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8E and 8H 2016

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Dec 05,2016

Book Review: A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams


A Streetcar Named Desire is written by Tennessee Williams and was published by Penguin Group in 1957. It depicts the story of an emotionally delicate and brittle young woman, Blanche, who adopts the decision to move into her sister’s, Stella, home after losing her prestige home in the country, Belle Reve. Through continuous harassment and constant violent collisions with Stella’s husband, Stanley, Blanche’s sanity becomes threatened and gradually begins to decay. After finding her “true love” Blanche begins to find hope however, her insecurities and anxious nature seem to cause further trouble. Throughout the novel, Tennessee Williams depicts the unjust treatment of women and portrays the capabilities of kindness and the drastically dire effects of malice. 

I mostly enjoyed the portrayal of characters and the several layers of each characters’ personalities. Everyone’s movements, every expression and every word has been carefully considered and written to display the characters as accurately as possible. The gradual development of characters was also very fascinating. As the book progresses, new aspects and traits of different characters slowly become more and more exposed. Additionally, the storyline is extremely engaging and captivating, as Blanche is constantly discovering new things about herself and there are several small climaxes strategically placed through the novel that kept me constantly enthralled. Furthermore, the gradual deterioration of her sanity also provides the reader with a sense of enticement and curiosity throughout the progression of the book. Although it is quite different to what I usually read, the formatting of a play made it easier for me to accurately picture and imagine the story in my head. I recommend this book for those above the age of 14 and to those intrigued by political agendas and the nature of people, concepts and ideas of the mid-1900s. I rate this book a five out of five stars.


Premarsk's picture
Member Since: Nov 23,2016
Dec 01,2016

In Beacon Heights, Washington, everyone has to be perfect. Five girls, Ava, Caitlin, Julie, Parker and Mackenzie, all think that they have absolutely nothing in common. That is until they find out they all hate the same person. Nolan Hotchkiss. When they think of ways to kill him, they never thought that it would actually happen. But when he is killed by someone in the exact way they thought of, all hell breaks loose. Many questions formed in their brains. Who killed Nolan? Why? And most of all, why in the way they had thought of? The Perfectionists by Sara Shephard, published October 2014 by HarperCollins, is an amazing and beautifully written book. It merges mystery, drama and romance all into one creative storyline.

I really enjoyed reading this book, and give it a five out of five stars rating. Each page was something exciting and interesting to read, and I always found myself never wanting to put it down. Time fly’s by when reading it, as you get so engaged into every word. One of the reasons it never got boring was because it changed whose perspective it was written from each chapter. This makes it more interesting because it’s not focused on one person’s life for the whole time. This book is written in great depth and detail, and has a wide range of vocabulary used. I love how there is more than one storyline in this book. There is one main plot, but to make the story more interesting there is also smaller storylines behind each character, which adds another aspect to the book. I would recommend highly this book to anyone in years 7-10. If you love a good mystery, you will definitely love this book, as there are many shocking and unpredictable plot twists that take you completely by surprise. 

blackmml's picture
Member Since: Nov 23,2016
Dec 01,2016

Then by Morris Glitszmen is based in Poland (situated next Germany), when the Nazis were invading during the 2nd world war during the Holocaust. The books 2 main characters are Felic, age 10 who is Jewish and Zelda, age 6 who is German. The 2 characters are being chased around the whole of Poland by the Nazis doing anything they can to survive even if it means that Felic is to leave Zelda in the care of the Nazis while he is taken off to a concentration camp and killed. When we left off from the first book of the series Zelda, Felic and their friend from the basement had jumped out of the train to escape from being taken to the concentration camp. They run up the hill and look back to see their friend dead on the ground being shot by a Nazi solider, they run into the woods and meet a dog called Leopold and his owner Gina who is mean to the 2 children in the beginning before she gets to know the both. Gina takes them in and changes their names to the main characters of a Richmand Chrompton book William and Violet but with a different spelling so their names sounded more German. Wheliam and Violetta were their new identities, they were living a secret life of being an imposter to the community.
This is an amazing book that teaches you a lot about the history of Poland/Germany in a mature way even though it’s directed to ages 12 and above (dependent of the maturity of the person). Times in this book you’re confused, weirded out or crying with never a dull moment on each page which leaves you wanting to turn over the next page to see what going to happen next. Something I loved about this book and something that Morris Glitszmen does in the series is that he introduces each chapter with the tittle of the book (Then this happened …), which I think is very affective, something else is that the book is narrated by Felic which lets us in to how he feels, thinks and sees. The one thing that I think that the book lacks at times is depth I story because sometimes story is too simple and unrealistic to what actually would have happened. I warn you that this is an addictive read which is hard to put down and is one that everyone should read.

