in this book!

Plot:  In this dystopian country of what was once North America is now has a royal family and is ruled by a king. America is living with her family, trying to help support them and figure out to marry the boy she is in love with who is of a lower caste when the Selection is announced. The Selection is a contest where 35 girls compete to win the heart of the prince and become a princess.  All girls of marrying age are encouraged to apply for a part in this contest. From the applications, 35 girls are chosen. The girls live in the castle, and agree to have their lives filmed for TV (think The Bachelor).  Prince Maxon will then narrow the girls down to 10 who will become known as the Elite.  
What I Loved: AMERICA!! I loved, loved, loved her!  Once she becomes part of the Selection she is awesome.  She speaks her mind, (which I can relate to) although she never really thinks of the consequences of some of her opinions (which I can also relate too!).  Without giving to much away I also liked how strong of a character she is, when the time comes for action she willing to to what it takes to help everyone, regardless of level.  I have to be honest I really like Prince Maxon as well.  He is naive, but likeable and the interactions between him and America are believeable which to me is one of the biggest wins for me in this book.  I am not a fan of The Bachelor (or any reality TV really) so I was very hesitant to read this but I found myself completely sucked in and I could not put this book down!

What I could have done without: The love triangle.  I understand why it is there and at the beginning of the book I kind of liked Aspen, HOWEVER by the end ugggggggg!  However, this is my only complaint of the book.  So really if you can get past it, this is definite read!

Final Grade: A

    Book Review by Janine

Monday, December 1, 2014

December Display Ideas

These are my current displays in my library.  My bulletin board is

Stashing Through the Snow
I also have a plastic 8 1/2 by 11 vertical paper holder that I use to promote different books as well as our school calendar so that students are up to date on what is going on. These change monthly so they can be a little time consuming but the students really like them so it makes it worth it!!


Monday, November 24, 2014

Book Review: THE 5TH WAVE by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey


I was hearing so much about this book (mostly from Janine!) before I read it. To be honest, though, it was this book trailer that finally got to me:
Cassie is on the run from “Them,” who are destroying all of humanity to make room for their own colonization of our planet.  They are carrying out their attack in waves.  The first wave, an electromagnetic pulse, makes the machines, upon which we rely so heavily, useless. The second wave consists of tsunamis that destroy all coastal lands. The third wave is a fatal disease spread by birds. With the fourth wave come the “Silencers,” alien consciousness that have been implanted into humans at their conception.  Cassie and her brother Sam have managed to survive all of these waves, and she is determined to reunite with him after he is taken from her during an attack. “Zombie” is also a survivor, one who, after his training in boot camp designed to turn him into an alien killer, has nearly forgotten who he was was before the first wave.  Their paths come to a surprising collision.

This book, if nothing else, was definitely a page-turner!  The suspense and twists and turns of the plot made me ignore mundane things like dishes and proper bedtimes in order to get to the next part.  It’s one of those novels that is just destined to become a movie… not just because of the current dystopian trend, but also because, with Yancey’s detail, you can visualize everything as you read.  This is another nice cross-over for YA and adult reading.  I’m not sure why it hasn’t caught on more than it has. I would expect that this might be the next “Hunger Games” phenomenon.  In my honest opinion, The 5th Wave certainly would merit the attention that the Hunger Games trilogy has, and I am itching to read the sequel, The Infinite Sea.

Book Review: A REALLY AWESOME MESS by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin

A Really Awesome Mess by Trish Cook and Brendan Halpin


I had high hopes for this novel.  I mean, when the summary says that it is a little Recovery Road, a little Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist, and a bit of Juno, my expectations are going to be high.

I liked the idea of the two authors writing in alternating points of view.  Both narrators have both landed themselves in Heartland Academy, a somewhat swanky mental hospital for teens.  Justin, still dealing with his parents’ divorce, gets caught in a compromising position with a girl, and takes a handful of Tylenol.  Emmy, adopted from China, has a hard time fitting in with her “perfect” family.  She is struggling with an eating disorder after a rather personal photo of her gets spread among classmates and Emmy threatens the boy who shared the photo.  Along with a diverse group of motley characters, they form an unlikely friendship that gives them support and leads to one fateful night of freedom.

Here is what preventing me from enjoying this book: the dialog.  One thing that drives me crazy is when young adult authors use a lot of slang or “dumb down” the language of teenagers.  I spend all day with teenagers, and they do not talk like this!  They are more intelligent and well-spoken than they are given credit.  I don’t think Justin or Emmy or any of the other characters were unintelligent, but they were written in such a way that made me cringe.




This was a display that I repeated from last year at the high school.  It takes a while for the kids to "get it," but it usually generates a few laughs, and this year, I had to replace 4 of the titles from the display due to check-outs, so that's always a good sign!

Post by Nicky

Thursday, November 20, 2014

"Use in Case of Feels" Display

November 2014

Inspired by a post I saw on Pinterest, this display has earned the most comments from my students!  They love it, and it's been difficult to keep the display counter full.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Book Review: The Raven Boys

  The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

   Review by Janine

"There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark's Eve.  Either you're his true love ...... or you killed him.".               - The Raven Boys

Blue Sargent lives in the little town of Henrietta, Virgina.  Her mom and the rest of her family are psychics but Blue herself is not.  As if that wasn't hard enough she has been raised being told that she will cause her true love to die and while she doesn't really believe this she feels that it is no worry as she has never met anyone that she would even consider to be close to her true love.  That all changes however when she accompanies her aunt on St. Mark's Eve to see the souls of those who will pass in the coming year and for the first time Blue sees someone, Gansey.  Gansey and his group of Aglionby boys turn out to not be what Blue expected.  These boys are looking for an ancient ley line and with the help of Blue, they are on their way to quickly discovering its secrets and the secrets of a small town.  As they get closer to their goal not everything is as it seems.... friendships and loyalties will be tested and not everyone is who they seem to be....
  This book is one of those the sucked me in and I couldn't put down.  The story begins in alternating voices between Blue and Gansey, which I really liked because you really got into the different characters heads and could quickly see how their lives would be interweaving.  Blue is such a likeable character... she is the misfit in her family since she herself is not psychic so while she doesn't always feel like she fits in, she isn't whiny about that, she just accepts it and moves on.  I feel that since this is just the first book in the series that there is much more to her than meets the eye and I can't wait to see how that all plays out!! I also loved the Ganesy and his group of friends, Adam, Noah, and Ronan.  Each of these boys who all are so interesting in and of themselves, have bought into Ganesy's quest for the finding the ley line (which Ganesy credits for saving his life).  One of the things that I loved is that each of the boys has his own very strong character and really story.  This for me makes the story so much more developed and really gives you a feeling that you know each of the characters and each really adds so much to the story.  Then as the characters come all together it just...clicks like the missing piece of a puzzle.
   Between the characters, the flow of the story and the story itself, I was not ready for the book to end when it did! However this is one of those rare occurrences where I waited so long to read the book, number two was already out!! *insert happy dance*