The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey is about an alien invasion split into five parts. Nobody was expecting the first wave to happen like it did. People saw a mothership and thought maybe the aliens were peaceful. However after the first wave, which cut off all electricity, people realized the real intentions of aliens. Now that there is no electricity anywhere on the planet, the aliens invade earth and kill tons of people.

After that, aliens dropped a massive metal rod onto a fault line with so much force that it caused lots of earthquakes and tsunamis. The third wave unleashed a genetically modified virus created by the Others to wipe out most of the earth. The virus succeeds, and 97% of the earth is killed. The fourth wave was when the aliens made contact with those that were lucky, or unlucky, enough to survive. They inserted themselves into the minds of people and took out the remaining humans.

Finally, the fifth wave takes place. This wave is about the young soldiers trained by the alien infested humans. The soldiers’ job is to wipe out any humans left that somehow survived the fourth wave. The story follows Cassie, and her journey through all five waves trying to stay alive and rescue her brother Sammy.

-Emilio V.

The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Book List: Exploring New Genres

I used to find myself generally only reading books from two genres, and constantly rereading the same books. However, when I started trying out new books in different genres, I expanded my love for different styles of writing and discovered some really wonderful books. Although I still love fantasy and realistic fiction (and rereading), I also enjoy other genres. I think reading or at least exploring new genres is a great way to discover some extraordinarily good books that I may never have chosen to read had I not strayed from my usual genres. Here is a list of books, each from a different genre, that I recommend. I hope this may help you discover new books and genres you love or maybe just help you if you are looking for a good book to read.

Fantasy: The Goose Girl (Book 1 of The Books of Bayern) by Shannon Hale: The Goose Girl is based off of the Grimm fairy tale with the same title, however, Shannon Hale greatly expands on the world, history, and story while still maintaining the feel of a fairy tale. I really loved the way Shannon Hale augmented on the original story, and the characters are complex and well-developed. Although this book is the first in a series called the Books of Bayern, The Goose Girl ends well as its own story too. I really love this series and Shannon Hale’s writing style.

Dystopian: The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker: (This book could arguably be fantasy too). The Age of Miracles follows a young girl named Julia as she goes through the usual self-discovery of a middler schooler while, on a larger scale, the “slowing” starts. This is when the earth begins to rotate steadily slower, the effects of this growing more dangerous by the day and causing major changes in Julia’s life and the world. I liked this book because it wasn’t like the other dystopian books I had read. Although the slowing is is occurring throughout the novel, the story is a bit more like a realistic fiction because Julia’s experiences are characteristic of a normal girl at her age. The book also happens during the apocalyptic event, while a lot of other dystopian novels take place after an apocalyptic event.

Magical Realism: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton: This beautiful and unique book is narrated by Ava Lavender as she tells her family story beginning with her grandmother’s, then her mother’s, leading up to her own. Ava’s mother’s side of the family was very unique and were known for strange things to happen to them. This carries through the family, for Ava is born with wings. This anomaly puzzles everyone and draws the dangerous attention of some. This book left me in awe at how a beautiful yet harrowing story could be told with such consistent, poetic, and exquisite narration.

– Mia T.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton is about two rival groups known as the Greasers and the Socs. The Socs, a group of rich kids with everything they could dream of, commonly pick on and beat up the Greasers. Ponyboy, the main character, learns to live with the Socs always breathing down his neck.

However, one day the Socs take things too far. While Ponyboy is at the park with his friend Johnny, Socs show up and beat them per usual. However this time, they hold Ponyboy’s head under a fountain. Johnny watches helplessly as he tries to figure out what to do. Finally Johnny gets out his switchblade and stabs the Soc that was drowning Ponyboy.

Terrified, the other two Socs flee in their car, and Ponyboy and Johnny go to find someplace to hide. They hide in an abandoned church until Johnny decides to turn himself in. His reasoning for this is that he hasn’t ever gotten in trouble with the law, and it was in self defense, so his sentence couldn’t be that bad. Before they can though, the church catches on fire and Johnny is injured saving kids inside the church. Johnny is sent to the hospital and treated for bad burns on his back. He dies, leaving Ponyboy with three last words as advice, “Stay golden, Ponyboy.”

