Collins Hill High School Media Center Blog

Jarhead by Anthony Swofford

The book Jarhead by Anthony Swofford in my opinion is a great book, especially for those that are into action books. The book refers to a Marine and what he has to do to get in the Marines, such as how the Marines are regularly trained, which is exhausting. The book talks about all the trouble this dude got into while he was in the Marines like all the women in his life and all the bar fights he’s gotten into.

There are some emotionally deep parts like when he and all of his war buddies leave the war zone and go back to their homes. He later finds out that one of them just died in a car accident. Also when he and a few of the other guys went to his funeral and had to see his mother cry, that was one of the parts that made me choke up with sadness.
Now that I have a small glimpse of what the Marines go through all the time it makes me respect them a lot more and honor their sacrifice.

I would give this book a 9 out of 10 because it is very descriptive and doesn’t hold back on any of the language. Also the book doesn’t put the reader to sleep; instead it leaves the reader wanting more. And if I tell you that it’s a good book, then it’s a good book because I’m not the person that reads that often; I read a book about two times a year. So to the people that are adrenaline junkies, this is a good book to get your blood pumping, and also to all the action lovers out there this is also a good book for you.

~Javier P., Class of ’12


September 29, 2010 Posted by | Book recommendation | , , , | Leave a comment

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

It all happens in a small town in Pennsylvania. The main character Miranda lives with her mom and Johnny. She has a brother who is in college. Her parents were divorced. Her dad had another wife named Lisa which she was pregnant at that time. Everything was normal until the moon was knocked out of orbit.

Everyone around the world was excited to see a fantastic thing. Parties everywhere and people on streets waiting for Wednesday May 18. The asteroid was supposed to hit the moon by 9:30 p.m. However, the asteroid creates worldwide disasters. The moon is responsible for many of Earth’s environmental controls, and when the orbit of the moon changes, so does the environment. Some of the effects were earthquakes, floods, and volcanic eruption. After this, people started to think that our moon was being attacked then we were attacked. Some people started to cry, pray, and some went inside of their houses. After this people started to lose communication with their families. Things were started to get worse, her mom had a great idea of going for grocery shopping. Miranda, Johnny and Mrs. Nesbit knew things were going to be worse in the future. They bought any kind of food, canned vegetables, water, flashlights, and medicine. Everything was exhausted like gas and food. Many people started to move and heading west or south. After weeks everything was getting worse. Each day they would only have one or two meals. It was just September and the weather was getting colder each day.

Life As We Knew It is a very good book. It makes you think of how the world would be if anything like this happened. As you keep reading you can’t stop because it tells you how people survive this. Each day it was a challenge to make it through the day. Do you think Miranda’s family survived??? Read it and find out.

~Juan H., Class of ’11

September 27, 2010 Posted by | Book recommendation | , , | 1 Comment

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

The book, Uglies, takes place in the future: a time period where we no longer exist. This book is about a girl named Tally Youngblood; in her world there are only two cities in the town where she lives. There is either Pretty Town or Uglyville. You stay in Uglyville until 16, and you turn pretty through an operation and you live in the pretty town forever. Tally’s choices soon become limited when her friend Shay runs away from the town to smoke. She is either given a choice to betray her friend and tell the truth or stay ugly for the rest of her life. Which one does she choose?

I really recommend you to read this wonderful story full of mystery. I could not put this book down. It keeps its audience enthusiastic about what will happen on the next page. If you are struggling to read because you think it’s too long, don’t; you won’t even realize when you done with it.

~Sabila M, Class of ’12

September 27, 2010 Posted by | Book recommendation | , , | Leave a comment

Bang! by Sharon Flake

Bang is a heartfelt story about a teenage boy being raised in the ghetto. The story starts out by giving a little history on the main character Mann, his family, and best friend Keelee. Two years earlier Mann’s little brother Jason was shot and killed right in front of him on the front porch of his house. Ever since Jason’s death the family has been struggling to stay together. Mann and Keelee are trying to stay alive, seeing as in their neighborhood people get killed every day for no reason. While trying to survive, the two friends who are also excellent artists spend most of their time drawing murals and painting portraits of people like Jason who feel victim to a bullet. Though after the pair dropped out of school, Mann’s father, an ex-sergeant in the army who deeply feared losing another son, decided it was time to turn the two boys into men. While on his quest to save the boys, things began to take a turn for the worst. This lays out the events that plague the boys throughout the story.

~Ebony J, Class of ’11

May 25, 2010 Posted by | Book recommendation | , , , | Leave a comment

Monster by Walter Dean Myers

Monster is an autobiography of an L.A. gang member during the 1970’s. Sanyika Shakur, aka “Monster Kody Scott” became a full-time gang member at the young age of 11 years old. “Kody Scott” dropped out of school during the 6th grade and devoted every day to gangbanging. From the age of 11 to 16, he had been arrested several times and had a child at the age of 16, and later had another. “Kody Scott” was in a set called the “Eight Tray Gangsters” with five of his other friends. Throughout the story, they face many gun battles and near death experiences. This book shows the life of a gang member, from the time they wake up, until the time they go to sleep.

