DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth

Divergent By: Veronica Roth

Reviewed by: Jacob Duncan

I recently finished Divergent, and was pleasantly surprised. Thinking that it was going to be just a Hunger Games rip-off I did not have high hopes for this book. Like the Hunger Games, it too is a dystopian fiction novel. This one book you should not pass up.

Divergent is a book where the last remnants of the civilized has been split up into 5 groups, and one group is fighting for control. Each has a different core value that all members must follow.On an appointed day of every year, every sixteen year old has to pick a faction, and after that, face the rigorous initiation. Tris, the main character is in the midst of that struggle as she has to decide if she wants to stay with her faction, or join another one. Her choice catches everyone by surprise. Later at initiation she learns that all is not right when she is told she is divergent. A faction is after all the divergents, and tris has no idea who to trust.

The author truly did an amazing job on character development. At the beginning Tris was frightened and put others thought into consideration, but by the end she was changed. I can’t really think of an age appropriate word that would match how she was in the end of the book. She didn’t care about other people, she didn’t help them out. In fact she scoffed at anyone who showed any sign of weakness. I’m saying the author did a good job because you saw her thoughts and watched as the initiation awoke a demon inside of this little girl.
 “Never come near me again... If you do, I swear to God I will kill you,” I say. “You coward.”

 That small excerpt let me know that the character transformation was complete. Tris was now completely changed. I did not like the way the author transformed this character, but he still did a good job on it.

The action was everything you could hope for in this genre, the thing I like most was the use of guns, not just as weapons, but a symbol of hope for the main character. The author did a good job not putting all the action into the last part of the book. While the last couple of chapters are some of the most intense, the beginning and middle had some pretty good moments as well.

I give Divergent a 6/10 because of how much I hated the character towards the end. Halfway through I wanted to jump into the book and shoot Tris. If there is a second (which seems to be the trend with this genre) I will probably not buy that one based on the fact that the character is hard to get along with. Other than that, a big portion of this book I would say it was a good read. If you haven’t read it, read it. So you can see exactly what I’m talking about. if you liked or hated this book read Hunger Games, a better series with more likable characters.

KILLER PIZZA by Greg Taylor

        Killer Pizza by Greg Taylor was a real page turner filled with perfect action that I was overjoyed to have found at my school. When I first purchased it I was a little bit discontent about reading it (the title is Killer Pizza, I mean really?)  , but after the first few pages I knew from then on it would be the perfect book for my liking.
Taylor sets up the perfect fiction novel for any boy or girl teen. Killer Pizza, a pizza shop that is just opening in a small community called Hidden Hills, catches the eye of a teenager named Toby, who’s only dream is to become a famous chef with only Food Network as his experience. When he gets the job he can’t wait to go to work for the first time. Soon he has a “thing” for a fellow Killer Pizza employee and overpasses his colleagues. Soon he finds out that Killer pizza has a killer secret. Killer Pizza is just a cover up for their real purpose- to hunt monsters. When dangerous monsters attack Hidden Hills, the crew of Killer Pizza has to take them out before time runs out.
I like how Taylor creates his characters with such personalities. He makes the reader feel like an employee at Killer Pizza on this crazy adventure. He gives the reader a perfect image of how the characters react to the monsters and their true emotions. I really like how Taylor wrote the book in first person so you know what Toby feels about his crush and the monster invasion, because some of the stuff that happens you wouldn’t know happened unless you where Toby. I really like the flashbacks and foreshadowing, but the most outstanding thing in this book is layout of the book and how he has the romantic twist in the story.
“When Toby pushed through the front door of the pizza shop, he was greeted by the sight of four people standing in the small area in front of the ordering counter. He tried not to stare at the beautiful girl with the ink-black hair.”
This quote shows his first time in the store and the first thing he notices is this beautiful girl with long black hair. It foreshadows that they’re going to have a relationship later on in the book.
I give this book 9 out of 10. The story was great and exciting. The ending boss fight was awesome and the cast of characters was just phenomenal. I read this book with anticipation and enthusiasm and finished it in two days flat. If you like Killer Pizza you might also like The Monstrumologist or any other monster hunting genre. This book is a great read and anyone will like it as much as I did.

