jsmyth's Activity (72)

  • jsmyth
    jsmythis now following genius1326.
    Over 3 years ago
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    pjsweetis now following gman.
    Over 3 years ago
  • jsmyth
    jsmyth's book review was featured in The Candymakers.
    This book reminds me why I always tell fellow readers to give young adult books a chance. The only complaint I have about The Candymakers is due to the fact that these books are unfortunately targeted towards young adult readers rather than adults that are young at heart. On that note, the only real problems I had were the same reasons this was not targeted to me. Again, unfortunately. The sentences were more concise and simple then I believe necessary for teens; there was a lot more telling than necessary, although there was notable detailed showing. Some of the plot was rather unbelievable; it all came together a little too easily. But, it is a fantasy world filled with candy, after all. How could I not fall in love with this book? The only other two fictional books that I have read set entirely in the Candy World are "True Confections" by Katherine Weber and, of course, "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl. And now this one, which holds its own among them. My favorite thing about this novel is its structure. The author is able to successfully write from different points of view- something many adult books cannot get right. Furthermore, these accounts are sold separately, in different chapters- a difficult thing to do. With impeccable exactitude, no facts, no details, none if the timeline, not the characters are mismatched. Readers get the feeling that they are experiencing the event as they switch between the four childrens' minds, each with their own secrets. They all have their own reasons for being there and all eventually really want to win competition. At first a few are enemies, but, of course, they eventually grow to really care about one another and sincerely can each other friends as they learn each other's secrets and inner thoughts. **** Spoilers **** Logan, The Candymaker's son, feels the need to prove to his parents that he is worthy of inheriting his father's position. He has no other friends because his parents have kept him sheltered since he was a young boy. During the annual factory picnic, he met Philip, who was touring the area. This was one of the first boys had met and he was excited to find a new friend. After playing like boys do around the candy factory for most of the day, they were at the chocolate vat when Phillip lost his toy truck in it. Not wanting to upset his friend and wanting to return it, he crawled into it. He ended up not getting it in time and scarring his entire face. He is still a very happy boy; it seems that he notices his scars far less than anyone else does. In fact, he often forgets that they are there. Daisy, who grew up in a special family- spies with all the technology and ninja moves- is on an assigned mission. She is there for reasons that at first she does only because she was told; until certain events cause her to truly consider what she is doing. And what is right and wrong. Finding and taking Life Is Sweet's secret ingredient with the goal to shut down the factory? Certainly in the latter category. Miles, whom carries a life jacket around everywhere and has taken an interest in the afterlife ever since he was out boating and watched a girl drown. He eventually funds or that girl was actually Daisy, who of course never died because she was utilizing her super powers. Last but not least, there is Philip, whom is extremely negative, pretentious, rude, and full of animosity as soon as he meets the others. We eventually find out that he is the former boy with the toy truck. As expected, he typically is not this type of guy. But as an equally lonely child, when he was erroneously informed by his father that he had been banned from the Life Is Sweet candy factory (he was actually invited back by the family), he is there to win the competition; to take Logan's thunder. I also loved his secret violin talents and music genius. Looking forward to reading her other books!
    Over 3 years ago
  • jsmyth
    jsmyth added a book review.
    This book reminds me why I always tell fellow readers to give young adult books a chance. The only complaint I have about The Candymakers is due to the fact that these books are unfortunately targeted towards young adult readers rather than adults that are young at heart. On that note, the only real problems I had were the same reasons this was not targeted to me. Again, unfortunately. The sentences were more concise and simple then I believe necessary for teens; there was a lot more telling than necessary, although there was notable detailed showing. Some of the plot was rather unbelievable; it all came together a little too easily. But, it is a fantasy world filled with candy, after all. How could I not fall in love with this book? The only other two fictional books that I have read set entirely in the Candy World are "True Confections" by Katherine Weber and, of course, "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl. And now this one, which holds its own among them. My favorite thing about this novel is its structure. The author is able to successfully write from different points of view- something many adult books cannot get right. Furthermore, these accounts are sold separately, in different chapters- a difficult thing to do. With impeccable exactitude, no facts, no details, none if the timeline, not the characters are mismatched. Readers get the feeling that they are experiencing the event as they switch between the four childrens' minds, each with their own secrets. They all have their own reasons for being there and all eventually really want to win competition. At first a few are enemies, but, of course, they eventually grow to really care about one another and sincerely can each other friends as they learn each other's secrets and inner thoughts. **** Spoilers **** Logan, The Candymaker's son, feels the need to prove to his parents that he is worthy of inheriting his father's position. He has no other friends because his parents have kept him sheltered since he was a young boy. During the annual factory picnic, he met Philip, who was touring the area. This was one of the first boys had met and he was excited to find a new friend. After playing like boys do around the candy factory for most of the day, they were at the chocolate vat when Phillip lost his toy truck in it. Not wanting to upset his friend and wanting to return it, he crawled into it. He ended up not getting it in time and scarring his entire face. He is still a very happy boy; it seems that he notices his scars far less than anyone else does. In fact, he often forgets that they are there. Daisy, who grew up in a special family- spies with all the technology and ninja moves- is on an assigned mission. She is there for reasons that at first she does only because she was told; until certain events cause her to truly consider what she is doing. And what is right and wrong. Finding and taking Life Is Sweet's secret ingredient with the goal to shut down the factory? Certainly in the latter category. Miles, whom carries a life jacket around everywhere and has taken an interest in the afterlife ever since he was out boating and watched a girl drown. He eventually funds or that girl was actually Daisy, who of course never died because she was utilizing her super powers. Last but not least, there is Philip, whom is extremely negative, pretentious, rude, and full of animosity as soon as he meets the others. We eventually find out that he is the former boy with the toy truck. As expected, he typically is not this type of guy. But as an equally lonely child, when he was erroneously informed by his father that he had been banned from the Life Is Sweet candy factory (he was actually invited back by the family), he is there to win the competition; to take Logan's thunder. I also loved his secret violin talents and music genius. Looking forward to reading her other books!
