Humor

Book Review: Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter
Author: 
Gaiman, Neil
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

Perhaps I’m in the minority here, but I only thought Good Omens was just OK. You’d think that the combination of two of the best British writers would create an incredible story, but I felt it was mostly disjointed, un-climatic, and full of that British humor that tends to be more random than based in actual jokes. Granted, most books by Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman that I’ve read have been hit or miss, depending on how peculiarly random the subject might be. Sure, there are elements of a great story here; it just felt distracted from its main purpose half of the time.

The core of Good Omens is split into two parts: following the actual Antichrist who is unaware of his theological significance/role in the end of the world and the journey of an angel and a demon who happened to lose said Antichrist. This idea's strength is enough to give the story some merit, but the execution seemed flawed to me. Too much time was spent in random and meaningless interactions that didn’t add to the story other than to be “humorous” for their pure obscurity. If anything, this type of humor is standard for Pratchett, so I’m not surprised it was there, just disappointed that it seemed to play such a large part of the story.

I’m sure most people loved the relationship between the angel and the demon, but I almost found the actions of the unaware Antichrist to be much more interesting and would have liked that those parts of the book played more in the plot than just being a side story. I know Amazon made a television show of this book, so maybe I just missed something that the show might be able to reveal to me as to why this book was so popular. As for me, it was just kind of “meh.” An interesting plot that suffers from British humor, I give Good Omens 3.0 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: 
Benjamin W.

Book Review: Sal and Gabi Break The Universe

Sal and Gabi Break The Universe
Author: 
Hernandez, Carlos
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Welcome to ‘Sal and Gabi Break the Universe’, a book that will take you on an awesome universe-tearing adventure! This book will show the life of a middle-school magician, named Sal. I especially loved this book because of the time put into the descriptions of the magic tricks. Another thing that makes this book shine is the humor. There was enough humor in this book to keep me laughing the whole time I read it. This book is high up on my book list. I would suggest this to anyone, and I mean anyone.

Reviewer's Name: 
Ethan

Book Review: Phule's Company

Phule's Company
Author: 
Asprin, Robert
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Phule’s Company combines humor and a great amount of detail in a single book. It also contains a good amount of growth mindset. Even though it's a novel, I think anyone could learn Growth Mindset from this. Though the humor is hard to see, it really is funny in a lot of ways. Some of the names are clever versions of household items, such as duct tape. Overall, this is an excellent book for anyone looking for a sci-fi.

Reviewer's Name: 
Ethan

Book Review: The Pros of Cons

The Pros of Cons
Author: 
Cherry, Alison & Ribar, Lindsay & Schusterman, Michelle
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

The Pros of Cons is a book about three girls at different conventions become friends. Vanessa Monotoya-O'Callaghan is going to a Fan Fiction convention with her friend Soleil. Pheobe Byrd is going to a Indoor Percussion Association convention with her percussion friends. Callie Buchannan is going to a Taxidermy convention with her dad as his assistant.

Vanessa and Soleil had never met but at the convention. They were online friends and they wrote fan fiction together, but they never met. It all started out great. The one issue is that Vanessa thought that Soleil was her girlfriend. On the first day Soleil read her own story in front of people instead of the one they worked on together. This made Vanessa angry but she kept it to herself. Then a few nights later Vanessa kissed her and that's when they fought. She had already met Callie. Soleil kicked her out of the
hotel room, and she went to stay with Callie. The the three friends decide to make a podcast for Vanessa's Creative Corner entry.

Pheobe runs into Callie while her and her friends where bringing percussion equipment places. They run into each other than Pheobe and Callie accidentally switch bags. In the group ensemble performance she realizes that she does'n't have her mallets. Then her friend Scott takes the mallets she was using for a solo. She ends up have to us scalpels from the solo and cuts up her hands. After the performance she has to put band aids on her hands. She gets in a fight with her best friend, Scott, and her roommate. The ends up in Callie's room.

Callie is with her dad and his turkeys. She is her dads assistant. On the first of the convention Callie meets her dads old assistant Jeremy. Jeremy is one of the judges, and Callie makes fun of her dad in front of him. After Jeremy leaves her dad yells at her for making fun of him in front of a judge. Callie is mad at her dad after this because he yelled at her and doesn't know she is even alive sometimes. Callie decides to sabotage her dads turkey seminar. During the seminar he deals with everything as if it was on purpose. Then Callie and her dad get in to a huge fight, because her mom left and court only gave Callie 4 weeks to live with her mom, but her mom offered full time. Her dad without even talking to Callie told her mom she didn't want to go. Callie was upset, but in the end they made up and are all good now.

I chose this book because of the clever title and how it was written in different point of views. I think the plot is excellent.

Reviewer's Name: 
Jaime

Book Review: Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot!

Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot!
Author: 
Bell, Cece
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Enter the wacky world of Chick and Brain. Chick insists on politeness, Brain struggles to understand Chick, and Dog has a chicken dinner in mind in the book Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot by Cece Bell. Kids who are getting the hang of reading will enjoy the comic book style of this early reader as well as the absurd humor. This is a laugh-out-loud read for kids age 5 - 8.

