July 13

‘The Secret Hour’ by Scott Westerfeld

the-secret-hour-midnighters-book-1‘The Secret Hour’ is the first book in Scott Westerfeld’s intriguing Sci-fi trilogy, ‘Midnighters’. ‘The Secret Hour‘ follows the adventures of four high school students, Rex, Dess, Melissa and Jonathan, as they encounter the new girl to the town of Bixby, Jessica Day. Though appearing to be a little less-than-average during the day, the Midnighters each hold a secret power, and have the ability to be awake during one hour of every night, when their world is plunged into a dark and mysterious state known as the ‘blue time’.

Throughout the book, the ‘Midnighters’, as they call themselves, must discover more about Jessica’s power in an attempt to defend the town against perilous creatures, ‘darklings’ and ‘slithers’ that live in the blue time. Jessica discovers more about herself during the time she spends in Bixby than any other time in her life. The characters also learn more about true friendship, trust, and Jessica discovers what it truly means to be a Midnighter.

We enjoyed reading ‘The Secret Hour’, as its story line was interesting, unusual and unique. There were a few unexpected twists, which added to the story and greatly influenced the effect of the book.

Scott Westerfeld uses impeccable descriptive language in ‘The Secret Hour’, which helps the scenes of the book really come to life in the imaginations of readers. The characters of the book are also well-developed and have distinctive personality traits.

The book is overall an enjoyable read and a very descriptive novel. It definitely kept us on edge whilst reading it. The book was certainly action-packed and well thought out, which appeals to many types of people. We would recommend this book to teens aged 12 – 18, and rate the book 3½ out of 5 stars as a group.

Lily P, Peter A, Jade T, Year 8

June 20

‘The 5th Wave’ by Rick Yancey

5th waveMy finger yanked back on the trigger, the rifle kicked against my shoulder hard, and the barrel bucked in my hand as I emptied the clip.

Meet Cassie. She is an ordinary high school girl; well that was before Earth was invaded by aliens. Cassie is a girl on a mission. The only thing keeping her alive is her will to find her brother.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey is a fast paced book that will keep you hooked right to the very end.

Things are no longer as they seem on Earth since the aliens arrived. They have wiped out 97% of the population and are disguising themselves as humans. Cassie has to do what she can to survive after her mother was wiped out by the sickening red death, a disease the aliens released to control the population of humans. She continues on her quest to find her brother, who was taken by the aliens, and tries to avenge her dad after he died fighting. Can Cassie save the Earth from the aliens before the human race ceases to exist?  Along the way Cassie is shot and is unable to move. Fortunately she is saved by a mysterious stranger. But can the stranger really be trusted? Evan Walker acts as if he is to be trusted, but Cassie begins to do some investigating and something about him just doesn’t add up.

I totally enjoyed this book because it really engaged me and I started to think about whether this thing could happen to us. Evan’s mysterious nature kept me guessing about the person he was.

The 5th wave is action packed and fast moving and is incredibly hard to put down.

I recommend this book to anyone from the age of 15 and up, as it does get a bit complicated throughout parts of the book and has some coarse language. Anyone who is interested in mysterious, action packed and adventurous novels will really enjoy this book. The 5th wave. I rate 8 out of 10 stars.

Riley S, Year 8

June 14

‘Incarceron’ by Catherine Fisher

Incarceron-1a4o3ju“What can be wrong in a perfect world?” -Claudia, Incarceron.

Do you want to see how a ‘perfect’ world can be something totally different from what it seems?

This book is set in Incarceron, where there is a prison and an outside world. There are many different groups in the prison and everybody will do anything to survive even if that involves risking their own life or killing others. Meanwhile, outside of the prison, the warden is the person who rules. There are also royals who live in a palace.

There are two main characters in this story: Finn and Claudia. Finn lives his life in the prison with his friends and group. Claudia, the daughter of the warden, lives outside the prison, but she likes to do things that are more challenging especially when her father doesn’t want her to do those particular things. Where Claudia lives, she is stuck in the 17th century and she’s not free to do things that she wants.

Claudia and Finn have a crystal key which lets them communicate with each other. Finn wants to get out of Incarceron but it is a problem because the prison has many areas that contain corridors, cells, forests and more. Claudia is a help to Finn but many different events occur in Incarceron and things get tricky for the two of them.

This book is interesting because it is an original story in its structure. Some of the chapters change narrator from Finn to Claudia. This is good because it gives a different point of view from different areas, places and personal view. By reading the beginning of the book, you need to keep on reading to see what happens next. It makes you keep reading and reading until it gets to the most interesting part. There is lots of descriptive language which makes it easier to see a picture of the scenes in your head. Even though the story wasn’t interesting in the beginning, it got more interesting towards the end of the book. This book would be recommended for teens and young adults ages between 11 to 18 who enjoy an adventure, fantasy and sci-fi novel. The rating I would give Incarceron would be 3 out of 5 starts.

Jazmin. P, Year 8


‘Incarceron’ is an exiting young adult, fantasy, dystopian novel jam packed with mystery and adventure.

In the beginning the novel seemed slow yet filled with a lot of important information, and I found it difficult to enjoy it. This was until I continued reading and got captivated. Firstly I would like to say Catherine Fisher’s writing style is beautiful, in my opinion. It has elegance and shows an experience of the past within her writing.

‘Incarceron’ is about a futuristic prison and an artificial world. It follows two main protagonists, Claudia and Finn. Finn is a prisoner inside Incarceron. He has a tattoo of an eagle on his wrist. Claudia is a teenage girl living in the realm. Her father is the warden of Incarceron. She sneaks into his office and finds a key with a holographic eagle on it. This key has direct communication to the key inside Incarceron, which then allows Finn and Claudia to communicate and devise an escape plan for Finn.

Throughout the book I was enticed. It was an absolute page turner, however when I reached the end I just stared wide eyed and mouth opened. It was an incredible finish to an incredible book. This book had flare and personality. I’ve never read anything like it. It’s different, it’s original and the book itself is simply breathtaking. I loved how the characters are all so different and they all have unique personalities. The whole plot and concept of the book is magnificent.

I really loved this book and I would rate it 4.5 stars. The one thing stopping me from giving it at full 5 stars is that some of the twists in this book were quite predictable, however the plot itself made up for that. I would recommend this book to readers 14+.

Tuscany F., Year 8


Incarceron is a story that takes you into the 18th century that is locked in the past.

“Imagine a living prison so vast that it contains corridors and forests, cities and seas… Imagine Incarceron.”

Incarceron is an amazing story about a world where time and technology have been forbidden even though their science in so advanced. This is a classic story of a utopia turned dystopia. When the prisons of the land became overcrowded, the King decided to make one gigantic prison that could easily house all the prisoners. To make a prison as large as the world would be perfect, as it would leave to prisoners no choice but to live in peace and harmony as everything anyone could ever need would be provided, he thought.

Finn is a boy who woke up one day inside the prison with no memory and no one to help him. He wandered the prison until he found a pack of thieves who became his cheating allies. Claudia was a girl raised in the care of the Warden of the prison. Raised in luxury and tutored by a Sapient, she grew defiant of her Father and wanted anything but what was forced upon her.

Incarceron is a story about how a girl named Claudia sneaks into her father’s study and steals a crystal key. Claudia is doomed to an arranged marriage and her only way out of it is to prove that Finn, a boy who lives in the prison, is in fact the long dead prince. Finn has always known he is not from the prison, always known he came from outside, but his only evidence of that are moments when he experiences dream-like hallucinations and the eagle print on his wrist. But when he finds a key that bears the same mark as the one on his wrist, he is more sure than ever. He sets off with his oath brother Keiro and a sapient by the name of Gildas to find the way out of the prison. With the crystal keys the two are able to communicate and work together to find the way out.

This was a great book because of the different spin on the future. It was a lot different to the sort of future story most are used to because of the laws that have been set out in this make-believe world. The story was intricate, detailed and there were many twists and turns in the plot. The only flaw was maybe the lack of animation in the characters. This was an amazing book.

I recommend this book to teens and above because of the complicated story line. Younger children will definitely have a hard time understanding what’s going on.

Daniel P., Year 8

June 9

‘First Light’ by Rebecca Stead

First LightThea has never seen the sun. Her world lies deep within a glacier. Peter, a city boy, has arrived at Greenland with his parents. There he is troubled with strange visions that lead him to a crevice in the glacier. What happens when these people from two very different worlds meet? If you enjoy adventure and fantasy books then First Light is the book for you!

First Light is about Thea, a girl who lives deep within a glacier, and Peter, a boy who goes to Greenland with his parents while they study climate change. Thea has always wondered what it would be like above the ice, and her curiosity takes over her as she and her friend Mattias explore a tunnel, leading them to the unknown. Peter is no stranger to adventure, so one day he goes exploring in the snow and soon discovers a red light. The red light turns out to be a glowing ring, but before he can find out anything else about the ring, he becomes temporarily blinded. When he finally regains his vision, he knows his life will never be the same.

