Teens


Teen Book Talk features book, movie, and local event reviews written by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a double review of the first two books in the Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Scarlet.

Teen reviewers select which books and movies they’d like to review, and also which local events to attend and review. All opinions are those of the reviewers. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Sahana N., Teen Reviewer

Book Title: Cinder

Author: Marissa Meyer

Book Format: Book

Year of Publication: 2012

Appeal: Marie Lu, Veronica Roth, and Kiera Cass fans (Middle School)

Rating: 5/5

Cinderella mostly brings the idea of a silky blue ball gown, elegantly rare glass slippers, and a sweet story about love at first sight. Cinder is Cinderella reimagined, in a power packed way you would never expect her.

Linh Cinder is the best mechanic in all of New Beijing. But, she’s different from everyone else. Cinder is a cyborg; one that can tell when someone’s lying, download information, fix practically anything, and even has the perks of not blushing or crying. In New Beijing, being a cyborg isn’t as incredible as it seems. Terrorized by her stepmother and first stepsister, Cinder’s life doesn’t look so good. Especially when her second step-sister and best friend is diagnosed with letumosis, the deadly and rapidly killing pandemic that mysteriously appeared in her country, Cinder has no option but to submit for testing for the cure under her cruel step-mother’s wishes.

At the palace where she undergoes medical testing, Cinder meets Kai, the soon to be emperor, whose father is suffering from the deadly disease and who is torn apart by duty and his heart. Picked up by the whirlwind of her heart, but let down by the gust of reality, Cinder must try to follow a path that has been set for her while making choices for herself, and discovering her identity. But what Cinder learns about herself and her shattering past, can either build the future back up or tear it down.

As you read the book, you’re yanked into Cinder’s bustling world, by a hand made of love, treachery, sadness, betrayal, and a whole lot of strength. Cinder shows you how being different from everyone isn’t as easy as it seems, and you get to feel her anger, her misery, her fear, her enthusiasm, and her love. I would recommend this book to almost anyone who wants to read a good Young Adult book. If you have enjoyed series like Legend, Red Queen, Selection, and Divergent, this book will be an exact fit. Cinder was thrillingly perfect and my favorite aspect of it was that there was an immersive infusion of the beloved classic Cinderella, yet at the same time, the story was much more complex, contrasting in certain areas, and breathtakingly beautiful.

 

Janice L., Teen Reviewer

Book Title: Scarlet

Author: Marissa Meyer

Book Format: Book

Year of Publication: 2013

Who will book appeal to?: Teenagers

Rating: 4 stars (1 = did not like it and 5 = it was amazing)

This novel is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles, preceding after Cinder . I actually did not read Cinder before reading Scarlet , so I can’t form a judgement on this sequel in comparison to Cinder as the continuation of the storyline in Cinder.

The pacing of the story was a bit too slow in the beginning, but events finally picked up the pace later on as the story unfolded. At some parts of the story, I thought the fight scenes weren’t described well, but the descriptions improved, especially in one of the conflicts towards the end of the novel.

Overall, I enjoyed the adventure in the plot and the humor in Cinder’s perspective in her banters with Thorne. I also liked the switch-off between the two different perspectives of Cinder and Scarlet in the chapters of the book as their lives became more intertwined with each other. Kai’s perspective was also switched off between chapters, but I did not enjoy those chapters in particular since they seemed boring to me. I believe the reason why I did not enjoy his perspective as much as the others is because I haven’t read Cinder, so I don’t know the history between Kai and Cinder. Meyer conjured a fascinating connection between them, and I admit I was surprised when I found out the story behind how they were connected. I love that there is a romance element to this novel as well, but this novel doesn’t base its entire plot around the romance. I would highly recommend this book, especially to those that like novels that are spin-offs of fairy tales and to those that enjoy adventure and romance in a novel.

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Teen Book Talk features book, movie, and local event reviews written by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of an older teen book, An Ember in the Ashes.

Teen reviewers select which books and movies they’d like to review, and also which local events to attend and review. All opinions are those of the reviewers. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Sahana N., Teen Reviewer

Book Title: An Ember in The Ashes

Author: Sabaa Tahir

Book Format: Book

Year of Publication: 2015

Appeal: 6th – 9th Grade

Rating: 5

Laia of Serra, a slave girl, and Elias Veturius, one of the finest and chief soldiers for the Empire, could not live more different lives. But what they don’t realize is that they could also not lead more special lives, because they are both Embers in the Ashes. Laia of Serra is a 17-year-old Scholar girl, afraid of the Empire and her past. One day, Laia’s brother, Darin, is arrested for treason to the Empire. Frozen in fear, while the “masks” invade her home, Laia runs at Darin’s commands. Escaping, all she can think about is her cowardliness so she sets out to find the Resistance, in hopes that they will help free Darin. But all good things come with a price… Laia is forced to spy for the Resistance within the premises of the dangerous military academy of Blackcliff.

