Let’s Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

By Jessica
Teen Advisory Group member


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I’m going to start off this review by saying that I’m a big fan on Sarah J. Maas. Scratch that. I’m a HUGE fan of Sarah J. Maas to the point it’s kind of scary. If there was one thing (other than Harry Potter and Sherlock) that I obsess over, it’s definitely Maas’s books. That being said, I don’t mean any ill-will towards the third book of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series (the beautiful, drool-worthy cover shown above), but it wasn’t my favorite.

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Let’s Review: The Crucible

By Nim
Teen Advisory Group President


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I’m back! It’s time for another edition of “AP English III Novel Reviews”, with your host, Nim! Let’s get started.

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Let’s Review: The Grapes of Wrath

By Nim
Teen Advisory Group President


Nim here!

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As we know, school’s right around the corner and schedules have been released, leaving all of us scrambling to get supplies and summer assignments ready. There’s a good chance that some of y’all have not read your PAP/AP English Summer Novel, and that’s not good (especially if you have English in the Fall semester). In fact,

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But no fears! If you’ve been assigned to read the Grapes of Wrath (for example: Marcus juniors), look no further! I’m here to give a formal and an informal summary + some important stuff I annotated for (yeah, remember that?). But honestly, you should still Sparknote the book, I am NOT a trusted source on the analysis stuff.

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The Romance Trope: aka My Rant for Riverdale and My Love of Parks and Rec

By a member of the Teen Advisory Group


Has anyone else noticed that basically all songs are about falling in love? Books and movies too, in one shape or another. It kind of gets old after a while. So it was kind of cool when I found this online:

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Hehehehe. “Whatsername”=Veronica.

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10 Books on my TBR list

Today I thought I’d share with you a few books that have been on my TBR list for a while. Hopefully this will inspire you to look at your own TBR list and finally read some of the books (and I hope this works for me too!)

Leviathan by Scott Westfeld
I’ve been wanting to read this book for over 6 years since it’s the only Scott Westfeld series that I haven’t read.

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The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
I added this book to my TBR shelf 4 years ago after I read multiple reviews raving about this book. I started it a few years back, but unfortunately never got farther than the first chapter.

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Evermore by Alyson Noel
Like the Mara Dyer book, I added this book to my shelf over 4 years ago. A friend gave me the book as a gift, but I’ve yet to actually read it.

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Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
I heard about this book three years ago after multiple friend recommended it to me. Last year, I checked it out from the library, but of course was I extremely busy then so I never got the chance to start it.

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Angelfall by Susan Ee
I really don’t know that much about this book, but I had two friends recommend it to me in the span of two weeks a few years ago so I added it to my shelf. Since I’m not super familiar with the plot, this one will probably continue to get pushed off until I make it through the rest of this list. (unless I hear more praise for this book!)

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Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
The sad thing about this book is that I met the author two years ago and got the book signed, but I still haven’t read it. I’ve started it a few times, but I’ve never gone father than the first 20 pages.

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Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Precursor: please don’t kill me for this! When the movie came out a few years ago I went to go see it and I absolutely loved it! The next day I went to the bookstore and bought the book, but lo and behold I still haven’t read it yet.

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Beastly by Alex Finn
This was the same situation as Warm Bodies, where I saw the movie, liked it a lot, then decided to buy the book. I started it a few years back, but didn’t read more than 10 pages.

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Also the same as the last two, expect this book was on my radar before the movie even existed. An English teacher from middle school recommended this book to me, so I checked it out from the library. However, as you can probably guess by now, I never got more than 50 pages in.

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Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
I first heard about this book after I’d finished reading all of John Green’s books and was looking for something similar. Out of all the books on this list, this is probably the one that I want to read as soon as I can.

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After reading through this list, let me know if you’ve read any of these books and what you thought of them. Also, what book has been on your TBR list for a long time? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,
Emma

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Let’s Review: The Shadow Fall Series

By Emma
Teen Advisory Group Secretary

I started The Shadow Falls Series about a year ago, and just recently finished the last book in the series. Instead of posting 5 separate posts, I’ve decided just to combine them all into one big review. The series had its ups and downs, but overall I really enjoyed it! The only things I wished were different were faster plot lines and less predictable characters.

Born at Midnight
In the first novel in the Shadow Falls series, we are introduced to our main character Kylie who thinks of herself as a ‘normal’ teenager. She is sent to a summer camp by her mom, and while she’s there she meets other teens that are surpernaturals, and finds out that she herself might actually be one too. The first novel is definitely worth the read! The plotlines are really good, despite the frequent teenage drama. The one thing that turned me away from this book is all the grammar and spelling mistakes! I was so surprised that there were so many of them, but if you can get past that part, it is a really good novel!

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Awake at Dawn
I’m not going to give a description of this book so I can make sure that I don’t spoil anything from the previous book. My favorite thing about Awake at Dawn was its plot. Compared to all of the other books in this series, I found this one to be the least predictable. However, I didn’t like everything about this book. My least favorite thing was that every single one of the characters all came across as a whiny teenager, which is logical for the actual teens, but even the adult characters came off that way too, which was really annoying. Overall, I think I like this novel better than the first due to the great plotline!

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Taken at Dusk
I liked this novel better than the first one, but the second book is still my favorite. The plot was pretty good, but there was just so much going on that I found it hard to keep up with everything at times. My main issue was with the romantic plotlines. Hunter tried very hard to make them good, but they came off as emotionally charged and annoying. Overall, this novel was good, but could’ve been better if the plotlines were more thought out.