-Emilio V.

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It is also available to download from Overdrive

Movie vs. Book: Ready Player One

As many of you know, Ready Player One has been out for quite some while. Most people who wanted to see it have. But did you know (because I certainly didn’t until it was gifted to me) that Ready Player One was a book as well? If you did know that, points to you. If not, then go to the library, go check out the book, and read it. It’s  very good, in my opinion. Then, come back, and finish reading this. I hope you’ll find it interesting.

The premise of Ready Player One is interesting. There is a high school aged boy, Wade, who lives in the future, 2045 to be precise. The world is in pretty awful condition, and everyone knows it. It’s dirty, global warming is through the roof, and the population is skyrocketing. The only place you can escape, is the OASIS.

The OASIS is a high tech virtual reality system, created by James Halliday. As a child, James Halliday was not exactly a social butterfly. He disliked interacting with other kids, preferring the eccentric adventures of video games over playing outside. James Halliday grew up to become an advanced programmer, eventually creating the OASIS, a place where he could escape from the world and live as a part of the video games he loved.

When Halliday dies (which is inevitable), he creates, basically, an Easter Egg hunt. If you won this hunt, which happens if you complete the clues and series of tasks first, you would inherit Halliday’s large fortune, and control the OASIS. There are three keys that you must find (the Copper Key, the Jade Key, and the Crystal Key), which then unlock three gateways (simply called the First, Second, and Third Gates).

This is the picture of the both the movie and the book. This does not change. However, the characters, Gates, and Keys are very different.

In the book, it is clearly stated that the Avatars in the OASIS are lifelike, at least for the main characters: Parzival, Art3mis, Aech, Daito, and Shoto. It says that you can hook up your system to recognize your facial features, and transfer them onto your avatar. Art3mis is said to have used that program. But, in the movie, Art3mis (the Avatar) is portrayed as a pinkish red alien girl with short cropped red and black hair. Aech is shown as a larger-than-life ogre, when in the books, he is described as a tall, blonde, Caucasian man.

When attempting to obtain Keys and pass through Gates, you must complete a task. This is true for both the hook and the movie. But, the tasks in the movie and in the book are drastically different. For example, to earn the Copper Key, in the book, you must enter the Tomb of Horrors (from a Dungeons and Dragons adventure module), then compete against Acererak the Demi-Lich in a game of Joust (a game in which two players competed to pass levels. You played as a knight riding on a flying ostrich, trying to defeat waves of buzzards). In the movie, the key is obtained by participating in a dangerous race through New York City to Central Park.

The difference is huge, as everyone know how to get the Copper Key in the movie, yet couldnt get past the obstacles. But in the book, no one knew about the Tomb of Horrors, other then Parzival and Art3mis. This is just one example of how different the Key tasks were, the other Keys (the Jade Key and the Crystal Key) also varied between the movie and the book. The Gates, which you opened once you achieved the Key, were also drastically different.

The one other thing that’s bothered me in the difference between the movie and the book, is the moment when Parzival and Art3mis meet in real life.

Meeting in real life is tricky for OASIS players. You don’t know what the person looks like behind the avatar, and it could be potentially dangerous (just like in real life. Never go to meet someone you met online without a parent/guardian/adult). So, when Parzival and Art3mis met in real life, it was a big deal (especially because Parzival had a LARGE crush on her). The difference between the meetings in the book and movie is huge. I was quite disappointed with the meeting in the movie, it wasn’t as heartfelt, or as dramatic as it appeared in the book.

When I went to watch Ready Player One in theaters, I expected something completely different. Although it was the same storyline, I was a bit disappointed they didn’t stick with the original tasks, characters, avatars, etc. But, I did enjoy the movie, and I thought it was worthwhile to go watch. But, you are interested in the movie, and haven’t read the book, go do so. You will NOT regret it.

-Sophia

Ready Player One, both film and the book, are available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Alex Rider Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

The first Alex Rider book is defiantly one to remember. Stormbreaker is about a boy named Alex Rider whose uncle was supposedly a banker. But when Alex discovers his uncle didn’t die from a car crash, and his uncle actually worked for a spy agency, his life gets flipped upside down!

