Books, Read + Review

Read + Review: Unpresidented by Martha Brockenbrough

Unpresidented: A Biography of Donald Trump

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This book is a biography about Donald Trump, the 45th (and current) President of the United States. The novel started by following the life Friedrich Trump, who was the first member of his family to immigrate to the United States, as he attempted to make a name for himself in New York City. He eventually became very involved with restaurant business and had a son, Fred Trump, who fell in love with real estate, and eventually passed on this love to Donald. The rest of the novel details stories from Trump’s early life in military school and college and the first deals he made as a real estate mogul. Along the way, he gained a lot of popularity and a pedigree as one of the figureheads of business in New York City. He also became very involved in politics for the latter part of his life, which ultimately led to his decision to run for the election in 2016. After being elected on November 8, 2016, the rest is history.

I enjoyed that the novel was very thorough in terms of information on not only Donald Trump, but also his family members and other significant members of his campaign. I could tell that there was a lot of outside research that was compiled to make Trump’s life story complete. The one thing I didn’t like, however, was that there were some parts of the book that were relatively uninteresting and difficult to follow at times. When Brockenbrough wrote about various deals and lawsuits filed against him, there were a lot of monetary figures and financial terms that I had relatively little knowledge of. This novel requires a lot of knowledge and concentration to fully understand.

The most memorable aspect of this book is all the blasphemy that Trump told to reporters, stated online. The author decided to include dozens of quotes and Twitter posts from before and after his presidency to showcase his extremely aggressive nature and reluctance to accept basic facts. I already knew before reading this book that a lot of what he said was crazy, but the novel will truly show you an even crazier side to him that most have never seen before.

4-stars

Reviewed by Griffin G., Gayton Library

Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: Undying By Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

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In this sequel to the popular novel “Unearthed”, our main characters, Mia and Jules are trying to escape the alien spaceship they were trapped on during the final pages of the “Unearthed”. After making an extremely narrow escape off the ship, Mia and Jules warn their hometown about the approaching threat that threatens the safety of the earth itself. But, to no avail. With absolutely no help, our main characters are forced to take matters into their own hands and handle the threat themselves. In this captivating novel, Mia and Jules travel across the entirety of Europe to stop the possible alien invasion. The story takes place from the mountains of Spain, all the way to streets located in Prague.

One thing I absolutely loved about this book was its humor at times. The situations would get very tense, and the author would just toss in a joke to defuse the situation. The darkish humor makes the book all the more enjoyable. The characters are also around the same age range as most people reading the book. The author knew this and made the characters relatable to their relative age range. I also like that the book switches between certain characters’ perspectives throughout the book to make sure the reader has a good idea of what’s happening from multiple perspectives.

Surprisingly, the most memorable moment in the book is in the first few pages of the book. Most authors never even get the idea to give a little note to the reader at the beginning of the book. I personally have never seen any author do that before. That’s the reason it’s most memorable for me. I will also always remember the love the author has for the reader. The author expresses that a lot, and that is another way I will always remember this book.

4-stars-1

Reviewed by Minh L., Glen Allen Library

Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: Never Evers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

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Mouse’s world seems to collapse when she is required to leave her ballet school, and her self-esteem seemingly deteriorates every second of her life. Without any alternative activities or interests to instill any inspiration in her, Mouse’s motivation is at an all-time low. However, her mother urges her to join her new school’s field trip to assist her with coming out of her shell. Unfortunately, she doesn’t really have a choice in the matter. Up in the mountains that are topped with snow, Mouse faces an exciting series of events with her two companions, Connie and Kiera, and a furry hamster that Connie managed to sneak in. Additionally, a romance begins to blossom between Mouse and Jack, the lead singer of a band without a name. Never Evers is a novel brimming with twists and turns happening both on and off the slopes.

