Wilmington High School English 10H discussion

2017 Independent Reading Project book reviews

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message 1: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Estrada | 8 comments Please post your book reviews here!

message 2: by Emma (new)

Emma | 1 comments IF I DID IT
The Goldman Family

IF I DID IT is a heart pumping, gut wrenching true crime book published in 2006, 12 years subsequent to the brutal murders of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson. Nicole’s ex-husband and famous NFL running back was the number one suspect. His name was Orenthal James Simpson, who fought for his innocence in front of the California Superior Court and won, leaving behind a shocked nation convinced of his guilt. IF I DID IT is authored by the family of Ron Goldman, who were intent on sharing the real story with the world.
The confessions are centered on the early years of the love and lust between OJ Simpson and the beautiful Nicole Brown, who later married and had kids. The book describes them as what appeared to be a perfectly fortunate and happy couple who spiraled into a tunnel of physical incidents, affairs and eventually a divorce.
Goldman’s book was written from the hypothetical perspective of OJ throughout the entire fiasco. This point of view was taken to help the reader see that OJ had no way out and was forced to lie because he is guilty. The story goes into vivid detail about the years prior to the murders and include the hypothetical OJ admitting to being at the crime scene, in a fight with Nicole, with blood all over him and a knife in hand, but not remembering how it all happened.
IF I DID IT did a tremendous job filling the reader in with details about OJ and Nicole, but cut the murder scene, the climax, too short. It was simplified to a few quick chapters. Also, the alleged perspective from OJ was very interesting but made it confusing in the big picture. If it was supposed to be OJ speaking, why would he so narrowly make himself the obvious suspect, without actually admitting it? The Goldmans believe he took this exclusive stance as a taunt. However, the book was fascinating and gory, which made for a combination I could not put down. The Goldman Family did excellent work of further characterizing what most of the world already saw OJ as- a cold blooded killer.
This novel and it’s themes of mystery and drama are timeless because nobody ever knows what really happened. The biggest court case of the decade still contains dozens of unanswered questions, reasonable doubt and unjustification. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone interested in Simpson, or who can stomach the disturbing details IF I DID IT contains.

message 3: by Mindy (new)

Mindy Duggan | 1 comments Firstlife
By Gena Showalter

Firstlife is an engaging dystopian novel that will keep readers entertained until the very last page. When I first bought this book I thought it would take me weeks to read, but Gena Showalter’s captivating writing style and enticing cliffhangers sucked me into the world of the main character, Tenley Lockwood, and I read the entire book in one night. The multifaceted characters portrayed a multitude of character traits. If you think you can’t find a character you can relate to in this book, just keep reading, because I can guarantee one will arrive.
Gena Showalter introduces readers to the peculiar concept of your life being simply a dress rehearsal and your real life beginning after death. After you die, you get to choose which afterlife realm you spend your real life in. These two realms have been at war since the beginning of time and which side you choose can decipher between happiness and misery. Tenley Lockwood, the main character, is sent to an asylum because she wants to go to a different realm than her parents want her to. She can leave Prynne Asylum, it’s torture and it’s darkness, whenever she wants; although, only after she lets her parents decide her realm.
Gena Showalter introduces readers to the main characters through a series of emails. These emails also introduce the main themes of life vs. death and masculinity vs femininity. Tenley fights for her life to procrastinate making her decision of what realm to enter after death. Showalter goes against female stereotypes and makes Tenley strong and tough. She is even stronger than many of the male characters which are normally stereotypically strong. Firstlife reminds women in today’s judgmental society that they can be independent and fierce.
Tenley (Ten) Lockwood is 16, obsessed with numbers, and ironically “ten”acious. She is determined to make it out of Prynne Asylum with her sanity and alive. Along the way, she is enticed by two handsome guys, Archer and Killian, who will do anything to get Tenley to join their realm… anything. They are stereotypical teenage boys, trying to make Ten fall in love with them. Killian and Archer make readers fall in love with them, rage with anger, and then fall in love with them all over again. The main conflict in the back of readers minds is which one Ten will fall for.
The imagery in Firstlife is what surprised me the most. After reading this book, it seemed as if I had just watched a movie because I was able to imagine all of the scenes in my head. Showalter never fails to describe every scene in amazing detail. Her description of inside of a tent is my absolute favorite. “The walls are made of jewel-toned scarves, and there are faux fur blankets… a small circle of fist-sized stones rests in the center, illuminating the entire tent. A large wooden tub consumes the far left corner, steam rising from the water” (Showalter, 265).
In a world where teenagers are reading the cliche' romantic novels, Firstlife is unique in its own special way. It combines dystopian elements with the romance teens crave and concepts never before explored by other teen fiction authors. It has opened my eyes and reminded me that when gifted authors, such as Gena Showalter, let their imagination run wild, masterpieces will start to appear in the world. Every teen should read this book to experience the roller coaster of emotions I did and so their imaginations can be expanded just as mine did the day I finished this uniquely fantastic novel.

message 4: by Samantha (last edited Jun 04, 2017 06:08PM) (new)

Samantha Marzi | 1 comments The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown, is an awesome book. A treasure hunt, adventure, and history lesson wrapped into one, The Da Vinci Code is a page-turner filled with historical references and modern problems concerning the church. While certain “facts” in the book are fictitious, there are several points throughout the book when Brown explains a certain detail, like the number PHI or the origins of certain Latin words, in order to explain a plot point, but he ends up teaching the reader an interesting fact in the process.
As the book progresses and readers follow the adventure of Richard Langdon, a symbologist, and Sophie Neveu, a cryptographer, it is impossible to not try to figure out the clues themselves or conspire about who The Teacher might be. When Brown describes a supposed symbol in a certain painting, it is hard to not look up a picture to see the symbol for yourself. Brown does a remarkable job keeping the reader’s attention with different stories going on at the same time, which all slowly merge together. Always keeping important information that would explain entire courses of events right out of the grasp of the reader until the last minute makes the book difficult to put down.
On the flip side, some of the symbols and claims Brown makes are a little far-fetched or hard to understand. If someone is not familiar the works of Leonardo Da Vinci or certain biblical references, the book may get confusing at times. Any staunch Catholics could easily get offended with the accusations Brown makes about the history of the church and the divinity of Jesus Christ.
All in all, I greatly enjoyed reading this book. The symbols that were pointed out in certain paintings and the action throughout the book keep it interesting and fast-paced. It had a plot twist at the end which wasn't super surprising, but was still interesting. The solutions to the clues were always fun to read and figure out with the characters, and it is obvious why it is a best-seller. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a good Indiana Jones or National Treasure type of story.

message 5: by Joseph (new)

Joseph Wilson | 1 comments Within arms length by Dan Emmett
Within Arms Length by Dan Emmett is a riveting book that keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time while reading it. Emmett gives the reader an in depth and very detailed account of protecting the President of the United States. This book also serves as a history lesson on the Secret Service and the necessity and practice of protection dating back to President Kennedy's assassination in Dallas, Texas. What I specifically like in this book, is the fact that all of Dan Emmett's information was lived and absorbed first hand by himself. The fact that his work is based on his valorous career, brings a sense of truth and validity to the book.
The book Within Arms Length follows the story of Daniel Emmett, a retired United States Marine Corps officer and Special Agent assigned to the Presidential Protection Detail. As a young boy, Dan witnessed Agent Clint Hill climb on the back of President Kennedy's Cadillac moments after the shot rang out. This story is one of courage and perseverance, a story of a man with a goal and through hard work and a little bit of elbow grease, he made that dream come true. Emmett was subject to some of the most rigorous training in the US Government as well as being assigned to some of the most elite units in the Secret Service. It is remarkable how the author is able to keep a readers attention for such a long book, it seems that there is no dull moment in the world of protection.
I really liked this book. It was a very fast paced read. Within Arms Length, is a true page turner that never ceases to deliver, it gets the blood pumping and the adrenaline levels rising. Overall, Emmett adopts a form of writing that is no nonsense and gets to the point without all of the unnecessary details absent. He knows where to add the descriptive details and how to add them. The book's purpose isn't to bore the reader and for this purpose, Emmett injects humor and interesting stories into the parts that the book starts to get boring. To anybody that likes the US Government and government in general, this is the book for you. For anybody who likes the logistics of National Security and protecting the person who holds the nations highest office, this is the book for you. For anybody who enjoys an action packed, interesting, and all around amazing read this is the book for you. I would recommend Dan Emmett's Within Arms Length to anybody who expressed even the slightest interest in it.

message 6: by Sophia (new)

Sophia Novak | 1 comments Underground Airlines is a phenomenal novel about an alternate history for the United States. It describes a modern America--iPhones and all--but one which contains slavery. The Civil War never happened and because of that, the nation has four “slave states” in the south. Author Ben H. Winters follows main character Victor, an African American bounty hunter for the US government. The reader connects with Victor in many accounts, because of his vulnerability, and internal monologue that intrigues and captures attention.
There are many strengths seen throughout the novel. One of these would be that the entire story does not go on for many days. This is a plus because Victor leads the lives of many different people since he is undercover, and it can be hard to follow along. Another strength concerning this would be that there are not many other characters mentioned, so it is pretty easy to follow along.
Winters uses the many “personalities” of Victor to create a very intimate feeling by having the inner monologue, as well as flashbacks throughout the novel. It allows the reader to learn more about Victor’s background and what influences him to act and do as he does in the novel. This helps because at times the book could feel limited since the storyline is so interesting, and it only focuses on one main character. Also it helps because the novel has three “parts”, the North, South, and North again, to remind the reader of the setting.
Issues addressed in the book would be modern day racism and what could have happened if the Civil War never occurred. The theme of the book is quite relevant to the world right now, especially the United States. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in alternate histories, or fiction in general. The novel opened my eyes to how our world revolves today, and how many people restrict themselves to only certain viewpoints.

