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 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.

Teen Book Talk features reviews by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of a teen book published in 2015. The book, Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon still has a waiting list, but you can add your name to the waitlist here: Everything, Everything.

Teen reviewers select which titles and movies they’d like to review, and opinions are their own. **Teens use a scale of 1-5 stars, with one star being poor and five stars being excellent, for their reviews**

Hannah A., Teen Reviewer

Book Title: Everything, Everything

Author: Nicola Yoon

Book Format: book

Year of Publication: 2015

Who will book appeal to: teens, and adults who are young at heart 🙂

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

 

Nicola Yoon’s motivation for writing this book is very encouraging and supportive of multiracial kids. Being married to a man of Korean ethnicity and having a multiracial daughter, she beautifully crafts a story around two people of different ethnicities, Madison, and Olly. Madison has lived her entire life in her house, and hasn’t stepped outside for the fear that her Severe Combined Immunodeficiency will be triggered. All she knows is her mom, her nurse and the house. All of this changes though, as a boy who moved in next door completely changes her life, as they find themselves falling in love.

While reading this story, I had a sense of deja vu, as the storyline is very similar to that of The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green. Unlike Green’s novel, Everything, Everything incorporates its own uniqueness, with vignettes, diary entries, texts, charts, lists, and more. I loved the flair that these extras added to Yoon’s novel, along with the sweet illustrations by her husband.

I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars, but enjoys more lighthearted books, with a more modern twists. It’s a quick read, I wasn’t able to put it down after starting it. Yoon’s take on romance is a reminder that anyone, and everyone, will eventually find true love.

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 book title anagrams up on the board, and this week (June 19th – June 26th in the morning) we have a character matching game. Match the character names to the book cover to which the characters’ belong. We’ll pick on lucky entry from those that guess all the characters correctly.

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.

Teen Book Talk features reviews by local teen writers. This week, we’re sharing a review of another movie, Wonder Woman, which was newly released in theaters this past weekend. 

Teen reviewers select which titles and movies they’d like to review, and opinions are their own. **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: Wonder Woman

Release Date: June 2, 2017

MPAA Rating: PG-13

My rating: 5 stars

Genre: Action, superhero, fantasy, sci-fi

 

The latest installment in the DC Extended Universe, Wonder Woman is an exhilarating and empowering superhero adventure that serves as the origin story for one of the comic book giant’s most popular characters. The film, directed by Patty Jenkins, is the first female-led superhero film in more than a decade, and was recently reported to have had the biggest opening ever for a female director.

On the hidden Amazon island of Themyscira, a young Diana desperately wants to be trained as a warrior, but her mother, Queen Hippolyta, initially forbids her to begin training. The queen eventually capitulates, and Diana (Gal Gadot) quickly becomes the strongest Amazonian warrior on the island, wholeheartedly embracing her mission of protecting humankind against corruption by Ares, the god of war.

As a young woman, Diana rescues British spy Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) from a plane crash, and the Amazons combat the German troops who pursue him. When Trevor describes the millions of civilian deaths and destruction due to the ongoing Great War, Diana is convinced it is her responsibility to help end the conflict. She travels to London with Steve to thwart Ares’ plan for the destruction of humanity, in a quest for justice and peace.

 Wonder Woman has prominent themes of courage, selflessness, and compassion: it features a talented ensemble cast, dazzling special effects, and a compelling storyline. Gadot’s charismatic portrayal of the titular character is definitely the film’s greatest strength, complete with a rousing theme by Hans Zimmer which alludes to both Diana’s moral conviction and might. Jenkins chooses to focus on both the character’s vulnerabilities and strengths, immortalizing her as a truly endearing heroine for a new generation of young girls.