Reviewed by Josh Ivey
8th Grade

**NFMH** Check out this awesome, student created book trailer I found on youtube by "waletti":

EIGER DREAMS by Jon Krakauer

If you love being in the mountains or just like to be outdoors, I have found the perfect book for you.  Eiger Dreams by Jon Krakauer is a must read novel for anybody who is interested in mountaineering or climbing.  This book will grip your mind and take you for a ride in the high altitude of the Alps, Himalayas, and beyond. 
This book is basically a collection of articles that Krakauer wrote for the Smithsonian and Outside magazines.  All of these articles are about extraordinary mountains and the crazy men who climb them.  For example, one chapter is about one of the worst summers in the history of climbing one of the deadliest mountains in the world.  One climber who tried to make a summit attempt, went delirious just above the summit and was left for dead by other climbers.  The next day he was seen crawling down the mountain with severe frost bite and altitude sickness.  This example is just one of many found in this book that describe outragious climbers that have an extremely strong will to survive.
One of my favorite parts of this novel is Krakauer’s ability to write about these people and describe their accomplishments.  The way he writes of the things they do allows you to get “lost” in reading and become engrossed in the story being told.  Not only the way Krakauer writes about these people, but the people themselves he chose to write about are interesting.  There are hardly any words that describe the adrenaline junkies that are subjected in this book.  Their inhuman feats will blow your mind.  Krakauer definitely picked an all star line up to write about when it comes to climbing.
The way this book is organized also makes it really outstanding.  Like I said before, it’s a collection of articles Krakauer wrote for a few different magazines.  I am a big fan of this style of book because they are easy to read.  You don’t get bored with a dull plot or the same old characters because it’s a different story every chapter.
Probably my most favorite part of this book is the descriptions Krakauer gives about the experiences of the climbers in the book.  One of my favorite examples of this is a passage from the book about Krakauer himself summiting a mountain in Alaska called the Devils thumb.
“It wasn’t possible, I couldn’t believe it. I felt my cracked lips stretch into a huge, painful grin.  I was on top of the devils Thumb…The summit was a surreal, malevolent place, an improbable slender fan of rock and rime no wider than a filing cabinet.  It did not encourage loitering.  As I straddled the highest point, the north face fell away beneath my left boot for six thousand feet; beneath my right boot the south face dropped of twenty-five hundred.”
I think this passage can sum up Krakauer’s knack for making a description chilling and gripping. His use of adjectives and figurative language make you feel as though you are the one climbing a mountain.
            This book is probably one of my favorite books I’ve ever read. If I were going to rate this book I would give it a nine out of 10. It is definitely worth your reading time ,and I suggest this book to anybody who is interested in mountains and climbing

Reviewed by Ryan Bowman
8th Grade

UNWIND by Neal Shusterman

Unwind by Neal Shusterman is full of adventure and action, with surprises when you least expect them. This heart-pounding, dystopian fiction novel that got me hooked from the first chapter on and I couldn’t stop reading it.
After the second civil war in America, a new bill was passed. It was the Bill of Life. It states that you can have your kid "unwound" from the age 13 to 18 if you choose to do so. Unwinding is when your body is taken apart by surgeons, and your organs and other parts are used for adults in need of them. Since every part of the unwound person's body is being used, they are not technically "dead", so unwinding is legal.  Teens that are forced to be unwound are usually kids with behavior issues and are signed up by their parents, or are orphaned children who have no one to care for them. So when the main character of this book, Connor, finds the unwind order papers on his father's desk for Connor's unwinding in two weeks, Connor is scared and angry.  He decides to take his chances and runaway.  Connor must overcome all odds to survive until he is 18 and can not be forcibly unwound. 
Shusterman did a very good job creating the characters.  It seemed like they were real, because he put so much detail into them.  The story is told from three different character perspectives, and even though Connor is the central character, it was still really cool to see what the two other characters were thinking and feeling.  Shusterman described them in such a way that it was easy to visualize them in my head. In the passage below, you can easily imagine what Connor's girlfriend looks like:                    
            “Her eyes are sweet violet with streaks of gray. She’s such a slave of fashion- always getting the newest pigment injection the second it’s in style. Connor was never into that. He’s always kept his eyes the color they came in. Brown.”
 The characters helped developed the story to make it well-rounded.  I really cared about Connor as a person and rooted for him to survive.  I felt Connor's anxiousness and urgency with each turn of the page.
I rate this book 10 out of 10. It is the best book I have read yet. There is amazing detail, and awesome action sequences.  I really hope someone will decide to make this great book into a movie.

