These Violent Delights

by Chloe Gong

50892212

It is 1926 in Shanghai, and Juliette Cai is the heir to the Scarlet Gang. After returning from America, Chloe must assert herself back into a leadership position and earn the respect of the gangsters she will one day lead.

On the other side of town is the White Flowers, the Scarlet Gang’s only opposition. At their helm is Roma Montagov, Juliette’s once lover, now turned enemy.

While both heirs try to navigate the hierarchy within their gangs, a madness takes the city. Civilians, and gangsters on both sides are starting to claw their own throats out and the city is afraid. Together, Roma and Juliette must figure out the cause of this disease and end it.

In this Romeo and Juliet retelling, Chloe Gong weaves a beautiful and inventive tale full of intrigue and action. It is compelling and witty and is sure to leave your heart pounding.

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by Lois Lowry

5 Stars

Amazon.com: The Giver (9780385732550): Lowry, Lois: Books

The Giver is a very engaging novel with intense, fast-paced action on every page, taking the readers on a thrilling roller coaster ride to the unknown future. While this graphic novel is very close to the original book, it still allowed some room for creativity and imagination. Each illustration complemented the story and made the words pop out of its pages and take life. This book captures many emotions, such as feeling sad, confused, happy, scared, surprised, inspired, and loved. The storyline is amazing. The story’s suspense and cliffhanger made it a page-turner. The symbolism made the novel more interesting. As a reader, it will make you raise questions while holding you on your toes, leaving you wanting more and wondering more.

This graphic novel takes the readers on the journey of life, “without pain, color, or past” along with the protagonist of the story named Jonas. Jonas is a brilliant boy who lives in a dystopian society and is now faced with the greatest challenge of his young life. As the story evolves, one thing to appreciate is how the author showed the main characters’ flaws which made them more relatable, real, and inspirational. With every scene in the story, it pulls the readers right in and captures their imagination such that the readers feel as though he or she is part of the story itself. 

I would recommend this book to those who are 13 years old and over. This is great for students and can be part of the school’s library. Although there are several scenes in the story that are realistically for a more mature audience, the author has brilliantly written it in a manner that is child-friendly. So I encourage you to read this fictional novel and let your mind wander into the future and its possibilities.

Tyler D.

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by Derek Fridolfs

5 Stars

Field Trip Disaster (Secret Hero Society, #5) by Derek Fridolfs

A graphic comic novel that is intriguing and filled with fun and adventure describes what this book contains. And looking at the book I could tell that it was a part of a series; specifically the 5th book in the DC Comics: Secret Hero Society. I knew that this book would have aspects of adventure and mystery which drew my attention. This book was written by Derek Fridolfs and published in October of the year 2019. The Story is about Diana Prince, who is Wonder Woman, Bruce Wayne, who is Batman, and Clark Kent, who is Superman. But it all begins when a new exchange student arrives at their school, and they begin to have some suspicions due to the sole fact that they couldn’t find anything about the student.

As they dig deeper into the mystery they find themselves accidentally travelling into the future. They find out some terrible things that the villains are planning on doing, and it’s up to them to save the future and make their way back to the past in time. I think that this book was overall a pretty good read, but I feel as though it wasn’t as much for my age group, and it was meant for a much younger audience. I found it quite difficult to keep up with the plot. But overall, I personally enjoyed reading this comic. The author displayed a good sense of humour and creativity; For example, when he put the text messages so we would really see it from the character’s perspective. Personally, I don’t like how the book was all in black and white because I feel as though it took away from the imaginary aspect of the story. I recommend this book to much younger audiences who are into the thrill, adventure, and DC Comics.

Anne I.

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by J.K Rowling

5 Stars

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Book by JR Company

Harry kicks off his second year at Hogwarts after a terrible summer vacation with his relatives. Just as he starts packing up his bags, he receives a letter from a mysterious creature claiming, if he returns to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, disaster will strike immediately. Confused and worried, Harry sets out on his journey, back to his wizarding school to see what was wrong. The beginning of Harry’s second year at Hogwarts starts with fresh torments and horrors begin to arise, including a spirit who haunts the girl’s bathroom and other unusual events. But the real danger begins, as he discovers that a mastermind is turning the students of Hogwarts into stone. Harry and his friends have been assigned a difficult task, and it’s up to them to find out who this mastermind really is. Could it be Hagrid? Could it be Hermoine? Or possibly Harry himself? Find out by reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  

Overall, this book was an absolute gem. It’s filled with adventure, imagination, and fantasy that helps the reader engage more in the story. This exciting sequel makes me never want to put the book down. The words written in the story bring the wizarding world to life, making me and other readers wish this all would exist. It was well-crafted and included a surprising plot twist during the end. This book is a must-read, and I recommend this to all ages who love fantasy, action, and humour. I would give this book a 10/10. 

