Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund

Academy 7Academy 7 is a futuristic science fiction novel centering on the interconnected lives of Aerin Renning and Dane Madousin.  Aerin opens up the novel by surviving an escape from a planet where she has been enslaved for the past 7 years.  Dane first appears by diving in to save a life from a forest fire in an unauthorized spacecraft, ending up in jail for a few hours until a good old friend of the family comes to bail him out.  As the story moves forward, the two find themselves in a school for the most gifted called Academy 7.  They maintain the top two marks: one a general’s son, the other an illegal immigrant to the Alliance.

The Alliance was formed to protect the peace among the planets following the rapid expansion of intergalactic travel and colonization.  There is another organization called the Trade Union.  The Trade Union is negotiating with the Alliance, fighting this large organized body of government; similar to labor unions formed in most occupations to fight for equal rights for the workers.  They view the rights of each planet as being neglected.

This novel does not center so much on the developing romance between the two characters, which is refreshing in itself.  It is more focused on uncovering the mysteries between Aerin and Dane, relating to their parents and their government’s secrets.  The novel is directed at young adult readers, but anyone who enjoys a peek into intergalactic development may find this interesting.  It is a short but interesting read that may lack in some areas, but packs a punch with the plot itself.

Lift off, readers!

(Amanda Sanson, Central Library)

Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

flawedYou may be familiar with Cecelia Ahern as a fiction and romance author with novels such as P.S. I Love You and The Time of My Life.  This is Ahern’s first swing at writing Young Adult novels.  In Flawed, Celestine North has a perfect life.  She is in love with the perfect boy who has a powerful father in a society where perfection is mandatory.  For those who have not been perfect, they are branded with a red F for Flawed for everyone to see.

When Celestine takes a risk and helps an older gentleman who is Flawed, she is suddenly in court facing her boyfriend’s father to see if she will be a Flawed citizen.  However, Mr. Craven has different plans when Celestine will not apologize for helping a Flawed man when he was dying.  Celestine’s world is turned upside down when she suddenly becomes a Flawed, has to have a handler, cannot eat any lavish food, and her loving boyfriend suddenly wants no part of her.  But Celestine has a secret that only few know. Can one Flawed change the whole system?

If you are a fan of The Hunger Games or Divergent, this might be the perfect read for you.  The second book in the duology, Perfect, is also available.

(Michelle Colbert, McGirt-Horton Branch Library)

Divergent by Veronica Roth

divergentAlthough this science fiction novel – a number one New York Times bestseller – is in the library’s young adult section, it is of interest to adults as well.  If you liked the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, you’ll find a similar appeal in Roth’s book.

The setting is Chicago, sometime in the future.  The city includes five factions, each located in a different area, and each with its own lifestyle and value system.  At the age of sixteen, each teenager must make a permanent choice of the faction to which he’ll belong.  If he fails in the initiation into his chosen faction, he’ll spend the rest of his life without a faction, which places him in the lowest role in society.

Beatrice is a member of the Abnegation faction, which values unselfish service above all else.  She sometimes feels that she doesn’t fit in here.  Will she choose to remain with her family, or will she transfer to Candor (which places its highest value on honesty), Dauntless (bravery), Amity (friendship and cooperation), or Erudite (scholarship)?  Which faction best suits her talents and personality?  Will she succeed in the path she chooses?

The movie version will be in theaters in March.

Divergent is the first of a trilogy, followed by Insurgent and Allegiant.  I’ve already started reading Insurgent and am eager to find out about Beatrice’s continued adventures.

(Helen Snow, retired from Information Services)

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

     If you’re reading this blog, you undoubtedly appreciate books, and you probably value the opportunity to read books with a variety of viewpoints and to decide for yourself what you will think. If so, you’ll want to read this science fiction novel, originally published in 1953.

     Fahrenheit_451 It is considered a classic and is a popular title on high school reading lists. That’s about all I knew about it until recently. I learned from the book jacket that Fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which book paper burns. The story is set in the future, a time when houses are all fireproof and firemen, no longer needed to put out fires, have taken on a new task–that of discovering books hidden in people’s houses and then burning them. The main character is a fireman named Montag who ceases to enjoy his duties and wants to read great books and learn to think independently. He becomes dissatisfied with his society, which seeks superficial happiness and tries to destroy knowledge and ideas. You’ll find it a clever satire of our present world, a thought-provoking look at a future that we can work to avoid, and a suspenseful tale as well.

Helen Snow, Information Services