The endearing moments between Mouse and Jack caused me to do everything within my power to suppress my squealing and giddiness due to their romance. What I found frustrating was the amount of time it took for the two realize how compatible they were together. Throughout the course of the novel, Mouse and Jack continued to be distracted by other love interests, but it frankly made their relationship more engrossing and interesting to read. Since the beginning, Mouse battles with her esteem and self-efficacy after hearing some not-so-nice words from Lauren, a girl who ceased to even interact with Mouse after finding out she was not accepted into ballet school. I could see myself in Mouse during moments when she felt down, which overwhelmed me with emotion. All-in-all, this novel emphasizes the significance of being yourself, which I personally believe is immensely important.

The most memorable event in the book is a conundrum that occurred in the beginning. Jack and one of his friends, Max, are invited to Lauren’s room, but when searching for it, they end up in Mouse, Connie, and Kiera’s room. The issue is that it was the middle of the night, and the ruckus they create cause an authority figure to come to settle the situation. I burst out laughing when Jack hid in the girls’ closet and encountered a certain “furry” friend, who was undoubtedly Connie’s hamster, Mr. Jambon.

4-stars-1

Reviewed by Jessica C., Glen Allen Library

Read + Review

Read + Review: Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

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This book follows the story of a girl named Mickey Catalan after she recovers from a catastrophic injury. She and her friend, Carolina, both of whom are softball players on a team destined to win the state championship, are involved in a car accident. As a result of the accident, Carolina has a broken arm and Mickey has a dislocated leg. After her surgery, she is determined to find any means possible to ease the pain in her hip and get herself back on the softball field as soon as possible. She is prescribed a drug called Oxycontin by her doctor, and the rest of the novel reveals her thoughts and actions as her usage of the opioid increases.

I really enjoyed this book. There were a lot of twists and turns throughout the novel that I did not expect and left me on the end of my seat for all 408 pages. This is because the event that occurred in the prologue mirrored another event that occurred later in the novel, so I kept on reading to find out how the characters got to that point. I especially enjoyed the way that the author crafted the characters, as many character’s opinions were polar opposites with each other, leaving the main character in the middle to decide what she thought was right. Although the novel is about a very heavy topic, humor was also used in the right places to make the situation seem more normal or relatable to readers. There aren’t any critiques that I can think of that would’ve made the book any better, as I believed the book was written very well.

The one thing that I will definitely remember from the novel is the lesson that it taught me. It is very obvious from the beginning of the story what the root of the conflict will be, but I believe there is a moral to the story that everyone should pay attention to. The problem affects a lot of people in community across the United States, so it is important that readers are able to understand the author’s message.

5-stars-1

Reviewed by Griffin G., Gayton Library.

Read + Review, Uncategorized

Read + Review: Black Panther: long live the king by Nnedir Okorafor

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This book has a total of three stories in it that are all set in the Black Panther universe. The first story is about a mysterious creature that causes havoc and destruction in the kingdom by disabling Vibranium, the substance the whole kingdom runs on. The king, T’Challa, must figure out how to stop the creature and where it came from. The second story is about the White Gorilla Cult, which threatens the crown and T’Challa’s position as king. T’Challa and his friends must stop the cult. The third story is about a wedding in Nigeria that is disrupted. This angers the new Black Panther. Her anger causes her powers to go out of control and she must figure out how to them.

The first two stories in the book take place in Wakanda, a fictional kingdom. The last story takes place in Nigeria. The main characters of the first story include T’challa, Chief Ikoko, the creature, Bukola, and Jidenu. For the second story, the main characters include T’Challa, Kantu, Shuri, M’Baku, and Baron Macabre. In the third story, the main characters are Ngozi aka Uzaru, Olu aka Nepa, and Ngozi’s big brother. I really liked the ways the characters were developed in the story. Despite each story not being very long, I left each one understanding the characters. This is a very difficult task to do and I feel that it was executed well in this book.

I enjoyed this book and thought that the short stories were well-written and unique. One critique I do have, however, is the length of the stories. While I do understand that this is a graphic novel, I feel that each story was a bit too short. One of the most memorable things about this book is the way you feel when you read it. While reading each story, I truly felt that I was there with the characters. Their pain was my pain and their joy was mine as well. This created a unique experience for me and I greatly enjoyed it.

4-stars

Reviewed by Anika K., Twin Hickory library