The Darkest Minds

By Alexandra Bracken

the darkest minds

A horrible disease wipes out the majority of the world’s children. No child is left untouched, no family is left untarnished. The surviving children gain abilities they never asked for. The world is in trouble. Ruby is sixteen. She is dangerous. And she is alive… for now.

At the age of ten, she was forced from her home and sent to Thormund, a brutal state rehabilitation camp where she and the other children are often treated cruelly and unfairly. There she must learn to suppress her powers or face the consequences. But what if mastering them is her only chance of survival? Escaping Thormund and entering a world she barely recognises with the education of a ten-year-old, Ruby must face her troubled past to be able to look into her future. Being followed by what feels like most of the world, Ruby and her three new friends must find the one place where they are safe, the one place where they might be able to stop running.

I loved The Darkest Minds, though there were some chapters that were a bit disturbing and horrible. One of the chapters involves a sexual assault. This is where a person in a position of power forces someone who is vulnerable or young to engage in acts against their will. This is frequently used in teenage literature for many reasons. In some books, it glorifies it and describes it as the norm but I think that it is used in this book to bring to light the fact that 1 in 5 American high school students experience assault from someone they are dating. This book is definitely against assault. We can see that from the way the other characters acted after they found out. They immediately wanted to leave the place they were safe because of it, even though it was dangerous to do so. This book is riddled with threats, violence and death so I would not recommend it for under elevens. I think it a brilliant book for people who love the Gone series and the Hunger Games.

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Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda

Love simon

By Becky Albertalli

It all started with that first email… Well, actually it didn’t. For Simon, it started a long time ago. You see, Simon has a secret: nobody knows he’s gay. But when his emails with the smart and adorable Blue falls into the wrong hands his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Suddenly his junior year has become much more complicated, with school play rehearsals, bullies and more. His emails with Blue get flirtier by the day and he doesn’t know who to trust. Simon knows that everyone deserves a great love story, but falling for Blue has become a bigger deal than he ever imagined.

I fell in love with this book the first time I read it. During the story, Simon has to try and get Martin a date with Abbie, who obviously doesn’t like him. I think that this is extremely sexist since Simon doesn’t even talk to Abbie about it. In the movie, Love Simon, Abbie says that Simon shouldn’t have tried to control her since it was her body, not his. I think that she was definitely right. Also, Martin really should have just asked her out instead of blackmailing Simon into doing it for him. I think that this is not explained well enough in the book and that some of the people reading it (adults and kids) may take it for granted, which they should not. Apart from this, I really enjoyed the book. It is definitely a must-read for everyone over tens -there is drinking, swearing and sexism (among other things), but it is a brilliant love story for everyone (even people who don’t like normal love stories, this is one of those odd ones out.

 

love simon quote

The Restaraunt at the End of the Universe

Douglas Adams

the restaurant at the end of the universe

This is the second book in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, written by Douglas Adams. As the story begins, we see the Heart of Gold travelling innocently through outer space, about to be decimated by the massive Vogon ship which is travelling behind it. On board the ship is the protagonist, Arthur Dent, along with his four shipmates; Ford Prefect, a longtime friend and the expert contributor to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, four-armed ex-president of the galaxy; Tricia McMillan, a fellow Earth refugee (who is now called Trillian), and Marvin, the paranoid android. As the crew hurtle through space in their ship powered by pure improbability, they unite with a desperate longing for something to eat. They don’t know it yet, but they are speeding towards the best place in the universe to dine: the ultimate hot spot for an evening of apocalyptic entertainment and fine dining, where the food (literally) speaks for itself.

The start of this book confused me a bit as I could not understand why it started the way it did. The last line of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (the first book) is “Ok baby, hold on tight,” said Zaphod. “We’ll take a quick bite at the Restaraunt at the End of the Universe.” and the at the start of this book, the group had no idea that they were going to the Restaraunt at the End of the Universe, or, as a matter of fact, any restaurant. I don’t think this was thought out well enough by the author but overall, the rest of the book exceeded my expectations.

This book made cry with laughter and I found it hard to put down until it was finished. It is a must-read book for over tens as throughout it is quite confusing. I’d give this book a 9.5 out of 10 and just from reading it, I already know that the next one will be just as brilliant.

Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead

By Rick Riordan

magnus chase and the ship of the dead

Magnus Chase is dead. He was killed by a fire giant when it threw him off a bridge but his life didn’t end there… or it did but he didn’t stop walking and talking. He woke up in Valhalla and became one of Odin’s warriors, destined to die -permanently- fighting when Ragnarok starts.While they are waiting for that to happen that to happen the einherjar are given missions and Magnus Chase has just been given one of the hardest yet… he has to stop Ragnarok, or at least delay it. He has to stop Loki’s ship from sailing and ending the world as we know it… Piece of cake, right?

His team is made up of Samirah al-Abbas and Alex Fiero (children of Loki), Hearthstone (the elf), Blitz (the dwarf), Halfborn Gunderson and Mallory Keen (who have just broken up and are constantly fighting), TJ (son of Tyr) and himself. The eight of them have to fight the biggest army seen in centuries. Umm?

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it for nine years old and up. It is extremely funny but also quite sad as we see the backstories of the characters which are not very pleasant.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

BY DOUGLAS ADAMS

the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is one the most hilarious books I have ever read! It is about a man called Arthur Dent who conveniently pulled from his home planet, Earth, by his friend Ford Prefect who is a researcher for the revised edition for the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, just before it is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway. While escaping their doom they are helped by, Zaphod Beeblebrox, the two-headed, four-armed, totally out to lunch president of the galaxy, Trillian, formerly Tricia McMillan and Zaphods girlfriend and Marvin the moody android.

The story follows the group’s adventures on board the Heart of Gold, from trying to find a cup of tea on the ship which only has a liquid which is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea to finding a mythical planet where people say, you could build a planet. And to make matters worse they are being followed by nearly everyone in the galaxy, from the police who are after Zaphod to the Vogons who are after Arthur and Ford.

This is one of the best stories I have ever read because you never know where it is going next but you are sure that there will be jokes around every corner. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes comedy over the age of ten because it can be a little hard to understand sometimes. Overall I really enjoyed this book and the laughs that came with it.

Endurance

BY SCOTT KELLY

endurance

Endurance is the autobiography of the retired astronaut, Scott Kelly. The thing that

makes this book really interesting is that it covers Scott Kelly’s extraordinary year on the ISS -International Space Station- and also his past, from when he was a young boy and hated school to when he signed himself up for the #yearinspace program.

This book is extremely interesting and detailed. When I was reading parts of it, I could

see through the eyes of the narrator and see the things that Scott Kelly did on the space station and his view of earth from the “CUPOLA” -a room made of windows so that the occupants can see the earth and other areas of space. I found the book very personal as Scott writes a lot about his home life as well as his life in space and as a test pilot. At times the language was slightly confusing as I do not know a lot about space stations. When he was talking about piloting different planes and jets it was especially confusing but Scott Kelly explained most of what he was talking about.

While we are reading we can see the stress that being sent into space, from the danger of flying into space junk, the spaceship exploding, or the thing that Scott feared most; the danger of something happening while he is away and he being unable to help. This book makes you fear for the people who are featured in it, even though we know it has already happened and it touched me to read about it from one of the two people who actually had to spend the year in space.

Planet of the Apes

By Pierre Boulle

(Yes this is a book, not just a movie!)


planet of the apes

This story is a story within a story. It is of two characters called Jinn and Phyllis, who are traveling in a spaceship at the speed of light. When Jinn and Phyllis rescue a manuscript from outer space and read it for us to hear, we see the second story. The manuscript was written by a man called Ulysse Mérou who is traveling to another planet, also at the speed of light. Crash landing on an inhabited planet far from his home in France on Earth he finds himself in the company of primitive humans and… What is that in the distance? Ah yes, a gorilla in a donkey jacket, hunting the humans for sport! Wait, what? Yes readers, he finds himself on a planet inhabited by civilised apes!

I really enjoyed reading this book because, being a planet of the apes fan myself, I could connect different characters to the 1968 movie and also the reboot franchise! This book had twists around every corner and didn’t let me put it down until I had finished. I would recommend it for 12s and upwards and to anyone who has an interest in alternate realities, different worlds and especially anyone who has watched the Planet of the Apes movies, either the 1968 movies or the 2011 ones!