Klineep's picture
Member Since: Nov 23,2016
Dec 01,2016

The Giver, written by Lois Lowry is a dystopian novel following the life of a young boy, Jonas. Jonas lives in a society where everything is perfect. There is no fear, no pain, no war, no individuality and no choices. When Jonas turns twelve he is assigned a job. But Jonas doesn’t get an ordinary job, he is assigned a very special, very rare job. Jonas is to be the new Receiver of Memories. He receives training from the Giver. The Giver alone holds all of the memories of the pain and pleasure of life. He holds the memories from before the society was built. It is his job to now pass all of these memories onto Jonas. What will happen when Jonas uncovers the truth?

The Giver is young adult fiction, aimed at children between the ages of 12-14. I really enjoyed reading this book because Lois Lowry grasps your attention straight away, making you want to keep reading. There is a very strong plot, with interesting revelations throughout the entire story. I would definitely recommend this book to children within the recommended age category and even to children slightly older. It is a great book and I found it very inspiring.

walkerae2's picture
Member Since: Nov 24,2016
Nov 29,2016


Harry Potter is an orphan who is raised by his aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon, and lived life as an ordinary boy. When he was visited by an owl, he find out that he is a wizard and was taken to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. After arriving at Hogwarts, he realises how special he actually is and discovers who he really is. There, he meets Hermione and Ron who become his closest allies and help him discover the truth behind his parent’s death.

I loved this fantasy novel and is a book that I have enjoyed for many years. There were many twists and turns in the story and the riveting adventured that had me hooked. I especially loved the different creative and imaginative aspects of this novel and an insight into the wizarding world. Following the protagonist, Harry Potter, and the various obstacles and challenges he has to overcome and face at Hogwarts was thrilling yet nerve wrecking. My favourite part of the book was the moment Harry received a letter from Hogwarts, not only did it turn his life around but it also gave him hope and a beginning of a new adventure. Although it was an interesting book to read, there were a few dull moments and I would have preferred if the first chapter didn’t drag on.

If you are looking for a capturing book to read then Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone in the book for you. I would recommend this book to ages 10 and above as it involves mystery and fantasy. I think it is the perfect book for anyone wanting to read an exciting and unique book. 

caoj's picture
Member Since: Nov 29,2016
Nov 29,2016

The novel Out of sight out of time, is written by Ally carter and is the 5th book in the Gallagher Girls series. The Gallagher Academy is a school for spies and in the previous book (Only the good spy young) Cammie Morgan, the main character in the series and also one of the Gallagher Academy students, has realised that an ancient terrorist group has been hunting her for over a year called the 'Circle of Cavan'. In this book, Cammie wakes up in the Alps and discovers that months have passed since she ran away from the Gallagher Academy in order to protect her family and friends from the Circle and to solve her many unanswered questions. Cammie realises that she has lost her memory and the only traces left of her journey are the bruises on her body and dirt under her nails. Once she returns to school, Cammie realises that even the Gallagher Academy creates more questions. Cammie and her friends face one of the hardest challenges yet as they travel to the other side of the world, to try and put together the clues that Cammie left behind. It’s a race against time as the Circle will stop at nothing to prevent Cammie's memory from returning.

