Book Review: The Bridge by Jane Higgins

The Bridge - Jane Higgins





Nik is positive that his future is secure- after high school, he will be recruited for the Internal Security and Intelligence services and will do his part in the war to keep the hostiles on the other side of the bridges from overtaking the city side. But when his school is bombed, and his friend’s young brother is kidnapped, Nik will embark on a journey that will open his eyes to the truth about the war — and himself. 

This was an example of how two sides of the same event can be racially different. The characters were strong, with unique traits that made them three dimensional. However, while it was written with skill and description, there was not much emotional connection. With the turbulent events, some more focus on communicating and transferring the emotions to the reader would’ve been nice.

Perhaps I am less struck by this novel because I have recently read a slew of “divided city” books. This one follows the basic pattern, though the author does a worthy job of creating characters and adding plot twists. Recommended for readers 12 and older.

Reviewed by Marissa, grade 11


Book Review: The Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell

Book Review: The Cadet of Tildor by Alex Lidell

Renee de Winter wants nothing more than to serve the Crown. But as the only girl left in her class of cadets, and with one cadet getting cut by the end of the year, she has much to prove. What she needs to do is focus on her studies and swordsmanship–especially since the new trainer is Commander Savoy of the famed Seventh squad.

However, when sinister events start to brew, she can’t help but jump into the middle of it, feet-first. She no longer worries about surviving another year as a cadet–she worries about surviving the year at all.

With a few good twists and more action than anything else, this was a fast-paced read that I flew through. While the ending tied up the loose ends, it was also open enough to suggest the possibility of a sequel. Romance is minimal and cloudy, making this a perfect read for anyone looking for a tale of decisions, corruption and loyalty.

Reviewed by Marissa, grade 11

Book Review: Women of the Frontier by Brandon Marie Miller

Book Review: Women of the Frontier

A fascinating collection of the stories of 16 women who not only braved the frontier, but bent the Wild West to their bidding. From axe-wielding anti-alcohol grandmas to resilient landladies who set up their boardinghouses wherever the latest disaster deposited them, these women will gain your respect and admiration.

With pictures and a wealth of information, I recommend this to anyone wishing to learn a bit of history.

Reviewed by Marissa, grade 11

Book Review: Stormbringers by Philippa Gregory






In the second book of the Order of Darkness quartet, Luca, Isolde, Freize, Ishraq, and Brother Peter still travel throughout Christendom, recording the signs of the end of the world. Of course, those signs are by no mean benign, and the group faces danger every day. The dangers they face are both physical and emotional, as the young people slowly start to see each other in a different way. But Luca is planning on taking his Vows, which leaves no space for the Lady Isolde, and Ishraq was raised to be as a lady, while Freize is a kitchen boy. Father Peter has no tolerance for the young lovers, as he is determined to answer in full to both his masters.

A wonderful continuation of Changeling, this novel has the right amount of heartbreak tempered with happiness to keep you on the verge of tears. Though the plot dragged at times, it seems to set up the next book to be action packed and full of revelations to clear up the murkiness brought on in “Order of Darkness”.

Reviewed by Marissa, grade 11

Book Review: If I Should Die by Amy Plum


In this conclusion to the Die For Me series, Vincent’s body has been kidnapped by Violette, and she is planning on destroying to to take Vincent’s strength. That power would allow her to win the war between the Revenants and the Numa, giving the Numa control of the earth, which would result in widespread death, pain, and suffering. But Kate isn’t the kind of girl to stand by while the love of her life is killed (for real) and a crazy traitor attempts to take over the world, even if her newly informed grandparents are totally against their granddaughter dating–and possibly dying–for an undead boy. 

Tense and action-packed, with twists of the unexpected and an overlay of everlasting love, this final book is sure to delight and answer any questions remaining for readers. Amy Plum does a wonderful job tying loose ends and keeping the history of the Reverents consistent, as well as mixing things up and balancing happiness with reality, making the ending seem plausible, or as plausible as a final battle between two different kinds of undead can be.

Reviewed by Marissa, grade 11

Book Review: The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa


The follow up book to The Immoral Rules, this book is a labyrinth. With changes and unexpected events springing out of every corner, you will not be bored when reading. Allie is chasing after the evil, insane, cruel vampire Sarren, who has kidnapped her Sire, Kanin and is torturing him for his sins. Determined to rescue him, Allie has tracked him across the country after delivering a band of humans to the safety of the city Eden. After meeting up with her ‘brother’, the unsavory and heartless Jackal, and her human love, Zeke, they prepare for a final battle, while trying to cure the disease that is wiping out the humans. 

An incredible addition to a phenomenal series. This book has gore and action as well as romance and friendship, which balance out perfectly. With a fast-moving plot that never remains in a straight line, I wait anxiously for the next installment. Once you read the ending, you’ll see why. 12  & up.

Reviewed by Marissa, grade 11

Book Review: The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson


In this sequel to The Name of the Star, Rory is still recovering from a near-fatal stabbing, but she wants to help her friends Boo, Stephen, and Callum destroy ghosts. When they land a case, Rory throws herself into it–maybe a little too much. One thing leads to another, and then she’s in over her head. Again. This time, though, she doesn’t need saving–she needs to save her friends.

With a monumental ending that will leave you screaming in frustration and anger, this was a great second book that left me wanting and waiting for the next one. The mystery, sic-fi, and touches of romance and history makes the Shades of London series spellbinding. Recommended for 11 & up.

Reviewed by Marissa, grade 11