Thursday, December 10, 2015

Lily's review of Fangirl By Rainbow Rowell

A Review of 
Fangirl
By Rainbow Rowell

Ok so I'm not new to the Rainbow Rowell book universe, I've read Attachments as well as Eleanor and Park, but I think Fangirl really stands out! I really didn't like the others that much, that's what you get for having a friend that's a sucker for sappy weird love stories that give you the heebijeebies!
Okay so some generic no spoiler reasons why I like this book so much:

  • Adorable main character who makes you just want to hug her and tell her everything will turn out ok in the end!
  • A realistic and relatable setting that reminds me of college (I mean I think so, I'm still only in high school so I only have those brochures to compare it to in my head…)
  • REALLY fun characters that you actually love because of their different personalities! Or love to hate...that too!
So I can't really continue this book review, I feel like for this to keep going I need to be able to spoil things like the ending so I can complain and praise this book so 


CONSIDER THIS A WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! 


If you read the book (I think you totally should check it out from the library!) make sure to read the rest and tell me what you think! Ok spoiler time!

JEEZ RAINBOW ROWELL COULD YOU PLEASE WRITE AN ENDING TO A BOOK THAT ISN’T SO ABRUPT AND STRANGE? Every time I read one of your books I feel like you just ripped it right out of my hands, like I WAS READING THAT DO YOU MIND? Or a more relatable comparison, you're just eating a sandwich and Rainbow Rowell comes up to you and goes HAH right in your face and swipes it out of your mouth running away laughing villainously! Even saying “SWIPER NO SWIPING SWIPER NO SWIPING SWIPER NO SWIPING” doesn't work! Once again I WAS NOT DONE WITH THAT! Like the ending for Attachments was ok (the whole book weirded me out a lot!) and Fangirl is, like, one million times better than Eleanor and Park (I'm literally puking in my mouth from that whole book) but for real Rowell it's like you can't decide when to stop so you just do! Like you could have finished a lot more hanging storylines by the end of Cath’s spring semester but you didn't! You seemed only worried about Cath and Levi’s lovey-doveyness...like she didn't even wrap up the fact that they wouldn't see each other that much in the summer and stuff. Not to mention the mother thing, like I respect that Cath doesn't want anything to do with her mom, but Wren and her mother Laura both want Cath to have some sort of relationship with her. Sooooo many loose storylines! I can't even fathom how an author who very clearly understands the need to finish a story right ( example: Cath obsessing over how to wrap up Carry On) could have totally disregard how her endings! Ugg! Just it was a really good book and you don't want your last memory to be sour! Right? Please agree with me Rainbow Rowell (not that you'd actually read this but slight minuscule chance that you do I'm sure you're a great gal...I just hate your endings:) )

So Cath and Levi, even though I'm, like, the most anti love and mushy goshies person in the world, even I can agree that this love story was not the grossest one I've ever read, it was sweet (even though sweet makes me want to puke on the inside, not in anyway does this reflect on Rainbow Rowell’s writing, just my total disgust towards love). I thought it was nice that Levi tried so hard, but I feel like that part where Levi made out with that other girl before he and Cath were a thing was a little forced, like it was written to show that “Dudley-do-right” could mess up, like he had to do that to show that nobody is perfect. Like it just made Cath not want to go back to school which was really saddening.

Anyways Fangirl has like THE BEST sarcastic lines! For real you guys it just is the kind of quick sarcasm that makes you snort laugh and think *I totally have said something like that*( I can be very sarcastic, in fact just this morning my mom said “ Don't you want to support *insert teacher name* and buy spirit wear? I believe my response was “ if he wants support so bad he can go buy a bra!”) this book made me keep reading for the quick one liners that are the best!

This book was pretty great and even though I sound harsh, it's just that I'm a harsh person and am very blunt with my reviews, so I hope you all enjoyed (the like two who read it:)love ya guys!) and see you at the next library event!

-Lily

(Image source: Nice Save Baz by Nina on deanneedsyou.tumblr.com)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Quote of the Month: November 2015

Zack: I'll start bringing Mario Kart!

Jack: NO! We need friendships to last!

(Teen Advisory Board Meeting 11.10.15)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Jack's review of Gameworld

Personally I cannot recommend or not recommend this book. It was very cliche and the twists could have been predicted. I do have to give the author credit for using Caribbean magic, a magic that is not commonly referenced in literature. There is just not much I can say about this book. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Lily's review of Howl's Moving Castle Written by Diana Wynne Jones Movie by Hayo Miazaki

Howl's Moving Castle
Written by Diana Wynne Jones 

Movie by Hayo Miazaki



I really really loved this book! Like so it's the book club book right, so first of all that's incentive enough to read this book, but then Mrs. Jennifer was all like this is SOOO great! And she was so right! So if you know me, you know that I pretty much only like books that are fantasy and are happy, mainly because they are so cool and magical, and this one started out sorta depressing actually. 


The main character, Sophie, was super depressed and had like no self value, which for me makes it harder to read a book, if I feel sad while reading then what is there to really make me want to continue? Well the storyline was really interesting and was one that I never knew what would come next! It was really cool to see how Sophie would solve her problems and if the people around her would be able to figure her out. All the characters were SUPER interesting and at times surprised me with how deep they could get! Overall I didn't see the ending coming that did but it was so nice and I loved seeing like no cliffhangers! I think everything was resolved and overall I give this book a big thumbs up! By the way I purposely put NO SPOILERS in this review so that you guys can read it yourselves for the book club! See you there! Now onto the movie...

So I love Studio Ghibli, mainly because I'm learning Japanese so it's fun to listen the the movies and see how much I can understand! But this one was sorta painful! Like I hate when movies don't follow the book, I read the entire book one Saturday and watched the movie as soon as I finished so everything was fresh in my mind so when I watched it it was like my expectations just crumbled into a million little pieces! Don't get me wrong the art was absolutely AMAZING! But the movie barely followed the book, it's like Miazaki just was like hey I like this book let's change everything we can and look at the book as more or an outline. YOU JUST DON'T DO THAT TO PEOPLE MAN! So I don't think Miazaki's version made any sense like at all! Seriously NOTHING made sense!!! I'm sure I would have liked it enough if I hadn't have read the book, but that's not the point! I couldn't enjoy this movie at all after reading such a wonderfully written and beautiful story.

I hope you all read this book, and if you've only seen the movie also read the book b/c it will make the movie make SOOOOO much more sense!



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Lily's review of Avatar the Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra



Avatar the Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra

So basically this is a review about my childhood right? Well I first got hooked on these series when I was much younger and was all like hey there's this remote thing that has buttons on it... Let's try it out! Eventually I found the glorious channel of Nickelodeon, home to shows like iCarly and fairly Odd Parents. 