Reviewed by Grant Sandercox
8th Grade
**NFMH** This is a great student made book trailer on youtube by "SpunkRansom02":

THE FAERIE PATH by Frewin Jones

I went to the library with my sister, I came across The Faerie Path by Frewin Jones. My sister was showing me the books that she had read and liked when I asked her about The Faerie Path. She chose not to read The Faerie Path because it isn’t in her best interests.  I picked up the book anyway and read the back cover. Little did I know that Faerie is the French spelling for Fairy in English. Even though the book is named The Faerie Path, it is not about Fairies.
            Anita Palmer is turning sixteen very soon. She loves her family, friends, and new-found boyfriend. Her world may not be perfect but she has everything she could ever want. On the eve of her sixteenth birthday she disappears into a completely different world. She is lost, but luckily she found she found a friend named Gabriel. She finds out quickly that she is Princess Tania, the seventh daughter of King Oberon. She could walk between the mortal world and the Faerie world, if she knew how to control her power. Her soul is split between both worlds and she isn’t sure what to do. She wants to see her friends and family but at the same time Gabriel and others won’t let her. With Gabriel trying to steal her power, will she ever see her “true” parents again or will she find a way to travel to both worlds without getting lost again?
            The plot development has an interesting format. I loved the way it is set up to make every page so realistic even though it could never happen.
“Strange new muscles flexed on her back and she felt the air stir. She drew herself up onto her hands and knees. There was no pain now. Grasping the rim of the sink, she pulled herself to her feet.”
            In this passage Anita grows wings on her back. Jones makes it so realistic that you can believe that growing wings can really happen.
            Jones made the character development so marvelous that each page was a new adventure.
“His head rested against thread bare velvet cushions. His golden hair hung around a lean, care-lined face. Anita had seen that face before, just for a few moments when she had first stepped onto the gallery above the great hall. It was the man she had seen on the throne, the man with the neat beard and mustache, with the sharp, angled cheekbones and the flashing blue eyes. Except how his expression was filled with sadness and his eyes were hooded, as if he was lost in deep, heartbreaking memories.”
            Jones refers to the king as if he were looking straight at him. There are many more great page-turning passages in The Faerie Path and exciting adventures too.
            If I were to rate this book on a scale of 1-10, I would rate it a ten. The plot, the characters, and everything was just right. I understood everything and really got into The Faerie Path. The Faerie Path is part of a series of books that I encourage people to read. Every book is a new adventure.
Reviewed by Lori Howard
8th Grade

IMPOSSIBLE by Nancy Werlin

I have recently finished the novel Impossible by Nancy Werlin. This romantic teen fiction book is a haunting, thrilling, romantic puzzle. Impossible shifts in point of view between two characters, Lucy and Zach.
Lucy Scarborough is a seventeen year old girl with a normal life. She has friends, goes to school, and is excited about her upcoming prom. All is well  and normal in her life until she turns eighteen and has to race against time to break a curse that has haunted generations of Scarborough women. Like her mother before her, and her grandmother, and EVERY woman of the Scarborough line, Lucy becomes pregnant and has to complete three impossible tasks before she has the baby. If she doesn’t she will go insane and forever be owned by the Elfin Knight with no freedom, and spiral into a life of insanity and heartbreak.
The structure of the book is unusual it has lots of flashbacks and switches characters point of view.  Many might find this structure to be confusing, but Werlin kept me interested in the novel through this method of writing.  I couldn't help but keep reading, and found it hard to put the book down.  I also like the way the author used the song lyrics from "Scarborough Fair" to help Lucy unravel the mystery behind the curse.  Lucy's mother also left her a parcel of letters that Werlin uses snippets of throughout the novel. This helped me understand why the letters were so important and vital to help Lucy break the curse.
But by the time her eighth birthday arrived, Lucy had forgotten all about the secret compartment and the T-shirt, and about the mysterious papers with the faded, tight, urgent handwriting. She would be seventeen, and in deep trouble, before she remembered.
I would rate Impossible an eight out of ten  because of the way the author wrote and made me feel like I was Lucy going through the tasks. Impossible was unlike any other book I have ever read; it was an unimaginable journey with an extraordinary ending.
 I will definitely be reading the other books written by Nancy Werlin.

Reviewed by Blaire Barker
8th Grade
**NFMH** For more details about this awesome book, check out this novel trailer by the book's publisher.