message 7: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Devlin | 1 comments All the Bright Places
By Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places is a well-written novel that accurately depicts teenage love. Written in 2015, Niven quickly drew in her readers by revealing the coincidental thought of suicide by the two main characters, Violet and Finch. Their first interaction may have involved Finch saving Violet, but throughout the novel, readers realize that who saves who becomes unclear.
Violet, an emotionally- traumatized-by-the-death-of- her-sister girl, finds herself falling in love with the well-known psycho of the school. Pardoned by everything from projects to driving a car by her “extenuating circumstances,” Violet finds herself only able to overcome them when she is with Finch.
“You are all the colors
in one, at full brightness.”
-Theodore Finch
Finch, a suicidal high school student that lives his life by what he feels like doing next, finds himself only slowing down when his eyes meet Violet. As the man of the household since his father left, Finch’s desire to jump off the bell tower never slowed down until he meant the love of his life up there.
Partnered together for a geography project with instructions to find the bright places in Indiana, they find the places and more importantly, reasons for both of them to keep on living.
This novel accurately depicts the idea of suicide in teenagers today. The gut wrenching tale assures readers that suicide is never the option. It also discusses depression and anxiety and how it affects teens. I recommend this novel to others because it has a very deep plotline that keeps the readers holding on for more.
All the Bright Places

message 8: by Alyssa (new)

Alyssa Gibbons | 1 comments The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is an American classic and it is not difficult to discern why it has become a staple of American literature. The Great Gatsby captures the essence of the 1920s. Fitzgerald is able to show the divide of social classes in a way that is pleasing to read. Jay Gatsby is extravagantly wealthy and readers are immersed in his wealth and lavishness.
Perhaps the most interesting part is the style in which the story is told. The narrator is Nick Carraway, but against the popular style, he is not the main character. He narrates his own life somewhat, but focuses on the parts of his life that involve Jay Gatsby in some way. This method of writing makes for an interesting read. Carraway is used as a tool to push Gatsby’s story along, give more background information, and tell an honest story. Nick’s narration is honest, because it fits his character. Due to his personality, Gatsby would be an unreliable narrator.
The famed parties are described in great detail. Fitzgerald creates pictures in the mind of his readers. Even with all of this description, the book is able to avoid being overly repetitive. One interesting piece of the novel is Gatsby’s behavior at his own parties. He seems to be just putting up with them, instead of hosting them to have fun. He does not drink, yet he surrounds himself by drunk people. He is lost in a sea of festivities, and the reader has to wonder why. It is revealed that there is a deeper reason as to why he hosts the party.
One of the main plots of the novel is a love triangle. Jay Gatsby had a love that he lost touch with when he went to Europe to serve his country. Like many men in this time period, he wanted to have a woman waiting for him when he got home. However, he ended up making her wait too long when he went to Oxford to study. He lost her and he wants to get her back, which is why he built his fortune and his mansion.
Gatsby’s wealth is an interesting topic, as its origins are questionable. Rumors exist about how he came up from poverty. He saw an opportunity that presented itself with prohibition. Other illegal activities were hinted towards because of his opulent lifestyle, but not much clarification is given. Although set in the 1920s, The Great Gatsby is a timeless classic that will always be celebrated.

message 9: by Mike (last edited Jun 05, 2017 12:48PM) (new)

Mike | 1 comments The Colour of Magic (Discworld, #1) by Terry Pratchett
The Colour of Magic, written by none other than Terry Pratchett, is the first book to have been written in the Discworld universe, which in total contains 41 books and roughly 8 series. The Color of Magic begins the Rincewind series, following a dropout wizard, Rincewind, who has become the first ever tour guide of the worlds first tourist. Twoflower the tourist has a skewed understanding of the world which leads the pair into tight situations, such as wandering into the last existing home of dragons, Burning down the entirety of the city Ankh Morpork, being sold to slavers, or being launched off a ramp and over the edge of the world(Which so happens to rest on the backs of four elephants, which happen to stand upon a giant turtle swimming through space) in a pseudo spaceship.
Rincewind, once a student of the wizarding college Unseen University, was forced to leave when a forbidden spell escaped and lodged itself in his head, and keeping him from learning any other spells. Now an alcoholic, unsuccessful wizard who knows only one spell, Rincewind finds himself trying to translate the conversation between a barkeep and a stranger to the city. Rincewind who knows many languages is unable to understand the stranger. After finding a common second language, Rincewind learns the stranger's name is Twoflower, and he is a clerk from a hidden island. Rincewind helps the man order a drink and a bed from the barkeep. Twoflower is told that it would cost 'two' for the drink, and that Twoflower would pay for the bed the day after. It is implied that he meant copper coins, however Twoflower places on the bar two solid gold coins that were worth almost a quarter of the city. Twoflower is completely oblivious of the worth of money outside of the isolated island he has lived on all his life and thinks the sum was pocket change. News spreads fast that their is a rich and naive traveler in the city who is looking to witness authentic 'adventure' and 'heroes'. Rincewind agrees to be paid a coin a day to become a tour guide for Twoflower, and thus starts a twisty, long winded journey.
The Colour of Magic, and all other Discworld books are comedic fantasy that parallels on modern day. Twoflower carries with him an 'iconograph', a box that when a lever is pulled, an imp inside produces a tiny painting of the subject it is pointed at. Twoflower's job as a clerk doesn't have an exact translation into the common language of the disc, but in his native language it sounds something like "en-sher-antz" where he bets people large sums of money that their home will not burn down.
Overall Terry Pratchett masterfully packages a series of nonsensical events that on their own would make no sense. However, once woven together in the way only Pratchett could, each piece comes together into a harmonious close or cliffhanger that leaves you feeling like you've decrypted insanity itself. The worlds Pratchett built feel so inherently natural that you can forget it takes place somewhere nonexistent.
I'd recommend this book to any literate person. Why are you still reading this? Go and buy this book. Open it. Read it. Now.

message 10: by Brian (new)

Brian Dankese (briandankese) | 1 comments I’ve read many books about Disney in my life, so I thought I had a pretty good idea about what I was getting myself into. The main reason I wanted to read this book was because I wanted to learn facts and hear stories that I had never heard before. ‘Project Future’ undoubtedly is a good, solid, readable book. However, I do believe that this book also has a very select audience. This book isn’t really meant for a fan of Disney who just wants to learn about Disney World. This book gets very in depth into the legal and logistical blockades that The Walt Disney Company was able to get through as they created the Florida Project. The book may seem to drag a bit while the court processes and political games were being played, so if that isn’t your favorite topic… I would not read this. Due to the fact I’m already a very big Disney fan- I enjoyed this book a good amount as it was a change in pace from a lot of the other Florida Project books you’ll see around.

This novel shows the struggle and the obstacles that were overcome by the Disney team unlike any other book. It clearly highlights with great description how the Florida Project came to be, especially with the numerous ways the Disney team was able to secure the land for the Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow. Any seasoned Disney nerd would love this novel, and so would even the average Disney fan. If you are more of the type of person who wants to read about Walt and his life, or about the attractions themselves, you will be better off finding a book written by a Disney Legend or someone of that caliber.

message 11: by Tatiana34jazzy (new)

Tatiana34jazzy | 1 comments Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up

Sorry Not Sorry
Is an autobiography written by actress and singer Naya Rivera. The novel explains Naya’s successes and missteps in her youth and young adulthood. Naya in her book urges young women like her to pursue their dreams and to refuse to let their mistakes get the best of them. She shows that no one is alone in high and low situations, whether it's with love, dating, career and ambition, friends or gossip. Naya inspires young women to follow their destiny and step over all obstacles.
Naya goes into funny and deeply personal details when talking about her raise and fall from early childhood stardom, her high school experience, her relationship with her mom/manager, and her acting career as Santana Lopez on Glee, in addition to her many jobs before that. At the end of each chapter, Naya ends it with key life lessons that she has learned from each experience that she talked about.
-”All those times I scrawled, I HATE MY MOM in my journal”
-’At home highlights and DIY hair extensions”
-” Falling in love with the idea of a person”
-Naya Rivera
Not Sorry
-“That I don't always get along with everyone”
-”Laughing at the gossip”
-”Getting my financial disasters out of the way early”
-Naya Rivera

I thought this book was very enlightening and easy to understand. Naya’s writing style is very funny and enjoyable. I as a person happen to love Naya Rivera and have looked up to her when I watched her as Santana Lopez on Glee. When she first announced that she was releasing her first book, I immediately told my mother to pre-order the book so that I could read it. When I read this book, I felt I could relate to her experiences that she went through in high school. Experiences like having a crush or getting a job for the first time. I would recommend this book to others because I feel others would enjoy Naya’s enthusiasm writing style and how she portrayed every little detail of her life from youth to young adulthood.

message 12: by Gina (last edited Jun 05, 2017 04:33PM) (new)

