Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tolog Reviews: The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle
by Jeanette Walls

reviewed by Camilla Homans, class of 2017

With a selfish mother who refuses to take on the responsibility of a family and a drunk father who can't seem to put any of his plans to "strike it rich" into motion, young Jeannette Walls is trapped in a world where she has to fend for herself and figure out how to make her way in life without her parent’s vices dragging her down. Through out the memoir, a reader is able to see Jeannette transform from a naïve child into a strong independent woman due to her situation in life. The loss of innocence, the betrayal she felt, the rude awakening of reality, and the frustration Jeannette withstood all make this true story utterly unbelievable and amazing. To see the journey this strong woman endured to finally make it out of the lifestyle she was born into opens a reader’s eyes to a world that is unknown to them.
I really liked this book because of the amazing story that described one girl’s experience with an unordinary family who doesn’t take care of her like they should. While reading, I felt all of the emotions that the author described in the book. Even though I was extremely frustrated and mad at times because of crucial and devastating events that took place, it all just made the progress of reading the book that much more captivating. It was truly an amazing and enjoyable process I went through reading this memoir. I believe this book introduced me to some of the troubles real people have to deal with and it made me much more aware of the world around me. It gave me a new perspective on the world and why people make the decisions they do.

You will instantly get hooked on this powerful story of beating the odds.

If you liked To Kill a Mockingbird, you'll love this book.

JRP Connections: Enslavement and Art

How have artists responded to and drawn inspiration from topics related to American slavery (or slavery in general)?  I know you've been wondering!  Well, here's one artist who has created 52 pen-and-ink and tempera drawings on rice paper, featured in his book The Middle Passage: White Ships/Black Cargo.  His name is Tom Feelings and this book is beautiful.  We happen to have it in the FSHA Library.  In fact, it's part of the JRP display, so come take a look.

Tolog Review: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green

reviewed by Sarah Montgomery, class of 2015

Such a touching story. Green uses his characters, cancer patients Augustus and Hazel, to truly depict what a teenager's life is like while exaggerating the stakes by making these characters sick. He touches on questions and concepts all teens have to face- will I be loved?, will I be remembered?, how do I make the best choices?. Green also faces the harsh reality about sickness, from the few advantages to the many disadvantages of being sick and having a sick child or even simply knowing somebody sick. Although the story does have a slightly guessable ending (two love-strucken teenagers with cancer, it is easy to assume one will die), the story has many twists and turns and "aha!" moments that will weep the reader off their feet and make them question their lives and meaning.

Recommended for those who liked My Sister's Keeper, A Walk to Remember  

Tolog Review: You Know Where to Find Me

You Know Where to Find Me
by Rachel Cohn

reviewed by Jenna Farac, class of  2017

I thought I was going to like this book a lot more than I actually did. It reminded me of Go Ask Alice because you see some result of drugs and it has the same gloomy tone. I didn't really feel like there was a climax or a plot to this book. To me it just seemed like the book was describing the main character's life and I thought it was going to be a lot more dramatic and exciting than it was for me. Overall I was not very excited to read the book once I got into it because I did not notice any exciting parts that made me want to keep reading the book. This book pretty much describes a girl's life after her cousin, who was always the "perfect" one, dies of a drug overdose. The main character is just trying to get by without her cousin, who was like a sister to her. The main character always seemed to show indifference towards everything and that made me feel indifference towards the book. It was a very dingy book. I prefer books that have more going on in them and are not just a description of day-to-day life. I think the book would have been made better if more major events happened in it and it was more dramatic. Also I think it would have been better if the main character showed more emotion because she didn’t really seem to care about anything and that made the book boring to read.

If you liked Go Ask Alice, you'll love this book!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tolog Review: Lock and Key

Lock and Key
by Sarah Dessen

reviewed by Miranda Spears, class of 2015

The book, Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen, is one of m
y new favorite books. This story follows a teenage girl, Ruby, and her complicated relationships with family/friends/boyfriend life as she is abandoned by her mother and forced to live with her older sister, who she hasn't seen or connected with ( or so she thought) in years. After being abandoned by her mom, Ruby lives by her self for several months until the landlords realize what is happening. She is then taking in by social services, and put to live with her older sister Cora, and her loving husband Jamie. Ruby prefers to be alone, and has always struggled with her families problems. At first things are awkward, as Ruby has always supported her mothers alcoholic, teenage-like behavior, while Cora does not want a single thing to do with their mom. Ruby is put into a private, classy high school where she feels she can not connect with anyone. She feels like nothing is in order, she goes throw moments when she returns back to drugs and alcohol and her old friends, who have very negative impacts on her BUT in the end, she ends up falling in the love with the super cute, preppy, intelligent, athletic neighbor Nate ( who is also in her grade at school) and makes some sincere relationships with people she did not think she would. Throughout this novel Ruby struggles with her past, and learns to open up and trust people, after being "alone:, and having to act like parent for her own mother for almost 16/17 years.