I thought this was a very good book with a great story and it would be difficult to find another as exciting. There was never a dull moment throughout the whole book and I always wanted to keep reading the next chapter. I think this would be a great book for any teenage girl who loves books with adventures, excitement, mystery and a bit of romance. 

hattonaj's picture
Member Since: Nov 29,2016
Nov 29,2016

Yes we liked it and we would recommend this book to mature young adults. It does include a sexual assault scene which, we would say is semi crucial as it opens a whole new part of the story that is intriguing and perplexing. That scene is not traumatizing or graphic but is still sexual assault.  We also like the theme used throughout the book, which is the theme of growing up or coming of age. Althea and Oliver are transitioning from children to young adults. This theme is relatable to us in some situations making it even more thought stimulating as it makes you wonder about your own future. Our favourite parts of the novel were at the start where Althea compares Oliver in his Kleine-Levin Syndrome “sleeping phases” to a fat hamster they were studying in biology class. The hamster consumed too much food as it had an artificial cell that suppressed it’s urge to maintain self-control, Althea believed that the look in its eyes said “help me and feed me at the same time”. She compared this to the part at the beginning where Oliver was semi awake yet still not himself when she took him to Waffle House. We also enjoyed the ending as it was sweet and fitting. We think young adults would like this book, people who like a more eccentric type of story, one that you would not expect as somehow is defies most romance clichés but has a intriguing twist throughout the story. I think I could compare this book to most coming of age books. A book that we compare it to is ‘Please Ignore Vera Dietz’ by A.S.King. We think that maybe people who are more mature and could be called ‘Young Adult’ as it is not a very 'light-hearted' book.

By Clara & Gillian

hogp's picture
Member Since: Nov 29,2016
Nov 29,2016

“Everybody deserves to have something good in their life. At least once

Once, I escaped from an orphanage to find Mum and Dad. Once I saved a girl called Zelda from a burning house. Once I made a Nazi with a toothache laugh.                    

Once by Morris Gleitzman is a historical fiction written from the perspective of a 10-year-old Jewish boy named Felix who is living in Poland during WWII. This novel was inspired by WWII, the story of Janusz Korczak, and Hitler’s attempt to exterminate the Jewish population. Therefore, the realism and the events in the book engages you enough to make you laugh and cry. It does not finish telling the story of Felix as it is only the first book of a 4 book series; Once, Then, After and Now.

The book is about Felix, a talented story teller with a great imagination which helps him get through his hardships. Gleitzman expertly describes the grave situations that Felix faces with hope to the audience, allowing us to sympathise with Felix and do a reality check on the world that we live in. The story revolves around him on a quest, to find his parents who have left him in an orphanage. During the journey, he saves a sweet girl named Zelda in a burning house with dead parents, who becomes his life-long friend as they continue their journey whilst protecting each other.

I would recommend everyone to read this book. Not only to those who are a fan of historical fiction but everyone who is willing to go on an emotional rollercoaster with Felix and Zelda. I rate this book 4 out of 5 because of how it was like an exciting trip to experience, although it could have described Zelda’s feeling a bit more. 

huiy's picture
Member Since: Nov 29,2016
Nov 29,2016

Imagine that your life is determined by a game where you have to complete hard core dares that are decided by other people. This is what Vee had to go through in the book Nerve by Jeanne Ryan.

Vee is a normal shy teen that works backstage in theatre plays. She never minded being in the shadow of her best friend Syd until her best friend betrays her. In the midst of trying to get a guy’s attention, she joins this game called Nerve. With the tempting prizes the game has to offer, Vee does many thrilling and uncomfortable dares with her super hot partner. Will Vee able to get over her crush with the help of her new sizzling hot partner?

As the game gets too good to be true, she discovered that the game knows her and it has access to her personal life and online profiles. Dares suddenly starts to get out of hand. With their lives of the line, would they be able to put things right again?

