Trashed – Derf Backderf
Action and Adventure , Autobiography / December 20, 2016

Trashed is a great fictional graphic novel by Derf Backderf that uses his experiences as a garbage man in the 1970s and 1980s, in a tiny town in Ohio, to tell the story. It reads like a normal book, but, in a sense, it’s a tribute to all the workers who have to deal with garbage removal. Trash, the smell, maggots, and waste that have been left out for days on end, this is what garbage men have to deal with. I would assume that working within these conditions could leave a worker sick and depressed. The main character is a college dropout named JB, who is still living in his mom’s house; his mom finally gets fed up with him leaving his garbage around the house and asks him to find a job, so he does. In the newspaper, there’s an ad for trash collectors, and he decides to take up the offer. In the graphic novel, the reader will find that the book is depressing because of how horrible and disgusting this job is, or, they may appreciate the humorous side of the “shittest” job ever that this college dropout experiences. Not only does JB have to collect…

Jobs – Walter Isaacson
Biography , Narrative Non-Fiction , Non-Fiction / December 20, 2016

  Steve Jobs is the biography of Jobs written by Walter Isaacson. It is written to tell the story of how Apple started and its co-founder’s life and what went wrong and right in the company’s development. Almost all of our modern-day cell phones and computer technology was based on or inspired by something Steve Jobs and Apple envisioned, designed, and assembled. During Jobs’s childhood, he would get into a lot of trouble because he was so much smarter than everyone else. He played some pretty crazy pranks, one of which was when he and a friend made an unauthorized “Bring-Your-Pet-to-School” day in elementary school. They made posters and everything and the next day the school was a zoo. He would act out in school because he was just bored. Later in life, his boredom led him to experiment with hallucinogenic drugs and to pursue certain types of religions that discouraged  showering, resulting in body odor. He thought eating natural foods would prevent that body odor but it didn’t work. Ultimately, he smelled, and people were repulsed by him at work. For example, at Atari his stench and his habit of not wearing shoes caused his co workers to hate…

Anna and the French Kiss, review by Shalaina P.
Choose Your Own Adventure / December 15, 2016

The book, Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins is a story about how a girl named Anna is sent off to a boarding school in France. Originally despises her parents for not letting her have a say in what she wants but ends up not only falling in love with France, but a boy named St. Claire too.  The two of them share an incredible connection however, the only burden that keeps them apart is St. Claire’s serious girlfriend named Ellie.  As they grow closer and closer, there is always something that arises which makes them fall back a few steps too.     Will St. Claire’s love for Anna develop to be so strong that he will have to break up with Ellie? Or will they continue to crave each other but have to remain apart?   This story was one I could not put down. Each time I stopped reading it, I would always wonder how they would untangle their messy lives to make their relationship work.  I loved the unexpected twists and turns because it would make their love difficult to figure out and would have you understand how they both felt. I would rate…

Looking for Alaska, review by Payton C. and McKenzie R.
Choose Your Own Adventure / December 15, 2016

Looking for Alaska, by John Green, is a young adult romance mystery book that follows the main character, Miles Halter, during his adventures at Culver Creek Boarding School.   The story begins with Miles living in Florida, with his mother and father, during his sophomore year summer. Miles was tired of his predictable and friendless life and he yearned for something more. He decided to transfer to Culver Creek with hopes of meeting new friends and being able to look back on his high school career, in the future, as the best years of his life. During his first semester, his hopes were met and exceeded as he made the best friends he could ask for; Alaska Young, The Colonel, and Takumi. When asked what the best day of his life was, Miles replied saying that it was “..today..” because that was when he and all of his friends hung out and created a prank.   One day, something terrible goes wrong and the hunt is on for Miles and his friends to learn what really happened on the dreadful winter night.   Will Miles and his friends be able to figure out the truth? Or will the little information…

Eleanor and Park, review by Caitlin R.

Eleanor and Park The most unexpected friendships can be the best friendships. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell demonstrates the unlikely friendship of an outcast new girl and a boy. Eleanor, who lives with multiple siblings, her mother, and her verbally abusive stepfather, met Park on the bus on the first day. Because there were no open seats, Park offered her a spot next to him; however, his initial greeting was not cheerful. Over time, the two grow a bond based on Park’s comic books that he loans to Eleanor. However, Eleanor is tormented by Park’s friends. Eleanor and Park learn the true meanings of friendship and love during their relationship. By overcoming hardships like the bullying and disapproval by family members, Eleanor and Park’s bond only grows stronger. Eleanor and Park is one of my favorite books I have read recently. The storyline is engaging. I like this book because it shows that nothing is ever perfect. Eleanor and Park go through many hardships for their relationship. I found every character in the book to be necessary. Each person introduced added to the storyline and further developed the main characters. I would recommend this book to any high schooler….

Level Up – Gene Luen Yang

Level Up by Gene Luen Yang is the story of a teenager, Dennis Ouyang. He has always struggled in the shadow of his parents’ expectation. His father wants him to be a gastroenterologist, but that is not what Dennis wants to do. However, Dennis doesn’t want to fight with his father about the expectation, and therefore he still attends medical school to study to be a gastroenterologist. In the book, it shows the path the Dennis choses after his father passed away. He goes to medical school and studies, but that is not what Dennis likes to do. Instead, he is only doing what his father wanted him to be. It makes him depressed and unhappy. He thought that his destiny was to be gastroenterologist, but that was his father’s dream, not his. As a result, he dropped out of medical school and began playing video games because he knew what he was supposed to do in the games, unlike in life.  The games make him feel like he knows what he’s doing: the goals were clear and attainable. This book reflects the teenagers now: they are lost in the “path of life,” but they are able to find a…

The Rose that Grew from Concrete – Tupac Shakur
Autobiography , Poetry / December 13, 2016

The book The Rose that Grew from Concrete is a collection of poetry from the late 80’s to early 90’s from Tupac Shakur’s personal journal. This collection helps you understand what Shakur was going through during those years with all the ups and downs in his life. He talks about his emotions through his poetry, so the reader can have a feel for him. In his poem, “Sometimes I Cry,” my favorite, Shakur expresses how he felt alone even at the peak of his career: Sometimes when I’m alone I Cry, Cause I am on my own. The tears I cry are bitter and warm. They flow with life but take no form I Cry because my heart is torn. I find it difficult to carry on. If I had an ear to confide in, I would cry among my treasured friend, but who do you know that stops that long, to help another carry on. The world moves fast and it would rather pass by. Then to stop and see what makes one cry, so painful and sad. And sometimes… I Cry I find this interesting because you would figure a popular person like Shakur wouldn’t be dealing with…