Book Review: The House Of The Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars

Genre: Sci-Fi

Age Recommended: 11 and up


The House Of The Scorpion was a fast-paced book that I couldn’t put down. We had a project in my english class which involved creating a book trailer. When the class presented their book trailers, I thought that this book was the most appealing and decided to read it. I loved it and I hope to read the sequel, The Lord Of Opium, soon.


My name is Matt. I am a clone. I have a stamp on my foot to prove it. The stamp says “Property Of Alacran Estate.” I’ve never been let out of the estate and I’m not sure I want to leave either. The people on the other side of the door call me a monster, a beast.

I wasn’t born. I was harvested.

The people say that I am a clone of the Lord of Opium, El Patron himself. They say it is a great honor. I see no honor. I am merely a clone. A clone who can be recycled and forgotten. I am only created so that when El Patron is dying, I may stabilize him and donate organs to him if needed. Other than that, I am just a useless, worthless, clone.

My caretaker, Celia, says otherwise. She cares for me as if I were her own son. But I am not. And I never will be.

Celia leaves me everyday to go work and I am alone. Everyday is the same. Except today. I find myself looking out the window, wondering how it would feel to run around like the rest of the kids. How it would feel to be normal.

I see a face on the other side of the window. I am shocked to see that some kids have come to see me. I am usually forgotten. I want to go outside because it looks like they are calling me. The door and windows are boarded shut so I have only one option.

There is broken glass all over the grass. My foot hurts and the kids are staring at me, probably wondering what to do. I can’t talk because of the shock.

They carry me to their house. I am treated like dirt. One of the kids that comes to see me, Tom, throws things at me everyday. Finally, Celia comes to my rescue and we are reunited.

Maria, one of the kids who came to my house, is one who I have become fond of. She is very nice but cries at the drop of a hat. Maria approaches me as if I were a beast but soon we are friends.

One day, Maria and I are running away from some evil guards after El Patron’s 149th birthday party when they catch me. I am taken to a camp. In this camp, we are fed only plankton for 3 meals a day, and caning is not a rare occurrence.

I want to find Maria but I have no idea where she is.

I don’t want to rot in this filthy camp. I don’t know what to do. Only one thought runs in my head over and over again. Escape…



Book Review: A King’s Ransom by Jude Watson (The 39 Clues series: Cahills vs. Vespers)

Rating: 3.6 out of 5 stars

Genre: Adventure

Age Recommended: 10 and up


I didn’t think that this book was as good as the first in the Cahills vs. Vespers series. The book was a little confusing and there weren’t many details about the characters.


Dan and Amy are like puppets at the hands of the Vespers. Vesper One doesn’t tell them anything but he gives them a riddle to solve that will tell them what to steal. Dan and Amy also have a three day deadline to meet.

This time, Dan and Amy are in deep trouble. The next thing to steal is the De Virga Map- a map that was lost decades ago.

While Dan and Amy are on their search, Casper and Cheyenne Wyoming, two Vespers, come across Dan and Amy. The two evil twins decide that when Amy and Dan find the De Virga Map, they will steal it and deliver it to Vesper One which will move them up in the Vesper ranks.

The attempts at getting the De Virga Map from Dan and Amy fail and the consequences are dire. Casper and Cheyenne are moved down in Vesper ranks and are out to get revenge…

Now Amy and Dan have a deadline to complete and two Vespers to avoid. Will they make it?

Book Review: Switched At Birthday by Natalie Standiford

Rating: 3.2 out of 5 stars

Genre: Fiction

Age Recommended: 13 and up


Switched at birth was an interesting book. There were some inappropriate moments and I felt that those were dragged out. Although, the story was nice overall.

This book was an ARC courtesy of Net Galley.


Lavender and Scarlet are nothing alike. They share the same birthday but that’s where the likeness ends. Lavender is a nobody and Scarlet is like the queen of the school.

They both ignore each other but when they make the same wish on their birthday, to be someone else, their bodies get switched.

The two live in each other’s bodies and learn what each other’s lives are like in and out of school. They deal with each other’s problems and find out that they are not as different as people think.

Lavender and Scarlet work together to find out how to reverse this spell and while they do, they learn the qualities of friendship and cooperation.

Book Review: Spartanica by Powers Molinar

Rating: 3.1 out of 5 stars

Genre: Sci-Fi and Fiction

Age Recommended: 9 and up


Spartanica was a good book. There were some extremely violent moments though, that I felt were unnecessary. The book was interesting as a whole, but in certain areas it could have used some more detail.

This book is an ARC courtesy of NetGalley.


Marcus and Ty Mitchell are brothers in middle school. They live in an area outside of Chicago and are leading normal lives until one day they are sucked into a parallel world through a gateway.

