Fahrenheit 451 Book Review

Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 is a great book. It was published in 1953. It is written by Ray Bradbury. It is about a normal man named Guy Montag who’s a firefighter. It takes place in the future, where firemen set things on fire, rather than put them away. The world they live in is in a world full of fear and indifference. Books are illegal and often burned by firemen. One day, Montag meets a strange girl named Clarisse, who shows him the meaning of life and books. When she disappears from his life, he questions everything, including himself. Although this is a great book, keep in mind that it can be vague and there is some advanced vocabulary. Also take this with a grain of salt, that this book was published in 1953, so it will contain some old English. It does contain a LOT of figurative languages, like imagery, and metaphors. The details in this book are immense, and it is a beautifully written book. It does make a lot of allusions and references to other books, and it’s just easier to read if you know what they are referring to. The conflict in this story is individual vs. society and it does take place in the future, making it a dystopian novel. If you like dystopian fiction than you will love this book. Personally, I myself am a pretty big fan of dystopian fiction. This book can also highlight the importance or meaning of books, and it can show you what books are from another perspective. Another thing to keep in mind is that this book used to banned and it was very controversial at one point in time. It also shows the censorship of information and why it’s such a big deal. Overall, this book is great, because of how well it’s written, the lessons you can learn from it, and the fact that the book is meant for a higher level of reading.

 

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Matched by Ally Condie

Matched by Ally Condie
Book Review by Ashley Huang
Rating: 2/5

When I was only a plucky youngster in sixth grade, the new biggest bash was Matched. All my
friends talked about it, and everywhere I went I was bombarded with recommendations to read it. Fast
forward four years and here I am, sitting with a laptop about to write a book review on it.
I am disappointed. It only took a mere chapter before the thinly veiled plot unfolded itself.
Future dystopian society? Check. Totalitarian government that controls literally everything? Check.
Raging teen hormones of a 17-year old girl that yearns for the touch of forbidden love? Check.
Throughout reading this book, I had to sit back, put the book down, and massage my temples in
frustration.
I won’t spoil anything, but the main character Cassia thinks her match felt too… safe, too
normal, so she secretly ends up having a fiery and passionate affair with the mysterious dark-haired boy
with a thousand secrets. I won’t lie – as a sucker for sappy romance, some of the scenes left me wanting
more, so much more that I considered reading the sequel for a brief flicker in time.
Maybe it’s a coincidence, but I noticed a potential allegory for the Cultural Revolution in China in
the 1960s-70s. For example, while the Cultural Revolution aimed to purge capitalist and traditional
elements from Chinese society in favor of preserving Communist ideology, in the “Matched” Society,
one of the primary goals is to maintain alarmingly strict enforcements for the benefit of society as a
whole. In the old society, even the flowers were genetically modified to be better for the new society.
“She thinks the ones we have in the City in all the gardens and public spaces are too hybridized,
too far from their original selves. The oldroses took a lot of care to grow, each blossom was a triumph.
But these are hardy, showy, bred for durability.” This quote describes Cassia’s mother and her
discontent with the newroses. This uncannily resembled the Four Olds of China that were harshly
stomped out: Old things, old ideas, old customs and old habits.
In the Society, everything has changed for the intentions of health and performance, not
personalization and choice.
“All the studies show that the best age to die is eighty. It’s long enough that we can have a
complete life experience, but not so long that we feel useless… In societies before ours, they could get
terrible diseases.” In the Society, what you eat, work, and who you love is chosen for you to ensure
maximum health and performance of the people. From grey oatmeal for breakfast to an official
Matching Ceremony which selects your lifelong spouse, you might’ve been already predicting what’s to
come towards the end of this book.
Overall, I liked this book for the romance, but I still believe it’s a bit past it’s prime; there was a
time in the past when dystopian societies were the hottest thing, which leaves some books, but not all
(Hunger Games, Maze Runner) a little dusty.