Ahmed Q.

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by J.K Rowling

5 Stars

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: Rowling J.K.: 9781408855652:  Amazon.com: Books

Harry’s life is gloomy and filled with despair. With his parents dead and his uncaring relatives who he’s stuck with, he’s forced to live in a dark, tiny closet located under the stairs. Every day seems the same to Harry, being mistreated by his relatives and being bullied at school. But one day, his downhearted life soon changes as he receives a letter claiming that he’s no ordinary boy, but a wizard. A mysterious visitor soon saves Harry from his relatives and brings him to a mysterious school called Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry’s first year at Hogwarts academy was phenomenal, but there was still one problem. A secret object was hidden in the castle walls of Hogwarts. Harry realized that it was his duty to protect it from evil hands that could cause destruction to the whole world. By doing so, Harry will go through the toughest of forces that he could’ve never imagined. 

To conclude, this book was absolutely amazing, and one of my favourite Harry Potter books from the series. There was never a dull moment, and J.K Rowling kept me engaged from the beginning to the very end of the novel. I would definitely recommend this book because it keeps you engaged without ever putting the book down. The book makes you love the characters and their personalities. Remember to not only read this but the whole series as well. The rating that I would personally give this book would be a 10/10.

Ahmed Q.

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by S.E Hinton

5 Stars

Book Review For Teens: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Set in the ’60s, in the divided state of Oklahoma, this novel tells the story of two rival gangs separated by poverty and social status. The Greasers, known as the working class, are seen as very low in the eyes of the Socs, a high-class gang, the complete opposite of the Greasers. The Outsiders is told from the perspective of 14-year-old Greaser, Ponyboy Curtis. He details two of the most intense weeks of his short life, struggling in a community where he is viewed as an outsider with difficult decisions of right and wrong.

His life certainly hasn’t been an easy one. Having his parents taken away from him due to a recent car accident has taken a toll on him. Ponyboy and his 16-year-old brother Sodapop are allowed to live with their eldest brother 20-year-old Darry, as long as they stay out of trouble.

While out with his friends, Ponyboy attends a drive-thru movie where he meets a Soc girl named Sherri, the first of the Socs he had ever gotten along with. As the gang walks home with Sherri, they are stopped and threatened by her boyfriend, a Soc by the name of Bob. Ponyboy gets home at 2 am, angering his guardian Darry, prompting him to slap Ponyboy. Due to this, Ponyboy runs out of the door, meeting his friend Johnny in a park expressing his anger.

Bob, Sherri’s boyfriend, suddenly reappears along with his crew. Ponyboy and Johnny are outnumbered, a gruesome fight breaks out, ending up with Ponyboy being held underwater to drown by Bob. Johnny freaks out and kills him. After the fight ends, they realize they can’t go back, they now have blood on their hands.

This novel is extremely interesting, constantly keeping the reader engaged and interested. Definitely a 5-star book.

Vlada E.

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by Nick Bruno and Troy Quane

5 Stars

Spies in Disguise, directed by Nick Bruno and Troy Quane, is a movie full of comedy and action that every family member can enjoy together. It is a movie that I enjoyed and would recommend others to watch. It has many exciting and “weird” moments that cause suspense and bring laughter.  

Spies in Disguise - Wikipedia

The movie is about a super-spy named Lance Sterling, voiced by Will Smith, and a scientist named Walter Beckett, voiced by Tom Holland. This duo is complete opposites who have to work together. Lance Sterling is a smooth, independent spy whose goal is to protect the world from evil. Walter Beckett is a smart, inventive scientist who lacks social skills. These two characters have to work together because Lance turns into a pigeon when accidentally drinking one of Walter’s inventions. The question throughout the movie is, will Lance Sterling return to human form? Will he be able to defeat evil as a pigeon? Lance was always used to working alone but, as a pigeon, he had to depend on someone else. He had to learn to work with Walter.  

The movie focuses on the idea that it is okay to be weird or different, and that people can work as a team even if they are different from each other. In the part of the movie where Lance Sterling says, “Let’s get weird”, this is associated with Walter always being considered the “weird kid” in school. It showed that all the work Walter did on his inventions was not just something weird but actually ended up helping Lance fight evil. When they worked together, they both became better versions of themselves. The movie also has a lot of action. There is a sitting-on-the-edge-of-your-seat moment where a viewer would fear what was going to happen next. There are a lot of close-calls, and some events happen that you would not expect to happen in the movie. The movie showed Walter’s inventions in creative ways, and some of the things that happened to him and Lance throughout the plot were interesting and creative. The characters in the movie are funny, and the choices that they make cause them to seem silly and careless. The movie will grab the attention of everyone and give everyone a chance to stay on their toes and laugh. Overall, I would recommend this movie for all ages, and it is a good movie for a whole family to watch together. I would rate this movie 5 stars. It is funny, exciting, and would be enjoyable for everyone in the family to see. 