Gina | 1 comments Looking For Alaska by John Green is a honest, not so happy book that you can relate to one way or another. His use of building suspense while keeping a humorous, honest tone generates a memorable writing style. Green’s strategic formatting of counting down the days until an unknown event provides for many suspenseful chapters with an abundance of cliff hangers.
Green tells the story of Miles “Pudge” Halter, a junior in High School who obsesses over last words. His search for the “Great Perhaps” at Culver Creek Preparatory School, a boarding school not too far from Birmingham, Alabama is anything but what he expected. Leaving his mother and father back in Florida, Miles has to learn to build relationships and survive on his own. Reading from his perspective, the reader understands his insight on events that take place throughout the novel. Miles’ roommate, Chip “The Colonel” Martin, is filled with brains and mischief. His unhealthy addiction to smoking and alcohol leads to the acquaintance of Alaska Young. Alaska who is a beautiful, adventurous, clever and loving girl has deep secrets that make her so mysterious. The Colonel, Alaska, Pudge and few other friends learn to get through high school by smoking cigarettes, staying away from the Weekday Warriors and pulling pranks every once in awhile.
Reminding those you love that you care for them is one of the things everyone wants to do in their life. Unfortunately for Pudge this is the last thing he got to do for Alaska. An unfortunate event devises a gap in the gangs personal life. Finding the cause to this grievance distracts Pudge and The Colonel from the rest of their life. By the end of the novel, Pudge realizes that searching for a way out of the labyrinth may not have been as difficult as it seems.
Throughout the novel, Green relates to different themes. Whether they lie on the topic of friends and family, drug abuse, death, or school, the reader connects with a character and what they are going through. I enjoyed how Green taught a lesson by telling a story that the reader could relate to. Watching how the characters develop and learn to see through a different perspective shows how more people need to realize this in reality. Green writes about how one significant event leads to enlightenment on a whole different topic.
One issue I have with the book is there is no solid closure. As a reader who read the book in a matter of three days I was intrigued by how little evidence Green provided. With such a disastrous and damaging event, I expected Green to introspect Alaska's motives and feelings. As Pudge searched for Alaska’s last words, I expected him to find more than a drawing.
Although I went into this book thinking it was a journey about the state Alaska, I would highly recommend this novel. Some parts may seem a bit cliche and unfinished, but overall the message and love portrayed throughout the novel bring an unhappily ever after ending.

message 13: by Sophia (new)

Sophia | 1 comments The alchemist
Paulo Coelho
I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I began reading this book, but every word Coelho wrote blew my mind. I found both the literal and metaphorical meaning in this novel to be fascinating. Santiago begins his journey after following a reoccurring dream that leads him on a path to great gain and self growth. Although I loved this novel, I would not recommend it for everyone. Santiago is a relatively bland character and unless you have great patience for long parable plots and writing, this book may seem tedious and pointless. The plot is very mainstreamed with Santiago simply following his dream based off of omens. He begins as a relatively poor shepherd with a desire to travel. His journey to his “personal legend” takes him a great distance from his home. The entire time only a few characters are introduced and there is no complex character development. Santiago's journey is interesting and fun. He takes part in many different ways of life until he finds his dream.
In a literal way this story is very bland, but the value is in the hidden meaning. The message of this story comes through in the end and few places throughout. If you can see the value in the end result of this novel, definitely give it a try, but if you prefer stories of great excitement, I'd recommend you don't waste your time on a philosophical novel of this type. I personally enjoyed this book and loved looking for the meaning and symbolism in miscellaneous objects such as tea cups, omens, sheep, and the pyramids. They may seem insignificant, but "The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them."-Coelho

message 14: by Emma (new)

Emma Rhind | 1 comments Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is the haunting story about teen suicide, that captures the reader with first page and keeps them enthralled until the last. As the novel runs its course, it raises questions about the reasons for suicide, the warning signs, and how people’s actions can impact this unthinkable decision.
Asher paints the picture of Hannah Baker’s life, as it leads up to her death. Facing school, bullies and sexual assault, Hannah becomes suicidal. Wanting the people who hurt her to learn from their mistakes, Hannah leaves 13 tapes to those who played a hand in her death. The novel follows the story of one of the recipients, as he listens to the tapes.
At first look, the book is a cautionary tale of what can happen if you are careless with your actions. Asher preaches treating others kindly, and choosing your words carefully, and as a reader I was inspired by the message.Such a relevant and true message is perfectly represented in this novel. I appreciated the lesson wrapped up in an entertaining novel.
Yet despite the powerful and true message of being kind, there is a darker message that Asher neglected to cut out of the story. Asher glamorizes teen suicide in an insulting way that trivializes real life deaths. Painting a picture of a girl hated in life and loved in death, this novel preaches that suicide may be the answer, which is not the message that should be sent to teenage readers.
Asher oversimplifies the reasons for suicide, making it out to be the result of other people. While that is the case in some instances, suicide most often comes from depression, a theme that Asher skips over completely. This gaping hole can make real life feel like they are responsible for other people's suicides, or that they “killed” them. Hannah’s tragic life story also sends the message that if things go wrong in your life, that is a ”valid excuse” for suicide.
Asher's good intentions of this novel are masked and ruined by this disgusting insinuation. An otherwise compelling story is overshadowed by the lack of understanding of what causes suicide, and how those victims feel.
At first look, Thirteen Reasons Why is a cautionary tale that preaches teaching others kindly, and it a good one at that. But at deeper analysis, I found that Asher shouldn't have given a voice to the dead, since he was not sending the right message in the first place. Overall, an otherwise great novel, was ruined by the callousness of the writer.

message 15: by Meghan (new)

Meghan | 1 comments Paper Towns is an unique and enjoyable novel that tells the story of friendship, adventure, and mystery. John Green reaches out to his audience with this amusing story containing relatable characters and a fascinating plot.
The novel tells the story of how a young boy, Quentin Jacobsen’s, life changes after the compelling Margo Roth Spiegelman moves next door, but the two go their separate ways after encountering a frightful sight. Fast Forward nine years later to when Margo taps on Quentin’s window and invites him to join her on her pursuit for revenge. After a long night of adventure, Quinton wakes up the next morning only to discover that Margo has gone missing. With rumors buzzing around everywhere, Quinton and his friends set out to find where the mysterious Margo Roth Spiegelman could have gone by following cryptic clues she has left behind.
Green gives life to the book through the personalities of his characters. Quintons ambition to find Margo and discover more clues made me not want to put the book down. Even the secondary characters provide excitement to the book with comic relief and witty comments. Although the book seemed to drag on at times, it quickly recovered with the discovery of a new clue.
One of the main ideas of the book is how it is not about the destination, but it’s the journey that matters. Quinton set out on this journey to find the girl he glorifies, but finds himself along the way. I strongly recommend John Green’s Paper Towns as it was a real page turner and it shows that it's okay to take risks and have fun. It contains relatable characters and the story is captivating, making it one of John Green’s best books.

message 16: by Tori (new)

Tori Sheehan | 1 comments The Girl on the Train Book review
Tori Sheehan B1

The Girl On the Train by Paula Hawkins is a novel filled with mystery, heartbreak, and will not fail to get your adrenaline pumping. This novel will keep you on your toes desperately reading for more. This novel is definitely a good read for anyone who wants a fantastic thrill, and enjoys being shocked. It also touches on important concepts such as adultery, alcoholism, and domestic abuse making the novel both a good thrill and taking a standpoint on three important concepts. Although the plot could be a little hard to follow at times, overall the style seemed to fit the novel perfectly, always keeping the reader on their toes waiting for more. Especially when things were revealed about the narrator herself, Rachel making her an unreliable source, and a suspect in the murder she was trying to solve. At first Rachel portrays a the life of “jess” and “james” watching their perfect life unfold every day as she passed by on the train, but soon after she discovered “jess’s” disappearance Rachel then found herself meddling in other people's affairs, that lead to an adrenaline pumping search for the killer of jess also know as Megan. Hawkins uses a confusing style of writing often switching narrators, the names of characters, and most importantly the target suspect for murder. Although it could be a bit confusing at times I think it overall worked for the book, making it so the reader could never pinpoint who the real murderer is. This novel also found a way to include Rachel (the main character's) ex- husband Tom who at the beginning was pretty irrelevant to the plot who was later brought in as the main suspect, this caused a huge change of events, forcing me to keep my eyes glued to this magnificent novel. This book is extremely important to today's world, specifically revealing the animosity towards women throughout the novel with constant altercations with men, the main issue- the murder of megan- was caused by a man, who was mad at her pregnancy and her own decision to keep the baby. This helps to open the eyes of the reader, to give a little insight behind this closed door. It also touched on the issue of alcoholism based off depression as displayed by rachel, rachel often finds herself blackout drunk as she did the night megan went missing, causing a huge black hole in the investigation. This caused a lot of uncertainty at first, without getting blackout drunk she would have seen the warning signs and maybe prevented the murder of Megan. I would definitely recommend this book to other readers, this book was a thriller that never failed to surprise me. If I ever was sure about one thing in this novel, shortly after I found myself shocked by life changing information. Overall this hard to follow .This book did not disappoint, and provided me with a fantastic gut-wrenching read.

message 17: by Alexa (new)

Alexa Williams | 2 comments Focusing while reading is not my strong suit. It usually takes me a couple minutes to get through a page, and if I am lucky I will get through the page without having to reread it in order to comprehend what just happened. With Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, however, my eyes could not keep up with the pace that my brain wanted to keep going at. I was so enthralled by the passion between the characters and the plot that I had to keep going.
Eleanor & Park focuses on two nerdy teens that are forced to sit together on the bus and fall for each other’s awkwardness during their bus rides over time. Eleanor comes from a poverty-stricken family, oppressed by a stepfather that they cannot escape. Park has what seems to Eleanor like the “Perfect” life, and it is not far from that. Park is always there for her throughout her tragedy of a life, but she has trouble opening up to him because she has never had a true supporter that did not judge, leave, or stop caring about her.
Rowell uses intense imagery to create a movie out of the novel in the reader’s head. With immaculate detailing, but not too much that it becomes redundant or dull, the plot pulls you in. This was not only left up to the imagery, but also the use of motifs that seem insignificant as you read but make so much sense when they are tied together towards the end.
Eleanor is so hopeless and stressed that it makes the reader care so much about her, especially because they know Park will attempt to save her (even if she will reject his help, like usual). Both of their quirks are so personal and create a relationship between them and the reader that makes us love every bit of them. Feeling unwanted and scared is a major theme in the novel and it is so gracefully addressed through their relationship.
The ending is very honest and realistic, but also happy and satisfying. Endings that leave you with too many questions are a pet peeve of mine, and this novel did just the opposite. It left
just enough to keep you wondering about the future but not so much that you have no clue where it could go. This was one of the best novels I have ever read and I hope everyone has a Eleanor & Parkchance to experience its charm.

