Book Review: Pretenders, by Lisi Harrison

pretenders_coverPretenders is an extremely interesting book, the first in a new series by Lisi Harrison. It’s about the lives of five high school students, but it’s not a typical drama. It’s a story with an unexpected twist…

The book focuses on five freshman students who attend Noble High School: Sheridan, an aspiring singer and actress; Duffy, an athletic boy who loves basketball; Vanessa, a motivated, brilliant, but uptight girl; Jagger, whose parents are in jail; and Lily, a clever, smart girl who is in love with Duffy. Their English teacher has them write in journals every day, then keep them in locked safes that only they know the codes for. The book starts off with a note from someone who has stolen the journals from the English teacher and has revealed them to everyone. The person says they are tired of the lies in high school. Pretenders is written as a collection of random diary entries from each person’s journal.

I found this book very intriguing, but there were definitely a few things I didn’t like about it. For instance, Lisi Harrison makes several references to books she has published previously, such as the Clique series and the Monster High series. This bugged me a bit because it made me think that she was advertising her other books in this one. Also, Lisi Harrison spends the majority of the book building on the characters. I found the ending to be quite a let down because every single character was left dangling with a full-stop cliffhanger. I was really disappointed that so much of the book was taken up with the characters’ lives. However, I loved how different each character was. I also liked how the book is humorous.

So if you enjoy stories about high school experiences with plot twists, I think this series is for you.

-Rabani S., 9th grade

Book Review: Monster High, by Lisi Harrison

monster_high_coverFrankie Stein is not a average teenager. Aside from the fact that she’s only 15 days old and that she has bolts in her neck and a green tinge to her skin. Life does not seem hard for her,does it?
While she tries to be herself, Frankie’s parents send her off to `normie’ school (for regular, normal teenagers) to be like a normal human being. But Salem, Oregon is a monster-free zone, and Frankie soon finds other monster classmates, or RADs (Regular Attribute Disorder). There’s Lagoona Blue, Draculaura, Deuce Gorgon, D.J./Jackson Hyde, Cleo(patra) and Claudine (CLAWdeen, get it?).

Lisi Harrison’s book series is definitely aimed at the younger end of the teen market. `Monster High’ is a bit of unabashed pop-culture fun for tweens.

The monster kids rock out to Lady Gaga and the Black Eyed Peas. They have freaky fabulous wardrobes and say things like `that’s VOLTAGE!’ But if you read beyond the cool, unique stuff that they have, they have to face the fear of there group getting shown.

I really liked the character of Frankie Stein. She looks different, she loves to be her self and wants to show her greenness and she desperately wants to fit in. But she never sacrifices who she is for how other’s will see her. It’s a hard lesson she has to learn, but Frankie has a great sense of self, bolts, green skin and all! I recommend this book to about twelve and up because it is a little bit on the mature side but it is a fun book to read!

-Kate B., 7th grade

Top 5 Fictional Schools I’d Like to Attend

hogwarts

image copyright Warner Bros.

1. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from the Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling
After living in the wizarding world for the duration of the saga, who didn’t deny their muggle roots, and delude themselves into believing they possessed the ability to spell-cast? What if you could live in Harry’s world, where you would receive your attendance letter when you turn eleven and get shipped off on the Hogwarts Express for your first year (unless you’re a Squib, of course ) in September? My friends and I still reassure ourselves that our letters obviously got lost via owl post, and Dumbledore will make an exception when he discovers his tragic mistake… and we’re going on fourteen.
See also: Beauxbatons Academy of Magic or Dumstrang Institute of Sorcery

2. Camp Half-Blood from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riordan
Don’t want to be a wizard? How about the child of a Greek god? Your friends would be your family (literally, for all the gods have some relation to one another; therefore, their children do as well). You’d have the opportunity to venture into the mortal world and perform dangerous tasks for the gods (which you would hopefully succeed). Plus, who wouldn’t want to be a demigod? I definitely would.
See also: Camp Jupiter from the Heroes of Olympus series (for those with Roman deity heritage)

gallagher_girls13. The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women from the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter
The girls who attend this school have reputations of rich, genius heiresses, but they’re really clandestine agents-in-training for the CIA, under cover. I would absolutely love to be trained in the art of espionage, and going to a school that specializes in just that? Now that would be awesome. 
See also: Blackthorne Institute for Troubled Young Men (I thought it was even cooler than the girls’ spy school! For those of you who have read the books, you know who the boys really are. Those of you who haven’t– read the books; you’ll find out.)

4. The Princess Academy from Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
Every girl (okay, most girls…) wanted to be a princess at one point in time, whether you idolized Snow White, or someone a bit more like Mulan. At the Princess Academy, competition and challenges prevail in order to discover the best fit for the throne; whether its testing your poise and composure in times of danger or your tolerance when it comes to the immature practical jokes of your classmates, the Princess Academy separates the arrogant from the strong, and the smart from the intelligent.

alphas_cover5. The Alpha Academy from the Alphas series by Lisi Harrison
The Alpha Academy is a school for the next generation of powerful, influential woman (sorry, boys!), “without any distractions from the mediocre world.” The girls are forced to compete — after all, there can only be one Alpha — for worldwide fame, fortune, and guaranteed success in life. The series was… okay… (not exactly my cup of tea) but being the fairly competitive person I am, I absolutely fell in love with the idea of a school where it is a part of your everyday life; a place where females are dominant, manipulation of your peers is seen as resourceful on your fight to the top, and smarts are valued, and never overlooked.

What Hogwarts house would you be in: Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, or Slytherin???

Who would be your godly parent??

What fictional school would you like to attend? 

Share in the comments!

-Danielle K., 8th grade