Sunday, November 29, 2015

Endangered by Eliot Schrefer

After reading Threatened by Eliot Schrefer, I was excited to read Endangered, since it is also a realistic fiction book about animals and survival by the same author. Sophie's parents are divorced. She lives with her dad in Miami, and visits her mom in the summer in Congo. She has a sanctuary for bonobos (apes), and Sophie wants nothing to do with it. That is, until a baby bonobo named Otto comes into her life. However, the fun and games don't last as long as she hoped. When a civil war erupts in Kinshasa and the president dies, Sophie and Otto escape into the jungle with the bonobos in an effort to stay alive.

Sophie is a very sophisticated teenager, and her thoughts and words seem like they should come out of an adult, which I liked. I thought that she handled herself very well in the complex situation that she was in.

Even though the majority of the book took place in a war, it was not scary or upsetting, since there were animals in it, too. I liked that this book had the right amounts of sadness and happiness, creating a perfect blend of emotions. Endangered helped teach me about bonobos, as I previously had no idea what they were, and about the Congo. The deep visual of the setting made me feel like I was really there. The pace of the story also sped up and slowed down, appropriately depending on what the characters were doing. The story is very suspenseful and full of emotion.

I recommend that you read this book.

Title: Endangered
Author: Eliot Schrefer
Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks
Pages: 288 pages
Series: No
Rating: 4 Stars

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner is the first book in this sci-fi mystery series. The only thing Thomas can remember when he wakes up in the lift is his name. He is in the Glade, a maze that nobody can figure a way out of, with other people his age who don't remember anything either. Soon after Thomas arrives, a girl in a coma named Teresa arrives, and has a special connection to him. With their help, maybe they can discover a way out- before there is nobody left to escape. 

I loved how easy it was to connect with the characters, especially Thomas. Furthermore, I think the author did a good job at describing how Thomas and the other boys felt without their memories, and the desperation that Thomas felt. Another thing I loved about Thomas was that from the start he had hope, and nobody else did. The others kept trying to convince him that there is no way out, but he kept going. That is the type of character that I love to read about.

The setting was painted really clearly. I could picture everything that was written. What was great was that very little was revealed, which makes me curious to read the others in this series. 

I cannot wait to read the next book in this young adult series, The Scorch Trials!

Title: The Maze Runner
Author: James Dashner
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 384 pages
Series: Yes, Book 1
Rating: 5 Stars

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X is the first book in its young adult science fiction fantasy series. Daniel has the power to create. He can create anything he wants, and can become anything he wants. He is the protector of Earth, the Alien Hunter. When he was three years old, his parents died from one of the aliens on The List. Now, he is carrying out his father's wishes, and starts defeating the aliens on the list, one by one.

One thing I didn't like about the book was that it was really hard to understand. A lot of times it was hard to tell whether something was real or created. It also felt like there were a lot of things going on at once. I disliked the fact that I could not connect to Daniel at all. He was just another character, but I could not feel anything special about him, just his powers. I was drawn into the super powers, but there was not really much excitement with them.

On the bright side, The Dangerous Days of Daniel X got better as the book continued. I liked that it was very suspenseful, and some of the ways he chose to use his powers were very funny! The story is creative, but the writing needs improvement.

There are six books in this series. To be fair, I am going to try reading the next book to see if the writing and character development improves.

Title: The Dangerous Days of Daniel X (Daniel X #1)
Author: James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Pages: 238 pages
Series: Yes, Book 1
Rating: 2 Stars

Monday, November 23, 2015

iBoy by Kevin Brooks

iBoy is a young adult science fiction book that combines humans and technology. Before, Tom Harvey was just a normal teen living a normal life. But after someone threw an iPhone at his head from the 30th floor of his apartment building, pieces of an iPhone got stuck in his brain. Tom can now do everything a phone can do, plus the ability to shock things from up to three feet away. He becomes known as iBoy, a superhero protecting the violent local area. The same people who threw the phone at him were the same people who attacked his friend, Lucy. With his new powers, Tom will take the law into his own hands, and hunt down the gangsters who hurt her.

A huge lesson in this book is that revenge is never the answer, and it only creates more problems. iBoy shows that with having great power comes great responsibility. Tom also has a lot of self conflict. He is hacking into government stuff, and doesn't know if he should feel guilty.

The idea of iBoy is so original and interesting. I love that it made me think, and that I could picture myself in the book. Being able to connect to the audience is very important in a book. At the top of the first page in every chapter, there would be a quote or a fact that was relevant to the content in the chapter. 

I highly recommend that you read this original book!

Title: iBoy
Author: Kevin Brooks
Publisher: Chicken House
Pages: 288 pages
Series: No
Rating: 5 stars

Monday, November 16, 2015

Light (Gone Book 6) by Michael Grant

Light is the last book in the young adult dystopian series, Gone. It has been over a year since all the adults disappeared. They thought they were rid of the gaiaphage, but they are wrong. It has reborn into Diana's daughter, Gaia. She has every power, and wants to seriously harm everyone in the FAYZ. After long battles, Sam's people who live at the Lake and Caine's people at Perdido Beach must band together if they have any chance of survival. Gaia is ridding them one by one, and the number of kids are decreasing rapidly. In the end, one will make a sacrifice that will save the world.

The only thing I didn't like was the extremity of Gaia and the extreme amounts of violence that was showed forth by her. It was a little too graphic for me, as some of the other books, and I feel that the way some things ended were slightly more extreme than they needed to be.