If you like romance/individual soul searching/a little mystery novels, with a main female character who is very strong,independent, and does not like to be told what to do from other people, then you will enjoy this book. Sarah Dessen is a great author, who always had something new and unexpected happening throughout the novel, which is something that kept me interested. Some parts are relatable, while others are interesting to view from someone else's' perspective.

Tolog Review: Delirium

by Lauren Oliver

reviewed by Sarah Vega, class of 2015

Delirium is a novel that definitely made me feel a multitude of emotions in the course of reading it. At times, it tugged at my heartstrings, and at other times it left me utterly breathless. Many scenes in the novel are so captivating and suspenseful that I found myself reading it for hours! Delirium takes place in a dystopian society through the eyes of Lena, a normal girl who lives in a loveless place. In this alternate present, love is considered a disease that causes impaired reason and poses a threat to society. A cure was established to protect United States citizens from the debilitating effects of the illness. At eighteen years old, citizens legally must undergo the “cure” that will result in the them being unable to love anyone ever again, whether it may be a partner, friend, or family. Lena anxiously counts down the days until her procedure, anticipating the moment she can join the other "cureds" with excitement. This excitement quickly fades as Lena herself falls victim to the "disease", becoming hopelessly entangled in a forbidden romance. When she realizes the goodness of love, Lena refuses to let it be taken away from her.

I thought it was brilliant how Oliver created an emotionless, and loveless community in which parents are unable to show compassion towards their children and married couples do not show affection towards one another. This dystopian world reveals a powerful message: life is not worth living without love and compassion. I was able to almost feel the frustration of Lena because of the rich language and imagery. Every scene was captured perfectly, and I was able to thoroughly understand the conflicting emotions she felt.

Delirium is a wonderfully emotional, heartbreaking love story set in a dystopian society. If you’ve not yet read dystopian themed books, I’d suggest that reading Delirium is a very good start. And if you are a fan of dystopian stories such as The Hunger Games and Matched, you will enjoy this book!

Tolog Review: Fallen

by Lauren Kate

reviewed by Kayla Montgomery, class of 2015

First, this book started out really slow and I began to lose interest. Often times throughout the novel the plot became extremely confusing and I lost track of what was going on. Several times in the novel a great conflict would happen and the characters would act like there was nothing wrong. Additionally, there were several things in the plot that were confusing and at the end of the novel they were left unexplained. What was interesting to me was the romance aspect of the novel. In the middle of the story I was suddenly captured into this forbidden romance and I could not stop reading. I became entranced with the relationship between Luce and Daniel and began rooting for them to be together. Also, what was interesting was when the book turned into a fantasy, and I was surprised by the supernatural things happening in a seemingly normal boarding school. If you like the House of Night Series by P.C and Kristen Cast, or the Twilight Series then you will love this book. Additionally, if you like fantasy novels with a hint of romance then you will also really enjoy reading this book.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tolog Reviews: Where'd You Go Bernadette?

Where'd You Go Bernadette?
by Maria Semple
reviewed by Jessica Mijares, class of 2015

Set in gloomy Seattle the novel begins with fifteen-year-old Bee begging her parents to go to Antarctica for Christmas break. Her parents agree and as her overly anxious agoraphobic mother Bernadette starts preparing for the trip she suddenly disappears a few days before they are supposed to leave. Bee doesn’t want to give up on her mother’s disappearance so she tracks down any information or secrets she can find about her mother. She goes through private emails, FBI reports, letters from a physiatrist, an emergency-room bill, and a cruise ship schedule to find any messages or clues her mother left behind. She starts making a book about all the information she collects. Most of the perspective of the book is told by different characters through letters and emails so readers can see what Bee is reading and develop their own idea about where her mother went. Bee’s story starts a few months before her mother took leave. The characters and the situations they end up in are what make the book not only funny but authentic. The ridiculous neighbors and the surprising disasters they create make for an interesting read. The book starts off slow, but after a few chapters the book becomes a definite page-turner. The author, Maria Semple, who wrote for shows Arrested Development and Ellen, crafts a quirky and hilarious novel with crazy characters and twists and turns that eventually show readers why and where Bernadette went. 