Elias can’t be free from his conscience. Reluctant and hesitant to kill, and unwilling to carry out the Empire’s brutal orders, Elias, isn’t sure what he wants: to follow his orders and become the exact person he hates or rebel against the Empire and be what he has been prepared and instructed to fight. When he finishes his training as a mask, a special announcement is made that pits Elias against his own heart and deepest wishes. When Elias meets Laia, with her gleaming golden eyes and silky hair as black as the night, they are both forced to make choices that could quite easily get them killed or lead them to the future they’ve both always wanted.

The way Sabaa Tahir spins Laia and Elias’s tale takes you for a whirl as you make your way through unexpected and exciting twists and turns, and you never really know what’s lurking around the corner. This book is my current favorite because a world is created that makes you laugh, wonder, and at times feel like crying. The characters are strong people who discover things about themselves and in doing so allow you to learn about yourself too. At first when I was reading the beginning of the book, I honestly thought it was going to be a book that would leave me disappointed, but I have to say that this was not the case. In fact, I was actually jumping to read the sequel. If you’ve ever enjoyed classic well-known books like Divergent, Hunger Games, Percy Jackson, Harry Potter or even some of the newest Young Adult series like Red Queen and the Selection, then this book is perfect for you. It has the greatest mix of action, a bit of fantasy, and romance. An Ember in the Ashes is an unforgettable and truly thrilling first installment in the series.

Teen Book Talk features book, movie, and local event reviews written by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of an older teen book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Teen reviewers select which books and movies they’d like to review, and also which local events to attend and review. All opinions are those of the reviewers. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Jiwon H., Teen Reviewer

Book Title: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Author: Stephen Chbosky

Book Format: Book

Year of Publication: 1999

Who will book appeal to?: Teenagers

Rating: 3 stars

The protagonist is a fifteen-year-old boy named Charlie. He is currently coping with the suicide of his friend, Michael, and in order to lessen his anxiety of starting high school without Michael, Charlie starts to write letters to a stranger that he heard was nice but has never actually met in his real life. The letters mainly talks about his daily life at school and how he feels about other people around him. At school, his English teacher, Bill, becomes both Charlie’s friend and mentor. Charlie overcomes his shyness and approaches one of his classmates named Patrick who eventually becomes Charlie’s best friend along with his stepsister, Sam. Throughout the school year, Charlie has his first date and first kiss, deals with bullies, and experiments with drugs and drinking. He makes more friends, loses them, and gains them back again. He also makes his own soundtrack using mixtapes. At home, Charlie has a relatively stable life with his supportive parents. However, a disturbing family secret that Charlie has repressed for his whole life appears at the end of the school year. Charlie goes through several mental breakdowns and ends up being hospitalized.

The letters continue on despite these various incidents that Charlie experiences. I recommend this book to teenagers, especially the ones in high school, because the protagonist with the similar age as themselves will make the story more relatable and understandable, and they can put themselves in Charlie’s shoes. Some readers might not be interested in this story because it covers the dramas in school and they might assume that it would be a story that is too common. However, I think that this story shows the conflicts to its readers in a rather unique way. The format – letters – makes the plot sound more realistic and every book will talk about high school dramas in a different way, so I believe that it is worth reading.

Teen Book Talk features book, movie, and local event reviews written by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of a new movie, currently out in theaters: Dunkirk. As mentioned, the movie is still currently in theaters, so there are no copies available at the library at this time.

Teen reviewers select which books and movies they’d like to review, and also which local events to attend and review. All opinions are those of the reviewers. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Neha H., Teen Reviewer

Name of Movie: Dunkirk

Release Date: July 13, 2017

MPAA Rating: PG-13

My rating: 3 stars

Genre: Drama, suspense, thriller

Acclaimed director Christopher Nolan’s highly-anticipated WWII thriller, Dunkirk, is a complex and harrowing tour de force, full of concrete details and visceral thrills. The film is based on the evacuation of 330,000 Allied troops from the beaches of Dunkirk in May 1940 after the German advance into France. As with his other films, Nolan deliberately experiments with time in Dunkirk; the narrative is told through three parallel storylines on land, sea, and air which eventually merge.

Dunkirk features the perspectives of several figures with critical roles in the evacuations, including a young British soldier (Fionn Whitehead), a civilian boat captain (Mark Rylance), a British officer suffering from PTSD (Cillian Murphy), two RAF pilots (Tom Hardy and Jack Lowden), and a naval officer (Kenneth Branagh). These perspectives are intricately interwoven amidst the intense action sequences; however, this can all be confusing to viewers unfamiliar with “Nolan Time”. The frequent explosions, along with Hans Zimmer’s forceful score, drowns out the minimal dialogue, making the film difficult to follow.

