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Welcome to the book blog, featuring reviews for teens from InfoSoup librarians and users!

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Author: Sarah J. Maas

3rd book in the Throne of glass series

The Throne Of Glass Series all together is an amazing series. The content itself is more amazing. In this series, Celeana Sardothien is a reknowned assassin, and is placed in Endovier to work as a slave. One day, the Captain of the Guard shows up and requests for her. She is sent to him, and they cast off to a journey towards the Glass Castle, where the royal family resigns. Confused, she assumes that the royal family wants to punish her more, but rather than being met with the king she expected, she is met with his son, Dorian, who asks her to be his champion.

Yes, a champion. The one to fight under his sponsorship to become the kings right hand killer. To do his dirty work. Dorian does not ask this for pure evil, cause he's actually quite nice and gentle. He just wishes to prove his father wrong, and so does Celeana. And so then begins the epic story of Celeana, her survival and her past. In this post, we will be focusing more on the third book, Heir of Fire.

Heir of Fire:

Celeana has now travelled to Wendlyn and resides there to do a mission she does not go through. She is depressed, constantly drunk, picking fights at a bar, and sleeps on the streets. Her health declines as she only eats bread and drinks wine. Chaol remains back in Ardalan, trying to find a way to bring Celeana back safely without the king doing harm to her. Dorian struggles with his magic, but is relaxed by a new found love. Aedion, a fae follower of the King, secretly dwells with the rebells, and helps them concoct a plan to overthrow the king.

Celeana is then met with an old fae warrior by the name of Rowan Whitethorn. He is a direct follower of Queen Maeve, and has come to see her to the queen. After this, comes a bickering, argumentative situation. Celeana is then faced with a choice: Learn to embrace her old self as Aelin Galathynius, heir of Terresan, and to control her power in order to find out more information about the Wyrdkeys, or to not do either and to abort the mission along with not keeping her blood promise to Nehemia.

Fan Girl Time:

AHHH! As I stated in the title, you cannot miss these books! The series is well written, and is well edited. You always will be on the edge of your seat, and the books are the perfect size to read! They seem to be lengthy, but are in truth a fast read if you do it in one sitting (I know I did). The books are so well written that I have cried in multiple scenes. The character dynamics in the series flow so well, almost as well as Harry Potter! It is like Harry Potter, but with a new twist. Rather than having traditional wand magic, it is the more traditional fae born fantasy. It is not a fantasy with flowers and peace, but depicts a time of great despair for the majortiy of the people in the continent of Erilea!

One the scale of one to five for this book, it is a million. The books not only attracts girls, but guys as well! It has so much action, and yet it has just the right amount of romance where you cannot stop squealing. Celeana finds herself in this book, and you will find yourself wanting to be more like her. With her tactics, and skills, and let's not mention her beauty even with a scarred up body! The scars are her trophies, and she wear's them proudly. Read this book, I suggest it to anyone and EVERYONE because it is a book that no one should miss.

It may possibley even surpass J.K Rowling's Harry Potter series.

A book will be added to this series and will be released on September 1st, of 2015, so keep your eyes out for Queen Of Shadows.

Nifty!

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Author: Maya Van Wagenen

Maya is an exceptional young woman offering us an exceptional book. She stumbles across an old guide to being popular, by Betty Cornell, and begins an experiment in her middle school to see if the tips still apply and will possibly make her "popular". Maya is mature, introspective and funny. She gives us glimpses of her solid family. She has loving parents who offer her church and adventures in nature, support and guidance, set to a background of challenges and violence. (They are living very close to the Mexican/Texas border which makes some school experiences surreal like drug dogs checking lockers.) Maya is sensitive about not being exclusive. She also grieves for a lost sister. Her voice is real and likeable. Yay for a great young voice! She also has a respect for her elders like Mr. Lawrence and Betty. She realizes that wisdom spans the generations. Some of her conclusions, after her experiment, are that all kids have something to share and everyone feels awkward in the hierarchy. So true! And so real for all settings and stratums of society. LOVED THIS BOOK!

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Author: Andreas Portes

Anika is a young girl trying to make sense of the world. Her father lives in Romania and she lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with her mother, stepdad and assorted siblings. Anika is the youngest.

Anika is trying to figure out the interrelationships at work and when to be courageous. She is trying to figure out interrelationships at school and when to be courageous. She is trying to figure out interrelationships at home and when to be courageous.

Two boys are vying for Anika's attention. One is named Logan who is a deeply poetic and artistic person. Unfortunately, his home life is violent. Logan is not considered a "cool" kid so Anika is very secretive about her relationship with him. Jared is a very cool kid and when he singles Anika out, it is astonishing to everyone. He respects Anika's independence but what is his real motive with her? Anika is trying to choose but her choice is made for her in an unexpected and sad way. The book is great in the way the plot takes off.

Becky is everyone's cruel nemesis and a strong bully at school. She is also deemed one of the "cool kids" so everyone feels uncomfortable crossing her. In the fabulous climax of the book, Anika finally tells Becky what everyone has been thinking. Much like when the witch in The Wizard of Oz has cold water thrown on her, Becky finally fades to nothing when the truth is told.

Written in first person, you see all through Anika's eyes. I really liked her relationship with her mom. She also has a lovely scene toward the end of the book with her stepdad.

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Title: The Elite
Author: Kiera Cass

  First, I'd like to say that this book series has become one of my favorites. I saw the first book in my local library and I decided to give it a shot and I loved it, so naturally I had to pick this one up as well. I feel like it wasn't as good as the first book; the love triangle got on my nerves a bit in this book, but it was good and it ended very well. I'm just sad that now I have to wait for The One, the final book in the series.. I'm something like number 49 on the hold list, here's hoping that people read it quickly!   

