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Teen Review: Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

My name is Jayne. I’m fourteen. I go to CAPA for Visual Arts, but I love to write so much more. Creative writing has been apart of my life for so long now; I feel lost without it. I’m obsessed with everything British, Beatles, Tim Burton movies, and Harry Potter. Oh and cats! I hope you love what I review and I hope you comment and tell me what I could do better. Anyway, thanks for reading!

Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

Struck was a difficult read and it wasn’t because of the writing. The writing was terrific. It was Bosworth’s premise. Struck was about a girl named Mia Price. She lives in Los Angeles with her brother, Parker, and their mother. They moved to Los Angeles because Mia is a lightning addict. That’s right, a lightning addict. She feeds on being struck by lightning, hence the title. Tragedy strikes in LA and an earthquake takes out most of Downtown La. All skyscrapers are taken down, except for one. The Tower.

At school, Mia and Parker are being talked to about a man called Rance Ridley. He has his own show, The Hour of Light. He is to be known as the Prophet. He is telling all of Los Angeles that God will make a storm that will be even worse than the earthquake. Then there are the Seekers, who is run by Mia’s English teacher. Don’t forget Katrina, the goth girl who is also a leader. She catches Mia in the girls’ bathroom trying to be recruited by Rachel, now a follower of the Prophet.

Then a mysterious child named Jeremy (who’s a teenager) is the Clark Kent in this story. He may be a nerd, but he may be a super hero underneath. He claims to know Mia and how she has been affected by lightning in the other cities she’s lived in before LA.

The reason why I found this difficult to read was because it kept referencing the apocalyptic cliches. For instance, “God will save you if you sell your soul to him.” I am not the type of person who can take a lot of that banter and all, but if you like that type of thing, you’ll love this book.

Teen Review: Tempest by Julie Cross

My name is Jenna. I go to a high school where I’m part of the marching band and the cheerleading squad. I’m pretty busy, but I always find time to read. I’m also very creative and I like doing little crafts out of random things I find.

Tempest by Julie Cross

Jackson seems like a normal guy on the outside. He is a college student, volunteers, and has a wonderful girlfriend. But in reality, he is holding a very interesting secret. He can time travel, or rather, perform time jumps. He can go back and forth to different years, without any consequences except sickness.

The present year, otherwise known as the home base year, is 2009. The only person that knows about Jackson’s time traveling is his best friend, Adam. Adam and Jackson perform experiments to try and fully grasp how powerful this time traveling is.

When visiting his girlfriend, Holly, at her college dorm room, strange men bombarded the two and Holly was fatally shot. On instinct, Jackson time jumped. This time, he couldn’t get back to 2009.

Jackson ended up in 2007, two years before meeting Holly, and now he doesn’t know how to get back to 2009 or what is going to happen to Holly.

With nothing else to do, Jackson starts to search for answers. He finds out a whole different side of his father that he never knew, and he decides that he wants to meet the 2007 Holly and Adam. Jackson opens up a whole new level of dark secrets about his abilities, and once he learns about them, he can’t go back.

This novel was interesting and the main character Jackson was extremely lovable and readers will admire him for all of his brave decisions. The time travel talk could get confusing at times, but the time travel that Julie Cross invented is very interesting and unique. This novel is a page-turner… a very suspenseful and gripping story.

True Tales of Snowy Terror

By mid-January, you can usually count on your Facebook newsfeed to be full of complaints about snow, sleet, and freezing cold temperatures. But in the last few weeks, Pittsburgh has been having some suspiciously spring-like days. As we settle in for winter’s late arrival, you could conjure up the cold yourself by digging into some chilling true stories of snowy terror & survival.

You’ve probably heard about the Donner Party—the group of wagon-training westbound pioneers who ended up snowbound in the mountains of California in 1846. Many of them died of cold and starvation, and the rest survived by eating the flesh of the dead. Get all the gritty details by picking up one of the many books on the subject available through CLP.

In The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride, Daniel James Brown tells the true story of Sarah Graves, a twenty-one year-old girl who set out on the ill-fated voyage with her brand new husband. Brown recounts Sarah’s terrible downward spiral of a journey, from newly wedded bliss to cannibalism. Talk about a disappointing honeymoon.


If you’re into tales of struggle and survival, you could also check out the infamous story of the Uruguayan rugby team whose plane crashed in the Andes, leaving the survivors stranded in the snowy mountains to confront isolation, avalanches, and starvation.

Pick up a copy of the classic Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors by Piers Paul Read to read all about it.


