Thursday, May 2, 2013

Teen Review: New Science Fiction

Title: Shades of Earth
Author: Beth Revis
Pages: 369
Genre: Science Fiction
Series: Yes, third book
Level: High School
Reviewed by: Farah M.,
college freshman

Amy and Elder have finally landed on Centauri-Earth. It's a chance for change and new beginnings, but it’s not all fun and games. They’re faced with tons of betrayal and deceit from those closest to them. This new planet has countless secrets and new resources that challenge Elder, Amy, and the people on the ship Godspeed. Lives are lost, and trusts and bonds are broken in this epic fight for survival. I loved this book of the series. I loved the connection, now stronger, between Amy and Elder. I loved the constant surprises that Revis has thrown at me the entire time during their journey. I loved the new adventure and change that everyone had to go through to survive in their strange new place they now call home. I can’t say I disliked much from the book except the few losses that occurred. Not many people enjoy the changing of perspective (a different character narrating) from one chapter event to another, however, I enjoyed it and I didn’t find it difficult to read. It easily flowed from Amy’s perspective of a scene to Elder’s. This book in my opinion was brilliant, and if you haven’t read the first books of the series, then I suggest you hop to it right away and get started. A brand new romance and adventure in space full of deceit and hardships, which is something not much seen in YA books. The entire book made me feel like I was on a roller coaster ride. It went from joy to sadness, then shock and anger leading to contentment once again as I was reading it.

The cover was exactly how I would picture it, showing the metal and earth of a new world. You would be able to tell what kind of story it is from the cover. I would recommend this book to anyone really who loves the thrill and adventure, anyone who loves science fiction and a budding romance through and through (start at the first book, though!). This book was one of my absolute favorites and I would hope any other YA fan would enjoy Beth Revis stories as well.

Editor's note: The first two books are Across the Universe, and A Million Suns. You can find all three at the Burbank Public Library! (We also have book one as audio.) Beth Revis's website has a lot of great content, including some tips for aspiring writers.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Teen Review: Fantasy / Angels

Days of Blood and Starlight

Author: Laini Taylor
Number of Pages: 513
Genre: YA fiction, Fantasy
Sequel to
Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Reading Level: 8th grade +
Reviewed by:
Harika K., 9th Grade

Rating: 4/5 stars

Once again Laini Taylor exhibits a gift for creating a magical world through words in Days of Blood and Starlight. The story continues to follow the self-realized Karou and the dejected yet still hopeful Akiva. The characters are now on opposite sides, but Karou knows there is something amiss in the renewing chimaera rebellion and the leadership of the White Wolf. On the other side of Eretz, Akiva starts to create his own movement in the world of seraphim, currently under the bloody rule of Joram. Full of hatred, Karou wants to avenge her people, but finds herself caught in a web of lies and facing the cruel reality of war. Carrying Brimstone’s weight, Karou must choose how or if she will lead Eretz to peace...she may really be the last hope.

As a sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, I held pretty high expectations for this book. Throughout the whole book, I was distraught over Karou’s depressing demeanor and was even frustrated with her relapsing “shame.” However, these new characteristics allowed the reader a greater connection to Karou and made her reactions seem more natural, at least from a human’s perspective. All the characters, both old and new, were described as richly as ever. The reader will find his or her hand rapidly turning page after page, wanting to know each character’s next move. Taylor weaves splendid plot twists that chase after one another and piece together a world, or worlds, on the verge of collapse. The comedic relief presented by Zusanna and her boyfriend, Mik, balanced out the somber atmosphere that engulfed the rest of the book. The character that grew the most was definitely Akiva: his morals, his leadership, his magic, his genuine desire for peace makes him a light in a dark cave, and I was rooting for him all the way until the end. The ending was slightly predictable, but set up a great place to start off the next book. I look forward to reading the next stretch of the journey for what happens to the fictional world of Eretz and to Earth.

Editor's note: We also have both of these as audio books. trailer contest, oh NOOOOO! The due date is TODAY! HOW did we not know about this to tell you?! Well, if you work well under pressure, go here to find out the details! can always look at those created by others once they're turned in and published...

Monday, April 29, 2013

Come to the book sale!

The Central Library Auditorium is jam-packed with hardcover and paperback fiction, nonfiction on almost every topic, books for children and teens, reference books, text books, music, DVDs, a few old and rare things...come on down and poke around! The prices are definitely teen-friendly!

The book sale hours are:
Tuesday, April 30 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday, May 1 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday, May 2 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday, May 3 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday, May 4 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Here are some of the things the Friends pay for (for YOU!) with the funds earned at the book sale:
  • E-BOOKS and DOWNLOADABLE AUDIO, as well as other materials for the library!
So if you want to support our library...come to the book sale and spend your money!

Teen Review: Fable

The Alchemist
by Paulo Coelho
162 pages

Fable, magic, personal philosophy
Young Adult/Adult
Reviewed by E. E., 9th grade

S Y N O P S I S :
A shepherd boy named Santiago has recurring dreams about a child telling him to find treasure at the Pyramids of Egypt. With a fortune teller as his guide and the help of a king, Santiago decides to give up his sheep and goes on a journey to fulfill his destiny and find the treasure depicted in his dreams. Getting money stolen, becoming an assistant to a merchant, and meeting his true love are only obstacles to accomplishing his true goal in life.

R E V I E W :
I thought that this was a really good book. Coelho writes a lot about the idea of a ‘personal legend,’ or destiny. He illustrates that everyone has their own purpose to fulfill in life; they just have to find it. Even though the book is a bit magical, it seems almost realistic in the way that the author writes it. I found the main character to be really likeable. Also, the book was very easy to read and wasn’t too long either. If you studied the book more carefully, you would pick up on hidden messages or morals that the author has for the reader.

Rating: 4 

Note: BPL owns this book in several languages, and also as an audio book.