Tab Book Recommendations

Here are some books our TAB members have read and loved recently. We’ve included the call number
so you can come and get them at Reston Regional Library! All summaries are taken from Novelist unless
otherwise noted.

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza, Shaun David Hutchinson (YFIC HUT)
Elena, the first scientifically confirmed virgin birth, acquires the ability to heal by touch at age sixteen,
the same year that people start disappearing in beams of light, causing her to wonder if she is bringing
about the Apocalypse.

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury – SF BRA
A totalitarian regime has ordered all books to be destroyed, but one of the book burners suddenly
realizes their merit.

The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd – FIC KID
After her "stand-in mother," a bold black woman named Rosaleen, insults the three biggest racists in
town, Lily Owens joins Rosaleen on a journey to Tiburon, South Carolina, where they are taken in by
three black, bee-keeping sisters.

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley – FIC SHE
A monster assembled by a scientist from parts of dead bodies develops a mind of his own as he learns to
loathe himself and hate his creator.

Great Expectations, Charles Dickens – FIC DIC
The orphan, Pip, and the convict, Magwitch, the beautiful Estella, and her guardian, the embittered and
vengeful Miss Havisham, the ambitious lawyer, Mr. Jaggers — all have a part to play in the mystery.

Wintersong, S. Jae-Jones – YSF JAE
After her sister is kidnapped by the Goblin King, Liesl journeys to the Underground and is faced with an
impossible decision when she finds herself captivated by the strange world and its mysterious ruler.

Anne of Green Gables and sequels, L. M. Montgomery – JFIC MON

Anne, an eleven-year- old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister
on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her.

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee – FIC LEE
Scout Finch, daughter of the town lawyer, likes to spend her summers building treehouses, swimming,
and catching lightning bugs with her big brother Jem. But one summer, when a black man is accused of
raping a white woman, Scout's carefree days come to an end. In the county courtroom, she will join her
father in a desperate battle against ignorance and prejudice.

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson

Book Review by Diana Ho

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza follows the narrative of sixteen-year-old named Elena Mendoza, a child of a virgin birth and has the power of healing people. After hearing voices from inanimate objects all her life, Elena discovered a power where she could heal people when her crush, Frankie, gets shot by a boy at Starbucks. Throughout the book, Hutchinson uses descriptive language that will keep you on the edge of your seat on every page. The story describes how Elena will soon discover the dark secret behind her magic healing powers and how she could survive in the real world. Embark on this journey with Elena, her best friend Fadil, her crush Frankie, and the inanimate objects that tell her how to save the world.

In my opinion, this book would definitely be the top of my favorite fiction books. Not only did Hutchinson include character development in the story, he also was able to write the story in the mind of a teenage bisexual girl, which was probably the most challenging element of the story. I would highly recommend reading this book– it will keep you on the edge of your seat!
apocalypse

Been There Should’ve Done that II by Suzette Tyler

Book Review by Ashley Huang

“Been There Should’ve Done That II” is a little booklet chock full of tips and tricks from college students on what they should’ve done back when they were just brand-new freshmen, wide-eyed and curious. I picked the book up at my school’s student services center, and needless to say, it’s pretty darn cool. The only problem I have is, this book was published in 2001, which possibly makes a few of the tips outdated. That’s why, while reading this book, I had to keep alert and conscious and use my OWN judgment when deciding the true usefulness of a tip. Despite this, I believe most of the advice offered in this book is quite classic and timeless, and every high school senior should be given the opportunity to read this book. As a sophomore, I found this book a little irrelevant, but in the coming years, I know it will prove itself to be very useful.

April’s Upcoming Events

Posted by Diana Ho

Welcome to the month of April! In this post, we’ll be including upcoming events for teens that will be held at the Reston Regional Library (unless otherwise stated.)

