Centaur Rising is unique from other urban fantasy books I've read in that it explores how an isolated incident of magic will be received by the humanCentaur Rising is unique from other urban fantasy books I've read in that it explores how an isolated incident of magic will be received by the human world. This is definitely the part that I loved most about the book. From seeing the family's initial reactions to how they dealt with keeping this secret to how they deal with peoples' reactions upon learning their secret. (Because you really can't hide a growing centaur boy forever.) Robbie's reaction is especially precious. Having been homeschooled for most of his life because the other kids at school made fun of his appearance (he's a thalidomide baby), he hasn't really had the chance to socialize with other young boys, and the way he takes to Kai, as they decide to name the centaur, is precious. It's also a great reminder that sometimes we should accept gifts / miracles for what they are instead of questioning them.
Another wonderful aspect about the book is that it provides a sketch on how people approach conflict. As more people find out about Kai, more people want to give their opinion on what should be done, providing the breeding grounds for dissension. Even when people seem to be in agreement on the surface, there is a lot of internal conflict as well with everyone struggling with his or her own demons and the adults keeping things from the kids (Arianne is thirteen, Robbie six). This makes it a great book to present to upper MG and younger YA readers because it shows them the different ways that people approach conflict and deal with the problem of keeping a secret. Given the troubles keeping a secret brings Arianne's family, it also raises the question of whether a secret is worth keeping. Is it worth keeping the secret, or would have transparency from the beginning have been better?
Despite the great themes in the book, I did have problems with the narration. I always felt like a future Arianne was relaying events to us. While this is case, the narrative distance made it hard to relate to the characters over the course of the story. Arianne the narrator seems to be so busy telling the story that she misses out on chances to explore her feelings in the moment and show us how it feels to be a part of these events. The dialogue also felt forced and the characters weren't well developed. Mostly, the characters were brought in as needed to make a point and disappeared afterwards until they were needed again. This is a missed opportunity to show us how an unusual event influences people. While we definitely see the community coming together, there definitely could have been more to the process. For example, while Mr. Suss is mentioned, we never really see him appear. I would have also liked to see more exploration of the changes in Joey's mother after she finds out about Kai. It's also problematic that Kai, the one upon whom everyone's attention is focused, never really gets a chance to speak for him. Even when he speaks up at the end, it's truly Arianne who makes the bargain in his place.
Nevertheless, this is definitely a story meant for younger readers. There are great themes for them to explore in this book, and the unique plot may capture their interest. I recommend this for those who enjoy MG/YA books with a magical feel.
The premise is interesting. The idea of the people of Earth living on a spaceship because of uninhabitable conditions recalls to mind some books I enjThe premise is interesting. The idea of the people of Earth living on a spaceship because of uninhabitable conditions recalls to mind some books I enjoyed: Across the Universe and, more recently, the Sky Chasers trilogy. The 100 has the added twist of juvenile delinquents being sent back to Earth to see if it's inhabitable.
Unfortunately, the narration made it difficult for me to get into the story.
First, it's told from four different perspectives, and it alternates POV fairly frequently. While I love alternating perspectives - they can really add to a story when done well - four is really hard to balance well, especially when the POV alternates as frequently as it does in The 100.
Second, the characters are hard to connect with. Though there is a good bit of internal dialogue (a lot of time is spent in the minds of these characters, the characters do a lot of telling. It's apparent that the author wants to keep some mystery dangling in front of us (that, or she wants to save some information for another narrator to give to us), but this just makes it hard to get into the story and feel anything for the characters.
Third, the narration within each specific POV does its own skipping around. We're given some information while other important facts are left out. See my second point for more details.
Fourth, there isn't a lot of action, at least through the pages I got through. So much time is spent in the characters minds as they muse over things that not much time is spent detailing action.
Fifth, it would have been really nice to see more of the spaceship and life there before we're told that we're going to Earth. Though the characters have lived here their whole lives, we've only just gotten here! Setting up the context before plunging us into the plot is important to held ground readers.
From the first pages of the book, I knew this wasn't going to be for me. Meira's characterization is precisely what I've come to dislike in a heroine.From the first pages of the book, I knew this wasn't going to be for me. Meira's characterization is precisely what I've come to dislike in a heroine. Her recklessness and inability to think about the consequences of her actions is disguised as heroism. I understand that she wants to fight for her kingdom, and it's admirable, but her leader is right to be concerned about how she'll fare on the battlefield. It's entirely different from sparring practices with a friend who isn't actually trying to kill her—and she keeps losing against said friend. It's also not promising that the romance is introduced so early. While I do like some romance on the side in a book, I'm not really into romantic fantasies. I like more plot and action. For example, Tamora Pierce's Tortall books have a good balance between action/plot and romance.