I really enjoyed the book First Light by Rebecca Stead because of its marvellous storyline about a boy and a girl from two very different worlds that eventually meet. This particular plot really intrigues me because it is like nothing I have ever read before, making it very unique. I was drawn to the way Stead wrote because it was very descriptive and made me picture the characters and scenes throughout the book. The descriptive language made it very easy for me to imagine the scenes in my head. The story progressed perfectly with just enough suspense and plot twists to keep my full attention. I just kept wanting to read more and more. I couldn’t put the book down!

I would recommend this book to girls and boys aged between 10 and 15 who enjoy adventure and fantasy books. This book is medium difficulty and suitable for both genders. This book is truly a great read. I would rate the novel First Light 3 out of 5 stars.

Ashley R., Year 8


First Light by Rebecca Stead

Thea has never seen the sun. Her whole entire life she has been living deep down within icy glaciers. Peter, a 12 year old boy, is about to leave New York City on a journey to assist his father in studying Greenland climate change.

Shortly before they leave for Greenland, Peter experiences irritating headaches that lead him to seeing scary visions. At the same time, Thea dreams of a path to the Earth’s surface. She hopes that one day Grace-Hope will return above the ice and she will find out the truth behind her mother’s death. Peter’s search for answers brings him even closer to Thea’s hidden home. Does this sound like a book that you would like to read? Then First Light is the book for you!

First Light by Rebecca Stead has to be one of the most gripping stories I have ever read. Stead has described the amazing adventures that Thea and Peter embark on during the novel in an intriguing way. Once I had picked the novel up I couldn’t put it back down. Each page led you deeper into the story unravelling the secrets of Grace-Hope. Each scene was detailed and made me feel as if I was there myself. Stead kept the excitement running through the entire book and made me want to read her other novels, which I did and they were just as amazing as First Light.

I do recommend this novel for anyone with a great imagination who enjoys adventure fantasy books. This novel is versatile for both genders and is a great read but not too difficult to understand either. I would rate this novel a 4 out of 5 stars. Trust me, once you read the first line of the novel you won’t be able to put it down.

Holly. M // Year 8

November 30

‘Ice Station’ by Matthew Reilly

ice-station“Now they were back…and they had brought the rest of the pack with them.”

This book is set in Antarctica. The main character is Shane ‘Scarecrow’ Schofield, a US marine who ventures off into dangerous places with mysterious treasures, but in this book, he ventures off to his Antarctic station. Together with his fellow marines, he finds a mysterious metal object deep in the Antarctic Ocean. Schofield’s US marine crew have set up a station in Antarctica, sending a pair of divers to go down to the diving bell. It all goes wrong when the operator finds that the pair aren’t responding to their transmissions.

This book was a really great read, with plenty of action and mystery. My favourite part was right at the beginning, when the divers have been down for more than four hours with their oxygen tanks having only a wisp of oxygen left. I was so surprised that there was so much action already. I would recommend this book to all of the young men out there who are looking for an interesting read, with plenty of action, along with mystery. The approximate age group for this book would be 14+, because there are a few swear words in the book and I personally don’t want anyone below the age of 14 reading this book. –

Angus W., Yr 9.

November 30

‘The Adoration of Jenna Fox’ by Mary E. Person

Jenna Fox“I used to be someone…

Someone named Jenna Fox

Well that’s what they tell me.”

If you are into futuristic novels, The Adoration of Jenna Fox written by Mary E. Person is one of the best books to read. Jenna Fox was just a normal teenage girl until the accident. After being in a coma for a year, Jenna is about to discover who she really is, gradually putting the pieces together. With Jenna’s family having to hide secrets and move far away due to the use of illegal medical research and sources to keep Jenna alive, Jenna slowly discovers that she may not be a normal teenage girl after all. With that knowledge her life will change forever. Memories documented on video from nearly every day of her life help her try to remember what life was before the accident.

This book makes you question everything like: Why does Jenna’s Grandmother Lily have so much hatred towards Jenna? What is her family keeping from her that could be so bad? Why does Jenna’s neighbour know so much about her? Will he inform Jenna how and what he knows about what happened to her?

I enjoyed this book very much, because the plot was amazing with its intriguing twists and perfect amount of suspense. It just made you continue turning the page wanting to know more and more about the life of Jenna Fox. I like how we are thrown into the story right away, knowing as much as Jenna, the story not being dragged on and boring. You follow her story right until the end, knowing her fears, what she learns and experiencing what she experiences. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good read associated with fantasy/Sci-Fi and a hint of romance thrown into the mix.

Arabella G, Year 9

November 25

‘I am Number Four’ by Pittacus Lore

I AM NUMBER FOURThree are dead. Six remain. John Smith is number four, therefore he will be the next to be hunted down by the vicious Mogadorians.

The story is set in Ohio, one of the many places John has lived with his guardian Henri. Since John and Henri are always on the run hiding from the Mogadorians, they need to change identities and live in completely different states or cities.

John is also known on Lorien as a Garde, which means he develops powers which can help him defeat the Mogadorians but it’s taking time for him to get them. He isn’t meant to stay attached to people but that was until he got himself a girlfriend.

Henri is John’s Cepan (guardian). He stays with John for the rest of his life helping him control his powers and keeping him out of trouble and harm.

Sarah is John’s new girlfriend from the rural town John now lives in. She is the daughter of the real-estate agent that sold John and Henri their new house. Sarah also loves photography.

Sam is obsessed with aliens. This was because of his dad also liking them but then disappearing without a trace. Sam is bullied at school and is lonely until he becomes John’s best friend.

Mark is the school bully and Sarah’s ex-boyfriend. He loves football and his two dogs. He hates John for liking Sarah because even though they broke up he still wants to be with her.

There were nine Lorien kids. Three are dead and John Smith is number four. There is a charm where the alien children must die in a certain number sequence. John has been training so that he can fight the Mogadorians with his new found legacies (powers) in order to save their planet and go home. John wants to learn everything about his past, about when his planet was invaded and his parents died, but everything comes and goes in bits and pieces from dreams and when he’s training to get his legacies (powers), John was told not to get too attached to places or people because he needs to be able to leave at any moment but instead he gets a girlfriend, a best friend and a very strange dog.

There is romance, suspense and drama to enjoy in this great book therefore I would recommend this story for boys but mainly girls in their teen years because the book is long and has violence and science fiction themes.

Lachlan P. Year 9


Number Four isn’t from here. He’s a Garde from a planet called Lorien, a planet that was destroyed by a wicked alien race called the Mogdorians, who ruined their own planet through their ignorance and lack of care. Nine children and nine guardians escaped the planet during the destruction, Number Four being one of them, in the hope that they will eventually be able to return to their planet and fight the Mogdorians.

I must admit that normally I don’t read alien-themed books. However, I Am Number Four had me hooked from the blurb, which is really rather impressive, as I tend not to like judging books by their covers. What I really loved, though, was the alien races and what we learnt about them. The Mogdorians were horrible, obviously, but the Loriens were awesome: from the way they cared for their planet and all on it, to the way they love – one partner forever, one true soul mate. Amazing world building!

I saw some of the twists coming, but there were lots I couldn’t predict. If I’d had the time, I would have been more than happy to just sit and devour the three-hundred-and-sixty-odd paged book all in one go. I think this is a must-read for anyone who loves to be hooked from the word go, even if you aren’t necessarily a sci-fi fan, like myself. The movie was amazing and really lived up to the novel, if you ask me. I am hoping more than anything that The Power of Six will be made into a film too, because it will be even better!

Patrick C., Year 9


Are you bored and want a book that you just can’t get enough of? Something with adventure, romance and action? I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore, (the pseudonym  of James Frey and Jobie Hughes), is the right book for you!

This novel for teens draws readers into a high-paced adventure story, written in first person by a literally ‘out of this world’ boy, Number Four or John, and his guardian Henri who, with eighteen others, has escaped their home planet after it was devastated by another alien race, the Mongadorians , and escaped to earth. However the Mongadorians followed, but luckily nine of the children have been blessed with a charm where they can only die in order (1,2,3 etc.) which is foretold by the scars placed on their ankles. As Number Four has now turned sixteen, he has been given a new and third scar, meaning that he is next to die.

Personally, when I was reading this book, I just couldn’t stop, as much of this language was suited to my taste. The suspense and thrilling action made me sit on the edge of my seat.

I would recommend this novel to an audience of 12 to16-year-olds of both genders as the plot would be too advanced for young children to understand., and too simple for adults. However, it is perfect for teens, as it engages us with the characters and story.

So, for many teens like myself, this is a ‘must read’ novel, especially for those who enjoy adventure and action, so I would give this book a rating of 4¾ out of 5 stars.