message 18: by Alexa (new)

Alexa Williams | 2 comments Eleanor & Park Focusing while reading is not my strong suit. It usually takes me a couple minutes to get through a page, and if I am lucky I will get through the page without having to reread it in order to comprehend what just happened. With Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, however, my eyes could not keep up with the pace that my brain wanted to keep going at. I was so enthralled by the passion between the characters and the plot that I had to keep going.
Eleanor & Park focuses on two nerdy teens that are forced to sit together on the bus and fall for each other’s awkwardness during their bus rides over time. Eleanor comes from a poverty-stricken family, oppressed by a stepfather that they cannot escape. Park has what seems to Eleanor like the “Perfect” life, and it is not far from that. Park is always there for her throughout her tragedy of a life, but she has trouble opening up to him because she has never had a true supporter that did not judge, leave, or stop caring about her.
Rowell uses intense imagery to create a movie out of the novel in the reader’s head. With immaculate detailing, but not too much that it becomes redundant or dull, the plot pulls you in. This was not only left up to the imagery, but also the use of motifs that seem insignificant as you read but make so much sense when they are tied together towards the end.
Eleanor is so hopeless and
stressed that it makes the reader care so much about her, especially because they know Park will attempt to save her (even if she will reject his help, like usual). Both of their quirks are so personal and create a relationship between them and the reader that makes us love every bit of them. Feeling unwanted and scared is a major theme in the novel and it is so gracefully addressed through their relationship.
The ending is very honest and realistic, but also happy and satisfying. Endings that leave you with too many questions are a pet peeve of mine, and this novel did just the opposite. It left just enough to keep you wondering about the future but not so much that you have no clue where it could go. This was one of the best novels I have ever read and I hope everyone has a
chance to experience its charm.

message 19: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Estrada | 8 comments In The Thousandth Floor the author, Katharine McGee, is able to make her characters explode on the pages. Katharine McGee’s writing style was quite enjoyable. The novel is told from multiple perspectives. Allowing the reader to put the pieces of the mystery together. Their colors and personalities are shown in their own descriptive chapters. She gave her characters names such as Nadia, Rylin, and Cord. Not your ordinary boring names am I right? The story consists a great deal of teenager drama. Every character in the novel explicitly has their own problems but each of their own tales are intertwined in an impeccable way. The main characters in this novel are Avery, Eris, Leda, Watt, and Rylin.
Avery is designed to be genetically perfect but she cannot have the one thing she yearns for.
Eris who is popular and a close friend of Avery and Leda learns the bitter truth of her actual life. Her life has been a lie and she must keep her friends close but her enemies closer.
Leda struggles finding herself as a person, and at times cannot deal with her perfect best friend.
Watt is an incredible hacker, and has created a device to allow him to reach the upper classes. But how does he accomplish things like hacking the one thousandth floor security cameras?
Rylin lives on one of the lowest floors. You soon learn her life has not been the easiest. But someone from one of the upper floors turns her life around. Will she create a new life with someone new? Or will she keep with her old ways?

The story unravels in the future. This dystopian society takes place in a tower containing one thousand floors. The tower stands in Manhattan, New York in the year 2118. This futuristic novel makes everything seem like a possibility. There are some characters who are bitter and full of drama but then there are some who are sweet and shy.
The novel opens up with a girl falling off a tower. When this novel comes to deadly end you the reader must decide what truly happened that night. Was it murder? Or was it an accident? As each page turns the mystery slowly unwinds.
The Thousandth Floor

message 20: by Sean (new)

Sean | 1 comments The Great Gatsby
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is story of elegance and economic inequality in the 1920’s. It is not hard to understand as you read this book why it has become renowned as one of the great american novels. Fitzgerald is able to perfectly capture the essence of the 1920’s by showing the lavish and extravagant lives that the rich live, juxtaposed against the drab lives of the commoners and the poor.
Gatsby is renowned for his parties in his enormous mansion in New York. These parties are a weekly occurrence and anyone who is anyone attends them whether they are invited or not. It is interesting to watch Gatsby at his own parties. He is always waiting for phone calls from work and always seem to be acting a little shady. Gatsby doesn’t seem to host his parties, he seems to more tolerate them. He plays the part of a charismatic host, but why? Jay Gatsby throws these parties for no other reason as to throw them, or so it seems. It is revealed in the story that the parties he has been throwing all served a deeper and more important purpose.
The narrator of the novel is Nick Carraway. He is Gatsby’s upper-middle class neighbor who observes the life of Jay Gatsby and tells an honest unbiased view of the story. Nick however isn’t the main character of the story. Fitzgerald uses Nick as a catalyst to egg on Gatsby. The narration thorough Nick is one of the best and worst parts of the story. Nick provides an honest view of the story but, he often goes on tangents about aspects that aren’t essential to the story. Nick is used to provide inspiration for Gatsby to aspire to his dream.
My biggest quarrel with the story is the amount of unimportant characters that are in the book. There are only around five or six main characters but Fitzgerald introduces dozens of characters that serve no purpose in the story other than to show the extravagance of the rich and Gatsby’s parties. The characters get in the way of the story and I often found myself getting bored and lost in these sections in the story.
The story is as much of a love story as it is a story about the rich during the roaring twenties. It is the tale of a lost love and Gatsby’s ambition to recover what he once had before he went away to fight in World War One. Gatsby can attribute all he has to this love which pushes him to strive to become even wealthier.
After reading the Great Gatsby it is evident as to why it is one of the greatest novels in american history. Fitzgerald crafts a complex, compelling story that urges you to keep reading. I would not skip out on this book if I were you old sport. It’s a great read and a classic that will have a resounding message for years to come.

message 21: by Prathik (new)

Prathik | 1 comments Little Brother

Cory Doctorow's novel "Little Brother" will go down as a classic, a leader in the relatively new genres of technological fiction and cyberpunk. The book appeals to both younger and older readers, with broad, familiar themes that any person in the world will understand. The book focuses on Marcus Yallow(AKA W1st0n and M1k3y), a 17 year old tech whiz in the Mission District of San Francisco. Many parallels can be drawn between Doctorow's dystopian San Francisco and conditions today in both the United States and Doctorow's home country of England. By educating readers and forming a trilling narrative, Doctorow's work should influence technological thinkers and privacy advocates for many years to come, as the use of surveillance continues to expand.

(view spoiler)

A unique aspect of the novel is in Doctorow's writing style. Through a mix of the fast paced plot and many educational segments, Doctorow creates a novel that can inform, persuade, and entertain readers effectively. Many of the technologies described by Doctorow are key parts of the novel, either privacy techniques used to stay anonymous, surveillance strategies employed by the government, or even a history lesson on earlier reform movements such as Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation, or the Declaration of Independence. Doctorow also talks about Live Action Role Play, or LARPing, which serves as a reminder of life before the surveillance state and eventually becomes a bridge between the two worlds. Doctorow's ability to seamlessly integrate educational segments with the general plot, combined with the infectious, revolutionary personality of Marcus that motivates readers to take action against government surveillance, make "Little Brother" a very unique and interesting novel.

There are a number of themes that Doctorow touches on in the novel:

* The novel's setting is very similar to that in 1984, but is set up in a way that seems more realistic than in 1984. This increases the impact that the novel has, making a connection to events that have already happened, such as 9/11 being followed by the Patriot Act. This makes the novel better at exposing the close similarities between the USA and surveillance states. The increased importance of technology, which provides hope for the future and a way to fight back in the novel, also helps show the similarities better.

* Marcus's use of technology to organize other people that are disappointed by increasing government surveillance exposes an interesting way of forming opposition and creating movements. Through social networks, many like minded people can be organized together in a way never before seen, and the format of the Internet makes sure all people get an equal say. This is also what allows Marcus to step in as a leader, which would be much more unlikely in a pre-Internet society where he would just be an average 17 year old, unlikely to be accepted as a leader socially.

* The role of media and the press in the novel is extremely important. It is a journalist's actions that eventually lead to the restoration of normalcy in society. However, the media is also held partially responsible for creating the situation in the first place. Marcus frequently comments on the sensationalist articles published by the media which frequently bent the facts in a certain way, believing that bad media coverage was the cause of his own parents showing support for surveillance measures. In today's society, where "fake news" and sensationalism are blamed for many political outcomes, the media has a similar effect in shaping people's thoughts.

* Doctorow indirectly makes a point about the most effective way to create social change in the climax of the novel. (view spoiler) This sends an indirect message that the more effective way to create change is by voting for people who will implement it, as it is very hard for a social movement to gain public support.