As soon as they arrive, the gateway closes and they find out that they have no way of getting home.

Ty and Marcus meet some friends and make some shocking discoveries. They also realize that there is an evil organization trying to take over the land. They have to defeat the evil in order to get home and they don’t even know how.

They try and break into the main building of the evil corporation to save others who have been kidnapped and make a shocking discovery that they too, might be of this world.

When weird animals and people attack them, Ty and Marcus figure out that nothing is as it seems.

Will Marcus and Ty be able to defeat the evil and get back home?

Book Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars

Genre: Utopian and Dystopian Fiction

Age Recommended: 14 and up


“One choice decided your friends. One choice defines your beliefs. One choice determines your loyalties– forever. One choice can transform you.”

Divergent was a very good book. Not entirely appropriate for a 12 year old, but as all of my friends were reading it, I wanted to as well. My dad got me the entire set as a gift. I sat down with the book as soon as I got it and didn’t put it down until I was done.

This is a book about five factions, and their rise to power. Two of them are plotting against the rest and it’s up to one person to stop them.


Beatrice has never belonged. Too selfish for Abnegation, the selfless. When the Choosing Ceremony comes along, Beatrice isn’t sure what to do.

Should she stay in Abnegation, where she never belonged? Or should she go to some other faction where she has a chance to make a fresh start?

On Choosing day, when Beatrice goes in for her test, she gets tagged as a Divergent, which means that she can excel in multiple factions. No one must ever know this and if they do find out, Beatrice will be condemned to death.

Beatrice ends up choosing Dauntless, the brave. The initiation goes well, and soon Beatrice has created a new identity for herself, Tris.

Tris is one of the leaders of the group, but she soon realizes that there are some out there not willing to forget that she is from Abnegation. There are many willing to do whatever it takes to be at the top, and if Tris wants to survive, she must fend for herself.

When Tris falls for one of her instructors, Four, she isn’t sure what to do. Eventually, he declares his love for her, and Tris feels that nothing can go wrong now. But when fear testing comes along, she finds out that there are many things to watch out for. One of the main ones, herself.

Tris and Four figure out that a plan to overthrow the government, the Abnegation, has been hatched. By the time this discovery is made, the plan is set into action, and there might be one faction less.

Will Beatrice and Four be able to stop the evil?

Book Review: The Medusa Plot by Gordon Korman (The 39 clues series: Cahills vs. Vespers)

Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars

Genre: Adventure

Age Recommended: 9 and up


The Medusa Plot is the first book of The 39 Clues Cahills vs. Vespers series. The book is by far my favorite book of the series because it is so action- packed.


Dan and Amy thought that as soon as they completed the Clue hunt, they could live normal lives. And they did, for a while.

Amy also managed to reunite all of the Cahills and set a training plan in motion. She hired training instructors and set up a gym in her grandma Grace’s old house. Everyone was doing fine until distress calls were sent from Cahills all around the world.

It turns out that 7 Cahills from all around the world have been kidnapped at the same exact time. They are being held hostage by a group of people called the Vespers. The Cahills who have been kidnapped include Amy and Dan’s guardians Fiske and Nellie.

The Vespers send Dan and Amy on a wild goose chase, getting them to steal things for them. They then tell Amy and Dan to steal the famous Medusa painting from a museum and if they don’t deliver it to them within a certain amount of time, they will kill one of the hostages.

Will Dan and Amy be able to steal the Medusa and save the hostages?

Book review: The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan (The 39 Clues series)

Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars

Genre: Adventure

Age Recommended: 8 and up


Rick Riordan has become one of my favorite authors! The Maze of Bones is a very fast-paced and interesting book.

Dan and Amy Cahill are at the funeral of their dear grandmother, Grace Cahill. Grace had been their guardian ever since their parents died and they loved her very much.

Grace left each of her relatives an envelope. It was an invitation to join a Clue hunt. There were 39 clues and all together, they would lead to a power of unimaginable greatness. Dan and Amy could either join the Clue hunt or take a million dollars each and go on with their lives.

They decided to join the Clue hunt and watched the check for a million dollars go up in flames. Dan and Amy’s other relatives also make their choices and the people who have chosen to join the Clue hunt receive an envelope.

The envelope contains a single hint as to what the first clue is. The hint reads: “Resolution: The fine print to guess. Seek out Richard S____.” Dan and Amy are warned by Grace’s lawyer to: “Beware the Madrigals.” Who the Madrigals are, they don’t know.

While Dan and Amy are on the Clue hunt, they discover that all is not what it seems, and that there are people out there willing to kill them. Will Dan and Amy figure out the first Clue?