Kim, Year 9

November 20

‘Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment’ by James Paterson

Maximum RideHave you ever wondered what it would feel like to fly? To float in the sky and feel the wind flick across your hair?

Well for 14-year old Max, this is her daily life. At a young age Max and five other kids were taken to “School”(a laboratory where humans are tested and injected with animal DNA). These six children were all injected with a bird DNA, allowing them to fly. Max is the eldest, so she looked over the kids. Fang is the second eldest. He is a quiet one but can get protective at times. Iggy is the next eldest. Due to some experiments he became blind, but even if he is blind he is still able to make bombs and even cook. Then there’s Nudge who loves talking. She is a stickybeak and likes looking at things that she is probably not meant to see. Gasman is next, the others call him Gazzy for short and he loves food and eating. Lastly there is Angel. She is not only the youngest but also the most special as she can read minds and is the one who is the closest to Max. These children got so close that they were known as the “Flock”.

Max and her “Flock” were held captive in the “School” for what seemed a long time. Eventually, they escaped with the help of Jeb Batchhelder, a scientist who took them from the “School” and protected them from further harm. Over the two year span he acted like a father to them. He clothed them and fed them until he disappeared and was thought dead by the “Flock”.

After the disappearance, the “Flock” had to learn to protect themselves and fight as Erasers (a creature with a mixture of Wolf and Human DNA) would occasionally attack them to try and take them back to the “School”. One day, the erasers captured Angel, the youngest of the “Flock,” and took her back to the School. Now the remaining Flock try to go back and save Angel before it’s too late.

Come and experience the journey with these six kids as they face problem after problem, heartbreak, and betrayal.

Maximum Ride is a book filled with action, adventure and fantasy. Due to the way the story is written, it draws the reader in and provokes them to wanting to read more. This story really inspires me with how deep the bond the “Flock” have with each other and much they would go to protect the ones they love. I recommend this book to people of the age between 13-18. It is also suitable for both male and female.

Katelyn G, Yr 9

November 19

‘Incarceron’ by Catherine Fisher

Incarceron-1a4o3juOnly the man who has known freedom Can define his prison.

Your hands are tied to the rusty metal cuff that has a long strong thick metal chain attached to it. You have been pulling the chain forever to be free. Pull after Pull. Still cuffed to the chains, you have no idea where you are or why this mist comes over you.

You live in a world of the past you can’t quite figure out. Constant flashbacks of your past life are coming. What do you do? How do you solve it?

Incarceron is the tale of the modern advanced prison where Finn, a prison born inmate, is trapped. His past is catching up to him. He is tied to these cuffs. He is running but his past is coming. Claudia is the girl living in the past but her future and forgotten family and secrets are coming to be reattached to her life again. Finn and Claudia have been communicating through different worlds. They both live in a whole different universe and have different ways of life but for so long or as long as Finn can remember they have been in communication. But how?

Incarceron by Catherine Fisher is a fantasy; a mysterious fiction novel. I would highly recommend it to young adults because in my view it’s a book for a young adult who loves fantasy. At the start of the book it can be confusing so I would recommended it to young minds that are in between the age of a child and an older young adult. One reason I like this book is because it has that thriller tip of the iceberg to it and a bit of that forceful imaginative touch. It makes you imagine what’s going on, not you choosing to make the scene, which I believe is really fantastic for young minds to keep their imagination open. I would rate it 4 stars.

The thrill of Incarceron will leave you at the edge of your seat and stuck to the book until morning comes.

“Where are the leaders?’ Sapphique asked. ‘In the fortresses,’ the Swan replied.

‘And the poets?’ ‘Lost in dreams of other worlds.’

‘And the craftsmen?’ ‘Forging machines to challenge the darkness.’

‘And the Wise, who made the world?’ The Swan lowered its black neck sadly. ‘Dwindled to crones and sorcerers in towers.”

Welcome to Incarceron.

Lauren Yr 9


“Nothing has changed, or will change. So we must change it.”

Readers are invited to take a trip to Incarceron, a prison made up as a whole world, filled with people that live throughout this land. Many forests and towns are located in this one prison, but Incarceron is not the only land that some of the citizens believe there is.

Finn is a prisoner of Incarceron, awoken in a cell but he doesn’t remember his earlier life. Believing he’s not from the prison but from outside, he has already spent three years trying to find out where he’s from. It’s a challenge that he desperately wishes to accomplish.

Claudia is the daughter of the prison’s warden, living in a world frozen in the era of the 17th century, by law. She desires to show the people of her world the true story of a particular death. Living on the outside of the prison, she also has complications to face.

Both these teenagers are trapped in their own way, both believing they have never seen each other’s worlds but somehow they both find a way to communicate. Both wanting to accomplish their goals, they work together from their distant spaces to do so.

I liked this book because of the uniqueness. I found the point of view from both characters interesting and the book was very enjoyable to read. It was hard to put down this fascinating story. I enjoyed how Claudia and Finn communicated with each other to work together towards their goals, despite the distance between them. The settings were interesting and the story flowed well. The landscapes of both worlds were captivating and intriguing. Unfortunately, there were some parts of the novel that lacked description so it was harder to picture.

I recommend this book to advanced readers from 14 years and older. Any readers who love an adventure and enjoy journeying through incredible worlds would enjoy this book. Despite the lack of emotion in some sections, I give the novel four stars due to how captivating it is. Incarceron is a good story and I definitely recommend reading it.

Tiana A, Year 9

November 13

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

17878931“ I am a red girl in a sea of silvers and I cannot afford to feel sorry for anyone, least of all the son of a snake.”

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard is an electrifying debut novel that merges the boundaries between fantasy power, gripping action and forbidden love and taking the wonderful world of YA by storm.

Red Queen takes place in a dystopian world divided by blood – red or silver. The Silvers are blessed with god-like supernatural powers and live in the lap of luxury while the Reds are commoners stricken by poverty living in the shadows of the elite. Mare Burrow is a 17-year-old Red girl, but in an extraordinary situation discovers that regardless of the colour of her blood, she is gifted with abilities that not even Silvers possess.

Victoria Aveyard writes to the beat of her own drum, every beat being a heart-stopping twist that will leave you on the edge of your seat in danger of a heart-attack. Throughout these twists and turns the main character, Mare, was such a pleasure to see grow and unravel from the beginning to the end. Character development in Red Queen was one of its best attributes as each one of the characters had their own very special personality and story.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard has an exceptionally wide range of genres, dystopian worlds, gripping action, forbidden romance, betrayal, fearless plot twists and fights scenes as good as that of the Avengers, making this book readily available to absolutely anyone. It will make hard-core fantasy addicts weep with triumph and delight.

Red Queen will give you a rollercoaster of emotions that will leave you in a mess of tears or a heart attack of joy. In a wonderful world of betrayal against betrayal, Reds against Silvers, prince against prince and Mare’s heart against Mare’s head, it doesn’t get better than this. If I have said anything that has given you shivers down your spine, read this one of a kind book and “We will rise up, Red as the dawn.”

I give Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard a 5 out of 5 stars.

By Bronte, Year 9


November 13

‘Divergent’ by Veronica Roth

DivergentWhat would you do if you had to make a life changing decision that could change your life completely? Would you play it safe and stay or would you leave and never come back? Imagine living in a world where you are judged and put in a category, a faction. It’s sixteen year-old Beatrice Prior’s turn to make this decision and what she chooses will surprise everyone.

If you love mystery, action and adventure then Veronica Roth’s novel Divergent is definitely the book for you.

Divergent is set in a post apocalyptic world that is divided into five factions: Amity, Candor, Erudite, Abnegation and Dauntless. It’s Beatrice and Caleb Prior’s turn to take the aptitude tests, then after comes the life changing decision of which faction to choose. Beatrice learns she is Divergent and doesn’t fit into any of the five factions so it is up to her instinct to choose the right faction. She comes to realise that the world she lives in, that’s meant to be safe, is not. In fact it is filled with mystery, lies, plots and secrets. She learns more about what she is and that it is not safe for her. Through the initiation into her chosen faction she experiences many challenges as well as romance, trust and tests. What faction does she belong to? Why is being Divergent so dangerous? And what secrets are faction leaders hiding from society?

I enjoyed reading Divergent, as I just couldn’t take my eyes off the page. From the second you open the book and read the first sentence you don’t want to put it down. It is intriguing, enthralling and definitely one of the best books to read. The book is also about fitting in, discovering who you are and fighting for who you are, very relatable to teenagers as it is also about romance. It takes you along the journey of Beatrice’s and Four’s romance story. It is a very intense book with lots of ups and downs, twists and turns and emotional and action packed moments. I would recommend this book to people between the ages of 13-40 that are at a higher level of reading as some context may be hard to understand and also people that love to read action/adventure and romance books. I would rate it 4/5 stars, as it is by far one of the best books I’ve ever read. What faction would you chose?