Like other dystopian cyberpunk novels, "Little Brother" shows one way that increased government surveillance can lead to a bleak future. Where the novel differs from those before it is its persuasive ability and educational content, attempting to get more people dedicated to protecting the future and making sure technology is harnessed for its benefits, not used for evil. In an effort to further spread his message, Doctorow releases all of his books for free on his website, www.craphound.org. In order to effectively resist continued attempts to increase government surveillance, this resource must be spread far and wide to reach as many people as possible.

message 22: by Kayla (new)

Kayla Blonigen | 1 comments The Darkest Minds
Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds, written by Alexandra Bracken, is an intriguing novel about a disease that either kills children, or give them superpowers. Ruby, 10 years old, wakes up one day, after months of her classmates dying, with superhuman abilities that she does not understand. Her problems only intensify from there. This tale had me hooked from the first page all the way until I closed the back cover. The characters are all so well developed that by the end of the book the reader gets so attached to them and they want more. The story includes the basic romances, hatreds, and friendships. Along Ruby’s journey, she is now sixteen, she meets quite a few characters that stay with her in her quest. Most of the people she runs into after escaping camp either wants to use her or ill her, that was until she meets a group of kids also on the run. The kids, Chubs, Liam, and Zu, are undeniably amazing characters. Bracken managed to create this beautiful character, Zu, without a single word of dialogue. Then there is Liam, who along the way realizes the spark between him and Ruby. It is the main romance of the novel. I really enjoyed how Ruby was flawed, just as every other kid, and person, in the world is. She is so broken and fragile, one of her main conflicts was not external, but instead internal. The evolution of Ruby embracing herself, and the powers within, was one of the greatest plot points the book had to offer. The only questionable act in the book was how Ruby, who only had a fourth grade education and lost all contact with the outside world at age 10, knew so much about pop culture and classic rock. At one point she could recognize the vocalist of Pink Floyd, which just seemed like a bit of a stretch. Although the main idea does not relate to our lives, the underlying themes do, like trust and betrayal, and self sacrifice. Many people have those that they trust and would do everything to save them, just like Ruby and Liam. I would definitely recommend this book to someone because it is so interesting with a tense plot that kept me reading on, longing for more.

message 23: by April (new)

April | 1 comments Jessie counts the days. She counts the days since her mom has died, and the days since her dad eloped with a stranger. Neither of which she is happy about. By writing Tell Me Three Things, Julie Buxbaum proves herself a talented author. Jessie navigates the troubles associated with being 17, and her life hangs in a delicate balance between family, friends, work, school, and relationships. She longs to escape the turmoil of her dad and Rachel’s fighting in Los Angeles by returning home to Chicago. However, Jessie quickly realizes Chicago is far from Utopia, when her friend is withdrawn and mad she hasn’t kept in touch. Jessie befriends Liam, but his girlfriend Gem immediately targets Jessie, and tries to make her life miserable. Luckily, Jessie has the help of SN, somebody nobody, who emails her and texts her help to fit in at her new school.
Unlike many authors, Buxbaum depicts teenage life well and in a relatable manner. She makes the characters raw and flawed. For example, Jessie struggles with her confidence, and feels fat for the first time, because all of her classmates are so thin. Ethan is up all hours of the night following the death of his former bandmate and brother who overdosed on heroin.
I also like Buxbaum’s twist on the traditional tale of the high school jock and new girl falling in love. By involving SN, and a mysterious love triangle, suspense is abundant. Also, the modern problem of internet relationships and safety is introduced. When SN starts emailing Jessie, she is not sure whether or not she should respond to a stranger. She is hesitant, but needs advice about her new school and puts aside her reservations. Once they start to become closer, Jessie feels the relationship is superficial, and worries she is being duped. Overall, the author does a great job, and ‘Tell Me Three Things’ is a must read. I recommend this book not only to teens, but to anyone who enjoys a good book.

message 24: by Ryan (last edited Jun 07, 2017 01:37PM) (new)

Ryan | 1 comments Alexander Gordon Smith Lockdown
Alexander Gordon Smith

"Lockdown" is a truly great book that was glued to my hands for the seemingly short amount of time in which I read it. The story follows a 14-year-old named Alex Sawyer: a house robber who was framed for killing his best friend and sentenced to life in an underground child penitentiary, called Furnace, built after kids turned to murder one summer. Furnace is ruled by gangs and guards who do not care about the well-being of anyone. There are no clocks, no light, no way to keep a record of time except for daily sirens. Situated one mile underground, escape is impossible. Except Alex does not see it that way. He and his friends, Donovan and Zee, plan to be the first kids to successfully escape from Furnace without dying. It is a great tale with shocking twists that will keep you turning the page.
Alexander Gordon Smith’s characterization of Alex is very believable. Like a teenager, he does not feel like his actions warranted this severe of a punishment, even though he spent his last few years above ground tormenting kids for their money and robbing houses. He never truly gains the disheartening feeling of being trapped in the prison forever because he never understands the immensity of the situation he is thrown into. This is not a negative trait, however, because this makes him hold out hope for escape, no matter how deflated he feels throughout the novel. He seems like he could be a real person, which is something I feel is important in a realistic fiction novel. If I cannot relate to a character of picture them as a real person, I lose interest in the novel. Fortunately, that is not the case for Alex, or for any character in "Lockdown".
One thing that I always find problematic for books is pacing. Every book I have ever read as at least one slow part that I had to trudge through - the last chapter of "The Maze Runner", the first few chapters of "The Catcher in the Rye", all of "The House on Mango Street" - but this book does not seem to have one. Everything in the book has a purpose, whether it is to drive the story forward, or maybe explore a topic in more depth that was previously skimmed over, either because new information is discovered or strategically used to skip past a slow point. These make the book fly by, and before you know it, you reach the end of the book.
On page 199, Alex tells the reader, “... I was convinced that Furnace was Hades, Gehenna, the pit where sinners are sent to rot away for all eternity.” This part stuck out to me because I was well versed in Greek mythology and I drew the same conclusions. I also compared the elevator that carried the kids down was like the River Styx, a one-way entrance that connects the earth to the Underworld. I compared the warden to Hades, the god of the Underworld. I even compared the men who wear gas masks and take prisoners away in the dead of night to Thanatos, the physical embodiment of death who could kill those just by touching them. I believe Smith wrote the place and people Furnace as an allusion to the Underworld and Greek mythology.
If there was a problem I had with this book, it would be that it is a bit cliché. I feel like the “escape from prison” story has been run into the ground with its overuse, and this does not add too much of a twist. Sure, the prison is harder to escape, but that just means the hero will be even stronger, and it will make for a greater underdog story. Once you read one prison story, it kind of feels like you’ve read them all. Thankfully I have not read too many prison stories, but it isn’t much different than the ones I have read.
Despite the unoriginality, all in all, the book is still a great read. I would recommend it to anyone who loves a good underdog story. I would recommend it to someone who loves action. I would recommend it to anyone interested in realistic fiction. "Lockdown" is a fantastic novel that everyone must take a look at the next time they buy a book.

message 25: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin | 1 comments Before we were Free
By Julia Alvarez

When I finished reading Before we were Free, I was beyond shocked; I was astonished. Before we were Free opened my eyes to a new view of the past world; a world with multiple horrifying dictatorships. This book was given to me by my Abuela, or grandmother, who said that it shows similar struggles that she faced during the Revolution and early years of dictatorship in Cuba. It represents the horrors and terrible things one has to go through in order to help oneself, or help others.
The story revolves around a young teenager named Anita de la Torre, who lives in the Dominican Republic under the oppressive rule of Rafael Trujillo. Over the years, she loses family members because they have all fled to the United States for safety, and now it has come to the point where she, her mother and father and 2 siblings, are the only ones living in the family compound. She has to constantly deal with SIM, or secret police who break into her house and tear it apart looking for objects that could be used against the government. Anita describes her will to leave: “But unlike a bird, I can’t fly……only in my imagination”. She shows that even though she can not leave physically, her imagination keeps her stress about the raids to a minimum.
However, despite the raids, Anita still gets to hang out with friends in and outside of school. One boy she meets is Samuel Washburn, a boy from the United States who moves into her family compound because his dad is working as a consul to the Dominican Republic. When they meet, Anita’s curiosity is sparked; she then starts to ask questions about their life and their government and begins to realize what danger they are in despite the fact that she is only twelve years old. Gradually, the pages begin to drip into a love story, as she admits that she is in love with Sam and starts to begin to have her first, real teenage feelings for another boy. Her curiosity and love for this boy causes her to grow up and to finally leave her childhood behind.
Each page in the story has a different feel to it, one has a feel of touchy, romantic feelings, while another has the spiky, sharp edges of horror and depression. These gradual changes in mood give the book the grasp that makes the reader want to learn about the life of Anita. This eye-opening book is beautifully written, and shows that we should be thankful we live in this time.

message 26: by Julia (last edited Jun 06, 2017 06:21PM) (new)

Julia McLaughlin | 1 comments Me Before You
By Jojo Moyes

Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You is exciting and intriguing because it is not your average love story. Although the story primarily revolves around romance, the author focuses on more than just love. Ambition, sacrifice, and adventure are other important topics that Moyes focuses on.
Louisa Clark (Lou) comes from a poor, but hard-working family. Lou feels very strongly about the importance of family as she takes care of her father who suffered from a stroke. She is anything but selfish; she learns how to balance her needs with the needs of the ones she loves.
Will Traynor’s life changes when he gets hit by a motorcycle one morning before work. He puts work above all and now this life-altering event causes him to rely on other people to survive. He is discouraged and he loses hope of ever achieving his dreams. However, when his mother hires a new caregiver, Lou, he gains back some hope and lives through her as he falls in love during the final months of his life. He pushes Lou to be ambitious and follow her dreams while she still can.
Me Before You is relevant today because when one person suffers a tragic event, every family member and friend suffers, as well. Moyes shows this in her novel by alternating narrators. This adds to the novel because the readers are able to gain insight into exactly what the characters are thinking.
Will’s family and friends share a common goal; to make Will’s last months of life enjoyable. Will has his mind set on one solution to deal with his situation. His family and friends all disagree with it. They work together to try to change his mind.
Not all stories in fiction and in reality have happy endings. Moyes shows that love is an important aspect of life, but she makes it clear that love doesn’t always solve problems, as shown in typical novels where love makes everything better.
I loved everything about this novel and I plan on reading it many more times. I love how real and genuine the novel is and that is is far from the traditional romantic drama. Moyes shows the reality of relationships and that it is not always healthy to put someone else’s needs above your own. I definitely recommend this book to people of all ages. Me Before You is eye-opening and I am a better person because of reading it.

message 27: by Eliza (new)

