Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The 100 (The Hundred) by Kass Morgan

Target audience - Grades 9 - 12

No one has set foot on Earth in centuries -- until now.

Ever since a devastating nuclear war, humanity has lived on spaceships far above Earth's radioactive surface. Now, one hundred juvenile delinquents -- considered expendable by society -- are being sent on a dangerous mission: to recolonize the planet. It could be their second chance at life...or it could be a suicide mission.

CLARKE was arrested for treason, though she's haunted by the memory of what she really did. WELLS, the chancellor's son, came to Earth for the girl he loves -- but will she ever forgive him? Reckless BELLAMY fought his way onto the transport pod to protect his sister, the other half of the only pair of siblings in the universe. And GLASS managed to escape back onto the ship, only to find that life there is just as dangerous as she feared it would be on Earth.

Confronted with a savage land and haunted by secrets from their pasts, the hundred must fight to survive. They were never meant to be heroes, but they may be mankind's last hope.

I liked the storyline for this novel and can see readers of dystopic societies and science fiction enjoying the multiple plot twists. The chapters are short and the pages are easy to read; the characters deal with realistic situations in an unrealistic back drop, living on a space station, which make them easily relatable. I also appreciated the authors reflections on how a person who never lived on Earth might interpret some of its natural wonders like sunsets or rain storms. The story flips between the different characters who have unconventional names which can be confusing and at times reads like a television series. Perhaps that’s why its already been picked up by the CW station as part of their Spring lineup (March 2014).  Overall, “The Hundred” was a book worth recommending to high school students.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Review: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars 
by John Green

Book Description:
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.


I have to be honest here and admit that I was afraid to read this book.  Though it's gotten rave reviews from just about anyone who has ever read it, I was terrified of how "sad" this book would be... I tend to shy away from books dealing with death, cancer, war, etc.  

Am I glad I read this book finally? YES.  It was amazing.  This book is going to be known as John Green's masterpiece someday.  This book deals with teens with cancer in the perfect way.  They are not children, they are not adults, they are real teenagers.  They play video games, they question life, they fall in love.  They egg cars, they meet their favorite author...they die.  

While this book deals with the gritty realism of terminal illness, not shying away from the horrific realization that everyone's time comes eventually, it also deals with the subject with the perfect balance of love and hope.  Even as I cried through parts of the book, when I turned the last page I was left smiling.  

A wonderful book that all older readers (including the adults in our lives!) should really read.