STARTING MONDAY, APRIL 2ND…

Calling All Artists:

Come bring your artwork for the library! Submissions must be 2-dimensional and the forms can be found in the Children’s Area. Ages 2-18.

MONDAY, APRIL 9TH

Get Organized! For Teens:

Join Lizzie’s Organizational Workshops to strengthen your organizational skills! This workshop can help anyone who has trouble with studying, time management, organization, and more! 6:30pm – 7:30pm.

TUESDAY, APRIL 10TH

Family History Research:

Research your family history with a library staff member using local history and genealogy resources. Adults, teen. 2:00pm – 3:30pm.

THURSDAY, APRIL 12TH

Teen Advisory Board Meeting:

Join TAB to gain leadership and volunteer experience and share your ideas about how to make the library a wonderful place for teens! Volunteer hours granted. Age 13-18. 7:00pm – 8:30pm.

SUNDAY, APRIL 15TH

Chess Club For Teens:

Learn openings, tactics, and endgame strategies. Players will be able to play against players at their strength. Age 8-16. 2:00pm – 4:00pm

MONDAY, APRIL 16TH

Get Organized! For Teens:

Join Lizzie’s Organizational Workshops to strengthen your organizational skills! This workshop can help anyone who has trouble with studying, time management, organization, and more! 6:30pm – 7:30pm.

THURSDAY, APRIL 26TH

Reston Friends Semi-Annual Book Sale:

Come and browse thousands upon thousands of great books in great condition! From the latest popular titles and classic favorites to the rare and unexpected fiction and non-fiction. The Reston Friends have something for everyone! Yes, we do restock for as long as supplies last. Book Sale open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. All Ages. 10:00am – 8:00pm.

THURSDAY, APRIL 26TH

Teen Advisory Board Meeting:

Join TAB to gain leadership and volunteer experience and share your ideas about how to make the library a wonderful place for teens! Volunteer hours granted. Age 13-18. 7:00pm – 8:30pm.

FRIDAY, APRIL 27TH

Reston Friends Semi-Annual Book Sale:

Come and browse thousands upon thousands of great books in great condition! From the latest popular titles and classic favorites to the rare and unexpected fiction and non-fiction. The Reston Friends have something for everyone! Yes, we do restock for as long as supplies last. All Ages. 10:00am – 5:00pm.

SATURDAY, APRIL 28TH

Reston Friends Semi-Annual Book Sale:

Come and browse thousands upon thousands of great books in great condition! From the latest popular titles and classic favorites to the rare and unexpected fiction and non-fiction. The Reston Friends have something for everyone! Yes, we do restock for as long as supplies last. All Ages. 10:00am – 4:00pm.

SUNDAY, APRIL 29TH

Reston Friends Semi-Annual Book Sale:

Come and browse thousands upon thousands of great books in great condition! From the latest popular titles and classic favorites to the rare and unexpected fiction and non-fiction. The Reston Friends have something for everyone! Yes, we do restock for as long as supplies last. All Ages. 1:00pm – 3:30pm.

All American Girl by Meg Cabot

Book Review by Ashley Huang

All American Girl

Rating: 3/5

All American Girl is as cliché as it gets.  High school sophomore Samantha Madison, hailing from Washington, DC, just wants to live her all-black, studded combat boot-wearing, art-obsessed life, with popular cheerleader older sister Lucy and genius geek younger sister Rebecca. But when she accidentally saves the president of the United States from an assassination attempt, she finds herself swarmed with reporters, and now everyone wants to be her friend. Worst of all? The president’s son is in love with her.

At its core, All American Girl is a romance novel. The plot centers around the quirky and realistically awkward relationship that buds between David, the president’s son, and Samantha. As far-fetched as this scenario is, I found myself rolling my eyes at some of the painfully cliché moments.

Despite this, what kept me going throughout was the juicy and colorful language used by Cabot, whom I was familiar with from The Princess Diaries series. Personally, as a teen reader, I absolutely devoured this story and enjoyed