Ladies, this book is just fun. I read it on summer break, which is perfect, as the main character Chelsea is just starting her summer break too. She is stuck in the past in two ways – she’s a little too involved with her ex-boyfriend, and she works at a historical reenactment park. There is some friendly (and not-so-friendly) competition with the park across the street, and, of course, a boy with some serious potential. If only he didn’t work for the enemy…
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
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
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
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
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
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
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