Bistro Book Club

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Beat the Band by Don Calame (2 reviews)

Alex,     16  
Don Calame  
Beat the Band  
Candlewick press    2010

    I thought this book was amazing. It's about a few sophmores trying to make it a worth while year. The main character Cooper is stuck with the most made fun of girl in school. But what he doesn't know is he will find something he never thought he would have...love.    Yes      
5 Q. Hard to imagine a better book.   
5 P. Everyone wants to read it.  
I read all the time.  

It is not a disgusting book but a great book about lying and school cliques. Wonderful book. 10 rating for this book.  
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Logan S.,
15
Don Calame
Beat the Band
Candlewick Press
2010


Beat the Band is an interesting romp through Cooper's sophomore year. It should be noted that I haven't read the first in the series Swim the Fly, yet. Cooper Redmond has decided that this year is going to be the best. He's going to run all the bases... with as many girls as he can. His plan for popularity goes wrong when his health teacher pairs him with "Hot Dog" Helen Harriwick for a class presentation on contraception. So what's the only thing Cooper can do to save his reputation? Become a Rock God of course! While not as funny as I expected, this book did not disappoint. No matter how big of a jerk Cooper can be, you can't help but love him. This book kept me entertained, intrigued, and even in stitches at times.
4 Better than most

Monday, March 28, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (2 reviews)

Ashley,    17 
Stephanie Perkins 
Anna and the French Kiss  

        I liked this book. It was kind of something I could relate to. You never know whats happening next, it is predictably unpredictable. 

Rating: 4 Q. Better than most.     4 P. Broad general appeal. 
I don't usually read for fun.    This book is probably only for girls and more for teens rather than adults.                   

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Laura, 18  
Stephanie Perkins  
Anna and the French Kiss      
2010
       Charming, Funny, Romantic! Any Girls would Kill for it!!! I would recommand any girls ages 12 and up to pick up this book!!!    Love it!!!! :)  

Rating: 5 Hard to imagine a better book

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Revenge of Lord Oda by Nick Lake

anthony,    16 
Nick Lake 
The Revenge of Lord Oda: Blood Ninja 2   
simon and schuster    2010

            i really liked the story because i had never heard of vampire ninjas before and it is a very good sequel to the first. i really liked it but there are some characters i wish hadn't died, and some that shouldn't have lived.  

Rating: 4 Better than most

Friday, March 25, 2011

Memento Nora by Angie Smibert

Jack, middle school student  
Angie Smibert  
Memento Nora  
Marshall Cavendish    2011

          OH. MY. GOD. I loved this book! this is probably the most suspenseful book i have ever read! <>

Rating:  5 Hard to imagine a better book

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Seed Seeker by Pamela Sargent

Briana,15
Pamela Sargent
Seed Seeker
Tor Books 2011 

 On a planet far away from Earth, a group of people live in conflict with each other. a group of pure human societies and those who have adapted to their new planet. This book was captivating- it was like a better version of the Lord of the Flies without the creepyness. It was awesome with technology references and innovative ideas.

Rating: 4 Better than most

Angel by James Patterson (2 reviews)


Briana, 15          
James Patterson             
Angel                   
2011                           

            I have always enjoyed the Maximum Ride novels. As always, it is an engaging story with good humor. However, I dislike series that don't seem to end. I love seeing how stories are ended and the Maximum Ride novels need to end soon.   

Rating: 4 Better than most

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Anqi,    12    
James Patterson    
Angel    
2011   

        Angel is the seventh book in the insanely popular Maximum Ride series. I used to be a big fanatic for these books myself, up until number four, where it kind of turned into a different direction than I really wanted it to.In the first three books, Max and the Flock were survivors, hiding from scientists who had combined their human DNA with raptor DNA, causing the Flock to have wings along with other enhanced human features. And then, in number four, Max is suddenly seen saving the world, stopping pollution and apocalypse attempts, and all the while finding more about herself and the Flock. That would've been nice, if not a bit different than what I had originally been interested in, if the books had not turned out to be just like a huge run-on sentence. Plots got repeated and scrambled, the characters ran out flat, and I couldn't feel Max in any of the words James Patterson wrote. And then the romance thing between Fang, Max, and Dylan came to be. Now, I shouldn't be saying anything, because I do read a lot of romance novels, but this kind of romance just didn't feel right taking place in a Max book. I mean, it was sweet and all, but I thought James Patterson just took too much time on it. 

All in all, the latest Max book has just left me even more disappointed. I suppose next it's going to be Nudge or Iggy, or even Gasman. But I got to say, even though these books have just been a downfall for me, I still have someplace in my heart that will always remain a Maximum Ride fan, and I hope the very best for the next book.

