"Far From the Tree" by Robin Benway is a exploration of family, identity, and the bonds that tie people together. The book follows the interconnected lives of three siblings—Grace, Maya, and Joaquin—who are all separated and discover each other's existence and embark on a journey to understand the meaning of family. Benway skillfully intertwines the perspectives of these three characters, creating a narrative that unfolds with genuine emotion and authenticity. The story delves into themes of adoption, acceptance, and the profound impact of family connections on one's sense of self.
Awarding "Far From the Tree" a rating of 3/5 reflects my appreciation for the novel's engaging storyline and the author's adept portrayal of complex family dynamics. The characters are well-developed, and their individual struggles and growth are compelling. However, at times, the narrative can feel slightly formulaic, with certain plot points following predictable trajectories. Additionally, while the exploration of adoption is insightful, some aspects of the story may feel a bit too neatly resolved. Despite these minor critiques, Benway's ability to craft a touching narrative around the theme of found family makes "Far From the Tree" a solid and emotional read, deserving a 3 star rating.
John Green's "The Fault in Our Stars" is a heartwarming and pleasant YA novel that explores a variety of themes like love, illness, and essence. This particular story follows the narrative of Hazel and Augustus, two teenagers who battle cancer and embark on a journey of love and self-discovery together.
I rate "The Fault in Our Stars" 3 out of 5 stars for its easy readability, enjoyable narrative, and the extremely important message it conveys about cancer awareness through Hazel's and Augustus' characters. It is an incredibly nice, short book to read, particularly for audiences who are young adults. However, compared to some of the other books I've read, it doesn't delve as deeply and lacks the complex storytelling that I often seek while reading. While it certainly has its lovely positives that I enjoyed, the book, in my opinion, falls a little short in terms of depth and construction, which is why I choose to give it a 3-star rating.
Looking for Alaska details the story of a kid who, in his pursuit of something new and, in the aim of sucking the marrow out of life, fails to recognize the plain truths of the people around him. He is entranced with the interesting world of Culver Creek, the mystical boarding school of his father's youth. He aids his roommate in pranks and grows closer with friends Lara, Takumi, and mysterious Alaska, all the while oblivious to her deep underlying hurt. At its heart, Looking for Alaska is about being blinded by one's own expectations to the point of pushing away important friends. The story itself, though somewhat meandering in its execution, is quite well-written, and John Green portrays a realistic, captivating, and unique cast of characters.
With this book series becoming a show, I was interested in reading the books, and I am glad that I did! These books follow a young girl named Belly who grows up with family friends at their beach house. The series tells the story as they all get older, and their bonds that break and grow back together. It is a comfort book that I would definitely recommend. I would recommend this book to young teenage readers, about 14+. I gave this book a rating of 4 stars because the characters were beautifully written, with you learning something new about the characters each time you turned the page. I personally enjoyed some of the flashbacks in time that detail when Belly was a kid at the beach. It has a sweet comforting feeling. I did not give this book 5 stars because it did take me a bit longer to read since there weren't many twists or turns that kept me super intrigued. At least not in the first book, but in the last two books the drama, and romance definitely keep you interested. If you are looking for a slow-burn comfort romance series for young readers, this is the book/series for you!
One of my favorite books so far. The book is full of twists and turns and one of the most gripping story. I loved most of the characters.
Every chapter showed us a new suspicious person. Every chapter changed the perspective towards each character. I loved this series. At last it's not a book of black and white, there were so much gray ...
Through the eyes of a soul who hasn't left for an afterlife or complete darkness, Ellie Walker traces the days before her suicide, the day of her suicide, and the more indelible days that built her person and childhood. Chapters are written as epistolary entries, which the intended recipients—Momma, Father August, Life, and Dreams—will never get to read, as it was suppressed beneath the devastating end of a soul that didn't speak all truths while alive. She awoke with her mind, dazed and chipped of fundamental segments—abuse, friendship, love, the love of a mother, an advancing future, and more—that once conjoined her memories with coherence. The lament after death was her hand on the clock that struck a new hour as she accepted time's shadow that crept over her and swallowed, despite any interjections she could only attempt to make. Too late, Ellie Walker meandered through the gallery of her memories and realized all they meant to her and all she could become from them.
