Collins Hill High School Media Center Blog

Jude by Kate Morgenroth

Jude, a 15 yr old boy, thinks his mom gave him up at birth. Only after his drug dealing father is killed do the authorities find out that Jude’s mom is the District Attorney. They also discover that Jude’s dad kidnapped him when Jude was 3wks old. With open arms, Jude’s mother Anna Grady, welcomes him into her swell life and sends him to a very nice prep school. One of his schoolmates OD’s on drugs and innocent Jude is immediately put under the knife. Harry, his mom’s boyfriend and the deputy police commissioner, tricks him to help Anna get elected on an anti-drug platform. He will clear Jude’s name, he promises, once Anna is elected. Jude, in turn, is tried as an adult and sent to jail for 5yrs. He then finds that Harry never meant to help him in the first place. He then learns to fight in jail. He needs to for his own good; survival of the fittest. This book has many twists and turns in it.

~Kylan E., Class of ’11


March 8, 2011 Posted by | Book recommendation | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Absolutely, Positively Not… by David LaRochelle

Steven DeNarski is a 16 year old high school student who tries very hard to deny his homosexuality. He drools over his hunky male math teacher and even square dances but he is absolutely, positively not gay. In an effort to try to be normal, Steven covers his walls with posters of women and even buys a playboy magazine to replace the international male catalogs under his bed. To fit in with his peers, he tries to hang out with the jocks and goes on failed dates with some female classmates. Although this delights his parents, it still doesn’t feel right to Steven. To trick his mom into thinking he has a date to the school dance, he takes his fake girlfriend Kelly who is actually a dog. That’s when he comes to a realization that in fact he is gay, but now he has to come out to his best friend and even harder, his parents. This light-hearted book is best for teen readers but is all around relevant to audiences by Stevens need for acceptance.

Madison R., Class of ’11

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Book recommendation | , , , | Leave a comment

Thirst No. 1 by Christopher Pike

Thirst No. 1 is a book for all kinds of readers. It is based on a young, well actually old, woman and her life. The book was written by a male author but has outstanding writing style from a woman’s point of view. Thirst is action packed but also a love story of sorts. Throughout the book, the main character, Sita, is faced with the changing times, danger, and peoples’ true intentions. She meets some interesting people that are not good and some that she feels for deeply. Sita faces large amounts of police forces in excruciatingly tight situations. There is blood and love, lust and age, fighting and seducing, as well as major deception; Sita even covers religion. Sita sucks her readers into her story and doesn’t let go, showing them her true self and the side that she wants others to see. Sita,her friends, and her foes, must fight to see who can make it to the end of time. Who will succeed in this story of survival of the fittest? Thirst kept me guessing and was constantly climaxing, with little room for breakage. Any reader looking for a good book will enjoy this book.

~Lauren L., Class of ’11

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Book recommendation | , , | 1 Comment

Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

Tuesdays with Morrie is a novel about a professor who has contracted an awful, debilitating disease. This disease causes the professor to slowly lose all muscle control until he is restricted in his bed and can barely talk. Because of a “Nightline” special that was produced about Morrie, Morrie’s former student, Mitch finds out about his favorite professor’s unfortunate situation. Even though it has been sixteen years since Mitch graduated, he flies to see his favorite professor. Surprisingly, even though Morrie knows he is dying a very awful and painful death, he is at peace with the fact of his fate. As they talk, Morrie finds out that Mitch has become caught up in the superficial part of life. At the end of their first visit, Morrie asks Mitch to come back. This is the beginning of their weekly Tuesday lessons. These lessons aren’t the same as the previous sociology classes that Morrie taught. These lessons are about life. All the lessons that a wise old man has learned throughout his lifetime are condensed and given to Mitch every Tuesday. Topics like family, forgiveness, greed, and of course, death are discussed. As time progresses, so does the disease. They call this book their last thesis. It’s a collection of all the things that Morrie wants his students to know, and through this book he shares his wisdom with the world.