On top of that, the narration doesn't do a good job of balancing the world building with everything else. There's too much of some things and too little of others, which made it difficult to get into the story, much less learn about the world. It would have been better to start off with focusing on giving us some pivotal details that we need to know about the world and saving other details for later so that the narration didn't get bogged down in overly descriptive passages with information that we didn't necessarily need to know at the moment. This way, the plot would have been able to move forward more easily.
Undecided is another great resources for post-HS students. In comparison to 77 Things, which gives suggestions on how to round out your college life,Undecided is another great resources for post-HS students. In comparison to 77 Things, which gives suggestions on how to round out your college life, Undecided is a bit broader in scope. As the title implies, it's about exploring the different choices available to you after graduating from high school.
I like how this book is divided neatly into differently sections that flow into one another, giving readers a sampling of different paths to take. The first section is about exploring what you love to do. It provides some quizzes and different points to consider when thinking about what you want to do with your life. The next couple sections are about different potential paths to follow after graduating from HS, such as higher education (4-year vs. 2-year colleges, trade schools, and studying abroad) or going into some kind of service (like military, civil, and foreign service). There's also information about internships, going to work, and getting a life after HS.
The author has clearly done her research on the various topics and gives detailed information under various subheadings that detail things you need to know when taking on a certain occupation. For example, she doesn't just compare four-year versus two-year colleges. She explores them in further detail, going so far as to explain what makes an Ivy school and Ivy school and what differentiates different kinds of Ivies. There is also information on other schools and what they have to offer students. I seriously wish that I had this book before I decided which college to attend because I really could have used this information during the college application process.
While I spent a litle more time talking about a portion of the college section, that was mostly to give you a feel for what this book is about and the detail that it goes into. There is a wealth of information in the other sections as well. This is a fantastic book for HS students starting to think about what they want to do after graduating and who aren't sure about what they want out of life. I can also see this being useful for college students also thinking about the next step after school. Parents too can benefit from this book in helping their children decide what they want to do after graduation.
As a college student, I find this book highly relatable to me. Given the title, I expected a fun, goofy book that lists a bunch of random things thatAs a college student, I find this book highly relatable to me. Given the title, I expected a fun, goofy book that lists a bunch of random things that one should do in college and was looking to find a couple of outrageous things to do before I graduate. To a certain extent, it does deliver that, but it's also so much more.
77 Things (the college ed.) is divided into seven sections with eleven suggestions each. The sections are as follow: (1) Around the pad [aka. your room / home], (2) Getting Out and About on Your Own, (3) Taking Advantage of School, (4) Being Social, (5) Body and Health, (6) Spoil Yourself, (7) For the Future. As you can see from this list, it isn't just about going out and doing something outrageous and memorable before you enter the "real world." While it does encourage us to put ourselves out there and try new things, it also reminds us to take care of our health and to also look for opportunities to further our future.
For example, it suggests taking a physical. This in particular stood out to me because I can't remember the last time I went to the doctor for a regular checkup. Things like this are more easily remembered for children when we need to get shots all the time, but as we get older we forget to do things like this. Nowadays, I usually just go to the doctor when I have an immediate problem. This book reminded me that sometimes we need to take steps to ensure problems do not happen in the first place—or at least to catch them in the early stages.
Other suggestions include ways of getting to know people and also exploiting your college's resources. Among other things that you may not have thought about. I recommend this book as a great resouce for students with ideas on what to do while they're in college, and I strongly recommend trying them out. This is a book that I could have used my freshman year when I didn't yet know how to take full advantage of what college life had to offer me.
This is officially the most frustrating text I've read for a class (and we're only reading several of the chapters!) -- and outside for that matter. EThis is officially the most frustrating text I've read for a class (and we're only reading several of the chapters!) -- and outside for that matter. Ellens provides little to no textual evidence from the Bible to back up his claims, making him logically unsound. Furthermore, he makes many arguments that directly contradict the Bible while claiming that this is what the Bible really means to say.
I would recommend this if you're looking to explore different worldviews, but please do not read this without consulting the Bible yourself or reading up on other scholars. If you're looking for a more accurate reading of the Bible, however, I recommend looking elsewhere....more