Mila, Year 9





One choice decides your friends, defines your beliefs and determines your loyalties… Forever.

“One choice can transform you.

One choice can destroy you.

Once choice will define you.”


“You nearly died today,’ he says. ‘I almost shot you.’

‘Why didn’t you shoot me, Tris?’

‘I couldn’t do that,’ I say. ‘It would have been like shooting myself.’

He looks pained and leans closer to me, so his lips brush mine when he speaks…..”


Do you long for excitement, and out of this world experiences? Suspense and heart filled wonder?

The Divergent series encompasses these emotions, leaving you awake ‘till all hours of the night unable to put the book down.

Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the main character lives in a deteriorating city, run by the Government. People are split up into different groups according to their skills and moral values. Tris and her brother, along with the rest of the population, are forced to choose what life they will live, once they turn 16. It‘s a choice that will determine their fates, and possibly their survival. In order to help them make this choice they undergo a test. Through this test Tris discovers that she is different, and therefore in danger.

Tris is Divergent, a fate that if she is not careful will get her killed. She is told by an unsuspecting ally to keep this true identity a secret, although she is clueless as to why. She discovers that the world around her is not what she thought. People are lying, plots are being created and the people she loves most are not who they say they are.

On an enchanting and thrilling adventure, Tris meets new friends, overcomes obstacles and fights for her survival.

Personally I enjoyed this book, filled with suspense it transported me to a different world. With twists and turns on every page Divergent keeps you on the edge of your seat. The main character is relatable to teens and most people in modern society, as she fights to find who she is and fit in, but eventually realises that everyone is different. This book deserves a rating of 7.5/10 as it is exciting and captivates the audience.

Divergent is a fictional novel recommended to young adults as it is easy to read and relatable. It is action packed with guns and violence for the thrill seekers and sentimental appeal for the romanticists. A gender neutral book that can be enjoyed by anyone, Divergent is definitely at the top of my booklist.

In conclusion, this enthralling story transports you to a world of romance and adventure, it is a riveting, read relatable to teens but readable by everyone. If you can read, this is a book for you.

Piper, Year 9


Imagine living in a world that is split into five factions. Where your whole life is determined by one test and the results from this one test could change your life forever.

The book Divergent by Veronica Roth is about a girl called Beatrice Prior who lives in a futuristic world that is split into five factions according to their personal qualities. Amity – the kind, Erudite – the intelligent, Candor – the honest, Abnegation – the selfless and Dauntless – the brave. Beatrice has come to the time in her life where she has to take the Aptitude test and make a decision whether she will stay with her family in Abnegation or leave and go to another faction. Despite the pressure from the test, Beatrice also has a secret; a secret that changes her life, and if the secret got out she would be killed.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book Divergent as it was filled with thrill, action, adventure and even a little bit of romance. As soon as I started reading this book, I was hooked and couldn’t put it down, as it was such an engaging story with a lot of cliffhangers. This book relates to teenagers as it teaches you that not everything is easy and there are going to be tough decisions in your life that you will have to make. It also relates to teens as it focuses on “Tris” discovering who she is and following her own heart. Teenagers can relate to this as they are in the stage of their life where they are still discovering who they are. Beatrice teaches you that you don’t need to follow everyone else, not even the ones you love. Trust yourself and go with your heart.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone between the ages of 13-40 as it has a great storyline and is packed with action, adventure and romance. I definitely would recommend reading Divergent if you liked any of the Hunger Games or Maze Runner books. Divergent was such a good book to read and I really enjoyed it so I would rate it 4 out of 5 stars.

Makenna, Year 9

November 12

‘Pandora Jones: Admission’ by Barry Jonsberg

Admission‘It took slightly under eight hours for Melbourne to die’. 

The world of Pandora Jones is not one to envy. The prologue is an absolute killer. There’s no doubt you’ll be hooked from the first sentence, completely drawn in by the intense imagery that the protagonist, Pan, uses to describe the apocalypse. Realistically and vividly she tells of the horrors she has seen in the world as it ends, cars flipped over, fires, bodies lying in the street; utter pandemonium, and this is only the beginning.

Pan awakens in an infirmary, weak, confused, unaware of where she is and barely able to remember who she is. To top it all off, she’s considered to be one of the lucky ones. She remembers the apocalypse in blurry flashes, disjointed memories that she can’t place together. Soon she discovers that a deadly virus has swept through the world, killing nations and millions of people, including her family.

Although Pandora Jones seems like your average young adult dystopian novel, it is far from it. It dips and dives into different genres, filled with mystery, suspense, action, deceit, and even a touch of the paranormal. Pan is part of a select group of teenagers who are seemingly immune to the virus. Saved from a dying world, they are take to ‘The School’, an institution that trains the teens to survive and hones their talents in order to strengthen and use them. The majority of Pan’s group accept their fate, but Pan refuses to.

As more and more is revealed due to Pan’s inquisitive nature, and through her new partner in crime, Nate, the true nature of ‘The School’ begins to come to light. Slowly, it starts to seem as if the walls surrounding the school are one-way barbed wire, perhaps not meant to keep what’s out outside, but to keep the teens in. More and more questions are raised and the answers continually seem to be out of reach, until the end, where you will be left with an unimaginable truth that will leave your head spinning.

Explosive, brutal and utterly consuming, Pandora Jones will leave you breathless and wanting more. The power of Barry Jonsberg’s words is not to be underestimated. Your world will be turned upside down as you’re taken into the gripping dystopian universe of Pan. It is without a doubt a series that will stay with you long after the last page.

– Ashleigh D, Year 9


What would you do if the world died?

Pandora Jones wakes to an unknown world, a sanctuary for survivors of a deadly plague, which left only 10,000 survivors. The survivors are trained in fitness, combat skills, English literature and a skill they possess at The School. Pandora’s skill is intuition, the ability to find lost objects, predict people’s actions and have understanding of skill she has little knowledge of. Whether this gift will help her separate dreams from memories and discover the secrets of the school is the real question.

The story does not take hold until late in the book. Unless, you enjoy reading about a girl going through her life, the plot is too much like school to be interesting. The main character, Pan, is quite weak spirited and you often find yourself getting annoyed at her hesitance and lack of self-confidence. Most of the characters were underdeveloped, including Pan, the main character. The book would have been much more interesting from the point of view of Jen. She is a strong willed person who is not afraid to speak her mind but under the mask of self-assurance she wears, there is a kind and battered soul. The dialogue was too formal for the characters to be believable teenagers. The story drew you in with the prologue, creating anticipation for the rest of the book, however it was not able to match the level of excitement it created until the last quarter of the book. The story is believable if you are able to overlook the undeveloped science that they hint at in the book.

Pandora Jones: Admission is best suited for students at the lower end of the high school, between the years 11 – 15. It is an interesting book, which will probably become faster paced in the sequels. I rate it a 2.5 out of 5 due to its slow story line, which fails to meet the hype of the prologue.

Alex Y., Year 9


Aliens! Zombies! Jesus! Satan! These words are predicted to end the world. But did it ever cross your mind that there could be another cause for the end of humanity? Pandora Jones Admission by Barry Jonsberg provides an alternate option for another end to civilisation.

The main character Pandora Jones is a defiant and inactive 18-year-old girl who has some unique talents. But how will her talents become useful when everyone around her is dying? Introduce a safe house and a few other characters and you have yourself a well-written story. Now enter Nate the tall, dark and handsome 18-year-old guy who’s great at running, as well as Wei-lin, the 14-year-old Asian who is Katniss Everdeen’s competition for archery. These characters construct a story of death, grief, acceptance, decision-making and friendship. When one of their friends goes missing without a trace, what do you do? When your group is shipped off to a mysterious land and you have no idea what to do or how to survive, who would you trust?

This book was extremely enjoyable to read for many reasons. Firstly the author wrote this book exceptionally well, in terms of describing surroundings, character building and incorporating emotion. Furthermore, the book uses the strategies of secrets, action, survival, intuition, truth and a pandemic to leave the readers wanting more of the spectacular literature. Additionally, the cliff-hanger at the conclusion is really captivating. With these positive aspects also come negative aspects. The author really needed to create some unique twists or a more uniquely structured plot to generate more interest throughout the book.

I would recommend this book to any person 12 years or above, simply due to the presence of some mild graphic scenes in the initial chapters. This book might interest teenagers who like to read post-apocalyptic literature, who like to get lost in another realm, or readers who enjoy a morsel of mystery and action. People who have read the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins or the Divergent series by Veronica Roth may enjoy this read as the books share the same genre and similar life or death plot.

Overall, Pandora Jones Admission by Barry Jonsberg is a fantastic read that keeps the reader hooked from beginning to end. The book was extremely well written however the author could have incorporated some authentic twists to the plot to generate more interest.

Sage, Year 9

November 12

‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins

hunger gamesThe Hunger Games is an engaging book that tells the story of a girl in a poor family.