There is a lot of good vs. bad in the series, and it seemed like just now they finally realized that there are shades of gray. In Light, this is the book where the lesson finally comes into play about coming together despite differences for a greater cause.

Ending the series was great. A lot of times the endings don't really sum up, and leave room for another book even though you know there is no other book and you are left hanging forever. Fortunately, this book was not the case. The ending was perfectly summed up with really no room to expand on, which is great. It fully showcases their lives after this whole disaster and sums the rest of their lives up completely.

Gone was a good series that kept me hanging until the end, and I recommend that you read this unique series!

See my reviews of the previous books in the Gone series:

Title: Light (Gone #6)
Author: Michael Grant
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 411 pages
Series: Yes, Book 6
Rating: 4 Stars

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Infinity (Numbers Book 3) by Rachel Ward

Infinity is the third book in the intriguing science fiction fantasy trilogy, Numbers. It's 2029, two years after the chaos, and Adam, Sarah and Mia are struggling to survive. Little Mia was supposed to die on New Years, but somehow she switched her number.

They are living in a tent city preparing for another hard winter, when a man named Saul who claims to be working for the government comes looking for Adam. He tells him that government wants Adam’s help in rebuilding the country, and that they can help and take care of Adam and Sarah, who is again pregnant, and Mia. When Adam refuses, he kidnaps Mia, forcing them to come too. Not long after, Sarah realizes that Saul's real intentions put Mia and Sarah's new baby in serious danger.

In Numbers, the story focused on Jem. In The Chaos, it focused on Adam, and in Infinity, it focuses on Sarah, Mia, and Sarah's new baby. I love that all the characters get a chance in the spotlight. Infinity combines elements such as family and survival to make a truly original third book. As a conclusion to a trilogy goes, the ending was good. Last books in a series can be hard to end, but this one was wrapped up quite nicely.

It is a good 100 pages shorter than the others, which is not a bad thing. Infinity was a little bit slow for my liking, but Numbers is a young adult trilogy series that I recommend you read!

Read my reviews of the other books in this series:

Title: Infinity (Numbers #3)
Author: Rachel Ward
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Pages: 249 pages
Series: Yes, Book 3
Rating: 4 stars

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Neverseen (Keeper of the Lost Cities Book 4) by Shannon Messenger

I have been eagerly awaiting Neverseen, the fourth book in the incredible, middle grade fantasy series Keeper of the Lost Cities. Sophie and her friends are running away to join the Black Swan. In their new home, The Black Swan requests them to only train on their abilities. In the mist of creating new relationships and strengthening abilities, the Neverseen started a plague that will infect all the gnomes. Sophie and her friends must find a cure before the gnomes die. On top of it all, Sophie finds out that not everybody is who they say they are, and saying the three words "I trust you" could drastically change your life.

I loved reading Neverseen, and I couldn't put it down! Unlike the past three books, Neverseen does not take place in the Lost Cities, and is in a completely different environment that I was pleasantly surprised by. This book started at the moment Everblaze ended, which was unusual and helpful. It was taken in a whole new direction, and a lot of the questions that were in my head were answered in ways that I couldn't predict, and I love when authors do that.

There were a lot of conflicts, and an even mix of internal and external conflicts. In this book, Keefe was focused on, and he went through a lot of internal conflict. He is usually the one that is the most energetic and keeps everyone optimistic, but this is the book where we see the other sides of him. Like the other books in the series, I could vividly picture every detail!

I highly recommend this amazing fourth installment! The fifth book in this series will be released fall 2016. I absolutely cannot wait an entire year to read it and find out what happens next!

See my reviews of the other books in this series:

Title: Neverseen (Keeper of the Lost Cities #4)
Author: Shannon Messenger
Publisher: Aladdin
Pages: 688 pages
Series: Yes, Book 4
Rating: 5 Stars

Monday, November 2, 2015

Tesla's Attic (The Accelerati Trilogy Book 1) by Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman

Tesla's Attic is the first book in the middle grade fantasy and sci-fi trilogy, The Accelerati. After his house burns down and takes the life of his mother, Nick, his younger brother, and his dad move into an old Victorian house that they inherited from their aunt. With no money, they hold a garage sale with the old junk in the attic. Invented by the eccentric inventor Nikola Tesla, it turns out that all the items have magical properties about them. Some are fun, like a wind up toy that can finish your sentence, and a camera that can see the future, but others are dangerous, like a baseball glove that can catch and redirect meteorites.

With some research, they discover that all the items were in the attic for a reason, and that they are all parts of a special invention. Nick and his new friends try to recollect the items and keep them safe, but a secret group of physicists called the Accelerati wants to use the powers to take over the world, and will stop at nothing to get what they want. 

Tesla's Attic is hilarious! I was laughing out loud at some of the stuff that happened with the object's powers. The powers of the objects were so cool and creative. I also love that some of it is partially true. Nikola Tesla is a real person, and he was an inventor. In the book, one of the items was a remote control, and in real life Nikola Tesla invented the remote control! 
The characters endowed each other really nicely, and they were really believable.

I highly recommend this book. I cannot wait to read the next book, Edison's Alley!


Title: Tesla's Attic (The Accelerati Trilogy #1)
Author: Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 256 Pages
Series: Yes, Book 1
Rating: 5 stars
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