So as great as these shows were, they paled in comparison to the epic Avatar the Last Airbender. Like even the title sounds cool! So this is the time in my life where Hannah Montana was just starting out, like way before scary Miley Cyrus went all crazy, unlike Hannah Montana who as much as I loved her all she really did was sing and say sweet nibblets, Avatar actually had an AMAZING story line, a bunch super awesome strong and smart female roles (who were literally my idols), and probably like THE BEST art in an animated series that I have ever  seen! (And I watch a lot of cartoons people, like a lot) 

So if you don't know about Avatar you have probably be living under a rock, but anyone if you haven't seen it WATCH IT! AND KORRA! If you don't want spoilers STOP HERE! LIKE HALT RIGHT NOW! GO NO FURTHER. 

But anyway time for the actual review. So Avatar got so deep and made me think as a kid, the bad guys were actually not all that bad when you thought about it, then they became the good guys too! The good guys weren't invincible as much as others wanted them to be. And the good guys got beat up, like A LOT. But that's ok because they fail so spectacularly that you are on the edge of your seat WAITING for it to work out!

And bending, don't even get me started on how AMAZING SPECTACULARLY AWESOME THAT IS! I don't know any kid who didn't want to be a bender when they grew up like I still think wouldn't it be nice to just throw a giant boulder at that guy? And I was totally convinced I was a fire bender one time, I was staring at a candle and it like flickered, and I literally spent the next hour staring at it trying to make it move by thought! Anyway the art of how it was animated! Like it still blows me away! Like the artists made it so that they used different styles of martial arts for each bending style and each bender! HOW COOL IS THAT!!!!! I could probably rant for hours about how beautiful the background and characters were made, but I think that would bore you guys so let's move onto some of my favorite characters, shall we?

So Aang was like soooo cool! He was really young and had tattoos! But unlike the youngsters that I know who have tattoos he totally was all peaceful and innocent! Like a kid should be! You really watch Aang grow up throughout this series which is really a great thing! He's so funny and takes nothing seriously at first, but even as he grows up he never loses his goofyness! That's a word right? Goofyness? Oh well, it is now! 

Now onto my favorite...DRUMROLL PLEASE!!!!

KATARA *thunderous applause*

She was my IDOL she had long brown hair (like this gal) and had an older brother who she yelled at a lot (like this gal) and had amazing powers of WATER BENDING (ok maybe not EXACTLY like this gal but I sure hoped I'd get it!) So of course, I thought I was basically Katara and became obsessed with her in everyway! She was very girly but still beat everyone up! That's something I really appreciated because girly girls can be seen as weak, but I've always been girly and very in people's face and bossy (in a good way... I hope). She traveled around the world with her best friends and beat up bad guys learning valuable life lessons! What more could I ask for in a role model?

Sokka, what can I say other than that you and your boomerang is such a better love story than twilight. Like on so many levels! And your sword, I almost cried during the finally dude, I almost cried! That was worse than like the fault in our stars dude! Anyway Solka is amazing and every time I see a guy who shaves the sides of his head and pulls the rest into a manbun I think of Sokka and smile. 

Toph was so incredibly strong and independent, but she had a lot to learn from her friends still, like the fact that she needed to depend on them, she couldn't just be alone her whole life and not be really happy. I loved Toph so much, and the choice of the creators to make her blind was a great call, I loved how she depended on her Earthbending to "see" and her disability really made her stronger. It was nice to see a children's show acknowledging such a touchy subject.  

And Zuko, Sifu Hotman, what can I say, I totally hated you as a child! You had that creepy ponytail and sad backstory, but I never got how Katara and Sokka with their sad backstory were good, and you were bad with yours. But then you went from ROAR FIRE GRR to LESS RAWR STILL FIRE LESS GRR. And I was cool with you! Mainly because Iroh. And let's face it when Katara forgave you so did I!

And there are SOOO MANY AMAZING PEOPLE IN THIS SHOW  I could rant for days about cabbage guy! But I won't b/c as amazing as Avatar was, it ended, I cried, and then, Korra came. 

At first I was all no way Jose that is not for me! Because not only was this show telling me Aang was dead, but that a hot headed and sorta selfish girl is his reincarnated self! I had a few issues to say the least. But I came to terms with myself and was SOOO glad that I did! 

So it was only like a year ago I got really into Korra, I found all the episodes on nick.com but then they took them off, but luckily the library came to the rescue and had them all!!! Woot woot! So I watched them and fell in love! This show was so incredibly funny, well written, beautiful to watch, made you think, got really dark, and related to current events!!! What more could anybody ask for?

Like I really loved how the seasons progressed, unlike Avatar, Korra had a completely different enemy every season, Aang had the fire lord the whole time, but lots of enemies scattered around, so I never knew if Korra would be renewed for another season! Which was a serious factor for stress! I love how in the first season she traveled to a new place, got new friends, and then there were terrorists! Like really terrifying terrorists! It really seemed to relate to current events with all the craziness in our world! Than the second series had levels of deep thinking and spiritual stuff that Avatar was never able to delve into! All of a sudden the whole Avatar universe made perfect sense! Season three was heart wrenching and I finally saw Korra growing up to be more level headed and mature! It was a relief because even though I loved her, I worried she would never be as intelligent as she could be. And I loved seeing the air nation being rebuilt so much! And then season four, how do I begin?!?! Korra has to face all of her demons, big and small, and everyone got so much older! And the ending was so perfect to me! Only I misinterpreted it...big time. 

So apparently Asami and Korra were dating? I really didn't catch that, mainly because they were acting just like I do with all of my friends. Don't get me wrong, I think it is great for a show that means so much to kids really emphasis that being gay or bysexual is great! I have actually been wanting for more shows to do so! But I always liked the ending I first understood, I thought that the fabulous team avatar: Korra, Asami, Mako, and Bolin ended this story as best friends! I really don't care for romance in any form so I was so excited to finally watch a show that had a happy ending with everyone as FRIENDS! I mean I still think that the intended ending was great, it's just not what I got at first. 

Anyway, I love all the characters so much and feel no need to describe them any more because I love them all SOOO MUCH!!! Just know that they are all so so so great!!! Plus there are like too many and I would forget to write about one and feel awful! But a special highlight on Ikki! She seriously talks just like I do and I love her for it! 

I feel like this review was very long, so if you've read the whole thing thanks! I hope you enjoyed it because this is a show that is really close to my heart! And I hope you've enjoyed these series as much as I have! 

