Thursday, April 10, 2014

Your Book Reviews

We encourage our teen readers to submit your book reviews.

We are pleased to present two book reviews from Ms. Elliana Penwell.
You will find her taste superb and her comments quite interesting.

Book Review: Grace Unplugged by Melody Carlson

About Grace Unplugged: Grace Trey is an eighteen-year-old singer as passionate about her Christian faith as she is her phenomenal, God-given musical talent. Both traits come from her father, one-hit wonder Johnny Tray who found Jesus after losing his chart success two decades ago.

When Grace encounters her own music break of a lifetime, the sudden dive into the "real world" puts her deeper beliefs to the test. Pop superstardom is just within reach but appears to require some spiritual compromise. Will Grace reject her faith, or will she own it?

Grace Unplugged is based on the motion picture of the same name starring AJ Michalka and Kevin Pollak.

My Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars

My Opinion: I wasn’t sure what to expect of this book. My mom handed it to me and told me it was good and usually, quite honestly, our tastes in books and otherwise are very different. Which is why I was surprised when I loved it.

This is a Christian inspirational book based on the movie under the same title. The beginning was a bit slow (why I only gave it 4 ½ stars instead of 5,) but after that it got right into things. It was exciting and fast-paced, but not so fast that you get lost.

Grace is a usual teen, but with an amazing faith in God and an amazing musical talent. She is part of a music group that plays in her church, of which her dad runs. She tends to go her own way with the music, which frequently results in her getting in trouble.

I won’t go into too much more detail, so that if you read the book it won’t be spoiled for you.  But this book is fantastic; though I’d say the book is geared to more mature almost teens/teens because of scene with some underage drinking and other adult issues.

As Grace’s life goes into a roller coaster, I found myself feeling like I just couldn’t put it down. I stayed up late to finish this book and I am glad I did- it was a fantastic read! It feels very real life, very true to what could very well happen. It had family and faith aspects, without being boring, which is awesome.

I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone!

Elliana Penwell, signing off!

Book Review: ‘Smile’ by Raina Telgemeier

About Smile:
From sixth grade through tenth, Raina copes with a variety of dental problems that affect her appearance and how she feels about herself.

My Rating:
3 ½ out of 5 stars.

My Opinion:

Okay, I’m going to be perfectly honest; I’d never read any of Raina Telgemeier’s work before this book. I originally thought it was a book with ‘real’ writing; simply just pages of words. But when I opened it up, I realized it was a graphic novel. I like graphic novels, so I did like that fact. It had a nice drawing style, and the first couple pages did grab me and pull me into the world of Raina (the main character).

Telgemeier has a nice style, and I liked the plot. It was attention grabbing, but not overbearing, but it was also believable. Raina fell on the ground near the time of her Girl Scout’s meeting; and it messed her teeth up, resulting in several long years of dental work.

About midway through the book, I was unsure if I wanted to continue reading it. There were a few semi-objectionable topics, in my opinion, in the book: such as: boys/crushes, bullying, and sibling rivalry. I decided to keep reading it, though, and I’m glad I did- it was quite enjoyable, even if there were some things I didn’t like.

There was no total conclusion to the book. It had sort of an open ending, if you catch my drift. (Spoiler warnings) Raina ended up getting new friends and learning that her teeth didn’t change whom she was, and that she was still a good girl to hang out with.

Raina dealt with the things a typical almost teen/teenager deals with; the ‘cool factor’, friend troubles, puberty, and feeling half grown up and half like a child. One problem I had with this book is some of the characters were sort of shallow; they didn’t have any real depth to their personalities.

Otherwise, though, I would recommend this book to kids around 11/12 years old and up.

Elliana Penwell, signing off!