"Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labelled 'This could change your life'."
-Helen Exley

"A novel is the chance to try on a different life for size."
-Marion C. Garretty

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
When Thomas waked up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. He has no recollection of his parents, his home, or how he got where he is. His memory is empty. But he's not alone. When the lift's doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcom him to the Glade, a large expanse enclosed by stone walls. Just like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning, for as long as anyone can remember, the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night, for just as long, they've closed thight. Every thirty days a new boy is delivered in the lift. And no one wants to be stuck in the Maze after dark. The Gladers were expecting Thomas's arrival. But the next day, a girl is sent up - the first girl ever to arrive in the glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. The Gladers have always been convinced that if they can solve the maze that surrounds the Glade, they might find their way home...wherever that may be. But it's looking more and more as if the Maze is unsolvable And something about the girl's arrival is starting to make Thomas feel different. Something is telling him that he just might have some answers - if he can only find a way to retrieve the dark secrets locked within his own mind.

The Maze Runner is a heck of a book. Suspense, thrill, action, advenute, and trust. What would you do if you woke up and couldn't remember your past? I would freak out. Even though Thomas has no idea whats going on, he has to adapt to his new way of life. The head boy of the Glade, Alby, shows Thomas his jobs in the Glade and how everything works: from the barns to the maze. And Thomas knows. He wants to be a runner. A runner runs through the maze all day and remembers what he sees so he can map out a path when the day is over. They are trying to find a way out of the Glade. And every night, huge stone gates close in the Gladers. You don't want to be stuck inside the maze when the doors close. You don't come back. The Grievers will get you. Scary as it is, it doesn't keep Thomas from pursuing his dream to be a runner. Minho, the main runner trains Thomas to be a runner and together, they set off on the brink of discovery.

James Dashner did a marvelous job of writing The Maze Runner. He knew exactly when to throw in another twist to the plot. The plot is new and original and I enjoyed just about every bit of it. It could get a bit confusing at times, and sometimes it was so suspenseful I thought my heart was about to jump right out of my chest! I would recomend this book to everyone out there. Although there isn't too much romance, there is enough suspense and adventure to please all.

Overall Rating: 4

The Knife of Never Letting Go

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown. But prentisstown isn't like the other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else's thoughts ini an overwhelming, never-ending stream of Noise. There is no quiet, no privacy, no room for secrets. Or is there? Just a month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd and his dog, Manchee - whose thoughts Todd can hear, too, whether he wants to or not - stumble upon an area of complete silence. Which is impossible. Prentisstown has been hiding something from him, a secret so awful that Todd and Manchee are suddenly running for their lives. But how can you flee when your pursuers can hear your every thought? And where can you run when there's nowhere to go?

Written beautifully, this book is one of my favorites. I absolutely love the first sentence of this book, and the rest of the book lives up to it. The plot is suspensful and new and interesting. It's unique in every way and I've never read a book quite like this one. The main character is a boy named Todd. He can't wait until the day he turns thirteen in one month,  but when he finds a silence from the Noise of Prentisstown in the swamp, his whole world is turned upside down. He has to leave Prentisstown and hide. Everything Todd has ever known is unwraveling in a series of lies and Todd is confused and lost. Then, he and his dog Manchee meet a girl. The first girl Todd has ever met in his whole life. Viola's ship crashed onto New World and she is all alone. Meeting Todd is scary because she can hear all of his Noise. When they are both attacked by Pastor Aaron, though, they team up togeth and Todd, Viola and Manchee set off on an adventure wilder than they ever imagined.
These characters are great. They are well-rounded and dynamic. I love the friendship that these two come to have and how they achieve that friendship. They trust each other and will do anything to protect each other. One thing I love about this book is the ending. Its shocking and unexpected. I waited in suspense for the second and third book. Exciting, suspenseful, and riveting this book won't dissapoint.

Overall rating: 4 stars

*If you've never read it, add it to your BTR list!*

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight She's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po's friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace - or about a terrible secret hiddne far away...

Wow. This book is fast-paced and brilliant. Right away I knew this was a book I was going to love.
Graceling is a fantasy book that takes place in a fantasy world. There are seven kingdoms: Nander, Wester, Lienid, Monsea, Middluns, Estill, and Sunder. The main character is a teenage girl named Katsa who is the niece of the king of Middluns. She is Graced. A Grace is a skill that some children develop as the grow which makes them an expert at a certain skill. Some are pointless and some are exceedingly useful. Katsa's grace is fighting. She can kill with her hands, bow and arrow, and knives. Katsa can take on a group of soldiers surounding her, all armed and protected with shields and armour, and can come out alive with only a few scratches. She has a strong personality with endless energy and amazing strength in her spirit and mind. She is an amazing girl who has never really had a friend before, except for the king's son Raffin. When Katsa meets Po, a Lienid prince, they instantly become friends. He has a Grace for combat skills and he is the only person who has ever been a challenge for Katsa to fight. As they set out on an adventure and meet Bitterblue and her father King Leck, you will find yourself on the edge of your seat, amazed at what Katsa can do.

Overall Graceling was one of the best books I've read in a long time. One complaint though, is that it never exactly states her age. At the begining of the book, it says something about her being eleven-years old, but some of the things that happen in the book are impossible for an eleven year-old, and highly unbelievable that an eleven would do some things. Other sources I've checked have stated that she is eighteen and sixteen. Ultimately, her age is uncertain. One other thing, is that I think she and Po's relationship changed awfully fast. It was a sudden decision that she liked him and then they were instantly in love. Maybe it's this way for some people, but for me it was unrealistic.

Overall rating: 4 stars

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districs. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districs in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twleve and eighteen to participate in the annual HungerGames, a fight ot the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before - and survival, for herm is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But, if she is to win she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.


This book is enthralling. From the first page, I was hooked. It was captivating and thrilling and I knew once I started I was going to wait in agony for the second and third book to come out. The main character of this book is a sixteen-year-old girl who lives in District 12. It's the poorest District and the last (besides District 13 which the Capitol destroyed) so Katniss knows how to keep herself alive. She and her friend Gale hunt together and her father had taught her to use a bow. When Katniss's 12-year-old sister Prim is picked to participate in The Hunger Games, Katniss makes a decision, without hesitating, to replace her sister. Peeta is the boy from District 12 who is picked for the Games. He is the son a baker and not much of a fighter. When first choosen for the Games, neither of the characters seemed to have a chance at winning and surviving the Games. It made them fun and easy to root for. (I always root for the underdogs) I must say, it was hard knowing that only one person would be the victor. The minor characters of the books had marvelous personalities and they really helped shape the story. (I especially took a liking toHaymitch, and especially Rue... I think we all did)

The Hunger Games was written beautifully. The begining was a little slow at times, but it really showed how nervewracking it is and how much preporation it takes to be in the Games. Once the contestants entered the arena it was non-stop action and suspense that kept me reading for hours at night. Suzanne Collins did an amazing job at writing this story. With twists and turns at every turn of the page I was amazed at the adventure that Katniss and Peeta embark on. It's an original plot and a heart-pounding read.

*If you haven't read this book yet, add it to your list of books to read, and rank it at number one! *

Rating: 5 stars