Amity Middle School Orange Book Blog

Read reviews by an avid young adult book enthusiast.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

Spoiler alert: If you haven’t read The 5th Wave, the first book in the series, stop reading this blog posting and instead read that book first.

The Infinite Sea begins after the 4th wave. With winter fast approaching, Cassie Sullivan, her younger brother, Sam, Teacup, Dumbo, Poundcake, Ringer (Marika) and Ben know that they can’t survive in the hotel they currently inhabit. Their goal is to get to the caverns where they stand a chance of being warm enough to endure the harsh winter.  If they stay above ground, their fires to ward off the cold will draw The Silencers to them.

Cassie doesn’t want to leave the rat infested hotel.  She is still waiting for Evan Walker’s return.  So boldly Ringer and Teacup start the walk (about 20 miles) to see if the Other’s might be setting a trap for them at the Caverns or whether this will become their winter hideout.

Ringer and Teacup are captured.  Ringer knows that Vosch will use Teacup’s life to force Ringer to comply with his devious plans to exterminate all life on earth.

“I’m dizzy; the room won’t stay still. Bluffs inside bluffs, feints within counter feints, I’m in a game in which I don’t know the rules or even the object.  This is the bind.  This is the trap. This is where the road of impossible promises dead-ends.”

This book The Infinite Sea and The 5th Wave are recommended for mature readers.  The plots are very complicated and some of the plot twists and turns could cause nightmares.  Be warned!  This title is not for everyone.  Fans of The 5th Wave should love it.  A final book will finish the series.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Claire

Many, many students have enjoyed this series by Cassandra Claire. I had to find out what they were raving about so I read Book #1 City of Bones.
Fifteen-year-old Clary Fray and her mother Jocelyn live in New York City on the fifth floor of a five-story apartment without an elevator.  After a disturbing night out at a club called Pandemonium with her best friend since early childhood named Simon, Clary really feels the need to talk with her mom about baffling events she saw at the club.  But her mother is instead packing up their belongings to make a hasty trip to the country. 
Clary argues with her mom and storms out.  That is the last time she sees her mom as her mother goes missing.  The apartment is in shambles; Clary wonders if her mom has been killed or kidnapped.  Then Clary is attacked by a demon!
This series is filled with action! Why could only Clary see the two men and the one woman at the Pandemonium Club while Simon couldn’t? Does she have “the sight?” What does she do when she discovers a whole group of “people” she never knew existed--shadow hunters, demons, fairies, werewolves, and vampires?
Has Clary’s mom protected her for years? Is her mother more than an artist? And what about Luke, her mother’s friend? Is he really minding a bookstore or does he also have another “hidden” past?
Readers of fantasy should continue to enjoy all the books in this series.

The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary by Jeff Kinney

What did it take to turn Diary of a Wimpy Kid from a book into a movie?  More than you would ever believe!
If you are interested in the complex task of turning a book--any book--into a full length motion picture, this book will walk you through the steps one by one.

Some things I found fascinating were the following:

·         7 1/2 hours of filming usually produce 2 minutes of actual usable clips for the final cut.

·         Scenes are not shot in sequence; rather any scenes needing a certain set are shot whether they occur months later in the actual sequence of the movie

·         Child actors must complete 15 hours of education through the use of tutors weekly--plus child actors can’t work more than 7 ½ hours per day.
Read this easy to understand nonfiction title to see how complex the production of a movie from a book really is.

Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau

Sometimes series don’t end the way we would like. For me, this is one of those series which I hoped would end another way.

Cia Vale and Tomas have been assigned different university placements following their success with The Testing. Cia had wanted Mechanical Engineering but those in charge of her placement, Dr. Barnes and Professor Holt, have decided she will be in City Government while Tomas receives the placement of his choice, Biological Engineering.

Not only has Cia received this placement but she will be interning with the President, President Collinder.  When the President explains that Cia’s assignment will be to help bring down (kill) those in charge of The Testing, Cia is shocked but very pleased as The Testing has led to many deaths for those who don’t succeed.

The problem for Cia becomes, who can she trust?  There is a rebel group hoping to overthrow the government which   has infiltrated members into the University hoping to revolt.

Feeling secure that tracking devices have been removed, Cia begins to work on the problem (murders) of the key personnel in charge of The Testing. Who will truly be trustworthy?

What type of Graduation Day will Cia and her fellow students face?

Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau

Spoiler alert: If you haven’t first read The Testing,   stop reading this blog posting and do that first.
Malencia “Cia” Vale along with her best friend Tomas from Five Lakes Colony have successfully passed The Testing. Their memories have been wiped out yet for Cia she has recurring nightmares and flashbacks.
They find themselves now at University in Tosu City where other students from Tosu City have been selected to also join those who have survived The Testing.
Cia wants to be in Mechanical Engineering, but the officials decide she should be in Government.  Tomas is placed in Biological Engineering.
The brutal induction challenges by final year students into these schools cost some participants their lives.
Nothing is as it should be! Cia and Tomas both realize that. They don’t know who to trust.
“And while the only way to beat them (the officials at the University) is to do as Ian says and excel at my classes, I cannot help but worry.  If they expect me to fail, how will they react when I do not? Will scoring top marks keep me safe or will it prompt anger and punishment?”
This is a fast, engaging read. It leaves you hanging as Graduation Day is its sequel.