    Over 3 years ago
  • jsmyth
    jsmyth added a book review.
    I really enjoyed this one! It wasn't exactly what I was anticipating but it was still good in it's own right. I would definitely classify it more as a Middle Grade novel than an Young Adult one, but I still thoroughly enjoyed my reading of it. I was put off a bit by some of the phrasing of things and the fact that this was basically one long letter but I wasn't sure who it was addressed to or if I was supposed to be someone in Melia's life. I thought that there was a good mix of believable good things that came out of this and some things that were almost too good to be true. And while it works in some novels, I found that this one could have used with more of the down and out sort of feeling rather than the happily ever afters. There were definitely some things that went wrong, but it felt like it went up and up and the real issues that could have set them back didn't really do so. And I feel like that made me feel a bit cheated for the story. I did really like all the characters though. I thought Melia was really strong and tough and while she sounded older than 14, I could believe it through context and timing. I feel as though with historical fiction, you can get away with how your MC sounds and acts because of context and this was definitely one of those instances. I think she was really brave and did anything and everything she could to survive and keep her family together. I liked that she was really innovative but also still a child and allowed to be a child in this story. I think the family was really well constructed. I liked that everyone had their role but they were also really dependent on one another. I think there was a lot of pressure for Melia to be the leader but she defected when she had to because it was the right thing to do. I really liked this one. I thought it felt like the time period, had a really strong main character, and enough hope to mix with the sad parts that I found myself smiling as much as I did crying. Overall a well rounded novel with a great message that no matter what life throws at you, you are stronger than it.
    Over 3 years ago
  • jsmyth
    jsmyth has read this book.
    By Louis Bayard
    Over 3 years ago
  • jsmyth
    jsmyth added a book review.
    Nick and Telsa are brother and sister forced to spend the summer with their crazy uncle. When their rocket gets launched into the yard of the large abandoned house down the street a mystery and adventure like no other begins to enfold. This actually reminds me a lot of The Sandlot. A group of kids trying to get into the yard of a neighbor house. To do so they create some crazy science experiments. I love The Sandlot and I think that's partly why I really enjoyed this one. There are science experiments within the book so kids can try them out at home. My one complaint would be that all of them seemed rather top notch and required several materials that not everyone may have. If they were simpler I'd suggest this as perfect book to match Science and Reading classes together. A fun, laugh out loud, mystery adventure book written perfectly for elementary school boys. Leaving you wondering where the next book is going to go.
    Over 3 years ago
  • jsmyth
    jsmyth's book review was featured in The Unwanteds.
