Member Book Review: Full Ride

by Margaret Peterson Haddix

reviewed by Karina

fullrideFrom the moment this book starts it firmly attaches to your heart. It pulls at your heart strings every step of the way, through every wittingly titled chapter, through every dramatic sentence, through every span of drama. Full ride is truly a novel worth throwing away two or so hours of your life on. This story starts out in Virginia with our main character Becca. She and her mother have been in hiding for years and they want to escape the pain. The pain of what? Of her father’s many crimes putting them all in danger of Excellerand, a highly powerful corporation like Google. Becca never gets to see or hear from her father unless their malicious, power hungry lawyer gets involved. Becca and her mother flee to Deskins, Ohio where they can start anew, but even by moving Becca can’t achieve the one goal she has. All she wants is to go to college, but with her predicament she can’t…until she finds a scholarship.It’s a full ride scholarship and all of Becca’s friends want it too. It’s called the Whitney Court scholarship…

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Holiday Favorites

by Mae

The holidays are upon us; and that means everyone is getting into the spirit with their favorite holiday traditions.  One of my personal favorite things to kick off winter cheer is to use my “Peppermint Bark Lip Shine” from Philosophy.  It smells like deep peppermint with a touch of dark chocolate.

Swiss Miss Marshmallow Lover’s hot chocolate also gets me into the ho-ho-holidays.  It comes with so many marshmallows, one pouch can’t keep all the gooey goodness contained.  The mix comes in one packet, and marshmallows in another.  This is truly a delicious winter time drink.

My final holiday favorite is “Holidays on Ice” by David Sedaris.  It’s a book containing a collection of six Christmas themed short stories.  The story that had me laughing was”Christmas Means Giving. “  It’s about an extremely wealthy family who are the envy of the whole neighborhood until the Cottinghams roll into town.  The Cottinghams quickly try to one up their outrageously rich neighbors.  First it starts with little things like pre-Columbian sofa bed collections and 10,000 flip flops.  Eventually the two families get into a big fight about whose family Christmas card is the most meaningful.  Then, as you can guess, it becomes a race to see who can create a holiday card leaving their rich neighbors Oooooing and Awwwing at their family’s generosity.  I was giggling through the whole story, so over all Christmas Means Giving could not have been a more perfect ending to this short story collection.

I wish you and your friends and family a happy, healthy and safe holiday as well as a new year full of exciting opportunities and love.

Member Book Review: Bonechiller

Bonechiller

by Graham McNamee

                                                                             Review by Mae

    Bonechiller is a must read for anyone who enjoys suspense, mystery and sci-fi all mixed together with a dash of romance.  It kept me on my toes from start to finish, always wanting; which is not necessarily a good thing.  Graham McNamee writes brilliantly making all the characters seem so raw and real.  However, he seems to have forgotten part of the story line in the middle and the end.

Danny has been hiding; hiding from the truth and harsh reality about what happened in Toronto.  Eventually, he ends up in Harvest Cove, a town seemingly at the end of the world in Canada’s empty wilds.  The cold, harsh winter soon sets in, and Danny and his friends start to experience some crazy things.  Will Danny be able to stop the madness while battling an internal conflict, and keep a special someone by his side straight to the end?

Graham McNamee has won many awards and much praise for his works.  Bonechiller was no different.  Although his main point of the book was to be full of suspense; which it was; McNamee seemed to forget about the internal conflict going on with Danny towards the end.  It  almost seemed as if McNamee wanted the reader to forget things going on in Danny’s mind so he didn’t have to bother to write some sort of resolution to it.  In addition, toward the middle Danny’s love interest was put on hold to make way for the main conflict; which drove me crazy.  I wish McNamee could have kept up the same amount of suspense for Danny’s emotional conflict and leading lady as the main conflict.

Overall, Bonechiller was suspenseful, but could have been thought out a little better.  I give this a 3 out of 5 stars.

Member Book Review: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

by John Boyne   

review by Corinne  

If someone said “best friend” to you, would someone immediately come to mind?  This book tells the story of two boys with different lives-one a son of a highly decorated Nazi commander and the other a Jewish prisoner in a concentration camp.  Set in 1940’s Germany, this is a heartfelt story of friendship, courage, discrimination and sadness.  This is a story that shows even the most different of people can be the best of friends.  Read the adventures of Bruno and Shmuel, and you won’t regret it.  That is why I would recommend The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne.

 

Teen Book Review – “Everlost”

Skinnjacker Trilogy Book #1

By Neal Shusterman

Published by Scholastic

Copyright © 2006

Review by Mae

Everlost is an amazing read for anyone who enjoys romance, science fiction, and adventure. This book introduces you to the world of Everlost. It is the place in between life and death, heaven and hell.

Nick and Allie have never formally met, but they end up in a car wreck. When they awaken they are in a strange world with strange laws of gravity and other laws of physics. Nick and Allie set off to explore this strange world and they find Mary Hightower, honorary queen of Everlost.

Nick loves Mary’s civilization; however, Allie is unsatisfied and wants to learn more about the “Criminal Arts” and her power as a skinjacker. There is also the one true monster of Everlost lurking in the shadows. Will Allie adjust? Why is Nick so enticed by Mary?

This book contains a unique mixture of several genres and allows the mind to explore the possibilities of life after death. It is a very different, yet somewhat plausible theory of the afterlife.

I strongly recommend Everlost! You won’t be able to put it down, because it keeps you guessing and offers so many different genres. The next book in the series should be just as great.

Book Review: War Horse

By Michael Morpurgo

Review by Sarah (TAB Member)

World War I took over 7 million lives, but people were not the only things that were killed. Hundreds of thousands of horses were killed and even more were wounded. Horses were just as much of an asset to World War I as men were. Michael Morpurgo wrote the eye-opening novel War Horse told from the perspective of a farm horse named Joey who ends up becoming a “War Horse.”

Joey lived on a farm with the most loyal master that a horse could have. Albert was Joey’s best friend and would do anything for him. Joey had come to the farm when he was just a colt after Albert’s dad purchased him at an auction. Immediately, Albert fell in love with the colt and named him Joey. The boy spent as much time as he possible could with him. He taught Joey to pull, to plow, and to carry someone on his back. Joey was trained well, and to Albert he was a one of a kind horse.

World War I started while Joey was on the farm, and one day Albert’s father came and led Joey out of the stable. He hitched him to a wagon and took him into town. Once there, Joey saw a lot of military men and he wondered why the army was there. Then it happened, Albert’s dad sold Joey to the army so that he could get the money to keep the farm going. Joey was now a war horse.

Joey was taken to training camp where he was to be whipped into shape. His rider and master was Corporal Samuel Perkins. The Corporal was a man that both men and horses respectfully feared, but he always made sure that Joey was comfortable and had everything he needed. While at the camp, Joey met another horse named Topthorn. The two became inseparable and they constantly relied upon each other for support. It was Topthorn who kept Joey calm during tough times.

This book helped bring the reality of World War I to life. I never knew that horses played such a crucial role in the war. They pulled medical carts and machinery and they delivered messages and supplies. This book touched my heart because Albert lost his best friend to the war and throughout the whole book he never stopped looking for him. The connections that Joey made with the people around him, whether it was Albert, the Corporal, or a little girl, showed how special Joey was. I would recommend this book to those who want to read good books about loyalty and friendship.