Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Genius Squad

by Catherine Jinks

In this sequel to "Evil Genius," we find 15 year-old Cadel Piggott trying to survive as a protected witness in the Axis Institute investigations while avoiding life-threatening dangers from his imprisoned evil father. Along with his best friend, he joins a group of teenage computer hackers recruited to take down a rotten corporation and finally puts his evil genius training to good use. Full of twists and turns, cyber-espionage and the author's use of great detail, the reader will stay on the edge of their seat!

--Nick C., Student

The Supernaturalist

by Eoin Colfer

Set in a futuristic world where making money is everthing and people are treated as marketing test objects, orphan Cosmo Hill knows that he is living on borrowed time. After an attempt to escape from his orphanage, he is rescued by a group who call themselves the Supernaturalists. They have dedicated their lives to destroying Parasites which feed on the essence of the living. Cosmo joins the group in their attempt to destroy the creatures.

In this book, Colfer does a great job of providing an exciting read with enough twists and turns to keep the reader surprised - but never confused. The author is never afraid to take risks in his novels and in this one he succeeds at good characterization and fun plot.

-- Zack Varvel, Faculty

Monday, September 21, 2009

Thirteen Reasons Why

by Jay Asher

High school senior, Clay Jensen, comes home one day to find a package filled with audiotapes and a map. The tapes contain stories from Hannah Baker, a girl Clay adored from afar and who recently committed suicide. In the tapes Hannah provides 13 reasons why she committed suicide. Among the reasons she describes how her reputation was questioned, her parents were distracted by financial problems, her friends used her, and when she reached out for help, no one stepped forward. Finally, slights and misunderstandings snowballed until she could no longer cope. As Clay listens to her stories and visits the locations she describes, he reflects on how he might have been able to save Hannah. The author does a great job of explaining what it is like to be new in town, instantly gain popularity, but suffer through some tough teen-age problems. In the end, Hannah's final reason for her death may shock you.

--Jacob W., Student

Vampire Academy: Shadow Kiss

by Richelle Mead

This third book in the Vampire Academy series takes us back to St. Vladimir's Academy where Rose Hathaway is close to graduation. In these final stages of training, she is beginning to have terrible headaches, flashbacks, and a feeling that something is very wrong. As she struggles to keep her best friend Lissa, safe, her secret but forbidden love, Dimitri, is mysteriously taken. Soon she must choose between saving her best friends life and loosing her true love forever! With a twist ending that challenges Rose's inner strength, this book is full of action, drama, and romance!

--Kathleen M., Student

Drama High: The Fight

by L. Divine

Like the title of this series, this book is filled with drama! Jayd is a girl living in Compton, CA and attending a predominately white high school in a wealthy part of Los Angeles, where she and 30 other Compton kids get bussed to daily. In this book from the series, Jayd's confronted by her ex-boyfriend's new girl who wants to make sure Jayd understands he's off limits! With the fight set for Friday, Jayd quickly learns who her true friends are, and the enemies to keep an eye on.

--Alex P., Student

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

by Stephen Chbosky

This is an amazing book about a kid named Charlie who's not very popular at his school. The story of this "wallflower" is told through letters that he writes to his unnamed friends. Over the course of the book you learn how Charlie deals with the usual high school problems--sex, drugs, the thuggish football team, and even a friend's suicide. This author does a great job of expressing how it feels to be a high school teenager trying to deal with problems big and small.

--Tyriona H., Student

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Black is the New Dead

by Marlene Perez

The Giordano sisters have psychic powers and a way of getting mixed up in mysteries. When Miss Popular, cheerleader Samantha Devereaux, comes back to school with a completely new look - dead, that is - it doesn't seem to bother anyone, and before long looking dead becomes the rage. That's when Daisy Giordano gets suspicious, and she and her sisters get to work investigating the strange events happening at school. Could the culprit really be a vampire? This book provides romance, mystery, adventure, and the supernatural all rolled up in a fast-paced, plot-twisting story that will keep you wanting more!

-- A'bre M., Student

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City

by Kirsten Miller

Ananka Fishbein lives in Manhattan and is just an average girl leading a mostly boring life. Until one day she wakes up to find the park across the street has become a giant sinkhole. Soon, Ananka meets mysterious Kiki Strike and together they form a group of highly talented girls called The Irregulars. As the girls begin to explore Shadow City, the secret city under New York's subway system, they begin to uncover its mysteries and a dangerous plot to destroy it. On top of it all, they must deal with the one million hungry rats that call Shadow city their home.

-- Philip S., Student

It's Kind of a Funny Story

by Ned Vizzini

After getting accepted into one of New York's most exclusive high schools, 9th grader Craig Gilner struggles to keep up with the pressure. He finds himself falling into a deep depression, and after contemplating suicide, checks himself into a psychiatric hospital. The only space available is on the adult psychiatric wing, and it is here where he finds the help he needs. Filled with humor, sadness, adventure, and hope, this is a great book that will keep you reading all the way through! It actually is a funny story!

-- Josh H., Student