This book can be found in the media center by looking up the call number 92 SCH. It reads like a journal, and is very personal. It is a very emotional and touching book that brought tears to my eyes multiple times. Once I started it, I didn’t want to put it down and even wished that it was longer at the end. If you are looking for a great read definitely pick up a copy of Tuesdays with Morrie!

~Jessica S., Class of ’11

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Book recommendation | , , | Leave a comment

The Girl Next Door by Selene Castrovilla

In The Girl Next Door, author Selene Castrovilla unleashes the bittersweet story of Sam and Jess, best friends and neighbors since preschool. Seventeen-year-old Sam is a not so girly girl who lives with her mom and little brother and who secretly mourns after her father’s death. She is in love with her best friend Jess, the popular baseball player at school that every girl wants to be with. However she thinks she does not stand a chance next to perfect from head-to-toe, Cindy Evans, a popular girl who is just as willing to be with Jess as she is. But all of that changes when Jess is hammered with news that turns his world upside down: he has a rare and treatment-resistant type of cancer.

At first, Jess is devastated by the life he can no longer live and the lack of support he gets from his uptight, cold mother. Although Sam is heartbroken and she feels as if without Jess she has nothing to live for, the love she has for him causes her to stay by Jess’s side at all times and give him nothing but love and care. Throughout the book, as Sam’s support and love for Jess grows stronger so does the feelings they have for each other, and as the months go by their relationship deepens as they begin to fall in love with each other. Castrovilla does a successful job as a writer by capturing the reader’s mind and allowing them to feel the characters’ emotions as the story progresses, and ending the story by giving the reader a genuine lesson about life, love, and making peace with the unpredictable events in life that cannot be changed.

I thought that this book was incredible. Although this novel was sad, it had a beautiful story. The plot is very realistic, and therefore it’s easy to feel the emotions the characters are going though. The ups and downs of Sam and Jess’s story captivated me and made me want to keep reading to see how their story would turn out. The book not only was entertaining to read but also taught me many life lessons and sentimental ideas that could be applied to real life. Although a lot of the book is centered on Jess’s disease, the main focus of the plot is unraveling the two teens’ love story. Because of this, I would recommend this book to teenage girls.

~Amanda H., Class of ’11

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Book recommendation | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Chronicles of Faerie: The Hunter’s Moon by O. R. Melling

The Hunter’s Moon is about these two cousins, Findabhair and Gwen. Findabhair is living in present day Ireland and Gwen in living in present day America. Gwen comes to visit one summer and they embark on an adventure like no other. They decide to set out on an adventure through all these magnificent cities. When their tour bus is redirected to Tara, only trouble could happen. The two decide to sleep in a burial mound in the center of Tara. Within their dreams, a king comes and asks each of them to join him in Faerie. Findabhair accepts and Gwen declines. Within this book, Gwen is trekking across modern day and past day Ireland visiting places of all sorts. She heads off with this king several times and every time the king tricks her. Gwen develops a love interest with one of the fairies, and he fancies her too. When Gwen is offered to stay in Faerie, will she take it?

The author uses great writing techniques and demonstrates great imagery when describing each scene. However, she jumps around a lot so you might find yourself having to go back and read several paragraphs just to comprehend what she is saying. She also uses a lot of Irish in her writing so that also adds to the difficulty. O.R. Melling uses indirect characterization when describing Gwen but uses direct characterization when describing Findabhair. Gwen is more of the reserved type, and Findabhair is more of the outgoing, spontaneous character. In my opinion, this book is more for the expert reader because of the language. This book was easy to put down because, at times, it was confusing and just frustrating to read. There were parts, mostly the romance parts, that kept me reading. However, the romance parts seemed to end so quickly that is was disappointing.

~Renee C., Class of ’11

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Book recommendation | , , | Leave a comment

Split by Swati Avasthi

Split is about a sixteen-year old boy named Jace Witherspoon who has a less then perfect life. His father abuses him along with his mother; before his brother Christian ran away, he abused him too. One day, it got to be too much for him to handle so he fought back with his father. Then, his father kicked him out, and he had nowhere left to go except Christian’s house. Once there, he thought he could get a new start on life and everything would finally go right. He was totally wrong. His ex- girlfriend threats to reveal his secrets and he constantly worries about his mother who refuses to leave her husband no matter how much he hurts her.

