51509sg42fl3-glasses

 

Speak – May 14, 2009

Every young citizen of the Alliance between the ages of sixteen and seventeen is given the Academy Entrance Exam.  The results of the test determines which Academy the student will attend. Academy 7 is the most prestigious school in all of the Alliance and only the students with the top 50 scores are invited to attend each year.

Aerin Renning and Dane Madousin both receive invitations to Academy 7 and both decide to accept for their own, very different, reasons.  Aerin has some deep, dark secrets that could ruin her chances at the Academy and guards herself against exposure by isolating herself from others.  She spends her time studying about the politics and history of the Alliance in order to excel in her classes so she can secure a return invitation the next year.

Dane is the son of a very powerful man.  Not only is his father a successful General, but he is also on the Council, the small group of people who governs the Alliance.  Attending Academy 7 isn’t Dane’s dream, but in order to spite his father, he decides to make the most of his time there.  Dane soon excels in his studies and holds the number one position in every class except one – Personal Combat.  There is one person that bests him in Combat on a daily basis – Aerin.

After a disciplinary action forces Aerin and Dane to work together, he tries to break through the wall that she has created. Slowly, as they learn more about each other, their secrets come out and, together, they come to terms with their problems.  

Anne Osterlund has created an interesting science fiction world for ACADEMY 7.  Both Aerin and Dane change and grow throughout the course of the story and witnessing their failures and triumphs is interesting.  The story has a satisfying ending and could easily be a stand alone novel, but on the other hand, there are story lines that could definitely continue.  We’ll have to wait and see what the author has in mind.  Click here to visit her website.

karins-signature

 

 

 


Academy 7

Advertisements

In a world not much different than ours, people are divided into two classes.  In one, the rich and powerful travel by helicopter to their luxury houses and jobs.  In the other, people are stuck in hours of traffic going to and from their low level jobs – all the while breathing air poisoned by pollution.  The Test is what determines your future.  

Ann lives with her parents in the low level class.  Her parents leave hours before they have to be at work because it takes so long to get there in the traffic.  Her father works as a health care giver to some people that live in an apartment building owned by one of the most powerful men in the country.  The apartment building is in terrible shape and in constant disrepair.  When Ann’s father starts to tell the occupants to withhold rent until their apartments are fixed, things begin to get dangerous.

Ann starts to see a mysterious man on a motorcycle bearing a weird logo on her way to and from school and when he begins to threaten her, she decides to figure out what is going on.  She finds out things are more connected than she ever thought and that the Test is at the center of everything.

THE TEST by William Sleator is a good story.  With how testing is viewed in our public schools today, it is interesting to see an author’s view of what could happen if we let testing get out of control.  The one weakness I can see with this book is the ending.  It almost seemed like Sleator ran out of time and had to turn in the manuscript before he could wrap things up properly.

In a world not much different than ours, people are divided into two classes.  In one, the rich and powerful travel by helicopter to their luxury houses and jobs.  In the other, people are stuck in hours of traffic going to and from their low level jobs – all the while breathing air poisoned by pollution.  The Test is what determines your future.  

Ann lives with her parents in the low level class.  Her parents leave hours before they have to be at work because it takes so long to get there in the traffic.  Her father works as a health care giver to some people that live in an apartment building owned by one of the most powerful men in the country.  The apartment building is in terrible shape and in constant disrepair.  When Ann’s father starts to tell the occupants to withhold rent until their apartments are fixed, things begin to get dangerous.

Ann starts to see a mysterious man on a motorcycle bearing a weird logo on her way to and from school and when he begins to threaten her, she decides to figure out what is going on.  She finds out things are more connected than she ever thought and that the Test is at the center of everything.

THE TEST by William Sleator is a good story.  With how testing is viewed in our public schools today, it is interesting to see an author’s view of what could happen if we let testing get out of control.  The one weakness I can see with this book is the ending.  It almost seemed like Sleator ran out of time and had to turn in the manuscript before he could wrap things up properly.

Milton and Marlo Fauster run into some trouble at the mall ond day and end up in Heck.  Heck is the place where the bad kids go.  Milton can totally understand how Marlo, his kleptomaniac sister ended up there, but he is a good kid.  He is sure a mistake has been made.\

As soon as they arrive, they are greeted by Bea “Elsa” Bubb, the Principal of Darkness of the Underworld’s reform school.  Immediately Milton and Marlo decide they have to escape and begin to formulate a plan.  By using a piece of liver in the cafeteria as a secret hiding place, Milton and Marlo begin to exchange notes until the time comes to make a run for it.

HECK is an enjoyable read that is packed with both, silly humor and creepy imagery.  The author leaves it open for a sequel.  Dale E. Basye has a great website devoted to this book that contains information about Heck itself as well as desktop wallpaper and other free goodies.  Click here to check it out.

Milton and Marlo Fauster run into some trouble at the mall ond day and end up in Heck.  Heck is the place where the bad kids go.  Milton can totally understand how Marlo, his kleptomaniac sister ended up there, but he is a good kid.  He is sure a mistake has been made.\

As soon as they arrive, they are greeted by Bea “Elsa” Bubb, the Principal of Darkness of the Underworld’s reform school.  Immediately Milton and Marlo decide they have to escape and begin to formulate a plan.  By using a piece of liver in the cafeteria as a secret hiding place, Milton and Marlo begin to exchange notes until the time comes to make a run for it.

HECK is an enjoyable read that is packed with both, silly humor and creepy imagery.  The author leaves it open for a sequel.  Dale E. Basye has a great website devoted to this book that contains information about Heck itself as well as desktop wallpaper and other free goodies.  Click here to check it out.

Karin is a vampire – she just isn’t like her other vampire family members.  Whereas they drink the blood of humans for nourishment like traditional vampires, Karin has a problem with having too much blood in her body.  Her blood constantly increases.  It builds up faster the closer she is to a human with the type of blood she is attracted to.  If it builds up too much, it gushes out in the form of a horrible nose bleed.  Sometimes if someone is around her and the time is right she can bite someone and inject the blood into them.  Her problem is, she can’t erase the memories of the people she bites.  She must rely on her siblings for help.

Karin’s life becomes even more difficult when a transfer student arrives at her school.  Kenta Usui causes Karin’s blood to increase everytime she is around him.  She has trouble just looking at him.  What is even worse is the fact that Kenta witnesses Karin biting someone, becomes suspicious of her, and is determined to find out what she is doing.

Karin must attempt to control her problem and figure out how to handle her relationship with Kenta.  This is an interesting concept for a story and turned out to be pretty cute and I’m glad I gave them a chance (even though I bought the first one because the main character’s name, Karin, is spelled like my first name).   I’ve read 5 volumes so far and plan to read the others soon.  There are novelizations and an animation series available as well.