I absolutely loved everything from Nerve, from the characters to the plot, it was everything I was expecting. The way the author describes the setting is incredible! It really makes you feel like you’re there with them.

I was actually expecting a lot from this book since I undeniably loved the movie version. I think I prefer the book instead of the movie since there was so much more details and I loved how I could imagine what the characters and settings looked like instead of having it laid out before my eyes.

I would rate this book a 4.5 out of 5 since it kept me on my toes the whole time. I think the book would suit anyone from the age 12 and above since there are a few inappropriate themes and language to it. It’s a thrilling book that you just can’t put down and I believe everyone who loves romance, action and thriller would absolutely adore this book. 

yuanry's picture
Member Since: Nov 29,2016
Nov 29,2016

BOOK REVIEW: if I stay by Gayle Forman

Gayle Forman’s If I Stay is very much a tearjerker. Seventeen year old Mia has her entire life ahead of her. She has applied to the world re-known Juilliard School of Music, and the biggest decision she has to make is whether to move to New York on her own or stay in Oregon with her boyfriend Adam. That decision seems very little to the one she faces after a deadly car crash changes that changes the rest of her life.

I absolutely loved this drama/romance book as it is one of my all-time favourites. I really enjoyed how this book is a movie as well. This book definitely a book that creates an image in your head, I really enjoyed that aspect of the book.

If I stay is a very good book and I enjoyed it very much. I recommend this book to people aged 13 and above.

poulakmg's picture
Member Since: Nov 29,2016
Nov 29,2016

In 2012 Adharanand Finn had his travel log/ training  log book published and it was titled Running With the Kenyans- Discovering the fastest people on earth. As the title states, the topic is Adharanand moving to Kenya with his wife and 3 young children to go and discover the secret of the fastest people on earth by running alongside the Kenyans.


At the start of the book Adharanand gives insight into his life before he wanted to move his family to Kenya. He tells the readers how he used to be the fastest kid growing up and how he was always shocked at how Kenyans were winning the world's biggest long-distance races in the Olympics, right to where he lived in Devon, England and in the big city marathons. When Adharanand is older with 3 young kids and a job as a columnist for one of the most famous magazines in England, he does a Fun Run and again it comes to his attention how unfit he is compared to his old self although also that Kenyan's won all of the long distance races; Adharanand became interested in this and got his wife Marietta and three young kids to move with him to the home of the nation's best athletes, the running capital of the world, Iten in Kenya.

Once arriving in his dream location he immediately starts running side by side with Olympic Champions, young rising stars and barefoot school children. Whilst in Iten '…he ate their food, slept in their training camps, interviewed their coaches, and woke up at 5am to do workouts…' this was Adharanand's way to find out why Kenyans are so fast. The end of the book is his dream, which he had been training for the whole time that he was in Iten, his chance to '… join the best of the Kenyan athletes in his first marathon…' an '…epic race through lion country across the Kenyan Plains…' 

eastonke's picture
Member Since: Nov 29,2016
Nov 29,2016

Straight A, daughter or a cop Avery never expected to talk or fall for the local bad boy Fletcher. He is a stereotypical bad boy with a reputation, but under the bad boy stereotype people see him to be he has a soft side. She is a college bound, straight A student living with a cop as a father. This goody two shoes is stunned when Fletcher turns up at her house after what happened the night before.

I absolutely loved this romance novel as it is my all-time favourite. I really enjoyed how this book alternated chapters in Avery’s and Fletcher’s point of view. I really enjoyed reading something in a guy’s point of view as most teen romance novels are usually in a girl’s point of view, this really added to the book. With this layout I enjoyed the whole book especially the ending as it finishes with Fletcher’s point of view. During the middle of the book there was a few chapters that were a bit of a struggle to get through as it was a bit monotonous and tiring as the book became very repetitive. I also liked how things and people are not as they always seem in the book.

