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Bob Dylan Chronicles – Bob Dylan
Biography , Narrative Non-Fiction / March 14, 2016

The Bob Dylan Chronicles by Bob Dylan is the story of Bob Dylan the kid from Minnesota who traveled across America to New York to make his mark on the musical world as a folk singer. While in New York, he played at many musical locations such as Cafe Wah and others, until he was discovered. After that, he went on tour with some of the best of all time such as Tom Petty, The Band, etc. When he was on tour with Tom Petty, Dylan was at his lowest point, and he thought there would be no way to come back from the creative slump he had fallen into. But he did recover and produced some of the greatest music of the time with albums and songs such as Desire with “Hurricane” and others including “Like a Rolling Stone.” Not too long into his career, he turned to the electric guitar at the Newport Folk Festival. This was the start of the musical legend who played with the best of all time and influenced the best of all time. For instance, in this book it talked about how he would listen to Roy Orbison, and how he had a huge…

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Sáenz

In the book Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, Saenz shares a very interesting story about Aristotle (Ari) and Dante.  Ari has a life where everything he wants to know is shut behind doors that he so badly wants to be opened.  Ari’s father was part of the war and keeps all his secrets and scars from the past to himself.  His brother was sent to prison when Ari was only a little boy and his name is never mentioned in his household. For many years Ari never had many friends until Dante comes along.  Dante helps bring out Ari’s character but struggles at some points to understand what Ari wants.  As these two get closer, incidents occur that sometimes tear them further apart but they both figure out a way to remain close.  Ari and Dante are both insecure boys who are trying to figure out the truth behind the universe.  They realize how important a true friendship is and both help to identify each others true colors. In this breathtaking novel you will not be able to stop reading.  As soon as you think one thing is definitely going to happen, a completely different scenario pops up mixing up…

Its Kind Of A Funny Story – Ned Vizzini
Drama , Realistic Fiction , Romance , Young Adult / March 10, 2016

Craig Gilner is a hard-working and intelligent teenager growing up in New York City. He is persistent in being successful at life—which means he must get into the best high school, to get into the right college, to get the right job. All of this pressure leads him to depression—throwing up every meal, feelings of loneliness, unable to do school work, and major anxiety. He decides that “Life is a nightmare.” After contemplating suicide, Craig decides to check into a mental hospital. In the hospital, Craig meets a diverse group of teenagers and adults who help him learn how to cope with his illness. As an outlet, he starts drawing “brain maps,” something he discovered as a younger child. He also meets Noelle, a girl who cuts herself, with whom he makes a strong connection, and they become very friendly. During  his short five days in the hospital, Craig learns how to be genuinely happy again and although all of his problems are not solved, he leaves the hospital ready to tackle the world again. He comes to the conclusion that, “Life can’t be cured, but it can be managed.” This book is very insightful, and, although it is about…

The Boys of Winter – Wayne Coffey
Drama , Narrative Non-Fiction , Sports / March 10, 2016

In The Boys of Winter, Wayne Coffey shows us the background on players and coaches who participated in the 1980 U.S Olympic Hockey Championship. This 1980 game is known as the greatest sports moment of the twentieth century. It is also called “Miracle” because the U.S team, composed of all college players, beat the best professional team in the world, the Soviets. This book is interesting because most people know the story of the 1980 Olympic Hockey Championship, but they do not know the background, and how the rest of the player’s and coach’s lives unfolded after the Olympics. This book tells us. For example, Dave Schneider was a big name on the team who also had a great chance in a baseball career and “may well have been a better baseball player than a hockey player” (51 Coffey). I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the Miracle Disney movie. Overall I liked the book, but found at times it was going very slow, and I got bored with a lot of the analysis of the players.

Stolen – Lucy Christopher
Drama , Realistic Fiction , Romance , Young Adult / March 9, 2016

    Stolen, written by Lucy Christopher, is so psychologically tormenting that the book will practically be glued to your hands the entire time you read it.  There is truly no explanation when describing how the author made it possible to make every single reader connect emotionally with a kidnapper, but somehow, she did. The story takes place in current time, when 16 year old Gemma is drugged and kidnapped at an airport in Britain, while she is waiting for a plane with her parents.  When she wakes up, she is in the middle of a never-ending Australian desert, with her seemingly attractive kidnapper, 24 year old Ty.  At first, it is every teenager’s worst nightmare, being kidnapped with no way of escape, with the uncertainty of knowing whether or not you were going to be killed, abused, or raped.  But, when Ty proves to her that he has no desire to sexually abuse her or torment her, his charming personality starts to make its way into the story.  He is handsome, he is loving, he is gentle, but is he really a typical kidnapper?  Find out in Stolen, and analyze whether it is true love, or just a case of…

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews
Drama , Realistic Fiction , Romance , Young Adult / March 1, 2016

From start to finish, the book was intriguing and made you want to keep turning the pages. Although offensive at sometimes, the book was still very touching, and in some cases relatable. In the beginning of the story, it starts with the main character, Greg, and how he is struggling to survive his journey through high school. Soon enough, he takes on what he thinks is a burden, rekindling his friendship with his ex girlfriend Rachel who has recently been diagnosed with leukemia. At first, he thinks of this as a chore and never looks forward to going to see her, but he soon realizes she isn’t as bad as he thought. They start to bond over Greg’s hobbies and get to know each other better. While reading this book, I experienced a series of emotions that made me change my outlook on the book. In some instances, I would be internally jumping with joy over major events, and very rarely it would make me irrationally sad. My overall favorite part of this story is how the author would switch from a normal, narrative writing, into a scripted screenplay. It made the novel more interesting and fun to read. Most of the time…

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews
Drama , Realistic Fiction , Young Adult / March 1, 2016

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews is about the struggle of high school and friendship. Greg and Earl have always kept to themselves throughout their high school experience. Now, as seniors, Greg’s mom insists that he reach out to Rachel, also a senior, who was recently diagnosed with leukemia. After a few awkward first interactions, their relationship starts to form and you see that Rachel needs Greg in her life. Greg has been making movies all thoughout high school with Earl, but they have never showed anyone out of fear. Rachel is different though, she persuades them to show her. Being able to watch the movies together changes their relationship,  “I know it sounds idiotic, but sitting next to her, I suddenly saw the films the way I think she was seeing them-as this uncritical fan who actually likes all the stupid choices that we were making” (Andrews 197). After this point, Rachel’s health deteriorates and Greg starts to fade away from her. Greg and Earl work on a special project for Rachel, but everything changes when Greg’s mom gets involved. Although the characters in the book were very realistic and highlight many of the struggles of going through high…