I recently just finished reading One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones. I was introduced to this book by my reading teacher, Mrs. Hart. You would think by looking at the title of this book it would just be really depressing throughout the whole book, although it is not. This book is filled with lots of drama and ups and downs of one girl’s life. It is definitely hard to set down this book once you get started. It is written in free-verse poetry, which made it really interesting to read. I found myself flying through the pages of this book, just wanting to read more and more.
            Ruby is a teenage girl whose mom recently died and her aunt, that she is very close to, is traveling all around the world with her boyfriend. Unfortunately, she is forced to move to California to live with her stuck up, movie star dad, that hasn’t even had time to send her a birthday card. Everything about her life seems to be going downhill from there, especially since she is forced to move away from her boyfriend and best friend. The only bright side of the whole situation is the fact that she finally gets to meet her dad after all of these years, although, she’s still not sure if she even likes him or not.  Ruby’s life is definitely going to change, having to start over a whole new life with whole new people.
            The plot development in this book was awesome because it had me turning the pages constantly. There were so many events going on in her life, you just wanted to keep reading more and more about it. Sones did an amazing job with the structure of the book. Sones used a very creative way of writing her book, to keep it interesting.
“Welcome to California!”
He says it like he’s rehearsed it.
But he says it like he means it.
Like he really, really means it.

So what if he does?
Because I’m here to tell him
That he can’t just ooze out
Onto the stage of my life
And play my father.

Not after Mom did all the hard work
Of teaching me to be a decent human being,
 which is something he obviously couldn’t have done
Even if he’d bothered to try
Since he clearly doesn’t know the first thing
About being one himself.

I’m here to tell him
That this is going to be
The toughest role he’s ever had to play.
I chose this passage from the book because it shows you how Sones used free verse poetry in her writing. In this passage you also got to see how the relationship between Ruby and her dad starts off.  The imagery in this book was also amazing. The way she used great detail in her writing, kept an image in my head throughout the whole book. Sones kept me turning the pages, keeping me hooked to see what was going to happen next.
            I would definitely rate this book a 9. The reason I give this book such a high rating is because I think that everything about this book was awesome! There were rarely any parts of the book where I wanted to put it down, I just wanted to keep on reading. It usually takes me awhile to get though a book, but it took me hardly any time to get through this one. I would recommend this book to all teen readers out there, especially ones who like a little bit of drama.
Reviewed by Hannah Stanaland
8th Grade

**NFMS** Want to learn more about Sonya Sones and her other amazing books? Check out her WEBSITE!

BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Blue is for Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz is a book that is well worth the time we all seem to spend reading books. Main character Stacey Brown attends Hillcrest Prep-School and has a secret that she doesn’t want anybody else to know about. Drea, her roommate, doesn’t like the Wiccan spells Stacey casts nor does she like the nightmares Stacey has every night. Stacey has been having nightmares about people she encounters ever since she was born.  When she starts getting threatening notes form an anonymous writer, she has to face the fact that someone she is close to is in danger. Can she figure out what her dreams are trying to tell her before it is too late?

In this book by Lauria Faria Stolarz, there is no way to stop turning pages once you begin. Stolarz does an amazing job with imagery throughout the whole book. Since most of us aren’t Wiccan, we don’t know what exactly to picture in the book when Stacey is casting her Wiccan spells. But Stolarz makes this amazingly easy by doing a great job with the narrative voice for many of the characters. It is very important to have a good narrative voice for a book of this sort, because books like Blue is for Nightmares are hard to picture in terms of action, and seeing through the main character’s eyes. The fact that Stolarz has written this with such an insight makes this one of the best books I have read with a first-person voice. Character development was very important in this book, since the storyline was so complicated.

“Veronica. She’s lying on the ground, a collection of textbooks surrounding her head, as well as Madame Lenore’s clay planter, still in one piece. There’s a narrow stream of liquid running from her head, pooling itself into a pear-shaped puddle. I shake my head over and over again, swallowing the bile down, telling myself that the running liquid it just a water spill from the planter or a leak from the ceiling. But I know it’s really blood. That she’s dead. Her moss-green eyes stare up at me, wide open and disappointed, asking me why I didn’t get here sooner. I glance up toward the window shade, slapping against the wooden ledge. The chilly November air filters into the classroom, plays with the wisps of cinnamon-brown hair at the base of her forehead, now stained bright Valentine red. I cover my face with my hands. That’s when the darkness in the room folds in and swirls all around me. When my body hits the floor.”

