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June 22, 2016 | Alice | Comments (0)

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The Young Elites by Marie Lu : Review

July 23, 2016 | Christine | Comments (0)

By Fariha 

 
The Young Elites by Marie Lu Cover Image

*spoilers about personalities of characters

 

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.
It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

No way could I pass up a novel that had that quote on the inside cover. Fantasy is my favourite genre and dark fantasy is even better. It also helps that I have a soft spot for Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy. (This one was even better than the trilogy though!)

 Sorry, always sorry. What in the world can you buy with an apology?

I had a love-hate relationship with Adelina, the protagonist, throughout the novel. Adelina is infuriating, enticing, dark, beautiful, and arrogant. She is ambitious as heck and lusts after power. I often found her interesting and her mind fascinating but she also managed to get on my nerves and sometimes I wanted to bash my head with the hardcover as she made stupid impulsive decisions.

 So. Tell me, little wolf. Do you want to punish those who have wronged you?

Enzo is alright I guess. I mean he’s cool and stuff. He didn’t stand out to me though, just another character who, had he not been one of the main characters, I wouldn’t have paid any attention to. I am much more enthralled by his sister, however. They remind me a lot of each other but she is sharper than a blade and ruthless and cunning and nothing is “going too far” if it achieves what she desires.

 Everyone has darkness inside them, however hidden.

I feel the same way about Raffaele. He’s good enough but that doesn’t make him memorable and doesn’t peak my interest.

 I am a deformed creature.

I have a lot of empathy for Teren. I don’t like him nor do I agree with him but I can understand him. It will make sense when you read the book but his case reminds me a lot about internalised homophobia/transphobia in people part of the LGBT+ community; where you being you is a sin and unnatural because that’s what people around you think. I have a whole lot of compassion for someone who goes through that or something similar, like Teren.

 There are four places where the spirits still wander . . .
the snow-covered Dark of Night, the forgotten paradise of
Sobri Elan, the Glass Pillars of Dumon, and the human mind,
that eternally mysterious realm where ghosts shall forever walk.

—An Exploration of Ancient and Modern Myths, by Mordove Senia

One of my favourite aspects of the novel was the quote above each of the chapters. Sometimes they just provide background information about a later event but they can be pleasantly lyrical, dark or clever at times.

It is pointless to believe what you see, if you only see what you believe. —“The Admiral,” from The Requiem of Gods Vol. XI, translated by Chevalle

As much as I loved this book, I’m afraid I couldn’t get through Rose Society. It was probably the reading slump I was in when I attempted to read it rather than the actual novel, though, so I’ll be sure to give it another chance before I attempt at the final novel of this trilogy this fall!

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This book is available in regular print, as well as in Audiobook, eAudiobook, and eBook formats.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins : Review

July 23, 2016 | Christine | Comments (0)

By Daniel

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins Cover ImageWhen I first heard about this book, I thought it was really stupid. All my friends were telling me to read it but I didn’t want to. After a while, I gave into the temptation and read the book. I soon fell in love with the book and it is now one of my favourite books out there. I’m now a huge fan and I adore the series. Even the movies were AWESOME! I’m totally obsessed. I have posters and pins and action figures up all over my room (not kidding lol). The story is set in the future, after the destruction of North America. The country is called Panem. There are twelve poor districts governed by the rich Capitol. There was a thirteenth district in the past but the Capitol destroyed them because they rebelled.

The Capitol organises the Hunger Games every year to punish the districts. One boy and one girl aged 12 to 18 fight in a battle. Only one person will live. The chosen teenagers are called “tributes”. The whole country must watch the games on television. The story is about Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen-year-old girl. Her father died and now she has to kill animals for her family to eat. Her younger sister, Prim, is chosen to be a “tribute”, but Katniss volunteers to go instead. The other “tribute” from District 12 is a boy named Peeta. Now they must fight to the death in order to stay alive. But there is a problem, Peeta and Katniss now love each other and cant kill each other even though there can only be one victor. What will they do? How will they survive? Will the capitol like it? Read the book to find out! It is an amazing novel and I one hundred percent recommend it.

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This book is available in regular print, as well as in AudiobookeAudiobook, and eBook formats.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys : Review

July 23, 2016 | Christine | Comments (0)

By Mark

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys Cover ImageI came upon this book when I was in the library looking for something to read. This book wasn't lying on a shelf in alphabetical order like all the rest, but was lying on one of the tables. Possibly, someone picked it up and placed it down just perfectly to capture my attention, and it definitely did. I read the first 3 pages in the library itself, and I knew automatically that I had to bring it home to continue reading it. 

