I am 11 books away from meeting my goal of 50 books read this year! That’s a lot of reading to get done this coming month, but I think I can do it! Here is what I read for the month of November:
I think this book was beautifully done. Brown got real when it came to bullying and showed how jokes can be taken the wrong way. Valerie is a very real teenager who struggles with very real things in her life. Nothing is really sugarcoated about the aftermath of the shooting and how Valerie deals with facing her demons and going back to school. The characters are so deeply realized that not one is painted entirely as the villain or as the hero; each character, including the shooter, has a fault and a virtue. I think this book would really make teenagers think twice about the people they make fun of or how they joke about things they don’t like.
I also really liked the way Brown handled the relationship between Val and her therapist. I liked that Val actually talked to her therapist and that there were strides made in their sessions to promote healing.
I would recommend this book to any of my friends or student.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart-★★★-3.5 Frankie is an underestimated girl who struggles with her family’s perception of her. She goes to a really ritzy prep school in Massachusetts and this story follows her in her sophomore year. Frankie starts dating a very popular boy who is part of a secret club that she cants join. Instead of accepting her denial, Frankie orchestrates a series of pranks to show her worthiness to the club and her boyfriend.
I really enjoyed the characters of this book and the banter shown between them. I enjoyed the strong female character but I felt like the feminist agenda was a little to strong for me. I appreciated the way Frankie was able to stand up for herself against the typical challenges that teenage girls face, but it got a little to political at times.
I would recommend this book to any of my students and friends who enjoy a light hearted book with a strong character who really makes you think about social stigmas.
While the moral of the story is good, I really couldn’t stand this book. I felt like the voice of the main character was completely unrealistic; she sounded like an 80 year old English woman who wanted to speak in prose the whole time! And while I am sure the struggles with addiction were accurately portrayed, it was a bit repetitive to the point I was skimming through parts.
Anyway, the language and the weird writing style didn’t impress me. I wouldn’t really recommend this to anyone.
Told in two points of view (Kate’s present and Amelia’s past) along with texts, facebook posts, emails, blogs, etc. this story follows Kate as she tries to figure out what really happened to lead her daughter to her fate. She receives an anonymous text a few weeks after Amelia’s death that says Amelia didn’t jump. Kate starts from the beginning and discovers the truth behind Amelia’s death.
Wow. I LOVED this book. A lot of people will say it’s like Gossip Girl meets a Lifetime movie, which is true in a way, but I think it’s true in only positive aspects. I loved the variety of writing styles and formats, which was so accurate to today’s world. I think that the plot twists were surprising and kept me on my toes. This book is fast paced and I read it in two days because I constantly wanted to know what was going to happen next. This book raises a number of good questions for parents and young adults alike, such as: do you know what your child is really involved in? When is it okay to lie? How do lies and honesty affect others lives? This book also does a great job showing what can happen when secrets are kept and bullying is tolerated.
That being said, I wouldn’t recommend this book to any students because of language, but I would recommend it to ALL of my fellow teachers because of the insight this book provides to a student’s life and how bullying can affect it.
I LOVED this book! It was so beautifully crafted. The writing style took a little while to get used to; it has a little bit of a lyrical/prose feel to it, but after getting into the rhythm, it added to the story in the ways by building imagery and emotion. The story was fast paced, dark and deep, and revealed many limitations of the human experience when it comes to families. It raised questions about wealth, greed, approval and love. And, it had a killed twist at the end that I didn’t see coming!
I would recommend this book to any of my junior or senior students, fellow teachers or friends, especially if they appreciate a little bit of a mystery and can appreciate an artistic writing style.
If you need any other book suggestions or reviews, be sure to look up my Goodreads account!