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by Marissa Meyer

As the third and last book of Marissa Meyer's trilogy of the Lunar Chronicles, "Cress" did not fail to disappoint me. To be honest, it must have been my favorite of the three. The novel goes on about a girl, Cress, who has been trapped in a satellite/spaceship for nearly her whole life by the vicious (witch) Sybil Myra. Adding on, Cress has countless inches of long golden-blond hair which falls all the way till the group and bunches up on the ground. In this dystopian novel, Cress assists the opposite side, the one in favor of Linh Cinder and her goal to stop war and destruction on Earth from Queen Levana and her army on the moon. Eventually, Cinder and her crew from the Rampion stop by at Cress's spaceship, where things take a nasty turn and Cress is left inside her ship, which is hurling towards Earth, with the fugitive Carswell Thorne, a young man Cress somehow finds attractive. They both survive the fall, yet Thorne chops off Cress's long hair so they can survive through the dessert they landed in, Does the story sound familiar yet? Maybe a little similar to the story of Repunzel from the movie Tangled...? Exactly. This just farther proves what an creative and thoughtful author Marissa Meyer is. The first book, Cinder, is based off of Cinderella; the second one, Scarlet, off of Little Red Riding Hood; and the third one, Cress, off of Repunzel. I would definitely recommend this book to middle schoolers who are into dystopian literature.

Tuesdays With Morrie
by Mitch Albom

A heartbreaking memoir, yet it comes packed full of life lessons for one to ponder on. Author Mitch Albom tells his side of the story about his weekly Tuesday visits with his dying college professor--Morrie. The memoir is divided into chapters based on every visit, where a new essential topic is discussed between the two. The ideas discussed vary from money to accepting death. Recommended for those in high school to any age group following as one can truly find their life changed after reading "Tuesday's with Morrie".

Hunger Games
by suzanne collins

The thing I liked most about this book was how detailed it was. I would recommend this book to those who have watched the movie version since both the book and movie are very similar so it makes it easier to follow along. This book was about a young female individual who was thrown into an arena to fight for her life instead of her sister. As the audience reads the book, they learn about all the obstacles she has to go through and how she falls in love.

by Shannon Messenger

Unlocked is book 8.5 of the Keeper of the Lost Cities series. The first half of the book is just pointless trivia stuff, but the second half is where the actual story begins. The actual story, I think, has managed to take the prize for Most Devastating Story In The Series. But, before, I begin, here's a quick rundown of the series. The main character is Sophie Foster, an elf who has been hidden away with humans by the Black Swan, her creators. Sophie is a very special elf because she was genetically engineered by the Black Swan (a rebel organization), and they gave her all these crazy powers like Inflicting, Telepathy, Teleporting, etc. Basically, she's a bad*ss. One day, Fitz, another elf, come rescues her from the human world and takes her to Eternalia, where she really belongs. Here, she meets a bunch of awesome friends, like Dex, Biana, Keefe (my favorite character, and to be honest, he should be everyone's favorite character ??). So, things are looking great in this world, except, over here, she's still kind of a misfit because of how crazy powerful she is, and because of her upbringing. No one's everyone been hidden away with humans, nor do they have 5 special abilities. She also has brown eyes, whereas all elves are supposed to have blue eyes. So yeah. Kind of weird. Because of this, she constantly has people trying to attack her to figure out why she's so powerful, and what exactly her brain is hiding, since, the people who created her also planted secrets in her brain. So yeah, that's the series, with the bad guys constantly attacking her (the Neverseen), and her friends getting hurt in the process. Specifcally, one friend, Keefe. Now, I'll try to as brief as possible, since we're not even at the actual book yet, but, like, man. When I tell you I absolutely adore this boy, I mean it. He's literally everything anyone could ever hope for. He's kind and heroic, selfess and so sweet. He also has a great The only problem is, his mother is affilated with the Neverseen. She's the leader, in fact. His father isn't much better, who may not be a villian, but defintely wins the award for Worst Father of The Century. Constantly belittiling Keefe and generally making him feel like crap. Anyway, back to the point. Keefe's mother preformed some sort of experiment involving creepy shadows and light on him in an attempt to make him more powerful. Keefe is an Empath, but his mother, Lady Gisela wanted him to be more than that. So, after a terrifying experiment, where Keefe nearly died, he's unconsious for quite some time, and book 8.5 starts there.With Keefe waking up. Keefe wakes up with his Empathy cranked to a 500, so he's in a lot of pain. Imagine feeling what everybody's feeling all at once. Sounds like an awful headache. So, because he is bombarded with so many emotions at once, he ends up tapping into a new ability, one that has never been discovered before. Essentially, because he is so overwhelmed by the deluge of emotions, he strips everyone of their emotions without meaning to. Everyone becomes a numb, lifeless shell of a person. This, obviously, terrifies him, because one of the people he numbs is Sophie, and Sophie means the world to him. The really scary part of all this, is that it was completely involuntary. It is enough to make him never want to speak again. So, that's exactly what happens for a couple days. He refuses to speak to anybody because he is terrified of what he could accidentally do to them, especially because his abilities aren't limited to numbing. He, could, potentially, do whatever he wants to someone, if he is overwhelmed enough. At this point, Keefe is spiraling into dark, scary places and is pushing everyone away for their safety. The real horrible part of this, is that his MOTHER did it to him. On purpose. His mother, the woman that is supposed to protect him and keep him safe. She is inflicting this torture on her own son. It really make you wish you could punch her. At this point, Keefe's friends are trying to find some solution this volatile ability, but much to their dismay, nothing is working. The final straw occurs when Keefe accidentally triggers a child's ability, someone who's yet to manifest. This terrifies him, because if he can trigger abilities, it is entirely possible that he can strip them away. In a world where abilites mean everything, having an ability like this is the ultimate display of power and control-which is exactly what his mother wants. So, because Keefe has a horrible mother, and because he has poor decision making skills, he runs away. He flees to the human world, where he can keep his friends safe from harm, and the world, essentially. *cue ugly sobbing* And that's where the book ends, at least from Keefe's perspective. So, I am understandably upset. And I'll be waiting a whole two years before the next one comes out ??.