Eliza | 1 comments Hollow City, by Ransom Riggs, brilliantly gives the reader a more in depth view on the world of the peculiar children. I read the first novel, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and completely loved it. Hollow City, like the first novel, exceeded my expectations and I am so excited to read the next book. This fantastic novel is about growing up and letting go of the past; said best in the book, “Just because they knew it was lost didn't mean they knew how to let go." The story brilliantly examines the harsh reality of living in the past and making the right decision which not always the one you want.
Hollow City follows Jacob and his ragtag group of friends as they leave the comfort and safety of their loop and venture to September 3 1945 for the first time after living in September 2, 1945, for more than 50 years. The children of all ages have to travel from a tiny island in Wales to London. Trapped at the end of World War II in London, Jacob must decide if after their adventures in London, will he go back home to 2017 with his old family or stay in 1945 with his new family. The fast paced novel leads the reader into a mind-racing journey that consumes them whole.
There were many strengths in the book. First, one of the best parts of the book was the pictures. As children, we look for pictures in a book to help us understand what is happening; the pictures in this novel serve the same purpose. However, these pictures are shown in a more mature way which makes the reader become nostalgic for simpler times. The pictures in the book are not only fascinating but creepy and it captures the reader's attention even more. The pictures bring the reader so close to the story that they believe it is their own family history. The pictures are so beautiful and so important to the story that any people listening to the book without seeing the pictures are missing out on what makes the book so captivating.
Another strength that is shown in the book is Riggs’ in depth analysis of the characters. Riggs not only describes the characters’ powers growing but also their personality. An example of this is showing a more insecure side to the powerful invisible boy, Millard. Riggs shows how having amazing peculiarities like invisibility (among many others) is not the easiest or most fun adventure. Millard, along with many others, feel insecure about their peculiarity because it is a time when people were trying to conform to normalcy; the unusual children stood out like red thumb. Riggs shows the entire story, both the good and bad aspects of being powerful.
Finally, Riggs is phenomenal at writing romance that is not cheesy. The romance, unlike many teen books, is not the main focus, but an add-on which is a breath of fresh air. Riggs shows the romantic connections in the book in a more realistic way than most books. The main romance between Jacob and Emma is awkward, genuine, and supportive. The romance is not characterized as “They fell in love the first second they met!” The romance was more gradual which made the book more realistic and intoxicating. Throughout the novel Riggs does not describe the characters by their peculiarity but by love for each other and their cause.
Though the book was many strengths, the weaknesses are the unanswered questions. Time travel is always a blurred area in books, and it provokes the question of how does the aging process work with children? This lead to confusing with time lines and plot holes.
Riggs writes this book set in 1945, but is also a clear message for 2017. He seems to tell the readers to let go of the past but to never forget it. The book is so important today with the changes in our society. He reminds the readers of this by the showing the children going out into the world from their safe haven. He seems to tell the readers to forget the horrors that once happened here but to move on and make sure it never happens again. Through the twisty and fast paced book, the reader will surely not be bored. Although Riggs writing style is long and descriptive, you do not feel like it is an encyclopedia instead of a young adult novel. I highly recommend it to all the history buffs out there who are interested in time travel. I also highly recommend the book to anyone who escape their normal lives and go on an adventure like no other!

message 28: by Conlin (new)

Conlin Duffy | 1 comments The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

“When you want something all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”

Those are the words plastering the worn-orange cover that has now grown weak from the excessive usage of the book. A confusing, yet elegant choice of words for the cover of a book that was extremely successful in grasping my attention. The same book that I originally opened at the crack of dawn and did not put down until I closed the back cover at sunset.

The Alchemist explores the journey of a young Shepherd named Santiago who struggles in finding the meaning of life. After repetitively having the same dream, Santiago decides to leave his secure job as a shepherd and take a journey to follow his dream which takes him to Egypt in search of the secret treasure that will forever change his perspective on life. Along the journey, Santiago meets many valuable people who shape his newly discovered views about life, love, and loss that extend to the reader.

The Alchemist is written in beautiful allegory and can be interpreted as simple or as deep as the reader decides. One person can view it as a simplistic story about a shepherd and thoroughly enjoy it; but, the book is classified as self-help which shines through if you relate the extended metaphor to yourself.

The book’s relatability and success all stem off of the main character, Santiago. Santiago begins the story as a poor shepherd living a stable life but is crowded of this idea of an uncertain future, one that I am sure everyone has a little bit inside of them. Much like the majority of the world, Santiago is a person just like us who dreams, worries, and loves which makes him such a relatable and understandable character.

Coelho use of a simple, relatable character in Santiago ultimately shapes his writing style into the uncomplicated and fluent masterpiece that it is. Coelho’s selective complexity is perfect for the story by making most of the story easy and simple plot wise but detailing the more important and complex scenes. Coelho’s use of characters is instrumental in the book’s success. Every single character that interacts with Santiago serves a greater purpose to the book as a whole.

The Alchemist is meant to be read by virtually anybody, and explores the ideas that lead to the living of a genuinely great life. The ultimate goal of us as humans is to be happy in life and the Alchemist has taken me so much closer to living my dream life, it has shown me the difference between living a stable life and living a happy life, and how to leave my comfort zone on the pursuit of happiness. The Alchemist is an absolute must read for anybody and will truly change your views on life.

message 29: by Gianna (new)

Gianna | 1 comments Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
The Fault In Our Stars, written by John Green is a touching, well-written, love story. Although some may consider cliche, this book is based on the love between two teenagers who share a horrifying disease. Cancer. No one knows how to deal with it. When it is brought up in someone you know’s life, there is never a correct way to react. The only people who know how to deal with it is another cancer patient. This book shows the connection cancer creates between the two lovers. Hazel Grace Lancaster; the girl whose lungs suck at being lungs. She is a smart, kind girl who knows she's battling the worst monster out there. In her mind she believes she's gonna “explode” on everyone who has built a relationship with her. Augustus Waters; the boy who isn't gonna give up his love for Hazel, even though he is also battling. He also is battling with one leg missing. Throughout the book, these two bond over common interests in a novel called An Imperial Affliction and travel to Amsterdam to meet with the author. Only to find out, he's a total jerk. This book can be relevant to today's society because there are kids out there battling cancer who can't help but build relationships even though they know there's a possibility that it's only gonna destroy them in the end. John Green, the author, did a successful job by bringing the characters to life and keeping readers flipping pages to find out what happens next. Although on the the other hand, the book could be improved by organizing the it into a more unique layout. Due to the fact that the book is about teenagers it would've been interesting to read the book in a diary format. After completing the book, I feel as though I would love to read it again and would definitely recommend it to others. It is a page-turning, emotional adventure that gives readers a new perspective on patients dealing with cancer and how love can be so scary.

message 30: by Kali (new)

Kali P | 1 comments Book review: the Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
I have looked up to Carrie Fisher since before the age of four. Reading her book and the excerpts she included from her journals she kept on the set of "A New Hope" was like getting to sit down for lunch with Carrie herself. Her writing style was personal and to the point, something that seems so very "her." The information she reveals is obviously coming from the heart, and she writes in a style that is very conversational and candid.

Even more touching are the pieces from her "New Hope" journals that were mentioned before. The excerpts include poems, short scripts, and short stories. Before and after her journal, she includes sections about what it took to film Star Wars, and more details about her relations with George Lucas, Harrison Ford, and her other castmates. All fans of Star Wars and Carrie herself should read this book. Not only is it a beautiful self-written tribute, but it gives much of the information on what it's like to be in Star Wars. This book is unforgettable, and the reader won't regret picking it up.

message 31: by Emily (new)

Emily Wright | 1 comments The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky is an extremely relevant and thought provoking novel for teens in today's society. In the book, Chbosky covers the story of a boy named Charlie through a series of letters written by him, addressed to a complete stranger he uses to confide in. Charlie is a timid teen entering high school after suffering the loss of both his favorite family member and his best friend. Over the course of the novel, we follow Charlie through his experimentation with all the cliches that high school holds. He falls in love with a beautiful girl, who already has a boyfriend. He makes new friends, who provide him access to drugs and alcohol at their weekly parties. However, everything that Charlie experiences are dilemmas that teens in today's society face every day.
Chbosky uses the symbol of the “wallflower” to represent the type of person Charlie is. As a friend says to Charlie, “You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand.” (Chbosky, 37) This idea of a “wallflower” that Chbosky created is something relatable to the teens that aren't the loudest one in the room, or the life of the party. They can often feel unimportant, and overlooked, but Charlie's story presents the idea that even though he isn't as outgoing as most people, he still develops strong friendships and has a lasting impact on their lives.
I would recommend Perks of Being A Wallflower to someone that hasn't read it in a heartbeat. I think that no matter your age, you can learn a lot by joining Charlie on his chaotic, beautiful, and heartbreaking journey through high school.

message 32: by Kaitlin (new)

Kaitlin | 1 comments Passenger
Alexandra Bracken

A journey around the world and through time, Passengers by Alexandra Bracken is a book I couldn't put down. Etta Spencer, a violin prodigy, is thrust into a completely different world than she is used to. Waking up on an 18th century ship in the middle of the Atlantic, Etta meets Nicholas Carter, an African American who is aspiring to become a ship captain. Being held back by racial scrutiny Nicholas is willing to do whatever it takes to break free of his past. Little does Etta and Nicholas know they have more in common than they think.
Both are connected to the infamous Ironwood family who is evil in every way possible. When Etta’s mother gets kidnapped by the Ironwoods Etta has to find what her mother had stolen long ago. The astrolabe. A device that can open up new doorways to any time period. In the wrong hands it could mean the New York Etta knows and loves could be changed completely. With help from Nicholas, Etta journeys through different time eras and sees the history of what the world used to be.
Passengers was a read I wish I could go back in time and experience over and over again for the first time. Alexandra Bracken uses the of point of views from both Etta and Nicholas to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. The settings she thought up are unique and out of the box thinking. She describes them perfectly, making me feel like I was there myself. This book gave me a new understanding on the past and only makes me want to build a time machine and go and experience it all for myself.

