Book Talk

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur is a tender poetic book that signifies the author journey to self-empowerment. This is the sequel to Milk and Honey, and is currently a #1 New York Times Bestseller. She explores multifarious themes such as love, loss, trauma, healing, migration, and revolution —all of which connect to the chapter titles. [read more...]
Cinder takes place in the year 126 T.E. (Third Era) 126 years after the end of World War IV, in the city of New Beijing (old Beijing having been destroyed in WWIV). The main protagonist of the story is 16-year-old Cinder. For as long as she can remember, she has lived in New Beijing as a cyborg. Unfortunately, the world looks down on cyborgs because people who are “enhanced” should not be treated as equally as people without cybernetic enhancements. This is what the general population thinks, including Cinder's stepmother and stepsisters. They are fine with putting Cinder and her best friend Iko, an android who has a programming glitch that gives her a personality, to work as mechanics in a booth. She has earned the title of “best mechanic in New Beijing” which is somewhat helped by her unlimited access to most all information. Even with her title, Adri (Cinder's stepmother) treats her like she is nothing but a machine. Besides Iko, the only other person who treats Cinder like a person is Peony, Cinder's other stepsister. [read more...]
Jason Reynolds’ novel Long Way Down starts with the three rules of a troubled neighborhood: no crying, no snitching, and always get revenge. After somebody shoots Will’s brother, Shawn, Will, 15, follows the third and most important rule. He sets off to kill the man who shot his brother because he knows who did it. Or does he? [read more...]
The term ‘I’ is not singular. Hundreds of thousands of microbes live in our bodies at all times. These microbes make it so thinking of yourself as a singular being is absurd. You can’t be a singular being if everything you think and do is controlled by living things inside your body. At least this is what Aza thinks. [read more...]
Greg Gaines thinks he knows it all. He has officially figured out how to survive high school. He decides that all he has to do is remain unanimously unimportant to everyone at his school except Earl, his sort-of-friend. He thinks this is what he must do to answer the basic existential question: How is it possible to exist in a place that sucks so bad? [read more...]
“There is no bigger illusion in the world than the idea that a woman will bring dishonor into a home if she tries to keep her heart and her body safe,” Rupi Kaur writes in Milk and Honey. Kaur’s raw work of art is an all-time favorite book, articulating the experiences of abusive relationships, violence, love, and loss. For me, this collection of poetry paints an insightful portrait to female empowerment. [read more...]
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children tells the intriguing story of 16-year-old Jacob Portman. Jacob grew up listening to stories told by his grandfather, Abe, with whom he had a very strong relationship with. This changes when Jacob’s dad declares that Abe is mentally disturbed due to his past. Abe would tell Jacob story upon story about a wonderful place called Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children.  Miss Peregrine’s home housed many children with abilities that were unheard of, such as creating fire with their bare hands and being able to fly. Abe also showed pictures of these mysterious children, which Jacob would later find fascinating. [read more...]
So B. It is a novel that centers on twelve-year-old Heidi It, who is eager to find out more about who she is. Living with her mentally disabled mother, So B. It, and her neighbor, Bernadette, Heidi feels as though a puzzle piece is missing. She ventures out to find that missing piece. [read more...]
Lies My Teacher Told Me is a thought-provoking book which reveals just a few of the most common lies and misconceptions taught in today's history classrooms. Professor James Loewen studies not one, not two, but 12 of the most used American history textbooks and concludes that not one of them does a semi-decent job of making history memorable or interesting. As a student, I am outraged that I am only just now learning the other side of the story that I have been learning about my entire academic career: American History. [read more...]
Have you ever had a wish you always wanted to have granted? Was it something silly like wishing for a flying skateboard? Or was it something more serious and meaningful like world peace? This particular story focuses on a simple wish to have a friend. [read more...]
I recently read Nailed by Patrick Jones, a fictional book which takes place in Flint, Michigan and focuses on Bret Hendricks, a junior at Southwestern High School. He, like many teenagers, faces challenges such as heartbreak, toxic friendships, bullying, and home issues. [read more...]
“Janae works every day at her Granny’s Strange Goods Superstore, selling lucky rabbits’ feet and other useless junk. And every night, after closing up shop, she dominates the courts with her boys,” summarized a reviewer from Kirkus Reviews of Black Top: Janae. [read more...]
Written by Julie Kagawa, New York bestselling author, Talon is a retelling of the classic war between knights and dragons. It is written through the perspectives of the individual characters. Her story shows both sides of the war and the disagreements in-between. [read more...]
“Thou shalt kill.” With those words, Citra's and Rowan's lives changed forever. [read more...]
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper is a very deep and thought-provoking book about an 11-year-old girl named Melody who has Cerebral Palsy. Melody isn't able to walk, talk, or write. However, she has a photographic memory: her brain remembers everything she hears and sees. [read more...]
Poison by Bridget Zinn is an intriguing book. It is set in a fantasy world with castles, magic, no-good princes, and best friend princesses. [read more...]
In the book The Girl Who Writes and the Boy Who Likes Her by Sandra Corton, a boy must find a way to get a shy girl out of her shell. Emily has been traumatized by her father's death. Even after many years, she still considers his death her fault and therefore thinks that she doesn’t deserve any kindness or love. To escape her sad world, she turns to writing which helps her relax. Emily's life changes forever, however when her mom's childhood friend goes on vacation and leaves her son Zach at Emily's house for a week. [read more...]
A long time ago, before even newspapers existed, there lived a group of people called the Ancient Greeks. They shared news in the form of myths; which were often passed on through word-of-mouth. These myths represented a set of beliefs and are now collectively called Greek Mythology. One of my personal favorite Greet myths is “Lost At Sea”. [read more...]
Loki's Wolves, by Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr, is the first in a five book series based on a Norse myth called “Ragnaroc.” In the myth, the Norse gods battle to stop the end of the world. But in this retelling of the story, the gods have already died off because of their foolishness, so it's up to their teenage descendants to save the world. [read more...]
Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment, the first book of a nine part series by James Patterson, is truly amazing! Maximum Ride is about a girl named Max and her “Flock.” There is something special about those in the flock – they can fly! The Flock has been experimented on since birth, at a place known as “The School.” People called “White Coats” changed the Flock's DNA; so, instead of being 100 percent human, they are only 98 percent human and two percent avian, or bird. [read more...]
Slam!, a realistic work of fiction by Walter Dean Myers, is set in present-day Harlem. Told from the perspective of a Harlem high school student, the tale details the experiences of “Slam” a teenager who loves basketball and has a close friend named Ice. [read more...]
I recently read The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis. This book is about a resilient girl who overcomes many obstacles in Afghanistan. [read more...]
The Giver is a celebrated book by Lois Lowery. It melds dystopian fiction with action and drama to make a great combination. In fact, The Giver paved the way for the entire genre with help from Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451; together, these texts started a movement for this once unrecognized and even unpopular part of science fiction writing. [read more...]
Even before the renovation, when the Goodman Library was just another block in the strip mall, my family and I have gone there to do everything from participating in movie nights, to finding a quiet corner and reading. [read more...]
Julie Ann Peter's heart-warming novel Luna, was named a 2014 National Book Award finalist. While the book did not win the award, it presents an interesting and important narrative. [read more...]
Ellen Kages' historical fiction novel, The Green Glass Sea, takes place on a secret military base during World War I and World War II. Dewey, the protagonist, is a unique and intelligent nine-year old girl. [read more...]
Ancient Rome was not only a place of power and wealth, but also home to a unique form of entertainment. In Gladiators Battling in the Arena, Katherine Frew introduces us to the history of gladiators and their importance in Roman entertainment. [read more...]