Tolog Review: Eve

by Anna Carey
reviewed by Lauren Garcia, class of 2015

I really enjoyed reading this book because it left me guessing what was going to happen next and question the safety of the main character Eve. As Eve travels on her journey to the city of Califa she constantly is faced with danger. This book is not only exciting and keeps you thinking, but also will keep you on the edge of your seat because just when you think everything is going great, the author Anna Carry sends a curve ball headed your way. While having some elements of the story can be similar to those of The Hunger Games series, this story seems to warn us that history can always repeat its self. Over all i loved this book and can't wait to read the sequel. If you liked The Hunger Games books, you'll love this book! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tolog Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky
reviewed by Natalie Majich, class of 2017

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a wonderful book for any high school student because in some way or another we can relate to something that Charlie, the main character, says. . Charlie is in high school but does not really know what he is doing there and feels sort of lost because he cant find anyone who he wants to be friends with and does not know where he belongs which I know is a problem for alot of people in high school. There were more than a couple occasions where in reading this book I felt really uncomfortable because some of the topics Charlie talks about do not really pertain to girls but nevertheless it was important that the author included these topics because they helped develop the character of Charlie. Chbosky does a great job in keeping the reader surprised and not knowing what to expect. Charlie is as innocent, sweet and respectful as they get thus the basis of his appeal. Reading all of his responses and reactions to typical high school situations made this book all the more interesting because all of us pretends to know something just to look more mature when in reality majority of us are all lost together. Charlie shows that it is okay to not know every little detail about growing up. This book is a more modern tale of growing up that I believe will appeal to almost everyone in high school. I highly recommend it! If you enjoy a mixture of coming of age and romance than you will love this book!

Tolog Review: Soul Surfer

Soul Surfer
by Bethany Hamilton
reviewed by Jennifer Fix, class of 2017

I really enjoyed reading this book because I personally love reading other people's autobiographies just to see their perspective on life. In this case, a girl named Bethany Hamilton, was a professional surfer who got her arm bitten off by a shark. I would be terrified, but she explained how she didn't freak out as much as most people thought she did. It is very interesting to read her perspective on it, especially when so many people all over the world want to know how she handled it all. She talked a lot about how she did handle it, and while reading it I tried to imagine what it would be like in her shoes. If what I loved doing most was jeopardized by something that would never be able to make me do it again, I would be heartbreaking for me. But most of all, this book was incredibly inspirational and inspiring to me. Bethany explained how she would never let something like this stop her from doing what she loved most. She personally inspired me to never give up on anything, even if something or someone is trying to stop me. She also talked about her religion and her huge faith in God, which really speaks to me and helps me relate to my own faith in God as well. This book really drew my attention and made not want to stop reading. After reading this, I would actually really like to meet this girl someday and hear it all again from her personally. If you like or liked reading any biographies or autobiographies in the past, you will definitely love this book! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tolog Review: Uglies

by Scott Westerfeld
reviewed by Chastity Sun, class of 2015

The Uglies is about a girl who is going to turn sixteen and she was able to change from being ugly to pretty. Tally is a very smart and mature girl that cares about her friend a lot. She really want to keep the promise with Perris but seem like Shay had a bigger influence on her, since she is very open minded and free thinking. The relationship between Shay and Tally make me realize the sisterhood that they both share. Although they both know each other after the lose of their original “best friend”, but the way they both get to know each other in a short amount of time, and Shay is still willing to tell Tally her biggest secret about the Smoke, show that friendship is just something that you need to find the right person to be friend with, and time doesn’t really matter. Moreover, this book reveals the idea of being ugly and pretty. It is just a operation for a person to become pretty, but there is no different between the pretties, they are all pretty and nothing unique. I think Shay friends want to go to the Smoke because it is where they can be who they are, with out the fake appearance that people once try to get with off. And I admire Tally courage of going to the Smoke alone, with the trust that she is going to arrive there just by Shay code. This book demonstrates the idea of appreciates who you are, rather than your appearance because the thing that identify your personality is your action, but not how you look. If you liked reading a bit of science fiction with romance and adventure books, you'll like this book.
I think people who like to read The host of the twilight series will like this book. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Tolog Reviews: Little Bee

