Front Lines by Michael Grant

Image result for Front linesI don’t normally enjoy history. It’s my worst subject in school, and I can never focus on memorizing facts for tests. Before Front Lines, I have only enjoyed the Dear America series and The Only Thing To Fear by Caroline Richmond. Usually whenever I read one, it feels like I’m in school.

I picked Front Lines off the New Shelf at the Mission Viejo Library because I saw that it was a new Michael Grant book, and I completely freaked out. I didn’t even read the inside cover to see what the book was about until I got home. I originally thought that it was going to be something along the lines of his Gone series, which is still one of my favorite book series. Out of the books I checked out that day, I left this one until the end because I still wasn’t sure that I wanted to read a historical fiction novel.

Front Lines is about an alternate World War II. What if women could fight in the war? The book is told through the perspectives of Rio Richlin, Frangie Marr, and Rainy Schulterman. I think that this book really makes you wonder about how World War II could have been fought differently if women were fighting on the front lines. I’m hoping that a sequel comes out soon. Even though the book is over 500 pages, you still want to know what would happen next.

For people who have fallen in love with the Gone series, I encourage  you to read this book. It’s good for all teens.

-Rebecca V., 8th grade

Front Lines by Michael Grant is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Gone Series Review

gone_coverOn a seemingly normal day, the town of San Perdido is suddenly hit with a phenomenon that results in everyone over the age of fifteen disappearing…all adults are just simply gone! To the confusion of the remaining children, a giant force-field now surrounds the entire area of Perdido Beach, preventing anyone from entering or leaving.

Abandoned and frightened, the children are exposed to the threat of conflict, danger and death, and life with no adults or form of authority. With no electricity and phones and televisions no longer working, the town becomes a prison for the “surviving” children who must find a way to maintain order amidst the chaos. To top it off, the children start developing strange powers, some even deadly, that causes extreme manipulation and sides to be chosen. The ensuing fight becomes a catastrophic battle for survival, while the thought of time running out looms over everyone—because the day you turn fifteen is the fateful day you disappear, just like everyone else.

Written by Michael Grant, the Gone series is breathtaking young-adult series that’s packed to the brim with mystery, action, suspense, and (of course) romance! The books are titled: Gone, Hunger, Lies, Plague, Fear, and Light. In my opinion, the series is fast-paced and frighteningly gripping, for Grant is able to successfully write a dark, brutal account of a world of children with no authority that describes the death and moral dilemmas they must face.

The characters are all complex yet relatable, because they are all kids, just like you and I, who are struggling with the reality of the world they are thrown into. Even though there is some mature content, especially in the last three books of the series, I would certainly recommend the Gone series, which can be considered a modern-day Lord of the Flies, to those over thirteen years who are fans of The Hunger Games and hard-core dystopian-science fiction admirers!

-Kayle W., 10th grade

Book Review: Hunger by Michael Grant

hungerThree months after all the adults disappeared in the blink of an eye, 15 year old Sam Temple is holding together what remains of the city, but as food starts to become scarce, the problems start to pile up.  From children developing superhuman abilities to a powerful entity hungry in the dark, what’s left of society is starting to crumble.

Sequel to the best selling novel GoneHunger is an emotional and deep story that deals with the stress of leadership and overall guilt.  The first book ended in major suspense and this book has followed its lead.  I originally picked up Gone because it seemed very similar to a book I loved called The Young World by Chris Weitz who had come to speak to us bloggers at the Mission Viejo Library/City Hall last year.

Hunger has been a fascinating sequel. It takes the reader away from everyday drama and stress by wrapping them up in this malicious world. This helps the reader to appreciate their own life so much more after they put this book down.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a temporary distraction from their own life as it is riveting, interesting and easy to get stuck in. I enjoyed this book and am already starting the next one in the series, Lies.

-Evan G., 6th grade

Book Review: Gone and Divergent

I recently have discovered multiple new series that I have enjoyed, as well as great books that stand alone on the bookshelves. I have been trying to read all 100 books on NPR’s list of top teen books.

Some of my recently discovered favorite series are Gone by Michael Grant and Divergent by Veronica Roth.  I have only read the first book in the Gone series, coincidentally also called Gone, because some other library-goer is taking forever to read the only copy of the next book and is, rudely interrupting my reading schedule.  Ranting aside, this book is seriously ah-mazing.  I have grown to love the end of the world, apocalyptic type books like The Hunger Games and this is at the top of my list.

gone_coverIn the blink of an eye,  everyone disappears.  Gone.  Everyone except for the young. Teens. Middle schoolers. Toddlers. But not a single adult. No teachers, no cops, no doctors, no parents. Gone, too, are the phones, internet, and television. There is no way to get help.  Hunger threatens. Bullies rule. A sinister creature lurks. Animals are mutating. And the teens themselves are changing, developing new talents—unimaginable, dangerous, deadly powers—that grow stronger by the day.  It’s a terrifying new world. Sides are being chosen and war is imminent.  The first in a breathtaking saga about teens battling each other and their darkest selves, Gone is a page-turning thriller that will make you look at the world in a whole new way.

I repeat; AH-MAZING.  Makes me want to re-read it.

divergent_coverAnother post-apocalyptic book, as mentioned above, is Divergent by Veronica Roth.  In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives.

For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.  During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Both of these series are must-reads.  And, if you have a lot of time on your hands, go through the 100 book list from NPR and pick out what sounds good.  I promise, all of these are worth reading.

– Kaelyn L., 10th grade