Anna, 10th Grade
Sam and Katie find a stray dog and impulsively paint a blue flower on it. This dog is suddenly befriended by everyone in town, even Sam’s and Katie’s arch enemies. Blue Daisy by Helen Frost is a wonderful story about community, written in alternating chapters of prose and poetry. This book can help newly fluent readers, ages 7 – 10, stretch their skills.
The Fault In Our Stars is a novel written by John Green, a renowned author of Young Adult fiction. The story gives an account of Hazel, who can hardly remember life without cancer and has almost given up hope in her life. She then meets Augustus Waters, a cancer survivor, who reads her favorite books for her and hangs out with her and this helps her to gather strength. The two of them deal with cancer and love.
The story is written in a breathtaking way which makes us become a part of the characters and feel the same emotions. Hazel and Augustus appeal to readers through their sense of humor and their courage. But behind this courage, both of them hide their pain to protect their families. John Green, through Hazel and Augustus, brings both: tears and laughter.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Fault in Our Stars is a beautiful novel and I would recommend it to anyone who believes in love and has the courage to fight for it. Through this book, I realized that cancer not just touches victims, but it also touches all those who love it.
When the house Auggie Jones lives in with her grandpa Gus is deemed "in violation" by the new House Beautification Committee, she sets to work renovating it with the help of her grandpa and local community. It starts small, with replacing the boring, clear glass in Auggie's windows with colorful stained glass that had once been part of the nearby church. Soon, though, the project expands to creating sculptures out of materials like toasters and curling irons that grandpa Gus found while working as a trash hauler. What was once junk is turned into masterpieces that redefine the town's idea of beauty.
The book's cover was what first drew me in, as it reminded me of how I like to make things out of up-cycled materials. I love the story this book tells and the characters present in it. One of my favorite things about The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky is the vivid imagery the author uses literally from the first sentence, where she describes how grandpa Gus's truck "shimmies like she's dancing the jitterbug." Although it was written for children, this is a wonderful book for readers of any age to enjoy. The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky challenges the reader's ideas of beauty and serves as a reminder that there's always more to something, or someone, than meets the eye.
This book is the kind of book that touches your heart and leaves an imprint. Counting Thyme is an amazing book for all grades! It tells a story with everyday problems, implied ones, and the ones that stare you in the face with seemingly no solution. Thyme, an everyday middle schooler who just moved to NYC, doesn't really know how to fit in. She isn't happy with the move, but her brother is sick. Really sick, and she would do anything, even move into a small apartment across the country. As she tries to find her place in this big city, with all kinds of people, her journey is one of understanding. Thyme meets a grumpy old man, tries to reconcile with her sister, and so much more, all while struggling to get enough 'Thyme (Time)' to fly back home to California for a week for her birthday.
Would I recommend this book? Absolutely!
This read will be worth your Thyme, and I hope you enjoy it!
Some Other Now is about a girl torn between two summers, two brothers, the mistake that will destroy them all, and what it's going to take for her to move forward.
This book is pretty solid, very emotional, has some good characters, and doesn't do much else. I did like reading it, but it was a very typical story. Some of the tropes seemed played out and overly dramatic, especially in the romantic scenarios. But the things it does well, it does very well. I really liked the contrast between the narrator in the first summer and the narrator in the second summer, and how it showed her guilt and grief. I liked the complexity of her family structure, both chosen and biological, and how it weighed on her. The main character overall is very well developed, with a lot of complexity and flaws and inherent kindness that makes her very easy to root for. I honestly didn't like either brother that much, but that's to be expected. The story does a great job of exploring depression and grief and guilt and mistakes that we can't take back, making it very relatable.
All in all, it's a very typical story, but done very well, and I don't have much to say about it. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a sad story, some drama, and good characters!
Reviewer Grade: 12
This was so cute and comforting. I could relate to the main character Belly in many ways which made this book really enjoyable to read. The summer I turned pretty made me laugh, cry, and even made me frustrated at times. I usually don’t like reading books with love triangles but this one was an exception. I love the way Jenny Han wrote it. She keeps you guessing. At some points in the book I thought it would be Conrad and others I thought it was Jeremiah. This book was really sad at some points with Susanna having cancer and belly not knowing. It just added to the emotion of the story. Overall I really enjoyed reading this book and I’m really excited to find out what happens next in book!
This graphic novel has lovely art and an even better storyline. Astrid is a middle-schooler who has a tough time doing roller derby without knowing anyone on the team. She has to learn how to hold her own and find her place doing a sport she loves. I liked how the author depicted Astrid's friendship with Nicole and they were able to learn from each other despite not being on the same path anymore. It was also cool to see Astrid's character development as she gained confidence and found her identity. The dedication it took to do that is a great lesson for anyone!