                While I read this I was shocked at how well Stolarz created suspense in such a short amount of time. I couldn’t stop reading until I finished the book completely. The way Stolarz spreads the suspense throughout the whole book amazes me. In some books I have read in the past, the author waits until the last fifty pages and decides to suddenly cram in all the action they didn’t put in the whole other three-hundred or so pages. Another thing I found surprising was that she didn’t use short and choppy sentences as most authors use in suspenseful parts of their novels.

                I would rate this amazing book a 9 out of 10 for its storyline and use of imagery.  The reason I did not rate it a full 10 is because it lacked a sense of one thing I always look for in a book. Relation. I couldn’t relate to the characters in most parts of the book because there was a totally different type of lifestyle in the book than I could relate to. But overall it was an amazing book and I intend to read more of Stoarz’s novels in the future.
Reviewed by Jenny McCrummen
8th Grade
This is a fan made book trailer by "signingupagain" for Blue is for Nightmares. Very creepy, but cool!

WORLD WAR Z by Maz Brooks

I came across World War Z by Max Brooks from my sister. My initial opinion was a little unsure, but it defiantly came through as a great book. I would say this is the best horror novel I’ve ever read.
This book is definitely different from others I’ve read. It doesn’t have a definite plot line and only one character remains constant. This is revealed through the questions of a journalist who goes around the globe interviewing survivors of “World War Z”. As the location changes, so do the different characters and each story is one of its’ own. He goes from the survival story of one families journey north to the horrific sights a downed air force pilot endures on her trek to safety.
Brooks does every single convention so well as well as others that it’s hard to choose between them. Everything was fantastic. One thing in particular that sticks out to me is the structure. He sets up each segment by describing the place and the person interviewed, sometimes explaining their career during the pandemic. Each character is completely unique to themselves and none resemble each other. There might be someone who goes straight to their story and the journalist (whose name remains unknown) rarely pitches in, or someone who needs to be pushed for questions before they give any information away. The book couldn’t have been written in a better format, he makes these characters all too real. As you read you will start to question yourself if “World War Z” actually happened or not.
His character development was yet another perfect aspect of Brooks writing.
            “As much a legend for her temper as for her outstanding war record, it is difficult to see how so much intensity can be compacted into her diminutive, almost childlike frame. Her long black bangs and delicate facial features only reinforce the picture of eternal youth. Then she removes her sunglasses, and I see the fire behind her eyes.”
This paragraph is just a tiny feature he gives you for each character, making them extremely vivid and very real. He types the dialogue for each person with an accent, some very heavy and others barely noticeable, yet still there. I can’t stress enough how the story behind each character is all too realistic which just makes it so chilling to read.
Brooks has an amazing knack for details which sets him apart from all other authors. “They weren’t the way Hollywood portrays them, in suits and everyday clothing. Many were being treated when they changed. They were in hospital gowns and sweats, some even naked.” This quote is still an understatement for his amazing details. He goes as far as describing through one of the characters that they even saw zombies trapped in cars, unable to undo their seatbelt. I don’t think anyone else could put as much details into this books as Brooks did, it was absolutely fantastic. His details and logistics actually made sense, making the characters stories and the idea of “World War Z” very plausible. This book will definitely leave you wondering if it could really happen or not.
The way he implies how things have changed after the pandemic is amazing too. “He lifted his shirt, revealing a wound about the size of a prewar dime.” You will be asking yourself, ‘Prewar dime? What does he mean by that? Are they different now?’ It leaves you curious and begging him for more information.
I don’t think this review or anyone else on a Brooks novel can do it justice - there’s just so many things he does right. The review itself would be the  length of a novel, you just have to go read it. Giving this book anything below a 10 is an injustice and I recommend it to anyone and everyone who can stomach the horrific tales and images Brooks will plant in your head.
Reviewed by Blake Beal
8th Grade
**A Note from Mrs. Hart*** World War Z movie rights have been purchased by Brad Pitt's movie production studio, "Plan B Entertainment". MTV Movies Blog reports on a recent post:
"World War Z" Is Actually Happening, So Get Ready
Buy your rifles and stock up your pantries, because "World War Z" is almost upon us. Bleeding Cool has the news that the film's cinematographer, Robert Richardson, is currently prepping production for the film at one of London's major movie studios. After weeks and months of delays and financial woes, it looks like the flick is actually going to get made. Thanks goodness!