Rating: 1 How did it ever get published?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lost Voices by Sarah Porter

Anqi,     12   
Sarah Porter   
Lost Voices   
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's     2011 

          The first in a trilogy, Sarah Porter ventures into the darkest part of mermaid lore, twisting the threads of myth into a beautiful novel that resounds with originality. Luce is a lonely fourteen year old girl who lives in the small town of Pittley, Alaska. When her father drowned while out at sea, Luce was sent to the custody of her father's brother, Peter. In Pittley, Luce is so traumatized by the beatings she has to put up with everyday by her uncle that she doesn't have any friends, and is tormented when she has to speak. One stormy night, when her uncle crosses an unspeakable line and leaves her stranded on the edge of a cliff, Luce falls off the cliff. She knows she should be dashed by the jagged rocks and stones, but instead she changes into a sleek creature with a human's torso and a fish's tail- a mermaid. Luce is soon welcomed into a tribe of mermaids who transformed just like her, all of them having been abused or neglected. Luce is happy to suddenly feel like she belongs, but then she discovers the dark nature of these young, innocent beauties-they enjoy murdering the humans who linger on the ships close to their territory. They use their amazing and awe-inspiring singing talent to coax the ships to sink and the people to drown. But Luce still wants to retain her humanity, and in a world where humans are despised and murdered, Luce is afraid to exploit her affinity. How will she show these new desperate and abused friends that revenge is not the only way? Sarah Porter writes with a simplistic yet descriptive and beautiful style, though sometimes it seems as if the writing is meant for younger readers unsuited for the theme. Her plot is original and haunting, with a very loose feel of the original Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson. All her characters had a lot of depth and dimensions, mottled with good and evil like real humans. The story was gripping, making me want to read through the night until I found the fate of Luce. I will be waiting eagerly for the second book in the trilogy, and until then I will be sincerely intrigued by the gigantic cliffhanger Sarah Porter left for us.    

Rating: 4 Better than most

Karma by Cathy Ostlere

Anqi ,    12  
Cathy Ostlere  
Karma  
Razorbill    2011          

   Cathy Ostlere brings to life a moving and rich post World War II novel about a girl named Jiva who must struggle to find her father in the religiously divided country of India. Throughout the book, elements of romance, historical fiction, and a coming-of-age story are all woven into this novel that tells its tale through angelic and detailed prose.

Jiva, who's name means 'life', has always been different, even in her home country of India, where her ancestors are derived from. For one thing, her mother is Hindu, and her father is Sikh-religions that continuously battle each other for supremacy in the Asian country. And even though Jiva is Indian, her family leads a life in Canada so as to avoid the religious turmoil in her parents' homes. When one day Jiva discovers her mother's body after commiting suicide, her father decides that they must go back to India to lay her mother's ashes to rest.

Jiva's journey thoughout this dramatic and intricate story leads to disaster, hope, and renewal. You will find yourself drawn into the magnificent world that is Jiva's, and urge yourself to read until you are finished and satisfied with Jiva's outcome. Though confusing with countless flashblacks and time lapses, Karma is a book that will weave you through a journey that moves and swells with emotion and philosophy.

Rating:4 Better than most

Daughters of the Sea: May by Kathryn Lasky

Kaysee,    14   
Kathryn Lasky    
Daughters of the Sea: May       
2011   

       I just finished reading May the second book in the series Daughters of the Sea. I would recommend this book to anyone. Well to give you a fair warning the book starts of slow but ends up really good. Kathryn Lansky did an excellent job when it came to May. I love how the romance was developed along with the character. This was just as I would believe would happen to a real person if mermaids were real this book was a four out of five because it starts of slow but ends up being a great read in the end. I can’t wait for the next book in the series to see what Kathryn Lansky has up her sleeve next.   

Rating: 4 Better than most

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch

Anqi,    12  
Katie Crouch  
The Magnolia League  
Hachette Book Group    2011

          The Magnolia League was a funny, witty, and light read that consisted of African hoodoo, (not voodoo!) betrayals, romance, and more. The story starts out when Alexandria Lee, or less wordy, Alex, is sent to live with her elderly grandmother in the southern town of Savannah, Georgia, after her mother died in a car accident. Savannah is hot, humid, and miserable, and the only thing that interests Alex is the way that her elderly grandma is actually not so elderly-in fact, everyone who is part of the high socialite group called the Magnolia League seems to be super-model perfect in their complexions and bodies. When Miss Lee, Alex's grandmother, tells her she needs to be groomed to be officially part of the Magnolia League, all Alex wants to do is run away back to the communal farm she grew up on in California. But as she delves deeper into the Magnolia League's secrets, she finds that maybe staying won't be such a bad idea. After all, these endeavors the Magnolia's get into are harmless, right? Right? The Magnolia was certainly an original book. The thing that I loved most about it was the creativity of the main character. Alex was a bit chubby, her hair full of dread-locks, and her behavior not exactly prim and proper. But the way Katie Crouch presents her is full of humor, realistic, and human qualities, so you like Alex immediately. Her mistakes could happen to anyone, and her interesting upbringing only influences the funny parts in the book. The reason why I only gave it three stars instead of four or five is because the writing style of Katie Crouch, I thought, wasn't original or creative. I enjoy books with a more descriptive quality to them, and this did not fit my criteria for a hugely sensory detail-filled book. I also thought thought that the plot was going way too slow in the first 60 % of the book, still not revealing the huge secret of the Magnolia League that was already mentioned in the blurb. When it did speed up, however, I thought it flowed along a bit too fast. The conclusion came in a blink of an eye. Though the Magnolia League wasn't my favorite, it was suspenseful enough that I feel an urge to read the oncoming second book. Expect the Magnolia League to be a humor-filled, light read, and expect a great, entertaining read with it.   