Reviewer's Name: 
Barbara

Book Review: The Willoughbys

The Willoughbys
Author: 
Lowry, Lois
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

The four Willoughby kids have a problem. Their parents don't like them and they are planning to go on vacation, permanently, without the kids. Put into play an abandoned baby, a very sad old man and a pretty great Nanny and you have an endearing and entertaining plot by beloved author, Lois Lowry. The Willoughbys can be described as a winning combination of the Penderwicks and Series of Unfortunate Events for kids age 8 - 12.

Reviewer's Name: 
Barbara
Genres: 

Book Review: Schooled

Schooled
Author: 
Korman, Gordon
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Cap Anderson has been living on a farm with his hippie grandmother. He has never been to a public school and he does not know many everyday things such as what a TV is or how to act in a public setting. When his grandmother has an accident and is now staying at the hospital, Cap moves in with a guidance councilor and her daughter. He begins to go to a public middle school where big man on campus: Zach Powers uses Cap's strangeness to his advantage by nominating Cap for class president as a joke, but that plan soon backfires as Cap becomes more popular.

This book reminded me of Jerry Spinelli's Star Girl, but with a twist. School is my favorite book by Gordon Korman because the plot is so funny and unbelievable, but it teaches a valuable lesson about being who you are and not changing for people. The book goes by really quickly and I like the way that Korman writes the story in different perspectives. This is a really good book and I think it is definitely one to try if you like Stargirl.

Reviewer's Name: 
Emma M.

Book Review: The Unteachables

The Unteachables
Author: 
Korman, Gordon
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

The Unteachables is about seven students who instead of going to regular eighth grade classes, stay in one classroom and learn all the subjects from one teacher. This is called SCS-8 (Self-Contained Special Eighth grade Class) also known as the Unteachables. Kiana is a new girl from California who isn't supposed to be in the SCS-8 class, but due to a crazy first day, she is never properly registered in the school. Mr. Kermit is a fifty-five year old teacher who just needs to teach for one more year to qualify for early retirement. The Superintendent of the school does not like Mr. Kermit because of an incident that happened in the nineties. He is trying to fire Mr. Kermit before he can qualify for early retirement, so he gives him the SCS-8 class thinking that Mr. Kermit will give up and just quit during the year. The book follows the SCS-8 students, Mr. Kermit, and newfound allies as they try to keep Mr. Kermit's job and his chance for early retirement. What drew me to the book was the author because I love Gordon Korman's books. This book was really funny and it kept me wanting to read more. Korman puts a lot of thought into his characters and he fills them with fun twists and surprises that get discovered the farther you go into the book. At some points I was surprised at what happened in the book because it was something that I least expected. This book reminded me of the Gordon Korman's other book Ungifted. This is a great read for a funny, lighthearted book.
Reviewer grade: 10

Reviewer's Name: 
Emma

Book Review: The Dark Talent

The Dark Talent
Author: 
Sanderson, Brandon
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

There’s foreshadowing; then there are five books of foreshadowing. In The Dark Talent, Brandon Sanderson starts wrapping up this amusing middle-grade series by finally reaching the part of the story that was alluded to so many books ago. While this could easily be the final book in the series, I believe there’s enough left unconcluded that another volume should be written to wrap these remaining subplots up into satisfying conclusions. By this point in the series, the Alcatraz formula has been thoroughly explored, and it almost seems to be running on autopilot*. Granted, this was after four books of character and plot development, but there’s still an amount of “been there seen that” here.

I am always in awe of Brandon Sanderson’s world-building, and the Alcatraz series is no exception. Breaking into the Library of Congress was such a natural extension of the “Librarian” motif that I’m a little surprised it took this long to get here. The magic system with lenses and glass is also well thought out and makes sense with each ridiculous use of its numerous lenses (embarrassment = explosions? Why not!).

Once again, I have to remind myself that books like The Dark Talent are geared toward younger minds. Sure, the plot twist/reveal helped drive the story forward, but it was so telegraphed that I had it all figured out as soon as this individual character was introduced. Still, for younger readers, this revelation may come as a surprise. And while the main character’s writing style is constantly on the caricature side of the spectrum, we do get to see some brief moments of vulnerability in the main players. Even if the main character can get a little grating at times, the first person narrative device works well for this middle-grade fantasy.

A fulfillment of four books of foreshadowing, I give The Dark Talent 4.0 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: 
Benjamin W.

Book Review: In Her Shoes

In Her Shoes
Author: 
Weiner, Jennifer
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

Maggie and Rose are sisters with very different lives and personalities. The two common things they share are their mother's tragic death, a "car accident" when they were kids and the same shoe size. Rose is an attorney, practical, responsible and has her own apartment. Maggie, the younger of the two, is good looking (which she uses to her advantage), impetuous and manipulative. They live together for a short stint, until a major falling out causes them to go their own ways. Thus begins a journey of self discovery for each woman and the surprise of a grandmother who they thought was long gone. The love/hate relationship of sisters is well captured, along with humor and sharp observations.

Reviewer's Name: 
Susi W.

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