Full Ride by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Full-Ride by Margaret Peterson Haddix was a great book. Becca Jones, the main character, really represented normal high school students. She is stressing out over GPAs, SATs, scholarships, and classes for college, along with the rest of her friends.

Becca isn’t telling the truth to everyone. Her father is in jail, and her mother’s lawyer tells Becca and her mother that they can’t tell anyone. If they do, Becca and her mother could die. Becca had to enter a different high school, in a different state, and make new friends. She can’t have any social media sites, and has to take down her Facebook page. Becca and her mom get through the three years, except when applying for colleges and financial aid, the truth is starting to come out. Becca applies for a scholarship, although accidentally sends in the wrong essay. In an interview, Becca blurts out that she’s the daughter of a prisoner. The people interviewing her don’t believe her, and thinks she’s going crazy. Becca’s mother is afraid of people finding out about her husband, and Becca is afraid of never going to college. Should Becca find out the truth and tell her friends? Or should she stay in her mother’s shadow, not going to college until her father gets out of jail? You’ll have to read the book to find out!

Overall, Full-Ride really good read. I liked how this book was realistic. At the end of the book, there is a surprise, something you wouldn’t expect from a character that is mentioned, but isn’t seen a lot. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good realistic fiction read. Full-Ride is truly a good book about high school, and getting into college.

-Rebecca V.

Full Ride is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Manga Introduction: Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori

Haruhi Fujioka, a middle-class student, hopes to finish high school in the prestigious Ouran Academy as quietly as possible, but that is not going to happen in a school full of rich kids. She stumbles upon the Third Music Room where Ouran High School Host Club resides. The first encounter is not what would be called the most fortunate as Haruhi accidentally breaks a vase worth $80,000. To repay back this debt, she agrees to work for the host club, but to add to her misfortune the members of the host club mistake her as a boy. With this misunderstanding, she becomes the club’s errand boy.  Her story unfolds with the odd collection of high school hosts: President Tamaki Suoh, Vice-president Kyoya Ootori, Identical twins Hikaru and Kaoru Hitachiin, Mitsukuni “Honey” Haninozuka and his cousin Takashi “Mori” Morinozuka. This is the story of her adventures with these characters and how she survives in the crazy world of the rich and eccentrics. From daily costume parties to romantic adventures on a island, her life is definitely not going to be as quiet as she hoped.

First off some basic facts:

  • The manga began in September 2002 and ended 8 years later in November of 2010
  • There are 18 tankobon volumes (manga books)
  • A 26-episode anime television series aired between April 5 and September 26, 2006 (Note: The anime does not cover the entire manga series, to completely finish it you will have to read the manga. Same applies the the live action)
  • There was a live action drama and film released in 2011

This is personally one of my favorites. I can admit I’m not crazy about romance and ridiculous scenarios but this manga I would read again and again. It has a female character who has her feets more or less set on the ground. A nice contrast to the rest of the host club who has a much more eccentric lifestyle. This is the only shojo manga which most of my friends have enjoyed. This most likely because the importance the manga places in friends and family. Also in how each character is properly developed and not left without a compelling backstory.

This is one manga I would recommend to everyone, even if they are not a fan of shojo manga. It will give a unexpected surprise. Of course I can say this for everyone. So discover it for yourself.

-Sarah J., 11th Grade

 

Assassination Classroom by Yusei Matsui

assassinationclassroom

Almost none of us like school, that’s for sure. But what if your school held a competition where poor students and delinquents are sent to the “END” class, to be bullied every single day? How would it feel to be told that you’re the worst of the worst, and that everyone else is better than you, and the only way to get better is through mindless studying?

And what if your savior is a yellow octopus whose hobbies are being weak and loves the word “tentacles”?

Enter class 3-E (considered 9th grade in America), whose students consist of one genius psychopath, a few smart kids that failed on tests because of various non-school related things, and a whole bunch of people who just don’t get the material or don’t study. Their new teacher, an octopus alien that can run at Mach 20 (twenty times the speed of sound) named Koro-sensei, who is really good at teaching but has plans to destroy the Earth just like how he reduced the moon to 70% of its original size. Because of this, the Japanese FBI takes a vested interest in the class and teaches the kids something they actually might be good at: the art of assassination.