This book captured all of my emotions. I felt happiness, pain, hope, sadness, and love all at the same time. Told from the perspective of a young Lithuanian girl, named Lina, during WW2, the reader steps into the life of a Lithuanian during one of the darkest times in history. 

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This book is available in regular print, as well as in Audiobook, eAudiobook, and eBook formats.



Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey : Review

July 23, 2016 | Christine | Comments (0)

By Asifa

Hearts at Stake by Alexandra Harvey Cover ImageHearts at Stake may sound like every other vampire book, with a human girl, a vampire boy and vampire problems.  The overall plot does have vampire problems with evil vampires trying to take over the world but what makes this series so enjoyable is the way the author writes each novel. Harvey doesn’t bore readers with just one person’s perspective. She writes in the perspective of many characters. Usually a reader gets attached to one character and finds it annoying when another character starts narrating the story, however in this series the author makes the readers attach with each and every perspective and wants them craving more of each person’s story.

Another great thing about the novels is that the entire series is not based on romance between the two main characters (such as Twilight) rather the main problem is the main focus and every aspect of the story is detailed in a healthy amount. In the end the books in the series Hearts at Stake is a very enjoyable read filled with a lot of humour, importance of sticking together and family, and fighting for what’s right. This is definitely a book recommendation for fantasy lovers.

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Also available as an eBook.

5 Seconds of Summer Concert Review

July 23, 2016 | Youth Advisory Group | Comments (0)

By Runnymede Branch Youth Advisory Group member, Alissa

    On Tuesday, July 12, 2016, I saw 5 Seconds of Summer live for the third time. For this tour, Sounds Live Feels Live, they brought along Hey Violet and One Ok Rock. They performed at Molson Canadian Amphitheatre. Last year, 5 Seconds of Summer also brought Hey Violet on the Rock Out With Your Socks Out tour, therefore I have seen them before; but I have never seen One Ok Rock or listened to them before the concert.

Continue reading "5 Seconds of Summer Concert Review " »

Sing by Vivi Greene : Review

July 23, 2016 | Christine | Comments (0)

By Jessie

Sing by Vivi Greene Cover ImageI recently read the book, Sing written by Vivi Greene. As judgmental as it sounds, I was sold on this book because of it's creative cover art rather than the plot itself, which sounded very cliché and Hannah Montana-like. 
 
When I first began reading, it was a seemingly basic plot- a pop star (Lily Ross) that has two best friend/ assistants, and (of course) a pop star boyfriend that would soon become her ex. The book quickly transitions to her life away from fame where she would reinvent herself and get a taste of what it's like to be 'normal', and no, I don't know why she would want to be normal. All jokes aside, a hot new character is then introduced that would soon become Lily's new boyfriend. 
 
Long story short, Lily is faced with the 'dilemma' of having to pick between her fans and her lover. I would rate this book 3 stars out of 5 because of its dull character development. However, it was a nice quick summer read.

FAIRY TAIL : Anime Review

July 23, 2016 | Christine | Comments (0)

By Alvira

Fairy Tail Anime DVD Cover ImageAnime is NOT a cartoon!!!! It's a separate piece of work...just like books or movies. Just wanted to get that cleared. And the anime I would recommend would be FAIRY TAIL. It is the best anime to ever exist. It had me hooked from beginning to end, it's that good. Those who are interested in anime, you have got to watch Fairy Tail. It will leave you addicted and wanting for more. If you are a fan of Dragon Ball Z, Bleach, One Piece, and Naruto, then this is a MUST WATCH.

So head to the nearest library and try it out, believe me it's gonna be awesome.

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All of these anime are also available in manga format:

 Fairy Tail Manga Cover Image

 

 

Fairy Tail

 

 

 

Dragon Ball Z Manga Cover Image

 



Dragon Ball Z

 

 

 

 

Bleach Manga Cover Image

 

 

Bleach

 

 

 
 
One Piece Manga Cover Image



One Piece

 





 Naruto Manga Cover Image



Naruto is available both in regular print and in eBook format.

The Beauty of a Spray Can

July 23, 2016 | Youth Advisory Group | Comments (0)

By Alma at Parliament Street Branch

Although Toronto is well known for its huge diversity in population, the growing increase in the awesomeness of the arts ( like dance and music) has drawn many fans into our city. But one thing that is kept so low key is our wall art.

Whether it be graffiti or murals, artists who work with spray cans have an incredible sense of magic and make the walls of our city look colourful. Still not sure on what I'm taking about?

I've attached pictures of my favourite places to find beautiful wall art and graffiti in Toronto.