message 33: by Leah (new)

Leah Stalker | 1 comments Stranded in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, a tiger, and seventeen-year-old Piscine “Pi” Molitor Patel. A financial crisis in the mid 1970’s ushers the Patel family to sell their zoo in the French colony of Pondicherry, India, and sail to Canada. After the fatal sinking of their ship, the Tsimtsum, somewhere between Manila and North America, Pi is left amongst the only survivors of the accident; the wild animals of their family’s zoo.
Life of Pi uses the setting of a 21 foot long lifeboat to examine the ideas of religion, psychology, and survival through the personal narrative of Pi Patel. With the grotesque imagery of death, famine, and desertion comes Pi’s discovery of himself through his last surviving shipmate, Richard Parker the Bengal Tiger. The novel retells Pi’s story of survival as he is reexamining it years in the future to an intrigued journalist.
The novel contains graphic descriptions of a savage life at sea for seven months, which can be seen as overzealous and not highly recommended for the faint of heart. But it is just that which keeps the reader intrigued and truly tells the story in a realistic way. When reading the plot of this book, many are turned off by the idea of a man surviving in close quarters with a wild animal, but it is through this filter of surrealism that the true story of Pi finding himself, is told. When hearing the innermost thoughts of a newfound survivalist, you are left thinking of what you would do in Pi’s situation when a nightmare becomes reality.
With every chapter I was left analyzing the complex meaning of Pi’s thoughts and given a new take on human psychology. Although seen as a tale of survival, Life of Pi is really the story of finding peace and faith in the hardest of circumstances. Religion has become such a taboo topic in today’s society that it is refreshing and insightful to see Yann Martel take it on with such class and understanding and portray this religious journey through a young boy.
Life of Pi is the book that leaves you closing the back cover with a million thoughts flowing through your mind. The narrator, an older Pi Patel, gives you the chance to see the story in two different ways, and it is up to you to believe whichever one you choose. You might see this as a starving, hallucinating boy telling a fake story, or the epic tale of a strong-willed survivor, but as Pi puts it “If you stumble upon believability, what are you living for? Love is hard to believe, ask any lover. Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer.” (Martel, 330). Life of Pi is an epic tale to say the least, but it is up to the reader to decide in what ways.

message 34: by Megan (new)

Megan | 1 comments I wThe Night Circusas skeptical when my friend gave me a book about magic at first. It sat on my desk for some time. I didn’t know how to approach it. Books like The Night Circus weren’t my forte. I regret all my doubts because the second I picked it up, it never left my hands.. The Boston Globe even said “...So sparkling alive, you’ll swear the pages are breathing in your hands”(Morgenstern, 1). The book never left my hands the moment I picked it up. My mind was itching to read on and i kept lying to myself saying “Only one more chapter”.
The story of the circus and performers within is told through a third person perspective. The book follows the life of Claire who after her mother commits suicide is left in the care of her father, Prospero the Enchanter. She grows up in New York and her father teaches her magic and the art of illusion. At the same time a young boy Marco, is being taught the same magic in London for a “challenge”. Once the two are old enough the challenge must take place and the circus is born.
Le Cirque Des Reves, the circus of dreams, pops up in random locations around the world and only opens at night.The two are thrown into this game where they don’;t know the rules and only one can be standing in the end. In a twist of events the two find the circus as more of a collaboration and end up falling in love.
This beautiful love story is unique and one of a kind. The love was original and from reading the first few chapters i never would have guessed it was a romance novel. The setting was in the late 1800s and early 1900s making the language difficult to understand at times. I found myself searching through the dictionary many a times to fully grasps and understand Morgenstern's writing.
Although Marco and Celia are the stars of the show, Poppet and Widget were my favorite characters. The dynamic twins were always exploring the circus and admiring the smallest details put into it. Their fiery red hair could be spotted miles away in the black and white circus. My favorite quote in the novel was from Widget when he said, “Secrets have power,” Widget begins. “And that power diminishes when they are shared, so they are best kept and kept well. Sharing secrets, real secrets, important ones, with even one other person, will change them. Writing them down is worse, because who can tell how many eyes might see them inscribed on paper, no matter how careful you might be with it. So it’s really best to keep your secrets when you have them, for their own good, as well as yours”(Morgenstern, 226). This passage was so powerful to me and is still relatable today.
Although sounding cliche the story of forbidden love was a refreshing tale compared to the same love stories produced every day. Morgenstern creates a fantasy of the world where I want to live in. The Night Circus is truly a classic and a perfect addition to any bookshelf. When people ask me of my favorite love story I will instead tell them of a circus.

message 35: by Jess (new)

Jess | 1 comments Looking For Alaska by John Green

Looking For Alaska by John Green was truly one of the most amazing books I have ever read. If you want a book that is honest, real, emotional, surprising, and astonishing, this is your book.
   The story focuses on Miles Halter, who takes us on his journey through the Culver Creek Boarding school where he finds love, guilt, grief, the true meaning of life, and lifelong friends; while also trying to “seek a great perhaps”. We learn about the characters, Miles new best friends, Chip (“The Colonel”), Takumi, and Alaska. Alaska's character is my favorite character. She is the outgoing, fun, wild, intelligent girl, whom Miles falls madly in love with. You might be thinking, “not another cliché love story..”, but Looking for Alaska is no cliché. It is a must read. No matter your age or personality in the real world, there is a character in this story to relate to and identify with. John Green makes you feel like you are inside of the book with the characters.
    If I were to rate this book I would give it an 10/10 because of how passionate and mind-blowing this book is, and I would 100% recommend to others. This novel by changed the way I read a book, and taught me to appreciate writers. John Green is honest and depicts teenagers as they are in the real world. He understands problems, love, friendships. The themes of friendship, trust, expectation vs reality, romance, and the labyrinth are all connected in this novel and are even relevant in today's world. The themes of the book make it believable because, as a teenager, I personally felt connected to the themes in the book and found it very relatable. John shows us that we are all trying to find our great perhaps in this world just like Miles.
   The book is not for younger children, as there are some more mature parts of the novel that children below middle school could not, and should not handle. I would recommend this book to any adult or young adult that loves a good plot twist.
   As a whole, the masterpiece Looking for Alaska was the best book I have ever read. John Green did an astonishing job with this novel and making the reader learn about teenage issues while also weaving in an interesting plot. Thank you to John Green for being so innovative and creating this heart-wrenching, must read novel.   

message 36: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Thomas | 1 comments Celaena Sardothien is a the world’s best assassin at the age of just seventeen who is put through rigorous trials by competition, demons, and love. Celaena Sardothien is one of the most intricate and complicated characters I have ever read about. After her parents died at a young age a master assassin took her in and taught her everything he knew, helping her to become the most notorious killer on the planet. One night while she was on a mission someone betrayed her and she was sent to a labor camp to rot away, but a year later an unrefusable offer arose. The king was to have a tournament and the victor would serve as his right hand man, and if Celaena won and served him for four years she would be set free with her name cleared. The options being die in a labor camp or try and fight for her freedom, she easily chose to fight. She may be a ruthless killer, but she is also strikingly beautiful, causing for two very unlike lovers to pursue her. With every character Sarah J. Maas does an excellent job describing every character using powerful imagery. Looking into the eyes of the captain of the king's guard, Chaol Westfall, is described as looking upon vast grassland that you can get lost in forever.
When I chose to read the book I inferred from the summary that it would be actioned packed with the challenges the king gave to become his champion, but it turned out to be more of a love story than I anticipated. The book often had fighting scenes describing Celaena using her assassins talents, but it did become slow as she explored her forbidden romances with two of the highest ranking members of the kingdom. Not only is there love and combat, but weaved into the plot is an excellent murder mystery that left me truly puzzled! In the middle of the competition several competitors are gruesomely murdered and the only way to find out what happened is to keep reading. If you do not mind an intriguing love story with an occasional combat scene, then this is a perfect book for you. Even if this was more of a love story then I had bargained for I still enjoyed it greatly, and I will be sure to recommend it to others.
In the book Sarah J. Maas has created a truly unique setting that I have fallen in love with. The realm of Erilea is based in a medieval style era but contains a dangerous magic that is being slowly erased. Maas does a phenomenal job of describing this realm, from the freezing mountains, to the scorching mountains. The story is told in first person from Celaena’s point of view, but occasionally Maas will switch to another character's perspective to add depth to the situation, which is something I enjoy while reading. This was the first book in the series, and I am eager to finish the series soon.
Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1) by Sarah J. Maas Throne of Glass

message 37: by Cassidy (new)

Cassidy Collins | 1 comments Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher tells through audiotapes and stories what led a teenage girl to the decision to commit suicide. Clay Jensen returns home one day to find a strange looking box on his porch with his name on it. Curious, he opened it up and found a set of cassette tapes. The tapes were recorded by Hannah Baker and she explain the 13 reasons that led her to committing suicide.
The novel goes into deep details about all of the people involved and the situations that occurred. With a map that Clay found in his locker, he follows Hannah’s directions and goes to every destination marked. Every person contributed a different factor to her downfall and depression and each circumstance is explained by Hannah herself.
The novel tells a suspenseful, mysterious and tragic story that opens the reader's eyes to real world problems, like suicide. Clay Jensen gets mesmerized by the tapes and listens to all thirteen in a few hours. He becomes Hannah’s minions and experiences everything she went through firsthand. He spent the night wandering through town and listening to what she had to say in order to find out the role he played in it. Clay is able to realize her true feelings and what she was experiencing.
Although the story’s theme is extremely depressing, some love and happiness gets mixed in. Hannah and Clay spend a night together at a high school party and get to know each other. Hanna speaks very highly of Clay in her tapes.
A character like Clay Jensen is basically any high school girls dream boyfriend. He is your typical jock, but also gets good grades and is friendly.. He is one of those kids that anyone can approach, and everyone is friends with because of how sweet is. Hannah saw all of these traits in him and admitted to having a slight crush on him.
Jay Asher breaks the novel up by each tape. Every new chapter, it’s describing a new tape. Asher uses characterization to describe every character in the novel. He also uses imagery and descriptive words to paint a clear picture in the reader’s mind of what is going on.
Overall, this novel was extremely enjoyable for me as a reader. It kept me on the edge of my seat and I was not able to put it down because I always wanted to know what was going to happen next. It was an easy read and also makes you think. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher reveals issues of cruelty and depression in life. It also shows happiness and how you should always reveal how you feel, because someday it could be too late.

