Book Reviews

Connect the Stars by Marisa de los Santos and David Teague Review

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About the Book: Connect the Stars by Marisa de los Santos and David Teague is a middle grade standalone that has 352 pages and a Lexile measure of 840. It was published on September 22nd, 2015 by HarperCollins, and follows Audrey and Aaron, two thirteen-year-olds who meet at a wilderness camp.

My Review: Although I didn’t enjoy Connect the Stars quite as much as Saving Lucas Biggs, it was still a great read that showed the power of teamwork. I’ll admit I was a little bored with this book until Audrey and Aaron arrived at wilderness camp, probably because both of them were kind of loners and I really don’t like books where the main character(s) don’t have a awesome best friend to talk to, but once they got to camp things started to get a lot more interesting. For one, Jared. Even if he is a little on the mean side of things, some of his lines were so fantastic that I just can’t help loving him. Also, once Audrey and Aaron got assigned to their team and began to form a friendship with Louis and Kate, everything started to get better. I loved how despite all of their problems and weaknesses, together the four made a fantastic team and really went out of their way to watch out for each other. From the awesome character development and the strong messages about teamwork, love, and forgiveness, this was a truly awesome book.

my random rambling

Revenge Against My English Textbook

So a while back I was tasked with a writing assignment. Basically, I was to explain how to complete any task that I chose, to a highly detailed extent. Now, as most of you know, I love writing, after all, would I write a blog if I didn’t? Probably not. Well, my love for writing aside, I really didn’t want to write this paper. It just looked like an utterly boring assignment and wanted no part of it. Nevertheless, I had to do it, so I decided to get my silent, passive-aggressive revenge by writing the paper on the most boring task I could imagine: digging a hole. Below is the paper, hope you enjoy!

At some point in every person’s life, there will come a time when they are required to dig a hole. Therefore, when one’s time comes, it can pay to be well-versed in the art of hole digging. Although it may seem simple and monotonous, one can never be too prepared when venturing into the outdoors.

Before one even begins to start digging a hole, it is important to make sure that one has the correct supplies. The most basic item one will need is a pointed, gardening shovel, but it would also be quite beneficial if one were to be in the possession of a pair of gardening gloves. Other than these simple objects, not much else is required to dig the perfect hole

When one begins digging a hole the very first step is to don one’s gloves, if they are available, then one should take the shovel in one’s hands and push it into the dirt. Once the shovel has been inserted into the dirt and pushed down several inches, one should lift the shovel back up in a horizontal position. After the shovel has emerged from the dirt, one should take the dirt that is being held by the shovel and dump it to one side, then repeat the aforementioned processes until the hole is the desired depth and width.

As soon as the hole is the size that is desired, one might assume that the job is done, but much still is left to be accomplished. Once one has finished, they should take off their gloves, and place them in a safe place, should they need to be used again. In addition, the shovel should be placed somewhere where the rain cannot reach it and ruin it. When these tasks have been completed one is free to enjoy their hole in any way they see fit.

Although it might seem a boring task, digging a hole can be a simple job despite its grueling nature. First, one should ensure they possess the correct supplies, after that they should begin digging in an orderly fashion, finally, they should put away their supplies and enjoy their hole. It is clear that with these simple steps, anyone can dig a hole.

Book Reviews

Saving Lucas Biggs by Marisa de los Santos and David Teague Review

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About the Book: Saving Lucas Biggs is a standalone written by Marisa de los Santos and David Teague, which has a Lexile measure of 930. It has 288 pages and was published on April 29th, 2014 by HarperCollins. It is a middle-grade time travel adventure that follows thirteen-year-old Margaret in her quest to save her father from being executed.

My Review: I really enjoyed this book. From Margaret and Charlie’s awesome friendship to the way the writing style sweeps you away, this book was beyond enjoyable. I thoroughly enjoyed how Margaret and Charlie’s friendship was so realistic, as they had known each for years and were insanely comfortable around each other, while still occasionally having awkward moments when they were unsure of how to express the way they really felt. In addition, I found it amazing how the authors managed to write a story with an emotionally upsetting plot with many traumatic events in the midst of it, yet somehow were able to keep it from becoming depressing.  The writing style reminded me of Lauren Myracle’s Wishing Day books, in the way that it often resembles poetry made into prose. I also loved how the time travel was explained in a way that made sense, almost like When You Reach Me’s explanation, only more detailed. If you are looking for a fantastic time travel, historical fiction adventure this is it!

Book Reviews

The Unbreakable Code by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman Review

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About the Book: The Unbreakable Code is the second book in the Book Scavenger series by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman. It has 368 pages and was publish on April 25th, 2017 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR). It is a middle-grade mystery about almost thirteen-year-old Emily and her best friend James, as they attempt to solve the mystery of the unbreakable code and fires that are appearing around the city.

My Review: It’s been a couple years since I read Book Scavenger and in the time that’s passed I have forgotten most of the book; nevertheless, I picked up the sequel, hoping that it would prove an interesting read. Well, thankfully it did. Even thought the plot of Book Scavenger is no longer in my memory, well, mostly that is, I didn’t have much trouble understanding what was going on in The Unbreakable Code. It really was quite an interesting and entertaining story. Not to mention that there were two mysteries in one book. From Steve-James’s cowlick- wearing glitter to the awesome librarian, this really was a great read. The only complaints I have are that some of the dialogue seemed weird and choppy, as if it would have been better of as narrative, and that if you try a little, figuring out who the arsonist is isn’t all that difficult, although it isn’t completely clear either. Other than that, The Unbreakable Code was quite enjoyable and should prove an interesting read for many ages.

my random rambling

I’m not a Murder…I’m Just a Writer

It’s a commonly known fact that writer’s search history is often…sketchy. We often have to research things like stab wounds, ways to poison people, and how to break into the white house just so our story can be accurate. Well since I haven’t posted in a little while and I needed an idea, I thought I would share some of the weirdest things me and my co-author have ever searched.

  1. Hair gel pranks. Explanation: In one of our early drafts two of our main characters were playing a prank on a classmate by replacing his hair gel with pine sap but as time progressed we realized that pine sap wasn’t all the realistic of a substitute. What did we do? We googled it! We searched the internet and our brains for a better option and changed the substance from super glue to vaseline to mayo before we decided we could do without the scene.
  2. Statue of Liberty security system. Explanation: In one of our earliest drafts we were planning to have our three main characters break into to Statue of Liberty but we needed to figure out the best way to do it so for a while it was our obsession to figure out the best way to break in undetected.
  3. First-time nose piercing. Explanation: Very recently we decided that the character who recently broke his nose should get a nose piercing and that in order to know how it is done and how painful it could be we needed to watch some videos.
  4. Pictures of red haired freckled teen guys. Explanation: We needed a picture of a character we invented so we temporarily became stalkers.
  5. International Giraffe Convention. Explanation: A character was on the spot and needed and excuse so he used this and I couldn’t help but wonder if it was a real thing.
  6. Exploring sewer systems. Explanation: At one point our characters lose something in the sewer and one of them goes down into to get it back so we thought it would be good to see what it was like.