Thirteen Reasons Why was written by Jay Asher and published by RazorBill. This work of realistic fiction is sure to keep you guessing.
Hannah Baker recorded a set of cassette tapes, each side telling a reason why she decided to take her life. Each of the 13 people on the tapes are suppose to read them and pass them onto the next person. One morning Clay Jensen receives the tapes in the mail, and he is very confused on why they were sent to him. When he begins listening to the first tape, he is horrified when he hears the voice of a girl who recently took her own life. While listening to the tapes Clay learns some bitter truths about himself and about his fellow peers. Afterwards Clay is able to see the world in a different light.
One reason I really liked this novel is because it sent a very clear message that every action has a consequence. The elaborate messages on the tapes were very clever and showed a lot of thought. Overall this is one of the best books that I have read.
Divergent, written by Veronica Roth, was published in 2011 by HarperCollins Children’s Books. This young-adult dystopian novel is the first of three in a thrilling series.
The story occurs in post-apocalyptic Chicago where the remaining citizens are divided up into factions. Each member of the community is placed into a faction based on their aptitude. There is Abnegation (selfless), Candor (honest), Amity (peaceful), Dauntless (brave), and Erudite (intelligent). Every child is born into a faction, and at the age of sixteen they have the opportunity to take a aptitude test. This helps them decide what faction to spend the rest of their life in.
Beatrice Prior was born into abnegation, but she never really felt as though she belonged there. During her aptitude test, the results read “Divergent.” The test giver quickly rushed Beatrice outside and told her that nobody can know what her test results read. Those known as “Divergent” were considered dangerous and threatening to society.
This novel is sure to keep any reader in suspense. This being the first in the series left many unanswered questions for the audience. The author makes the reader feel as if he/she is living in the book alongside the characters. Overall this is for sure a must read.
Charlie St. Cloud was written by Ben Sherwood. It was published by Random House in 2004. This novel is a fictional fable that tells the emotional journey between the main character Charlie and his deceased little brother.
Charlie St. Cloud and his little brother Sam decide to take their mom’s car to go see a Red Sox game. On the way home Charlie takes his eyes off of the road to look at the moon. He does not see an 18-wheeler barreling towards them. They crash right into it, and they die. When they are dead Charlie promises Sam that they will never abandon each other. Within a few minutes a paramedic then revives Charlie, but he can’t rescue Sam. When Charlie realizes that he has the gift of seeing ghosts, he goes to play catch with Sam every single night.
A girl named Tess Carroll sets out on an around the world trip on a yacht. She decides to drive the ship into a storm where he boat ends up flipping. She wakes up sitting in a cemetery where her dad is buried. It seems as if Tess is invisible to everyone. Except Charlie St. Cloud. Soon enough the two begin falling in love with each other. Charlie then hears that a woman by the name of Tess Carroll has a boat that is missing and so is she. Once he realizes that he has only been seeing her spirit, he sets out to find her body. This conflicts with his daily meeting with Sam.
The biggest message of this novel comes from its theme of grief and letting go. This is a strong theme that any reader can relate to. Overall, Sherwood does a phenomenal job telling this heart wrenching story that really captivates the reader. I would highly recommend this if you are ready for an emotional roller coaster.
Paper Towns was written by John Green. It was published on October 8, 2008 by Dutton Books. This book is a mix between realistic fiction and mystery. This exciting, fascinating, and unique novel is one you won’t be able to put down.
An eighteen year old boy named Quentin Jacobson has been in love with Margo Roth Spiegelman for a long time now. Quentin and Margo live next door to each other, but they haven’t spoken in years. One day Margo came knocking on his window in the middle of the night asking him to help her get revenge on a handful of people. He agrees to help her, and their night together is quite adventurous.
Quentin is happy that they are becoming friends again. He can’t wait to see her the next day, but she doesn’t show up to school. She doesn’t show up for the next few days, and nobody knows where she is. Shortly after, he and his friends begin discovering clues that she left in order to find out what happened to her. Although she didn’t commit suicide like they thought, she was just trying to find herself. She said she was a paper girl in a paper town.
Overall, this book is filled with metaphors that help create a sense of mystery throughout the novel. The various twists and turns grabbed my attention in order to make the story more interesting. This is definitely one you won’t be able to put down.
The Spectacular Now was written by Tim Tharp. It was published in the United States on October 20, 2008 by Ember. This book is a realistic fiction, and takes a very different path than you would expect. This novel is very interesting and kind of depressing.
The narrator of the book is a high school senior named Sutter Keely. Stutter is known for being the life of the party, and can always be found drinking alcohol. His recklessness causes him to be found by Amiee Finicky passed out on a stranger’s lawn. Aimee is the complete opposite of his most recent ex-girlfriend, Cassidy, who recently dumped him because of his selfish ways. Amiee is a quiet, shy, nerdy girl who is really into science fiction.
In an attempt to help Amiee come out of her shell, he accidentally falls in love with her. As Amiee begins spending more and more time with Sutter, she becomes more outgoing. She finally convinces Sutter to visit his long lost father, and things don’t end up too well. Sutter realizes he is going to end up a drunk just like his father. In the end, he decides it would be better to let Amiee go off to college by herself while he reverts back to his old selfish ways.
This book is unlike many of the books I have read before. In a book like this you would imagine Amiee would turn Sutter away from the life of a drunk, but that’s not exactly what happens. The fact that this book doesn’t have a happy ending is what really captures my attention. Overall, I would really recommend reading this book.
Last year coming into high school I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but this year my expectations are much higher. I plan on maintaining a high GPA as well as making distinguished honor roll every marking period. I know I am going to have the hardest time with precalc and chemistry, so I am going to try to manage my time better to avoid procrastinating. With field hockey, basketball and softball going on this will be a difficult task, but I think I will be able to handle it just fine. Overall my expectations for this year are fairly simple.
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