Liza P.

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by Lulu Wang

5 Stars

THE FAREWELL (Le mariage d'adieu) (Bilingual): Amazon.ca: Awkwafina, Tzi  Ma, VVS FILMS, Lulu Wang: DVD

The film, The Farewell follows a Chinese-American family as they discover that their beloved grandmother’s life is coming to an end. Billi is an aspiring writer who is very close to her Grandmother, Nai Nai. Billi discovers from her parents that her grandmother has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and may only live for another couple months. Billi and her family decide not to inform Nai Nai about her diagnosis to prevent her from living her remaining days in fear. Instead of breaking the saddening news, the family chooses to plan an extravagant wedding as an excuse to reunite the entire family one last time. Doing so, the family must control and do everything they can to cope with their emotions to protect their grandmother. 

I personally really enjoyed this film as it was deeply moving and extremely emotional. The storyline was very creative and intriguing, definitely not like anything I have seen before. The film showcases spectacular acting from the entire cast, especially Awkafina, who plays the main character, Billi. The music throughout the film was quite subtle, which was paired perfectly with all of the beautiful shots. There are references made to Asian culture; however, anyone will be able to relate to the movie with the themes about family and love. Even though this movie does not include crazy and dramatic scenes, the film resonates with the viewers and leaves you with deep emotions that will definitely linger on. I would highly recommend The Farewell to anyone who is willing to watch it.

Emily K.

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by Tom McGrath

4.5 Stars

The Boss Baby - Wikipedia

Imaginative Tim Templeton is a happy seven-year-old boy who has been receiving all the love and attention from his loving parents, Ted and Janice, for years. Tim is surprised one day when an infant wearing a black business suit and tie, carrying a briefcase arrives at his home in a taxi. Tim’s parents inform Tim that the infant is his new baby brother. With the new baby around, Tim realizes that he is no longer the center of attention anymore and is envious. One day, Tim discovers that the baby can talk and refers to himself as “The Boss”. The Boss Baby reveals that he has been sent out as a spy on a top-secret mission to destroy and end an organization working to launch forever puppies that will replace babies, Puppy Co. Though Tim is not too fond of the Boss Baby, he agrees to help him on his mission, solely to get rid of him faster. The two boys team up to create an epic battle between puppies and babies. 

I personally enjoyed this film as it was action-packed and included hilarious bits of comedy. The storyline was quite interesting and was entertaining to watch. The movie reminded me of my own childhood with the original take on sibling rivalries and bonding. I thought the animations were very colourful and vibrant, which were very pleasing to look at. In conclusion, Boss Baby is a cute and charming film that is great for the whole family to enjoy. 

Emily K.

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by Jen Wang

5 Stars

The Prince and the Dressmaker: Wang, Jen: 9781626723634: Books - Amazon.ca

In her 2018 award-winning graphic novel, The Prince and the Dressmaker, Jen Wang takes us back to Paris at ‘the dawn of a new age’. We meet Frances, an aspiring seamstress hoping to be noticed and work under her idol, Madame Aurelia, and Sebastian, the Crown Prince of Belgium and the heir to the Belgium throne. Sebastian and his family had come to Paris to meet some of Sebastian’s potential suitors for when he ascended to the throne. Frances, on the other hand, had lived in Paris for most of her life and no longer wanted to work as a minimum-wage seamstress. 

In a strange twist of fate, Frances finds herself within the royal castle working for an unknown client, but, she quickly finds out that she is working for the Crown Prince of Belgium, Prince Sebastian. Sebastian asks Frances to keep his secret and she agrees. Frances realizes that working for the Prince would lead her a few steps closer to fulfilling her lifelong dream of working with Madame Aurelia. Sebastian realizes that with a seamstress at hand who knows his secret it would be easier to fulfill his deepest desires. In the daytime, he is Prince Sebastian, and Frances doubles as his best friend and his personal seamstress, but when the sun fades to black and the moon appears, he is known as Lady Crystallia and Frances is her friend. Together, these two friends engaged in scandalous adventures, heated arguments, romantic endeavors, and drawbacks that may change the whole course of both of their lives, forever. 

The Prince and the Dressmaker is a great book for anyone who wants a Cinderellaesque story. It teaches a lesson about not giving up on your dreams and on the people you care about.

Timi O.

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