  Anyway, the series is about a girl that get's accepted into a sort of competition, called The Selection, to become the new princess of Illea, similar to the show The Bachelor. In this book the 35 girls that started in The Selection have been dwindled down 6 girls, which is called The Elite. America, the girl we come to know and love, is stuck between Maxon, the prince, and her old boyfriend from back home, Aspen. While trying to figure out who she wants to be with, she is also trying to figure out what the rebels want and why they're trying to overthrow the monarchy.. All in all, this dystopian novel is very good for anyone who likes romance as well as action and mystery. This book is good for anyone who enjoys chick-lit or young adult genres. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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Author: Gayle Forman

I LOVED If I Stay, but I struggled with this one. I had such a hard time with Adam through the book. I just wanted to shake him, or slap him upside the head, or kick him in the butt, or all of the above! Not to say that it isn't well written, it is, which is probably why I was so frustrated with him. In the end, the end made it worth it!

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Author: John Green

Colin Singleton is a prodigy, not a genius…a prodigy. This is a fact that has gotten him down and to make matters worse, his girlfriend Katherine just dumped him. The thing about Colin is, he only dates girls named Katherine (“K-A-T-H-E-R-I-N-E”, not to be confused with “C-A-T-H-E-R-I-N-E”)…and the most recent dumper has earned the moniker “K-19” –being the nineteenth Katherine to break Colin’s heart.

After graduation, Colin and his best friend Hassan, go on a road trip to get Colin’s mind off of Katherine XIX and along the way, they stop in Tennessee to visit the alleged resting place of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Enter Lindsey Lee Wells—paramedic-in-training and tour guide to the tomb of the Archduke. Colin, Hassan and Lindsey hit it off right away and the boys soon find themselves employed by Lindsey’s mother, Hollis, to interview the residents of Gutshot, Tennessee for an oral history of the town.

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Author: Ransom Riggs

Jacob Portman, 16, spent his childhood looking at strange old photos and listening to the stories of very peculiar children as told by his grandfather, Abe Portman. Abe tells of his escape from the Nazis (and other evils) to Wales, where he was taken in by Miss Peregrine—a bird-like woman—in her orphanage. His stories seemed like sheer works of fiction—tales of an invisible boy, a girl that can create fire in her hand, another girl who was so weightless she had to wear cement show in order to stay grounded, and other amazing entities that you’d only see in a “freak show.” After Abe’s mysterious death, Jacob sets out to find the truth about the orphanage, the bird-like woman, and the peculiar children, leading him to an epic battle and the task of making the most important decision of his life.

This story will keep you on the edge of your seat as you journey with Jacob to find truth, meaning, and a place to belong. Riggs includes many photos throughout this book to help facilitate the imagery. These photos help to add an eerie component to the book, giving it a spooky feel.

I recommend this book to anyone that loves old photos, adventures, and oddities. This book is appropriate for anyone in grade 6 and up.

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Easy Read

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Author: Sarah Dessen

The book Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen is about a girl who lost her father and is now trying to find herself and who she really is. She starts out to be meticulous and careful in life but by the end lives life with more of a free spirit. The book was well written. The story was smooth and easy to follow along; the organization was on point. However, for someone looking for a plot twist or something surprising to happen, this is not the book for you. Although I thought that it was a nice, relaxing read, I found myself guessing at what was going to happen next and to my dissapointment, was right. In other words, it was predictable. Overall, it was well written but a bit predictable.

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Author: Kenneth Oppel

This was a very well written and thought provoking book. Ben's parents are both researchers and they bring in an addition to the family. It is a baby gorilla that they call "Zan". Over time, Ben becomes very close to Zan and he considers him a brother. Zan is being observed to see if he can learn language and he is treated like a human such as having him wear clothing. The research team is teaching Zan ASL (American Sign Language). On the surface, it appears like the treatment of the gorilla is "fair". However, as the story progresses the reader is confronted with the ethical implications of what is going on. This was fascinating because these types of experiments were going on in the '70s and I don't think the "common person" really thought about what was happening. Zan, indeed, ends up becoming much more than an "animal". Simultaneously, Ben is coming into his adolescence and he is trying to get attention from a girl at school by being "methodical". Again, this seems tame on the surface but when you realize how calculating he is being you begin to question his strategy. This book is hopeful and sad about how we try to control others. I highly recommend this book.

Tremendous

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Title: Bluefish
Author: Pat Schmatz

Bluefish is the fourth book by Wisconsin author Pat Schmatz (rhymes with jots, not cats) who was born in Amherst, WI.
This book is an introduction to two main characters. Travis is new at the middle school. Velveeta, confident and individualistic, attends the same middle school. Inherently, both of them are lonely. Travis is a lover of the outdoors whereas Velveeta has a penchant for colorful scarves.
Travis is suffering from the loss of his dog and Velveeta is sad about the death of a good friend. This is one of many parallels they share. However, Travis has a deep-seated secret that is thwarting his ability to succeed.
A special teacher and a special librarian help Travis and Velveeta out. Other adults are described, flaws and all, which make for a realistic portrait of life. The dialogue in this book resonates, too.
The symbol of bluefish begins as derogatory and evolves into a triumphant emblem of empowerment!
This enjoyable and uplifting read leaves the reader grateful for friendship and hopeful. During the course of the novel, a gamut of feelings is tapped which is a satisfying growth experience. An appreciation for literacy is also achieved with this story.
Praise goes to Pat for her sensitive writing style. Her ability to express the middle school mindset, in particular, and humanity, in general, is to be lauded.