Posts Tagged 'relationships'

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

fangirl

Genre:  Romance/Realistic Fiction

# of pages:  438

Cather does not like to go out drinking like most college freshmen she knows.  Instead, she likes to stay in and write fan fiction for a fantasy series she is obsessed with.  Meanwhile, her identical twin has tried very hard to distance herself from Cath so that they can start anew in college.  Cath slowly assimilates to college including getting used to her unusual roommate and her friendly male friend who seems to be in Cath’s room a lot.  There is a fair share of drama in Cath’s life (including a father who is struggling with his new empty nest), but the one thing that always balances things out is her love of writing, which is why she’s so excited for her fiction writing class.  Unfortunately, even that does not go exactly as planned…

Fans of John Green or any of Rainbow Rowell’s other books will become obsessed with these characters.  The story is interesting enough, but it’s the characters that make it hard to put this one down.  Cath is very relatable to anyone who’s ever been new to a place and trying to find your way.  She has trouble knowing who to confide in, who to trust, and who to run from.  Eventually she starts gaining more confidence in her new life and starts making proactive choices instead of reactive ones.  It’s a very compelling coming of age story that will leave readers wanting more.

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Taken by Erin Bowman

taken

Genre:  Futuristic, Mystery

# of Pages:  360

RAC:  Yes

In the town of Claysoot all men are taken at midnight on the night they turn eighteen while the entire town watches.  This has been happening since the beginning of the town’s existence, but no one knows what happens to these teens or who is behind it.  After watching his brother Blaine get taken, Gray learns they are in fact twins.  Therefore, he knows whomever is taking these teens did not know this or else he would’ve been taken too.  He decided to take the deadly trip to climb over the wall that surrounds the town in order to find out exactly what is going on and who is controlling all of them.  Emma, his childhood friend, follows him and climbs the wall too.  What will they find on the other side of the wall?  Will they live long enough to find out?

Another offering in the rapidly growing dystopian genre, this book will easily find an audience.  The details of the rustic town they live in give the reader an idea of what life was like growing up in Claysoot.  For example, Emma and her mother work as the town’s only healers.  Many of their priorities and rituals seems a bit shocking, but this town is trying to survive without any adult men so simple ideas of getting married and having families suddenly become an impossibility.  The characters that are introduced are colorful, multi-dimensional, and full of a desire to learn the truth no matter what the cost.  My high schoolers are waiting in line for this title.

Five Summers by Una LaMarche

five summers

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

# of Pages:  378

RAC:  Yes

This book follows four girls who have spent five summers at camp together over the years.  The first summer was when they were ten and the last is a reunion weekend when they are 17.  When they go to the reunion they had not actually all four been together for three years.  The last night of camp three years ago they all had secrets from each other that have been threatening to come out ever since.  Will they still be as close as they were all these years later?  How have things changed since they last saw each other?

Fans of friendship books such as The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and  Peaches will enjoy this title.  Maddy, Jo, Skylar, and Emma are four completely different girls who inexplicably came together as best friends.  The secrets they have from each other of course bubble to the surface, but their friendship is stronger than they even thought.  The feelings and motivations of the girls are well described and it’s hard not to care about them even if it is a little hard to believe they would be this close from just interacting at summer camp.  There are some tough issues addressed such as betrayal, sex, poverty, and divorce.

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

alongfor ride

Genre:  Realistic Fiction/ Romance

# of Pages:  383 p.

RAC Book:  Yes

Like other Dessen books, Along for the Ride follows a teenage girl, Auden, who is trying to enjoy the summer before her freshman year in college.  Her entire life she has worked hard at academics and let everything else fall away.  Her parents are divorced and both authors and professors, so there has always been a lot of pressure to excel.  Auden’s older brother, Hollis, is more of a free spirit and has been backpacking through Europe for almost two years.  Meanwhile, Auden’s dad recently remarried and had a baby girl.  When life with her overbearing mother gets too difficult she decides to spend the summer with her dad and Heidi in their small beach town.  Heidi is having trouble adjusting to life with a newborn since Auden’s dad spends all of his time locked in his office working on his next book.  Auden meets a troubled young man who seems to open up to her when he won’t talk to anyone else about the horrific event in his past.  As Auden navigates her own life she learns a lot from those around her.

Dessen portrays in this story how easy it can be for anyone to pass judgment on another person while not taking responsibility for his or her own choices.  In the end, many of the characters learn that in order to truly be happy you have to try things that are scary, which can be anything from relationships to riding a bike, even if that means you might fail.  In other words, playing it safe does not make for a satisfying life without regrets.  Auden’s family has always judged anyone who does not consider academics to be the most important thing to be beneath them.  During this summer of enlightenment, Auden begins to see that each person should be able to make his or her personal decisions about how to live life to the fullest and those people should have the benefit of not being judged for those choices.  A page turner!


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