Oh and there is an AMAZING comic series about the adventures of The Gaang that you should also check out! The first is called The Promise and it's really good so check it out! It is really fun to read about them!

Monday, October 26, 2015

GadgetJax Reviews: The Lord Of The Flies by William William Golding

   I love old things. A lot. Okay, maybe not the stuff that's really old, like dinosaur bones and 8-tracks, but I still love to look back at all the media of last century. Some of my favorite video games of all time were released during the 1980's, and many of Disney's best animated features debuted during the 1950's as well. But what about books? 
    Truth be told, I rarely read old books, which is odd, isn't it? I like reading, and I like old media, so you would think that stuff would make me explode with happiness, but it doesn't. Even titles like 'The Hobbit' have failed to spark my interest. Still, there are many times where I'll have to read an old title for one reason or another, such as a book discussion.
    This leads me to the book for today: Lord Of The Flies. It's obviously not the oldest book in on Earth, but when you consider how it debuted in 1957, you really start to realize how old that is. Anyway, going off the title of the book, you would expect some kind of epic tale about a king among insects, but considering how misleading old book titles were, you can ignore that notion.

    Our tale begins with 2 young boys named 'Ralph' and 'Piggy'(No, that's not his real name) waking up on an island in the middle of nowhere. They believe they are alone at first, but discover that they were on an airplane with several other boys, but it crashed, with only the children surviving. They eventually meet other boys on that island; some who are their age, and some who are smaller. They then come to terms and try to start a makeshift society where different boys are assigned to different roles, such as hunting and the like. It's nothing too out of the ordinary for a survival story, except for the MacGuffin of the island; The Conch.
    The Conch is a crucial part of the story and should be recognized as such. Prior to meeting the other boys on the island, Ralph and Piggy discover a conch on the island. As the story progresses, the significance of the conch rises to a point of royal power among the surviving boys; whoever is holding the conch has the right to speech among the group of boys. It may seem like a little touch at first to the story, but if you look deeper into it, it represents much more than meets the eye. The rest of the story contains very few objects that would hold any significance or lasting impression, so the conch feels like almost like a holy relic in a desolate wasteland.
    Speaking of things that stand out, I guess you could apply this definition to many of the other aspects of the book; insignificant at first, but surreal and astonishing upon inspection. I was bored the entire time during my first read of this book, but after re-reading it and searching up more about it online, I discovered just how narrow my opinions on this title were. Every boy in this book is given an underlying trait that represents some kind of struggle that the group faces on the island, and it almost makes you feel bad for the characters and their struggles.

    Of course, with any book that takes the path of using underlying meanings, you will notice many flaws riddled in the tale. I found many parts where characters would almost seem to repeat the same sentences over and over again, and it makes the plot feel like it's not going anywhere at certain points. Also, while we're on the subject of 'not going anywhere', I should remind you that I didn't get much of a good impression from this book the first time through. Because of this, I can only recommend this book to someone who wants to decipher the deep meaning behind the story. If you're looking for raw entertainment, Lord Of The Flies won't fit your taste, but if you want to read about a truly serious struggle between several children and their wits, then Lord Of The Flies will spark your interest for sure.

...
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...wait a second! A GadgetJax review with little-to-no comedy? What is this garglemesh?!? Don't worry, valiant readers! I'll be back next time with something that's sure to knock your socks off! Can you guess what it is? I'll give you guys a hint: it'll push everybody to the limit.

HIGHLAND WON!

We WON the TEEN READ WEEK CHALLENGE! 

You all read 5,232 pages!

Doge is so proud of Highland (and so am I).

-Mrs. B



Thursday, October 22, 2015

Highland must WIN

Are you participating in the 2015 Teen Read Week Challenge?

Here is a video of the Highland teens throwing down the gauntlet to the other branches with their own take on the quintessential inspiration song during a reading marathon.


Come in and fill out raffle tickets so our branch can WIN!

Did you know that Jim Peterik (founding member of Survivor and co-writer of "Eye of the Tiger") will be visiting the Merrillville Branch Nov 6th, 2015!?

Saturday, September 26, 2015

GadgetJax Reviews: Some kind of animated movie that will not be named in order to avoid spoiling a joke.

I've spent the last 3 months telling everyone and their mother that I would get around to reviewing Inside Out because it's my new favorite Pixar movie, but I keep forgetting for one reason or another. Well, now that I've got that idea in my head, how about we finally review it?

Nope. Nada. I'm not gonna review it. Let's look at Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs instead.



"Nyerrgh! But Jax, why not?!? You've been promising to do one for it for forever! Ugh, I'm boycotting all your stuff now, you liar!"
    While it is true I've been planning it as a review for a while, I feel like Inside Out is one of those movies that you can't really give a review to; 80% of the magic behind what makes it so good is the sentimental value of it, which means I'll be dodging spoilers throughout the entire review.
    Besides, it's fun to troll around with your expectations. That's what makes me meta!

-

I'm sure most of you have heard about Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, but there's one thing about it I'm sure most of you don't know; the movie is based off of a children's book! Odd, right? Well, don't worry at all about that fact because the movie doesn't follow the plot of the book at all.
    Wait, an animated movie based off of a book that has almost nothing in common with it's source material? Where have I heard THAT before?!? Hhhhhhhhnnnnngggg!!!!
    Don't worry about it for now. The book is a very basic tale and doesn't outline anything important that would affect the movie (unlike another 'unspeakable' movie), so the movie feels like an expansion of the original story of the book instead of a re-telling of it.
    Our story starts on a small island called 'Swallow Falls' and follows the story of Flint Lockwood, a wannabe inventor who is discriminated as a child because his ideas are dumb. There's a short montage of some of Flint's inventions over his childhood - all of which have disastrous results, to be honest - and then the movie leads straight to Flint's later years. Since Swallow Falls is a distant island, food is very limited, so many of the locals eat nothing but sardines and the like. Seeing his big chance to demonstrate his inventing skills, Flint builds a machine that can create food using nothing but water as a base.
    It's pretty obvious how this will end, right? Flint's machine ends up rocketing to the sky (I won't bother explaining it) where he believes it's gone for good, but the wator vapor in the clouds causes the machine to start rapidly producing food - which then rains down to earth. Understand? Good. Let's cover the good & bad now.
    The good about this movie is that it's a visual masterpiece. Is it as aesthetically beautiful as something like 'Epic' or 'Rio'? No, but the art style of this movie is focus on absorbing you with lots of colors at once, which matches the theme of the movie very well. There is a lot of attention to detail on the design of all the giant food in the movie, and despite how absurd the premise of the movie is, it makes the design feel quite real. As for the characters themselves...
    ...they could be best described as 'turbo-charged'. Practically everyone in the movie is animated at a mile-a-minute, which makes everything feel quick-paced and lively. There are even a few intentionally slow jokes that are downright hilarious because of how they contrast from the feel of the story!
    Speaking of jokes, this is an animated comedy for the most part. A good deal of this movie focuses on visual humor with the raining food, but there are a few other kinds of jokes thrown in as well. Most of these are funny, but then there are the occasional 'toilet' jokes that are absolutely awful. Some good, some bad, but what can you expect in a day and age like this?
    The one thing about this movie I don't like, though, is that the ending is quite unsatisfactory. It doesn't end on a cliffhanger, per-se, but it'll leave you pretty annoyed. I would personally recommend watching the 1st and 2nd movies back-to-back because it gives the movie a seamless feel - and the fact that the 2nd one takes place 8 seconds after the events of the 1st. No joke. 





Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs should be the model for all future animated movies based off of books, as it takes the original story and builds upon it instead of altering it around. Even though the over-exaggerated animation & few instances of toilet humor could drive off the average viewer, I sincerely recommend this movie to everyone out there.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Minions Review by Zack

Minions

The minions are back at it again and those indestructible idiots are looking for a new boss...

It was awesome as all get out, really touching and, oddly enough, reminds us of how human inhuman things are. 


The origins of minion kind are going to be on DVD soon so get ready to R.O.F.L. 

-Zack

Thursday, September 3, 2015

GadgetJax's Definitive Guide to Dance Dance Revolution!








Man, has it really been a month since the Lock-in party at the Highland branch? That thing was amazing! The cake was cool (even though I haven't read Harry Potter), the activities were fun, but what topped off the event for me was Dance Dance Revolution!

Dance Dance Revolution started out as a simple Arcade game released in 1998 by Konami. The premise of the game is simple: step on arrows that match the beat of a song played on the machine. Hitting notes correctly would give you points and raise your groove bar, while missing notes would decrease. While practically anyone can pick it up and play it because of the simplicity of it, DDR is by no means a casual game. The franchise is infamous for being one of the hardest video games you'll ever play, as the hard songs can force you to step at over 400 beats-per-minute, not to mention just how much of a workout the game is when played at a hard difficulty. 

    Because of how unique and fun the game was when it released, DDR became one of Konami's biggest franchises at the time, causing their income to increase by 270 percent upon the release of DDR Extreme!! ...but since then, DDR has sort-of declined in popularity. The most recent DDR game was DDR 2013, which is a Japanese exclusive, and the latest DDR game in English was DDRII, which was a 2011 release!! So, if you want to play DDR nowadays, what can you do? 

    That was a rhetorical question, goofball. You're reading this article, so you clearly know that I'm gonna give you the best DDR prep tips, right?

STEP 1: CHOOSING YOUR CONSOLE

While DDR has been released on several consoles over the past 15+ years it's been around, the 3 consoles with the biggest DDR libraries would be the PlayStation 2, the Nintendo Wii, and the XBOX 360. If you're already a passionate gamer, you'll probably just choose the console that you already own, but if you don't have any of these 3, then I'll show you which one to get.
    Here's a list of all the DDR titles you can find on these 3 consoles...

PlayStation 2:
Dance Dance Revolution DDRMAX 1 & 2
Dance Dance Revolution Extreme 1 & 2
Dance Dance Revolution Supernova 1 & 2
Dance Dance Revolution X & X2

XBOX360:
Dance Dance Revolution Universe 1, 2, and 3
Dance Dance Revolution (2010)

Wii:
Dance Dance Revolution // Hottest Party 1, 2, and 3
Dance Dance Revolution (2010)
Dance Dance Revolution II

It should be obvious from here that the PlayStation 2 has the most game to choose from. The PlayStation 2 has the best Konami Original selection & is generally balanced for each music style out there. As for the XBOX360, I would not personally recommend this console because the first 2 Universe games are riddled with bugs and Universe 3 has a generally poor song selection. The Wii is also pretty good, but be warned: Dance Pads for the Wii connect through the GameCube cable slots on the console. Some Wii models released within the recent years do not have GameCube cable ports, meaning you can't play with a Dance Pad on there.
   
This article will be assuming that the PlayStation 2 will be the console chosen.

STEP 2: CHOOSING THE GAME

There are a ton of DDR games, but it'll obviously be hard to get 'em all, right? Well, now is the perfect opportunity to go over which game is the best to get. Most of the games listed on PS2 can be found around $5 at your local GameStop, which is nice because the average DDR game has around 60 songs to play.

Song Description Key
-
Konami Remix (A liscensed song that has been remixed by one of Konami's artists)
Konami Original (A DDR-exclusive song that has been written by one of Konami's artists)
Game Music (A song from a Konami-developed video game)
Boss Song (A song in the game that is exceptionally difficult to complete. Final Boss Songs are the hardest songs in the game, Primary Boss Songs are songs that are labeled as Boss songs but not the final one, and Secondary Boss Songs are other songs that are notably hard to finish, but not labeled as a Boss Song.)

Notable DDRMAX songs: (click here to see full songlist)

I Like To Move It
Darude Sandstorm
Rhythm & Police K.O.G. G3 MIX (Konami Remix)
AM-3P (Konami Original)
Jam & Marmalade (Konami Original)
Matsuri Japan (Konami Original)
Gradiusic Cyber AMD G5 MIX (Konami Original; Gradius Game Music)
Trip Machine Climax (Konami Original; Secondary Boss Song)
Candy Star (Konami Original; Primary Boss Song)
Max 300 (Konami Original; Final Boss Song)

Misc: DDRMAX doesn't contain too many liscensed tracks, and the game is pretty difficult as well. There's no Beginner mode, either. I would only recommend this to someone who wants a classic DDR Experience at an insane difficulty.


Conga Feeling
Dream A Dream
Let's Groove
Long Train Runnin' (Konami Remix)
D2R (Konami Original)
TSUGARU (Konami Original)
End of the Century (Konami Original; Secondary Boss Song; Beethoven Remix)
Paranoia KCET (Konami Original)
Kakumei (Konami Original; Chopin Remix)
MAXX UNLIMITED (Konami Original; Final Boss Song)

Misc: While DDRMAX2 contains a few more liscensed tracks, I would say that DDRMAX 1 is the better choice. Sure, you don't get as many popular songs, but I would take quality over quantity any day.