Little Bee
by Chris Cleave
reviewed by Hannah Scott, class of 2017

When Little Bee is finally released from the horrible detention center in London, England after seeking asylum from her home country, Nigeria, which is at war over oil. She reaches out to the only people she knows, whom she met on a fateful day on a Nigerian beach. Upon arriving at their home, she is thrown into the scandalous and insecure world of Sarah O'Rourke. Chris Cleave expertly goes back in time to describe Little Bee’s heart-warming story and create a moving tale by peeling it back layer by layer. Little Bee is an emotional roller coaster of a book about love, pain, and moving on that challenges the reader’s idea of what is wrong and what is right. Little Bee is definitely one of my favorite books, despite its open-ended ending. If you liked The Help, you'll love this book! 

Tolog Reviews: The Color Purple

The Color Purple
by Alice Walker
reviewed by Taylor Bauman

The Color Purple was a very powerful and emotional story. Celie (the main character) is a poor black women who provides us with a story describing 20 years of her life through letters. It begins when she is 14 years old. She is abused and raped by her father. She does not want her sister to deal with the same struggles, so tries to protect her. She is married to "mister" whom is an awful man that makes her life awful. Celie becomes angry when she finds out that her abusive husband has been keeping her sisters letter to her from her this whole time. This story is a black women's struggle to gain empowerment and freedom. If you are interested in books on women equality, I highly recommend this book. Also, if you are interested in women's fight for freedom this is a good choice. It is an inspiring novel that brings emotions out that you at times didn't know you had. It was an amazingly strong book that I recommend to all Fsha students and faculty.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sci-Fi characters who survived their planets’ destruction

Planets destroyed
Brought to you by

Tolog Reviews: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green
reviewed by Dominika Wilczek, class of 2015

The Fault in Our Stars is a heartbreaker. It's one of the greatest teen books I have ever read. Everything that you didn't expect was somehow woven in. It was a page-turner, in the sense that although it wasn't always action-packed, you always wanted to know what was going to happen next. It's the best and the worst love story that one could come up with. I cried the last 40 pages of the book. It's a book that you will love and you will hate. It will instill hundreds of emotions that you didn't even know were possible. It's one of those books that you can read over and over again for the rest of your life and never get sick of. It has twists and turns, and it will never bore you. The novel is amazingly devastating; in the sense that its impact is so great, but the result makes you sob for an hour after you’re done. It will make you question your life, and how you live it. It will make you rethink what you know, and all the relationships that you have. You will gain a deeper understand of what it is like to be someone that’s passing and in love with another person that’s passing. The least to say, it is one of my favorite teen-novel books, and I highly recommend it for anyone. No matter how hard you’re crying or how hard you’re laughing, you will always turn the page and want to learn what happens next, until you reach the end, and you have no clue what to do with yourself. 

Tolog Reviews: The Lonely Hearts Club

The Lonely Hearts Club
by Elizabeth Aulberg
reviewed by Danielle Mota, class of 2015

This book is about a girl, Penny, who falls in love with a long time friend but later realizes that, while their relationship isn't 'labeled' he cheats on her with another girl in her own home when he comes to visit. She later starts a club called 'The Lonely Hearts Club' which consists of a bunch of girls from her high school saying they'll never date a guy while in high school again.

Tolog Review: A Dog's Purpose

A Dog's Purpose
by W. Bruce Cameron

reviewed by Katherine Gulick, class of 2017

"A Dog's Purpose" is a heartwarming story that will keep you turning pages and smiling through your tears. Bruce Cameron takes on a totally new perspective in this unique tale about a dog searching for his purpose in the human world. Readers join Bailey, a loving dog who has lived many lives in search of finding his meaning in life. From being a naïve stray mutt, to a knowledgeable older rescue dog, Bailey is intent on discovering why he has been reborn and where he can find his old owner, a boy named Ethan. Time elapses quickly over the course of this book, and provokes thought as to how we can make a difference in our short time here on Earth. Bailey often ponders this question, as he meanders through his intriguing journey of life. So, in the end, will Bailey ever be reunited with Ethan? And how will Bailey ever truly fulfill his purpose? I highly recommend reading "A Dog's Purpose" to find out! If you are in Animal Club, or are just an animal lover in general , you will especially love reading this so-called 'Novel for Humans'. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tolog Reviews: Paper Towns