~Brandon T., Class of ’11

May 25, 2010 Posted by | Book recommendation | , , , | Leave a comment

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

In And Then There Were None, eight people are shown getting invitations to a mysterious island by Mr. U. N. Owen or his wife, Mrs. U. N. Owen. When they arrive after taking a ferry to Indian Island, the Owens aren’t on the island. Told to take care of the guests, Mr. and Mrs. Rogers are the ninth and tenth people on the island. All the guests go up to their rooms and notice ten Indian figures somewhere in their room. Next to the Indian figures is a nursery rhyme about ten Indians.

As the guests arrive for dinner, they notice ten more Indian figures. They all start to eat dinner, giving no second thoughts to Indian figures. However, in the middle of dinner, a gramophone comes on and describes previous murders that the guests have committed. One by one, the guests start dying in was similar to the way the Indian boys die in the nursery rhyme. The next morning, they find that the boat giving them supplies has stopped coming. There is also a big storm so that no boats can come and rescue them. The guests start dying more frequently and the remaining guests try to find which of the remaining guests is killing all the others.

I really enjoyed this book. It had plenty of twists and surprises. This book was far from being predictable.  I never knew who would die next, how the killer would interpret the nursery rhyme, who the killer was, and how the killer would get away with the crime. I would recommend this book to people who aren’t scared by murder or other gruesome events.

~Taylor V. Class of ’11

May 19, 2010 Posted by | Book recommendation | , , | Leave a comment

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

This book is about a girl named Clare. She’s an ordinary girl who has an ordinary life. Until one day her ordinary world was turned upside down. It all started when she was at a teen club with her best friend. She was having a pretty good time when something unusual caught her eye. Even though it was far away, she thought she saw a murder in progress. She saw the group follow a boy into a strange room, so she told her friend to get the bouncer while she rushed over to the storage room and slipped in silently. She hid in the shadows and watched. The group was torturing the boy, whipping him with a weird glowing gold whip. When she finally gets enough of this, she steps out and intervenes. The whole group was surprised to see her, even the boy who was getting tortured. She soon finds out that the world she thought she knew had another side to it. An unseen side that only she and a selected few other humans can see.  She finds out that myths and fairy tales are actually real and that her life intertwines and plays an important part in the role and destiny of this invisible other world.

~Daron B., Class of ’11

May 19, 2010 Posted by | Book recommendation | , , | Leave a comment

Say the Word by Jeannine Garsee

This story was a very touching book. It shows how a child reacts when one of their parents disappears out their life for somebody else. The young lady (Shawna) in this story struggled when her mom moved out of the state to be with her lesbian lover (Fran). After her mom passed away from being sickly ill Fran and her two children moved down the street from Shawna. Fran’s oldest son and Shawna ended up falling in love and Shawna thought that her youngest son was her brother.

~Shoney S., Class of ’11

May 12, 2010 Posted by | Book recommendation | , , , | 1 Comment

Blood and Chocolate by Annette Klause

Blood and Chocolate starts off with the main character, a werewolf, and her entire family standing outside of their burning home, a quaint inn in the middle of the woods. As they watch their house burn down, Vivian’s father, the leader of the wolf pack, goes back into the house to save people that were trapped inside. The house collapses and her father dies.

The story then jumps into the next year. The pack has moved from a secluded forest to a crowded suburb. When Vivian’s father died, they lost their pack leader, causing disarray with the wolves. Instead of hanging out with the only other wolves her age, a group of trouble-making boys, The Five, who all wish Vivian would mate with one of them, Vivian tries to fit in with the humans and finds a boyfriend that all of the pack disapprove of. Her boyfriend, Aiden, loves all things to do with magic or fantasy. Thinking that he won’t be afraid of her, Vivian show herself to him in her true form, her wolf form.

However, this doesn’t go as she hoped. Aiden was scared of her and she blacked out. When she woke up she found out that Aiden turned all of her friends against her in order to protect them, the pack was going to go through a violent ritual in order to pick the new leader, and worst of all, a human was killed by someone in the pack. As the days draw closer to the night when a new leader will be chosen, more people are being killed and Vivian keeps blacking out. But, is she really the one killing all those people?

~Taylor V., Class of ’11

May 10, 2010 Posted by | Book recommendation | , , | Leave a comment

Fakie by Tony Varrato

In Fakie, Danny and his mother are witnesses to his father’s death and the convict wants them dead. Being part of the witness relocation program, they move and change identities often. This time Danny is a skater named Alex in Virginia’s coastal area. The murderers are on the search for Alex and his mother and are getting close when he realizes he doesn’t want to leave this time. His friend Tim and bully-turned-friend Brian, among others, help Alex to get out and stay alive.

This book is more of an action meets mystery and had a baby. I think kids who are barely thinking about starting to skate would enjoy it, but not so much kids that have been doing it for a while. It’s a short book so it would be a nice in-class read if you don’t have too much time at home.

~Jovanny B., ’11

April 29, 2010 Posted by | Book recommendation | , , , | Leave a comment