On the Middle Shelf will be sure to post any new movie news about World War Z.

LINGER by Maggie Stiefvater

             After searching for a week or two, I finally came across this book. I read it in a matter of days (if it were up to me it would have been hours). Linger is a continuation of Maggie Stiefvater’s first book; Shiver. One of the main  things that caught my interest was the story plot; it’s basically about a boy and a girl who fall in love. I know what you’re thinking, “Ohhh great, another teen romance trying to live up to the standards of Twilight.”  Wrong.
                  Here's the catch in this romance of boy and girl; the dude just happens to be a werewolf!  How did this relationship come to be? Well a young girl by the name of Grace lives in house not too far from a forest. Not just a normal, every-day set of trees - wolves live there.  One day Grace comes home to discover a boy lying on her back porch. Turns out he’s one of the wolves from the forest named Sam who had transformed to human. Crazy, huh? After getting to know one another, they soon fall in love. Everything is perfect until it’s time for Sam to change back into wolf form, leaving Grace all alone. They have to fight to stay together through Sam’s four-legged conflicts, as well as Grace’s parents intruding on their relationship.              
            Stiefvater easily made me laugh and want to cry. She sets up each individual scene with great detail, forcing the reader to easily feel as if they’re watching the movie. Just read the following passage for further convincing.
Motionless, I watched as a black wolf appeared behind the gray one, followed by another I didn’t know. They moved like a school of fish, constantly touching, jostling, and communicating without words. Soon there were six wolves, all keeping their distance, all watching me, all scenting the air. I was afraid. The wolves circled me, wary of my human form but curious of the smell. Maybe they were waiting for me to shift.
            What I love more than anything is the way Stiefvater tells the story from different characters’ perspectives. One chapter is in Grace’s point of view and the next is in Sam’s. This makes me adore the book even more. No longer will I have to wonder what the other character’s thoughts and feelings are. Unlike some authors, Stiefvater easily shows the obsessive relationship between the two main characters. You can tell they are completely and unconditionally in love. She just as easily shows the relationship between other characters in the book. From hatred to love, you always know they’re feelings for one another.
            Before grabbing Linger off of the shelf, I recommend reading Shiver beforehand, just to get the feel of it all.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I easily give Linger a 9. The book does provide a slight disappointment because the previous book was just so great, it heightened my expectations for the second.  Only because of that slight flaw I give it a 9, hardly shy of a 10, but I’m quite harsh on my ratings. Now all I can do is pray and hope for either a movie, or a third book to satisfy my cravings for more.  
Reviewed by Logan Love
8th Grade
*NFMH* Maggie Stiefvater has a really interesting website full of information about her books, blog posts, links to short stories, and tons of other neat stuff. Click HERE for Maggie's website.

PEACHES by Jodi Lynn Anderson

I just read the novel Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson - a teen fiction book. This book was the perfect thing to read when I was feeling stressed or overwhelmed and needed to get away. Any teenage girl could relate to this interesting and engrossing novel.
    Peaches is about three very different girls, who become best friends under odd circumstances. Murphy McGowen, the wildest girl in Bridgewater, is forced to work at Darlington Orchard when she’s caught trying to steal the owner’s Creme de menthe. Birdie Darlington, the owner’s daughter, is a girl who has been home schooled her whole life and isn’t afraid of getting a little dirt under her nails. Leeda Cawley-Smith, the richest, most popular girl in Bridgewater and Birdie’s second cousin, is forced by her parents to come and work at the orchard during spring break. These three girls learn what true friendship really is. They help each other deal with guy problems, and Birdie’s parents getting divorced. What was the best part about this book? They do it all while picking peaches under the Georgia sun.  
    This book is so well written. The novel is told through each character's point of view, which helped me to understand each of the girls' thoughts and feelings. I could understand why Murphy did what she did but I could also understand why Leeda was upset by it.
The other convention that I absolutely loved was the character development. Each character changed over the course of this book in a way that you could feel like you were changing with them.
Still, if it was possible, Uncle Walter looked even older than he had in April, the gray at his temples having grown up the sides of his head like fungus.
Standing on the porch besides Walter, Birdie looked the opposite – she looked fresher, a little thinner, and excited. Her eyes scanned the group in front of the porch frenetically. Leeda looked behind her to see who Birdie might be looking for. Instead, her gaze landed on Murphy, skulking in the back, dark circles under her eyes and her arms crossed around her waist.
I think this passage shows how the characters changed physically and mentally overtime. I have never read a book as realistic or truthful as this one. Everything that happened in this book happens to a lot of people every day.  The plot structure of this book isn’t very normal, but this is why I like it. Everything flows together and makes sense.
Jodi Lynn Anderson is a great writer and I rate this book an 8. I recommend this book for any teenage girl. If you like Peaches I suggest you read the rest of the series or Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares.

