Collins Hill High School Media Center Blog

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

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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

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If I Stay by Gayle Forman

I was ready to read book but needed a quick read. If I Stay is not only a great book but one you can read in few days. The book has a quick start, and within a few pages, the book already had me hooked. The author, Gayle Forman, also has a unique writing style of mixing flashbacks along with the present to keep the interest going as well. The book is about teenage girl, Mia, and her decision to live through what she has lost. Mia realizes things will never be the same but also takes in consideration what is best for her and the people in her life. The characters in the book are unraveled quickly and make you in fall in love with them from the start. If I Stay would be a great read if: you are into music, you are in need of a cry, and if you enjoy mild romance.

~Katie D., Class of ‘11

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

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games takes place in Panem, which is a nation that was established after the destruction of North America. The Hunger Games is an annual event. The Games were enacted as “punishment for the uprising [of the districts], each of the twelve districts must provide one girl and one boy, called tributes, to participate” (Collins Page 18).The Games are only for children between the ages of 12 and 18. Katniss Everdeen is put to the ultimate test when she goes as a tribute in place of her younger sister Primrose, whose name was chosen to participate in The Games. Katniss’s competitor in District 12 is Peeta Mellark. At the beginning of The Games, Katniss recalls the time when Peeta once gave Katniss two loaves of bread when she and her family where starving. Also, “Over a period of several weeks, the competitors must fight to the death. The last tribute standing wins” (Collins Page 18). This novel is best suited for both male and female teenagers to read. I could not stop turning the pages; the novel kept me very interested. I would recommend my peers to read The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games was very entertaining, yet informative at the same time.

~ Asia T., Class of ’11

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The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

If you are looking for a great book to read, I would highly recommend the book The Glass Castle. This is a memoir written by Jeannette Walls. Jeannette shares many stories from her rough childhood. She begins from almost the very beginning of her life by telling readers about an incident that landed her in the hospital when she was only three years old. Throughout the book, she gives us details of the many adventures her family goes on and all the hardships they face along the way. Walls’ describes her family members very vividly. She gives us many important characteristics about each of her siblings and her parents. I found myself using the information that she gives us about the characters to make a picture of them in my head. It makes you feel like you really know them. Jeannette does a spectacular job with giving so many details and really making you understand the circumstances that she was in.

I believe that this book would be enjoyed by both girls and boys and also by people who enjoy reading true stories. This book keeps your attention and never has a dull moment. You are always interested in what is going to happen next. This book also makes you feel many different emotions. While I was reading, the emotion I had most of the time was shock. When you hear the events that occur in the lives of the Walls’ family, you will understand why you would feel shocked. Another emotion that really overcame me was sadness. The Glass Castle is not a very short read, however it is most certainly worth the time to sit down and read. You can find it in the library under 92 WAL. Check it out! You won’t regret it.

~Ericka H., Class of ’11

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

Before I Let Go by Darren Coleman

Before I Let Go is about three best friends looking for love and acceptance from women. Nate is the womanizer. At first, Nate really isn’t looking for love. What he is looking for is a quick lay. But in the end, he finds a girl that he really likes, but she hides a secret from him that he is desperate to find out. When he does, he isn’t a happy camper. Brendan is the sentimental one who is really looking for love. He meets a girl named Laney, and it seems as if they really hit if off. The only problem is that he is living with his best friend Renee who has been in love with him since she met him. He finds himself stuck trying to choose who to be with.

Then, there’s Cory; Cory is a successful business man who was living in Atlanta but recently got relocated for his job back to the DC Area where Brendan and Nate live. I would recommend this book for MATURE guys or girls because there are a few graphic scenes. I really couldn’t put it down and now all my friends want to read it. AWESOME BOOK!