Split is a great novel that kept me guessing until the end, and it is one of those books that I kept wondering about even after it was finished. It is a great novel and one that could be read over and over again. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good read. I had trouble putting down. It is found in the Collins Hill library with the call number of FIC AVA. If you are looking for an easy book to read I would recommend it to everyone. It is not an overly girly book or one meant just for guys. It is a great book for teens and adults too.

~Grace J. 2011

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Book recommendation | , , | Leave a comment

Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

Pretty Little Liars is the first book of the series by Sara Shepard. This book is about a group of girls who have been the best of friends since middle school. They quickly grow apart after one of them, Alison DiLaurentis, goes missing. The book begins in Rosewood three years after Alison goes missing. Alison was the leader of all the girls. She knew how to manipulate the girls to control everything she did. They never went against Ali’s word. After Allison disappears, Aria moves to Iceland, Hanna becomes the queen bee at Rosewood High School, Spencer gets academically perfect, and Emily becomes absorbed into being someone she is not. Things start to get complicated when a mysterious person texts them about secrets only Allison would know.

I would recommend this book to younger high school girls. The book is a fast read because there is not much to understand. The author personally knows the characters and follows their emotions step-by-step in order to comprehend the reason behind their actions. I like how Shepard keeps the book simple because it makes it more enjoyable for the readers to focus on the intense plot instead of horribly dragging on about a background or trivial detail. The plot is quite interesting and has a surprising turn in the end. Once you start reading the first book, it is hard not to continue all the series.

~Lydia Y., Class of ’11

March 8, 2011 Posted by | Book recommendation | Leave a comment

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Just Listen is about a teenage girl named Annabel who works as a model at her mother’s persuasion. Although she dislikes modeling greatly, she does it to please her mother. At school, Annabel is considered one of the popular girls with all of the best friends. Then one summer, Annabel goes to a party with her best friend Sophie and Sophie’s boyfriend Will. Things go horribly wrong for Annabel from that point on. Sophie finds Annabel in a room alone with Will and assumes Annabel was trying to sleep with Will and steal him from her when that is not at all close to what happened. The next year at school Sophie ruins Annabel’s reputation and leaves her as an outcast. Annabel is crushed and is left to sit alone at lunch where she meets a strange boy named Owen. Owen accepts Annabel and they form a friendship of sorts, until Owen begins to realize that Annabel is hiding something. It turns out that Annabel’s perfect life is far from what it seemed. Owen becomes the last person willing to help Annabel and Annabel must find a way to open herself up to the only person willing to listen to her story.

~Caitlin H., Class of ’11

March 7, 2011 Posted by | Book recommendation | , | Leave a comment

Jane by April Lindner

Jane Moore does not care about pop culture, read celebrity magazines, or listen to rock music. Jane, her parents least favorite and least attractive child, is about to be noticed for the first time in her life. When Jane becomes the nanny for the daughter of famous rock star, Nico Rathburn, her life becomes part of the celebrity gossip she used to ignore. Nico Rathburn has a secret, a big secret. As Jane becomes entangled in the rock star’s life, the hidden truth from his past will cause her to question the life she has been leading and the man she has come to love.
April Lindner breathes new life into the old classic Jane Eyre. Charlotte Bronte’s characters take on modern day characteristics while retaining the essence of the original. This novel will be interesting for readers of the original Jane Eyre and new readers alike. Jane will keep readers in suspense until the end. Fans of romantic novels are sure to find this to be a great read. Will Jane stay with the sole love of her life or will she leave him and his dark past? Check out Jane by April Lindner from the Collins Hill Media Center to find out.

-Melissa M., Class of ’11

March 7, 2011 Posted by | Book recommendation | , , , , | Leave a comment