Rating: 3 Readable

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff


 Danielle,    15  
Brenna Yovanoff  
The Replacement  
Penguin Group    2010

        It was a very interesting take on the Fey people. I enjoyed reading it but some parts were a little creepy. My favorite character was Tate. The book was well written and the plot was excellent. I loved reading the story of the Fey and how one boy who no one ever really expected much of was able to save a town.       
Rating: 4 Better than most
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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Matched by Ally Condie (2 reviews)

Tahirih,    15  
Ally Condie  
Matched  
Dutton Books    2010

       First of all, I have to say that this book was amazing!! Matched takes place in a world hundreds of years into the future, where a controlling government known as the Society dictates everything about your life. Everything. The Society decides where you live, what you eat, what you wear, where you work, who you marry, and even when you die. Matched begins when 17 year old Cassia Reyes heads to her Matching Banquet, ready to find out who her perfect Match is. Delighted with the unexpected result, she goes home with the one memento of her perfect night, a tiny microcard containing information about her life partner. However, when she looks at the microcard, it displays two different people: her Match, and another boy. Surprisingly enough, she knows both of them. This begins to make her question how this could have happened. The Society doesn't make mistakes! Soon enough, an Official comes to dispel her fears, but too late. Cassia is at first relieved to hear that it was indeed a mistake, and her original Match is indeed still her Match. However, she again begins to question the validity of her Match. What if? What if it should have been the other boy? This, coupled with her Grandfather's recent death and the dangerous secret that he passed on to Cassia, propels her into a journey full of secrecy, rebellion and opens her mind to a completely new way of thinking about the world around her.  
        Matched has a striking resemblance to the Uglies series by Scott Westerfield! If you enjoyed those books, like I did, you will probably love Matched just as much. I could not put this book down, from beginning to end :)   

Rating: 5 Hard to imagine a better book

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Danielle,    15 
Ally Condie 
Matched 
Dutton Books    2010

           Matched is the story of Cassia. Living in The Society is a perfect life. Everything is decided for you, who you marry, where you work, even what you eat. Cassia is excited to be Matched, to find the person she will be with forever. However, as she looks at the screen a new face flashes before her actual match. Now she must choose between her perfect match, Xander and Ky, her possible perfect match. 

Rating:5 Hard to imagine a better book

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Now Is the Time for Running by Michael Williams

John,    13  
Michael Williams  
Now Is the Time for Running      
2011  

        I liked this book because it was just a great adventure book. these 2 kids, one 15 and the other 20 something, have their home and everyone they know killed and destroyed. so they have to journey through Africa, and they go on wild adventures. I liked the adventure and just the excitement of it.  

Rating: 4 Better than most

The Loser List by H. N. Kowitt

John,     13   
H.N. Kowitt   
The Loser List        
2011 

    I liked this book because only the like very first part of it had something to do with the loser list. the rest of the book was about all the problems that come from it. It gave the book a different kind of spin to it, and it also had some really funny pictures in it. Thats the kind of thing i like, anyway. I read it in one day.  
I do want my name in the drawing for it at the end of the year.

Rating: 4 Better than most

Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales

Kate,    13   
Leila Sales   
Mostly Good Girls       
2010 

          Mostly Good Girls was a funny and honest novel. It's about a girl named Violet who attends a fancy, all-girls school called Westfield Day. Her and a girl named Katie Putnam have been best friends since 7th grade. Violet's goals for her junior year are as follows:
1)Get a perfect score on my PSATS
2)Get A-Minuses or better in all my classes
3)Do many awesome projects with Katie
4)Improve the school's literary magazine
5)Pass my driving test
6)Become famous for something
7) Make Scott Walsh fall in love with me .
This charming novel made me chuckle, and had very real emotions. The plot could be slightly predictable, but I still enjoyed it. Sales has written a witty book, and I suggest you check it out!   

Rating: 4 Better than most