~Krystina L., Class of ’12

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

A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

Landon Carter was what you call a “bad” boy when he was younger. He would play tricks on people and wasn’t very serious about his religion. He wasn’t very serious about any girl until he met Jamie Sullivan. She changed everything about his life. She made him a stronger person and helped him to have more faith in God and himself. It’s hard to believe that one person can truly make a difference in someone’s life.

I read this book, and it truly touched me. I cried at the ending, and it is worth every second of your time to read. I think all girls would love this story because it’s a fantasy all girls have about the “perfect” guy. The author writes so that it is really easy to understand and easy to read. This is one of the best books that I have ever read in my life, and it is hard to put it down once you begin reading it.

~Julia A., Class of ’11

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

The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

Mitch Albom writes a story based off his uncle, Eddie. Eddie believes that his life is without purpose. On the day that Eddie dies, he is 83; this is where the story begins. Mitch takes you through another average day in the life of Eddie. There is maintenance to be done at Ruby Pier, the boardwalk amusement park that Eddie has known his whole life, and Eddie has to do it. Eddie doesn’t know it, but its Eddie’s last day on earth.

After Eddie’s death, he goes to heaven where his body is young again. He is in a place he knows very well, Ruby Pier, but it isn’t the same. He meets his first person in heaven. Each person that Eddie meets has a different lesson for him to learn. He learns how many people he has affected in his life and why they were connected. As Eddie goes though meeting the rest of the five people set aside for him to meet in their heavens, he realizes that his mundane life was important. He is forced to see how his being a maintenance man and devoting time to Ruby Pier and his family has not been in vain. He learns the answers to the dreams that haunted him after serving in the war and how to forgive his father for a lifetime of pain. In heaven, Eddie learns that he mattered on earth and that he was supposed to live the life he did.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven is about knowing that your life means something, and even though you don’t see how everything comes together now, one day you might. The story is about love and knowing that you are worth something. This book taught me to never take any day for granted because you never know what day might be your last and who you might be affecting.

~Emily B., Class of ’12

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

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini

The book I read was A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. This book was all about women’s rights in Afghanistan. Hosseini is able to describe life in Afghanistan is very well. The reader can fully see how the dictatorship, Taliban, and the after-effects truly affected women and how they were viewed in that society. At first, women had many rights. They would wear what they wanted, they could show their faces, and they could go wherever they wanted. Although, many men had traditional views, like the main character’s, Miriam, husband. Once the Taliban came through, life got even worse for women. They were forced to wear burqas, and they were not allowed to go outside of the house without a male relative. If they did not follow these rules, they were beaten. The two main characters, Laila and Miriam, were able to develop from being young girls that did what they wanted to having to cope in a world where women were not well liked.

Hosseini was able to write this story not in a too graphic way, but in a way that after reading it, the reader knew exactly what was happening. Because of this, I would recommend this book to older girls. The book would not be as good for boys just because it is mostly about women’s rights in Afghanistan, so girls can better relate. Personally, I loved this book. It was so good that I read it in only a few days!

~Lydia W., Class of ’11

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

Crank by Ellen Hopkins

Crank is my kind of book in the way that it deals with some real life materials such as drugs, alcohol, and abuse which could be someone’s actual everyday life. To me, the book was mainly about a very abusive relationship with her boyfriend, never really dealing with the fact that her sister always did everything the right way, and also grief for that situation. The author’s style is one that I’m not familiar with but have always heard of – poetic and even journal-like. She built the characters very well and made me want to go deeper into the story and the main character’s, Bree’s and her sister Kristina’s, lives.

This book is for anyone who is into non-fiction and is not afraid of stories that are interesting. To me, this novel stands on its own. It’s not a book that could be misunderstood and that makes it a good book for both boys and girls. For me, I kind of figured that the book would be as good as it was because, even now, I still hear reviews, and this book has been on my list forever. I was so worried about how long it would take me to read this 537 page novel with so many other things going on, but it was easy. I was eager to turn to the next page because of the story and how the plot got thicker.

~ Destinee R., Class of ’11

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