Believe (Konami Remix)
Kick The Can (Konami Original; Can-can Remix)
Kids In America
Ladies' Night
Move Your Feet - Junior Senior
The Reflex
YMCA
V [For Extreme] (Konami Original; Vivaldi Remix)
Drop Out (Konami Original; Secondary Boss Song)
Trip Machine (Konami Original)
Absolute (Konami Original)
Maximizer (Konami Original; Primary Boss Song)
The Legend of MAXX (Konami Original; Final Boss Song)

Misc: DDR Extreme excels in a good blend between Konami Originals and Liscensed music. The game is generally easier than the average DDR game, but the secondary and final boss songs make up for it. Trust me, they feel impossible.


Captain Jack // Grandale Remix (Konami Remix)
Cartoon Heroes // Speedy Mix (Konami Remix)
I will Survive (Konami Remix)
La Copa De La Vida
Oops! ...I Did It Again (Konami Remix) ((Ugh, this song is awful. It's popular, but awful.))
Play That Funky Music
Speed Over Beethoven (Beethoven Remix)
1998 (Konami Original)
Candy Heart (Konami Original; Remix of Candy Star)
Heaven is a '57 metallic gray (Konami Original)
La Bamba (Konami Remix)
SAKURA (Konami Original; Secondary Boss Song)
TwinBee Generation X (Konami Original; Twinbee Game Music)
Burnin' The Floor (Konami Original)
Dynamite Rave (Konami Original)
Afronova from Nonstop Megamix (Konami Original)
Paranoia Survivor MAX (Konami Original; Final Boss Song)

Misc: If Extreme had a great balance between Konami music and liscensed music, then Extreme 2 is absolutely perfect. Bring this game to a party and you're sure to please everyone. The Konami Original selection is also some of the best in the entire console series, only second to DDR Konamix on the original PS1.

Notable DDR Supernova songs:

Battle without Honor or Humanity
Centerfold (Konami Remix)
Funkytown
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Jerk it out
Let's Dance
Since U Been Gone
Flow // True Style (Konami Original)
True Love (Konami Original)
Curus (Konami Original)
No. 13 (Konami Original; Beethoven Remix)
RED ZONE (Konami Original)
Xepher (Konami Original; Secondary Boss Song)
Blue Impulse [For EXTREME] (Konami Original)
Matsuri // J Summer Mix (Konami Original)
Healing-D-Vision (Konami Original; Primary Boss Song)
Fascination MAXX (Konami Original; Final Boss Song)
CHAOS (Konami Original; Primary Boss Song)

Misc: Supernova is a great mix, mostly because of the time-based selection of music. Most of the liscenses are from the '60s and '70s, while most of the Konami Originals first debuted right around the time of this game's release. Also, the Boss songs in this game are disgusting. Fascination MAXX in particular features 800BPM streams!!


Eternus
Le Freak (aka Freak Out)
Take On Me
Arrabbiata (Konami Original)
Freeway Shuffle (Konami Original)
Bag (Konami Original; Imposter Boss Song)
Calico Cat Rock (Konami Original)
La Bamba (Konami Remix; Not the same version as the one in Extreme 2)
Trim (Konami Original; Secondary Boss Song)
Fascination // Eternal Mix (Konami Original; Final Boss Song)
NGO (Konami Original; Primary Boss Song)
Trip Machine Pheonix (Konami Original; Primary Boss Song)

Misc: I do not recommend Supernova 2. There aren't too many good liscenses, and the Konami Original selection is pretty average. It's not the worst DDR mix, but there just isn't enough substance to make you want to jam to it.


30 Lives // Up-Up-Down-Dance Mix (Konami Remix; Contra Code Parody)
Dub-i-dub // 2008 X-edit
U can't touch this
Blind Justice // Torn Souls, Hurt Faiths (Konami Original; piece from 'The Epic of Zektbach')
Bloody Tears IIDX (Konami Original; Castlevania Game Music)
Poseidon (Konami Original)
Saber Wing (Konami Original; Secondary Boss Song)
Trust // DDR Mix (Konami Remix; Gurren Lagann Main Theme)
Trigger (Konami Original; Primary Boss Song)
Pluto (Konami Original; Seconadry Boss Song)
Pluto Relinquish (Konami Original; Final Boss Song)

Misc: DDRX could be described as a gold mine, but not in a good way. There are a few really good songs like Blind Justice and U Can't Touch This, but there is so much mediocrity in the rest of the soundtrack that I would just say to pass this one. On a side note, you should know that DDRX uses a 1-20 scale for song difficulty instead of 1-10. Most songs have been adjusted specifically for this rating chart. For example, U Can't Touch This is normally a 7 chart, but X re-rates it as a 10.


Daft Punk is Playing at my House
Ice Ice Baby
Let's Get It Started
Viva La Vida
A Brighter Day (Konami Original)
G.R. Special Challenge charts for AM-3P, B4U, BRILLIANT2U, Dynamite Rave, and D2R.
Freeze (Konami Original)
Keep on Movin' (Konami Original)
La Bamba (Konami Remix; This is the version from Supernova, not Extreme 2)
La Senorita Virtual (Konami Original)
MARS WAR 3 (Konami Original)
Nadeshiko (Konami Original)
Ubertreffen (Konami Original)
Dance Dance Revolution Main Theme (Konami Original; Secondary Boss Song; Main Theme from DDR First Mix)
Pluto: The First (Konami Original; Final Boss Song)
Kimono Princess (Konami Original; Infamous for internet parodies)
Roppongi Evolved (Konami Original; Secondary Boss Song)

Misc: Despite the fact that this is a sequel to DDRX, this is a surprisingly good mix. There are some pretty good liscensed songs, and the Konami Original selection is also nice. This is a solid pick if you want some variety, and you're sure to pull out your hair while trying to beat Pluto: The First.

Out of all the DDR games to choose from, I would say that Extreme 2 and Supernova are the best to get, followed by Extreme 1. Max is the best game to pick if you want a dedicated challenge, and DDRX2 is also pretty fun. Remember: The PlayStation 2 can play PS1 discs, so you can use DDR 1st Mix and DDR Konamix on the PS2!
Now that you know exactly what DDR game you'll be playing, it's time to find the thing that makes DDR so special in the first place: The Dance Pad!

STEP 3: CHOOSING YOUR DANCE PAD

The whole reason this game is called Dance Dance Revolution is so you can dance, so you'll obviously need a dance pad to get maximum enjoyment from the game. Yes, you could play just using the basic PS2 Controller, but what's the fun in that? Playing like that makes the game too easy, not to mention that it involves no dancing.
    There are 3 main Types of Dance Pads to select from: Soft Dance Pads, Foam-Filled Dance Pads, and Metal Dance Pads. This picture below lists their appearance.


