The Books of Magic -Book review

By Ashley Huang

51w7qi1mkcl-_sx343_bo1204203200_Are you tired of reading Harry Potter for the umpteenth time? Craving a new story of another young British boy who discovers he possesses magic power? Look no further! In The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman, 12-year old Timothy Hunter meets a mysterious man who takes Tim on a journey through the past, present and future. Through this journey, Tim learns that he is destined to be a powerful lord in the realm of magic with potent and forceful powers. My most favorite part of the book, however, is the art style. Which each part of the graphic novel, the art style changes dramatically, which plays well with the flow of the story. From splotches of watercolor paint to outlined, whimsical and comical characters, this graphic novel has nearly every type of art style to choose from. If you’re the kind to stare at displays at an art museum for hours on end, I recommend you read this novel!


Mosquitoland -Book review

By Ashley Huang

16-year old Mim Malonedownload.jpg has gone through a lot in her life. She’s blind in one eye from looking into a solar eclipse, she vomits uncontrollably due to a “misplaced epiglottis,” her parents are divorced, and she has an unclear psychiatric diagnosis, according to her therapist. Could it get any worse?

When Mim hears that her mother is sick, she runs away from her father and stepmother’s house to make an epic journey from Mississippi to Cleveland, where her mother is. Through the journey, Mim survives an exploding bus, befriends a sweet old lady, and feasts on cans of ham. It’s not until she meets a homeless boy with Down Syndrome and a handsome college dropout named Beck, when Mim realizes the power of love and loyalty which will ultimately spur her on to finish her journey.

The Plain Janes -Book Review

By Ashley Huang

51ytawntclGraphic novel lovers, unite! The Plain Janes is a quick read which took me about an hour to finish. Short, sweet, and simple. Jane is forced to move from the city to the suburbs, which turns her universe upside down. Everything she’s ever known – gone. What group will she fit in? The popular girls? The jocks? The nerds? Turns out, Jane finds herself surrounded by the “rejects.” Three other Janes, each with their own unique personality that makes them stick out. Main Jane befriends and convinces the Janes to team up and, and together they begin to express their feelings through art. The Jane tribe begins to “attack” the neighborhood with sculptures, garden plant creations and positive notes. Throughout the journey, the tribe meets a shy guy, a popular girl with a soft side, and the only gay student at school. While the characters were diverse, accepting, and celebrated differences, I found the plot to be generic, and it barely any character development. Every piece of the plot happened before I realized it, which meant to me that nothing actually contributed to the big idea of the book – there was no building up of tension. But, in a quick read like The Plain Janes, the visuals of the graphic novel were most appealing, and I really love the incredibly diverse characters in the story. If you’re in middle-school and you want to find something “finishable” in a day because longer novels take too much commitment, The Plain Janes would be a great read!

Who Run the World?

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Last Saturday, thousands of supporters for the Women’s March took to the streets of DC and countless cities around the world. In the spirit of girl power and promoting female role models, this is a list of books featuring strong, dynamic, creative, and interesting women who are the deciders of their own destiny.

  1. Coraline by Neil Gaiman

This darkly whimsical fantasy, akin to Alice in Wonderland, follows an eccentric girl looking for adventure. Unfortunately for Coraline, she finds it in an upside down world wrought with monsters, disguised as her “Other Parents”. Her story mounts as she finds the inner strength to sav
e her real parents and herself from the clutches of the sinister button-eyed Other Mother. Coraline is a must-read for any aspiring adventurer.

      2. The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner

A coming-of-age novel for the modern girl: artistic, reckless, progressive. Reno submerges herself in the 1970’s New York City art scene by creating with her favorite medium, her speeding motorcycle. However, when she relocates to Italy, Reno joins a politically radical movement and demonstrates her desire to turn her own life into art. This novel shows how every girl
is an anarchist “flamethrower” in their own way.

3. The Gallagher Girls Series by Ally Carter

This series of novels, starting with I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have To Kill You, is mainly set in the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, which is actually an all-girls spy school. Throughout these hilarious and fast-paced novels, you will find yourself on the edge of your seat, anxious to know what bad guy lurks around the corner.


By Aaryaman Akhouri

In wake of the upcoming movie adaptation, I decided I would review Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. This book has a slight relation to the Harry Potter series, which is one of my favorite book series of all time. The book is written by the author of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling, but it’s written under the pseudonym, “Newt Scamander”.  The book does not tell any type of story, but instead it describes the engaging animals from J.K. Rowling’s magical world.

This book is undeniably made for diehard fans of Harry Potter and it’s a very good book, but what about its flaws? J.K. Rowling is an amazing author that has the ability to know how to write interesting characters and great story lines. That’s where this book stumbles. Earlier, I wrote that this book has no story and that it’s more of an informative book. Long story short, this book has no interesting characters, however, I consider that a very minor flaw because it makes up with letting the reader know more about fascinating and magical creatures from the Harry Potter world.

The book also has writing scribbled onto some pages, in order to make an illusion that Harry and Ron Weasley are writing note, which can be distracting. The book can also be slightly boring if you are not familiar with the world of Harry Potter. However, even with these flaws, the book is very good and I would give it an 8.4/10. I am very excited to see how J.K. Rowling and David Yates adapt this story to the big screen.

The Amazing Book is Not on Fire

In 2015, British YouTubers Dan Howell and Phil Lester released their first book The Amazing Book is Not on Fire. The book title originates from Dan and Phil’s internet names: danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil. Arranged in no particular order, The Amazing Book is Not on Fire is a collection of selfies, quizzes, comics and stories. Damazingnotfirean and Phil talk about college life, their childhood, and even about the time they met One Direction. The Amazing Book is Not on Fire also includes two “fanfictions” written by Dan and Phil themselves.

The beginning starts with a candid, humorous argument between Dan and Phil while they announce who they dedicate the book to. One quote by Phil goes, “We’re already arguing and the book hasn’t even started yet… just dedicate it to something and we can get on with the book.”

The Amazing Book is Not on Fire also features advice to aspiring YouTubers. They include tips on how to introduce yourself in a video, what equipment/background props to use, and even how to pick the perfect YouTube username!

Any teen who spends their weekends watching Dan and Phil must read this book. I really appreciate the numerous inside-jokes only a Dan and Phil fan will understand. The Amazing Book is Not on Fire is the “behind-the- scenes” of Dan and Phil and it will make you appreciate how far the YouTubers have come since their beginning in 2006.


Eleanor and Park (Reading Recommendation)

download (1)If you can never find an interesting book, this is for you. This book was hard not to read , I had to force myself at Three in the morning to go back to sleep. If you’re waiting for Pokemon Go servers to get back online or if you still haven’t started your summer reading assignment this is the book for you.

I haven’t finished the book but I know an easter egg when I see one or in this case read one. [SPOILERS] In class, the couple discusses Romeo and Juliet as a nod to how Eleanor can’t have her stepfather knowing about Park.

This book is possibly one of the best books I’ve read this year, and I’m willing to bet it might get a movie.