Paper Towns
by John Green
reviewed by Camille Trevor, class of 2015

Paper Towns, by the prestigious author John Green, combines mystery, humor, and a hint of romance all into one! Green introduces the protagonist Quentin Jacobsen, or as he is familiarly called, “Q.” Q is a regular teenager from Florida in his senior year of high school. Everything in his life had been mundane until that night. At nearly midnight, an old friend of Q’s, Margo Spiegelman, spontaneously shows up at his window. She demands him to go on an adventure with her and reassures him that they will be done before school the next day. He reluctantly accepts. This is the beginning of their grand, adventurous night. Margo carries a list of procedures to complete before sunrise. Some of their escapades include hopping through people’s windows to drop a smelly fish, removing one eyebrow using hair-removal cream, and breaking into Sea World. Most of these maneuvers are for revenge on Margo's former friends and ex-boyfriend before senior year is over. The rest of the night includes the same spontaneous types of experiences that leave Q entranced by Margo. After a full all-nighter spent with Margo, Q is eager to start reconnecting with her again in and outside of school. The next day, however, Margo is said to have ran away and gone missing. Nothing serious is thought about this until few days pass with no information about her. Q is completely dumbfounded and puzzled as to where she could have gone, why she left right before graduation, when she left exactly, etc. After discovering small hints that appear to be for Q specifically, he makes it his goal to find and retrieve Margo. As he accumulates more and more clues, he is led to a deeper understanding of who Margo really is. This case consumes his mind to the point where he cannot focus on school, graduation, or family. He is determined to unravel the mystery that is Margo Spiegelman and goes to drastic measures in order to catch a glimpse of her once again. If you like thrilling journeys and mysteries, you'll love this book! Also, if you are a fan of any of Green's other books, you'll love this book! 

Tolog Reviews: Pigs in Heaven

Pigs in Heaven 
by Barbara Kingsolver
reviewed by Alexandra Tighe, class of 2017

Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver is the sequel to The Bean Trees. It follows the story of Turtle and Taylor but this time Taylor's mother plays a larger role. At the end of The Bean Trees there are still lots of questions about the fate of the Greer ladies. Pigs in Heaven answers all of these questions in a clever way with lots of twists and turns. The ending is nothing you ever expected! New characters are introduced and their individual stories add depth and complexity to the story. I enjoyed reading this book and I thought it was a great way to tie in to summer reading. If you liked The Bean Trees, you'll love this book!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Tolog Recommendations: The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green

reviewed by Amy Kim
class of 2017

The truth about cancer is told and felt in this book, and the reactions to what happens if your loved one passes away is felt by the audience and the characters. It is such a sweet and passionate story. This book is realistic and modern.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tolog Recommendations: Legend and Prodigy

both books reviewed by Amy Kim
class of 2017

by Marie Lu
Romance, Action, Dystopian

I have met the author and talked with her about this book. It is a wonderful book that reflects about our government and other governments that are corrupt. This book has a war happening, but it is a war that is necessary for a better future.

by Marie Lu
Romance, Action, Dystopian

This book is the second book of Legend. The war is still going on, but Day has been betrayed and isn't sure whose side he is supposed to take. Day is thinking about sacrificing himself for the ones he love-his brother, June, and Tess. Whose side does he take? Who wins? What choices will he make? I'm sure your asking yourself who the heck is Day, June, and Tess?.. Well, If you want to know... READ THE BOOK!!!

for fans of Starters by Lissa Price
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Tolog Recommendations: Inferior

by Peadar O Guilin
Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance

review by Amy Kim
class of 2017

This book is about sacrifices and the betrayal for survival. There is a war coming and they have to survive. The betrayal of brothers is inevitable. They fight for one woman. Who would get the girl? Who would be the hero? Who wins? *Read the book to find out*

Friday, October 11, 2013

Tolog Recommendations

Veronica Roth
science fiction, romance

reviewed by Amy Kim
class of 2017

Insurgent is the next book of the Divergent Trilogy. There is more action, romance, and problems leading to the big finale. Reading this whole series is like watching a movie. This series is action-packed like the movie Avengers. I love the characters-especially Four. It is a great book that has war, sacrifices, and the CHOICES you have to make.
What would you choose?

for fans of: Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
Host by Stephanie Meyer

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Tolog Recommendations: Divergent

