Posts Tagged 'relationship'

This is Not the End by Chandler Baker

Genre:  Realistic Fiction apart from one futuristic element

376 p.

Lake Devereaux survived the car accident that killed her best friend and her boyfriend.  She has less than a month until she turns eighteen, at which time she can resurrect one person, but only one.  To make matters worse, she had already promised her resurrection to someone else who isn’t even dead yet. Everyone is pressuring her to use her resurrection for their personal family member and she is getting frustrated and overwhelmed.  Then, after therapy she meets a boy from her past who does not care who she chooses and therefore she sees him as someone she can confide in. He has strong feelings against resurrections, though, which makes their relationship difficult.  Who will Lake choose?

This book manages to set up a premise that seems totally believable and yet impossible for Lake all at once.  Her relationship with her brother, boyfriend, and best friend are all described in avid detail as you see why she is struggling so hard with this resurrection decision.  The periphery characters are also well described and their motivations are all understandable.  The ending will surprise most readers, but not in the way they will probably think.  The book manages to sustain a very interesting premise throughout the entire book.

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The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  356

RAC:  Yes

Emma and Josh are high school kids in 1996 when the story begins.  Emma gets her first computer and hooks it up to AOL only to receive the bonus Facebook.  She finds her username and password for AOL work on Facebook and is shocked to find that she is looking at her own profile in 15 years.  When she tells Josh, her estranged best friend, he finds a profile of himself as well.  To say their futures are not what they expected is an understatement.  Emma is especially disappointed in her future and vows to make decisions that will permanently change it.  Josh is not necessarily disappointed in his future, but a bit confused as to how he gets there.  As they begin noticing that little changes affect their future profiles they both need to think hard about what they want in their futures.  Can they come to terms with their possible futures or do they want to make big changes that might help them get closer to where they hoped to be?

The relationship between Josh and Emma is complex at best due to the romantic rejection Josh felt when he tried to tell her he wanted to be more than friends.  Despite the slight distance that has grown between them they still share a connection, which is why they get so jealous when they see the other person in a romantic relationship.  The idea of getting a glimpse of the future is intriguing, especially to teens who are making those big decisions such as where to go to college.  The references to 1996 are humorous, even if many are lost on current teenagers.  The overall story moves quickly and will engage many young readers.  Fans of romance and realistic fiction will enjoy this title.

A Wind in Montana by Mitch Davies

**Special Review**

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of pages:  271

RAC Book:  Yes

This new book by Mitch Davies follows a high school student, Rory, through his senior year of high school.  He finds a passion in chemistry and decides to quit band in order to study harder for a big scholarship awarded at the end of the year.  This decision does not go over well with his band teacher who argues he just wants to spend more time with his girlfriend, despite Rory’s insistence that he really wants to focus on chemistry.  Meanwhile, he begins to spend more time with another person in the chemistry group named Victoria.  They always seem to have a lot to talk about and challenge each other in many ways.  As they begin to grow closer and Rory splits with his current girlfriend, they both try to decide what they want in their futures. 

Senior year is a stressful and exciting time as you try to decide what you will do after graduation and what kind of person you ultimately want to become.  Mitch Davies does an excellent job of conveying how these different feelings and pressures are put onto these young students.  The relationships between colleagues, teachers, and parents are written in a way that anyone can identify with.  The ending is satisfying and will cause a lot of discussion among teenage readers.  Recommended for all readers, but high school students will get a lot out of it as they are struggling with similar decisions and pressures, not to mention the excitement of young love.  There is a bit of language and sexuality, but it rings true to the characters. 

What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

Age Level:  14 and up

# of pages:  291

RAC Book:  Yes

In this sequel to What My Mother Doesn’t Know we find out what happened when Sophie went to sit with Robin instead of her friends.  Instead of supporting her new relationship with the school outcast, her friends and everyone else choose to cast out Sophie as well.  Since this book is told from Robin’s perspective we find out just how difficult it is to be a social outcast.  His name is even used as an insult toward others.  Even though he tries to be cool with the teasing and cruel jokes, this story makes it very clear how much it hurts him not to fit in anywhere.

As Robin is a gifted art student he is invited to audit a Harvard art class and finds himself immersed in an environment where he is not treated as a freak, but instead as a person.  He finds these classes as an escape from daily life because as bad as it was being an outcast, it feels worse now that he has made Sophie one too.  Sophie refuses to give in, however, and insists that everything will be all right, but at times things at school get so bad that neither one of them seem to believe that.

What My Girlfriend Doesn’t Know is an interesting story because we pick up with a new character telling the story.  We see the relationship through a boy’s eyes, which changes the perspective quite a bit.  Bullying is a strong theme in this book and while the students can be extremely cruel at times it never seems unrealistic.  High school students can be capable of anything if the circumstances align.  Students who enjoyed the first book will enjoy seeing how the relationship continues, but hopefully they will also take notice of how bullying effects those on the receiving end and not be so tolerant of what they see, hear, or actually do.


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