I would definitely recommend this book to others in the ages of 12 – 16 as it is based on Avery and Fletcher going through their last year of school. I think that it is perfect for adolescents as it is all about Avery’s first romance in high school. I also think it is appropriate for this age as it is based on two teens guiding their way through their troubles of their last year of school. Even though this book is a stereotypical bad boy and good girl fall in love I think that it is perfect suited for teen romance readers.

dibattav's picture
Member Since: Nov 29,2016
Nov 29,2016

Enders Game is a Classic, world renound Schi-Fi written by orson Scott. Tor books was the publisher of this novel in which was published on the 15th of January 1985. I thoroughly enjoyed this book because of its unique stroyline and the fact that it is set in future tense, although I didn’t understand what the author was saying at times. I generally enjoy Science fiction novels so this was an interesting book to read that always kept me wanting to know what was happening next. However, I recommend this book for only some teenagers and adults, not children, because of its advanced vocabulary. It also has a broad context that people need an imagination for. I think people that have a broad imagination, good vocabulary and enjoy reading and this genre will love this book and understand why it is a popular classic.

I like the storyline because I didn’t know what to expect and it was a unique book that wasn’t predictable. It doesn’t compare to any books I have read before because of these reasons. 

newtonhv's picture
Member Since: Nov 29,2016
Nov 29,2016

The novel Shift that was written by Em Bailey is definitely one of my favourite books as it is very well written and has a very different and original storyline. It is a very intense book, but still includes lots of emotion, twists and relatable teenage issues. So the age range would mainly be from 12-18 as I think that they would be the ones who would mostly enjoy the story. It is also scary as Em Bailey has included a supernatural element and woven it in through modern society. It features romance, humour, deception, drama and many twists all throughout.

Shift is a story about a young girl called Olive who is recovering from the loss of her father. She used to be one of the ‘toxic girls’ at school, which means she was popular, pretty and best friends with Katie. But now she’s changed and Katie is her enemy. Then a new girl, Miranda, suddenly comes to school and there’s a rumour going around that she killed her own parents. Olive thinks that’s not true and that there is more to the story, so she and her best-friend Ami go out to find out what it is.

My favourite bits were when Olive and Ami were finding out interesting things about Miranda and all the things they did whilst investigating her. Although there were still parts I didn’t like as much like when things got a bit on edge and everything Olive had worked for was put on the line, but that’s just personal preference.

I really loved reading this book and finished it in just a few days. I would definitely recommend it to friends as it is different and I think they would enjoy it. I didn’t read a book for a little while afterwards as I knew it would be pretty hard to find one to match it. It flows really well, and the main character was fascinating. It was exciting and a little scary, and overall, a really great book.

mccabecc's picture
Member Since: Nov 29,2016
Nov 29,2016

He was nothing before he met her. She was nothing before she met him. Me before you, by Jojo Moyes.  This is an amazing, beautiful, sad story about love between a quadriplegic man and an ordinary girl who lives in a boring town and has what can be considered an uneventful and boring life. That was before she met Will Traynor, the very rich and snobby guy that made everything change for Louisa Clark. Will is a 5/6th quadriplegic and has no movement in his arms or legs and was giving up on trying to improve his condition.  Then he meets Louisa Clark, a girl with a very simple life, who has a loving and close knit family and a boyfriend, who is passionate about his running (but not Louisa). Louisa just lost her job working at a café and was in need of any type of work and took up the job of providing companionship for Will. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is a very difficult and sometimes cruel person but Lou doesn’t give up and then something unthinkable happens and makes her think about her job in a whole new way.

I liked this book because the storyline was different than I expected, which made it more interesting. It was also wrote really well. The story really turns your mind around and makes you think about things very differently. This book is now one of my favourites and I would recommend it to any with a love for romance. I would recommend to anyone from 12-18. I think the book was significantly better than the movie because the book had much more detail that the movie. They were so many good scenes and images in the book that were not in the movie. So I would defiantly recommend reading the book before watching the film.


jamiesci's picture
Member Since: Nov 29,2016

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