The Beginning of Everything – Robyn Schneider
Drama , Realistic Fiction , Young Adult / May 26, 2016

In the book The Beginning of Everything, main characters Ezra Faulkner and Cassidy Thorpe meet in an AP class in school. Cassidy is the shy, new girl while Ezra is the popular, captain of the tennis team jock, or at least he was. After a freak accident at a high school party, Ezra loses everything. After his long recovery in the hospital, he returns back to school where he crosses paths with a girl named Cassidy. They start to become friends and build a friendship, but that is only the beginning. Many secrets begin to unfold about Cassidy and her life before she moves and Ezra finds a horrifying connection between Cassidy, and the night he shatters his leg. This book evokes a variety of emotions from the reader and is a real page turner. Overall, this was a very good book. It shows how tragedy really affects people and how much of an impact it makes on a person. “I pictured her tragically; it never once occurred to me to picture her as the tragedy.” This was a quote said by Ezra, halfway through the story when he was just starting to learn about Cassidy’s complicated personality. This passage…

The Haters – Jesse Andrews
Drama , Young Adult / May 26, 2016

The Haters by Jesse Andrews The Haters is a very well-written, coming-of-age story by Jesse Andrews.  This book is posed from the viewpoint of Wes, one of our three main characters.  Wes is at jazz camp with his best friend, Corey, and they both hate it there until they meet a girl named Ash.  Without asking any questions, these three band together and start off cross country looking for somewhere to play.  They encounter some problems along the way, but end up getting there in one piece. This is not your everyday adventure story with exciting events that occur every 10 pages.  It’s a true growing up story through all the awkward encounters spanning from recreational drug use to how to share a bed with a girl.  Similar to his other book, Me, Earl and the Dying Girl, Andrews deals with heavy topics through his writings and, in this case, deals with how to come into your own as a teen and handle your parents.  “‘Everything’s on my dad,’ interrupted Ash. ‘The whole tour. All the expenses. If anything gets busted, he’ll replace it” (Andrews 83).  Ash has a tricky relationship with her dad and one way of handling it for her is to…

Lying Out Loud – Kody Keplinger
Drama , Realistic Fiction , Young Adult / May 23, 2016

Lying Out Loud follows the story of high school senior, Sonny Ardmore. She comes from a broken home with little money. Her father is in prison, and her mother is, as she says, hard to handle. Sonny is an impeccable liar, and she uses her skill to get her self out of tough situations, even though her lying is what gets her in the biggest situation she had ever been in. When Sonny’s mom kicks her out of the house, she asks her best friend, Amy, to stay with her. Unlike Sonny, Amy has it pretty easy. She comes from a loving home that doesn’t struggle to pay the bills. At school, this guy Ryder is completely obsessed with Amy; he thinks she is perfect in every way, but his relationship with Sonny is very different. He believes she is the most annoying person in the world and doesn’t understand why Amy would be friends with a person like her. Even though Ryder likes Amy, Amy does not feel the same way about Ryder, but she doesn’t say anything. One day, Ryder emails Amy, but Sonny is using the computer and intercepts the email thinking it’s meant for her. Ryder ends up talking all night with Sonny…

Another Day – David Levithan
Romance , Series , Young Adult / May 23, 2016

In Another Day by David Levithan, the story explains how Rhiannon reacts to all of “A’s” changes.  Rhiannon cannot wrap her head around the fact that “A” switches bodies everyday.  She learns to adapt to the change and allows “A” to be involved in her life, but she fails to realize how much her life will spindle out of control when she lets him get too close.  Although, the mystery has lost its spark because its the same story from Everyday just in Rhiannon’s point of view, it is interesting to see how her life is with “A” in it. I enjoyed reading this book because I liked seeing how much of an impact “A” left on Rhiannon’s life.  I feel I understand the book as a whole rather than just perceiving half of it.  I would rate this book an eight out of ten because it gives closure to both characters and gives the reader a justification that they will be okay.