Soft pads are the most common pads you can find, as they are usually packaged into the console games. The pads are made of a pretty basic material, almost like a rug. These dance pads aren't too bad, but they move around very easily while playing and they're not very good for constant step streams. These pads can usually be purchased online for about $20, so they're the cheapest pad variety out there, but the quality may not be up to par with what a serious DDR player would need. I recommend this pad variety for players that will play on easier difficulties, mostly because easy mode doesn't cause the pad to move around as much.
   Foam-Filled pads contain pieces of foam inserted inside the pad itself, which keeps the pad straight and prevents it from moving as much. This pad variety is the most affordable kind if you want a serious challenge from DDR, and it's the kind of pad I use at home. These pads are a bit more expensive, usually between $35 and $45, but the price is honestly worth it. Besides, the average video game controller is $50, so this dance pad isn't THAT bad of a deal. I recommend this pad kind to anyone that wants to enjoy DDR at brutal difficulty levels.
   Metal pads are exactly what they sound like. Most of them are designed around the official dance pads you'll find in arcades, and as such, they're the best kind of pad you can find. Some metal pads also come with built-in barrier bars, simulating the appearance of the arcade pads. Of course, since the pad is made of metal, it's price is pretty high. A typical metal pad will be about $100, and probably even more if you get one that has bonuses like multible console cable connectors and handlebars. I don't recommend getting a metal pad unless you want to play DDR like a king.

Okay, I think we've covered everything now. So, once you start playing, what'll a serious game look like? Well, here's a video of my current DDR setup at home. I play on the PS2, I use a Foam-Filled pad, and the games I own are DDRMAX, Extreme 1, and Extreme 2.




(Shameless plug.)

Pretty good, huh? It's takes lots of practice to get good at Dance Dance Revolution, but it's worth it. Dance Dance Revolution is one of the very few video games out there that makes you feel good about yourself - not to mention that it's a great workout when playing at a high difficulty level! 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Quote of the Month: TAB

Quote of the month for August:

Zack: I hate the movie and game versions of Eragon, but I still play them both.

Jack: “Wait … how do you play the movie?


Zack, David, Lily (at the same time): You press PLAY!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

GadgetJax Reviews: 'Meanwhile' by Jason Shiga

I'm constantly fascinated by the Graphic Novel section at the Highland branch. Sure, I don't read too many popular comics, but it's always fun to see what's new and unique. One specific book that has always attracted my attention was an odd book called 'Meanwhile', which only sparked my curiosity because of the abstract cover art. I eventually decided to pick it up and see if it was any good...
...and now I really want to read more Graphic Novels in my free time.

The first thing you need to know about Meanwhile is that it isn't any ordinary story: It's interactive. If you've read any of the 'Choose-your-own-escapade' books, then you'll know what I mean. To sum it up in a heartbeat, this comic allows you to choose the exact path you want to take when reading, just as if you were the one in the story. I liked this format a lot in the 'Choose-your-own-hodgepodge' series, and it's done even better here because the story is told through a comic format - kind of like a Video Game, if you will.
    As for the plot itself, you start the story as a boy named 'Jimmy'. You're at the Ice Cream shop trying to decide on a flavor to get, with your options being Chocolate and Vanilla. So, what happens if you pick 'good-old-gray' ice cream, you may ask? THE BOOK ENDS RIGHT THERE. Yeah, I'm not kidding. Jimmy gets his ice cream, eats it, heads home, and the story ends. Wow. Obviously, the story only starts if you pick 'boring-brown-chocolate'.



So, once Jimmy gets his 'bbc', he'll get a stomach ache from over-eating, which makes him scramble to the nearest bathroom. While trying to reach nature's call, he meets an old man named 'Professor K', who shows him around his lab. The lab is where you truly start the adventure, as the professor will give you 3 different inventions to test out: The SQUID (memory-reading device), the Killitorn 2000 (doomsday device), and a toaster.
   
...oh, sorry, I meant a time machine. A toaster-that-toasts-toast would be boring.

From there on, it's hard to discuss anything without spoiling one of the possible endings. The options start out as simplistic, but then they get almost mind-boggling. There's a section in the book where you have to enter a passcode to activate the time machine, and it's so realistic! I could easily see this book being translated into a point-and-click Video Game, based solely on how interactive it is.
    Obviously, there are a few flaws with the custom path style. The first is that the book doesn't explain to well on how to follow along with the story, which means you might be confused for your first 5 minutes reading. Secondly, it is VERY easy to read a spoiler for a later arc in the story because of how compacted the book is: A single page could contain upwards to 5 different plot chains!
    Meanwhile is pretty basic as a story, but the execution is amazing. I can't wait to see other authors start using this writing style, because it is one of the most unique ways to read. I would encourage you all to read Meanwhile if given the chance, and while you're at it, go read the 'Choose-your-own-challenge' series from long ago!




...wait, that wasn't the name, was it?

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron Review by Zack

Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron

The avengers blast into action again when tony accidentally unleashes an untold force that threatens humanity. Can they fix this mistake? They might need some help from the newest generation of heroes. A couple x men classics make an appearance but in a new form. 


By Zack

Monday, August 3, 2015

Ashley's Review of Suddenly Supernatural by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel

Kat develops abilities and is able to see the dead. The only other perosn who knows is her one and only friend Jac. Kat is trying to find out what the ghost at her school is asking of her. She is trying to figure out what the ghost is still there and is trying to help.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Emelia's Review of The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

The Golden Compass took forever for me to finish, but I had to read it all; it is so convincing, original and addicting to read.

Monday, July 27, 2015

GadgetJax Reviews: The Lightning Catcher series by Anne Cameron

It's almost the end of the Summer, and I spent a good chunk of it reading. Of course, if I'm going to invest my time in lots of reading, I should make sure that the book I select is good, right?
Well, we're reviewing The Lightning Catcher. Don't let the title of the book fool you; The Lightning Catcher has no affiliation with the Percy Jackson franchise. Sadly, I can't really say that The Lightning Catcher holds up to the epic title it has, but that's what we're reviewing it for, right?