    Accidentally deleted my review, so here it is. (I have all my reviews backed up in a google folder). *May include spoilers!* "The Unwanteds" by Lisa McMann is a fantasy book. It takes place in the land of Quill. Every year, thirteen-year olds are sorted into three groups. The necessaries are those who the land of Quill rely on. The Wanteds are strong, intelligent teens who go to university. The Unwanteds are those who are creative and have infractions and are sent to be eliminated at the death farm. In the land of Quill, no one is allowed to express their feelings and are not allowed to be artistic. Those how are get infractions and are considered Unwanted. A pair of twins, Alex and Aaron Stowe, are separated at the Purge; the ceremony where the teens are separated. Alex Stowe is sent to the death farm with the other Unwanteds but once they reach the farm, they are met with a pleasant surprise. Mr. Today, the "farmer", tell them that they are in Artimé; a hidden world with magic, where creativity is a gift and also a weapon. Alex is faced with new problems like expressing his feelings, revealing hidden secrets, and fighting against enemies. Aaron is also faced with problems since he was separated from his brother and believed his brother had been eliminated. Aaron's mind is corrupted by the High Priest Justine, the leader of Quill, and he is forced to fight against his brother in the great war between Quill and Artimé. The characters in this novel were relatable and credible. I found myself relating to my favourite character, Alex. He's my favourite because he fought for what he believed in and expressed himself. He changed quite a bit throughout the novel becoming more strong independently and was more brave to say what he felt. He is also very talented and curious. His curiosity gets him into trouble but also helps him obtain new information of the history of Quill and Artimé. My personal favourite part of the book is when Alex draws a 3-D door that can travel to Quill, and he uses it to see his brother. This shows how much of a bond Alex has with his brother. Sadly when he visits Aaron, Aaron does not think Alex is actually there and tells Alex how he does not want to see him and told him to go away and never come back. This part was one of my favourites because it shows how much of an effect being declared a Wanted had on the teens and how it could truly tear families apart. I did not have a least favourite part. It was a very enjoyable book and I would not change a thing about it. I would recommend this book to those who loved the Harry Potter books and/or The Hunger Games trilogy. It is good for ages 12 to whatever age. All in all, it was a fantastic book and I can not wait to read the second one!
    Over 3 years ago
  • jsmyth
    jsmyth added a book review.
    Accidentally deleted my review, so here it is. (I have all my reviews backed up in a google folder). *May include spoilers!* "The Unwanteds" by Lisa McMann is a fantasy book. It takes place in the land of Quill. Every year, thirteen-year olds are sorted into three groups. The necessaries are those who the land of Quill rely on. The Wanteds are strong, intelligent teens who go to university. The Unwanteds are those who are creative and have infractions and are sent to be eliminated at the death farm. In the land of Quill, no one is allowed to express their feelings and are not allowed to be artistic. Those how are get infractions and are considered Unwanted. A pair of twins, Alex and Aaron Stowe, are separated at the Purge; the ceremony where the teens are separated. Alex Stowe is sent to the death farm with the other Unwanteds but once they reach the farm, they are met with a pleasant surprise. Mr. Today, the "farmer", tell them that they are in Artimé; a hidden world with magic, where creativity is a gift and also a weapon. Alex is faced with new problems like expressing his feelings, revealing hidden secrets, and fighting against enemies. Aaron is also faced with problems since he was separated from his brother and believed his brother had been eliminated. Aaron's mind is corrupted by the High Priest Justine, the leader of Quill, and he is forced to fight against his brother in the great war between Quill and Artimé. The characters in this novel were relatable and credible. I found myself relating to my favourite character, Alex. He's my favourite because he fought for what he believed in and expressed himself. He changed quite a bit throughout the novel becoming more strong independently and was more brave to say what he felt. He is also very talented and curious. His curiosity gets him into trouble but also helps him obtain new information of the history of Quill and Artimé. My personal favourite part of the book is when Alex draws a 3-D door that can travel to Quill, and he uses it to see his brother. This shows how much of a bond Alex has with his brother. Sadly when he visits Aaron, Aaron does not think Alex is actually there and tells Alex how he does not want to see him and told him to go away and never come back. This part was one of my favourites because it shows how much of an effect being declared a Wanted had on the teens and how it could truly tear families apart. I did not have a least favourite part. It was a very enjoyable book and I would not change a thing about it. I would recommend this book to those who loved the Harry Potter books and/or The Hunger Games trilogy. It is good for ages 12 to whatever age. All in all, it was a fantastic book and I can not wait to read the second one!
    Over 3 years ago
  • jsmyth
    jsmyth's book review was featured in Secret Coders.
    A simple and wonderful and wholesome story in all the coolest ways. Yang wanted to showcase coding and he did just that. It will now be a series about coding that I will look forward to. In this first story, the main character is now attending a new school, an odd school where everything seems a bit odd. She was a basketball star in her old school and gets into it with a few boys right away. But the strangeness continues and she befriends a boy who together they realize that codes are sending them messages. The three-eyed birds are really just codes, they are able to pick a lock in a mysterious shed at the school where the maintenance guy has a robotic turtle that with coding, does the sweeping/shoveling. It's fast-paced in a sparse but smart way. The characters are endearing and the situations are as much science fiction as they are humorous with a dose of real school drama. Definitely will keep my finger on the pulse of these books.
    Over 3 years ago

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First BookCreate an AvatarWrote First Book ReviewWrote 10 Book ReviewsWrote 25 Book ReviewsFirst MovieJoined National Geographic Kids Book ClubJoined Mac Kids Book ClubJoined Summer Reading 2016

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