The Joy Luck Club
by Amy Tan

The Joy Luck Club is a sensational book that really resonated with me. The book encapsulates four different narratives of four Chinese immigrant families in America. As the narratives move along between the four different families, The Joy Luck Club dwindles down on the lives and problems of Chinese immigrants and their first generation children. While the book specifically narrates the levies and relationships between Chinese immigrant mothers and their first gen daughters, many of the problems and themes are relatable to any first generation Chinese immigrant child and their parents. Each of the four families have a different past, a different present, and a different future, yet all four are connected by the weekly Joy Luck Club in which all four families come together to share stories, boast about achievements, eat food and most importantly play mahjong together. The reason why this book is so special is due to its ability to pinpoint and capture many of the problems that first generation children and their immigrant parents have. First of its kind, Amy Tan addresses problems such as understanding, culture, discipline, and much more. One of the four daughters, Jing-mei replaces her mothers spot at the Joy Luck Club after her death. Jing-mei speaks of her fear of not being capable of telling her mothers remarkable story and journey to America to her mothers other daughters that were left behind in China. Growing up as a first generation child in America, the things the parents have gone through, have sacrificed, in order for us to grow up in such comfort are unimaginable. There is a disconnect between the upbringing first generation children have compared to their parents that cannot be closed with just words. Immigrant parents often try to retell their tale in hopes that their children will understand their beliefs and ideals as growing up in America often results in completely different beliefs and ideals than those who grow up in China half a decade ago. Amy Tan also addresses how immigrant parents are super strict on education and their children being the best as only success in their children can help the parents justify their hardships they had to endure coming here for a better life for their offspring. The Joy Luck Club speaks of many other themes and problems between Chinese immigrant parents and their first gen children that has really never been done before. The pinpoint accuracy on the psychological situations created merely due to growing up in different countries, cultures, times, and such difference in experiences making it extremely hard for understanding each other is one that I have never been able to explain in words or truly understand until I read this novel. Being a first generation Chinese child with immigrant parents I have never seen a book resonate more with me than The Joy Luck Club. It is a book that I would recommend for any immigrant family as it allows for a better understanding between child and parent and hopefully will help close the gap despite such differences between immigrant parent and child.

The Joy Luck Club
by Amy Tan

The Joy Luck Club is a sensational book that really resonated with me. It encapsulates four different narratives of four different Chinese immigrant families. The story focuses on the relationship of these immigrant mother and daughter or in a broader sense, Chinese parent and child relationships. Each with a different background, a different upbringing, a different future in store, all four of these narratives are connected as the mothers and their daughters come together every week to share stories, play mahjong, and eat food at the Joy Luck Club. The Joy Luck Club is a story that really brings together the unknown stories and struggles of Chinese immigrants and their first generation children growing up in America.

A Promised Land
by Barack Obama

I pressed Enter to start a new paragraph and for some reason it turned in the whole thing. As for a summary of the book, there is quite a lot that goes on, as the first third of the book he explains his run for presidency, and the last 2/3 being all of the important decisions he made as president, and what caused him to go the way he did. The book starts off with him describing his family and how he grew up primarily in Hawaii with his mother and grandparents and then him going to college and meeting Michelle. From there he discusses his creation of a family in Chicago with Michelle and the various jobs he held until becoming a state senator in Illinois. This was his first real experience with politics, and he used it to learn and then become a Senator in Congress for Illinois. He also discusses the difficulty he began to face in balancing his personal and family life with his political life. From there, he goes to talk about his run for presidency, all the highs, and all the lows, with some things like his infamous speech at the DNC and the thought process behind it. He discusses his entering into the Presidency in the middle of a financial crisis the likes of which hadn't been seen since the Great Depression. He discusses how he went about fixing it as he got used to the seat of the President, and then went on to discuss the rest of his important decision, such as when he decided to kill Osama bin Laden. In all, I would certainly recommend this book to anyone interested in politics or even someone who's not completely interested in it but just want to know more about Obama's presidency.

