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The God of Small Things - Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 07-Sep-16 09:18
Perhaps one of the strangest, but most interesting novels I have ever read, The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy is a tale filled with emotion. While often books full of real-life issues that take a gritty view on things do not impress me (I usually find they try too hard to be dark), this particular story reads like something that could actually happen. There are enough moments of joy to make the moments of sadness really matter. The majority of the story takes place in Kerala, India in 1969. It tells the tale of an upper class family though the eyes of several different characters, primarily two children.
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After the Red Rain - Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 09-Jun-16 17:22
It seems that every day there is a new book trying to explore the idea of dystopia. It is a genre that has had a massive boom in recent years, with a number of popular books published. If you like dystopias, then I can highly recommend After the Red Rain. It is an interesting and thought provoking story that is sure to please fans of the genre. The plot takes place after a bizarre apocalypse known as the red rain. What makes this setting unique is how the majority of people seem to believe that the red rain actually helped society and, in fact, that the world is much better since it took place. Of course, this point is expanded upon later in the novel and leads to some interesting places. The main story follows a young woman who meets a strange man named Rose, and together they discover dark secrets about the world in which they live.
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Uncaged - Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 09-Jun-16 17:10
Despite the fact that most typical action novels do not interest me, I have enjoyed a few throughout my life. Uncaged is one that I am adding to that list. When I saw this book on the library eBook page (a place that I suggest all eBook owners take a look at) I thought it would be worth a try. Although I expected a regular run of the mill action novel, I was pleasantly surprised with what I found. The book follows the story of a girl who is searching for her brother, after he was involved in a crime gone wrong. She fights against a large corporation bent on the advancement of technology at any cost, and attempts to rescue her brother before he can come to harm. Uncaged is a book that uses the real fear of corporate and government corruption, combined with deeply personal character conflict, to create an incredibly engaging story. The characters within feel very real and dynamic, almost no one is left as a flat, meaningless plot tool - an issue with some novels in this genre. The story begins with a tense and powerful opening story arc, and manages to keep up the tension throughout the plot...
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V for Vendetta: Studying Graphical Novels as Literature - Article by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 13-May-16 13:49
Any high school English course has a reading list: a group of books that all students must read so that they can complete the class. These are usually classics that are considered to be some of the best books ever written. 1984, Brave New World, any Shakespeare play, and many others fall into the category of so-called “high culture reading.” These books are typically old and have themes surrounding society and the human condition. It was surprising to me then, when I found, on my reading list, a graphic novel. It was the widely popular V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. Now, I don’t need to write a blog post explaining to people that this is a good book to read, as that has been said before in numerous forms, but I did want to talk about what makes a book, and specifically this graphic novel, something that is good to study. I also wanted to talk about how often society looks down on certain mediums as lesser in some way or another...
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The Gunslinger by Stephen King – Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 08-Apr-16 16:04
Although King is often known for his chilling horror stories, I believe some of his best work can be found in the fantasy genre. I am part way through this series now (the full series is called The Dark Tower), but thought I would take some time to recommend the first book. The Gunslinger is a novel like no other. It exists in a fantasy universe, but not a Tolkien cliché that many would expect from these types of tales. Instead, King has created a dead world that hints at a past glory and filled it with a wonderful cast of characters that attempt to scrape through life in a harsh landscape. I could best describe it as a fantasy-western. A world in which magic and guns exist as the tools of good and evil...
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Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel - Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 03-Nov-15 11:13
Language was at one point considered what separated us from other animals; this was until in the seventies when there were trials that indicated that chimps could in fact be taught sign language to some degree. The book Half Brother looks at a fictional version of one of these trials and all the implications it creates about ourselves and the lives of animals. We see the story revolve around Ben, a thirteen-year-old boy living with his parents, and Zan, a newborn chimp that attempts to learn American Sign Language...