The story begins with our main character, Angus McFangus, an average boy (not actually average) that lives in a little town with his uncle, all while his parents are gone on business trips(not actually business trips).
One day, a man named Felix Gudgeon visits Angus, telling him that he must come with him to a place called Perilous, where the 'Lightning Catchers' conduct their training academy. Angus eventually learns that his parents are Lightning Catchers as well, and that they've been captured by Scabious Dankhart.
Yes, that's his name. I don't know if he's into those kinds of memes, but we'll just roll with it for now.
So, Angus goes to Perilous and he trains to become a Lightning Catcher. Along the way, he makes friends with 2 other students there; Dougal Dewsnap and Indigo Midnight. Dougal is your stereotypical sidekick character that is a mix between 'The Brains' and 'The Brawn', while Indigo is the most boring character imaginable. The only 2 redeeming things about her character design are that A) She's the most shy character you'll ever meet in any story ever and B) Her uncle is actually Scabious Dankhart, which is kind of confusing at first.
...and this leads me to the biggest issue in The Lightning Catcher and all of the other titles in the franchise: They are so darn OBVIOUS! Every character is as boring as a plank of wood. For example, the primary leader of Perilous is a lady named 'Principal Dark-Angel', who (surprise surprise) eventually turns out to be in cahoots with Dankmeme- sorry, I meant Dankhart.
I would go out and say that the best character in the entire franchise is Felix Gudgeon, and that's only because he's a naturally upset guy that slowly starts trusting Angus after time. Everyone else is 'The dumb guy', 'The smart guy', 'The athletic guy', 'the bossy guy', or whatever is commonly used nowadays.
Characters aside, the rest of the book is just as barren. The whole theme of the story is supposed to be about the Lightning Catchers and how awesome they are, but trust me when I say that 60% of the chapters in this story involve the characters just trying to EXPLAIN everything. This book is too big for its own good, and it shows because of how many times that they have to explain how their crazy Fiction world actually works. Muderous Fog? Let's spend 7 pages just explaining it! Backstory about a character that will never appear again? Takes up an entire chapter!
Because of all this stuff that it tries to pack in, it leaves very little room for action portions. All 3 of the books follow a similar pattern where Angus, Dougal, and Indigo find out something about the histry of Perilous, and they have to find out before Dankjoke does. The first 85% is them doing whatever the book needs them to do in order to buy time, and the last 15% is their encounter with Danklegs. To be fair, though, the third book mixes this up by adding a lot more depth to everything, but the story still ends on a cliffhanger...
...and that's what gets me so mad at this franchise. Every book in the series ends on a cliffhanger, and you might think that it would be cool for something like that to happen, but no. The last 10 pages of every book could be summed up as 'Hey man, thanks for helping us out. We haven't found your parents yet, but we're still looking. Go back to your hometown and we'll call you back here when we write the next sequel'.

So, that's how I spent my Summer Reading segment. Did I like The Lightning Catcher and all the sequels? No, I didn't, but I do think that the author needs to iron out the next installment. The atmosphere of the books are really unique and invigorating, but the story itself is always barren and boring, so the writer doesn't get to make use of all the little quirks and oddities that come with such a vast field of creativity. I'm dearly hoping the 4th book fixes all these problems and then some, but as it stands, there are much better books to read than The Lightning Catcher.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Quote of the Month: Lily

"She is a strong independent Godzilla. She doesn't need a man to get pregnant!" Lily W.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

GadgetJax Reviews: The Incredibles by Disney Pixer

The theme for Summer Reading this year involves Super Heroes! To tie in with it, I decided to do something obviously related to Super Heroes, but what?

"Okay, how about one of the original Super Hero comic books, like that classic '60's Spiderman & Batman?"
*Reads*
"It's a story, but not much for a review. How about one of the Marvel movies of recent times?"
*Watches*
"Oh, dear. OH, DEAR. That was NOT a movie I would consider suitable for a review at ALL. Okay, I need something good, but it has to be kid friendly! C'mon brain! Give me an idea!"
*Sorry, Jax! We wasted all of your best ideas coming up with this running gag!*
"Drat! Well, it's 11:45. I better head down to the Library now. I'm helping out at their showing of the Incredib-"
*Pauses*
"Perfect!"

The Incredibles is a Pixar Movie. Personally, I would call it their best movie, but considering just how emotional things like Up and Toy Story can get, I'm not sure if I can call The Incredibles the best of them all without being chased at with torches and pitchforks - so I'm gonna review it instead!

The world of The Incredibles is your typical city in a typical hero story: Town constantly attacked by the villain of the week, the supers (yes, that's what they call them) come and save the day, rinse and repeat. Everything seems like your typical hero movie for the first few minutes until the plot twist...

Due to many of the supers helping out many others in need when they don't want it (things like stopping a suicide, which is actually quite frightening for a PG movie), they are forced by law to never commit any more acts of heroism with their powers ever again. This plot twist is great because it creates a very complex scenario about the individual sense of right that everyone has: Is it right to avoid doing the right thing because the law prohibits it? Another thing that makes this twist so great is that you don't need to understand it to enjoy the movie. If you're a little kid and you can't follow with it, it's not a problem! You'll be quite entertained by the jokes and fight scenes anyway!

As for the main character, the protagonist of the story is Bob Parker(aka Mr. Incredible). Once the law forbids supers from being supers anymore, he marries fellow super 'Elastagirl' and starts a family. Ironically enough, all of his children are born with super powers as well, which leads to a few really touching moments later on due to that law I mentioned earlier. 'Dash' wants to compete in sports, but isn't allowed to because of how his incredible speed would give him an unfair advantage over every other competitor. 'Violet' wants to be a normal child like all of her schoolmates, but can't due to the supernatural abilities of herself and her family.

The animation behind the movie is still amazing as ever. It's been 10 years since it came out in theaters, but the detail is still amazing. Characters look very vibrant and filled with personality, and since many of them share personality traits with the more typical kind of person, it's easier to relate to each problem that they individually encounter in the movie.

The comedy is spot in this movie, but kind of like Big Hero 6, the entire movie sort-of falls behind because of it. Believe me, the jokes in this movie are great, but there are just one too many fat jokes. They aren't that bad at first since they all revolve around Mr. Incredible, but they get very boring after the 40 minute mark because they get so repetitive. The idea behind a joke is the 'I get it!' moment, so when every joke with Mr. Incredible is built the same way, there's no 'I get it!' moment anymore, which kills the comedy in the later portions for him. Other characters are still continuously funny like Frozone's 'Super Suit' scene, but considering that Mr. Incredible is the main character, you would expect more from him.

Just like previous reviews, there's only so much you can compliment a movie for without spoiling it, so how about we end this review on a positive note? The Incredibles is great, and anyone that likes Superhero movies or Disney movies will love it - and it's getting a sequel directed by Brad Bird! Huzzah!!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Cardboard Review by Zack

Cardboard by Doug TenNapel

This graphic novel is filled with subtle meaning and innocence. Yet behind all of this is a story about two families. One where a father struggles to provide for his child and one where the child is a spoiled brat. Will they survive the mistakes they made or will they be crushed and smothered by their own creations?