The story starts off with the main character Katniss in a poor district going hunting for food. It explains the circumstances of The Hunger Games where they choose two people from each district, one boy and one girl, and take them to a death match dome where the last man standing is the winner. Katniss’ sister gets chosen for The Hunger Games and Katniss volunteers to take her place as ‘Tribute’. The other person who gets chosen is a boy named Peeta. They go on a train and meet Haymitch. He is an alcoholic that has no faith in District 12 and he was surprised when he found out that these could be the first fighters from District 12. When they get to the Capital they go to a training facility and are told to learn how to use different types of weapons but do not show the other tributes what weapon you are really good with so they don’t know what to expect. That forces Katniss to not train with a bow and wait for private training. After all of their training, they are forced into the dome.

This book is very adrenalin filled as it makes you want to know what is going to happen next. You are always thinking, “Who is going to die next?” “How will the next person die?” “What trick are they going to play next?” This book will grab you and never let you go, like stinging nettle… except without the pain. Even though this is a great book, I say watch the movie over the book as it will give you even more adrenalin because you can see all the action take place and see how the characters react to things better. If you like adventure and action they you will enjoy this novel. Then, if you enjoy Book 1, you should go straight to The Hunger Games books 2 and 3.

Finn S., Year 9.


“Be brave and be thankful for what you have achieved.”

Once a year, two tributes – one man and one woman – would be chosen to fight until death against other teams of two. Does this book sound like the type of action and thriller book that interests you the most?

Living in the town was not the same anymore. People were dying because of the craziness after the first hunger games. Katniss, the first chosen to participate, she is not always alone. She is with Peter, the second chosen to fight. They had stuck together through the whole book and showed courage and bravery within themselves.

The book the Hunger Games had two settings in the novel: the town and the arena. The arena was filled with big trees, rivers and very open flat plains. The town was set on the bottom of a tall grassy hill beside a small farm, and the arena was set in the middle of nowhere, where no one was going to find them.

The characters were very outgoing and full on. The main characters were Katniss and Peter alongside their parents and close friends. As the book came to an end Katniss and Peter did end up falling in love, which gave the novel a romantic theme towards the end.

I really enjoyed this novel because it’s a story about a young woman who volunteered to compete in the Hunger Games after her little sister was chosen to fight. Little did she know her life would never be the same after the risks she had chosen to take. I recommend this novel to the ages of 12 to 18 if you are interested in a very heart racing thriller and adventurous novel this would be just for you. On the other hand it was just magnificent over all and I’d rate this book a 4 out of 5.

By Cooper, Year 9


In the distant future the U.S. is gone and had spiralled into chaos and unpleasantry ruled by a simple game. Now in its place is Panem, in which the city of Capitol stands, somewhere in the large populated Rockies, ruling over 12 rebellious districts filled with rather poor people. For the people that rule over the cities to maintain an iron grip, the Capitol holds an annual televised reality show called the Hunger Games, a rather lethal form of survival to which each district must send one boy and one girl. Out of these 24 teens only one will survive.

Katniss, who volunteers to take part in the game in place of her sister, competes alongside Peeta who is also a District 12 competitor. She soon meets Peeta who she has to fight with in order to survive against the other districts, as they will be pinned up against each other and will have to kill one another for resources. Their competition is complicated by Peeta’s announcement that he is in love with Katniss, however Katniss does not have feelings for Peeta. The Hunger Games is an action, adventure and thriller novel that revolves around the main charter Katniss who lives a rather normal life hunting for food to feed her mum and little sister but she puts herself in danger to protect her little sister after she was chosen to contribute in the Hunger Games.

The two later find each other during the game and form an an alliance in order to survive, and now they are struggling to fight against the other players and traps set by the game makers in the 74th Hunger Games. Katniss doesn’t want to hurt or kill anyone if possible but when it comes down to it Katniss’ instinct to survive will overwhelm her, but when she starts to have confusing feelings about the boy named Peeta from her own district who is also her fellow contender, things get worse for her, and then she teams up with a little girl from District 11 but they are both well aware that only one of them will remain and only one person can survive to win the game but who will it be?

Kaynan B, Year 9


The Hunger Games is an annual event where a boy and a girl from each of twelve districts are chosen to compete in a fight to the death in which the reward is money, fame, prestige, but most of all, survival.

The Hunger Games – Catching Fire novel, written by Suzanne Collins, is set in a place called Panem, North America in which there is a very rich city called the Capitol, surrounded by twelve districts. The Capitol hosts an event called the Hunger Games for their amusement. Following the first Hunger Games novel, the main character Katniss Everdeen lives a life of fame and fortune after winning the 74th hunger games.

But the life of kings is short-lived as the Capitol plans the 75th hunger games in which there will be a ‘quarter quell’. A quarter quell is a special hunger games where the previous winners are pitted against each other with only one of them coming out alive. These plans spark an uprising from inside the Capitol itself and all the other districts, leaving room and many possibilities for new novels.

The Hunger Games – Catching Fire is an amazing novel filled with action, adventure and a little bit of romance here and there; not surprising since it was written by the very talented author, Suzanne Collins.

The Hunger Games is an action-adventure story. It is very entertaining for men and women of all ages, though I would recommend it for people over the age of 12. I was completely engaged in the book, glued to the pages in excitement. Hunger Games – Catching Fire is an extremely engaging book; it had me begging for more with the adventure, mystery and a bit of romance. The book was a complete success, and I can definitely see why. 4/5 stars from me.

Harry, Year 9

November 12

‘Delirium’ by Lauren Oliver

Delirium‘The most dangerous sicknesses are those that make us believe we are well.’ – Proverb 42, The Book of Shhh.

It’s been sixty-four years since the President and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since scientists perfected a cure. It’s called amor deliria nervosa, and those who become infected are dangerous infractions in society, and must be neutralised at all costs. The cure is administered to citizens the day they turn eighteen, and Lena Haloway only has ninety-five days left. Lena, along with everyone else, looks forward to the day they receive the cure, as a life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured and predictable. But her best friend, Hana, doesn’t agree with that at all, and neither does Alex, the mysterious boy with the autumn coloured eyes who keeps popping up when Lena least expects it. And with the Government refusing to even admit to the existence of the Invalids, an underground rebel alliance from the other side of the border, Lena is starting to disagree as well. With memories from her past resurfacing about her mother and how different she was from other cured parents, Lena begins to doubt everything she was ever forced to believe, especially when she starts harbouring feelings of the illegal kind for a certain boy who seems to know far more about the disease than he lets on. Lena starts to realise just how little control she has over her own life, and opens her eyes to just how little humanity there is inside a machine.

From the moment I picked this book up, I couldn’t put it down, and it will definitely be one that stays with me for a long time. Each page was thick with tension and I found myself feeling like I was in the story with Lena, afraid that at any second I would be taken away for knowing too much. The suspense really was killer, and I found that I could relate to the characters easily, like they were real people. Every emotion Lena felt was translated flawlessly through the descriptive language in the book, and the vast use of vocabulary made the heavy situation palpable and full of real substance. Not once did I encounter a moment that seemed to drag on or lack essence of any kind, and the story was full of twists and deeper meanings where I had to read between the lines, making me think about what that sentence really meant long after I’d finished the book. The characters were well developed and relatable, and their fear for their lives was especially raw and material. It’s a book that I could read over and over again, and every time I would get lost in the story.

I recommend this story to girls, around thirteen to adulthood. People who enjoyed The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins or Matched by Ally Condie would appreciate the story especially. I rate Delirium 5 stars out of 5, and I will probably be reading the book a second time.

Lily T., Year 9.’


“The most dangerous sicknesses are those that make us believe we are well.” –Proverb 42, The Book of Shhh. (p1). Wow, sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Let’s find out…

This story is set in the future, in a place and time where love is a disease. Imagine that! Half of the movies we see would never be made, no one would be dreaming of Harry Styles, and what would happen on February 14th? Nothing, that’s what. It’s Valentine’s Day if you didn’t know…

The main girl, Lena, is 17 and about to get ‘the cure’ for love, called “The Producer”, along with her friend, Hana. Hana is a rebel, and likes going to parties. Lena goes to one and meets Alex, who is a boy. Alex flirts with Lena, and she feels confused because Alex is supposed to be cured, and she is worried about her future. Lena is afraid of Alex.

One night, Hana goes to a party, and Lena goes to warn her that it is going to be raided. Some dogs attack her, and Alex saves her by looking after her wounds. Lena’s future has already been chosen, and her future husband follows the rules, and she feels bad that she is thinking so much about Alex. This is like some cultures where they have arranged marriages.

They run off into the wild and it gets quite romantic. They read poetry to each other and Lena realises that Alex isn’t cured and he is falling in love with her.