Reviewed by Baylee Stovall
8th Grade

THE ENEMY by Charlie Higson

        The Enemy by Charlie Higson is an amazing dystopian fiction book filled with nonstop action and tons of surprises waiting around every corner. This book is a nonstop thrill ride with tons of twists.

    This book is about a disease that hits the Earth and it has turned everyone over 16 into zombies. It takes place about a year after the infection hit in London, England. Some kids have managed to survive by seeking shelter in a grocery store, but when a new kid shows up saying there’s a safe place at Buckingham Palace, the kids decide to risk it all and go. On the trip they lose many people but when they arrive everything is not as it appears. The kid who is in control of the palace has his own agenda. He doesn’t care about the well-being of his people all he really wants to do is control all of London.
           The characters are really well rounded. They seem like they could be real people. They were tough from a year of fighting for their life and from scavenging food.  They were not sissies but they had a soft spot, which I think really helped shape the story. For example, some kids wanted just to stay alive but others want to take control of all of London for themselves. This new kid that showed up is named Jester when one of the kids dies he doesn’t really care and just wants to make it back to Buckingham Palace.
“They’ve rested enough,” said Jester. “We were hours in Camden waiting for Arran to die.””That’s cold man,” said Blue. “What do you think we should have done? Finished him off ourselves?”” Of course not,” said Jester. “But it was obvious he was going to die.” “We did what we did man,” said Blue. “Couldn’t have done it no other way.””I know,” said Jester.
            I love the way the author switched people every chapter and told how they were surviving. It is organized really well, so whenever it was switching people you did not confuse them with another character.
            Overall I would rate this book an 8.5 out of 10 for the heart pounding action. If you liked this book I would recommend Maze Runner or The Roar. 
Reviewed by Jacob Duncan
8th Grade

THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy

         Are you looking for an outstanding book?  I just read The Road by Cormac McCarthy, and “outstanding” would definitely describe this book.  If you like survival books and stories about getting through hard times, I strongly suggest you try this novel.
          This book is the story of a young boy and his dad having to journey across a post-apocalyptic country.  They are in search of a warmer place because they will not be able to survive winter with what little possessions they have.  The only transportation they have is their feet, the only food they have is some canned goods they push in a cart, and the only protection they have against danger is a gun with only one bullet.  They face danger on the road they travel almost every day.  In spite of these hopeless conditions, the man and his son persevere for the sake of each other’s survival.  This summary can’t even describe the emotions and the intense battle for survival told in this story, so you will have to read the book to get the full story.
            In my opinion, one of the most outstanding qualities of this book is the narrative voice.  The narrator frequently uses simile to explain things that happen in the book.  An example of this is:
“And the dreams so rich in color.  How else would death call you?  Waking in the cold dawn it all turned to as instantly.  Like certain ancient frescoes entombed for centuries now exposed
 to the day.”
This passage is referring to a dream one of the characters had and compares it to a fading ancient painting.  This is just one of the many great examples of figurative language the narrator uses in The Road.
            This book also has great descriptions of the setting.  The way the author uses imagery is almost breath-taking.  This paragraph is just one of many interesting examples in the book that demonstrates the way the author describes the setting:
“The blackness he woke to on those nights was sightless and impenetrable.  A blackness to hurt your ears with listening.  Often he had to get up.  He rose and stood tottering in the cold autistic dark…He took great marching steps into the nothingness, counting them on his return.”
As you read The Road you will encounter many more descriptive paragraphs similar to this.
            Reading this book really made me think. It is a very emotional story and you would have to be heartless for this book not to touch your feelings in some way.  The emotions, the intense battle for survival, and the loving bond between a father and his son make this book phenomenal.  If I were going to rate this book on a scale of 1-10, I would give it a 10 for sure.  I couldn’t find one thing I didn’t like about this book while I was reading it.  If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind book, you need to check out The Road by Cormac McCarthy.
Reviewed by Ryan Bowman
8th Grade
**NFMH** On the Road is now a movie. Keep in mind the rating, and always have parent permission if you are under age before renting such a film :)

