Tag Archives: epistolary fiction

Sophie’s Books that Make You Think

fault-in-our-starsReview #1 (The Fault in Our Stars)

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is a tragic, yet youthful and captivating book. It features a girl named Hazel Grace who meets a boy named Augustus Waters at a support group for people who have cancer. Augustus uses his wish that he received when he first learned of his cancer to fly to Amsterdam to meet a Peter Van Houten, the author of Hazel’s favorite book, An Imperial Affliction. Right from the beginning, Hazel’s sarcasm mixed with Augustus’s charm stuck to me, and have ended being two of my favorite characters in any book I’ve ever read. The writing was very unique, in that it used beautiful analogies, and was able to blend in a lot of humor despite its tragic topic. To any readers out there that enjoy a little mix of everything I would definitely recommend this book.

Review #2 (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky is in a perksWallflowerway very interesting in that it is vague so that you have to infer what is happening. This book is about a boy who goes by the alias name as Charlie who is beginning high school and decides to document his life through letters to the his friend, the reader. Charlie has no friends, except for Michael who committed suicide back in eighth grade. When Charlie begins high school he meets Patrick, Sam and many of their friends who teach him how to have fun.  I really enjoyed this book because it is in a way, a coming-of-age type of book that really introduces the reader to many different things that are important in realizing that happens to everyone. The author was able to expose the types of things that teenagers and people go through in life. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone of any age.

Lord of the FliesReview #3 (Lord of The Flies)

Lord of The Flies, by William Golding is chilling, and showed the savage side of a human. This book begins with a plane crash on an island, and a group of boys with no adults stranded. Humanity versus savagery is a big theme in this book. It quickly transitions from them trying to remain together as a group to a chaotic and bloody scene. This book was really creative in the symbolic representations that the author had chosen. And I found it really interesting to how the boys had divided the way that they did, and how much they had changed from British school boys to savages. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys symbolism and the capability of how savage a person can really become.

–Sophie, Columbia, Teen Adviser

COL

Perks of Being a Wallflower: fall in love with characters & their friendship

perksWallflowerTitle:  The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Author:  Stephen Chbosky

Summary:  Charlie, a shy and naive 15-year-old, is trying to come to terms with the suicide of his best friend and cope with his own mental illness.  About to begin high school and unsure of how to feel, Charlie starts to write letters to a stranger he heard is nice.  In these letters we follow Charlie through the ups and downs of high school as he learns about love, friendship, and stepping out of your comfort zone.

How many stars would you give this book and why?  I would rate this book 10/10 stars. The letter format is intriguing and the story flows beautifully.  Each letter is like a chapter.  All of the characters are well-developed and I feel like I know each of them personally.

I started reading it because… I loved the title of the book, as well as the cover page…

I kept reading because… I fell in love with the characters and their friendship.

What you loved/hated/couldn’t get enough of… I loved Patrick (one of Charlie’s friends).  He is one of the funniest characters I have ever come across and his presence in the book makes it a million times better.

Anything else we should know… The Perks of Being a Wallflower is now a major motion picture. Released in 2012 the author (Stephen Chbosky) also directed the movie. The film and its soundtrack are both incredible.

Websites of Interest: Here’s a link to the movie trailer.

–Laura, 16, Greenwood

GWD

Editor’s Note:  Perks is one of those books that just keeps drawing people in!  Check out our other reviews of this title!  Many different contexts, but all love all the time.  🙂

Loren’s Top Five Teen Books

These are my personal top five favorite books about/for teens, in no particular order.

1. Perks of Being a Wallflower

I love Perks on a deep, emotional level. I read Perks when I get really sad, and nothing else will make me feel better. Charlie is the most likeable and relatable character I have ever known, and that’s how you feel after reading this amazing book, like you know him. Freshman year is tough (especially in the ’90s) and so far I haven’t had as much trouble as Charlie, but this book has helped me through some tough times.

2. The Hunger Games

I read this book for the first time in fifth grade, and feel like I may have outgrown it by now.  However, I still enjoy the story that everyone (and their grandmothers!) knows by now. I guess I just love the idea of fighting to the death with other teens, which is why I highly recommend Battle Royale, which is just a really violent Japanese Hunger Games with tolerable love stories that actually make sense.

3. Why We Broke Up

The beautiful watercolor illustrations from Maira Kalman wonderfully accompany Daniel Handler’s (who uses the pen name Lemony Snicket for his children books) writing of this tragic letter from a “different” (some call would call her “arty”) girl to the jock she has broken up with. She delivers this letter with a big box of memorabilia from their relationship (these are this items that Kalman illustrates). A word to the wise: Don’t read this book if you have recently broken up with someone. It will just make you sad.

4. The Giver

You were probably forced to read this at some point in your school career; if you have, go back and re-read it. You probably missed a lot. (If you weren’t forced to read it, you should!) I have read this book several times now and I am always noticing new and interesting things. Lois Lowry created a dystopian community that has always fascinated me.

5. The Fault in our Stars

I’m not a huge fan of John Green; I think his books are a little too similar concerning characters. But TFioS is undeniably the saddest book I have ever read. I really admire any book that can make me cry (I forgot to mention I always cry when you-know-who dies in The Hunger Games). TFioS isn’t even that sad all the time, you spend your time laughing and “aww-ing” along through most of the book. The characters are part of a beautiful story that makes me believe in love. But you are also telling yourself, “One of them is going to die! Or both! I know I’m going to cry!” Let’s just say that the ending left me devastated.

–Loren, 15, Teen Center Adviser

Loren-CROP

Sarah's Top 11 Books of All Time!

So I read A LOT.  In the 6th & 7th grade I was really into sci-fi/ fantasy and then I went into a crappy realistic fiction phase and then I found Harry Potter and then the good realistic fiction. I’m pleased to present: My Top 11 Favorite Books of ALL Time!

The whole list can be found on the library’s catalog here!

11. A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
This is an amazing love story and in my opinion the best Nicholas Sparks book (and I’ve read ALL of them.) I love the 1950s back drop, I love Jamie and Landon, I love their love, I love that they get married even though they’re still kids, and I love that their love changed each other for the better.

10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
So I was required to read this book my freshmen year and I thought I would hate it but I ended up falling in love with it. It’s a classic and there isn’t one specific reason why I love it I just love all of it.  And I am Scout; I was exactly like her as a kid.

9. Sweethearts by Sara Zarr
This is QUALITY realistic fiction. Sara Zarr is an AMAZING realistic fiction author. I love this book because I felt raw when I finished it. The love and the characters in this book felt so real that I could not stop thinking about it even weeks after I’d finished the book. Continue reading

Four on a Theme: Diaries

 While many people keep diaries or journals to write down their innermost thoughts, their hopes and dreams, their issues with family or friends, most of those diaries would not make for really good reading. Why? Because our lives don’t have much plot, not with a solid beginning, middle and end. However, there are a number of great teen novels that are told through diaries. Here are four of the best and most recent.
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