Please browse here to find books that I think are worth your time.... or are real stinkers. I will let you know what I REALLY think of what I am reading. You might not find the newest and most popular books here, but I would LOVE it if you find something unexpectedly great!

I will indicate on each post the Lexile level of the book.
To find out more about Lexile levels, go HERE.

Use the labels list on the right side of the screen to find a title about something you are interested in. You can also search by Lexile levels.

Happy Reading!

Friday, January 19, 2018

Jenks Student Reviews

Please post in comments section below. Be sure to include:

Your Name
Title of Book
Brief summary
Detailed opinion of the book

Throne of Glass

By Sarah J. Maas
Lexile = 790

I keep hearing that books by Sarah Maas are "edgy" which I interpret to mean "sexy", so I figured that I had better read one and find out!

Throne of Glass is the beginning of a series that is about to publish number SEVEN. That's a heptalogy. Really. I was confused at the beginning because it reads like a continuation of another book. Calaena has been imprisoned in the salt mines of the kingdom after being captured as the great assassin of the realm. Now, there's a LOT of back story there that I feel like I'm missing out on, but anyway.....

Calaena is brought to the castle and bargained with. If she will participate in a competition to find a King's "Champion", she will obviously win and thus gain her freedom. She is the only woman in the games. There's a bit of love triangle here.... I think. But how can you love an ASSASSIN? There's also a long dead queen who is on the side of Celaena and beckoning from the tombs beneath the castle. Participants in the championship are dying and Calaena needs to stay alive long enough to win her freedom. Kinda reminds me of Hunger Games.

Watch a book trailer HERE.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Warcross

By Marie Lu
Lexile = 810

I really liked the book Ready Player One. A LOT. My review of that is here. Warcross is very, very similar. One major difference is that Warcross is written by a woman, and I think that is significant here.

It is similar in that the game platform in the book is an alternate reality where characters live their lives as idealistic avatars. Emika Chen has become a bounty hunter in the alternate reality and takes crazy risks in order to earn the meager bounties that she earns. As an expert hacker, she "glitches" into the Warcross tournament and instantly becomes and international sensation. She is offered funds beyond her imagination and a more permanent "relationship" with the Warcross platform.

And therein lies the difference between Warcross and Ready Player One. Warcross is more about relationships in the real world. Maybe it is more aimed at female readers? Not sure about that. I'm SURE there will be a sequel to Warcross. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, enjoy a professional book trailer HERE.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Torres Student Reviews















Please post in comments section below. Be sure to include:

Your Name
Title of Book
Brief summary
Detailed opinion of the book

Monday, November 27, 2017

Turtles All the Way Down

By John Green
Lexile = Not Yet!

A book by John Green is NOT an automatic buy in my library. If you have read my review of Paper Towns, you may recall that I used the word "crude". And it is. That is an apt description for much of Green's work. However, in Turtles All the Way Down, it isn't an overwhelming part of the plot OR any character. That means, Mr Green, the F-bomb and the reference to crude selfies could be removed from the book and the integrity of the story would NOT be jeopardized... anyway.....

Aza and Daisy, best friends for life, get caught up in attempting to solve a mystery when a local billionaire goes missing, leaving behind two sons. The oldest son was kinda a friend of Aza's way back when and Daisy convinces Aza to pay a visit to her old friend in an attempt to earn the substantial reward.

The title comes from this concept..... (I stole this from Wikipedia)
The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise." The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, "What is the tortoise standing on?" "You're very clever, young man, very clever," said the old lady. "But it's turtles all the way down!"


The significance here is that when Aza's thinking tends to spiral downward and she can't control her thoughts at stressful times.



So... this is my favorite John Green so far. I actually liked the characters and I thought that Aza particularly was a pretty sympathetic character. Although there is some romance here, this is mostly a story of a friendship and what that friendship can survive.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Wonder

By R.J. Palacio
Lexile = 790

Auggie Pullman is the new kid in school. He's been home schooled since forever because he has "mandibulofacial dysostosis". He says, "I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse." But at the beginning of 5th grade, his parents have decided it is time to get out there more, make friends, and start school. He is super smart and accustomed to the looks he gets in public.

Some kids at his school are "assigned" to befriend him as the year begins. Yeah, that isn't going to go well. First it does and then it doesn't. So this is his story... but also the story of his older sister and the rest of his family.

I didn't buy this book initially because it really is considered an elementary book. Then the movie was released. Haven't seen the movie yet, but if it carries the impact of the book, it should be required for all students. View a trailer for the movie HERE. Read this book.

HERE is another video featuring a real boy with the syndrome described in the book. Choose KIND.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

When

By Victoria Laurie
Lexile = 820

Maddie has a gift. She knows when you are going to die. Now, maybe that isn't much of a gift, but she is is never wrong. She will tell when you will die, but you have to pay for it. Maddie's mom is an alcoholic and has used her daughter's ability to finance her drinking.

When a boy that Maddie has predicted will die goes missing, the FBI considers Maddie the prime suspect. When they find his body, she is the ONLY suspect.

I did figure out who really did it before the book told me. To enjoy this book, you have to just accept the whole "she can see your death date floating about your head" and move on. Just go with it.... this is a fun read!

Watch a fun student created book trailer HERE.