A Promised Land
by Barack Obama

This book was originally recommended to me by my friend, but I got it as a Christmas gift from my dad. I had a long list of books I wanted to read by myself, so I pushed it off until this summer, but reading this gave me a whole new perspective about Obama's Presidency. I loved it as I was able to get insight from Obama himself on many of his political decisions and how he came to his conclusions, as well as a little bit of his background, which had large influences on his decisions. I would certainly recommend this book to a friend, though with some caveats. While it is certainly an informative book and written in an entertaining style you could expect from Obama, I do feel you wouldn't completely appreciate the book unless you are interested in politics. I want to pursue a career in politics, so this was right in my alley, but if you don't care for that side of things, it may be difficult to read the whole book, as it is quite a large one.

My Weirder School 2: Mr. Harrison Is Embarrassin’!
by Dan Gutman

This novel from the My Weirder School series, by Dan Gutman, starts with A.J who hates coffee and questions why parents seem to love coffee. A.J had even seemed to make a theory, that there is some type of chemical in the brain which gets you activated when you become a grown-up and you start to drink coffee, eat vegetables, wearing ties, and do things of that sort. In school, The kids are amazed to learn that it is the school's fiftieth anniversary! Not long after A.J and the other students realized, just about all the teachers were walking around like zombie’s in the school, begging and later rioting for coffee. As one of the teachers spoke, "Must have coffee!" After gathering more info, Arlo and the students figure out that almost all the teachers are rioting because the coffee machine broke, which leads to having no coffee for the teachers. Things were now getting worse by the minute as the grown-ups were acting like monsters. Luckily, Mr. Harrison (the tech guy) came and saved the day! After observing the machine he had given his speech about how the machine works and from this, he found out the wire of the coffee machine was not plugged in! After this achievement, Mr. Harrison was given cheers and claps for saving the day! Someone had even said that "Mr. Harrison should get the Nobel Peace prize." Soon after the teacher had their coffee things got back to normal in the school. A.J was in his math class that he hated and wanted to leave. That's when an announcement was made for an assembly. Everyone was curious why there's a sudden gathering? In the meeting, Mr Klutz the school principal talked about how today is the school’s fiftieth birthday and they are going to celebrate this event with some special visitors like the mayor, a news reporter, people taking a film of the celebration from channel 7 news and there's going to be one special guest Ella Mentry. Mrs. Mentry was the lady the school was named after and it's her birthday too! Mrs. Mentry is going to turn 90 and will be celebrating at the school with the students. Mrs. Klutz ended the assembly by asking the kids to spend the rest of the morning cleaning up the school to show a good impression of the school. While the school was cleaning there were many things that needed attention from Mr. Harrison likes the strange computer A.J found, the copy machine, and the Smartboard. Mr. Harrison is the guy to ask to fix anything broken especially when a school is fifty years in age and things always break. At lunchtime, the kids talk about Mr. Harrison and his accompaniments. They had even come to the point where the kids were figuring out Mr. Harrison's real full name and they did, his name was George Harrison! The kids figured that Mr. Harrison may be a famous guy from the old rock group the Beatle but it wasn't confirmed. After lunch was over it was time for the big party. The mayor, the press, people taking a film, and Mrs. Mentry came and gave their speeches and introductions. They cut their cake and sang the birthday song. All of a sudden the lights and the power went out. Everyone was horrified and terrified about what to do and what was happening, the scene was chaotic. The room of people figured out that Mrs. Mentey was missing as she did not respond when called multiple times. Then out of the box, Mr. Harrison suggests that Mrs. Mentey may be in the hole the squirrel dug into the school from the playground outside and he’s correct. After some chaos, drama, and help from the rescue team, Mr. Harrison saved the day once more! And now the school’s name was now all around the news. The End !!!

Junie B. Jones is (almost) a Flower Girl
by Barbra Park

Junie B. Jones, who is almost six leaves no advantages to behave like a grown-up lady, which is to prove to her mother and family, she is capable of handling older people’s stuff. When the good news comes out that Junie’s aunt Flo is getting married, Junie decides to become the flower girl of the wedding as it is an ideal way to prove to her family she’s a grown-up lady.“A flower girl is the very first person to walk down the aisle at the wedding, they carry a flower basket and throws the petals all over the floor.” However, when she asked her aunt to be the flower girl, Junie became miserable that someone else was going to be the flower girl. To make the situation slightly better for the poor girl, Aunt Flo decided to make Junie the alternate flower girl. Junie became excited and wished that Bo (the flower girl) isn’t able to reach the wedding just days away so she can take Bo’s part to prove that she is a grown-up lady. On the wedding day, Junie B. Jones was all dressed up like a flower girl. She had figured out Bo was here ready to do her job. Thereafter, Bo was throwing petals over the floor, she reached Junie which after a while of getting into a fight, Junie got a few petals to throw to make things finer for Junie. The book ends successfully, as Junie and Bo become friends and Junie learns that it’s fun to be little, and she shouldn’t be acting like a grown-up lady!
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