The Alex Rider series is consists of 12 lengthy novels plus a prequel, so Alex Rider will keep you entertained for hours every day! These books will keep you on your toes through every page. Every once in a while, I had to flip the page to check what was going to happen because the suspense was killing me! Anthony Horowitz does an amazing job creating a protagonist that we can love and crazy adventures for our hero to do. If you thought that the bad guy in Stormbreaker was scary, you will be surprised how escalated the villain’s get. Alex Rider has all of the true qualities of a hero, bravery, courage, being smart, and of course, sarcasm. If you didn’t like Stormbreaker (I doubt you won’t like it) Anthony Horowitz has written many other book series, so make sure to check those out!

-Brandon D.

Daybreak

He has a problem. A very very serious problem.

He cares. Perhaps a little too much. But no one could stop him from caring.

He is criticized and laughed at and people point their dirty, cynical fingers at him while wearing that cheshire smile.

That didn’t stop him from caring.

His friends tease him, warn him, laugh at him. Are they really his friends? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

Well, are they?

He is waiting, wide awake at the bottom of an endless ocean of dreams. He knows that his dream is merely fantasy and wishful thinking.

Yet he’s wide awake.

He hopes that his friends will one day understand the pain and the frustration of caring. He hopes, he yearns.

He often asks “Why do I care so much? Why can’t I accept things the way they are?”

Because he cares. Cares a bit too much… No harm in caring, they say. Be happy, they say. Be grateful as long as they are happy, they say.

Don’t you want to be happy, my boy? The accept it. Accept the pain. Learn to live with the callous; then, and only then, will you be truly happy.

He never believed them, his heart is like a drum beating the word “care”, his heart tells him to break that stereotype.

Or has he gone mad?

Is it a combination of both?

He is alone. Very very alone.

Then comes a girl.

Never has he dreamed of finding such happiness. But this girl, she is his light, his world, his heart.

With her, he could care, he’s free as a dove in the bright, warm sunlight.

His friends questioned him, their curious glances never escaped him.

“They talk”

“Let them talk, West.”

She set him free, she erased the heavy clouds and the suffocating weight. He’s happy. He’s free at last.

“Thank you”

 

-Angela L.

run.exe

A dim light engorged the workstation of a profile, emitting from a luke-warm bulb clasped onto the left side of the desk by sheer force alone. The careful clacking of the keyboard reverberated throughout the bare space, occasionally finding objects to rebound off back into the expanse. Scattered at the desk was a multitude of everyday items; pens, books, papers. The figure continued to manipulate the keys of the keyboard, each digit gliding across the surface of the accessory with calculated ease. If one listened closely, a faint murmur of a television permeated the surroundings, largely ignored by the single occupant of the room.

From a spectator’s view, the body positioned in the office chair could only barely be made out to be human of nature. But something was off about the way the being sat attentively, never wavering from the tip-tapping of the keyboard, the pixels of the screen it was seemingly engrossed by changing from black to white, stuck in a perpetuated loop of illumination followed by the extinguishing of all three primary colored bulbs, pristine white followed by a bleak darkness.

The keyboard had stopped emitting sound for a period of time now, and the television’s droning voices were no longer present. Only the light remained constant, the bulb emanating a cold warmth to the subject beneath it. The world seemingly stood still now that the only motion had ceased. The only light that had casted upon the desk abruptly vanished, leaving only the solemn glow of the monitor. A few clicks could be heard creeping from the workspace, but soon all returned back to silence. The screen shut off, darkness crept from the corners of the room and soon engulfed all that dared occupy it.

The empty blackness lingered for some time before a dim light engorged the workstation of the profile, sad rays of light casting themself upon the smooth figure below it. A clear plasticity could be identified in the robotic figure. Perhaps most striking though, was the lack of any human resemblance. It was simply a husk, mechanically typing into another machine, performing this minute task for an unknown amount of time. This repeats, the cycle continues on and on, dim light engorging followed by darkness creeping in, out of times’ domain. Never wavering, the man types his thoughts for the only entity that will ever experience them, an insentient machine.

-Shaun G.