Stargirl – Jerry Spinelli
Drama / May 23, 2016

Leo, just like any other teen, was not too excited to be going back to school. He wasn’t “popular,” but he wasn’t looked upon as weird either, not like Stargirl. As a new student at Mica High, a quiet school in Arizona, Stargirl starts off by making good impressions but quickly becomes viewed as “different.” Leo doesn’t quite know if Stargirl’s personality is a positive or negative thing. As the school year progresses, Stargirl and Leo both get to know each other. Over time their relationship develops into more than they could have imagined. Stargirl is so filled with pep, that she is asked to join the cheer team. Being the loudest cheerleader, she cheers for both teams. Stargirl starts really bringing out her different personality, and the teens at Mica High are growing annoyed by her. As people start to ask her why she acts the way she does, she states, “Why fit in when you’re born to stand out?”(Spinelli 68). Things start to change when Leo takes a big risk by asking her to, “. . . be like the rest of us” (Spinelli ). Leo leaves Stargirl in a state of shock, for she likes the person…

American Sniper – Chris Kyle

American Sniper by Chris Kyle is the story of a Navy SEAL, Chris. Since a kid,  Chris has dreamed of serving our country in some way. After struggling in school and dropping out of college he goes to work as a farm hand for his friend. While there he gets the call he’s been waiting for; a Navy recruiting officer tells him they want him to join the SEALs. As he goes through the training, he realizes he is not in as great of shape as he once thought. Although he may not be as fit as others, his mental attitude and perseverance make him rise to the top. Once training is over, he is sent to California where he meets his team and prepares for what they all know is coming, their deployment. Eventually they are sent over seas for the Iraq War, and the story turns into a mix of fighting and fighting back emotions. Unlike other war stories there is a very personal touch added between his personal stories and the input given by his wife, Taya. During one operation in Sadr City he was leaving a house where they had been hiding when something terrifying happened, “A shot…

Vanished: When Lightning Strikes – Meg Cabot

In When Lightning Strikes by Meg Cabot, Jess Mastriani, a teen growing up in an ordinary town, goes through a life changing event all in one night. It starts when she survives getting struck by lightning. It gets even crazier when she wakes up, and she suddenly has the ability to locate missing people. While she is sleeping, she has dreams about random people who have been abducted. These dreams show their identity and their whereabouts. Her life changes so quickly. She goes from sitting in detention everyday after school to avoiding the press and being bombarded with questions by the FBI. Read the story to find out how Jess get’s the FBI off her back and how she helps these missing children. To overcome these obstacles, she needs the help of her new friend, Rob, whom she meets in detention. Overall, this was a good book. The story progressed quickly and made me always want to continue reading. The plot was interesting and the characters had strong personality traits. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a lengthy book that is an easy read with a strong story line. Makyla Addison

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews
Realistic Fiction , Young Adult / May 5, 2016

In this real-life-situation novel, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl written by Jesse Andrews, Greg Gaines, an awkward high school senior, who doesn’t input himself in a specific clique, makes parodies of films with his friend, Earl. Greg’s mom forces him to socialize with his “ex-girlfriend,” Rachel, who has just been diagnosed with leukemia. Although he doesn’t want to get too attached to “the dying girl,” they form a friendship.  Through the influence of Rachel, Greg matures and learns the importance of not taking things for granted.  Rachel’s illness teaches Greg and Earl that life’s ups and downs are only temporary.  Before connecting with Rachel, Greg eliminates himself from the real world to escape into his fantasy film world.  Ultimately, his passion for film and his friendship with Rachel merge into one. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about an average teen in an average town, living an average life. I appreciated this book, for it showed that, “. . . you gotta live your own life. You gotta take care a your own shit before you get started doing things for errybody else” (Andrews).

Armada – Ernest Cline
Sci-Fi , War , Young Adult / May 3, 2016

Ernest Cline starts off introducing the main character, Zack Lightman, a nerdy teen who loves video games. He dreams of his dull boring reality transforming into an exciting sci-fi-filled adventure.  Zack lost his father at an early age and has been raised by his hard-working mother who isn’t home much due to her busy work schedule. Although having an anger problem, Zack is a very smart and caring person. He spends most of time at his part-time job, a video game store owned by his bizarre adult friend. His favorite video game is called Armada, and he and his friends have been obsessed with it. Zack has a special talent at the game and has found himself making, at times, the “world leader board.” His boring life all changes in the blink of an eye, literally, when one day he is sitting in his math class and sees what looks like a U.F.O.  After no one else notices it, he thinks he is just going crazy until he sees the U.F.O again. His whole life is about to change and the destiny of the earth is now in his hands. Cline does a great job of adding suspense and keeping the reader always interested. I found myself not being able…