The Sky is Falling

by Kasia  | Category: Reading Lounge
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The novel The Sky is Falling by Kit Pearson takes place in a lot of different locations. The book begins when one of the Nazi’s planes crash in a field where the main character Norah and her brother lived. As soon as they discover it, Norah and her brother Gavin are immediately shipped off by their parents from England as a war guest as their parents though their home was soon going to become a battlefield. When they arrive in Canada, Gavin is accepted into a family, but the social workers didn’t want to separate the siblings. So after a handful of begging and compromising, Norah is also taken in. Norah immediately hates Canada and dreams of returning to England to see her parents. Especially since she had gone from the intelligent popular girl that people looked up to at school in England, to a lonely “nobody” at school in Canada. Additionally, her new guardians are very demanding of her since she is the old sibling. Norah must find way to deal with her new life and still keep in touch with her family in Europe.

Unlike many novels revolved around war, Kit Pearson wrote the book in a very unique way. It allows readers to see a different perspective of the war from a young child’s mind. A mind that is carefree and full of innocence. And it’s not only about the thoughts on the battling or peace, but also how it affects its victims mentally. I recommend this book to those who enjoy reading historical fiction. Although it is a novel, it may spark new questions on what actually happened in the war in real life. Also, I would recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed any of the stories written by Kit Pearson as her books are very similar in terms of the plot.

Eleanor and Park

by Teresa  | Category: Blog for Hours, Reading Lounge
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“This is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.” -Eleanor and Park.

Eleanor and Park is a New York Times best seller written by Rainbow Rowell. It stars our main character Eleanor, who’s recently moved to a new town with her mother, her four siblings and her horrible stepfather. On her first day of school, she sits beside Park, a green-eyed half Korean boy and the only one that doesn’t make fun of her. They become fast friends soon, through comic books and music until they realize they are in love. They start dating and suddenly it feels as if they don’t have a care in the world, and they only need each other, but the feeling ends quickly with Eleanor’s family problems at home, all surrounding her stepfather that she continues to wish is just temporary. But Park sticks by Eleanor for as long as can, just so he can be there for her.

Eleanor and Park is, hands down, my favourite realistic fiction/contemporary book. It shows the unlikeliness of staying with your first love, real life family problems and of course, there is heartbreak. It makes a point of showing that girls aren’t perfect in how they look, in fact they never are, and that guys can wear eyeliner if they want and in fact, they’ll look great it in. It makes readers realize things are never perfect like other realistic fiction books portray them as, and book characters might have as many issues as you do in life.

I would recommend Eleanor and Park to people that loved The Fault In Our Stars. I found Eleanor and Park way more heartbreaking even though it had less casualties, Rainbow Rowell makes readers fall in love with the characters and their relationship only to make you add to your list of “fictional characters to cry about.” So if you liked The Fault In Our Stars I think you’ll definitely love Eleanor and Park.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass #1)

by Teresa  | Category: Blog for Hours, Reading Lounge
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cover imageThrone of Glass of the first book in the Throne of Glass series and is written by Sarah J. Maas. Celaena Sardothien is an 18 year old known has Ardalan’s assassin who has been convicted for her crimes and has been serving in Endovier salt mines for the past year. However, when the king of Ardalan has a competition to find a royal assassin to be his Champion, Crown Prince Dorian sponsors Celaena as all members of the king’s council are to sponsor someone. She agrees because if she serves the king for three years, after that she will be granted her freedom. Since she was always an anonymous assassin, everyone is surprised to find out Celaena is a teenaged girl to be in the competition against many male thieves and assassins. To hide her identity from the rest of the people in the castle, she takes the name Lillian Gordaina and pretends to be a lady visiting Dorian. However, most of the time she is training with the captain of the guard, Dorian’s long time friend, Captain Chaol Westfall or befriending the princess of Eyllwe, Nehemia Ytger. But soon, some of the other contestants are being found dead one by one, killed by an unknown source. Celaena is determined to find out who the killer is before she becomes a victim but the more she finds out the more mysteries she uncovers about the castle, and her friends including Dorian and Nehemia.

Throne of Glass was recommenced to me by a close friend, and once I started reading I was hooked. Celaena is an amazing character with her fierce personality in which she catches the interest of both Crown Prince Dorian and Captain Chaol Westfall. Throne of Glass has an awesome plot with twist and turns at each corner in the amazing world Sarah J. Maas has created.