Veronica Roth
science fiction, romance

reviewed by Amy Kim
class of 2017

I read this book the first day it came out and, MY GOSH, it was the best book I've ever read. It has similar themes to the Hunger Games, but it is a different book. Just the dystopian theme is the same. There is romance, action, and betrayal. And you can only make ONE CHOICE...
What would you choose?

for fans of: Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
Host by Stephanie Meyer

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tolog Recommendations: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green

reviewed by Sarah Lund
class of 2014

The Fault in Our Stars is an amazing book. It brings you to tears but also makes you laugh. It touches your heart and it is an thrill to read. Every time i see it lying around my room, I will pick it up and start reading from anywhere in the book and I cant put it down until I have finished reading.If you like to breathe then you will like this book. If you like anything you will like this book. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tolog Recommendation: Trafficked

by Kim Purcell
realistic fiction

reviewed by Emily Paszkiewicz
class of 2017

Trafficked' is a sad, eye-opening book about a girl from Russia who comes to America to work as a nanny for a Russian- American family. The girl is not being paid, not allowed to leave the house and her rights are otherwise violated. It makes you realize that human trafficking is a true, real problem, and that it happens in the U.S. not only overseas. Anyone in the Amnesty Club should read this book because it directly relates to this year's theme!

Tolog Recommendations: Sofi Mendoza's Guide to Getting Lost in Mexico

Sofi Mendoza's Guide to Getting Lost in Mexico

by Malin Alegria

reviewed by Emily Johnson
class of 2017

Sofi Mendoza was born in Mexico but is a completely California girl. She has never been on the other side of the border until one day she decides to lie to her over protective parents and crosses the border with a few friends. To Sofi's horror, as they try to pass the border back to America she learns her green card is invalid and cannot leave with her friends. She has not met any of the family that lives there and will have to learn how to survive in a world completely different from the one she is used to.

Tolog Recommendations: Animal Farm

Animal Farm
by George Orwell
Literary Fiction, Allegory

reviewed by Kari Savoie
class of 2017

Animal Farm by George Orwell was a phenomenal book that I will always think about as one of the best novels that I have ever read. From the first page of this short but sweet novella, I was immediately captivated by the chilling plot that is bursting from the seams with creativity. For a book of only 141 pages, Orwell still manages to pack a punch into the messages and themes of Soviet communism, rank, and the power of language, which still have meaning and intense power today.
The Manor Farm, run by the dictator Jones, was taken over by the belligerent animals working on it during an event that was referred throughout the entire book as the “Rebellion.” Organized by the boar Old Major, the Rebellion causes Jones to flee the property and instills principles of “Animalism” and the “Seven Commandments Of Animals” into the horses, cows, sheep, pigs, and all of the animals that were now free on newly named Animal Farm. Orwell masterfully weaves ideals of Soviet communism into this extraordinary allegory of the Russian Revolution. From reappearances of humans on the farm to battles, Animal Farm keeps its readers hooked to the unpredictable plot by juxtaposing human behaviors with those of animals. Things seem to be running very smoothly on the farm after the Rebellion because the animals are happily working long hours, receiving larger rations of food, and an electric windmill is being constructed to remove a good amount of manual labor. Everything begins to tumble downhill as the “comrades” begin to violate their own rules (wearing clothes, sleeping in a bed), become dictators themselves, and turn Animal Farm into the horrible, tyranny-filled, place that it once was. Animals become ranked once again and some animals even attempt to leave to a few of the neighboring farms. Will the power of language and tyranny take over the farm or can the animals put everything into perspective and maintain hold of Animal Farm? If you liked Night, you'll love this book! I have this opinion because like Orwell, Wiesel manages to convey some of the most powerful images that I have ever read in a book in only about one hundred pages in his Holocaust memoir.

Tolog Recommendations: The Education of Hailey Kendrick

The Education of Hailey Kendrick
by Eileen Cook
General Fiction, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller, Romance, Humor

reviewed by Christine Darling
class of 2017

This book was an awesome read. It contained a balanced amount of humor, romance, and suspense. This book takes you through the life of Hailey Kendrick, a girl who gets great grades, has the perfect boyfriend, good friends, and does whatever she's told. But, one night, she breaks a huge rule with a peculiar partner in crime. Not only does she get busted, but she takes the blame for both of them. Hailey's whole life falls apart and she loses her perfect reputation in just one day. Now she has to deal with the consequences, and they aren't pretty. If you liked Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood, you'll love this book!