I would tell you more but I don’t to wreck it. It’s interesting if you like books like “Divergent” or “The Hunger Games”. I like more mystery type books with more action than this one. If you are a girl, aged 14-15, and into romance, you might like this book. I would rate this book 3/5 because it was ok but not as interesting as I thought it would be, based on the blurb.

— Katelyn, Year 9


“He who leaps for the sky may fall, it’s true. But he may also fly.”

(One of the most famous quotes from Delirium)

Delirium is an award-winning book around the world. In fact this is the best book that Lauren Oliver ever wrote that is now a book series. This book is based on romance and maybe a tiny bit of adventure. This book definitely keeps your eyes wide open especially for ages between 14 and 20 years. Not only does Delirium have an amazing story line but the book also follows along with beautiful wording that I couldn’t get my eyes off the book!

Delirium is a successful novel that is about forbidden love and everybody in the story is scared of being in love. The government has a rule that when you turn 18, you have to get a cure. This cure is for everyone to not have the ability to fall in love forever or, as the government calls love, the disease Amor Deliria Nervosa. The main character of the book, Lena, is 17 and in a few days she turns 18 and then she will get the needle. But she also has one dark big secret that she knows is not good at all for her. The government will not be impressed at all.

In my opinion, this was a great gripping story that will have all teens reading more than once. I definitely rate this book at least a four out of 5 stars as I couldn’t get my hands off the book. I am so very happy that I got to do a review about this amazing book, and I will be definitely continue on with the book series for a very long time.

Madison – Year 9


“You can’t be happy unless you’re unhappy sometimes”. – Lauren Oliver

Delirium is an award-winning book loved by many teens. This book is set in Portland, Maine. It is based around 64 years after love had been stated as a disease by the United States government.

Lena Holoway is a seventeen-year-old girl ready for her 18th birthday. When she turns 18 she will be able to have the mandatory medical procedure that causes patients to be incapable of love. Lena is hoping that the cure will let her lead a safe and traditional life.

Delirium is about a world where no one can love as it has been declared a disease. People were not allowed to love, as it would mean you have a disease. Lena can’t wait until she gets the cure so that everyone would have a life without love and pain. Hana is Lena’s best friend who doesn’t agree with the cure and neither does the mystery boy, Alex. Lena eventually realises that she also disagrees. She realised that her memories from her past were reappearing about her mother, she realised that her mother was much different to the other cured parents. Lena began to realise that she doesn’t believe in everything she was taught to believe.

I liked this book because it has an interesting plot that keeps readers stuck in the book. You can’t keep their eyes off it. I would recommend this book to teenagers from the ages of 13 and above because it’s a hard book to understand and it’s more for that age category.

Thalia F., year 9

June 24

‘Worldshaker’ by Richard Harland

WorldshakerBehold, the juggernaut Worldshaker, a mobile city as tall and as great as a mountain. Col Porpentine lives a life of luxury with his elite family in the upper decks of the juggernaut, but his life is about to turn upside down when he meets a “filthy” girl.

This book would keep you reading for hours and hours without ever wanting to stop. “World Shaker” by Richard Harland would certainly be a book for you!

As two officers barged into Col’s cabin in the middle of the night, they informed him that there was an escaped “filthy” girl. Filthies were thought to be an uncivilised, unintelligent and dangerous group of people living in the lower decks of the juggernaut. They were classified as nothing but mindless savages by people in the upper decks. But, everything that Col knew about the Filthies changed when the officers left his room. The missing filthy was hiding under his bed! It turned out that the Filthies were nothing that Col expected them to be. The Filthies were anything but mindless, violent and savage. And for some reason, Col’s unexpected sympathy towards the filthy girl urged him to not call the officers and hand the filthy in. That was a very big mistake that affected him for the rest of the story. After that unusual encounter, the filthy girl managed to escaped and Col was nominated as the successor of his grandfather, Sir Mormus. He was soon to be the Supreme Commander of the juggernaut.

I really enjoyed this book because of its very good and unique plot. I’ve never read anything like “World Shaker” before and I was amused and hooked from the beginning of the book up until the very last page. The characters and the settings of this book were described excellently and the constant action, plot twists and suspense within the storyline got me sitting on the edge of my seat wanting for more. There weren’t any anticlimactic or dragging parts in the book and the story sure did end with an impact.

I would recommend this book to teenage boys who enjoy the adventure and/or edgy genres because this book is jam packed with action and plot twists. I loved this book and it made me want to read the next book in the series, “Liberator.” Overall, I’d rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Kai Y., Year 8


June 24

‘Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment’ by James Patterson

Maximum RideHave you ever wondered what it would be like to fly, soaring through the sky above everyone else grounded by gravity? For most of us, it would be a dream come true. For Maximum Ride (A.K.A. Max) it is the nightmare that will never stop. Max was taken away when she was just born to a laboratory filled with scientists and test subjects. Max and five other kids had bird DNA put in them, allowing them to grow wings. They also grew larger lungs, thinner bones, extra muscles and their hearts grew more efficient. This allowed them to fly without too much pressure. The children were living in dog cages until one day a scientist called Jeb Batchelder took them away from the lab (A.K.A. The School) and up into a house in the mountains. There, he raised them like they were his own children. He clothed them, taught them survival skills, how to fight and how to read. He acted like a parent to them; two years of raising them until he disappeared. They all assumed that he was killed. From then on, they did everything themselves.

“The flock” has six members in it. Max is the eldest, so she looks after everyone else as though it is life or death. Fang is the second eldest, and he is the silent one. Sometimes he likes to sneak up on Max. Iggy is third, and he is blind, but he can still hear everything and he can also cook and make bombs, even though he’s blind. Nudge is next, and she is a chatterbox. She likes to talk all day long. She also likes looking at things she’s not supposed to, which is a good thing. Gazzy is fourth, and he likes to eat food and fart. He tries to always act tough. Last is Angel, and she is the most special. She can read people’s minds and she is the most important to Max. These six are always getting into trouble with erasers. Erasers are humans that have wolf DNA in them, and they are always being sent out to capture the flock, and one day they get Angel. This is the moment where they go out to get her back from the horrible scientists.

Maximum Ride is an amazing book. It talks about trust and friendship. I couldn’t take my eyes off it, it was so intense. Once I started reading, I was always left with a question in my head, so I had to keep reading. I would recommend this book to kids aged 13-15, and kids who love a combination of action and fantasy. If you also love massive twists at the end of a book, than I would recommend Maximum Ride to you. I would rate this book 9.5 out of 10.

By Cooper, Year 8

June 23

‘Legend’ by Marie Lu

legend_coverWould you steal and would you help a criminal? Day is a criminal who steals to help others and family; June, a high ranking officer helps the Republic… Day murdered June’s brother, and she has sworn to avenge his death.

Set in the future in the Republic of America there is a war between the Republic and the Patriots and a fatal plague spreading.

June is a very smart young girl who was raised by her older brother and not her parents. People know her for her perfect trial (test) score, a feat no one had previously achieved. Her brother works in the Republic as a captain. June couldn’t live without him, as he takes care of her and misses awards presented to him to take care of her when she is sick. June is the smartest person ever in the Republic and uses her skills in her training and new job in the Republic.

Day is a 15-year-old boy born in the poor areas of America. His family struggles for money an his mother think he’s dead, however he lives his life stealing from the Republic and providing his family and friends with the things he can give. Day has two brothers, a mother and a father who is gone. Now that his youngest brother has caught the plague, a disease with a cure that costs a fortune, Day’s only chance to save him is by stealing a vial of medicine that is in a guarded hospital. Day’s best friend is a girl named Tess who he found in the slum.

Metias, June’s only brother, is at the hospital guarding the newly delivered cure but Day manages to trick others into letting him in. When Day steals the medicine he ends up on the street with Metias who pulls out his gun, but Day throws his knife and kills him. He manages to escape but once June finds out she has sworn to have revenge.

I liked this book because it was so full of twists and had a whole set of adventure, action, mystery, bit of romance and 100% mind blowing.

I recommend this book to 12+ because it has some parts that only older people would understand.

Christopher O (Yr 8)

June 23

‘I am Number Four’ by Pittacus Lore

I AM NUMBER FOURIn the beginning there were nine, they found the others, now they are coming for me…… I AM NUMBER FOUR.

I am number four is an action packed book that still fits in a little bit of romance, set in Paradise, Ohio. John Smith and Henri are in hiding. They are hiding from the Mogadorians, the hunters of their kind, moving to another town every couple of months, a new town, a new identity, a new life, any records or any trace that they were there, gone.

John Smith aka number four is a teenage boy who is living pretty much on the run from the Mogadorians, a race of aliens who are trying to kill him. After number three was killed, he moves to Paradise Ohio where he meets Sam who becomes his best friend and Sarah who he falls deeply in love with. John and Henri appear to be the perfect father and son but not everything is as it seems, as they aren’t even father and son and they aren’t even from Earth. With the Mogadorians tracking them, Henri and John must be cautious of their surroundings and Henri must train John to use his “special abilities.” This book is a mix of Action, fiction, romance, adventure and science fiction/fantasy.