BOOST by Kathy Mackel

“You need to Boost your game Christopher!” is what Savvy Christopher has been hearing ever since she has moved to this new town. All she wants to do is play basketball, even if it’s on an 18U team where she’s pushed around by older, stronger players. Callie (Savvy’s older sister) also needs to Boost her game. She realized at the beginning of the school year that she gained too much weight to be a Varsity Cheer flyer. There is a lot of pressure for both girls to up their game. How far will they go to get better?
The description Kathy Mackelgives throughout the book about the characters is excellent. After you read this you will feel like they could be one of your friends too! This story is very realistic and is possible of happening. Kathy made this story really interesting and exciting; I couldn’t put it down! Also, the descriptions of what was happening in this book are incredible!

I felt the ball, leather like second skin, and bent my knees, loose and strong. Powering up through my legs, I flexed my wrist and watched the ball take flight.
A murmur went through the coaches, parents, and other girls. They would be saying, Who is that girl, where did she come from, and how the heck tall is she?
Savvy Christopher. Newly arrived in Rhode Island, all the way from New Mexico. Six two and still growing.
This passage helped me create a picture in my head of all the pressure on Savvy, and how important it was to succeed in basketball to her. Mackel gives this incredible detail all throughout this novel.
The theme of this book would be not to change your body for anyone. If you want to get in shape or whatever your goal is then you should work at it and not do anything drastic or stupid to your body. Readers will come out with more understanding about steroid use and consequences when using them.  Boost showed me no matter how much I want to get better at sports; I shouldn’t do anything harmful to my body because in the end it will just mess everything up.
            I would give this book a definite ten. I immediately got into this book. For me, since I’m really interested in basketball, I sped right through it! Also, if you’re a girl athlete and tired about all the sports stories where the characters are usually guys, then you need to read Boost. If you’re the least bit interested in basketball then you should give this book a try! It’s a great read about life’s difficulties, making friends (and enemies), family, and of course; basketball.
Reviewed by Stephanie Smith
8th Grade

UGLIES by Scott Westerfield

Uglies is a great dystopian fiction novel and the first in a series of four. Scott Westerfeld writes about a world where people have an operation done at the age of 16 that turns them from an “Ugly” to a “Pretty”. When the main character, Tally, meets a girl who doesn’t want the operation things start to go out of control. The girl runs away to a place called the Smoke, and Tally is forced to go after her by a secret organization called Special Circumstances. She then has to choose between betraying her new friend to the government or becoming a Pretty.
Scott Westerfeld writes this book from Tally’s third-person limited point of view. He does an amazing job at developing not only the main character, but many of the side characters as well. As you read the book, you will be able to see how Tally changes drastically through her opinions of people and how she sees each of them in a new light. You can also see the subtle changes or, in some characters, how quickly they can go from the good guy to the bad guy and vice versa.
            What really made this book good was the structure. Special Circumstances is a government organization that no one knows if they are just legends or if they really do exist. The presence of Special Circumstances just makes this book more intense, as if they are in the shadows the whole time, watching Tally. Dr. Cable, the head of Special Circumstances, is the main antagonist and is the person who forces Tally to travel to the Smoke and betray her friend. I think the way Westerfeld develops this organization and makes them a looming figure throughout the book is a great aspect of his writing.
Another good thing about Uglies is how Westerfeld uses imagery. The way he describes scenes in the book makes you feel like your right there next to Tally getting sprayed by a waterfall or nearly burning to death in the forest.
“Billowing clouds of smoke surrounded her, blotting out the sky. A ragged wall of flame moved through the flowers, giving off a wave of blistering heat. She stumbled down the hill and away from the fire.”
His great use of words will make you feel the heat, cold, or wherever Tallys’ travels lead her.
I would rate this book a 9 for its concrete plot line and the authors’ strong structure and character development. Overall, this is a great book and I recommend the sequels’ to it, which are Pretties, Extras, and Specials.
Reviewed by Blake Beal
8th Grade