Westwood Vibrato by Youn In Wan and Kim Sun Hee

There is a story behind every song as each note relays an untold emotion or memory. Music can be understood universally as a language without words, but the storyteller is often overlooked.

Cornelia Bobo Warsha is a genius instrument repairwoman living in South Africa. Her studio, “Westwood Vibrato,” can restore the sound of any musical instrument. For every instrument she repairs, Cornelia has a special request. She asks to hear the story of the one who plays the instrument. She calls it a hobby, but in a way it is healing for the one telling it. The readers are taken along with Cornelia as she immerse herself into the story.

Westwood Vibrato is filled with stories both happy and sad. Stories of broken or lost people connected to memories by the sound of music. This series digs deep into bonds between people and it is other people who make the biggest impact on other people’s lives. Cordelia is especially strong character because despite of her permanent disability she always looks toward the brighter side life and how she can make other people’s lives better. It is written in arcs with short comical interludes that build the story. Each of the arcs focus on a specific type of relationship. There is a wide ranged covered but all are relationships that could happen in everyday life. It is a heartwarming series. I would recommend this to those looking for a story that digs deep into both good and bad emotions.

I cannot say this is true for you so discover it for yourself and tell me what you think.

-Sarah J., 11th Grade

Westwood Vibrato is licensed by Line Webtoon and is free to read online.

Book Review: Taken, by David Massey

takenSix teenagers on a trip across the ocean. Four are military veterans disabled in combat. The other two are “able” sea hands to help along the way. Things are cut short when they become prisoners of war of a man called Moses Mwemba.

Rio Cruz, is one of the two “able bodied” crew that was hired to help four teenage veterans, Ash, Marcus, Charis, and Izzy, who have been disabled in combat sail around the world for charity. Even before the six start the voyage, tension starts building between Rio and the other “able bodied” crew member, Jen. The tension only grows when Rio’s fondness for Ash emerges and when she finds a hidden letter. But all the tension and strife that was building gets cut short when they are captured to become political pawns.

This was a rather strange story. Unfortunately, I found it a bit too rushed. There were also some things that I would have like have a bit more explained. It is written in a first person point of view which does limit what explained in the story. Even so the plot was interesting. It is one of the types of plot that I have not read very much of. The characters were okay. I do believed they could have been a little more developed or described but the fact that they were disabled veterans, who were determined to show that they were not helpless, made up for some of it. I some times mixed up the characters due to the lack of explanation at the beginning of the book.

One of the themes of this book does make you think a lot about what people are. This is a book I would only recommend to at least high-school or older. There is quite a bit of violence in the story and there is many themes in this book that are hard to explain and hard to understand. To give this book a rating: 5/10

This is only what I think so read it for yourself and decide.

– Sarah J., 10th grade

Book Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Nighttime, by Mark Haddon

curious_incident_dogThe Curious Incident of the Dog In The Nighttime is a realistic fiction book by Mark Haddon, telling the story of autistic teenager Christopher, who, after finding his neighbor’s dog stabbed with a garden fork, decides to emulate his fictional hero Sherlock Holmes by searching for the murderer. Christopher’s father disapproves of him investigating the case, and what was a simple mystery about a dead dog leads to discoveries about his family, neighbors, and his own place in the world.

The major strength of this book is the unique voice of the main character. Christopher is a mathematical prodigy, but is distressed by loud noises and struggles to understand the emotions of others. His narration is often frustrating to the reader, such as when he breaks off from the plot to explain a math concept or his system of counting different colored cars, but he is also very sympathetic as a character often frightened and confused by his irrational surroundings. Christopher dislikes metaphors and jokes because of their inconsistent multiple meanings, but his literal-mindedness leads to some witty observations about the irrationality of social norms. Though the book takes place in modern London, from Christopher’s perspective it becomes a different world full of distractions and absurd rules.

I would recommend this book to anyone 14+ (for language and thematic elements) who enjoys mysteries and unusual narration.

-Miranda C., 12th grade