This manga will set you on a roller coaster. As I was reading the chapters, I saw everything from a serious plot line to absolute comedy to tear-jerking moments to back to comedy and repeat about 100 times. The genre could be described as an action/comedy, but there are some tragic moments too. Additionally, for those who only like to read manga that has finished its run, this manga is set to end by mid-March, with 180 chapters of 20 pages or so each.

Finally, despite his 40 or so weaknesses, there is a thing or two we can learn from Koro-sensei. He teaches us that it’s okay to be weak, and that while we may only want to ace in one subject, we should try our best in others because all subjects are related. The reader actually learns a thing or too in school subjects too.

All in all, everybody, no matter what preference, can enjoy this manga.

-Megan V., 10th Grade

Assassination Classroom is available for check out at the Mission Viejo Library

Kimi Ni Todoki by Karuho Shiina

kiminitodoke_karuhoshiinaKimi Ni Todoki is a manga about a quiet, lonely girl, named Sawako who finds it difficult to make friends with, until she meets a boy named Kazehaya. He’s one of the most popular people at school and instantly makes a connection with her. He teaches her on how to be more friendly with others, but people feared and misunderstood her because of her appearance; rumors around school report that she can see ghosts and curse people.

Sawako later meets Yano and Yoshida, who become her best friends. She never dreamt of having friends, until she met Kazehaya. He showed to his fellow classmates that Sawako isn’t such a bad person. After Sawako made friends, her friendship with Kazehaya slowly developed into a romantic feeling. But what will be the result if someone else has her eyes on Kazehaya? Will Sawako and Kazehaya be together, or will something drive them apart from each other?

This is personally my favorite manga ever, so I would rank it 10/10. It’s worth reading! Go check it out.

-Kayla H. 11th Grade

The Rest of us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

restofusjustlivehere_patrickness

Percy Jackson and the Olympians was told in the view of Percy Jackson. The Harry Potter series was written as a narration following Harry Potter. But does one really have to be the hero in order to tell the story? What if the hero’s story, set in a small town that occasionally gets hit by the zombies, vampires, and whatnot of apocalypses, causing the town to explode and get saved by a hero/heroine.

But what if the story is not told by the heroine herself, one of her friends, or even the villain? What if the story is from the point of view of Mickey, a boy who just wants to graduate high school, have fun with his twin and their friends, and even try to ask a girl to prom? So what if there are zombie deer and cops with glowing blue eyes; he just wants to survive his daily life.

Even if his best friend’s a quarter god, his twin has an eating disorder, and he has OCD.

I love how Ness wrote this book. At first I didn’t get what was going on, but that’s the author’s point here. He wants to show that ordinary kids can be the heroes of the books that we read while we were kids, no matter who we are or what we consider ourselves. We’re all special, making us the heroes of our own lives. It really gave me food for thought.

Although the book isn’t written like a typical heroic story, Ness does provide a short summary of the plot of the supposed “heroes” at the start of every chapter, which is very confusing until you realize that is from a different plotline. This book is definitely a huge recommend who like fantasy and school life.

-Megan V.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here is available for check out from the Mission Viejo Library.

Itazura na Kiss

itazura-na-kiss-1871Itazura Na Kiss is a manga, and later adapted into an anime, about an unlikely romance between two high school students. Spoilers to come!

Kotoko Aihara, a poor achieving high school student, falls in love with the genius Naoki Irie only to be flatly rejected and humiliated. Kotoko had fallen for Naoki since her first day of high school. When an earthquake strikes her house, she is forced to live with her father’s childhood friend. When Kotoko meets the family, she discovers that Irie is their son. How is she going to survive living under the same roof as Irie, especially being rejected?

Throughout the manga and anime, Irie develops feelings for Kotoko but life finds a way to intervene. They are both pulled away by other people in their lives, like Kotoko’s friend Ikezawa, who her ever since she started high school. There’s also Christine, a foreign exchange student who plans to marry Irie. Will they be drawn apart or will they settle down and get married?

Check out the anime and/or manga if you would like to know more about Itazura Na Kiss! I’ve spoiled enough. I would definitely recommend someone to check it out. This was my first anime that I’ve ever seen and probably one of my favorites! I would rate this series a 9/10.

-Kayla H. 11th Grade