If I had to convince you to read this book in one sentence it would be this. Multiple times I had to stop reading, set down my book, and contemplate if Alice Oseman was in my head. If there is one thing Alice Oseman can do it is write relatable characters. This book follows Frances, a straight-A student whose heart is set on getting into Cambridge, and Aled, a quiet boy who is secretly the creator of a hit fantasy podcast. Brought together through art/media, Frances and Aled become close friends and tackle life changes, emotionally abusive people, mental health, censorship, and just being teenagers. This book perfectly describes the life of a teen going through high school and showed pure friendships based on a mutual love for something. This was extremely captivating and it helped me get out of a reading slump instantly. If you are looking for a book with characters you can relate to, diversity, true depictions of mental health, or just something exciting to read, I would recommend this over and over.
Reviewer grade: 11
It is a deal breaker for me when a book's main character is unlikeable. This book was not like that. Evelyn is a talented and determined character who was able to break away from her traumatic experiences and pave the way for female actresses that don't match Hollywood's cookie cutter movie stars. She isn't always polite and malleable, which was cool to see when other books set in the same time period only focus on men's perspectives. I was invested in Evelyn's life throughout the progression of her seven marriages and how they ended. Monique is a scatter-brained but relatable character as well. I enjoyed how she and Evelyn interacted and the twist of how their stories intertwined. Try this book if you like historical fiction and being uplifted by female empowerment.
I liked this book a ton! This book is an easy read considering it’s a graphic novel. The story in this book is very inspiring for “shooting for the stars” or doing what you love. In other words, commitment. I can relate with the main character, Astrid, by getting through something tough with something you love. For Astrid, the love is all about roller derby.
I picked this book because I love graphic novels. The storyline to this book was extremely interesting, I could barely put the book down! I was honestly surprised by how good the book was. This book is by far my favorite graphic novel. I have read this book many times since my first.
Astrid was a teenager in junior high. The only thing getting her through the rough days of school was roller derby. Astrid loved roller derby and was committed to putting in her best work. Astrid’s character develops over time in the novel, and it’s interesting to read about her change.
Bailey is a dog with a purpose. His owner, Ethan, is a loving caretaker and even better friend to this pup.
I picked out this book at a book fair, I saw the front cover and thought the little puppy was so adorable. I love animals and would definitely recommend this book for others who love animals too. I enjoyed the storyline of this book. I felt that it worked really well with Bailey and Ethan’s characters as the story goes on.
Bailey and Ethan have a great bond that gets better over time. This is a real benefit for the story and allows the reader to have different emotions while reading. This isn’t the genre I would normally go for, but it really surprised me how much I enjoyed the book.
Reviewer Grade: 8
This book is very heavy and grim, but Hanya Yanagihara gives a detailed insight into living with disabilities, mental illness, and addiction. I became attached to the characters from the start. Four young men- Jude, Willem, JB, and Malcom, have been best friends since being college roommates in New York, but their individual lives and struggles make it complicated to work through their mid-life crises. Despite the grief and somber moments in A Little Life, I appreciated the resilient mentors that the four, especially Jude, had. It had a loving message of always having a support system somewhere even if it doesn't feel like it, and that your past doesn't define you- your present choices do. However, the ending was open ended and left a lot for me to ponder over later. I'd recommend this if you like more somber, down to earth books (and if you're a fast reader, because this book took forever to read!)
I read this book because my mom wouldn't stop talking about how she LOVED this book when she grew up. It was pretty funny. It is a book about.a kid in the fourth grade that has a little brother. And the little brother was just SO cute that everyone, not just his parents gave all of the attention to the brother. That part I can kinda understand. I have a little sister and for real babies usually get all of everyone's attention. It made him feel like a nothing. I liked the book because I could definitely relate to it, and it was pretty easy to read. I think it would probably be better for like middle school kids or younger to read. But it was good.
My mom told me about this book because she said me and my friends reminded her of this book. I really liked this book because of how close they all were. And because of all of the adventures they all take but they are still best friends. I thought the idea of this book was epic because even though they were not the same size, they pants somehow looked perfect on all of them. And they used the pants to stay close. And tell each other about their adventures. It was very easy to read and imagine like I was right there with them.