If you can visit Oklahoma back in the 1980s, you might have seen the gangs called the Greasers and the Social. Greasers, earn their name from the grease used to style their hair–enough to supply you to cook with for about two days. Life is unfair? No, it’s just too far to the Social, for their parents feed them money every day so that they are too full to stand up, walk to the fridge and grab a piece of bread to eat as lunch.
Ponyboy Curtis, whose parents died when he was little, lives with his two older brothers, Sodapop and Darry. One day, after going through a drastic fight with his brother, he ran away to the park with his friend Johnny. After witnessing the frantic Johnny killing a Social member, a rival gang, Ponyboy realized that life is going to smash him as hard as it can on the face.
I was very intrigued by this book that I couldn’t put it down for a second. But it’s absolutely incredulous to imagine teenagers killing somebody but still survive after all these streaks of dangerous events. But if it’s me, I’d rather behave well and listen to my older brothers because they are my only family members and I know that they love me so much like my parents.
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded from Overdrive.
I watched the move Lion with my family. It’s about a 5-year-old boy named Saroo who gets lost on the streets of India, put into an orphanage, and is eventually adopted by a family in Australia. As he becomes an adult, he starts to wonder what happened to his biological family and begins to search for his old home. After a long effort, he is eventually reunited with his family. However, this simple story seemed to us much more dramatic as it was based on a true story.
I don’t know how much fiction and storytelling effects were added to this story, but it is a very moving and emotional movie anyways. In the beginning of the movie when the boy Saroo got lost in the streets and was in grave danger of being kidnapped, I almost stopped watching the movie as it was quite terrifying and intense. It felt really realistic, and the terror and loneliness that Saroo experienced could be felt right through the screen.
Both Sunny Pawar (the actor who played young Saroo) and Dev Patel (who played older Saroo) successfully played their part. The emotion Dev Patel was able to portray in his performance really pushed the movie forward and was a wonderful addition. Similarly, the shockingness of Saroo being able to use Google Maps to pinpoint the location of his old home was another great aspect of this movie. The scene where he was flooded with memories of his past and is able to finally pinpoint and track down his old home was a great climax of the movie.
Lastly, the scene where Saroo is reunited with his family was so powerful and moving, and brought me to tears. The joy in the face of him and his mother–though they were actors–felt real and was a great ending to the movie. The revelation that his real name was Sheru was an interesting fact and its meaning that was revealed in the end credits wrapped up the finale of a great movie.
I highly recommend watching this movie. If you do, you will get to learn what the name “Sheru” means as well.
Lion is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.
After reading her Six of Crows miniseries, I realized Bardugo had written a precursor trilogy introducing the Grisha world. Naturally, I wanted to know more about world of Ravka and its beginnings. If you are new to Six of Crows or Leigh Bardugo, both this trilogy and the Crows duology are standalone novels that can be read with or without the other. Now, let us dive into the murky waters of the Unsea.
In an alternate-type of history, magical people lived among the common folk. They were called Grisha. Much like events in our own past, such as the Salem Witch Trials or religiously-driven peoples running riots, the Grisha were unliked and even killed by some. However, as they began prominently displaying their powers in Ravka, their home country, people started to treat the Grisha as royalty. Ruled by the Darkling, a mysterious leader flanked by highly regarded Grisha officials, everything in Ravka was alive. Except for the Shadow Fold, an equally mysterious stretch of forlorn land, its light diminished to nothing, and its only inhabitants being vulture-like creatures. This is where Alina Starkov’s story begins, as an orphan girl tested for Grisha powers. She and Mal, her best friend (also an orphan) trek together through the Shadow Fold and find a force a lot larger than the both of them.
Leigh Bardugo has a talent for writing and creating a darker story, all the while still building and breaking crucial moments as another novel may. If you are new to both Bardugo and these series, I would definitely recommend checking them out, and if possible, starting with the prequel trilogy.
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.
The first book in the Winterhaven series, Kristi Cook’s Haven is a mystery romance about a 16 year old girl named Violet Mckenna and her journey throughout her new life at Winterhaven. Back in Atlanta, at school Violet was known as a freak because she sees visions of her dad’s murder. But, later she goes to New York with her stepmother Patsy and goes to a new boarding school called Winterhaven. Winterhaven was not just an ordinary school, but a school filled with secrets and students having special psychic abilities or “gifts”. Violet meets a small group of friends and she finally finds a place where she seems normal. At school, she meets the most popular guy in school named Aidan Gray and they start developing feeling for each other. While Violet dated Aidan she noticed he’s keeping something away from her. Aidan has been keeping a secret that none of the students know about and later on revealed that he was a vampire. After that there’s a plot twist where there’s a spin on a tragic event that happens to Violet and Aidan relationship.
I would recommend this book if you like mystery, paranormal, romance, and friendship involved. I like the build up towards the middle till the end and it has an interesting plot twist involved. If you like the book Twilight, then this is a spin on that book with a different plot twist that involves vampires and a bit of werewolves. In this book, you can see the journey Violet has taken in her stay at her new school and getting to know her new friends. There is a sequel to this book called Mirage.
Haven, and the rest of the Winterhaven novels by Kristi Cook are available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.