Nolan’s repeated attempts to disrupt the natural rhythm of the film with his time-bending tricks leave it feeling somewhat hollow and disjointed. Although Dunkirk is undoubtedly technologically well-crafted and visually impressive, its lack of emotional resonance and a cohesive storyline mars the spectacle.

 


Did you already get your two free books this summer? Earn up to two prize books by participating in Alameda County Library’s Summer Reading Program, “Ready for Tomorrow.” If you haven’t yet signed up for Summer Reading, then there’s no time like the present! Simply visit http://summer.aclibrary.org and register yourself and/or the children in your family. It’s going on now through September 15.

How do you get free books? By earning points. It’s easy. Just go back to http://summer.aclibrary.org and log the minutes or hours that you’ve spent reading. You will get points based on how much time you read. Or, check out our fun list of activities and choose a few to go out and do. You can, for example, “Plant a seed and watch it grow,” or “Try a new food from a different country.” Mark off online the activity you’ve completed and you earn points.

You can also earn points by doing one of our weekly activities and getting a secret code to enter online. Past challenges included matching up animal tracks with the animal that made them, or deciding whether certain objects would sink or float when placed in water. Come in to the library Monday – Thursday, Noon – 4:00 pm, now through July 27 to earn your secret code.

All ages from kids to adults can participate! When you reach 250 points and 500 points you can pick out a free book from our prize book cart. Children and teens will also receive a museum pass at the 250 point level.  At 500 points you will also be automatically entered in the end of summer Grand Prize Drawing (you must have entered an email or phone number at registration to qualify).

Grand Prize Drawing Prize for Kids:

SRG kids prize

Grand Prize Drawing Prize for Teens and for Adults:

SRG teen prize

So what are you waiting for? Register now!

Teen Book Talk features book, movie, and local event reviews written by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of a new movie, currently out in theaters: Marvel’s Spider-man: Homecoming. As mentioned, the movie is still currently in theaters, so there are no copies available at the library at this time.

Teen reviewers select which books and movies they’d like to review, and also which local events to attend and review. All opinions are those of the reviewers. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Neha H., Teen Reviewer

Name of Movie: Spider-Man: Homecoming

Release Date: July 7, 2017

MPAA Rating: PG-13

My rating: 4 stars

Genre: Action, superhero, fantasy

 

Spider-Man: Homecoming is a surprisingly refreshing reboot of one of Marvel’s most enduringly popular characters. Set a few months after his debut in Captain America: Civil War, 15-year-old Peter Parker (Tom Holland) struggles to navigate the challenges of high school in his hometown of Queens, New York, as he gradually comes to terms with his newfound identity as Spider-Man. Ever-convinced of his abilities, Peter is desperate to prove himself to be more than just your “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man”, much to the chagrin of his hawk-eyed mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). His opportunity finally arrives in the form of the evil Vulture (Michael Keaton), who threatens everything Peter holds dear.

The film actively avoids delving into Spider-Man’s traditional origin story; it focuses on achieving a balance between fast-paced CGI action sequences and warm-hearted scenes of regular high school life. Director Jon Watts manages to breathe new life into a franchise on the verge of exhaustion, shifting towards a primarily teenage demographic in an effort to make Spider-Man more relatable to that age group. The cast brings diversity and incredible charisma to the narrative. Newcomer Tom Holland, in particular, delivers a breakout performance in his double identity as the awkward adolescent turned crime-fighting webslinger, Peter Parker. The film isn’t altogether perfect: there are a few weak points in the plot, especially during the exposition. However, despite initially being met with skepticism, Spider-Man: Homecoming succeeds in recapturing the youthful appeal of this beloved character, making it an enjoyable and entertaining film.

 

Calling all teens! Did you know that there are weekly book-related contests at the Dublin Library this summer? Stop by the teen area each week (Monday afternoon through the following Monday morning) and fill out an entry form with your answers to the week’s contest.

Last week we had a character match contest, where teens were asked to match a character name to the cover of a book.

Here are the answers from that contest:

Here is this week’s contest, which is currently up in the teen area:

For this week’s contest, teens are asked to look at 12 pictures of portions of teen book covers. They have to identify 8 of the 12 correctly to have a chance at the week’s drawing. Entries will be accepted Monday, June 26th – Monday morning, July 3rd. There will be no contest next week during the holiday week.Contests will resume on Monday, July 10th.

In addition, we will save all correct entry forms each week to enter into a grand prize drawing. The grand prize winner will be announced the first week of August. These contests are open for teens ages 13-18. These programs are sponsored with the generous support of the Dublin Friends of the Library.

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