I would recommend Throne of Glass to mystery fans and fantasy fans, and maybe fans of the Hunger Games too though at the same time is quite different from most dystopia books. I hope that many of you will pick up Throne of Glass and love it as much as I do now, and eagerly await the next book in the series.

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

by Bookling  | Category: Reading Lounge
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The Da Vinci Code cover imageThe Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown is a book not to be missed. Robert Langdon, a professor of symbology at Harvard University, is in France, and he is soon supposed to meet with the curator of the Louvre, when he discovers that the curator has been murdered. The curator was been stabbed, and as he was left to die, he drew a circle of blood around himself, as well as a pentacle on his stomach. He crawled over to the centre of the circle and lies down to recreate the Vitruvian man (Da Vinci’s famous sketch of the human body). He also leaves a coded message for his granddaughter Sophie Neveu to find Robert Langdon. The police see this message, and decide that the P.S. is not the curator addressing his granddaughter, but instead asking for the murderer to be found. Sophie saves the innocent Robert from the police and together they embark on a quest that Sophie’s grandfather left for them: finding the Holy Grail before an organization called Opus Dei does. Incidentally, it was a member of Opus Dei killed Sophie’s grandfather. Sophie and Robert travel around Europe to uncover and decode messages, find clues, in attempt to complete their quest. And of course, they must continue to escape the police, who are absolutely confident that Robert Langdon is the murderer of Sophie’s grandfather.  Will they find the Holy Grail before the Opus Dei does? Read the book and find out!

With adventure upon adventure, “The Da Vinci Code” is a novel readers won’t be able to put down. It is also incredibly realistic and refers to real historical events and artworks. If you plan on reading this book, it is best to get the ‘illustrated edition’, this way you’ll be able to see the artworks or places that Robert and Sophie find. This will make the book even more enjoyable. Even if you aren’t able to find an illustrated edition though, don’t miss a chance to read this novel. Robert and Sophie’s quest to find the Holy Grail has twists and surprises at every corner – it’s an absolutely marvelous book!

Hunter × Hunter, Vol. 1

by giraffe  | Category: Blog for Hours, It's here!, Reading Lounge
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Hunter × Hunter, Vol. 1 Cover cover image Hunter × Hunter, Vol. 1 is the first book in the Hunter × Hunter series, written and illustrated by Yoshihiro Togashi. The series is a shōnen, action-and-adventure fantasy. The first installment revolves around a 12 year-old boy named Gon, who wants to become a Hunter—an elite member of humanity who hunts for things such as animals, treasures, even other people—to find his dad, who is one of the greatest Hunters. One can only call themselves a Hunter only when they have passed the rigorous examination, which may end up in death. But Gon’s no ordinary kid, he’s got superhuman senses, and advanced experience in the forest. But Hunters are no ordinary people either, and those strong enough to make it to even the first exam can be considered extraordinary. Does Gon have what it takes to survive and become a Hunter?

This volume is the first in this series, so it mainly acts as a set up for the advancement of the story. But already, there is action and adventure. Applicants have to survive on a boat during a violent storm. They have to fight magical beasts. They have to run over 80 km. They have to run through a foggy swamp full of traps. The protagonists are likeable and each have an unique reason to become a Hunter; Gon, his father; Kurapika, revenge; Leorio, “money”; Killua, “for fun”. Their personalities are also contrasting, but as the old adage goes, opposites attract. Togashi didn’t hesitate to introduce some adversaries, Tonpa, the rookie crusher, and Hisoka, the creepy and violent magician. Now, despite the childish-looking art, this volume is quite graphic. A man gets impaled in the head several times, and blood begins to gush from it. Then you see his corpse getting devoured by vultures. Also, you see people getting devoured by large beasts, or immensely sweating, displaying the high level of difficulty of the challenge.

If you like the Naruto series, you will definitely enjoy this. The author of Naruto was inspired by this series, and many plots in Naruto are based on Hunter × Hunter. If you enjoy manga in general, and are looking for a new series, this may be the perfect one for you. It’s rated for people 16 years or older, but this volume specifically is good for anyone 13 and older. It has a balance of action, adventure, thrill, and comedy. This series hasn’t had much commercialization in North America, so I hope you will buy it, and spread the word. There is an anime adaptation being released, but that is at its final stages. This manga is truly one of the best, and can truly become a light to shine on other manga for a long time.