I liked this book so much because it related to real life teenagers in that John and Sam were being bullied at high school by the popular boys. This book was also appealing because every time you turned the page there was more action, more excitement and more drama. Every new chapter brought something more interesting into the story, something extra about what happened to Lorien and the Loric people. Throughout the book it would give little bits of information so you had to keep reading to find out the rest of the information, for example the book mentions a second ship early in the book but you have to keep reading to find out what was on the second ship.

I would definitely recommend this book to both genders and any age from 12yrs to 16yrs. Most people over the age of 16 will probably find this book boring and most under the age of 12 will highly likely find this book too hard to read or not understand what is happening. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I rate “I am number four” by Pittacus Lore 4 out of 5 stars.

Hannah R, Year 8


Imagine being unable to recognise the few people you had to leave behind. It wouldn’t be good, would it?

The novel ‘I am number four’ was just like this and was written by Pittacus Lore. It was very interesting because it had the element of surprise in it a lot which was thrilling. The first chapter of the novel was going straight into the action so it started with a hook which caught my attention.

The genre in this book is adventure and action but it also has a bit of romance. It is not based on a true story so therefore it’s fictional. This novel is about a guy called John Smith, that can’t live a normal life. His home planet (Lorien) was destroyed by aliens called Mogadorians. These destructive aliens took away everything he had and loved. He was sent away with others to a safe planet called Earth, well it was safe then but not now. John found a stranger called Sarah who could be his love interest but that may not last long.

John will go through pain, hurt and many obstacles on the way to find out who he really is. John Smith has gone through many things but he’s always had a helping hand from his mentor Henri. Henri has always been a father figure for him because he wasn’t able to meet his parents. There are nine chosen kids that have a special gift that is used to save their plant and earth from extinction but has all hope been lost when he is faced with someone that took everything away from himself or will he not see the light of day again?

This novel is really fascinating and really hooks the reader, which I love. It’s is a good length book and won’t take long to read unless you decide it’s not something you’re interested in. The novel  reaches out to teens aged 12-15 years. I would not recommend this to any person higher or lower than this age because it will not interest them or hook them.  ‘I am number four’ is truly a great book that is a part of a series so you can continue to read them to see what happens next.

Lili S., Year 8


John Smith is not a normal teenager. He can’t run forever. But why is he running in the first place?

The novel ‘I am number four’ by Pittacus Lore grabs you from the first chapter, as it gets straight into the action. The story is set in modern day, in Paradise Ohio, a small town where everybody knows everybody. Maybe it’s a great place for an alien to hide away and live a ‘normal’ life.

John Smith aka Number Four is the main character of this book. He was chosen as one of nine kids to escape from the war that was happening in his home planet, Lorien. He is next in line to be hunted and killed by the Mogadorians (the aliens who started the war and intend on continuing it). As he is being chased, he decides to settle in Paradise Ohio. His guardian, Henri, finds out about some mistakes John has made and tries to make them leave, but as John’s legacies/powers grow he gets stronger and learns how to stand up for himself. Along the way John meets a girl with blonde hair, named Sarah. She is kind-hearted, similar to John in many different ways (except for the fact they come from different planets).

I really enjoyed this book because of the diversity that the pages of the book has in store. Also the action: it’s really grabbing and it’s too graphic yet still gives you a clear picture of what is happening. In the more peaceful times, the author uses very explanatory language, although leaving some details up to the reader, which it’s really great because everyone has a different look for Sam, John and even the heartless Mogadorians.

The genre of this book is definitely action and adventure, although it has some romance. I would recommend this book for girls and boys ages 12 – 15, as it is quite a diverse book that everyone would enjoy. With aliens, fire-resistance, relationships, and a tag-along dog Bernie Kosar, this book is enjoyable for both genders.

Will John learn to trust another person besides himself and Henri or will he block out everyone that comes close to finding out his secret?

Serayna N, Year 8


Have you been waiting for superpowers so that you can escape from evil aliens and save all your friends as well?

All of his life, 15-year-old John Smith has moved from place to place, never staying in the one area too long in fear that the Mogadorians will find him. They could kill him. John is protected by a magical spell that was placed on nine children from the planet Lorien, John’s home planet. An elder of the planet placed a spell on them that gave each child a number, and the only way the Mogadorians can kill them is to kill them in order from one to nine. Henri, John’s Cêpan or guardian, starts to get very worried when the first three have all been killed because John is number four. The Mogadorians will be after John next so they decide to move to Paradise, Ohio, a small town that they hope the Mogadorians wouldn’t look in, but when John moves to Paradise, Ohio, he wants things to change. John is sick of not being allowed to make friends and settle into a place so this time he’s going to act a bit differently. John meets the beautiful Sarah Hart and he’s awestruck. Suddenly John is very glad that they moved to the small town of Paradise, Ohio.

I really liked this book because it was such a good combination of adventure and fantasy with heart filled moments that show what true friendship is.

This story is most suited to boys but girls will also enjoy it and it is directed at ages 12-15 who like action, sci-fi. Fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, who would like this book.

Savannah F Year 8

June 17

‘Pandora Jones: Admission’ by Barry Jonsberg

pandora-jones-admission’Do you remember what happened out there?’ he asked. Pan considered the question. Sudden images flooded in and she closed her eyes against them. ‘I see you do,’ said the man. ‘You have been through a lot, Pandora Jones.”

Do you like mystery, an element of danger, dystopian adventure, action and romance? Well, Pandora Jones: Admission is the book for you.

The start of the story is set in a city where it all began. Further into the story the scene starts to become a school separated by a wall to keep the survivors safe from the plague epidemic that is affecting and wiping out the population.

The main characters in the story are Pandora Jones, Nate, Wei-Lin, Karl, Cara, Jen. These characters survived the plague and were taken to a school by doctors and some other people who also survived. Pandora Jones becomes good friends with Nate, Wei-Lin, Jen, Karl and Cara, but becomes very close to Nate, so much so that it becomes something more than friends.

Each one person in the group has a special talent, which becomes useful in the mission they have set themselves. Pandora Jones is one of the survivors who has been admitted into the school. They learn survival skills that help them regain their strength so they are prepared for what is come. But, will their skills pay off outside of the secure walls of the school? And what happens if it leads Pandora to where her truth lies on the outside…

I really enjoyed this book because it’s exciting and when you’re at the end of the book you want to know what happens next. Also, I like the mystery and also some of the romance that’s going on. I would recommend this book for a male or female, probably the age of 13-15 who are interested in mystery and enjoy some horrific scenes filled with danger. The book is a really good book to keep your mind active by creating scenes in your head. I’d rate this book ” Pandora Jones” 4 out of 5 stars.

Sierah, Year 8


It took slightly under eight hours for Melbourne to die.”

The story of Pandora Jones is set in a bleak, mundane setting. Pandora’s life soon gets turned on its head when she hears the news on the radio. When all she knows is wiped out by a mysterious virus, Pandora is stuck wandering the streets of Melbourne all alone, trying to find her family. After she blacks out, Pandora is brought to “The School,” where the survivors learn survival techniques to stay alive in the outside world.

When she wakes up, she is put in a group with other people a lot like herself: Nate, Jen, Samantha, Wei-Lin, Cara and Sanjit. All of her group members are good at something useful but Pandora has a gift of insight, precognition and she can find hidden things. When Cara has found something out, she vanishes leaving Pandora, who becomes the weak link. Everyone is waiting for her to mess up. Will her insights be enough? Can she find out about The School? Or is it just one big massive lie? Continue reading to find out more! I guarantee that you won’t stop flicking furiously through the pages trying to find out more.

This story is a great read which kept me reading into the wee hours of the morning. I really enjoyed the adventure themes and action scenes linked together with a gripping storyline. I would hands down recommend this book to a boy or girl audience of the ages 12 to 16 years of age, especially to anyone who has read “The Hunger Games,” “Percy Jackson,” “Maze Runner,” or “Divergent.” If you are the kind of person who easily attaches themselves to dystopian, fantasy or sci fi scenes, then this is the book for you!

Julia T, Year 8


“What I can’t cope with is the other dreams, the nightmares that make more sense. I don’t even trust my memories . . .”