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Whispers at Moonrise
This book was very dramatic, but not in the bad cheesy kind of way. The plotlines are well thought out and the ending is amazing! It makes the reader leave wanting more, and to find out how this series will end. Overall, this novel is a step above the previous novels, and was by far my favorite.

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Chosen at Nightfall
This novel took me a long time to get through, not necessarily because it was bad, but because it felt like Hunter wrote this book for the sole purpose to end the series so it wouldn’t go on forever (which it still kind of did but that’s a story for another time). This novel ended somewhat cheesy, and things still felt a little up in the air, but all in all I did enjoy it! It was a good ending to a good series!

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Until next time,

Emma

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5 Upcoming Book to Movie Adaptations

By Emma
Teen Advisory Group Secretary

Today I wanted to share 5 upcoming book to movie adaptions that I’m excited for!

Wonder

What it’s about: Wonder follows the life of Auggie Pullman, a young boy with a facial deformity, and his struggles at his new school.
When it’s released: November 17, 2017

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Everything, Everything

What it’s about: Everything, Everything follows Maddy, who has a rare condition that forces her to stay in her home, but Olly, the boy next door, won’t let that stop them from being together.
When it’s released: May 19, 2017

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My Cousin Rachel

What it’s about: An Englishman plots revenge against his cousin, but soon finds himself falling under the spell of her charm.
When it’s released: July 14, 2017

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Murder on the Orient Express

What it’s about: When 13 strangers find themselves stranded on a train, one man must race against time to solve the mystery before the murderer strikes another time.
When it’s released: November 10, 2017

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The Circle

What it’s about: Mae Holland, a tech worker, lands her dream job at a company called The Circle. But she soon discovers a criminal agenda that will affect the lives of her friends, family, and of humanity.
When it’s released: April 28, 2017

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What movie are you most excited for? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

Emma

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Reel Talk: Fallen Movie

by Emma
Teen Advisory Group

If you’re a fan of the Fallen series by Lauren Kate, you may remember hearing the news (a very very long time ago) that the first book was going to become a movie. Fallen follows Luce Price, who is sent to a boarding school called the Sword & Cross. On the first day of classes she is mesmerized by Daniel Grigori, one of her fellow classmates who is eerily familiar. As they grow closer, she soon finds out that Daniel is a fallen angel, and that they have spent lifetimes finding and losing one another as good and evil forces plot to keep them apart.

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Fallen stars Harrison Gilbertson, Jeremy Irivine, and Addison Timlin alongside Joely Richardson. Other notable cast members include Daisy Head, Malachi Kirby, Lola Kirke, Hermione Corfield and Sianoa Smit-McPhee.

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A few stills have been released, and we even have a trailer, but news on a set release date is sparse. Originally, the movie was set to be released in late 2015, but after this didn’t happen Lauren Kate confirmed that it would be released in late 2017. With so much delay is the release date, readers are left hoping that eventually they will finally get to see the movie they’ve been waiting for for years!

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While there is not set domestic release date yet, the studio is encouraging fans to retweet the trailer so they can see what kind of demand there is. So if you want to see Fallen in theaters soon retweet the trailer!! Click here to watch it on youtube! fallen-760x549.png

Fallen is coming, but not soon enough! I’ll post a follow up post once the movie (hopefully) comes out!

Until next time,
❥Emma

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Authors Who Don’t Narrate the Way You Expect

by Anne Marie
Teen Advisory Group

In general, narrators  are the same. First person, third person– you know, what you read 95% of the time. Point being, they are either in the story, or else they are the all-knowing narrator.

But what about the narrators (who in these cases, are also the authors) who refuse to follow the rules? The ones don’t care about the fourth wall and mercilessly tear it down?

They tell a different story. Here are a couple of my favorites.

 

*Lemony Snicket*

Lemony Snicket ruthlessly throws down the fourth wall. Near the beginning of the first book in A Series of Unfortunate Events, he warns the reader not to read his books. It does not have a happy ending (which is true), so you are better off reading something else.

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And if you watch the Netflix version (which is pretty great– WAY better than the movie), “Lemony Snicket” often comes in and breaks the fourth wall and clears up definitions, much like he does in the books.

But not only does he clear up definitions, in the books he has a very *ahem* strange writing style. I don’t remember which book it was, but one time he was explaining deja vu, and then he repeated the passage exactly to give the read a sense of deja vu.

Another time, he wrote “very” for a couple pages. I don’t remember the reason why, but I know he was making a point.

 

He’s always making a point.

 

And it’s like that in all the books! It is very strange, but hey, who wants to read something “normal”?

 

*Pseudonymous Bosch*

The Name of this Book is Secret’s author “Pseudonymous Bosch” is very secretive of the critical information in the books, even of the author’s name.

(No, you don’t get it. “Pseudonymous” literally means “pen name”. As in: “the name on the cover is not the name of the person who wrote this book”.)

Want an example of how secretive the author is? Here is the first chapter:

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And here is one farther in:

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But unlike Lemony Snicket, this narrator acknowledges his own shortcomings. He realizes he will make mistakes and asks his readers to 1) forgive him and 2) forget the information he gave you.

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Why do I say Pseudonymous Bosch is a “he”? Well, I read the books, and who the author is was one of the biggest secrets in the series, so of course he gives it away.

But you’ll have to read the book to figure out who it is.

 

 

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Let’s Review: Hamlet

By the vice-president of the Teen Advisory Group:

Hi everyone! I am back after almost a year-long hiatus with a new series on English IV books (original, I know). My class recently finished Shakespeare’s play Hamlet and this short post will primarily focus on dissecting its main characters Hamlet and King Claudius without spoiling the plot too much.

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