Not bone-chilling enough? Head over to Wikipedia and read about the utterly creepy Dyatlov Pass Incident of 1959. Here’s the quick lowdown: nine hikers disappear in the snowy Russian mountains and it takes weeks before rescuers finally discover their bodies. BUT to this day, no one can figure out exactly what went down. It appears they had all settled in to sleep, only to wake in the night, rip open their tent from the inside, and take off running (barefoot!) into the subzero temperatures of the mountain wilderness. What mysterious force could have caused them to leave their sleeping bags for certain icy death? Bears…maybe? Abominable snowman?

Sadly no books on this one so far…looks like a job for some brave scholar of the future.

Stay warm!

Maggie, CLP Carrick

Teen review: Aviary by Kathleen O’Dell

Caroline – I am a 16-year-old from Point Breeze and a junior in high school. Along with reading and listening/singing along to music, my hobbies include journaling, chemistry, and fencing.

The Aviary by Kathleen O’Dell

This blog is on “The Aviary” by Kathleen O’Dell.

I admit, when I picked up this book I was expecting a very cliche plot, which is my absolute pet peeve. But once I started reading it, I was swept up by the vividness of the writing. Although a rather simple plot, the story was exciting and sweet.

Clara, an eleven-year-old girl, lives with her mother in an old mansion that hasn’t been opened in years. Once the home of the famous magician George Glendoveer, it now is rather empty with only the elderly Mrs. Glendoveer, the maid, and Clara and her mother living there. Told she has a weak heart, Clara has never been allowed outside the mansion’s fence, and is itching for more freedom. One day Mrs. Glendoveer grows sick and dies. That’s when things begin to happen. Clara, when looking out a previously boarded up window one day, sees a girl running to school and waves at her. The wave she gets in return is the beginning of a secret friendship. There are also the five old birds that Clara was frightened of but Mrs. Glendoveer cared so much about. One day one speaks – “Elliot,” they say. Supposedly that was the baby of the Glendoveer family who was kidnapped but, unlike the other five Glendoveer children, survived (but it is unknown where he is now).

Meanwhile, she and her new friend, Daphne, meet in secret more and more often and Clara becomes more rebellious. She takes her mother’s keys and explores the mansion, stumbling upon a room that has not been touched in perhaps fifty years. And when the smallest of the birds is injured and Clara takes it inside to care for it, she finally begins to get some answers that she so desperately wants.

With the help of Daphne, Clara secretly delves deeper into the Glendoveer mystery, running into real spirits, unpleasant adults, and familial love on the way. I can’t tell you anything past that because it would give the biggest secret away! If it sounds good at all, try it. It was better than I thought – the more I read this book, the better it became. I kept thinking this was set in England or something, but it is actually set in Maine, which threw me off for a while, but didn’t affect the plot at all. It may not be the most thrilling, but it certainly is charming.

Teen review: Remember Me by Christopher Pike

My name is Jenna. I go to a high school where I’m part of the marching band and the cheerleading squad. I’m pretty busy, but I always find time to read. I’m also very creative and I like doing little crafts out of random things I find.

Remember Me by Christopher Pike

Shari Cooper is just a regular teen with lots of friends and parties to go to. Everything literally changes when Shari Cooper decides to go to Beth’s party. By the end of the night, Shari Cooper is dead.

The novel ‘Remember Me’ follows Shari before she dies but the majority of it is after she dies. A lot of the people in the town say she jumped off the balcony willingly, killing herself. But Shari knows that’s not true. Shari wants to find the person that pushed her and killed her.

Shari meets up with Peter, a boy who went to her school and died recently. Together, Shari and Peter investigate the murder themselves, following around the people that were at the party when Shari was pushed off the balcony. They uncover secrets that are so surprising that readers won’t even see coming.

Christopher Pike also uses Shari and Peter as tools to convey the magical and fascinating afterlife. Peter shows Shari all the ropes of being a deceased being. This novel is extremely interesting because it’s from the point of view of a dead person, and it’s also very interesting to see how the author himself views the afterlife.

I liked this book a lot, and I am going to continue reading the other two books in the trilogy!

Echo Falls Mysteries

Ingrid’s irascible grandfather, who has taught her to shoot a rifle,  is determined to do anything he can to keep his land from being bought by the developer who employs her father. Her brother may or may not be taking steroids to succeed in football. Her good friend Joey, who she finds kind of cute, is the son of the chief of police.  And Ingrid, herself, is the star in Alice in Wonderland, Hansel and Grethel and other community plays. When you enter into the Echo Falls mysteries, you enter into the fascinating secrets of a family in a small town topped by suspenseful and exhilarating conclusions. I can never wait to read another in this series by Peter Abrahams. It’s best to start with his first “Down the Rabbit Hole,” but you can read any of the three in any order.

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