Diane Setterfield’s novel, The Thirteenth Tale, is a story that will captivate you to the very end. The book begins with characters Margaret Lea, an amateur biographer, and Vida Winter, a famous fiction author. Vida is well known for her mysterious past, and has made up many stories about her childhood, none of them being true. As she nears old age, Vida finds it within herself to finally tell her story, and when Margaret is asked to write this biography, she is a bit skeptical, questioning her own ability to write such a piece. Eventually, she decides to take up the project, and the story she discovers is far more than she would ever expect. Vida’s past is riddled with tragedies and family secrets. She tells Margaret her tale, a story of wild twins, ghost girls, and a crazed family.
Setterfield keeps her audience on the edge of their seats with every twist and turn of the novel. In the story of Vida’s life, nothing is ever as it seems, and the tale will leave you shocked at its outcome. I enjoyed this book because Setterfield’s execution of the plot was brilliant; the reader feels like a detective, searching intensely for the truth. When all is finally discovered, you are left with such an elaborate story that it will dwell on your mind for days. I can honestly say The Thirteenth Tale is one of my all-time favorite books. It is well written, suspenseful, and will leave the reader intrigued by the tale of the tragic Angelfield Family.
~Melissa J., Class of ’12
The Help is a captivating read that opens doors into the lives of the women of Mississippi in the early 1960s. Kathryn Stockett has woven a story that breaks and warms readers’ hearts simultaneously. Skeeter, the main character, is inspired by the Civil Rights movement and decides that she wants her opinions to be heard. With the help of some black maids, Skeeter attempts to break down the walls that divide towns across the country. Through Stockett’s beautiful narration, readers can feel the anger and frustrations for the black community, the joy and love that flows between the maids and the children that they raise, and the desperate need for change. As a reader, you will fall in love with the characters and find yourself laughing and crying with the women as you cheer them on. Your eyes may be opened to just how far our country has come over the past few decades- you will not want to put this one down!
~Lauren B., Class of ’12
God is in the Pancakes is a riveting tale of a young girl named Grace who is dealing with countless obstacles. Not only is she still figuring out how to cope with her parent’s separation, but she is also dealing with boy issues as her relationship with her best friend Eric takes a shocking turn and begins to spiral out of control. There is, however, one great escape, her job at Hanover House, a retirement home where she meets the witty and wonderful Mr. Sands. Unfortunately as Mr. Sands starts to lose his battle with ALS, all the rest of Grace’s problems come tumbling down along with him. All while dealing with her own issues, Grace must make a moral decision to watch the old timer she has grown to love deteriorate or, as requested, ‘Help Him Die.’
~Kenaesha C., Class of ’12
This is a story about a boy name Thomas who pops out from a box in a place that seems unnatural. The only thing he remembers is his name. At the Glade everything seemed strange, but things got worse since the next day a girl arrived too. The unnatural thing was the message that came with her. Thomas felt he had to find a way home by going into a maze that seems unsolvable to everyone in the Glade. It’s up to him to find the answers of what he has been wondering all along. The book is amazing and everyone should read it. It will drag you into an adventure that you will never forget in your life. You will feel like you are Thomas. You will not want to put the book down until the last word of the book. Enjoy!
~Katherine C., Class of ’12
Keeping Faith was a book that I couldn’t put down. It shows you that you can get though anything with the help of your family and that deep down, people are much different than they seem. Keeping Faith is a story about a seven year old girl, Faith White, who is stuck in the middle of a custody battle between her newly divorced parents. Faith begins seeing and hearing an imaginary friend that she calls her guard, but who says she’s making it up? Faith begins performing miracles and saying Bible verses from a religion she isn’t even associated with, and people begin to believe that maybe Faith White is actually seeing God. Meanwhile, Ian Fletcher, a television star, is out to prove her wrong. He’s determined to show everyone that it is her mom, Mariah White, who’s putting her up to this to get attention. While Ian is working up his master plan, he begins to see Mariah as a completely different person and things start to change; but Ian has a secret of his own that could completely ruin everything. Read to find out what happens when you mix business with pleasure in this twisted romantic story.
~Kailey Y., Class of ’12