By Zack

Tell us what you think about the book at our Teen Book Club meeting on Wednesday July 1st at the Highland Branch! 

Photo credit: Cardboard Fibers on Flickr by Andrew A. Shenouda


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Jurassic World Review by Zack

This smash hit took a bite out of the world's wallet opening weekend by raking in more than half a billion dollars. This movie roars to life with an all star cast of both Humans and dinosaurs maybe even a few hybrids. So if you liked the old ones this one will take a bite out of you heart.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Quote of the Month: Jack

Jack: Can I dress up as Sarah Palin?
Lily: You can be anything you want to be!
Jack: I want to be a Can Opener!

Come to the next Teen Advisory Board meeting this week (Wednesday June 17th from 2-3pm)!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Lily's Review of Oedipus a greek tragedy

Review of Oedipus a greek tragedy






No. Just No. I am required to read this for school. Just no. I was excited because I love the Greek Myths, but, just do yourself a favor and don’t read it, please. Just No.


-Lily

Monday, May 18, 2015

GadgetJax Reviews: Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading (I can't believe that title)

I know I set the world on fire with my last review. I covered Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and I called it bad. 

Very bad. 

Twilight level of bad.

So, I needed some time to cool off and find a book in a similar genre that was actually good, which took a long time. So much time, that I actually gave up and moved onto other titles that I would personally recommend: The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict, Little House in the Woods, and one I'm working on right now: Eragon. (Hear that, Zack? I cracked from boredom and finally gave into your wish!)
With so many other titles mixed in, I eventually forgot my quest for finding a new title and went on with my standard reading selection. Well, I would of, anyway, if I didn't notice a peculiar-looking title on the Juvenile Fiction shelf at the Highland branch. I picked it up, read it, liked it a lot, and then it reminded me a lot of Wimpy Kid's genre, so I decided to review. So, what book was it?

The book has what is probably the best title for any piece of fiction. It is called, and I quote, it is called, AND I QUOTE...

"Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading"



Wow. When you have a title like that, what could possibly go wrong?

The Guide to Not Reading (I can't take that title seriously, it's so hypocritical.) is just another title in the tsunami of Middle School stories right now: Simple tale, just like every other book about a depressed grade school boy, but with a twist. Charlie Joe is our main character and narrator for the tale, but he hates books. No, I mean hates them a lot. So much so, that he gets his best friend Tim to read any assigned schools books for him in exchange for cafeteria food. 

O.o

So, with such a special twist, you can expect a lot from this book, and it truly delivers! I would cover the bits and pieces of the book in detail, but that would ruin the story, and TRUST ME. DON'T. SPOIL. THE. STORY. 

With story out of the way, I would like to take a moment to reflect on why this book excels over the Wimpy Kid formula.

First thing it gets right is the main character, Charlie Joe Jackson. Greg Heffley was a terrible character because the book kept trying to encourage you that he was the only nice person in the story, which was contradictory to the way he actually acted. On the other hand, The Guide to Not Reading makes 101% emphasis on how Charlie Joe is such a ridiculous person by his hatred of reading. This aspect is reinforced so good that the book contains little snippets inbetween explaining why Charlie Joe thinks reading is bad. It's hilarious stuff, with the best in the entire book being a mini-segment where Charlie Joe says that people that read need glasses because the small words hurt their eyes! That's comedy gold!

Speaking of little snippets, the sour disposition Charlie Joe has towards reading is reflected from the chapters. Each one is only a page or two long, and all of the long ones are followed up by little notes from Charlie Joe(the narrator, reminder to you) saying that he'll make sure that the next chapters are smaller. Seriously, the writing for this book is as good as the stuff in early Spongebob, and you want to know how good early Spongebob is?


That's how good it is.

The final thing that The Guide to Not Reading excels in over Wimpy Kid and all of that series is the cast. All of the other characters are fleshed out like needed, and while this is a common staple to ANY book, I can't even begin to tell you how refreshing it is to read a book that takes a pre-existing formula and adds the finishing touch right on key. All of these characters are specifically designed to counter-balance Charlie Joe's personality, and as such, it helps make the book feel like a community I can connect to.

Bottom line, if you want a book that will truly make you laugh, read this title. It gets so much right, that all it needs to do is be funny. Yes, there are a few little things here and there that ruin the book, but I can't really say anything about those issues without spoiling the book, so I'll end on this note: Read "Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading." It's amazing.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Quote of the Month: Lily


"How romantic, you smell of freshly puked apples." Lily W.

This was Lily's reaction at discovering that in one of the versions of Snow White, the prince wakes the princess, not with a kiss, but by jostling a bite of the poisoned apple from her throat.

Here is a handy link to the Folklore and Mythology Electronic Texts. Professor D. L. Ashliman created it when he was at the University of Pittsburgh. Here is a link to his translations of a bunch of different versions of the Snow White story so you can compare them yourself!

This was at our book discussion of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman on 5/6/15.

Monday, May 4, 2015

How To Play: The Pokemon Trading Card Game a GadgetJax production

Enjoy Part 1 of our new feature: How To Play
In this video GadgetJax starts us out with the basics of the Pokémon Trading Card Game.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Anime Club recommends:


At the last Anime Club here at Highland I asked the members to submit titles for us to watch and their suggestions were too good not to share! Please remember that these titles, unlike the ones that are shown at our club meetings, have not been pre-screened by the librarian. These are teen suggestions for other teens!

Most of these recommendations are for comedy shows (lots of Hetalia fans in Highland, Indiana).

Myia recommends the comedy Nodame Cantabile, and wrote that the show "is funny and it gives you a view of a kid who wants to be a conductor"

Liliana and Stephanie both suggested the fantasy series Fairy Tail (Liliana said it is "AMAZING :3 ")

Nick recommends Blue Dragon to our viewers at home.

Annabelle thinks that everyone should watch Ouran High School Host Club, which was the first anime she ever saw.

Chloe is also recommending her first title: Hetalia, which she claims is hilarious (agreed) and educational (sometimes? PLEASEplease Fact Check before citing any events that happen in this show).

Katie's first show was Bunny Pop Kids and she recommends to fans of cute anime.

Zack recommends the military/action show Arpeggio of Blue Steel.

Camellia's recommended three titles: Kagero Project, Houzuki no Reitetsu, and Comedy in Hell.

Alissa's favorite series right now is "Say I Love You" which she has watched through twice now!



Aaand Mrs. Jennifer (the librarian) thinks that everyone should be watching MY love STORY!!



Do you have another favorite to add to our list? Comment below!




Thanks,
The Highland Anime Club