Archive for Book Reviews

Book Review- The View From Saturday

The View From Saturday is a great, funny, but intelligent book, with complex dialogue, which tells the story of four six graders whose lives are twisted together by their paraplegic teacher who needs them for the Academic Bowl as a team. The story of their get-togethers, histories, and other facts let the book be a must-read.

This book is comprised of four short stories about the four members of the Academic Bowl teams’ histories and how they met each other, with small episodes of the Academic Bowl finals between them, each with a question referring to one of thiers’ past. For example, Nadia, whose godmother and faster are turtle experts, gets asked a question about the species of turtle around the area. As the Bowl comes to the intermission, another chapter of events come as the teacher has a story about her choosing the team, which the friends had more reasons for.

This book used many great writing techniques, as the author, E.L.Konigsburg, had written every short story in first person with each character’s own unique voice. She also had very good transitions between each story. Her voices ranged from freelancing to hard and serious. Sadly, some of her events were very confusing, as each story had very similar characters with similar names, and some carried over to other stories.

Rating: 7/10 :razz: for
Pros: Excellent technique, story
Cons: Too many characters

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Book Review: If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late

This strange and intruiging title gives for its equally unique plot, as this wonderful book is a real reading experience.


Starting from the drop-off of this books prequel, THE NAME OF THIS BOOK IS SECRET, this story describes the adventures of Cassandra and Max-Ernest as they search for the mystical homunculus and ultimately defeating the evil Ms. Mauvais and Dr. L from the Midnight Sun Alchemists Group.

Cassandra and Max-Ernest are best friends, and the previous book explains their exploit with the Mednight Sun Alchemists Group(MS), where the MS was trying to find the philosopher’s stone that could turn tin to gold. In that adventure, they also meet the Anti-MS, the people of the Magic Museum(MM), whose leader is the twin of Dr. L.

The story starts as Cass and Max-Ernest go to a new school, and find out about a field trip to the beach they’d be having soon. When the field trip comes, they find themselves trapped in the Pirate Ship of the MS after a secret note telling them to go on the boat was proved a fake. But on the boat they acqure the Sound Prism, a magical ball that allows the user to hear things far away. While on the boat, Cass also experiences a dream with a mysterious song alike to the song of the Sound Prism when it was idle.

By the time they escape from the ship, the heroes immediately recieve detention and a grounding when they find themselves far too late to be hanging around. During Detention, they meet Yo-Yoji, a student who strives to be a rockstar. Cass learns he has perfect pitch, and he says the song of her dream spells CABBAGEFACE.

Cass learns that Cabbage Face is then name of a homunculus, the 500 year old creation of an alchemist named Lord Pharoah, or King King. The MS wanted the Sound Prism because it was the only way to call the Homunculus, which would lead them to Lord Pharoah. Lord Pharoah supposedly found the secret to eternal life, but died before he could apply it to himself. The Homulculus, who hated Lord Pharoah, buried his with all his creations and notes and memories, which contained the secret of immortality.

Cass, Max-Ernest and Yo-Yoji find Cabbage Face on a camping trip by using the Sound Prism and find that he is cannibalistic, but only eats villains. Cass stuffs him into a backpack and they race to the Magic Museum. Unfortunately, Cabbage Face eats himself out of the backpack before the group could present it to the MM.

Somehow, they find themselves at a concert where the MS were singing the song of the Sound Prism to lure Cabbage Face there, and succeed in capturing it and forcing it to lead them to Lord Pharoah’s tomb. They trek into snowy moutains where they find the tomb, but just before they open it, the MM come to stop the MS. Then as an avalanche smashes the Homunculus and the tomb deep into the ground, Cass, Max-Ernest, and Yo-Yoji save the day and the MM fly away on their helicopter.



The author, Pseudonomous Bosch, made the book fun and casual by adding lots of quirky footnotes and using a great deal of foreshadowing. She also messed up basic components of the book, like reversing the order of the Chapters, starting with Ch. 32 and ending with Ch. 1, supposedly like a countdown. She used her own voice in the story too, as she makes coversation with the reader frequently in the story. But she could have made the vocabulary more advanced, as the words were too simple for such a complex plot and constanly ceased to describe “Like a painting”.

Rating: 8/10 :wink: for
Pros: Casual and Fun as well as rewarding, and
Cons: Basic Vocabulary for Complex Plot

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