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Scrawl by Mark Shulman - Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 01-Oct-15 16:31
The story of an anti-hero is one of the more difficult things a writer can do. Trying to get the reader to empathize with a character who is evil is the main problem with this type of writing. Scrawl is a book that takes this idea to a familiar setting for many people, specifically a high school. The main protagonist is an unpopular, poor boy named Tod Munn, or Pops as he is known to his friends, and he is a bully, a thief, a fighter, and a constant problem for his school. We have all seen bullies; many readers may be victims of such people. Yet with just a few chapters Shulman manages to create a character who is clearly more than he seems.
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The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean by David Almond – Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 30-Jul-15 13:44
There are some books that after finishing the last page can only be described as odd. This book is one of those. This is not to say that it is bad, in fact I quite enjoyed it, but only that it is not like anything I have read before. David Almond has created a truly unique perspective on the world, seen through the eyes of a boy as he falls from innocence. Everything from the diction of writing to the topics explored within the story; it is all unusual and meaningful.
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Black Hole Sun by David McInnis Gill - Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 30-Jul-15 13:10
Setting a book in a sci-fi world can be difficult, especially when looking at how to be consistent with the science and technology. This is even more difficult when trying to set a story on Mars, a planet we know a fair amount about. Black Hole Sun does an excellent job of this however, becoming an interesting and action packed novel without any of the problems that often plague the genre (such as suddenly having a gadget for every situation or being inconsistent with the science throughout the novel). The author does a great job, creating an amazing world and filling it with powerful, realistic characters...
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Last Message by Shane Peacock - Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 07-May-15 12:15
When I first picked up this book I must admit I was quite curious at the whole idea of it: a series of seven books that could be read in any order. My local library was carrying a number of them, so I simply chose the one that I thought would interest me the most. A quick summary of this book would be: an old man has recently died and left a series of tasks for his grandson Alex to complete in France. I found the concept of this very interesting; an exciting family legacy leading to a number of great adventures.
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The Darkest Path by Jeff Hirsch - Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 17-Feb-15 15:58
Upon first seeing this book I didn’t think it was for me at all. A dystopian novel following the story of a fifteen-year-old boy as he works his way through society. It seemed a little cliché, especially in recent years with many authors going that way after the Hunger Games craze. The “teenager in dystopia America” is much overused. I expected this to be something similar, but was gladly wrong...
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Nation by Terry Pratchett – Book Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 19-Dec-14 13:35
Terry Pratchett is one of my favourite authors, but I had never heard of this particular book. It is outside of the usual Discworld novels and one of the less fantasy-like stories that I have read from him (although it does have a splash of the magical). It can be best described as an alternate history novel, set on an earth much like ours in the 1860s. A small island known simply as “The Nation” exists in the middle of the Great South Pelagic Ocean (the Pacific Ocean of this alternate world). It centers upon a boy called Mau, who is about to become a man, but then the wave comes. It destroys all of the nation. Left is only Mau and a shipwrecked girl from another land entirely.
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The Road by Cormac McCarthy – Review by Saul, Teen Blogger

Posted on 16-Oct-14 15:17
Summary: A man and his son venture along a road in a post-apocalyptic land. This is a grim story that takes a look at the strength of human spirit in a world that has no hope or happiness.
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  • The Lie Tree
  • The way he lived
  • A drop of night
  • Thief of lies
  • Defender
  • Character, driven
  • Every young adult's break-up survival guide
  • Hidden gold
  • The heart of stone
  • The last boy and girl in the world
  • The epidemic
  • I see reality
  • Finding Hope
  • Under the Dusty Moon
  • Flawd
  • Dark energy
  • Hot pterodactyl boyfriend
  • Harmony House
  • Burning
  • See no color
  • One of us
  • A tangle of gold
  • It should have been a #GoodDay
  • Beautiful broken things
  • The radiant road
  • Speak a word for freedom
  • When we collided
  • Hit count
  • Fig
  • The beast of Cretacea
  • Essential maps for the lost
  • Queen
  • Exit, pursued by a bear
  • The Raven King
  • Breakaway
  • The forbidden orchid
  • The young adult's guide to public speaking