Pandora Jones is one of the lucky ones, a survivor of a deadly plague, a pandemic that nearly swept out the human race entirely. When she wakes up in a hospital, her body is weak and her memories are proving to be untrustworthy as they only provide horrific flashes of death. She is told that her family has succumbed to the plague and that she has been relocated to a quarantined survival skills facility called ‘The School’. But being told that her family is dead along with most of the human race and that she is a prisoner in this facility in the middle of nowhere isn’t easy to handle and suspicion quickly arises, especially for Pan. With Pandora’s remarkable skill of intuition, the suspicion that had made her constantly wary quickly grew into something much more, a need for answers, a need for escape. But finding answers between the weaving lies is hard, especially with the heavily-guarded and prowling School always getting in Pan’s way. But for Pan, finding the truth is the only thing on her mind and she’ll do anything to unravel the web of lies she and the other students of the school have been stuck in…

Pandora Jones Admission is a mystery/action/thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat every turn of the page. With suspense and cliffhangers always leaving you guessing, this book will keep you reading all night, and if you haven’t had enough of Pandora Jones and her comrades, you’re in luck! This is book one of the trilogy! Personally, I really did enjoy this book. It had enough mystery, detail and thrill to paint a clear picture of the situations in your head. In my opinion, the ending was the best part as it came as a complete and utter shock to me. I didn’t expect it at all! Although some parts of the book were slightly over-detailed for my liking, this book instantly drowned the boredom and grabbed my attention with more mysteries and suspenseful circumstances urging me to read on. The story instantly captivates the reader. I was enthralled by the first sentence: “It took slightly under eight hours for Melbourne to die.” I would strongly recommend this book to anyone but I believe this book is aimed at an audience that enjoys thrill rides, suspenseful mysteries and action as well. Personally, I would give this book four out of five stars. Barry Jonsberg certainly did his job well!

Paige, Year 8

June 11

‘Tomorrow, when the war began’ by John Marsden

Tomorrow when the war began“We believed we were safe. That was the big fantasy.”

Wirrawee. A small, rural town on the East Coast of Australia surrounded by farmland, small industry, bush lands and friendly citizens. Not your typical war zone.

Ellie, an innocent rural teenager, and her friends head out on one last camping trip before school goes back; seven teenagers filling in time over the school holidays. They expect nothing to have changed by the time they return home, but they couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s a camping trip they will never forget. They return home to find that Ellie’s dogs are dead, the power’s been cut, phone lines disconnected and people missing. Have they been invaded? Their world is about to change forever, lives will be lost, and sacrifices will have to be made. Would you fight? Would you give up everything, including life itself? Tomorrow When The War Began will ask the biggest question you will ever have to answer.

Tomorrow When The War Began is by far one of the best books I have ever read. It was filled with suspense, action, romance, friendship and love. It teaches you about the importance of sticking together when times get tough and fighting for what you believe is right. From the first page to the very last word, I didn’t want to put the book down. This book is written perfectly. It held my full attention and left me on the edge of my seat all the way through.

I believe both girls and boys would enjoy this book as it both an action pack adventure and romantic novel. This would appeal to people from the ages 12-20, as this age group can relate to most of the story line. For the people that enjoyed the Hunger Games, Divergent and the Ellie Chronicles series, this book would be most enjoyable. I would rate Tomorrow When The War Began 5 out of 5 stars for its captivating story line, creativity and originality. I believe that Tomorrow When The War Began is a very well-written story about love, friendship, war, romance and the fight for freedom.

Shakya F, Year 8


One morning Ellie and her friends wave goodbye to their parents. Will this be the last time they ever see their parents again? Tomorrow When The War Began is about Ellie, a country teen who decides to go camping with her friends. The story is fictional and is based in Wirrawee, a small country town in Australia. Ellie and her friends go camping at Tailors Stitch also known in the book as Hell.

Ellie is a natural leader who has courage, strength and is one of the bravest teens in the group. Homer is a troublemaker and problem but when it comes to saving his town he is a great planner, leader and thinker. Fiona is a pampered princess with no knowledge of camping whatsoever, however when her town is in trouble she is a true hero. No one really knew Lee. He was the misfit but he is also one of the most interesting characters. Robyn is the smart one of the group. She always thinks strategically. Corrie is Ellie’s best mate. They’ve know each other forever. She is also very brave. Kevin is considered one of the most rural in the group and he would do anything to save Corrie’s life.

During their trip they see military aircraft flying overhead. Little did they know their town and country were being invaded. When they return home the find out that they are at war. With no training, they come together to fight the enemy.

I would recommend this book to teenagers from 12 years to 16 years. This book could also be for other age groups like young adults. I liked Tomorrow When The War Began so much because it was different to anything else I have ever read. It was really entertaining and it was filled with action. The book was also very descriptive. I also liked the book because it was written from the characters’ eyes as well.

By Olivia, Year 8


In “Tomorrow When the war Began”, a group of teenage kids went camping for one last trip before going back to school. After having a great time, they came back only to find no one was home. They soon found out that there has been an invasion from a foreign country. They now have to fight for their lives and make sacrifices to win this war.

In the start of the novel, the setting is Wirrawee, a small town with not much to do. The kids decide to go camping in a place called “Hell”. “Hell” is a beautiful place with its dangers. The Main Character, Ellie, is very brave and independent and the group leader. There is also Corrie, Ellie’s best friend and a typical teenage girl. Then we have Fi, a very big girly girl and a drama queen. Next is Robyn, a very religious Catholic girl who won’t do anything that she’s not supposed to. There is also Kevin, who can sometime be selfish and entitled to his own opinion. Then there is Lee, not your typical teen boy. He is unique and thinks deeply. Last we have Homer, who doesn’t care about rules and finds himself in the police station quite a lot but he has a bad sense of humour.

Ellie, Corrie, Robyn, Fi, Kevin, Lee and Homer decide to go on a camping trip to “Hell” before school starts again. So they all pack up the Land Rover and head off to “Hell”. After coming back from a lovely, eventful trip, they come back only to find that their lives will change forever. They will have to work together and fight for their country as one.

Marni L., Year 8


How did this happen so quickly?

Ellie and her friends go out to the bush to explore and get to a place called ‘Hell’ so they can camp there. During the night there they see a large amount of planes pass through without any lights. The next morning they discuss it, and they end up thinking that they are military planes coming back from a demonstration. When they return back to their hometown of Wirrawee, they find it deserted. No one is at home. All the animals were either dead or dying. What’s going on? Where is everyone?

The main characters in the story are Ellie Linton, Homer Yannos, Lee Takkam, Kevin Holmes, Corrie Mackenzie, Robyn Mathers and Fiona Maxwell.

If you enjoy a book with action and adventure, then ‘Tomorrow when the war began is definitely the book for you! I was really intrigued by the book. There was lots going on. The author, John Marsden, had described the characters amazingly. The plot was so well written that it was easy to picture in my mind what was going on every time I read a new sentence. The story kept going on and on with a smooth like rhythm. Everything fitted perfectly with each other. There was an even amount of action, adventure and suspense that kept me amused and had my full attention.

Ending the book made me want to read the rest of the series, to know what’s going on. I would also agree with other people that the book is definitely better than the movie. Everything was all in the book. Nothing was cut out of it like they would do in the movies.

I would recommend this book for teens and adults who would like to read an action adventure novel. This book is amazing and kept me entertained the whole time reading it. I’d rate this book 5 out of 5 stars. Simran P, Year 8.  


Why did people call it Hell?” I wondered….No place was Hell, no place could be Hell. It’s the people calling it Hell, that’s the only thing that made it so. People just sticking names on places, so that no one could see those places properly anymore...

Ellie was bored on a typical day in the school holidays. She lived in Warrawee, NSW. After pleading her parents, they finally agreed to her going on a camping trip with some of her friends. They were all very excited, but little did they know the challenges ahead of them. It was the last night of their adventurous journey, when Ellie and a few others heard and saw jets flying across the sky. It was their last peaceful night. As soon as they returned they found most of their dogs dead and families missing. They knew something had gone terribly wrong. They later found out that their country had been invaded and everyone had been captured and put at the Australia Day celebration stadium. From there onwards it was a fight for survival.

The main characters have different personalities and perspectives. Ellie is very determined and out-going girl. She looks forward to adventures and is very brave. She’s known as the leader of the group. Her best friend, Corrie, is not a very confident girl and is more on the shy side. Her other friend, Homer, lives quite near Ellie. He is a troublemaker and strong type guy. Robyn is a very religious and straightforward girl who would never dare to think ill of someone. Fiona is a very pampered and spoiled girl who mainly thinks about her hair and makeup. It would have been one of her last thoughts to come on a camping trip. Lee is a very nice guy who isn’t as close and friendly with the others. Kevin is Corrie’s boyfriend who turns out to be a deceiver and a big coward.

In my opinion, this book is very thrilling and exciting. There was always a fear of what’s going to happen next. I love the way they show how people can change in different circumstances. The author showed how when it comes to war, every type of person fights and gains courage to defeat the evil. There was a lot of suspense in this book, which made it more engaging for the reader. The book doesn’t finish with a win and attracts me to read the rest of the books in the series.

I certainly recommend this book for people who love thrill and suspense. It is suitable for everyone over the age of 12. I would rate it around a 4/5 because it was very captivating and engaging.

Vereta, Year 8