message 38: by Molly (new)

Molly Foley | 1 comments Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher is a gut-wrenching novel about a teenage girl, Hannah, that commits suicide. This book keeps you intrigued from cover to cover and leaves you craving more. The book gives people an insight of what is going on in a potentially suicidal person's mind before that person takes his or her’s life. It talks about how bullying, sexual assault, school, family etc… affects the people involved with them. All of these categories lead to Hannah Baker committing suicide. She takes us through her journey and thought process of killing herself by leaving behind a shoebox filled with thirteen cassette tapes. Each with a different person’s story on it of their interactions with Hannah that lead her to commit suicide. The book is told in the perspective of one of Hannah’s former classmate, Clay, that is on one of the tapes. But his tape is not like the other twelve tapes. He did not impact her in a negative way and Hannah says that he does not belong on the tapes but believes he should hear the reasons why she did what she did.
Throughout the duration of the story, Hannah shows how all of our actions have some affect, both positive and negative, on the people around us. That even the little things can leave big scars on the people involved; that even though the person may seem fine you have no idea what is going on in their head.
Some believe that Asher gave people the feeling that if they commit suicide they have the opportunity to leave messages to those that hurt them. Although I do agree that his portrayal of suicide is not entirely correct, I disagree with people that say he glamorized suicide. Asher was not trying to give readers the idea to take their own lives or show that suicide was the only option. His overall message in the book was to show that the smallest action can have severe impact on some and that people truly do not know how much they hurt people. That is the reason why Hannah left the tapes. She wasn’t trying to tell people that they killed her, she just wanted to show how what they did hurt her and forced her into a depression that made her feel worthless and led her to take her own life. She was not blaming them she was trying to tell them to be more careful with their actions because some can lead to people doing the same thing Hannah did.
The theme of this book is so relevant in today and always will be relevant. We live in a society full of rude people and people that do not care at all about others. Thirteen Reasons Why shows us what happens when you do cruel things to others. Even if you believe that what you did was not that bad, like some of those that were on the tapes that were less extreme, everything you do has an effect. Whether it is good or bad, it leaves a permanent mark on someone. Ashers message is only effective because of how he portrayed the characters. This powerful message was one that needed to be heard. The way he wrote the book, through the different views made people listen to the message behind it and made readers realize how important this topic really is. I believe everyone should read this book, not just because it is a good book but because it is about something that everyone should know about.

message 39: by Bev (last edited Jun 09, 2017 06:34AM) (new)

Bev | 1 comments House RulesHouse RulesJodi Picoult
Imagine being falsely accused of murder, but not knowing how to explain your innocence. Jodi Picoult turns this predicament into a reality in her novel, House Rules. It is about Jacob Hunt, an eighteen year old boy who has Asperger’s syndrome. Asperger’s is a form of autism. A person with AS wants to fit in with his/her peers, and society but does not know how to. Jacob does not understand the common social cues that most people understand easily.
It was clear to me when I read House Rules that Picoult researched a lot about forensics, and Asperger’s syndrome to write a really accurate, informative and interesting novel. That passion for writing a book can be appreciated by the readers. When an author shows that (s)he cares a lot about his/her novel, then the readers will too.
I was really fascinated by the book. It is over 500 pages long and I read it in about two days. Picoult creates lovable characters which include Jacob; Jacob’s brother, Theo and their loving mother, Emma.
An important lesson that I took away from House Rules is that it is important to remember that we do not know people’s stories. I think that a big message that Picoult is trying to convey to her readers through Jacob’s story is to not make assumptions about people. It is important to not judge someone based on your own personal opinion on him/her.
House Rules is overall a great reading choice for a person who is interested in mysteries. I think that this book also appeals to someone who may want to educate themselves on Autism, and more specifically Asperger’s syndrome without going online to read a bunch of facts. Although House Rules gives Jacob more symptoms (all of them) of Asperger’s than a person with Asperger’s might have, it is very informative and realistic nonetheless.
The book’s theme is very relevant to today- especially now. In society, we have always been one to judge people based on appearances and assumptions. It is wrong. Picoult’s use of different character point of views in her novel stylistically show how many different everyday situations can be so different in different people’s eyes. A strength in the plot is definitely the interesting aspect of the story. For instance I will be honest with you when I say that I did not expect the ending until the very last page when I actually read it. I realize that others may predict the resolution much earlier than when I did. However, I do not think that that would take away from the greatness of the book’s overall message and plot.
The weakness of the plot is that is starts to feel like it drags on throughout the book- I never really lost interest in it, but I can see how this could be a con for some readers. If this happens to you when are reading House Rules, I would suggest that you keep reading and try to give the book a chance! It really does start to pick up the pace after around page 165. I would
recommend House Rules because it is a charming story about a young man who is trying to find his place in the world, and it includes many important themes.

message 40: by Marisa (new)

Marisa Jackson | 1 comments  The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

        Rachel rides the train back and forth into London, every day is the same.  She would look out her window and at the street she used to live on. She imagines the lives of people in one particular house.  Rachel become infatuated with them and even names them: Jess and Jason.  In reality their names are Megan and Scott and the perfect life, Rachel thought they were living, wasn’t so perfect.  Rachel discovers this when she wakes up one morning forgetting what happened the night before.  She was bleeding and had bruises all over her.  The only clue she has is a voicemail from her ex- husband.  She later hears that Megan has disappeared.  Rachel is worried she did something to Megan “I don’t know what I’ve done.  What did I do?”
        As Rachel tries to piece together what happened that night, you begin to learn more about her past and her relationships with the other people around her.  The main narrators of the story are Rachel and Megan.  Anna also has a few entries.  Having different people tell the story helps make the story easier to follow.  It also gives you insight into what one person doesn’t want to talk about or details they left out.  
       The characters were very well developed.  This was one of the strengths in the novel.  The characters seemed very real and their issues were relevant.  
      The writing style was a lot of dialogue and self reflection on events that happened earlier that day. This made the story easier to follow.  
      The theme of this book is to be faithful.  There are many examples of when the characters were not faithful and it caused more issues for them.  Another theme in the story is not to drink.  When Rachel drinks she faces the consequences the next day when she can’t remember what she did the night before.  
      I really enjoyed this book.  I highly recommend it and I know that I will be reading it many more times.  It was very interesting and was very fun to read.  

message 41: by Rocco (new)

Rocco Scalfani | 1 comments Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods is a historical, mythical story that takes you on an adventure in each chapter. Written by Rick Riordan, this book captures every god and goddesses best and worst moments. Written threw the eyes of 16 year old Percy Jackson, he introduces the Twelve Olympians and also a couple of minor, less known gods and goddesses. Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Athena, Demeter, Dionysus, Hephaestus, Hera, Hermes, Poseidon, and Zeus make up the twelve Olympians. Hestia, Hades, and Persephone make up the other minor or less well known god and goddesses.
The narrator, Percy, brings us into the lives of each god and goddesses and shows us their best moments and their biggest mistakes; Zeus’ hunger for power and his lust for blood, Poseidon’s animal creations and his disrespect to Athena. There is much more pointed out about the other god and goddesses which you can only find out by reading this book.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. I love Greek mythology and I love reading about it and expanding my knowledge of it. This book brings you on a different adventure or two in each chapter and keeps you wanting to read more and more. Riordan really captured the interesting facts about the Greeks Gods which made this book interesting and enjoyable.

message 42: by Leah (new)

Leah Nelson | 1 comments The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a remarkable, unique account of a puzzling event from the perspective of a boy on the autism spectrum, Christopher Boone. Because Christopher is implied to be on the autism spectrum, his account of the events that transpired are drastically different than what can be considered “the norm”. Christopher has difficulty processing human emotions and is overwhelmed by events easily. However, while he might have difficulty in these areas, he is a very logical thinker, and excels in math and the sciences. In fact, the book is filled with allusions to mathematical and scientific concepts. This is the basis from which we receive the account of the “Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time”. What would be very emotionally charged situations to most are seen through an entirely different lense in the book.
Upon discovering the body of his neighbor’s dead dog, Christopher swears to find the culprit. He pursues the mystery in his own way, as his quirks give him unique strengths and weaknesses. Whilst he has difficulty interacting with people and reading emotions, he is unrelenting when it comes to finding the truth, as he believes any good mystery must have an ending. The book pursues themes like that of family (with Christopher’s complicated relationship with his parents) and individuality, as Christopher’s perspective is so unique in a world that misunderstands him. Because of this, this book is crucial today, as the issue of misrepresentation of disabled people is more relevant than ever. This, and it addresses the issue of complicated familial interactions with disabled family members.
I would really recommend this book. It is so unlike many of the books one can read. I believe it has helped me be more understanding as well, as Christopher let me walk a mile in the shoes of someone on the Autism spectrum. The story was well written and easy to follow, and the interactions were poignant despite Christopher being emotionally oblivious. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, and I’m sure you will too.

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