Tolog Recommendations: Winter's Bone

Winter's Bone
by Daniel Woodrell

reviewed by Sarah Peterson
class of 2017

Winter’s Bone was an exciting book about a sixteen year old girl whose father had left her her mother and her two younger brothers. Her mother is ill and her two young brothers are barely ten, so she took on the responsibility of taking care of her family. Ree finds out that her father trial is coming up and she has to find him in a week dead or alive. This book is not my favorite, but what I love was how strong of a female character Ree was. Over the past few years, I have read mainly books with strong female characters because it gives me inspiration, and when I read a book I like to picture myself in the place of one of the characters and imagine if I was them. While reading this book, I could imagine myself in Ree's place. Besides Ree in the book, the book also showed me the hardships and reality that some people have to live in. This book is fiction, but I felt it could have taken on the story of someone who is real. Winter’s Bone was a good book and I would recommend it to any of my classmates at FSHA. If you liked realistic fiction with all lot of excitement and drama, you'll love this book!

Tolog Recommendations: Ruthless

a Pretty Little Liars book
by Sara Shepard
mystery, suspense, romance, humor

reviewed by Christina Campbell
class of 2017

Ruthless by Sara Shepard is the newest addition to the Pretty Little Liars series. It follows Hannah, Aria, Spencer, and Emily after a tragic mishap in Jamaica. In this book, Aria relationship with Ezra is back. Emily makes a new friend who turns out to have a bad side. Hanna has a relationship that could lead to awful things for her dads campaign. Also, Spencer has a new friend back in town that she never wanted to see again. This book is full of suspense and plot twist that will keep you wanting more. The writer uses many details to create a realistic setting. The characters are very three dimensional and interesting. You have a vivid sense that you are in the book. Many of the same old tricks and plots that we love are still in the story as well as new characters and new situations (that create new and exciting drama for the main characters) that are equally as enjoyable. The main plot that is seen through the book is the Jamaica trip and who is A (this is the main focus in the book for the four girls: Hannah, Spencer, Aria, and Emily). The book is a fun read and very entertaining. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good suspense thriller. Hopefully, the sequel will come soon and I can enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the first. Be careful though cause once you start its hard to put down! I hope anyone who read the book enjoys Ruthless as much as me! 

Tolog Recommendations: Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
by Gabrielle Zevin

reviewed by Sarah Montgomery
class of 2017

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac is a story about fictional character Naomi, a junior in high school who has an accident that causes her the loss of her four most recent years. Naomi forgets all about her boyfriend, best friend, parents' divorce, and much more. Throughout the story, Naomi tries to recollect her life and realize who she really is. Some of the things Naomi does are confusing and unexplainable, making the reader question Naomi in entirety. Her story makes the reader wonder if they would make the same choices. The ending is not conclusive to the story at all and does not finish Naomi's story well.

recommended for readers who enjoyed The Vow and Wait for Me

Tolog Recommendations: A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

A Walk to Remember
by Nicholas Sparks

reviewed by Camille Trevor
class of 2015

This book challenges the power of love between narrator Landon and Jamie Sullivan. They both come from completely different social groups which gives a sort of Romeo and Juliet feel. Jamie is an innocent girl who reads the Bible and helps out in orphanages in her spare time. Landon, on the other hand, spends time with friends who are bad influences and don't do much. They've known each other for quite some time but rarely say anything to each other. It isn't until Landon joins Theater class when they actually interact, leading to their continuous encounters in and outside of school. As they spend some time together, she urges him to join the school play, walk her home, and help her at the orphanage. At first, he is very reluctant and embarrassed to be seen with Jamie but as time passes, Landon grows subtle feelings for her. He develops a small attachment to her which leads to Landon collecting money for the orphanages on his own and spending minimal time with his old friends. He is discovering his true self and enjoys being in Jamie's company. At this point, he shows his affection more prominently and they both share the same feelings for each other. Landon spends a good portion of the book reflecting on his emotions and feelings towards Jamie, which shows a lot about his character, aside from the mask he puts on around social crowds. This is when Landon discovers all of Jamie's secrets and leaves him wanting more.If you like sappy romance movies, you'll love this book!

Tolog Recommendations: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

by Marissa Meyer
science fiction, mystery/thriller, romance

reviewed by Amy Kim
class of 2017

This book may have the first part of Cinderella in it, but it is totally different. It totally blew my away. The story is slow in the beginning, but it has action. It has so many sharp turns that when I finally turned the corner, there was this huge surprise. Unexpected things happen in this book and people who like romance will love it.