Tag Archives: grief

Teen Reviewed: And We Stay

And We StayTitle:  And We Stay

Author:  Jenny Hubbard

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Emily Beam is sent away to a boarding school in Massachusetts after her boyfriend shoots himself in the school library.  When she gets to Amherst School for Girls, she finds out that the town of Amherst is where Emily Dickinson spent much of her life. In the spirit of the woman who shares her name and birthday, Emily starts to write poems herself as she tries to cope with what she has been through.  Slowly, she begins to find her sea legs as she gradually develops new relationships and explores her changed existence through writing.

I started reading because:  I liked the concept, and I liked the idea of a novel written in half prose, half poetry.

I kept reading because:  the writing was incredible.  Every word was beautiful and used very intentionally.  I also loved how the characters slowly unfolded themselves throughout the book.

If Emily were in a yearbook, she would be voted:  Most Talented.

I would recommend this book to poetry lovers, and anyone who would like to do some contemplating of the big questions. While this book did make me laugh at times, it should be noted that it deals with some heavy subject matter and controversial issues, so it is not suitable for everyone.

–Hannah, Greenwood, Teen Blogger

12 Things To Do Before You Crash & Burn

12 Things To Do Before You Crash And BurnTitle:  12 Things To Do Before You Crash & Burn

Author:  James Proimos

Summary:  Sixteen-year-old James “Hercules” Martino completes twelve tasks while spending two weeks in Baltimore with his Uncle Anthony, and gains insights into himself, his uncle, and his recently deceased father, a self-help author and daytime talk show host who was beloved by the public but a terrible father.

​I started reading this book because I wanted to read something different from my norm. I searched SPL’s catalogue, refined by “teens” and “comedy”. Saw the cover, read the summary and decided to give it a shot.

The main character to this book would be voted:  Most Likely To Be a Comedian (Unintentionally).

This book reminds me of FAMILY because no matter what, every family is different
and each one has their own quirkiness.

Website of Interest: James Proimos

–Anastasia, Douglass-Truth Staffer


Four on a Theme: Leaving Something Behind

icon-books In the following four books you get to know characters posthumously through objects they left behind for the living. The recipients of these items not only unlock more information surrounding the person that passed on, but also discover more about the surviving.  Continue reading

Cracking the Hub: Under a Meth Moon

Hub Reading Challenge

I’m a few weeks into The Hub Challenge and have just finished my first book: Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson.

As you can tell by the title Beneath a Meth Moon, this is a book about a girl who gets hooked on meth by her boyfriend and how it completely dismantles her life.  I finished the book on a bus going to a meeting downtown.  Not a good plan.  The ending got me a bit emotional, and I felt like the guys sitting across from me were looking at me in horrified fascination as I fought back the tears.  This book should come with a warning – don’t read in public unless you feel comfortable with P.D.E. (public displays of emotion).  Other than the near miss with crying on a bus in public, I’d call this book a sure winner.
I’m getting a slow start, but I still think I can finish the challenge!

Four on a Theme: Loss of a Sibling

The passing of a loved one is always difficult, and in the following four books characters must face the loss of a sibling. Each chooses to grieve in a different way: from embarking on road trips to composing a journal filled with famous (and not so famous) last words. No matter what, by dealing with death, these characters ultimately learn how to live.
Continue reading

Book Shorts: Mister Death's Blue-Eyed Girls

Title:  Mister Death’s Blue-Eyed Girls

Author:  Mary Downing Hahn

Summary:  Narrated from several different perspectives, tells the story of the 1956 murder of two teenaged girls in suburban Baltimore, Maryland.

I started reading it because… I read an interview with the author, Hahn, who said she based this story on a real life event that happened to her growing up.  Two teenage girls murdered in her small town caused no end of speculation and fear.

I kept reading because…  the suspense surrounding the murders and the escalation of events that seemed to overtake the townspeople in accusing the ex-boyfriend in order to neatly solve the crime, were masterfully written.

Main character(s): If they were in a yearbook, they would be voted Most Likely To: be 1950’s Normal.

Six Word Recap: Two girls murdered; boyfriend wrongly accused.

This book reminded me of a People Magazine or Dateline TV murder story because of the sordid details and the drama of the suspected but not charged boyfriend. The narrator, Nora, who knows all the players in this mystery, must work through her grief and her memories that could point to the boyfriend’s innocence.

Websites of interest: Mary Downing Hahn

Diane, Beacon Hill Librarian