*Please note: pictures used in this post are my own, and please give credit to me if you ever use them :)*

Queen Street

  • This very long street consists of various places and neighbourhoods with wall art and graffiti, here is one example:
  • Graffiti Alley - one of the most known in the Toronto wall art world, this alley is 6 blocks long with various tags and murals. One of their cutest and admirable? This rainbow aquarium with fish all over.

 

photo of graffiti on Queen Street depicting colourful fish
image used with permission from blog author

Parkdale

  • This amazing neighbourhood has murals and graffiti almost everywhere. If you're on the Queen Street part of the neighbourhood, look behind the library and along the sides of stores, and you're bound to find something! Parkdale graffiti normally consists of words you can actually read instead of tags. There are murals with phrases such as "Welcome to Parkdale" or even ones that say "Born Again". 
photo of graffiti depicting the phrase fear a bit less and live a bit more
image used with permission from blog author

 

image of graffiti tags in Parkdale
image used with permission of blog author

Kensington Market

  • Between College and Dundas Street, Kensington Market also borders in between Spadina and Bathurst. In the little alleyways between stores there is plenty of graffiti and mural art that you can find. So if you're ever at Kensington, look out for the different wall art situated in mini alleyways!
photo of girl passing graffiti in Kensington Market
image used with permission from blog author

 

image of a pink and blue graffiti tag in Kensington Market
image used with permission of blog author

 

King Street between Sackville & Sumach

  • This little bridge thing on King Street between Sackville and Sumach Street is one of the most unique places for wall art. As cars zoom by on King Street, there are these triangular-type pillars with amazing wall art on them. If you like vibrant colours, unusual shapes, and happen to walk along King & Sackville or King & Sumach Street, try to look out for these pillars of colour. 
photo of a girl looking at at King Street graffiti
image used with permission from blog author

 

image of mural on King St depicting buildings, ships, and faces
image used with permission from blog author

Look between allies- graffiti is now everywhere! Many artists are now paid to do awesome art everywhere around Toronto. So as you walk through places in your neighbourhood or places you're visiting, keep an eye out for the markings of colourful spray cans. Want to know other cool places with Graffiti? Regent Park is a great example!

People take pictures with graffiti to show off their #OOTDs, or even just for simply admiring the art. Drop in graffiti classes happen every Thursday at the Parkdale Branch from 6-8 PM, so if you have any more interests, come on by! 

 For materials about street art, check out the TPL catalogue.

 

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling : Review

July 22, 2016 | Christine | Comments (0)

By: Daniel

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling Cover ImageIn the fifth book in this Series, Professor Dumbledore forms the Order of the Phoenix, a secret society formed to stop Voldemort from carrying out his plans. Meanwhile, Fudge, the Minister for Magic takes action and interferes with the ongoings at Hogwarts by making Professor Umbridge, The New defense against the dark arts teacher who works for Fudge, the Hogwarts High inquisitor who can inspect other teachers, place upon probation, and sack the teachers who she thinks aren’t performing up to scratch.

This thrilling read starts off with Harry and his cousin Dudley getting attacked by dementors, the soul sucking creatures who live off of misery. In reaction to the dementors, Harry performs the Patronus charm to get rid of them. Unfortunately, Harry has to attend a hearing where the entire court will reserve judgement on him for using magic outside school. Luckily, Harry doesn't get expelled from Hogwarts and is cleared of all charges.

I noticed after reading all the previous books that at the end of each book in the series there is always some sort of fight with Voldemort. I really think that this adventure at the end of this book is the most thrilling so far. The fact that Sirius dies was a little sad, but it wasn't expected because the order of the phoenix was fighting so many death eaters at once that it was inevitable in the end for someone to die, plus adds some color to the end of the book.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was a wonderful read with lots of thrills and action and I will surely read the rest of the series. I recommend this book to anybody to enjoys a very adventuristic and fantasy novel.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

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This book is also available in Audiobook, eBook, and eAudiobook formats. There is also the movie version as well!

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie : Review

July 22, 2016 | Christine | Comments (0)

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie Book Cover ImageBy: Norah
 
Agatha Christie's book Murder on the Orient Express is a thrilling murder mystery that will leave you guessing to the very end, only to leave you shocked. This timeless book is loved by all, and is defiantly a good read. I would recommend it to anyone who can handle the vocabulary, which is a bit advanced, and slight gory details. It also comes with a television adaption for those who are interested. Without spoiling it, the basic plot follows a Belgian detective named Hercule Poirot who is traveling on the train called the Orient Express. When a rich man is murdered, he is called to crack the case. Happy Reading!

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This book is also available in Audiobook, eAudiobook, and eBook formats. There are also some movie versions available too!

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